Israel-Hamas war: Netanyahu says Israel will allow limited aid to Gaza - as it happened

US president departs for Washington after saying hospital blast ‘appears to have been done by other team’

Israel-Gaza photos


Key points

  • Israel will allow Egypt to deliver limited quantities of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the office of the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has said.
  • US president Joe Biden, wrapping up a rapid trip to Israel, offered Israel assurances that the US would do everything it could to ensure the country was safe. Earlier, Biden said the Gaza hospital blast “appears to have been done by other team”.
  • The US used its veto at the UN security council on Wednesday to block a resolution calling for Israel to allow humanitarian corridors into the Gaza Strip, a pause in the fighting and the lifting of an order for civilians to leave the north of the besieged territory.
  • Hamas and Israel trade blame over an explosion at a Gaza City hospital on Tuesday night that health authorities said killed at least 300 people.
  • Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has cancelled plans to meet Mr Biden in Jordan on Wednesday, and has declared three days of mourning in the West Bank.
  • Health authorities in Gaza say that before the hospital strike at least 3,000 people in the strip had been killed in the Israeli bombardment, while some 600,000 people have fled to the south of the coastal enclave.
  • Israel’s strike on the Gaza Strip intensified in advance of an expected ground incursion. Israel appears set to mount a big assault on the northern part of the territory aimed at rooting out Hamas.

Top reads


The US has used its veto at the UN security council to block a resolution calling for Israel to allow humanitarian corridors into the Gaza Strip, a pause in the fighting and the lifting of an order for civilians to leave the north of the besieged territory.

The text – supported by 12 of the 15 members of the security council on Wednesday – contained criticism of “heinous terrorist crimes by Hamas” and made no direct reference of Israel. In an attempt to win US support, the draft resolution did not explicitly call for a ceasefire, instead referencing a “humanitarian pause”.

But the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the resolution, carefully crafted by Brazilian diplomats, was unacceptable because it made no mention of Israel’s right to self-defence. The UK abstained, saying the resolution lacked mention of the way Hamas was using ordinary Palestinians as human shields.

The US ambassador said she was horrified and saddened by the loss of life, but that the actions of Hamas had brought about the humanitarian crisis. She also called for time to let Joe Biden’s diplomacy play out.

Israel thanked the US for using its veto. China described the move as “nothing short of unbelievable” while Russia said it was an example of US double standards.

Two members of the G7 on the council – Japan and France – broke with the US by backing the motion.

The draft resolution also called for “humanitarian pauses to allow full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for United Nations humanitarian agencies”. Its failure to pass represented another blow to the authority of the world body. – Guardian


Forced displacement of Gaza residents is a red line that cannot be crossed, the Palestinian leadership said in a statement after a meeting in the West Bank City of Ramallah on Wednesday.

The statement said the Palestinian leadership considered the idea of the displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip “a red line that we will not allow to be crossed, just as the displacement of Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem or the West Bank should not be allowed.”


Tánaiste Micheál Martin has announced €13 million in additional funding for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

The funding announced on Wednesday amounts to €10 million in additional core funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides essential services to 5.7 million Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, and an additional €3 million to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs’ (UN OCHA) Occupied Palestinian Territories Humanitarian Fund.

This additional €13 million will bring Ireland’s support to the people of Palestine in 2023 to €29 million.

Announcing the contribution, the Tánaiste said: “We are witnessing tragic and shocking events in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory in the aftermath of the heinous attack by Hamas on Israel. I have said repeatedly that there should be a humanitarian ceasefire to meet the urgent basic needs of the people in Gaza. It is essential that humanitarian relief is provided to those who need it”.


Protesters staged anti-Israeli demonstrations around the Middle East on Wednesday, some of them turning violent, according to Reuters.

The protests voiced rage at the explosion that killed hundreds of Palestinians in the deadliest incident in Gaza of the Israel-Hamas war.

Protests took place in Lebanon, Iran, Amman, Tunis and Yemen.

In Lebanon, security forces fired tear gas and water canon at protesters who were throwing projectiles as a protest near the U.S. embassy north of Beirut turned violent, footage by Lebanese broadcaster al-Jadeed showed.

