Israeli officials withdraw from negotiations

A woman standing outside a partially collapsed residential housing development in Khan Younis described being told to leave and the destruction.

“Who is going to rebuild? The destruction takes a minute, but rebuilding takes years,” she said following the destruction caused by Israeli airstrikes. “We are all homeless in the streets.”

Group of swing state Muslims vows to ditch Biden in 2024 over his war stance

CHICAGO — Muslim community leaders from several swing states pledged to withdraw support for U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday at a conference in suburban Detroit, citing his refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Democrats in Michigan have warned the White House that Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war could cost him enough support within the Arab American community to sway the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.

Leaders from Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania gathered behind a lectern that read “Abandon Biden, ceasefire now” in Dearborn, Michigan, the city with the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the United States.

More than 13,300 Palestinians — roughly two-thirds of them women and minors, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza — have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war. Some 1,200 Israelis have been killed, mostly during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered the war.

Biden’s unwillingness to call for a ceasefire has damaged his relationship with the American Muslim community beyond repair, according to Minneapolis-based Jaylani Hussein, who helped organize the conference.

“Families and children are being wiped out with our tax dollars,” Hussein said. “What we are witnessing today is the tragedy upon tragedy.”

Hussein, who is Muslim, told The Associated Press: “The anger in our community is beyond belief. One of the things that made us even more angry is the fact that most of us actually voted for President Biden. I even had one incident where a religious leader asked me, ‘How do I get my 2020 ballot so I can destroy it?” he said.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates previously said the Biden administration has pushed for humanitarian pauses in the fighting to get humanitarian aid into Gaza, adding that “fighting against the poison of antisemitism and standing up for Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself have always been core values for President Biden.”

Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were critical components of the “blue wall” of states that Biden returned to the Democratic column, helping him win the White House in 2020. About 3.45 million Americans identify as Muslim, or 1.1% of the country’s population, and the demographic tends to lean Democratic, according to Pew Research Center.

But leaders said Saturday that the community’s support for Biden has vanished as more Palestinian men, women and children are killed in Gaza.

“We are not powerless as American Muslims. We are powerful. We don’t only have the money, but we have the actual votes. And we will use that vote to save this nation from itself,” Hussein said at the conference.

The Muslim community leaders’ condemnation of Biden does not indicate support for former President Donald Trump, the clear front-runner in the Republican primary, Hussein clarified.

“We don’t have two options. We have many options. And we’re going to exercise that,” he said.

Cousin of freed Hamas hostage recalls crying when he was freed

Ela Shani Kozin was “in euphoria” when she heard that her cousin, Amit Shani, who had been taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7, was finally coming home to Israel.

“That was the best announcement I’ve ever heard,” she said. She recalled being at a sushi restaurant and watching the livestream of the truck carrying her cousin from Egypt into Israel.

“I couldn’t stop crying. I was so excited I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for hours,” Kozin said.

Kozin was also in the Be’eri kibbutz during the Oct. 7 attack, but the terrorists did not break into her home, she said, adding that she sat in the dark listening to gunshots until she was rescued. She lost her dad that day.

Shani is “doing mentally worse than he’s doing physically because he has a lot to process,” Kozin said. She said he has asked his mom and family to “take it slow” with all of the information, since it was difficult for him to find out about what happened on Oct. 7 while in captivity.

“We are trying to stay strong,” Kozin said. “I think it’s impressive that most of my family came out of this except for my dad.”

She said her family “kept fighting for Amit so he can come back and complete our family.”

Man kills German tourist, injures 2 other people in Paris knife and hammer attacks

A French man who used a knife to kill a German tourist in Paris and later attacked other people with a hammer was apparently motivated by the killing of Muslims in the Middle East, authorities said today. 

Police officers who arrested the man said that he shouted “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is great” — and the he “referred to events in Afghanistan and in the Gaza” and said that “France was an accomplice of Israel,” French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said.

The first attack happened around 9:45 p.m. Paris time, when the assailant attacked a German tourist and his wife near the Eiffel Tower, Darmanin said. The tourist had knife wounds and later died, while his wife was uninjured, Darmanin said.

After a taxi driver intervened and exchanged words with the attacker, he ran across a bridge and assaulted two other people with a hammer, injuring both, Darmanin said. One of the injured was another tourist who was hit in the head with the hammer, Darmanin said.

The taxi driver also told police that the man shouted “Allahu Akbar” and that he said he was tired of Muslims being killed, Darmanin said. 

