A Palestinian man carries a child casualty at the site of Israeli strikes on houses, in Khan Younis

Live updates: What’s happening in the Israel-Hamas war after Israeli troops briefly enter Gaza

The Israeli military said its troops and tanks briefly entered northern Gaza overnight into Thursday, hitting several militant targets as a wider ground incursion loomed after more than two weeks of war.

Israeli airstrikes have devastated parts of the Gaza Strip, leaving neighborhoods in rubble and hospitals struggling to treat masses of wounded with diminishing resources.

READ MORE: Israeli military says troops carried out hourslong ground raid into Gaza before an expected wider incursion

The United Nations warned it’s on the verge of running out of fuel in the Gaza Strip, forcing it to sharply curtail relief efforts in the blockaded territory. And the U.N. Security Council failed again to address the Israeli-Hamas war, rejecting rival resolutions by the United States and Russia.

The war is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said Thursday that more than 7,000 Palestinians have been killed so far — more than three times the number killed in the six-week-long Gaza war in 2014. In the occupied West Bank, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids following Hamas’ surprise rampage on Oct. 7 in southern Israel.

The Associated Press couldn’t independently verify the death tolls cited by Hamas, which says it tallies figures from hospital directors.

The fighting has killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, according to Israeli officials, mostly civilians who died in the initial Hamas attack. Israel’s military has raised the number of remaining hostages in Gaza to 222 people, including foreigners believed captured by Hamas during the incursion. Four hostages have been released so far.

U.S. and other officials fear the fighting could spill over into a wider regional conflict.

Here’s what’s happening in the Israel-Hamas war.

7:31 p.m. EDT

Airstrikes in Gaza: Ambulances, chaos and twisted metal

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — A cloud of grey dust fills a street as men and ambulances rush to the site of an Israeli airstrike. An AP videojournalist sprints beside them, the chaos growing more intense as they draw closer to the destroyed residence.

Dozens of people pick their way across the remains of the building, which has been reduced to a jumble of concrete and metal. They scramble to pull the living and the dead from the wreckage.

A survivor, his face chalk-white with dust and eyes wide open, is carried in a blanket to a waiting ambulance. A woman who can still walk is led away from the blast area, with a man throwing a blanket over her shoulders. “Where’s the ambulance?” someone yells.

Israeli airstrikes on Thursday hit a densely populated refugee camp in Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis, leveling more than eight homes belonging to the extended Abu Shamala family and killing at least 15 people.

Pentagon says air base in Iraq sustained minor damage after attempted attack

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Thursday that there was an attempted attack at Irbil air base in Iraq but there were no casualties and only minor damage to the facilities.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, declined to detail which Iranian-backed groups may be responsible for the recent spate of attacks at bases in Iraq and Syria.

WATCH: Pentagon holds briefing as U.S. prepares for threat of widening Israel-Hamas conflict

He said there have been at least 12 attacks in Iraq and four in Syria, and that 21 U.S. personnel received minor injuries in two separate attacks early last week. Of those, 19 people had some type of traumatic brain injury, and all 21 returned to duty.

There have been no reported injuries since those two attacks on Oct. 17-18.

Family of 6 Americans trapped in Gaza plead for help from Biden

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Family members of six American citizens trapped in Gaza pleaded Thursday for President Joe Biden to help their relatives get out from what started as a long-awaited vacation and turned into a horrific nightmare of bombardments and smoke.

Shamiss Kaoud, 33, of Moreno Valley, California, said she and her sister have been calling the U.S. State Department daily to try to get her 68-year-old father, Jamal, his four brothers and one of her cousins evacuated from the war zone.

“No one is listening. No one is helping. It’s as if nobody cares,” she told reporters at a press conference in Anaheim, California. “Shouldn’t being a U.S. citizen matter?”

The group traveled to Gaza in late September to visit family and has since traveled three times to Gaza’s Rafah crossing, but has not been able to get out.

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in greater Los Angeles, said the State Department has estimated 600 Palestinian Americans are stuck in Gaza.

“The life of every citizen in America should be the priority of our government,” he said.

