Residents in Gaza are facing ever-growing uncertainty after the territory’s only power plant ran out of fuel and shut down Wednesday. Israeli airstrikes further demolished entire neighborhoods and sent people scrambling to find safety. And hospitals in the Gaza Strip are struggling to treat the injured with dwindling medical supplies.
The war, which has claimed more than 2,200 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate. The weekend attack that Hamas said was retribution for worsening conditions for Palestinians under Israeli occupation has inflamed Israel’s determination to crush the group’s hold in Gaza.
The Israeli military said more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, have died in Israel since Saturday’s incursion. In Gaza, the health ministry says more than 1,050 have been killed and over 5,100 injured. The United Nations Palestinian refugee agency says 250,000 people have been displaced in Gaza.
Here’s what’s happening on Day 5 of the latest Israel-Palestinian war:
LONDON — Britain’s foreign minister said he has experienced “a glimpse of what millions experience every day” after he had to take shelter from Hamas rocket fire during a visit to southern Israel.
Israel’s foreign ministry released video footage of U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and officials hurrying indoors as sirens sounded during a visit to Ofakim. Cleverly and his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen met survivors of the weekend attack by Hamas militants.
Cleverly wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “The threat of Hamas rockets lingers over every Israeli man, woman and child. This is why we are standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel.”
Cleverly arrived in Israel on Wednesday to show Britain’s solidarity with Israel, the Foreign Office said.
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden said that he and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke by phone on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Biden, who is set to meet with Jewish leaders later in the day, sought to connect the weekend attacks by Hamas militants that have left hundreds dead directly to decades of antisemitism and violence endured by Jews around the world.
“This attack has brought to the surface the painful memories and scars left by a millennium antisemitism and genocide against the Jewish people. And this moment we have to be crystal clear: There is no justification for terrorism, no excuse and the type of terrorism that was exhibited here is just beyond the pale. Beyond the pale,” he said.
It was at least the fourth call between Biden and Netanyahu since Saturday’s attack.
JOHANNESBURG — A few hundred pro-Palestinian protesters on Wednesday staged demonstrations at the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg and the Israeli embassy in Cape Town amid the latest Israel-Hamas war that has already claimed more than 2,200 lives on both sides.
Draped in Palestinian flags and holding posters criticizing Israel in front of the U.S Consulate building, the protesters also called for the Israel ambassador to South Africa to be expelled.
The Palestinian territories have significant support from many in South Africa, including from the ruling African National Congress party and its political allies, the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions. The ruling ANC party has describing Israel as an apartheid state comparable to apartheid in South Africa, which was abolished in 1994.
PARIS — French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Wednesday that ‘’several children’’ from France have probably been kidnapped from Israel. Speaking to the French Senate, she said the government is in touch with the families of the children concerned. She did not elaborate.
Among those believed kidnapped is a 12-year-old boy named Eitan who had been living in the Nir Oz kibbutz, according to family members who have spoken to French media.
France has said that 11 French citizens are confirmed dead in the fighting and 20 are unaccounted for, including several believed held hostage.
CAIRO — The Arab League chief on Wednesday called for an immediate cease-fire in the war between Israel and the Palestinian militants in Gaza.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the secretary general of the Cairo-based organization, warned about “serious possibilities” of further escalation and an expansion of fighting, in an apparent reference to the Lebanese Hezbollah militant groups.
“No one wanted such kind of escalation … I completely refuse any violence against civilians without equivocation,” he said.
Aboul Gheit’s comments came at the opening of an emergency meeting an emergency meeting of the Arab foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital on the Israel-Gaza war.
BOGOTA, Colombia — The Colombian government reported the first death of one of its citizens in Israel — a woman with dual Colombian and Israeli citizenship. The Foreign Ministry said in a press release that Ivonne Rubio was with her boyfriend at the music festival in Southern Israel that was attacked by Hamas militants. Rubio’s boyfriend, identified as Antonio Macías and also a Colombian citizen, is still missing.
Authorities are sending two Boeing 737 from the Colombian Air Force to Israel to repatriate their citizens who want to leave the area.
LONDON — British Airways said it has suspended all flights to Israel after a Tel Aviv flight was diverted back to London due to security concerns.
“Safety is always our highest priority and we’ve taken the decision to return our Tel Aviv flight to Heathrow,” a spokesperson from the carrier said Wednesday.
Other airlines — including budget carriers EasyJet and Wizz Air — have cancelled or suspended flights on the route in light of the latest Gaza war. Virgin Atlantic and Israeli flag carrier El Al also still run flights, but availability is low.
BEIRUT — The deputy director of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says 11 staffers have been killed in Gaza since Saturday.
Jenifer Austin said in a statement Wednesday that the dead include five teachers at UNRWA schools, one gynecologist, one engineer, one psychological counselor and three support staff.
She said some of the victims were killed in their homes with their families.
“UNRWA mourns this loss and is grieving with our colleagues and the families,” she said. “We call for the fighting to come to an end to spare more civilian lives lost.”
The agency told The Associated Press earlier Wednesday that nine staffers had died since the attacks began.
LONDON — King Charles III has condemned the “barbaric acts of terrorism in Israel,” and has asked officials to keep him updated on developments in the Middle East, a palace official said Wednesday.
In a briefing at Buckingham Palace on the king’s upcoming visit to Kenya, a spokesman said the king was extremely concerned about the situation.
‘’His thoughts and prayers are with all of those suffering, particularly those who have lost loved ones, but also those actively involved as we speak,’’ the spokesman said. “His Majesty is appalled by and condemns the barbaric acts of terrorism in Israel.’’
The spokesman made his comments on condition of anonymity in keeping with palace rules.
Associated Press writer Danica Kirka contributed to this story.
CAIRO — President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt on Wednesday warned about “grave security and humanitarian repercussions” of the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinian militant groups in Gaza.
He said his government, which mediated a cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in previous bouts of violence, has intensified its efforts to “contain the situation,” according to the Egyptian leader’s office.
El-Sissi’s comments came in a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani who was visiting Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials.
A top opposition Israeli politician says he has reached an agreement to enter a wartime unity government with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Benny Gantz, a former defense minister and military chief of staff, released what he said was a joint statement with Netanyahu.
The statement said they would form a five-member “war-management” Cabinet. It will consist of Netanyahu, Gantz, current Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and two other top officials serving as “observer” members.
It said the government would not pass any legislation or decisions that are not connected to the war as long as the fighting continues. It was not immediately clear what would happen to Netanyahu’s existing government partners, a collection of far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties.
BEIRUT — Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group on Wednesday blasted the United States for its support of Israel, saying that sending an aircraft carrier to the region “will not scare our people or the resistance movements that are ready for the confrontation.”
Hezbollah said that the U.S. “is a full partner of the Zionist aggression and is responsible for the killings, crimes, siege, the destruction of homes and horrifying crimes against innocent civilians.”
The group added in a statement that sending an aircraft carrier to the region reveals the weakness of Israel’s military and its need for continuous foreign support.
Hezbollah criticized President Joe Biden’s “flagrant” support to Israel “killing machine.”
It called on Arab and Muslim nations to condemn the American intervention in the region.
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the latest Israel-Palestinian war is rooted in the failure to create a Palestinian state and the latest botched mediation efforts by the U.S.
Speaking at an international energy forum in Moscow, Putin charged that Washington has mostly focused on trying to create material incentives for the Palestinians while failing to help create a Palestinian state in line with U.N. resolutions.
Putin emphasized the need to quickly find a settlement — warning that the conflict could spiral out of control, resulting in “grave consequences.”
He also described the allegations of Iran’s involvement as baseless and argued that the U.S. response was only fueling the conflict, saying that he doesn’t understand why the U.S. has deployed an aircraft carrier to the region.
PRAGUE — A Czech government plane will fly to Israel on Wednesday to evacuate Czech nationals from the country which is at war with Hamas, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said.
Fiala said other flights will follow through the end of the week, but gave no further details.
The announcement came after a plane with Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky landed in Prague early Wednesday with 34 other Czechs onboard who returned from Israel with the minister.
Lipavsky was the first foreign minister to visit Israel after Saturday’s attacks, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said on X, formerly known as Twitter, after their meeting.
There are still at least 181 Czechs in Israel, Lipavsky said Wednesday.
CAIRO — Al-Azhar al-Sharif, the Sunni world’s foremost seat of religious learning, on Wednesday called for an international investigation into allegations of war crimes by Israel against civilian Palestinians in Gaza.
In a strong worded statement, the Cairo-based religious institution called for Arab and Islamic countries to take “a serious and unified position against the West’s inhuman rally” behind Israel’s attacks against “innocent Palestinian civilians.”
It said Israel’s “inhuman siege,” which included cutting off electricity and water, and preventing the delivery of food and humanitarian aid to the strip, is a “genocide and war crimes.”
The statement urged Arab and Islamic countries to quickly provide humanitarian aid and “ensure its crossing” to the Palestinians in Gaza.
LONDON — Britain’s top diplomat has arrived in Israel to express “unwavering solidarity” with the country following the attacks by Hamas.
The government says Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will meet survivors and senior Israeli officials “to outline U.K. support for Israel’s right to defend itself.”
The U.K.’s Conservative government and the opposition Labour Party have both strongly backed Israel’s right to retaliate for the attacks that killed more than 1,200 Israelis.
The British government has said 10 or more U.K. citizens are dead or missing after the attacks on southern Israel.