Latest Israel-Hamas war news and Gaza conflict updates

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved plans for military action in Rafah, his office said Friday. The report did not provide further details on the attack, which has been opposed by many world leaders and humanitarian organizations, who say it will be devastating for the more than 1.4 million Palestinians seeking refuge in the city.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters in Vienna on Friday that the Biden administration had not seen Israel's plan detailing how to protect civilians if the military moved into the densely populated city. President Biden warned earlier this month that the Israeli invasion of Rafah would cross a “red line,” though he said “I'm never going to leave Israel.”

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told a news conference the same day that the United States could not support an attack on Rafah that “does not include a credible, achievable, and enforceable plan to address security and safety.” Kazans there – and an operation without such a plan “would be a disaster.”

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Thursday that the Israeli army intended to direct a “significant” part of Rafah's population to “humanitarian islands” in central Gaza to be developed with the “international community”.

Israel also said on Friday it would send a delegation to Qatar to continue negotiations for the release of hostages held by Hamas in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. The move follows a recent ceasefire proposal by Hamas in Israel Accused Making “unrealistic demands”.

The Hamas proposal is “broadly within the scope of the deal we've been working on for months now,” Kirby said Friday.

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Here's what else to know

President Biden recently praised Speech Criticizing Netanyahu's government, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DNY.) and called for new elections for Israel. Biden described It was “a good speech” and “expressed a serious concern [Schumer] But by many Americans.” Israeli officials criticized Schumer's comments, with Israel's ambassador to the United States calling them “counterproductive to our common goals.”

A second aid ship prepares to leave Cyprus for Gaza with “hundreds more tons of food”. World Central Kitchen said Friday on social media. The first ship co-organized by an American non-profit organization – founded by celebrity chef José Andrés – arrived earlier in the day via a new sea route to boost aid to the region. On the brink of famine. One in three children under the age of 2 in northern Gaza are severely malnourished. A significant increase since January, according to UNICEF.

At least 20 people were killed and more than 150 injured as they waited for help in northern Gaza late Thursday. Palestinian officials in the enclave called it an Israeli attack. Witnesses interviewed by the Washington Post said they saw Israeli helicopters and drones firing indiscriminately at Palestinians. The Israeli military denied responsibility for the killings, and late Friday released redacted footage of what it said were “Palestinian gunmen firing among Gazan civilians.” Witnesses and the IDF could not independently confirm the accounts.

At least 31,490 people have been killed and 73,439 injured since the war in Gaza began. As stated therein Gaza Ministry of Health, which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants. Israel estimated that about 1,200 people were killed in the October 7 attack by Hamas 249 Soldiers have been killed since the start of its military operation in Gaza.

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