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The latest on the Israel-Hamas war

We’ve wrapped up our live updates for the day. Read the posts below and catch up on news in the region here.

17 hr 54 min ago

From CNN’s Alex Stambaugh

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaks at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, February 18, in Munich, Germany.Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaks at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, February 18, in Munich, Germany. Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

Russia has invited all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to meet in Moscow on February 26, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Sunday.

Shtayyeh said the Palestinian Authority, which is dominated by the Fatah political faction, is still seeking unity with Hamas, however, “there are some prerequisites,” including an “understanding on issues that have to do with resistance.”

“We will see if Hamas is ready to come to ground with us, we are ready to engage. If Hamas is not ready to come to ground with us that’s a different story. But we need Palestinian unity,” the prime minister said.

When pressed about the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, Shtayyeh said there is “no way we accept any killing of any innocent people.”

Political feud: Hamas has been long caught in a political war with the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank and engages in security coordination with Israel.

Hamas sees themselves as the “true resistance” that “are actually doing something,” while the Palestinian Authority is “basically asleep at the wheel,” Khaled Elgindy, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute and director of its Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs, told CNN in October.

15 hr 20 min ago

From Alex Stambaugh and CNN staff

Nasser Hospital in the city of Khan Younis, Gaza, on December 22, 2020.Nasser Hospital in the city of Khan Younis, Gaza, on December 22, 2020. Abed Zagout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Nasser Hospital in Gaza is no longer functioning after a raid by Israeli special forces, the World Health Organization said.

WHO teams were not permitted to enter the hospital in southern Gaza on Friday or Saturday “to assess the conditions of the patients and critical medical needs,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the statement posted on X, adding scores of patients remain inside.

“There are still about 200 patients in the hospital. At least 20 need to be urgently referred to other hospitals to receive health care; medical referral is every patient’s right,” he continued.

“The cost of delays will be paid by patients’ lives,” Tedros added, before urging that access to the patients and hospital should be facilitated for WHO staff. 

Nasser Hospital was previously the largest remaining functioning medical facility in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military claims they have credible evidence that Hamas had previously held hostages at the hospital, and that the bodies of deceased hostages may be at the hospital. However, it has not publicly released that evidence.

CNN has reached out to the Israeli military regarding Tedros’ claims. 

Nasser Hospital has experienced critical shortages of fuel, oxygen and medical supplies. Before the Israeli military’s raid on it on Thursday, hundreds of civilians were forced by Israeli forces to leave the hospital, which they had been using as a shelter.

20 hr 51 min ago

From CNN’s Abeer Salman and Lauren Izso

Palestinians inspects the damage caused by Israeli bombardment in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, on February 17.Palestinians inspects the damage caused by Israeli bombardment in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, on February 17. Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The death toll from airstrikes that hit central Gaza on Saturday has risen to at least 68, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital told CNN Sunday.

A doctor from the hospital had previously told CNN Saturday that 44 Palestinians were killed and dozens more were injured in the strikes that hit multiple neighborhoods in Deir al-Balah.

Video obtained by CNN from Al-Aqsa shows injured children among those being rushed in for treatment, as well as dead bodies, including a deceased baby, wrapped in cloth on the hospital floor.

Israel said Saturday it successfully struck Hamas targets in the Nuseirat and Deir al-Balah neighborhoods.

On Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces said they killed more than 10 Hamas militants in central Gaza over the past day, as well as conducted strikes on the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis that they said killed approximately 15 militants.

CNN cannot independently verify the number of casualties on the ground.

On Saturday, the UN said Palestinians living in the southern city of Rafah were reportedly fleeing towards Deir al-Balah ahead of an anticipated Israeli ground invasion.

23 hr 58 min ago

From CNN’s Richard Roth

US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, delivers remarks on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on January 30.US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, delivers remarks on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on January 30. Fatih Aktas/Anadolu/Getty Images

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield has warned that if the Algerian proposed resolution calling for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza were to come up for a vote at the UN Security Council as drafted, it will not be adopted by Washington.

In a statement Saturday, Thomas-Greenfield said the US had been working on a deal between Israel and Hamas which would see the release of hostages and bring a pause in the fighting for at least six weeks.

Over the past week, US President Joe Biden has had multiple calls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as leaders from Egypt and Qatar, to push this deal forward, she said.

“We believe this deal represents the best opportunity to reunite all hostages with their families and enable a prolonged pause in fighting, that would allow for more lifesaving food, water, fuel, medicine, and other essentials to get into the hands of Palestinian civilians who desperately need it,” the ambassador said.

