ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 146

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Nov. 9: Houthis claim missile attacks on Israel; advanced Arrow 3 makes 1st intercept

IDF hits Hezbollah targets, reacting to new attacks * Fighting rages in Gaza City * Gallant: New methods used to tackle tunnels * PIJ airs clip of 2 hostages * Ground op toll at 35

  • An image of Israel and the US's test launch of the Arrow 3 missile defense system on July 28, 2019. (Defense Ministry)
    An image of Israel and the US's test launch of the Arrow 3 missile defense system on July 28, 2019. (Defense Ministry)
  • Smoke rises during an exchange of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah terrorists on the border between Israel and Lebanon, November 9, 2023. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)
    Smoke rises during an exchange of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah terrorists on the border between Israel and Lebanon, November 9, 2023. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)
  • IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image published by the military on November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
    IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image published by the military on November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
  • Palestinians fleeing Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza toward the southern areas walk along a highway on November 9, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and Palestinian terror group Hamas. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
    Palestinians fleeing Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza toward the southern areas walk along a highway on November 9, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and Palestinian terror group Hamas. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
  • This picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip, shows Israeli strikes on the northern Gaza Strip on November 9, 2023 (RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP)
    This picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip, shows Israeli strikes on the northern Gaza Strip on November 9, 2023 (RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP)
  • Hostages Hannah Katzir, 77 (left), and Yagil Yaakov, 13, are seen in a propaganda clip aired November 9, 2023, by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group. (Screenshot)
    Hostages Hannah Katzir, 77 (left), and Yagil Yaakov, 13, are seen in a propaganda clip aired November 9, 2023, by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group. (Screenshot)
  • David Lubin, in the light blue shirt, attends the funeral of his daughter Rose Elisheva Lubin at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on November 9, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    David Lubin, in the light blue shirt, attends the funeral of his daughter Rose Elisheva Lubin at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on November 9, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Israeli soldiers arrive for a drill in the Golan Heights on November 9, 2023, amid increasing cross-border tensions between Hezbollah and Israel as fighting continues in the south with Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)
    Israeli soldiers arrive for a drill in the Golan Heights on November 9, 2023, amid increasing cross-border tensions between Hezbollah and Israel as fighting continues in the south with Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)
  • Soldiers guard the entrance to a Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip, in a handout photo published November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
    Soldiers guard the entrance to a Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip, in a handout photo published November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
  • IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip in this handout photo released for publication on November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
    IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip in this handout photo released for publication on November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

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

Trump: ‘No hatred like the Palestinian hatred of Israel and Jews. And probably the other way around also’

Former US president Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Party of Florida Freedom Summit, November 4, 2023, in Kissimmee, Florida. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Former US president Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Party of Florida Freedom Summit, November 4, 2023, in Kissimmee, Florida. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Former US president Donald Trump says Palestinian hatred of Israel is deeply ingrained and Israeli hatred of Palestinians is also a barrier to peace, but he insists that a deal is still possible between them.

“They learn to hate the Jewish people in the earliest forms of school, whatever their form of school is, but you know, Israel hatred,” Trump says in an interview with Univision whose transcript was leaked to Semafor.

“There is no hatred like the Palestinian hatred of Israel and Jewish people. And probably the other way around also… It’s not as obvious, but probably that’s it too,” Trump adds.

The former president and current GOP frontrunner says he hasn’t given up on a potential peace deal and that he even argued against the late GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, who thought it wasn’t possible.

Trump also continues his damage control for comments he made last month criticizing Israel over the intelligence failure that led to the October 7 onslaught and tearing into Netanyahu as well.

The former president tells Univision that he is “strong” and capable of leading the country through the crisis.

“I think Israel has to do a better job of public relations, frankly, because the other side is beating them at the public relations front,” Trump says.

Trump also claims he would’ve pursued negotiations with Iran that would’ve prevented the October 7 Hamas onslaught. The US and Israel have said they don’t currently have intelligence directly linking Iran to the massacre but both recognize that Tehran has long backed the Gaza-based terror group.

“We would have had a deal with Iran” had he remained in office for a second term, Trump tells Univision. “Iran was broke, I say respectfully, they were broke.”

