Israel says ground operation at its ‘most intense day’

    Israeli strike in Lebanon kills soldier and wounds 3, army says

    An Israeli strike in Lebanon killed one soldier of that country’s armed forces and wounded three others, the Lebanese Armed Forces said today.

    The Israel Defense Forces acknowledged that it harmed members of the Lebanese Armed Forces and that it was a mistake.

    “The Lebanese Armed Forces were not the target of the strike,” the IDF said. “The IDF expresses regret over the incident. The incident is under review.”

    The militant group Hezbollah operates in Lebanon, but Lebanon’s armed forces are not part of the conflict. It appears to be the first report of a killing of a Lebanese soldier since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks on Israel and the subsequent war against Hamas by Israel.

    The IDF said that its forces were acting against an “imminent threat” and that “the threat was identified within a known launch area and observation point of ​​the Hezbollah terrorist organization, near al-Awadi.”

    State Department thinks Israel isn’t doing enough on allowing aid into Gaza

    The 100 trucks of aid and 70,000 liters of fuel going into Gaza each day for humanitarian purposes is not enough, a spokesman for the State Department said today.

    “They need more humanitarian assistance. They need more food and water,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said at a briefing. “And in that respect, we don’t think Israel is doing enough. We think they need to do more to allow humanitarian assistance in.”

    Israel’s military has said it would expand its campaign against Hamas to all of Gaza.

    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this week that the U.S. does not want to see a return to the large-scale displacement and civilian deaths that occurred in Gaza when Israel attacked the north of the territory.

    “We have seen them conducting the campaign in some ways in the south in a different fashion than they did in the north,” Miller said. He said that included Israel’s publishing “more limited evacuation zones.”

    Mounting evidence suggests Hamas sexual assaults and other crimes against women

    NBC News has reviewed evidence that suggests dozens of Israeli women were raped, sexually abused or mutilated during the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks.

    Israeli officials say Hamas militants were instructed to systematically carry out sexual violence on women and children.

    “This was systematic gender-based violence that was so horrific it’s hard for me to find the words,” said Cochav Elkayam-Levy, the chair of a newly created Civil Commission on Oct. 7th Crimes by Hamas Against Women and Children.

    Over the last several weeks, NBC News has reviewed five interrogations of captured Hamas fighters, an Arabic-language document that instructed Hamas how to pronounce “Take off your pants” in Hebrew, six images of naked or partially naked deceased female bodies, seven eyewitness accounts of sexual violence, including both rape and mutilation, 11 testimonies of first responders and two accounts from workers in morgues who handled the bodies of women after they were recovered from the massacre.

    The evidence, primarily from the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli officials, suggests that dozens of Israeli women were raped or sexually abused or mutilated during the Oct. 7 attacks.

    Read the full story here.

    Doug Emhoff aims for a role as consoler amid the Israel-Hamas war

    Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff attends an anti-hate event during a visit to the U.K., on Nov. 2, 2023.
    Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff at an anti-hate event during a visit to the U.K. on Nov. 2.PA Images via Getty Images file

    Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff spoke today to the owner of a Jewish-owned falafel restaurant in Philadelphia that was the target of protests the White House has called antisemitic, offering support amid heightened political tensions over the Israel-Hamas war. 

    In the call, Emhoff and Michael Solomonov, the Israeli American chef and owner of Goldie, talked about how food was supposed to bring people together rather than be a source of division. Solomonov told Emhoff he was overwhelmed by the outreach he has received since the protest at his restaurant Sunday and thanked him, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris, for their support, according to a source familiar with the call.

    The roughly 10-minute conversation was just the latest of dozens Emhoff has quietly been having during the past two months with both political leaders and ordinary people affected by the fallout of the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. They have been done with little fanfare, often coming about simply because he wants to check in on how the people and groups they represent are doing, making a personal connection at a fraught political moment, according to a source familiar with the calls. 

    Read the full story here.

    IDF gunners reload on the Gaza border

    Israel pressed on with its expanded ground operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, following the expiry of a seven-day truce on Friday, after which fighting resumed.
    Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP via Getty Images
    Israel pressed on with its expanded ground operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, following the expiry of a seven-day truce on Friday, after which fighting resumed. Hamas militants from Gaza launched an unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials.
    Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP via Getty Images

    Soldiers with an Israeli artillery unit load munitions near the border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Israel pressed on with its expanded ground operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, following the expiration of a seven-day truce Friday, after which fighting resumed. 

