The Times of Israel liveblogged Wednesday’s events as they unfolded.
Former prime minister Naftali Bennett met US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan at the White House earlier today.
The meeting lasted an hour and the two discussed the Israel-Hamas war along with its regional ramifications, his office tells the Walla news site.
Bennett also met today with a group of Congress members, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
Good meeting with friends in congress.
Received full support for Israel’s goals: bringing the 240 hostages home and defeating Hamas.
Thank you Representatives Auchincloss, Jake
Manning, Kathy… pic.twitter.com/UAiOi4esHy
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) November 8, 2023
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) November 8, 2023
New US Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew made his first visit to the Western Wall earlier this evening where he lit a candle in memory of those massacred in the Hamas terror onslaught on October 7.
Lew was welcomed by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who hosted the ambassador for an extended discussion, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation says.
Lew — an Orthodox Jew — also prayed the Maariv evening service, the statement says.
After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying that he condemned during a meeting with settler leaders the “small handful of [Jewish] extremists” who have carried out attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank, his office issues another quote from the meeting, apparently aimed at preventing backlash from settler leaders over the earlier remark.
“I told President Biden that the accusations against the settlement movement are baseless,” Netanyahu is quoted as having told the settler leaders, according to the second quote released from his office.
“There is a small extreme minority that does not come from the settlement movement. We condemn them and will deal with them with all the severity of the law,” Netanyahu claimed to have told Biden.
Those who have been arrested over incidents of settler violence have, in fact, been settlers. The suspect arrested for killing a Palestinian farmer last month is from the settlement of Rehelim in the northern West Bank.
US antisemitism envoy Deborah Lipstadt sounds an alarm over what she says is the “spread of antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories in recent weeks, including the uptick on the largest social media platforms” in China
“While the United States fully supports freedom of expression, we deplore and condemn antisemitic imagery and rhetoric proliferating online, in the United States, the [People’s Republic of China] and across the globe,” Lipstadt tweets.
Late last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that searches and mentions involving the phrase “anti-Jew” skyrocketed on the Chinese app WeChat.
Jewish-identifying influencers on Chinese social media have been trolled by online mobs, the Journal said.
The Israel Defense Forces says fighter jets struck a number of Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response to recent rocket and missile attacks on the border.
The sites included several Hezbollah posts and sites housing “technological assets.”
Separately, the IDF says it struck a cell in southern Lebanon preparing to carry out an attack near the Biranit camp.
מטוסי קרב תקפו לפני זמן קצר תשתיות טרור של ארגון חיזבאללה בלבנון, בתגובה לשיגורים לעבר שטח ישראל ביממה האחרונה.
בין המטרות שנתקפו, מבנים ועמדות צבאיות בהם פעלו מחבלי הארגון, ומספר אמצעים טכנולוגים ששימשו להכוונת טרור נגד מדינת ישראל >> pic.twitter.com/Ir7UevoAPo
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 8, 2023
Police in Detroit have arrested a suspect in the murder last month of Sam Woll, a prominent Jewish leader in the city.
A statement from Detroit Police Chief James White says that “a suspect has been taken into custody for the murder of Samantha Woll.”
White says that this is an “encouraging development” but it “does not represent the conclusion of our work,” and said that details of the investigation will remain confidential.
Woll was found stabbed to death outside her home more than two weeks ago. Despite a spike in antisemitism amid the Israel-Hamas war, police said that they did not believe the murder was a hate crime.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says Palestinians “should be the determining voice” in deciding who will govern the Gaza Strip after the war is over.
Asked if the administration wants the Palestinian Authority, which currently governs parts of the West Bank, to oversee Gaza as well, Kirby responds that the Biden administration believes “that the Palestinians should be in charge of their future.”
“Now, what exactly does that governance structure looks like, and when does it get put in place, and who are the players that are going to help adapt that — all that we’re working out,” Kirby says.
A US drone was shot down by Yemen’s Houthi rebels today, according to the Iran-backed group’s military arm and a senior US military official.
The Houthis said it was an MQ-9 Reaper drone that was in Yemeni air space and was shot down by air defenses. The senior US military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details not yet made public, says the military is still analyzing the episode, including whether the drone was in international airspace or over Yemen.
The Houthis claim to have fired at least four batches of drones and missiles toward southern Israel since Oct. 7. The group controls the capital and much of northern and western Yemen where the majority of the county’s population lives.
Seven Democratic senators have sent a letter to US President Joe Biden urging him to further intensify Washington’s efforts to combat the uptick of settler violence, arguing that the deadly phenomenon threatens stability in the West Bank as well as broader US national security interests.
The Yesh Din rights group said Friday that there had been over 172 incidents of settler violence and harassment against Palestinians in at least 84 Palestinian towns and communities in the West Bank since Hamas’s October 7 terror onslaught.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself warned settler leaders this evening that there will be no tolerance for extremists acting violently.
The senators writing to Biden acknowledge his administration’s efforts on the issue, but assert that more can be done due to what they say are the threats posed by settler violence.
“We urge your administration to enhance its diplomatic efforts to prevent further violence,” the US lawmakers write in the letter organized by Sen. Jon Ossoff and shared exclusively with The Times of Israel.
Also signing the letter are Senate Intelligence Committee chair Mark Warner, Senate Armed Services Committee chair Jack Reed along with Sens. John Hickenlooper, Martin Heinrich, Tim Kaine and Chris Van Hollen.
“As Israel confronts the atrocities of the October 7th Hamas attacks, and threats in Gaza and southern Lebanon, it is crucial that US and Israeli policy reinforce the stability and security of the West Bank,” the senators say. “Alarming incidents of violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians represent an acute destabilizing risk that must be mitigated to prevent wider conflict in the region.”
“If additional action to prevent these violent attacks is not taken, we worry that civilians and US national security interests will suffer grave harm,” the letter states, noting the likelihood of exacerbating anger in the West Bank and across the Arab world.
In a meeting with local council leaders from West Bank settlements, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns about a minority of extremists carrying out violent activity that could lead to an escalation in the area.
There are a “handful of extremists who do not represent the group sitting here, who cause great damage to the State of Israel,” Netanyahu tells the settler leaders.
Netanyahu says that while most West Bank settlers are law-abiding people who contribute a great deal to the country, “there is a tiny handful of people… who take the law into their own hands.”
“We are not prepared to tolerate this,” he says, “and we will work against this in every way. It causes huge international damage to the State of Israel and does not represent the people sitting here.”
A statement from the Mossad spy agency says it took part in an operation in Brazil with local security forces to thwart a planned terror attack by Hezbollah operatives against Jewish and Israeli targets.
