Israel-Hamas war, Day 21 updates | Israeli Army says ground forces are ‘expanding’ activities in Gaza

Israel knocked out internet and communications in the Gaza Strip, largely cutting off its 2.3 million people from contact with each other and the outside world and creating a near-blackout of information

October 27, 2023 06:55 am | Updated October 29, 2023 10:15 am IST

Explosions caused by Israeli airstrikes in the northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.

Explosions caused by Israeli airstrikes in the northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

The Israeli military says its ground forces will expand their activities in Gaza Friday night.

Israel’s army said on Friday its infantry backed by fighter jets and drones carried out a “targeted raid” in central Gaza, its second incursion in as many days.

Also read | Israel-Hamas war, Day 22 updates

Internet connectivity in the Gaza strip has broken down. Israel knocked out internet and communications in the Gaza Strip, largely cutting off its 2.3 million people from contact with each other and the outside world and creating a near-blackout of information.

Since the October 7 attack, the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said at least 7,326 people have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory strikes on the besieged territory, mainly civilians including 3,038 children.

Also Read | Israel-Hamas war, Day 23 updates

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees on Friday issued a dire warning over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. “As we speak people in Gaza are dying, they are not only dying from bombs and strikes, soon many more will die from the consequences of (the) siege imposed on the Gaza Strip,” said UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini.

The Health Ministry in Gaza, which tracks the death toll, released a detailed list of names and identification numbers on Thursday after U.S. President Joe Biden cast doubt over the figures, saying that he has “no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using”.

Opinion | The voice of a Gaza under occupation

(With inputs from agencies)

This blog is now closed. Click here to follow updates for Day 22.

  • October 28, 2023 05:53
    Falling drone injures six in Egypt resort near Israel: army

    Six people were lightly injured when two drones struck an Egyptian Red Sea resort on the border with Israel on Friday, the army said.

    An army spokesman said on Facebook that an unidentified drone crashed into “a building next to Taba hospital”, in the resort town of the same name, just across the border from the Israeli resort of Eilat.

    He clarified later that there had been “two drones coming from the south of the Red Sea”, which lies off Yemen.

    “One fell in Taba and the other was targeted outside Egyptian airspace in the Gulf of Aqaba”, with some debris hitting an uninhabited area.

    Israel’s military said its air force had countered an “aerial threat” and intercepted “hostile targets”.


  • October 28, 2023 05:49
    Argentine baby among hostages held by Hamas, official says

    One of the youngest hostages being held captive in Gaza by Hamas is a 9-month-old Argentine baby, according to the head of Argentina’s embassy in Israel.

    “It’s very difficult to talk about such painful topics,” Francisco Tropepi told Vis á Vis, a news outlet focused on reporting related to Israel and the Jewish community in Argentina, in an interview. Tropepi did not reveal the baby’s identity.

    There are 21 Argentine citizens who remain missing and are presumed to be held hostage by Hamas, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero said in a radio interview Friday morning. An estimated nine Argentines have been killed in the conflict.


  • October 28, 2023 05:18
    Palestine urges world for immediate intervention to stop “rapid developments” in Israel’s war on Gaza Strip

    The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Saturday urged the international community for immediate intervention to stop “rapid and dangerous developments” in Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip.

    It called on the world to stop the war considering the rapid developments in Gaza, particularly cutting off communications, the internet and continuous shelling.

    In a post shared on X, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stated, “Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates// Calls on the entire world for immediate intervention to stop the rapid and dangerous developments in the Israeli occupation war on Gaza Strip.”

    It further stated, “In light of the recent rapid developments in the destructive occupation war on Gaza Strip, especially the cutting off of the communications, the internet, and the unprecedented and continuous shelling, as an indicator of the beginning of ground invasions, the Ministry calls on the entire world to assume its responsibilities and intervene immediately to stop this war, which leads to the deepening of #genocide and the expansion of the Israeli #massacres committed every minute against our people in the Gaza Strip.”


  • October 28, 2023 04:51
    Hamas armed wing says fighting Israeli forces inside Gaza

    Hamas’s armed wing said Friday it was fighting Israeli forces in two areas inside Gaza, after Israel said it had extended ground operations in the Palestinian territory.

    “We are confronting an Israeli ground incursion in Beit Hanoun (in the northern Gaza Strip) and in east Bureij (in the centre) and violent engagements are taking place on the ground,” the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.


  • October 28, 2023 04:48
    Explosions shatter the night sky over Gaza as Israel expands bombing

    The dull orange glow of Israeli flares shone in the night sky over Gaza, slowly descending through the haze to illuminate targets for warplanes before eventually flickering out, plunging the scene back into darkness.

    Multiple explosions from Israeli airstrikes tore into northern Gaza on Friday, quick flashes of bright orange silhouetted against the rooftops of Palestinian apartments and refugee camps. The sharp crunching sound of the bombs followed each time, seconds later, one after another.

    Overhead, the buzz of Israeli military drones cut through, growing quieter and louder as the crafts circled the airspace overhead.

    For most Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip, their world has shrunk to these few sounds and colors.

    Israel dramatically ramped up its bombardment Friday after knocking out internet and communication in Gaza, largely cutting off the tiny besieged enclave’s 2.3 million people from contact with each other and the outside world.


