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Israel-Hamas war: Hamas hands over six more hostages, says IDF

Top (L-R): Siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit; bottom: Shani Goren, Amit Soussana, Sapir Cohen, Mia Schem.
Top (L-R): Siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit; bottom: Shani Goren, Amit Soussana, Sapir Cohen, Mia Schem.

Hamas has handed over six more hostages to the Red Cross, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has said.

“According to the information provided by the Red Cross, six Israeli abductees were transferred to them and are on their way to Israel,” the IDF said in a statement.

Two dual Russian-Israeli citizens who were released on Wednesday are being counted in Thursday’s total, Qatar’s foreign ministry said.

The terms of the truce require Hamas to release 10 hostages every day. Only eight will technically be freed today.

Israel is set to release 30 Palestinian prisoners – eight women and 22 children – in exchange.

The office of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said earlier on Thursday that 145 remain in captivity. A total of 93 hostages have so far been released.

The truce is set to expire on Friday morning unless Hamas agrees to release further hostages.


10:02 PM GMT

That's all for today

Thank you for following today’s live blog. Check back again on Friday for all the latest developments.


10:01 PM GMT

Today’s headlines

  • The truce between Israel and Hamas entered its seventh day

  • Four Israelis were killed in a Hamas shooting at a Jerusalem bus stop

  • Israel said it would demolish the two culprits’ houses in response

  • A group of 17 freed Thai hostages landed back in Thailand

  • Spain’s prime minister said he doubts Israel “is complying with international humanitarian law”

  • Benjamin Netanyahu said “nothing will stop” Israel from “eliminating Hamas”

  • A total of eight hostages were released by Hamas, with two Russian-Israelis freed on Wednesday counted to get the total up to 10

  • Israel freed 30 Palestinian prisoners in exchange

  • Antony Blinken told the Israeli cabinet that fewer civilians must be killed in its expected advance on southern Gaza

  • The uncle of two child hostages released on Monday said Hamas had drugged and branded them

  • AFP reported that Hamas is “willing to extend” the truce by another day

  • But no agreement had yet been reached at midnight Israeli time (10pm GMT)


09:50 PM GMT

Civilian shot by Israeli forces during Jerusalem attack dies

A civilian who was shot by Israeli security forces during the shooting in Jerusalem earlier on Thursday has died from his wounds.

Four people have now died after the terror attack, which Hamas has claimed responsibility for.

Video footage of the attack published on social media shows the civilian raising his hands and begging the soldiers not to shoot – after which he is shot and falls to the ground.

His name has not been disclosed.


09:48 PM GMT

Israel was open to accepting just eight hostages

Israeli officials were open to accepting just eight hostages in today’s handover, Reuters has reported.

They pointed to Hamas releasing 12 hostages on Wednesday. Two of those women could be counted as part of Thursday’s batch, Israeli officials suggested.

“The framework deal says ‘around 10 (hostages)’ a day,” Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Israel’s IDF-run Army Radio.


09:45 PM GMT

Pictured: Red Cross vehicles arrive carrying hostages

A Red Cross vehicle arrives at Egypt's Rafah crossing as part of a convoy carrying freed hostages
A Red Cross vehicle arrives at Egypt's Rafah crossing as part of a convoy carrying freed hostages - Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

09:39 PM GMT

Six hostages back in Israel, says IDF

The six hostages freed tonight are now back in Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has said.

“An elite unit of the IDF and a force of the Shin Bet are now escorting the six abductees and the abductees back in Israel,” it said in a statement.


09:32 PM GMT

Six additional freed hostages named

The six hostages who are on their way back to Israel now have been named:

  • Bilal Ziyadne, 18

  • Aisha Ziyadne, 17

  • Ilana Gritzewsky, 30

  • Nili Margalit, 41

  • Shani Goren, 29

  • Sapir Cohen, 29

They are in addition to Amit Soussana, 40, and Mia Schem, 21, who were released earlier on Thursday, and Elena Trupanov, 50, and her mother Irena Tati, 73, who were freed on Wednesday but are being included in today’s total.


09:25 PM GMT

Hamas counting two Russians released yesterday in today's total

Hamas is counting the two Russian-Israeli hostages it released on Wednesday in today’s total, Qatar has said.

The terror group is required to release 10 hostages per day under the terms of the truce.

In accordance with the terms of the seventh day of the humanitarian pause agreement, 30 Palestinians will be released today in exchange for the release of 10 hostages in Gaza.” Majed Al Ansari, the foreign ministry’s spokesman, said .

“The two Russian citizens released yesterday were counted on this list.”

Dual Russian-Israeli citizens Elena Trupanov, 50, and her mother Irena Tati, 73, were freed by Hamas on Wednesday.


09:21 PM GMT

IDF: Six hostages now in Egypt

The six hostages who have just been handed over by Hamas are now in Egypt, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has said.

It said they will be handed over by the Red Cross to the IDF at the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

“The representatives of the security system will verify the identity of the returning abductees at the meeting point,” it added.


