ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 150

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Nov. 3: Blinken visits, will join summit in Jordan; Nasrallah keeps options open

Rocket barrage intercepted over Tel Aviv * Oxygen concentrators for Gaza tunnels found hidden in aid shipment * IDF says it hit ambulance used by Hamas cell * Ground op toll at 24

  • Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, second right, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, right, and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, front left, attend the Ministerial meeting for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, on the sidelines of a family photo session, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Ahmed Yosri/Pool Photo via AP)
    Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, second right, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, right, and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, front left, attend the Ministerial meeting for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, on the sidelines of a family photo session, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Ahmed Yosri/Pool Photo via AP)
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 3, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 3, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
  • IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image released by the military on November 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
    IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image released by the military on November 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
  • Former Supreme Court chief justice Aharon Barak speaks on November 3, 2023, at a press conference with families whose loved ones have been abducted by Hamas terrorists and have been held in Gaza since October 7. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
    Former Supreme Court chief justice Aharon Barak speaks on November 3, 2023, at a press conference with families whose loved ones have been abducted by Hamas terrorists and have been held in Gaza since October 7. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
  • IDF forces operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image released by the military on November 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
    IDF forces operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image released by the military on November 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
  • In this handout photo released by the military on November 3, 2023, Israeli forces are seen in the Gaza Strip during the ongoing war against Hamas. (Israel Defense Forces)
    In this handout photo released by the military on November 3, 2023, Israeli forces are seen in the Gaza Strip during the ongoing war against Hamas. (Israel Defense Forces)
  • In this handout photo released by the military on November 3, 2023, Israeli forces are seen in the Gaza Strip during the ongoing war against Hamas. (Israel Defense Forces)
    In this handout photo released by the military on November 3, 2023, Israeli forces are seen in the Gaza Strip during the ongoing war against Hamas. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Friday’s events as they unfolded.

US official says no sign in Nasrallah speech that Hezbollah seeking to expand fight with Israel

Supporters of Iranian-backed Hezbollah raise their fists and cheer as leader Hassan Nasrallah gives a speech via a video link during a rally in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Nov. 3, 2023 (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Supporters of Iranian-backed Hezbollah raise their fists and cheer as leader Hassan Nasrallah gives a speech via a video link during a rally in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Nov. 3, 2023 (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

A senior Biden administration official says Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s speech earlier today did not appear to signal the Lebanese terror group is poised to broaden its conflict with Israel.

“I’m not going to characterize the speech… we took note of it,” the official says.

“We’re in regular contact with the Lebanese government and with others in Lebanon to make sure that this war does not spread to Lebanon. That would be an absolute disaster for Lebanon.”

US official: Israel okayed ‘trial humanitarian pause’ when Hamas freed 2 hostages on Oct. 20

Natalie Raanan, 3rd left, Judith Raanan, right, are seen upon arrival in Israel after being released from Hamas captivity as government hostage envoy Gal Hirsch, center, holds their hands, October 20, 2023. (Courtesy)
Natalie Raanan, 3rd left, Judith Raanan, right, are seen upon arrival in Israel after being released from Hamas captivity as government hostage envoy Gal Hirsch, center, holds their hands, October 20, 2023. (Courtesy)

Israel agreed to a humanitarian pause on October 20 to secure the release of two American hostages from Hamas captivity, a senior Biden administration official reveals.

The administration official explains that negotiators needed to receive assurances from Israel and Hamas that the hostages would be able to travel safely for what was “not a short distance” to reach the border from where they were being held in Gaza.

“There was a time period for that, and it went… like clockwork to get them out,” the official says in reference to what they refer to as a “trial humanitarian pause.”

The senior administration official says a much longer humanitarian pause will be required if a deal is struck to bring about the release of 240 hostages.

A “framework to get the hostages out of Gaza…is very much ongoing,” the official says, without providing further details.

Hamas tried to smuggle fighters to Egypt in ambulances for wounded Gazans — US official

Ambulances cross back into the Egyptian side of the border with the Gaza Strip in Rafah, on November 1, 2023, as they transport wounded to Egyptian field hospitals. (AFP)
Illustrative: Ambulances cross back into the Egyptian side of the border with the Gaza Strip in Rafah, on November 1, 2023, as they transport wounded to Egyptian field hospitals. (AFP)

Hamas tried to sneak its fighters out of Gaza in ambulances that evacuated dozens of wounded Palestinians to Egypt earlier this week, a senior Biden administration official says.

Hamas had compiled a list of the seriously wounded that it wanted to evacuate from Gaza for treatment in Egypt, along with thousands of foreign nationals looking to flee the enclave.

The list was then vetted by Egypt and the United States, which found that a third of the names on it were of Hamas fighters, the administration official says, adding that the list was rejected and none of the 76 wounded Palestinians who were ultimately evacuated in ambulances out of Gaza were Hamas fighters.

IDF says it struck cell attempting to fire anti-tank missile from Lebanon

The Israel Defense Forces says a tank struck a cell attempting to fire an anti-tank missile from Lebanon at Israel, near Kibbutz Yiftah.

A statement from the military also says the air force struck a suspect who approached the border near the town of Shlomi.

Ben Gvir said to dismiss deadly settler violence as ‘graffiti’

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir speaks during a tour of Sderot on October 11, 2023. (Screenshot: X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir speaks during a tour of Sderot on October 11, 2023. (Screenshot: X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

At a cabinet meeting yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet raised his concern regarding the wave of deadly settler violence in the West Bank, Channel 12 reports, revealing that National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir spoke up to try and downplay the phenomenon.

He asked why so much attention need to be given to “graffiti” Israeli youth are daubing on Palestinian property.

Upon hearing this, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly shot down Ben Gvir and told him the settler violence is much more serious than that and implored security chiefs in the room to do more to combat it, Channel 12 reports.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier today that Israeli leaders promised him that they would condemn settler violence, though none have spoken up about it since the start of the war.

Blinken discussed efforts to maintain calm in West Bank with Gantz, State Department says

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Minister Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv on November 3, 2023. (State Department)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Minister Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv on November 3, 2023. (State Department)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz discussed efforts to “maintain calm and stability in the West Bank,” the State Department says in its readout of their meeting earlier today.

Blinken later said Israeli officials promised him today they would condemn settler violence, act to stop it and hold those accountable responsible.

Blinken and Gantz also discussed during their meeting efforts to secure the release of the some 240 hostages in Gaza, the US readout says.

“Blinken reaffirmed that the United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism consistent with international humanitarian law,” the State Department says, using a talking point it employed in its readouts for the secretary’s meetings with President Isaac Herzog and opposition chairman Yair Lapid.

In his meeting with Herzog, Blinken also discussed efforts to “augment the pace and volume of humanitarian assistance entering Gaza for distribution to Palestinian civilians and prevent the conflict from spreading.”

With both Gantz and Lapid, he stressed “that the United States remains committed to the furtherance of a two-state solution as the best way to achieve a just and durable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the State Department says.

Israeli officials: Oxygen concentrators for Gaza tunnels found hidden in aid shipment

A convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid enters the Gaza Strip from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing on October 21, 2023. (Eyad BABA / AFP)
A convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid enters the Gaza Strip from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing on October 21, 2023. (Eyad BABA / AFP)

Israeli inspectors earlier this week uncovered several oxygen concentrators meant to aerate the tunnels operated by terror groups in Gaza, two senior Israeli officials tell The Times of Israel.

“These weren’t for use in the hospitals, but below them. That’s why they were smuggled among boxes of cookies,” one of the senior Israeli officials says, adding that the entire truck in which the oxygen concentrators were found was barred from entering Gaza.

Neither official provided a photo of the oxygen concentrators in question and they did not disclose which organization was responsible for sending the truck.

Since Egypt opened its Rafah crossing into Gaza 11 days ago, several hundred trucks filled with humanitarian aid have been able to enter Gaza following inspections by both Egyptian and Israeli authorities.

The trucks first enter Egypt where they undergo an initial round of inspections. They then are driven into Israel through the Nitzana crossing where they are inspected by Israel’s COGAT military liaison before being sent back to Egypt and driven into Gaza through the Rafah crossing, a second Israeli official tells The Times of Israel, saying the format was agreed upon after extensive talks between Israel, Egypt and the United States.

Israel has thus far rejected growing calls to allow in fuel, expressing concerns that Hamas will divert it to power its tunnels. IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said Thursday that Israel would allow fuel to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing should it determine that hospitals have run out of fuel.

Shortly after Halevi’s comments, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a terse statement noting only that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has not approved the entry of fuel into Gaza.”

Hamas official says time for Hezbollah to walk the talk after fiery Nasrallah speech against Israel

A man sitting in a shop watches the televised speech of Lebanon's Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah, in the West Bank town of Tubas on November 3, 2023 (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)
A man sitting in a shop watches the televised speech of Lebanon's Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah, in the West Bank town of Tubas on November 3, 2023 (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Lebanon, says Hezbollah must now prove the commitment to Hamas’s victory in Gaza as was voiced earlier this evening by the Lebanese terror group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.

“His words about the importance of stopping the attack on Gaza and the importance of Hamas’s victory in Gaza are clear and important. Hezbollah’s commitment to these two goals [now] requires action on the ground,” Hamdan says.