“The resolution put forward in the Security Council, in contrast, would not achieve these outcomes, and indeed, may run counter to them…

“For that reason, the United States does not support action on this draft resolution. Should it come up for a vote as drafted, it will not be adopted.”

Last Wednesday, Arab countries in the UN reaffirmed their support for the Algerian draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as well as unimpeded humanitarian relief amid Israel’s looming ground invasion of Rafah.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour urged the UN to act and said the group believes there is “massive” support for the proposed resolution.

In her statement Saturday, Thomas-Greenfield called on the UN Security Council to instead ensure “any action we take in the coming days increases pressure on Hamas to accept the proposal on the table” and that the US would continue to engage in diplomacy, adding that the US “will be candid” with Israeli and regional leaders regarding expectations for the protection of Rafah’s more than one million civilians.

“It is critical that other parties give this process the best odds of succeeding, rather than push measures that put it — and the opportunity for an enduring resolution of hostilities — in jeopardy.”

12:17 a.m. ET, February 18, 2024

From CNN staff

 A woman runs to the scene to see her relative after an Israeli attack in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on February 17. A woman runs to the scene to see her relative after an Israeli attack in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on February 17. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu/Getty Images

At least 50 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes on central and southern Gaza on Saturday, according to doctors at hospitals in the strip. The Israel Defense Forces said it struck a series of Hamas “command and control centers” in central Gaza.

These are the biggest headlines from the war on Saturday:

  • Airstrikes kill dozens, doctors say: At least 44 Palestinians were killed and dozens more injured due to Israeli airstrikes on multiple neighborhoods in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza on Saturday, a doctor from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital said. Video obtained by CNN from Al-Aqsa shows injured children among those being rushed in for treatment, and dead bodies wrapped in cloth on the hospital floor, including a deceased baby. The IDF said its jets hit Hamas targets in the Nuseirat and Deir al-Balah neighborhoods. In the southernmost city of Rafah, a hospital director told CNN that new Israeli airstrikes killed at least 13 people.
  • Israeli offensive looms in Rafah: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli military has a “realistic” plan for an anticipated ground operation in the city, claiming there is room for displaced Palestinians to move north, but “we have to do it in an orderly way.” Palestinians crammed into the city say they have nowhere left to go, but some have been trying to flee northward as Israeli airstrikes ramp up.
  • Dire situation at Nasser Hospital: Medical personnel, patients and displaced people remain trapped inside southern Gaza’s Nasser medical complex, the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health said in a statement Friday night local time. In a statement issued Saturday, the IDF said operations were still underway in Khan Younis, where the hospital is located, with “approximately 100 individuals suspected of terrorist activity being apprehended.” Israeli special forces entered the hospital complex on Thursday, alleging that Hamas militants were inside.
  • Status of hostage and ceasefire deal: As talks on a deal seem to be at an impasse, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani emphasized the urgent need to end the conflict and prevent escalation while speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. He said a ceasefire should not be conditional to a hostage deal. Meanwhile, Israel’s Coordinator for the Captives and the Missing Gal Hirsch told CNN on Saturday that Hamas’ demands for a hostage deal are “delusional,” which Netanyahu later echoed.
  • Protests: Police arrested 12 people during pro-Palestinian marches in London Saturday, according to the Metropolitan Police. About 250,000 demonstrators participated, according to Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which organized the event to call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. In Israel, thousands took to the streets of Tel Aviv and Caesarea on Saturday, calling for the dismissal of Netanyahu and his government. The prime minister called for “unity,” saying, “The last thing we need now is a new election.”
  • US strikes on Houthi targets: The US said it made two successful strikes on Houthi rebel targets in the Red Sea out of self-defense on Friday. The US identified one of the weapons, a missile, as an “imminent threat” to US Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region. The group maintains the attacks in the Red Sea are intended to pressure Israel and its allies to stop the war in Gaza.

12:08 a.m. ET, February 18, 2024

From CNN’s Abeer Salman, Eyad Kourdi and staff

Palestinians residents examines the rubbles of destroyed buildings following Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza on February 16.Palestinians residents examines the rubbles of destroyed buildings following Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza on February 16. Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu/Getty Images

Two Israeli airstrikes on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza killed at least 13 Palestinians, Dr. Marwan Al-Homss, the general director of Abu Yousuf Al-Najjar Government Hospital, told CNN on Saturday.

According to Al-Homss, the first airstrike hit a location in northern Rafah, leading to the deaths of six members of a family, including women and children. A second strike in an open area where displaced residents had sought refuge killed at least seven people, including four children, a woman, a man and a teenager, according to Al-Homss.

