WORLD NEWS Israel-Hamas war live updates: U.S. official to meet with Netanyahu,...

Israel-Hamas war live updates: U.S. official to meet with Netanyahu, who vows ‘nothing will stop us’

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Children injured after Khan Younis strike

Palestinian civilians, injured by Israeli airstrikes, arrive at Nasser Medical Hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza today.

A so-called safe zone where Palestinians have been ordered to evacuate to by the Israeli army is the coastal Bedouin town of al-Mawasi in the south of the besieged strip which is about 1km (0.6 miles) wide and 14km (8.7 miles) long.
Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Hostage families demand explanation after report that Israel blocked negotiations visit

Families of hostages taken by Hamas during its Oct. 7 attacks are demanding Israeli officials “break the deadlock in negotiations” after a report that Mossad Chief David Barnea’s visit to Qatar to jumpstart negotiations was blocked by Cabinet ministers.

“The families were shocked by the report on the rejection of the Director of Mossad’s request to formulate an agreement for the release of the hostages,” the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum said in a statement, adding the families “demand an immediate explanation.”

“The feeling is that every evening a Russian roulette of murdering hostages in Hamas captivity takes place,” it added.

Israeli officials have previously traveled to Doha in Qatar to negotiate the releases of hostages.

The prime minister’s office told NBC News, “Israeli officials did not comment on those reports.” NBC News has not confirmed the report.

U.S. naval ship shot down Houthi drone while responding to mayday call

The USS Mason shot down a drone launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen yesterday while responding to a mayday call from a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker under attack from the rebels, U.S. Central Command said today in a post on X.

A missile fired by Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels struck a Norwegian-flagged tanker off Yemen on Monday, US Central Command said, adding that no casualties were immediately reported.
The USS Mason.Katrina Parker / AFP – Getty Images file

“These forces first attempted to board the tanker via skiffs,” it said, adding a two missiles were fired later at the vessel and both missed. Subsequently, USS Mason shot down a drone in self-defense.

“There were no injuries to personnel and no damage to any vessels,” it said.

Attacks on commercial ships in the region have increased, which the Houthi rebels say is in support of the people of Gaza. The Israeli military campaign in the besieged Palestinian enclave has displaced the majority of its 2.2 million people.

UNRWA: 2023 the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2005

This year has been the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the U.N. began recording casualties in 2005, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said yesterday in a report.

At least 271 have been killed, including 69 children, by Israeli forces, it added.

Israeli forces have been raiding camps and carrying out arrests in the occupied West Bank in the past few weeks, with at least seven killed, including one child, from missiles fired by Israeli drones on Tuesday, UNRWA said.

In Gaza, at least 135 of UNRWA’s own staff have been killed since the war began on Oct. 7, it said today in a post on X, adding that 70% of its team is displaced across Gaza.

Putin says there is no comparison between Gaza and Ukraine conflicts

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at an end-of-year news conference where ordinary citizens had the chance to pose questions, said there was no comparison to be drawn between the conflicts taking place in Gaza and Ukraine.


‘God help us’: Displaced Gazans who fled bombardment now face health crisis in a makeshift tent city

TEL AVIV — Women, children and the elderly are among the thousands of displaced people living in a huge, makeshift tent city sprawled across the desert in southern Gaza.

Some live in unfinished concrete structures, others are sheltering under plastic sheets and tents. Laundry is done in buckets. Cooking, outside on makeshift, wood-fired metal stoves. Many walked miles to get to the camp on the outskirts of the city of Rafah, the blisters on their feet still visible from perilous journeys amid regular Israeli bombardment, the trauma etched on their faces.

Fifteen-year-old Rohifa Ramza Baker told an NBC News crew earlier this week that she wondered whether it would be better “for me to die here instead of living this black life.”

“This is our life. We are living in a tent at the Egyptian border,” she said. “May God help us. May God help us.”

Read the full story here.

IDF spokesperson says military is ‘creative’ in damaging Hamas tunnels

The Israeli military will use a “creative variety of ways” to destroy Hamas tunnels, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said during a briefing yesterday after being asked directly whether the military was flooding tunnels.

“Some of these ways are tactical activity, using some kind of tool to get the terrorists out of the tunnels and some permanent destruction so that the tunnel cannot function,” Hagari said. “The more ways the better, it is wrong to give the enemy the information where and in what place.”

A U.S. official told NBC News Tuesday that the Israeli military began using seawater to flood underground tunnels, where it is believed Hamas leadership is hiding. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

NBC News previously reported that Israel was considering this tactic, though critics argued it may exacerbate the current humanitarian crisis after the Palestinian Water Authority warned it could damage Gaza’s underground aquifer.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan meets the Saudi Crown Prince

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan discussed the ongoing efforts for “sustainable peace” between Israelis and Palestinians in a meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia yesterday.

“They also discussed the humanitarian response in Gaza, including efforts to increase the flow of critical aid,” the White House said in a readout of their meeting.

A child is mourned in Rafah

A woman cries as she cradles the body of a child who was killed in a recent Israeli bombardment, outside Najar hospital in Rafah, southern Gaza today.

A woman from the Palestinian Ashour family holds the body of a baby who was killed in Israeli bombardment, on December 14, 2023, at Najar hospital in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.
Mahmud Hams / AFP – Getty Images

Netanyahu pledges to press on with war until ‘victory’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed the war in Gaza would continue until Israel achieved a definitive victory.

“We are going on to the end, until victory, nothing less,” he said. “Nothing will stop us,” he told a brigade fighting in Gaza, according to a readout from his office. “I also say this in light of the great pain, but also in the face of the international pressures.”

President Joe Biden said earlier Netanyahu “has to change,” and that the support for its military campaign was waning amidst its heavy bombardment of Gaza. But his talk has not translated into actions to slow Israel’s war.

On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to back a nonbinding cease-fire resolution. The U.S. joined Israel and eight other countries in voting against it.

Highlights from NBC News’ reporting relating to the war

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