State-sponsored marches were held across Iran, with demonstrators carrying banners that read “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.


The office readout from the White House of President Joe Biden’s meeting with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his war cabinet, said: “President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his War Cabinet today in Israel for a comprehensive discussion of Israel’s strategy in response to Hamas’ brutal terrorist attack”.

“The President reiterated his steadfast support for Israel and reaffirmed U.S. determination to provide the Israeli government with what it needs to protect its citizens. The leaders also discussed ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas – including Americans, as well as U.S. efforts to facilitate the provision of necessary humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza”.


In the clearest statement from the US government regarding the explosion at the hospital in Gaza, the US national security council said:

“While we continue to collect information, our current assessment, based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information, is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday.”


US president Joe Biden and secretary of state Antony Blinken have boarded Air Force One after meeting Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The pair are travelling back to Washington from Tel Aviv.


The United Nations Middle East peace envoy warned the Security Council that the risk of expansion of the conflict between Israel and Hamas Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip is “very real, and extremely dangerous”.

“I fear that we are at the brink of a deep and dangerous abyss that could change the trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if not of the Middle East as a whole,” said Tor Wennesland, addressing the 15-member body via video from Doha.


A US analysis of currently available data indicates that “Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday”, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council has said.

The assessment is based on the US’ analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information, spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a post on X, adding that the United States is continuing to collect information.


The office of Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu says it will not prevent Egypt from delivering food, water and medicine to civilians in south Gaza.


President Joe Biden, wrapping up a rapid trip to Israel on Wednesday to offer assurances following a deadly attack by Hamas, said the United States would do everything it could to ensure the country was safe.

Biden urged Israelis not to be consumed by rage and said the vast majority of Palestinians were not affiliated with Hamas. The Palestinian people are suffering as well, he said.

In remarks after meeting Israeli leaders, Biden said he would ask Congress for an “unprecedented” aid package this week.

The president made reference to the Nazi Holocaust of the second World War when saying that Israel had the backing of its friends.

“We will not stand by and do nothing again. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever,” he said.

The US has urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.


Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers near Ramallah in the West Bank on Wednesday after protests against Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said.

The deaths brought the toll of Palestinians killed in the latest flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence to at least 64 in the West Bank, a sharp uptick in fatal clashes with the army and settlers.

A statement from the Palestinian Authority’s health ministry said Israeli forces shot a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old in the village of Shuqba west of Ramallah. It did not elaborate.

Residents told Reuters the two boys were trying to light tyres in protest against Israel when they were shot.


US president Joe Biden said he asked Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu “tough questions” during their meeting on Wednesday in Tel Aviv, where they also discussed humanitarian needs, security assistance and information on unaccounted Americans.

“I asked tough questions as a friend of Israel. We will continue to deter any actor wanting to widen this conflict,” Biden said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.


Martin Wall in Washington reports:

President Joe Biden’s comments that the Gaza hospital explosion appeared to have been carried out by “the other team” were based on assessments given to him by his own military experts in the Pentagon, the US media pool is reporting.

Asked what specifically made him confident the Israelis weren’t behind the hospital explosion, he said it was “the data I was shown by my defense department”.


The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that 471 Palestinians were killed and more than 314 wounded at the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital in Tuesday night’s blast, Reuters reports.

Palestinian officials have blamed an Israeli air strike for the blast. Israel has said the explosion was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, which has denied blame.


Sarah Burns reports:

The Government is calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” to be observed by all parties in the Israel-Hamas war, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

Mr Varadkar also said Israel should turn power and water back on and allow humanitarian corridors be created in Palestine.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil on Wednesday, the Taoiseach said the Government condemned unequivocally the bombing of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday night and that it “might yet prove to be a war crime”.

Mr Varadkar said the full details of the attack, whether it was deliberate and who it was carried out by, were not yet known and an independent investigation was needed if possible.


Naomi O’Leary reports:

An explosion at a hospital in Gaza “must be investigated, certainly, as a war crime”, President Michael D Higgins has said.