The attacker, who was known to police, was sentenced to prison in 2016 for planning to commit a “violent action,” Darmanin said. He was known to the Interior Ministry’s special intelligence service for his Islamic radicalization, and he was listed on a watchlist, Darmanin said, adding that the man also has a history of “major psychiatric problems.”

Darmanin said that the attack was being treated as a criminal case, with charges of assassination and attempted assassination, but that it could be handed over to the anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office as the investigation unfolds.

Israel agrees to designate large safe zones in Gaza

Israel has agreed to designate large safe zones in the south of Gaza as its military operations expand, according to a senior State Department official. The agreement comes after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s third trip to the region and fourth trip to Israel since the Oct. 7 attack.

On each of Blinken’s trips to Israel, he armed himself with specific asks, the official said. First was humanitarian aid into Gaza, then it was pauses in fighting, and now Blinken wants a plan to minimize civilian suffering in south Gaza as military operations expand. Israel initially pushed back against the first two requests but was more amenable this time and was already working toward creating a plan.

The official said that the requested safe zone areas are much bigger than were initially discussed and that details still need to be worked out. Under the agreement, some people will have to leave their homes, the official said, adding that those zones may still be the focus of targeted counterterrorism operations.

Blinken said yesterday shortly before he left the region that “Israel’s already moved out on parts of that, including sending out information making clear where people could be in safe areas in Gaza.” He added that the U.S. will be “looking at that going forward. It’s very, very important.”

Hamas launches rockets at Tel Aviv

Millions took cover as sirens blared through central Israel today, the IDF said on X.

The Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, said it launched a “rocket barrage” at Tel Aviv in response to what it called “the Zionist massacres against civilians.”

A wide shot of a courtyard in which two people run down a path into a market.
People run into Sarona Market in Tel Aviv as a barrage of rockets is fired from Gaza to Israel on Saturday.Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

Netanyahu announces the death of Israeli major general

Netanyahu announced the death of an Israeli major general in remarks to the country today.

“Tonight we received some bad news,” Netanyahu said. “It finally became clear that Maj. Gen. Assaf Hamami, the hero of Israel, fell in battle on Oct. 7.”

Hamami was a commander of the Southern Brigade in the Gaza Division, Netanyahu said.

He added that two weeks ago, he met with Hamami’s family and “we prayed together for a different result, which unfortunately did not materialize.”

“Assaf was a hero to all of us,” Netanyahu said.

IDF said it has destroyed more of Hamas’ tunnels

The IDF said its soldiers have destroyed some Hamas’ tunnels in Jabalia.

The reservists of the 551st Brigade Combat Team destroyed a tunnel in the courtyard of a school complex and another that was in the home of a Hamas operative, the IDF said in a statement.

“In addition, the soldiers of the brigade destroyed enemy capabilities and terrorist targets, and seized a large amount of military equipment, including weapons, grenades, explosives, launchers and ammunition,” the IDF said.

Kamala Harris says Israel ‘must do more to protect innocent civilians’

Vice President Kamala Harris, during her trip to Dubai, maintained the Biden administration’s position that Israel has a right to defend itself but stressed that it “must do more to protect innocent civilians” in Gaza.

“As Israel defends itself, it matters how. … International humanitarian law must be respected. Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating,” Harris said. “It is truly heartbreaking.”

Asked by reporters whether the U.S. believes Israel is listening to requests to minimize harm to civilians in Gaza, Harris said President Joe Biden “has been very direct and clear about our perspective.”

“For example, that humanitarian laws, the rules of war must be followed, which includes what must happen in terms of giving humanitarian aid, no intentional targeting of civilians,” she said.

Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, donates $2.5 million to WFP’s humanitarian effort in Gaza

Musician Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, is donating $2.5 million to the World Food Programme’s humanitarian effort in Gaza, the U.N. food program announced.

The funds are from his XO Humanitarian Fund, which he set up in partnership with the WFP USA.

“This donation, which equates to four million emergency meals, will fund 820 metric tons of food parcels that could feed more than 173,000 Palestinians for two weeks,” the WFP said in a statement.

Tesfaye’s donation “comes at a critical moment in WFP’s response efforts” as it tries to feed more than 1 million people in Gaza “on the verge of starvation.”

Tesfaye, who was appointed as a Goodwill ambassador in October 2021, has actively supported the WFP’s global hunger-relief mission “through personal donations of US$1.8 million and through the XO Humanitarian Fund,” according to the WFP.