2:46 p.m. EDT

U.S. will respond to recent attacks on troops stationed in mideast at time ‘of our choosing,’ White House says

WASHINGTON — A White House spokesman said Thursday that that United States would respond at a “time of our choosing and a manner of our choosing” to a recent spate of attacks the U.S. says has been carried out by Iranian-backed groups against U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East.

WATCH: White House holds news briefing as Biden casts doubt on official death toll in Gaza

The blunt warning from White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby came a day after President Joe Biden said Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had been directly warned that the U.S. would respond if Iran or its proxies continued to attack U.S. troops. Attacks on U.S. troops in the region have increased since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the White House, Biden said: “My warning to the Ayatollah was that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond. And he should be prepared.”

Asked on Thursday to provide further details on how that message was delivered to Khamenei, Kirby declined to elaborate.

Iraqi militia says it attacked northern Iraq base housing U.S. troops

BAGHDAD — An Iranian-backed militia in Iraq claims that it has carried out an attack with two suicide drones against a base housing U.S. troops in northern Iraq.

The Islamic Resistance, an umbrella group for several Iran-backed militias, said in a statement that its fighters attacked on Thursday the “American occupation base” near the airport of the city of Erbil with two drones that directly hit their targets.

It gave no further details and there was no immediate comment from the U.S. military.

The past week has seen a spate of more than a dozen attacks on U.S. military facilities in Iraq and in Syria — most of them claimed by the same group, which has said it is retaliating against America’s backing of Israel in its war with Hamas.

Cyprus pitches linking its main port to Gaza as a humanitarian aid corridor

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides says the island nation is ready to act as hub for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

Christodoulides told reporters in Brussels Thursday that he pitched to fellow European Union leaders a proposal to establish a “humanitarian aid corridor” linking Cyprus’ main port of Limassol to Gaza. The Cypriot president said he discussed the idea with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

Government spokesman Constantinos Letymbiotis told The Associated Press that EU leaders “showed interest” in the proposal.

Displays and demonstrations around the world spotlight plight of hostages

PARIS — The absence of more than 200 people held hostage by Hamas is being felt — and seen — in places around the world.

Thirty empty baby strollers were displayed on a lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower on Thursday, each with a photo of one of the children being held. Two hundred empty plastic chairs were also lined up outside the United Nations’ European headquarters in Geneva with photos of the missing.

Family members and Jewish groups are keeping the spotlight on the people taken captive by Hamas militants Oct. 7 as Israel continues to pound the Gaza Strip with airstrikes and prepares for a large ground invasion.

“Our goal is to … raise the level of public awareness regarding the situation of these children,” Yonathan Arfi, President of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France, said of the Eiffel Tower display. “It is not acceptable to have hostages and it is even more unacceptable to have children hostages of Hamas.”

READ MORE: Many Israelis are furious at their government’s chaotic recovery efforts after Hamas attack

Arfi’s group also arranged empty baby carriages in the French coastal cities of Nice and Marseille.

A day earlier, blindfolded teddy bears with photos of the abducted children were placed in front of a fountain in Tel Aviv.

Demonstrators and family members of hostages taken from the kibbutz Kfar Azza called Thursday for their release in a street protest in Tel Aviv.

A poster said 62 people from the kibbutz had been slain, 17 kidnapped and one was missing. Hundreds others were wounded.

“I want my brother back,” said Ido Shamriz, brother of Alon Shamriz. “I want him (back) now. Bring all the kidnapped people now to Israel, now.”

Iran’s foreign minister says it ‘stands ready’ to play its part in release of hostages

UNITED NATIONS — Iran’s foreign minister says Hamas is ready to release civilian prisoners abducted from Israel and is stressing that the international community must take responsibility for releasing 6,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

Hossein Amirabdollahian told an emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday that Iran “stands ready to play its part in this very important humanitarian endeavor, along with Qatar and Turkey.”

Iran is a key backer of Hamas and Qatar has already played a key role in the release of four Israeli civilians, among the more than 200 still held captive.

