Israel launches large ‘targeted raid’ inside Gaza

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As fears of a ground invasion in an already devastated Gaza continue to swirl, the IDF announced it had conducted a rare “targeted” raid with tanks into the northern part of the enclave before leaving the area. Israel said the move was part of “preparations for the next stages of combat.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already said the country was “getting ready” for a ground invasion, although he did not elaborate.

In the last 24 hours — the latest day of an increasingly aggressive bombing campaign Israel has branded self-defense, the IDF said it hit 250 targets in Gaza, as the humanitarian crisis there worsens.

The hospital system is on the brink of collapse, the U.N. warned and said that it may be forced to pause humanitarian efforts because of a lack of fuel, which Israel has yet to allow over the border.

Despite international calls for a ceasefire that would allow for aid, Israel has rejected even a “pause” — as President Joe Biden called for — and directed ire at U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres over comments about the conflict.

The body’s security council once again failed yesterday to come to an agreement about how to ensure aid reaches the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian Health Ministry released a list of almost 7,000 names, including over 2,500 children, that it said had died in Gaza. The document was in Arabic and NBC News could not independently verify the information. 

Table of Contents

What we know

  • Israel said it conducted a rare “targeted” raid into northern Gaza using tanks overnight before it left the area as part of what it called “preparations for the next stages of combat.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said the country was “getting ready” for a ground invasion, which has been widely expected.
  • The United Nations has warned that hospitals in Gaza are on the brink of closing and that its humanitarian efforts may be forced to pause because of a lack of fuel in the enclave.
  • President Joe Biden called on Israel to consider a “pause” in its military offensive against Hamas militants to allow aid to enter Gaza as the humanitarian crisis there worsens.
  • International calls for a cease-fire have been rejected by Israel, which also angrily denounced U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres over comments about the conflict.
  • The Israeli military said it hit 250 targets in Gaza in the last 24 hours — the latest day of an intensive bombing campaign the country says is necessary for its own defense.
  • More than 7,000 people have been killed in Gaza, according to Palestinian health officials. In Israel, about 1,400 people have been killed, including 309 members of the military, the Israel Defense Forces said.
  • At least 224 people were taken hostage during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack — many of them foreigners.
  • NBC News’ Richard Engel, Raf Sanchez, Kelly Cobiella, Josh Lederman, Matt Bradley, Ellison Barber, Meagan Fitzgerald, Jay Gray, Hala Gorani, Chantal Da Silva and Alexander Smith are reporting from the region.

Biden has said that Israel must “do everything in its power” to protect civilians, but also said he has “no confidence” the Hamas-provided death toll of Palestinian civilians is accurate.

37d ago / 7:55 AM UTC

NBC News

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.

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Copied37d ago / 6:11 AM UTC

Parts of Gaza look like a wasteland from space

The Associated Press

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip — Apartment buildings are crumpled. Neighborhoods lie in ruins. Terrain is transformed into moonscape.

The destruction of areas of northern Gaza is visible from space in satellite images taken before and after Israeli airstrikes, which followed the raids carried out by Hamas militants on Oct. 7.

gaza strip aerial satellite imageThe Izbat Beit Hanoun neighborhood after bombing damage, in northern Gaza, on Saturday.Maxar Technologies via AP

In images shot Saturday by Maxar Technologies, four- and five-story buildings in the Izbat Beit Hanoun neighborhood are in various states of collapse. Huge chunks are missing from some, others are broken in half and two large complexes lie in piles of rubble.

The pattern of destruction in the Al Karameh neighborhood can be traced by a widespread pattern the color of ash.

Tightly packed streets in Beit Hanoun look obliterated, with a rare white structure standing out in the gray wasteland.

Israel has carried out thousands of airstrikes since the war began following a cross-border raid that killed 1,400 people in Israel and took over 200 others hostage. Palestinian health officials say over 7,000 people in Gaza have been killed since the fighting erupted.

With the airstrikes continuing around the clock, the full extent of the damage remains unknown. The satellite photos provide a glimpse of the devastation, particularly in the hard-hit northern Gaza Strip.

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Copied37d ago / 4:37 AM UTC

John Kirby: We have to make sure aid gets into Gaza safely

MSNBC

John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, discusses the effort to get humanitarian aid into Gaza and the possibility of a ground invasion in Gaza.

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Copied37d ago / 3:33 AM UTC

NBC News

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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Copied37d ago / 2:37 AM UTC

E.U. calls for humanitarian pauses for Gaza aid as Israel raids enclave

Reuters

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.

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Copied37d ago / 1:34 AM UTC

Bank of Israel’s war cost estimates are optimistic: Finance Ministry official

Reuters

JERUSALEM — Israel will most likely have to spend more to finance the war against Hamas than the Bank of Israel estimated this week, but costs will not top those incurred during the Covid pandemic, a top Finance Ministry official said.

“I don’t think it will top what we spent on Covid, and I think they [the central bank] are too optimistic” about war costs, the unnamed official in the accountant general’s department, which manages government funds and debt, told reporters at a briefing today.

The central bank Monday estimated that the budget deficit would be 2.3% of gross domestic product in 2023 and 3.5% in 2024, compared to a surplus in 2022, if the conflict stays contained to Gaza and does not spread to other fronts.

During Covid, the state spent around 200 billion shekels ($49 billion) on measures to handle the pandemic.

Hamas gunmen from Gaza launched the deadliest attack on Israel’s civilians in the country’s history on Oct. 7, and Israel has since bombarded Gaza with the goal of eliminating the militant group.

Costs of financing military needs and compensating Israeli citizens affected by the attack and the thousands of rockets fired from Gaza are still unclear. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has said the government will spend whatever is needed on the war and on compensation.

Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron cautioned Monday that it was “important to continue conducting responsible fiscal policy.”

The central bank projects the debt-to-GDP ratio growing to 62% this year and to 65% in 2024 from 60.5% in 2022.

Covid spending pushed the budget deficit to nearly 12% of GDP and the debt-to-GDP ratio to 72% in 2020, figures that dropped to 5.5% and 69%, respectively, in 2021.

The Covid slowdown was followed by an immediate and robust recovery.

Israel will have to raise more debt, but the government still has some maneuvering room, given the relatively low budget deficit and debt-to-GDP ratio before the war, as well as its long-term debt portfolio, the ministry official said.

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Copied37d ago / 12:47 AM UTC

Israel says it killed top Hamas commander in airstrike

NBC News

Israel’s military says it took out a top Hamas commander in an airstrike.

The news comes hours after its biggest ground incursion yet into Gaza, with armored bulldozers and tanks, as fears for hostages grow and the civilian death toll in Gaza climbs. 

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Copied37d ago / 12:03 AM UTC

Iranian foreign minister warns U.S. will not be ‘spared from the fire’ if Israel keeps fighting in Gaza

Abigail Williams and Christina Sterbenz

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, was crystal clear 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.

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Copied37d ago / 11:59 PM UTC

Cousin of released hostage confirms Hamas has killed another family member

Katie Harada

Ayelet Sella, the cousin of Judith Raanan, who was among the first hostages released by Hamas, said today that the family has learned one of its members who was believed to be a hostage is confirmed dead.

Seven other relatives are missing and believed to be held hostage by Hamas. Sella said Hamas also killed the husband of the family member who is now confirmed dead, leaving their children orphaned.

The family has not heard any sign of life for the rest of its relatives and doesn’t know any details about their whereabouts, though Sella says she’s not sure she wants to know.

Sella also had a powerful message about the ground offensive: “Prior to any other decision or tactic goals, hostages first. Everything else after, if at all.”

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Copied37d ago / 11:20 PM UTC

Spain’s acting prime minister calls for international peace conference

Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Acting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called today Thursday for an international peace conference on the Middle East conflict to take place within six months with the aim of resolving the Israel-Hamas war.

“From Spain, we propose that an international peace conference be held within six months so that the entire international community feels involved, is involved, and we can definitively find a two-state solution to Israel and Palestine,” he said in Brussels ahead of a European Union Council meeting.

Sánchez also called for a humanitarian cease-fire to get aid into Gaza and called on Hamas to release the people who are being held hostage.

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Copied37d ago / 10:19 PM UTC

Palestinian Health Ministry releases names of almost 7,000 dead in Gaza, including over 2,500 children

Ben Goggin

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has released a list of people it said have been killed in Gaza during the conflict.

The list includes the names, ages and ID numbers of 6,747 people who the health ministry said were registered with the government and had died. The ministry, which is overseen by Hamas, as are all bureaucratic authorities in Gaza, said it did not include information for 281 people who were not registered.

Of the total, 2,665 children were killed, 132 of whom were under 1 year old, according to the list.

NBC News has not independently verified the contents of the list, which was provided in Arabic, but Health Ministry representatives provided numerous NBC News journalists with the list.

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Copied37d ago / 9:33 PM UTC

U.S. will respond to recent attacks on troops stationed in Mideast at time ‘of our choosing,’ White House says

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A White House spokesman said today that the U.S. would respond at a “time of our choosing and a manner of our choosing” to a recent spate of attacks the U.S. says Iranian-backed groups have carried out against U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby delivered the blunt warning a day after Biden said Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had been directly warned that the U.S. would respond if Iran or its proxies continued to attack U.S. troops. Attacks on U.S. troops in the region have increased since the start of the war.

Biden said at a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the White House: “My warning to the ayatollah was that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond. And he should be prepared.”

Asked today to provide further details about how that message was delivered to Khamenei, Kirby declined to elaborate.

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Copied37d ago / 8:57 PM UTC

State Dept. accepts Qatar’s relationship with Hamas for now

Abigail Williams

The State Department is not directly confirming a report that the U.S. and Qatar will revisit their relationship with Hamas after the end of the hostage crisis, but a spokesperson acknowledged the Qatar’s engagement with the U.S- designated terrorist group cannot be what it was before the Oct. 7 attack.

Hamas has political offices in its capital, Doha, and Qatari officials say discussions with its leadership have been instrumental in the efforts to free the more than 220 civilians being held in Gaza.

“Ultimately no country can continue business as usual with Hamas,” spokesperson Matt Miller said when he was pressed by NBC News, adding: “That said, we are very appreciative of the role that Qatar has played in helping secure the release of hostages and work to continue to secure the release of hostages. And we are very appreciative for their work in that regard.”

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Copied37d ago / 8:31 PM UTC

State Department says it lacks accurate assessment of number of civilians dead in Gaza

Natalie Kainz

The State Department said it lacks a way to make an independent, accurate assessment of the number of civilians who have died in Gaza because all numbers provided publicly in Gaza are “provided ultimately by Hamas.”

