Live updates | With communications down, UNRWA warns there will be no aid deliveries across Rafah

Despite the dire need for humanitarian aid in Gaza, there would be no deliveries across the Rafah border crossing from Egypt on Friday, according to the communications director for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.

Gaza appeared to be left with downed communications systems for a second day Friday, halting cross-border deliveries of humanitarian supplies even as aid agencies warned that most people in the Gaza Strip already do not have adequate food or clean water. A severe lack of fuel in the Gaza Strip shut down all internet and phone networks Thursday, the main Palestinian telecom provider said, effectively cutting off the besieged territory from the outside world.

“We have seen fuel and food and water and humanitarian assistance being used as a weapon of war,” Juliette Touma, a spokesperson for UNRWA, the aid agency for Palestinian refugees, said Thursday.

At least 11,470 Palestinians – two-thirds of them women and minors – have been killed since the war began, according to Palestinian health authorities, who do not differentiate between civilian and militant deaths. About 2,700 people are reported missing.

Israel vowed to wipe out Hamas after the militant group launched its Oct. 7 incursion. Some 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, mostly during the initial attack, and around 240 were taken captive by militants.


– Thousands of bodies lie buried in rubble in Gaza. Families dig to retrieve them, often by hand.

– As the battle for Gaza rages, families of hostages wait with trepidation.

– Under a communication blackout, Gaza’s 2.3 million people are cut off from each other and the world.

– Turkey’s Erdogan is visiting Germany as differences over the Israel-Hamas war widen.

– Cease-fire protests shut down bridges in Boston and San Francisco.

– Find more of AP’s coverage at

Here’s what’s happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war:

ISLAMABAD – Afghanistan’s Taliban-led administration denounced the ongoing Israeli strikes in Gaza, including the raid on Shifa Hospital. In an overnight statement, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Israeli forces were continually breaking all rules of war.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan called on the United Nations and other human rights bodies, saying that “if they genuinely believe in their stated values, they must prevent the ongoing brutalities by adopting an honest, transparent & just position vis-a-vis crimes against humanity carried out by the zionists against the people of Gaza,” the statement read, referring to Jews who seek to regain and retain their biblical homeland.

It also asked Arab and Islamic countries “to respond to the cries of the oppressed Muslims of Gaza, & to fulfill their religious & human responsibility through effective & meaningful positions & steps.”

The Taliban-led administration seized power in 2021, and since then the U.N. and other human rights groups have blamed it for human rights violations.

In September, the U.N. said it documented more than 1,600 cases of human rights violations committed by authorities in Afghanistan during arrests and detentions of people. At the time, it urged the Taliban government to stop torture and protect the rights of detainees. The report by the mission’s Human Rights Service covered 19 months – from January 2022 until the end of July 2023 – with cases documented across 29 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. It said 11% of the cases involved women.

DAMASCUS, Syria – Syria’s state news agency says Israel’s military has carried out strikes that hit several posts near the capital, Damascus, causing material damage but no casualties.

SANA quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Syrian air defenses shot down most of the missiles before they reached their targets early Friday.

There has been no confirmation from the Israeli military.

In the weeks since the latest war between Israel and Hamas broke out, Syria reported Israeli airstrikes that hit the international airports in Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, damaging their runways and putting them out of service.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, including attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports, but rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations.

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