U.S. criticizes civilian death toll in Gaza assault

December 8, 2023

IDF arrested civilians, forced them to take off their clothes and handcuffed them, Gaza media office says

The Israel Defense Forces arrested civilians in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza and forced them to take off their clothes, according to the Gaza Media Office.

The civilians were then blindfolded, put in trucks and taken to the seashore and left in the cold, the media office said.

“They ordered some of them to return to their homes and kept others under arrest, torture, and interrogation,” the media office said in a statement. “One of the eyewitnesses who lived through these harsh hours says: ‘We returned to our homes while we were walking naked, and we were surprised that most of the homes that we left from were burned and stolen by the Israeli occupation soldiers.'”

Dozens of Palestinian men stripped to their underwear, blindfolded and made to kneel while detained by Israeli soldiers in Gaza can be seen in images that emerged on social media yesterday.  

The IDF said in a statement that it worked with the ISA to apprehend what they called “hundreds of wanted suspects throughout the Gaza Strip.”

The photos and videos were circulated widely. NBC News was able to geolocate some of the footage of the city of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. It was unclear exactly when and in what circumstances the detentions depicted in the images occurred, although it appears to be the first time that such images have been shared online and by Israeli news media.  

In one photo shared on social media, men can be seen wearing nothing but underwear as they kneel in a line, surrounded by soldiers in full combat gear wielding guns amid shoes and clothing that are lying scattered on the ground. 

Wharton advisory group calls for resignation of Penn president over antisemitism testimony

The Wharton Board of Advisors, the governing body of the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious business school, joined a growing chorus demanding the resignation of the university’s president over testimony she gave this week at a congressional hearing on campus antisemitism.

In the undated letter to Penn President Liz Magill, the board wrote that the Ivy League school “requires new leadership with immediate effect.” The board is largely made up of business and finance industry executives.

In a five-hour House hearing Tuesday, Magill and her counterparts at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were grilled over how their institutions have responded to a rise in anti-Jewish hate since Oct. 7.

In their testimonies, the three university leaders each condemned antisemitism. The outcry centered on a contentious exchange with Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who asked whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” would violate each school’s code of conduct.

Instead of directly replying to Stefanik’s yes-or-no question, Magill said that decision would be “context-dependent.” She said: “If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment.”

Magill’s testimony has been sharply criticized by a White House spokesperson, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, lawmakers in both parties and Jewish advocacy groups.

In a two-minute video message posted Wednesday night on the social media platform X, Magill elaborated on her answer and condemned calls for the genocide of Jewish people in more unequivocal terms.

“I was not focused on, but I should have been, the irrefutable fact that a call for genocide of Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate,” she said in the video.

The letter from the Wharton advisory board was first reported by the Daily Pennsylvanian, the university’s student newspaper.

U.S. blocks cease-fire resolution at U.N. Security Council

The U.S. blocked a cease-fire resolution at the U.N. Security Council today.

israel gaza hamas conflict palestinian
U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the U.N. Robert Wood raises his hand Friday during a Security Council meeting.Charly Triballeau / AFP – Getty Images

Of all the U.N. member states, 13 voted in favor of the resolution, the U.K. abstained and the U.S. vetoed it.

Two soldiers injured during operation to rescue hostages in Gaza, IDF says

Two soldiers were seriously injured during an operation to rescue hostages in Gaza last night, according to the IDF.

The IDF raided the site and killed members of Hamas they believe took part in kidnapping and holding hostages, spokesperson Daniel Hagari said. No hostages were rescued in the operation, he added.

Hagari also said that the IDF has arrested more than 200 “suspects” in the last 48 hours to be interrogated, which include Hamas commanders.

Images of dozens of Palestinian men stripped to their underwear, blindfolded and made to kneel while detained by Israeli soldiers in Gaza emerged on social media yesterday.

NBC News has not independently confirmed if all those detained have connections to Hamas or the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Video: Mother of teen kidnapped by Hamas speaks out

The mother of a teen kidnapped by Hamas who was seen across the world in one of the first videos following the Oct. 7 attack says she could “see the terror in her eyes.”