The Mossad thanks the Brazilian authorities for arresting a Hezbollah cell that was planning an attack and was funded by Iran, the statement says.
Hezbollah is working around the world with backing from Iran to carry out attacks against Israeli, Jewish and Western targets, the Mossad adds, noting that it is working to thwart all such attempts “wherever needed.”
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military has caused significant damage to the Hamas terror group’s aerial and naval forces.
“We continue to deepen the attack into Gaza City, and thwart tunnel shafts adjacent to civilian sites,” Hagari says. “We hit Hamas’s aerial and naval arrays hard, which were planning strategic attacks.”
He says troops have captured some 700 RPG rounds, which have been used by Hamas to attack ground troops in the Strip.
Hagari also says that some 50,000 Gazans evacuated the northern Gaza Strip Wednesday to its south via a humanitarian corridor that the IDF opened for a number of hours.
“Hamas’s leadership is out of touch,” he says. “Today we saw 50,000 Gazans heading south, they understand that Hamas has lost control.”
He says there is no ceasefire currently on the table, only potential “humanitarian pauses” to allow the civilian population to evacuate.
Hagari updates the number of confirmed hostages in the Gaza Strip to 239, down from 240.
He says the number is not final as the military investigates new information, including the identification of bodies of missing people.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeats the Israeli policy that there will be no ceasefire in Gaza without the release of hostages.
“I want to put to the side all sorts of idle rumors that we are hearing from all sorts of directions, and repeat one clear thing: there will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages.”
Netanyahu appears to be dismissing a growing slew of reports from Qatar, Egypt and Hamas itself that a deal is imminent for the release of 10-15 hostages from Israel in exchange for a multi-day pause in fighting.
The prime minister’s comments did not make clear if the release of a significant chunk of hostages would be sufficient for some sort of pause to take place as opposed to a ceasefire.
The IDF spokesman says shortly afterward that any discussion of a “ceasefire” is not on the table, but humanitarian pauses may be part of talks.
The Israel Defense Forces releases a phone call it says is further evidence of Hamas’s use of ambulances for terror.
In the call, an apparent Hamas operative can be heard speaking to a Gazan man, saying he “can leave with any ambulance” he wants.
The context of the call is not clear.
The Shin Bet also releases quotes from the interrogation of several Hamas members who took part in the October 7 onslaught and were captured.
“Al-Qassam has its own ambulances, some of which are located on the military base. The appearance of the ambulances is similar to the civilian ambulances so that they will not arouse suspicion or be bombed by Israel,” says one Hamas terrorist.
Another Hamas terrorist says that “during combat, the ambulances are used, among other things, to evacuate fighters, commanders and operatives. They also transport food, cargo and weapons in them because that is the safest way to transport them.”
The Biden administration appears to move closer the Israeli position that the IDF will have to maintain a degree of security control over Gaza after its war aimed at eradicating Hamas.
“I think all of us can foresee a period of time after the conflict is over where Israeli forces will likely still be in Gaza and will have some initial security responsibilities,” US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby tells CNN.
This is the first time a US official has publicly made such an acknowledgement, and comes two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would have to maintain overall security control of Gaza for an indefinite period.
Israeli officials had initially said that they’re not interested in reoccupying the Strip, so Netanyahu’s comments led to concerns that he was laying the groundwork for just that. It led to several statements from top US officials doubling down on their opposition to Israel reoccupying Gaza.
Kirby tells CNN that the US believes it would be a “mistake” for Israel to reoccupy the territory.
“But for how long and where and to what size and scale and scope, I think it’s too soon to know.” Kirby says the US is focused on devising a long-term governance structure for Gaza after the current conflict, but said that as yet there has been little prospect of a viable plan.
“I think where we are is a lot of questions, and not a lot of answers,” he says. “We know what we don’t want to see in Gaza post-conflict, we don’t want to see Hamas in control and we don’t want to see a reoccupation by Israel.”
The Israel Defense Forces in a statement says no hostile aircraft entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon, after sirens had sounded in the communities of Baram, Avivim and Yir’on.
In an apparently uncoordinated statement, the IDF Home Front Command claims that a “hostile aircraft” was intercepted, and an all-clear is given to residents.
SAO PAULO, Brazil — The Brazilian Federal Police have launched an operation aimed at disrupting what they believe to be the initial stages of a terror plot on home soil.
Federal investigators say they have uncovered a scheme allegedly involving the recruitment of Brazilian citizens by Hezbollah to orchestrate assaults against the Brazilian Jewish community.
The intended targets reportedly included synagogues.
This counterterrorism operation has already led to the apprehension of two individuals in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state and home to the biggest local Jewish community. One was apprehended at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport having just landed from Lebanon.
Daniel Bialski, the vice president of Conib, the main Jewish organization in Brazil, shares his profound alarm over the threat, but expressed a sense of reassurance that the Federal Police are taking preemptive action.
The Israel Defense Forces says it located and destroyed a Hamas tunnel adjacent to a UNRWA school in the northern Gaza Strip.
It says troops of the 551st Brigade and the elite Yahalom combat engineering found the tunnel entrance in the Beit Hanoun area, and later demolished it.
לוחמי צה"ל השמידו מנהרת טרור שאותרה בקרבת בית ספר:
לוחמי צה"ל מחטיבה 551 בשיתוף לוחמים מיחידת יהל"ם פועלים במרחב בית חאנון, מאתרים ומשמידים מנהרות טרור.
הלוחמים איתרו פיר מנהרת טרור בקרבת בית ספר של אונר"א והשמידו את המנהרה. pic.twitter.com/c1Cuajqbq9
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 8, 2023
A suspected drone infiltration alarm is sounding in a number of communities in the Upper Galilee, close to the Lebanon border.
The “unrecognized aircraft” alert sounds in Baram, Avivim and Yir’on.
The IDF does not immediately provide further details.
The attorney general and state attorney are working with police, the military and the Shin Bet to formally investigate the Hamas assault on southern Israel on October 7 with an aim of charging and trying those involved.
“Our goal is to investigate and initiate legal proceedings against those who perpetrated, planned and otherwise took part in these heinous acts – wherever they are,” they say in a statement.
The statement says Israel will punish the Hamas terrorists responsible with “the utmost severity, commensurate with their crimes.”
Police are working to collect evidence from towns across the south as attorneys for the Justice Ministry decide how best to proceed with the investigation.
Israel has said it is holding about 200 Hamas terrorists arrested on October 7 and in the days afterward. It has released some interrogation videos in which the prisoners describe their orders and activities during the murderous rampage.
Hebrew media reports say that investigators have already gathered some 700 testimonies from survivors of the attacks, including reports of rape.