    Netanyahu demands more international support — but says only Israel can demilitarize Gaza

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a briefing that the only way to end the war is to use “overwhelming force” and called on the international community to “stand with Israel, stand with civilization.”

    But Netanyahu also said that the Israeli army is the only one that can demilitarize Gaza.

    “Gaza must be demilitarized, for Gaza to be demilitarized there is only one force that can take care of this demilitarization and that force is Israel’s steering army. No international power can be responsible for this,” he said.

    “I am not ready to close my eyes and accept any other arrangement.”

    Participant describes ‘chaotic’ meeting between hostage families and Israeli war cabinet

    A person who attended a meeting between the families of Israeli hostages and the war cabinet described it as “chaotic.”

    According to the participant, the main message from concerned families was “time is running out.” One family member held up an hourglass to emphasize the point. There was a lot of emotion, crying and raised voices, the participant said.

    Disagreements between the families and the cabinet were over the conduct of the hostage categorization process and who would get priority, such as older people, the young women still held hostage and the young men of military age. However, the families were united in wanting everyone back.

    There were also concerns about the resumption of fighting, and whether hostage negotiations would start again. The participant said the cabinet members did not provide a lot of information or concrete answers to these concerns.

    ‘Catastrophic hunger crisis’ will worsen in Gaza, World Food Programme warns

    The World Food Programme is warning that “resumption of hostilities in Gaza will only intensify the catastrophic hunger crisis that already threatens to overwhelm the civilian population.”

    The seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas allowed the WFP “to scale up relief operations” and reach approximately 250,000 people in just one week, according to the organization.

    “Tragically, this desperately needed progress is now being lost. The renewed fighting makes the distribution of aid almost impossible and endangers the lives of humanitarian workers. Above all, it is a disaster for the civilian population of Gaza, more than 2 million people, whose only lifeline is food assistance,” WFP said in a statement.

    The organization stressed that humanitarian staff need “safe, unimpeded, and sustained access” so they’re able to distribute aid throughout Gaza, and reiterated calls for a cease-fire.

    Vermont shooting victim says he is focused on the suffering in Gaza as he recovers

    Kinnan Abdalhamid.
    Kinnan Abdalhamid.Rich Price via AP

    Kinnan Abdalhamid, one of the three Palestinian students shot in Vermont over Thanksgiving weekend, said he and his friends are “completely focused” on the suffering in Gaza as they recover from their injuries.

    Abdalhamid and two of his high school classmates, Hisham Awartani and Tahseen Ali Ahmad, grew up in the West Bank before attending separate colleges in the U.S. They were visiting family in Burlington when they were shot.

    “My friends and I are almost unable to focus on ourselves because of what’s happening back home,” Abdalhamid said. “It’s like experiencing this makes us even more connected to what’s happening.”

    A GoFundMe account created Saturday to raise money for Awartani’s medical expenses revealed he is paralyzed from the chest down after being shot in the spine.

    Read the full story here.

    Harvard, MIT, Penn presidents defend responses to campus antisemitism

    The leaders of three elite universities were grilled by House Republicans today during a hearing on campus antisemitism since Oct. 7 and the start of the Israel-Hamas war. In testimony, the trio of college presidents acknowledged a sharp rise in anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim rhetoric and behavior, but insisted they were taking steps to address the issue.

    Claudine Gay of Harvard University, Elizabeth Magill of the University of Pennsylvania and Sally Kornbluth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology testified before the Republican-led House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Gay said her job required a delicate balancing act: simultaneously protecting Jewish students and the rights enshrined in the First Amendment.

    “I have sought to confront hate while preserving free expression,” Gay told members of the House committee. “I know that I have not always gotten it right.”

    In testimony during the sometimes contentious hearing, Gay and her counterparts at Penn and MIT pointed to actions they have taken to combat antisemitism, including condemnations of the Oct. 7 terror attack in Israel and expanded security measures. (Harvard came under particular scrutiny after a coalition of pro-Palestinian students released a letter saying Israel was “entirely responsible” for the Hamas assault.)

    “We have reiterated that speech that incites violence, threatens safety, or violates Harvard’s policies against bullying and harassment is unacceptable,” Gay said in her opening statement.

    Nearly three-quarters of Jewish college students in the U.S. experienced or witnessed antisemitism on their campus since the start of the academic year, according to a survey released last month by the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group.

