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Israel soldier Noa Marciano’s body found; Afghanistan’s peace appeal to UN: Top Updates

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said on Friday that the body of 19-year-old corporal, Noa Marciano, was recovered from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians look for survivors after an Israeli strike on Rafah, Gaza Strip. (AP)
Palestinians look for survivors after an Israeli strike on Rafah, Gaza Strip. (AP)

IDF said that soldiers from the 603rd Battalion of the 7th Armored Brigade recovered Marciano’s body on Thursday from a building near Al Shifa Hospital. The body was taken to Israel for identification, and Marciano’s funeral is scheduled on Friday.

Marciano served in the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps of the 414th Regiment in the IDF and was an army spotter at Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Marciano was one of 240 people taken hostage by Hamas. According to the 19-year-old’s mother, Adi Marciano, who travelled to the United States to raise awareness about the hostages, her daughter was hiding inside a bomb shelter in the Nahal Oz kibbutz in southern Israel when she was taken by Hamas. On October 7, Noa reportedly called her mother from the bomb shelter where she was seeking refuge from the gunfire after Hamas attacked Kibbutz.

Top updates on Israel-Hamas war in Gaza:

  • The communications director for the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees said that despite the need for humanitarian aid in Gaza, there would be no deliveries through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing on Friday.
  • Gaza has been left with downed communications systems for a second consecutive day on Friday, which has left the strip, where most people do not have adequate food or clean water, without humanitarian aid.
  • Late Thursday and Friday morning, Israel conducted airstrikes on two residences in southern Gaza, targeting the Bani Suheila area east of Khan Younis. Survivors, accompanying those affected by the strikes, were taken to the main hospital in Khan Younis. Amid the ongoing six-week war, Israel had previously advised civilians to relocate from the north to the southern regions for safety. Mohammed Zaqout, the head of Gaza’s hospitals, reported a total of 35 casualties from the airstrikes in Khan Younis and the nearby town of Rafah overnight.
  • The Taliban-led administration in Afghanistan has condemned the ongoing Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, including the attack on Shifa Hospital. In an overnight statement, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Israeli forces of consistently violating the rules of war. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan urged the United Nations and other human rights organisations to take a principled stand against the ongoing atrocities committed by Israel, emphasising the need for an honest, transparent, and just response to the crimes against humanity inflicted on the people of Gaza.
  • According to Syria’s state news agency SANA, Israel’s military conducted strikes near the capital, Damascus, hitting multiple posts, causing material damage but no casualties. An unnamed military official, as per AP, mentioned that Syrian air defences intercepted most of the missiles before reaching their targets early Friday.
  • As the battle rages on, thousands of bodies lie buried under rubble in Gaza, AP reported.
  • The communication blackout in Gaza has left about 2.3 million people cut off from each other and the world.
  • The World Health Organization said on Friday that it was worried about the spread of diseases in the Gaza Strip as Israeli strikes have led to Palestinian citizens living in crowded shelters with limited resources. WHO Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory said that over 70,000 cases of acute respiratory infections and more than 44,000 cases of diarrhoea had been recorded in the strip.
  • Cease-fire protests in Boston and San Francisco in the US led to a shutdown of bridges.
  • Over 12,000 people — at least 11,470 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis — have died since the war began on October 7. Out of the Palestinian deaths, two-thirds of them were women and minors. Around 2,700 people are reported to be missing. Around 240 were taken captive by Hamas militants.
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