The Israel Defense Forces releases new information on the operations of the 252nd Reserve Division in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s ground offensive which began late last month.
With the 252nd Division fighting in Gaza, it marks the first time since the 1982 First Lebanon War that an entire IDF reserve division is maneuvering in enemy territory.
IDF releases new information on the operations of the 252nd Reserve Division in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s ground offensive which began late last month.
With the 252nd Division fighting in Gaza, it marks the first time since the 1982 First Lebanon War that an entire IDF… pic.twitter.com/qRzRxNf6VJ
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 8, 2023
The IDF says that in recent days the division captured the Beit Hanoun area in northern Gaza, while engaging in battles with Hamas operatives and demolishing the terror group’s infrastructure, including tunnels. It says that since the beginning of the fighting, the 252nd Division has killed hundreds of Hamas operatives, including senior members, in Beit Hanoun and Jabaliya.
The division’s forces also destroyed Hamas compounds, launch positions and tunnel networks, among some 300 targets that were struck in the last week, according to the IDF.
The commander of the division, Brig. Gen. Moran Omer, says it is a “defining moment” for the 252nd Division and the IDF’s reserve army in general.
“We have been preparing for this for years, now it is our duty to restore peace and security to our citizens,” he says. “Our reservists and their families are an expression of our unity, of being willing to defend our people… and of getting only one result: defeating the enemy at every encounter, until victory.”
The High Court of Justice rejects a petition demanding the police be ordered to approve an anti-war demonstration in the Arab-Israeli towns of Um al-Fahm and Sakhnin, siding with the police that such an event would divert critical manpower during a time of intense security challenges.
The Hadash political party together with senior Communist party officials had petitioned the High Court to enable such demonstrations to go head in the face of stiff police opposition to such events at present, including that of Police Commissioner Kobi Shabbtai.
In a unanimous decision, Justices Isaac Amit, Yael Wilner and Ruth Ronen point out in their ruling the unprecedented period of war the country is experiencing, facing Hamas in the south and Hezbollah in the north, and in which the home front has suffered massive rocket barrages and other attacks.
The justices accept the police argument that due to these security threats and the heavy burden of missions on the police at present, it could not dedicate the necessary manpower to protecting public order and ensuring the safety of protesters in a large political demonstration at present.
“Many policemen would need to be diverted for this purpose at the expense of emergency, life saving missions,” writes Amit in his opinion. He adds, however, that “the gates of protest, demonstration and processions are open also during times of war” and that the decision relates to the specific request made by the petitioners.
Amit writes therefore that the police must continue to evaluate every request for to hold a protest on its own merits and based on the prevailing circumstances.
The Israel Defense Forces announces that Staff Sgt. Noam Yosef Abou, of the Nahal Brigade’s 931st Battalion, was killed fighting against Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip today.
Abou, 20, was from the southern city of Dimona.
His death brings the toll of slain soldiers in Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza to 33, and 351 since October 7.
Separately, another two soldiers of the Combat Engineering Corps’ 7107th Battalion, a soldier of the 460th Brigade’s 198th Battalion and a soldier of the 460th Brigade’s 196th Battalion were seriously wounded in separate battles in Gaza today.
Talks are underway for the release of a dozen hostages held by Hamas, including six Americans, in return for a three-day ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, a source close to Hamas claims.
“Talks revolve around the release of 12 hostages, half of them Americans, in exchange for a three-day humanitarian pause, to enable Hamas to release the hostages and to enable Egypt an extended [period of time] to deliver humanitarian aid,” the source claims.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is en route to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the second time since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.
The Netherlands also announces plans to send a navy ship to take humanitarian goods to Gaza “when possible,” saying expects the coastal patrol vessel MS Holland to depart in mid-November and be near Cyprus by the end of the month.
Cyprus has been seeking support for a maritime corridor to deliver aid to Gaza from the eastern Mediterranean island.
Earlier today, Rutte held talks with Qatari leaders in Doha.
Rutte writes on X that he “spoke about the hostages, who have been held by the terrorist organization Hamas for weeks now,” during his meetings in Qatar, which has been playing a major role in such negotiations.
“They must be released as soon as possible and reunited with their loved ones,” Rutte adds. “The Netherlands is very grateful to Qatar for its efforts to make this possible.”
Minister Benny Gantz tells reporters that Israel has not set a time limit for its current Gaza ground operation to root out Hamas.
“On the question of the operation’s length – there are no limitations,” Gantz says, sitting down with journalists in Tel Aviv earlier today.
The former defense minister and IDF chief, currently a member of the narrow war cabinet, says the current war is an existential one, both in terms of Israeli security, as well as preserving the state’s Zionist and democratic values.
“The war here is for our existence and for Zionism, and so I can’t provide an estimate of the length of each stage in the war and the fighting that will ensue after. We can’t retreat from our strategic objective,” Gantz says, adding that Hamas threatens “Zionist and democratic concepts.”
A report in the semiofficial Egyptian news outlet Al-Akhbar claims that Cairo is close to reaching a deal for a humanitarian pause in fighting in Gaza in exchange for a swap of prisoners and hostages being held by Hamas.
Reports earlier today indicated that Qatar also believes it is close to securing a deal.
Italy is sending a hospital ship that will be stationed off the coast of Gaza to aid the Palestinian population, Defense Minister Guido Crosetto announces.
Crosetto says the mission is a concrete sign of Italy’s “closeness to the Palestinian people, distance from the Hamas terrorists.”
The ship Vulcano has 170 people on board, including medical and military personnel, and includes operating rooms. It will first head to Cyprus and then as close as possible to the conflict zone to provide emergency medical support, Crosetto says.
The civilian killed earlier this week in Kiryat Shmona by an anti-tank missile fired by Hezbollah in Lebanon is named as Meir Mouyal, age 55.
Mouyal, a resident of Kiryat Shmona, was working “on behalf of the state and the IDF,” the municipality says, without elaborating.
He is slated to be buried in a family-only ceremony in order to adhere to Home Front Command regulations.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says he will hold the Metropolitan Police commissioner “accountable” for his decision to allow a mass pro-Palestinian demonstration against the Israel-Hamas war to go ahead this Saturday.
Sunak says that a march taking place on Armistice Day would be “provocative and disrespectful,” but organizers have resisted his pleas and those from the Met Police to postpone the demonstration.
Met Police chief Mark Rowley has said the rally does not meet the threshold for requesting a government order to stop it going ahead, and a ban would be an “incredibly rare last resort.”
Hamas angrily accuses the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees of “colluding” with Israel in the “forced displacement” of residents of Gaza.
“UNRWA and its officials bear responsibility for this humanitarian catastrophe, in particular the residents of the Gaza [City] area and north of it” who are moving along IDF-arranged displacement routes to flee south, says Salama Maruf, head of the media bureau of Hamas.
