Skip to content

Israel-Hamas War Live: Israeli Forces ‘in The Heart Of Khan Younis’, Says IDF; At Least 16,000 Killed Since Start Of War, Says Hamas

IDF in the heart of Khan Younis on most intense day of fighting, it saysAn Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commander has said that its forces have been engaged in “the most intense day” of fighting since the start of their invasion of Gaza.

Yaron Finkelman described it as “the most intense day since the beginning of the ground operation – in terms of terrorists killed, the number of firefights, and the use of firepower from the land and air.”

A statement said Israeli forces are now fighting “in the heart of Jabaliya, in the heart of Shejaiya, and now also in the heart of Khan Younis.”

Key events

Show key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this feature

Summary of the day so farIt’s nearly 9.30pm in Gaza City and Tel Aviv. Here’s a recap of the latest developments:

Israeli forces have reported the most intense day of fighting in Gaza since the ground attack began nearly six weeks ago. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Tuesday they had mounted an attack into the “heart” of Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, and that paratroopers and navy commandos had raided the Hamas general security headquarters there. Heavy fighting was also reported in Shujai’iya, another Hamas stronghold in the north.

Israel’s bombing of Gaza’s second city, Khan Younis, in the south of the coastal strip, intensified before an expected ground incursion. Israel’s top military commander, Lt Gen Herzi Halevi, has said his forces are encircling the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza as he announced the “third phase” of Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces have killed at least 16,248 people, including 7,112 children and 4,885 women, in Gaza since 7 October, a statement from the Hamas media office has said. At least 43,616 people have been injured and at least 7,600 people are missing, according to the statement on Tuesday. Health officials in Gaza have said at least 45 people have been killed in an Israeli airstrike on houses in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza on Tuesday.

A World Health Organization official in Gaza described the situation on Tuesday as deteriorating by the hour. “The situation is getting worse by the hour,” Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative on the occupied Palestinian territory, told the media via a video link from Gaza.

The US state department has announced it will impose visa bans on Israeli extremist settlers engaged in violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank. The restrictions will target those who have committed acts of violence or taken other actions that restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities and may also apply to those individuals’ family members, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said. The move comes just a month after Israel was granted entry into the US’s visa waiver programme.

The US aid chief has announced new support for the Palestinian people during a visit to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Tuesday. Samantha Power, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), announced $21m (£16.7m) in new US assistance that will include hygiene and shelter supplies and food for people in Gaza, as she travelled to the Egyptian town of El-Arish, the gateway to the Rafah crossing into Gaza.

A Lebanese soldier has been killed in the south of the country by Israeli shelling, according to a statement from the country’s army. Three other were wounded in the incident.

Qatar’s prime minister has said mediation talks were still ongoing with an objective to end the war. “Qatar continues to make efforts to restore the truce, release hostages, and exchange prisoners,” Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Tuesday.

Vladimir Putin will travel to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday on a rare overseas trip to discuss the Israel-Hamas war as Moscow seeks to reassert Russia’s role in the Middle East.

Rina has already lost her husband, Omar, to an Israeli airstrike. Now she fears their baby son, Ahmed, could die from disease or cold, in the freezing tent by the Egyptian border that has become her fifth shelter in as many weeks.

After Omar died in October, Rina’s breast milk dried up. In the weeks since, the only constant in her life has been the ever more challenging search for formula and clean water to keep her only child alive as they flee across Gaza.

Rina, originally from north Gaza, was among those who have decided to take to the road again as tanks have been moving into position around Khan Younis city and days of intense airstrikes have followed leaflets warning civilians to leave. She said:

When we reached Khan Younis, I hoped to find a semblance of safety, or at least an end to the incessant sound of Israeli bombing that terrorised my infant son. Unfortunately, the bombing continued relentlessly.

We sought refuge in a house with more than 60 other displaced people. Water, electricity, and communication services were completely cut off.

Each move has brought worse conditions and more overcrowding in the shrinking corners of Gaza that Israel says are safe for civilians.

“In Rafah, we found only tents that are unsuitable for human habitation,” Rina said of their latest stop in a two-month odyssey of displacement.

