"Supplies of food and water are practically non-existent in Gaza and only a fraction of what is needed is arriving through the borders," McCain said in a statement Thursday. "There is no way to meet current hunger needs with one operational border crossing. The only hope is opening another, safe passage for humanitarian access to bring life-saving food into Gaza."
Late Thursday, Israel’s military announced that it had provided 4,000 liters of water and 1,500 ready-made meals to Shifa Hospital.
"The well-being of civilians, including patients and staff, remains a priority," the Israel Defense Forces posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Also Friday, IDF announced that it had found and extracted the body of Corporal Noa Marciano. The military said her body was found "adjacent to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza." She was abducted by Hamas on October 7 during the militants’ attack on Israel.
Israel ordered Palestinians to leave four towns in southern Gaza on Thursday, signaling a possible expansion of its war against Hamas militants into areas where Israeli officials had told people it was safe to stay.
Israel dropped leaflets from aircraft overnight, telling civilians to leave the towns of Bani Shuhaila, Khuzaa, Abassan and Qarara, on the eastern edge of Khan Younis, the main southern city.
"For your safety, you need to evacuate your places of residence immediately and head to known shelters," the leaflets said. "Anyone near terrorists or their facilities puts their life at risk, and every house used by terrorists will be targeted."
Residents in the area said there was a heavy Israeli bombardment overnight.
Hours later, the Israeli military said it had recovered the body of Yehudit Weiss, one of the 240 hostages captured by Hamas in its October 7 attack on the Jewish state. The military said it had found her body near the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
The 65-year-old woman was the mother of five and was abducted from a kibbutz during the Hamas attack. Her husband, Shmulik Weiss, was found dead in the safe room of their home.
Israeli troops continued to search the Shifa Hospital facility, which it raided on Wednesday in the belief it was a Hamas command center. Israel displayed weapons it said it found at the hospital, but Hamas said no arms were found.
Israel's army on Thursday released a video of what it said showed a tunnel entrance that Hamas militants used in an outdoor area of Shifa Hospital. The video, which could not be immediately verified, showed a deep hole in the ground surrounded by concrete and sand.
In a statement late Thursday, Hamas again rejected claims that the militant group uses the hospital for military purposes as "a repetition of a blatantly false narrative, demonstrated by the weak and ridiculous performances of the occupation army spokesman."
If Israel expands its military offensive in south Gaza, it threatens to worsen the already severe humanitarian crisis in the besieged territory. More than 1.5 million people have been internally displaced in Gaza, with most having fled, at Israel's directive, to the south, where food, water and electricity are in diminishing supply.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Israeli War Cabinet member Benny Gantz about efforts to increase and speed up the delivery of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.
During their discussion, Blinken also underscored the need to de-escalate tensions in the West Bank, including by addressing increased extremist settler violence, the State Department added.
Blinken also spoke with Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry about increasing aid to Palestinians in need, the State Department said.
Palestinian authorities in Gaza say more than 11,000 people — about 40% of them children — have been killed since Israel launched a major air and ground offensive in response to the October 7 attack by Hamas militants on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Thursday that the United States won't share any Israeli intelligence or elaborate on its own intelligence assessment that Hamas used Shifa Hospital as a command center and potentially a storage facility.
United Nations correspondent Margaret Besheer and White House bureau chief Patsy Widakuswara contributed to this report. Some information for this article came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.