Humanitarian aid provided by the UN being loaded onto a UAE Air Force plane at Dubai airport before leaving for Cairo on Thursday. AFP
President Joe Biden has visited Israel on an urgent mission to keep the Israel-Hamas war from spiraling into a broader regional conflict. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that limited humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza from Egypt following a request from Biden.
The president's visit came after hundreds of people were reported killed in an explosion at a Gaza Strip hospital. There were conflicting claims of who was responsible for the hospital blast. Officials in Gaza quickly blamed an Israeli airstrike. Israel denied it was involved and released a flurry of video, audio and other information that it said showed the blast was due to a missile misfire by Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian group operating in Gaza. The Islamic Jihad dismissed that claim.
The Associated Press has not independently verified any of the claims or evidence released by the parties.
An official oversees relief supplies being loaded onto a UAE Air Force military transport aircraft. AFP
The war that began Oct. 7 has become the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said on Wednesday that 3,478 Palestinians have been killed and more than 12,000 injured in the past 11 days.
More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, and at least 199 others, including children, were captured by Hamas and taken into Gaza, according to Israeli authorities.
Gaza is an impoverished territory whose population is overwhelmingly comprised of families who fled or were forced from properties in what is now Israel during the war surrounding Israel's establishment in 1948.
The Hostages and Missing Families Forum said in a statement that relatives were angry over the "absolute uncertainty regarding the fate of the hostages held (in Gaza), who were also subject to the heavy bombings".
"We are taking over Grand Central Station with THOUSANDS of people, including rabbis, elected officials, celebrities, elders and children, because this must stop. We're showing mass refusal in the face of genocidal violence against Palestinians," said the group Jewish Voice for Peace.
The Palestinian death toll passed 7,700, most of them women and children, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.
The uncrewed six-legged robot lander, dubbed Odysseus, touched down at about 6:23 p.m. EST (2323 GMT). The landing capped a nail-biting final approach and descent in which a problem surfaced with the spacecraft's autonomous navigation system.
The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has distributed 29,374 bread bundles benefiting 293,830 individuals. The move is part of a bakery project started by the charity.
Experts said the building was covered with a highly-flammable cladding which could account for the rapid spread of the inferno, which began around 5:30 pm (1630 GMT) on Thursday.