Israel-Hamas war: List of key events, day 81

Netanyahu says the war is not over and Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian politician – here are the key updates.

Here’s how things stand on Tuesday, December 26, 2023:

Latest developments

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the war is far from over, during his visit to Israeli soldiers in Gaza on Monday.
  • He added that the remaining captives taken by Hamas during its October 7 attack on southern Israel cannot be freed without military pressure. Families of captives heckled Netanyahu during an address to parliament earlier on Monday.
  • Both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have denounced Netanyahu’s statements in Gaza.

Human impact and fighting

  • Over 100 people were killed overnight in the Israeli air strike on the Maghazi refugee camp as some families are still trapped under the rubble.
  • Palestinian authorities have reported that 250 people were killed in waves of Israeli bombardment over 24 hours on Christmas.
  • The attacks have taken place in the al-Amal neighbourhood in the southern city of Khan Younis, as well as the Bureij and Nuseirat camps and Juhor ad-Dik in central Gaza.
  • An Israeli air attack outside Syria killed a top Iranian military advisor, Sayyed Razi Mousavi, on Monday.
  • WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Gaza’s health system is under “unbearable strain” in a post on X on Monday.

Diplomacy

  • Israel will not renew the visa of a United Nations staff member in the country and will also deny the visa request of another UN employee.
  • Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said “We will stop working with those who cooperate” with Hamas, in a post on X on Monday.
  • As a response to Cohen’s criticism of the UN the recent visa denials, Francesca Albanese, the UN’s special rapporteur to the occupied Palestinian territories, said Israel’s “baseless attacks” on the “UN only proves moral cowardice”.

  • US acknowledged strikes on Iran-backed groups in Iraq as US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the “proportionate strikes” hit three sites used by the Iraqi group Kata’ib Hezbollah and other affiliated groups on Monday.
  • Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva hosted a Christmas day lunch with the latest group of Palestinian-Brazilians to be repatriated from Gaza. Protestors in New York also held Christmas Day rallies in solidarity with Palestine.

Escalation in the West Bank

  • The Al Jazeera team in the occupied West Bank reports that Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the political group, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been arrested in Ramallah.
  • Israeli forces have raided different areas across the occupied West Bank, including the Tulkarem, Nablus and Hebron governorates.
  • Israel’s ongoing attacks in Nur Shams, Tulkarem, have been described by locals as one of the largest since the war began, reported Al Jazeera’s Hamdah Salhut from occupied East Jerusalem. At least one house was blown up by the Israeli military.
  • In Nablus, a young man was injured after settlers attacked his vehicle near the Taneeb Junction, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies