The Latest | Israeli strikes in central Gaza kill at least 11 as the US pushes a cease-fire plan

Palestinian health officials say Israeli strikes have killed 11 people including a woman and three children in central Gaza

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Palestinian health officials said Israeli strikes killed 11 people overnight into Monday, including a woman and three children, in central Gaza.

A strike on a home in the built-up Bureij refugee camp late Sunday killed four people, including the three children. The second strike, early Monday, killed seven people, including a woman, in the Nuseirat refugee camp.

Earlier Monday, the Israeli military said that the body of a man presumed to be a hostage was found in a community near the Gaza border that Hamas militants attacked on Oct. 7.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday that Israel has offered Hamas a three-phase cease-fire and hostage release deal, declaring it was time to end the fighting in Gaza and that Hamas is “no longer capable” of carrying out another large-scale attack on Israel.

Israel is expanding its offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, once the main hub of humanitarian aid operations. The Israeli invasion has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to Palestinians facing widespread hunger. Israel faces growing international criticism over the huge cost in civilian lives and the widespread destruction caused by its nearly 8-month war with Hamas.

Israeli bombardments and ground operations in the besieged territory have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza's Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Israel launched its war in Gaza after Hamas' Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250. Israel says around 100 hostages are still captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of around 30 more.

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Follow AP's coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here's the latest:

NETANYAHU REPORTEDLY SAYS A CEASE-FIRE PROPOSAL WOULD MEET GOAL OF ELIMINATING HAMAS

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has not backed down from his goal of destroying Hamas and told his hard-line governing partners that a cease-fire proposal pushed by U.S. President Joe Biden would meet that goal, or else Israel would return to war, according to local media.

Netanyahu has faced a backlash from ultranationalists in his coalition who have threatened to bring down his government if he agrees to a deal that would end the war in Gaza without eliminating Hamas.

Biden last week announced what he called an Israeli offer that includes an “enduring cease-fire” and Israeli withdrawal from Gaza if Hamas releases all hostages it is holding. The outline released by the Biden administration does not explicitly talk of removing Hamas from governing Gaza or eliminating it. But in a speech Friday, Biden said Israel’s 8-month-old offensive had degraded the militants to a point where they could no longer carry out an Oct. 7 attack.

Netanyahu told the parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that there are certain “gaps” in Biden’s announcement. “Biden spoke about the outline but not all of the details,” he said during the closed-door session, according to Israeli media. He said that in the Biden plan, there are built-in measures to ensure all sides are upholding the deal before it progresses to the next stage.

“We reserve the right to return to war,” Netanyahu told the committee, according to the media reports.

In a video statement released by his office, Netanyahu said that in efforts to bring back hostages, “we have maintained the goals of the war, first of them the destruction of Hamas.”

“It is part of the proposal,” he said.

The text of the proposed cease-fire deal has not been made public. Hamas has said it views the proposal “positively.”

Talks on a deal ground to a halt last month. The main sticking point has been Hamas’ demand for a complete end to the war and full Israeli withdrawal from all of Gaza in return for all hostages’ release, which Israel has refused.

In its Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel that triggered the war, Hamas-led militants killed around 1,200 people and abducted around 250 others. After a round of releases during a week-long cease-fire last year, Hamas is believed to hold around 100 hostages and the bodies of around 30 others.

Israel’s campaign in Gaza has killed more than 36,430 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. Its count doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants.

ANNUAL MARCH WILL PASS THROUGH JERUSALEM'S PALESTINIAN NEIGHBORHOOD

JERUSALEM — Israel police said Monday that an annual march that draws Israeli ultranationalists will pass through a dense Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem's Old City.

The annual Flag March, planned for Wednesday, celebrates Israel's capture of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and its annexation shortly thereafter. Israel views all of Jerusalem as its unified capital.

The Palestinians want east Jerusalem, including the Old City with sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, to be the capital of their future state. They view the march as a provocation.

In past years, Israeli police have forcibly cleared out Palestinians from the parade route. The march has drawn thousands of mostly nationalist Israelis who waved flags and sang religious songs. Attendees have chanted racist slogans, such as “Death to Arabs” and “May your village burn,” and fights have broken out.

