Middle East crisis live: UN chief ‘trusts Israel will comply’ with ICJ ruling as Israeli officials allege antisemitic bias | Israel-Gaza war


UN chief ‘trusts Israel will comply’ with ICJ ruling

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has said he hopes Israel will comply with the international court of justice’s ruling in the case against Israel.

In a statement from Stéphane Dujarric, the UN chief’s spokesperson, Guterres noted that decisions of the ICJ are binding and that he “trusts that all parties will duly comply with the Order from the Court.”

In a separate statement, the UN chief said he was “horrified” by the “serious” allegations implicating several staff members at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October.

Guterres has asked UNRWA commissioner general, Philippe Lazzarini, to investigate the allegations and to ensure that any employee shown to have participated or abetted in the attacks be “terminated immediately and referred for potential criminal prosecution. “

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Summary of the day so far

Here’s a recap of the latest developments:

At least 26,083 Palestinians have been killed and 64,487 have been injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza since 7 October, according to the latest figures from the Gaza health ministry on Friday. Those figures include 183 Palestinians killed and 377 injured in the past 24 hours.

Vital medical services at Gaza’s largest functioning health facility have collapsed amid ongoing intense fighting and bombing in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, leaving people with no options to go for treatment, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned. Most of the staff at Nasser hospital, along with thousands of displaced people sheltering in the hospital, fled in the days leading up to the evacuation order by Israel Defense Forces (IDF), while the European Gaza hospital is “unreachable” for medical staff because its neighbouring areas are under evacuation order, it said. Nasser hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza has experienced a complete power outage, according to reports.

An oil tanker is on fire after being struck off the coast of Yemen after Houthi threats in the key shipping route continued despite UK and US strikes. The Houthis have claimed their naval forces carried out an operation targeting “the British oil tanker Marlin Luanda” in the Gulf of Aden, causing a fire to break out. Shipping data suggests the vessel sails under the flag of the Marshall Islands. In a statement, commodities group Trafigura said firefighting equipment on board was being deployed to control the flames and the safety of the crew is its “foremost priority”.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said “intensive battles” continued to rage in the heart of the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, as it said dozens of Hamas targets were destroyed.

The ​UN’s international court of justice (ICJ) has ordered Israel to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. In an interim judgment delivered on Friday, the court stopped short of granting South Africa’s request to order an immediate ceasefire to the war. The ruling is not the final word from the court on whether Israel’s actions amount to genocide, but it provides a strong indication that the judges believe there is a credible risk to Palestinians under the genocide convention.

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said he expects Israel to abide by the international court of justice’s ruling that it take measures to prevent genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. “Some have told us we should mind our own business … and yet it is very much our place as the people who know too well the pain of dispossession, discrimination, state sponsored violence,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation. South Africa hailed a “decisive victory” for international rule of law following the court’s ruling.

Israeli officials have accused the international court of justice of antisemitic bias and expressed dismay that the case was not thrown out altogether. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said in response to the ruling that his country was committed to upholding international law, as well as defending its people. Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defence minister, who was cited by the court president for calling Palestinians “human animals” at the start of the Israeli offensive, said the court had gone “above and beyond” in granting South Africa’s “antisemitic” request.

Hamas has welcomed the international court of justice’s ruling on South Africa’s request to impose emergency measures against Israel over its war in Gaza. The Palestinian militant group also called on the international community to require Israel to implement the court’s decisions and stop what it called the continuing “genocide” against Palestinians. A senior Hamas official called for Israel to be forced to implement the court’s decisions. The Palestinian foreign ministry also welcomed orders by the ICJ, calling it an “important reminder that no state is above the law”.

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has said he hopes Israel will comply with the international court of justice’s ruling in the case against Israel. In a statement from Stéphane Dujarric, the UN chief’s spokesperson, Guterres noted that decisions of the ICJ are binding and that he “trusts that all parties will duly comply with the Order from the Court.”

