Israel-Hamas war, Day 23 | Hamas says engaged in ‘heavy fighting’ with Israeli Army in Gaza

In an earlier statement the group said two Israeli tanks had caught fire after they were targeted by its fighters, a claim which the army has not confirmed

October 29, 2023 07:46 am | Updated October 30, 2023 01:30 pm IST

People search through buildings that were destroyed during Israeli air raids in the southern Gaza Strip on October 29, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza.

People search through buildings that were destroyed during Israeli air raids in the southern Gaza Strip on October 29, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes early on Sunday near Gaza’s largest hospital, which is packed with patients and tens of thousands of Palestinians seeking shelter, residents said. Israel has said Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers have a command post under the hospital, without providing much evidence.

The strikes came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a “second stage” in Israel’s war on Hamas, three weeks after Hamas launched a brutal incursion into Israel October 7. Tanks and infantry pushed into Gaza over the weekend in what officials described as a widening ground offensive as Israel pounded the territory from air, land and sea.

Also Read: UNGA vote on Gaza | India defends abstention, says resolution should have referred to October 7 terror attacks on Israel

On Sunday, a statement released by the Health Ministry in Gaza said the total death toll since October 7 in Gaza rose to 8,005 people.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army said they have ‘increased’ troop numbers inside Gaza. “Overnight we increased the entry of IDF forces into the (Gaza) Strip, and they joined the forces already fighting there,” army spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a televised briefing.

Also Read: A war where humanity is on trial now

Earlier, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk warned that there was a potential for thousands more civilians to die if Israel presses a major ground offensive in Gaza. The U.N. rights chief also condemned the Internet and telecommunications blackout that has hit the Palestinian enclave since Friday.

The Health Ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza said Israeli strikes had killed 7,703 people, mainly civilians, including more than 3,500 children.

Also Read | Israel-Hamas war Day 22 updates

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that fighting inside the Gaza Strip would be “long and difficult”, as Israeli ground forces operate in the Palestinian territory for more than 24 hours. The Israeli military spokesman said the country is expanding its ground operation in Gaza with infantry and armoured vehicles backed by “massive” strikes from the air and sea.

Israel unleashed its bombing campaign after Hamas gunmen stormed across the Gaza border on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and seizing more than 220 hostages, according to Israeli officials.

(With inputs from agencies)

This live blog is closed. Click here to follow updates from Day 24

  • October 30, 2023 03:55
    Israeli settler kills Palestinian man harvesting olives as violence surges in the West Bank

    A Jewish settler shot dead a Palestinian man harvesting olives near the West Bank city of Nablus, the man’s uncle said on Sunday. This brings the number of Palestinians reported killed by settlers to seven since Hamas’s bloody incursion into Israel three weeks ago.

    Tayseer Mahmoud said his nephew, Bilal Saleh, was working in the grove in the village of Sawiya with his wife and their four children on Saturday when a group of settlers attacked them. Saleh, concerned about the safety of his children, tried to leave the area but a settler shot him in the chest, Mahmoud said.


  • October 30, 2023 03:45
    Russian security forces remove pro-Palestinian protesters from southern airport

    Russian authorities closed an airport in the city of Makhachkala in the northern Caucasus region and diverted flights, including one from Israel, after media reports showed demonstrators denouncing Israeli actions in Gaza had gathered at the facility.

    The Russian aviation authority Rosaviatsia said security forces had by 10:20 p.m. Moscow time (1920 GMT) removed the group from Makhachkala airport in Dagestan - one of several areas in the north Caucasus region that is home to large Muslim communities.

    The authority said the airport would remain closed pending “normalisation” of the situation. Russia’s Investigative Committee ordered a criminal probe into the incident.


  • October 30, 2023 03:00
    Israel urges Russia to protect Israelis, Jews amid Dagestan unrest

    Israel urged Russian authorities on Sunday to protect Israelis and Jews in their jurisdictions following media reports of potential reprisals by pro-Palestinian protesters in the Russian Republic of Dagestan.

    A statement by the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said the Israeli ambassador in Moscow was working with Russian authorities. “The State of Israel views gravely attempts to harm Israelis citizens and Jews anywhere,” the statement said.

    Israeli media aired footage from Makhachkala airport in Dagestan appearing to show scores of youths, incensed at the Gaza war, storming the tarmac in search of passengers from a flight that had been due to land from Tel Aviv.