Hezbollah, to date, has avoided fully entering the war against Israel in what analysts say has infuriated Hamas.

White House pans Fox News, talk show host Mark Levin for calling Blitzer, Tapper ‘self-hating Jews’

Mark Levin speaks, with US President Donald Trump behind him in the Oval Office of the White House, Oct. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Mark Levin speaks, with US President Donald Trump behind him in the Oval Office of the White House, Oct. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The White House tears into Fox News and conservative talk show host Mark Levin for calling CNN journalists Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper “self-hating Jews.”

Levin, who is also Jewish, recently said on his radio show that Blitzer’s parents, who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp, “weren’t victims in one way or another” of the Holocaust.

Levin acknowledged that “certainly [Blitzer’s] family comes out of that background, but that “you wouldn’t know it” from his coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, adding that CNN is “filled with a lot of self-hating Jews.”

In another show last month, he also referred to Tapper as a self-hating Jew.

Asked for a response on the matter, a Fox News spokesperson pointed the Washington Post to subsequent comments made by Levin yesterday in which he claimed his words regarding Blitzer’s connection to the Holocaust had been twisted.

“I barely remember saying it… They think they’re going to intimidate me. They think they’re going to silence me,” he said then, adding that he would not back down.

Weighing in on the ordeal, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates tells The Times of Israel that “not only is Fox News aligning with those who fan the flames of hate – Fox is paying their salaries.”

“Lying to insult the pain that families suffered in the Holocaust has absolutely no place in America,” Bates says, calling out other Fox News hosts for recent comments targeting Arab and Muslim Americans.

“Fox News continues to promote the cynical, dangerous lie that fighting against Islamophobia is somehow at odds with fighting antisemitism, even as they permit hosts to hurt their viewers with foul antisemitic comments like yesterday’s,” he adds.

Gaza rockets intercepted over Tel Aviv; no reports of injuries

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in central Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Israeli Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in central Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Four rockets from Gaza have been intercepted over Tel Aviv and central Israel by the Iron Dome missile defense system, authorities say.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Honduras recalls envoy for consultations over Israel’s war against Hamas

Illustrative: Palestinians checking the destruction in the aftermath of an Israeli strike on the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, on November 1, 2023. (AFP)
Illustrative: Palestinians checking the destruction in the aftermath of an Israeli strike on the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, on November 1, 2023. (AFP)

The Honduran foreign ministry says it has recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations due to what it calls Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law in the war it is waging against Hamas in Gaza.

Jordan confirms it’ll host Arab ministerial summit with Blinken on Israel-Hamas war

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, second right, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, right, and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, front left, attend the Ministerial meeting for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, on the sidelines of a family photo session, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Ahmed Yosri/Pool Photo via AP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, second right, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, right, and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, front left, attend the Ministerial meeting for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, on the sidelines of a family photo session, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Ahmed Yosri/Pool Photo via AP)

Jordan Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi’s office announces that it will be hosting a summit for Arab foreign ministers tomorrow in Amman with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, as first reported yesterday by The Times of Israel.

Participating in the summit will also be the foreign ministers from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt along with the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee Hussein al-Sheikh.

Jordan says the goal of the summit is to “stop the Israeli war on Gaza and the humanitarian disaster that it is causing.”

The Arab ministers will meet first on their own and then hold a meeting with Blinken during which they will reiterate their call for an immediate ceasefire and for the urgent delivery of aid into the Gaza Strip, the Jordanian statement says.

The ministers will also “discuss the repercussions [of the war] and ways to end this dangerous deterioration that threatens the security of the entire region,” says Jordan’s foreign ministry.

IDF says it has killed 10 Hamas brigade, battalion commanders since beginning of war

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari gives a statement to the media in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari gives a statement to the media in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military continues its efforts to kill Hamas field commanders.

“We are pursuing and eliminating the field commanders of Hamas,” Hagari says in a press conference.

He says that since the beginning of the war, the IDF has killed 10 Hamas brigade and battalion commanders — and those with equivalent ranks — in airstrikes.

“They are also the ones who planned the terrible massacre on October 7,” Hagari says.

He says the military remains focused on the Gaza Strip despite tensions in the north amid repeated attacks by Hezbollah.

“The goal is to dismantle Hamas and return the hostages,” he adds.

IDF says it carried out airstrike on ambulance being used by Hamas cell in northern Gaza

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

The Israel Defense Forces says it carried out an airstrike on an ambulance in the northern Gaza Strip, which it identified as being used by a Hamas cell, close to a battle zone.

“A number of Hamas terrorist operatives were killed in the strike,” the IDF says, adding that it will release further information soon.

It says that “more detailed information” on the strike was shared with allies.

“We have information which demonstrates that Hamas’s method of operation is to transfer terror operatives and weapons in ambulances,” the IDF says.

“We emphasize that this area is a battle zone. Civilians in the area are repeatedly called upon to evacuate southwards for their own safety,” it adds in a statement.

Israeli spokesperson wonders whether Nasrallah’s speechwriter was killed in IDF strike after Hezbollah chief’s ‘boring’ speech

Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy in October, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy in October, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy responds to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s speech earlier today during which the terror leader threatened Israel but left the question open regarding whether his group will fully open another front against Israel.

“We listened to Hassan Nasrallah’s long and rambling speech. I admit it was so boring that I don’t know whether his speechwriter was killed in recent IDF strikes on Hezbollah up in the north.

“I would note that despite the large crowds, Mr. Nasrallah himself was not on stage. He was hiding in a bunker like a coward, and if I were giving an hour-long speech defending the pedophile rapists of Hamas I would be afraid to show my face in public as well.”

IDF: We uncovered operational plans, comms devices, personal details of Hamas operatives in raid of Jabaliya stronghold

Materials found by Israeli troops in a Hamas stronghold in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Materials found by Israeli troops in a Hamas stronghold in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces reveals the intelligence information it obtained from a Hamas stronghold captured by troops of the Givati Infantry Brigade on Tuesday, in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.

The large military compound served Hamas’s elite Nukhba forces and the terror group’s Jabaliya area intelligence unit, according to the IDF. The military said around 50 Hamas terrorists were killed during the assault on the stronghold. Two Israeli soldiers were also killed amid the fighting.

The IDF reveals that it recovered Hamas operational plans, maps, command and control charts, communication devices, and the personal details of commanders and operatives of the terror group.

The materials are being researched now by the 162nd Division’s intelligence unit and other officials, and will “be used by the IDF in the future fighting,” the military says.

The commander of the Givati Brigade’s reconnaissance unit, Lt. Col. “Zayin” — who can only be identified by his rank and first initial in Hebrew — warns Hamas in a video statement that his unit will capture more strongholds.

“The unit went into the stronghold itself, fought tough battles with terrorists, we killed quite a few, destroyed tunnel shafts, and brought important intelligence materials,” the officer says.

“We will continue to raid your strongholds and kill you inside the shafts, underground, and wherever you wait for us,” he adds.

Convicted sex offender Leifer’s son said to confess to committing indecent acts to a minor

Malka Leifer, right, is brought to a courtroom in Jerusalem, on February 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
Malka Leifer, right, is brought to a courtroom in Jerusalem, on February 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

The 18-year-old son of convicted Israeli sex offender Malka Leifer has reportedly confessed to committing indecent acts to a minor.

The Yisrael Hayom daily reports that Mr. Leifer — who lives in the ultra-Orthodox Emmanuel settlement where his mother resided for years as she evaded extradition to Australia where she faced dozens of charges for sex offenses — was arrested earlier this week and his remand was extended earlier today for the second time.

Police tell Yisrael Hayom that they have photographic evidence of the alleged abuse, which took place earlier this month.

Mr. Leifer studies at a yeshiva in the ultra-Orthodox Tel aviv suburb of Elad. While in the town, he appeared several times on the doorstep of a family to ask for food. When he did so a fourth time, the mother of the family inside was not present and the suspect decided to enter the home.

A 10-year-old boy was alone inside and Mr. Leifer proceeded to sexually abuse him, police allege, adding that some of the crime had been filmed and that the suspect confessed after being arrested.

Malka Leifer’s father-in-law Baruch was also arrested last year on suspicion of committing sexual offenses. Baruch Leifer is a former leader of the Khust Hasidic sect.

Erdan set to screen Hamas atrocity footage in LA; defends wearing yellow star at UN

Israeli delegates wear yellow Stars of David as Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan addresses the Security Council on October 30, 2023. (Screen capture/UN TV)
Israeli delegates wear yellow Stars of David as Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan addresses the Security Council on October 30, 2023. (Screen capture/UN TV)

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, defends his decision to don a yellow Star of David, bearing the words “Never Again,” when addressing the UN Security Council on Monday.

The move was criticized by the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum as dishonoring “both the victims of the Holocaust and the State of Israel.”

“I am aware of the criticism and I respect it,” he says in an interview on Channel 12.