IDF hit over 400 targets in Gaza, spokesperson says

The Israel Defense Forces have struck over 400 targets in Gaza since the truce ended between Israel and Hamas, IDF spokesperson for international media Peter Lerner said.

“The activities are taking place mostly in the northern Gaza Strip, but also conducting precision strikes against specific targets of Hamas,” Lerner said. “In the south, the mobilizations include over 400 targets that we’ve struck engaged. Those targets include tunnel access points. They include command and control positions. They include the ability of Hamas to operate freely in the north as they did over the last week.”

NBC News has not independently verified these claims.

Adviser to Netanyahu: ‘No situation’ in which Hamas will be directly on border

Mark Regev, an adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterated Israel’s desire for a “buffer zone” around the Gaza Strip, telling reporters today that there would not be a “situation in the future” in which Hamas would be able to cross the border into Israeli territory.

“There will have to be security arrangements on the ground to prevent that from happening,” he said, denying that Israel was intent on “taking territory from Gaza” but rather creating a “special situation” on the ground, including “security zones” and a “security envelope,” he added. Although Regev said that Israel does not want “to rule the Gaza Strip,” its plan for Gaza’s future involved “ultimately removing Hamas from power.”

The U.S. has said it opposes any move by Israel that changes the size of Gaza’s land area. Israel’s neighboring Arab states have said repeatedly that they will not discuss the policing or administration of Gaza after the end of Israel’s current war on the strip, or the forced displacement of Gazans into their territories.

‘Humanitarian pauses should be resumed’ says EU’s foreign policy official

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said, “Humanitarian pauses should be resumed.”

In a post on his X account, Borrell said that “the way Israel exercises its right to self-defence matters.”

“It’s imperative that Israel respects International Humanitarian Law and the laws of war. This is not only a moral obligation, but a legal one as well,” he wrote.

Borrell also mentioned “growing violence in the West Bank,” where 71 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7, according to the United Nations.

“The temporary pause allowed the release of some hostages & the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza. It’s not sufficient. Humanitarian pauses should be resumed, while simultaneously working towards a comprehensive political solution for all the Palestinian territories,” Borrell said.

‘He’s not going to survive this’: Netanyahu in hot water after NYT report on Hamas attack

Katy Tur spoke to former Israeli Consul General Alon Pinkas in New York and journalist Noga Tarnopolsky about new reporting that Israel knew about Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack before it occurred.

U.N. and UNICEF chiefs condemn resumption of fire on Gaza

The restarting of conflict in Gaza was described as “catastrophic” by the U.N. and a “horrific nightmare” by UNICEF on Friday, after the seven-day pause in fighting broke down Friday.

“The resumption of hostilities in Gaza is catastrophic,” said Volker Türk, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights. “I urge all parties and states with influence over them to redouble efforts, immediately, to ensure a ceasefire — on humanitarian and human rights grounds.”

“Hell on Earth has returned to Gaza,” added Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the U.N.’s humanitarian office.

Executive director of UNICEF, Catherine Russell, added that the continuation of fighting meant “the Gaza Strip is once again the most dangerous place in the world to be a child,” as she reiterated calls for a lasting cease-fire.

Two hundred people have been killed in Gaza since the end of the truce on Friday, mostly women and children, according to Palestinian health authorities. At least 5,300 of the 15,000 people killed in Gaza since Oct. 7 are children, according to UNICEF’s statement.

Susan Sarandon apologizes after comments at pro-Palestinian rally

Actor Susan Sarandon apologized in a statement posted to her verified Instagram page last night for controversial comments she made last month at a pro-Palestinian rally in New York.

Sarandon was reported as saying at the rally that Jewish Americans “are getting a taste of what it is like to be Muslim in this country.”

“Recently, I attended a rally alongside a diverse group of activists seeking to highlight the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza and call for a ceasefire. I had not planned to speak but was invited to take the stage and say a few words,” Sarandon said in the statement. “Intending to communicate my concern for an increase in hate crimes, I said that Jewish Americans, as the targets of rising antisemitic hate, ‘are getting a taste of what it is like to be Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence.’ This phrasing was a terrible mistake, as it implies that until recently Jews have been strangers to persecution, when the opposite is true.”

Sarandon’s agency UTA dropped her following the comments she made at the rally.

“It was my intent to show solidarity in the struggle against bigotry of all kinds, and I am sorry I failed to do so,” Sarandon wrote. “I will continue my commitment to peace, truth, justice, and compassion for all people.”