WATCH: Family of man held by Hamas asks Israel to make safe return of hostages a priority

Amirabdollahian accused the United States of directly participating in the Israeli-Hamas war and what he called a “genocide” against the Palestinians.

He also issued a strong warning “against the uncontrollable consequences of the unlimited financial, arms and operational support by the White House to the Tel Aviv regime.”

“I say frankly to the American statesman, who are now managing the genocide in Palestine, that we do not welcome to expansion of the war in the region,” Iran’s top diplomat said in English at the start of his remarks.

“But I warn, if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire,” Amirabdollahian said. “It is our home and west Asia is our region. We do not compromise with any party and any side, and we have no reservation when it comes to our home security.”

Russian and Iranian officials meet in Moscow to discuss Israel-Hamas war

MOSCOW — A senior Iranian diplomat on Thursday discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip with a Kremlin Mideast envoy.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri met with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who serves as the Kremlin envoy for the Middle East.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a terse readout of the talks that they emphasized “the need for a cessation of hostilities in and around the Gaza Strip and the prompt provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected Palestinian population.”

The diplomats also reaffirmed a shared commitment by Moscow and Tehran to “continue close coordination of efforts in the interests of stabilizing the situation in the Middle East.”

10:40 a.m. EDT

Russia foreign ministry says Hamas representatives are visiting Moscow

MOSCOW — Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at Thursday’s briefing that representatives of Hamas are currently visiting Moscow.

She didn’t elaborate further, saying the ministry will provide additional information later.

The state RIA Novosti news agency said that the Hamas delegation is led by a member of the group’s political wing, Moussa Abu Marzouk.

9:57 a.m. EDT

2 Israeli-Hungarian children among more than 200 hostages held by Hamas

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s foreign ministry says two Israeli-Hungarian children are among the more than 200 hostages held by the militant Hamas group in the Gaza Strip.

The children, both dual Hungarian citizens, are 15 and 8 years old, and were taken from the home of their father in a kibbutz near the border with Gaza during Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 rampage in southern Israel. That’s according to an interview with the children’s mother by the Hungarian weekly magazine Hetek.

A spokesman for the ministry confirmed to the magazine that the children were being held in Gaza, and said that the ministry was in contact with their mother.

The ministry had previously said that 15 Hungarian citizens were in Gaza, but had not reported that any were there as hostages.

More than 200 Israelis and foreigners were seized after heavily armed Hamas militants broke through Israel’s electric border fence and fanned across southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing hundreds.

8:52 a.m. EDT

Israeli strikes hit a refugee camp in southern Gaza Strip, killing at least 15 people

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — Israeli airstrikes hit a densely populated refugee camp in Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis on Thursday, leveling more than eight homes belonging to an extended family and killing at least 15 people.

Ambulances raced to the scene as dust from the collapsing buildings hung in the air.

A woman mourns during a funeral for Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes, in Khan Younis

A woman mourns during a funeral for Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes, as the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continues, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Oct. 26, 2023. Photo by Mohammed Salem/ Reuters

The blast zone was like so many others in Gaza, a chaotic wasteland of crumbled concrete and twisted metal. People shouted instructions while others praised Allah as they searched through the rubble for casualties.

READ MORE: Muslim and Jewish civil rights group report increase in harassment during Israel-Hamas war

The injured, covered in gray dust, were carried on stretchers and in the arms of rescuers, who hustled to get them to vehicles waiting in the street. One body was covered in a blanket.

A lifeless body of a boy was dug out from beneath a concrete slab, where his head had come to rest next to the foot of a person entombed in the wreckage.

Turkish president slams EU, accuses West of indifference toward suffering of Muslims

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the European Union on Thursday for failing to call for a cease-fire in Gaza and accused the West of indifference toward the suffering of Muslims.

“How many more children must die before the EU Commission calls for a cease-fire,” he said in a televised speech. “How many more tons of bombs must fall on Gaza before the United Nations Security Council can take action?”

Erdogan accused the West of failing to see the violence unfolding in Gaza “because the blood being shed is Muslim blood.”

