Ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war will never bring peace, says Biden

Joe Biden said Hamas's 'ideology of destruction' means a ceasefire will not bring peace to Israel and Palestine
Joe Biden said Hamas's 'ideology of destruction' means a ceasefire will not bring peace to Israel and Palestine - David Paul Morris

A ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas will not bring peace, Joe Biden has said.

The US president said Hamas would merely exploit it to “rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters and restart the killing by attacking innocents again”.

“As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a ceasefire is not peace,” he wrote in an opinion article in the Washington Post.

Mr Biden said Hamas hid “among Palestinian civilians”, used “children and innocents as human shields” and positioned “terrorist tunnels beneath hospitals, schools, mosques and residential buildings”.

“If Hamas cared at all for Palestinian lives, it would release all the hostages, give up arms, and surrender the leaders and those responsible for October 7,” he said.

He proposed that a “revitalised” Palestinian Authority should govern Gaza and the West Bank after the war as one unit until a two-state solution can be definitively agreed.

10:02 PM GMT

That’s it for today

The live blog is now closed. Thank you for following The Telegraph’s coverage of the war in Gaza. Check back again tomorrow for all the latest developments.

10:01 PM GMT

Today's headlines

  • An overnight air strike killed 26 in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza

  • Israel killed five fighters from the armed wing of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s party

  • A UN-run school in a Gaza refugee camp was hit by an airstrike, with hundreds killed and injured

  • Scholz condemned Israeli West Bank settlements and urged Israel to ease Gaza’s humanitarian crisis

  • Biden’s main Middle East advisor said aid would only come to Gaza when Hamas releases hostages

  • The IDF denied forcibly evacuating the Al Shifa hospital

  • Netanyahu finally agreed to meet the families of hostages taken by Hamas

  • Biden said a ceasefire would never bring peace to Israel and Palestine because Hamas would not obey it

  • Netanyahu hit back at Biden’s proposal for the Palestinian Authority to rule Gaza after the war

  • Hamas’s spokesperson said it does not know where some of the October 7 hostages are

09:48 PM GMT

Israel 'almost launched pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah'

Israel almost launched a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in the early days of its war against Hamas, it has been reported.

The Washington Post published claims that Israel “came close” to the attack because it feared its “disorientation” would be exploited by Iran and its proxies, of which Hezbollah is one.

David Ignatius, the article’s author, did not cite any specific sources but said he met defence minister Yoav Gallant and “nearly a dozen” IDF commanders in a recent visit to Israel.

There have been regular cross-border skirmishes and strikes between Israel and Hezbollah ever since the war began.

09:34 PM GMT

Hamas: We don't know where some hostages are

Hamas does not know where some of the 240 hostages it seized in its October 7 terror attack are.

The terror group’s spokesperson said it has lost contact with some of the groups who are holding the hostages captive, Al Jazeera and The New Arab reported.

“The fate of the captives and those holding them is still unknown after we lost communication with them,” spokesperson Abu Obeida is quoted as saying.

He did not identify the number and names of the hostages whose whereabouts are unknown.

08:51 PM GMT

Netanyahu hits back at Biden's post-war plans

Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed the Palestinian Authority as “not fit” to govern after Joe Biden said it should rule Gaza after the war is over.

The US president wrote in the Washington Post that the authority should govern Gaza and the West Bank as one unit until a permanent two-state solution can be agreed.

But the Israeli prime minister hit back at the suggestion in a Saturday night press conference, saying the authority’s president Mahmoud Abbas has refused to condemn the October 7 massacre and a number of his ministers “are celebrating what happened.”

“It is impossible to put in Gaza a civil government that supports terrorism, encourages terrorism, finances terrorism and educates for terrorism,” Mr Netanyahu said.

08:31 PM GMT

Israel to publish new Al Shifa evidence 'soon'

Israel will publish new evidence of Hamas’s presence in the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City “soon”, spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari has said.

“Even at this hour, special forces are operating at the shaft we uncovered at Shifa, and we will publish material soon,” he said.

He added that Israeli soldiers are searching other hospitals in northern Gaza.

08:13 PM GMT

Hamas leader is ‘dead man walking’, hints Israel

The Qatar-based leader of Hamas is a dead man walking, Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant have hinted.

Speaking at a televised press conference, the Israeli prime minister and defence minister said all members of Hamas are “dead men walking” whether they are in Gaza or elsewhere.