For weeks Israel has been urging residents of the northern part of the Strip to move south ahead of its now-intense ground operation. Over the past few days, the IDF has secured humanitarian corridors to enable residents to head southward safely, infuriating Hamas.
In Brussels, FM Cohen says Iran is financing Hamas to stop Arab countries’ normalization with Israel
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen tells EU parliamentarians in Brussels that Iran is orchestrating attacks on Israel in order to stop the tide of normalization and peace in the region.
“We need to win this war in order to ensure that the West will not be next, since terrorism, it’s like a cancer,” Cohen says, adding that Hamas has used international financial aid to build tunnels and rocket factories while leaving Palestinians “starving.”
“We are not attacked only by the Hamas and by the Islamic Jihad. We are also attacked by the Hezbollah in our northern border and also by the Houthis in Yemen,” Cohen adds.
“There is one thing that connects them: Iran. Iran is the world number one financer of terror,” he says, accusing Tehran of acting to try and “stop the normalization and the peace process that took place in the last three years.”
The Israel Defense Forces says troops have found and destroyed some 130 tunnel shafts in the Gaza Strip since the ground operation began last month.
Troops of the Combat Engineering Forces have been working to clear routes for ground forces to maneuver, locate and destroy Hamas assets, including tunnels and rocket launchers.
IDF says troops have found and destroyed some 130 tunnel shafts in the Gaza Strip since the ground operation began last month.
Troops of the Combat Engineering Forces have been working to clear routes for ground forces to maneuver, locate and destroy Hamas assets, including… pic.twitter.com/B3ZEwtqmxd
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 8, 2023
The IDF says troops of the 460th Brigade with engineering forces found a number of tunnel entrances next to a structure with car batteries, which are thought to be hooked up to the tunnel’s air filtration system.
Forces of the Nahal Infantry Brigade meanwhile captured a Hamas training camp in northern Gaza.
The IDF says that the troops found a staging ground within the camp, where Hamas operatives had prepared weapons and food in order to carry out an attack. Within the camp, several tunnel entrances were also found.
All of the tunnels were destroyed, the IDF adds.
Israel’s war to wipe out Hamas in Gaza is “the war of the free world,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen tells EU lawmakers in Brussels.
Cohen also says Israel was attacked not only by Hamas but by other terror groups in the region that are supported by Iran, which he calls “the world number one financer of terror.”
The Israel Defense Forces says two soldiers were wounded by an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon at troops in the area of the northern community of Dovev.
Both soldiers were taken to a hospital for further treatment and are listed in good condition.
The IDF says two more rockets were also fired at the Shtula and Yiftah areas on the border.
Troops are responding with artillery shelling at the sources of the fire, the military says.
Separately, the IDF says it struck a number of anti-tank launch positions in southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah has carried out dozens of missile and rocket attacks against northern Israel in recent weeks.
Qatar is mediating negotiations between Israel and Hamas for the potential release of 10-15 hostages held in Gaza in exchange for a short ceasefire, a source briefed on the talks tells AFP.
“Negotiations mediated by the Qataris in coordination with the US are ongoing to secure the release of 10-15 hostages in exchange for a one- to two-day ceasefire,” the informed source says, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the talks’ sensitivity.
The Education Ministry has inaugurated the first of several planned new schools designed to serve the population of evacuee children.
The school, whose name is to be determined later by the students and staff, is located in the Tamar Regional Council on the Dead Sea.
“The new school complex, intended for 400 students, includes 15 new classrooms: six are intended for students of grades 1-6, and nine are intended for students of grades 7-12,” the ministry says in a statement. It says the school is situated near the complex of hotels where residents of the Eshkol Regional Council have been evacuated to.
At least two further schools are planned to open soon, in the eastern Negev desert and in Eilat.
Since the war began on October 7, all these areas have seen a massive influx of evacuees from the Gaza border region, who were forced to leave their homes.
Eilat, in particular, has seen its population double in size.
Russia stands with Hamas, says Ukraine’s embassy in Israel in a Facebook post.
“There is no room for doubt,” the embassy writes, “They host Hamas leaders. They did not condemn the terrible massacre that occurred on 7.10. They issue statements against Israel.”
The embassy also points out the attempted lynching of Jews in Dagestan last week.
“Israel is dealing with terrorism, and Ukraine is dealing with terrorism. Terror is terror, no matter where and against whom – we must not allow it to grow!” continues the post.
On X, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says 43 Ukrainian nationals have been able to leave the Gaza Strip. He says Ukrainian diplomats also helped 36 Moldovan citizens reach safety in Egypt.
“Our embassies in Israel and Egypt, as well as other relevant agencies, are working hard to get more of our citizens out of Gaza,” he says.
The Israel Defense Forces says it struck a Hamas anti-tank missile launch position in the Gaza Strip, killing in a second strike the operatives who attempted to flee.
Troops of the 7th Armored Brigade identified a number of Hamas operatives at the position, which the IDF says connects to a weapons depot via a tunnel.
לוחמי חטיבה 7 זיהו עמדה לשיגור נ"ט ותצפית בה שהו מחבלי חמאס, העמדה חוברה במעבר תת קרקעי למחסן אמצעי לחימה.
הלוחמים הכווינו תקיפה מהאוויר והתשתית נפגעה. המחבלים שנמלטו לגג המבנה חוסלו בתקיפה נוספת >> pic.twitter.com/Pv6aH0p95K
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 8, 2023
The troops called in an airstrike on the site. Some of the operatives who managed to escape to the roof of the building were hit in a second airstrike, the IDF says.
“There is nowhere to run,” a commander in the 7th Brigade says in a video statement. “Any terrorist who meets the brigade will be eliminated, and any terrorist who tries to escape will fail.”
Separately, the IDF says it struck a mortar-launching squad in the Gaza Strip shortly after it fired projectiles at Israel.
The IDF says it is extending the opening of a corridor for Gazans in the north of the enclave to move south by an extra hour due to popular demand.
The corridor had been slated to close at 2 p.m., but will now stay open until 3, spokesman Avichay Adraee says in an Arabic-language tweet.
He says the move is “in reaction to [Gazans’] sizable response” to Israel’s call for them to use the corridor to flee from the north, where fighting is heaviest.
Israel’s fiscal deficit has widened to 2.6 percent of GDP, or NIS 22.9 billion ($5.96 billion), in October over the prior 12 months, from 1.5% in the previous month as government expenditure increases due to the ongoing war with the Hamas terror group and tax revenue drops, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry.