“But I ask people in Israel to understand where I am and what I am dealing with. I am facing the Security Council to build and preserve legitimacy for what the IDF is doing today in the Strip. These are people who have not even condemned Hamas for the terrible slaughter [of 1,400 people in Israel on October 7]. The international front has to be shaken up. They have to be shown that the ideology of Hamas is identical to that of Islamic State and the Nazis. I too am from a family of Holocaust survivors,” he says.

Erdan says he just screened, to ambassadors and other diplomats at the UN, the Israeli government’s compilation of footage from Hamas terrorists’ bodycams and other cameras of the atrocities the terrorists perpetrated.

He says Israel is making a concerted effort to screen the footage to influencers in the US. “The campaign [against Hamas] is being waged mainly in Gaza. But the pictures that Hamas sends out from there to the world, and the lies it disseminates, are starting to turn [public opinion against the war], with calls for ceasefires and pauses… things that would harm our capacity to destroy Hamas.”

Hence, the diplomatic imperative to show “that we are dealing with people… whose only goal is to destroy Israel, with nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Next week, he says, he is set to screen the footage for 150 influencers in Los Angeles, hopefully in Hollywood. “We have to work bottom-up in the US — so that the decision-makers in Congress and the White House are influenced by public opinion, by the understanding that this is not an organization that wants dialogue… and that the operation won’t stop until [Hamas] is never again capable of carrying out such atrocities.”

Gallant: IDF operations in Gaza advancing ‘according to plan’

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (center) is seen with IDF Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman (right) and other officers at the Southern Command HQ in Beersheba, November 3, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (center) is seen with IDF Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman (right) and other officers at the Southern Command HQ in Beersheba, November 3, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip are advancing “according to the plan” and attacks on Hamas terrorists will only increase.

“The forces continue and advance according to the plan, and are hitting the enemy hard,” says Gallant during a meeting at the IDF Southern Command in Beersheba.

“The systematic attack on Hamas terrorists [expands] the achievements, it will continue and increase,” he says, according to remarks provided by his office.

Projectile flying horizontally hits French news agency’s Gaza bureau, causes damage; IDF: Not us

This picture taken on November 3, 2023 shows a gaping hole following a strike on the Hajji building, which houses several offices including those of Agence France Presse (AFP) in Gaza City amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Bashar TALEB / AFP)
This picture taken on November 3, 2023 shows a gaping hole following a strike on the Hajji building, which houses several offices including those of Agence France Presse (AFP) in Gaza City amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Bashar TALEB / AFP)

Agence France-Presse’s Gaza City bureau was significantly damaged by a strike on the building, according to a staff member who visited as the Israeli military relentlessly pounds the territory.

AFP is the only one of the world’s three major international news agencies currently operating a live video feed from Gaza City, which has not been interrupted despite the damage.

The unmanned AFP camera broadcasting live 24/7 captured the moment of the strike, a few minutes before midday (1000 GMT) on Thursday.

An AFP employee who visited the office says an explosive projectile appeared to have entered the technician’s office in the bureau horizontally from east to west.

None of AFP’s eight staff usually based in Gaza City were in the bureau at the moment of the strike.

The team was evacuated to southern Gaza on October 13, following an Israeli military order directed at residents in the north of the Hamas-run territory.

Asking a question at Secretary of State Blinken’s press conference earlier today, AFP’s Leon Bruneau described the incident as “apparently a missile strike.”

The strike destroyed the wall opposite the window and caused significant damage to the adjacent room and other doors. It also punctured water tanks on the roof.

An Israeli military spokesman said the force had “checked (the report) multiple times.”

“There was no IDF (Israeli military) strike on the building” in Gaza, he told AFP.

Images published by AFP on Friday show a gaping hole in the wall of the 11-story building in the west of Gaza’s Rimal neighborhood, near the port.

“AFP condemns in the strongest possible terms this strike on its Gaza City bureau,” says Fabrice Fries, AFP chairman and chief executive.

“The location of this bureau is known to everyone and has been pointed out several times over the past few days, precisely to prevent such an attack and to allow us to continue to provide images on the ground.

“The consequences of such an attack would have been devastating if the AFP team on the ground had not evacuated the city,” says Fries.

Gaza rocket shrapnel causes minor damage to daycare building in now-empty Sderot

Damage is seen following a rocket impact near a kindergarten in Sderot, November 3, 2023. (Sderot Municipality)
Damage is seen following a rocket impact near a kindergarten in Sderot, November 3, 2023. (Sderot Municipality)

A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip has caused slight damage in Sderot.

According to the municipality, the projectile landed outside a daycare center, with shrapnel causing damage to the building.

There are no injuries, and the building was closed at the time.

Sderot largely emptied out after the October 7 onslaught.

After Nasrallah speech, US warns Hezbollah not to ‘take advantage’ of Israel-Hamas war

Supporters of Iranian-backed Hezbollah raise their fists and cheer as leader Hassan Nasrallah gives a speech via a video link during a rally in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Nov. 3, 2023 (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Supporters of Iranian-backed Hezbollah raise their fists and cheer as leader Hassan Nasrallah gives a speech via a video link during a rally in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Nov. 3, 2023 (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The United States calls for Hezbollah not to “take advantage” of the Israel-Hamas war after the Lebanese terrorist group’s leader said “all options” were open.

“We and our partners have been clear: Hezbollah and other actors — state or non-state — should not try to take advantage of the ongoing conflict,” a spokesperson from the National Security Council says.

In his first speech since war broke out last month between Hamas militants and Israel, the head of Hezbollah, the powerful Iranian-backed Shiite movement, said the United States was “entirely responsible” for the ongoing Gaza conflict, and could prevent a regional conflagration by preventing its ally Israel’s attacks.

Asked for a response, the National Security Council spokesperson says: “We will not engage in a war of words.”

“The United States does not seek escalation or widening of the conflict that Hamas brought onto Israel,” the spokesperson says.

“This has the potential of becoming a bloodier war between Israel and Lebanon than 2006. The United States does not want to see this conflict expand into Lebanon.”

“The likely devastation for Lebanon and its people would be unimaginable and is avoidable.”

IDF shells Hezbollah anti-tank guided missile launch positions in south Lebanon

An Israeli tank takes part in a military exercise in the Golan Heights on October 23, 2023. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
An Israeli tank takes part in a military exercise in the Golan Heights on October 23, 2023. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces says one of its tanks shelled two Hezbollah anti-tank guided missile launch positions in southern Lebanon, close to the northern Israeli community of Yiftah.

The Lebanese terror group in recent weeks has fired dozens of missiles at IDF positions and Israeli towns along the border.

Preparations for Zelensky to visit Israel next week reportedly in advanced phase

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives at the Europe Summit in Granada, Spain, Oct. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives at the Europe Summit in Granada, Spain, Oct. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Preparations for Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Israel next week are at an advanced phase, Israel’s Channel 12 news reports.

Zelensky had offered to come more than two weeks ago, but Israel felt it was premature with the war still in a relatively early phase, even though it welcomed other leaders from around the world.

“Such a visit would send an important message,” Education Minister Yoav Kisch says.

Zelensky’s arrival, and his photograph with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and other Israeli leaders, will “send a message of the enlightened world under attack, standing against the less-enlightened world, attacking,” the TV report suggests.

“It would indicate something of a unified front of Israel, Ukraine, Europe and the US against the Russia-Iran axis,” Channel 12 says, adding that Israel recognizes that the visit would boost its legitimacy in the war against Hamas.

Over the past year, Israel has resisted getting too close to Ukraine to avoid angering Russia, which controls the skies over Syria from which the IDF operates to prevent Iranian entrenchment below. The stance in Jerusalem has irked Washington and at times infuriated Kyiv, whose requests for offensive weaponry have been repeatedly denied.

Zelensky could arrive as early as Monday or Tuesday, the report says.

Police, Navy carry out controlled demolition of large munition off coast of Haifa

Police and Navy forces carry out a controlled demolition of a large munition that was identified at sea, close to the coast of Haifa, on November 3, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Police and Navy forces carry out a controlled demolition of a large munition that was identified at sea, close to the coast of Haifa, on November 3, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

Police and Navy forces have carried out a controlled demolition of a large munition that was identified at sea, close to the coast of Haifa.

Police say they cleared the area of civilians before detonating the suspicious object.

It is unclear when the munition landed there, or what type it was.

Videos posted to social media show the blast.

Hamas says several killed in strike near ambulances outside hospital; IDF: Hamas cell was in ambulance

Footage from a strike near Shifa hospital in Gaza on November 3, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Footage from a strike near Shifa hospital in Gaza on November 3, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

The Hamas-run health ministry claims a blast has killed multiple people near the territory’s Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

An AFP journalist at the scene says they saw multiple bodies beside a damaged ambulance.

Footage shows bloody women and children scattered on the concrete outside ambulances.

Hamas claims without evidence that the blast was caused by an Israeli strike.

Israel has yet to comment on the incident.

Israel has stated that Hamas’s main command center is located under Shifa hospital.

Update: The Israel Defense Forces says it carried out an airstrike on an ambulance in the northern Gaza Strip, which it identified as being used by a Hamas cell, close to a battle zone. “A number of Hamas terrorist operatives were killed in the strike,” the IDF says.