“There’s not an independent body that’s operated in Gaza that can provide an accurate number,” State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said at a news briefing. “We do have skepticism about everything that Hamas says. But that said, obviously a number of civilians have died, which is why we’re working to do everything we can to minimize civilian harm and get humanitarian assistance.”

Miller said the State Department does not believe the IDF is deliberately targeting civilians, adding that the U.S. expects Israel to follow international humanitarian law by minimizing civilian harm.He added that claims from Hamas should be treated skeptically, particularly after it said the strike on al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza last week was caused by an Israeli strike, but offered no information in response to a U.S. request to assess the country.

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Copied37d ago / 8:00 PM UTC

Netanyahu visits authority in charge of rebuilding area adjacent to Gaza

Natalie Kainz

Netanyahu visited the Tekuma Authority in Yavne, Israel, which was established last Thursday to rebuild, strengthen and develop communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip harmed by the Hamas attack, the Israel Government Press Office said in a news release.

Netanyahu said the “Tekuma District law” would be passed to provide the Tekuma Authority with funds for reconstruction and to reduce bureaucracy and give hope to the region. So far, the organization has met with local leaders and allocated 51 million shekels to communities damaged by the Hamas attack, according to the news release.

“Hope is built on one important principle, and that is security,” Netanyahu said. “We need to smash Hamas so that it will be safe for people to return. In the final stage, we will be able to build and expand and make this area very prosperous and safe.”

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Copied37d ago / 7:41 PM UTC

NBC News

Families of those taken hostage by Hamas during its attacks on Israel met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. NBC News’ Josh Lederman reports on the message they had for members of Congress.

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Copied37d ago / 7:29 PM UTC

IDF says it will closely monitor UNRWA fuel facility in Rafah after Hamas fuel theft

Natalie Kainz

The IDF will not target the UNRWA fuel facility in Rafah and will instead monitor it closely from the air, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said.

“We are not attacking UNRWA,” Hagari said. “We are making a broad effort so that humanitarian conditions will exist south of the Gaza River where the civilian population will receive water, medicine and food.”

Hagari said the IDF informed UNRWA and the U.N. that fuel had been stolen from UNRWA warehouses by Hamas. He added that the IDF will continue ground raids into the Gaza Strip tonight and over the coming days “so that we are ready for the next stages of the war.” 

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Copied37d ago / 6:59 PM UTC

Telegram censors Hamas on official Android and iPhone apps

Kevin Collier

Telegram, the chat and video app that has served as the primary source for most Hamas videos that are then shared on other platforms, has blocked the group’s official channels for some users.

The versions of the Telegram app available on the Google Play and iPhone App stores now block those accounts and show users a message that they are restricted, though the desktop iOS version does not censor them, NBC News confirmed. In an unusual move, Telegram has encouraged Android users to directly download a different version of the app, not available on Google Play, that does not restrict those accounts.

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov this month defended his platform’s reluctance to censor Hamas channels, noting it had warned civilians of airstrikes and is a primary source for journalists.

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Copied37d ago / 6:46 PM UTC

State Department says Egypt is ready to process Americans in Gaza but Hamas is blocking their exit

Natalie Kainz and Abigail Williams

Egypt is ready to process U.S. citizens if they make it through the gate on the Gaza side of Rafah crossing and across the no-man’s land to the Egyptian side, but Hamas is blocking their exit, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said.

“At times on the Gaza side of the border, there has been no one there from Hamas to open the gates and process people and let them through,” he said. “Other times there have been actually armed Hamas militants standing there, not even letting people approach the gate.”

Miller said U.S. Special Envoy David Satterfield is in Israel negotiating with the U.N. and the Israeli and Egyptian governments to try to get Americans out of Gaza. He added that the amount of aid getting into Gaza has been insufficient, but he said the State Department is working with Israeli, Egyptian and U.N. authorities to speed it up.

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Copied37d ago / 6:29 PM UTC

IDF spokesperson says overnight raid on northern Gaza Strip was only preparation, not a full-scale ground invasion

Natalie Kainz and Andrew Jones

The IDF’s international spokesperson, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, said Israel’s targeted raid on the northern Gaza Strip overnight — which he said involved a small number of tanks striking a few cells, tunnels and infrastructure — was merely preparation for future stages of fighting. It was not, Hecht said, the start of a full-scale ground invasion.

“There will be more of them, probably,” Hecht said in a briefing, adding that “we’ve been doing this already for the past few weeks.”

Hecht said that the current focus of military efforts is Hamas commanders and that the IDF has not reached the “highest echelon” of leadership yet. He added that there are 224 confirmed hostages in Gaza and 100 people still missing.

The IDF has refrained from striking the fuel that Hamas is stockpiling because it could be used for humanitarian purposes, Hecht said.

“We’re saying to Hamas: Take responsibility and take care of your people,” he said.

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Copied37d ago / 6:14 PM UTC

FBI, DHS: Threats to Jewish and Muslim communities have increased

Kevin Collier

Threats to Jewish, Arab American and Muslim communities in the U.S. have increased in the past 2½ weeks, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said in a public service announcement dated yesterday.

The threats include bomb threats at places of worship and online encouragement of violence, the warning says. However, the agencies have “no specific information that foreign adversaries are plotting attacks against the homeland,” it says.

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Copied37d ago / 6:01 PM UTC

UNRWA rep says without fuel, it will be forced to suspend or reduce shelters hosting 600,000 displaced people

Natalie Kainz, Ian Sherwood and Marc Smith

The U.N. relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, needs fuel, medicine, food and supplies for the nearly 600,000 displaced people sheltering within its walls, said Adnan Abu Hasna, a representative for the group in Gaza. Without them, Hasna said, the group cannot continue its operations.

“Unless we have enough fuel here, we will stop or suspend or reduce our operations here in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “This step will be taken in the coming hours, maybe tomorrow.”

Hasna said UNRWA turned its 140 schools in Gaza into shelters for the displaced when the war broke out, but now, its limited resources mean it cannot keep up. He added that fuel provided by UNRWA is connected to a desalination plant, the sewage system and hospitals in Gaza. Without fuel, those sectors will collapse, too, he said.

“In all our shelters, nearly 40 of our institutions have been damaged, directly or indirectly,” he said. “Nearly 38 of our UNRWA colleagues have been killed, and tens of others have been injured. We believe that the number will be higher.”

UNRWA provides food, psychological support and health care for people staying in its shelters. Although a convoy of aid trucks entered Gaza, Hasna said, that amounts to a “drop in the ocean.”

“What really entered Gaza is nothing,” he said. “We need at least 100 trucks to enter into Gaza on daily basis for a long time so we can meet the basic needs of the population.”

Hasna called on Israel and the international community to stop the war and to open crossing points to get aid into Gaza immediately.

vChildren sit in a tent at a refugee camp Thursday in Khan Younis, Gaza. Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

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Copied37d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson calls for Russia to expel Hamas delegation

NBC News

Following reports from Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Maria Zakharova confirming that members of Hamas’ political branch were in Moscow, Lior Haiat, a spokesperson of the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry, said on X that the Russian government should expel members of Hamas from the country immediately.

“Hamas is a terror organization that is worse than ISIS,” Haiat wrote. “The hands of senior Hamas officials are stained with the blood of over 1400 Israelis who were slaughtered, murdered, executed and burned. They are responsible for the kidnapping of over 220 Israelis, including babies, children, women and the elderly. Israel condemns the invitation of senior Hamas officials to Moscow, which is an act of support of terrorism, and legitimizes the atrocities of Hamas terrorists. We call on the Russian government to expel the Hamas terrorists immediately.”

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Copied37d ago / 5:33 PM UTC

130,000 Israelis shelter in Ramat Gan tent city

Josh Lederman and Ed Flanagan

RAMAT GAN, Israel — In the Tel Aviv suburbs, a tent city is being erected to house some of the roughly 130,000 Israelis evacuated from the south and the north.

Families will be moved into the tents, replete with mini-refrigerators and air conditioners, starting next week, volunteers say. If rocket attacks make the soft-cover tents untenable, an adjacent gymnasium will be used to house evacuees instead.

About 70,000 civilians have been evacuated from the south, near the Gaza Strip, and 60,000 more from the north, near the Lebanon border, according to Israel’s National Emergency Authority. The evacuations have touched nearly 100 communities, turning families effectively into refugees in their own country.

At a hotel near the tent city, which is already housing evacuees, elderly Israelis pass the time chatting on plastic lawn chairs while kids play at a crafts station and a makeshift playground set up on the brick pavement. Nearby residents are volunteering to do evacuees’ laundry, while therapists are brought in to help those coping with the terrorist attacks. “I feel like I’m in a prison,” said Ori Briton, 16, who was evacuated from Sderot. “We’re doing nothing. Watching TV, eating, sleeping. That’s all.”

Ori’s mother, Eti Briton, said she knows her son will be traumatized for years, but she still intends to return to Sderot, where she was born, less than a mile from Gaza, where rockets are still falling nearly daily. “I built this home with my hands. It’s my place,” Ori said. “If I wanted to move to Tel Aviv, who will buy my home from me? Who wants to come to Sderot? Nobody.”

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Copied37d ago / 4:57 PM UTC

Hamas accuses Israel of using internationally banned munitions

Natalie Kainz

Salama Maarouf, the head of the Hamas-run Government Media Office, said in a statement that there are “many indications that Israel is using internationally banned munitions.”

“Israel uses new ammunition that melts the limbs of the wounded,” Maarouf said. “The Israeli bombing destroyed half of the residential units in the strip.”

NBC News has not independently verified the allegation.

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Copied37d ago / 4:28 PM UTC

IDF fighter jets strike three senior Hamas operatives, kill Intelligence Directorate head

Natalie Kainz

IDF fighter jets struck three senior Hamas operatives who had participated in attacks against Israel and killed the deputy head of Hamas’ Intelligence Directorate, Shadi Barud, the IDF and the Israel Security Agency said in a joint announcement.

The IDF said that Barud, who, with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, was responsible for planning the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, previously was the militant group’s battalion commander in Khan Younis.

The three senior Hamas operatives who were struck were all part of the group’s Daraj Tuffah Battalion in Hamas’ Gaza City Brigade — which played a “significant” role in the Oct. 7 attack, the IDF said. The targets were Battalion Cmdr. Rifaat Abbas, Battalion Deputy Cmdr. Ibrahim Jadba and Combat Support Cmdr. Tarek Maarouf.