09:08 PM GMT

Red Cross receives six hostages, says IDF

Hamas has handed over six hostages to the Red Cross, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has said.

“According to the information provided by the Red Cross, six Israeli abductees were transferred to them and are on their way to Israel,” it said in a statement.


09:06 PM GMT

Hamas 'willing to extend truce'

Hamas is “willing to extend the truce” with Israel that is due to expire on Friday morning, AFP has reported.

“The mediators are currently making strong, intense and continuous efforts for an additional day in the truce and then working to extend it again for other days,” an anonymous source close to Hamas told the news agency.


09:05 PM GMT

Hamas handing more hostages to Red Cross

Hamas is handing over more hostages to the Red Cross, Reuters has reported.

Two have been released so far tonight and 10 are expected to be freed in total.


08:39 PM GMT

We want truce to go into eighth day, says Blinken

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has called for the truce between Hamas and Israel to be extended.

“Clearly, we want to see this process continue to move forward,” he told reporters in Tel Aviv.

“We want an eighth day and beyond.”

The truce is currently due to expire on Friday morning.

Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv
Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv - Saul Loeb

08:16 PM GMT

Blinken: Israel should create 'safe areas' in southern Gaza

Israel should create “safe areas” for Palestinians to flee to during its operations in southern Gaza, US secretary of state Antony Blinken has said.

“The way Israel defends itself matters,” he told an evening press conference.

“It is imperative that Israel act in accordance with international humanitarian law and the laws of war, even when confronting a terrorist group that respects neither.”

He added: “Israel has... one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world.

“It is capable of neutralising the threat posed by Hamas while minimising harm to innocent men, women and children. And it has an obligation to do so.”

Mr Blinken added that the amount of aid getting into Gaza is up “significantly” and the US’s “immediate focus is on working with our partners to extend the pause”.


08:00 PM GMT

IDF ready to resume war, says Hagari

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson, has said Israel is ready to resume the war in Gaza.

“The IDF is ready to resume the fighting,” he said.

“We are prepared to attack at any hour, tonight as well.”

He added that the IDF wants to ensure if possible that the “ceasefire can continue”.

The current seven-day truce is due to expire on Friday morning.


07:47 PM GMT

Hamas not treating hostage, 84, says freed wife

Hamas did not treat an 84-year-old hostage who was suffering from stomach pains and constipation, his freed wife has said.

Nurit Cooper, 79, told Israel’s Kan 11 news agency that her husband Amiram’s medical needs were ignord.

“He suffered from all kinds of pains there that were not treated, he had stomach pains and very severe constipation,” she said.

She was released on Friday, having been kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7. Amiram remains in captivity.


07:38 PM GMT

US advising Israel on how to limit civilian casualties

The US is advising Israel how to avoid civilian casualties as it prepares to advance into southern Gaza, US Correspondent David Millward reports.

“I tell you, we shared with them our own experience, in that kind of urban warfare in places like Fallujah and in places like Mosul, and we sent over military advisors and experts to talk to him about some of those lessons learned,” John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, said in Washington.

Mr Kirby added that the US still did not support a permanent ceasefire, but wanted the temporary truce to continue.

“We do support the idea of humanitarian pauses and we would love to see as I said, at the outset, we want to see this seven-day pause turn into eight, nine, 10 and beyond.

“But ultimately, it’s going to take Israel and Hamas to agree to the parameters of extending that deal. But in the United States, they’ll continue to find an advocate for extension.”


07:33 PM GMT

Child hostages, 16 and 12, were drugged and branded, says uncle

Hamas branded two child hostages using a motorcycle exhaust and also drugged them, their uncle has said.

Yaniv Yaakov is the uncle of Or, 16, and Yagel, 12, who were released on Monday.

“Two days ago we got the children back, they were released and told us about what they experienced in Gaza, terrible stories,” he told Israel’s N12 news channel.

“One example is that they took the leg of each child taken hostage and burned them with the exhaust of a motorcycle to mark them in case they ran away, so that they could find them.

“They were drugged, they were treated so badly, but they are with us.”


07:28 PM GMT

Hamas releases video claiming Bibas father is alive

Hamas has released a propaganda video claiming Yarden Bibas – the father of Kfir, 10 months, and Ariel, 4, and husband of Shiri, 32 – is alive.

The terror group claimed on Wednesday that Shiri, Ariel and Kfir had been killed in an Israeli air strike on an unspecified date. The IDF is attempting to verify the claim.

Separately, Hamas has accused Israel of rejecting its offer to return their bodies. “The resistance (Hamas) offered to hand over the three bodies, but the occupation (Israel) refused to receive them and is still manoeuvring and bargaining,” a statement read.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the IDF spokesperson, said the video of Yarden was “psychological terror” and “our hearts are with him and the entire Bibas family”.

Yarden, 34, was abducted separately to his family on October 7.


07:21 PM GMT

Blinken tells Israeli cabinet: You must kill fewer civilians

American secretary of state Antony Blinken has told the Israeli war cabinet that it must kill fewer civilians in its expected invasion of southern Gaza.