Pentagon confirms that US conducting drone flights over Gaza to locate hostages

Flyers with photos of some of the at least 240 hostages held by Hamas terrorists after their massacre in southern Israel on October 7 are displayed on a utility pole, October 24, 2023, in Surfside, Florida. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
Flyers with photos of some of the at least 240 hostages held by Hamas terrorists after their massacre in southern Israel on October 7 are displayed on a utility pole, October 24, 2023, in Surfside, Florida. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

The Pentagon confirms that the US is conducting unarmed drone flights over Gaza to aid efforts to locate the roughly 240 hostages held by terrorists in Gaza.

“In support of hostage recovery efforts, the US is conducting unarmed UAV flights over Gaza, as well as providing advice and assistance to support our Israeli partner as they work on their hostage recovery efforts,” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder says in a statement.

Israel warns citizens to downplay signs of Judaism while abroad amid antisemitism uptick

Rioters at the airport in Makhachkala, Dagestan, October 30, 2023, shout antisemitic slogans as they protest the arrival of an airliner coming from Tel Aviv. (AP)
Rioters at the airport in Makhachkala, Dagestan, October 30, 2023, shout antisemitic slogans as they protest the arrival of an airliner coming from Tel Aviv. (AP)

A joint statement from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Affairs Ministry calls on Israeli citizens to take additional precautions while traveling abroad, including avoiding outward displays of their Jewish or Israeli identities amid an uptick in antisemitic attacks around the world.

Israeli embassies, airports that take in flights from Israel as well as Jewish communities and religious institutions abroad “are a major target of antisemitic protest events and attempted attacks,” the announcement says.

Israelis are urged not to travel to neighboring countries as well as countries that border Iran.

IDF publishes footage of elite search and rescue unit extracting wounded troops from Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces publishes footage showing members of the Air Force’s elite helicopter-borne search and rescue Unit 669 extracting wounded soldiers from inside the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s ground offensive on November 3, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
The Israel Defense Forces publishes footage showing members of the Air Force’s elite helicopter-borne search and rescue Unit 669 extracting wounded soldiers from inside the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s ground offensive on November 3, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

The Israel Defense Forces publishes footage showing members of the Air Force’s elite helicopter-borne search and rescue Unit 669 extracting wounded soldiers from inside the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s ground offensive.

Unit 669 is made up of rescue specialists, combat medics and helicopter pilots.

The IDF says that since the war began on October 7, the unit has carried out 150 separate rescue operations — including some while under fire — taking some 260 injured people to hospitals.

‘A civilian for a civilian’: Nasrallah threatens attacks against Israelis, US troops in region

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah speaks via a video link during activities marking the Shiite Muslim holy day of Ashura in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, July 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah speaks via a video link during activities marking the Shiite Muslim holy day of Ashura in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, July 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Hassan Nasrallah says Hezbollah is not intimidated by American threats and by US forces deployed to the region.

“Since the outbreak of the war, the US has threatened to bomb us in Lebanon from its military ships in the Mediterranean. We are prepared for whatever scenario,” he says.

“If an all-out war breaks out, you Americans will pay with your ships, your aircrafts and your soldiers,” he threatens.

“Remember your defeats in Lebanon and Iraq, and your humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan. Those who defeated you in Lebanon in the 1980s are still alive and their children and grandchildren are ready to face you,” he claims.

“Your fleet in the Mediterranean do not scare us… We are ready to face the fleet you threaten us with,” Nasrallah says, addressing the US. “Whoever wants to prevent a regional war must quickly stop the aggression on Gaza,” he added.

Following up on previous statements in which he placed the blame on the US for backing Israel, Nasrallah says: “Only you Americans can end what is happening now in Gaza, since you started it.”

Noting that his terror group is not intimidated and will not change its course because of threats, Nasrallah says: “The only factor that will affect our position is the progression of the war.”

“I tell Israel: Do not go any further. Many civilians have already died. I promise you: A civilian for a civilian.”

IDF says it killed ‘numerous’ terrorists in Gaza in recent hours as offensive progresses

Footage of ground forces identifying a terror cell coming out of a tunnel and directing an aircraft to strike them on November 3, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Footage of ground forces identifying a terror cell coming out of a tunnel and directing an aircraft to strike them on November 3, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

The Israel Defense Forces says it has killed “numerous” terrorists in the Gaza Strip in the last few hours, as the ground offensive progresses.

It says ground forces identified a terror cell coming out of a tunnel, and directed an aircraft to strike them.

In another engagement, the IDF says numerous gunmen came out of a tunnel inside a building and opened fire at Israeli forces. The troops returned fire, killing several of them, it says.

The IDF publishes a video showing the airstrike.

IDF announces deaths of two soldiers killed during ground offensive, October 7 onslaught

Staff Sgt. Yam Glass, 20, an observation soldier in Unit 414, from Modiin, who was killed on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)
Staff Sgt. Yam Glass, 20, an observation soldier in Unit 414, from Modiin, who was killed on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)

The Israel Defense Forces announces the deaths of two soldiers, one during the ongoing ground operation in the Gaza Strip, and the second who is identified weeks after the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.

Sgt. First Class (res.) Yedidya Eliyahu, 25, a soldier in the Combat Engineering Corps’ 8170th Battalion, from Karnei Shomron, was killed during fighting against Hamas in the Gaza Strip today.

Another soldier of the 8170th Battalion is seriously wounded, the IDF says.

Staff Sgt. Yam Glass, 20, an observation soldier in Unit 414, from Modiin, was killed on October 7. The military only recently confirmed she had been killed.

Their deaths bring the toll of slain soldiers, officers, and reservists since October 7 to 341.

Netanyahu: No temporary ceasefire without our hostages released; no fuel into Gaza

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a televised address, November 3, 2023 (GPO screenshot)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a televised address, November 3, 2023 (GPO screenshot)

In a brief televised statement before the start of Shabbat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has told visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he rejects any temporary halt to the fight against Hamas that does not include “the release of our hostages. He also says Israel “will not enable the entry of fuel to Gaza.”

Netanyahu begins by promising that victory will be “sharp and clear” and will “resonate for generations.”

He says Israel’s enemies aim to destroy the country and will fail. “We won’t stop until victory,” he says, specifying that this means “to destroy Hamas, [and attain the] return of the hostages and the restoration of security for our citizens and children.”

He praises Israel’s valiant soldiers, saying they are killing terrorists “around the clock” in Gaza, with close cooperation between the IDF’s ground and air forces.

Speaking even as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah issues a prolonged statement in Lebanon, Netanyahu warns Israel’s “enemies in the north” not to make the costly mistake of escalating the war. “You cannot imagine how much this will cost you.”

Regarding Blinken’s visit, he says he appreciates it and values the support of President Biden and the US. He says he showed Blinken footage of Hamas atrocities, which the secretary mentioned in his press conference earlier.

He says he told Blinken that “Israel refuses a temporary ceasefire that does not include the release of our hostages. Israel will not enable the entry of fuel to Gaza and opposes sending money to the Strip.”

He notes that Israel has lost hundreds of civilians and soldiers on and since October 7 — wonderful fighters, incredible Israelis… people who blocked these monsters with their bodies.”

He tells some of their stories and says they “sacrificed their lives for our lives.”

“We are trying to fight with minimal danger to our warriors, but we will do whatever is needed to defeat our enemies,” he concludes.

Nasrallah: Preemptive Israeli strike on Lebanon would be its ‘most foolish mistake’ ever

Hassan Nasrallah warns Israel not to launch a preemptive offensive against the Hezbollah terror group he heads.

“I tell the Israelis, if you are considering carrying out a preemptive attack against Lebanon, it will be the most foolish mistake you make in your entire existence,” he warns.

Blinken: Israel made clear it doesn’t intend to resume control of Gaza after war; 2-state solution must be goal

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken argues that the goal of the war cannot only be to defeat Hamas but also to create a brighter future that includes a two-state solution.

“This is not just about dealing with Hamas in terms of defeating it physically. It is about making sure that it can’t repeat what it did on October 7, but it is also about defeating an idea — a perverted idea… that we have to combat with a better idea… with a better vision for what that future can be and demonstrating that we’re committed to achieving [it],” Blinken says.

He says the two-state vision can “give people something to hope for” and that there is a broad and strong coalition throughout the region” that supports it.

“Israel cannot resume control and responsibility for Gaza and Israel has made clear that it has no intention of doing that,” he says in answer to a question.”

He promises discussion “with our partners in our region and beyond” on “what will happen once Hamas is defeated.”

This will be as part of a bigger picture on how to achieve lasting piece in the region, he says.

‘This is not the end’: Nasrallah hails cross-border skirmishes, hints more could come

Hassan Nasrallah hails Hezbollah’s military actions on the Israel-Lebanon so far, boasting that this has drawn IDF forces away from the war against Hamas, and adding that “this is not the end.”

“Some claim Hezbollah is about to join the fray. I tell you: We have been engaged in this battle since October 8,” he says. “Some would like Hezbollah to engage in an all-out war, but I can tell you: What is happening now along the Israeli-Lebanese border is significant, and it is not the end.

“What we have done since October 8 is unprecedented in terms of our fighting strategy. Every day, we have been targeted Israeli soldiers, tanks, drones and sensors, the eyes and ears of Israel. We have been engaged in a true battle. The amount of our martyrs — 57 — testifies to this,” he says.

