Israel Latest: Biden Urges ‘Less Intrusive Action’ as Troops Close in on Gaza Hospital

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden called on Israel to take “less intrusive action” at the al Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip, stepping up the pressure to reduce civilian casualties as Israeli forces close in. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said officials at the APEC summit in San Francisco see risks from the war continuing, but so far the global economic impact is limited.

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The main United Nations agency operating there said humanitarian operations will effectively cease in the next 48 hours because of a lack of fuel. Hezbollah and Israeli troops traded fire over the Lebanese border.

Israel’s forces pressed on with the offensive against Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the US and European Union. It conducted raids in northern Gaza on the outskirts of the Shati refugee camp. Heavy gunfire also continued in the vicinity of the Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City.

For more stories on the Israel-Hamas war, click here.

(All time stamps are Israeli time)

Yellen Says War’s Global Economic Impact Limited So Far (4:34 a.m.)

Yellen said officials gathered for the APEC summit in San Francisco haven’t yet seen “much economic impact”from the conflict so far but said they did discuss the potential risks from the war continuing.

“There was a strongly shared view that it’s important for all of us to work, to do everything we can to contain the conflict between Israel and Hamas so that it doesn’t become a broader regional conflict,” Yellen said.

Israel Responds to Hamas Video of Captured Soldier (3:46 a.m.)

An Israeli military representative visited the family of captured soldier Noa Marciano after Hamas released a video of her in the days after she was taken. The video says Marciano, 19, later died in an air strike.

“Our hearts are with the Marciano family whose daughter, Noa, was brutally kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist organization,” Israel’s military said in a statement. “We are using all means, both intelligence and operational, to bring the hostages home.”

War Comes First in Israeli Budget, Minister Says (2:05 a.m.)

Israel’s 2024 budget will be structured to focus on the war and then economic growth thereafter, with concessions necessary to expand the country’s unity government, a senior minister said.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is expanding unity government, throughout the war and after the war,” Nir Barkat, Israel’s economy and industry minister, said Monday during a Bloomberg Radio interview in New York.

“In 2024, we are really structuring the budget to focus on the war and to focus on economic growth immediately after. We will make the concessions needed so that everyone is happy,” Barkat said.

Israel Says Weapons Found in Gaza Children’s Hospital (9:33 p.m.)

Israel said it found Hamas weapons in the basement of the Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital in the Gaza Strip after the facility was evacuated.

Army spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari showed a briefing what he said was video footage of the scene. Hamas denied the claim, with one official calling it a “campaign of lies and allegations.”

Israel, facing growing international pressure to limit civilian casualties, especially around health facilities, has accused Hamas of concealing military installations under hospitals. The group has denied such claims.

Biden Calls for ‘Less Intrusive Action’ by Israel Near Hospital (9:31 p.m.)

The Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza “must be protected” as fighting around the central medical facility has intensified in recent days, President Biden said.

Biden told reporters at the White House on Monday that it is his “hope and expectation that there will be less intrusive action with the military” around the hospital. He said the US had discussed the issue with leaders in the region, as well as an effort to pause hostilities to enable the release of prisoners.

US Would Like to See Humanitarian Pauses Last Days (9:15 p.m.)

The US is in talks with Israel about humanitarian pauses and would like to see them last days, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.

“We believe pauses should not be dictated by a strict timetable, they should be dictated by what is necessary to achieve the objectives, and those objectives are safe passage, the ability to move around humanitarian aid, and then ultimately we’d like to see considerably longer pauses: days, not hours in the context of a hostage release and that’s being actively worked on as well,” he said at a press briefing.

So far, the pauses have largely been limited to a few hours at a time.

US Wants Israel To Do More to Reduce Civilian Deaths in Gaza (9:04 p.m.)

There are additional steps to reduce civilian casualties in Gaza that the US is pushing Israel to take, a State Department spokesman said, keeping up the pressure to reduce the death toll.

“We think there are additional steps that they can take,” Matthew Miller told reporters. “The secretary communicated that to them very clearly when he was in Israel, and we’ve had continued ongoing conversations with them about that.”

The US is “confident” in intelligence showing that Hamas maintains command posts beneath hospitals in Gaza, he said.

US Forces in Syria Attacked 4 Times Since Strike, CNN says (8:02 p.m.)