“You can’t operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north,” Mr Blinken told the cabinet this evening in leaked remarks reported by Channel 12 news.

“There are two million Palestinians there. You need to evacuate fewer people from their homes, be more accurate in the attacks, not hit UN facilities, and ensure that there are enough protected areas [for civilians].

“And if not? Then not to attack where there is a civilian population.”

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reports that Mr Blinken also warned the cabinet that unequivocal Western support would only continue for a few weeks if civilian deaths are not reduced.


07:14 PM GMT

IDF fires interceptor missile over southern Israel

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched an interceptor missile at a “suspicious identification” above southern Israel on Thursday evening.

Residents of Netivot witnessed an explosion in the sky, the Times of Israel reports.

The IDF has said it is investigating the incident.


06:55 PM GMT

In pictures: Mia Schem reunited with family

Mia Schem embraces her mother and brother at the Hatzerim air base
Mia Schem embraces her mother and brother at the Hatzerim air base - Prime Minister's Office
She is one of two Israeli hostages who have been released by Hamas so far today
She is one of two Israeli hostages who have been released by Hamas so far today - Prime Minister's Office

06:47 PM GMT

Hamas wants new deal to free men and soldiers

Hamas wants a new hostage release deal if it is to free the men and soldiers in captivity, an Israeli MP has said.

“Hamas wants to set new terms for the men and the Israeli soldiers,” Danny Danon, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, said.

“They want a different equation. Now we have one Israeli hostage for three Palestinian prisoners, and they want to try and change that ratio.

“As long as they can provide hostages, we are willing to talk.”


06:20 PM GMT

Watch: Mia Schem embraces family

Mia Schem, who has been freed by Hamas today, has now been reunited with her mother and brother.


06:18 PM GMT

Israel will win 'no matter how long it takes', Gallant tells Blinken

Israel will defeat Hamas “no matter how long it takes”, Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant has told US secretary of state Antony Blinken.

“We are going to fight Hamas until we prevail – no matter how long it takes,” he said.

“We will continue this war until we win, defeat the Hamas organisation, deprive it of its governing and military capabilities and bring back all the hostages.

“We know that in terms of the goals of the operation, we are united with the US, and we really appreciate that.”


06:03 PM GMT

Pictured: Freed hostage reunited with father on Wednesday

Gali Tarshansky, 13, rides with her father in a IDF helicopter after being released on Wednesday night
Gali Tarshansky, 13, rides with her father in a IDF helicopter after being released on Wednesday night - Prime Minister's Office

05:37 PM GMT

Jerusalem shooting was a 'terrorist attack', says Blinken

American secretary of state Antony Blinken has condemned the shooting in Jerusalem earlier today that killed three and injured six as a “terrorist attack”.

“This day started off in a terrible and very negative way with another terrorist attack that took the lives of innocent Israelis in Jerusalem – a reminder of what Israel and every Israeli citizen has to face every day,” he said.

“We condemn it, and we also mourn the loss of these innocent lives as we mourn the loss of any innocent life.”


05:26 PM GMT

Man thought abducted is dead, says kibbutz

An Israeli man who was thought to have been abducted by Hamas died in the October 7 attacks, the kibbutz where he lived has said.

The death of Aviv Atzili, 49, was announced by Kibbutz Nir Oz the day after his widow, Liat Beinin Atzili, was released by Hamas.

The circumstances of Mr Atzili’s death have not been disclosed. He is survived by two children.


05:20 PM GMT

Pictured: Mia Schem returns to Israel

Mia Schem is pictured in a convoy near Ofakim, southern Israel
Mia Schem is pictured in a convoy near Ofakim, southern Israel - Tsafrir Abayov

05:11 PM GMT

Watch: Moment Mia Schem's mother told she is being freed


04:57 PM GMT

Israel to release 30 women and children prisoners

Israel will release eight women and 22 children from its prisons tonight in exchange for the 10 hostages Hamas is expected to free today, the Palestinian Prisoners Society has said.


04:51 PM GMT

'Great joy' that Mia Schem is free, says Macron

Emmanuel Macron has hailed the release of French-Israeli Mia Schem as a “great joy”.

“Mia Schem is free,” the French president wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“It is a great joy that I share with his family and all French people.

“I also express my solidarity with all those who remain hostages of Hamas.

“France is working with its partners to obtain their release as soon as possible.”


04:29 PM GMT

Israel to demolish homes of Jerusalem shooters

Israel will demolish the homes of the two terrorists who killed three and injured six in a shooting in Jerusalem earlier today on the orders of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister’s office said the homes of Murad Nemr, 38, and Ibrahm Nemr, 30, would be “sealed and demolished”.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu directed that the homes of the two terrorists who perpetrated today’s attack in Jerusalem be sealed and demolished, that extensive arrests be carried out among those who supported and dispatched them,” a statement from his office read.

The demolition of homes is a common punishment for terrorists in Israel.