    The survey, first reported by NBC News and CNBC, found that prior to the Oct. 7 assault, 67% of Jewish students reported that they felt “physically safe” on campus, whereas after the terror attack, only 46% said as much. In the first survey, 66% of Jewish students felt “emotionally safe,” whereas only 33% said that in the second survey, according to the ADL report.

    Biden says Hamas refusing to release women hostages ‘ended this cease-fire’

    At a campaign event in Boston, President Joe Biden spoke about reports of Hamas sexually abusing Israeli women — and blamed Hamas’ refusal to release female hostages for the end of the recent cease-fire.

    “We had a report early on that Hamas used rape against women in Israel. Reports of women being raped. Abusing their bodies and then murdering them. It’s appalling,” Biden said.

    “The world can’t just look away from what’s going on. We must forcefully condemn the sexual violence. These women 20-39 that they are refusing to release. Hamas’ refusal to release these young women is what ended this cease-fire.”

    Biden’s comments echo those made by State Department spokesman Matthew Miller yesterday, although Miller said an independent assessment on the reports of sexual assault has not been conducted. NBC News has not independently verified the reports.

    Israel’s new grid maps add to confusion and anger in Gaza

    A map shared by IDF spokesman Avichay Adraee shows territories of the Gaza Strip, calling on civilians to evacuate the region.
    A map shared by IDF spokesman Avichay Adraee shows territories of the Gaza Strip, calling on civilians to evacuate the region. @AvichayAdraee via X

    Facing mounting pressure to lessen Palestinian civilians’ suffering, Israel has combined its assault on the southern Gaza Strip with an online map dividing the enclave into hundreds of zones, which it says will direct residents to safe areas away from its fight against Hamas.

    However, this grid-based map has been derided by international aid agencies and people in Gaza. They say it is a confusing system that many inside the densely populated strip will be unable to access because of the intermittent electricity and internet coverage.

    Furthermore, Palestinians and international observers of Israel’s aerial and ground operation say that — with or without a map — nowhere in this heavily bombarded and besieged enclave is safe.

    “The map isn’t usable because the communications are really, really bad,” Mohammad Ghalayini, who lives in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, told NBC News.

    Read the full story here.

    Israelis survey damage from rocket attacks in Ashkelon

    Image: Rocket Strike In Ashkelon
    Amir Levy / Getty Images

    Katya Ekimov inspects her destroyed bedroom after a rocket attack today in Ashkelon, Israel. Ekimov heard a warning siren prior to the rocket strike and was able to enter a safe room in her apartment.

    A man looks through a hole in the wall of a house as a result of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, Israel, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023.
    Tsafrir Abayov / AP

    Hamas remains able to fire rockets from Gaza amid Israel’s expanded ground offensive and aerial campaign there.

    Over 1,000 U.S. citizens and residents leave Gaza; 220 still need help to leave, State Department says

    More than 1,000 American citizens, legal U.S. permanent residents and their family members have departed Gaza so far, according to State Department spokesperson Matt Miller.

    There are still around 750 people stuck in Gaza asking for help from the U.S. government to leave, including 220 American citizens, U.S. legal permanent residents and their family members. 

    Greenhouses and farmland razed in northern Gaza, Human Rights Watch says

    Satellite images show that orchards, greenhouses and farmland in northern Gaza have been razed, the Human Rights Watch said today.

    Since the start of Israel’s “ground invasion,” there have also been concerns regarding a lack of food and the impact this will have on people’s livelihoods.

    Gaza is suffering a loss of at least $1.6 million daily in farm production, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.  Amnesty International has stated in a report that knowingly committing disproportionate attacks qualifies as a war crime.

    College presidents testify before Congress on rise of antisemitic incidents on campuses

    The presidents of Harvard University, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania testified in front of the House Committee on Education on the sharp increase in antisemitic incidents since the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel.

    NBC News’ Ryan Nobles reports on what actions Congress could take to punish or support the universities.

    U.S. to impose visa restrictions on extremist Israeli settlers

    The U.S. plans to impose visa restrictions on extremist Israeli settlers in the West Bank and their family members, according to the State Department.

    “Today, the State Department is implementing a new visa restriction policy targeting individuals believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security, or stability in the West Bank, including through committing acts of violence or taking other actions that unduly restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. 

