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Live updates | Israel plans to keep fighting as other countries call for a cease-fire in Gaza

Dec 12, 2023, 1:19 AM

Israeli soldiers take positions near the Gaza Strip border, in southern Israel, Monday, Dec. 11, 20...

Israeli soldiers take positions near the Gaza Strip border, in southern Israel, Monday, Dec. 11, 2023. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israel pressed ahead Tuesday with an offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers that it says could go on for weeks or months. Ahead of a non-binding vote at the United Nations later Tuesday, Israel and the United States faced global calls for a cease-fire in Gaza.

More than 17,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, around two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory. About 90% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been displaced within the besieged territory, where United Nations agencies say there is no safe place to flee. With only a trickle of humanitarian aid reaching a small portion of Gaza, residents face severe shortages of food, water and other basic goods.

Israel says 97 of its soldiers have died in its ground offensive after Hamas raided southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 240 hostages. Qatar, which has played a key mediating role, says efforts to stop the war and have all hostages released will continue, but a willingness to discuss a cease-fire is fading.

Currently:

— A missile strikes a Norwegian-flagged tanker in Red Sea off Yemen in apparent expansion of rebel attacks.

— Palestinians hope a vote in the U.N. General Assembly will show wide support for a Gaza cease-fire.

— Iraq scrambles to contain fighting between U.S. troops and Iran-backed groups, fearing Gaza spillover.

— Biden vows to keep standing with Israel and calls the “surge of antisemitism” around the globe “sickening.”

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

Here’s what’s happening in the war:

ISRAELI FORCES HAVE STORMED A HOSPITAL IN NORTHERN GAZA, HEALTH MINISTRY SAYS

CAIRO — A spokesman for Gaza’s Health Ministry says Israeli forces have stormed a hospital in northern Gaza.

Ashraf al-Qidra said the troops forced all the men in Kamal Adwan Hospital, including medics, to gather in the courtyard after entering the facility on Tuesday. He called on the U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross to intervene.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military. The army says it is rounding up men in northern Gaza as it searches for Hamas fighters. Photos and video circulated online show detainees stripped to their underwear, bound and blindfolded. Some who have been released say they were beaten and denied food and water.

The U.N. humanitarian office says the hospital has 65 patients, including 12 children in intensive care and six newborns in incubators. Some 3,000 displaced people are sheltering there, all awaiting evacuation because of severe shortages of food, water and electricity.

Most of the population of northern Gaza fled weeks ago when Israel ordered a full evacuation. Ground troops invaded in late October after a blistering three-week air campaign. Israel accuses Hamas of using civilians as human shields.

Tens of thousands of people remain in the north, where they have been almost entirely cut off from humanitarian aid for weeks. The health system in the north has largely collapsed.

A SURGEON IS SHOT FROM OUTSIDE A NORTH GAZA HOSPITAL, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS SAYS

CAIRO — A surgeon was wounded after being shot from outside a hospital in northern Gaza that is surrounded by Israeli forces, Doctors Without Borders said. The aid group said the shooting occurred Monday at Al-Awda Hospital, and that five hospital staff at Al-Awda Hospital, including two of its own doctors, have been killed while caring for patients since the start of the war.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have remained in northern Gaza, even after Israel’s evacuation orders and as airstrikes have leveled entire neighborhoods. Very little humanitarian aid has been allowed into northern Gaza, and the health system has all but collapsed.

The United Nations humanitarian office, known as OCHA, said a convoy delivering medical supplies to the north for the first time in more than a week came under fire on the way to another hospital over the weekend.

The convoy evacuated 19 patients but was delayed for inspections by Israeli forces on the way south. OCHA said one patient died and a paramedic was detained for hours.

A HOUTHI MISSILE HITS A TANKER NEAR YEMEN

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A missile suspected fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels slammed into a Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, a key maritime chokepoint, authorities said Tuesday.

The assault on the oil and chemical tanker, Strinda, expands a campaign by the Iranian-backed rebels targeting ships near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait by striking a ship that has no clear ties to Israel. That potentially imperils cargo and energy shipments coming through the Suez Canal and further widen the international impact of the Israel-Hamas war now raging in the Gaza Strip.

Houthi military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree issued a video statement claiming the rebels only fired on the vessel when it “rejected all warning calls.”

The Strinda was coming from Malaysia and was bound for the Suez Canal onward to Italy with its cargo of palm oil, Belsnes said. Saree alleged without offering any evidence the ship was bound for Israel.

“All crew members are unhurt and safe,” said Geir Belsnes, the CEO of the Strinda’s operator J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi. “The vessel is now proceeding to a safe port.”

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Live updates | Israel plans to keep fighting as other countries call for a cease-fire in Gaza