“There is no difference between a terrorist with a Kalashnikov and a terrorist in a three-piece suit,” added Mr Gallant in an apparent reference to Ismail Haniyeh, who is believed to live in Qatar.

07:57 PM GMT

Israel must ease Gaza humanitarian crisis, Scholz tells Netanyahu

Israel must urgently ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has told Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Scholz’s office said he “underscored the urgent need to improve the humanitarian situation for residents in the Gaza Strip” in a call with the Israeli prime minister on Saturday afternoon.

“Humanitarian ceasefires could contribute to a significant improvement in care for the population,” the statement added.

Israel has refused to heed growing international calls for a ceasefire until Hamas frees all the hostages it abducted in the October 7 terror attack.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have killed more than 12,000 people in the territory since the war began.

More than two-thirds of Gaza’s hospitals are no longer functioning and food, water and fuel are all in short supply.

07:44 PM GMT

We are marching with you, Netanyahu tells hostage families

Benjamin Netanyahu has told the families of Hamas’s Israeli hostages that “we are marching with you” after they protested outside his office.

“We are marching with you, I am marching with you, all of the people of Israel are marching with you,” he said in a televised press conference, adding “as of now there is no deal” to bring the hostages home.

Saturday afternoon’s rally – attended by thousands of Israelis – marked the end of a five-day walk to Jerusalem by the families and their supporters, who have called for Israel to do more to free the hostages.

Mr Netanyahu has been criticised for not meeting any of the families but appears set to do so this week.

He told the press conference he has invited the families to meet Israel’s war cabinet this week.

07:31 PM GMT

Pictured: IDF operations in southern Gaza City

Israeli soldiers operate in the south of Gaza City
Israeli soldiers operate in the south of Gaza City - Ashraf Amra
An IDF armoured vehicle rolls past Palestinians fleeing Gaza City on foot
An IDF armoured vehicle rolls past Palestinians fleeing Gaza City on foot - Belal Al Sabbagh

07:18 PM GMT

Hostage negotiations stall but military pressure pushing Hamas towards deal

Hostage negotiations with Hamas have stalled but military pressure is pushing the terror group towards a deal, an Israeli official has said.

All Israeli television channels reported the anonymous remarks, suggesting a coordinated government leak.

The reports also indicate that Israel will not compromise on its red line that all children being held by Hamas are released alongside their mothers.

07:05 PM GMT

Netanyahu finally agrees to meet hostage families

Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have finally agreed to meet the families of hostages being held by Hamas.

The families have been dismayed by the Israeli prime minister’s reluctance to meet them for weeks.

But it now seems that Mr Netanyahu will meet them alongside defence minister Yoav Gallant on Monday, according to a report by The Times of Israel.

A five-day march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in support of the hostages finished today outside the prime minister’s office.

The families have now been without their loved ones for more than six weeks.

06:44 PM GMT

IDF denies forcing patients to evacuate from Al Shifa hospital

Israel has denied that it forcibly evacuated doctors, patients and displaced people from Al Shifa hospital on Saturday morning.

According to doctors inside the biggest hospital in Gaza, the Israeli military gave everyone inside the hospital grounds a one-hour evacuation order.

Doctors said they were forced to leave their most sick and wounded patients behind “at gunpoint”.

Videos from inside the hospital showed chaos as people streamed towards the exits and doctors trying to move the wounded.

Israel vehemently denied the claims, saying that it had just expanded evacuation efforts for the displaced at the request of the hospital director and was offering safe passage to the south.

The head of the Al Shifa hospital said that 120 patients and five doctors remained inside the complex, which had been housing thousands of displaced people. Conditions inside the hospital for those who remained were “very difficult,” with water and electricity cut off, he said.

Thousands of people left Al Shifa holding white flags to head toward the south of Gaza, the place where Israel has indicated it may soon move its ground operations.

06:29 PM GMT

Hard-Right Israeli minister proposes mandatory death sentence for terrorists

Itamar Ben Gvir, the hard-Right Israeli security minister, has proposed introducing a mandatory death sentence for all terrorists.

Mr Ben Gvir said he would brill the bill to the Knesset’s national security committee for initial approvalon Monday.

“I expect all members of Knesset to support this important bill,” he writes.

Only two people have received the death penalty in Israel’s history: Meir Tobianski, a posthumously-exonerated IDF officer wrongly accused of espionage, in 1948 and Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann in 1962.