“It’s so difficult for me to even think and speak about it … I don’t even know what words to use,” Ayelet Levi said.

Gaza is ‘reaching a point of no return,’ UNRWA says

The U.N. agency in Gaza said today that the strip is now “reaching a point of no return,” adding that international law was blatantly being disregarded there.

“An end to the fighting is imperative if we are to avert the decimation of #Gaza and contain the spillover of this crisis,” it said in a post on X.

Smoke rises during an Israeli strike in northern Gaza on Dec. 8, 2023.
Smoke rises today during an Israeli strike in northern Gaza.Jack Guez / AFP – Getty Images

65% of Americans say Hamas is at fault for the current conflict, Pew Research Center says

Sixty-five percent of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center blame Hamas for the current conflict, according to recent findings.

About 35% of Americans say the Israeli government bears a lot of the responsibility for the conflict.

Meanwhile, 46% of adults ages 18 to 29 say Hamas bears a lot of responsibility for the war, which compares with at least 60% among older age groups.

The Pew Research Center’s findings differ based on age and partisanship.

Wounded Palestinians arrive at a hospital in Khan Younis today and the funeral for First Sgt. Maj. Gal Meir Eisenkot in Herzliya, Israel, today.
Wounded Palestinians arrive at a hospital in Khan Younis today and the funeral for First Sgt. Maj. Gal Meir Eisenkot in Herzliya, Israel, today.Mohammed Dahman / AP; Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

“Majorities of both Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (73%) and Democrats and Democratic leaners (62%) say Hamas has a lot of responsibility for the conflict. But Democrats (50%) are more than twice as likely as Republicans (21%) to say the Israeli government bears a lot of responsibility,” the center says.

Around 49% of Democrats and 48% of Republicans say they’re extremely or very concerned about increasing violence against Jewish people in the U.S., while 53% of Democrats expressed the same concern about Muslims. Only 22% of Republicans expressed that they’re extremely or very concerned about the safety of Muslims in the U.S.

“While about half of Republicans (53%) say they are at least somewhat concerned about the prospect of rising violence against Muslims in the U.S., 46% say they are not too concerned or not at all concerned about this. That compares with 15% of Democrats,” the center said.

About 35% of adults surveyed approve of President Joe Biden’s response to the war, while 42% disapprove and 24% aren’t sure.

For Republicans, 51% disapprove and 28% approve, while 33% of Democrats disapprove, 44% approve and 22% aren’t sure.

“Adults under age 30 are particularly disapproving of the administration’s response to the conflict. Just 19% approve, while 46% disapprove. The administration’s response is viewed less negatively among older age groups,” the center said.

Destroyed mosque in central Gaza

Jaffa Great Mosque destroyed after Israeli airstrike in Deir al-Balah
Ashraf Amra / Anadolu via Getty Images

The ruins of the Jaffa Great Mosque after an airstrike in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, today.

E.U. puts Hamas leaders on its terrorist list

The European Union today put two senior members of the militant group Hamas on its terrorist list over the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

The E.U. headquarters said that it is freezing the funds and other assets in Europe of the commander general of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, and deputy commander Marwan Issa.

The move came in “response to the threat posed by Hamas and its brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks in Israel.” No further details were provided.

Hamas and its military wing as organizations have been on the E.U.’s terrorist list for about 20 years.

U.N. official expresses ‘grave concern’ over reports hostages were victims of sexual violence

The special representative of the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict expressed “grave concern” over reports of sexual violence against hostages held by Hamas, the U.N. said today.

“Pramila Patten is gravely concerned about emerging reports of sexual violence, against both women and men, while they were held in Hamas captivity. Special Representative Patten expresses concern for those civilians still held hostage by Hamas, and calls for their immediate, safe, and unconditional release,” a U.N. statement said.

Patten has “responded positively” to an invitation from the Israeli government to visit with and hear accounts from “survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, including recently released hostages, in order to amplify their voices,” it said.

Qassam Brigades says multiple hostages killed and injured in IDF bombing in Gaza City

The Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, said a number of hostages were killed and wounded in the IDF’s bombing of Gaza City.

