Israel-Hamas war, Day 20 updates | Israeli tanks in overnight Gaza raid ahead of ‘next stage’

The Israeli Army reportedly attacked multiple Hamas targets before withdrawing in what it called the “biggest incursion of the current war”

Updated - October 28, 2023 12:09 pm IST

Published - October 26, 2023 06:41 am IST

An Israeli armoured personnel carrier (APC) and an Israeli tank participate in a drill near Israel's border with Lebanon in northern Israel, October 26, 2023.

An Israeli armoured personnel carrier (APC) and an Israeli tank participate in a drill near Israel's border with Lebanon in northern Israel, October 26, 2023. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Israeli ground forces operated within the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, attacking multiple Hamas targets before withdrawing, the military said in a statement on what Israel’s Army Radio described as the biggest incursion of the current war.

Also read | Israel-Hamas war, Day 22 updates

Video of the overnight action issued by the military showed armoured vehicles proceeding through a sandy border zone. A bulldozer is seen levelling part of a raised bank, tanks fire shells, and explosions are seen near or amid a row of damaged buildings.

Over the last few days, increased Israeli airstrikes have been devastating parts of the Gaza Strip, jeopardising relief operations and leaving neighborhoods in shambles. Strikes have destroyed homes and businesses and left many digging through the debris.

Supplies for health care facilities are becoming scarce. The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says its relief operations across the Gaza Strip will need to be curtailed amid the airstrikes.

Also Read |Israel-Hamas war, Day 21 updates

(With inputs from agencies)

This blog is now closed. Click here to follow updates for Day 19.

  • October 27, 2023 05:50
    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 05:16
    Families of Hamas hostages call for Red Cross access

    Families of Israeli hostages held by Hamas, the Islamist group which carried out brutal attacks on Israel on October 7, called Thursday for access for the Red Cross to treat their relatives.

    “We want to see where the Red Cross is. We know the Red Cross is in Gaza, so we want the world to tell the Red Cross to go and see what is going on with our families,” said Merav Mor Raviv, whose uncle and aunt are detained in Gaza by Hamas along with their daughter and grandson.

    Mor Raviv spoke at a media briefing in a Madrid Jewish centre with four other relatives of hostages kidnapped during the Hamas attack.

    “Hamas is not letting (the Red Cross) see our families. That’s why we need your help,” said Maayan Segal-Koren, the daughter of one of the hostages.

    The hostages’ relatives are undertaking a tour of European cities, a civil society initiative in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they said at the start of the media briefing.

    AFP

  • October 27, 2023 05:00
    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 Oct. 26 that compensation would be awarded for “war damage” caused to any Israeli or foreign vessel located within Israel’s economic waters.

    Read the full story here
  • October 27, 2023 04:27
    Al Jazeera Gaza correspondent loses 4 family members in an Israeli airstrike

    Al Jazeera’s chief correspondent in the Gaza Strip, Wael Dahdouh, was helping broadcast live images of the besieged territory’s night sky when he received the devastating news: His wife, son, and daughter had all been killed in an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday.

    Moments later, the Qatari-based satellite channel switched to footage of Dahdouh entering al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza before giving way to grief as he peered over the body of his dead son.

    “They take revenge on us in our children?” he said, kneeling over his son’s bloodied body, still wearing his protective press vest from that day’s work.

    Dahdouh’s grandson also was declared dead two hours later, the network reported.

    AP

  • October 27, 2023 03:59
    Fearing airstrikes and crowded shelters, Palestinians in north Gaza defy Israeli evacuation orders

    The risks for those staying in the north are likely to rise exponentially in the event of an expected Israeli ground offensive, after two-and-a-half weeks of heavy bombardments have already claimed more than 6,500 lives in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

    With tens of thousands of troops massed along Israel’s border with Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday Israel was preparing for a ground incursion. He refused to say when it would begin.

    Some 350,000 Palestinians are still in northern Gaza, according to Israeli estimates. Military officials have repeatedly exhorted Palestinians to move south, but have not said whether the presence of a large number of civilians would be a factor in deciding whether to send in tanks and ground troops.

    Israel says it seeks to strike Hamas and doesn’t target civilians, but Gaza health officials say many of those killed have been women and children. Those numbers are expected to climb with a ground offensive, which would likely see fierce fighting inside crowded urban areas.

    International rights groups have sharply criticized the Israeli evacuation orders, saying they cannot be considered effective warning to civilians, under the rules of international law, because of a lack of realistic options for those fleeing.

    AP

  • October 27, 2023 03:43
    Paris to send tents, medicine in humanitarian shipment to Gaza

    Paris will send an aircraft filled with humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza, including tents, medicine and emergency medical equipment, the French foreign ministry said on Thursday.

    The emergency cargo will be transported on an aircraft provided by the CMA CGM Foundation from Paris to Egypt before the goods will be handed over to the Egyptian Red Crescent, the ministry said in a statement.