  • October 28, 2023 04:35
    Hamas welcomes UN General Assembly call for Gaza truce

    Hamas and the Palestinian Authority welcomed a UN General Assembly resolution Friday calling for a humanitarian truce in Gaza, as Israel increased strikes on the territory over the October 7 attacks.

    “We demand its immediate application to allow the entry of fuel and humanitarian aid for civilians,” said a Hamas statement. The rival Palestinian Authority’s foreign ministry said that as Israel’s campaign “reaches a new peak of brutality”, there was “a solid international position rejecting Israel’s unhinged aggression”.


  • October 28, 2023 04:11
    Israel slams UN resolution on Gaza conflict as an ‘infamy’

    Israel on Friday angrily dismissed a UN resolution urging a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza, with the country’s ambassador calling it an “infamy” and saying Israel would continue to defend itself.

    “This is a dark day for the UN and for mankind,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said, vowing his country would use “every means” in fighting Hamas.

    “Today is a day that will go down as infamy. We have all witnessed that the UN no longer holds even one ounce of legitimacy or relevance,” he said.


  • October 28, 2023 03:53
    Israeli military says it can’t guarantee journalists’ safety in Gaza

    Israel’s military has told international news organisations Reuters and Agence France Presse that it cannot guarantee the safety of their journalists operating in the Gaza Strip, under Israeli bombardment and siege for almost three weeks.

    Gaza, a Palestinian enclave run by the militant group Hamas, has been under bombardment since Oct. 7 when Hamas gunmen burst through the Gaza border into Israel and killed some 1,400 people. Gaza’s health ministry says around 7,000 people have been killed by Israeli strikes.

    The Israel Defense Forces wrote to Reuters and AFP this week after they had sought assurances that their journalists in Gaza would not be targeted by Israeli strikes.

    “The IDF is targeting all Hamas military activity throughout Gaza,” the IDF letter said, adding that Hamas deliberately put military operations “in the vicinity of journalists and civilians”.


  • October 28, 2023 03:28
    Israel rebuffs allies’ calls to ‘pause’ Gaza assault in first open disagreement

    Israel is rejecting calls for respite in Gaza as its closest allies in the West have coalesced around the idea of “humanitarian pauses”, or temporary stops to the bombardment.

    Growing international distress at the conditions for 2.3 million people trapped under the heaviest air strikes Israel has ever unleashed on the Mediterranean enclave led major powers this week to call on Israel to allow such pauses to get aid in and Israeli hostages held by Islamist militant group Hamas out.

    The issue has opened the first public split between Israel and backers including the United States, the EU, UK and other G7 members such as Japan over the campaign after tight alignment and support in the nearly three weeks since Hamas militants burst from Gaza into southern Israel on a deadly rampage.

    “Israel is opposed to a humanitarian pause or ceasefire at this time,” Lior Haiat, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said on Friday, while a senior Israeli official said calls for a pause in fighting appeared in “poor faith.”


  • October 28, 2023 03:13
    When this is over, Gaza will be very different -Israeli PM adviser

    Israel is beefing up the pressure on Palestinian militant group Hamas, its military operations are underway and Gaza will be very different, Mark Regev, an adviser to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Friday.

    “We are beefing up the pressure on Hamas. We’re increasing the pressure that they’re under. Our military operations are underway,” he told Fox News.

    “They will continue to be on the receiving end of our military blows until we have dismantled their military machine and dissolve their political structure in Gaza. When this is over, Gaza will be very different,” he said.


  • October 28, 2023 02:34
    Hamas says ‘ready’ for Israel ground invasion

    Hamas is “ready” for an Israeli invasion of Gaza over the October 7 attacks, a top official of the Palestinian Islamist group said late Friday after Israel announced it would extend its ground operation.

    “If (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu decides to enter Gaza tonight, the resistance is ready,” said Ezzat al-Rishaq, a senior member of the Hamas political bureau, on social media platform Telegram. “The remains of his soldiers will be swallowed up by the land of Gaza.”


  • October 28, 2023 02:14
    Israel says missiles that hit Egypt were aimed by Houthis at Israel

    Israel’s foreign ministry said that missiles and drones that hit Egypt on Friday were launched by the Houthi movement at Israel.

    “Israel condemns the harm caused to Egypt’s security forces by the missiles and drones launched by the Houthi terrorist organization with the intention of harming Israel,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.


  • October 28, 2023 02:01
    Egypt’s military spokesperson: Investigations show two drones coming from south of Red Sea to North

    Egypt said investigations following Friday’s blasts in Nuweiba and Taba showed there were two drones coming from south of Red Sea to the north, where one was targeted outside Egypt’s airspace in the Gulf of Aqaba, and the second one fell in Taba, an Egyptian military spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.

    “The Air Force and Air Defense Forces are intensifying the work of securing Egyptian airspace on all strategic directions of the country,” the statement added.


  • October 28, 2023 01:50
    UN General Assembly adopts resolution on the ongoing Gaza crisis
  • October 28, 2023 01:49
    Hamas calls on world to ‘act immediately’ to stop Israeli bombardment

    Militant group Hamas called on the world to “act immediately” Friday to stop Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, as intense strikes pounded the Palestinian territory.