“We will continue to strike and eliminate Hamas leaders and operatives responsible for the barbaric attacks,” the IDF said in a post on X announcing Barud’s death.

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Copied37d ago / 3:58 PM UTC

Fake front page of Northwestern student paper says university is ‘complicit in genocide’

Kat Tenbarge

The Daily Northwestern, the student newspaper at Northwestern University, reported today that students who picked up copies of its paper this week saw a fake front page that declared the university is “complicit in genocide of Palestinians.” The paper’s publisher called it an “act of vandalism.”

The page, which included a photo from the aftermath of the al-Ahli Hospital blast, was delivered to over a dozen campus buildings and the desks of hundreds of students, according to the Daily, and law enforcement is reportedly investigating the matter.

“Despite not originating from our newsroom, the fake pages have understandably caused community members to question our credibility and diminished trust in our publication,” the Daily’s editorial board wrote in a statement. “We strive to cover how the conflict impacts community members throughout our city and campus without bias.”

College campuses have been the backdrops for protests, walkouts, heated debates and efforts to name and shame students in relation to the war.

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Copied37d ago / 3:41 PM UTC

Family marks 12th birthday of boy feared taken hostage by Hamas

Chantal Da Silva and Raf Sanchez

TEL AVIV — Songs and prayer rang out outside Israel’s Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv today as a distraught family marked the 12th birthday of a boy feared to have been taken hostage by Hamas, along with his 16-year-old sister and their dad.

Erez Kalderon; his sister, Sahar Kalderon; and their father, Ofer Kalderon, 53, were all believed to have been taken captive by Hamas militants as they swept through the kibbutz Nir Oz.

Eyal Kalderon, 38, holds a sign with photos of his loved ones, Ofer, Sahar and Erez Kalderon.Eyal Kalderon, 38, holds a sign with photos of his loved ones, Ofer, Sahar and Erez Kalderon.Chantal Da Silva

“We’re doing everything we can so that he and his family will come back,” said Eyal Kalderon, 38, Ofer Kalderon’s cousin.

Eyal Kalderon said he wanted to send the message that Israel’s “first priority needs to be to bring these innocent people back.”

He said the family were desperate to be reunited with their missing loved ones, saying Erez’s mother has been “turning the world upside down” to see her son again.

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Copied37d ago / 3:28 PM UTC

Chart: Worldwide journalist killings in 2023

Jasmine Cui, Joe Murphy and Nigel Chiwaya

More than half of the 41 journalist deaths have come in October, and 20 have happened in Gaza.

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Copied37d ago / 3:00 PM UTC

Hamas Al Qassam Brigades spokesperson says around 50 hostages were killed in Israeli airstrikes

Natalie Kainz

Abu Ubaida, a spokesperson for Hamas’ Qassam Brigades, estimated that Israeli airstrikes killed 50 hostages in the Gaza Strip.

Qassam is the military wing of Hamas, led by Mohammed Deif.

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Copied37d ago / 2:30 PM UTC

Bodies pile up in morgues as helpless family members break down in Khan Younis

Mithil Aggarwal

Helplessness and sorrow loomed over the morgue at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, where Palestinian authorities say a strike killed at least 99 people overnight.

Video shot by NBC News showed workers laying out bodies, including those of children, wrapped in white sheets onto racks. Some were covered in white cloth, others with plastic sheets. But some were kept on the ground outside the main room.

Tearful relatives peered through the fence, trying to touch the bodies. One after another, the bodies were carried out, with blood seeping through their white covers. They were briefly placed in front of the hospitals as people prayed in front of them before they were loaded onto ambulances.

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Copied37d ago / 2:13 PM UTC

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs says a member of Hamas is in Moscow

Natalie Kainz

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova confirmed that a member of Hamas’ political branch is in Moscow.

The news comes after the Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported that Hamas political branch member Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook is in Moscow.

Marzook helped found Hamas in 1987, and served as the group’s first political bureau chief in 1992. He is the chief deputy of Hamas’ political bureau.

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Copied37d ago / 1:30 PM UTC

Al Jazeera Arabic bureau chief buries family members killed in ‘Israeli airstrike’

NBC News

Wael Dahdouh, the Gaza bureau chief for Al Jazeera Arabic, buried his family in central Gaza today. The broadcaster said an Israeli airstrike killed Dahdouh’s wife, son, daughter and grandson. The Israeli military said in a statement that it was targeting “terrorist infrastructure in the area.”

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Copied38d ago / 1:11 PM UTC

The videotaped confessions of Hamas militants who kidnapped and killed civilians

Peter W. Klein and Anna Schecter

hamas terrorist attack civilians car autoAn image from an IDF video showing bodycam footage from Hamas fighters on Oct. 7.IDF

A compilation of videotaped confessions by Hamas militants released earlier this week by Israeli officials largely follows the same pattern. All of the men are seated and handcuffed as they recount — calmly and matter-of-factly — how they helped carry out the Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel that killed more than 1,000 civilians, including women, children and the elderly.

The interviews, each filmed individually and compiled into a grim, 12-minute clip reel, were released by Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service. They were part of a range of materials released by Israeli officials this week that appeared to be designed to remind the world of the savagery of the terrorist attacks.

NBC News was not given access to unedited videos of the interviews by Israeli officials and could not independently verify the accounts or claims of the six men. Israeli officials said the men were not coerced into speaking or abused.

Read the full story here.

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Copied38d ago / 12:46 PM UTC

Special forces and tank brigade in special Gaza incursion

Richard Engel

JERUSALEM — As Israeli airstrikes flattened the Gaza Strip, the country’s military carried out a significant incursion into the enclave, sending in special forces and tanks from the Givati Brigade.

“Israeli soldiers located and struck numerous terrorists … and operated to prepare the battlefield,” the Israeli military said.

The troops withdrew after the mission and this was not Israel’s much-anticipated full-scale invasion. Thousands of Israeli troops — many of them reservists — remain inside Israel, ringing Gaza.

Last night, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that a ground assault is coming and that only Israel will decide when and how to do it.

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Copied38d ago / 12:23 PM UTC

Israeli military arrests dozens of suspected Hamas members in the West Bank

Patrick Smith and Yael Factor

Israeli authorities have arrested more than 60 people in the West Bank, including 46 suspected Hamas members, the IDF said in a statement today.

The detentions came after an “extensive arrest operation to thwart terrorism and confiscate weapons” carried out by the IDF and Shin Bet, the internal Israeli security service.

Since the start of the current war on Oct. 7, more than 1,000 people have been arrested, the IDF added, including 660 suspected Hamas members.

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Copied38d ago / 12:01 PM UTC

Israeli city near Gaza sits empty as troops await orders nearby

Chantal Da Silva

SDEROT, Israel — Streets, parks and homes sit empty in Sderot, a city near northern Gaza that was evacuated over a week ago as Israel’s military prepares for its expected ground invasion.

Only soldiers and the few people who chose to stay are still here. A person on a scooter and a handful of vehicles pass through. Everyone else has been evacuated to hotels and residences in safer parts of the country. 

A dark cloud of smoke hangs in the sky from Sderot, Israel.A dark cloud of smoke hangs in the sky from Sderot, Israel.Chantal Da Silva

The quiet, sunny streets seem almost peaceful, but not far off a dark cloud of smoke hangs heavy in the sky. 

A soldier quickly approaches, saying to turn back. “There’s anti-tank missile threat here, be careful,” he says, adding not to make any stops. “Just go.” 

An Israeli soldier at a position near Sderot on the border with the Gaza.An Israeli soldier at a position near Sderot on the border with the Gaza yesterday.Menahem Kahana / AFP – Getty Images

Not far away, soldiers stationed near the border await further orders as blasts ring out. It’s still unclear when Israel’s expected ground invasion will commence, with Israel saying it conducted a “targeted raid using tanks” in northern Gaza overnight as part of “preparations for the next stage of combat.”

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Copied38d ago / 11:37 AM UTC

Hezbollah marks ‘deadliest day’ after more than a dozen fighters killed

Matt Bradley

TYRE, Lebanon — Hezbollah announced that more than a dozen of its militants were killed, marking its “deadliest day” since the Hamas attack. The group claims it is deterring Israel’s ground assault on Gaza as questions mount over how powerful the group really is.

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Copied38d ago / 11:15 AM UTC

As aid trucks cross into Gaza, agencies say more are needed

Lawahez Jabari and Patrick Smith

JERUSALEM — More vital humanitarian aid entered Gaza today, as the government in the Palestinian enclave called for a permanent opening of the Rafah border crossing on the Egyptian border.

The Hamas-run Rafah Land Crossing Media Office said: “12 new trucks have arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing, carrying water, foodstuffs, and medicines, bringing the total number of trucks since the beginning of the war to 74 trucks.”

The World Health Organization has warned that much more aid will be needed to meet the needs of more than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza. Before today’s aid convoy entered, the WHO said it had enough aid waiting in Egypt to provide basic services for 110,000 people.

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Copied38d ago / 11:11 AM UTC

In Tel Aviv, shoppers line up for produce from southern Israeli farms

Shira Pinson and Kelly Cobiella

Shoppers line up at a stall selling fruit and vegetables from farmers in Israel's south at Tel Aviv's central Azrieli Mall.Shoppers line up at a stall selling fruit and vegetables from farmers in Israel’s south at Tel Aviv’s central Azrieli Mall today.Shira Pinson / NBC News

TEL AVIV — At the Azrieli Mall in central Tel Aviv the war feels far away, but the busiest spot isn’t a well-known store.

Instead, shoppers are lining up to by fruit and vegetables grown by farmers in Israel’s south, some of whose farms are now within a closed military zone, others whose workers have evacuated.

Standing in line Shula Gezovitc, 71, told NBC News that her children had traveled south to pick up some of the produce on sale. “It’s hard work,” she said.

Told by a young woman that there were only 70 boxes left, she added, “I better tell my friend not to come.”

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Copied38d ago / 10:56 AM UTC

Photos: The destruction of a neighborhood in Gaza

Julius Constantine Motal

Images released by the space technology company Maxar Technologies show Gaza’s Izbat Beit Hanoun neighborhood before and after what appears to be its destruction. The first is dated Oct. 10. The second, with leveled buildings, ash and rubble, is dated Oct. 21.

