Live updates: Massachusetts reacts to Israel-Hamas war

Local News

Many with Massachusetts ties are feeling the impacts of the war.

Protesters took to Boylston Street to march toward the Israeli Embassy during an “All Out for Palestine” rally. Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

More than three weeks after Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip launched a brutal surprise attack on Israelis, thousands are suffering. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the country at war, calling up hundreds of thousands of reservists and pummeling Gaza with airstrikes for weeks in retaliation.

Israeli troops are now engaging Hamas inside the enclave in what Netanyahu’s government is calling an “extended ground operation.” As Israel attempts to wipe out Hamas, the country is giving evacuation orders to hospitals in the north. These orders cannot be followed without endangering patients’ lives, the World Health Organization has said.

Israel told those in northern Gaza to evacuate earlier this month, sending more than half a million people streaming into the south, even as bombs rained down on that area, too.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza grows worse by the day, as fuel, food, and clean water run out. After weeks of stalled talks, trucks loaded with food, water, and medicine were finally allowed to enter Gaza from Egypt last week. After a conversation between President Joe Biden and Netanyahu, the White House said that “there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza.” Officials say that although the number of humanitarian aid trucks has steadily increased, much more help is needed.

The Hamas attack killed about 1,400 people in Israel, with terrorists taking more than 200 hostages, Israeli officials have said. The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said Sunday more than 8,000 people have been killed in the enclave since the war began.

The war has sent reverberations around the globe, affecting many in Massachusetts. Follow here for live updates.

A family of three from Medway that has been trapped in Gaza since the war between Hamas and Israel began on Oct. 7 is urgently searching for food and water as they await safe passage out of the enclave. 

Abood Okal; his wife, Wafaa Abuzayda; and their 1-year-old son, Yousef, were in Gaza to visit Abuzayda’s parents earlier this month. What was meant to be a joyous trip — to introduce Yousef to his grandparents — has turned into a nightmare. 

“They have ran out of both clean drinking water and their back-up salt water today, and have been on the hunt for water,” Sammy Nabulsi, an attorney and family friend, told The Boston Globe Sunday. “They also told me they stood in a line for six hours today just to get some bread to eat.”

The family has been sheltering in southern Gaza, hoping a deal can be brokered that will allow them to move through the Rafah crossing into Egypt. Amid mixed messaging from U.S. officials, the family traveled to the crossing multiple times over the past few weeks, but still remain trapped. 

An update Sunday from the State Department offered little clarity. 

“The military conflict between Israel and Hamas is ongoing, making identifying departure options for U.S. citizens complex,” it said. “We anticipate that the situation at the Rafah crossing will remain fluid and unpredictable. If you assess it to be safe, you may wish to move closer to the Rafah border crossing — there may be very little notice if the crossing opens, and it may only open for a limited time.”

The family is staying with about 40 other people in a house about 10 minutes from the border crossing, the Globe reported. 

They have been living off canned tuna and fava beans, Nabulsi wrote in a piece for MSNBC. Their cooking oil is gone, and so is the possibility of hot meals. When they run out of drinking water, the family has been relying on salt water. Airstrikes continue to rain down throughout Gaza, including within 900 feet of their shelter. All the walls are cracked, and the windows and doors were blown out by a nearby blast. 

Previous live updates can be found here.