    “We call on the Arab and Muslim countries and the international community to take responsibility and act immediately to stop the crimes and series of massacres against our people,” Hamas said in a statement.


  • October 28, 2023 01:41
    Pope Francis prays for a world in ‘a dark hour’ and danger from ‘folly’ of war

    Amid the latest bloodshed in the Middle East, Pope Francis led special Friday evening prayers in St. Peter’s Basilica for a world “in a dark hour” and in “great danger” from what he described as the folly of war.

    Francis delivered his remarks in the form of a prayer to the Virgin Mary and didn’t mention by name the conflict that exploded when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel retaliated by sealing off the Gaza Strip and battering the Palestinian territory with airstrikes.

    He said he was praying for “especially those countries and regions at war,” and he pleaded with Mary to “take the initiative for us, in these times rent by conflicts and laid waste by the fire of arms.”

    “This is a dark hour,″ Francis said in a subdued voice, in his remarks in the basilica.


  • October 28, 2023 01:34
    WHO loses contact with staff in Gaza Strip
  • October 28, 2023 01:31
    UN overwhelmingly calls for aid truce between Israel and Hamas

    The United Nations General Assembly on Friday overwhelmingly called for an immediate humanitarian truce between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas and demanded aid access to the besieged Gaza Strip and protection of civilians.

    The resolution drafted by Arab states is not binding but carries political weight, taking the global temperature as Israel steps up ground operations in Gaza in retaliation for the worst Hamas attack on civilians in Israel’s 75-year-old history on Oct. 7.

    It passed with 120 votes in favor, while 45 abstained and 14 - including Israel and the United States - voted no. The General Assembly voted after the Security Council failed four times in the past two weeks to take action.


  • October 28, 2023 01:28
    UN General Assembly set to vote on nonbinding resolution calling for a `humanitarian truce’ in Gaza

    The U.N. General Assembly scheduled a vote Friday on a nonbinding resolution calling for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza leading to a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

    Jordan’s U.N. Ambassador Mahmoud Hmoud, speaking on behalf of the U.N.’s 22-nation Arab group, which drafted the resolution, called for an afternoon vote before all 112 speakers get to the assembly’s rostrum, because of the urgency of taking action.

    The Arab group is seeking action by the 193-member world body because of the failure of the more powerful 15-member Security Council to agree on a resolution after four attempts.

    Unlike the Security Council, there are no vetoes in the General Assembly so the resolution is certain to be adopted. While council resolutions are legally binding, assembly resolutions are not, but they do serve as a barometer of world opinion.

    It would be the first response from the United Nations to Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and Israel’s ongoing military response and vow to obliterate Hamas. While the Hamas attacks killed some 1,400 Israelis, more than 7,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.


  • October 28, 2023 01:25
    Nearly 29,000 Lebanese flee homes near Israel border: UN

    Nearly 29,000 Lebanese civilians have fled communities near the border with Israel because of deadly artillery exchanges between Iran-backed Hezbollah fighters and the Israeli army, a UN agency said Friday.

    A total of 28,965 Lebanese have fled their homes, the International Organization for Migration said in an update, adding that the figure had risen by 37 percent since its last report on Tuesday.

    Some have found refuge with family members farther from the border, while those who can afford it have been able to rent apartments on a short-term basis.

    But with Lebanon in the grips of an economic crisis that has plunged most of the population into poverty, many are living in makeshift shelters in the south’s larger towns.

    In Lebanon, at least 58 people have been killed in the cross-border exchanges of fire, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also including at least four civilians, one of them Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah.


  • October 28, 2023 01:01
    WHO says it urgently needs $80 mln for humanitarian needs in West Bank, Gaza

    The World Health Organization said on Friday that it urgently needs an estimated $80 million to respond to humanitarian needs in the West Bank and Gaza and to undertake contingency planning for Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan through the end of 2023.


  • October 28, 2023 00:36
    Seeing no military answer to Israel-Palestinian tensions, the EU plans for a more peaceful future

    As distant as the prospect of peace might seem, European Union leaders believe it is time to start laying the foundations for a future relationship between Israel and the Palestinians where the militant group Hamas does not control Gaza.

    Mindful that resentment and even conflict in the wider Middle East and Gulf regions have been fuelled by decades of tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, the 27-nation bloc has begun exploring ways to realise a long-held EU ideal — two states living peacefully side by side.

    “The history of this conflict didn’t begin with the attacks on October 7 and won’t end with a land war in Gaza,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.

    “It’s very, very clear: 75 years of conflict between Israel and the Arabs, wars, terrorist attacks, huge instability. This won’t end because of a military solution. It can’t.” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that “a pure security policy and a pure security solution is part of the reason (this conflict) has happened. So at some point a political dialogue needs to start.” Apart from its aid and trade leverage, the 27-nation bloc has no obvious security role to play in the conflict.


  • October 28, 2023 00:14
    Internet connectivity breaks down in Gaza strip

    Internet connectivity in the Gaza strip has broken down, the Netblocks internet observatory said on Friday.

    “Live network data show a collapse in connectivity in the Gaza Strip (...) amid reports of heavy bombardment”, the observatory said.


