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U.S. says no deal yet between Israel and Hamas as work continues to pause fighting, release hostages

A White House spokesperson said Israel and Hamas have not yet reached a deal on a temporary pause in fighting on Saturday night, despite an earlier report suggesting a tentative agreement had been brokered that could see hostages released.

Israeli airstrikes kill nearly 50 Palestinians; officials say most staff, patients have left Al-Shifa Hospital

Three boys search through airstrike rubble in Khan Younis.

A White House spokesperson said Israel and Hamas have not yet reached a deal on a temporary pause in fighting on Saturday night, despite an earlier report suggesting a tentative agreement had been brokered.

The U.S. is continuing to work to get a deal between the two sides, the spokesperson said. A second U.S. official confirmed no deal had been reached.

The Washington Post reported earlier on Saturday night that a Qatari-brokered deal between Israel and Hamas had been reached for a five-day ceasefire in exchange for 50 or more hostages.

"No deal yet, but we continue to work hard to get a deal," Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House's National Security Council, said in a social media post.

It comes after Israel's government vowed to destroy Hamas following the militant group's Oct. 7 surprise attack on Israel.

Nearly 240 people — from babies to grandparents, and even foreign nationals — are believed to be in the Gaza Strip after being taken hostage by Palestinian militants during assaults on southern Israeli villages and army bases.

Israel says Hamas and other armed factions from Gaza killed 1,200 Israelis in the attack, while the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza estimates Israel's military assault on the territory that followed has killed more than 12,300 people so far — including roughly 5,000 children.

WATCH | More than 12,000 people have died in Gaza, Health Ministry says:

More than 12,000 people have died in Gaza, Health Ministry says

1 day ago

Duration 3:17

Featured VideoAs the number of people killed in Gaza surpasses 12,000, another Israeli hostage has died as well. But Israel continues to say there will be no ceasefire until all the hostages are released, despite increasing international pressure.

The United Nations deems those figures credible, though they are now updated infrequently as war devastation has hampered communications.

The Israeli military said five of its soldiers had been killed in Gaza since Friday, bringing its losses to 57 since entering the territory.

March held for hostages

On Saturday, the families of Israeli hostages and thousands of their supporters arrived in Jerusalem at the end of a five-day march to confront the government over the plight of those held captive in Gaza.

There were roughly 20,000 marchers estimated to be taking part, including well-wishers who joined the procession along the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway.

Many relatives and friends of the missing fear they will come to harm in Israeli attacks on Gaza designed to destroy Hamas. The government says the offensive improves the chances of recovering hostages, perhaps through a mediated prisoner exchange.

"I feel that people think that there is time. But for babies and for elderly people with difficult complex needs, there's no time. Time is running out rapidly," said London-based artist Sharone Lifschitz, whose 83-year-old father was abducted.

A man in a burgundy polo shirt holds a blue and white Israeli flag on the left side of the image with a long crowd of people holding flags and placards bearing photos of hostages.

More bloodshed in Gaza

Israel has said it is expanding its offensive against Hamas militants to southern Gaza after airstrikes killed dozens of Palestinians, including civilians reported to be sheltering at two schools.

Israeli airstrikes on residential blocks in south Gaza killed at least 47 people on Saturday, medics said, while the UN's Palestinian refugee agency said scores more had been killed and wounded at a school in the north where displaced civilians had taken shelter.

The latest bloodshed came after Israel again warned civilians to relocate as it prepares for an onslaught against Hamas in the enclave's south, after subduing the north.

"Receiving horrifying images and footage of scores of people killed and injured in another UNRWA school sheltering thousands of displaced in the north of the Gaza Strip," UNRWA commissioner general Philippe Lazzarini said on the social media platform X. "These attacks cannot become commonplace, they must stop. A humanitarian ceasefire cannot wait any longer."

Israel's military did not immediately comment.

Airstrikes in the south

A senior aide to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Palestinian civilians on Friday to relocate away from Khan Younis, at the southern end of the Strip, as Israeli forces would have to advance into the city to oust Hamas fighters dug into underground tunnels and bunkers. The warning suggested that an Israeli ground offensive into the south was imminent.

People gather behind a fence.

Such an offensive could compel hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled the Israeli storming of Gaza City in the north to uproot again, along with the more than 400,000 residents of the city of Khan Younis, compounding a dire humanitarian crisis.

