Israel’s military carried out another ground raid into the Gaza Strip overnight, with ground troops backed by fighter jets and drones.
Video released by the Israel Defense Forces shows several explosions. The military said that ground forces exited Gaza after the operation and its soldiers sustained no injuries.
Despite hundreds of tanks lined up at the Gaza border, and thousands of Israeli reservists drawn up, Israel has so far stopped short of launching a full ground offensive.
Vivek Ramaswamy confronts Sen. Joni Ernst on Israel
Vivek Ramaswamy confronted Sen. Joni Ernst over her criticism of his position on Israel at an Iowa political fundraising event last Friday, according to two sources who witnessed the tense exchange and video obtained exclusively by NBC News.
Ramaswamy shook Ernst’s hand and held onto it for most of a minute as he aired his frustration. “You might want to understand my Israel policy before commenting,” said Ramaswamy, who was upset about Ernst’s remarks at a panel discussion on foreign policy in New Hampshire a week earlier.
As both smiled through their tough talk, Ernst said: “I’d be glad to talk to you, because I heard you had some perspectives. So I was asking, what is your policy?”
The private interaction illustrated some of the pushback Ramaswamy has been receiving — and how he’s working to overcome it as the conflict has become a key issue splintering the party ahead of a conference with Republican Jewish voters and the third primary debate.
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‘History will judge us all if there is no ceasefire in Gaza,’ says UNRWA Chief
Although intense negotiations have allowed very limited humanitarian aid into Gaza in the past few days, “it was a drop in the ocean,” United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees chief Philippe Lazzarini said yesterday.
“Mothers do not know how they can clean their children. Pregnant women pray that they will not face complications during delivery because hospitals have no capacity to receive them,” Lazzarini said in a statement.
The U.N. has condemned the Hamas attack of Oct 7., he said, “But let there be no shadow of a doubt — this does not justify the ongoing crimes against the civilian population of Gaza, including its 1 million children,” he said.
“The reality today in Gaza is that there is not much humanity left and hell is settling in,” he added.
Death and trauma stalk Palestinian children
In a leveled neighborhood in the city of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, a group of men digging through the rubble found first one hand, then another. When they lifted the body of 11-year-old Sila Hamdan out of the broken cement blocks and dust, they found her sister, 9-year-old Tila, tucked beneath her.
The girls were killed Tuesday night when a bombing destroyed some 15 homes in the area, killing at least 37, according to local health officials. The recovery of their bodies was filmed by an NBC News team in the Gaza Strip.
The death of the Hamdan sisters illustrates the heavy toll the war is taking on Gaza’s overwhelmingly young population. Children make up about half of Gaza’s nearly 2.3 million people — many of whom were born during Israel’s strict 16-year blockade of Gaza and are now watching bombs destroy their neighborhoods.
In 2022, 4 out of 5 children in Gaza were already living with depression, fear and grief, according to a report by Save the Children. More than half said they had contemplated suicide.
This war has only made it worse.
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Arabs in Israel fear consequences for speaking out about the war
Some Arab citizens of Israel say they are not speaking out or posting on social media about the Israel-Hamas war out of fear of retaliation for their comments.
Human rights groups say hundreds of Arabs have been fired, suspended from universities, and even arrested in Israel for being accused of sympathizing with terror or supporting Hamas.
Khan Younis resident loses 22 family members after a refugee camp is bombed
Almost two dozen members of Khalil Abu Shamalah family, including women and infants, have been either killed or are missing after a bombing leveled a refugee camp in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
Standing in the middle of what used to be the main street for people to access the market, Shamalah told a NBC News crew yesterday, it could take up to three days to recover all the bodies from the rubble of almost 30 buildings.
“The houses that were targeted were my cousins,” he said. “Israel claim that they target military goals but on the ground we know how many civilians have been killed.”
Around him residents frantically dug for any survivors, pulling out lifeless children with their bodies soiled with blood and ash.
Iran: U.S. will not be ‘spared from the fire’ if war goes on
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, was adamant about his position on the Israel-Hamas conflict at the U.N. General Assembly emergency session today: Gaza and the West Bank belong only to “original” Palestinians.
“No institution or country has the right or can give any part of it of this land to another person or group,” he said, adding later that Israel’s claims of self-defense are a “very ridiculous joke.”
Amir-Abdollahian also pointed a finger at the U.S. for holding up action at the Security Council and said the country, which has provided Israel with military aid, won’t escape the consequences.
“I say frankly to the American statesman who are now managing the genocide in Palestine that we do not welcome to expansion of the war in the region, but I warn if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire,” he said.
Israeli troops backed by jets and drones raid Gaza City outskirts
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli ground forces backed by drones and fighter jets conducted another raid of Gaza Strip overnight, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The targets in the outskirts of Gaza City included anti-tank missile launch sites, military command and control centers, and individual Hamas terrorists, the IDF said.
Almost every child in Gaza ‘will be forever scarred,’ NGO says
Children in Gaza have been deprived of the critical support needed as they go through extreme physical and mental trauma, a NGO said today, as the collapsing health infrastructure copes with the sheer number of injuries.
These children “will be forever scarred by their experience, living through this terrible nightmare of killing, bombings, insecurity, death and injury,” Steve Sosebee, the founder of Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, told NBC News.
Historically almost 60% of the children had post traumatic stress disorder, he said, adding “We expect that number to be close to 100% when the violence is over.”
“It will take immense effort to even begin to address the depth of the mental health crises,” he added. More than 2,700 children have been killed and hundreds more still trapped under rubble, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
U.S. launches strikes on Iranian-linked targets in Syria
The U.S. launched strikes on Iranian-linked targets in Syria on Thursday in retaliation for a series of drone attacks on American military bases in the region, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.
“Today, at President Biden’s direction,” Austin said, “U.S. military forces conducted self-defense strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups. These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17.”
The U.S. military action comes amid rising tensions in the region over the conflict in Israel. Austin called the attacks “separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas” and said they don’t represent a shift in the U.S. approach to the conflict.
From Oct. 17 to Tuesday, U.S. and coalition forces were attacked at least 10 separate times in Iraq and three times in Syria by a mix of drones and rockets, the Defense Department has said. On Oct. 18, at least two one-way attack drones targeted al-Tanf military base in southern Syria, U.S. Central Command said. On the same day, there were two separate drone attacks against U.S. and coalition forces stationed at al-Asad base in western Iraq.
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E.U. calls for humanitarian pauses for Gaza aid
European Union leaders urged pauses in Israeli bombing and Hamas rocket attacks so humanitarian aid could be delivered to Gaza, and President Joe Biden told Iran’s supreme leader not to target U.S. personnel in the Middle East.
Israel’s military, which has been carrying out limited raids into Gaza as it prepares for a ground incursion of the enclave, said early Friday it was “currently conducting raids in the Gaza Strip” as part of preparations for the next stage of the operation.
As the plight of Palestinian civilians grows more desperate, the issue of whether to have humanitarian pauses or cease-fire agreements in the Hamas-run coastal enclave will come before the 193-member U.N. General Assembly later Friday in a draft resolution submitted by Arab states calling for a cease-fire.
Unlike in the Security Council, where resolutions on Gaza aid failed this week, no country holds a veto in the General Assembly. Resolutions are nonbinding, but they carry political weight.
The Israel-Hamas war has led to rising tensions in the U.S., fueling an alarming increase in antisemitism.
Since Oct. 7, antisemitic incidents are up 388% over the same period last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League. There have also been disturbing and violent incidents against Palestinian Americans, including the fatal stabbing of a 6-year-old boy.
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