  • October 27, 2023 23:48
    Israeli military spokesman says ground forces expanding operations

    Israeli air and ground forces are stepping up operations, Israel’s chief military spokesperson said on Friday, amid reports of heavy bombing of the besieged Gaza Strip, where internet and mobile phone services were cut off.

    “In addition to the attacks carried out in the last few days, ground forces are expanding their operations tonight,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told a televised news briefing.

    Read the full story here
  • October 27, 2023 23:38
    Gaza aid monitoring must change to allow more trucks: UN Chief

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday appealed for the monitoring of aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip from Egypt through the Rafah crossing to be “adjusted to allow many more trucks to enter Gaza without delay.”

    Rafah is the main crossing in and out of Gaza that does not border Israel. It has become the main point of aid delivery since Israel imposed a “total siege” of the enclave in retaliation for an attack by Palestinian Hamas militants from Gaza on Oct. 7.

    “The humanitarian system in Gaza is facing a total collapse with unimaginable consequences for more than 2 million civilians,” Guterres said in a statement.

    The United States is leading negotiations with Israel, Egypt and the U.N. to try and create a sustained delivery mechanism for aid to Gaza. They are wrangling over procedures for inspecting aid and bombardments on the Gaza side of the border.


  • October 27, 2023 23:12
    Hamas govt says internet, communications cut across Gaza

    The Hamas government said Israel “cut communications and most of the internet” across the Gaza Strip on Friday.

    The government’s media office accused Israel of taking the measure “to perpetrate massacres with bloody retaliatory strikes from the air, land and sea,” as heavy strikes hit northern Gaza.

    AFP journalists in Gaza confirmed they were only able to communicate in limited areas where they could connect to Israeli networks across the border.

    Palestinian telecoms provider Jawwal announced “the total cut of all communication services and internet” in the territory.

    “The heavy bombardment in the last hour destroyed all remaining international routes connecting Gaza to the outside world,” Jawwal wrote on its Facebook page.


  • October 27, 2023 23:00
    UN committee voices concern about rising Israeli hate speech against Palestinians

    A U.N. committee on racism voiced concern on Friday about a “sharp increase in racist hate speech and dehumanisation” directed at Palestinians by Israelis, including senior officials, since the October 7 Hamas attacks.

    Israel’s diplomatic mission in Geneva criticised the statement which it said “failed all the victims of the October 7 massacre and the victims of antisemitic attacks worldwide”.

    The Geneva-based committee said it was “highly concerned” by recent comments including those made by senior Israeli officials, politicians and public figures and called for Israel to condemn hate speech and investigate and punish such acts.

    It made specific reference to remarks made by Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Oct. 9 in which he referred to Palestinians as “human animals” and said such language “could incite genocidal actions”. Gallant’s comments have already drawn condemnation from Palestinians and others. - Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 22:52
    Hamas says fired ‘salvos’ of rockets at Israel

    Hamas said late Friday it had fired “salvos” of rockets at Israel after intense Israeli bombing of the Palestinian territory.

    “Salvos of rockets in the direction of the occupied territories (Israel) in answer to the massacre of civilians,” Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said on its Telegram channel. - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 21:40
    Prayers, protests and clashes in Jerusalem and West Bank as Gaza war rages

    Israeli security forces restricted young Palestinians from entering Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem for prayers on Friday and deployed in strength across the Old City and beyond to quell any unrest spilling over from the conflict in Gaza.

    In the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops killed four Palestinians during raids, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said. Two of the dead were identified by militant factions as their members.

    Large numbers of Israeli police kept guard around Al-Aqsa, a perennial flashpoint and often the scene of clashes, as Palestinians gathered for Friday prayers. At one point they fired teargas. - Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 21:16
    UN raises war crimes concerns over Israel-Hamas conflict

    The United Nations said Friday it was concerned that war crimes were being committed on both sides in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

    “We are concerned that war crimes are being committed. We are concerned about the collective punishment of Gazans in response to the atrocious attacks by Hamas, which also amounted to war crimes,” spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a press conference in Geneva.

    She said that it was for an independent court of law to qualify whether war crimes had been committed. - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 20:46
    Hamas rejects Israeli accusation it has abused hospitals

    Hamas fired back on Friday at an accusation by the Israeli army that it was abusing hospitals to shield its war effort, calling the charges unfounded.

    “There’s no basis in truth in what the spokesman of the enemy army stated,” said Izzat al-Rishq, a senior member of the Hamas political bureau. He accused Israel of making the allegations to “pave the way for a new massacre to be committed against our people”. - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 19:45
    Israel army says Hamas ‘wages war from hospitals’ in Gaza

    The Israeli army Friday accused Hamas of using hospitals in the Gaza Strip as operational centres for directing attacks against Israel, as the war rages in the Palestinian territory.

    “Hamas wages war from hospitals” in Gaza, military spokesman Daniel Hagari told journalists, adding that the Islamist group was also using fuel stored in these facilities for carrying out its operations. - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 19:18
    Red Cross says its first medics enter Gaza during war

    Medics from the International Committee of the Red Cross entered Gaza Friday for the first time since the outbreak of war on October 7, a spokeswoman for the organisation said.