    The shipment includes 336 tents, 28 metric tons of food supplements, 70,000 water purification tablets, 18 emergency ventilators, medication and solar lamps.

    AFP reported the flight will leave on Saturday.

    Separately, EU leaders were poised at a summit in Brussels to call for pauses in Israeli bombing and Hamas rocket attacks to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza after days of wrangling that highlighted divisions within the bloc over the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

    Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 03:25
    Biden sent message to Iran’s Khamenei against targeting U.S. troops -White House

    President Joe Biden delivered a direct message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei against targeting U.S. personnel in the region, the White House said on Thursday after American forces were attacked in Iraq and Syria.

    “There was a direct message relayed,” White House spokesman John Kirby said at a news briefing, declining to elaborate.

    Kirby’s comment comes as U.S. officials remain concerned about a wider conflict in the Middle East following the Oct. 7 attack by the militant Hamas group against Israel, with the Pentagon increasing surveillance and deploying additional military assets and personnel in the region.

    U.S. forces have been attacked more than a dozen times in Iraq and Syria in the past week, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

    Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 02:58
    UN food chief criticises strict Rafah crossing checks for limiting Gaza aid

    Overly stringent checks on trucks at the Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza were slowing the flow of humanitarian aid to a “dribble” as hunger grows among Palestinians there, U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Cindy McCain told Reuters on Thursday.

    The Rafah crossing, which is controlled by Egypt and does not border Israel, has become the main point of aid delivery since Israel imposed a “total siege” of Gaza in retaliation for an attack by Hamas militants from the coastal strip on Oct. 7.

    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.

    “We’ve gotten a few – a dribble, just a dribble – of trucks in,” McCain said in an interview. “We need to get a large amount in. We need safe, unfettered access into Gaza so that we can feed and make sure that people don’t starve to death, because that’s what’s happening.”

    Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 02:25
    Israeli tanks in overnight Gaza raid ahead of ‘next stage’

    Israel sent tanks, troops and armoured bulldozers into the Gaza Strip in a “targeted raid” overnight that destroyed multiple sites before withdrawing from the Hamas-run territory, the army said Thursday.

    Black smoke billowed into the night sky after a blast in the grainy night-vision footage the military released hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared preparations for a ground war were underway.

    On the 20th day of Israel’s deadliest Gaza war yet, that has already killed thousands, the army said its forces had hit “numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts”.

    The operation in northern Gaza came in “preparation for the next stages of combat”, it said, adding that the soldiers had “returned to Israeli territory”.

    The black-and-white video showed a column of armoured vehicles moving near Gaza’s border fence. Other footage appeared to show an air strike and buildings being struck with munitions, sending debris flying high into the air.

    AFP

  • October 27, 2023 01:46
    At UN podium, Israel’s envoy plays gruesome Hamas attack video

    Israel’s United Nations envoy showed the 193-member General Assembly a brief video on Thursday that he said showed a Hamas fighter trying to decapitate a man with a garden tool during the Palestinian militants’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

    Ambassador Gilad Erdan told diplomats the victim seen in the few seconds of footage he played for them on a tablet was not Israeli or Jewish, but an agricultural worker from Thailand.

    “One can see a terribly injured civilian – bloodied, yet alive – laying on the ground as a Hamas savage screaming Allahu Akbar repeatedly pummels the man’s neck with a garden hoe in order to decapitate him,” Erdan told the assembly.

    Erdan’s comments were delivered as the assembly began a two-day meeting on the Middle East on Thursday.

    It is due to vote on Friday on a resolution drafted by Arab states that calls for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 01:25
    IDF strike kills deputy head of Hamas intelligence directorate

    The deputy chief of Hamas’s intelligence bureau, Shadi Barud was killed in a strike in the Gaza Strip today, according to the Israel Defence Forces.

    The IDF accused Barud of working with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar to prepare the attacks in southern Israel on October 7.Prior to this, Barud led battalions in the Khan Younis region and held various positions in the terror group’s intelligence directorate.

    Taking to social media platform X, the IDF wrote, “Shadi Barud, Deputy Head of Hamas’ Intelligence Directorate has been eliminated by an IDF aerial strike. He took part in the planning of the October 7 massacre and countless other deadly attacks carried out against Israelis.”

    “We will continue to strike and eliminate Hamas leaders and operatives responsible for the barbaric attacks,” it added.

    According to the Israel Defence Forces, Barud “was responsible for planning numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians,” The Times of Israel reported.

    ANI

  • October 27, 2023 01:07
    The Israel-Hamas war could threaten already fragile economies in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan

    Economic crises are rippling through the countries bordering Israel, raising the possibility of a chain reaction from the war with Hamas that further worsens the financial health and political stability of Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon and creates problems well beyond.

