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Live updates | Israel says troops push deeper into Gaza City as Palestinians flee to the south

Nov 6, 2023, 11:12 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2023, 9:10 pm

A month into the war, Israel’s military says it’s fighting in the ‘depths’ of Gaza City after encircling the northern part of the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will have “overall security responsibility” in Gaza “for an indefinite period” after its war with Hamas. His comments in a TV interview offered the clearest indication yet that Israel plans to maintain control over the territory that’s home to some 2.3 million Palestinians.

Several hundred thousand people are believed to remain in the north in the assault’s path. Hundreds of Palestinians fled Gaza City to the south on Tuesday, raising their hands and waving white flags to move past Israeli tanks. Some came on donkey carts, most on foot, a few pushing aged relatives in wheelchairs, all visibly exhausted and many with nothing but their clothes on their back.

The number of Palestinians killed in the war passed 10,300, including more than 4,200 children, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said Tuesday.

In the occupied West Bank, more than 160 Palestinians have been killed in the violence and Israeli raids. More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that started the fighting, and 242 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group.

Currently:

— Israel envisions an ‘ overall security ’ role in Gaza indefinitely.

— Civilians fleeing northern Gaza’s combat zone report a terrifying journey on foot past Israeli tanks.

— AP PHOTOS: Death, destruction and despair reign a month into latest Israel-Gaza conflict.

— Majority of Israelis are confident in justice of Gaza war, even as world sentiment sours.

— How Lebanon’s Hezbollah group became a critical player in the Israel-Hamas war.

— Find more of AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.

Here’s what is happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war:

40 FILIPINOS FLEE WAR-RAVAGED GAZA STRIP THROUGH RAFAH CROSSING INTO EGYPT

MANILA, Philippines — Dozens of Filipinos fled from the war-ravaged Gaza Strip into Egypt through the Rafah crossing after Filipino diplomats negotiated for their safe passage and Qatar mediated for the border to be opened, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Wednesday.

The 40 Filipinos were traveling to the Egyptian capital of Cairo, where they planned to take flights back to the Philippines, Marcos said in a video message in Manila. Two Filipino doctors managed to leave the Gaza Strip into Egypt last week.

“I hope the rest of our countrymen who also wanted to return home can also exit properly with their spouses and loved ones,” Marcos said.

Most of at least 134 Filipinos in Gaza, many of whom are married to Palestinians, have sought help to leave the besieged territory and are waiting for an opportunity to leave, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said.

HAMAS DENIES ISRAEL IS MAKING BIG MILITARY GAINS IN GAZA CITY

BEIRUT — Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad, speaking on Tuesday from Beirut, denied that Israeli forces were making any significant military gains or that they had advanced deep into Gaza City.

“They never give the people the truth,” Hamad said. He added that numerous Israeli soldiers were killed on Monday and “many tanks were destroyed.”

“The Palestinians fight and fight and fight against Israel, until we end the occupation,” said Hamad, who left Gaza days before the attack.

Israel’s military says it has killed thousands of Hamas fighters in the monthlong war. The Associated Press could not independently verify the claims of either side.

DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS TEAM MEMBER KILLED IN STRIKE ON REFUGEE CAMP

NEW YORK — Doctors Without Borders reported the death of Mohammed Al Ahel, a laboratory technician for the organization in Gaza, on Nov. 6, during a bombing in the Shati refugee camp. Several members of his family also died in the bombing.

The humanitarian organization said Al Ahel had worked with them for more than two years and was at his home when the area was bombed and his building collapsed.

“Our repeated calls for an immediate ceasefire have gone unanswered,” the charity said in a statement Tuesday. “But we insist that a ceasefire is the only way to prevent more senseless deaths across Gaza and allow adequate humanitarian aid into the Strip.”

ISRAELI HOSTAGES’ FAMILIES HOLD VIGIL BESIDE WESTERN WALL

Hundreds of family members of hostages held in Gaza joined supporters beside the Western Wall in Jerusalem to call for the release of their loved ones.