The Finance Ministry says that the “abnormal” deficit is due to a “significant” increase in government expenses since the outbreak of the war on October 7, including the advancement of payments to suppliers and local authorities.
Government expenditure swelled to NIS 54.9 billion ($14.3 billion) in October from NIS 41.9 billion ($10.9 billion) during the same month last year.
The October figures show that state revenues amounted to NIS 32 billion ($8.3 billion), down from NIS 36 billion ($9.4 billion) in September, marking a decline of 11% month over month partly due to the allowance of tax deferments and partly due to the damage to the economy during the war period. Tax revenue in October dropped 15.2% year-on-year.
Even before the outbreak of the war, Israel’s deficit had risen above the government’s fiscal target for this year of around 1.1% as government spending rose and revenues declined.
The government in 2022 posted the first budget surplus in 35 years of 0.6% of GDP as state revenues rose 4.8% to NIS 468.5 billion ($121.88 billion), benefiting from an exceptionally high increase in the collection of tax income.
In interviews with the New York Times, Hamas higher-ups say their goal with the attacks on October 7 was to “change the entire equation” and renew attention on the Palestinian cause, in the words of Khalil al-Hayya, a member of the terror group’s politburo in Qatar.
“What could change the equation was a great act, and without a doubt, it was known that the reaction to this great act would be big,” he says. “We had to tell people that the Palestinian cause would not die.”
Al-Hayya and other Hamas members quoted dismiss the idea that they want to govern Gaza, instead expressing support for endless conflict.
“I hope that the state of war with Israel will become permanent on all the borders, and that the Arab world will stand with us,” Hamas media consultant Taher El-Nounou is quoted telling the paper.
“Hamas’s goal is not to run Gaza and to bring it water and electricity and such,” says al-Hayya.
“This battle was not because we wanted fuel or laborers,” he adds. “It did not seek to improve the situation in Gaza. This battle is to completely overthrow the situation.”
In Japan, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly says “in the short term, it is inevitable that Israel… will need to have a security responsibility” in Gaza.
The comments echo a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel will need to have “overall security responsibility” in Gaza for an “indefinite period,” a comment which
Cleverly says, though that, “as soon as practicable, a move towards a peace-loving Palestinian leadership is the most desired outcome.”
The Israel Defense Forces says thousands of Palestinians are evacuating northern Gaza via a humanitarian corridor on Salah a-Din road.
The IDF publishes video footage showing the movement of civilians southward, many of whom can be seen carrying white flags and holding their hands in the air.
החל מהשעה 10:00 אלפי תושבים מצפון הרצועה נענו לקריאות צה״ל ועושים בשעה זו את דרכם לדרום הרצועה, מדרום לנחל עזה, דרך כביש צלאח אלדין. pic.twitter.com/JZeq3HyUaL
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 8, 2023
Crowd sizes appear to match those seen yesterday, when an estimated 15,000 people moved south, according to the UN.
More residents from North Gaza are moving towards the south. Residents from East Shati RC, which has been relentlessly bombed, sought refuge at Al-Shifa, which is already sheltering tens of thousands. Finding no available space there, they made the decision to head further south. pic.twitter.com/RmVi0YlYUT
— Younis Tirawi | يونس (@ytirawi) November 8, 2023
The corridor will remain open until 2 p.m.
Legislation prohibiting the systematic consumption of terrorist content has passed into law in the Knesset.
The law bars individuals from consuming terrorist content, provided that the manner in which the content is consumed indicates the individual identifies with the terrorist organizations mentioned in the legislation, namely Hamas and Islamic State.
Anyone found guilty of the offense can be imprisoned for one year.
The law states that it is not applicable to someone who watches such content “randomly, in good faith, or for a legitimate reason including providing information to the public, preventing terror attacks, or for research purposes,” conditions which eased concerns of civil rights groups that the legislation was too sweeping.
The law was passed as a temporary measure valid for two years, but can be extended by the Knesset at the end of that period.
The legislation is designed to prevent so-called lone-wolf terrorism where someone who is not connected to a terror organization becomes radicalized and inspired to act by watching terrorist content.
The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip claims the death toll from the war there has reached 10,569, including 4,324 children and 2,823 women.
The terror group’s figures cannot be verified, and include combatants fighting Israel, as well as civilians killed by misfired rockets launched by terror groups that fall within the Strip.
Emily Callahan, an American nurse who was in Gaza with Doctors without Borders (MSF), describes the reality in southern Gaza before she managed to cross through Rafah into Egypt a week ago.
She evacuated to Khan Younis, where she shared a shelter with 35,000 internally displaced in a single complex.
“There were children with just massive burns down their faces, down their necks, all over their limbs,” she tells CNN.
Callahan says food and water were desperately low, and the MSF staff had to count calories by the end. “We would have either starved to death or run out of water” were it not for her local staff, she says.
There were four toilets for the tens of thousands of Gazans, she adds.
Callahan says that her personal safety was compromised, as angry locals accused her and her local staff of being Israelis or being traitors.
“My heart is in Gaza,” she says, “it will stay in Gaza.”
The Israel Defense Forces announces that Sgt. First Class Jonathan Chazor, a soldier in the Air Force’s elite Shaldag unit, was killed fighting against Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip yesterday.
Chazor, 22, was from the northern community of Katzir.
His death brings the toll of slain soldiers in Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza to 32, and 350 since October 7.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly scheduled a meeting with local leaders from the Gaza border region, his first since the Hamas attacks of October 7 and the outbreak of war.
The reported meeting comes after the premier came under heavy criticism for planning a meeting with settlement leaders today despite the fact that he had not given politicians from the south the same face time.
In a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office quoted by Channel 13 reporter Almog Boker on X, Netanyahu claims to have already spoken with all leaders from the south on the phone and met with some of them.
He also denies the scheduled meeting with them was in response to the criticism.
“Yesterday, before it was publicized, the PM invited all the heads of regional councils in the Gaza border region to a meeting this Friday,” his office says, according to the tweet.
The office says a meeting with settler leaders is being held as part of war cabinet consultations with the IDF’s Central Command “given security officials’ warnings about a severe deterioration of security in” the West Bank.
Imran Hussain, the UK Labour party’s spokesman on workers’ rights, says he is resigning over party boss Keir Starmer’s refusal to advocate for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
“A ceasefire is essential to ending the bloodshed, to ensuring that enough aid can pass into Gaza and reach those most in need, and to help ensure the safe return of the Israeli hostages,” the shadow minister writes in a letter to Starmer.
Hussain adds that he “unequivocally condemned” Hamas’s October 7 attacks and firmly agreed that “every country has the right to defend itself.”
But this could “never become a right to deliberately violate international law on protecting civilians or to commit war crimes,” he says.