He says these figure includes Hezbollah, Hamas and PIJ terrorists in Lebanon.

“Our operations on the border have forced the IDF to divert forces, weapons and equipment from Gaza and the West Bank to the Lebanese front. One-third of the IDF is now amassed on our border,” he claims.

Blinken says Israeli leaders pledged to condemn settler violence in West Bank

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Israeli leaders assured him in meetings today that they will condemn the ongoing wave of settler violence in the West Bank and take actions to curb the phenomenon and to hold perpetrators accountable.

“We will be looking closely to ensure that our friends make good on that commitment,” Blinken tells reporters in Tel Aviv

Government officials have yet to speak out against the phenomenon.

Blinken says the US call for Israel to protect civilians doesn’t just apply to the Gaza Strip but to the West Bank as well, “where extremist violence against Palestinians must be stopped.”

Taking questions, he says the Israel government is committed to enabling humanitarian assistance getting to the people of Gaza.

Blinken urges ‘humanitarian pauses’ to help civilians, but must avoid Hamas benefiting

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirms that he spoke about Washington’s desire to see humanitarian pauses in the Gaza fighting.

He acknowledges that legitimate questions were raised in his talks with Israeli officials about how to best use such pauses to allow in more aid, and help secure the release of the hostages, while preventing Hamas from using the temporary cessations to its advantage.

Blinken says bluntly: “We need to be doing more to protect Palestinian civilians.”

He reiterates that Israel has a right to defend itself, but “how it does so matters.”

He argues that protecting Palestinians is the “right thing to do” and that failing to do so “plays into the hands of Hamas.”

It also leads to filling potential partners for peace with anger and alienating Israel’s potential partners in the region as well. “There will be no partners for peace if they are consumed by [concerns for] humanitarian catastrophe [among Gazans] and alienated by any presumed indifference to their plight.”

Blinken says that just like he has been pained to watch how the carnage has impacted Israeli children, he’s felt no different watching Palestinian girls and boys being pulled from the rubble of buildings bombed by Israel.

“When I see them, when I look into their eyes from the TV screens, I see my own children,” Blinken says. “How can I not?”

The secretary clarifies that Hamas doesn’t care about Palestinians and “cynically and monstrously uses them as human shields,” placing its infrastructure and fighters in residential buildings, schools, mosques hospitals. But “civilians should not suffer the consequences for its inhumanity and brutality.”

Blinken says he discussed with Israel steps to take to fight under these conditions — “advice only best of friends can offer.”

He stresses the need to increase humanitarian aid flow to Gaza civilians — 100 trucks a day is not enough, he says — and further steps to help get more foreign nationals out.

He says he spoke to Israeli leaders about tangible steps for “food, water, medicine, fuel and other urgent needs” to be met, with “mechanisms” to enable fuel to reach Gaza hospitals.

Blinken says Israel raised concerns “that we share” about Hamas hoarding and siphoning of fuel in northern Gaza, denying fuel to hospitals.

He adds that the US is also relentlessly focused on securing the release of hostages, including Americans.

He urges “humanitarian pauses” that he says can enable increased security for Gaza civilians and more effective assistance. He says he discussed today with Israeli leaders “how, when and where” these pauses could occur. “This would take time” to prepare and coordinate, he says, and there are “legitimate questions” about how to connect such pauses to the release of hostages and how to avoid Hamas abusing any such pauses.

Nasrallah makes false Oct. 7 claims, calls Israel a ‘weak state,’ justifies attacks on US troops

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gives an address on November 3, 2023 (Screen grab via Al Jazeera used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gives an address on November 3, 2023 (Screen grab via Al Jazeera used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Hassan Nasrallah continues his false assertions about the October 7 Hamas onslaught, calling Israel “as fragile as a spider web,” and justifies pro-Iran militias’ attacks on US troops in the region.

“Israel falsely claimed Hamas beheaded babies, but failed to produce any evidence” — despite providing gruesome visual evidence that they did — “whereas the whole world has seen images of Palestinian children bombed in Gaza,” he claims.

“The US must be held accountable and pay the price for the crimes perpetrated by Israel in Gaza, hence resistance movements have attacked and will continue to attack American forces in Iraq and Syria,” he vows.

“Israel has revealed itself to be a weak state, as fragile as a spider web, and it needs American and Western support,” he claims. “Otherwise, why would the US navy send an aircraft carrier shortly after the October 7 attack? Why else would Biden visit Israel, alongside numerous American government secretaries, the military top brass and European leaders?”

“A victory for Gaza against Israel will not be a victory for Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood, it will be first and foremost a patriotic victory for Palestinians, but also for Egypt, Jordan, Syria and also Lebanon. It is therefore our duty to support Hamas in Gaza.”

He also urges Arab countries to halt oil exports to Israel.

Blinken says he’s discussed efforts to ensure Oct. 7 doesn’t repeat, building ‘different future’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that he discussed in today’s meetings with Israeli officials coordinating efforts to ensure that the October 7 onslaught doesn’t repeat itself but also to build a “different future” — a strategy that creates a “better tomorrow for both peoples and the region.”

He says the steps that the United States has taken to prevent the war from escalating have included counter-strikes at Iranian proxies in Syria.

Blinken says ‘shocking’ that brutality of Hamas massacres has receded in memories of many

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks in Tel Aviv, November 3, 2023 (screenshot)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks in Tel Aviv, November 3, 2023 (screenshot)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stresses Israel’s right and obligation to defend itself, but also highlights urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza.

“No country should or could tolerate the slaughter” of its innocents, he says, and notes that he was today shown “additional images, additional footage, collected by the Israeli government from video cameras — some the terrorists’ own, others in communities that were attacked” by Hamas and other terrorists on October 7. The clips are “almost beyond the human capacity to process, to digest,” he says.

Blinken talks about the brutality of the Hamas onslaught, describing footage he was shown of a father grabbing his two sons to get them out of harm’s way before terrorists gun him down.

“Where’s daddy,” he quotes one of the boys as having said.

“They killed daddy,” his brother responds. “Where’s mommy?”

The terrorist responsible for killing the boys’ father then casually eats from the family’s fridge, he notes.

“That’s what we’re dealing with,” he says.

“And it is striking and in some ways shocking that the brutality of the slaughter has receded so quickly in the memories of so many.  But not in Israel, and not in America.  Thirty-five Americans were murdered that day as well, and more than 200 foreign nationals from 35 countries.”

Nasrallah falsely claims civilians massacred on Oct. 7 were killed by Israeli forces

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah makes the false claim that Israeli civilians in Gaza border communities were killed on October 7 by Israeli forces who were “acting insanely as they were caught by surprise and were ‘drunk,'” not by Hamas.

There is overwhelming visual evidence and eyewitness accounts that Hamas terrorists butchered many hundreds of civilians in a premeditated attack, and Hamas terrorists have admitted being ordered to murder civilians.

“Israel has never been able to bring back hostages without negotiations,” Nasrallah boasts.

Blinken: ‘As long as the United States stands, Israel will not stand alone’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken begins his press remarks in Tel Aviv by reiterating that “as long as the United States stands, Israel will not stand alone.”

He says he reiterated that point during his meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and the war cabinet.

WATCH: US Secretary of State Blinken gives press conference in Tel Aviv

Visiting US Secretary of State Blinken in giving a livestreamed press conference in Tel Aviv.

Nasrallah says Oct. 7 assault ‘100% Palestinian,’ Hezbollah knew nothing about it

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaks from Lebanon, November 3, 2023 (Screenshot used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaks from Lebanon, November 3, 2023 (Screenshot used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Making his first speech since the Israel-Hamas broke out following the Palestinian terror group’s October 7 onslaught, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah says the Lebanese terror group knew nothing about the assault ahead of time.

“The October 7 operation was planned in total secrecy, even other Palestinian factions were not privy to it, let alone resistance movements abroad,” Nasrallah says.

“The international community keeps bringing up Iran and its military plans, but the October 7 attack was a 100% Palestinian operation, planned and executed by Palestinians for the Palestinian cause, it has no relation at all to any international or regional issues.”

Israeli officials to ToI: Government’s West Bank policies, rhetoric harming support from US

The policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition in the West Bank have “infuriated” US President Joe Biden’s administration in recent days, “distracting” Washington from providing more full-throttled support to Israel amid the war with Hamas, two Israeli officials tell The Times of Israel, speaking on condition of anonymity as they criticize the government.

One of the officials points to the longstanding issue of settler violence, which the government has rarely condemned and hasn’t spoken out against since the outbreak of the war with Hamas, even as the phenomenon has had deadly ramifications and risks opening up an additional front in the West Bank.

“This isn’t just something being raised by the State Department. It’s gotten all the way up to the president who has talked about it publicly and privately in the middle of a war,” the Israeli official laments, appearing to point his frustration at Jerusalem, not at Washington.

The other official highlights Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s announcement earlier this week that he would not be transferring tax revenues belonging to the Palestinian Authority due to what the far-right lawmaker claimed was Ramallah’s support for the October 7 massacre by Hamas. The cabinet ultimately rejected the idea and voted to transfer the funds amid pressure from Washington, but it did say it would deduct what reportedly amounts to roughly $100 million to offset the PA transfers to Gaza.