04:23 PM GMT

Two Muslim siblings expected to be released, say family

Two Muslim siblings being held by Hamas are expected to be freed today, their family has said.

The i24 television channel report that relatives of Aisha Alziadna, 17, and her brother Bilal, 18, have been told they are set for release.

The two Bedouin Israelis were abducted by Hamas from Kibbutz Holit on October 7 along with their brother Hamza, 22, and father Yusuf, 53. The four worked at the kibbutz cow shed.


04:13 PM GMT

International Criminal Court chief visits hostage families

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor is visiting Israel to meet survivors and relatives of the victims of the October 7 attacks.

Karim Khan will also visit Ramallah in the West Bank to meet senior Palestinian officials, the court said.

“The visit, while not investigative in nature, represents an important opportunity to express sympathy for all victims and engage in dialogue,” the court said.


04:03 PM GMT

'Happiest day in the world', says Mia Schem's father

The father of Mia Schem has said today is the “happiest day in the world” after she was released by Hamas.

“Today I have the happiest day in the world, and I tell you that all the hostages will return, I’m sure of it,” David Schem told Israel’s Channel 12 News.

“I just want to hug her and not leave her.

“I’m going to the hospital, and it will take a few hours, but we waited 55 days, so that’s small to me.”

Mia, 21, was abducted from the Supernova music festival on October 7. She has been released alongside Amit Soussana, 40, who was kidnaped from her home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza.


03:57 PM GMT

Truce should continue, Blinken tells Israeli president

The truce between Israel and Hamas is “producing results” and should continue, US secretary of state Antony Blinken has told Israeli president Isaac Herzog.

“We have seen over the last week the very positive development of hostages coming home, being reunited with their families,” Mr Blinken said in a meeting with Mr Herzog.

“It’s also enabled an increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza who need it desperately.

“So this process is producing results. It’s important, and we hope that it can continue.”


03:52 PM GMT

Elma Avraham, 84, remains in intensive care but is now conscious

Elma Avraham, the 84-year-old hostage who was rushed to hospital after being freed by Hamas on Sunday, remains in intensive care but is conscious and has been taken off a ventilator.

Dan Schwartzfox, deputy director-general of the Soroka hospital where she is being treated, said she was in a life-threatening condition when she first arrived.

“We are doing everything we can to advance her recovery,” he said.

Tali Amano, Mrs Avraham’s daughter, has accused the Red Cross of neglecting her mother when she was in captivity and refusing to take medications to her.


03:45 PM GMT

Today's hostages being released separately, says Israeli official

Only two hostages have been released so far because the 10 due to be freed today are being released in separate groups, CNN has reported.

It reported an Israeli official as saying the 10 are being held captive in different areas of Gaza and therefore will not be released together.


03:38 PM GMT

Watch: Hostages handed to Red Cross surrounded by Gazans


03:24 PM GMT

Pictured: Mia Schem and Amit Soussana

Mia Schem appeared in the first hostage video released by Hamas
Mia Schem appeared in the first hostage video released by Hamas
Amit Soussana was abducted from her home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7
Amit Soussana was abducted from her home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7

03:23 PM GMT

'I ran', says Israeli shooting survivor

A 17-year-old survivor of the shooting in Jerusalem that killed three and injured six earlier today has described fleeing the two gunmen.

“I was sitting there and playing on my phone,” Yeshiva student Akiva Schwartz told the Times of Israel from his hospital bed at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital.

” Then I suddenly heard these pops, these shots. I looked and saw this man holding a gun shooting at everyone who was there. I ran.

“I felt something weird, like I couldn’t feel something in my leg. I kept half-running, half-limping in the direction of the city centre.

“I went and knocked on the window of an ambulance and told the guy in it that I was injured and that I thought I had shrapnel in my leg.

“He got out and took care of me. They put me in the ambulance and took me to the hospital.”


03:20 PM GMT

Hostages handed over to Israeli special forces

Amit Soussana and Mia Schem have now been handed over to the Israeli special forces inside Gaza, the IDF has said.

“A short time ago, representatives of the Red Cross handed over two Israeli abductees who had returned to Israel to a force of an elite unit of the IDF and a force of the Shin Bet near the border fence,” it said.

Previously, all but one group of hostages have been taken by the Red Cross to the Egyptian border crossing at Rafah before being transferred to the Israelis.


03:11 PM GMT

Two freed hostages identified

The two hostages handed over by Hamas this afternoon have been named as Amit Soussana, 40, and Mia Schem, 21, Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported.

Mrs Soussana is a lawyer who was abducted from her home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

Ms Schem is a dual French-Israeli citizen who was kidnapped at the Supernova music festival.

A total of 10 hostages are expected to be released today: eight Israelis and two Russians.


02:54 PM GMT

Two Israeli hostages released by Hamas

The Israel army has announced that two Israeli hostages were handed to Red Cross in Gaza today.