International reactions to the top UN court’s ruling were split along the lines of the war raging in the Palestinian territory. The ICJ ruling was welcomed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Egypt and Spain. The EU said it expects Israel and Hamas to fully comply with the ICJ rulings. Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said Israel “must adhere” to the ruling but that Hamas also needs to release its remaining hostages. Iran’s foreign minister called for Israeli authorities to face justice. The US continues to believe that allegations of genocide against Israel are “unfounded”, a state department spokesperson said.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has launched an investigation into several employees accused of taking part in Hamas’s 7 October attacks in Israel, and has severed ties with those staff members, its head said on Friday. The US state department said it would provide no additional funding to the agency until the allegations were addressed.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has denied Israel’s accusation that it is “colluding” with Hamas by ignoring Israeli evidence of the “military use” of hospitals in the Gaza Strip. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the claims, made by Israel’s ambassador to the UN on Thursday, could endanger its staff “who are risking their lives” on the ground in Gaza.

Joe Biden spoke on Friday with his Egyptian and Qatari counterparts ahead of a trip to Europe by the CIA director, William Burns, to seek a deal to secure the release of more hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. Burns and his Israeli counterpart, Mossad head David Barnea, will meet Qatari officials in coming days for talks on a second potential Gaza hostage deal and pause in fighting, according to reports. The US and Israeli intelligence chiefs have previously met Qatari and Egyptian officials, helping to broker a short-lived truce in November that saw more than 100 hostages freed. Burns’ trip comes after a visit to the region by White House senior envoy Brett McGurk this week. The White House said however that there are no “imminent developments” on an agreement over a hostage release.

Hamas has released a video showing three Israeli women held hostage in Gaza. Two of the women in the video said they were Israeli soldiers, Daniela Gilboa, 19, and Karina Ariev, 19. A third, Doron Steinbrecher, 33, said she was a civilian.

The Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza, a key chronicler of the war in Gaza, has been evacuated from the strip and found refuge in Qatar. “I had to evacuate for a lot of reasons … I left with a broken heart,” Azaiza wrote. At least 76 journalists have been killed in Gaza in the three-month-old war, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Nasser hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza has experienced a complete power outage, according to reports.

The hospital, one of only two in the southern half of Gaza that can still treat critically ill patients, is completely without power, Al Jazeera is reporting.

Gaza no longer has a healthcare system, warns MSF

Vital medical services at Gaza’s largest functioning health facility have collapsed amid ongoing intense fighting and bombing in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, leaving people with no options to go for treatment, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned.

Most of the staff at Nasser hospital, along with thousands of displaced people sheltering in the hospital, fled in the days leading up to the evacuation order by Israel Defense Forces (IDF), MSF said in a statement today.

It said the hospital’s surgical capacity is “almost nonexistent” while the “handful” of medical staff who remain must contend with “very low supplies that are insufficient to handle mass casualty events”.

Between 300 and 350 patients remain at Nasser hospital, it said, noting that they were unable to evacuate because “it is too dangerous and there are no ambulances”. It said at least one patient had died on Wednesday because there was no orthopaedic surgeon available.

Meanwhile, the European Gaza hospital, the second biggest facility in southern Gaza, is “unreachable” for medical staff and people because its neighbouring areas are under evacuation order, it said.

Guillemette Thomas, MSF medical coordinator in Palestine, said:

People’s lives are at risk because of the lack of medical care. With Nasser and European Gaza Hospital almost inaccessible, there is no longer a healthcare system in Gaza.

Updated at 23.37 CET

Chinese officials have asked their Iranian counterparts to help rein in attacks on ships in the Red Sea by the Iran-backed Houthis, or else risk harming business relations with Beijing, according to a report.

An Iranian official briefed on the talks between Beijing and Tehran told Reuters:

Basically, China says: ‘If our interests are harmed in any way, it will impact our business with Tehran. So tell the Houthis to show restraint’.