06:08 PM GMT

IDF investigating Jabaliya school blast

The IDF is investigating the blast at a UN-run school in the Jabaliya refugee camp earlier today after being accused of killing more than 50 civilians there.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesperson, told the BBC: “I can’t confirm this incident is IDF, but we are seeing the images like you on social media. We are looking into it.”

He added in remarks to Times Radio: “We’re looking into it, we’ve seen the reports. I’d be vary cautious in accepting anything that Hamas determines is a fact so we are looking into it.

“I can’t confirm that this is an Israeli strike at this time. As soon as we have something we can say about this incident, we will say it. Of course, the images are terrifying.”

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry has claimed the IDF launched a dawn strike on the Al Fakhoura school, which is being used as a shelter for displaced civilians.

The AFP news agency has verified social media videos showing bodies covered in blood and dust on the floor of a building in Jabaliya where mattresses had been wedged under school tables.

Jabaliya is the largest refugee camp in Gaza.

05:54 PM GMT

In pictures: Hostage marchers reach Netanyahu's office

Israelis marching in support of the 240 hostages being held by Hamas reached Benjamin Netanyahu's office today
Israelis marching in support of the 240 hostages being held by Hamas reached Benjamin Netanyahu's office today - Christopher Furlong
They walked for five days from Tel Aviv to urge the government to do all it can to free the hostages
They walked for five days from Tel Aviv to urge the government to do all it can to free the hostages - Christopher Furlong

05:41 PM GMT

Gaza will get aid and pause when Hamas frees hostages, says Biden advisor

Gaza will receive a “massive surge in humanitarian relief” and there will be a “significant pause” in the war when Hamas frees its Israeli hostages, Joe Biden’s main Middle East advisor has said.

Brett McGurk told a security conference in Bahrain that releasing a large number of hostages would bring “a significant pause... and a massive surge of humanitarian relief”.

“The surge in humanitarian relief, the surge in fuel, the pause... will come when hostages are released,” he said.

Mr McGurk added that the situation in Gaza is “horrific” and “intolerable”.

05:25 PM GMT

Israelis protest against war in Tel Aviv

A group of Israelis has gathered in Tel Aviv to protest against the war in Gaza and call for a ceasefire.

Hundreds attended the rally, which was organised by the predominantly Arab Left-wing Hadash party.

Slogans on placards included “in Gaza and Sderot, children want to live”, “an eye for an eye and everyone is blind” and “no to occupation and siege, yes to peace”.

Permission for the protest was granted by the police on Thursday after several similar ones were banned in recent weeks.

05:12 PM GMT

Israel announces deaths of six more soldiers in Gaza

Israel has announced the deaths of six more IDF soldiers in Gaza, bringing its current death toll to 57. They are:

  • Major Jamal Abbas, 23, a company commander in the Paratroopers Brigade’s 101st Battalion from Peki’in

  • Captain Eden Provisor, 21, a platoon commander in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion from Alfei Menashe

  • Master Sergeant (reservist) David (Dudi) Digmi, 43, a paramedic in the Gaza Division from Rishon Lezion

  • Staff Sergeant Shlomo Gurtovnik, 21, a combat medic in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 46th Battalion from Modiin

  • Staff Sergeant Adi Malik Harb, 19, of the Nahal Infantry Brigade’s reconnaissance unit from Beit Jann

  • Staff Sergeant Shachar Fridman, 21, of the Paratroopers Brigade’s 101st Battalion from Jerusalem

04:58 PM GMT

UNICEF follows UNRWA in backing claims of school deaths in Gaza

Children’s charity UNICEF has joined the UN’s aid agency in Palestine in backing claims by Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry that Israeli strikes killed “many children and women” at two schools today.

“We’re seeing horrifying images of children and civilians killed in Gaza – yet again – as they shelter in a school which must always be protected,” executive director Catherine Russell said.

“The carnage must end. The suffering must end. This nightmare for children must end now.”

Adele Khodr, the charity’s director in Africa and the Middle East, added: “The scenes of carnage and death following attacks on Al Fakhoura and Tal Al Zaatar schools in Gaza, killing many children and women, are horrific and appalling.

“These horrible attacks should cease immediately. Children, schools and shelters are not a target. Immediate ceasefire needed now.”

The IDF is yet to comment.

04:38 PM GMT

Israel set for 'dustbin of history' says Iran as thousands march for Palestine

Israel is bound for the “dustbin of history”, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has said as thousands joined a state-sponsored march for Palestine in Tehran.

“Palestine stands on the path of a war of attrition...Israel will face a definitive defeat and end up in the dustbin of history,” Hossein Salami told the rally.

“The battle is not over, the Islamic world will do whatever it has to do. There are still great capacities left.”

The march in Iran’s capital city was shown live on state television and some protestors were seen carrying bundles wrapped in white cloth, symbolising the Palestinian children killed in the war so far.

04:12 PM GMT

Hostage's mother: We'll walk to Gaza to free our children

The mother of an Israeli woman being held captive by Hamas has said she would “walk to Gaza” to bring the 240 hostages home.

Orin Zacharia’s daughter Eden was abducted by Hamas terrorists as she tried to flee the Supernova desert rave on October 7.

Mrs Zacharia was one of thousands of Israelis who have walked from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem over the past five days to call on the government to do all it can to bring the hostages home.

“We’ve been walking for five days without stopping and my legs hurt and my shoulders and everything hurts, but nothing hurts like my heart does, which really really hurts,” she told the crowd outside Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

“Even if we need to walk to Gaza we will walk to Gaza. Wherever we need to go we will go, we won’t give up on our children.”

04:02 PM GMT

Scholz condemns Israeli settlements in West Bank as he backs two-state solution

Olaf Scholz has condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank as he urged Israelis and Palestinians to back a two-state solution.

“We don’t want any new settlements in the West Bank, no violence by settlers against the Palestinians in the West Bank,” the German chancellor said.

He added that a two-state solution is the best solution to the war for both Israelis and Palestinians.

“If some in Israeli politics distance themselves from this, we will not support them,” he said.

03:48 PM GMT

UNRWA backs Hamas-run health ministry's claim of school deaths

The UN’s aid agency in Palestine has backed claims by Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry that “scores of people” have been killed at a school in an Israeli strike.

The health ministry has claimed that hundreds have been killed or injured at the UN-run Al Fakhoura school in Jabaliya and the Tal al Zaatar school in Beit Lahiya.

Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner general of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said he has seen “horrifying images and footage of scores of people killed” at a UNRWA school, which he did not name.

“These attacks cannot become commonplace, they must stop. A humanitarian ceasefire cannot wait any longer,” he added.

The IDF is yet to comment.

03:39 PM GMT

IDF advances on Hamas command centre

The IDF is expanding its operations in northern Gaza and is advancing into Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighbourhood and Jabaliya, a city two miles to the north.

In a statement, the IDF said Jabaliya contains the “command and control centre of the Northern Gaza Brigade”, which it called “one of the most significant terror strongholds”.

It published video footage of its Golani Infantry Brigade engaging Hamas in Zeitoun and said the 162nd Divison is now operating on the outskirts of Jabaliya.

“During the encounters, numerous terrorists were killed and the troops struck a large number of terror infrastructures, including underground infrastructure and significant targets of the terrorist organization,” the statement added.

03:18 PM GMT

Lord Cameron speaks to Israeli foreign minister for first time

Lord Cameron has spoken to Israel’s foreign minister for the first time since becoming Britain’s new foreign secretary.

He said he expressed condolences to Eli Cohen for “Hamas’s brutal October 7 terror attack” and discussed “the need for humanitarian pauses”.

“We are committed to preventing wider regional instability,” the former prime minister added.

Lord Cameron was unexpectedly appointed foreign secretary on Monday by Rishi Sunak, seven years after resigning as prime minister after the Brexit referendum.

03:06 PM GMT

Watch: IDF strikes Hezbollah in southern Lebanon

The IDF has struck a number of Hezbollah compounds and observation posts in southern Lebanon in retaliation to attacks by the Iran-backed terror group on Israel.

It released videos of strikes at three locations.

02:41 PM GMT

Clarification on Gaza death toll

A spokesperson for the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry this morning told The Telegraph and other press that the death toll had reached over 16,000. We reported this figure, but the spokesperson later deleted the message without notifying us.

The last official death toll from the health ministry is 12,000 people have died, which they reported to us last night.

The numbers, which in previous conflicts has been found to be reliable by independent organisations, have been slow to update over the past week since many Gazan hospitals were besieged by Israeli tanks and communications were largely cut.

02:12 PM GMT

More than 80 killed in Jabalia double strike, Gaza health ministry says

An official in the Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip said more than 80 people were killed on Saturday in double Israeli strikes on the Jabalia refugee camp.