A slideshow of images shows the a neighborhood in Gaza before and after its destruction.Maxar via AFP – Getty Images

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Copied38d ago / 10:36 AM UTC

Graphic photos: A Palestinian journalist buries his family

Julius Constantine Motal and Patrick Smith

Wael Dahdouh, the Gaza bureau chief of Al Jazeera Arabic, buried his family in Deir al-Balah today. Al Jazeera said an Israeli airstrike killed Dahdouh’s wife, son, daughter and grandson. Dahdouh’s family had fled to the Nuseirat refugee camp, according to the network.

Footage of Dahdouh reacting to the strike has been seen across the world.

“Their home was targeted in the Nuseirat camp in the center of Gaza, where they had sought refuge after being displaced by the initial bombardment in their neighborhood, following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for all civilians to move south,” Al Jazeera Media Network said in a statement yesterday.

Wael Dahdouh, Gaza bureau chief for Al Jazeera Arabic, mourns his son in Gaza.Wael Dahdouh mourns his son.Ali Mahmoud / APMourners gather with Wael Dahdouh, Gaza bureau chief for Al Jazeera Arabic, during the burial of his wife, son, daughter and grandson in Gaza.Mourners gather for the burial of Dahdouh’s family.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces told CNN in a statement that it was targeting “terrorist infrastructure in the area.”

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Copied38d ago / 10:32 AM UTC

Putin warns Israel-Hamas war could spread far beyond region

Jiaxin Liu

Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that if the Israel-Hamas war did not end soon, it could expand far beyond the Middle East, and that innocent people in the Gaza Strip should not be punished for the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas.

“Our task today, our main task, is to stop the bloodshed and violence,” he said, according to Reuters, which cited a Kremlin transcript of a meeting he held with Russian religious leaders.

“Otherwise, further escalation of the crisis is fraught with grave and extremely dangerous and destructive consequences. And not only for the Middle East region. It could spill over far beyond the borders of the Middle East.”

Putin also criticized Israel’s continued bombing of Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas attacks, saying “Innocent people should not be held responsible for crimes committed by others.”

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Copied38d ago / 10:24 AM UTC

At least 77 confirmed dead overnight in Khan Younis as rescuers pull children out of the rubble

Lawahez Jabari and Mithil Aggarwal

JERUSALEM — At least 77 people were killed last night in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, health officials have said.

Dr. Nahid Abu Taema, director of the Nasser Hospital, told NBC News: “Most of them children and women, some of whom were in pieces.”

A wounded woman and her child are wheeled into the Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza.A wounded woman and her child are wheeled into the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis today.Mohammed Abed / AFP – Getty Images

Footage shot by NBC News in Khan Younis shows that walls had been blown off buildings and a cloud of dust covered the entire street. One rescuer ran with a young boy with a bloodied face in his arms to a car. The child was unconscious and NBC News could not confirm if he survived.

Another man, covered in dust, was lying on the ground with blood dripping from his head as people around him tied a piece of white cloth to stop the bleeding.

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Copied38d ago / 9:49 AM UTC

Israel releases video showing ‘targeted raid’ into northern Gaza

NBC News

The Israel Defense Forces said it “conducted a targeted raid,” in the northern Gaza Strip. It added that the raid was “part of preparations for the next stages of combat.”

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Copied38d ago / 9:29 AM UTC

Gaza health care in ‘state of complete collapse,’ Health Ministry says

Ellison Barber

ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER — The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says that Gaza’s health care system “is in a state of complete collapse.” At least six hospitals in Gaza have shut down because of a lack of fuel, according to the WHO. NBC News reports on scenes from inside Gaza’s largest hospital.

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Copied38d ago / 9:04 AM UTC

‘Nowhere is safe in Gaza’ — U.N. calls for protection of civilians

Mithil Aggarwal

The U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian Territories has declared that “Nowhere is safe in Gaza” and warned that Israel’s “advance warnings make no difference” to the safety of the enclave’s 2.3 million population.

Lynn Hastings said in a statement today that evacuation routes to humanitarian sites are bombed, leaving people with nowhere to go.

People search for the living and the dead in Khan Younis, Gaza.People search for the living and the dead in Khan Younis today.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

“When the essentials for survival are lacking, and when there are no assurances for return, people are left with nothing but impossible choices. Nowhere is safe in Gaza,” she said, adding that civilians must be protected “wherever they are and whether they choose to move or stay.”

Hastings also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

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Copied38d ago / 8:46 AM UTC

Biden: Israel has ‘right’ to target Hamas, but must protect civilians

Richard Engel

JERUSALEM — Biden said that Israel must “do everything in its power” to protect civilians, but also said he has “no confidence” the Hamas-provided death toll of Palestinian civilians is accurate. NBC News’ Richard Engel reports.

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Copied38d ago / 8:41 AM UTC

Hamas calls for worldwide protests to ‘stop the war of extermination’

Lawahez Jabari and Patrick Smith

JERUSALEM — Hamas today called on Muslims and Arabs across the world to “escalate the mass movement” calling for an end to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, and to permanently open the Rafah crossing with Egypt to allow humanitarian aid to cross.

The group said in a statement it wanted supporters to “participate actively and intensively in the coming Friday and Sunday,” using the slogans “Open the Rafah crossing” and “Stop the war of extermination on Gaza.”

Pro-Palestinian rallies have already taken place across the world.

Israel says it is targeting terrorist targets in Gaza and that it does not control the Rafah crossing.

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Copied38d ago / 8:39 AM UTC

IDF disputes U.N. agency’s warning that fuel shortage will stop Gaza operations

Patrick Smith

UNRWA workers at a shelter for displaced Palestinians in Khan Younis, Gaza.UNRWA workers at a shelter in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, yesterday.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

Israel’s military has questioned a warning from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency that a fuel shortage will force it to end its operations in Gaza.

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a briefing that the statement from UNRWA was not accurate and accused Hamas of stockpiling fuel for military purposes.

“Hamas prefers to have all of the fuel for its warfighting capabilities, leaving civilians without it, and then international organizations ask for help,” he said.

“I think that it’s very important that they point their questions … to the ones who can actually help them and actually govern the Gaza Strip, and that is Hamas, not Israel and not Egypt.”

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Copied38d ago / 8:38 AM UTC

Biden says he has ‘no confidence’ in Palestinian death toll

Jennifer Jett

Biden said yesterday that he has “no confidence” in the death toll being provided by Palestinian officials, who say more than 6,500 people, including 2,700 children, have been killed by Israeli retaliatory strikes on the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas.

“I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed,” Biden said at a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. “I’m sure innocents have been killed, and it’s the price of waging a war.” 

Biden said Israel should be “incredibly careful” to minimize civilian casualties, but that he had “no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using,” without saying why.

People mourn the dead outside Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, Gaza.People mourn the dead outside Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group based in Washington, condemned Biden’s remarks as “dehumanizing” and called on him to apologize.

“Journalists have confirmed the high number of casualties, and countless videos coming out of Gaza every day show mangled bodies of Palestinian women and children,” Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement.

He added that CAIR had received 774 complaints, including reported bias incidents, since the war began, a spike the group says is “driven at least in part by irresponsible rhetoric from government officials.” 

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Copied38d ago / 8:14 AM UTC

Israel conducts ‘targeted raid’ inside Gaza

Sean Nevin

Footage released by the Israeli army today shows a “targeted raid” in northern Gaza with tanks and infantry.Janine Haidar / Israeli Army via AFP – Getty Images

Israel’s military said it conducted a “targeted raid” in northern Gaza using tanks overnight.

“Soldiers struck numerous terrorists, terror infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts,” the IDF said in a statement.

The forces then left the area, the statement added.

Tanks and armored vehicles, as well as a bulldozer, could be seen in a video published by the IDF on X. Some of the tanks then fired artillery, before the video cuts to what appears to be falling debris.

The video then pans out to show black smoke rising from what appears to be a building.

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Copied38d ago / 8:11 AM UTC

White House increases outreach to Muslim and Arab Americans

Peter Nicholas, Natasha Korecki, Alex Seitz-Wald and Megan Lebowitz

WASHINGTON — Hours before President Joe Biden gave a rare prime-time address last week, his head speechwriter sat down with a group of senior Arab and Muslim American officials to go over the draft and take suggestions.

A pro-Palestinian march in Washington calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.A pro-Palestinian march in Washington calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.Andrew Harnik / AP

Dissent was sprouting even inside the White House, where some aides worried that Biden hadn’t shown enough empathy for Palestinian civilians and a Muslim community facing a torrent of anger, said a person familiar with the discussions who, like others, requested anonymity to talk freely.

The hourlong editing session reflects a vigorous outreach effort the White House is undertaking to reassure Arab Americans who feel they’re being scapegoated for the atrocities that Hamas has committed half a world away. Senior advisers have been calling Muslim officials throughout the country and inviting community advocates onto the White House campus for frank conversations. Cabinet secretaries are sounding out federal workers to see how they’re coping with an Israel-Hamas war that has sparked angry protests in the U.S.

Read the full story here.

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Copied38d ago / 8:11 AM UTC

FBI and DHS issue announcement about threats associated with the war

Michael Kosnar

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a rare joint public service announcement last night about threats associated with the Israel-Hamas conflict, both in the U.S. and overseas.

The announcement comes after a similar PSA issued Oct. 10 and an FBI/DHS intelligence bulletin that went out to law enforcement Oct. 18. 

An NYPD officer patrols in front of the synagogue Congregation Bais Yaakov Nechamia Dsatmar in New York.An NYPD officer patrols in front of Congregation Bais Yaakov Nechamia Dsatmar in Brooklyn, N.Y.Stephanie Keith / Getty Images file

Since the Oct. 10 announcement, “the volume and frequency of threats to Americans, especially those in the Jewish, Arab American, and Muslim communities in the United States, have increased, raising our concern that violent extremists and lone offenders motivated by or reacting to ongoing events could target these communities,” the note reads.

The announcement noted the fatal stabbing of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy in Illinois on Oct. 14, hoax bomb threats against houses of worship and violent online rhetoric.

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Copied38d ago / 8:11 AM UTC

‘We’re losing an inner sense of humanity’: Aid agency director who has family sheltering in Gaza

MSNBC

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, a body that does humanitarian work in Gaza, has warned of the dire consequences of the war for people living there.

Its director of philanthropy, Hani Almadhoun, detailed the increasingly dire reality for thousands of Palestinians in Gaza on MSNBC.

