The fighting that broke out between the militant group Hamas against Israelis has proved devastating for civilians in Israel and the Gaza Strip. The unprecedented conflict continues.

Deadly strike on hospital kills hundreds of Palestinians, including children

9 p.m., Oct. 17, 2023

A strike hit a Christian-run hospital in central Gaza City, killing hundreds of people Tuesday. Around 200 to 300 people were killed, and the bombing marks the highest death toll from a single incident in Gaza yet since militant group Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel Oct. 7.

Palestinian Authority Health Minister Mai Alkaila blames Israel for the “massacre” at Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says “barbaric terrorists” were responsible for the attack, not the Israeli military, Reuters reported.

The attack prompted President Joe Biden to cancel a stop in Jordan until more information develops. The White House claims that “Israel feels ‘very strongly’ they did not cause the explosion at the hospital in Gaza,” according to CNN.

“It is absolute horror show which is unfolding,” Canon Richard Sewell, the dean of Saint George’s College, told BBC. “I have no way of proving who did it, that will transpire in time. But we deal with the tragedy, we deal with the disaster and the recriminations will have to run their course.”

He added, “There is also no justification for this type of attack, accidental or deliberate.”

Israel-Palestine crisis intensifies with death toll rising

Noon, Oct. 17, 2023

Casualties rise on both sides in Israel-Palestine conflict

More than 1,400 Israelis have died since Hamas attacked on Saturday, Oct. 7, and more than 3,000 Palestinians have been killed, per The Wall Street Journal. At least 30 U.S. citizens have been confirmed to be killed in the attacks.

Hamas releases hostage video

The militant group released a video of a young Israeli woman, Mia Schem, in which she “pleads for Israel to secure her release,” The New York Times reported. In the video, her arm is bandaged, “and she looks scared but generally healthy.”

The video offered hope to the families of other hostages, hoping for proof that their family members could also be alive and safe, per the Times.

“I am begging the world to bring my baby back home, she only went to a festival party to have some fun and now she is in Gaza and she is not the only one,” her mother, Keren Scharf Schem, told CNN.

Gaza population left without power, water services and are being forced to evacuate

Gaza is home to around 2.3 million people, people who have been cut off from power, health and water services since Israel began raining relentless attacks on the region following the brutal surprise attacks Hamas performed on Oct. 7.

Aid has arrived to the region, but an Israeli air strike has made the road for delivery inoperable, according to Reuters.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians — nearly half the region’s population — are being forced to evacuate, with many trying to get into Egypt.

Others are refusing to leave, due to fears they wouldn’t be any safer outside the region or that they wouldn’t be allowed to return to their homes, per the Times.

U.S. involvement in Israel and Gaza

More than 4,000 U.S. sailors and Marines will be joining “a growing American fleet off the coast of Israel that will include two aircraft carriers and their associated escort ships,” The Washington Post reported.

President Joe Biden will visit Israel Wednesday and said he will be showing solidarity with Israel and discussing the country’s military strategy for defending its ally in the Middle East, per the Post. He also called for aid to be allowed to address the now-humanitarian disaster brewing in Gaza as Israel calls for total evacuations of the area.

Israel says people living in Northern Gaza should evacuate within 24 hours

11 a.m., Oct. 12, 2023

Israel releases warning

In a statement Thursday night, the Israeli government said all residents of northern Gaza should evacuate to southern Gaza for their own safety, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Israel Defense Forces released a statement that read: “Civilians of Gaza City, evacuate south for your own safety and the safety of your families and distance yourself from Hamas terrorists who are using you as human shields.”

Gazan officials told Palestinians not to comply with the order, according to The New York Times.

The United Nations said the evacuation order affects 1.1 million people living in northern Gaza, as well as U.N. staff and residents of U.N. shelters.

“The United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” a statement from the U.N. said, according to CNN.

Israel unifies government as Hamas war continues, death rolls rise

2:30 p.m., Oct. 11, 2023

Israel forms emergency government

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed an emergency government Wednesday, which included an additional two opposition lawmakers — both of whom are former army chiefs, to his cabinet.