The Chinese officials did not make any specific comments or threats about how Beijing’s trading relationship with Iran could be affected if its interests were damaged by Houthi attacks, Iranian sources told the news agency.

The Houthi attacks, which the group say are in support of Palestinians in Gaza, have raised the cost of shipping and insurance by disrupting a key trade route between Asia and Europe used widely by ships from China.

Beijing had made it clear it would be disappointed with Tehran if any vessels linked to China were hit, or if its interests were affected in any way, the sources said.

But while China was important to Iran, Tehran also had proxies in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, besides the Houthis in Yemen, and its regional alliances and priorities played a major role in its decision making, one of the Iranian sources said.

IDF says ‘intensive’ battles continue in Khan Younis

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said “intensive battles” continued to rage in the heart of the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, as it said dozens of Hamas targets were destroyed.

In an update this morning, the IDF said it had discovered about 200 tunnel shafts in Khan Younis and more than 130 Hamas military infrastructures.

Among the targets hit by Israeli fighter jets on Friday morning were “terror targets” that included operational centres, weapons storage facilities, observation posts, and meeting points used by Hamas militants, it said.

Residents of Khan Younis reported gun battles raging overnight, with Israeli forces blowing up buildings and houses in the western part of the city.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported on Thursday that Israeli units had bombed and shelled the area around the al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis, and that rescue workers could no longer reach it.

Most of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3m population have been forced to squeeze into Khan Younis and its nearby towns, after being driven out of northern Gaza earlier in Israel’s military campaign.

Patrick Wintour

Patrick Wintour

In seeking a provisional order from the international court of justice restraining Israel from committing potentially genocidal acts in Gaza, South Africa put not just Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the dock but also the whole post-second world war rules-based order, including the authority of the ICJ itself.

Never has there been such a high-profile case brought in the middle of such a bloody conflict, and rarely have so many staked so much on the outcome.

In the words of the Irish barrister Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh, who set out part of South’s Africa case to the court, “the imminent risk of death, harm and destruction that Palestinians in Gaza face today, and that they risk every day during the pendency of these proceedings, on any view justifies – indeed compels – the indication of provisional measures.

Some might say that the very reputation of international law – its ability and willingness to bind and to protect all peoples equally – hangs in the balance.

Extraordinarily, the court did not shirk from what it regarded as its responsibilities. It did not order a full ceasefire but it granted protective orders, including an end to the killing of Palestinians in Gaza, that went further than many international law experts were predicting.

The ruling is devastating for Israel and awkward for politicians such as the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, who said the case was meritless, and the UK foreign secretary, David Cameron, who urged South Africa not to bandy around words such as genocide.

The highest court in the world, the apex of the United Nations, has found there is a plausible risk that Palestinians’ right to be protected from a genocide are under threat from Israel’s actions. The irony of this is self-evident. The concepts of “crimes against humanity” and “genocide” were created by a Jewish law professor, Raphael Lemkin.

For Israel, a nation in part born in 1948 from the horrors of the Holocaust and centuries of persecution, this could be a moment for reflection. Its whole national identity is intertwined with the Holocaust, just as South’s Africa’s is indivisible from apartheid.

Read the full analysis here: ICJ’s Gaza decision shores up rules-based order and puts west to test

Palestinian protesters outside the international court of justice in The Hague react after judges order Israel to ensure acts of genocide are not committed in Gaza. Photograph: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters

The US is working to facilitate another deal on the release of hostages held in Gaza, but there are no “imminent developments” on an agreement, the White House has said.

The White House’s national security spokesperson, John Kirby, speaking amid a flurry of diplomatic efforts to reach a deal on the release of hostages, said:

We’re hopeful about the progress, but I do not expect … any imminent developments.

Updated at 23.56 CET

UN chief ‘trusts Israel will comply’ with ICJ ruling

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has said he hopes Israel will comply with the international court of justice’s ruling in the case against Israel.