Susan Sarandon.
Susan Sarandon.Jordi Vidal / Getty Images file

‘Under no circumstances’ will the U.S. allow the forced relocation of Palestinians, VP Harris says

In a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi today on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Vice President Kamala Harris said “under no circumstances” will the U.S. allow the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank.

According to a readout of the meeting, Harris also said the U.S. won’t allow “the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza.”

Harris discussed “post-conflict planning in Gaza including efforts on reconstruction, security, and governance” and said efforts “can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people towards a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority.”

Harris also expressed support “for extended pauses in the fighting to get hostages out and aid in” to Gaza.

A person walks away from a destroyed residential building while carrying belongings
A person carries some of their belongings as they flee their home after an Israeli strike in Gaza on Saturday.Mahmud Hams / AFP via Getty Images

Mother describes hearing over and over that her daughter was not among those released

TEL AVIV — Meirav Gonen, 54, said that she has to remain optimistic even as her daughter, Romi Gonen, 23, remains a hostage in Gaza.

Gonen previously told NBC News that her daughter called her from a music festival early on the morning of Oct. 7 terrified and in a panic. Romi Gonen was injured before being taken by militants that morning.

Now, more than 55 days later, her mother is still living in a nightmare that has felt like “one big, one long day since the seventh of October,” she said.

The recent cease-fire and its abrupt end have prolonged what Meirav Gonen calls the psychological war that is taking place along with physical fighting. Learning the names of hostages who were released each day of the truce was a roller coaster.

“And then the second time, and then the third time, and then the fourth time and the fifth and the sixth and the seventh. And then the eighth one was supposed to be probably my daughter, and then the cease-fire was stopped and there wasn’t a list,” Gonen said.

With the resumption of fighting, she said she hopes the military is cautious about ensuring her daughter and others still in captivity are not harmed.

“We want peaceful life,” Gonen said. “I want my daughter back, I want all the hostages back.”

Israel and Hezbollah exchange border fire

The IDF said it identified “several” launches from Lebanese territory toward Israel overnight, after sirens sounded in Moshav Dishon, a northern village near the border with Lebanon.

Israel launched aircraft and artillery toward Lebanon in response, striking “the cell that carried out the launch.” In a separate statement, the IDF said it had detected “a number of launches toward IDF posts in the area of the Lebanese border” and that it had struck “the source of the fire.”

It added that it was carrying out strikes against “Hezbollah infrastructure” within Lebanon today using aircraft, mortar fire and artillery fire.

Lebanese national news agency NNA also reported bombing attacks on the area of Hamoul, near its southern coastal region of Naqoura, where an interceptor missile also exploded.

61 journalists killed since war began, advocacy group warns

At least 61 journalists and media workers are among the tens of thousands of people killed in Gaza, Israel and Lebanon since Oct. 7, according to a preliminary investigation released yesterday from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The deadliest day for journalists was Oct. 7, when six journalists were killed, the organization said, and the second deadliest was Nov. 18., when five were killed.

Of the 61 killed, 54 were Palestinian, 4 were Israeli and 3 were Lebanese, the statement added. Nineteen journalists have also been arrested or detained, the CPJ said, with 18 of the arrests occurring in the West Bank and one in Gaza, according to a separate report from the group.

Journalists in Gaza have faced particular risk during Israel’s ground assault, it added, after Israeli bombardments and blackouts resulted in loss of power, disrupted communications and lack of supplies, it added. At least three journalists remain missing.

Fighting in Gaza resumes after cease-fire breaks down

Israel resumed carrying out attacks in Gaza after its temporary truce with Hamas broke down, and civilians continue to struggle to retreat. NBC News’ Raf Sanchez reports that Qatar says it’s still attempting to broker a new deal. 

Israeli officials withdraw from negotiations and leave Qatar

A team from Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, has withdrawn from negotiations in Doha, Qatar, and returned to Israel, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.

Mossad left “following the impasse in negotiations and at the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” and Mossad head David Barnea, according to the statement. It added that Hamas “did not fulfill its part of the agreement which included the release of all children and women according to a list that was forwarded to Hamas and approved by it.”

Hamas has blamed Israel for the breakdown of the truce, saying it refused all offers of more hostages and the bodies of the dead.

Abandoned babies found decomposing in Gaza hospital weeks after it was evacuated

As residents used the seven-day truce that ended Friday to find aid, search for loved ones under the rubble, and head home to survey the destruction, a particularly disturbing scene emerged.