“There’s a feeling in the administration that Israel over the years worked to weaken the [Palestinian] Authority at the expense of Hamas, and decisions like this only strengthen that claim,” the Israeli official says.

The Israeli official also points to tweets from far-right members of the government, such as Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu and Likud MK Galit Distal-Atbaryan, who have called for wiping out all of Gaza in response to the Hamas onslaught, which he says have also caught the attention of the US and angered it.

“We need the full support of the administration right now, and anything that takes away from that support harms Israel’s interests,” the Israeli official says.

Government point person on hostages updates Thai envoy on release efforts

The government’s point person on the issue of the hostage held by Gazan terrorists meets Thailand’s envoy to Israel, Pannabha Chandraramya, to update her on the efforts Jerusalem is making to free the captives, which include dozens of Thai nationals.

Gal Hirsch sends condolences to the Thai people over the losses they suffered in Hamas’s devastating terror massacres in southern Israel on October 7.

IDF says Air Force chief carried out sortie, struck Hamas targets in Gaza this week

Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar is seen in an F-15I fighter jet at the Hatzerim airbase, in an image published November 3, 2023. (Amit Agronov/Israeli Air Force)
Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar is seen in an F-15I fighter jet at the Hatzerim airbase, in an image published November 3, 2023. (Amit Agronov/Israeli Air Force)

The chief of the Israeli Air Force carried out a sortie and struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip this week, the military says.

An article on the IAF’s website says Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar visited the 69th Squadron — which flies a fleet of F-15I fighter jets — at the Hatzerim airbase this week.

It says Bar “took off for an operational sortie” with the squadron, which has been striking thousands of Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip since the war began on October 7.

Health Ministry says 319 wounded from war are hospitalized, 55 in serious condition

The Health Ministry updates that as of today, the 28th day of the war, there are 319 people injured in the October 7 massacre by Hamas terrorists and the ensuing war who are still hospitalized.

Of them, 55 are in serious condition and 137 are in the rehabilitation stage of their recovery.

Blinken meets Herzog, says Israel has right and obligation to defend itself

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv, November 3, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv, November 3, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv and reiterates that Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself, as it continues to pummel the Gaza Strip with an air and ground assault targeting the Hamas terror group.

“Israel has not only the right but the obligation to defend itself… to make sure that this October 7 never happens again,” Blinken tells journalists, referring to last month’s unprecedented terror onslaught that killed some 1,400 people.

Herzog speaks about Israel’s efforts to protect civilians in Gaza by warning them to evacuate areas where active combat is taking place, saying the Jewish state has sent “six million voice messages, and four million text messages, and 1.2 million pamphlets, and phone calls in addition to all of that.

“This speaks for itself as we protect the civilians moving out to a safe zone, giving them the right and necessary humanitarian aid and enabling us to defend ourselves,” Herzog says.

No fuel to enter Gaza, Israel said to vow following Netanyahu-Blinken meeting

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting in Tel Aviv with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ends, multiple Hebrew media immediately cite Netanyahu’s office or sources in the office as saying there is no change in the decision to not allow fuel into the Gaza Strip.

Some reports even claimed that the issue “didn’t come up” in the meeting.

Israel is resisting growing pressure to allow the entry of fuel, saying the Hamas terror group has been plundering the Strip’s supplies for its own use.

According to the reports, Blinken said Israel has the right to defend itself, and Washington is doing its best to safely return the more than 240 hostages held by terrorists in Gaza.

He also stressed everything must be done to ensure the safety of uninvolved civilians.

PM in missive to troops: ‘Our dear heroes, I am confident in our complete victory’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sends a public missive to IDF soldiers and commanders, saying the current war against the Hamas terror group is “another chapter” in the Jewish people’s “intergenerational story of national resilience.”

“Remember What Amalek Did to You,” Netanyahu quotes a biblical verse referencing enemies of the Jewish nation who must be vanquished.

“This is a fight between light and darkness,” the premier writes. “We will not let go of our mission until light conquers darkness, and good defeats the extreme evil threatening us and the entire world.

“When I send you to a mission, our dear heroes, I am confident in our complete victory over our enemies. I trust you, am proud of you and love you.”

Erdogan again denounces Israeli ‘crimes against humanity’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again denounces Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip as “crimes against humanity.”

“An unprecedented human tragedy is taking place in Palestine before the eyes of the whole world,” Erdogan says at a summit of the Turkey-led Organization of Turkic States in Astana, Kazakhstan, continuing his anti-Israel line adopted following a significant thawing of ties in the months before Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 atrocities.

“Hospitals, schools, mosques, churches and refugee camps are being bombed. There is no concept that can explain this brutality,” he claims. “There is no excuse for the brutal murder of innocent children that we have witnessed since October 7. To be frank, crimes against humanity have been committed in Gaza for exactly 28 days.”

Erdogan calls for a quick humanitarian ceasefire, and says Turkey is working on ways to “guarantee the security of everyone, whether they are Muslims, Christians or Jews,” and to lay the groundwork for an international peace conference.

Iran-backed Iraqi militias announce expanded attacks on US bases

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a coalition of Iran-backed Iraqi militias, announces that it will launch a more “intense and expansive” phase of operations against US bases in the region starting next week.

It says the escalation is “in support of our people in Palestine and to avenge the martyrs” in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The group has launched a string of attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks, some of which have injured US personnel. As of Tuesday, the Pentagon said there had been 27 rocket and drone attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria and that the US was deploying an additional 300 troops to the Middle East to bolster those already there.

IDF: Anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon, causing no injuries; forces returning fire

The Israel Defense Forces says an anti-tank guided missile has been fired from Lebanon at an army post on the border, near the northern community of Mattat.

There are no injuries in the attack, the IDF says.

It adds that troops are responding with artillery shelling toward the source of the missile fire.

The Hezbollah terror group in recent weeks has fired dozens of missiles at IDF positions and Israeli towns along the border.

Families of Gaza hostages block road near IDF’s Tel Aviv HQ, demand PM vow no truce

Former Supreme Court chief justice Aharon Barak speaks on November 3, 2023, at a press conference with families whose loved ones have been abducted by Hamas terrorists and have been held in Gaza since October 7. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Former Supreme Court chief justice Aharon Barak speaks on November 3, 2023, at a press conference with families whose loved ones have been abducted by Hamas terrorists and have been held in Gaza since October 7. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

After holding a press conference earlier today that featured former Supreme Court chief justice Aharon Barak, families of hostages held by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza gather in front of the gate of the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, blocking a road.

The families announce they intend to stay at the entrance to the Kirya, which houses the IDF’s headquarters, until Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly declares that “there is no ceasefire without the return of all the captives.”

Traffic on Shaul Hamelech road in central Tel Aviv is blocked.

Israel said to show Blinken footage of Hamas’s Oct. 7 atrocities

Several Hebrew media outlets report that Israel has shown visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken some of the footage it has compiled, including from Hamas bodycams, of the atrocities Hamas perpetrated against its victims in Israel on October 7.

Some 43 minutes of the footage were shown to the Foreign Press last week, and to Knesset members on Wednesday.

Irish PM claims that Israel actions in Gaza are ‘approaching revenge’

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar claims that Israel’s military campaign against the Hamas terror group following its October 7 onslaught “resembles something more approaching revenge,” in comments to Irish media.

The remark during a trip to South Korea comes as Israeli troops have pressed on with the ground offensive in Gaza, aimed at eradicating Hamas, which has said that given the chance, it would commit massacres similar to the one it carried out last month “again and again” until Israel is destroyed.

“I strongly believe, like any state, Israel has a right to defend itself, has the right to go after Hamas, so they cannot do this again,” Varadkar tells reporters in Seoul. “But what I am seeing unfolding at the moment isn’t just self-defense, it resembles something more approaching revenge and that’s not where we should be and I don’t think it is how Israel will guarantee its future freedom and security.”

Varadkar doesn’t state how Israel should instead achieve its goals, or comment on Hamas preventing civilians from leaving northern Gaza, which Israel has repeatedly urged them to evacuate.

Ireland’s stance on the conflict has often been at odds with its Western allies, with Varadkar one of the first EU leaders to call on Israel to ensure its response to Hamas’s attack was “proportionate.”

One dual Irish-Israeli citizen was among the victims of the October 7 assault.

Varadkar says he believes that “Israel listens to countries it considers to be friends and allies, like the US.”

But he adds he is “not sure they listen very closely to what we have to say, quite frankly.”

“It is a state we have relations with, but I don’t think we are as close as we might have been or perhaps could be, because we do take a different position than most Western countries on Palestine and what’s happening at the moment,” he says.

Israeli families bring war crime, genocide complaint against Hamas to ICC

The families of nine Israeli victims of last month’s Hamas massacre have lodged a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for suspected war crimes, their lawyer says.

The families also want Hamas prosecuted for genocide, and the ICC to issue an international arrest warrant for its leaders, lawyer Francois Zimeray says in a statement.