Read the full story by Aseel Mousa: ‘I could no longer breastfeed’: Gaza woman on two-month odyssey of displacement

Here are some of the latest images from the newswires from Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, where dozens have reportedly been killed in multiple strikes.

Health officials in Gaza have said at least 45 people have been killed in an Israeli airstrike on houses in the city on Tuesday.

Dr Eyad Al-Jabri, head of the Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, told Reuters:

We have received 45 martyrs from the Israeli bombing on the houses of three families in Deir al-Balah in the past hour.

Palestinians search for bodies and survivors among the rubble of a destroyed house following airstrikes on Deir Al Balah in the southern Gaza Strip. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPAPalestinians retrieve bodies from the Abu Msabeh family home which was struck in Deir Al Balah in the southern Gaza Strip. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPAPalestinians make their way through the rubble in Deir Al Balah in the southern Gaza. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPAPalestinians search for bodies and survivors among the rubble of a destroyed house in Deir Al Balah in the southern Gaza. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPAIreland’s taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has said that the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza will prove counterproductive and is likely to make Israel less secure in the future.

Varadkar was asked about the renewed violence in the Middle East as he took questions in the Dail parliament on Tuesday, PA news agency reported. He said:

I don’t think anyone can find the current situation to be anything more than unbearable, quite frankly, to see thousands of people being killed and thousands of children losing their lives.

And while Israel has the right to defend itself, the actions that they’ve taken in my view, and that of the government, are disproportionate and will ultimately be counterproductive because we know from history that when people are treated in that way it strengthens their resolve.

He added that Israel “might achieve a military victory, but it’s very likely to be a strategic defeat in terms of their own long-term security.”

But he rejected calls for Ireland to impose sanctions on Israel, insisting such unilateral action would have no influence on Israeli thinking and would likely result in retaliatory steps against Irish exports from Israel and supportive allies.

“Sanctions are only effective when they’re done on a multilateral basis,” Varadkar said, adding:

If we go out on a limb and take unilateral actions, we’ll be listened to less. It might make us feel better, but it won’t do any good for the Palestinian people.

At least 16,248 people killed since 7 October, says Gaza media officeIsraeli forces have killed at least 16,248 people, including 7,112 children and 4,885 women, in Gaza since 7 October, a statement from the Hamas media office has said.

At least 43,616 people have been injured and at least 7,600 people are missing, according to the statement. It continues:

During the aggression on Gaza, Israeli forces dropped more than 50,000 tonnes of explosives on civilian homes, hospitals, schools and other institutions, resulting in the complete destruction of 52,000 housing units, 69 schools, 121 government buildings and 100 mosques.

Israeli forces have reported the most intense day of fighting in Gaza since the ground attack began nearly six weeks ago, with offensives stepped up in northern and southern Gaza and reports of a rise in civilian deaths.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Tuesday they had mounted an attack into the heart of Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, and that paratroopers and navy commandos had raided the Hamas general security headquarters there. Heavy fighting was also reported in Shujai’iya, another Hamas stronghold in the north. The IDF spokesperson Lt Col Richard Hecht said the fighting in the north had been “close-quarter and face-to-face”.

At the same time, the bombing of Gaza’s second city, Khan Younis, in the south of the coastal strip, intensified before an expected ground incursion. Israeli tanks were reported to be at the entrance to the city. Armoured vehicles were reported to have taken up positions on the southern section of the main north-south highway running through Gaza and to be firing on Palestinians trying to move through the area in cars or on foot.

MapUS announces visa bans on Israeli extremist settlers for violence against PalestiniansThe US state department has announced it will impose visa bans on Israeli extremist settlers engaged in violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement on Tuesday, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, described violent attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank as “unacceptable”. He said:

Today, the state department is implementing a new visa restriction policy targeting individuals believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security, or stability in the West Bank, including through committing acts of violence or taking other actions that unduly restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities. Immediate family members of such persons also may be subject to these restrictions.

He said the US would continue “to seek accountability for all acts of violence against civilians in the West Bank, regardless of the perpetrator or the victim”, adding:

Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have the responsibility to uphold stability in the West Bank. Instability in the West Bank both harms the Israeli and Palestinian people and threatens Israel’s national security interests.

