Jerusalem | Israel is escalating its bombardment of targets in the Gaza Strip ahead of an expected ground invasion against Hamas militants. The war is rapidly raising the death toll in Gaza, and the U.S. fears could the fighting could spark a wider conflict in the region.
Gaza's 2.3 million people have been running out of food, water and medicine since Israel sealed off the territory following the Hamas attack on Israeli towns Oct. 7. The aid convoys allowed into Gaza so far have carried a fraction of what's needed, and the U.N. said distribution will have to stop if there's no fuel for the trucks.
The war, in its 18th day Tuesday, is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides. The Health Ministry said at least 5,087 Palestinians have been killed and 15,270 wounded. In the occupied West Bank, 96 Palestinians have been killed and 1,650 wounded in violence and Israeli raids since Oct. 7.
More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians who died in the initial Hamas rampage. In addition, 222 people including foreigners were believed captured by Hamas during the incursion and taken into Gaza, Israel's military has said. Four of those have been released.
1. The U.S. Department of Defense is assisting Israel in its war planning by sending military advisers
2. 40 years after bombing that killed Americans in Beirut, US troops again deploy east of Mediterranean
3. The war is giving Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system its toughest challenge yet
4. Release of more hostages gives some hope to families of others abducted in the attack on Israel
5. Find more of AP's coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war
Here's what's happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war:
35 WORKERS AT UN AGENCY FOR PALESTINIAN REFUGEES HAVE DIED
CAIRO | The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said six of its workers have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war, bringing the total to 35 dead since Oct. 7.
In a statement late Monday, the agency, known as UNRWA, said 18 other workers were wounded.
UNRWA said it found shrapnel in its facilities in the Bureij camp and in Nuseirat in central Gaza from Israel's bombardment of nearby areas Sunday.
ISRAEL EXTENDS START OF ACADEMIC YEAR
The start of the academic year at Israel's universities and colleges has been delayed again, this time by nearly a month, suggesting the country is expecting extended fighting in the Gaza Strip.
The academic year initially had been scheduled to begin Oct. 19. After two previous delays, the Association of University Heads decided that studies won't begin until Dec. 3, Israel Army Radio reported.
15 PALESTINIANS FROM THE SAME FAMILY BURIED IN MASS GRAVE
DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip Fifteen members of the same family were among at least 33 Palestinians buried in a mass grave at a Gaza hospital on Monday after they were killed by Israeli airstrikes.
A harried-looking doctor in green scrubs walked past as bodies in white sheets were loaded into the back of a pickup truck. Men discussed where to fit the shrouded corpse of a small child between two adults.
Side-by-side, the bodies were laid to rest in a shallow, sandy grave in the courtyard of al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, an ambulance parked nearby. "Bring them all," a gravedigger called out.
Israel said Monday it struck 320 militant targets throughout the besieged Gaza Strip over the last 24 hours. The military says it does not target civilians. Over 5,000 Palestinians, including some 2,000 minors, have been killed since the war began, Gaza's Health Ministry said.
More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed mostly civilians slain during the initial Hamas attack.
ITALY CONFIRMS DEATH OF 3RD ITALIAN-ISRAELI CITIZEN MISSING IN HAMAS ATTACK
ROME Italy's foreign minister Antonio Tajani said the last of three Italian-Israeli citizens who had been missing in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel is also dead.
"Unfortunately, also Nir Forti is deceased,' the minister wrote late Monday on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. Forti had been attending the music festival that Hamas attacked.
"To die at 29, barbarously killed by terrorists, is deeply unjust,' Tajani wrote on X.
Only hours earlier Tajani had announced the death of another Italian-Israeli woman, whose husband's death had been confirmed last week.
ISRAEL MUST PROTECT CIVILIANS IN ITS WAR ON HAMAS, UN INVESTIGATOR SAYS
UNITED NATIONS A United Nations special investigator said while Hamas' attacks on Israel at a minimum constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israel in its response is required to protect civilians and is banned from targeting schools, hospitals and people fleeing harm.
Fionnuala N Aol in, the special rapporteur on protecting human rights while countering terrorism, told a U.N. news conference Monday that when these rules of international humanitarian law are breached, "we are also in the territory of war crimes."
She stressed that under the Geneva Conventions governing the conduct of war, it isn't only Israel and Hamas that must respect humanitarian law. Those "with influence" over the parties also have an obligation to ensure the rules of war are respected and to remind the parties to comply.
N Aol in, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, said Israel should avoid making the same "mistake" the United States did following 9/11, when "egregious and systematic violations of human rights" were committed.
She also echoed U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's view that Israel's order for 1.1 million people in northern Gaza to move to the south "will have devastating consequences."
N Aol in, said she and many others in the U.N. system joined the secretary-general in condemning this, "as well as being clear that the cutting off of water and electricity, which indiscriminately and excessively harm civilians, may constitute a war crime." (AP)