In 2021, the flag march helped ignite an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This year, the parade comes nearly eight months into a far more devastating war, with tensions soaring across the Middle East.

Rights groups have called on Israeli authorities to reroute the parade away from dense Muslim neighborhoods.

The police said in a statement that the route would be the same as previous years, entering the Damascus Gate and passing through the Muslim Quarter, a dense Palestinian neighborhood, on the way to the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray.

It says some 3,000 security forces will be deployed “to prevent any friction or violence of any kind.” The police urged the public to “avoid any physical or verbal violence, and allow the event to proceed safely.”

In previous years, coexistence organizations have held tolerance parades or a “Flower March,” where hundreds of participants handed out flowers to Old City residents to show their opposition to the flag march.

ISRAELI STRIKES KILL 11 IN GAZA

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Palestinian health officials said Israeli strikes killed 11 people overnight into Monday, including a woman and three children, in central Gaza.

A strike on a home in the built-up Bureij refugee camp late Sunday killed four people, including the three children. The second strike, early Monday, killed seven people, including a woman, in the Nuseirat refugee camp.

Both camps date back to the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven out of areas that became part of the new state. The refugees and their descendants make up most of Gaza’s population.

An Associated Press reporter counted the bodies as they arrived at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central town of Deir al-Balah on Monday and confirmed the details with hospital records.

Israel says it tries to avoid harming civilians and blames Hamas for their deaths because the militant group places fighters, tunnels and rocket launchers in dense, residential areas. The military rarely comments on individual strikes, which often kill women and children.

IRAN'S TOP LEADER SAYS ISRAEL IS ‘MELTING DOWN’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Monday said Israel is melting down due to its war against Hamas in Gaza.

Speaking in a ceremony marking 35th anniversary of late leader of the county Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei said “Today, the Zionist regime gradually melts down before eyes of the world’s people.” State television broadcast his speech live.

In a nearly 55-minute speech, the leader said that Israel's response to the Oct. 7th attack by Hamas that began the war placed it in a “dead-end corridor.”

Khamenei also said that the war had derailed Israel's U.S.-backed efforts to reach accomodations with regional neighbors, which he characterized as part of an Israeli plot to dominate the region.

ISRAELI MILITARY REPORTS SHOOTING DOWN MISSILE OVER RED SEA

TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israeli military says it shot down a surface-to-surface missile fired toward southern Israel from the Red Sea.

There were no reports of casualties or damage in Monday’s incident, which set off air raid sirens in the southernmost Israeli city of Eilat.

The military did not specify the missile’s origin, but it was likely fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have claimed several drone and missile strikes on Israel in recent months. Nearly all the projectiles have been intercepted.

The Iran-backed Houthis have also repeatedly attacked international shipping in the Red Sea, portraying their actions as a blockade of Israel in support of the Palestinians. But most of the ships that have been targeted have no known ties to Israel.

ISRAEL FINDS BODY OF MAN THOUGHT TO BE HOSTAGE

TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israeli military says the body of a presumed hostage was found in a community near the Gaza border that Hamas militants had attacked on Oct. 7.

Dolev Yehud, 35, was thought to be among scores of hostages held in Gaza until Monday, when the military announced the discovery of his body and said he had been killed in the initial attack.

His remains were found at Kibbutz Nir Oz, where he lived and worked as a paramedic. Dolev’s wife, Sigal, who was nine months pregnant on Oct. 7, gave birth to their fourth child nine days after the attack, according to Israeli media.

Medical professionals and scientists, including archaeologists, have spent months trying to identify remains found in communities attacked by Palestinian militants in the wide-ranging assault that ignited the war in Gaza.

The surprise attack into Israel killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The militants abducted around 250 people, more than 100 of whom were released during a cease-fire last year.

The Israeli government says militants in Gaza are still holding around 85 hostages and the remains of 39 others.

Israel launched a massive offensive in response to the attack that has killed over 36,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials who do not distinguish between civilians and combatants in their count.

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