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Copied38d ago / 8:11 AM UTC

Israel-Hamas war continues to roil American colleges, sparking walkouts

Daniel Arkin

Dozens of U.S. colleges and universities are increasingly riven by tensions over the war between Israel and Hamas, offering a window into how a rising generation perceives the conflict in the Middle East and the U.S. government’s foreign policy in the region.

A pro-Palestinian protest at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.A pro-Palestinian protest at Harvard University on Oct. 14.Joseph Prezioso / AFP – Getty Images file

In recent days, protests and demonstrations have broken out on several campuses, in some cases drawing national attention and putting intense scrutiny on young people that some observers consider unfair. In some situations, student activism around the war has overlapped with volatile debates about free speech.

The conflict between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people has long been the subject of intense debate in the U.S., especially on college campuses, where political activism is common. But the new war has raised the temperature dramatically, giving rise to social environments on campus that mirror the country’s similarly polarized politics.

Read the full story here.

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Copied38d ago / 8:11 AM UTC

Catch up with NBC News’ latest coverage of the Israel-Hamas war

NBC News

Israel shows Hamas attack videos as it tries to keep focus on brutality of Oct. 7 ambush

Gaza is plagued by poverty, but Hamas has no shortage of cash. Where does it come from?

Americans stuck in Gaza are forced to wait for key land crossing to open

With Ukraine and Israel looming, Australian PM arrives in Washington to meet Biden

The many reasons Netanyahu may be delaying an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza

What to know about travel safety as the Israel-Hamas war continues

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Copied NEWUPDATESNBC NewsMithil Aggarwal, Patrick Smith and Natalie Kainzcontributed.37d ago / 7:55 AM UTC

NBC News

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.

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Copied37d ago / 6:11 AM UTC

Parts of Gaza look like a wasteland from space

The Associated Press

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip — Apartment buildings are crumpled. Neighborhoods lie in ruins. Terrain is transformed into moonscape.

The destruction of areas of northern Gaza is visible from space in satellite images taken before and after Israeli airstrikes, which followed the raids carried out by Hamas militants on Oct. 7.

gaza strip aerial satellite imageThe Izbat Beit Hanoun neighborhood after bombing damage, in northern Gaza, on Saturday.Maxar Technologies via AP

In images shot Saturday by Maxar Technologies, four- and five-story buildings in the Izbat Beit Hanoun neighborhood are in various states of collapse. Huge chunks are missing from some, others are broken in half and two large complexes lie in piles of rubble.

The pattern of destruction in the Al Karameh neighborhood can be traced by a widespread pattern the color of ash.

Tightly packed streets in Beit Hanoun look obliterated, with a rare white structure standing out in the gray wasteland.

Israel has carried out thousands of airstrikes since the war began following a cross-border raid that killed 1,400 people in Israel and took over 200 others hostage. Palestinian health officials say over 7,000 people in Gaza have been killed since the fighting erupted.

With the airstrikes continuing around the clock, the full extent of the damage remains unknown. The satellite photos provide a glimpse of the devastation, particularly in the hard-hit northern Gaza Strip.

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Copied37d ago / 4:37 AM UTC

John Kirby: We have to make sure aid gets into Gaza safely

MSNBC

John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, discusses the effort to get humanitarian aid into Gaza and the possibility of a ground invasion in Gaza.

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Copied37d ago / 3:33 AM UTC

NBC News

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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Copied37d ago / 2:37 AM UTC

E.U. calls for humanitarian pauses for Gaza aid as Israel raids enclave

Reuters

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.

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Copied37d ago / 1:34 AM UTC

Bank of Israel’s war cost estimates are optimistic: Finance Ministry official

Reuters

JERUSALEM — Israel will most likely have to spend more to finance the war against Hamas than the Bank of Israel estimated this week, but costs will not top those incurred during the Covid pandemic, a top Finance Ministry official said.

“I don’t think it will top what we spent on Covid, and I think they [the central bank] are too optimistic” about war costs, the unnamed official in the accountant general’s department, which manages government funds and debt, told reporters at a briefing today.

The central bank Monday estimated that the budget deficit would be 2.3% of gross domestic product in 2023 and 3.5% in 2024, compared to a surplus in 2022, if the conflict stays contained to Gaza and does not spread to other fronts.

During Covid, the state spent around 200 billion shekels ($49 billion) on measures to handle the pandemic.

Hamas gunmen from Gaza launched the deadliest attack on Israel’s civilians in the country’s history on Oct. 7, and Israel has since bombarded Gaza with the goal of eliminating the militant group.

Costs of financing military needs and compensating Israeli citizens affected by the attack and the thousands of rockets fired from Gaza are still unclear. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has said the government will spend whatever is needed on the war and on compensation.

Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron cautioned Monday that it was “important to continue conducting responsible fiscal policy.”

The central bank projects the debt-to-GDP ratio growing to 62% this year and to 65% in 2024 from 60.5% in 2022.

Covid spending pushed the budget deficit to nearly 12% of GDP and the debt-to-GDP ratio to 72% in 2020, figures that dropped to 5.5% and 69%, respectively, in 2021.

The Covid slowdown was followed by an immediate and robust recovery.

Israel will have to raise more debt, but the government still has some maneuvering room, given the relatively low budget deficit and debt-to-GDP ratio before the war, as well as its long-term debt portfolio, the ministry official said.

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Copied37d ago / 12:47 AM UTC

Israel says it killed top Hamas commander in airstrike

NBC News

Israel’s military says it took out a top Hamas commander in an airstrike.

The news comes hours after its biggest ground incursion yet into Gaza, with armored bulldozers and tanks, as fears for hostages grow and the civilian death toll in Gaza climbs. 

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Copied37d ago / 12:03 AM UTC

Iranian foreign minister warns U.S. will not be ‘spared from the fire’ if Israel keeps fighting in Gaza

Abigail Williams and Christina Sterbenz

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, was crystal clear 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.

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Copied37d ago / 11:59 PM UTC

Cousin of released hostage confirms Hamas has killed another family member

Katie Harada

Ayelet Sella, the cousin of Judith Raanan, who was among the first hostages released by Hamas, said today that the family has learned one of its members who was believed to be a hostage is confirmed dead.

Seven other relatives are missing and believed to be held hostage by Hamas. Sella said Hamas also killed the husband of the family member who is now confirmed dead, leaving their children orphaned.

The family has not heard any sign of life for the rest of its relatives and doesn’t know any details about their whereabouts, though Sella says she’s not sure she wants to know.

Sella also had a powerful message about the ground offensive: “Prior to any other decision or tactic goals, hostages first. Everything else after, if at all.”

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Copied37d ago / 11:20 PM UTC

Spain’s acting prime minister calls for international peace conference

Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Acting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called today Thursday for an international peace conference on the Middle East conflict to take place within six months with the aim of resolving the Israel-Hamas war.

“From Spain, we propose that an international peace conference be held within six months so that the entire international community feels involved, is involved, and we can definitively find a two-state solution to Israel and Palestine,” he said in Brussels ahead of a European Union Council meeting.

Sánchez also called for a humanitarian cease-fire to get aid into Gaza and called on Hamas to release the people who are being held hostage.

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Copied37d ago / 10:19 PM UTC

Palestinian Health Ministry releases names of almost 7,000 dead in Gaza, including over 2,500 children

Ben Goggin

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has released a list of people it said have been killed in Gaza during the conflict.

The list includes the names, ages and ID numbers of 6,747 people who the health ministry said were registered with the government and had died. The ministry, which is overseen by Hamas, as are all bureaucratic authorities in Gaza, said it did not include information for 281 people who were not registered.

Of the total, 2,665 children were killed, 132 of whom were under 1 year old, according to the list.

NBC News has not independently verified the contents of the list, which was provided in Arabic, but Health Ministry representatives provided numerous NBC News journalists with the list.

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Copied37d ago / 9:33 PM UTC

U.S. will respond to recent attacks on troops stationed in Mideast at time ‘of our choosing,’ White House says

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A White House spokesman said today that the U.S. would respond at a “time of our choosing and a manner of our choosing” to a recent spate of attacks the U.S. says Iranian-backed groups have carried out against U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby delivered the blunt warning a day after Biden said Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had been directly warned that the U.S. would respond if Iran or its proxies continued to attack U.S. troops. Attacks on U.S. troops in the region have increased since the start of the war.

Biden said at a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the White House: “My warning to the ayatollah was that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond. And he should be prepared.”

Asked today to provide further details about how that message was delivered to Khamenei, Kirby declined to elaborate.

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Copied37d ago / 8:57 PM UTC

State Dept. accepts Qatar’s relationship with Hamas for now

Abigail Williams

The State Department is not directly confirming a report that the U.S. and Qatar will revisit their relationship with Hamas after the end of the hostage crisis, but a spokesperson acknowledged the Qatar’s engagement with the U.S- designated terrorist group cannot be what it was before the Oct. 7 attack.

Hamas has political offices in its capital, Doha, and Qatari officials say discussions with its leadership have been instrumental in the efforts to free the more than 220 civilians being held in Gaza.

“Ultimately no country can continue business as usual with Hamas,” spokesperson Matt Miller said when he was pressed by NBC News, adding: “That said, we are very appreciative of the role that Qatar has played in helping secure the release of hostages and work to continue to secure the release of hostages. And we are very appreciative for their work in that regard.”

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Copied37d ago / 8:31 PM UTC

State Department says it lacks accurate assessment of number of civilians dead in Gaza

Natalie Kainz

The State Department said it lacks a way to make an independent, accurate assessment of the number of civilians who have died in Gaza because all numbers provided publicly in Gaza are “provided ultimately by Hamas.”

“There’s not an independent body that’s operated in Gaza that can provide an accurate number,” State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said at a news briefing. “We do have skepticism about everything that Hamas says. But that said, obviously a number of civilians have died, which is why we’re working to do everything we can to minimize civilian harm and get humanitarian assistance.”

Miller said the State Department does not believe the IDF is deliberately targeting civilians, adding that the U.S. expects Israel to follow international humanitarian law by minimizing civilian harm.He added that claims from Hamas should be treated skeptically, particularly after it said the strike on al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza last week was caused by an Israeli strike, but offered no information in response to a U.S. request to assess the country.

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Copied37d ago / 8:00 PM UTC

Netanyahu visits authority in charge of rebuilding area adjacent to Gaza

Natalie Kainz

Netanyahu visited the Tekuma Authority in Yavne, Israel, which was established last Thursday to rebuild, strengthen and develop communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip harmed by the Hamas attack, the Israel Government Press Office said in a news release.

