The death toll in the Gaza Strip has increased following the latest airstrikes on the Palestinian territory, where the Israeli military is working to root out the leaders of Hamas and to destroy the militant group that attacked southern Israel almost four months ago.
Strikes hit two houses and a mosque in central Gaza on Sunday, killing 29 people and wounding at least 60 others. Separate airstrikes in Rafah, the enclave’s southernmost city, killed two children, ages 12 and 2, according to the registration office at the hospital where the bodies were taken.
Israel’s military said it raided the headquarters of Hamas’ brigade in the southern city of Khan Younis and found what it called training materials for the Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The materials included “models simulating entrance gates of Israeli kibbutzim, military bases and IDF armored vehicles,” the military said.
The offensive in Gaza that Israel launched in response to the attack had killed 27,365 people and wounded more than 66,000 in Gaza as of Sunday morning, the Hamas-ruled territory’s Health Ministry reported. The Health Ministry does not distinguish between civilian and combatant deaths, but says most of those killed were women and children.
The White House has urged Israel to make a greater effort to avoid harming civilians and to allow more aid into besieged Gaza. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to return to the region this week, beginning Monday in Saudi Arabia and with planned stops in Egypt, Qatar, Israel and the West Bank.
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— Find more of AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.
Here’s the latest:
PARIS – A French top official said Monday that France was working to get proof that medicines shipped to Gaza for dozens of hostages held by Hamas have been delivered.
The official, speaking about sensitive information on the condition of anonymity, said France was working with Qatar and other partners in the region “to get all elements of proof to know whether the medicines have been received” by the hostages.
A shipment intended for the hostages arrived in Gaza on Jan. 18 as part of a deal mediated by France and Qatar that represented the first agreement between Israel and Hamas since a weeklong cease-fire in November.
France said at the time that the deal called for providing a three-month supply of medication for 45 hostages with chronic illnesses, as well as other medicines and vitamins.
Authorities said three French nationals were believed to be among the more than 100 remaining hostages currently held by Hamas and other militants in Gaza.
A national homage to the French people who were killed or taken captive during the Hamas-led attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7 is scheduled for Wednesday at the Invalides monument in central Paris. President Emmanuel Macron is set to give a speech in the presence of relatives of the victims and hostages.
– By Sylvie Corbet in Paris
CAIRO — A United Nations official has accused Israel’s navy of striking an aid convoy carrying food destined for hard-hit northern Gaza.
The food convoy was waiting to move into northern Gaza when it was hit by Israeli naval gunfire on Monday morning, Thomas White, the Gaza director of U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, said in a post on the X platform.
White posted images showing a truck parked on the roadside with damage to its cargo. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military, which said it was looking into the report.
Juliette Touma, head of communications at the agency known as UNRWA, said no one was injured in the strike, which took place north of the area of Wadi al-Balah in central Gaza.
The U.N. says it has struggled to send aid to war-torn northern Gaza, which Israel pummeled in the first weeks of the war, because of the ongoing fighting.
Monday’s incident came after the more than a dozen countries, including the U.S., announced they would suspend funding to UNRWA over Israeli allegations that 12 of its 13,000 Gaza employees participated in the Oct. 7 attacks against Israel, which set off the war.
TEL AVIV — Israeli police say officers shot and killed a Palestinian boy who allegedly attempted to stab them in the occupied West Bank.
Police said the paramilitary border police were carrying out a routine security check in an area east of Jerusalem when a 14-year-old allegedly pulled out a knife and attempted to stab the officers. The officers opened fire, shooting the teen, and were uninjured, police said.
In security footage of the incident released by police, a person is seen approaching the officers and begins lunging at one of them and making stabbing motions. As the individual attempts to flee, the officers are seen opening fire and the suspect falls to the ground.
Police released a photo of a kitchen knife they alleged was used in the attempted stabbing. They said the teen was from east Jerusalem, but his name was not immediately known.
Critics of Israel say its security services use excessive force against Palestinian suspects, allegations that have intensified during the country’s war against Hamas in Gaza. Israel has carried out nightly raids in the West Bank to crack down on suspected militants there.
Palestinians have staged several attacks against Israeli security forces and civilians in the West Bank and Israel since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7. Last month, an Israeli woman was killed and 13 injured in a ramming and stabbing attack in a suburb north of Tel Aviv.
MADRID — Spain’s foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, says his government will give 3.5 million euros ($3.8 million) to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees to help it maintain its activities in the short term.
The agency known as UNRWA has had several donor countries suspend their funding after Israel alleged that 12 of its were involved in the Oct. 7 attack that triggered the country’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
UNRWA is the main humanitarian aid organization in Gaza. The Spanish government says it is closely following the investigation of Israel’s allegations and has urged the European Union to keep funding the agency.