“At least 50 people” were killed in an Israeli strike at dawn on the UN-run Al Fakhoura school in the camp, which had been converted into a shelter for displaced Palestinians, the official told AFP.

Social media videos showed bodies covered in blood and dust on the floor of a building, where mattresses had been wedged under school tables.

A separate strike on another building in the camp on Saturday killed 32 people from the same family, 19 of them children, the health ministry official said.

The ministry released a list of 32 members of the Abu Habal family it said had died.

02:11 PM GMT

Watch: Thousands march in Israel to demand the release of Hamas hostages

01:49 PM GMT

Turkey will seek to rebuild Gaza if ceasefire achieved, Erdogan says

Turkey will make efforts to rebuild damaged infrastructure, hospitals and schools in Gaza if a ceasefire is achieved there, Turkish media on Saturday reported President Tayyip Erdogan as saying.

“If a ceasefire is reached, we will do whatever is necessary to compensate for the destruction caused by Israel,” Erdogan told reporters on his plane returning from a trip to Berlin, where he held talks with German leaders.

“We will make efforts to rebuild the damaged infrastructure in Gaza and rebuild the destroyed schools, hospitals, water and energy facilities,” he was cited as saying by broadcaster A Haber.

01:33 PM GMT

'Hundreds' of killed and injured in Jabalia schools strike

Medhat Abbas, a spokesperson for the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry has said that “hundreds” of people have been killed and wounded in two Israeli air strikes on Al Fakhoura and Tal Al Zaatar schools.

As we reported earlier, the IDF has yet to comment on the alleged strikes.

Footage online clearly showed many dead and injured inside Al Fakhoura school, including children.

01:31 PM GMT

The fuel agreement for Gaza is only half of what is needed every day, the UN says

Following “long weeks of delay”, the Israeli Authorities approved “only half of the daily minimum requirements of fuel for humanitarian operations in Gaza,” the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has said after the first fuel shipment arrived in Gaza last night.

The statement read:

“This is far from enough to cover the needs for desalination plants, sewage pumps, hospitals, water pumps in shelters, aid trucks, ambulances, bakeries and communications networks to work without interruption.

“Fuel should not be restricted for these activities.

“Without the full amount of fuel:

01:06 PM GMT

Families of hostages on final day of solidarity march

Families of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza continue their march from Tel Aviv to Knesset in Jerusalem demanding the release of their relatives in Jerusalem on November 18, 2023.
Families of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza continue their march from Tel Aviv to Knesset in Jerusalem demanding the release of their relatives in Jerusalem on November 18, 2023. - Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty Images

01:04 PM GMT

Reports of a UN school hit in Gaza

Al Jazeera and Palestine TV are reporting that al Fakhoura school in Jabalia refugee camp has been hit by an air strike for the second time this month.

Many are believed to have been sheltering in the school and Al Jazeera’s reporter said that “dozens” have been killed.

The IDF, which does not usually comment on individual strikes, has yet to confirm it.

The school has also been a target for strikes during the 2009 and 2014 conflicts.

We’ll bring you more when we have it.

12:03 PM GMT

Violent uptick between Hezbollah and Israel continues

The dangerous escalation of attacks on the Lebanese border with Israel is continuing today with Hezbollah announcing that they directly hit an Israeli barracks with missiles and artillery.

Today, Israel said that Hezbollah launched 25 attacks. In return, Hezbollah said that they have shot down an Israeli drone with a surface-to-air missile. Lebanese state news said that Israel hit Nabatiyeh, some 15 kilometres away from the border, for the first time since the 2006 war.

11:59 AM GMT

Organisers of Israel's hostages march say tens of thousands headed toward Netanyahu's office

11:54 AM GMT

‘The bottom of the barrel is visible’: Inside the West’s scramble for more ammo

The sound of heavy machinery at the munitions factory in Washington, North East England, rumbles day and night for most of the week.

At the BAE Systems plant, workers are busy forging 155mm shell casings that will eventually be fired by Ukrainian soldiers battling Russia more than 1,400 miles away.

With Kyiv’s need for ammunition still enormous, all production lines are set to ramp up to a 24/7 operation by 2026 – boosting capacity eightfold.

Until recently, operations like these were largely neglected as governments cashed in the “peace dividend” following the fall of the Berlin Wall 34 years ago and the military-industrial economy in Europe was allowed to wither.

