Israel-Hamas war: Rafah border crossing with Egypt to open on Friday


  • Officials confirmed that a deal has been agreed to open the Rafah border crossing to allow the passage of trucks carrying humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza
  • Egyptian media said the Rafah crossing will be opened on Friday
  • At least 3,785 Palestinians killed and 12,493 wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct.7, according to the health ministry in Gaza
  • US and UK embassies in Lebanon urge their citizens to leave the country while commercial flights are available
  • Israeli jets have hammered Gaza, hitting 100 sites in 24 hours
  • Global protests are continuing over the Gaza hospital strike which killed 500 people. Israel denies involvement, though Palestine’s UN mission accuses the Israelis of “disinformation” and propaganda about the incident
  • Israeli forces kill at least five Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society

We’re back thursday night with all the latest overnight developments at 11:55 GMT+1. Thanks for reading.

Deal agreed to open Rafah crossing, officials say 

Officials said that an agreement has been reached to open the Rafah border crossing to let trucks carrying humanitarian aid enter Gaza from Egypt. 

The details of the deal, which was brokered by the UN, are not immediately unknown, and it’s unclear when much-need food, water and medicine will reach Palestinians.

Israel confirms receiving US armored vehicles

The Israeli Minister of Defence confirmed receiving a US shipment of armoured vehicles on Thursday, which it said will be transferred to the Israeli Defence Forces. 

The Pentagon said that, as of Tuesday, five shipments of weapons and equipment have already been sent to Israel since Hamas’ attack. 

US authorities warn citizens to exercise caution worldwide

The US State Department has issued a warning calling for American citizens to “exercise increased caution” due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against US citizens and interests”.

WHO says its trucks are ‘loaded and ready to go’ to Gaza

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) trucks are “loaded and ready to go” to Gaza as soon as the Rafah crossing is opened, Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday during a briefing. “Hopefully tomorrow”, he added.

Tedros condemned the deadly strike on a Gaza hospital on Tuesday night, saying that “the loss of life it caused, regardless of who was responsible, cannot be tolerated.” He called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire on behalf of the WHO, as well as the immediate and safe release of hostages seized by Hamas.

EU urged to help stop Gaza massacre as MEPs call for ‘humanitarian pause’

Pressure increased on Thursday on the European Union to help find practical solutions to spare lives in Gaza, as the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a “humanitarian pause”.

The resolution, which carries no legal weight, comes after the United States vetoed a similar text by the UN Security Council calling for humanitarian pauses to deliver lifesaving aid to millions in Gaza.

Egypt and Jordan condemn Israel’s siege of Gaza

King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have issued a joint statement condemning Israel’s “collective punishment in the siege, starvation or displacement” of Palestinians in Gaza.

The statement was released ahead of the meeting between the two leaders in Cairo.

US and UK embassies urge citizens to leave Lebanon

The US and UK embassies in Beirut have called on their citizens to leave Lebanon while commercial flights are still available, as tension grows between the country and Israel.

In a statement released on Thursday, the US Embassy in Beirut “urged US citizens in Lebanon to plan their departure as soon as possible”. 

“We recommend that American citizens who choose not to leave prepare contingency plans,” the embassy added.

The UK embassy told its citizens: “If you are currently in Lebanon, we encourage you to leave now while commercial options remain available”.

Saudi Arabia urged its citizens to leave Lebanon already on Wednesday, while countries including France, Germany and Australia have discouraged travelling to the country.

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