“We announce the killing and wounding of a number of enemy prisoners in the barbaric occupation bombing of several areas in Gaza City,” a statement from the Qassam Brigades said, without specifying the exact number of killed and wounded.

NBC News has not verified these claims and has reached out to the IDF for comment.

IDF says soldier injured in West Bank shooting

The IDF said a soldier was injured in the West Bank, according to a statement.

The soldier was injured as a result of individuals opening fire at soldiers in a military post adjacent from the town of Ya’bad, it said. The soldiers responded with live fire.

NBC News has not independently verified these claims.

Palestinian President Abbas: Peace conference is a must to end Israel-Gaza war

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said today that an international peace conference is a necessity to end the war in Gaza and to work out a lasting political solution that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

In an interview with Reuters at his office in Ramallah, Abbas, 87, said the conflict between Israel and Palestinians in general had reached an alarming stage that requires an international conference and guarantees by world powers.

He reiterated his long-standing position in favor of negotiation rather than armed resistance to end the decadeslong occupation.

“I am with peaceful resistance. I am for negotiations based on an international peace conference and under international auspices that would lead to a solution that will be protected by world powers to establish a sovereign Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” he said.

Israel revises hostage number to 137

The number of hostages being held by Hamas has been revised downward to 137, Eylon Levy, a spokesperson for the Israeli prime minister’s office, told a news conference today.

“That is one down from yesterday,” Levy said, adding that Dror Kaplon, a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri, had been confirmed dead.

Until today, Levy said, it had been thought that Kaplon had been taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7. He added that “an investigation was still ongoing.”

Committee to Protect Journalists calls for release of Gaza correspondent Diaa Al-Kahlout 

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called for the release of Diaa Al-Kahlout after he was arrested by Israeli forces along with his family members.

Al-Kahlout, was working as a Gaza correspondent for Al-Araby Al-Jadeed when he was detained with his brother, relatives and other civilians in the Al-Souk area in the northern Gazan city of Beit Lahya, the London-based media outlet said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the CJP, said the New York-based nongovernmental organization was “deeply concerned by reports of the arrest.”

“The Israeli army should disclose his location, release him immediately, and take steps to ensure the safety of all journalists covering this war, especially those in Gaza who face imminent harm,” Mansour added.

More than 300 killed in the past few hours, Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson says

More than 300 people have been killed and almost 560 injured in the past few hours, Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra said today in a statement on Telegram.

“The health situation in the south is very disastrous,” he said, adding the hospitals have “lost the bone stabilizers and various supplies and surgical drugs and burn treatment.”

“The blood banks lost the virus test for the blood units and blood units are transferred without examination,” al-Qidra added.

NBC News could not independently verify his statements.

Image: Displaced Palestinians Forced Further South On Gaza Strip As Israel Intensifies Military Offensive
Injured Palestinians arrive today at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza. Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Conditions for Gaza aid delivery ‘no longer exist,’ U.N. chief tells Security Council

Conditions for effective aid delivery “no longer exist” in Gaza, Guterres said in an address to the Security Council in New York today.

“Gazans are running out of food,” the U.N. secretary-general said. “According to the World Food Programme, there is a serious risk of starvation and famine.”

“Food stocks are running out,” Guterres said. He added that at least 40 trucks of food supplies were needed every day.

“Families who have lost everything sleep on bare concrete floors wearing clothes they have worn for two months,” he said.

Parking lot becomes donations ‘store’ for families affected by Hamas attack

TEL AVIV — Packed with everything from strollers to clothing to homeware and toiletries, the parking lot of the Expo Tel Aviv convention center has been transformed into a donations “store” for families in Israel who had to leave their communities or saw their homes destroyed in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks.

Lusil Blek, one of the organizers of the initiative by Eran’s Angels, an organization supporting Israeli civilians and soldiers, told NBC News that families continue to show up at the site to pick up items after being temporarily displaced from their homes.