However, the pending Israeli advance into south Gaza may prove more complicated and deadlier than in the north with militants dug into the Khan Younis region, a senior Israeli source and two top ex-officials said.

Israel has bombed to rubble much of Gaza City, the enclave's urban heart, while fighting has displaced around two-thirds of Gaza's 2.3 million residents.

Overnight on Saturday, 26 Palestinians were also killed and 23 wounded by an airstrike on two apartments in a busy residential district of Khan Younis, according to health officials.

Eyad Al-Zaeem told Reuters he lost his aunt, her children and her grandchildren in the airstrike, and that all had evacuated from north Gaza on Israeli army orders only to die where the army told them they could be safe.

"All of them were martyred. They had nothing to do with the (Hamas) resistance," said Zaeem, standing outside the morgue at Nasser Hospital where 26 bodies were laid out before they were to be carried by loved ones to burials.

WATCH | Canadian who got out worries for family in Gaza:

Canadian who reached Cairo with her 4 kids worries for family still in Gaza

12 hours ago

Duration 1:41

Featured Video'Still now I can't talk with them, I can't call them, I am worried about them, they are not safe,' said Sabreen Fuad, whose family members remain in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war because they only have Palestinian documentation. Fuad, who is Canadian, and her four children were able to cross into Egypt and are scheduled to fly to Canada on Nov. 21.

Reported strike in Deir al-Balah

A few kilometres to the north, health authorities say six Palestinians were killed when a house was bombed from the air in the town of Deir al-Balah.

A third Israeli airstrike on Saturday afternoon killed 15 Palestinians in a house west of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, close to a shelter for displaced people, witnesses and medics said.

Israel says Hamas typically conceals fighters and weaponry in residential and other civilian buildings, which Hamas denies.

An Israeli military statement said only that its air force hit dozens of Gaza targets over the past 24 hours, including militants, command centres, rocket launch sites and munitions factories.

Evacuations from Al-Shifa Hospital

Palestinian officials had earlier accused the Israeli army of forcibly evacuating most staff, patients and displaced people from the Al-Shifa Hospital — Gaza's largest — in the north, and abandoning them to perilous southward-bound journeys on foot where they would have to fend for themselves along dangerous, bombed-out roads in areas repeatedly under air attack.

People camp outside a hospital at night.

"We were forced by the occupation authorities to leave Al-Shifa," Dr. Ramez Rudwan said as he and his daughter, also a doctor, arrived in south Gaza on Saturday.

Israeli forces denied the accusation, saying evacuations were voluntary.

Much to international alarm, Israel made Al-Shifa Hospital a primary focus of its ground advance in north Gaza.

Its forces took it over after reporting clashes with Hamas fighters outside and are combing the premises and excavating parts of it, saying they have found evidence of a Hamas stronghold underground.

WATCH | IDF releases video it says shows weapons inside Gaza hospital:

IDF releases video it says shows weapons inside Gaza hospital

3 days ago

Duration 3:22

Featured VideoIsrael's military is showing off guns and other military gear that it says belonged to Hamas and was found inside the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. So far there has been no public evidence of an alleged Hamas headquarters beneath the hospital.

Al-Shifa staff say Israel has proven no such thing.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said all except about 125 of around 1,000 to 1,500 war-wounded or sick patients, as well as 34 newborn babies and a small number of doctors and nurses, were among those forced to leave Al-Shifa by Israeli troops.

"The situation at [Al-Shifa] is very catastrophic. It is now without fuel, without food, without medicine, without food, without water — this means killing [patients]," she told a new conference in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israel says people leaving voluntarily

The Israeli army denied the Palestinian accounts. In a statement, it said its forces at Al-Shifa had agreed to a request from its director to "expand and assist" in further voluntary evacuations via a "secure route." Doctors could stay to support patients too weak to be evacuated, it said.

The military said over 6,000 litres of water and over 2,300 kilograms of food had been transferred to the hospital.

The UN humanitarian agency OCHA said no aid entered Gaza for a third day running on Friday and distributions had come to a virtual halt due to a lack of security guarantees and fuel.

It said raw sewage has begun flowing in the streets in some areas as a result of a lack of fuel to run infrastructure.

With the war entering its seventh week, there has been no sign of a letup so far, despite international calls for "humanitarian pauses" or a ceasefire.

With files from CBC News

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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