In a statement from Stéphane Dujarric, the UN chief’s spokesperson, Guterres noted that decisions of the ICJ are binding and that he “trusts that all parties will duly comply with the Order from the Court.”

In a separate statement, the UN chief said he was “horrified” by the “serious” allegations implicating several staff members at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October.

Guterres has asked UNRWA commissioner general, Philippe Lazzarini, to investigate the allegations and to ensure that any employee shown to have participated or abetted in the attacks be “terminated immediately and referred for potential criminal prosecution. “

Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, has announced plans to visit Israel as he signalled support for its ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

Milei, in a speech during a Holocaust remembrance event in Buenos Aires, said he would travel to Israel “in the coming weeks”, one of his first overseas trips since he took office last month. He said:

In the coming weeks I will be traveling to the Holy Land in what will constitute a new chapter in the brotherhood between our two nations.

Argentina would “not remain silent in the face of Hamas terror”, he said, as he condemned the “atrocious and unforgivable” attacks by Hamas on Israel on 7 October.

Eleven Argentines are among the civilian hostages held by Hamas, he said.

Argentina’s Jewish community is one of the largest in Latin America and before taking office in December, Milei said he intended to convert to Judaism.

President of Argentina, Javier Milei participates in a commemorative event for the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust at the Shoa Museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina Photograph: Leonardo Kremenchuzky/EPAUK must respect ICJ ruling and immediately stop arms sales to Israel, says Oxfam

Oxfam has welcomed the international court of justice’s ruling in South Africa’s case against Israel, describing it as a “crucial step” towards “recognising the ongoing atrocities” in Gaza.

In a statement, Oxfam urged the UK government to “respect the court ruling, and cease its complicity in the crisis, starting by immediately stopping arms sales to Israel given the risk of them being used to commit war crimes and calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.”

“Anything less will be a stain on the UK’s reputation as an upholder of international law,” it said. The statement continues:

Palestinians should not have to endure another day of this suffering. We urge the UK and all countries to do all in their power to ensure those responsible for violations on both sides are held accountable, to secure the release of all hostages and detainees, and to end Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory.

Joe Biden spoke on Friday with his Egyptian and Qatari counterparts ahead of a trip to Europe by CIA director William Burns to seek a deal to secure the release of more hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, the Associated Press reports.

National security council spokesperson John Kirby told a White House press briefing that Biden spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. He added that while talks have been constructive, “we should not expect any imminent developments,” adding:

We continue to do everything we can to facilitate another hostage deal, just as we did in November.

CIA Director Burns is slated to soon meet in Europe with David Barnea, the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, Qatari prime minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel, according to three people familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity to discuss the sensitive talks.

The meeting will focus on the release of hostages in exchange for a pause in hostilities. The Biden administration’s hope is that an agreement could lead to an extended ceasefire that could eventually bring an end to the conflict, according to a US. official.

The CIA and the White House national security council declined to comment on the meeting.

Burns’ trip comes after a visit to the Mideast by White House senior envoy Brett McGurk this week focused on winning the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza.

McGurk has also been laying the groundwork for another trip to the region by the US secretary of state Antony Blinken, who next week could make his fifth trip to the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October.

Vessel on fire after Houthi missile attack in Gulf of Aden, says firm

The Singapore-based commodities company Trafigura has confirmed one of its vessels is on fire in the Gulf of Aden following a missile strike by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In a statement Friday reported by Bloomberg News, the company said the Marlin Luanda was carrying a consignment of flammable petroleum naptha fuel used in the production of gasoline and plastics. It added military help was on the way:

Firefighting equipment on board is being deployed to suppress and control the fire caused in one cargo tank on the starboard side.

We remain in contact with the vessel and are monitoring the situation carefully. Military ships in the region are underway to provide assistance.

Updated at 22.00 CET

Britain’s opposition Labour party is urging Israel to comply fully with the orders of the International Court of Justice’s ruling on the war in Gaza.

The shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, called for an “end to extremist rhetoric” and Israel’s adherence to the “urgent provisional measures” set out in the interim decision, the UK Press Association reported.

David Lammy. Photograph: Maja Smiejkowska/PA

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) stopped short of ordering a ceasefire in Gaza but demanded Israel attempted to try to contain death and damage in its military offensive.

Lammy said:

The interim ruling under the Genocide Convention on the situation in Gaza is a profoundly serious moment. Labour has been clear throughout the conflict that international law must be upheld, that the independence of international courts must be respected, and that all sides must be accountable for their actions.

The ICJ’s interim ruling… sets out urgent provisional measures that must be followed. Israel must now comply with the orders in this ruling in full.

The ICJ’s measures align closely with Labour’s longstanding calls for the protection of civilians, urgent humanitarian relief in Gaza and an end to extremist rhetoric. We will press for these orders to be implemented, alongside an immediate humanitarian truce and a sustainable ceasefire.

David Cameron, the UK foreign secretary, was concluding a visit to the Middle East on Friday, having pushed the Israeli government on a two-state solution to the Middle East crisis and called for urgent humanitarian pauses in Israel’s military operations.

Houthis claim attack on ‘British oil tanker’

Yemen’s Houthi militants say their naval forces carried out an operation targeting a vessel they identified as “the British oil tanker Marlin Luanda” in the Gulf of Aden on Friday, Reuters is reporting.

They used “a number of appropriate naval missiles, the strike was direct,” the Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said in a statement.

According to the website marinetraffic.com, Marlin Luanda is an oil tanker registered in the Marshall Islands, and is currently on a voyage between the Greek port of Lakonikos and Singapore. The vessel has no known connection to Britain.

British maritime security firm Ambrey earlier reported that a fire broke out on a merchant vessel travelling through the Gulf of Aden after it was hit with a “missile”. The crew was reported safe, Ambrey added.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said it had received a report of an incident 60 nautical miles south east of Yemen’s Aden, in which a vessel was on fire and “requiring assistance”. It was not immediately clear if it was referring to the same episode.

Separately, a US Navy warship shot down a missile fired towards it from Yemen on Friday, AFP reports.

“Iranian-backed Houthi militants fired one anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward [the] Arleigh-Burke class destroyer USS Carney in the Gulf of Aden,” the US Central Command said in a statement.

“The missile was successfully shot down by USS Carney. There were no injuries or damage reported.”

Germany’s state broadcaster ARD has accused Israel of preventing two of its Palestinians workers from leaving Gaza, where they fear for their lives.

The outlet said it had been pushing for two of its long-term Palestinian workers to be able to leave Gaza for more than two months, with support from the German government, Reuters reported.

Israel has so far refused, citing security concerns, it said.

One of its employees, Mohammed Abusaif, had already been evacuated eight times since the beginning of the Israeli offensive and was now living in a tent in the southern town of Rafah, ARD said, adding that he was both worried about the Israeli strikes and about reprisals from Hamas.

“This does not make sense because they would not even be stepping onto Israeli soil,” said ARD senior editor Christian Nitsche.

These colleagues are no security risk, and we call therefore on the Israeli authorities, on the government, to let our colleagues leave.

The German foreign ministry, in a social media post, said it shared ARD’s concerns about their local staff and would continue to push for them to be able to leave.

Updated at 20.21 CET

Here are some of the latest images we have received from the newswires from Gaza.

Residents and civil defense teams carry out a search and rescue operation around the rubble of the building demolished after Israeli attack in Deir Al Balah, Gaza. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty ImagesAn aerial view of destroyed buildings as a result of the Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp in Deir al-Balah, Gaza. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty ImagesInjured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for treatment following the Israeli attacks in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty ImagesInjured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for treatment following the Israeli attacks in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty ImagesRelatives of Palestinians who died following the Israeli attacks on Nuseirat refugee camp mourn as the bodies are brought to the morgue of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al Balah, Gaza. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty ImagesSummary of the day so far

Here’s a recap of the latest developments:

At least 26,083 Palestinians have been killed and 64,487 have been injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza since 7 October, according to the latest figures from the Gaza health ministry on Friday. Those figures include 183 Palestinians killed and 377 injured in the past 24 hours.