Strollers and other donated items fill a parking lot under the Expo Tel Aviv convention center.
Strollers and other donated items fill a parking lot under the Expo Tel Aviv convention center. Chantal Da Silva
Kitchenware sits in the donation 'store,' where Israeli families affected by the war can visit to pick up any items they need.
Kitchenware sits in the donation ‘store,’ where Israeli families affected by the war can visit to pick up any items they need.Chantal Da Silva

“At first, it was a lot of families and now they’re still coming in because they’re going into new homes that are empty,” Blek, 29, said. “They were normal people before that and now they’re homeless.”

Eylon Levy, a spokesperson for the Israeli government, told a news briefing today that an estimated 250,000 Israelis had been displaced after the Hamas attack.

In the Gaza Strip, about 1.9. million people have been displaced amid Israel’s offensive in the enclave, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Blek said she believed that “what is going on right now is a humanitarian crisis,” but she said her team does not take a “political” stance on the war.

U.N. warns of ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ in Gaza

JERUSALEM — The United Nations is warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza as Israel expands its offensive against Hamas to the south of the enclave where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are seeking refuge.

U.S. officials are pressing Israel to explain what it plans next.

“We cannot have Israeli reoccupation of Gaza,” Blinken told a news conference yesterday. “We cannot have forced displacement.”

At least six killed by Israeli forces in West Bank, Palestinian Health Ministry says

At least six people including a teenage boy were killed by Israeli forces in the Al-Fara’a camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement today.

It added that the youngest victims was a 14-year-old boy.

In a separate statement on X, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Israeli forces were obstructing ambulances during a raid at the camp.

NBC News could not independently verify either claim.

Relatives mourn a man killed during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank, on Dec, 8, 2023, during a funeral in the village of al-Fara.
Relatives mourn at a funeral today in Al-Fara’a. Zain Jaafar / AFP – Getty Images

Palestinian girl loses her leg and 15 members of her family in Israeli strike

Razan Arafat’s life changed forever in the strike, which killed 15 members of the family, including her parents and three siblings.

The 13-year-old also lost her left leg.

“I found myself and my sisters covered in stones and smoke filling the place,” Razan told an NBC News crew today as she described the blast at the house in Al-Zeitoun in northern Gaza.

She added that her family had heeded Israeli warnings to move before the strike blew the building to pieces.

Razan’s aunt Sahar Arafat also survived the attack and is now taking care of her niece.

Razan, center, at a camp for the displaced in Rafah.
Razan, center, at a camp for the displaced in Rafah.NBC News

“Sometimes she wakes up or when we talk about her father, we try as much as possible not to talk about her father, but when we talk about her father she loses consciousness, feels like a hopeless situation, and screams,” Sahar Arafat said.

“No matter what we do, it will never be possible to replace the presence of the mother and father,” she added.

Netanyahu attends funeral of former Israeli army chief’s son

Netanyahu attended the funeral for First Sgt. Maj. Gal Meir Eisenkot in Herzliya, Israel, today.

The IDF said the 25-year-old son of the Cabinet minister and former army chief Gadi Eisenkot, died yesterday in Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces said the 25-year-old major, son of the cabinet minister and former army chief Gadi Eisenkot, died on Thursday in Gaza. Over two months have passed since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas that sparked a retaliatory ground and air campaign by Israel in Gaza.
Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images
The Israel Defense Forces said the 25-year-old major, son of the cabinet minister and former army chief Gadi Eisenkot, died on Thursday in Gaza. Over two months have passed since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas that sparked a retaliatory ground and air campaign by Israel in Gaza.
Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

Gadi Eisenkot mourned his son who was killed in action during his funeral ceremony.

Image: Funeral Held For Major Gal Eisenkot, IDF Soldier And Son Of Cabinet Minister
Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

Civil order is ‘breaking down’ in Gaza, UNRWA chief says

The Gaza Strip is “on the brink of a full-blown collapse,” Thomas White, the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said today.

“Society is on the brink of full-blown collapse,” White wrote on X, adding the streets “feel wild.”

“Civil order is breaking down,” he said. He added that some aid convoys had been looted and U.N. vehicles stoned.

