Jerusalem | Israel expanded its military assault deeper into the northern Gaza Strip as the UN and medical staff expressed fears over airstrikes hitting closer to hospitals, where tens of thousands of Palestinians have sought shelter alongside thousands of wounded. Relief workers said the largest convoy of humanitarian aid to arrive in Gaza still fell far short of needs.
The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 8,306, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.
More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them civilians slain in the initial Hamas rampage that started the fighting October 7. In addition, 239 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group.
Here's what is happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war: WORLD BANK SAYS WIDER MIDEAST CONFLICT COULD PUSH OIL PRICES INTO ‘UNCHARTEED WATERS' WASHINGTON — The World Bank reported Monday that oil prices could be pushed into “uncharted waters” if the violence between Israel and Hamas intensifies, which could result in increased food prices worldwide.
The World Bank's Commodity Markets Outlook found that while the effects on oil prices should be limited if the conflict doesn't widen, the outlook “would darken quickly if the conflict were to escalate.” The attack on Israel by the militant organisation Hamas and the ensuing Israel military operation against Hamas have raised fears of a wider Mideast conflict.
Indermit Gill, the World Bank's chief economist, said Russia's invasion of Ukraine has already had disruptive effects on the global economy “that persist to this day.” “If the conflict were to escalate, the global economy would face a dual energy shock for the first time in decades — not just from the war in Ukraine but also from the Middle East,” Gill said.
GAZA HEALTH MINISTRY SAYS 304 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN THE PAST DAY GAZA -- The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza says 304 people were killed over the past day, raising the death toll since the conflict began to 8,306.
Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said Monday that the number of people wounded since October 7 has reached 21,048.
He said the dead include 3,457 children and 2,136 women, adding that there are about 1,950 people still missing under the rubble.
Al-Qudra urged people to head to medical centres in Gaza to donate blood of all types.
He said the Israeli bombardment has been getting closer to medical centres and hospitals such as the Turkish Friendship hospital that specializes in treating people who have cancer.
OVERNIGHT AIRSTRIKES DAMAGE HOSPITAL SOUTH OF GAZA CITY CAIRO — Overnight airstrikes struck an area close to the Turkish hospital south of Gaza city, damaging roofs, doors and windows, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Monday.
Medhat Abbas shared images showing damage to a roof and a shattered window in the hospital, the only facility treating cancer patients in Gaza.
An initial report on the damage, seen by The Associated Press, said the hospital's water desalination system was also destroyed. The hospital treats 60 cancer patients and over two dozen other patients who were recently transferred from Shifa hospital, Gaza's largest.
AIRSTRIKES HIT A CONVOY OF TRUCKS ENTERING SYRIA FROM IRAQ BEIRUT -- Syrian opposition activists and a Beirut-based TV station say airstrikes on a convoy of trucks in eastern Syria destroyed several vehicles and killed several people shortly after they crossed the border from Iraq.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not immediately clear who was behind the early Monday strikes, adding that three trucks were destroyed shortly after they entered the Syrian border town of Boukamal. It said several people were killed.
Omar Abu Layla, a Europe-based activist who heads the Deir Ezzor 24 media outlet that covers news in east Syria, said US aircraft carried out the attack, adding that the trucks were transporting weapons for Iran-backed militias. He said three drivers were killed.
Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV, which has reporters in different parts of Syria, also reported that American warplanes carried out the attack, saying the trucks were carrying construction material.
The US military did not immediately respond for a request for comment.
Al-Mayadeen and Abu Layla said that hours after the airstrike, Iran-backed fighters fired rockets at the al-Omar oil field that houses US troops.
The attacks come after bases housing US troops in Syria and Iraq have come under rocket and drone attacks over the past weeks as tensions rise in the region over the Israel-Hamas war.
VATICAN SAYS TWO-STATE SOLUTION NEEDED FOR STABLE, LASTING PEACE VATICAN CITY — A top Vatican official spoke by telephone Monday with the Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, at the foreign minister's request.
The Vatican said in a statement that the Vatican's foreign minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, expressed “serious concern in the Holy See about what is happening in Israel and Palestine, emphasizing the absolute necessity to avoid widening the conflict and to reach a two-state solution for a stable and lasting peace.”
UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS GAZA MONDAY AFTERNOON UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting Monday afternoon on Israel's ground incursion in Gaza and the dire humanitarian plight of Palestinians at the request of the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE, the Arab representative on the council, is one of 10 elected council members working on a new Security Council resolution on the Israel-Hamas war which is still in discussion. The council has rejected four draft resolutions — one vetoed by the United States, one vetoed by Russia and China, and two that failed to get the minimum nine “yes” votes.
The Gaza meeting will take place after the council meets first on Western Sahara and then on Colombia.
The General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, adopted a resolution Friday by a vote of 120-14 with 45 abstentions calling for humanitarian truces leading to a cessation of hostilities. Security Council resolutions are legally binding. General Assembly resolutions are not but they are an important barometer of world opinion.
4 PEOPLE KILLED IN CLASHES IN JENIN
CAIRO — Four Palestinians were killed early Monday in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, as Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians.
The ministry said five other Palestinians were wounded, including two with critical injuries.
Israeli media reported that there was heavy exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Jenin in a battle that included drone strikes.
Violence has surged in the West Bank since the war between Israel and Gaza broke out on October 7. Since then, Israeli forces and settlers killed 115 Palestinians, including 33 minors, as of Sunday, according to the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs.
OCHA said half of the fatalities were during clashes that followed Israeli search-and-arrest operations.
GAZA'S WATER SHORTAGE MEANS PEOPLE BATHE AND WASH DISHES IN THE SEA On a beach in Gaza, a young boy hunches over a plastic tub full of soapy water and laundry. Nearby, a woman uses sand to clean metal pots and pans. A man stands waist-deep in the sea cleaning a pair of sweatpants, while elsewhere, three women sit in the salty Mediterranean and let the lapping waves rinse their dresses.
The besieged Gaza Strip's 2.3 million people don't have access to clean, running water after Israel cut off water and electricity to the enclave. If water does trickle from the tap, residents have said it's so contaminated with sewage and seawater that it's undrinkable. Under these circumstances, some are forced to use the sea to bathe, wash clothes and clean their cookware.
On Sunday, 33 trucks carrying water, food and medicine entered the only border crossing from Egypt. Israel said it has opened two water lines in southern Gaza within the past week. The AP could not independently verify that either line was functioning.
CORNELL SENDS POLICE TO JEWISH CENTER AFTER ANTISEMITIC MESSAGES POSTED ONLINE Cornell University administrators dispatched campus police to a Jewish centre after threatening statements appeared on a discussion board Sunday.
Cornell President Martha E. Pollack issued a statement explaining there were a series of “horrendous, antisemitic messages” threatening violence against the university's Jewish community, specifically naming the address of the Center for Jewish Living.
The Cornell University Police Department is investigating and has notified the FBI of a potential hate crime, she said.
The content of the online threats appeared to be instigated by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and sent chills through Cornell's Jewish community during the third week of the conflict in the Gaza Strip.
WOMAN MISSING AFTER HAMAS ATTACK ON MUSIC FESTIVAL IS REPORTED DEAD BERLIN -– The mother of a German Israeli dual citizen missing after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 says she has been told that her daughter is dead.
Ricarda Louk told German news agency dpa on Monday that she was informed by the Israeli military of the death of Shani Louk, who was 22. She said her daughter's body hasn't been found, but a splinter of a skull bone was located and submitted for a DNA test.
Louk believes her daughter died on October 7, when she was at a music festival in southern Israel that was attacked by militants from Gaza. Videos that circulated at the time appeared to show the young woman face-down on a pickup truck.
The German government has said that a “low two-digit number” of German Israeli dual citizens are believed to be held in Gaza.
PROTESTERS BLOCK ENTRANCE TO DANISH WEAPONS MAKER COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- A group of demonstrators has blocked the entrance to a Danish weapons maker that provides parts to Israel.
Demonstrators outside the Terma company in suburban Copenhagen on Monday held a sign saying, “Stop weapons sale to Israel now.” One of the protesters, Maryam Alkhawaja, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the participants are “demanding they stop all deals supporting genocide in #Palestine.” Clothes with red stains representing blood were placed on the fence of the company in Soeborg, photos in Danish media showed.
According to Danish media, Terma produces components used in Israel jet fighters.