Israel-Gaza war live: Second UN aid convoy arrives as Netanyahu warns Hezbollah against ‘mistake of its life’

Israel has allowed a second UN aid convoy of 14 trucks to enter beseiged Gaza from Egypt, as the humanitarian crisis in the enclave of 2.3 million people grows and Israeli strikes intensify.

While the aid was again welcomed as “a small glimmer of hope” by the UN, they warned the delivery of food, water and medical supplies was not nearly enough to scratch the surface of need caused by the Israeli blockade, which has intensified since Hamas militants’ massacre of Israelis a fortnight ago.

As Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza by intensifying its airstrikes, its soldiers are also engaged in skirmishes and rocket exchanges with militant group Hezbollah on the border with Lebanon, who have threatened Israel over its plans to invade Gaza.

Speaking to troops in northern Israel, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that, if Hezbollah launches a war, “it will make the mistake of its life”, adding: “We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating.”

Key Points

  • Second UN aid convoy enters Gaza from Egypt

  • US and Israel pledge ‘continued flow’ of aid to Gaza

  • Israel vows to intensify attacks as ‘266 Palestinians killed'

  • Family confirms missing British teenager killed in Hamas attack, reports BBC

  • Number of people held hostage in Gaza is 212, says Israel

  • Gaza death toll rises to 4,385, says Palestinian health ministry

Up to 436 Palestinians killed in past 24 hours, Gaza says

12:03 , Alexander Butler

Up to 436 Palestinians including 182 children were killed by Israeli airstrikes in the last 24 hours, the Gazan health ministry has claimed.

The death toll, which has climbed to 5,087, includes a large number of women and children, as well as at least 11 Palestinian journalists, 28 medical staff and 14 UN workers, according to the UN.

The Israeli death toll stands at 1,400 since October 7, according to Israeli officials.

Damage caused by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City (AP)
Damage caused by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City (AP)

Israeli raids on Gaza used tanks and infantry

11:45 , Alexander Butler

Israeli raids on Gaza to kill Hamas gunmen and find hostages involved using tanks and infantry forces, according to the IDF.

“During the night there were raids by tank and infantry forces. These raids are raids that kill squads of terrorists who are preparing for our next stage in the war. These are raids that go deep,” chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said.

Hamas claimed it had repelled an Israeli ground force and destroyed IDF equipment.

“Fighters engaged with the infiltrating force, destroying two bulldozers and a tank and forced the force to withdraw, before they returned safely to base,” Hamas said in a statement.

The Israel Defence Forces was contacted for comment.

IDF soldiers take part in urban warfare training (Getty Images)
IDF soldiers take part in urban warfare training (Getty Images)

Gazans are exposed to 'Israeli murder machine’, Palestinian prime minister says

11:31 , Alexander Butler

Gazans are exposed to the “Israeli murder and criminal machine”, Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has claimed.

It comes as up to 400 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in the last 24 hours, according to Palestinian health officials.

The death toll, at around 4,200, includes a large number of women and children, as well as at least 11 Palestinian journalists, 28 medical staff and 14 UN workers, according to the UN.

The Israeli death toll stands at 1,400 since October 7, according to Israeli officials.

Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Israel fires on ‘aerial’ target from Lebanon

11:18 , Alexander Butler

The Israeli military launched an interceptor missile at a “suspicious aerial target” that crossed into Israel from Lebanon, the IDF said.

It comes after the IDF attacked Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, including a military compound and observation post.

Among the targets were four Hezbollah terrorist cells. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “cripple” the militant group if it launched attacks from Lebanon.

Hezbollah is an Shia Islamist political party with an armed wing. It is backed by Iran and is thought to be stronger than Lebanon’s regular army, with hundreds of thousands of rockets aimed at Israel.

Hezbollah fighters rise their flag as they attend the funeral procession of a Hezbollah fighter killed by Israeli shelling (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Hezbollah fighters rise their flag as they attend the funeral procession of a Hezbollah fighter killed by Israeli shelling (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Scottish First Minister urges UK government to demand Rafah border crossing opened

11:10 , Alexander Butler

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has pleaded with the UK government to open the Rafah border crossing on behalf of his mother-in-law who is trapped in Gaza.

“She’s asking me, she’s pleading with me, and I’m pleading with the UK Government, not to just ask for the border to be opened, but to demand that Rafah crossing is opened and there’s a ceasefire right now,” he said.

“Because above and beyond my mother-in-law and father-in-law who are two people, there’s 2.2 million people in Gaza, the vast majority are innocent men, women and children, nothing to do with Hamas or their terrible terrorist atrocities, who are suffering.

“Every single one of us has seen the images, we’ve all seen the pictures, we’re all heartbroken and yet there is no ceasefire.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla (PA Wire)
First Minister Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla (PA Wire)

Starmer urges government to address gaps in the law following ‘jihad’ chant

10:58 , Alexander Butler

Sir Keir Starmer has urged the government to address “gaps in the law” after the Met police found no offence in a pro-Palestine protester chanting “jihad”.

“There’s been a huge increase in hate crime in the last couple of weeks, tragically. We’ve all got a duty to clamp down on hate crime whatever political party we’re in,” he said.

