The fighting is prompting increasing numbers of civilians to flee south, and growing numbers of people have been living in and around hospitals, hoping it will be safer than their homes or United Nations shelters in the north, several of which have been hit repeatedly.
Gaza’s largest city is the focus of Israel’s campaign to crush Hamas following its deadly Oct. 7 incursion in southern Israel that set off the war, now in its second month.
The number of Palestinians killed in the war has risen to over 10,800, including more than 4,400 children, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said.
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 Hamas attack, and about 240 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group.
— Fights in bread lines, despair in shelters: War threatens to unravel Gaza’s close-knit society
— French far-right leader Marine Le Pen raises a storm over her plan to march against antisemitism
— Clashes over Israel-Hamas war shatter students’ sense of safety on US college campuses
— Jewish refugees from Israel find comfort and companionship in a countryside camp in Hungary
— 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:
ISRAEL DEMOLISHES HOME OF FAMILY AFTER BOY ACCUSED OF STABBING
JERUSALEM — Israeli security forces have demolished the east Jerusalem home of a Palestinian family whose 13-year-old son has been accused of stabbing an Israeli police officer earlier this year, a case that has drawn attention to Israel’s tactic of punitive demolitions.
The United States Office of Palestinian Affairs condemned the demolition on Friday, saying that “an entire family should not lose their home because of the actions of one individual.”
The Zalabani family says that the demolition happened Wednesday. It comes as tensions in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank surge over Israel’s devastating campaign in Gaza and deadly raids against militants in the northern West Bank, such as Thursday’s operation in the Jenin refugee camp that killed 13 Palestinians, most of them alleged militants.
Basel Zalabani, Mohammed’s father, said that Israeli forces had arrested him and his other 18-year-old son Yazan ahead of the demolition. He was released, he said, after officers beat him repeatedly over several hours. His son remains in custody.
“Of course we’ve been on edge, anxious and waiting for this to happen for several months,” said 45-year-old Zalabani. “But when it happens, it’s even harder than you’d expect.”
Rights watchdog describe such punitive home demolitions as collective punishment, leaving uninvolved parents, siblings and spouses homeless. Israel’s far-right government is more aggressively pursuing the policy, which it defends as a deterrent against militant attacks.
UN RAPPORTEUR SAYS 4-HOUR DAILY PAUSE IS CRUEL
ADELAIDE, Australia — Francesca Albanese, the U.N. special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, described Israel’s decision to allow a four-hour humanitarian pause each day in combat operations in northern Gaza to allow civilians to flee to the south as “very cynical and cruel.”
“There has been continuous bombings, 6,000 bombs every week on the Gaza Strip, on this tiny piece of land where people are trapped and the destruction is massive. There won’t be any way back after what Israel is doing to the Gaza Strip,” Albanese told reporters in Adelaide, Australia, on Friday.
“So four hours cease-fire, yes, to let people breathe and to remember what is the sound of life without bombing before starting bombing them again. It’s very cynical and cruel.”
41 ROMANIANS EVACUATED FROM GAZA
BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that group of 41 Romanian citizens have been evacuated from the Gaza Strip into Egypt.
Their exit late Thursday through the Rafah border crossing required “complex efforts,” the ministry said. The evacuees are on their way to Cairo and they'll later be repatriated to Romania, the ministry added.
The latest evacuation comes after a group of 93 Romanians and 36 Moldovans were flown to an airbase near Bucharest from Egypt on Wednesday after leaving Gaza through Rafah.
Since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, at least five Romanian citizens have been confirmed killed. Six dual Romanian-Israeli citizens are among the hostages held by Hamas.
INTERNET ACCESS LOST IN YEMEN WITHOUT EXPLANATION
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Internet access across the war-torn nation of Yemen collapsed early Friday without explanation, web monitors said.
The outage saw all traffic halt at YemenNet, the country’s main provider to some 10 million users which is now controlled by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
Both NetBlocks, a group tracking internet outages, and the internet services company CloudFlare reported the outage, but they did not offer a cause.
“Data shows that the issue has impacted connectivity at a national level as well,” CloudFlare said.
The Houthis and Yemen telecommunication officials did not immediately acknowledge the outage.
A previous outage occurred in January 2022 when the Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthis in Yemen bombed a telecommunications building in the Red City port city of Hodeida. There was no immediate word of a similar attack.
The outage came after a series of recent drone and missile attacks by the Houthis targeting Israel amid its campaign of airstrikes and a ground offensive targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
GAZA'S ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IS DEVASTATING, UN SAYS
UNITED NATIONS — A new U.N. report paints a stark picture of the devastation of the collapse of the Palestinian economy after a month of war and Israel’s near total siege of Gaza.
The gross domestic product shrank 4% in the West Bank and Gaza in the war’s first month, sending over 400,000 people into poverty — an economic impact unseen in the conflicts Syria and Ukraine, or any previous Israel-Hamas war, the U.N. said.
The rapid assessment of economic consequences of the Gaza war released Thursday by the U.N. Development Program and the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for West Asia was the first U.N. report showing the devastating impact of the conflict especially on the Palestinians.
If the war continues for a second month, the U.N. projects that the Palestinian GDP, which was $20.4 billion before the war began, will drop by 8.4% — a loss of $1.7 billion. And if the conflict lasts a third month, Palestinian GDP will drop by 12%, with losses of $2.5 billion and more than 660,000 people pushed into poverty, it projects.
NETANYAHU SAYS ISRAEL DOES NOT INTEND TO OCCUPY OR GOVERN GAZA
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the war in Gaza will continue until Hamas is defeated but asserted that the country has no intention to conquer or govern the blockaded territory after the fighting ends.
In an interview with Fox News that aired Thursday evening, Netanyahu made clear that though Israel had no intention of occupying Gaza, it did envision a radically reshaped territory free of Hamas.
“What we have to see is Gaza demilitarized, deradicalized and rebuilt,” he said.
Netanyahu was also asked about the prospect of a daily humanitarian pause. He replied, “the fighting continues against the Hamas enemy, the Hamas terrorists, but in specific locations for a given period, a few hours here, a few hours there, we want to facilitate a safe passage of civilians away from the zone of fighting. And we’re doing that.”
PRO-PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATORS OCCUPY NEW YORK TIMES LOBBY
NEW YORK – Pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupied the lobby of The New York Times on Thursday, accusing the media of betraying a bias toward Israel in its coverage of the war and demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.
Hundreds of protesters led by a group of media workers calling themselves “Writers Bloc” gathered outside the publication’s Manhattan headquarters, with many of them entering the building’s atrium for a sit-in and vigil that lasted more than an hour.
It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was arrested during the sit-in. An email sent to New York Times staffers obtained by The Associated Press described the protest as “peaceful.”
The sit-in followed a series of actions at high-profile locations in New York, including the Statue of Liberty and Grand Central Terminal, intended to bring attention to the growing death toll in Gaza.