    Each of the three countries is up against differing economic pressures that led the International Monetary Fund to warn in a September report that they could lose their “sociopolitical stability.” That warning came shortly before Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, triggering a war that could easily cause economic chaos that President Joe Biden and the European Union would likely need to address.

    The possible fallout is now starting to be recognized by world leaders and policy analysts. For a Biden administration committed to stopping the Israel-Hamas war from widening, the conflict could amplify the economic strains and possibly cause governments to collapse. If the chaos went unchecked, it could spread across a region that is vital for global oil supplies — with reverberations around the globe.

    AP

  • October 27, 2023 00:51
    US looking for more chances to reduce finance flow to Hamas, Yellen says

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday said the Biden administration is looking for more opportunities to reduce the flow of financing to Hamas in the aftermath of its attacks against Israel.

    Yellen, in an interview with Bloomberg, said the administration has already taken a “large number” of steps to put sanctions against Hamas in place.

    Yellen also said she is not seeing much so far in the way of consequences to the global economy from the conflict between Israel and Hamas, but she is monitoring developments closely.

    Reuters

  • October 27, 2023 00:28
    New York governor dodges questions on who paid for her trip to wartime Israel

    New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is refusing to disclose who paid for her to travel to wartime Israel last week for a self-described solidarity mission, a trip that her office said is still awaiting clearance from a state ethics board.

    The Democratic governor and a handful of staff and state police were in Israel between Oct. 18 and Oct. 20, meeting with government officials and families displaced by the conflict, while touring various parts of the country.

    Hochul, who as governor has no direct role in diplomatic affairs, has sidestepped multiple questions on who funded the trip, with her office saying only that a nonprofit group had pledged to cover the costs. She has said taxpayers paid for her state police detail.

    “I just said I have to get over there. Follow all the ethics rules and get me there,” Hochul said this week when asked about the trip’s funding, directing follow-up questions to a spokesperson.

    AP

  • October 27, 2023 00:09
    Israel says Hamas used N.Korea, Iran weapons in attack

    The Israeli military said Thursday that a portion of the weapons used by Hamas in its October 7 attacks were manufactured in Iran or North Korea.

    The military made the statement during an official media tour in which it displayed a variety of weapons recovered from communities in southern Israel attacked by the militants.

    A range of landmines, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and homemade drones were part of the haul displayed.

    Part of the arsenal included Iranian-made mortar rounds and North Korean RPGs.

    “I think about five to 10 percent of the weapons here [were] made in Iran,” said an Israeli military official, who helped oversee the clearance of munitions from areas that came under attack.

    “And 10 percent [are] North Korean. The rest of it was made inside the Gaza Strip,” the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    AFP

  • October 27, 2023 00:04
    EU eyes call for ‘corridors and pauses’ for Gaza aid

    EU leaders on Thursday debated calling for “pauses” in Israel’s war with Hamas to get aid into Gaza, as the bloc weighed how to respond to the conflict as fighting rages in Ukraine.

    The European Union has struggled for both unity and influence in the face of the crisis that has engulfed the Middle East since Hamas launched its bloody attack on Israel on October 7.

    The surge in bloodshed has stretched Europe’s attention at a time of rising doubts about the West’s ability to keep supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

    The 27-nation bloc has long been split between more pro-Palestinian members such as Ireland and Spain, and staunch backers of Israel including Germany and Austria.

    AFP

  • October 26, 2023 23:07
    Israel calls on Russia to expel visiting Hamas delegation

    Israel on Thursday called on Russia to expel a visiting Hamas delegation, saying their invitation to Moscow was “deplorable.”

    “Hamas is a terrorist organization worse than ISIS. The hands of senior Hamas figures are covered with the blood of more than 1400 Israelis who were slaughtered, murdered, executed and burned, and they are responsible for the abduction of more than 220 Israelis, including babies, children, women and the elderly,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement. - Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 22:46
    “An urgent shipment of fuel needs to enter the Gaza Strip”

    Juliette Touma, the chief spokesperson for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, said that an urgent shipment of fuel needs to enter the Gaza Strip as soon as possible, as UNRWA’s supplies have almost run out.

    Speaking to The Associated Press, Touma said that if UNRWA runs out of supplies they will have to significantly reduce some of their aid operations, and in some cases, “bring it to a total halt.”

    “We need fuel for the U.N. cars, we need fuel for the trucks to be able to go and bring the little supplies that are coming in. We also need it for the water pumping station,” Touma listed. UNRWA’s other needs for fuel included desalination stations and the transportation of wheat to local bakeries, she said. - AP

  • October 26, 2023 22:00
    Hamas representatives visit Moscow

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at Thursday’s briefing that representatives of Hamas are currently visiting Moscow.

    She didn’t elaborate further, saying the ministry will provide additional information later.