    Six medical staff passed through Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt, alongside four other ICRC specialists and six aid trucks.

    The organisation’s regional director, Fabrizio Carboni, said the convoy was “a small dose of relief, but it’s not enough”. - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 19:10
    Israel says the vast network of Hamas tunnels will make a ground offensive long and difficult

    Israel’s defence minister said Friday that it expects to launch a ground offensive into Gaza soon that will be long and difficult, and aim to destroy a vast network of tunnels used by the territory’s militant Hamas rulers.

    Yoav Gallant spoke to a small group of foreign reporters after Israeli forces backed by fighter jets and drones carried out a second ground raid into Gaza in as many days, striking the outskirts of Gaza City. - AP

  • October 27, 2023 18:59
    Senior Iranian envoy met Hamas representatives in Moscow as Russia seeks to expand its clout

    A senior Iranian envoy met with Hamas representatives in Moscow following talks with Russian diplomats that underscored Moscow’s efforts to expand its clout as a power broker in the latest Israel-Hamas war, Russian and Iranian media said Friday.

    During the meeting with Hamas’ representative Moussa Abu Marzouk, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, emphasized the need for a cease-fire, lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip and providing humanitarian assistance, according to a statement Friday by the Iranian Embassy in Moscow. The statement was carried by Russian state news agencies. - AP

  • October 27, 2023 18:44
    Macron calls for ‘humanitarian truce’ in Hamas-Israel conflict

    French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday called for a “humanitarian truce” in the conflict between Hamas and Israel to ensure the protection of civilians in the Gaza Strip.

    Recognising Israel’s “right” to “fight against terrorism”, Mr. Macron pointed to “the complete blockade, the indiscriminate bombardment and even more the prospect of a massive ground operation” as risks for civilians.

    - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 18:22
    Indians given death penalty in Qatar accused of spying for Israel, sources say

    Eight Indian former naval officers who were handed the death penalty by a court in Qatar on Thursday were charged with spying for Israel, a source in India and another in Qatar said.

    Neither New Delhi nor Doha has officially stated the charges against the eight who were arrested in August 2022.

    In India, a government official aware of Doha’s stance said the Qatar authorities had accused them of spying for Israel. - Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 17:20
    7,326 Palestinians killed, including over 3,000 children

    The health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said Friday 7,326 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since the eruption of war with Israel on October 7.

    The latest death toll includes 3,038 children killed, a ministry statement said, while 18,967 people have been wounded across Gaza. - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 17:06
    Almost half of Israelis opposed to ‘immediate’ Gaza ground invasion: poll

    Nearly half of Israelis are opposed to an “immediate” military ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, according to a survey published Friday that was cited by the daily newspaper Maariv.

    According to the poll by the Panel4All institute, 49% of respondents said it would be better to “wait” before launching a ground offensive on the besieged Palestinian territory. Just 29% of respondents said the offensive should start “immediately”. - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 16:59
    US puts new sanctions on Hamas, members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

    The U.S. on Friday issued a second round of sanctions on the Palestinian group Hamas following its attack this month on Israeli communities, including by targeting a Hamas official in Iran and members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement the measures targeted additional assets in a Hamas investment portfolio and people facilitating sanctions evasion by Hamas-affiliated companies.

    A Gaza-based entity that Treasury said has served as a conduit for illicit Iranian funds to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group was also targeted, the department said. Iran backs Hamas and other militant groups in the Middle East.


  • October 27, 2023 16:55
    Medical team and aid trucks enter Gaza via Rafah crossing- Palestinian border official

    A medical team and 10 aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip on Friday via the Rafah crossing with Egypt, carrying water, food and medicine, a Palestinian border official told Reuters.

    “This Friday morning, a medical delegation consisting of 10 foreign doctors entered, in addition to 10 trucks entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah land crossing, carrying water, food and medicine, bringing the total number of trucks since the beginning of the war to only 84 trucks,” the official said.

    Detailed negotiations were taking place with Israel in a bid to secure more humanitarian crossings into the Israeli-besieged Palestinian enclave, Lynn Hastings, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, told reporters in Geneva.


  • October 27, 2023 16:51
    Israel ‘ground forces’ conduct night raid in Gaza: army

    The Israeli military said Friday its ground forces backed by fighter jets and drones carried out a “targeted raid” in Gaza as it prepares for a land invasion.

    Israel has launched blistering air and artillery strikes on Gaza for nearly three weeks after Hamas militants staged the worst-ever attack in Israel’s history.

    “During the last day, IDF (Israeli military) ground forces, accompanied by IDF fighter jets and UAVs, conducted an additional targeted raid in the central Gaza Strip,” an army statement said.


  • October 27, 2023 16:46
    Hamas official says ceasefire needed before hostages can be freed - Russian newspaper

    The Palestinian Hamas group that controls Gaza cannot release hostages seized during its attack on Israel until a ceasefire is agreed, the Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted a member of a Hamas delegation visiting Moscow as saying.

    It cited Abu Hamid as saying Hamas needed time to locate all those taken from Israel to Gaza by various Palestinian factions in a Hamas attack on Oct. 7.