Loud explosions heard in Tel Aviv

TEL AVIV — Loud explosions and sirens were heard in Tel Aviv today.

They came as Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades, said on Telegram that they had launched a missile barrage.

No injuries were immediately reported.

China supports U.N. chief’s call for a cease-fire

HONG KONG — China supports Guterres’ call for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said today in a daily briefing.

“The prolongation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to the present day has resulted in a grave humanitarian catastrophe,” Wang said when asked about Guterres’ letter to the president of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday appealing for a humanitarian cease-fire.

Wang added that China supported Guterres’ efforts on the issue, and called on the Security Council to listen to the calls of Arab and Islamic countries and push for an end to the war.

“The international society should take more actions to save lives and restore peace,” he said.

Rockets fired at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone

BAGHDAD — Two rockets were fired at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, a senior Iraqi official told NBC News today.

The rockets fell inside the Green Zone and close to the embassy with no damage or casualties reported, the official said.

“Targeting diplomatic missions is something that cannot be justified and cannot be accepted,” Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said, according to a statement from the Iraqi armed forces.

“These unruly, lawless groups do not in any way represent the will of the Iraqi people,” he added, before he he ordered Iraqi security forces to pursue those responsible for the attack.

Video shows injured patients arriving at a hospital in southern Gaza

In southern Gaza where Israel has expanded its military operation, injured people arrived at a hospital in the city of Khan Younis this morning. Some were carried in, others were put on stretchers.

Freed Israeli hostage describes sneaking her dog into captivity

Mia Leimberg emerged from almost two months’ captivity in Gaza with Bella, her Shih Tzu, in her arms.

“When we were there we had to feed her our leftovers — yeah I’m talking about you Bella,” the 17-year-old said looking down at the small white dog in her arms. “And we had to make sure that she doesn’t run wild where we were. We had to keep her so that she doesn’t go exploring and annoy anybody there.”

The teenager and her mother, Gabriela Leimberg, were visiting family in Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak when they were taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7.

She, her mother, an aunt and the dog were set free as part of a swap for Palestinian prisoners, but her uncle and her aunt’s partner remain in captivity.

“It was difficult. I held (Bella) all the way there. It was an extra 4 kilos. And I’m just lucky enough that I managed to keep her through that whole situation and bring her back,” She said from her home in Jerusalem in her first media interview.

Leimberg’s father, Moshe Leimberg, said they searched for Bella during the weeks of his family’s captivity. The day of their release, he was surprised to hear his daughter came out holding the dog.

He described in more detail what his daughter went through to keep Bella. “She was worried that something would happen to the dog if she left her behind,” he said.

The teenager hid the dog under her pajamas as they were loaded into a vehicle that drove out of the kibbutz.

“Then they took them to tunnels … she had the dog with her the whole time,” he said. “When they came out of the tunnel they had to climb up a ladder, that’s when the Hamas people noticed that this was not a doll, it was a living, breathing dog.”

“A bit of an argument ensued, and it was decided to let her keep the dog instead of leave it behind.”

The hostages cleaned up after the dog to prevent bad smells.

“She was very determined to bring the dog back, and one of the expressions that she has now, about the dog, is ‘I love you to Gaza and back.’”

She said they will fight for the freedom of the other hostages, including her uncle and aunt’s partner.

“We miss them every day and it feels wrong being here without them,” she said. “As much as I am happy to be back, we’re still not done.”

Only 69 aid trucks entered Gaza yesterday, Palestine Red Crescent says

The Palestine Red Crescent Society received 69 aid trucks yesterday, it said yesterday in a post on X.

The trucks received aid through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and contained essential supplies, it added.

U.N. secretary-general to brief Security Council today

Guterres will brief the Security Council today after he invoked Article 99 of the charter calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Guterres has spoken to officials from seven different states, including Blinken since he made the rare move Wednesday to formally warn the Security Council of a global threat from the Gaza war, his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told a news conference yesterday.