Now, governments around the world are scrambling to ramp up production as stockpiles run low and the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war signals yet more demand for munitions.

The Washington factory is just one cog in a vast industrial complex that is slowly spinning up again throughout the Western world, as the need for weapons and munitions reaches levels not seen since the Cold War.

Read more from Matt Oliver here.

11:23 AM GMT

Al Shifa evacuation a 'death sentence' says ActionAid

This morning’s one-hour evacuation order of Al Shifa, which Israel denies, is a “death sentence” according to the charity ActionAid.

“We are appalled by reports that doctors and critically ill patients – including premature babies in incubators – are being forced out at gunpoint by the Israeli military,” said Riham Jafari, Advocacy and Communication Coordinator at ActionAid Palestine.

“This morning we have seen chilling scenes of doctors taking patients in critical conditions on beds and wheelchairs out of Al-Shifa hospital – a death sentence for hundreds of people who will be forced to leave behind lifesaving care and travel miles to hospitals that are no longer operational. Day after day, doctors, nurses, and ambulance drivers are risking their lives to provide lifesaving care to patients whose lives are hanging on by a thread.”

Jafari added: “The evacuation of Al-Shifa is yet another potential breach of international humanitarian law in a crisis where the rights of patients to access lifesaving care are being violated daily. Healthcare workers, ambulances, and hospitals are never a legitimate target – they must not only be respected but also protected under international law.”

11:20 AM GMT

Al Shifa 'completely deserted' hospital director says

The director of Al Shifa hospital has said that it is “completely deserted” in an interview with Al Jazeera after Israel carried out a “forced evacuation,” which it denies.

Mohammed Abu Salmiya, says only him and few others, including staff and patients, are left at the hospital.

“The centre of the hospital is surrounded by Israeli soldiers. They are in total control. Even we, the very few medical staff that remains, cannot move freely,” he told Al Jazeera. “Many of those in critical conditions including newborns and kidney patients will die imminently if they are not evacuated.”

Doctors have reported being forced to leave at gunpoint carrying white flags out as they were pushed down south. The Israeli military has denied that they told doctors and patients to leave and said that it was expanding the evacuations due to a request by the hospital director.

Piecing together exactly what has happened at Al Shifa hospital over the past few days has been challenging due to the lack of communications, but we will bring you more when we have a clearer picture.

The emergency room supervisor Omar Zaqout told Al Jazeera that the Israeli army ordered everyone at al-Shifa Hospital – including doctors, patients and displaced people –  to evacuate the medical compound in one hour through the al-Wehda road.

About 450 patients were evacuated, while about 120 patients were left behind with five doctors, including the director and a few nurses, because they were immobile, Munir al-Barsh, director-general of Gaza’s Health Ministry told the broadcaster.

11:12 AM GMT

IDF says it destroyed Hamas cell that launched attacks into Israel yesterday

The IDF has said that it killed the Hamas cell that launched a barrage of rockets toward Israel on Friday evening.

In a statement the Israeli military said:

Less than an hour after the barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory yesterday (Friday), IDF troops identified the terrorists who carried out the launches from the roof of a building and directed an IAF aircraft that struck them.

In addition, over the past day, IDF fighter jets and helicopters struck dozens of terror targets in the Gaza Strip alongside terrorists and additional terror infrastructure, including operational command centers, launch posts, and weapon manufacturing laboratories.

11:11 AM GMT

Pictured: Surgery in Nasser hospital

Surgeons operate on a Palestinian man, injured during the Israeli attacks, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, Gaza on November 16, 2023
Surgeons operate on a Palestinian man, injured during the Israeli attacks, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, Gaza on November 16, 2023 - Abed Zagout/Anadolu via Getty Images

11:05 AM GMT

Israel hits Nabatiyeh in Lebanon for first time since 2006 war

An Israeli drone fired two missiles at an aluminum plant outside the southern Lebanese market town of Nabatiyeh early Saturday, causing a fire and widespread damage, Lebanese state media said. There was no word on casualties.

The strike near the village of Toul is the first to hit the area since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, and is far from the border.

Lebanon’s National News Agency said firefighters and ambulances rushed to the area, but it did not mention casualties of the strike that occurred around dawn.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military on the strike at the factory but it did say that the Israeli army is currently striking Hezbollah targets.

Hezbollah today claimed to have shot down an Israeli Hermes 450 drone “using a surface-to-air missile”, in addition to launching five other attacks on Israel’s northern border.

