Biden urges Netanyahu to maintain ‘urgently needed’ aid to Gaza Strip

Hamas releases two Israeli women who were taken hostage on October 7th


Key points

  • Biden urges Netanyahu to maintain ‘urgently needed’ aid to Gaza Strip
  • Hamas releases two elderly Israeli women who were seized on October 7th
  • Israeli media reports some 50 hostages with dual nationality may be released soon
  • Third aid convoy entered Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah crossing on Monday
  • Israel has continued its intensive air strikes in the Gaza Strip
  • Palestinian health ministry reports more than 5,000 people have been killed

Top reads


Our liveblog has now ended. You can find full coverage of the Israel-Hamas war here.


An elderly Israeli hostage who was released by Hamas overnight said she was beaten by militants as she was taken into Gaza on October 7th but was then well treated during her two-week captivity in the Palestinian enclave.

Yocheved Lifshitz (85) was one of two women freed late Monday, leaving around 220 hostages still in the hands of Hamas.

Seated in a wheelchair, Ms Lifshitz told reporters that a doctor had visited her while she was held in a network of tunnels within Gaza and that all her needs had been taken care of.


Interesting spat on X/Twitter between Green Party councillor and former lord mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu and the Israeli deputy head of mission in Ireland, Adi Ophir Moaz.

Ms Moaz yesterday deleted a tweet that suggested Ireland funded Hamas tunnels through humanitarian aid to Gaza that has been misdirected.

The embassy put out a statement that Ms Moaz’s comments were “wrong” and not in line with Israeli government policy.

On Sunday Cllr Chu tweeted in support of President Michael D Higgins and against comments by the Israeli ambassador to Ireland Dana Erlich who suggested that he was guilty of “misinformation”

She tweeted: “Our President pushing misinformation and Ireland not being neutral are two pretty big claims, neither is true. Ireland isn’t biased to Palestinians, we just see decades of oppression and breaches of international law against them and know it’s wrong.”

Ms Maoz responded: “So blind you can’t even see it. Did you even read the interview or just looked at the headlines? What is your Knowledge of the Israel-Palestine issue? Hamas? BBC? or any other politicians/Irish media? Try the rest of the world. Educate yourself why the EU understands what Irish people are being blind to.”


French president Emmanuel Macron will call for a revival of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians during a visit to Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports.

Mr Macron believes the talks should work toward finding a so-called two-state solution that would mean an independent territory for the Palestinians, according to a senior official at the French presidency.

The president is due to meet Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu as well as French citizens whose relatives have been killed or taken hostages by Hamas, the official said. He will also meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Agence France-Presse reported.

The idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state comprising Gaza and the West Bank has been a focus of on-and-off peace talks for more than 20 years, and the status of the West Bank has long been a flashpoint between the Israelis and the Palestinians, who make up the majority of the three-million population in the territory.

Mr Macron wants to show “full solidarity with Israel in the face of one of the most grave attacks against its people since the nation was founded,” the president’s office said in a statement. He will also urge both sides to deliver “a decisive revival of a true peace process,” the statement said.

The West Bank cities are governed by the Palestinian Authority run by Mr Abbas, although the Israeli military has held control over the entire area since 1967, and more than half of the territory contains dozens of Israeli settlements.

Many Israelis support the idea of extending Israeli sovereignty to at least part of the West Bank, where Israeli settlement-building has continued. Supporters of annexation say Israelis have a right to remain permanently in the West Bank, which they call by its biblical name of Judea and Samaria and regard as the cradle of Jewish civilisation.

In 2005, Israel removed 9,000 settlers from Gaza along with all its troops and handed the area over to the Palestinian Authority. Two years later, in a brief civil war, Hamas threw the authority out and took control of the strip. Hamas rejects Israel’s existence and Israelis fear that if they pull out entirely from the West Bank, Hamas will take over there as well, posing a serious threat to the country.

The French president’s visit follows similar efforts by US president Joe Biden, and the leaders of Germany and the UK, and adds to a flurry of diplomatic activity by world leaders trying to contain the war between Israel and Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organisation by the US and the EU.

Since Hamas attacked Israel from Gaza on October 7th, Israeli armed forces have imposed a siege on Gaza and launched hundreds of air strikes on the territory, vowing to destroy Hamas.


Four of Ireland’s 13 MEPs have voted against a resolution in the European Parliament condemning Hamas.

They were Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Chris McManus and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan.

Just 21 of the 705 members of the European Parliament voted against the motion, 500 voted in favour of the motion and there were 24 abstentions.

Fascinating article by Fintan O’Toole this morning. Though Sinn Féin and republicans in general have sided with the Palestinians against Israel, the founders of the Israeli state were inspired by the IRA.

“And the parallels get way more messy when we ask who in Palestine actually identified with the IRA? It was not the Arabs but the most extreme of the Jewish terror gangs, Menachem Begin’s Irgun and Yitzhak Shamir’s Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang),” he writes.

