Israel-Hamas war: 5 key developments on Sunday 10 December

Smoke rises after Israeli strikes, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, December 10, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Israel's offensive in Gaza has continue, with ongoing concerns around the rising civilian death toll. (Reuters)

Fighting has continued in Gaza despite international calls for a ceasefire following the end of a one-week truce in the war.

Thousands of pro-Palestine protesters gathered in London on Saturday to call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after a UK security council resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza was vetoed by the US - a vote from which the UK abstained.

The week-long truce that ended on 1 December saw over 100 hostages held by Hamas freed, including 80 Israelis released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners. But since then Hamas has said no hostages will be released alive unless its demands are met.

According to Gaza Health Ministry figures, at least 17,487 Palestinians have been killed since Hamas militants launched attacks across the border on 7 October - which Israel claims left 1,200 people dead. Civilian death tolls have risen since Israel launched an offensive in Gaza and there are concerns numbers will continue to spiral amid medicine shortages and the arrival of winter.

Here are the main stories from today:

1. Hamas: No hostage leaves alive

  • Hamas has warned that no hostage would leave the Gaza "alive" unless its demands were met. In a televised broadcast, Abu Obeida, spokesman for its armed wing, said: "Neither the fascist enemy and its arrogant leadership... nor its supporters... can take their prisoners alive without an exchange and negotiation and meeting the demands of the resistance."

  • In the pre-recorded messages, he added: "We tell the Israelis that Netanyahu, Gallant, and others in the war cabinet cannot bring back their captives without negotiations. The latest killing of a captive they tried to take back by force proves that." Some hostages were released during a week-long truce, but Hamas's latest comments suggest that no more can expect to go free unless its demands are met.

Read more: Hamas says no hostage will leave alive unless group's demands met (Telegraph)

2. US sends ammunition to Israel

  • Heavy fighting continued in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis as part of Israel's offensive, as Israel pressed ahead with its offensive with help from the United States in the form of more munitions. The US vetoed efforts by the United Nations Security Council to end the fighting, and also pushed through an emergency sale of more than $100million (£79million) of tank ammunition to Israel.

  • Israel has faced growing calls for a ceasefire as numbers of civilians killed continue to rise, while millions of people have been displaced. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked US President Joe Biden for the "important ammunition for the continuation of the war" and for supporting Israel at the Security Council.

Read more: Heavy fighting rages in Gaza as US sends more tank ammunition to Israel (Independent)

US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood talks with his staff during a United Nations Security Council meeting on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza at UN headquarters in New York on December 8, 2023. The United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have called for an immediate ceasefire in the intense fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The United States' deputy representative at the UN, Robert Wood, said the resolution was
US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood talks at a United Nations Security Council meeting on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, which the US vetoed. (Getty)

3. Israeli hostages describe captivity 'hell'

  • Hostages released by Hamas have described the hell they experienced while kept in tunnels beneath Gaza, calling on the world not to forget about those still in captivity. In pre-recorded videos played at a rally in Tel Aviv, the hostages described weeks of fear and hunger.

  • The hostages included brother and sister Itay and Maya Regev, who were taken hostage when armed Hamas gunman opened fire at the Supernova festival on 7 October. They were taken hostage, split up and held hostage for weeks before being released late last month. Itay Regev said: "The days there pass like an eternity. It's the hunger, it's the longing for the family, it's the difficult mentality - the difficult conditions."

Read more: Israeli hostages released from Gaza describe 'hell' of Hamas captivity as 'unbearable' (Sky News)

4. Disease to rise with winter

  • There are fears that people will die in the streets in Gaza as the arrival of winter and shortages of medication accelerate the spread of disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) chief said on Sunday that it is virtually but impossible to improve the "catastrophic" health situation in Gaza despite an emergency WHO motion to secure more medical access.

  • Palestinian officials have described a disastrous health situation in Gaza, where communicable diseases are increasing against a backdrop of no power, food or clean water and a shortage of antibiotics. Many are concerned that winter will exacerbate the situation, leading to even more deaths than have already been seen.

Read more: ‘People will die in the streets’: Gaza dreads onset of winter as disease rises (Guardian)

5. Teenage girls arrested after assault

  • Two teenage girls have been arrested after a 20-year-old Jewish woman was assaulted and robbed in north London. The woman, who is from the orthodox Jewish community, was reportedly left bruised but did not need to go to hospital.

  • Two girls, aged 13 and 14, from Haringey have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and remain in custody, the Met Police said, saying investigators were still treating the attack as a “possible hate crime". It said CCTV images from the scene suggested the suspects were wearing school uniforms at the time.

Read more: Teenage girls arrested after Jewish woman violently assaulted and robbed (PA Media)

Where is Gaza?

Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photo: Getty Images
Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photo: Getty Images
Map of Gaza Strip with roads and cities. (Getty)
Map of Gaza Strip with roads and cities. (Getty)

Gaza, also known as the Gaza Strip, is a densely-populated Palestinian enclave on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, north-east of the Sinai Peninsula.

Bound by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Israel to the north and east and Egypt to the south, it is just 25 miles long and six miles wide.

Gaza is one of two Palestinian territories. The other is the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

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