Today, I announced a new visa restrictions policy targeting individuals and their family members involved in or meaningfully contributing to actions that undermine peace, security, and stability in the West Bank. Violence against civilians will have consequences.

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) December 5, 2023 Judges hearing the criminal cases against Benjamin Netanyahu have acceded to a request to limit hearings to two days a week after the Israeli prime minister’s defence team said he was too busy conducting the Gaza war.

Amit Hadad, Netanyahu’s lawyer said in a written statement to the court:

Under the current circumstances, in the midst of the Swords of Iron war, we are unable to maintain the contact we need to have with the prime minister in order to prepare for the planned testimonies.

Netanyahu’s corruption trial was suspended along with all other non-urgent cases due to the Hamas terror attacks on 7 October, the Times of Israel reported. The trial resumed on Monday.

Netanyahu has been on trial since 2020, accused of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in separate scandals involving powerful media moguls and wealthy associates. He has denied the charges and has rejected calls to resign.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has said that more than a million displaced Palestinians are expected to arrive in Gaza’s southernmost city, Rafah.

Adnan Abu Hasna, speaking to Al Jazeera today, said Israeli forces were pushing people “not only to the south, but pushing people to the south of the south”.

Speaking about the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Rafah, he said:

We have tens of thousands of families in the streets. They are already [sheltering] under random things – pieces of nylon and wood. It’s raining now. We will see the disaster.

Israeli forces have been telling people to leave eastern Khan Younis, describing the core of the southern Gaza city as a “dangerous fighting zone”, according to the Gaza director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

Posting to social media, Thomas White said people have been told to move to Rafah to receive assistance, but that “we are not able to provide for [hundreds of thousands] of new [internally displaced people]”.

The army is telling people to leave Eastern Khan Younis and instructing people in the core of the city that this area is now a “dangerous fighting zone”

They tell people to move to Rafah to receive assistance – but we are not able to provide for 100Ks of new IDP #Gaza @UNRWA

— Thomas White (@TomWhiteGaza) December 5, 2023IDF chief announces ‘third phase’ of Gaza ground invasionIsrael’s top military commander has said his forces are encircling the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza as he announced the “third phase” of Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

At a press conference today, Lt Gen Herzi Halevi, chief of Israel’s general staff, said Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had eliminated “many operatives, including senior commanders”, over the last few days, the Times of Israel reported. He said:

After 60 days since the beginning of the war, our forces are surrounding the Khan Younis area in southern Gaza. At the same time, we are working to deepen the achievement in the northern part of the strip. Anyone who thought that the IDF would not know how to resume the fighting after the truce was mistaken. Hamas is feeling this strongly.

He said the IDF had “captured many Hamas strongholds in northern Gaza” and that it was now operating “against its centres of gravity in the south”.

Israel’s military knew in advance that Hezbollah would resume its attacks on Israel’s north after the weeklong truce with Hamas, he added.

An injured person is taken to find help after being rescued from the rubble of an Israeli air attack in Deir al-Balah, Gaza. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty ImagesA Palestinian family prepares a meal on a makeshift fire after Israeli airstrikes on Deir al-Balah. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPAAskhelon resident Katya Ekimov inspects her bedroom, which was destroyed after a rocket attack in Ashkelon, Israel. Photograph: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Zakaria Shada, a displaced Palestinian boy with brittle bones who fled his house with his family, plays with his niece Shorok outside their shelter in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. Photograph: Saleh Salem/ReutersJordan’s King Abdullah has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, warning that the Israel’s relentless bombing was leading to a “dangerous deterioration” in the situation.

He called on the world to condemn any attempt by Israel to create the conditions that would forcibly displace Palestinians within Gaza or outside its borders, in remarks carried by state media after a meeting with the Cypriot president in Amman, Reuters reported.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman, Jordan on 30 November. Photograph: Royal Hashemite Court/ReutersSince the collapse of a temporary ceasefire on 1 December, widespread bombardment has resumed in Gaza, putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has warned.

In a statement on Tuesday, the IRC said Israeli orders to evacuate southern areas of Gaza has left Palestinian civilians who have already been displaced with “fear and uncertainty”. It added:

Civilians’ decisions to move must be voluntary. For those who do decide to move their right to return must be guaranteed. While those who are unable, or unwilling, to leave once again must remain protected.