Tuesday evening’s event was one of several held around Israel to mark one month since the unprecedented Oct. 7 Hamas attack, in which more than 1,400 people were killed and around 240 taken captive.

“The hostages have been underground in Gaza for 32 days. I cry out to every single person here and every single person on the planet to make it your mission to free these souls,” Rachel Goldberg, a prominent spokesperson for the hostage families said, her voice breaking.

Singing and praying together while holding signs of the kidnapped, parents and friends gave speeches calling for their release. They also lit a memorial flame that will be carried across the world to build political pressure to aid their release.

WHITE HOUSE SAYS IT DOES NOT SUPPORT ISRAEL RE-OCCUPYING GAZA AFTER WAR

WASHINGTON — The White House on Tuesday reiterated that President Joe Biden does not support an Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip once the war ends.

Asked about Netanyahu’s comments, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said he would leave it to Netanyahu to clarify what he means by having “indefinite” control of Gaza’s security.

“There needs to be a healthy set of conversations about what post conflict Gaza looks like and what governance looks like,” Kirby told reporters. “What we absolutely agree with our Israeli counterparts on is what it can’t look like, and it can’t look like it looked on October 6.”

Biden previously said it would be a “mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza.

THOUSANDS OF GAZA’S PREGNANT WOMEN AND NEW MOTHERS IN DIRE CONDITIONS, UN SAYS

UNITED NATIONS – The figures are staggering: 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza are unable to access routine maternal health care, 180 women are giving birth there every day, and 5,500 babies have been born since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

Dr. Natalia Kanem, head of the U.N. agency that promotes reproductive and sexual health, gave those figures at a U.N. press conference Tuesday where she issued an urgent appeal for fuel for hospitals and incubators, clean water and food for pregnant and lactating women, and for a humanitarian cease-fire.

Kanem said the U.N. has no figures on the number of new mothers or newborns who’ve died since the war began. But she said, “we have seen losses of life” of newborns in hospitals who need incubators and oxygen which require fuel, adding that being in a hospital is essential for Caesarean section deliveries.

While two truckloads of health and delivery kits and medication have arrived in Gaza, “it’s a drop in the bucket” compared to the needs, said Kanem, the executive director of the U.N. Population Fund.

Pregnant women need double the amount of fluid than non-pregnant women, “and if you’re a lactating mother, it’s triple” – and “brackish water is not a solution,” she added.

RED CROSS SAYS 2 AID TRUCKS CAME UNDER FIRE IN GAZA

CAIRO — The International Committee of the Red Cross said two of its trucks were damaged when a convoy of its vehicles in Gaza came under fire on Tuesday.

The ICRC vehicles were hit as they were transporting vital medical supplies to hospitals and health facilities in the besieged enclave, the aid group said. A driver was lightly wounded.

“These are not the conditions under which humanitarian personnel can work,” said William Schomburg, the head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Gaza. Officials did not provide further details on the trucks’ location inside Gaza.

ISRAELI MILITARY SAYS ITS GROUND FORCES ARE BATTLING ‘IN THE DEPTHS’ OF GAZA CITY

JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said Tuesday that its ground forces are now fighting in “the depths” of Gaza City.

The comments signaled a new stage by the Israeli military as it moves in toward what it says is the headquarters and stronghold of the Hamas militant group.

Speaking to reporters, the chief military spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said that Israeli ground forces “are located right now in a ground operation in the depths of Gaza City and putting great pressure on Hamas.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Israel was making great progress in its war, saying that the army has killed thousands of Hamas fighters.

SMALL GROUP OF GAZA KIDS WITH CANCER CROSS INTO EGYPT FOR TREATMENT

CAIRO — A dozen Palestinian children in Gaza who have cancer were allowed to cross the Rafah border on Tuesday for treatment in Egypt.