US forces have been attacked at least four more times by Iran-backed groups in Syria but there were no reports of injuries or damage, CNN reports, citing a US official.

On Sunday, US forces struck facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups.

Israel Defense Minister Gallant Says Hamas Has Lost Control in Gaza (8:00 p.m.)

Israel is stepping up operations against Hamas tunnels in northern Gaza, hoping to force fighters hiding there to the surface, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in comments to N12 television.

Citing reports that civilians are looting Hamas bases, he said the group has lost control over the Gaza strip, which it has ruled since 2007.

UN Sees Parachuting Aid Into Gaza as ‘Last Resort’ (7:38 p.m.)

The UN said parachuting aid into Gaza should be seen as the “last resort,” following calls by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh for the organization and the European Union to consider drops as a way to get humanitarian help across the border.

“It is very, very expensive and not sustainable,” Andrea De Domenico, head of the Palestine office for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said at a briefing with reporters. “The first entry point should be insisting in opening the crossings and making sure that sustained supplies go in rather than thinking of extreme scenarios.”

Israel Sees ‘Diplomatic Window’ for Gaza Operation Closing, Times of Israel Says (6:40 pm)

The ‘’diplomatic window” for fighting Hamas in Gaza will remain open for two or three more weeks, at which point international pressure will increase significantly, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Israeli journalists, the Times of Israel reported.

He did not say what the pressure would entail and added that ‘’the world accepts that Israel will not stop until the captives are freed,” the TOI report said, referring to hostages held by Hamas. The Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment on the report.

Israel has vowed to continue its military operation despite rising international calls for a cease-fire.

Netanyahu Warns Hezbollah Amid Attacks at Lebanon Border (6:30 p.m.)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hezbollah that it is “playing with fire” amid continued exchanges of fire on Israel’s northern border and the death of an electricity-company employee in a rocket attack by the group.

‘’Fire will be met by much stronger fire,” he wrote in social media. ‘’They should not try us because we have shown only a little of our might.”

Qatar Says Israel Hits Reconstruction Center in Gaza City (5:39 p.m.)

Qatar said Israeli forces struck the headquarters of the Qatari Committee for Gaza Reconstruction in Gaza City, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

The Gulf state, which has been meditating hostage releases between Israel and Hamas, said the attack was “an extension of Israel’s behavior of targeting civilians.”

Jordan Rejects Israeli Reoccupation of Gaza, Buffer Zones (4:01 p.m.)

Jordan reaffirmed its rejection of “any scenario of reoccupying parts of Gaza or establishing buffer zones” as it will exacerbate the crisis, King Abdullah II said in a meeting with senior Jordanian politicians.

Military and security solutions “cannot succeed,” the royal court said in a social-media post, adding that a serious political process focused on a two-state solution should start.

Two Killed in Israeli Airstrikes in Lebanon, NNA Says (3:14 p.m.)

Israeli airstrikes killed two people in Aainata, a village in the south of Lebanon, state-run National News Agency reported.

Earlier, Israeli forces said they identified two mortar launches which fell in an open areas near the border with Lebanon and fired back. Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militant group, said it targeted Israeli infantry with missiles near the border. It wasn’t immediately clear if the deaths were caused by retaliatory strikes.

Israeli Electric Company Loses Employee in Hezbollah Attack in North. (3:00 p.m.)

Israel Electric Corp. said an employee was killed by Hezbollah anti-tank fire yesterday while fixing an electricity line that was hit in an earlier attack.

Humanitarian Operation in Gaza to ‘Grind to a Halt’ in 48 Hours, UN Official (2:30 p.m.)

The humanitarian operation in Gaza will “grind to a halt” in 48 hours due to the lack of fuel, according to the UN agency working in the area.

“This morning two of our main water distribution contractors ceased working – they simply ran out of fuel – which will deny 200,000 people potable water,” said Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza, the main UN agency handling humanitarian operations in the area.

Chevron Restarts Israel’s Tamar Gas Field (1:15 p.m.)

Chevron Corp. resumed natural gas output from Israel’s Tamar field following a Nov. 9 government order, the company said in a statement. Production was shut last month on safety concerns following Hamas’s attack on Israel. A gas pipeline that runs from Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza Strip, to Egypt is also likely to restart this week, according to three people familiar with the plan.

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