In a press conference following the meeting of the G7 in Tokyo, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken lays out what the US envisions for a post-war future in Gaza, urging Israel not to reoccupy Gaza but admitting there may be a “transition period.”
“The only way to ensure this never happens again is to set the conditions for durable peace and security,” he says.
Blinken lists the elements the US says is needed to make that a reality: “No forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, not now, not after the war. No use of Gaza as a platform for terrorism or other violent attacks. No reoccupation of Gaza after the conflict ends. No attempts to blockade or besiege Gaza. No reduction in the territory of Gaza. We must also ensure no terrorist threats emerge from the West Bank,” he says.
It appears to be the first time that a US official had publicly made these points after long avoiding any criticism of Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which Jerusalem says is necessary to prevent the smuggling of weapons into the Strip. Human rights groups say the policy has stymied the enclave’s economy significantly.
The call for Israel not to take over Gaza territory after the war also flies in the face of comments by Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who have insisted that the IDF will have to establish some sort of buffer zone within the Strip to better secure the border.
Blinken says what the Strip must have is “Palestinian governance, Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority… a sustained mechanism for reconstruction in Gaza, and a pathway” to a two-state solution, he adds.
Asked about comments by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israeli assuming security responsibility in Gaza indefinitely, Blinken allows that “there may be a need for some transition period.”
The Israel Defense Forces releases footage showing a large blast after an Israeli airstrike on a Hezbollah weapons depot in southern Lebanon last night.
תיעוד תקיפת מטרת טרור של ארגון הטרור חיזבאללה שבוצעה אמש pic.twitter.com/NlunpF8U1O
— Israeli Air Force (@IAFsite) November 8, 2023
The airstrike came in response to rocket fire on northern Israel.
A number of other Hezbollah sites were also struck.
The Israel Defense Forces says troops detained 37 wanted Palestinians, including 10 Hamas members, during overnight raids across the West Bank.
During a raid in the West Bank town of Birzeit, the IDF says troops seized Hamas paraphernalia in a storage unit near the local university, which was used by the Hamas student faction for parades.
במהלך הלילה הכוחות עצרו 37 מבוקשים, אמצעי לחימה וחומרי הסתה רבים; בביר זית איתרו הכוחות ציוד רב ומיצגים של החמאס המשמשים את תאי הסטודנטים לתהלוכות והפגנות צבאיות.
במהלך הלילה כוחות צה״ל, שב״כ ומג״ב עצרו ברחבי אוגדת יהודה ושומרון 37 מבוקשים, מעל 10 מהם משויכים לארגון הטרור חמאס>> pic.twitter.com/Klsbib9OrZ
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 8, 2023
Since October 7, the IDF says troops have arrested some 1,430 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 900 affiliated with Hamas.
According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, more than 155 West Bank Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, and in some cases settlers, since October 7.
The IDF announces that it is reopening a corridor meant to allow Gazan civilians safe passage from the north of the enclave to the south, where fighting is more limited.
“The northern Gaza Strip area is a fierce combat zone, and time is running out to evacuate it,” IDF Arabic language spokesman Avichay Adraee says on X, calling on Gazans to “join the hundreds of thousands” who have evacuated via the corridor.
The passageway will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Adraee says.
#عاجل يا سكان غزة،
أخبركم ان اليوم مثل الأيام الماضية يسمح جيش الدفاع من جديد التنقل جنوبًا عن طريق صلاح الدين بين الساعة العاشرة (10:00) صباحًا والساعة الثانية (14:00)ظهرًا.
من أجل سلامتكم، انتهزوا الوقت القادم للتحرك جنوبًا إلى ما بعد وادي غزة. منطقة شمال قطاع غزة تعتبر… pic.twitter.com/8alsuxXUIT
— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) November 8, 2023
A stream of people using the daily corridor along Salah al-Din Street has picked up pace in recent days, according to the UN, with 15,000 people moving south on Tuesday alone.
Many had initially feared being attacked by Israel as they fled via the artery, according to reports.
Fighting in northern Gaza has intensified, with troops entering the heart of Gaza City, the army said Monday.
Top diplomats from the Group of Seven leading industrial democracies announce a unified stance on the Israel-Hamas war after intensive meetings in Tokyo, condemning Hamas, supporting Israel’s right to self-defense and calling for “humanitarian pauses” to speed aid to desperate Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and foreign ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Italy “emphasize Israel’s right to defend itself and its people in accordance with international law as it seeks to prevent a recurrence” of the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7.
They also express support for “humanitarian pauses to facilitate urgently needed assistance, civilian movement and release of hostages.”
The statement calls on Iran “to refrain from providing support for Hamas and taking further actions that destabilize the Middle East, including support for Lebanese Hezbollah and other non-state actors, and to use its influence with those groups to de-escalate regional tensions.”
It also condemns “the rise in extremist settler violence committed against Palestinians,” which the ministers say is “unacceptable, undermines security in the West Bank, and threatens prospects for a lasting peace.”
London’s Metropolitan Police says it is powerless to stop a pro-Palestinian rally from going ahead Saturday, despite the date falling on Armistice Day, when Brits honor their war dead.
Despite officially falling on November 11, Armistice Day ceremonies will only take place Sunday. UK politicians and others had sought for the pro-Palestinian rally to be pushed off due to the day’s solemnity and fears that London’s cenotaph could be vandalized.
“The laws created by Parliament are clear. There is no absolute power to ban protest, therefore there will be a protest this weekend,” Commissioner Mark Rawley says.
He says intelligence about the potential for disorder “does not meet the threshold to apply for a ban,” noting that organizers have agreed to stay away from the cenotaph and Whitehall.
Weekly pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protests in London have drawn up to 100,000 people, with some featuring clashes between cops and demonstrators.
Near Manchester, police have been dispatched to guard the cenotaph in Rochdale after it was daubed with “free Palestine” on Tuesday, the BBC reports.
The IDF says a siren that sounded minutes ago near the northern border town of Aramshe was a false alarm.
It does not say what triggered the alert.
A monthly survey by Bank Hapoalim finds that consumer confidence has dropped only moderately in October, despite the country being plunged into war.
An index published by the bank and the Kantar market research house puts consumer confidence at 122.5, down from 127.9 in September, but higher than the 121.5 recorded in May, at the height of anti-government protests against plans to overhaul the judiciary.
Nonetheless, the 5.4 point fall is the largest since confidence tanked in early 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much business activity.
Fewer than 10 percent of respondents to the bank survey say now is a good time for a large purchase, down several points from last month.
A survey released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on November 1 found that 37% of businesses had experienced a sharp drop in sales. It also found that 51% of businesses said their revenue was down significantly from expectations since the war broke out October 7.