11:02 AM GMT

David Cameron speaks to Israeli foreign minister

09:49 AM GMT

UAE official says Israel statements on longer term presence in Gaza worrying

A top foreign policy adviser to the UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said that statements from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about a longer term presence in Gaza were worrying.

“We hear now from the Israeli prime minister and indeed the Israeli president about the sort of longer term Israeli connection to Gaza. They are very worrying,” Anwar Gargash said at the Manama summit in Bahrain.

“This indicates that perhaps the lesson that we as the majority of people in region are taking away from the Gaza crisis which is the need to go back to the two state solution, we need to go back to an Israeli and Palestinian state living side by side. That lesson has perhaps not been the same.”

09:45 AM GMT

Pictured: Khan Yunis this morning

Donia Al Mobasher carries a cat in a damaged apartment at the site of an Israeli strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 18, 2023.
Donia Al Mobasher carries a cat in a damaged apartment at the site of an Israeli strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 18, 2023. - REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

09:36 AM GMT

Five Fatah fighters killed in Israeli air strike on the West Bank

Five fighters in the armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party were killed early Saturday in a rare Israeli airstrike on the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent and Fatah sources told AFP.

The Israeli army said it had killed “a number of terrorists” in an airstrike on the Balata refugee camp in Nablus.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said overnight five people were killed and two hurt in a strike, which the camp administration said hit local Fatah headquarters.

Those killed in the strike included Muhammad Zahed, the Israeli military said, describing him as “a prominent terrorist in the city of Nablus” and saying he had been involved in a shooting in April in Jerusalem that wounded two Israeli civilians.

It would “continue to operate to eliminate threats and target operatives involved in terror attacks against Israel”, it added in a statement.

Witnesses said Israeli forces entered the camp on foot after the airstrike and destroyed an empty house without causing further casualties.

The airstrike came a day after Israel’s army said it had killed at least seven militants in two separate confrontations in the West Bank.

09:25 AM GMT

Civilian casualty toll won't prevent Israel from moving down south, official says

Giora Eiland, a former head of Israel’s National Security Council, said a ground campaign might take three to four weeks to subdue Hamas resistance in the south, where its leadership was now concentrated.

“One of the more challenging situations is the simple fact that most of the people of the Gaza Strip are now concentrated in the south,” he told Reuters. “There will probably be more civilian casualties ... It is not going to deter us or prevent us from moving forward.”

The escalating civilian toll of the offensive has already stirred outcry across the Middle East and among Western nations, including Israel’s closest ally the United States.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said on Friday that more than 12,000 people have been killed as the fighting entered its seventh week.

09:22 AM GMT

First plane carrying children with urgent medical needs from Gaza arrives in UAE

The first plane carrying 15 people from Gaza, including children and their families, arrived in the UAE Saturday, according to the country’s state-run WAM news agency.

President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has said that hospitals in the UAE will care for 1,000 children accompanied by their families from the Gaza Strip.

The plane arrived in Abu Dhabi carrying children with urgent medical needs, including severe injuries, burns and cancer patients, according to WAM.

09:18 AM GMT

Another premature baby dies in Al Shifa hospital

We’re still trying to verify exactly what has happened with the evacuations from Al Shifa hospital this morning.

In the meantime, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza has said that another of the premature babies – who are trying to survive with incubators since the electricity cut last week – has died, bringing the total to five.

09:16 AM GMT

IDF responds to 25 launches from Lebanon

“Following the sirens sounded in Kibbutz Sasa and Moshav Shtula, northern Israel, 25 launches were identified a short while ago. No injuries were reported. IDF artillery is striking the sources of the launches. The IDF is currently striking Hezbollah terror targets, details to follow,” the IDF said in a statement.

Hezbollah, meanwhile, said that it had confirmed there were casualties from its assault on a military command headquarters around an hour ago.

09:06 AM GMT

In Khan Yunis this morning, families queue to collect the bodies of their relatives killed in air strikes overnight

People mourn as they collect the bodies of Palestinians killed in airstrikes on November 18, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza.
People mourn as they collect the bodies of Palestinians killed in airstrikes on November 18, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. - Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

08:49 AM GMT

Israeli troops ordered evacuation of hospital “in the next hour” over loudspeakers

Israeli troops ordered the evacuation of Al-Shifa hospital “in the next hour” over loudspeakers on Saturday, an AFP journalist at the scene reported, as troops continued to comb the facility.

