The Israeli government is under intense public pressure to topple Hamas after its militants stormed through a border fence Saturday and killed hundreds of Israelis in their homes, on the streets and at an outdoor music festival.
In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, residents are facing ever-growing uncertainty after the territory’s only power plant ran out of fuel and shut down Wednesday. Without power, communication is limited and information is scarce.
Egypt has engaged in intensive talks with Israel and the United States to allow the delivery of aid and fuel through its Rafah crossing point, which remained closed on both sides Thursday. However, Egypt pushed back against proposals to establish corridors out of Gaza, saying an an exodus of Palestinians from the enclave would have grave consequences on the Palestinian cause.
The war, which has claimed more than 2,500 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate.
Here’s what’s happening on Day 6 of the latest Israel-Palestinian war:
Israeli military says bodies of 222 soldiers have been identified
JERUSALEM — Every Israeli soldier killed by Hamas militants so far in the latest Israel-Palestinian war has been identified, the Israeli military confirmed Thursday.
A total of 222 Israeli soldiers have died and their families have all been notified, a spokesperson for the military said.
Iraqi prime minister says government is working with Egypt to send aid to Gaza
BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said in a statement that he has ordered the dispatch of humanitarian aid to the Gaza enclave, currently under siege by Israeli forces.
He said coordination with Egyptian authorities is underway to ensure the safe and prompt delivery of the aid, including medical supplies, to Gaza.
Palestinians say Israeli planes dropped flyers warning them to evacuate
JERUSALEM — Palestinian residents of the city of Beit Lahiya in the northern region of the Gaza Strip said Thursday that Israeli planes dropped flyers warning them to evacuate their homes and to head to “known shelters.”
“Anyone who is near Hamas terrorists will put their lives in danger,” the flyers said. “Adhering to IDF instructions will prevent you from being exposed to danger.”
The area had already been heavily struck by the time the flyers were dropped. Shelters in the Gaza Strip are not safe from airstrikes — the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees has seen 10 of its shelters struck since the start of the operation.
Palestinians living the pummeled Strip have said that the military often has not alerted them before striking homes, or will alert them but not with enough time to evacuate before their homes are struck. Israeli defense officials have said that they attempt to provide warning before strikes.
U.S. death toll in Israel rises to at least 25
TEL AVIV — The number of U.S. citizens who have died in the Israel-Palestinian war has risen to at least 25, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday during a visit Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
That’s an increase from 22 on Wednesday. The State Department previously said at least 17 more Americans remain unaccounted for.
Netanyahu praises Blinken’s visit to Israel
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed journalists on Thursday in Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu praised Blinken’s visit as a “tangible example of America’s unequivocable support of Israel.”
“President Biden was absolutely correct in calling this ‘sheer evil,’” Netanyahu said, referring to Hamas’ unprecedented attack Saturday on Israel.
They shook hands after Netanyahu’s remarks.
Blinken said that he came before journalists “not just as secretary of state, but also a Jew” while recounting his own family’s history of surviving the Holocaust.
“So prime minister, I understand on a personal level, the harrowing echoes that Hamas’ massacres carry for Israeli Jews, as well as Jews everywhere,” Blinken said.
Israeli airstrikes have blocked the operation of the Rafah cross, Egypt says
CAIRO — Egypt’s Foreign Ministry denied Thursday it had officially closed the Rafah crossing and said Israeli airstrikes have prevented it from operating.
In the statement, the ministry called on all countries and international organizations wishing to provide humanitarian aid to deliver supplies to el-Arish International Airport, in Egypt’s northern Sinai. Hamas’ border authorities said Tuesday that an Israel airstrike hit the no-man’s land between Gaza and Egypt, blocking the road with a large crater.
International Committee of the Red Cross says it’s in touch with Hamas, Israeli authorities about Israeli hostages
The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday said it was in touch with Hamas and Israeli authorities as part of efforts to secure the release of Israeli hostages who are believed to be held in the Gaza Strip.
“As a neutral intermediary we stand ready to conduct humanitarian visits, facilitate communication between hostages and family members and to facilitate any eventual release,” said Fabrizio Carboni, the group’s Middle East regional director.
The Mideast emirate of Qatar, a frequent mediator between Israel and Hamas, has also confirmed its involvement in the negotiations.
Carboni appealed to Israel to allow badly needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza as Palestinians face staggering supply shortages following Israel’s decision to impose a siege on the crowded territory.