On October 7, the Hamas terror group carried out a bloody onslaught that killed some 1,400 people in Israel, the vast majority of them civilians slaughtered in their homes or at an outdoor music festival, and resulted in at least 246 kidnapped to Gaza.

“The complaint concerns victims who were all civilians,” Zimeray says, adding that several of them were at the Supernova rave near Re’im, where some 260 were butchered.

“The complaint states that the Hamas terrorists do not deny the crimes committed, which they have amply documented and broadcast, and that the… facts cannot therefore be disputed,” he says.

In an interview with France’s Radio Classique, Zimeray says he has always been wary of “excessive qualifications” of events.

But, he says, he and his legal team have established that the genocide accusation “holds up before the law.”

Any individual or group can bring a case to the ICC, which is located in The Hague, but it is up to the court’s prosecutor to launch an investigation.

Contacted by AFP, the court is not immediately able to say whether it has received the paperwork.

IDF says engineering forces are demolishing Hamas tunnels discovered in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces says troops in the elite Yahalom combat engineering unit have been working to demolish Hamas tunnels discovered during ground operations in the Gaza Strip.

Yahalom troops, members of the Combat Engineering Corps’s 7107th Battalion, along with infantry forces of the Nahal and Negev brigades, as well as tanks, have uncovered several tunnel entrances in northern Gaza, the IDF says.

“The troops uncovered shafts, planted explosives… and neutralized the tunnels,” the IDF says.

It publishes videos showing troops discovering a tunnel and blowing up another.

Ahead of Nasrallah speech, IDF spokesman says army on ‘high alert’ in north

Ahead of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s speech later today, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari sends a message to the Lebanese, Iran-backed terror group.

“We will be ready to respond on any front if needed,” Hagari says. “In the north, we are prepared, and we will continue to respond to any attack, today and in days to come.

“Iran is encouraging proxies against Israel, we will retaliate on any front vis-a-vis any threat. There is high alert, also in the north.”

Israel said to stop warning Russia ahead of Syria strikes, amid worsening ties

Since the war against Hamas and other Iranian proxy terror groups erupted last month, Israel has stopped giving advance warning to Russia ahead of every airstrike it carries out in Syria, worsening bilateral ties with Moscow, Bloomberg reports.

Israel has struck multiple terror-related sites in Syria following rocket fire toward Israel, and has bombed airport runways to prevent Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group from arming.

The report says Jerusalem didn’t warn Russia ahead of a strike earlier this week on a Syrian military base in Daraa, or of a strike last week on a weapons depot and air surveillance radars at a Syrian base housing Hezbollah operatives.

Before the war, Israel would notify Russia to avoid accidentally hitting its forces.

Moscow has been critical of Israel during the current war, and even hosted a Hamas delegation in Russia.

IDF says tank commander Staff Sgt. Itay Saadon killed in Gaza fighting

Staff Sgt. Itay Saadon (IDF)

The Israel Defense Forces announces the death of another soldier killed during fighting in the northern Gaza Strip.

He is named as Staff Sgt. Itay Saadon, 21, a tank commander in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion, from Har Halutz.

The IDF’s toll since the beginning of the ground operation in the Gaza Strip last week rises to 24.

UN launches $1.2 billion aid appeal to help Gaza, West Bank residents

The UN launches an emergency aid appeal seeking $1.2 billion to help some 2.7 million people in Gaza and the West Bank.

“The cost of meeting the needs of 2.7 million people — that is the entire population of Gaza and 500,000 people in the occupied West Bank — is estimated to be $1.2 billion,” the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says.

“The original appeal, launched 12 October, asked for $294 million to support nearly 1.3 million people. The situation has grown increasingly desperate since then,” it adds.

Israel has limited time before global outcry forces Biden to rethink support — US officials

US President Joe Biden (left) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023. (Haim Zach / GPO)
US President Joe Biden (left) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023. (Haim Zach / GPO)

US media reports increased pressure on Washington to change course on Israel’s war against the Hamas terror group and publicly call for a ceasefire, with US President Joe Biden’s administration officials growing wary that the images of carnage and deaths in Gaza may isolate the country on the global stage.

According to CNN, top Biden administration officials have been increasingly warning Israel that it will become more and more challenging to pursue Jerusalem’s goal of toppling Hamas in Gaza due to the international outcry, and that there is limited time to do so with full US support.

The outlet quotes unnamed sources saying close Biden advisers believe that it is a matter of weeks before the White House is compelled to call for a ceasefire.

It says that “particularly jarring to Biden and his national security team” were strikes on Jabaliya that accompanied an IDF takeover of a Hamas command center situated there, which reportedly caused many civilian deaths. Biden “didn’t like this at all,” one source is quoted as saying.

Israel accuses Hamas of forcing residents to stay there and preventing them from evacuating to southern Gaza, as Israel has called on civilians to do for weeks.

NBC quotes multiple unnamed current and former US officials as saying administration officials are more and more worried the country will become isolated on the world stage, as they voice concern about how Israel is conducting the war.

“If this really goes bad, we want to be able to point to our past statements,” the outlet quotes one official as saying, adding that the Biden administration doesn’t want there to be a perception that it supports all of Jerusalem’s actions and that US arms were used to kill civilians.

Israel accuses Hamas of using Gazan civilians and hospitals as human shields and making it impossible to harm the terror group without hitting uninvolved people in the process. It says it does its best in the circumstances to avoid killing civilians, and says Hamas has artificially raised the number of dead civilians in its figures to accrue international sympathy.

Jerusalem objects to any ceasefire or to any fuel entering the Strip, saying this would merely aid Hamas and help it regroup and replenish its stocks.

IDF spokesman says updated number of hostages from Hamas assault is 241

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military has revised the number of hostages believed to be held in the Gaza Strip as a result of the October 7 Hamas assault to 241, down from the previous 242.

He says the number is not final as the military investigates new information on those missing since October 7.

The number does not include four released hostages and an Israeli soldier who was rescued by the IDF.

Hagari does not specify the new information that led to the figure being adjusted.

Israel releases hundreds of Gazans stuck in country since Oct. 7 back into Strip

Palestinian day laborers in Israel arrive in the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing after being brought there by Israeli authorities, November 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
Palestinian day laborers in Israel arrive in the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing after being brought there by Israeli authorities, November 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

Israel releases hundreds of Palestinian workers who say they have been held in an Israeli-run jail since the Hamas onslaught on October 7 and the ensuing war.

The workers are dropped off by buses near Gaza and walk into the southern edge of the enclave through the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

The workers are among what Israeli rights groups believe are thousands of laborers marooned in Israel since the outbreak of the war.

The rights groups say the workers have had their work permits revoked and any trace of their status wiped from their records, leaving them vulnerable and in legal limbo.

Some of those walking into Gaza say they were held at Ofer, an Israeli-run detention center in the West Bank.

One of those released, Mohammed Shalaya, says treatment was bad during the first five to six days but that conditions then improved.

Shalaya says he had worked at a quarry in northern Israel. He says he and the other workers were forced to hand over their money, cellphones and identity cards after being detained and didn’t get their possessions back before being dropped off near Gaza.

IDF troops clash with Palestinian gunmen in West Bank, raze terrorist’s home in Nablus

The Israel Defense Forces says troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen and rioters in the West Bank overnight, and demolished the home of a Hamas terrorist charged with involvement in a deadly shooting attack in February.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry reports that seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces overnight.

The military says troops entered the West Bank city of Nablus to demolish the home of Khaled Kharousha, the son of the perpetrator of the Huwara shooting attack in February that left brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv dead, and who is charged with helping plan the attack.

Amid the operation, troops arrested three wanted Palestinians affiliated with Hamas, and clashed with gunmen, the IDF says.

Meanwhile, in Jenin, the IDF says it carried out an airstrike against a group of gunmen hurling explosive devices at Israeli forces.

Clashes have been reported elsewhere in the West Bank.

The PA health ministry says three were killed in Jenin, two in Hebron, one in Nablus and another in Qalandiya.

The military says troops arrested 37 wanted Palestinians in the overnight raids, including 17 Hamas members.

The IDF says that since the war in the Gaza Strip began on October 7, troops have arrested more than 1,260 wanted Palestinians in the West Bank, including some 760 affiliated with Hamas.

According to the PA health ministry, some 130 West Bank Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, and in some cases settlers, since October 7.

Blinken starts private meeting with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 3, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 3, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, the Prime Minister’s Office says.

Following the private meeting attended just by the two men, a wider meeting will be held, the statement adds.

IDF airs call in which Gaza medical official says Hamas stores fuel under Shifa hospital

The Israel Defense Forces publishes a recording of what it says is a phone call from yesterday in which a Gazan medical official acknowledges that Hamas’s fuel reserves — over half a million litres — are being stored directly under Gaza City’s Shifa hospital, the largest in the Strip.

“The call confirms that Hamas controls the energy and fuel resources in the Gaza Strip and chooses to direct them for terrorism,” the IDF says in a statement. “Moreover, if fuel is allowed to enter the Gaza Strip, Hamas plans to seize those resources.”