  • October 30, 2023 02:55
    Crowd storms Russian airport to protest flight from Israel

    Hundreds of people on Sunday stormed into the main airport in Russia’s Dagestan region and onto the landing field to protest the arrival of an airliner coming from Tel Aviv, Russian news agencies and social media reported.

    Authorities closed the airport in Makhachkala, capital of the predominantly Muslim region, and police converged on the facility.

    There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.


  • October 30, 2023 01:43
    Israeli media, also traumatized by Hamas attack, become communicators of Israel’s message

    When 85-year-old Israeli woman Yocheved Lifshitz was released from Hamas captivity last week, she was warmly welcomed home. Then she began to speak.

    Addressing reporters from a wheelchair at a hospital, Lifshitz described a harrowing experience in Hamas captivity but also said she had been fairly treated. Israeli media instantly seized on that nuanced portrayal as a blow to the country’s messaging that Hamas are savages.

    A flurry of op-eds, social media posts and on-air discussion by Israeli journalists counseled Israeli officials how to manage further hostage releases to ensure Israel’s narrative was being effectively communicated.

    The episode brought into focus the dual role played by Israeli media following Hamas’ devastating Oct. 7 attack on southern Israeli communities and the war that it set off. Beyond their traditional function as journalists, Israeli reporters are also in many ways acting as public advocates on behalf of the Israeli war effort, showing how deeply the trauma from the attack penetrated society.


  • October 30, 2023 01:29
    Gaza receives largest aid shipment so far as deaths top 8,000 and Israel widens military offensive

    Nearly three dozen trucks entered Gaza on Sunday in the largest aid convoy since the war between Israel and Hamas began, but humanitarian workers said the assistance still fell desperately short of needs after thousands of people broke into warehouses to take flour and basic hygiene products.

    The Gaza Health Ministry said the death toll among Palestinians passed 8,000, mostly women and minors, as Israeli tanks and infantry pursued what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “second stage” in the war ignited by Hamas’ brutal Oct 7 incursion.

    The toll is without precedent in decades of Israeli-Palestinian violence. Over 1,400 people have died on the Israeli side, mainly civilians killed during the initial attack.


  • October 30, 2023 01:15
    Hamas playing ‘psychological games’ over Gaza hostages: Israel minister

    Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant accused Hamas on Sunday of playing “psychological games” over hostages after it offered to free all captives in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

    “The stories published by Hamas are part of their psychological games ... Hamas is cynically using those who are dear to us -- they understand the pain and the pressure,” Gallant told relatives of some 300 hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a statement released by his office said.

    On Saturday, Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, said the Palestinian militant group was ready for an “immediate” prisoner swap with Israel.


  • October 30, 2023 00:41
    Israel intensifies strikes on Gaza including underground targets

    Here’s what is happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war: PALESTINIAN RED CRESCENT SAYS ISRAELI STRIKES DAMAGED PARTS OF A GAZA HOSPITAL Gaza City: The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Israeli strikes Sunday damaged sections in the jam-packed Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City, after receiving two phone calls from the Israeli military to evacuate.

    A video the Red Crescent posted on X, formerly Twitter, of the hospital following the strikes shows rooms covered in debris and dust and the windows blown out. People covered their noses and mouths, panicking as they tried to leave the hospital with their children.


  • October 30, 2023 00:30
    Sunak, Macron press calls for urgent aid in Gaza

    World leaders stepped up calls Sunday for desperately needed humanitarian aid to reach war-torn Gaza after Israel’s military intensified its air and ground operations against Hamas.

    Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron “stressed the importance of getting urgent humanitarian support” into the Palestinian territory, while UN chief Antonio Guterres said the situation was getting “more desperate by the hour”.

    Fighting in Gaza raged for a 23rd day Sunday after Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.


  • October 29, 2023 23:30
    Hezbollah says it downs Israeli drone in south Lebanon

    Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Sunday it shot down an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon with a surface-to-air missile, the first time it has announced such an incident, as clashes on the Lebanese border escalate.

    The drone was hit near Khiam, about 5 km (3 miles) from the border with Israel, and was seen falling in Israeli territory, Hezbollah added. Two security sources in Lebanon said it was the first time Hezbollah had announced downing an Israeli drone.

    “They have insinuated they have this capability but it is the first time they declare they have this kind of capability to shoot down a drone,” Mohanad Hage Ali of the Carnegie Middle East Center said.