The bank survey also finds that confidence in the state of the nation is up slightly, with 25.1% saying the country is headed in the right direction, compared to 22.5% who said so a month earlier.
There are no reports of injuries or damage after a rocket siren sounds in the Kissufim area, adjacent to central Gaza.
The same area was targeted at 6 a.m., without any reports of injuries.
These were the only attacks recorded since a barrage aimed at central Israel at 9 p.m. yesterday.
The pace of Palestinian civilians fleeing the combat zone in northern Gaza has picked up as Israel’s air and ground campaign there intensifies, UN monitors say. About 15,00 people fled on Tuesday, compared to 5,000 on Monday and 2,000 on Sunday, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The civilians are able to move during a four-hour window set daily by the Israeli military that assures safe passage from Gaza City and its surroundings to the south. Most of those fleeing are children, the elderly and people with disabilities, the UN agency says. Many arrived on foot with minimal belongings.
In a new development, some of those fleeing report that they had to cross Israeli checkpoints to reach the south and that they had witnessed some arrests by Israeli forces. Others have said they had to walk past Israeli tanks with raised hands while waving white flags.
The densely populated northern area of Gaza, specifically Gaza City and adjacent urban refugee camps, are the focus of Israel’s campaign to crush Hamas.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians remain in the combat area, many sheltering at hospitals or UN schools. Some said they were deterred from moving south because of dire humanitarian conditions in the evacuation zone and ongoing Israeli airstrikes across Gaza, including the south.
Israel has accused Hamas of seeking to keep civilians in the northern part of Gaza to use them as human shields.
Israel authorities have screened a 47-minute compilation showing some of the worst atrocities committed on October 7 some 70 times in 30 countries, the Ynet news site reports.
Four screenings have been arranged for New York Times editorial staff alone, including in foreign bureaus, according to the report, as well as two for White House staff. Among those to see the film are the heads of the CIA and MI5, as well as leaders of other Western spy agencies. Some 1,000 people have viewed it so far, it reports.
The film, largely made of bodycam footage recovered from dead terrorists, is being used as part of Israel’s public relations push to help explain its harsh response in Gaza and the necessity of eliminating the Hamas terror group.
Amid reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is mulling releasing the film to the public, some families have come out against the plan, according to Ynet.
Among them is Sabine Taasa, whose husband is seen on the film jumping on a grenade to save his kids. Gil Taasa was killed, along with their son Or.
“I don’t want it to come out. I’ll never agree to it,” she tells the news site. “I commemorate their lives, not their deaths.”
The Israel Defense Forces says it has killed one of the top figures in Hamas’s weapons production apparatus in an overnight airstrike.
The military and Shin Bet say that Muhsin Abu Zina was “one of the leaders of weapons production” for Hamas, and specialized in manufacturing “strategic weapons and rockets.”
It calls him the head of the terror group’s “industries and weaponry” division.
אבו-זינה הוא אחד ממובילי ייצור האמל"ח של ארגון הטרור חמאס ומתמחה בייצור אמל"ח אסטרטגי ורקטי עבור מחבלי חמאס.
במהלך הלילה, לוחמי צה"ל זיהו חוליית מחבלים שתכננה לבצע ירי נ"ט לעבר כוחותינו. הלוחמים הכווינו כלי טיס שתקף את החולייה וחיסל מספר מחבלים>> pic.twitter.com/X5WiboSVS6
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 8, 2023
In separate overnight operations, the IDF says ground troops directed an aircraft to strike a Hamas anti-tank missile squad, and an airstrike killed several members of a squad responsible for launching rockets at Israel.
Israeli authorities have identified the remains of 843 civilians killed in the October 7 attacks on southern Israel, police say, with work ongoing to identify victims.
The number is nine more than an announcement on Monday.
In late October, police said 826 victims had been identified, with an estimated 150 victims remaining in 400 body bags at the Shura Camp, where a massive effort to identify the dead has been ongoing for a month.
Some of the remains at the camp are thought to belong to attackers.
Officials estimate around 1,000 civilians were killed in the Hamas massacres, along with around 400 members of security forces.
According to Channel 12 news Tuesday, 25 people remain unaccounted for — neither confirmed dead nor kidnapped — including 15 foreigners, thought to be mainly Thai farmhands.
The Bangkok Post reports that seven bodies of Thai victims are set to be flown to Thailand today.
Police confirm sending hundreds of cops, Border Police troops and IDF soldiers into the Shuafat refugee camp near Jerusalem to raze the home of Muhammad Zalbani over a fatal stabbing attack in February.
In a statement, police say Jerusalem police chief Doron Turgeman signed off on the operation this week, after an appeal against the action was rejected by a court in August.
No clashes are reported in the refugee camp, which has seen unrest in the past surrounding Israeli police operations.
Palestinian news sites report that large numbers of Israeli forces are in the Shuafat refugee camp north of Jerusalem where they are carrying out demolition work on the family home of a teen boy charged in the fatal stabbing of a border guard earlier this year.
Videos show a large phalanx of troops entering the camp on foot at dawn and surrounding a building, allegedly the home of Muhammad Zalbani,14, who stabbed Border Police officer Staff Sgt. Asil Sawaed, 22 as he inspected a bus at the Shuafat crossing in February.
— Palestine Eye ???????? ???? (@PalastineEye) November 8, 2023
#WATCH : The Israeli forces begin demolishing the walls of the family home of the young prisoner Muhammad Al-Zalbani in the Shuafat camp.#MuhammadAlZalbani #Shuafatcamp#HamasTerrorists #Israel #Palestine #Gaza #Gaza_Geniocide #GazaHolocaust #IsraelFightsTerror #JUSTIN… pic.twitter.com/KZJBP84UeF
— upuknews (@upuknews1) November 8, 2023
Palestinians say troops have cordoned off the area as they prepare to raze the home, or render it unusable.
There is no immediate comment from Israel’s military of police, who normally only announce such operations after the fact.
Americans are evenly split over whether Israel’s response to Hamas’s atrocities has gone too far or is correct in scope, while nearly two in 10 think the IDF’s campaign has not gone far enough, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The survey, conducted from November 2 to 6, finds that 40% of Americans said Israel’s military response in the Gaza Strip has gone too far, while 38% think it has been about right, and just 18% said it has been too limited.
The poll also found 58% of Democrats view Israel’s counterattack as excessive. Among Republicans meanwhile, 32% think Israel should step up its response.
The poll also finds that Americans are now more likely to view Israel as an ally. During an August poll, only 32% of Americans described Israel as an ally that shares U.S. interests and values. But that figure increased to 44% in the latest survey, which polled over 1,200 adults.