    “They seized dozens of people, most of them civilians, and we need time to find them in the Gaza Strip and then release them,” Hamid said.


  • October 27, 2023 16:23
    Eight more aid trucks expected to cross into Gaza on Friday -U.N. official

    Another eight trucks carrying food, medicine and water are expected to cross into the Gaza Strip on Friday, a senior United Nations official said, as a combination of technical, political and security issues were hindering deliveries.

    “We have gotten in approximately 74 trucks. We’re expecting another eight or so today,” Lynn Hastings, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, told reporters in Geneva. Hastings said detailed negotiations were taking place with Israel in a bid to secure more humanitarian crossings in the densely populated enclave, which has been hit by unrelenting air strikes that have killed thousands in response to surprise attacks by Hamas gunmen on Oct. 7.


  • October 27, 2023 16:06
    Hamas-Israel conflict: EAM Jaishankar speaks to Omani counterpart Albusaidi

    External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday spoke to his Omani counterpart Badr Albusaidi and discussed the ongoing crisis in West Asia that was triggered by the unprecedented attacks on the Israeli cities by Hamas militants on October 7.

    In a post on ‘X’, Mr. Albusaidi said he emphasised the critical need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

    The External Affairs Minister described the conversation as “good”.

    “A good conversation with Omani Foreign Minister @badralbusaidi. Discussed our bilateral relations and exchanged views on the crisis in West Asia,” Mr. Jaishankar said in a post on ‘X’.

  • October 27, 2023 16:05
    U.S. expands its effort to cut off funding for Hamas

    The United States on Friday expanded its effort to cut off funding for Hamas, announcing a second round of sanctions against people and organizations linked to the group since it launched an attack on Israel that killed more than 1,400 people.

    The new sanctions highlight Iran’s role in providing financial, logistical and operational support to Hamas, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement. They include a Hamas representative in Iran and members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

    The sanctions were announced as Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo travelled to London to shore up support from Britain, one of America’s closest allies, for the drive to squeeze off funding for Hamas, which both countries consider a terrorist organization.


  • October 27, 2023 16:04
    UN says Gaza Health Ministry tolls in earlier conflicts ‘credible’

    The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Friday the death toll given by the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza had proved to be “credible” in previous conflicts after Washington raised doubts about figures from the current war.

    “In the past, the five, six cycles of conflict in the Gaza Strip, these figures were considered as credible and no-one ever really challenged these figures,” UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini told reporters in Jerusalem.

    The war erupted on October 7 after Hamas militants stormed across the Gaza border, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and snatching 229 hostages in the worst bloodshed in Israel’s history.


  • October 27, 2023 15:37
    Kremlin defends decision to invite Hamas delegation to Moscow

    Russia believes it is necessary to maintain contacts with all sides in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Kremlin said on Friday, defending a decision to invite a Hamas delegation to Moscow which has prompted Israeli anger.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the delegation had met with representatives of Russia’s foreign ministry but had had no contacts with the Kremlin.

    Israel urged Russia on Thursday to expel the visiting Hamas delegation, calling their invitation to Moscow “deplorable”.


  • October 27, 2023 15:36
    Palestinians plead ‘stop the bombs’ at UN meeting but Israel insists Hamas must be ‘obliterated’

    “Stop the bombs and save lives!” the Palestinian ambassador pleaded at an emotional U.N. meeting Thursday on the war in Gaza. But Israel’s envoy was adamant, declaring again, “We will not rest until Hamas is obliterated.”

    The war sparked by Gaza’s Hamas rulers’ surprise attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 played out in the vast hall of the 193-nation General Assembly, where Arab nations expected to adopt a resolution Friday calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza after the Security Council’s four failed attempts to agree on any action.

    At the assembly’s resumed emergency special session on Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories Thursday, speaker after speaker backed the Arab resolution’s cease-fire call — except for Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan, who told the 193-member world body, “A cease-fire means giving Hamas time to rearm itself, so they can massacre us again.”


  • October 27, 2023 15:36
    UN concerned ‘war crimes are being committed’ in Israel-Hamas conflict

    The United Nations said Friday it was concerned that war crimes were being committed in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

    “We are concerned that war crimes are being committed. We are concerned about the collective punishment of Gazans in response to the atrocious attacks by Hamas, which also amounted to war crimes,” UN human rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a press conference in Geneva.


  • October 27, 2023 15:27
    Israeli forces kill four Palestinians in West Bank clashes, WAFA agency says

    Israeli forces killed four Palestinians during raids in the occupied West Bank on Friday, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said. Two of the dead were identified by militant factions as their members.

    As it wages a now three-week-old war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Israel has also stepped up operations against Islamist groups in the West Bank, killing scores of Palestinians and arresting hundreds. One Israeli soldier was killed in a clash.

    The Israeli military said that during West Bank arrest operations its troops came under attack in the city of Jenin and fired back, killing Ayser al-Amar of the Islamic Jihad faction.


  • October 27, 2023 14:50
    UN agency says ‘soon many more will die’ from Gaza siege

    The United Nations warned Friday that “many more will die” as a result of Israel’s ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip, saying basic services in the Palestinian territory were “crumbling”.