02:52 PM GMT

US presses sceptical Turkey to curb Hamas fund-raising

The US Treasury’s top terrorism financing official said on Thursday he discussed with Turkish government officials his “profound concern” about Palestinian militant group Hamas raising funds domestically and potentially breaking local law.

Turkey was “prominent” in Hamas fundraising schemes and the group was likely to take advantage of that as it seeks more funding amid war with Israel, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in Istanbul.

Unlike most of its Western allies and some Gulf states, Turkey does not view Hamas as a terrorist group and hosts some of its members.


02:45 PM GMT

Israeli tanks pictured on the border

Israeli troops have been photographed standing atop a tank on the border with the Gaza Strip.

Israeli troops
Israeli troops - GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP

02:29 PM GMT

Ten Hamas operatives arrested in West Bank

The Israeli Defence Forces arrested ten Hamas operatives in overnight raids in the West Bank.

The IDF said that its troops seized military equipment, Hamas flags and around £50,000.

To date, over 1,100 Hamas members have been arrested in the West Bank since the October 7 massacre.


02:16 PM GMT

Israel summons Spanish ambassador over PM's comments

Israel summoned the Spanish ambassador for a reprimand and recalled its own envoy from Madrid for consultations on Thursday after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he doubted Israel was respecting humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he instructed his foreign minister, Eli Cohen, to call in Spain’s ambassador for a reprimand “after the shameful statement by the Spanish prime minister on the same day that Hamas terrorists are murdering Israelis in our capital Jerusalem”.

In a social media post, Cohen said the Israeli ambassador to Spain was being recalled for consultations.

“Israel conducts itself and will continue to conduct itself in accordance with international law,” Mr Cohen said.


01:58 PM GMT

Netanyahu: 'Nothing will stop" Israel from 'eliminating Hamas'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that “nothing will stop us from eliminating Hamas” as he met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“I told him we have sworn, and I have sworn, to destroy Hamas,” Mr Netanyahu said after the meeting on Thursday.

He reiterated that the war will continue until all hostages are freed and until Israel vanquishes Hamas, ensuring Gaza will never pose a threat again.

It follows pressure from the US to restrain operations in Gaza once the current ceasefire ends.

According to US officials, President Joe Biden told Mr Netanyahu that he was concerned about further Israeli military activity in southern Gaza, where over two million Palestinians are concentrated.

Mr Netanyahu responded by saying that the public will not accept finishing the military operation now and that the operation in the south is necessary to achieve Israel’s goal, the officials said.


01:49 PM GMT

Pictured: UN peacekeepers man the Lebanese-Israeli border

Irish and Polish peacekeepers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) are stationed near Maroun al-Ras village close to the Lebanese-Israeli border, in southern Lebanon.

Tensions have flared on the border since the Hamas massacre on October 7.

A UN vehicle
A UN vehicle - REUTERS/Aziz Taher
Irish peacekeepers sit together inside a bunker
Irish peacekeepers sit together inside a bunker - REUTERS/Aziz Taher

01:37 PM GMT

Italy and UAE consider setting up field hospital in Gaza

Italy and the United Arab Emirates are considering setting up a field hospital in Gaza, an Italian statement said on Thursday, as Rome sent doctors to the Gulf state to help treat young Palestinians patients who were transferred there.

As part of a drive to help civilians wounded by the Israel-Hamas war, Italy has already shipped humanitarian materials to the region aboard two planes and a navy hospital ship is expected to dock in the Egyptian port of Al Arish on Dec. 3.

“Paediatricians from other countries, starting with Qatar ... are expected to work on the ship,” the Italian government statement said, adding all aid had been sent in agreement with the main regional partners and Israel.

“The deployment of a field hospital in Gaza together with the United Arab Emirates is also being studied,” the statement added, without providing further details.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who is travelling to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, will take aboard her flight a group of paediatricians from two Italian childrens’ hospitals to help treat young Palestinian patients in the Emirates.

“Prime Minister Meloni has been monitoring the assistance to the civilian population of Gaza since the beginning of the conflict,” the statement said.


01:26 PM GMT

Blinken tells Netanyahu 'imperative' to protect Gaza civilians

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, emphasised the need to protect civilians in southern Gaza, the US State Department said.

Blinken “stressed the imperative of accounting for humanitarian and civilian protection needs in southern Gaza before any military operations there”, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

He added that Mr Blinken “urged Israel to take every possible measure to avoid civilian harm”.


01:12 PM GMT

Netanyahu will discuss 'next phase' of war with Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was thanked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his support during a visit to Tel Aviv.

Israeli prime minister spokesperson, Ofir Gendelman, said that Mr Netanyahu will discuss the “next phase” of the war with Mr Blinken.

Mr Blinken sat in on a meeting with the Israeli war cabinet on Thursday during his visit to meet Israeli lawmakers.

“I want to express our appreciation for your support from the beginning: the President, you personally, in the war of eliminating Hamas and releasing our hostages. You’ve been very, very helpful. We appreciate it deeply,” Mr Netanyahu said to Mr Blinken before the beginning of the meeting.

Mr Blinken was joined by other US officials including US Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew and the Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs to the Middle East David Satterfield.


01:00 PM GMT

427 attacks on Palestinian healthcare recorded since beginning of war

There have been 427 attacks on healthcare in Palestinian territories since the beginning of the war, according to the World Health Organization

“Attacks have resulted in 566 fatalities and 758 injuries,” the UN’s health agency wrote on X. “Health care and civilians must be actively protected.”


12:50 PM GMT

Homes of Jerusalem attackers raided

The homes of two Hamas terrorists who launched an attack in Jerusalem today have been raided by Israeli police.

Murad Nemer, 38, and Ibrahim Nemer, 30, were from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sur Baher.

Police said that their parents and four other family members have been detained for questioning.

They will be sked about their suspected involvement or knowledge of the attack, police added.


12:42 PM GMT

Negotiators push for two day extension of ceasefire

Negotiators from Egypt and Qatar are pursuing another two-day extension of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

It would include the release of further Palestinian prisoners and more aid to flow into Gaza, according to Egyptian state media.

Earlier, a 24-hour ceasefire was agreed just minutes before a pause was due to finish.


12:31 PM GMT

EU should recognise Palestinian state, Spanish PM says

The European Union should recognise a Palestinian state since this would help end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and “stabilise” the region, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday.

“It is obvious that we must find a political solution to put an end to this crisis and this solution requires, in my opinion, the recognition of the Palestinian state,” the Socialist premier said during an interview with Spanish public television TVE.

“It is in Europe’s interest to address this issue out of moral conviction because what we are seeing in Gaza is not acceptable”, and also for “a geopolitical objective - to stabilise a region”, he added.


11:58 AM GMT

145 hostages remain in Gaza

Israel has said that 145 hostages currently remain in Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that 134 are Israeli citizens or hold duel citizenship, while 11 are foreigners.

They said that those currently held by Hamas include:

  • 118 men.

  • 27 women.

  • 3 children under the age of 18.

  • 1 aged 18.

  • 10 aged 75 and older.


11:49 AM GMT

Hamas claims Jerusalem shooting

Hamas has claimed responsibility for a shooting attack in Jerusalem that killed three people, and called for “an escalation of the resistance”.

“This operation is a natural response to the unprecedented crimes of the occupier in the Gaza Strip and against children in Jenin,” in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Islamist movement said in a statement.


11:29 AM GMT

British destroyer sent to Gulf to bolster security

Britain on Thursday announced that it was sending one of its most advanced naval vessels to the Gulf to shore up its presence in the region.

The HMS Diamond, a Type 45 destroyer, will conduct operations to ensure freedom of navigation, reassure merchant vessels and ensure the safe flow of trade, the defence ministry said.

“It is critical that the UK bolsters our presence in the region, to keep Britain and our interests safe from a more volatile and contested world,” said Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.

“Today’s deployment will strengthen the Royal Navy’s patrols, help to keep critical trade routes open and prove that our commitment to regional security not only endures but enhances,” Mr Shapps added.

The vessel will join the frigate HMS Lancaster which deployed to the region last year, as well as three mine hunters and a support ship.


11:24 AM GMT

Jerusalem attackers named

The gunmen who attacked civilians in Jerusalem have been named as Hamas members Murad Namr, 38, and Ibrahim Namr, 30, according to reports.

Murad was jailed between 2010 and 2020 for planning terror attacks under directions of terror elements in Gaza, while Ibrahim was jailed in 2014 for undisclosed terror activity.


11:24 AM GMT

Jerusalem attackers named

The gunmen who attacked civilians in Jerusalem have been named as Hamas members Murad Namr, 38, and Ibrahim Namr, 30, according to reports.

Murad was jailed between 2010 and 2020 for planning terror attacks under directions of terror elements in Gaza, while Ibrahim was jailed in 2014 for undisclosed terror activity.


11:16 AM GMT

IDF soldiers injured by suspected car-ramming

Two soldiers from the Israeli Defence Forces have been injured after a suspected car-ramming attack in the West Bank.

The soldiers were attacked in the settlement of Beka’ot, in the northern Jordan Valley, medics said.

The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service said that the driver was “neutralised” and a person was treated at the scene.

The army has yet to comment on the incident.


11:02 AM GMT

In pictures: Israeli hostages reunited

Itay Regev, 18, is reunited with his sister Maya Regev, 21, shortly after his arrival in Israel
Itay Regev, 18, is reunited with his sister Maya Regev, 21, shortly after his arrival in Israel - Prime Minister's Office
Itay Jerbi, left, as he meets with his mather upon his arrival at Hatzerim military base in Israel
Itay Jerbi, left, as he meets with his mather upon his arrival at Hatzerim military base in Israel - IDF via AP
Liam Or, right, as he reunites with his father upon hir arrival at Hatzerim military base in Israel
Liam Or, right, as he reunites with his father upon hir arrival at Hatzerim military base in Israel - IDF via AP

10:45 AM GMT

Israeli army intercepts target from Lebanon

The Israeli military said it intercepted an “aerial target” that crossed from Lebanon on Thursday, in an incident that jolted the calm prevailing at the frontier since the Palestinian group Hamas and Israel agreed on a temporary truce.

Reuters witnesses heard blasts along the southeastern Lebanese frontier. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for any attacks from Lebanon.

Israel and the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, had been trading fire across the border for weeks following the eruption of the Hamas-Israel war.

Other groups, including Hamas and the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, also launched attacks from Lebanon against Israel during the conflict.

The Israeli army said on Thursday it had “successfully intercepted a suspicious aerial target that crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory”.


10:34 AM GMT

Spain PM 'doubts Israel respects international humanitarian law'

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday that, given the number of casualties among civilians in Gaza, he doubts Israel is respecting the international humanitarian law.

“The footage we are seeing and the growing numbers of children dying, I have serious doubt (Israel) is complying with international humanitarian law,” he said in an interview with Spanish state-owned broadcaster TVE.

“What we are seeing in Gaza is not acceptable,” he added.


10:18 AM GMT

Three victims of Jerusalem attack named

Three of the fatalities at this morning’s attack in Jerusalem have been named.

Livia Dickman, 24, was from the capital’s Har Nof neighbourhood.

Hanna Ifergan was a school principal in Beit Shemesh.

The man killed was named as rabbinical judge Elimelech Wasserman.


10:07 AM GMT

Russia is 'grateful' to Hamas for Gaza hostage release

Russia on Thursday thanked Hamas for freeing two Russian women hostages from Gaza outside a truce deal with Israel.

“We are grateful to the leadership of the Hamas movement for the positive response to our constant appeals,” Moscow’s foreign ministry said. “We will continue to strive for the quick release of the remaining Russians held in the Gaza Strip.”


09:56 AM GMT

Pictured: Thai hostages return home

Thai hostages have touched down in Bangkok after being released by Hamas.

The first batch of Thai nationals
The first batch of Thai nationals - REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa
Thai nationals who had been kidnapped and taken hostage
Thai nationals who had been kidnapped and taken hostage - Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

09:35 AM GMT

Truce 'producing results', Blinken says

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that the current truce between Israel and Hamas was “producing results” and should continue.

Mr Blinken was speaking at a meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv during his third trip to the region since the Hamas attacks on October 7.

He said:

“We have seen over the last week the very positive development of hostages coming home, being reunited with their families.

“That should continue today. It’s also enabled an increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza who need it desperately.

“So this process is producing results. It’s important, and we hope that it can continue.”


09:21 AM GMT

Thai hostages released by Hamas arrive in Thailand

A group of 17 Thai nationals who had been held hostage by Hamas in Gaza arrived at a Bangkok airport on Thursday, Thailand’s foreign ministry told reporters.

A total of 23 Thai hostages have been released, with nine remaining in captivity.


09:11 AM GMT

Watch: Aftermath of Jerusalem shooting


08:57 AM GMT

Jerusalem attack 'strengthens Israel's resolve' to continue was against Hamas

The attack on Jerusalem has strengthened Israel’s resolve to continue its war against Hamas, Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz has said.

Using the biblical name for the West Bank, Mr Gantz wrote on X:

“This terror attack is further proof of our obligation to continue to fight with strength and determination against murderous terrorism, which threatens our citizens. In Jerusalem, Gaza, in Judea and Samaria, and everywhere.”


08:43 AM GMT

27-year-old festival goer confirmed as dead

Ofir Tzarfati, who was thought to have been kidnapped from the Supernova music rave on October 7, had been killed, according to his family.

Tzarfati was with his girlfriend at the festival to celebrate his 27th birthday when terrorists abducted him.

Hamas killed at least 364 people at the festival and kidnapped many others.


08:32 AM GMT

Israeli civilians killed Jerusalem attackers

Gunmen who opened fire on a bus stop in Jerusalem were killed by civilians, according to the city’s deputy mayor.

Fleur Hassan-Nahoum confirmed reports that the attackers killed three people.

Five others remain in hospital and are “very badly injured”, she added.

“People just going about their day, waiting for the bus, got cruelly shot by two gunmen with long guns, indiscriminately, and the hospital is now full of injured as well,” she said.

As of yet there are no details about the gunmen, “but we probably know that they’re coming from the sleeper cells that we have around here,” she said.


08:20 AM GMT

Israel's approach to ceasefire is 'crystal clear', official says

Israel has reiterated that it will extend the truce with Hamas if the terror group continues to release ten “living hostages” each day.

Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Israel’s approach to the ceasefire is “crystal clear”.

“Every day, we agreed to an extension for the release of 10 hostages, 10 living hostages,” Mr Regev told CNN.

“If Hamas continues to release hostages, 10 a day, we will extend the hold — the pause.”

He added that there are still at least 140 hostages still inside of Gaza.

“We are not going to play games with the lives of our people,” Mr Regev said. “Hamas knows what the parameters of the deal are.”


08:08 AM GMT

Israeli National Security Minister arrives at scene of Jerusalem attack

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has arrived at the scene of the Jerusalem attack.

According to Mr Ben Gvir, Israel must respond to terror with military pressure.

“This type of incident proves again how much we can’t show weakness, how much we have to speak to Hamas only through intentions, only through the war,” he said.

He added that the attack supported his policy of having more civilians armed with guns.


07:57 AM GMT

Forty-five Palestinians arrested overnight

Forty-five Palestinians have now been detained by Israel following overnight raids in the West Bank.

The majority were arrested during raids in Biddu, near Jerusalem.

It is thought that the total will rise as raids are ongoing in Tubas, Jericho, Bethlehem and Tulkarem.


07:45 AM GMT

In pictures: Jerusalem attack

Here are the latest photographs from the scene of a shooting in Jerusalem.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews look on as police and security forces secure the site of a shooting in Jerusalem
Ultra-Orthodox Jews look on as police and security forces secure the site of a shooting in Jerusalem - Menahem KAHANA / AFP
Israeli police and rescue workers at the shooting attack site in Jerusalem
Israeli police and rescue workers at the shooting attack site in Jerusalem - AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg

07:30 AM GMT

Jerusalem death toll rises to three

The death toll from the attack in Jerusalem this morning has risen to three after an elderly victim succumbed to her injuries.

Two elderly victims who were critically injured died at a hospital, while a 24-year-old died at the scene of the incident, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion has ordered increased security across the city to “to boost the sense of security among residents”, reports say.


07:19 AM GMT

Qatar releases more details of ceasefire

More details about the current ceasefire have been released by Qatar.

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Majed Al Ansari said in a statement:

“Palestinian and Israeli sides have reached an agreement to extend the humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip for an additional day under the existing conditions, which are a cessation of all military activities and the entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

According to Al Ansari, the truce will operate “within the framework of the joint mediation of the State of Qatar with the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United States of America”.

Qatar, along with support from Egypt and the United States, has been engaged in fierce negotiations to extend the truce, which had been due to end this morning.


07:07 AM GMT

Shooting death toll rises to two

A further person was pronounced dead following the shooting attack in Jerusalem this morning, according to reports.

A 73-year-old man died of his wounds at the Shaare Zedek Hospital, to the Israeli ambulance service said


06:31 AM GMT

Breaking: Shooting attack in Jerusalem

At least one woman has died and eight others have been wounded in a shooting attack during rush hour in Jerusalem.

“Two terrorists who arrived at the scene in a vehicle armed with weapons fired at civilians at a bus stop, and they were neutralised by security forces and a civilian who were nearby,” Israeli police said.

A large number of ambulances and police converged on the scene and police said they were searching the area to make sure there were no other attackers.

The US ambassador to Israel condemned the shooting.

“Abhorrent terrorist attack in Jerusalem this morning. We unequivocally condemn such brutal violence,” said Ambassador Jack Lew.


05:57 AM GMT

Israel receives new list of hostages to be released

The Israeli government said it has received a new list of women and children hostages in the Gaza Strip to be released by Hamas on Thursday in exchange for a one-day extension of the truce.

“A short time ago, Israel was given a list of women and children in accordance with the terms of the agreement, and therefore the truce will continue,” said the statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, without specifying the number of hostages to be released.


05:27 AM GMT

Palestinian prisoners released overnight

Israel released another group of Palestinian prisoners early on Thursday in exchange for 16 hostages freed hours earlier.

A bus carrying some of the Palestinian detainees was seen arriving in the West Bank city of Ramallah before dawn.

Most prominent among those freed was Ahed Tamimi, a 22-year-old activist who gained worldwide fame in 2017 after a video of her slapping an Israeli soldier went viral on social media.

Israeli troops arrested her at her West Bank home on November 6 for “inciting to terrorism” on her Instagram account. Her mother said Tamimi’s account had been hacked.

Ahed Tamimi speaks to the media after she arrives in Ramallah
Ahed Tamimi speaks to the media after she arrives in Ramallah - Anadolu

05:15 AM GMT

Ceasefire extended minutes before deadline

The Qatari Foreign Ministry said the truce was being extended under the same terms as in the past, under which Hamas has released 10 Israeli hostages per day in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners.

Negotiations came down to the wire and the extension came just minutes before the 7am deadline, due to Israel and Hamas reaching a standoff over the next round of hostage releases.

Hamas said Israel refused to accept a proposed list that included seven living captives and the remains of three who the group said were killed in previous Israeli airstrikes.

Israeli media quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office as saying Israel had rejected Hamas’ list.

Negotiators had been working into Thursday to hammer out details for a further extension of the truce. The expectation had been to extend the pause in fighting for at least another day or two, with the focus on releasing women and children.


05:09 AM GMT

Good morning

Welcome to today’s Israel-Hamas live blog.

Both sides have committed to extending a ceasefire for at least one more day.

We will bring you the latest news and developments as they happen.

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