    The state RIA Novosti news agency said that the Hamas delegation is led by a member of the group’s political wing, Moussa Abu Marzouk. - AP

  • October 26, 2023 20:53
    Hamas armed wing says ‘almost 50’ Israeli hostages killed in raids

    Hamas’s armed wing said on Thursday that “almost 50” Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip since the October 7 attacks have been killed in Israeli bombing raids on the Palestinian territory.

    “(Ezzedine) Al-Qassam Brigades estimates that the number of Zionist prisoners who were killed in the Gaza Strip as a result of Zionist strikes and massacres has reached almost 50,” the group said in a statement issued on its Telegram channel.

    AFP was not immediately able to verify the claim. Israel launched a massive air and artillery bombardment of Gaza after Hamas carried out the brutal attacks on southern Israel.

    Earlier, the Israeli army said 224 people were abducted by militants during the attack that left 1,400 people, mostly civilians, dead.

    “We have informed the families of 224 hostages. This number is changing based on the intelligence we obtain,” military spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters.

    “It will continue to change. The effort to return the hostages is a top priority.”

    According to Israeli government figures that could not be confirmed by AFP, at least half of the hostages have foreign passports. - AFP

  • October 26, 2023 20:36
    Two Israeli-Hungarian children among the hostages held

    Hungary’s foreign ministry says two Israeli-Hungarian children are among the more than 200 hostages held by the militant Hamas group in the Gaza Strip.

    The children, both dual Hungarian citizens, are 15 and 8 years old, and were taken from the home of their father in a kibbutz near the border with Gaza during Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 rampage in southern Israel. That’s according to an interview with the children’s mother by the Hungarian weekly magazine Hetek.

    A spokesman for the ministry confirmed to the magazine that the children were being held in Gaza, and said that the ministry was in contact with their mother. - AP

  • October 26, 2023 18:56
    Israeli airstrikes hits refugee camp in Gaza

    Israeli airstrikes hit a densely populated refugee camp in Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis on Thursday, leveling more than eight homes belonging to an extended family and killing at least 15 people.

    Ambulances raced to the scene as dust from the collapsing buildings hung in the air.

    The blast zone was like so many others in Gaza, a chaotic wasteland of crumbled concrete and twisted metal. People shouted instructions while others praised Allah as they searched through the rubble for casualties.

    Israeli troops carry out an hour-long ground raid into Gaza before an expected wider incursion

    The injured, covered in gray dust, were carried on stretchers and in the arms of rescuers, who hustled to get them to vehicles waiting in the street. One body was covered in a blanket.

    A lifeless body of a boy was dug out from beneath a concrete slab, where his head had come to rest next to the foot of a person entombed in the wreckage. - AP

  • October 26, 2023 18:34
    Hamas health ministry says death toll passes 7,000 in Gaza war

    The Hamas-run health ministry said Thursday that at least 7,028 people have been killed in Gaza by Israeli strikes since the militant group’s October 7 attacks on Israel.

    Some 2,913 children and 1,709 women are among the dead -- marking the highest number of war fatalities in Gaza since Israel unilaterally withdrew from the territory in 2005. - AFP

  • October 26, 2023 18:32
    Erdogan slams European Union

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the European Union on Thursday for failing to call for a cease-fire in Gaza and accused the West of indifference toward the suffering of Muslims.

    “How many more children must die before the EU Commission calls for a cease-fire,” he said in a televised speech. “How many more tons of bombs must fall on Gaza before the United Nations Security Council can take action?”

    Mr.Erdogan accused the West of failing to see the violence unfolding in Gaza “because the blood being shed is Muslim blood.”

    In his speech, Mr. Erdogan also said Turkey has so far dispatched 10 planeloads to Egypt carrying humanitarian aid, including generators, destined for Gaza. Twenty five Turkish medical personnel have also left for Egypt, he said. - AP

  • October 26, 2023 17:33
    Israel conducted airstrikes: Lebanese media

    Lebanese state media say Israel conducted airstrikes and drone attacks early Thursday in southern Lebanon, near the tense Israel-Lebanon border where exchanges between Israeli forces and Lebanese Hezbollah militants have intensified amid the war in Gaza.

    No casualties were reported but the strikes ignited fires in the fields near in the border town of Aita al Shaab, the National News Agency reported. - AP

  • October 26, 2023 17:12
    Israel says years needed to rehabilitate south after Gaza attack

    Israeli efforts to rehabilitate southern communities ravaged by the Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught will take years and go beyond a planned ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet said on Thursday.

    Benny Gantz, an ex-general who joined Netanyahu from the opposition in an emergency government, signalled to enemies of Israel other than Hamas that they too risked being destroyed.

    “The battle against Gazan terror will continue within the strip’s territory - going deep, anywhere and at any time required to ensure security for the communities that will be restored and will rebuild the region,” he said in a speech.

    Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 17:01
    Iraqi pro-Gaza protesters block oil tanker trucks from entering Jordan

    Hundreds of Iraqis protesting against Israel’s attacks on Gaza are blocking oil tanker trucks from crossing into Jordan, saying they will not allow Iraqi oil to be exported to countries that have peace agreements with Israel.