In his speech, Erdogan also said Turkey has so far dispatched 10 planeloads to Egypt carrying humanitarian aid, including generators, destined for Gaza. Twenty five Turkish medical personnel have also left for Egypt, he said.

Turkey’s Erdogan tells pope that Israel’s bombardment of Gaza is a ‘massacre’

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the Israeli-Hamas war with Pope Francis on Thursday, telling the head of the Catholic Church that Israel’s attacks on Gaza have “reached the level of a massacre” and that the international community’s silence was a “shame for humanity.”

Erdogan was also quoted as telling Francis during their telephone conversation that everyone should support efforts to deliver “uninterrupted aid to innocent civilians” in Gaza. The statement from Turkey’s presidential communications directorate was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Erdogan also reiterated Turkey’s position that a permanent solution to the conflict can only be achieved through the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

The Vatican said Francis’ phone conversation with Erdogan, which was requested by the Turkish leader, focused on “the dramatic situation in the Holy Land.”

WATCH: Family of man held by Hamas asks Israel to make safe return of hostages a priority

In the call, the pontiff “expressed his pain for what is happening and recalled the position of the Holy See, wishing that a solution for two States and a special statute for the city of Jerusalem can be reached,” said a Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni.

The Turkish leader, whose country recently normalized ties with Israel, has increased the tone of his criticism of Israel’s military actions in Gaza. On Wednesday, Erdogan described Hamas militants as a group fighting for liberation — and not a terrorist organization as it has been designated by the West. He also said he has shelved plans to visit Israel.

Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon overnight, small-arms fire reported along Lebanon-Israel border

BEIRUT — Lebanese state media say Israel conducted airstrikes and drone attacks early Thursday in southern Lebanon, near the tense Israel-Lebanon border where exchanges between Israeli forces and Lebanese Hezbollah militants have intensified amid the war in Gaza.

No casualties were reported but the strikes ignited fires in the fields near in the border town of Aita al Shaab, the National News Agency reported.

On Wednesday night, Israeli strikes hit the Tyre district and a mattress factory there, NNA said, while small-arms fire was exchanged between militants and Israeli troops along the border.

Hezbollah and Israel have clashed since a day after the Israel-Hamas war erupted following Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel. But the exchanges have mostly been limited to a handful of border towns. Hezbollah has warned Israel against a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip, and Israel has vowed to retaliate should the Iran-backed group escalate the war.

Deputy Hamas leader says ‘the resistance is well’

BEIRUT — Deputy Hamas chief Saleh al-Arouri says that “despite the enemy’s crimes … the resistance is well,” referring to the group’s military wing and allies.

The statement on Thursday came after intense overnight Israeli strikes in the besieged Gaza Strip ahead of an expected ground invasion.

“It (Hamas and militant groups) will turn your tragedies into joy, in the event of a ground invasion” the Beirut-based top Hamas official said in a statement addressed to Palestinians in Gaza shared by the Palestinian group’s media office in Beirut.

Al-Arouri on Wednesday met with the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, Hassan Nasrallah, and the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ziad al-Nakhleh. The leaders reached an agreement on next steps in the current “sensitive” situation, according to a statement shared by Hezbollah.

Hezbollah and Israel have skirmished along the tense Lebanon-Israel border. There are fears that a ground invasion could spark an escalation on Israel’s northern front and across the region.

Israeli troops launch brief ground raid into Gaza

Israeli troops and tanks launched a brief ground raid into northern Gaza overnight into Thursday, the military said, striking several militant targets in order to “prepare the battlefield” ahead of a widely expected ground invasion after more than two weeks of devastating air raids.

During the raid, the military said soldiers struck fighters, militant infrastructure and anti-tank missile launching positions. There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side.

Families of abducted Israelis meet with Italy’s prime minister

ROME — Relatives of Israelis held hostage by Hamas met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome on Wednesday to speak about their anguish and raise awareness for their loved ones’ plight in Gaza.

Nadav Kipnis’ parents, Evyatar and Lilich Kipnis, were found dead days after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. His cousin is being held captive.

