Live updates: What’s happening on Day 14 of the Israel-Hamas war

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Aid deliveries have begun moving into the besieged Gaza Strip, two weeks after the militant group Hamas rampaged through southern Israel and Israel responded with airstrikes.

Israel says Hamas has freed two American hostages who had been held in Gaza since the war began Oct. 7. Israeli airstrikes continued to hit southern Gaza, an area swollen by civilians who fled there from the north on Israeli instructions.

The war, which is in its 15th day on Saturday, is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said Saturday that the death toll has reached 4,385, while 13,561 people have been wounded.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly in the initial attack on Oct. 7 when Hamas militants stormed into Israel. In addition, 203 people were believed captured by Hamas during the incursion and taken into Gaza, the Israeli military has said.

Currently:

  1. Egypt is hosting dozens of regional leaders and senior Western officials for a summit on the war.
  2. Israel says Hamas has released two U.S. hostages who had been held in Gaza for two weeks.
  3. A tent camp for displaced Palestinians in southern Gaza reawakens old traumas
  4. Company bosses and workers grapple with fallout from speaking up about the Israel-Hamas war

Here’s what’s happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war:

Fighting intensifies along Israel’s border with Lebanon

BEIRUT — Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters exchanged fire Saturday in several areas along the Lebanon-Israel border as violence escalates over the Israel-Hamas war.

Tension has been picking up along the border over the past two weeks following the Oct. 7, attack by the Palestinian militant Hamas group on southern Israel that killed over 1,400 civilians and troops. Israel’s strikes on Gaza since then have killed over 4,000 Palestinians.

An Associated Press journalist in south Lebanon heard loud explosions along the border close to the Mediterranean coast.

The state-run National News Agency reported that Israeli shelling hit several villages, adding that a car was directly hit in the village of Houla. There was no immediate word on casualties.

An Israeli army spokesman said a group of gunmen fired a shell into Israel adding that an Israeli drone then targeted them. He added that another group of gunmen fired toward the Israeli town of Margaliot and a drone attacked them shortly afterward.

“Direct hits were scored in both strikes,” Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Blinken

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has welcomed the first delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip since the start of the war, but stressed that much more is needed.

“With this convoy, the international community is beginning to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that has left residents of Gaza without access to sufficient food, water, medical care, and safe shelter,” he said in a statement.

“We urge all parties to keep the Rafah crossing open to enable the continued movement of aid that is imperative to the welfare of the people of Gaza” he adding, stressing that Hamas must not steal the aid or prevent it getting to civilians who need it.

Blinken said the U.S, was still working with Israel and Egypt to arrange for dual U.S. citizens to be able to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing. Many Palestinians with foreign passports are gathered at the crossing, but have not yet been allowed to cross.

UNICEF says initial aid convoy will save lives but is inadequate

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — A two-truck U.N. convoy that entered Gaza from Egypt is carrying over 44,000 bottles of drinking water from the U.N. children’s agency — a day’s supply for 22,000 people, according to UNICEF.

“This first, limited water will save lives, but the needs are immediate and immense,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said.

The agency said it has supplies for up to 250,000 people at the Rafah crossing that can be brought into Gaza in a matter of hours.

Turkish minister warns of injustice toward Palestinians

CAIRO — Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said Saturday that international support for Israel has created a growing injustice against the Palestinian people.

“Israel exploits the solidarity of some countries as an open check for unleashing blind rage on Palestinians, a rage that even targets mosques and hospitals,” he told a summit in Cairo.

“Unconditional military aid to Israel or coercing regional countries to unrealistic and unsustainable plans serves nothing but deepening occupation, because these policies omit, neglect and ignore a vital part of the equation: the Palestinians.”

He added: “By dehumanizing Palestinian lives, Israel aims to normalize Palestinian suffering. We say: never. Never for Palestinians, never for anybody else.”

Iraqi prime minister warns of effect on oil if conflict spreads

CAIRO — Iraq’s prime minister warned Saturday that if the war between Israel and Hamas spreads to other countries in the region it will affect the flow of oil to international markets.

