Israel-Hamas war: List of key events, day 76

Gaza’s death toll has crossed 20,000 while new evacuation orders have been announced for Khan Younis – here are major updates.

Here’s how things stand on Thursday, December 21, 2023:

The latest developments

  • Israel ordered the “immediate evacuation” of about 20 percent of areas in Khan Younis in southern Gaza on Wednesday, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).
  • Cuts in the main fibre routes in Khan Younis have shut down all telecommunications services in Gaza, PalTel announced on Wednesday night.
  • Palestinian prisoner Farouk al-Khatib was released late on Wednesday after three months in administrative detention without charge or trial. He is receiving medical care at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah owing to serious health concerns.
  • A Human Rights Watch report on Wednesday found that Meta is systematically censoring content about Palestine on Facebook and Instagram through measures including content removal, inability to engage with content, and suspension or deletion of accounts.
  • Over the early hours of Wednesday, Israeli forces destroyed 56 buildings in eastern Gaza, according to the UN.

Human impact and fighting

  • At least 20,000 people in Gaza have been killed, the enclave’s government media office announced on Wednesday.
  • Israel’s military announced on Thursday that three of its soldiers have been killed while fighting in northern Gaza. Since October 7, at least 134 Israeli soldiers have been killed and more than 740 wounded, UN OCHA reported on Wednesday, citing the military.
  • Israel has carried out night raids in at least 14 different towns and villages across the occupied West Bank, including ones near Jenin, Hebron, and Ramallah, according to Al Jazeera Arabic and Wafa.
  • Israeli forces “summarily killed” 11 men in Gaza in front of their families “which raises alarm about the possible commission of a war crime”, UN OCHA said in its situation report on Wednesday.
  • On Wednesday, a rocket was fired at al-Assad Airbase in Iraq, which hosts the United States and other international forces, reported the US military’s Central Command.
  • Nearly two-thirds of jobs have been lost in the Gaza Strip, the International Labour Organization and the Palestinian Statistics Office announced on Wednesday.


  • The head of Hamas’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, arrived in Egypt on Wednesday for discussions about another potential truce with Israel.
  • The UN Security Council is expected to vote on a resolution calling for the suspension of hostilities in Gaza in the coming hours.
  • UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese reiterated in a post on X on Wednesday that hospitals and medical personnel must be protected, and said that Israeli attacks on Gaza’s health system have taken “the most sadistic forms”.
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the US wants Israel to enter low-intensity fighting where there are more targeted operations against Hamas.
  • Israel and Cyprus agreed on Wednesday to pursue ways to set up a maritime aid corridor to Gaza, reported Reuters.
  • Australia is to send up “up to six additional” troops, but no warships, to support the US-led Red Sea security operation, Australia’s defence minister said on Wednesday.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies