Israel-Hamas war

Israel bombed southern Gaza’s main city on Monday after Hamas warned no Israeli hostages would leave the territory alive unless its demands for prisoner releases were met. Follow our live blog for the latest developments on the Israel-Hamas war. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

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Israeli soldiers operate with a tank at the Shajaiya district of Gaza city amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the Gaza Strip December 8, 2023.
Israeli soldiers operate with a tank at the Shajaiya district of Gaza city amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the Gaza Strip December 8, 2023. © Yossi Zeliger, Reuters


  • Israeli forces on Sunday pushed further into southern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled in search of shelter from bombardments and intense fighting with Hamas militants. 

  • European Union foreign ministers on Monday consider possible next steps in response to the Middle East crisis, including a crackdown on Hamas’s finances and travel bans for Israeli settlers responsible for violence in the West Bank.

  • The UN estimates 1.9 million of Gaza’s 2.4 million people have been displaced from their homes — roughly half of them children.

  • Hamas attacked southern Israeli communities on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking some 240 hostages, according to the Israeli government. Since then, 17,997 people have been killed in Israel’s ensuing assault on the Gaza Strip, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave. At least 49,500 people have been wounded and at least 7,600 people are missing, according to the Hamas media office.

Yesterday’s key developments:

  • Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for Hamas militants to lay down their arms, saying the Palestinian Islamist group’s end was near.

  • Hamas warned that no hostages would leave Gaza alive unless its demands for prisoner releases are met.

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Security Council’s “authority and credibility were severely undermined” after the United States blocked a ceasefire resolution on Friday.

  • A French warship shot down two drones in the Red Sea that were heading towards it from the coast of Yemen, the French military said on Sunday. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels on Saturday threatened to attack any vessels heading to Israeli ports unless food and medicine were allowed into the besieged Gaza Strip.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters)

About casualty figures from Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry:

Gaza’s health ministry collects data from the enclave’s hospitals and the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The health ministry does not report how Palestinians were killed, whether from Israeli airstrikes and artillery barrages or errant Palestinian rocket fire. It describes all casualties as victims of “Israeli aggression”. The ministry also does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. 

Throughout four wars and numerous skirmishes between Israel and Hamas, UN agencies have cited the Hamas-run health ministry’s death tolls in regular reports. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Palestinian Red Crescent also use the numbers.

In the aftermath of war, the UN humanitarian office has published final death tolls based on its own research into medical records. The UN’s counts have largely been consistent with the Gaza health ministry’s, with small discrepancies. 

For more on the Gaza health ministry’s tolls, click here.

(FRANCE 24 with AP) 

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