Mohammed Shia al-Sudani was apparently referring to Iran-backed militias that have started launching attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria and have warned they will step in if Hamas is threatened.

Al-Sudani told an international summit held in Egypt that Baghdad rejects the emptying of the Gaza Strip because “the Palestinians have no other place but their land.”

He called for an immediate cease-fire and an exchange of prisoners to end the current conflict.

Al-Sudani said that the situation would not have reached this point had U.N. Security Council resolutions been respected, an apparent reference to Israel’s settlement policies in the West Bank.

Al-Sudani warned that the current conflict “will impact global security, escalate regional conflict, jeopardize energy supplies, exacerbate economic crises, and invite further conflicts.”

UN chief: Hamas attack doesn’t justify Israel’s ‘collective punishment’ of Palestinians

CAIRO — The United Nations’ chief says Hamas’ “reprehensible assault” on Israel “can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Secretary-General António Guterres called for protection of civilians and the sparing of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, and U.N. premises, from the bombardment.

Speaking at a summit Egypt is hosting on the Israel-Gaza war, Guterres pointed to the “the wider context” of war, saying that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “the only realistic foundation for a true peace and stability.”

“Israelis must see their legitimate needs for security materialized, and Palestinians must see their legitimate aspirations for an independent state realized,” he said.

He said the U.N. is working around the clock with all parties to ensure a sustainable delivery of aid to Gaza, following the crossing of a first 20-truck convoy on Saturday.

“But the people of Gaza need a commitment for much, much more — a continuous delivery of aid to Gaza at the scale that is needed,” he said.

Egyptian president says forcing Palestinians into Egypt isn’t the answer

CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has reiterated his government’s rejection of forcing Palestinians in Gaza to flee into his country’s Sinai Peninsula.

He said that the Palestinian cause won’t be settled through forcing the Palestinians to leave their homes, and “end the statehood dream.”

“The whole Egyptian people won’t accept the liquidation of the Palestinian cause … and will never happen on the expanse of Egypt,” el-Sissi said.

Speaking at a summit his government is hosting on the war Saturday, the Egyptian leader set out a roadmap to end the ongoing war which included ensuring the flow of aid to Gaza, negotiating a cease-fire, and embarking on peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians to establish a Palestinian state based on the borders before the 1967 Mideast war.

“We are facing an unprecedented crisis that requires full attention to avert expanding the conflict,” he said.

UN food agency head says more aid and funding needed now

CAIRO — The United Nations’ food chief has called for more aid to flow into Gaza, saying a catastrophic humanitarian situation is unfolding in the besieged territory.

“People are going to starve unless they get humanitarian assistance now,” Cindy McCain, executive director of the World Food Program, told The Associated Press in Cairo.

She said that the 20-truck convoy that was allowed into the war-wrecked enclave early Saturday was not sufficient.

“We need many, many, many more trucks and a continual flow of aid,” she said, adding that the World Food Program has 1,000 metric tons of assistance in Egypt’s Sinai ready to be sent to Gaza.

She said humanitarian agencies urgently need $75 million to address the growing needs of more than 2.3 million Palestinians, about half of whom have been displaced since the war began on Oct. 7. The figure could reach $100 million by the end of this year as the crisis unfolds, she said.

She appealed for world leaders to put pressure on the warring sides to get aid into Gaza and avoid a “humanitarian catastrophe waiting to really spread around the region.”

WFP said that it has another 930 metric tons of emergency food items at or near the Rafah border, “ready to be brought into Gaza whenever access is allowed again.” The agency said the stocks are needed to replenish WFP’s “rapidly diminishing supplies inside Gaza.”

Israel tells citizens not to travel to Egypt or Jordan

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government has increased its travel alert for Egypt and Jordan, telling its citizens not to travel there and that those already there should leave immediately.

