ISRAEL + HAMAS

Gaza awaits aid from Egypt, Israel readies for ground assault

Oct 19, 2023, 4:13 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2023, 5:38 pm

A plume of smoke rises following an artillery strike within Gaza on October 19, 2023, as seen from ...

A plume of smoke rises following an artillery strike within Gaza on October 19, 2023, as seen from Sderot, Israel. As Israel prepares to invade the Gaza Strip in its campaign to vanquish Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that launched a deadly attack in southern Israel on October 7th, worries are growing of a wider war with multiple fronts, including at the country's northern border with Lebanon. Countries have scrambled to evacuate their citizens from Israel, and Israel has begun relocating residents some communities on its northern border. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of residents of northern Gaza have fled to the southern part of the territory, following Israel's vow to launch a ground invasion. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

(Leon Neal/Getty Images)

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with airstrikes Thursday, including in the south where Palestinians were told to take refuge, and the country’s defense minister ordered ground troops to “be ready” to invade, though he didn’t say when.

Gaza’s overwhelmed hospitals tried to stretch out ebbing medical supplies and fuel for generators, as authorities worked out logistics for a delivery of aid from Egypt. Doctors in darkened wards across Gaza stitched wounds by the light of mobile phones and used vinegar to treat infected wounds.

Meanwhile, an unclassified U.S. intelligence assessment delivered to Congress estimated casualties in an explosion at a Gaza City hospital earlier this week on the “low end” of 100 to 300 deaths, The death toll “still reflects a staggering loss of life,” U.S. intelligence officials said in the findings, seen by The Associated Press. It said intelligence officials were still assessing the evidence and their casualty estimate may evolve.

President Joe Biden and other U.S. officials already have said that U.S. intelligence officials believed the explosion at al-Ahli hospital was not caused by an Israeli airstrike. Thursday’s findings echoed that.

The Israeli military has relentlessly attacked Gaza in retaliation for the devastating Oct. 7 Hamas rampage in southern Israel. Even after Israel told Palestinians to evacuate the north of Gaza and flee south, strikes extended across the territory, heightening fears among the territory’s 2.3 million people that nowhere was safe.

Palestinian militants fired rockets into Israel on Thursday from Gaza and Lebanon, and tensions flared in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

In a fiery speech to Israeli infantry soldiers on the Gaza border, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant urged the forces to “get organized, be ready” for an order to move in. Israel has massed tens of thousands of troops along the border.

“Whoever sees Gaza from afar now, will see it from the inside … I promise you,” he said. “It might take a week, a month, two months until we destroy them,” he added, referring to Hamas.

Israel’s consent for Egypt to let in food, water and medicine provided the first possible opening in its seal of the territory. Many of Gaza’s residents are down to one meal a day and drinking dirty water.

Egypt and Israel were still negotiating for the entry of fuel for hospitals. Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Hamas has stolen fuel from U.N. facilities and Israel wanted assurances this won’t happen. The first trucks of aid were expected to go in Friday, Egypt’s state-owned Al-Qahera news reported.

With the Egypt-Gaza border crossing in Rafah still closed, the already dire conditions at Gaza’s second-largest hospital deteriorated further, said Dr. Mohammed Qandeel of Nasser Hospital in the southern town of Khan Younis. Power was shut off in most of the hospital and staff members were using mobile phones for light.

At least 80 wounded civilians and 12 dead flooded into the hospital after witnesses said a strike hit a residential building in Khan Younis. Doctors had no choice but to leave two to die because there were no ventilators, Qandeel said.
“We can’t save more lives if this keeps happening,” he said.

The Gaza Health Ministry pleaded with gas stations to give fuel to hospital and a U.N. agency gave some of its last fuel supplies to the medical centers.

The agency’s donation to Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, the territory’s largest, would “keep us going for another few hours,” hospital director Mohammed Abu Selmia said.

Al-Ahli Hospital was still recovering from Tuesday’s explosion, which remains a point of dispute between Hamas and Israel. Hamas quickly said an Israeli airstrike hit the hospital. Israel denied it was involved. The AP has not independently verified any of the claims or evidence released by the parties.

The blast left body parts strewn on the hospital grounds, where crowds of Palestinians had clustered in hopes of escaping Israeli airstrikes. The U.S. assessment noted “only light structural damage,” with no impact crater visible.

The Gaza Health Ministry said 3,785 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, the majority women, children and older adults. Nearly 12,500 were injured, and another 1,300 people were believed buried under the rubble, health authorities said.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians slain during Hamas’ deadly incursion. Roughly 200 others were abducted. The Israeli military said Thursday it had notified the families of 203 captives.

More than 1 million Palestinians, roughly half of Gaza’s population, have fled their homes in the north of the territory since Israel told them to evacuate. Most have crowded into U.N.-run schools-turned-shelters or the homes of relatives.

For the first time since 1967 when Israel captured Gaza from Egypt, a major tent camp arose to house displaced people. Dozens of U.N.-provided tents and tarps lined a dirt lot in the southern city of Khan Younis. Families boiled water on gas stoves and charged phones on small generators. Volunteers passed around cans of tuna and bread.