    Blinken also said that the U.S. will “continue to engage with the Israeli leadership to make clear that Israel must take additional measures to protect Palestinian civilians from extremist attacks,” as well as “engage the Palestinian Authority to make clear it must do more to curb Palestinian attacks against Israelis.”

    “Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have the responsibility to uphold stability in the West Bank,” Blinken said. “Instability in the West Bank both harms the Israeli and Palestinian people and threatens Israel’s national security interests.”

    IDF says it is encircling Khan Younis in southern Gaza

    The Israel Defense Forces are encircling Khan Younis in southern Gaza, according to Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi.

    “Simultaneously, we continue to secure our accomplishments in the northern Gaza Strip,” Halevi said. Many Hamas operatives have been killed in recent days, according to Halevi.

    Halevi also addressed the widespread destruction in Gaza as a result of Israeli bombardment. “Many ask about the destruction in Gaza. Hamas is the address. Sinwar is the address. Our forces find in nearly every building and house weapons and in many houses terrorists, and engage them in combat,” Halevi said.

    NBC News has not independently confirmed claims that the IDF found weapons and terrorists in nearly every building and home in Gaza.

    An explosion in Khan Yunis is visible from Rafah in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 5, 2023.
    An explosion in Khan Younis is visible from Rafah in the Gaza Strip today.Mohammed Abed / AFP – Getty Images

    Qatar emir calls out ‘shameful’ inaction by international community

    Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani called out the international community for its inaction in ending the Israel-Hamas conflict while addressing the U.N. Security Council.

    “It is shameful for the international community to allow this heinous crime to continue for nearly two months, during which the systematic and deliberate killing of innocent civilians continues, including women and children,” he said.

    Qatar is pressing for a comprehensive end to the war in Gaza and is working to repair a collapsed truce agreement between Israel and Hamas, Al Thani said on Tuesday.

    “We are constantly working to renew (the truce) and to alleviate the burden of our people in the Gaza Strip, but truces are not an alternative for a comprehensive ceasefire,” Al Thani said in a speech to Gulf leaders gathered in the Qatari capital Doha.

    Wounded Palestinians are brought to the hospital in Deir al Balah on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023.
    Wounded Palestinians are brought to the hospital in Deir al Balah today.Hatem Moussa / AP

    War against Hamas intended ‘to save the values of Western civilization,’ Israeli president says

    Israeli President Isaac Herzog was questioned today about the rising civilian death toll in Gaza as a result of Israel’s bombardment of the strip.

    “Under international humanitarian law, if somebody attacks us, or attacks anybody, we have the right to defend ourselves,” Herzog told MSNBC’s Ana Cabrera. “Now that means that if a terror organization is also all based throughout the terrain of Gaza Strip in houses, in living rooms, in shops, in mosques, then we have to go in.”

    When asked if the rising death toll in Gaza is acceptable to him, Herzog said this war isn’t only between Israel and Hamas, but a war “to save Western civilization,” adding that a “jihadist network” comprising of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis “wants to conquer the entire Middle East.”

    “And if it weren’t for us, Europe would be next and the United States follows. I remind all about 9/11 and thereafter,” Herzog said.

    Watch: Israeli girl hugged by classmates after Hamas kidnap ordeal

    Heartwarming video from the Israeli Ministry of Education shows 6-year-old Emilia Aloni being embraced by her friends when she returned to school after seven weeks as a Hamas hostage in Gaza.

    Paramedic injured and Gaza ambulances damaged by Israeli tank fire, Red Crescent says

    Two Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances were targeted by Israeli tanks in southern Gaza, the humanitarian group said in an X post today.

    One paramedic was slightly injured and the ambulances were damaged when they came under fire in the Im Al-Thuheir area, south of Deir Al-Balah.

    The PRCS said that the ambulances were transporting injured and dead at the time of the attack.

    Today has been ground operation’s ‘most intense day,’ IDF says

    The IDF said its forces have been engaged in “intense battles” across Gaza, including in the center of Khan Younis, the Palestinian enclave’s second-largest city, and Jabalia in the north.

    “We are in the most intense day since the beginning of the ground operation — in terms of terrorists killed, the number of firefights, and the use of firepower from the land and air,” Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman said in a statement.

    Finkelman added that dozens of Israeli aircraft have carried out two rounds of strikes since the resumption of hostilities.

    Smoke rises above buildings in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Dec. 5, 2023.
    Smoke rises today above buildings in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

    An Israeli boy grieves for his father, killed fighting in Gaza

    The wife of Col. Asaf Hamami, commander of the Gaza division’s Southern Brigade, holds their son, Alon, during Hamami’s funeral at the Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv yesterday.