    Some 800 supporters of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an Iranian-backed umbrella group of mainly Shi’ite militia, began a sit-in on Friday at Iraq’s main border crossing with Jordan, to express solidarity with Gaza and call for an end to Israel’s bombardments and blockade.

    Iraq transports about 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in tanker trucks to Jordan, one of the few Arab states that has a peace treaty and a long history of close security ties with Israel.

    Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 17:00
    Hamas Health Ministry says death toll passes 7,000 in Gaza war

    The Hamas-run Health Ministry said Thursday that at least 7,028 people have been killed in Gaza by Israeli strikes since the militant group’s October 7 attacks on Israel.

    Some 2,913 children and 1,709 women are among the dead -- marking the highest number of war fatalities in Gaza since Israel unilaterally withdrew from the territory in 2005.

    AFP

  • October 26, 2023 16:37
    ‘Israeli envoy says Taiwan a good friend, China’s response to Hamas attacks ‘disturbing’

    Israel’s envoy in Taipei said on Thursday that Taiwan has been a “good friend” whose support Israel has appreciated, but China’s response to the attack by Hamas militants has been “disturbing”.

    Israel, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan. But Taiwan views Israel as an important democratic partner.

    Taipei moved quickly to condemn the Oct. 7 attack on the country by Palestinian Hamas militants and offered Taiwan’s strong support and sympathy to Israel.

    Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 16:21
    Turkey’s Erdogan tells Pope: Silence of international community over Gaza ‘embarrassing’

    Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan told Pope Francis in a phone call on Thursday that Israel’s attacks on Gaza amounted to a massacre, and that the silence of the international community was “embarrassing,” the presidency said.

    In the call, Mr. Erdogan said that all countries must raise their voice against the humanitarian crisis in the region, according to a statement by the Turkish presidency.

    Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 16:03
    Biden condemns retaliatory attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank

    President Joe Biden on Wednesday spoke out against retaliatory attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank in the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. He also said he was redoubling his commitment to working on a two-state solution to end the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict.

    Mr. Biden said the attacks by “extremist settlers” amounted to “pouring gasoline” on the already burning fires in the Middle East since the Hamas attack.

    “It has to stop. They have to be held accountable. It has to stop now,” Mr. Biden said at the start of a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who was being honored with a state visit to Washington.

    AP

  • October 26, 2023 15:47
    Gaza needs a full ceasefire for aid to get in: Palestinian Minister

    Israel needs to agree to a full ceasefire in Gaza in order to enable urgently needed humanitarian aid to be brought in, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Thursday in The Hague.

    EU leaders are poised to call on Thursday for pauses in bombardments into and out of Gaza to enable access for aid, but al-Maliki said this proposal was unacceptable, as it would not ensure aid could come in and water and electricity supplies be reinstated.

    Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 15:46
    Kremlin: push for U.N. Israel-Hamas resolution must continue after setbacks

    The Kremlin said on Thursday that efforts to agree on what it called a balanced U.N. resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict should continue, but said it was wrong for any such resolution to only condemn one side.

    It was commenting a day after Russia and China vetoed a U.S. push for the U.N. Security Council to call for pauses in fighting to allow humanitarian aid access, the protection of civilians and a halt to arming Hamas and other militants in the Gaza Strip.

    A rival Russian-drafted text that called for a humanitarian ceasefire and withdrawal of Israel’s order for civilians in Gaza to relocate south ahead of a ground assault failed to attract the minimum number of votes for support too.

    “We need to continue our efforts, we need to strive to reach a balanced option. We are convinced that our option was much more balanced,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

    “We need to call for a ceasefire and we cannot condemn the actions of only one side. The resolution should be balanced and diplomatic efforts should be continued here,” he said.

    Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 15:45
    Palestinian top diplomat calls Israel offensive ‘war of revenge’

    The Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister on Thursday called Israel’s offensive in Gaza a “war of revenge”, as he called for a ceasefire in the conflict.

    “This time the war that Israel is waging is different. This time... it’s a war of revenge,” Riyad al-Maliki said in The Hague. “First we need to end this one-sided aggression and then we need to call for a ceasefire.”

    AFP

  • October 26, 2023 15:44
    Israeli troops carry out hourslong ground raid into Gaza ahead of expected wider incursion

    Israeli troops and tanks launched an hourslong ground raid into northern Gaza overnight into Thursday, the military said, striking several militant targets in order to “prepare the battlefield” ahead of a widely expected ground invasion after more than two weeks of devastating air raids.

    The raid came after the U.N. warned it is on the verge of running out of fuel in the Gaza Strip, forcing it to sharply curtail relief efforts in the territory, which has also been under a complete siege since Hamas’ bloody rampage across southern Israel ignited the war earlier this month.