  • October 29, 2023 21:47
    Hamas says engaged in ‘heavy fighting’ with Israeli army in Gaza

    Hamas’s armed wing said Sunday its fighters were engaged in “heavy fighting” with Israeli forces in Gaza after Israeli military deployed more ground forces across the Palestinian territory.

    “Our fighters are currently engaged in heavy fighting with machine-guns and anti-tank weapons with the invading occupation (Israeli) forces in northwest Gaza,” the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement. - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 21:25
    U.S. says Israel must distinguish between Hamas and Gaza civilians

    Israel must protect innocent Gaza residents by distinguishing between Hamas militants and civilians in the Palestinian territory, the White House warned ahead of a call Sunday between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been urged to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, where health officials in the Hamas-run territory say more than 8,000 people -- half of them children -- have already died in three weeks of air strikes conducted in retaliation for the deadly Hamas attacks into Israel on October 7. - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 19:31
    Huge queues at Gaza bakeries as war shortages bite

    Etidal al-Masri got up before dawn to reach the bakery in Rafah in the hopes of getting enough bread to feed her relatives who were bombed out of their home.

    Masri fled her home in the northern Beit Hanun area to seek shelter at a school run by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in this southern Gaza town, but has been finding it hard to get basic supplies.

    “Because of the chaos, my turn didn’t come,” she told AFP outside the bakery where huge crowds people come to seek bread as war-torn Gaza struggles with dire shortages of food, water and fuel. - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 17:36
    WHO concerned by report of evacuation warning to Gaza al-Quds hospital

    The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that reports the Palestinian Red Crescent had received warnings from Israeli authorities to immediately evacuate al-Quds hospital in the Gaza Strip were “deeply concerning”.

    “The Palestinian Red Crescent report of evacuation threats to Al-Quds hospital in Gaza is deeply concerning,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on social media platform X.

    - Reuters

  • October 29, 2023 17:31
    Netanyahu sorry for deleted security chiefs post on Hamas failures

    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly apologised Sunday for accusing security and intelligence officials of failing to see signs of the devastating Hamas attack that set off the Gaza war.

    Mr. Netanyahu, who has faced strong opposition criticism over security lapses before the October 7 Hamas attack, had made his accusations in an overnight posting on X, formerly Twitter, which he later deleted, replacing it with an apology.

    “Never, under any circumstance, was prime minister Netanyahu alerted to Hamas’ intent to launch a war,” he wrote in the now-deleted post. - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 16:34
    Gaza death toll 8,005 since October 7: Health Ministry

    The total death toll in Gaza rose to 8,005 people on Sunday, a statement released by the Health Ministry in Gaza said.

    - Reuters

  • October 29, 2023 16:17
    Bombarded Gazans seek news of loved ones as blackout eases

    Gazans struggled to find their loved ones and heard news of family members killed as communications gradually returned to the enclave on Sunday after a near total blackout as Israel’s troops and armour pushed into the Hamas-ruled enclave.

    The United Nations also warned that Palestinians were desperate for food and that civil order was breaking down after three weeks of war with Hamas militants and a siege on the densely populated coastal strip.

    Shaban Ahmed, a public servant who works as an engineer and has five children, described the Israeli attacks as “doomsday”.

    “This morning, Sunday, I discovered that my cousin has been killed in an air strike on their house on Friday,” Ahmed, who stayed in Gaza City despite an Israeli warning to evacuate south, told Reuters.

    “We only knew today. Israel cut us off from the world in order to wipe us out, but we are hearing the sounds of explosions and we are proud the resistance fighters have stopped them at meters distance.”

    Israel’s chief military spokesperson has declined to say whether Israel had been behind the telecommunications blackout but said it would do what it needed to protect its forces.

    Palestinians were struggling to find loved ones in the bloody chaos as the growing humanitarian crisis squeezed Gaza. One woman looking for one of her sons stood over rubble in Gaza City and cried out: “I don’t know where he is.”

    Many people have been glued to rusty radios for news, which had become the only means to get information on the heaviest Israeli air strikes ever on narrow Gaza, one of the most densely populated spots in the world, with the internet and phones down.

    Medical services became so stretched ambulances were longer taking calls. People hit by bombings relied on volunteers to take them to for treatment.

    - Reuters

  • October 29, 2023 15:58
    Israel’s Netanyahu says wasn’t warned of planned Hamas attack

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday took a jab at his intelligence chiefs on the X platform, saying they never warned him Hamas was planning its wide-scale attack on Oct. 7, but later retracted his comments and issued an apology.

    The remarks, posted on X at 1 a.m. on Sunday (around 2300 GMT on Saturday), caused a political uproar and a rift within the war cabinet of Mr. Netanyahu, who has drawn public ire for not taking responsibility over intelligence and operational failures relating to Hamas’ rampage through southern Israel.

    While top officials — from the heads of the military and the Shin Bet domestic spy service to his Finance Minister — have all acknowledged their failures, Mr. Netanyahu has not.

    He has only said that there would be time to ask tough questions, including of himself, after the war.

    Israel’s military spokesperson, asked about Mr. Netanyahu’s comments during a daily briefing with reporters, declined to respond, saying: “We are now at war, focused on the war.”

    Israeli officials have said events leading up to and including the handling of the Hamas attack itself would be investigated, but that the current focus was on the conflict.

    Mr. Netanyahu’s now-deleted post had said: “At no time and no stage was a warning given to Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding war intentions of Hamas. On the contrary, all security officials, including the head of army intelligence and the head of the Shin Bet, estimated that Hamas was deterred and interested in an arrangement.”

    In a second post on X about 10 hours later, Netanyahu wrote: “I was wrong,” adding that his remarks “should not have been made and I apologize for that.”

    “I give full backing to all the heads of the security branches,” he said.

    - Reuters

  • October 29, 2023 15:52
    Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians in West Bank: Health Ministry

    Israeli forces killed three Palestinians across the occupied West Bank on Sunday, the Palestinian health ministry said, as violence surges across the territory during the ongoing war in Gaza.

    More than 110 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed in the West Bank since the war between Israel and Hamas erupted on October 7.

    The health ministry said three people aged 29 to 31 were shot dead by Israeli forces at dawn, with the incidents taking place in Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah, in Nablus’s Askar refugee camp and in Tubas, a town further north.

    The ministry did not provide further details.

    The Israeli military said that during activity to demolish the home of a militant in Askar, “explosive devices were hurled at Israeli security forces and exchanges of fire took place with terrorists”.

    - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 15:25
    Palestinian Red Crescent says Israel asks it to immediately evacuate al-Quds hospital

    The Palestinian Red Crescent said on Sunday it has received warnings from Israeli authorities to immediately evacuate al-Quds hospital in the Gaza Strip.

    “Since this morning, there has been raids 50 meters away from the hospital,” it added in a statement on Facebook.

    An Israeli military spokesman declined to comment when asked about the Palestinian Red Crescent statement during a media briefing.

    - Reuters

  • October 29, 2023 15:11
    Israeli settler shoots and kills Palestinian harvester as violence surges in the West Bank

    A Jewish settler shot dead a Palestinian man harvesting olives near the West Bank city of Nablus, the man’s uncle said on Sunday. This brings the number of Palestinians reported killed by settlers to seven since Hamas’s bloody incursion into Israel three weeks ago.

    Tayseer Mahmoud said his nephew, Bilal Saleh, was working in the grove in the village of Sawiya with his wife and their four children on Saturday when a group of settlers attacked them. Saleh, concerned about the safety of his children, tried to leave the area, but a settler shot him in the chest, Mr. Mahmoud said.

    Mr. Mahmoud said he didn’t witness the confrontation but was close by and reached the scene within minutes of the shooting. Saleh died before he could be taken for medical care, he said.

    Settler leader Yossi Dagan said in a video posted on the social media platform Facebook on Saturday that the shooter was accompanied by family members and fired in self-defense after they were “attacked with rocks by dozens of rioting Hamas supporters.”

    - AP

  • October 29, 2023 14:52
    Thousands break into U.N. aid warehouses in Gaza in a sign of growing desperation as war escalates

    Thousands of people broke into aid warehouses in Gaza to take food and “basic survival items,” a U.N. agency said Sunday, in a mark of growing desperation and the breakdown of public order three weeks into the war between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.

    The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, provides basic services to hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza. Its schools across the territory have been transformed into packed shelters housing Palestinians displaced by the conflict. Israel has allowed only a small trickle of aid to enter from Egypt, some of which was stored in one of the warehouses that was broken into, UNRWA said.