According to Egypt’s Health Ministry, the 12 children were transferred to specialized cancer hospitals. Authorities did not say whether the children traveled alone or if any family members or guardians were allowed to accompany them.

US ENVOY SAYS WASHINGTON DOESN’T WANT WAR TO EXPAND TO LEBANON

BLIDA, Lebanon — A top U.S. envoy said in Beirut on Tuesday that Washington doesn’t want the ongoing war in Gaza to expand to Lebanon, as a Lebanese woman and her three granddaughters were laid to rest two days after they were killed in an Israeli strike.

The comments from Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden, came during an unannounced visit to Beirut to discuss the volatile situation with Lebanon’s parliament speaker and caretaker prime minister.

Hochstein told reporters after meeting Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri that restoring calm along Lebanon’s southern border is of “utmost importance.”

Hochstein said he heard Berri’s concerns over the tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border, where fighters of the militant group Hezbollah and their allies have been exchanging fire with Israeli troops for about a month, after the Israel-Hamas war started on Oct. 7.

Hochstein’s comments came as the Israeli military and Hezbollah exchanged fire on Tuesday following what Israel said was the targeting of one of its posts along the Lebanese border. The clashes along the border have intensified since Israel launched a ground incursion into Gaza against Palestinian militant group Hamas, an ally of Hezbollah.

MILITANTS TARGET US BASE IN IRAQ WITH DRONES

WASHINGTON — Militants targeted the U.S. military base in Irbil, Iraq, overnight and again Tuesday morning, but caused no injuries to personnel or damage to the infrastructure, a U.S. defense official said.

The Islamic Resistance, an umbrella organization of Iraqi militant groups backed by Iran, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying their drones hit their target without giving any further details.

The overnight attack on Irbil airbase near the city’s commercial airport was a multi-drone attack. Tuesday morning’s attack was with a single drone, said the U.S. defense official, who was not authorized to discuss the strikes and spoke on condition of anonymity. Commercial flights were briefly suspended.

The strikes are part of an ongoing string of attacks in recent weeks by the Iran-backed militants on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria, in light of Washington’s support for Israel’s war on Hamas.

The attacks bring the total number of strikes on U.S. and coalition facilities in Iraq and Syria to at least 40 since Oct. 17.

The Islamic Resistance also claimed responsibility for other attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, including a drone attack on Al-Harir in Irbil province, and on the Green Village base in eastern Syria. The U.S. defense official said there were no reports of attacks at Al-Harir.

___

Associated Press writer Tara Copp contributed.

ISRAELIS OBSERVE ONE-MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF HAMAS ASSAULT

JERUSALEM — Israelis observed a minute of silence on Tuesday morning in memory of the victims of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel and the 348 soldiers killed since the assault, on its one-month anniversary.

Israelis are marking the anniversary as a day of mourning over the attack, in which more than 1,400 people were killed and 242 were taken hostage. The one-month anniversary is a milestone in the timeline of Jewish mourning.

Memorial events are scheduled to be held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem later in the day.

IN JAPAN, BLINKEN SEEKS G7 CONSENSUS ON ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

TOKYO — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken shifted his intense diplomacy on the Israel-Hamas war to Asia on Tuesday with an appeal for the Group of Seven leading industrial democracies to forge a consensus on how to deal with the crisis.

As he and his G7 counterparts began two days of talks in Japan, Blinken said it was critically important for the group to show unity as it has over Russia’s war in Ukraine and other major issues and prevent existing differences on Gaza from deepening.

“This is a very important moment as well for the G7 to come together in the face of this crisis and to speak, as we do, with one clear voice,” Blinken told Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa.

The devastating monthlong conflict in Gaza and efforts to ease the dire humanitarian impacts of Israel’s response to the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas attack will be a major focus of the meeting. Yet with the Russia-Ukraine war, fears North Korea may be readying a new nuclear test, and concerns about China’s increasing global assertiveness, it is far from the only crisis on the agenda.



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Live updates | Israel says troops push deeper into Gaza City as Palestinians flee to the south