Netanyahu said the “Tekuma District law” would be passed to provide the Tekuma Authority with funds for reconstruction and to reduce bureaucracy and give hope to the region. So far, the organization has met with local leaders and allocated 51 million shekels to communities damaged by the Hamas attack, according to the news release.

“Hope is built on one important principle, and that is security,” Netanyahu said. “We need to smash Hamas so that it will be safe for people to return. In the final stage, we will be able to build and expand and make this area very prosperous and safe.”

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Copied37d ago / 7:41 PM UTC

NBC News

Families of those taken hostage by Hamas during its attacks on Israel met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. NBC News’ Josh Lederman reports on the message they had for members of Congress.

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Copied37d ago / 7:29 PM UTC

IDF says it will closely monitor UNRWA fuel facility in Rafah after Hamas fuel theft

Natalie Kainz

The IDF will not target the UNRWA fuel facility in Rafah and will instead monitor it closely from the air, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said.

“We are not attacking UNRWA,” Hagari said. “We are making a broad effort so that humanitarian conditions will exist south of the Gaza River where the civilian population will receive water, medicine and food.”

Hagari said the IDF informed UNRWA and the U.N. that fuel had been stolen from UNRWA warehouses by Hamas. He added that the IDF will continue ground raids into the Gaza Strip tonight and over the coming days “so that we are ready for the next stages of the war.” 

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Copied37d ago / 6:59 PM UTC

Telegram censors Hamas on official Android and iPhone apps

Kevin Collier

Telegram, the chat and video app that has served as the primary source for most Hamas videos that are then shared on other platforms, has blocked the group’s official channels for some users.

The versions of the Telegram app available on the Google Play and iPhone App stores now block those accounts and show users a message that they are restricted, though the desktop iOS version does not censor them, NBC News confirmed. In an unusual move, Telegram has encouraged Android users to directly download a different version of the app, not available on Google Play, that does not restrict those accounts.

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov this month defended his platform’s reluctance to censor Hamas channels, noting it had warned civilians of airstrikes and is a primary source for journalists.

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Copied37d ago / 6:46 PM UTC

State Department says Egypt is ready to process Americans in Gaza but Hamas is blocking their exit

Natalie Kainz and Abigail Williams

Egypt is ready to process U.S. citizens if they make it through the gate on the Gaza side of Rafah crossing and across the no-man’s land to the Egyptian side, but Hamas is blocking their exit, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said.

“At times on the Gaza side of the border, there has been no one there from Hamas to open the gates and process people and let them through,” he said. “Other times there have been actually armed Hamas militants standing there, not even letting people approach the gate.”

Miller said U.S. Special Envoy David Satterfield is in Israel negotiating with the U.N. and the Israeli and Egyptian governments to try to get Americans out of Gaza. He added that the amount of aid getting into Gaza has been insufficient, but he said the State Department is working with Israeli, Egyptian and U.N. authorities to speed it up.

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Copied37d ago / 6:29 PM UTC

IDF spokesperson says overnight raid on northern Gaza Strip was only preparation, not a full-scale ground invasion

Natalie Kainz and Andrew Jones

The IDF’s international spokesperson, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, said Israel’s targeted raid on the northern Gaza Strip overnight — which he said involved a small number of tanks striking a few cells, tunnels and infrastructure — was merely preparation for future stages of fighting. It was not, Hecht said, the start of a full-scale ground invasion.

“There will be more of them, probably,” Hecht said in a briefing, adding that “we’ve been doing this already for the past few weeks.”

Hecht said that the current focus of military efforts is Hamas commanders and that the IDF has not reached the “highest echelon” of leadership yet. He added that there are 224 confirmed hostages in Gaza and 100 people still missing.

The IDF has refrained from striking the fuel that Hamas is stockpiling because it could be used for humanitarian purposes, Hecht said.

“We’re saying to Hamas: Take responsibility and take care of your people,” he said.

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Copied37d ago / 6:14 PM UTC

FBI, DHS: Threats to Jewish and Muslim communities have increased

Kevin Collier

Threats to Jewish, Arab American and Muslim communities in the U.S. have increased in the past 2½ weeks, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said in a public service announcement dated yesterday.

The threats include bomb threats at places of worship and online encouragement of violence, the warning says. However, the agencies have “no specific information that foreign adversaries are plotting attacks against the homeland,” it says.

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Copied37d ago / 6:01 PM UTC

UNRWA rep says without fuel, it will be forced to suspend or reduce shelters hosting 600,000 displaced people

Natalie Kainz, Ian Sherwood and Marc Smith

The U.N. relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, needs fuel, medicine, food and supplies for the nearly 600,000 displaced people sheltering within its walls, said Adnan Abu Hasna, a representative for the group in Gaza. Without them, Hasna said, the group cannot continue its operations.

“Unless we have enough fuel here, we will stop or suspend or reduce our operations here in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “This step will be taken in the coming hours, maybe tomorrow.”

Hasna said UNRWA turned its 140 schools in Gaza into shelters for the displaced when the war broke out, but now, its limited resources mean it cannot keep up. He added that fuel provided by UNRWA is connected to a desalination plant, the sewage system and hospitals in Gaza. Without fuel, those sectors will collapse, too, he said.

“In all our shelters, nearly 40 of our institutions have been damaged, directly or indirectly,” he said. “Nearly 38 of our UNRWA colleagues have been killed, and tens of others have been injured. We believe that the number will be higher.”

UNRWA provides food, psychological support and health care for people staying in its shelters. Although a convoy of aid trucks entered Gaza, Hasna said, that amounts to a “drop in the ocean.”

“What really entered Gaza is nothing,” he said. “We need at least 100 trucks to enter into Gaza on daily basis for a long time so we can meet the basic needs of the population.”

Hasna called on Israel and the international community to stop the war and to open crossing points to get aid into Gaza immediately.

vChildren sit in a tent at a refugee camp Thursday in Khan Younis, Gaza. Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

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Copied37d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson calls for Russia to expel Hamas delegation

NBC News

Following reports from Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Maria Zakharova confirming that members of Hamas’ political branch were in Moscow, Lior Haiat, a spokesperson of the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry, said on X that the Russian government should expel members of Hamas from the country immediately.

“Hamas is a terror organization that is worse than ISIS,” Haiat wrote. “The hands of senior Hamas officials are stained with the blood of over 1400 Israelis who were slaughtered, murdered, executed and burned. They are responsible for the kidnapping of over 220 Israelis, including babies, children, women and the elderly. Israel condemns the invitation of senior Hamas officials to Moscow, which is an act of support of terrorism, and legitimizes the atrocities of Hamas terrorists. We call on the Russian government to expel the Hamas terrorists immediately.”

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Copied37d ago / 5:33 PM UTC

130,000 Israelis shelter in Ramat Gan tent city

Josh Lederman and Ed Flanagan

RAMAT GAN, Israel — In the Tel Aviv suburbs, a tent city is being erected to house some of the roughly 130,000 Israelis evacuated from the south and the north.

Families will be moved into the tents, replete with mini-refrigerators and air conditioners, starting next week, volunteers say. If rocket attacks make the soft-cover tents untenable, an adjacent gymnasium will be used to house evacuees instead.

About 70,000 civilians have been evacuated from the south, near the Gaza Strip, and 60,000 more from the north, near the Lebanon border, according to Israel’s National Emergency Authority. The evacuations have touched nearly 100 communities, turning families effectively into refugees in their own country.

At a hotel near the tent city, which is already housing evacuees, elderly Israelis pass the time chatting on plastic lawn chairs while kids play at a crafts station and a makeshift playground set up on the brick pavement. Nearby residents are volunteering to do evacuees’ laundry, while therapists are brought in to help those coping with the terrorist attacks. “I feel like I’m in a prison,” said Ori Briton, 16, who was evacuated from Sderot. “We’re doing nothing. Watching TV, eating, sleeping. That’s all.”

Ori’s mother, Eti Briton, said she knows her son will be traumatized for years, but she still intends to return to Sderot, where she was born, less than a mile from Gaza, where rockets are still falling nearly daily. “I built this home with my hands. It’s my place,” Ori said. “If I wanted to move to Tel Aviv, who will buy my home from me? Who wants to come to Sderot? Nobody.”

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Copied37d ago / 4:57 PM UTC

Hamas accuses Israel of using internationally banned munitions

Natalie Kainz

Salama Maarouf, the head of the Hamas-run Government Media Office, said in a statement that there are “many indications that Israel is using internationally banned munitions.”

“Israel uses new ammunition that melts the limbs of the wounded,” Maarouf said. “The Israeli bombing destroyed half of the residential units in the strip.”

NBC News has not independently verified the allegation.

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Copied37d ago / 4:28 PM UTC

IDF fighter jets strike three senior Hamas operatives, kill Intelligence Directorate head

Natalie Kainz

IDF fighter jets struck three senior Hamas operatives who had participated in attacks against Israel and killed the deputy head of Hamas’ Intelligence Directorate, Shadi Barud, the IDF and the Israel Security Agency said in a joint announcement.

The IDF said that Barud, who, with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, was responsible for planning the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, previously was the militant group’s battalion commander in Khan Younis.

The three senior Hamas operatives who were struck were all part of the group’s Daraj Tuffah Battalion in Hamas’ Gaza City Brigade — which played a “significant” role in the Oct. 7 attack, the IDF said. The targets were Battalion Cmdr. Rifaat Abbas, Battalion Deputy Cmdr. Ibrahim Jadba and Combat Support Cmdr. Tarek Maarouf.

“We will continue to strike and eliminate Hamas leaders and operatives responsible for the barbaric attacks,” the IDF said in a post on X announcing Barud’s death.

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Copied37d ago / 3:58 PM UTC

Fake front page of Northwestern student paper says university is ‘complicit in genocide’

Kat Tenbarge

The Daily Northwestern, the student newspaper at Northwestern University, reported today that students who picked up copies of its paper this week saw a fake front page that declared the university is “complicit in genocide of Palestinians.” The paper’s publisher called it an “act of vandalism.”

The page, which included a photo from the aftermath of the al-Ahli Hospital blast, was delivered to over a dozen campus buildings and the desks of hundreds of students, according to the Daily, and law enforcement is reportedly investigating the matter.

“Despite not originating from our newsroom, the fake pages have understandably caused community members to question our credibility and diminished trust in our publication,” the Daily’s editorial board wrote in a statement. “We strive to cover how the conflict impacts community members throughout our city and campus without bias.”

College campuses have been the backdrops for protests, walkouts, heated debates and efforts to name and shame students in relation to the war.