“It’s very, very important that there will be a reliable investigation as to how it came to be, who was responsible, what the consequences are,” Mr Higgins told reporters, noting there were “contesting versions” of what had happened on Tuesday.

“The facts are that people have lost their lives, that people have been killed ... it must be investigated, certainly, as a war crime.”


According to Reuters, Vladimir Putin has said he does not think the conflict will escalate into a wider war.

“As for the strike on the hospital, the tragedy that happened there is a terrible event. Hundreds of dead and hundreds of wounded are of course a catastrophe,” he said in Beijing, the news agency reported.

“I really hope this will be a signal that we need to end this conflict as soon as possible. In any case, we need to focus on the possibility of starting some contacts and negotiations. I have the impression that no one wants this to continue, for the conflict to develop and for the situation to worsen further,” Mr Putin said.

He added: “In my opinion, the main players – some, by definition do not want to, some are afraid of something – but I have the impression that there are practically no players ready to develop the conflict and turn it into a large-scale war.”


Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, has described the attack on the hospital in Gaza as senseless and horrifying.

“Last night, a new, senseless tragedy has shocked us all. A hospital in Gaza – sheltering hundreds of wounded people – was turned into a hell of fire,” she said.

“The scenes from al-Ahli hospital are horrifying and distressing. There is no excuse for hitting a hospital full of civilians. All facts need to be established, and those responsible must be held accountable. In this tragic hour, we must all redouble our efforts to protect civilians from the fury of this war.”


The situation in Gaza is “unprecedented” and “a disaster”, an official at the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has said.

Director of communications Juliette Touma said she has been a humanitarian aid worker for 20 years, and had worked in several crises in Iraq, Libya, Syria and in Yemen.

“This is unprecedented,” she said. “We condemn the strike on the Anglican Episcopal hospital in Gaza. We received reports of hundreds of people killed and many others wounded, including women and children.”

The situation in UN shelters in Gaza was “very, very difficult” as supplies were running out.

“Our own staff have had to ration water to one litre. We are stretched. We have not been able at UNRWA, no other organisation has been able to bring in much-needed supplies since the 7th of October. The siege on the Gaza Strip has got to be lifted. No place in Gaza was safe,” she added.

When asked what message she had for US president Joe Biden and other world leaders, she called for the siege on Gaza to be lifted so the UN and other aid organisations could bring in supplies. Ms Touma also called for a ceasefire to be put in place as soon as possible.

“No, there’s a siege. It’s a siege that has been imposed across the Gaza Strip, UNRWA has not been able to bring in a drop of water, a litre of fuel, even a grain of wheat, which we normally would do. We have not been able to do any of this. Nor has any other humanitarian agency,” she said.

“Let me just be clear. Nothing has come into Gaza for more than 11 days. Under any normal circumstance this would be a crisis. And in a situation like Gaza, where even before the war began, Gaza depended so much on humanitarian assistance, it’s a disaster. It’s a disaster.”



Mr Biden tells Israelis: “based on what I’ve seen, it [the Gaza hospital blast] appears as though it was done by the other team”.

The US president said Hamas has “committed evil atrocities that make Isis look somewhat rational,” adding: “We have to also bear in mind that Hamas does not represent all the Palestinian people, and has brought them only suffering.

“I’m deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday. Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you. But there’s a lot of people out there not sure, so we have to overcome a lot of things.”

He said the United States would give Israel what it needed to defend itself. He finished by saying the bravery of the Israeli people was stunning, and he was proud to be there.

Mr Biden and Mr Netanyahu did not take questions.


Mr Biden said the United States is grieving with Israel

“I wanted to be here today. For a simple reason I want the people of Israel, the people in the world to know where the United States stands,” he said.


Israel has shared a live stream of statements provided by US president Joe Biden and Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.


The first images have emerged of US President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel.


The Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Dana Erlick, said the targeting of a hospital in Gaza on Tuesday was a war crime, but she denied Israel had been responsible for the attack in which over 500 people were killed.

“There is war crime in targeting hospitals, targeting directly the population. So we agree with that. Every strike that we plan, we make sure that there are minimum civilian casualties,” she told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland.