“Hostility and violence have been displayed against Jewish and Israeli symbols. The rhetoric of global jihad has become more extreme, which is calling to harm Israelis and Jews around the world,” the country’s National Security Council said in a statement.

It also increased its warning for Morocco, telling Israelis to avoid all nonessential travel to the North African country. That advice has already been issued for a slew of other Muslim countries in the region.

Israel has also issued a more general warning against travel to Muslim nations further afield.

The first aid trucks cross into Gaza from Egypt

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — The border crossing between Egypt and Gaza opened Saturday to let desperately needed aid flow to Palestinians running short of food, medicine and water in the territory that is under an Israeli siege.

More than 200 trucks carrying roughly 3,000 tons of aid had been positioned near the crossing for days waiting to head into Gaza. An Associated Press reporter saw the trucks entering.

Israel blockaded the territory and launched waves of punishing airstrikes following the Oct. 7 rampage by Hamas militants on towns in southern Israel.

Many in Gaza, reduced to eating one meal a day and without enough water to drink, are waiting desperately for the aid. Hospital workers were also desperate for medical supplies and fuel for their generators as they treat huge numbers of people wounded in the bombings.

Hundreds of foreign passport holders also waited to cross from Gaza to Egypt to escape the conflict.

Egypt hosts summit with regional leaders, Western officials

CAIRO — Egypt is hosting dozens of regional leaders and senior Western officials for a summit on the war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza.

The meeting on Saturday in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, just east of Cairo, will discuss ways to de-escalate the fighting and seek a cease-fire amid mounting concerns about a regional conflict, Egypt’s state-run media reported. Among those attending the summit are the leaders of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the Palestinian Authority.

Also attending are the prime ministers of Italy, Spain, Greece and Canada and the president of the European Council, according to the state-run Al-Ahram daily newspaper. Foreign ministers from Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan are also attending, the paper reported.

Pakistan leader speaks with Palestinian president

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by phone to discuss the “latest situation resulting from the ongoing brutalities of Israeli occupation forces against innocent Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank,” a Pakistani government statement said Saturday.

Kakar expressed Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the Israeli strikes on Gaza, the statement added. Kakar described the Israeli strikes on Gaza “as deplorable and willful acts of Israeli aggression against innocent Palestinians.” Both leaders emphasized the need for the international community “to urge Israel to immediately halt the bloodshed,” it added.

The two sides agreed on the necessity of lifting the blockade on Gaza to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and medical assistance to affected people. Pakistan dispatched its first batch of assistance to Palestinian people on a plane that landed in Egypt on Friday.

Biden thinks Hamas attack linked to efforts on Israel-Saudi relations

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said he thinks Hamas’ initial attack on Israel was tied in part to efforts to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, an initiative that Biden was trying to bring to fruition.

“They knew that I was about to sit down with the Saudis,” the U.S. president said Friday, speaking at a fundraiser.

Iran-backed militias in Iraq warn U.S. forces to leave or face more attacks

BAGHDAD — A group of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq said U.S. forces “must leave immediately” or their bases in Iraq and elsewhere in the region will continue to come under attack.

Militant groups have launched rocket and drone attacks in recent days against U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria, most of which were claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. The group has said the attacks are retaliation for Washington’s support of Israel and a warning not to intervene in the Israel-Hamas war.

“These are only warning messages to them, and serious work has not yet begun,” the militias said in a statement.

The statement concluded by saying that if Israel launches a ground invasion into Gaza, “watch the border with Jordan carefully.” It did not elaborate.

Egypt official says aid trucks entered Rafah crossing but haven’t passed into Gaza strip

CAIRO — An Egypt official said two aid-packed trucks entered the Egyptian side of the border crossing early Saturday, but that they have not passed through into the Gaza Strip.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not briefed to speak with the media.

Israel announced Wednesday that aid would be allowed into Gaza from Egypt, via the Rafah crossing, but the border into the besieged territory has remained closed. Egypt says the crossing has been damaged by Israeli air strikes.

Associated Press reporter Ashraf Sweilam in el-Arish, Egypt, contributed.

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