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Copied37d ago / 3:41 PM UTC

Family marks 12th birthday of boy feared taken hostage by Hamas

Chantal Da Silva and Raf Sanchez

TEL AVIV — Songs and prayer rang out outside Israel’s Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv today as a distraught family marked the 12th birthday of a boy feared to have been taken hostage by Hamas, along with his 16-year-old sister and their dad.

Erez Kalderon; his sister, Sahar Kalderon; and their father, Ofer Kalderon, 53, were all believed to have been taken captive by Hamas militants as they swept through the kibbutz Nir Oz.

Eyal Kalderon, 38, holds a sign with photos of his loved ones, Ofer, Sahar and Erez Kalderon.Eyal Kalderon, 38, holds a sign with photos of his loved ones, Ofer, Sahar and Erez Kalderon.Chantal Da Silva

“We’re doing everything we can so that he and his family will come back,” said Eyal Kalderon, 38, Ofer Kalderon’s cousin.

Eyal Kalderon said he wanted to send the message that Israel’s “first priority needs to be to bring these innocent people back.”

He said the family were desperate to be reunited with their missing loved ones, saying Erez’s mother has been “turning the world upside down” to see her son again.

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Copied37d ago / 3:28 PM UTC

Chart: Worldwide journalist killings in 2023

Jasmine Cui, Joe Murphy and Nigel Chiwaya

More than half of the 41 journalist deaths have come in October, and 20 have happened in Gaza.

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Copied37d ago / 3:00 PM UTC

Hamas Al Qassam Brigades spokesperson says around 50 hostages were killed in Israeli airstrikes

Natalie Kainz

Abu Ubaida, a spokesperson for Hamas’ Qassam Brigades, estimated that Israeli airstrikes killed 50 hostages in the Gaza Strip.

Qassam is the military wing of Hamas, led by Mohammed Deif.

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Copied37d ago / 2:30 PM UTC

Bodies pile up in morgues as helpless family members break down in Khan Younis

Mithil Aggarwal

Helplessness and sorrow loomed over the morgue at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, where Palestinian authorities say a strike killed at least 99 people overnight.

Video shot by NBC News showed workers laying out bodies, including those of children, wrapped in white sheets onto racks. Some were covered in white cloth, others with plastic sheets. But some were kept on the ground outside the main room.

Tearful relatives peered through the fence, trying to touch the bodies. One after another, the bodies were carried out, with blood seeping through their white covers. They were briefly placed in front of the hospitals as people prayed in front of them before they were loaded onto ambulances.

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Copied37d ago / 2:13 PM UTC

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs says a member of Hamas is in Moscow

Natalie Kainz

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova confirmed that a member of Hamas’ political branch is in Moscow.

The news comes after the Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported that Hamas political branch member Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook is in Moscow.

Marzook helped found Hamas in 1987, and served as the group’s first political bureau chief in 1992. He is the chief deputy of Hamas’ political bureau.

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Copied37d ago / 1:30 PM UTC

Al Jazeera Arabic bureau chief buries family members killed in ‘Israeli airstrike’

NBC News

Wael Dahdouh, the Gaza bureau chief for Al Jazeera Arabic, buried his family in central Gaza today. The broadcaster said an Israeli airstrike killed Dahdouh’s wife, son, daughter and grandson. The Israeli military said in a statement that it was targeting “terrorist infrastructure in the area.”

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Copied38d ago / 1:11 PM UTC

The videotaped confessions of Hamas militants who kidnapped and killed civilians

Peter W. Klein and Anna Schecter

hamas terrorist attack civilians car autoAn image from an IDF video showing bodycam footage from Hamas fighters on Oct. 7.IDF

A compilation of videotaped confessions by Hamas militants released earlier this week by Israeli officials largely follows the same pattern. All of the men are seated and handcuffed as they recount — calmly and matter-of-factly — how they helped carry out the Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel that killed more than 1,000 civilians, including women, children and the elderly.

The interviews, each filmed individually and compiled into a grim, 12-minute clip reel, were released by Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service. They were part of a range of materials released by Israeli officials this week that appeared to be designed to remind the world of the savagery of the terrorist attacks.

NBC News was not given access to unedited videos of the interviews by Israeli officials and could not independently verify the accounts or claims of the six men. Israeli officials said the men were not coerced into speaking or abused.

Read the full story here.

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Copied38d ago / 12:46 PM UTC

Special forces and tank brigade in special Gaza incursion

Richard Engel

JERUSALEM — As Israeli airstrikes flattened the Gaza Strip, the country’s military carried out a significant incursion into the enclave, sending in special forces and tanks from the Givati Brigade.

“Israeli soldiers located and struck numerous terrorists … and operated to prepare the battlefield,” the Israeli military said.

The troops withdrew after the mission and this was not Israel’s much-anticipated full-scale invasion. Thousands of Israeli troops — many of them reservists — remain inside Israel, ringing Gaza.

Last night, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that a ground assault is coming and that only Israel will decide when and how to do it.

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Copied38d ago / 12:23 PM UTC

Israeli military arrests dozens of suspected Hamas members in the West Bank

Patrick Smith and Yael Factor

Israeli authorities have arrested more than 60 people in the West Bank, including 46 suspected Hamas members, the IDF said in a statement today.

The detentions came after an “extensive arrest operation to thwart terrorism and confiscate weapons” carried out by the IDF and Shin Bet, the internal Israeli security service.

Since the start of the current war on Oct. 7, more than 1,000 people have been arrested, the IDF added, including 660 suspected Hamas members.

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Copied38d ago / 12:01 PM UTC

Israeli city near Gaza sits empty as troops await orders nearby

Chantal Da Silva

SDEROT, Israel — Streets, parks and homes sit empty in Sderot, a city near northern Gaza that was evacuated over a week ago as Israel’s military prepares for its expected ground invasion.

Only soldiers and the few people who chose to stay are still here. A person on a scooter and a handful of vehicles pass through. Everyone else has been evacuated to hotels and residences in safer parts of the country. 

A dark cloud of smoke hangs in the sky from Sderot, Israel.A dark cloud of smoke hangs in the sky from Sderot, Israel.Chantal Da Silva

The quiet, sunny streets seem almost peaceful, but not far off a dark cloud of smoke hangs heavy in the sky. 

A soldier quickly approaches, saying to turn back. “There’s anti-tank missile threat here, be careful,” he says, adding not to make any stops. “Just go.” 

An Israeli soldier at a position near Sderot on the border with the Gaza.An Israeli soldier at a position near Sderot on the border with the Gaza yesterday.Menahem Kahana / AFP – Getty Images

Not far away, soldiers stationed near the border await further orders as blasts ring out. It’s still unclear when Israel’s expected ground invasion will commence, with Israel saying it conducted a “targeted raid using tanks” in northern Gaza overnight as part of “preparations for the next stage of combat.”

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Copied38d ago / 11:37 AM UTC

Hezbollah marks ‘deadliest day’ after more than a dozen fighters killed

Matt Bradley

TYRE, Lebanon — Hezbollah announced that more than a dozen of its militants were killed, marking its “deadliest day” since the Hamas attack. The group claims it is deterring Israel’s ground assault on Gaza as questions mount over how powerful the group really is.

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Copied38d ago / 11:15 AM UTC

As aid trucks cross into Gaza, agencies say more are needed

Lawahez Jabari and Patrick Smith

JERUSALEM — More vital humanitarian aid entered Gaza today, as the government in the Palestinian enclave called for a permanent opening of the Rafah border crossing on the Egyptian border.

The Hamas-run Rafah Land Crossing Media Office said: “12 new trucks have arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing, carrying water, foodstuffs, and medicines, bringing the total number of trucks since the beginning of the war to 74 trucks.”

The World Health Organization has warned that much more aid will be needed to meet the needs of more than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza. Before today’s aid convoy entered, the WHO said it had enough aid waiting in Egypt to provide basic services for 110,000 people.

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Copied38d ago / 11:11 AM UTC

In Tel Aviv, shoppers line up for produce from southern Israeli farms

Shira Pinson and Kelly Cobiella

Shoppers line up at a stall selling fruit and vegetables from farmers in Israel's south at Tel Aviv's central Azrieli Mall.Shoppers line up at a stall selling fruit and vegetables from farmers in Israel’s south at Tel Aviv’s central Azrieli Mall today.Shira Pinson / NBC News

TEL AVIV — At the Azrieli Mall in central Tel Aviv the war feels far away, but the busiest spot isn’t a well-known store.

Instead, shoppers are lining up to by fruit and vegetables grown by farmers in Israel’s south, some of whose farms are now within a closed military zone, others whose workers have evacuated.

Standing in line Shula Gezovitc, 71, told NBC News that her children had traveled south to pick up some of the produce on sale. “It’s hard work,” she said.

Told by a young woman that there were only 70 boxes left, she added, “I better tell my friend not to come.”

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Copied38d ago / 10:56 AM UTC

Photos: The destruction of a neighborhood in Gaza

Julius Constantine Motal

Images released by the space technology company Maxar Technologies show Gaza’s Izbat Beit Hanoun neighborhood before and after what appears to be its destruction. The first is dated Oct. 10. The second, with leveled buildings, ash and rubble, is dated Oct. 21.

A slideshow of images shows the a neighborhood in Gaza before and after its destruction.Maxar via AFP – Getty Images

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Copied38d ago / 10:36 AM UTC

Graphic photos: A Palestinian journalist buries his family

Julius Constantine Motal and Patrick Smith

Wael Dahdouh, the Gaza bureau chief of Al Jazeera Arabic, buried his family in Deir al-Balah today. Al Jazeera said an Israeli airstrike killed Dahdouh’s wife, son, daughter and grandson. Dahdouh’s family had fled to the Nuseirat refugee camp, according to the network.

Footage of Dahdouh reacting to the strike has been seen across the world.

“Their home was targeted in the Nuseirat camp in the center of Gaza, where they had sought refuge after being displaced by the initial bombardment in their neighborhood, following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for all civilians to move south,” Al Jazeera Media Network said in a statement yesterday.

Wael Dahdouh, Gaza bureau chief for Al Jazeera Arabic, mourns his son in Gaza.Wael Dahdouh mourns his son.Ali Mahmoud / APMourners gather with Wael Dahdouh, Gaza bureau chief for Al Jazeera Arabic, during the burial of his wife, son, daughter and grandson in Gaza.Mourners gather for the burial of Dahdouh’s family.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces told CNN in a statement that it was targeting “terrorist infrastructure in the area.”