Doctors who were inside the hospital have told Al Jazeera that they were forced to leave and that there was a sense of great panic in the hospital.

In a statement the IDF said that the evacuation was requested by the director of Al Shifa hospital. “At no point, did the IDF order the evacuation of patients or medical teams and in fact proposed that any request for medical evacuation will be facilitated by the IDF,” it added.

The doctors who can get messages out are describing it as a “forced” evacuation and said that they had to leave patients behind.

We will bring you more once we have a clearer picture. The difficulty in communications in Gaza makes verifying live reports at pace difficult.

08:38 AM GMT

Air strike in Khan Yunis kills 26 overnight, doctors say

At least 26 people were killed in a strike on a residential building in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza, AFP reported this morning, citing the director of a local hospital.

The director of Nasser Hospital said the facility received 26 dead bodies and 23 people with serious injuries after a strike on the residential building in Hamad City, a middle-class housing development built in recent years with funding from Qatar.

A few miles to the north, six Palestinians were killed when a house was bombed from the air in Deir Al-Balah, according to health authorities.

08:30 AM GMT

Jordan's strained relationship with Israel on display at the Manama conference: No Arab troops will enter Gaza

Jordan’s foreign minister Ayman Safadi has said that no Arab troops will be entering Gaza to bring stability when the war is over.

“Let me be very clear. I know speaking on behalf of Jordan but having discussed this issue with many, with almost all our brethren, there’ll be no Arab troops going to Gaza. None. We’re not going to be seen as the enemy,” he said. “How could anybody talk about the future of Gaza when we do not know what kind of Gaza will be left once this aggression ends?”

Speaking at the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, Safadi said that Arab countries would not “come and clean the mess after Israel.”

Israel is committing war crimes in Gaza, Safadi, who is also the deputy prime minister of Jordan, said.

“All of us have to speak loud and clear about the catastrophe that the Israeli war is bringing, not just on Gaza, but on the region in general,” Safadi said. “This is not a time for mincing words. This is a time to state facts as they are.”

He added: “This is not self-defense. This is a blatant aggression, the victims of which are innocent Palestinians.”

08:23 AM GMT

Partial restoration of phone service in Gaza

Internet and phone service has partially returned to the Gaza Strip after a fuel delivery was allowed into Gaza last night that ended a telecommunications blackout which had forced aid deliveries in the desperate enclave to stop.

Israel has said that going forward it would allow in 10,000 litres of fuel daily for communications service to continue, according to the US State Department, who pressured Israel into allowing fuel into Gaza.

A “very minimal” amount of fuel will also be let into Gaza each day for humanitarian purposes, Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said. COGAT, the Israeli military body responsible for Palestinian affairs, said it would amount to 60,000 litres a day for the UN.

But, that is only 37% of the fuel needed by UNRWA to support its humanitarian operations, including food distribution and the operation of generators at hospitals and water and sanitation facilities, the UN said.

The fuel deliveries have angered members of the Israeli far-right. National security minister Itmar Ben Gvir said Israel was heading toward the wrong policy and that “there is no sense in giving the enemy humanitarian gifts”. Meanwhile finance minister Bezalel Smotrich described it as a “grave mistake” that “gives oxygen to the enemy.”

08:13 AM GMT

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to The Telegraph’s daily live blog of the war in Gaza. Follow along as we bring you all of the latest updates from overnight and throughout the day. First up this morning:

IDF hints at moving into south Gaza

Israel has warned that it could continue its ground incursion into south Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of people have fled, as the north of the territory is now mostly under its control.

The Israeli military dropped leaflets over areas of Khan Yunis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, asking civilians to evacuate their homes and seek shelter elsewhere.

“We’re asking people to relocate. I know it’s not easy for many of them, but we don’t want to see civilians caught up in the crossfire,” Mark Regev, an aide to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told MSNBC in an interview overnight.

With shelters overflowing with the displaced, it is not clear where civilians in Khan Yunis can flee. “We’re asking them to move to an area where hopefully there will be tents and a field hospital,” suggesting they should move toward the Egyptian border.

The fresh warnings come as the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said that the death toll has risen to above 12,000 since Israel’s war in the enclave began.

The south of Gaza is in the grips of a humanitarian catastrophe, aid agencies and the UN report.

The population has doubled since the Israeli military invasion of the north, leaving food, water, and the basic essentials for survival, hard to find as winter sets in.

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