    Thomas White, the agency’s Gaza director, said the break-ins were “a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down after three weeks of war and a tight siege on Gaza. People are scared, frustrated and desperate,” he said.

    - AP

  • October 29, 2023 14:46
    Israeli army says ‘increased’ troop numbers inside Gaza

    The Israeli army has raised the number of troops fighting inside the Gaza Strip, a spokesman said Sunday, as the military stepped up its war on Hamas in the tiny Palestinian territory.

    “Overnight we increased the entry of IDF forces into the (Gaza) Strip, and they joined the forces already fighting there,” army spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a televised briefing.

    On Friday evening, Israeli armoured forces and infantry began operating inside Gaza in what Defence Minister Yoav Gallant called “a new phase” of the war on the territory’s Islamist rulers.

    - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 14:10
    G-7 nations back strong supply chains for energy and food despite global tensions

    Trade and economy officials from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies strengthened their pledge on Sunday to work together to ensure smooth supply chains for essentials like energy and food despite global uncertainties.

    The nations promised to maintain “a free and fair trading system based on the rule of law and enhancing economic resilience and economic security,” officials said in a joint statement.

    Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who co-hosted the two-day event in the western city of Osaka, pointed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war as the latest threats to stable energy and food supplies.

    “We nations that share important values have a position of responsibility amid growing uncertainties,” she said in closing the meeting, stressing democracy, inclusiveness and human rights.

    Worries are growing among developed nations about maintaining a stable supply of computer chips as well as essential minerals, like lithium, which are critical these days amid the demand for electric vehicles and other green energy.

    The G-7 includes the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain. The European Union, Australia, Chile, India, Indonesia and Kenya were invited to take part in the two-day meeting, as were economic organisations such as the World Trade Organisation.

    - AP

  • October 29, 2023 13:01
    Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters march in New York

    Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters poured onto the streets of Brooklyn, New York’s largest district on Saturday to voice their anger at Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

    Home to between 1.6 and two million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Muslims, New York has for the past three weeks been rocked by demonstrations, rallies and vigils in support of the Palestinians and Israel.

    Left-wing American Jewish activists are also up in arms against Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

    - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 12:12
    Israel strikes near Gaza’s largest hospital after accusing Hamas of using it as a base

    Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes early Sunday near Gaza’s largest hospital, which is packed with patients and tens of thousands of Palestinians seeking shelter. Israel has said Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers have a command post under the hospital, without providing much evidence.

    The strikes came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a “second stage” in Israel’s war on Hamas, three weeks after Hamas launched a brutal incursion into Israel October 7. Ground forces pushed into Gaza over the weekend as Israel pounded the territory from air, land and sea.

    - AP

  • October 29, 2023 11:31
    Israel in a war it did not start and it did not seek: Israel Defence Force

    The Israel Defence Force (IDF) on Sunday said that they were heading towards a new phase of the ongoing war on Hamas and will launch an assault from land, sea and air in Gaza.

    “The Israel Defence Forces is expanding its operations. We are moving to the next phase of our war against Hamas, Gaza from the air, land and Sea. On October 7, the Hamas committed a crime against humanity. Israel is in a war it did not start and it did not seek. Hamas is attacking Israeli civilians while firing from among dozens of civilians. These are both war crimes,” IDF spokesperson RAdm.

    - ANI

  • October 29, 2023 11:12
    Three Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in West Bank: Palestinian Ministry

    Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank overnight, the Palestinian health ministry said early on Sunday.

    - Reuters

  • October 29, 2023 10:55
    Explained | How much financial aid does U.S. provide to Israel?

    The Biden administration on October 20 sought emergency assistance from the U.S. Congress amounting to $14.3 billion in aid to Israel amid the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza Strip.

    In an address to the nation, U.S. President Joe Biden declared his support for Israel [and Ukraine as well, against Russia] and said that the urgent funding for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, as well as humanitarian aid and border management is a “smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations.”

    Read more here
  • October 29, 2023 10:37
    PM Modi discusses humanitarian assistance with Egypt’s El-Sisi as Israel attacks Gaza

    PM Narendra during the weekend spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to discuss the latest in the Israel-Palestine conflict which reached a critical stage with Israeli forces rolling into the north Gaza during late Saturday. The discussion indicated fast moving international exchanges among the key stakeholders as Prime Minister Benyanmin Netanyahu asserted that Israel will fight a “long and difficult” war against Hamas in Gaza.