The ​UN’s international court of justice (ICJ) has ordered Israel to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. In an interim judgment delivered on Friday, the court stopped short of granting South Africa’s request to order an immediate ceasefire to the war. The ruling is not the final word from the court on whether Israel’s actions amount to genocide, but it provides a strong indication that the judges believe there is a credible risk to Palestinians under the genocide convention.

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said he expects Israel to abide by the international court of justice’s ruling that it take measures to prevent genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. “Some have told us we should mind our own business … and yet it is very much our place as the people who know too well the pain of dispossession, discrimination, state sponsored violence,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation. South Africa hailed a “decisive victory” for international rule of law following the court’s ruling.

Israeli officials have accused the international court of justice of antisemitic bias and expressed dismay that the case was not thrown out altogether. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said in response to the ruling that his country was committed to upholding international law, as well as defending its people. Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defence minister, who was cited by the court president for calling Palestinians “human animals” at the start of the Israeli offensive, said the court had gone “above and beyond” in granting South Africa’s “antisemitic” request.

Hamas has welcomed the international court of justice’s ruling on South Africa’s request to impose emergency measures against Israel over its war in Gaza. The Palestinian militant group also called on the international community to require Israel to implement the court’s decisions and stop what it called the continuing “genocide” against Palestinians. A senior Hamas official called for Israel to be forced to implement the court’s decisions. The Palestinian foreign ministry also welcomed orders by the ICJ, calling it an “important reminder that no state is above the law”.

International reactions to the top UN court’s ruling were split along the lines of the war raging in the Palestinian territory. The ICJ ruling was welcomed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Egypt and Spain. The EU said it expects Israel and Hamas to fully comply with the ICJ rulings. Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said Israel “must adhere” to the ruling but that Hamas also needs to release its remaining hostages. Iran’s foreign minister called for Israeli authorities to face justice. The US continues to believe that allegations of genocide against Israel are “unfounded”, a state department spokesperson said.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has launched an investigation into several employees accused of taking part in Hamas’s 7 October attacks in Israel, and has severed ties with those staff members, its head said on Friday. The US state department said it would provide no additional funding to the agency until the allegations were addressed.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has denied Israel’s accusation that it is “colluding” with Hamas by ignoring Israeli evidence of the “military use” of hospitals in the Gaza Strip. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the claims, made by Israel’s ambassador to the UN on Thursday, could endanger its staff “who are risking their lives” on the ground in Gaza.

Hamas has released a video showing three Israeli women held hostage in Gaza. Two of the women in the video said they were Israeli soldiers, Daniela Gilboa, 19, and Karina Ariev, 19. A third, Doron Steinbrecher, 33, said she was a civilian.

A fire broke out on a merchant vessel travelling through the Gulf of Aden after it was hit with a “missile”, according to British maritime security firm Ambrey. The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it had received a report of an incident 60 nautical miles south east of Yemen’s port of Aden. In a separate incident, the (UKMTO) said it had received a report of two missiles exploding in waters near a ship off Aden.

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency and his Israeli counterpart will meet Qatari officials in coming days for talks on a second potential Gaza hostage deal and pause in fighting, according to reports. The US and Israeli intelligence chiefs have previously met Qatari and Egyptian officials, helping to broker a short-lived truce in November that saw more than 100 hostages freed.

The Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza, a key chronicler of the war in Gaza, has been evacuated from the strip and found refuge in Qatar. “I had to evacuate for a lot of reasons … I left with a broken heart,” Azaiza wrote. At least 76 journalists have been killed in Gaza in the three-month-old war, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).



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