Ms Erlick said footage from various outlets, including “Arab media outlets that have nothing to do with Israel”, show there was a “barrage of rockets aimed at Israel”.

“All of our citizens were in shelters because there were different rockets. And you can see the barrage on that footage and you can see that failed launch. You hear an IDF spokesperson just released a conversation stating one of the different activists talking that they were trying to fire rockets from behind the hospital in a cemetery. And they’re talking about the failed launch and the whole thing that happened,” she said.

The deaths at the hospital was terrible news, she said, but she said the question is “responsibility”.

“Right now we’re talking about it and not putting the blame on Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. I think that is morally wrong. And also for the media, it’s wrong not to put the blame, it’s just saying or connecting it to Israeli requests to evacuate northern Gaza has nothing to do with it. There is clear footage and images that this was a failed launch of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group has denied responsibility for the explosion.

When asked if Israel would accept independent verification on the issue of responsibility for the attack, Ms Erlick said the scene was within Gaza and that Hamas was already denying access to the area.

“We can only assume that they’re trying to cover whatever they found there or trying to cover their tracks. The video images and footage from yesterday analysing the ballistic missile and analysing them, the videos – you can see clearly what happened.”


Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said he is “appalled” by the strike on the Al-Ahli hospital and the “deaths of hundreds of patients, staff and civilians taking shelter”.

“The full facts of what happened must be established and those responsible must be held to account. The rising toll of civilian casualties and civilian suffering – in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories – since Hamas’ brutal attack on October 7th is horrifying,” he said in a statement.

“I echo the UN secretary general’s call for a humanitarian ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to reach those now in desperate need in Gaza. Humanitarian corridors must be urgently established. Hostages must be released immediately and unconditionally. The international community must work urgently to de-escalate this situation.”


The Israeli prime minister has uploaded a live stream of US president Joe Biden arriving in Israel.


The Israeli military has given a briefing on the Gaza hospital blast. In the briefing, it said there was no direct Israel Defense Force (IDF) hit on the hospital.

Spokesman Daniel Hagari said: “First, we confirmed that there was no IDF fire by land, sea or air that hit the hospital.

“Second, our radar system tracked rockets fired by terrorists from within Gaza at the time of the explosion. I will show you the trajectory analysis from the barrage of rockets confirms that the rockets were fired in proximity to the hospital.”

Israel blamed the blast at Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital on a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, which has denied responsibility.


Thousands of people took to the streets in the Middle East on Tuesday following an explosion at a Gaza City hospital that health authorities said killed at least 500 people.

Israel and Hamas have traded blamed for the blast at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital.

Spontaneous protests have erupted in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, as well as in West Bank cities such as Ramallah, Al Jazeera reports.

The World Health Organisation also condemned Tuesday’s hospital attack and demanded the immediate protection of civilians and healthcare workers in the Palestinian enclave.


Reuters news agency reports:

The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said on Wednesday he was “horrified” by hundreds of people killed in a blast at a Gaza hospital, as he strongly condemning the action.

Palestinian officials said an Israeli air strike hit the hospital, with the Palestinian Authority’s health minister accusing Israel of causing a “massacre”.

Israel blamed the blast at Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital on a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, which denied responsibility.

Mr Guterres, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, said he condemned the Hamas attacks against civilians in Israel on October 7th.

“But those attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of Palestinian people,” he said.

Before flying to the Chinese capital to attend the forum, Mr Guterres said he had appealed to Hamas for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages, and to Israel to allow immediate unrestricted access to humanitarian aid for the most basic needs of the people of Gaza.

He called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and made appeals to “ease the epic human suffering”.

Mr Guterres was in Beijing to attend President Xi Jinping’s global infrastructure initiative with more than 20 world leaders in attendance.


Good morning. US president Joe Biden is flying to Israel amid a growing death toll from a blast at a Gaza hospital that killed at least 300 people.

Israel and Hamas have traded blame for the blast at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital.

Jordan has cancelled a planned summit with Mr Biden, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II summit following the explosion.

Follow all the latest updates from the Israel-Hamas war here.