The Latest | Israel urges all Palestinians to leave Gaza's largest city

2 days ago 13

Israel is urging all Palestinians to leave Gaza's largest city as bombardment appears to escalate throughout the besieged territory. Israel says it is pursuing Hamas fighters who are regrouping in parts of the strip that had been targeted early in the war.

Israel launched the war in Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250. Since then, Israeli ground offensives and bombardments have killed more than 38,000 people in Gaza, according to the territory’s Health Ministry. It does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

The war has caused massive devastation and displaced most of Gaza's 2.3 million people, often multiple times. Israeli restrictions, fighting and the breakdown of law and order have limited humanitarian aid efforts, causing widespread hunger and sparking fears of famine. The top United Nations court has ordered Israel to take steps to protect Palestinians as it examines genocide allegations against Israeli leaders. Israel denies the charge.

Currently:

— Israeli strikes in central Gaza have killed 20 Palestinians as mediators make a new push on cease-fire deal.

— The U.S.-built pier will be put back in Gaza for several days to move aid before being permanently removed.

— A suspected attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels targets a ship transiting the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

Iran encourages Gaza war protests in the U.S. to stoke outrage and distrust, intelligence chief says.

— A university student who yelled ‘Free Palestine’ is reportedly deported as the UAE weighs the Israel-Hamas war.

— Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.

Here’s the latest:

TEL AVIV, Israel — A United States official says the head of the agency overseeing American foreign humanitarian and development aid will visit Israel on Thursday to address security concerns around aid workers and aid distribution in Gaza.

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power will meet with Israeli officials to discuss improving communication and coordination to protect humanitarian workers in the ongoing Gaza war. She was last in the region in March, when she visited Israel, Jordan, and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The United Nations chief has said “total lawlessness” and chaos in Gaza prevents the distribution of desperately needed humanitarian aid in the enclave. Humanitarian conditions are dire as many families are displaced multiple times. According to the U.N., more than 200 aid workers have been killed in Gaza since the war began.

Ahead of Power's visit, the Israeli military asserted that the U.N. must step up its ability to receive and distribute aid in Gaza. “Even if we will bring 1,000 trucks today, there’s nowhere to put it on the Palestinian side, that’s the main problem,” said Col. Elad Goren, the head of the civilian department at the Israeli defense body in charge of Palestinian civilian affairs, during a press conference.

USAID has said thousands of tons of food, medicine and other aid are piled up uncollected on a beach near the U.S.-built pier because of the lawlessness on the ground.

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