“When these groups declared war on the British in 1942 and 1943, launching campaigns of bombings and assassinations in both the Middle East and London, their heroes were the IRA. Shamir used Michael as his nom de guerre in honour of Michael Collins. Both Zionist terror groups received training and support from the IRA.”

You can read it Fintan’s piece here (Premium).


A woman has been fired from the Irish office of an Israeli tech company over social media posts where she described Israel as a “terrorist state” in recent days.

The employee, who had worked in the Dublin office of Wix for 4½ years, was fired on Monday, following backlash from Israeli colleagues to her comments on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Wix, an Israeli software company that provides a platform for people to build websites, employs about 500 people in its Dublin office.

Courtney Carey (26), from Clondalkin, southwest Dublin, was told she was dismissed with immediate effect over her statements criticising Israel on social media.

The full story by Jack Power is here: Dublin woman fired by Israeli company over anti-Israel social media posts – The Irish Times


France will stand in solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday as he met Israeli counterpart Yitzhak Herzog in Jerusalem.

“What happened will never be forgotten,” Mr Macron said, referring an assault on Israel in which the militant group Hamas killed over 1,400 people. “I am here to express our solidarity.”


Omar Ghrieb, an aid worker with Oxfam who lives in Gaza, has given an interview to RTÉ Morning Ireland reporter Cian MacCormack

He said: “The bombing doesn’t stop and it is across the Gaza Strip in all direction. Safety doesn’t exist in Gaza. There is a difference between bombing near you and where you are living.”

He “miraculously” avoided glass shattering and the compacted air when the building he was in was hit by an Israeli missile.

“We don’t know if you are going to make it out of the building or not,” he said. “I was privileged to make it out. Others weren’t so lucky.”

Mr Grieb said he did not want to have children in Gaza because so many of his friends have lost their own children.

“Everybody has lost something. Many of my colleagues have lost their homes, family members or neighbours. Unfortunately, it’s just a way of life here.”

The aid that is coming is “not enough. We need a ceasefire. The killing of families in children and the dire humanitarian situation is terrible. We need the loss of life to end”.


The New York Times is reporting this morning that the Biden administration is worried about Israel’s capacity to remove Hamas from Gaza.

The Americans have experienced urban warfare against Islamic State in Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq in 2016 and 2017.

The Americans believe Israel has two choices. One is to carry out a systematic aerial bombardment followed by commando units or a widespread invasion as the Americans and British did in Fallujah.

From these and other conversations, the Americans got the impression the Israel Defense Forces does not have a clear plan to achieve the goal, set by their political chiefs, of destroying Hamas.


French president Emmanuel Macron has landed in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Reuters TV showed.

He is set to meet with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Israeli president Yitzhak Herzog, and centrist opposition leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid.


Former US president Barack Obama said Israel’s siege and bombardment of Gaza following the Hamas attack on October 7th risks backfiring and ultimately undermining long-term efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region.

“Even as we support Israel, we should also be clear that how Israel prosecutes this fight against Hamas matters,” Mr Obama said in a statement that also emphasised Israel’s “right to defend its citizens against such wanton violence”.

“The world is watching closely as events in the region unfold, and any Israeli military strategy that ignores the human costs could ultimately backfire.”

Thousands of Palestinians, including many children, had already been killed by Israeli strikes on Gaza, while hundreds of thousands had been forced from their homes, Mr Obama wrote.


Hamas released Nurit Yitzhak (also known as Nurit Cooper) (79) and Yocheved Lifschitz (85) on “humanitarian and poor health grounds”.

The two women were transported by the Red Cross to Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Israel, then taken for medical care and a reunion with their families in Tel Aviv.

The Israeli Defense Forces earlier said it believed Hamas was still holding 222 hostages in Gaza. In other developments: Reports from Israel suggested that the release of about 50 hostages held by Hamas could be imminent.

In their phone call, Mr Biden also updated Mr Netanyahu on US support for Israel and “ongoing efforts at regional deterrence, to include new US military deployments”, the White House statement said.

The phone call came after a third aid convoy, of 20 trucks, was allowed into Gaza via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. However the UN warned that fuel was not included and reserves will run out within the next two days.

Gaza residents are already struggling to find clean water and the lack of fuel means the strips water desalination plants, on which it is heavily reliant, as well as bakeries and hospitals, will cease to function.

UN officials say about 100 aid trucks would be needed daily to meet essential needs in Gaza, which is home to 2.3 million people. Some 1.4 million of those are now homeless.


Good morning and welcome to our coverage of latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war.

US president Joe Biden has “underscored the need to sustain a continuous flow of urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza” in a phone call with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the White House has said.

The president also welcomed the release of two hostages from Gaza and reaffirmed his commitment to securing the release of the remaining hostages as well as safe passage for US citizens and other civilians in Gaza.

Hamas has released two elderly Israeli women who were seized on October 7th when some 2,000 gunmen stormed across the Gaza-Israel border, killing about 1,400 people and abducting more than 200.

The release marked the second time in four days that Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza, freed hostages taken in the October 7th attack, after the release of an American mother and daughter on Friday. – Guardian