“Obviously, the police are independent operationally, so these are decisions for them. I think there have already been identified some gaps in the law in a previous review under this Government and I think the Government needs to look at whether there are gaps in the law that need to be addressed as well.”

Sir Keir Starmer on a visit to Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks, where he said the government must address ‘gaps in the law’ (PA)
Sir Keir Starmer on a visit to Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks, where he said the government must address ‘gaps in the law’ (PA)

Picured: Hamas rockets and a Gazan morgue

10:39 , Alexander Butler

Hamas rockets fired towards Israel from Gaza (AFP via Getty Images)
Hamas rockets fired towards Israel from Gaza (AFP via Getty Images)
Dead bodies of those killed by Israeli airstrikes are lined up at the morgue of Nasser Hospital (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Dead bodies of those killed by Israeli airstrikes are lined up at the morgue of Nasser Hospital (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Palestinians mourn outside the morgue of Nasser Hospital, Gaza (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Palestinians mourn outside the morgue of Nasser Hospital, Gaza (Anadolu via Getty Images)

Third aid convoy crosses Egypt-Gaza Rafah crossing

10:16 , Alexander Butler

A third aid convoy has entered Gaza from Egypt over the Rafah border crossing.

It comes after a second aid convoy that reached Gaza on Sunday was welcomed as “a small glimmer of hope” by the UN. But it warned the enclave needed “much more” food, water and medical supplies.

“The 20 trucks brought in desperately needed items such as medical supplies, tins of tuna and tomato paste, wheat flour, and enough drinking water for 22,000 people for a day,” it said.

Pictured: Smoke billows in Gaza after Israeli airstrike

09:58 , Alexander Butler

Two smoke clouds billow after Israeli airstrikes bombarded the region (AP)
Two smoke clouds billow after Israeli airstrikes bombarded the region (AP)
Smoke and debris smother northern Gaza after Israel carried out over 300 airstrikes in 24 hours (AFP via Getty Images)
Smoke and debris smother northern Gaza after Israel carried out over 300 airstrikes in 24 hours (AFP via Getty Images)
Smoke is seen rising over northern Gaza after the region was bombarded by Israeli airstrikes (AFP via Getty Images)
Smoke is seen rising over northern Gaza after the region was bombarded by Israeli airstrikes (AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli ground force repelled, Hamas claims

09:53 , Alexander Butler

An Israeli ground force in Gaza was repelled by Hamas as the terrorist group destroyed IDF equipment, it claimed.

“Fighters engaged with the infiltrating force, destroying two bulldozers and a tank and forced the force to withdraw, before they returned safely to base,” Hamas said in a statement.

It comes after Israel said it had carried out more “limited” ground raids into Gaza to target Hamas gunmen and locate hostages.

The Israel Defence Forces was contacted for comment.

An Israeli battle tank in Sderot, southern Israel, as troops amass at the Gaza border and conduct ‘limited’ ground raids (EPA)
An Israeli battle tank in Sderot, southern Israel, as troops amass at the Gaza border and conduct ‘limited’ ground raids (EPA)

UK Home Secrerary urges police to use ‘full force’ of the law

09:40 , Alexander Butler

Home Secretary Suella Braverman will urge Scotland Yard chief Sir Mark Rowley to use the “full force of the law” after video emerged of a pro-Palestinian protester chanting “jihad”.

The Home Secretary will make clear the police should “crack down on anyone breaking the law” amid concern over footage from a demonstration by the Hizb ut-Tahrir fundamentalist group, which was separate to the main rally.

The Met has pointed out that jihad has “a number of meanings”, and said that specialist counter-terrorism officers had not identified any offences arising from the specific clip from Saturday. Instead, officers spoke to the man to “discourage any repeat of similar chanting”.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman is due to speak with Sir Mark Rowley on Monday (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)
Home Secretary Suella Braverman is due to speak with Sir Mark Rowley on Monday (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Video: Explosions near Gaza’s Al-Quds hospital

09:30 , Alexander Butler

Number of captives held by Hamas confirmed at 222

09:01 , Alexander Butler

The number of captives held in Gaza has been confirmed as 222, according to the Israeli Defence Forces.

The Israeli military also said it had conducted more “limited raids” into Gaza to kill Hamas gunmen and search for hostages.

It comes after thousands of protesters at a rally in London demanded the release of hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas.

IDF soldiers clean the barrel of a tank in southern Israel (Getty Images)
IDF soldiers clean the barrel of a tank in southern Israel (Getty Images)

'Not the right time' for UK to consider accepting Gaza refugees

08:52 , Alexander Butler

It is “not the right time” for the UK to consider accepting Gazan refugees, the UK’s transport secretary has said.

“Reaching for the tool of refugees at this stage is not the right one to do. I think the most important thing is to support people in the region and that’s why we’ve been urging the Israeli government and the Egyptian government to make sure that aid can get into Gaza,” Mark Harper told Sky News.

It comes after 35 aid trucks reached Gaza from Egypt. This is compared to the usual 435 aid trucks which crossed over from Egypt before October 7.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper (PA Wire)
Transport Secretary Mark Harper (PA Wire)

EU’s foreign policy chief backs humanitarian pause

08:30 , Alexander Butler

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has backed calls for a pause in the conflict between Israel and Hamas to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“Now the most important thing is for humanitarian support to go into Gaza,” Josep Borrell said as he arrived at a meeting with EU foreign ministers.