The resumption of hostilities has also made it increasingly difficult for humanitarian organisations to stay safe and to provide assistance to the people of Gaza, it said.

“Once again nowhere in Gaza is safe,” it said, adding that it would be possible “to respond to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding across Gaza” without a sustained ceasefire.

When Greta Thunberg posted a photo of herself holding a “stand with Gaza” sign on Instagram in October, the backlash in Israel and Germany came hard and fast.

The violence in Israel and Gaza since 7 October has become an unexpected flashpoint for climate activists in rich countries. As world leaders meet for the Cop28 summit in Dubai, the loose collection of movements, many of which have built their support around inclusivity and global justice, are divided on whether or how to take a stand on the conflict.

Positions taken have led to splits within groups and between them. “The national debates are less about the conflict itself,” said Stefan Aykut, director of the Center for Sustainable Society Research (CSS) at the University of Hamburg. “Instead, they are immediately captured by the dominant cultural prism within each society.”

Climate activists protest in support of Palestinians in Gaza at Cop28 in Dubai. Photograph: Thaier Al-Sudani/ReutersThe legacy of the Holocaust carried out by the Nazis is central to Germany’s postwar identity, and in recent years has been used to argue that Israel’s security is fundamentally tied to the German state today. Environmental groups in Germany have expressed solidarity with Israel during the current conflict, as well as sympathy for Palestinian suffering, whereas in the UK and US activists have criticised Israel with stronger language – describing its bombing of Gaza as a “genocide”, which Israel rejects – and pushed their governments to call for a permanent ceasefire.

For environmental groups far from the fighting, the pressure to take a position has grown even stronger as racism against Jews and Muslims has soared across the US and Europe. It has also raised the stakes of striking the wrong tone.

The US aid chief has announced new support for the Palestinian people during a visit to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Tuesday.

Samantha Power, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), travelled to the Egyptian town of El-Arish, the gateway to the Rafah crossing into Gaza.

She arrived with a delivery of 36,000lbs of food assistance and medical supplies intended for Gaza, a USAID spokesperson said.

Power announced $21m (£16.7m) in new US assistance that will include hygiene and shelter supplies and food for people in Gaza, where water and other basics have been in short supply.

The funds will also support psychosocial care and critical health services along with the establishment of a NGO-operated field hospital in Gaza that will provide inpatient care, USAID said. A statement said:

The United States continues to work around the clock to overcome diplomatic and operational hurdles for humanitarian access, present solutions to emerging humanitarian assistance challenges and significantly scale up this response to where it needs to be.

Just arrived in El-Arish, Egypt, the hub for intl humanitarian assistance crossing into Gaza.

More must be done to protect civilians and accelerate the pace of life-saving assistance reaching the people of Gaza. pic.twitter.com/Y5Vz9GH4J9

— Samantha Power (@PowerUSAID) December 5, 2023The Biden administration is expected to announce as soon as today that it has imposed sanctions on Israeli extremist settlers engaged in violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank, according to a report.

The West Bank has experienced a surge of violence in recent months amid expanding Jewish settlements and a nearly decade-old impasse in US-sponsored peacemaking. The violence, at a more-than-15-year high this year, surged further after Israel hurtled into a new war in Gaza in response to the Hamas attacks on 7 October.

The US has repeatedly expressed its concern over the rising violence in the West Bank, saying it must stop. Joe Biden, in an 18 November Washington Post opinion piece threatened to take action against the perpetrators.

The US state department is also expected to announce that it has imposed a travel ban on several dozen Palestinians who were involved in attacks against Israelis, Axios reported, citing sources.

It would be the first time the US has sanctioned extremist settlers since the Clinton administration, the report says.

IDF in the heart of Khan Younis on most intense day of fighting, it saysAn Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commander has said that its forces have been engaged in “the most intense day” of fighting since the start of their invasion of Gaza.

Yaron Finkelman described it as “the most intense day since the beginning of the ground operation – in terms of terrorists killed, the number of firefights, and the use of firepower from the land and air.”

A statement said Israeli forces are now fighting “in the heart of Jabaliya, in the heart of Shejaiya, and now also in the heart of Khan Younis.”

Featured News