    AP

  • October 26, 2023 15:08
    Biden says progress on India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor could be one of the reasons for Hamas’ attack on Israel

    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.

    “I’m convinced one of the reasons Hamas attacked when they did, and I have no proof of this, just my instinct tells me, is because of the progress we were making towards regional integration for Israel, and regional integration overall. We can’t leave that work behind,” Mr. Biden said.

    This is the second time in less than a week that Mr. Biden has mentioned the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) as a potential reason for the terrorist attack by Hamas.

    Read more

  • October 26, 2023 14:53
    Stocks hit by Middle East, earnings and economy concerns

    Asian stocks sank Thursday, tracking a retreat on Wall Street fuelled by a surge in US Treasuries and worries over a possible escalation of the Middle East crisis, which also pushed oil prices higher.

    Disappointing corporate reports from US tech titans added to the sense of gloom among investors, while the burst of optimism that greeted China’s massive spending pledge this week began to fade.

    A warning from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a ground invasion of Gaza was being prepared fanned a rush to safe-haven assets and sent crude up more than two percent Wednesday, with traders concerned about supplies from the crude-rich region. Both main contracts extended gains in early European trade.

    The commodity had slipped recently on hopes Israel was recalibrating its plans as Palestinian militants Hamas released some hostages.

    AFP

  • October 26, 2023 14:39
    UN says ‘nowhere is safe’ in Gaza amid Israel bombing

    The United Nations issued a stark warning Thursday that “nowhere is safe” in Gaza amid stepped up Israeli air raids in preparation for a widely expected ground offensive.

    With Israel retaliating after Hamas’s shock October 7 attacks with strikes on nearly every part of the Palestinian enclave, “people are left with nothing but impossible choices. Nowhere is safe in Gaza,” Lynne Hastings, UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, said in a statement.

    AFP

  • October 26, 2023 14:07
    Israeli troops launch brief ground raid into Gaza ahead of expected wider incursion

    Israeli troops and tanks launched a brief ground raid into northern Gaza overnight into Thursday, the military said, striking several militant targets in order to “prepare the battlefield” ahead of a widely expected ground invasion after more than two weeks of devastating air raids.

    The raid came after the U.N. warned it is on the verge of running out of fuel in the Gaza Strip, forcing it to sharply curtail relief efforts in the territory, which has also been under a complete siege since Hamas’ bloody rampage across southern Israel ignited the war earlier this month.

    The rising death tolls in Gaza are unprecedented in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even greater loss of life could come if Israel launches an expected ground offensive aimed at crushing Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007 and survived four previous wars with Israel.

    AP

  • October 26, 2023 13:33
    Japan urges Israel to pause assault on Gaza

    Japan has urged Israel to suspend its assault on the besieged Gaza Strip to allow humanitarian assistance in.

    The request was made in a meeting between Japan’s state minister for foreign affairs and Israel’s ambassador to Japan late on Wednesday, according to a statement by the ministry on Thursday.

    Russia and China on Wednesday vetoed a U.S. push for the United Nations Security Council to call for humanitarian pauses in the fighting, which has claimed thousands of lives. A Russian-drafted text that called for a ceasefire also failed.

    Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 13:18
    U.N. chief rejects Israel accusations he justified Hamas attacks

    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday rejected accusations by Israel that, in a statement to the Security Council, he had justified attacks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel.

    “I am shocked by the misrepresentations by some of my statement... as if I was justifying acts of terror by Hamas. This is false. It was the opposite,” he told reporters, without specifically naming Israel.

    Read the full story here.

  • October 26, 2023 13:01
    Hamas prefers to have fuel for its warfighting capabilities, leaving civilians without it: IDF spokesperson

    Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Jonathan Conricus has said Hamas prefers to have fuel for its warfighting capabilities, leaving civilians without it.

    On the WHO report published on October 16 claiming that Gaza has only 24 hours of fuel, electricity and water left, the IDF spokesperson said: “The date that this was published was October 16. That was a few days ago. We’re on the 26th now. So that’s ten days ago this was published. And as far as I know, there’s still electricity in the Gaza Strip, and this report is a bit questionable. Sure, the situation in Gaza isn’t great and there are difficulties and there are people wounded and killed, which is regrettable, but this wasn’t true at the time and it isn’t true now.”

    -ANI

  • October 26, 2023 12:38
    U.K. to hold emergency response meeting on Israel-Gaza strategy

    Britain will convene a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency response committee on Thursday to consider its strategy and approach towards Gaza and the Israeli-Hamas conflict, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden told Times Radio.

    Britain is pushing for a humanitarian pause to the conflict, for Britons in Gaza to be able to leave safely, and for the release of British hostages.

    “We will discuss the hostages and we’ll discuss the wider situation in the region and we will also discuss ... securing humanitarian aid,” Dowden, who will chair the meeting, said in a separate interview with Sky News.

    - Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 12:15
    Europe’s central bank is set to halt rate hikes as the Mideast war casts a shadow over the economy

    The European Central Bank is ready to leave interest rates unchanged Thursday for the first time in over a year as the Israel-Hamas war spreads even more gloom over already downbeat prospects for Europe’s economy.

    It would be the bank’s first meeting with no change after a torrid pace of 10 straight increases dating to July 2022 that pushed its key rate to a record-high 4%.

    - AP

  • October 26, 2023 11:56
    North Korea says Israel bombed Gaza hospital, calls US ‘accomplice’

    North Korea’s foreign ministry accused Israel of bombing a hospital in the Gaza Strip on Oct 17., saying it had openly committed a war crime “under the undisguised patronage of the United States”.

    In a statement carried on state-run news agency KCNA, a ministry spokesman also blamed the United States for “giving Israel a green light to massacre Palestinians without any worries” by supplying it with weapons and military support, including deploying aircraft carriers in the Middle East.

    “This shows that the U.S. is an accomplice who connived at and fostered Israel’s genocide,” the spokesman said. The foreign ministry statement did not give any evidence to support its comments.

    -Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 11:38
    India must call for immediate ceasefire, no space for being partisan: Sibal on Gaza conflict

    Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal Thursday said India must call for an immediate ceasefire in view of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and asserted that there is no space for being partisan in the unveiling tragedy.

    Sibal said the humanitarian crisis in Gaza with images of innocent children being maimed and decapitated, and civilians being killed is heart-rending and unacceptable.

    -PTI

  • October 26, 2023 11:21
    Israel conducts overnight ‘targeted raid’ with tanks in Gaza: army

    The Israeli army carried out a “targeted raid” overnight in northern Gaza with tanks and infantry, it said in a statement Thursday, as it prepared its forces for a ground invasion.

    “Overnight, the IDF conducted a targeted raid using tanks in the northern Gaza Strip, as part of preparations for the next stages of combat,” the army said in a statement.

    “The soldiers exited the area at the end of the activity.”

    -AFP

    Read full story here.

  • October 26, 2023 10:58
    Israel-Hamas war could threaten already fragile economies in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan

    Economic crises are rippling through the countries bordering Israel, raising the possibility of a chain reaction from the war with Hamas that further worsens the financial health and political stability of Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon and creates problems well beyond.

    Each of the three countries is up against differing economic pressures that led the International Monetary Fund to warn in a September report that they could lose their “sociopolitical stability.” That warning came shortly before Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, triggering a war that could easily cause economic chaos that President Joe Biden and the European Union would likely need to address.

    The possible fallout is now starting to be recognized by world leaders and policy analysts.

    -AP

  • October 26, 2023 10:40
    Increase in harassment against Jewish and Muslim Americans reported since Hamas attacks

    Muslim and Jewish civil rights groups in the U.S. say they’ve seen large increases in reports of harassment, bias and sometimes physical assaults against members of their communities since the Oct 7 Hamas attacks.

    The Anti-Defamation League and the Center on American-Islamic Relations saw increases in reported instances, many involving violence or threats against protesters at rallies in support of Israel or in support of Palestinians over the last two weeks as war broke out between Israel and Hamas. Other attacks and harassment reported by the groups were directed at random Muslim or Jewish people in public.

    A spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday that the organisation’s chapters and national office had received 774 reports of bias-related acts between Oct. 7 and Oct. 24. The national headquarters had 110 direct reports during that period, compared to 63 for all of August.

    -AP

  • October 26, 2023 10:18
    WHO calls for safe passage for the delivery of fuel and health supplies
  • October 26, 2023 10:07
    Israel radio says ground forces conducted ‘relatively large’ Gaza incursion

    Israeli ground forces carried out a relatively large incursion into the Gaza Strip overnight to attack Hamas positions, Israel’s Army Radio reported on Thursday.

    It described the raid as larger than previously carried out during the Gaza war, now in its third week.

    -Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 09:36
    France to send Navy ship to bring aid to Gaza Strip: Macron

    French President Emmanuel Macron said France is going to send a Navy ship to bring aid to hospitals in the Gaza Strip.

    The ship will leave the French military port of Toulon, in the Mediterranean Sea, within 48 hours, he said. He didn’t provide further details.

    In addition, a French plane will arrive in Egypt on Thursday to deliver medical equipment via a convoy to Gaza. “Others will follow,” Mr. Macron said, adding that France wants to provide Gaza’s civilian population access to medicine and medical care.

    -AP

  • October 26, 2023 09:10
    Al Jazeera Gaza bureau chief loses 4 family members in Israeli airstrike

    Al Jazeera’s chief correspondent in the Gaza Strip, Wael Dahdouh, was helping broadcast live images of the besieged territory’s night sky when he received the devastating news: His wife, son, and daughter had all been killed in an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday.

    Mr. Dahdouh’s grandson also was declared dead two hours later, the network reported.

