Israel-Hamas war live updates: Hamas leader heads to Egypt for talks

December 20, 2023
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Son ‘really worried’ about elderly father featured in Hamas hostage video

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JERUSALEM — The son of 83-year-old Israeli hostage Yoram Metzger told NBC News yesterday that he was “really worried” after seeing his father in a video released by Hamas.

Guy Metzger said his father looked “very, very tired.”

“He looks very sick, also his friends. We are really worried about their condition,” Metzger added.

Three hostages in the Hamas video are members of Kibbutz Nir Oz in southern Israel, a spokesperson for the Kibbutz said in a statement.

Food handed out to displaced civilians in southern Gaza

Humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Rafah
Abed Zagout / Anadolu via Getty Images
Humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Rafah
Abed Zagout / Anadolu via Getty Images

Palestinians wait to receive food and humanitarian aid in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza yesterday. Following advice from the Israel military to move out of northern Gaza, many Palestinians traveled to the city.

Children in Gaza do not access to 90% of normal water use, UNICEF says

Children in the southern Gaza Strip have access to just 1.5 to 2 litres of water each day, “well below the recommended requirements just for survival,” the United Nations Children’s Fund said in a news release.

“According to humanitarian standards, the minimum amount of water needed in an emergency is 15 litres, which includes water for drinking, washing and cooking. For survival alone, the estimated minimum is 3 litres per day,” the release said.

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in the release that access to sufficient amounts of clean water was “a matter of life and death, and children in Gaza have barely a drop to drink.”

Blackout of internet and cellphone service reported in parts of southern Gaza

A blackout of internet and cellphone service is affecting areas of the southern Gaza Strip, according to NetBlocks, a British company that monitors global connectivity.

“The incident affects areas in the south where telecoms had been partially restored over the last few days,” the company said in a post on X.

Video of two hostages released by Al-Quds Brigade

A video of two male hostages was released yesterday on Telegram by the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.

Gadi Moses, 79, Elad Katzir, 47, were taken captive at Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7. Both men were unshaven and appeared to have lost weight.

The pair pleaded for their release in the video which was heavily edited with words being cut from longer sentences and Moses described their situation as “unbearable.”

Katzir’s mom Hanna, 77, was released on November 24 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal.

Hamas released a short video showing three other elderly Israeli hostages on Monday. Israel denounced it as a “criminal, terrorist video.”

Hamas leader Haniyeh arrives in Egypt for talks on hostages and cease-fire

Hamas’ political leader arrived in the Egyptian capital of Cairo today to discuss developments of the war with Egyptian officials, a statement on the militant group’s website said.

Egypt, along with Qatar — where Haniyeh is believed to be based — helped mediate a weeklong cease-fire in November which saw Hamas release over 100 hostages in exchange for Israel’s release of 240 Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas said Haniyeh would discuss the war but provided no further details on what the talks would entail.

Democrats urge Biden to pressure Israel into changing Gaza approach

A group of Democratic lawmakers who served in the military or CIA are urging the Biden WH to pressure Israel into changing its approach in Gaza. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., joins Morning Joe to discuss.

Homes reduced to rubble in southern Gaza

A Palestinian woman stands outside the ruins of a building in Rafah, southern Gaza this morning after it was struck by an Israeli bombardment.

Israel Bombardment Rafah
Said Khatib / AFP – Getty Images

In L.A., an office building becomes a ‘bring them home’ poster

Pro-Israel and humanitarian artists in Los Angeles have plastered an office building with “bring them home” posters and signage in an effort to increase support for freeing hostages still held by Hamas militants in Gaza.

The project in Culver City, a municipality on L.A. County’s Westside, is the result of the building’s occupant, television production company Ample Entertainment, teaming up with the nonprofit groups Artists for Israel and Combat Antisemitism Movement.

The display features massive banners that feature the words “#BRINGTHEMHOMENOW” and “KIDNAPPED” as well as oversize, vinyl missing persons posters featuring photos of 173 people abducted in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“We dare you to try to take this down,” Artists for Israel CEO Craig Dershowitz told NBC Los Angeles. He was referring to a spate of incidents in which people have been captured on video ripping down “bring them home” posters.

“You will not stop us, and you will not stop the message from being spread,” Dershowitz said.

Street-level, oversize posters replace hostages’ photos with mirrored material in an effort to get viewers to see themselves in the shoes of abductees.

The display is within viewing distance of the Saudi-funded King Fahad Mosque, site of mutual efforts in recent years to bring empathy and friendship to Jewish and Islamic neighbors.



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