“Personally, I think a humanitarian pause is needed in order to allow humanitarian support to come in and be distributed,” he added.

Josep Borrell (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Josep Borrell (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Israel warns attack on Gaza could take months

08:04 , Alexander Butler

Israel’s attack on Gaza could last “a month, two or three”, its defence minister said.

“In terms of the operational aspects of manoeuvring, at the end of the day, nothing will stop the IDF (Israel Defence Forces)”, he said.

“This should be our last manoeuvring operation in Gaza, for the simple reason that afterwards there will be no more Hamas.”

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant (Anadolu via Getty Images)

Over 320 Gazan targets attacked in last 24 hours, IDF says

07:51 , Alexander Butler

The Israel Defence Forces has attack over 320 targets in Gaza in the last 24 hours, it said.

“In the last day, the IDF attacked over 320 targets throughout the Gaza Strip. In the last day, the IDF continued to attack terrorist infrastructures and military targets in the Gaza Strip,” it wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

It comes as Israel attacked Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, including a military compound and observation post.

Israel attacked Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, IDF says

07:41 , Alexander Butler

The Israel Defence Forces attacked Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, including a military compound and observation post, it said.

Among the targets were four Hezbollah terrorist cells. It comes as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “cripple” the militant group if it launched attacks from Lebanon.

Hezbollah is an Shia Islamist political party with an armed wing. It is backed by Iran and is thought to be stronger than Lebanon’s regular army, with hundreds of thousands of rockets aimed at Israel.

Two Palestinians killed in West Bank clashes, health ministry says

07:25 , Alexander Butler

Two Palestinians were killed at the Jalazone refugee camp in the West Bank, according to the Hamas-led Palestinian health ministry.

Israel forces raided the camp and carried out “widespread arrests”, where they clashed with gunmen and young people who threw stones.

It is unclear how the Palestinians were killed. The IDF has not addressed the claims.

Second aid convoy reaches Gaza as Israel attacks targets in Syria and occupied West Bank

06:43 , Namita Singh

A second aid convoy destined for desperate Palestinian civilians reached Gaza on Sunday as Israel widened its attacks to include targets in Syria and the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli prime minister also warned Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group that if it launches its own war, “we will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine”.

For days, Israel has been on the verge of launching a ground offensive in Gaza following Hamas’s brutal 7 October rampage through a series of Israeli communities. Tanks and troops have been massed at the Gaza border, waiting for the command to cross.

Israel’s military spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said the country had increased airstrikes across Gaza to hit targets that would reduce the risk to troops in the next stage of the war.

Fears of a widening war grew as Israeli warplanes struck targets across Gaza, two airports in Syria and a mosque in the occupied West Bank allegedly used by militants.

Israel has traded fire with Hezbollah militants since the war began, and tensions are soaring in the West Bank, where Israeli forces have battled militants in refugee camps and carried out two airstrikes in recent days.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops in northern Israel that if Hezbollah launches a war, “it will make the mistake of its life. We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine, and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating”.

In photos: Paris holds first authorised pro-Palestinian demonstration

06:01 , Namita Singh

Protesters hold Palestinian flags during a demonstration to support Palestine, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
Protesters hold Palestinian flags during a demonstration to support Palestine, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
Protesters hold Palestinian flags during a demonstration to support Palestine, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
Protesters hold Palestinian flags during a demonstration to support Palestine, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
Protesters hold Palestinian flags and shout slogans during a demonstration to support Palestine, in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
Protesters hold Palestinian flags and shout slogans during a demonstration to support Palestine, in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
Protesters hold Palestinian flags and shout slogans during a demonstration to support Palestine, in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
Protesters hold Palestinian flags and shout slogans during a demonstration to support Palestine, in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
Protestors wave Palestinian flags and hold posters during a rally in support to the Palestinian people in Podgorica, on 22 October 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)
Protestors wave Palestinian flags and hold posters during a rally in support to the Palestinian people in Podgorica, on 22 October 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

Thousands join Paris’s first authorised pro-Palestinian demonstration since Hamas attacks

05:56 , Namita Singh

Thousands of people waving Palestinian flags and chanting “Gaza, Paris is with you” gathered on Sunday for the first pro-Palestinian demonstration allowed by police in the French capital since the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel.

Around 15,000 people turned out at the Place de la Republique, according to police figures, to express solidarity with Palestinians and call for a ceasefire as the death toll from Israeli strikes in Gaza rose to more than 4,700.

“We are here to defend the freedom (of) the people of Palestine, especially with what’s happening in Gaza - it’s unacceptable,” said Noureddine Mansour, a protester present at the Paris rally.

A similar protest in Brussels drew around 12,000, Belgian police said.

Protesters hold Palestinian flags during a demonstration to support Palestine, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
Protesters hold Palestinian flags during a demonstration to support Palestine, at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)

French police said the Paris protest was authorised, unlike others, because a declaration by organisers condemned the 7 October attacks, which killed 1,400 people.

On Thursday, a protest was authorised at the last minute after a Paris court overturned the police decision to ban it.

In the last few days, other protests have been authorised in cities across France, after France’s highest administrative court ruled that pro-Palestinian protests were to be banned on a case-by-case basis, not systematically as an earlier instruction by the French interior minister had suggested.

A protester holds a placard reading 'Allah Akbar is not a terrorist scream’ during a demonstration to support Palestine, in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)
A protester holds a placard reading 'Allah Akbar is not a terrorist scream’ during a demonstration to support Palestine, in Paris, France, 22 October 2023 (EPA)

The protest in Paris was called by the collective “National Collective for a sustainable and just peace between Palestinians and Israelis”, made up of more than 40 organisations, including left-wing party France Unbowed, the CGT trade union and the organisation “France Palestine Solidarity”.

At a peace summit in Cairo on Saturday, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said Israel had a right to self-defence and must respect international law, and that a humanitarian corridor to Gaza was necessary and could lead to a ceasefire.

In Brussels, thousands marched through the streets, waving Palestinian flags and chanting “Free Palestine” before gathering outside the European Commission’s headquarters.

‘Bring them home’: Chants crowd in protest against Hamas attack

05:44 , Namita Singh

At a vigil attended by thousands in London’s Trafalgar Square, participants held posters bearing the images of hostages and the missing. They chanted “bring them home,” falling silent as the names of the hostages were read out.

Speakers from both the UK’s governing Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party addressed the crowd. Communities secretary Michael Gove said Hamas’ 7 October attack was an act of “unparalleled evil and barbarism.”

Michael Gove arrives at Westminster Abbey for a Memorial Service for former Chancellor Lord Lawson, on 17 October 2023 in London, England (Getty Images)
Michael Gove arrives at Westminster Abbey for a Memorial Service for former Chancellor Lord Lawson, on 17 October 2023 in London, England (Getty Images)

“We must stand together against it. We must stand for life. We must bring the hostages home,” he said.

European cities see vigils to oppose antisemitism and rallies seeking relief for Gaza

05:41 , Namita Singh

Thousands of people joined vigils in Berlin and London on Sunday to oppose antisemitism and support Israel, while in Paris and other cities, thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators demanded a cease-fire and relief for people in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Some of those who gathered in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate carried Israeli flags or posters with photos of some of the more than 200 people seized by Hamas as hostages during the militants’ deadly 7 October incursion into Israel.

“It is unbearable that Jews are living in fear again today — in our country of all places,” president Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the crowd, estimated at 20,000 by organizers and 10,000 by police. “Every single attack on Jews, on Jewish institutions is a disgrace for Germany. Every single attack fills me with shame and anger.”

Earlier, German chancellor Olaf Scholz inaugurated a new synagogue in the eastern city of Dessau and said he was “outraged” by the upsurge in antisemitism since the conflict began.

Several buildings in Berlin where Jews live had the star of David painted on doors and walls, and assailants threw two Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in Berlin last week.

“Here in Germany, of all places,” Mr Scholz said, vowing that “our ‘never again’ must be unbreakable.”

‘Don’t destroy Gaza’: Families of Israelis killed or taken hostage by Hamas make emotional pleas for peace

05:26 , Namita Singh

As Israel makes preparations for a ground invasion, some of those who have lost loved ones tell our chief international correspondent Bel Trew that while they are devastated, military escalation is not the answer.

‘Don’t destroy Gaza’: Families of Israelis taken hostage by Hamas make plea for peace

Blinken warns US will respond if personnel become targets of Israel-Hamas war

05:21 , Namita Singh

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the US expects the Israel-Hamas war to escalate through involvement by proxies of Iran and asserted that the Biden administration is prepared to respond if American personnel or armed forces become the target of any such hostilities.

“This is not what we want, not what we’re looking for. We don’t want escalation,” Mr Blinken said. “We don’t want to see our forces or our personnel come under fire. But if that happens, we’re ready for it.”

Mr Blinken’s warning came as Israel‘s military response to a deadly 7 October attack by Hamas on civilians in communities in southern Israel entered its third week.

Read here:

Blinken, Austin say US is ready to respond if US personnel become targets of Israel-Hamas war

Archbishop of Canterbury condemns bombing of civilians in Gaza

05:08 , Namita Singh

The Archbishop of Canterbury has condemned the bombing of civilians in Gaza and stressed the urgent need for a ceasefire and the setting up of a humanitarian aid corridor into the territory under siege from Israel.

Speaking in Jerusalem, Justin Welby called for an end to the bloodshed in which thousands have been killed.

Following attacks on Israel by Hamas, intensive air strikes on Gaza have resulted in 4,651 deaths, according to Palestinian authorities, reports our world affairs editor Kim Sengupta:

Archbishop of Canterbury condemns bombing of civilians in Gaza in Jerusalem visit

Editorial: What does victory actually look like for Netanyahu

05:02 , Namita Singh

In taking on such powerful and ruthless forces without clear war aims, or anything like an exit strategy, Benjamin Netanyahu is making some grievous mistakes.

Read the Independent view here:

Editorial: What does victory actually look like for Netanyahu?