Article 99 of the U.N. charter allows the secretary-general to present a matter before the Security Council which “in his opinion, may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”

Palestinian Authority ‘working with U.S. on postwar plan for Gaza’

American officials are working with the Palestinian Authority on a postwar plan for the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian prime minister.

Mohammad Shtayyeh told Bloomberg today that he was he was hopeful that Hamas would join the Palestine Liberation Organization as a junior partner in helping to establish a new independent Palestinian state that included the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.

“If they [Hamas] are ready to come to an agreement and accept the political platform of the PLO, then there will be room for talk. Palestinians should not be divided,” he said.

Shtayyeh’s Palestinian Authority partially administers the occupied West Bank. His Fatah movement is a rival of Hamas, which controls Gaza.

He added that Israel’s aim to defeat Hamas completely is not realistic as “Hamas is in Lebanon, everybody knows Hamas leadership is in Qatar and they are here in the West Bank.”

Relatives hold vigils on first night of Hanukkah in Israel

Hanukkah is Judaism's "festival of lights." On eight consecutive nightfalls, Jews gather with family and friends to light one additional candle in the menorah.(AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Leo Correa / AP

Jacob Swid, whose son died fighting Hamas militants during the attack in a kibbutz on Oct. 7, lights a Hanukkah candle at a staging area in southern Israel, near the Gaza border last night.Families of hostages carry candles and raise placards during a vigil on the first night of Hanukkah in Tel Aviv.

Image: Families And Supporters Of Israeli Hostages Mark First Night Of Hanukkah
Amir Levy / Getty Images
Families And Supporters Of Israeli Hostages Mark First Night Of Hanukkah
Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

Gaza aid program ‘no longer functioning,’ U.N. humanitarian chief says

The head of the United Nations humanitarian program in the Gaza Strip said today that it was “no longer functioning.”

“The pace of the military assault in southern Gaza is a repeat of the assault in northern Gaza,” Martin Griffiths told a press briefing yesterday in Geneva.

He added that there was “no place safe” for civilians in southern Gaza, which had been a “cornerstone” for the U.N. to protect people and provide aid.

“Without places of safety, that plan is in tatters,” he said.

Captive Israeli soldier killed in clash with special forces, Hamas says

A hostage was killed in a clash with Israeli forces attempting to reach the captive soldier, Hamas’ military wing, Qassam Brigades, said on Telegram today.

The militant group identified the victim as Sa’ar Baruch, 25.

“Military aircraft intervened and bombed the place with a series of airstrikes to cover the withdrawal,” the post said, adding that “the clash led to the death of the captured soldier.”

NBC News has not independently verified the claim.

Mom and her newborn in Gaza displaced in Gaza

Israa Kamal Al-Jumalah is a 28-year-old woman living in Gaza who gave birth the night of the initial truce. Today, as the war continues, the mother and her newborn are living in a Gaza hospital for the displaced. 

IDF says it hit more than 450 sites in Gaza in past day 

The IDF has said it struck almost 450 targets across Gaza Strip yesterday, adding that many targets across Khan Younis in southern Gaza were eliminated.

Some of these targets were killed by unmanned aerial vehicles, it said, adding that its troops continue to “locate and destroy underground tunnel shafts, weapons, and additional terror infrastructure.”

The IDF’s naval forces are also striking targets across central and southern parts of Gaza, it said.

Palestinians grieve in southern Gaza as losses continue

A Palestinian woman cries as she collects the body of a loved one outside a hospital morgue in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, today.

Israel stepped up its military operations in Gaza after a sustained truce between Hamas and Israel did not hold further than a week despite diplomatic talks and captives released.
Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Israel agrees to open Kerem Shalom border crossing for aid to Gaza, official says

Israel has agreed to open the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza for screening and inspections of humanitarian aid, a senior U.S. official said.

The opening was agreed to on the request of the U.S., the official said.

The Rafah border crossing into Gaza from Egypt has been allowing aid to enter Gaza in recent weeks, but the larger Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza from Israel has been closed throughout the war.

“This is an important step, and we will continue to be in touch with our Israeli counterparts to ensure it happens,” the U.S. official said.

Catch up with NBC News’ latest coverage of the war

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