According to The New York Times, the move bringing “the infusion of military expertise would give the government greater legitimacy to make tough wartime decisions.”

Israel reports the death toll has risen to 1,200 people, with around 150 people still being held hostage in Gaza, per the Times.

Rescue and humanitarian aid workers killed in Gaza

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees reported that 11 of its staffers have been killed since the attacks started Saturday — five teachers, one gynecologist, one engineer, one psychological counselor and three support staffers, The Washington Post reported.

The agency is seeking $104 million to address relief efforts and provide a humanitarian response to civilians affected by the war in Gaza, per CNN.

“What is unfolding is already an unprecedented humanitarian tragedy,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement, per CNN. “Whatever the circumstances are, rules apply in times of conflict and this one is no exception. Aid to civilians who have nowhere to flee must be immediate: water, food, medicine.”

At least 22 American citizens have been killed

U.S. officials confirm at least 22 American citizens have been killed in the conflict, with 17 still unaccounted for — some of which are assumed to be currently held hostage by Hamas, per the Post.

More than 1,800 people killed in Israel-Hamas conflict

4:30 p.m., Oct. 10, 2023

The current death toll has risen over 1,800 people — 1,000 killed and 2,700 injured in Israel, while 830 people were killed and 4,250 injured in Gaza, according to CNBC.

President Joe Biden also attributes more than 1,000 civilian deaths to Hamas fighters, The New York Times reported. He called the murders that included women, children and elders “pure unadulterated evil.”

At least 14 U.S. citizens killed in Israel, State Department confirms

The fighting has killed at least 14 American citizens. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will leave on an urgent mission to Israel to show U.S. “solidarity and support,” The Associated Press reported.

Biden also confirmed that Americans are among those taken hostage by Hamas.

Israeli who recently relocated to Utah killed in terror attack, rabbi confirms

Around 100-150 people are still being held hostage by Hamas

Hamas continues to hold between 100 and 150 people as hostages, and authorities are still working on how to address the hostage situation. Biden promised that he is prioritizing the Americans who were reportedly taken hostage.

“Because, as president, I have no higher priority than the safety of Americans being held hostage around the world,” Biden said, per CNN.

What is the Israeli Iron Dome? The defense system is what protects Israel
How world leaders are responding to a surprise attack on Israel by Hamas militants

Strikes in Gaza displace more than 140,000 Palestinians

Israel responded to the devastating attacks over the weekend with deadly bombing and strikes on the Gaza Strip. The attacks have displaced more than 140,000 Palestinians. The airstrikes have targeted residential neighborhoods and other areas known to house mostly civilians, according to AP.

State Department confirms at least 9 U.S. citizens have been killed in Israel

11 a.m., Oct. 9, 2023

At least nine U.S. citizens were confirmed to have been killed in Israel during the conflict between Israel and Hamas, a State Department spokesperson verified Monday.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and to the families of all those affected,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said, per The Washington Post.

There are still U.S. citizens who remain unaccounted for, and the State Department is still investigating “to determine their whereabouts,” according to Reuters.

U.S. officials are investigating reports that Americans are among the dead in Israel
How world leaders are responding to a surprise attack on Israel by Hamas militants

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in touch with our Israeli partners, particularly the local authorities,” Miller said in a statement, per CNN.

What happened in Israel?

At least 700 people have died since “the militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented incursion from air, land and sea on Saturday,” ABC News reported.

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Israel declared a state of war on Sunday and “launched retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza, a 140-square-mile territory where 2 million Palestinians have lived under a blockade imposed by neighboring Israel and Egypt since Hamas seized power in 2007,” per ABC News.

Miller affirmed what Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on “Meet the Press” that “there are really two paths for the region to take” — one is that of peace and negotiation and the other included conflict and terrorism, MSNBC reported.

President Joe Biden expressed support for the people of Israel Sunday.

“This morning, I spoke with @IsraeliPM to express my full support for the people of Israel in the face of an unprecedented and appalling assault by Hamas terrorists,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We will remain in close contact over the coming days. The U.S. will continue to stand with the people of Israel.”

U.S. officials are investigating reports that Americans are among the dead in Israel
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