“The IDF will continue to expose information that proves that the Hamas terrorist organization uses the resources of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip for terrorism,” the military adds.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, Israeli officials intend to present the call, as well as other evidence on the matter, to visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in an attempt to lower the international pressure to allow fuel to enter the Strip.

IDF says 2 soldiers injured in Hezbollah drone attack; operatives killed in response

The Israel Defense Forces announces that a soldier was moderately wounded and another was lightly hurt in a Hezbollah drone attack on an army position in the Mount Dov area on the Lebanon border last night.

Both soldiers were taken to hospital for further treatment.

The IDF says it struck and killed Hezbollah operatives at a site belonging to the terror group in response.

Separately, a tank shelled a Hezbollah anti-tank guided squad in southern Lebanon overnight, the IDF says.

Air raid siren sounds in Gaza border town after 12-hour lull

The first rocket alert in more than 12 hours sounds in Israel, in the largely evacuated Gaza border town of Kissufim.

There are no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

High Court petition demands that Gazans stuck in Israel be released to West Bank

A High Court of Justice petition has been filed on behalf of hundreds of Gaza residents who were legally staying in Israel during Hamas’s October 7 assault and became stuck in the Jewish state, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

The petition, filed by the Gisha and HaMoked rights groups, reportedly demands that the 568 Gazans they say are currently being held in detention facilities be transferred to the West Bank or at least be allowed to meet their families.

The petition demands that Israeli authorities let the families know where they are and what their exact status is.

High Court Justice Ruth Ronen gives the state until next Wednesday to submit its response, Kan adds.

Blinken lands in Israel for his 3rd visit since war erupted

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he disembarks from an aircraft on his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, November 3, 2023. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he disembarks from an aircraft on his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, November 3, 2023. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP)

US Secretary of State has arrived in Israel for his third visit since the war with Hamas began on October 7.

He is set to meet a series of top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before continuing to an Arab summit in Jordan, in an uphill push for pauses in the fighting.

IDF says Hamas battalion commander killed, weapons and intel material seized in Gaza

IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image released by the military on November 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image released by the military on November 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces says it has killed the commander of Hamas’s Sabra-Tel al-Hawa battalion, Mustafa Dalloul, in an overnight airstrike in the Gaza Strip.

According to the IDF, Dalloul “took a key role in the management of the fighting against IDF forces in the Gaza Strip.”

Separately, in overnight operations in the Gaza Strip, the IDF says fighter jets, combat helicopters and artillery, directed by infantry forces of the Nahal Brigade, struck and killed several Hamas terrorists.

Meanwhile, troops of the 551st Brigade located weapons — assault rifles, submachine guns, grenades, explosive devices, RPGs and ammunition, as well as intelligence materials — maps and communication equipment, during searches in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.

Weapons and equipment located by troops of the 551st Brigade in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, in an image released by the military on November 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Also overnight, the Air Force and Navy carried out strikes against several Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip, including buildings used by operatives to fire at ground forces and anti-tank missile launch positions, the IDF says.

Report: Israel likely to form tribunal to try Hamas terrorists who took part in Oct. 7 atrocities

Hamas terrorists cross the Israel-Gaza border fence on October 7, 2023 (Kan TV screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Hamas terrorists cross the Israel-Gaza border fence on October 7, 2023 (Kan TV screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Israel is reportedly planning to form a special tribunal that will oversee the criminal cases against hundreds of detained Hamas terrorists who participated in the October 7 atrocities.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, the prevailing view in the justice system is that the regular criminal law isn’t the correct avenue to try those who took part in the onslaught, during which some 1,400 were murdered, the vast majority of them civilians butchered in their homes or at a music festival, and at least 247 were kidnapped to the Gaza Strip.

The report says discussions are ongoing on how to bring the detained terrorists to justice. Some 200 Hamas members were captured alive in Israel in the aftermath of the mass invasion, and more have been and are expected to be brought to Israel as part of its major ground offensive in Gaza.

Kan says the likely solution is special legislation that will empower a tribunal, with the purpose of holding a historic judicial case against Hamas “to present to the world the goals, roots, funders and activities of the murderous terror group.”

The Justice Ministry declines to confirm or deny the report.

20,000 said to attend Vienna rally against antisemitism, urge release of Gaza captives

Organizers say some 20,000 people rallied last night in the Austrian capital Vienna against antisemitism and in favor of the release of the at least 242 hostages being held by terror groups in Gaza.

According to Germany’s dpa news agency, the local Jewish community chief Oskar Deutsch said: “They all show that we stand for an open society, a liberal democracy.”

The rally comes after the Jewish cemetery in the city was vandalized earlier this week, as antisemitic attacks surge in Europe in the shadow of the Israel-Hamas war.

There is no official police confirmation of the number of participants, but local media reports that thousands took part.

UAE minister: Regional tension nearing boiling point, we’re working for Gaza ceasefire

The United Arab Emirates says it’s making intense efforts to achieve a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, warning of the danger of a wider war in the Middle East.

“As we continue working to stop this war we cannot ignore the wider context and the necessity to turn down the regional temperature that is approaching a boiling point,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Noura al Kaabi says at a conference in Abu Dhabi, according to Reuters.

“The risk of regional spillover and further escalation is real, as well as the risk that extremist groups will take advantage of the situation to advance ideologies that will keep us locked in cycles of violence.”

IDF names another 4 soldiers killed fighting in Gaza

Left to right: Gil Pishitz, Uriah Mash, Beni Wais, who were killed during fighting in the Gaza Strip on November 2, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Left to right: Gil Pishitz, Uriah Mash, Beni Wais, who were killed during fighting in the Gaza Strip on November 2, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces announces that four soldiers were killed fighting in the Gaza Strip yesterday, bringing the death toll since Israel began its ground offensive against Hamas to 23.

They are:

Cpt. Beni Wais, 22, a company commander in the 460th Armored Brigade’s 195th Battalion, from Haifa.

Master Sgt. (res.) Uriah Mash, 41, a reservist soldier in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion, from Talmon.

Master Sgt. (res.) Yehonatan Yosef Brand 28, a reservist soldier in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion, from Jerusalem.

Sgt. Maj. (res.) Gil Pishitz, 39, a tank driver in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 9th Battalion, from Harish.

Additionally, a soldier of the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion and a reservist of the 551st Brigade’s 7008th Battalion were seriously wounded during operations in the Gaza Strip, the IDF says.

Biden: US backing Israel’s right to self-defense ‘in line with international humanitarian law’

US President Joe Biden meets with Chile's President Gabriel Boric in the Oval Office of the White House, November 2, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
US President Joe Biden meets with Chile's President Gabriel Boric in the Oval Office of the White House, November 2, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

US President Joe Biden tells the leaders of Chile and the Dominican Republican during separate White House meetings earlier today that Washington will continue to back Israel’s right to defend itself “in line with international humanitarian law” and that the US will continue working to increase humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza.

The talking points are included at the end of both White House readouts from Biden’s meetings with Chile President Gabriel Boric and the Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader, the former of whom has been outspoken in his criticism of the Israeli military operation in Gaza and recalled his country’s ambassador to Israel.

Iran’s Khamenei tweets in Hebrew against ‘the Zionist entity’

A handout picture provided by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on October 17, 2023, shows him speaking during a meeting in the capital Tehran. (KHAMENEI.IR / AFP)
A handout picture provided by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on October 17, 2023, shows him speaking during a meeting in the capital Tehran. (KHAMENEI.IR / AFP)

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose country is a leading supporter of Hamas and other fiercely anti-Israel terror groups, rants at Israel in a Hebrew-language tweet.

“The Zionist entity is lying to you,” he writes on the social media platform X. “The Zionist entity is helpless and confused right now, and without American support will be paralyzed within days.”

Kamala Harris: US won’t condition ‘the support we’re giving Israel to defend itself’

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to the media after the end of the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, England, November 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to the media after the end of the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, England, November 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

During a visit to London, US Vice President Kamala Harris is asked by reporters if the administration should condition military aid for Israel on reduced civilian casualties in Gaza amid the war against Hamas.

“We are going to continue to stand with Israel’s right to defend itself,” says Harris. “And let’s be clear and never forget what happened on October 7th, where hundreds, thousands of — 1,400 innocent people were killed, slaughtered — young people who were simply attending a concert.”

“And so, we are not going to create any conditions on the support that we are giving Israel to defend itself,” she adds.

She also laments the deaths of civilians in Gaza, while stressing, “We are not telling Israel how it should conduct this war.”

US drones reportedly flying over Gaza to help locate hostages held by Hamas

In this January 31, 2010 file photo, an unmanned US Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
In this January 31, 2010 file photo, an unmanned US Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

The US is flying surveillance drones over the Gaza Strip to help gather intelligence on the locations of hostages taken by the Gaza-ruling terror group during its deadly onslaught in southern Israel on October 7, Reuters reports, citing a pair of US officials.

One of the officials tells the news agency that the drone flights began over a week ago.

A number of US citizens are among those being held by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza since being kidnapped during the massacres last month in which over 1,400 people were killed, mostly civilians.

The Reuters report comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to arrive in Israel and hold talks with Israeli leaders, his second visit since the war began. Before departing, Blinken said a key focus of his trip will be securing the release of all hostages in Gaza.

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