    Funeral Held For Col. Asaf Hamami, Who Was Killed On Oct. 7
    Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

    IDF confirms ‘forces were relocated’ days before Oct. 7 attack

    The IDF has said that it relocated troops from Gaza to the West Bank days before the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and added there would be a “thorough investigation” into the decision.

    The admission follows a report released Monday by Israeli public broadcaster Kan that said 100 commandos were diverted from the Gaza Strip to Hawara in the West Bank on Oct. 5.

    “Indeed, forces were relocated. And I’m saying this will be dealt with in an operational investigation. There will be a thorough investigation here,” IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a briefing yesterday.

    Kan said the decision to divert the forces was made despite warnings of danger in the Gaza Strip before the events of Oct. 7.

    Satellite imagery shows IDF vehicles north of Khan Younis

    Recent satellite images appear to show the IDF presence in Deir Al Balah, just north of the embattled town of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. 

    The images, taken by Planet Labs on Sunday just after 9 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) and analyzed by NBC News, show what seem to be scores of IDF armored vehicles, fortifications and significant tire tracks through fields alongside the Salah al-Din road, the major highway that bisects the Gaza Strip.

    Satellite photos analyzed Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, by The Associated Press show that the Israeli military has begun its ground offensive in the southern reaches of the Gaza Strip as part of its war against Hamas.
    Israeli armored vehicles and tanks can be seen just north of Khan Younis in southern Gaza on Sunday. Planet Labs PBC via AP

    Israeli tanks have cut off this main route through Gaza, residents told Reuters.

    Avichay Adraee, IDF spokesperson for the Arab media, said in a post on X yesterday that the area around Salah al-Din “constitutes a battlefield.”

    “The fighting and military advance of the IDF in the Khan Younis area do not allow the movement of civilians through the Salah al-Din axis in the sections north and east of the city of Khan Yunis,” he wrote.

    France freezes assets of Hamas leader Sinwar

    France is freezing all assets belonging to the Hamas terror group’s top leader in Gaza, effective for the next six months. Yahya Sinwar is considered the mastermind of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel. 

    A decision published in the Official Journal of the French Republic says that “funds and economic resources owned, held or controlled” by Sinwar are being frozen. The total value of Sinwar’s assets in France was not provided.

    UNRWA says 85% of Gaza’s population displaced since the war began

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said yesterday that almost 1.9 million people, accounting for 85% of the total population, have been displaced in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7.

    The report from UNRWA added that 130 of its staff were killed since the war began.

    As of Sunday, around 1.2 million internally displaced people were sheltering at UNRWA installations, and the average number of people in these shelters is four times more than their capacity, the report said.

    Palestinians fleeing the Israeli ground offensive arrive in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023.
    Palestinians trying to flee the Israeli ground offensive today arrive in Rafah, Gaza.Hatem Ali / AP

    A woman carries an assault rifle on the streets of Jerusalem

    Checking her phone with one hand, a woman carries an assault rifle through the streets of Jerusalem last night. Recent shootings have raised tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in the region.

    Gunmen, claimed by Hamas to be members of their group, shot numerous people at a bus stop on Thursday morning on the outskirts of Jerusalem before being shot dead. Israel and Hamas have resumed fighting following a truce that lasted nearly a week. Both sides had agreed on the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza, as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
    Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    Sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities

    Sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and other cities in Israel this morning after the latest rocket barrage seemingly fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.

    Israeli emergency medical services said that after alarms were heard in central Israel, its paramedics were “providing medical treatment in the Tel Aviv sector to a 40-year-old man in a minor condition who was hit by shrapnel.”

    Earlier in the day, an IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said hundreds of rockets are still being launched into Israel.

    In a media briefing, Hecht also told reporters that Israeli troops have located more than 800 tunnel shafts in Gaza and destroyed 500. 

    He would not comment on media reports that the IDF plans to flood tunnels with seawater. Hecht described fighting in the the areas of Sajaya and Jabalia as “very intense” and “close quarter, face-to-face.”

    Israeli police and soldiers from the Home Front Command cordon off the area where shrapnel fell after the interception of a rocket fired from Gaza on Dec. 5, 2023 in Tel Aviv.
    Israeli police and soldiers from the Home Front Command cordon off the area where shrapnel fell after the interception of a rocket fired from Gaza today.Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

    Families of hostages to meet with war Cabinet today

    Families of hostages will be speaking with the Israeli war Cabinet later today, after expressing their concern with the resumption of fighting in Gaza and frustration with what they say is a lack of information from the government.

