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Live blog update| Israel's war on Gaza

Late night update

Hello MEE readers, 

Israeli forces killed more than 200 people during an operation to rescue four hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, in one of the single bloodiest Israeli assaults of the eight-month-old war.

The United States assisted in the operation, but sources told CNN that US boots were not on the ground. The degree of US involvement remains unclear. 

All four captives were reported to be in good health. 

Meanwhile, Israel has taken heat for the deadly operation, which Hamas said also resulted in the deaths of other Israeli captives. 

In addition to the heavy death toll, rights groups have expressed outrage at Israel over its use of humanitarian aid trucks in its operation. 

Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur to Palestine, slammed Israel for using "humanitarian camouflage" in its deadly attack.

"Israel has used hostages to legitimise killing, injuring, maiming, starving and traumatising Palestinians in Gaza,” Albanese said.

Leftist Israeli Knesset member Ofer Cassif condemned the Israeli government for the "price" paid to retrieve the four Israeli captives from Gaza.

"The liberation is joyful, the price is disgraceful," Cassif said in a post to X social media site in Hebrew.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU condemned "in the strongest terms" the Israeli attack.

"The bloodbath must end immediately,” he said, adding that US President Joe Biden’s three-stage ceasefire plan, unveiled last week, "is the way forward for an enduring ceasefire and to end the killing". 

Other updates from today include:

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas instructed Palestine’s envoy to the UN to call for an emergency session of the Security Council following what he called a "bloody massacre"

  • Two people were killed in an Israeli air strike on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese town of Aitaroun

  • Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to demand action from the Israeli government. At least 33 people were arrested in Tel Aviv