Israeli-American reservist killed on Lebanon border after being called up for duty

05:02 , Namita Singh

An Israeli-American reservist has been killed by an anti-tank missile fired by Hezbollah along the Israel-Lebanon border.

Staff Sgt Omer Balva, of Rockland, Maryland, was serving as a platoon commander in the 9203 battalion of the Alexandroni Brigade when he died on Friday, roughly 115 miles from Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Balva was among 360,000 reservists called up to combat Hamas after terrorist attacks on Israel two weeks ago, leaving more than 1,000 dead.

My colleague Alex Woodward reports:

Israeli-American reservist killed on Lebanon border after being called up for duty

Watch: Netanyahu warns Hezbollah against joining Israel-Gaza war as he visits military camp

04:51 , Namita Singh

Netanyahu warns Hezbollah against joining Israel-Gaza war

Israel strikes on Gaza intensify as WHO warns 130 premature babies at ‘grave risk’ as fuel runs out

04:47 , Namita Singh

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that 130 premature babies and 1,000 kidney patients in Gaza are at “grave risk” as the fuel needed to power dialysis and incubators runs out.

Israel’s military spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, warned that Israel planned to “intensify” its strikes on Gaza in order to “minimise the risk to troops in the next stages of the war”, which it is widely anticipated will involve a ground invasion.

Cross-border fire between Israel and militant groups in Lebanon has also increased, and Israel has struck two airports in Syria, as the two-week war with Hamas threatened to spiral into a broader regional conflict. Residents of Gaza told The Independent that the air raids had never been so heavy and that supplies were quickly running out.

Our chief international correspondent Bel Trew reports from Tel Aviv:

Israel strikes on Gaza intensify as WHO warns 130 premature babies at ‘grave risk’

ICYMI: Thousands attend central London rally calling on Hamas to release hostages

04:36 , Namita Singh

Thousands of people attended a rally in central London on Sunday calling for the safe return of hostages by Hamas.

The “solidarity rally” in Trafalgar Square was organised by a number of groups, including the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Relatives of those murdered and abducted by Hamas fighters on October 7, when some 200 hostages were seized during an incursion into Israel, addressed the vigil.

Ayelet Svatitzky, whose brother was killed, and whose mother and another brother were abducted, said: “The crimes that Hamas perpetrated against the Jewish people, against humanity, were intended to break the Jewish spirit. Instead, they united us.”

Report:

Thousands attend central London rally calling on Hamas to release hostages

Ange Postecoglou hopes Fulham clash offers ‘escape’ from troubles amid conflict

04:26 , Namita Singh

Ange Postecoglou will not tell Tottenham supporters how to feel about the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict but hopes his team can provide a sense of escapism when they host Fulham on Monday night.

The fixture will be Spurs’ first at home since tensions escalated in the Middle East, with hundreds of Palestinian civilians killed in a massive blast at a Gaza City hospital on Tuesday.

A statement was issued by Tottenham earlier this month in response to the initial war breaking out between Israel and Hamas, but some supporters were critical of the club for failing to show support for victims from the Jewish community, which has a long-standing affiliation with the Premier League outfit.

Report:

Ange Postecoglou hopes Fulham clash offers ‘escape’ from troubles amid conflict

Dwindling fuel supplies for Gaza’s hospital geenrators put premature babies in incubators at risk

04:17 , Namita Singh

A premature baby squirms inside a glass incubator in the neonatal ward of al-Aqsa Hospital in the central Gaza Strip. He cries out as intravenous lines are connected to his tiny body. A ventilator helps him breathe as a catheter delivers medication and monitors flash his fragile vital signs.

His life hinges on the constant flow of electricity, which is in danger of running out imminently unless the hospital can get more fuel for its generators. Once the generators stop, hospital director Iyad Abu Zahar fears that the babies in the ward, unable to breathe on their own, will perish.

“The responsibility on us is huge,” he said.

Doctors treating premature babies across Gaza are grappling with similar fears, finds this report:

Dwindling fuel supplies for Gaza's hospital generators put premature babies in incubators at risk

ICYMI: British girl, 16, killed in Hamas attack along with mother and sister, family says

04:10 , Namita Singh

A British teenager was murdered in Hamas’s attack on Israel, along with her mother and 13-year-old sister, her family has said.

Noiya Sharabi, aged 16, and her sister Yahel disappeared after the Palestinian militant group attacked Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel after breaking through the border from Gaza on 7 October, killing some 1,400 people, including the girls’ British-born mother Lianne.

Yahel’s death was confirmed last week, and her family told the BBC on Sunday that Noiya has now been formally identified.

Read the details here:

British girl, 16, killed in Hamas attack along with mother and sister, family say

Suella Braverman to question Met Police chief over Gaza protests response

04:04 , Namita Singh

Home secretary Suella Braverman will question Metropolitan Police chief Sir Mark Rowley over the force’s response to demonstrators who chanted “jihad” during a pro-Palestinian protest in London.

Several hundred people attended a protest outside the Egyptian and Turkish embassies on Saturday organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir, and a handful were filmed shouting “jihad” when asked by a speaker what should be done to “liberate people in the concentration camp called Palestine”.

Scotland Yard said its specialist counterterrorism officers had assessed the footage and did not identify any offences, with the force pointing out that the word “jihad” has numerous meanings.

