Live updates | Israel will keep fighting Hamas 'until the end,' Netanyahu says

By Isaac M December 14, 2023

Israel will keep fighting Hamas despite international calls for a cease-fire, its prime minister said, after at least nine Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush in one of the deadliest single attacks that Palestinian militants have carried out since the ground invasion of Gaza began.

“We are continuing until the end, there is no question,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Wednesday. “I say this even given the great pain and the international pressure. Nothing will stop us.”

Heavy fighting has raged for days in Shijaiyah and other areas in and around eastern Gaza City that were encircled earlier in the war. Tens of thousands of people remain in the north despite repeated evacuation orders, saying they don’t feel that anywhere in Gaza is safe or fear they may never return to their homes.

Israel has drawn international outrage and rare criticism from the United States over the killing of civilians. More than 18,400 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory, which does not differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths. Israel says 113 of its soldiers have died in its ground offensive after Hamas raided southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and taking about 240 hostages.


— Israel-Hamas war tensions roil U.S. campuses as a building at Haverford is occupied and protesters at Brown are arrested.

— A wartime Palestinian poll shows a surge in Hamas support.

— Biden reassures families he’s committed to freeing American hostages held in Gaza.

— Find more of AP’s coverage at

Here’s what’s happening in the war:


BRUSSELS — Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Thursday that the European Union is losing its credibility because of a lack of a strong position in the war between Israel and Hamas, urging his counterparts to call for a humanitarian cease-fire.

Speaking at the start of a EU summit in Brussels focusing more on Ukraine, Varadkar said the EU should condemn “terrorism perpetrated by Hamas,” but also call for justice for the Palestinian people.

The 27 EU countries have long been divided in their approach to Israel and the Palestinians. At their previous meeting in October, EU leaders called “for continued, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and aid to reach those in need through all necessary measures, including humanitarian corridors and pauses for humanitarian needs.”

Despite its limited political leverage, the 27-nation bloc is the world’s top aid supplier to the Palestinians. The EU has little influence over Israel — the United States is its staunchest ally — but remains the country’s biggest trade partner.


BEIRUT — Lebanese militant group Hezbollah announced the death of another one of its fighters, marking the 100th militant killed since clashes began with the Israeli military along the tense Lebanon-Israel border on Oct. 8.

The clashes have intensified in recent weeks but have remained mostly contained to handful border towns, forcing thousands of local residents on both sides of the tense divide to flee. The Lebanese government, United Nations peacekeepers, and international governments have scrambled to keep the war in Gaza from spilling over into neighboring Lebanon.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a monthlong war in 2006 that ended in a draw. Israel considers Hezbollah as its most direct threat, estimating that the Iran-backed group has some 150,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel, as well as drones and surface-to-air and surface-to-sea missiles.


BAGHDAD — Iraqi security forces have arrested suspects in a rocket attack launched on the sprawling United States embassy complex in Baghdad earlier in December, an Iraqi army official said Thursday.

Iraqi military spokesperson Yahya Rasool said in a statement that some of the suspects in the Dec. 7 attack were connected to the Iraqi security services and that “a number of individuals” were arrested. He said investigation and search efforts are ongoing to identify and arrest other suspects.

Since the beginning of the Iraq-Hamas war on Oct. 7, Iranian-backed Iraqi militias have launched dozens of rocket attacks on U.S. military facilities in Iraq and Syria, in addition to the Dec. 7 embassy attack. An umbrella group calling itself the Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed most of the attacks, which it has said are in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel in the ongoing war in Gaza.

The attack on the embassy did not cause injuries or major damage and did not provoke a military response from the U.S., but it has put the Iraqi government under increasing diplomatic pressure from Washington to crack down on the militias.


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