“None of them deserved to be treated in such horrible ways. We have to spread the message of anything that can help. It’s what my parents would have wanted,” Kipnis said.

Protest calling for release of Israeli hostages

Families and supporters of hostages that are being held in Gaza after they were kidnapped from Israel by Hamas gunmen, attend a protest calling for their immediate release in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 26, 2023. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum/ Reuters

Ilan Regev’s two children, 21-year-old Maya and 18-year-old Itay, were kidnapped at the Nova Music Festival.

Hamas has said it seeks the release of all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in exchange for the captives.

“Give them everything, 4,000, 5,000 prisoners in Israel. I don’t care, these are children, babies, bring them back,” Regev said.

Since the militants’ bloody attack more than two weeks ago, Meloni has traveled to Israel and visited Rome’s main synagogue, where she pledged to defend Jewish citizens against “every form of antisemitism.”

Israeli strike kills family members of Al Jazeera bureau chief in Gaza

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — An Israeli strike on Wednesday killed the wife, son and young daughter of Al Jazeera Arabic’s bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Dahdouh.

Footage aired on the Qatar-based TV network showed the veteran journalist, still wearing his blue body armor marked “press,” weeping over his son’s corpse on a hospital floor.


Al Jazeera correspondent Wael Al-Dahdouh mourns over the body of one of his family members who were killed along with his wife in an Israeli strike in the Nuseirat camp, at Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir Al-Balah on the southern Gaza Strip, on Oct. 25, 2023. Photo by MAJDI FATHI/ AFP via Getty Images

“They take vengeance on us through our children?” he sobbed.

Another son, Yehia, was seriously wounded, and Dahdouh’s grandson was also declared dead two hours later, the network reported. Other relatives survived the Israeli strike, including a toddler granddaughter.

“This is a series of targeted attacks on children, women and civilians,” Dahdouh, looking stunned, told Al Jazeera as he left the hospital.

The media network released a statement condemning what it called an “indiscriminate assault” on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. The camp is south of the area Israel has ordered civilians to evacuate.

In Gaza, Al Jazeera’s Youmna Elsayed told the network: “It’s heartbreaking to be reporting about Wael’s family and to see how broken he is.”

U.N. Security Council fails again to pass resolution on Israel-Hamas war

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council has failed again to address the Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza, rejecting rival United States and Russian resolutions.

The U.S. resolution would have reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defense, urged respect for international laws — especially protection of civilians — and called for “humanitarian pauses” to deliver desperately needed aid to Gaza. Wednesday’s vote in the 15-member council was 10 countries in favor, 3 against and 2 abstentions. The resolution was not adopted because both Russia and China cast vetoes.

The Russian resolution would have called for an immediate “humanitarian cease-fire,” and unequivocally condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks in Israel and “indiscriminate attacks” on civilians and civilian objects in Gaza. The vote was 4 in favor, 2 against and 9 abstentions. The resolution wasn’t adopted because it failed to get the minimum nine “yes” votes.

The council is charged under the U.N. Charter with maintaining international peace and security. But Wednesday’s rejections, following its rejections last week of a Russian resolution and a Brazilian proposal, leave the Security Council divided and paralyzed in taking action on the Israeli-Hamas war.

Malta’s U.N. Ambassador Vanessa Frazier told reporters before the vote that if both resolutions failed, she would attempt to draft a compromise resolution.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield accused Russia of submitting its text with no consultations “in bad faith.” Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia called the U.S. draft a “politicized” proposal to shore up Israel.

Biden condemns attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the West Bank

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday said there is no going back to the “status quo” in Israel and the region following the deadly attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

“When this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next,” Biden said during a news conference at the White House with the Prime Minister of Australia. “And in our view, it has to be a two-state solution.”

Biden said again that he believed Israeli had the right — the “responsibility” — to respond to the attack. “The anger, the hurt, the sense of outrage that the Israeli people are feeling” following the attack is “completely understandable,” he said.

But he also decried the attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and said it must stop and “stop now,” and he said he remained focused on humanitarian aid into Gaza.

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