Andy Gregory reports:

Suella Braverman to question Met Police chief over Gaza protests response

Sunak and Biden in joint push with allies to prevent Israel-Hamas war spreading

04:03 , Namita Singh

World leaders including Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden are stepping up diplomatic efforts to prevent the Israel-Gaza war triggering wider bloodshed across the Middle East.

The prime minister and US president, along with the leaders of France, German, Italy and Canada, called for Israel to respect international humanitarian law, demanded the release of the hostages held by Hamas and pushed for aid for Gaza.

The joint call came as the conflict threatened to spread as Israel continues preparations for a ground offensive in Gaza.

Read the details here:

Sunak and Biden in joint push with allies to prevent Israel-Hamas war spreading

Macron and Rutte to visit Netanyahu in Israel

04:01 , Andy Gregory

French president Emmanuel Macron will visit Israel in coming days, Bejamin Netanyahu’s office has said.

Mr Macron and Dutch PM Mark Rutte “will arrive tomorrow and Tuesday and will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” his office said.

US and Israel pledge ‘continued flow’ of aid to Gaza

03:56 , Namita Singh

As desperately needed humanitarian aid trucks trickle through the only crossing into Gaza, president Joe Biden is reportedly pressing Israel to delay ground attacks of the occupied Palestinian territory.

US officials are in a race alongside international partners and embassies to secure the release of dozens of hostages kidnapped by Hamas militants two weeks ago. Hamas attacks on 7 October killed more than 1,400 Israelis while more than 4,300 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory bombardments and airstrikes.

Israel is now preparing troops for a ground assault on Gaza which could significantly complicate hostage negotiations and the delivery of aid to more than two million Palestinians trapped in the region.

My colleague Alex Woodward reports:

US and Israel pledge ‘continued flow’ of aid to Gaza

Maureen Lipman says artists should feel shame for stance on Gaza

03:51 , Namita Singh

Dame Maureen Lipman has said artists should feel “shame” for advocating for Palestinians following the Hamas attack on Israel.

Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton, Game Of Thrones star Charles Dance, I’m Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan and Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes are among more than 2,000 artists to back an open call for humanitarian support in Gaza.

The letter, written by Artists For Palestine UK, calls for “an immediate ceasefire and the opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow humanitarian aid to enter unhindered”.

It has also urged governments to “end their military and political support for Israel’s actions”.

Report:

Maureen Lipman says artists should feel shame for stance on Gaza

Joe Biden mocked by SNL’s Colin Jost for ‘strong warning’ over Israel-Hamas conflict

03:00 , Andy Gregory

Israeli-American reservist killed on Lebanon border after being called up for duty

02:01 , Andy Gregory

My US colleague Alex Woodward reports:

An Israeli-American reservist has been killed by an anti-tank missile fired by Hezbollah along the Israel-Lebanon border.

Staff Sgt Omer Balva, of Rockland, Maryland, was serving as a platoon commander in the 9203 battalion of the Alexandroni Brigade when he died on Friday, roughly 115 miles from Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Balva was among 360,000 reservists called up to combat Hamas after terrorist attacks on Israel two weeks ago, leaving more than 1,000 dead.

The 22-year-old grew up in the Maryland suburbs and moved to Israel with his parents in 2019. He was studying for a degree in business administration and economics at Reichman University in Herzliya, Israel.

Israeli-American reservist killed on Lebanon border after being called up for duty

Gaza residents say Israeli leaflets threaten them as potential ‘terror accomplices’

Monday 23 October 2023 00:55 , Andy Gregory

Our chief international correspondent Bel Trew reports from Tel Aviv:

Residents who have stayed in Gaza City, in the north, told The Independent Israel dropped more leaflets on Saturday that said if people did not move to the south they “might be identified as accomplices of a terrorist organisation”. They shared images of the leaflets.

This has raised further concerns about further violations of international law if civilians are targeted for not moving.

The Israeli military did not deny they sent the leaflets in a statement to The Independent, but added that “the translation from Arabic that has spread online is imprecise” without specifying which translation was wrong.

“We clarify that the IDF [Israeli army] has no intention to consider those who have not evacuated from the affected area of fighting as a member of the terrorist group. The IDF treats civilians as such, and does not target them,” the statement read.

“In order to minimise civilian harm, the IDF sent a request to the residents of the northern area of the Gaza Strip to evacuate southward of Wadi Gaza.”

US and Israel pledge ‘continued flow’ of aid to Gaza

Monday 23 October 2023 00:29 , Joe Middleton

As desperately-needed humanitarian aid trucks trickle through the only crossing into Gaza, President Joe Biden is reportedly pressing Israel to delay ground attacks of the occupied Palestinian territory.

US officials are in a race, alongside international partners and embassies, to secure the release of dozens of hostages kidnapped by Hamas militants two weeks ago. Hamas attacks on 7 October killed more than 1,400 Israelis while more than 4,300 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory bombardments and airstrikes.

Israel is now preparing troops for a ground assault on Gaza which could significantly complicate hostage negotiations and the delivery of aid to more than two million Palestinians trapped in the region.

President Biden and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Sunday and “affirmed that there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza”.