Seen in a video that moves through the abandoned and disarrayed hallways of the pediatric intensive care unit at Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital in northern Gaza were several babies whose unattended bodies lay on separate hospital beds. A blurred version of the video was shared widely on social media this week, a grim and graphic contrast to other scenes of families reunited as hostages and prisoners were freed.

In a piece he reported, Mohammed Baalousha, a journalist with the Emirati TV channel Al-Mashhad, said he found the decomposing infants when he entered the pediatric ICU in the health facility in Gaza City. The hospital’s staff and critically ill patients were forced to evacuate in early November as the Israeli military focused its ground assault on the city, with hospitals under fire.

NBC News obtained raw footage from the channel and has reviewed its contents.

Read the full story here.

An hallway into the pediatric ICU at the Al Nasr Children's Hospital.
An hallway into the pediatric ICU at the Al Nasr Children’s Hospital in Gaza City.Al Mashhad Reporter in Gaza Mohamed Baalousha

Doctors Without Borders blames Israeli army for November attacks on convoy and facilities

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) is blaming Israel for an attack that killed two people who were part of the humanitarian aid group’s convoy on Nov. 18. The convoy was attempting to evacuate health workers and their families to the southern Gaza Strip.

The humanitarian aid group said in a statement yesterday that “all elements” of attacks on evacuation convoys earlier in November “point to the responsibility of the Israeli army.”

Five MSF vehicles were also destroyed and a clinic severely damaged in a separate attack on Nov. 20, the statement said. The group attributed the destruction to “the intervention of an Israeli bulldozer and a heavy military vehicle.” Shots were fired at facilities where workers were sheltering, the statement added.

Another MSF vehicle, dispatched by colleagues in Gaza’s south to reattempt the evacuation of workers in the north, was destroyed by an Israeli tank on Nov. 24, the group said, the same day as the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel began.

All vehicles and buildings were clearly marked with the MSF logo, the organization added in its statement, calling for an independent investigation into the attacks and an official explanation from Israeli authorities.

The IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

Erdoğan: ‘I cannot accept Hamas as a terror group’

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, described Israeli attacks in Gaza as “state terrorism,” about which he could not “stay silent,” as he reiterated his position to reporters that “exclusion of Hamas is not a realistic scenario” in achieving peace in Gaza.

“We have come to a point with our interlocutors that Gaza cannot be debated if there is no two-state solution,” Erdoğan added, according to Turkish state news agency Andalou.

“No matter what anybody says, I cannot accept Hamas as a terror group,” he said, adding that the Israeli bombardment of Gaza would go down in history as a “black stain.”

Two members of Iranian military wing killed in Syria, group says

Two members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, were killed during an advisory mission in Syria, according to a statement from the IRGC on Telegram.

Guardsmen Rashid Islam Mohammad Ali Atai Shuche and Panah Taghizadeh were killed by Israeli forces, the statement said. They appear to be the first Iranians killed in actions connected to the war since it broke out in early October. The IDF declined to comment.

The IRGC has historically been linked to Hezbollah, filtering supplies and money to the group via Syria and Iraq.

The Israel Defense Forces said that it conducted missile strikes near Damascus. It was not immediately clear whether these the incidents were related, and NBC News could not independently verify the attacks.

First aid trucks since end of truce arrive in Gaza

The Palestine Red Crescent has received the first aid trucks since the breakdown of the truce between Israel and Hamas, the society said on X today.

Aid trucks were received at the Rafah crossing by the Palestine Red Crescent from its partner organization in Egypt, it added.

The posts updated a statement from the organization yesterday that said Israel had suspended the passing of aid through Rafah following the end of the truce “until further notice.”

U.N. Women ‘alarmed’ by accounts of gender-based violence on Oct. 7

U.N. Women, the entity charged with working toward global gender equality, said in a statement published Friday that the “numerous accounts” of gender-based violence allegedly committed during Hamas’ attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 should be “duly investigated and prosecuted, with the rights of the victim at the core.”

The agency said that it was alarmed by accounts of gender-related atrocities on Oct. 7, and that “all women, Israeli women, Palestinian women, as all others, are entitled to a life lived in safety and free from violence.”

The statement came after weeks of criticism from within Israel and by congressional leaders in the U.S. over the lack of a U.N. Women statement since the initial attack. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday said that accounts of sexual violence must be “vigorously investigated and prosecuted.”

An open letter signed by 87 bipartisan House lawmakers Wednesday urged the body to “publicly condemn Hamas for its brutal October 7th attack” and to stand with “Israeli women and women of other nationalities” in its aftermath.