    “As we speak people in Gaza are dying, they are not only dying from bombs and strikes, soon many more will die from the consequences of (the) siege imposed on the Gaza Strip,” said Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

    “Basic services are crumbling, medicine is running out, food and water are running out, the streets of Gaza have started overflowing with sewage.”


  • October 27, 2023 14:28
    UN agency says ‘meaningful and uninterrupted’ aid needed for Gaza

    The United Nations said Friday that “uninterrupted” aid was needed in Gaza after nearly three weeks of Israeli bombardment in retaliation for Hamas attacks this month that has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the besieged Palestinian territory.

    Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general for UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said “meaningful and uninterrupted” aid was needed for the Gaza Strip, calling the trickle of aid entering the area “crumbs”.

    “The current system in place is geared to fail. What is needed is meaningful and uninterrupted aid flow. And to succeed, we need a humanitarian ceasefire to ensure this aid reaches those in need.”


  • October 27, 2023 13:54
    Israel ground forces raid central Gaza as war enters 21st day

    Israeli infantry backed by warplanes mounted an incursion deeper into Gaza, the army said Friday, as it readies for a ground offensive against Hamas for the deadliest attack in the country’s history.

    As the conflict raged into its 21st day, there was no letup in Israel’s relentless strikes on the Gaza Strip, with European leaders calling for “humanitarian pauses” to allow in critically needed aid.

    Israel has been bombarding the Palestinian territory since Hamas gunmen stormed across the border on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping more than 220 others, according to Israeli officials.


  • October 27, 2023 13:24
    ‘Please wake up’: Families of Israeli victims urge world to stand against Islamist violence

    The world must take a stand against Islamist violence to avoid it spreading and take action to ensure the swift release of hostages taken by Hamas militants after their Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, families of victims said on Wednesday.

    A delegation of relatives visited Rome to hold talks with authorities, including Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, as part of a campaign to bolster world efforts to free the more than 200 people taken captive.

    The group included Avi Eylon, whose 23-year-old daughter, Shira, was killed with a friend while attending a music festival.

  • October 27, 2023 13:03
    Israel strikes outskirts of Gaza City during second ground raid in as many days

    Israeli forces backed by fighter jets and drones carried out a second ground raid into Gaza in as many days and struck targets on the outskirts of Gaza City, the military said Friday, as it prepares for a widely expected ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory.

    U.S. warplanes meanwhile struck targets in eastern Syria that the Pentagon said were linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard after a string of attacks on U.S. forces by Iran-backed fighters, adding to the already high regional tensions fueled by the three-week-old Gaza war.


  • October 27, 2023 12:20
    Israeli carries out a night-time targeted raid in central Gaza Strip

    Israeli ground forces backed by fighter jets and drones carried out a night-time targeted raid in central Gaza Strip, the army said Friday, as it prepares for a land invasion

    - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 12:16
    Israel says Hamas used North Korean, Iranian weapons in its October 7 attacks - AFP
  • October 27, 2023 12:14
    Ceasefire needed before hostages can be freed: Hamas official

    The Palestinian Hamas group that controls Gaza cannot release hostages seized during its attack on Israel until a ceasefire is agreed, the Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted a member of a Hamas delegation visiting Moscow as saying.

    It quoted Abu Hamid as saying Hamas needed time to locate all of those who had been taken from Israel to Gaza by various Palestinian factions in a Hamas attack on October 7. “They seized dozens of people, most of them civilians, and we need time to find them in the Gaza Strip and then release them,” Mr. Hamid said.

    Kommersant quoted him as saying a calm environment was needed to complete this task. Hamas said on Thursday around 50 of the hostages had been killed in Israeli air strikes.

    - Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 12:09
    UNGA President expresses condolences to families of 35 U.N. staff members who have lost lives in Israel-Hamas war

    United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Dennis Francis on Thursday expressed his condolences to the families of 35 U.N. staff members who have lost their lives in providing humanitarian service during the Israel-Hamas war.

    “I join the Secretary-General in expressing my deepest condolences to the families of the 35 U.N. staff members who have lost their lives in the noble cause of humanitarian service,” the UNGA President said.

    He said all parties to the Israel-Hamas war must abide by international humanitarian law and immediately create the necessary conditions to allow for an opening of a humanitarian corridor to the Gaza Strip.

    - ANI

  • October 27, 2023 11:37
    Israeli bombing of Gaza has killed 50 hostages, Hamas official tells Russian newspaper

    Israeli bombing of Gaza has killed 50 of the hostages seized during raids by Palestinian militants on October 7, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper quoted a member of a Hamas delegation visiting Moscow as saying.

    It quoted Abu Hamid as saying Hamas could not release the hostages until a ceasefire was agreed, and it needed time to locate all of those who had been taken to Gaza by various Palestinian factions.

    - Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 11:21
    What was the goal of Hamas’ attack on Israel?

    The key question here is whether Hamas actually wanted to extract any strategic gains or concessions from Israel?

    What did Hamas achieve from the attack on Israel?