US and Israel pledge ‘continued flow’ of aid to Gaza

US president Joe Biden ramps up diplomacy with calls for leaders of Canada, France, Britain, Germany and Italy on Sunday

Monday 23 October 2023 00:27 , Joe Middleton

US President Joe Biden also ramped up his diplomacy, convening separate calls on Sunday with the leaders of Canada, France, Britain, Germany and Italy, after speaking with Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope Francis.

Netanyahu also held a phone call with the leaders of France, Spain and the Netherlands late on Sunday, the Israeli leader’s office said.

“The prime minister noted his nation’s unity and determination to eliminate the military and governing capabilities of Hamas,” Netanyahu’s office said.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will visit Israel this week.

Eight Palestinians killed in West Bank on Sunday, health ministry says

Sunday 22 October 2023 23:58 , AP

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, 93 Palestinians have been killed – including eight on Sunday – in clashes with Israeli troops, arrest raids and attacks by Jewish settlers since the Hamas attacks, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Israeli forces have closed crossings into the territory and checkpoints between cities, measures they say are aimed at preventing attacks. Israel says it has arrested more than 700 Palestinians since 7 October, including 480 suspected Hamas members.

Israeli forces killed at least five people there early on Sunday, according to the health ministry.

Israel announces more evacuations near Lebanon border

Sunday 22 October 2023 23:15 , Andy Gregory

Israel has expanded its planned evacuations of communities near Lebanon, adding 14 communities to an existing list of 28 villages near the border.

Hezbollah and Israel have been trading fire at the frontier with increasing frequency since Hamas’s attack on 7 October, with Hezbollah announcing the deaths of six more of its fighters on Sunday, raising the death toll in the past fornight to 26.

Lebanese security sources say 11 fighters with Palestinian groups in Lebanon, allied to Hezbollah, have been killed in the border area, alongside four civilians.

At least five Israeli soldiers and one civilian have been killed on Israel’s side of the frontier, based on Israeli military reports.

Watch: Netanyahu warns Hezbollah against joining Israel-Gaza war during soldier’s visit

Sunday 22 October 2023 22:31 , Andy Gregory

Benjamin Netanyahu has told troops in northern Israel that if Hezbollah launches a war, "it will make the mistake of its life.

“We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating,” the Israeli prime minister has said.

Second convoy of aid includes water, food and medical supplies, says Israel

Sunday 22 October 2023 21:25 , Andy Gregory

Israeli authorities have said they had allowed a second batch of aid into Gaza at the request of the United States.

Cogat, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said the aid included water, food and medical supplies and that everything was inspected by Israel before it was brought into Gaza.

UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, confirmed the arrival of 14 trucks.

Breaking: Second UN aid convoy enters Gaza from Egypt

Sunday 22 October 2023 21:21 , Andy Gregory

A second convoy of UN aid trucks has now entered Gaza from Egypt.

The arrival of 14 trucks comes after 20 trucks were allowed to enter on Saturday.

The UN’s humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths called it “another glimmer of hope” but warned that the millions of people of Gaza “need much, much more”.

At least three killed in Israeli airstrike on Jabalia refugee camp

Sunday 22 October 2023 21:11 , Andy Gregory

At least three Palestinians were killed on Sunday night and several others were wounded in an Israeli air strike in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza strip, medics and witnesses have told Reuters.

The camp, situated a few miles north of Gaza City, is no stranger to strikes, with Amnesty International stating that at least 69 people were killed on 9 October when Israeli air strikes hit a market there.

A man looks at the destruction in a ravaged neighbourhood in the Gaza Strip Jabalia refugee camp on 11 October after overnight strikes (AFP via Getty Images)
A man looks at the destruction in a ravaged neighbourhood in the Gaza Strip Jabalia refugee camp on 11 October after overnight strikes (AFP via Getty Images)

Israel strikes on Gaza intensify as WHO warns 130 premature babies at ‘grave risk’ as fuel runs out

Sunday 22 October 2023 20:43 , Andy Gregory

Our chief international correspondent Bel Trew reports from Tel Aviv:

Israel has launched its heaviest air strikes yet on Gaza yet as the World Health Organisation warned 130 premature babies and 1000 kidney patients in Gaza, were at “grave risk” as fuel needed to power dialysis and incubators runs out.

Israeli’s military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari warned that it planned to “intensify” its strikes on Gaza to “minimise the risk to troops in the next stages of the war” that is widely anticipated to be a ground invasion.

Cross border fire with militant groups in Lebanon have also increased and Israel has struck two airports in Syria, as the two-week war with Hamas threatened to spiral into a broader region-wide conflict.

Residents of Gaza told The Independent the air raids had never been so heavy, as supplies were running out.

Israel strikes on Gaza intensify as WHO warns 130 premature babies at ‘grave risk’

Michael Gove says Jewish community ‘must be protected’ at rally in London

Sunday 22 October 2023 20:18 , Andy Gregory

Michael Gove has told a rally in central London that the Jewish community in England “must be protected”, reports my colleague Francesca Casonato.

“Israel must stand strong and Britain stands with Israel”, Mr Gove reiterated on the stage of a rally organised by The Jewish Leadership Council to ask for the release of the Israelis kidnapped by Hamas.