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Copied38d ago / 10:32 AM UTC

Putin warns Israel-Hamas war could spread far beyond region

Jiaxin Liu

Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that if the Israel-Hamas war did not end soon, it could expand far beyond the Middle East, and that innocent people in the Gaza Strip should not be punished for the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas.

“Our task today, our main task, is to stop the bloodshed and violence,” he said, according to Reuters, which cited a Kremlin transcript of a meeting he held with Russian religious leaders.

“Otherwise, further escalation of the crisis is fraught with grave and extremely dangerous and destructive consequences. And not only for the Middle East region. It could spill over far beyond the borders of the Middle East.”

Putin also criticized Israel’s continued bombing of Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas attacks, saying “Innocent people should not be held responsible for crimes committed by others.”

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Copied38d ago / 10:24 AM UTC

At least 77 confirmed dead overnight in Khan Younis as rescuers pull children out of the rubble

Lawahez Jabari and Mithil Aggarwal

JERUSALEM — At least 77 people were killed last night in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, health officials have said.

Dr. Nahid Abu Taema, director of the Nasser Hospital, told NBC News: “Most of them children and women, some of whom were in pieces.”

A wounded woman and her child are wheeled into the Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza.A wounded woman and her child are wheeled into the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis today.Mohammed Abed / AFP – Getty Images

Footage shot by NBC News in Khan Younis shows that walls had been blown off buildings and a cloud of dust covered the entire street. One rescuer ran with a young boy with a bloodied face in his arms to a car. The child was unconscious and NBC News could not confirm if he survived.

Another man, covered in dust, was lying on the ground with blood dripping from his head as people around him tied a piece of white cloth to stop the bleeding.

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Copied38d ago / 9:49 AM UTC

Israel releases video showing ‘targeted raid’ into northern Gaza

NBC News

The Israel Defense Forces said it “conducted a targeted raid,” in the northern Gaza Strip. It added that the raid was “part of preparations for the next stages of combat.”

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Copied38d ago / 9:29 AM UTC

Gaza health care in ‘state of complete collapse,’ Health Ministry says

Ellison Barber

ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER — The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says that Gaza’s health care system “is in a state of complete collapse.” At least six hospitals in Gaza have shut down because of a lack of fuel, according to the WHO. NBC News reports on scenes from inside Gaza’s largest hospital.

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Copied38d ago / 9:04 AM UTC

‘Nowhere is safe in Gaza’ — U.N. calls for protection of civilians

Mithil Aggarwal

The U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian Territories has declared that “Nowhere is safe in Gaza” and warned that Israel’s “advance warnings make no difference” to the safety of the enclave’s 2.3 million population.

Lynn Hastings said in a statement today that evacuation routes to humanitarian sites are bombed, leaving people with nowhere to go.

People search for the living and the dead in Khan Younis, Gaza.People search for the living and the dead in Khan Younis today.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

“When the essentials for survival are lacking, and when there are no assurances for return, people are left with nothing but impossible choices. Nowhere is safe in Gaza,” she said, adding that civilians must be protected “wherever they are and whether they choose to move or stay.”

Hastings also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

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Copied38d ago / 8:46 AM UTC

Biden: Israel has ‘right’ to target Hamas, but must protect civilians

Richard Engel

JERUSALEM — Biden said that Israel must “do everything in its power” to protect civilians, but also said he has “no confidence” the Hamas-provided death toll of Palestinian civilians is accurate. NBC News’ Richard Engel reports.

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Copied38d ago / 8:41 AM UTC

Hamas calls for worldwide protests to ‘stop the war of extermination’

Lawahez Jabari and Patrick Smith

JERUSALEM — Hamas today called on Muslims and Arabs across the world to “escalate the mass movement” calling for an end to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, and to permanently open the Rafah crossing with Egypt to allow humanitarian aid to cross.

The group said in a statement it wanted supporters to “participate actively and intensively in the coming Friday and Sunday,” using the slogans “Open the Rafah crossing” and “Stop the war of extermination on Gaza.”

Pro-Palestinian rallies have already taken place across the world.

Israel says it is targeting terrorist targets in Gaza and that it does not control the Rafah crossing.

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Copied38d ago / 8:39 AM UTC

IDF disputes U.N. agency’s warning that fuel shortage will stop Gaza operations

Patrick Smith

UNRWA workers at a shelter for displaced Palestinians in Khan Younis, Gaza.UNRWA workers at a shelter in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, yesterday.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

Israel’s military has questioned a warning from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency that a fuel shortage will force it to end its operations in Gaza.

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a briefing that the statement from UNRWA was not accurate and accused Hamas of stockpiling fuel for military purposes.

“Hamas prefers to have all of the fuel for its warfighting capabilities, leaving civilians without it, and then international organizations ask for help,” he said.

“I think that it’s very important that they point their questions … to the ones who can actually help them and actually govern the Gaza Strip, and that is Hamas, not Israel and not Egypt.”

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Copied38d ago / 8:38 AM UTC

Biden says he has ‘no confidence’ in Palestinian death toll

Jennifer Jett

Biden said yesterday that he has “no confidence” in the death toll being provided by Palestinian officials, who say more than 6,500 people, including 2,700 children, have been killed by Israeli retaliatory strikes on the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas.

“I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed,” Biden said at a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. “I’m sure innocents have been killed, and it’s the price of waging a war.” 

Biden said Israel should be “incredibly careful” to minimize civilian casualties, but that he had “no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using,” without saying why.

People mourn the dead outside Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, Gaza.People mourn the dead outside Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group based in Washington, condemned Biden’s remarks as “dehumanizing” and called on him to apologize.

“Journalists have confirmed the high number of casualties, and countless videos coming out of Gaza every day show mangled bodies of Palestinian women and children,” Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement.

He added that CAIR had received 774 complaints, including reported bias incidents, since the war began, a spike the group says is “driven at least in part by irresponsible rhetoric from government officials.” 

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Copied38d ago / 8:14 AM UTC

Israel conducts ‘targeted raid’ inside Gaza

Sean Nevin

Footage released by the Israeli army today shows a “targeted raid” in northern Gaza with tanks and infantry.Janine Haidar / Israeli Army via AFP – Getty Images

Israel’s military said it conducted a “targeted raid” in northern Gaza using tanks overnight.

“Soldiers struck numerous terrorists, terror infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts,” the IDF said in a statement.

The forces then left the area, the statement added.

Tanks and armored vehicles, as well as a bulldozer, could be seen in a video published by the IDF on X. Some of the tanks then fired artillery, before the video cuts to what appears to be falling debris.

The video then pans out to show black smoke rising from what appears to be a building.

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Copied38d ago / 8:11 AM UTC

White House increases outreach to Muslim and Arab Americans

Peter Nicholas, Natasha Korecki, Alex Seitz-Wald and Megan Lebowitz

WASHINGTON — Hours before President Joe Biden gave a rare prime-time address last week, his head speechwriter sat down with a group of senior Arab and Muslim American officials to go over the draft and take suggestions.

A pro-Palestinian march in Washington calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.A pro-Palestinian march in Washington calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.Andrew Harnik / AP

Dissent was sprouting even inside the White House, where some aides worried that Biden hadn’t shown enough empathy for Palestinian civilians and a Muslim community facing a torrent of anger, said a person familiar with the discussions who, like others, requested anonymity to talk freely.

The hourlong editing session reflects a vigorous outreach effort the White House is undertaking to reassure Arab Americans who feel they’re being scapegoated for the atrocities that Hamas has committed half a world away. Senior advisers have been calling Muslim officials throughout the country and inviting community advocates onto the White House campus for frank conversations. Cabinet secretaries are sounding out federal workers to see how they’re coping with an Israel-Hamas war that has sparked angry protests in the U.S.

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FBI and DHS issue announcement about threats associated with the war

Michael Kosnar

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a rare joint public service announcement last night about threats associated with the Israel-Hamas conflict, both in the U.S. and overseas.

The announcement comes after a similar PSA issued Oct. 10 and an FBI/DHS intelligence bulletin that went out to law enforcement Oct. 18. 

An NYPD officer patrols in front of the synagogue Congregation Bais Yaakov Nechamia Dsatmar in New York.An NYPD officer patrols in front of Congregation Bais Yaakov Nechamia Dsatmar in Brooklyn, N.Y.Stephanie Keith / Getty Images file

Since the Oct. 10 announcement, “the volume and frequency of threats to Americans, especially those in the Jewish, Arab American, and Muslim communities in the United States, have increased, raising our concern that violent extremists and lone offenders motivated by or reacting to ongoing events could target these communities,” the note reads.

The announcement noted the fatal stabbing of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy in Illinois on Oct. 14, hoax bomb threats against houses of worship and violent online rhetoric.

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‘We’re losing an inner sense of humanity’: Aid agency director who has family sheltering in Gaza

MSNBC

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, a body that does humanitarian work in Gaza, has warned of the dire consequences of the war for people living there.

Its director of philanthropy, Hani Almadhoun, detailed the increasingly dire reality for thousands of Palestinians in Gaza on MSNBC.

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Israel-Hamas war continues to roil American colleges, sparking walkouts

Daniel Arkin

Dozens of U.S. colleges and universities are increasingly riven by tensions over the war between Israel and Hamas, offering a window into how a rising generation perceives the conflict in the Middle East and the U.S. government’s foreign policy in the region.

A pro-Palestinian protest at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.A pro-Palestinian protest at Harvard University on Oct. 14.Joseph Prezioso / AFP – Getty Images file

In recent days, protests and demonstrations have broken out on several campuses, in some cases drawing national attention and putting intense scrutiny on young people that some observers consider unfair. In some situations, student activism around the war has overlapped with volatile debates about free speech.

The conflict between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people has long been the subject of intense debate in the U.S., especially on college campuses, where political activism is common. But the new war has raised the temperature dramatically, giving rise to social environments on campus that mirror the country’s similarly polarized politics.

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Catch up with NBC News’ latest coverage of the Israel-Hamas war

NBC News

Israel shows Hamas attack videos as it tries to keep focus on brutality of Oct. 7 ambush

Gaza is plagued by poverty, but Hamas has no shortage of cash. Where does it come from?

Americans stuck in Gaza are forced to wait for key land crossing to open

With Ukraine and Israel looming, Australian PM arrives in Washington to meet Biden

The many reasons Netanyahu may be delaying an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza

What to know about travel safety as the Israel-Hamas war continues

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