    “They take revenge on us in our children?” he said, kneeling over his son’s bloodied body, still wearing his protective press vest from that day’s work.

    Read the full story here.

  • October 26, 2023 08:40
    Biden commits to work on two-state solution

    U.S. President Joe Biden said he was redoubling his commitment to working on a two-state solution to end the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict.

    “Israelis and Palestinians equally deserve to live side by side in safety, dignity and peace,” Mr. Biden said, adding, “When this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next. And in our view, it has to be a two-state solution.”

    Mr. Biden emphasised that point during a call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling the Israeli leader it will be important to focus “on what comes after this crisis” including “a pathway for a permanent peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” according to a White House statement.

    -AP

  • October 26, 2023 08:21
    EU leaders eye call for ‘humanitarian pause’ in Gaza

    EU leaders will on Thursday debate calling for a “humanitarian pause” in Israel’s war with Hamas, as the bloc grapples with another conflict on its fringes alongside Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    The European Union has struggled for both unity and influence in the face of the crisis that has engulfed the Middle East.

    The surge in bloodshed has stretched Europe’s attention at a time of rising doubts about the West’s ability to keep supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

    The 27-nation bloc has long been split between more pro-Palestinian members such as Ireland and Spain, and staunch backers of Israel including Germany and Austria.

    -AFP

  • October 26, 2023 08:02
    Iraqi militant group says it attacked base housing U.S. forces in Syria

    An Iranian backed group in Iraq claimed responsibility for an attack on a military base housing U.S. forces in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a string of attacks targeting U.S. military facilities in Iraq and Syria persist.

    The Islamic Resistance group in Iraq, an umbrella organization for several Iran-backed militias, said in a statement that it had struck the Kharab al-Jir base in the northeastern Hassakeh province with rockets. It said it hit its target, without making any mention of casualties.

    The past week has seen a spate of more than a dozen attacks on U.S. military facilities in Iraq in Syria, most of them claimed by the same group, which has said it is retaliating against America’s backing of Israel in its war with Hamas.

    -AP

  • October 26, 2023 07:36
    Biden condemns retaliatory attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank

    U.S. President Joe Biden spoke out against retaliatory attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank in the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

    Mr. Biden said the attacks by “extremist settlers” amounted to “pouring gasoline” on the already burning fires in the Middle East since the Hamas attack.

    “It has to stop. They have to be held accountable. It has to stop now,” Mr. Biden said at the start of a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who was being honored with a state visit to Washington.

    -AP

  • October 26, 2023 07:18
    Families of abducted Israelis meet Italy’s Prime Minister

    Relatives of Israelis held hostage by Hamas met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome on Wednesday to speak about their anguish and raise awareness for their loved ones’ plight in Gaza.

    Nadav Kipnis’ parents, Evyatar and Lilich Kipnis, were found dead days after the October 7 Hamas attack. His cousin is being held captive. Ilan Regev’s two children, 21-year-old Maya and 18-year-old Itay, were kidnapped at the Nova Music Festival.

    Hamas has said it seeks the release of all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in exchange for the captives.

    -AP

  • October 26, 2023 06:58
    U.S., Russian bids on Israel-Hamas war fail at Security Council

    The UN Security Council on October 25 failed again to take action on the Israel-Hamas war, with Russia and China vetoing a U.S.-led draft resolution and a text led by Moscow drawing insufficient support.

    The rival powers went ahead and put forward texts doomed to defeat despite what diplomats said was a last-ditch effort led by France to delay a vote and work toward consensus.

    -AFP

    ​​Read the full story here.​​

  • October 26, 2023 06:44
    Japan calls for temporary suspension of fighting in Gaza

    Japan has called on Israel to temporarily suspend fighting to allow humanitarian assistance to the besieged Gaza Strip, its foreign ministry said.

    The request was made in a meeting between Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Israel’s ambassador to Japan late on Wednesday to allow for humanitarian access to the enclave, according to a readout issued by the ministry on Thursday.

    Russia and China on Wednesday vetoed a U.S. push for the United Nations Security Council to act on the Israel-Hamas conflict by calling for pauses in fighting which has claimed thousands of lives. A Russian-drafted text that called for a ceasefire also failed.

    -Reuters

  • October 26, 2023 06:41
    Everyone will have to give answers, including me: Netanyahu on Hamas attack

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will be held accountable for the bloody October 7 massacre by Hamas militants, but that will only come after Israel’s war against the Islamic militant group.

    In a nationally televised address Wednesday night, Mr. Netanyahu said he was busy plotting a ground invasion of Gaza, though he refused to say when that might happen. He also expressed sorrow over the attack, which killed more than 1,400 Israelis and saw over 200 others taken captive in Gaza.

    “October 7 is a black day in our history,” he said. “We will get to the bottom of what happened on the southern border around Gaza. This debacle will be investigated. Everyone will have to give answers, including me.”

    -AP

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