Dutch PM to meet with Netanyahu and Abbas

Sunday 22 October 2023 19:55 , Andy Gregory

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte’s office has said he will travel to Israel for talks on Monday with prime minister Benjamin Netanyhu and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

 (AP)
(AP)

Second arrest made over ‘abuse shouted’ at Israeli hostages vigil

Sunday 22 October 2023 19:33 , Andy Gregory

A second person has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence after allegedly shouting abuse towards those taking part in a vigil for Hamas hostages, the Metropolitan Police has said.

Israeli soldier killed during raid into Gaza Strip, IDF says

Sunday 22 October 2023 19:02 , Andy Gregory

An Israeli soldier was killed by an anti-tank missile on Sunday during a raid into the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said.

Israeli troops have been conducting raids across the border, which the military says are meant to clear the area and gather intelligence about missing people and captives being held by militant group Hamas in the enclave.

“An IDF soldier was killed, one was moderately injured, and two were lightly injured as a result of an anti-tank missile launched toward an IDF tank and an engineering vehicle,” the Israeli military said.

British-born man tells of sister-in-law’s killing in Hamas attack

Sunday 22 October 2023 18:17 , Tara Cobham

A British-born man has told of discovering his sister-in-law had been killed in the Hamas attack on Israel as he and his wife hid from the militants in their home.

David, a teacher who was born and grew up in Leeds, said he was woken up at 6.30am on 7 October to the sound of rocket strikes and “shooting from all sides” in his kibbutz.

Speaking at a rally in central London, his voice broke as he told of receiving two phone calls from his eldest son and his daughter who were both also under attack in Israel with their families.

He said he expressed his concern to his wife about her sister Naomi, who usually goes for a run on Shabbat morning.

The pair sheltered in their bomb-proof room for hours and when they emerged the following afternoon news filtered through that Naomi had been killed, he said. “She went for a run and was shot in the back and head from zero range.”

When he and his wife finally managed to escape their kibbutz, he said: “I got to the gate of the kibbutz, and there were bodies everywhere and cars riddled with bullets. I said to my wife, ‘Don’t look.’ But how could you not look? There’s nowhere, no place you can’t look. Death everywhere.”

Appealing to the British government, he said: “Bring back our families, our children.”

Family confirms missing British teenager killed in Hamas attack, reports BBC

Sunday 22 October 2023 17:51 , Tara Cobham

The family of a missing British teenager has now confirmed she was killed in the Hamas attack on Israel, the BBC has reported.

Noiya Sharabi, 16, and her 13-year-old sister Yahel disappeared after the militants’ massacre at Kibbutz Be’eri on 7 October, in which their British-born mother Lianne was killed.

After Yahel’s death was confirmed last week, the sisters’ British family confirmed Noiya’s death to the BBC on Sunday, saying that she has now been formally identified.

Paying tribute to the teenager, they told the broadcaster: "Noiya was clever, sensitive, fun and full of life - her smile lit up the room like a beacon."

“[She] embraced every opportunity to help others, particularly those less fortunate than she, and was a gifted student and linguist.

“Most importantly, she was an amazing granddaughter, cousin and niece. We are heartbroken she has gone, but forever grateful she was here.”

The sisters’ father Eli is still missing, while other relatives have been kidnapped.

The family described Yahel as "a bundle of energy" who loved "riding her bike at breakneck speed around the kibbutz, playing football, singing and dancing to Tik Tok and YouTube with sister, Noiya, and, on occasions her British cousins".

Noiya and Yahel both disappeared after the Hamas attack on Israel (BBC)
Noiya and Yahel both disappeared after the Hamas attack on Israel (BBC)

Watch: Gove says Jewish community ‘must be protected’ at London rally

Sunday 22 October 2023 17:35 , Tara Cobham

‘Britain stands with Israel,’ Michael Gove tells London rally

Sunday 22 October 2023 17:29 , Tara Cobham

Michael Gove has told a rally in central London “Israel must stand strong and Britain stands with Israel”.

The Communities Secretary told the the “solidarity rally” in Trafalgar Square: “There are no words to describe the suffering of families who have seen their relatives butchered in front of them and relatives who who live in hope that those who were living peacefully in their homes just two weeks ago and are now in a Hamas dungeon should be freed. No words can sum up the evil of those responsible for these acts.

“But words matter and promises matter and world made a promise 75 years ago, never again.

“And what did we see a fortnight ago? The biggest most horrific slaughter of Jewish people since the Holocaust, carried out by terrorists, an act of evil unparalleled evil and barbarism. We must stand together against it. We must stand for life. We must bring the hostages home.

“There is a difference between now and 1945 and that difference is the Jewish people have a home, they have a nation. That nation was born in hope to uphold humanities greatest virtues.”

He added: “The IDF are there to protect civilians. Hamas exist to slaughter civilians.”

Members of the Jewish community attend a Solidarity Rally in Trafalgar Square, central London, calling for the safe return of hostages (Lucy North/PA Wire)
Members of the Jewish community attend a Solidarity Rally in Trafalgar Square, central London, calling for the safe return of hostages (Lucy North/PA Wire)