    The discussion also indicates the importance that India attaches to the role of Egypt in ensuring humanitarian assistance to Gaza Strip where most of the Israeli military action is focusing right now. On October 22 India sent humanitarian relief meant for Gaza to Egypt’s El Arish airbase. However, Palestinian ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al-Haija had told The Hindu that much of the relief material that various countries have been sending for Gaza remained stuck inside Egypt because of intense military activity by Israel as well as because of shortage of fuel for the trucks inside Gaza.

    Read more here
  • October 29, 2023 10:10
    Gaza civilians should move south where humanitarian efforts ‘will be expanding’: Israeli military

    The Israeli military on Sunday told civilians in Gaza to move to the south of the besieged Strip, where it said humanitarian efforts “will be expanding”.

    “Tomorrow, the humanitarian efforts to Gaza, led by Egypt and the United States, will be expanding,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a statement recorded on Saturday.

    - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 09:59
    Israel pounds Gaza as Red Cross warns of ‘intolerable’ suffering

    Israel further intensified its attacks on Gaza Sunday, warning its war on Hamas would be “long and difficult”, as calls mounted to end the violence and the Red Cross warned of “intolerable” suffering.

    The United Nations said thousands more civilians could die in Gaza as Israel announced the war had entered a “second stage”, with ground forces still operating inside the Hamas-run territory more than 24 hours after entering it on Friday.

    Relentless Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed more than 8,000 people, half of them children, the Hamas-controlled health ministry in the territory said Saturday.

    - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 09:45
    Hamas ready to release Israeli hostages in return for Palestinian prisoners

    Hamas’s top leader in Gaza Yehia Sinwar said the Palestinian militant groups are ready to release Israeli hostages in return for Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s jails.

    “We are ready immediately to have an exchange deal that includes releasing all prisoners in the prisons of the Zionist occupation enemy in return for the release of all prisoners held by the resistance,” he said in a comment posted Saturday evening on Hamas media groups.

    The Israeli military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, dismissed the offer as “psychological terror” andsaid Israel is working on multiple channels to free the hostages.

    - AP

  • October 29, 2023 09:34
    No international aid entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday

    No international aid entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday, as the communications blackout created by Israel continued.

    Nebal Farsakh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent, told The Associated Press that no aid trucks entered Gaza on Saturday because communication was impossible and teams inside Gaza couldn’t connect with Egyptian Red Crescent or United Nations personnel.

    Before Saturday, a total of 84 aid trucks were let into Gaza, a tiny amount for a population of 2.3 million people in need of power, food, medical supplies and clean drinking water.

    - AP

  • October 29, 2023 08:55
    Gaza connectivity ‘being restored’: Internet monitor Netblocks

    Internet connectivity in the Gaza Strip is being restored, the global network monitor Netblocks said Sunday.

    “Real-time network data show that internet connectivity is being restored in the #Gaza Strip,” the company wrote on X, formerly Twitter, while an AFP employee in Gaza City said shortly after 4 a.m. (0200 GMT) that he could use the internet and phone network and had contacted people by phone.

    - AFP

  • October 29, 2023 08:37
    India abstains from UNGA vote on Israel, says terrorism is a ‘malignancy’ without naming Hamas

    Terrorism is a “malignancy” and knows no borders, nationality or race and the world should not buy into any justification of terror acts, India has told the U.N. General Assembly as it abstained on a resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

    India on Friday abstained in the UN General Assembly on a Jordanian-drafted resolution titled ‘Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations’ that called for an immediate humanitarian truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict and unhindered humanitarian access in the Gaza strip.

    Read more here
  • October 29, 2023 08:22
    Israel says its war can both destroy Hamas and rescue hostages

    The Israeli military has sought to assure the public it can achieve the two goals of its war on Hamas simultaneously — toppling the strip’s militant rulers and rescuing some 230 hostages abducted from Israel.

    But as the army ramps up airstrikes and ground incursions on the blockaded enclave, laying waste to entire neighborhoods in preparation for a broader invasion, the anguished families of hostages are growing increasingly worried those aims will collide — with devastating consequences.

    - AP

  • October 29, 2023 08:02
    Telephone, internet gradually returning in Gaza

    Telephone and internet communications are returning gradually to the Gaza Strip, several Palestinian media outlets said early on Sunday.

    - Reuters

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