The deal to get aid into Gaza through Rafah, the territory’s only connection to Egypt, remained fragile. Israel said the supplies could only go to civilians in southern Gaza and that it would “thwart” any diversions by Hamas. Biden said the deliveries “will end” if Hamas takes any aid.

More than 200 trucks and some 3,000 tons of aid were positioned at or near Rafah, according to Khalid Zayed, the head of the Red Crescent for North Sinai.

Under an arrangement reached between the United Nations, Israel and Egypt, U.N. observers will inspect the trucks carrying aid before entering Gaza. The U.N., working with the Egyptian and Palestinian Red Crescent, will ensure aid goes only to civilians, an Egyptian official and European diplomat told the AP. A U.N. flag will be raised on both sides of the crossing as a sign of protection against airstrikes, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.

It was not immediately clear how much cargo the crossing could handle. Waleed Abu Omar, spokesperson for the Palestinian side, said work has not started to repair the road damaged by Israeli airstrikes.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Al-Arabiya TV that foreigners and dual nationals would be allowed to leave Gaza once the crossing was opened.

Israel said it agreed to allow aid from Egypt because of a request by Biden — which followed days of intense talks with the U.S. secretary of state to overcome staunch Israeli refusal.

Four U.S. officials familiar with the discussions said American diplomats became increasingly alarmed by comments from their Israeli counterparts regarding their intention to deny water, food, medicine, electricity and fuel into Gaza, as well as the inevitability of civilian casualties. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity so they could discuss private conversations.

Members of the Israeli security and political establishment told the U.S. diplomats that the eradication of Hamas would require methods used in the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II. One official said he and others were told by Israeli counterparts that “a lot of innocent Germans died in WWII” and were reminded of Japanese civilian deaths from the U.S. atomic bombs. Israeli officials have publicly made similar comparisons.

Israel had previously said it would let nothing into Gaza until Hamas freed the hostages taken from Israel. Relatives of some of the captives were furious over the aid announcement.

“The Israeli government pampers the murderers and kidnappers,” the Hostage and Missing Families Forum said in a statement.

The Israeli military reported Thursday that it killed a top Palestinian militant in Rafah and hit hundreds of targets across Gaza, including militant tunnel shafts, intelligence infrastructure and command centers. Palestinians have launched barrages of rockets at Israel since the fighting began.

Violence was also escalating in the West Bank, where Israel carried out a rare airstrike Thursday, targeting militants in the Nur Shams refugee camp.

Israeli troops raided the camp the previous night and were still battling Palestinian fighters. Six Palestinians were killed, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, and the Israeli military said the strike killed militants and resulted in 10 Israeli officers being wounded. More than 74 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the war started.
___
Nessman reported from Jerusalem and Kullab from Baghdad. Associated Press journalists Amy Teibel and Isabel Debre in Jerusalem; Samy Magdy and Jack Jeffrey in Cairo; Matthew Lee and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington, and Ashraf Sweilam in el-Arish, Egypt, contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Israel + Hamas

Thirteen-year-old Ayham Musalm, center, is receiving treatment for a fractured leg and glass shrapn...

Aditi Sangal, CNN

Injured youth from Gaza find care in the US, face uncertain future

At least 1,000 children in Gaza have had one or both legs amputated, UNICEF reported in December. That number has since grown.

1 month ago

President Joe Biden speaks with CNN’s Erin Burnett during an exclusive interview Wednesday, May 8...

Jack Forrest, Andrew Millman and Avery Lotz, CNN

Biden faces bipartisan backlash over Israel ultimatum

Biden is facing backlash from lawmakers over his Israel ultimatum that would result in a shut-off of some US weapons.

1 month ago

President Joe Biden arrives at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend a political fundraise...

ZEKE MILLER and AAMER MADHANI, Associated Press

Biden says US won’t supply weapons for Israel to attack Rafah

Biden said the U.S. was still committed to Israel's defense, but that if Israel goes into Rafah, "we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used."

1 month ago

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike east of Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 6, 2024. (AP Phot...

ZEKE MILLER and AAMER MADHANI Associated Press

US pauses bomb shipment to Israel over Rafah invasion concern

The Biden administration paused a bomb shipmant to Israel over concerns that the country might launch full-scale assault on the city of Rafah.

1 month ago

The protests grew after an encampment on the campus of Columbia University in New York City led to ...

Alex Leeds Matthews, Krystina Shveda, Amy O'Kruk and Renée Rigdon, CNN

Map: Where university protesters have been arrested

As pro-Palestinian protests have erupted on college campuses nationwide, protesters continue to be arrested.

1 month ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Conference of Presidents of Major American ...

Michael Schwartz, Tim Lister and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

Israel closes Al Jazeera news network in the country

Israel has ordered the closure of Al Jazeera in the country, a move the Qatar-based news network called a “criminal act.”

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Gaza awaits aid from Egypt, Israel readies for ground assault