    What did Hamas achieve from the attack on Israel? Read an analysis by The Hindu

  • October 27, 2023 10:40
    Explained | Israel, Hamas, and the laws of war

    There are two separate and independent international law questions related to wars. First, under what conditions or when can countries use force in their international relations? This is known as jus ad bellum, regulated by the United Nations (U.N.) Charter. Second, how is a war to be fought, that is, what military actions are permissible? This is known as jus in bello. Assuming a country is justified under the U.N. Charter to use force, it still must ensure that it satisfies jus in bello obligations. Justification to use force does not relieve a country of its obligations to use such force in accordance with international law.

    Read more here
  • October 27, 2023 10:25
    The Israel-Palestine conflict — 100 years of history

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has its roots in the late 19th century when Jews fleeing anti-Semitism in Russia and central Europe began emigrating to Palestine.

    The Israel-Palestine conflict — 100 years of history

    A timeline of the conflict which has its roots in the late 19th century.

  • October 27, 2023 09:54
    Israel aims to crush Hamas but vague on Gaza’s post-war future

    Israel is determined to crush Hamas but has said little about what would replace its rule in Gaza after the war, with observers expecting Washington will play a decisive role.

    “One thing is clear: the Gaza Strip will not be ruled by Hamas once this war is over,” Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy told AFP as Israel’s military steps up strikes in preparation for a widely-expected ground offensive.

    Read more here
  • October 27, 2023 09:45
    Israel to amend budget, war in Gaza direct cost at $246 million daily

    Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said on Wednesday the 2023-2024 national budget was “no longer relevant” given the Gaza war and would be amended, and sounded unfazed by S&P Global’s downgrade of Israel’s outlook to “negative” from “stable”.

    While putting the direct cost of the war at around 1 billion shekels ($246 million) a day to Israel, Mr. Smotrich said in an Army Radio broadcast that he did not yet have an assessment of the indirect costs on an economy partly paralysed by the mass mobilisation of military reservists and extensive Palestinian rocket salvos.

    Read more here
  • October 27, 2023 09:17
    India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor could be one of the reasons for Hamas’ attack on Israel: Biden

    U.S. President Joe Biden has said that he is convinced that one of the reasons why Hamas launched a terrorist attack on Israel was because of the recent announcement during the G-20 Summit in New Delhi on the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor that integrates the entire region with a network of railroad.

    Mr. Biden told reporters at a joint news conference with the visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese that his analysis is based on his instinct and does not have any proof for this.

    Read more here

  • October 27, 2023 08:34
    Israel to pay compensation for ships damaged in Gaza war

    Israel will provide compensation for ships that are damaged due to the war in Gaza and the government is taking steps to minimise risks for vessels using the country’s ports, government advisories said.

    The country relies on its seaports for its trade as well as for much of its needs including consumer goods and food.

    Israel’s tax authority said in a statement dated October 26 that compensation would be awarded for “war damage” caused to any Israeli or foreign vessel located within Israel’s economic waters.

    - Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 08:07
    Biden warned Iran leader against attacks: White House

    President Joe Biden sent a message to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning against strikes on U.S. troops amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, the White House said on Thursday.

    “There was a direct message relayed. That’s as far as I’m going to go,” U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, declining to say how it was delivered. Later Thursday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said U.S. forces conducted precision strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    - AFP

  • October 27, 2023 07:47
    U.S. strikes Iran-linked sites in Syria in retaliation for attacks on U.S. troops

    The U.S. military launched airstrikes early Friday on two locations in eastern Syria linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Pentagon said, in retaliation for a slew of drone and missile attacks against U.S. bases and personnel in the region that began early last week.

    The U.S. strikes reflect the Biden administration’s determination to maintain a delicate balance. The U.S. wants to hit Iranian-backed groups suspected of targeting the U.S. as strongly as possible to deter future aggression, possibly fueled by Israel’s war against Hamas, while also working to avoid inflaming the region and provoking a wider conflict.

    According to the Pentagon, there have been at least 12 attacks on U.S. bases and personnel in Iraq and four in Syria since October 17.

    - AP

  • October 27, 2023 07:30
    Israeli troops briefly raid northern Gaza to ‘prepare’ for an expected full-scale incursion

    Israeli troops and tanks briefly raided northern Gaza overnight, the military said Thursday, engaging with Hamas fighters and targeting anti-tank weapons in order to “prepare the battlefield” before an expected ground invasion.

    The third Israeli raid since the war began came after more than two weeks of devastating airstrikes that have left thousands dead, and more than 1 million displaced from their homes, in the small, densely-populated territory.

    - AP

  • October 27, 2023 07:09
    Biden meets with new Speaker Mike Johnson at the White House to discuss aid for Israel and Ukraine

    President Joe Biden met with new House Speaker Mike Johnson and Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries at the White House on Thursday to discuss his request for nearly $106 billion for Israel, Ukraine and other national security needs.

    “It was a productive meeting,” Mr. Johnson told reporters back at the Capitol. “I enjoyed my visit with the President.”

    - AP

  • October 27, 2023 06:58
    Rocket fired in Israel-Hamas war wounds five in Egyptian border town: local media

    Five people were wounded after a rocket fired in the Israel-Hamas war hit an Egyptian town on the border with Israel on Thursday, local media reported.

    “As part of the current escalation in Gaza, a rocket crashed in Taba, injuring five people and damaging a residential building,” reported AlQahera News television.

    - AFP

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