However, only 36% said it’s extremely or very important to provide aid to Israel’s military to fight Hamas.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) disapprove of how Biden is handling the conflict between Israel and Hamas, while only one-third approve.
About half of Americans (52%) say they are extremely or very concerned that the recent war between Israel and Hamas will increase prejudice against Jewish people in the United States. About 4 in 10 share the same concern about prejudice against Muslim people (43%).
Majorities of Democrats are similarly concerned about prejudice against Jews (57%) and Muslims (58%). A slight majority of Republicans are worried about prejudice against Jews (54%) with fewer being concerned about Muslims (28%).
Americans pin blame for the current conflict on Hamas. About two-thirds of Americans (66%) say Hamas has a lot of responsibility for the war, while 35% say the same about Israel. Among Democrats, though, 43% see Israel as largely to blame.
MANILA, Philippines — Dozens of Filipinos fled from the war-ravaged Gaza Strip into Egypt through the Rafah crossing after Filipino diplomats negotiated for their safe passage and Qatar mediated for the border to be opened, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. says today.
The 40 Filipinos are traveling to the Egyptian capital of Cairo, where they plann to take flights back to the Philippines, Marcos says in a video message in Manila. Two Filipino doctors managed to leave the Gaza Strip into Egypt last week.
“I hope the rest of our countrymen who also wanted to return home can also exit properly with their spouses and loved ones,” Marcos says.
Most of at least 134 Filipinos in Gaza, many of whom are married to Palestinians, have sought help to leave the besieged territory and are waiting for an opportunity to leave, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila says.
Rocket warning sirens are activated in Kissufim, a kibbutz along the border with the Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces announces that Sgt. First Class (res.) Yaacov Ozeri of the 401st Armored Brigade was killed fighting against Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip.
Ozeri, 28, was from Kfar Shamai, a moshav in northern Israel.
He is the 31st soldier to be killed since Israel launched a ground invasion in response to the Hamas massacres on October 7.
Additionally, the IDF says three soldiers from the Golani Brigade’s 13th Battalion, the 401st Brigade’s 601st Battalion, and the Paratrooper’s 890th Battalion were seriously wounded during fighting in northern Gaza yesterday.
The US House of Representatives votes to censure Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, in an extraordinary rebuke of her rhetoric about the Israel-Hamas war.
The 234-188 tally comes after 22 Democrats joined with Republicans to censure Tlaib, a punishment one step below expulsion from the House.
The vote follows Tlaib’s accusation that US President Joe Biden was supporting a “genocide” of Palestinians due to his backing for the Israeli offensive against the Hamas terror group. In a video shared on social media.
Tlaib also defended using the term ” “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a common chant at pro-Palestinian rallies that is broadly understood as a call to eliminate the State of Israel,” claiming it’s “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate.”
TOKYO — G7 foreign ministers are seeking to hammer out a common line on the Israel-Hamas war and signal to Russia that there will be no let-up in their support for Ukraine.
The ministers are expected to call in a joint statement for “humanitarian pauses” in Gaza, while stopping short of urging a ceasefire.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, arriving in Japan for the talks from his latest whirlwind Middle East tour, called Tuesday for the G7 to speak “in one clear voice” on the conflict.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamiwaka said late Tuesday that the G7 ministers “need to call on the relevant countries to take humanitarian pauses and ensure humanitarian access, which is a pre-condition for sufficient and continued humanitarian assistance.”
A diplomatic source said after a working dinner the same day focusing on Gaza that there was “great unity that in view of the humanitarian emergency in Gaza, humanitarian care for the Palestinian civilian population needs to be urgently expanded.”
The source added that there were “constructive exchanges” about humanitarian pauses, as well as the need for discussions among the G7 and other countries in the region about the future of Gaza, and on how to stop the conflict spreading.
Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog airs body camera footage from the October 7 Hamas massacres to a group of fellow ambassadors and foreign diplomats, during an event at Israel’s Embassy in Washington commemorating 30 days since the Gaza-ruling terror group’s devastating attack.
“This was one of the worst terror attacks in modern history and the single deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust,” Herzog writes on X, formerly Twitter. “Every nation and human being must draw a line between those who uphold the values of humanity and those who desecrate them, and sound a clear moral voice.”
He adds: “Israel has the right and the duty to defend itself and remove the Hamas threat while fighting for the unconditional release of each and every hostage. We will not rest until we bring them back home.”
Today, I hosted over 30 ambassadors and foreign dignitaries at the Embassy of Israel for a screening of the body camera footage which the Hamas terrorists used to document and celebrate their barbaric atrocities in Israel on October 7th.
Together, we marked one month since the… pic.twitter.com/WR0K60L7iQ
— Ambassador Michael Herzog (@AmbHerzog) November 8, 2023
WASHINGTON — The US House of Representatives is nearing a showdown vote on whether to punish Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — the only Palestinian American in Congress — for her rhetoric about the Israel-Hamas war.
The outcome of the vote will likely depend on whether Democrats unite with a handful of their GOP colleagues in defending Tlaib, who has long been a target of criticism for her views on the decades-long conflict in the Middle East.
That criticism reached new heights after the October 7 attack by the terrorist group Hamas, in which some 1,400 Israelis — mostly civilians — were killed and 240 taken as hostages into Gaza. Tlaib, who has family in the West Bank, came under heavy reproval after she failed to immediately condemn Hamas after the attack.
Democrats stood by Tlaib and helped defeat an initial censure resolution against her last week. But since then, many of her colleagues, including prominent Jewish members, have become more conflicted about her rhetoric about the war, especially because of a slogan she has used frequently that is widely seen as calling for the eradication of Israel.
Representative Brad Schneider of Illinois, the lone Democrat to vote with Republicans to advance the censure resolution, says he believed it’s important to debate the slogan “from the river to the sea.”
“It is nothing else but the call for the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews,” the Jewish Democrat says. “I will always defend the right to free speech. Tlaib has the right to say whatever she wants.”
He adds, “But it cannot go unanswered.” It’s unclear if Schneider will support the resolution on final passage.
While the censure of a lawmaker carries no practical effect, it amounts to a severe reproach from colleagues, as lawmakers who are censured are asked to stand in the well of the House as the censure resolution against them is read aloud.
Saudi Arabia will host three separate summits on the Israel-Hamas war in the coming days for Arab, African and Muslim nations, says the kingdom’s investment minister.
“In the short term, the objective of bringing these three summits and other gatherings under the leadership of Saudi Arabia would be to drive towards peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Khalid Al-Falih tells the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, according to Reuters.
In response to reporters’ questions, US President Joe Biden confirms that during his phone call yesterday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he asked Israel to “pause” the fighting in Gaza against Hamas.
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