    “Israel is deeply concerned,” Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy said in a news briefing, “and we expect the whole world to be deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of the remaining hostages.”

    He added that Israel is continuing to press Hamas for the release of 137 hostages who remain in captivity and, of that group, 20 are women. Both the U.S. and Israel have suggested that one of the reasons the truce collapsed is that Hamas didn’t want to release some women over fears they would then talk about what happened to them during their captivity.

    NBC News did not independently verify reports that Israeli hostages were raped or sexually assaulted.

    Wounded Palestinians rushed to a Khan Younis hospital after attacks

    Israel intensified its bombardment in and around Gaza’s second largest city early today as ambulances and private vehicles came racing to Nasser Hospital carrying wounded Palestinians.

    WHO says situation in Gaza ‘getting worse by the hour’

    A World Health Organization official in Gaza said today the situation was worsening rapidly as Israel intensified bombing around the southern cities of Khan Younis and Rafah.

    “The situation is getting worse by the hour,” Richard Peeperkorn, the WHO representative in Gaza, told reporters via video link, according to Reuters. “There’s intensified bombing going on all around, including here in the southern areas, Khan Younis and even in Rafah.”

    Peeperkorn said the humanitarian aid reaching Gaza was “way too little” and said the WHO was deeply concerned about the vulnerability of Gaza’s health care system as more people move farther south to escape the bombing.

    Children wait to be treated at a hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza, on Tuesday Dec. 5, 2023.
    Wounded Palestinian children wait to be treated today at a hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza.Fatima Shbair / AP

    Communication services return in Gaza Strip, telecom says

    After a communications blackout yesterday, the telecommunication company Paltel said today the services have returned in Gaza in central and southern Gaza Strip.

    The services were disconnected yesterday from the Israeli side, it said in a post on X.

    Civilians flee Khan Younis after IDF warning

    Palestinians try to leave Khan Younis in the direction of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip after the Israeli army called on people to get out of certain areas in the city.

    Palestinians fled from Khan Yunis to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Dec. 4, 2023.
    Ahmed Zakot / SOPA / LightRocket via Getty Images

    Possibility of U.S. terror attacks highest in a decade thanks to Israel-Hamas war, House intelligence chair says

    French officials suspect terrorism drove a deadly attack near the Eiffel Tower in Paris by a man who they say pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group.

    Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, joined Andrea Mitchell to discuss the threat of terrorism domestically as antisemitic and Islamophobic sentiments grow across the country.

    “The director has, I think rightly, sounded the public alarm that we are facing the possibility of terrorist attacks now that are the highest in a decade,” Turner said. “He spoke of the conflict in Israel and Hezbollah, Hamas and ISIS calling for attacks in the West, including in the United States. He’s also been very concerned about the issue of lone wolves, people who might respond to these types of calls who intend to do other people harm.”

    Israel says its war with Hamas is ‘expanding’

    Israeli forces are pounding targets across Gaza Strip, Israeli government spokesperson Ofir Gendelman said today as the war reaches the 60th day.

    “As for the war on Hamas, it is expanding,” he said. It is unclear what this expansion would look like.

    “We’re moving ahead with the second stage now. A second stage that is going to be difficult militarily,” Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said this morning.

    Gendelman added the war will continue until Israel achieves three goals: releasing everyone who was taken hostage, “eliminating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza does not pose a threat to Israel.”

    An Israeli artillery unit is pictured near the border with the Gaza Strip on Dec. 5, 2023.
    An Israeli artillery unit today near the border with the Gaza Strip.Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP – Getty Images

    Newborns evacuated from Gaza now being treated at Cairo hospital

    CAIRO — Dozens of premature babies were separated from their families as violence engulfed Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

    Of the 31 babies that made it out of Al-Shifa, a dozen were taken to a hospital in Cairo, all in “very bad general condition” and all but two alone, one doctor said.

    He said that at night he dreams of one of the babies, a boy who lost an eye after an explosion.

    “I dream that he is happy, this boy, he’s happy,” he said.

    Iran says it is not involved in any actions against the U.S. military

    Iran’s U.N. envoy, Amir Saeid Iravani, said that his country is not involved in any acts or attacks against U.S. military forces, the semi-official Iranian Tasnim news agency reported today.