Israel claims it is targeting Hamas in Rafah. On Saturday, Israel’s Coordinator for the Captives and the Missing Gal Hirsch told CNN the Israeli military is doing “everything we can to avoid possible damage.”

Looming Israeli ground offensive: Israel has been bombarding Rafah with airstrikes for weeks and says it is committed to a ground offensive in the city. The alternative “is to surrender to Hamas and to sacrifice 134 people,” military spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told CNN Tuesday, referring to the Israelis held hostage in Gaza. “That is not an option from Israel’s perspective,” he said.

The United Nations aid chief has said an offensive in Rafah could lead to “a slaughter.” Palestinians there say they have nowhere to run. Some have tried to flee north to central Deir al-Balah, where doctors also reported deadly airstrikes Saturday.

12:20 a.m. ET, February 18, 2024

From Eyad Kourdi and CNN staff

Members of a family whose child was killed by an Israeli attack on Nuseirat camp mourn as the child's lifeless body is brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah, Gaza on February 17.Members of a family whose child was killed by an Israeli attack on Nuseirat camp mourn as the child’s lifeless body is brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah, Gaza on February 17. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu/Getty Images

At least 44 Palestinians were killed and dozens more were injured due to Israeli airstrikes on multiple neighborhoods in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza on Saturday, a doctor from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital told CNN on Saturday.

Doctors from Al-Aqsa and Al-Awda hospitals earlier told CNN at least 30 people had been killed.

Video obtained by CNN from Al-Aqsa shows injured children among those being rushed in for treatment, and dead bodies wrapped in cloth on the hospital floor, including a deceased baby.

The Israel Defense Forces said it struck a series of Hamas “operational command and control centers” in central Gaza Saturday. The IDF said its jets hit Hamas targets in the Nuseirat and Deir al-Balah neighborhoods.

The number of people killed in Gaza since October 7 has risen to 28,858, with 68,291 people injured, the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza said Saturday. Israel estimates about 10,000 Hamas militants have been killed since October 7.

CNN can’t independently verify the casualty figures in Gaza due to limited access to the area.

12:22 a.m. ET, February 18, 2024

From Eyad Kourdi

Palestinians walk next to damaged buildings in Gaza City, on February 11.Palestinians walk next to damaged buildings in Gaza City, on February 11. Omar Ishaq/picture alliance/Getty Images

Qatar’s prime minister emphasized the urgent need to end the Israel-Hamas conflict and prevent escalation while speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. 

“Now we are focused on the priority of how to end this war and how to avoid further escalation,” Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani said.

Al-Thani, who is also the foreign minister, said some countries believe “that in order to get a ceasefire, it’s conditional to have the hostage deal. It shouldn’t be conditioned.”

“What should be conditional is the humanitarian catastrophe over there; we feel for all the people. The crimes are condemned, whoever is the perpetrator,” he added.

Recent talks in Cairo between Qatar, Egypt, Israel and the US have yet to result in a deal.

US President Joe Biden said Friday that he’s had “extensive conversations” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and he has relayed his position that there should be a temporary ceasefire to secure the release of hostages still held in Gaza.

12:23 a.m. ET, February 18, 2024

From CNN’s Xiaofei Xu and Jennifer Hauser

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, on December 10, 2023.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, on December 10, 2023. Ronen Zvulun/Pool/AP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that his forces have a “realistic” plan for their ground operations in the crowded southern Gaza city of Rafah, where he is facing growing international pressure to protect civilians.

Roughly 1.5 million Palestinians are seeking shelter in the southern Gaza city near the border with Egypt — many of them already displaced from elsewhere in the enclave. The United Nations aid chief has said an operation there could lead to “a slaughter.” Palestinians in the city say they have nowhere left to go.

“Our ability to enter Rafah has been proven as realistic,” Netanyahu said in a news conference Saturday, claiming there is room for the displaced to move north, but “we have to do it in an orderly way.”

He said he told US President Joe Biden this week that, “Israel is going to fight until we reach total victory, and that includes also ground offensive in Rafah — of course after we let citizens there to evacuate to other safe places.”

When Biden spoke with Netanyahu Thursday, he urged him not to proceed with operations without a “credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support for the civilians,” according to the White House.

On hostage talks: Netanyahu also echoed the remarks of his hostage coordinator, who told CNN on Saturday that Hamas’ demands for a ceasefire and hostage release — such as stopping the war and releasing thousands of Palestinian prisoners — are “delusional.”

Pressure at home: The prime minister’s comments came as thousands took to the streets of Tel Aviv and Caesarea on Saturday, calling for the dismissal of Netanyahu and his government. The prime minister called for “unity,” saying, “The last thing we need now is a new election.”

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