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Live updates: Gaza gripped by humanitarian crisis as Israel readies ground attack

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Live updates: Gaza gripped by humanitarian crisis as Israel readies ground attack

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Foreign national Palestinians can cross from Gaza to Egypt starting tomorrow, Palestinian Embassy says

Foreign national Palestinians will be able to cross the border into Egypt starting at 9 a.m. local time, at which time humanitarian aid will also begin crossing into Gaza, according to Kamel Khatib, a representative for the Embassy of Palestine.

Family member of American hostages says she ‘cannot relax’ until loved ones are home

A family member of Avava and Keith Siegel, who were kidnapped by Hamas militants, said she met with a group of U.S. senators on Sunday to discuss the situation.

“We all told them that we want our families back in Israel and now,” the family member, who asked not to be named due to fear of being targeted and harassed, told NBC News. “We really feel that we getting great support from from America. But until we don’t have them home with us, we cannot relax.”

She added that she was frustrated with with the Israeli government’s response to help families of the hostages.

“I need to support my country, I need to support my government because this is my country,” she said. “But at the moment we getting very little support.”

On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who was among the bipartisan coalition of senators meeting with families of hostages, announced that he would direct senators to work with the White House to create an aid package for Israel.

Israel says it reopened water supply to southern Gaza; people there say it’s not flowing

Israel Katz, then-foreign minister of Israel, in Athens, Greece.
Israel Katz, then-foreign minister of Israel, in Greece in 2019.Petros Giannakouris / AP file

Israel said it is reopening the water supply to southern parts of Gaza after shutting it off in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7.

Israeli Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Israel Katz said in a statement posted on X today that the decision to reopen the water supply to the south of the Gaza Strip was agreed upon between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden. He said it would help push civilians to move south and would make it possible to tighten Israel’s siege on Gaza.

The Palestinian Water Authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment and NBC News was not immediately able to confirm the water supply had been restarted.

Aid workers in Gaza told the Associated Press they had not yet seen evidence the water was back and a Gaza government spokesperson said it was not flowing, the news agency reported a few hours ago.

In south Gaza, Maha Elbanna, 48, said more than 40 people are crammed into one house teeth running water. They are unable to flush the toilets, shower or brush their teeth.

The U.S. citizen, who lived in New Jersey for 12 years, has been back living in Gaza for 15 years working at an aid organization. She said the the group has bought water and are eating pita bread and spreadable cheese as they await news about when they can cross the Rafah border.

Arabic-English translator Jason Shawa, who fled his Gaza City home with his wife and two daughters last week, said his family is “almost out of water.”

We had a water crisis drinking water crisis today,” Shawa said, adding that they have enough to survive them only a few days.

His family is staying in a shelter in the center of the Gaza Strip with about 45 to 50 other people. They fled northern Gaza after Israel’s military directed civilians to evacuate on Friday.

“We are really concerned. We have no idea what the future holds,” he said. “By future I mean the next 24 hours in the 24 hours after that, nothing is clear.” 

U.N. official: Relief agency can’t handle scale of humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Internally displaced children at a United Nations-run school in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on Oct. 15, 2023.
Internally displaced children at a U.N.-run school in Khan Yunis today.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is no longer able to provide humanitarian assistance in Gaza as it continues to be out of water and electricity, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said today.

“An unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding under our eyes,” Lazzarini said during a press conference, adding that the agency receives “more and more desperate calls for help from people across” the Gaza Strip every hour.

The UNRWA has run out of capacity to receive the “absolutely overwhelming” number of people seeking shelter in its facilities.

Most of the 13,000 staff members of the relief agency in Gaza are now displaced from their homes, Lazzarini said, and 14 of its members have been killed.

Dutch military says it is sending a team to Lebanon amid tension

A Dutch defense team is being sent to Lebanon to provide support to its embassy in Beirut. The move has been made as a precaution due to the escalating conflict between southern Lebanon and northern Israel, according to the Dutch Ministry of Defense.

The team left this morning from Eindhoven aboard a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, the ministry said in a news release.

Loud booms ring out over Ashdod after red alert

ASHDOD — Loud booms could be heard ringing out over Ashdod just now after a red-alert warning of a possible air attack was sent out.

The red alert was for a location roughly five minutes away. At least two booms were heard shortly after.

U.N. peacekeeping base in Lebanon hit by rocket

A United Nations peacekeeping base in Lebanon was hit by a rocket today, the organization said.

“Our headquarters in Naqoura was hit with a rocket and we are working to verify from where,” the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon wrote on X. “Our peacekeepers were not in shelters at the time. Fortunately, no one was hurt.”

UNIFIL said it is engaging with “authorities on both sides of the Blue Line to de-escalate the situation, but regrettably despite our efforts military escalation continues.”

They called for a cease-fire, writing, “No one wants to see more people hurt or killed.”

Netanyahu meets with families of those taken hostage

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with families of hostages held by Hamas.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with families of hostages held by Hamas today.Kobi Gideon / Government Press Office

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met today with families of those believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas, just over a week after the Oct. 7 attack, his office said, sharing video of the meeting.

Netanyahu could be seen gathered around a table with a number of families, who sat with photos of their missing loved ones in front of them. In photos and video, the Israeli prime minister could be seen hugging and speaking individually with a number of people. The audio appeared to be omitted from the video.

It was not clear exactly how many families the Israeli prime minister met with. The meeting came after some relatives of those taken hostage expressed frustration with a lack of communication from Israeli government officials.

IDF says it has been in contact with the families of 155 hostages

The IDF has been in contact with the families of 155 hostages, according to spokesperson Daniel Hagari.

More than 200 wanted members of Hamas have been arrested in the West Bank, he said.

“We are making tremendous effort regarding the abductees issue,” he said. “It is a top priority for us.”

Graham issues warning to Iran

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at the Capitol on Sept. 27, 2023.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at the Capitol on Sept. 27.Mariam Zuhaib / AP file

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., warned Iran against escalating the ongoing Israel-Hamas war that has killed thousands of Israelis and Palestinians.

“Here’s my message: if Hezbollah, which is a proxy of Iran, launches a massive attack on Israel, I would consider that a threat to the State of Israel, existential in nature,” Graham said in an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Graham said he will introduce a resolution in the Senate to “allow military action by the United States in conjunction with Israel to knock Iran out of the oil business.”

“Iran, if you escalate this war, we’re coming for you,” he said.

The South Carolina Republican also announced a trip with a bipartisan group of senators to Saudi Arabia and Israel in the coming days.

Read the full story here.

Biden says he reiterated ‘unwavering’ support for Israel in conversation with Netanyahu

President Joe Biden reiterated the “unwavering U.S. support for Israel” and provided “an update on our military support and efforts to protect civilians” in a recent conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“It’s time all countries unequivocally condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization that does not represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people,” Biden wrote in a post on X.

Biden spoke with Palestinian Authority president

President Joe Biden said he spoke on the phone with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas today.

In a post on X, Biden said that in the call he condemned Hamas’ attack on Israel and “reiterate[d] that Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination.”

“I assured him that we’re working with partners in the region to ensure humanitarian supplies reach civilians in Gaza and to prevent the conflict from widening,” Biden wrote.



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