200 people killed in Gaza since end of truce, minister says

Two hundred people, mostly women and children, have been killed in Gaza since the end of the temporary humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas on Friday morning, according to a statement from the Hamas-run Ministry of Information.

Cities across the strip including Khan Younis, Deir al-Balah and Jabalia have also been targeted, the statement, published on Telegram, said.

NBC News could not independently verify this report. More than 15,000 people are believed to have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, with several thousand more missing or trapped under rubble.

400 targets hit across north and south Gaza, says IDF

Israeli forces have resumed their bombardment of the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air, according to a military statement, striking 400 targets in both northern and southern areas.

The air force bombed 50 targets in the southern city of Khan Younis, while troops struck “terrorists and Hamas infrastructure” in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza. Navy forces also struck the Khan Younis marina and Deir al-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip, which they said contained “equipment used by Hamas Naval Forces.”

A fighter jet struck a mosque the Israeli military said was “used by the Islamic Jihad as an operational command center.”

The targeting of religious buildings, which are protected civilian objects, is considered a war crime under international humanitarian law, according to the ICC, unless the attacking force is able to prove it has lost protected status.

IDF publishes map of Gaza split into ‘evacuation zones’

The IDF has published a map on its website showing the 25-mile-long, densely populated Gaza Strip split into hundreds of tiny numbered zones.

The military said the map was intended to enable residents to “evacuate from targeted areas,” according to the site. It said civilians will receive SMS messages containing the map before bombing with a message ordering anyone who “sees the block number in which he lives” to “follow the instructions of the IDF through various media outlets and obey them” to “preserve your safety, your lives, and the lives of your families.”

It is not clear from the website or map how much time civilians will get to evacuate before bombing begins, or how residents with intermittent electricity and cellular access would be able to continuously receive or follow specific IDF instructions. More than two dozen deaths were reported in the Rafah area, leading those in Gaza to feel that there is no area that is guaranteed to be safe.

Maya Roman recounts reuniting with cousin Yarden after her release: It was ‘a moment of total joy’

Moments before she was taken hostage on Oct. 7, Yarden Roman-Gat handed her daughter Geffen to her husband so they could escape. Maya Roman, Yarden’s cousin, recounts her reunion with her family.

“It started with a phone conversation when Yarden got to Israel. She called us on the phone. We had woken Geffen up not that long before, and Geffen was already ecstatic,” Maya said. “At the hospital, they were both so happy, and you can see that amazing, amazing photo of them.”

“Geffen came running towards me and the rest of the family, you know, yelling, ‘Mommy’s back, you have to come, you have to come see Mommy. Mommy’s back,’” she added.

Catch up with the latest NBC News coverage of the war

300 bodies recovered from Al Shifa, spokesperson says

The bodies of 300 people were recovered from Al Shifa hospital and its surrounding buildings during the seven day pause in fighting between the IDF and Hamas, according to Mahmoud Basal, the spokesperson for the General Directorate of Civil Defense, which provides emergency services in Gaza.

He added that “mechanisms to continue working and extract citizens from under the rubble” were needed urgently amid the continuation of fighting.

“Large numbers” of the deceased were also found at Al-Quds, Al-Rantisi and Al-Nasr hospitals, he said, though he did not specify numbers and said teams were unable to recover bodies due to the presence of IDF soldiers.

Israel has repeatedly claimed that Hamas operates within and beneath hospitals in Gaza and has issued multiple evacuation orders for hospitals throughout the strip. The World Health Organization has said that the evacuation of some hospitals is “impossible to carry out” due to intense bombardment and military attacks in their areas. The targeting of hospitals without action to protect civilians is considered a war crime under international humanitarian law.

Social media fuels boycotts against McDonald’s and Starbucks over Israel-Hamas war

In Orem, Utah, a couple dozen protesters stood on street corners outside McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants last Friday to call for a cease-fire and oppose U.S. and state leaders’ support for Israel, according to a local news report.

A few days earlier, pro-Palestinian protesters in Sydney plastered a McDonald’s with red paint and anti-Israeli stickers, according to Reuters. 

Almost two months into the war between Israel and Hamas, protests targeting some companies that have been portrayed as having pro-Israel stances continue to percolate, with real-life incidents on opposite sides of the world connected by a steady drumbeat of social media calls to keep up the pressure. 

Those calls have generally focused on two companies: McDonald’s and Starbucks. And though each company has sought to distance itself from the conflict and issued statements saying they don’t support or donate to Israel’s government or military, that has done little to quell boycott calls online.

Read the full story here.