More than a million people have fled their homes in the Gaza Strip ahead of an expected Israel invasion that seeks to eliminate Hamas’ leadership after its deadly incursion. Aid groups warn an Israeli ground offensive could hasten a humanitarian crisis.
Israeli forces, supported by U.S. warships, positioned themselves along Gaza’s border and drilled for what Israel said would be a broad campaign to dismantle the militant group. A week of blistering airstrikes have demolished neighborhoods but failed to stop militant rocket fire into Israel.
The war that began Oct. 7 has become the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides, with more than 4,000 dead. The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,670 Palestinians have been killed and 9,600 wounded. More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, and at least 155 others, including children, were captured by Hamas and taken into Gaza, according to Israel.
Here’s what’s happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war:
BANGKOK – A Thai Air Force plane carrying 130 evacuees from Israel arrived early Monday in Bangkok.
The evacuation flight on an Airbus A340, carrying 127 men, two women and a girl, was the first of of a planned six flights by Thailand’s air force. Small batches of evacuees had previously arrived on commercial flights.
As of Saturday, 7,058 Thais in Israel had registered for voluntary repatriation, while 83 indicated their intention to remain in Israel, according to the Thai Foreign Ministry. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said Sunday that 28 Thais are reported to have been killed in the attack on southern Israel by Hamas, and another 17 abducted.
There are about 30,000 Thai workers in Israel, mostly employed as agricultural laborers, and some 5,000 had been working in the area that was affected by the violence.
Separately, Canadians in the besieged Gaza Strip have no way to leave.
Global Affairs Canada says three other Canadians who were in Israel when the attacks happened Oct. 7 are still missing. Officials did not provide details of the fifth person who died or those who are missing, citing privacy considerations.
Julie Sunday, an assistant deputy minister with Global Affairs Canada, says the government is still working to get up to 300 Canadians and their relatives out of Gaza as Israel gears up for an expected ground invasion.
JERUSALEM – The U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency says Gaza “is being strangled” and the number of people seeking shelter at their schools and facilities in the south of the territory is overwhelming.
“If we look at the issue of water – we all know water is life – Gaza is running out of water, and Gaza is running out of life,” said Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of UNRWA at a news conference in Jerusalem on Sunday.
“Soon, I believe, with this there will be no food or medicine either,” he said.
“Last week’s attack on Israel was horrendous,” he said. “The attack and the taking of hostages are a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. But the answer to killing civilians cannot be to kill more civilians.”
At least 1 million people were forced to flee their homes in northern Gaza. At least 400,000 displaced people are crammed into UNRWA schools and buildings, and most are not equipped as emergency shelters. Conditions are unsanitary and appalling.
Most of the agency’s 13,000 staff in the Gaza Strip are now displaced or out of their homes, said Lazzarini.
“At this time, we can confirm the deaths of 30 U.S. citizens. We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and to the families of all those affected,” the State Department said in a statement released Sunday. The U.S. is also aware of 13 missing citizens and has been in contact with their families.
Hamas militants stormed into Israel on Oct. 7 and murdered more than 1,400 Israelis, the vast majority of them civilians. The militants also kidnapped at least 155 people – a number that includes babies and the elderly – and are holding them hostage in Gaza. Their whereabouts are not publicly known, but their families have been urgently pressing for their release.
“The U.S. government is working around the clock to determine their whereabouts and is working with the Israeli government on every aspect of the hostage crisis, including sharing intelligence and deploying experts from across the United States government to advise the Israeli government on hostage recovery efforts,” the statement said.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,670 Palestinians have been killed so far.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned Sunday that the Middle East is “on the verge of the abyss” and repeated his entreaties for Hamas to release hostages and for Israel to allow humanitarian aid and workers into besieged Gaza.
“Each one of these two objectives are valid in themselves. They should not become bargaining chips,” the U.N. chief said in a statement.
The goods can be dispatched within hours, he said.
BEIRUT – An Israeli drone fired two missiles late Sunday evening at a hill west of the town of Kfar Kila in south Lebanon, the state-run National News Agency reported. There were no casualties reported in the strikes, which hit near a Lebanese army center.
The Israeli army posted on the X social media platform that it had hit Hezbollah targets but did not specify what they were.
Cross-border clashes between armed factions in Lebanon and Israel intensified Sunday, with Hezbollah firing rockets and Israeli forces responding with shelling. The Israeli army also reported a shooting at one of its border posts. The fighting has killed at least one person on the Israeli side and wounded several on both sides of the border.
Hezbollah said in a statement Sunday that it had fired rockets towards an Israeli military position in the northern border town Shtula in retaliation for Israeli shelling that killed Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah on Friday and two Lebanese civilians on Saturday.
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