    Previously, the U.S. accused Yemen’s Houthis group, which allies with Iran, of several attacks in the Middle East since the Israel-Hamas war started.

    In a briefing, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington has “every reason to believe that these attacks, while they were launched by the Houthis in Yemen, were fully enabled by Iran.”

    Iravani said, “In this regard, I would like to reiterate once again that the Islamic Republic of Iran has not been part of any acts or attacks against U.S. military forces,” Tasnim reported.

    IDF says troops have surrounded Jabalia in northern Gaza

    Israeli forces have encircled Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp, taking out military posts and locating weaponry, the Israel Defense Forces said today in a statement.

    The IDF also “conducted a targeted raid on a Hamas command and control center,” it said, adding it located observation and control materials, weapons and maps. Its naval forces also supported ground troops, with dozens of strikes conducted yesterday, it said.

    NBC News has not been able to independently verify the claims.

    Scenes of grief and loss outside hospital in Khan Younis

    Palestinians mourn loved ones killed by Israeli strikes, outside a hospital in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza this morning.

    Palestinian Mourners in Khan Younis
    Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images
    Palestinians mourn loved ones in Khan Younis
    Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

    Israeli authorities investigate short-sellers who traded securities immediately before the war

    Israeli authorities are investigating claims by U.S. researchers that some investors may have known in advance of a Hamas plan to attack Israel on Oct. 7 and used that information to profit from Israeli securities.

    Research by law professors Robert Jackson Jr. from New York University and Joshua Mitts of Columbia University found significant short-selling of shares leading up to the attacks, which triggered a war that is now nearly two months old.

    “Days before the attack, traders appeared to anticipate the events to come,” they wrote, citing short interest in the MSCI Israel Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that “suddenly, and significantly, spiked” on Oct. 2 based on data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

    “And just before the attack, short selling of Israeli securities on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) increased dramatically,” they wrote in their 66-page report.

    In response, the TASE referred Reuters to the Israel Securities Authority, which said: “The matter is known to the authority and is under investigation by all the relevant parties.”

    Rafah can’t ‘cope with a doubling’ of population, U.N. agency chief says

    Israel continues to order the population in southern Gaza to evacuate ahead of a larger attack, but UNRWA chief Thomas White warned today the order could result in 500,000 people being displaced to Rafah.

    Rafah, near the border with Egypt, normally has a population of 280,000 and is already hosting 470,000 displaced people, he said in a post on X.

    It “will not cope with a doubling of its IDP population,” he said, referring to internally displaced people.

    “The water and sanitation infrastructure for 280K people in Rafah will not even come close to providing for an IDP population that could reach a million people,” he said in another post on X.

    Gaza Health Ministry warns of more than 100 killed at Kamal Adwan Hospital

    The Gaza Health Ministry warned today of a “massacre” at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza as Israeli forces surround it with tanks and snipers.

    More than 7,000 people are taking shelter at the hospital, Munir Al Barash, director general of the ministry said, and more than 100 have been killed. The hospital has also been left without electricity, he added.

    “We fear a massacre inside the Kamal Adwan Hospital as happened in the Shifa and Indonesian hospitals,” he said. “We could not perform any surgery at the hospital and the power outage was at the height of the crisis.”

    Catch up with NBC News’ latest coverage of the war

    Crowded hospitals after strikes in southern Gaza

    A wounded Palestinian man is carried into Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, after Israeli strikes in southern Gaza this morning.

    Israel Gaza War
    Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

    ‘More apocalyptic’: U.N. officials sound the alarm for civilians in southern Gaza

    A flurry of top United Nations officials have voiced mounting concern for civilians in southern Gaza as Israel expands its assault, warning that the situation is getting “more apocalyptic” and that “nowhere is safe” in the Palestinian enclave.

    The office of U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said that “there is nowhere safe to go and very little to survive on” as Israeli ground operations push south.

    “Nowhere is safe in Gaza and there is nowhere left to go. If possible, an even more hellish scenario is about to unfold, one in which humanitarian operations may not be able to respond,” said Lynn Hastings, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories.

    And the head of the U.N.’s humanitarian office said in a statement that “every time we think things cannot get any more apocalyptic in Gaza, they do.”

    “Nowhere is safe in Gaza,” said Martin Griffiths, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator. “Not hospitals, not shelters, not refugee camps.”