As the attention switched to the south of the embattled Gaza Strip, israel announced it was entering the "next stage" of its six-week-old conflict with Hamas. Separately, Israeli paratroopers searched the residences of suspected key Hamas officials in northern Gaza.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to disclose whether he believed key Hamas officials were sheltering in the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis. "We'll get to them," he promised reporters, calling the leadership "dead men walking." Approximately 2,500 internally displaced people, together with patients and staff, evacuated northern Gaza's Al Shifa Hospital on saturday, according to a United Nations agency.

Early sunday, Israel's army claimed it started attacks on Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah across its northern border in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Hamas, which has been labeled a terrorist organization by the united states and the european union, said it had lost communication with organizations tasked with guarding some of the hostages it kidnapped on Oct. 7.

According to the Associated Press, at least 30 preterm newborns were evacuated from Gaza's main hospital on sunday and will be moved to institutions in Egypt.

A World health Organisation delegation that visited the Al Shifa facility on saturday reported that 32 newborns were among the hundreds of patients stuck at the facility, which has been under Israeli control since last week.

Qatar prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stated that there has been "good progress" in striking a deal between israel and Hamas to free detainees in recent days. Al Thani, who is also the foreign minister, stated that he is "more confident" that an agreement would be reached, with the remaining hurdles being "practical and logistical." He spoke at a news conference alongside european union foreign policy leader Josep Borrell.

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