“We were actually getting along well with Iran,” Trump says — an interesting revelation given that bilateral ties appeared to be at one of their lowest points at the time.

Netanyahu hails censure of Rashida Tlaib: ‘From the river to the sea means there’s no Israel’

Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan speaks during a rally at the National Mall during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Washington, October 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan speaks during a rally at the National Mall during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Washington, October 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hails the US House of Representatives for censuring Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan for using the term “from the River to the sea, Palestine will be free” along with other anti-Israel rhetoric since the October 7 Hamas onslaught

“From the river to the sea means there’s no Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean,” Netanyahu tells Fox News.

“What this congresswoman is calling for is… genocide, the elimination of the one and only state of the Jewish people. That’s absurd, and I salute the Congress for censuring her,” Netanyahu says.

He then criticizes pro-Palestinian protesters around the world, saying they are expressing support for Hamas, which Western leaders have likened to ISIS and the Nazis.

“They’re lining up with ISIS, with Al-Qaeda, with these murderers, with these baby burners, with these rapists, with these mutilators, with these head choppers — This is what they’re aligning themselves with,” Netanyahu says.

“Can our world survive if people with such moral depravity go and support these murderers?” Netanyahu asks.

“This is an indictment of higher education in many places in the West where people who are supposedly educated cannot distinguish right from wrong and good from evil. Hamas is evil and we have to defeat evil, not protest and demonstrate on behalf of evil,” the prime minister adds.

Biden cheers Israeli decision on pausing Gaza fighting: ‘A step in the right direction’

US President Joe Biden speaks to United Auto Workers at the Community Building Complex of Boone County, November 9, 2023, in Belvidere, Illinois.  (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
US President Joe Biden speaks to United Auto Workers at the Community Building Complex of Boone County, November 9, 2023, in Belvidere, Illinois. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

US President Joe Biden welcomes the Israeli decision to formalize and broaden humanitarian pauses to its fighting in Gaza.

“These pauses will help get civilians to safer areas away from active fighting. They are a step in the right direction,” Biden tweets, using the same statement that was issued earlier today by White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby

“You have my word: I will continue to advocate for civilian safety and focus on increasing aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza,” the tweet from Biden adds.

Further regurgitating the earlier statement from Kirby, the tweet from Biden also says, “Let me be clear: Israel makes its own decisions.”

“They are fighting an enemy embedded in the civilian population, which places innocent Palestinian people at risk. They have an obligation to distinguish between terrorists and civilians and fully comply with international law,” says the American president.

PM confirms agreeing to temporary pauses in Gaza, reiterates no ceasefire until captives freed

Palestinians flee to the southern Gaza Strip along Salah al-Din Street in Bureij, Gaza Strip, November 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians flee to the southern Gaza Strip along Salah al-Din Street in Bureij, Gaza Strip, November 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirms that Israel has agreed to implement pauses in IDF operations in specific areas of northern Gaza to allow Palestinian civilians to evacuate.

“The fighting continues against the Hamas terrorists, but in specific locations for a given period of a few hours… We want to facilitate a safe passage of civilians away from the zone of fighting, and we’re doing that,” Netanyahu tells Fox News.

The premier continues to avoid using the “humanitarian pause” term being employed by the Biden administration, in an apparent effort to downplay a concession seen as less palatable to many Israelis, as long as Hamas continues to hold some 240 hostages. But a senior Israeli official who briefed The Times of Israel earlier today acknowledged that formalized humanitarian pauses are exactly what Jerusalem agreed to.

Netanyahu also reiterates that Israel will not agree to a more long-term ceasefire until the hostages are released.

The “tactical, localized” pauses that Israel agreed on Thursday to implement each day will build on the humanitarian corridor that the IDF began operating on Sunday to allow Gazans to evacuate from northern to southern Gaza, away from the most intense areas of fighting, the senior Israeli official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The new four-hour pauses will take place in a different northern Gaza neighborhood each day, with residents notified three hours ahead of time. They will be able to use this time to either evacuate to the south via the two humanitarian corridors that Israel has established or leave their homes in order to restock on food, medicine and other aid, the senior Israeli official said.

US troops targeted in multiple attacks in Iraq, Syria over past day

WASHINGTON — US and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria have been targeted multiple times in the last day, with three minor injuries reported, US defense officials say Thursday.

The attacks took place as the US conducted another airstrike against an Iranian weapons storage area Wednesday to try to convince Iranian-backed militant groups to cease the hostilities and avoid spurring a larger conflict

Within the past day, militants have launched two separate attacks using multiple rockets against US and coalition forces operating at Green Village, Syria; a one-way drone attack was launched against US and Coalition forces at Mission Support Site Euphrates, Syria; US and coalition convoy encountered a roadside bomb near the Mosul Dam, in Iraq; and a one-way attack drone was launched at US and coalition forces at the al Asad air base in Iraq.

There were three minor injuries reported in the Green Village attacks but all personnel returned to duty.

No other injuries or damage was reported in the strikes, according to defense officials who provided details of the attacks on the condition of anonymity to discuss details not yet made public.

According to deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh, US and coalition forces have been attacked 46 times since October 17, injuring 56 personnel. All have returned to duty, Singh says.

Family of Israeli missing since Oct. 7 Hamas massacres informed that he was killled

Oren Goldin, of Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, who was killed in the October 7 attack on southern Israel by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group. (X. used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Oren Goldin, of Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, who was killed in the October 7 attack on southern Israel by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group. (X. used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The family of Oren Goldin, a resident of Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak who has been listed as missing since the devastating Hamas attack on October 7, has been informed that he was killed in the onslaught by the Gaza-ruling terror group.

Goldin, 33, leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old twins.

Israel’s Arrow 3 has made its 1st-ever interception, downing likely Yemen-fired missile

An image of Israel and the US's test launch of the Arrow 3 missile defense system on July 28, 2019. (Defense Ministry)
An image of Israel and the US's test launch of the Arrow 3 missile defense system on July 28, 2019. (Defense Ministry)

For the first time ever, Israel’s most advanced air defense system, the Arrow 3, made a successful interception of a missile heading for the country’s southernmost city of Eilat, the IDF and the Defense Ministry announce.

The surface-to-surface missile, apparently launched from Yemen, was intercepted by an Arrow 3 missile over the Red Sea.

It marks the first time an Arrow 3 missile has been launched in an operational incident, and the first-ever interception.

Previous interceptions with the Arrow system in recent weeks — a Houthi ballistic missile from Yemen and a long-range rocket from Gaza — were downed using the older Arrow 2 missile.

The Arrow 3 was first deployed in 2017, and it is designed to take out ballistic missiles while they are still outside of the atmosphere.

IDF strikes several Hezbollah targets in response to new rocket, missile attacks

The Israel Defense Forces says it has struck a number of Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response to missile and rocket attacks on northern Israel that continued this evening.

The sites include compounds, observation posts and “technological assets” belonging to the terror group, the IDF says.

Hezbollah operatives have also fired another anti-tank missile at the Adamit area near the Lebanon border, causing no injuries.

The IDF says it is responding with artillery shelling at the source of the fire.

US official says Gaza death toll is believed to possibly be higher than claimed

US officials believe the death toll in Gaza may well be even higher than the more than 10,000 reported by the Strip’s Hamas-run Health Ministry, Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf told a US House panel yesterday.

Israeli officials, US President Joe Biden and others have challenged the ministry’s figures — which topped more than 10,800 killed in Gaza as of today — as exaggerated.

“We think they’re very high, frankly, and it could be that they’re even higher than are being cited,” she says, later adding this is “very possible.”

Leaf says US officials draw on “sourcing from a variety of folks who are on the ground,” but gives no other details of the US assessment.

Leaf notes that Hamas health officials do not separate the numbers of civilians and fighters killed, and says it is difficult to know the true number of deaths as long as the fighting continues.

Pro-Palestinian students at UCLA filmed striking pinatas of Biden, Netanyahu

Pro-Palestinian students at the University of California, Los Angeles, strikes a pinata plastered with a picture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on November 8, 2023. (Screen capture/X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Pro-Palestinian students at the University of California, Los Angeles, strikes a pinata plastered with a picture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on November 8, 2023. (Screen capture/X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Pro-Palestinian students at the University of California, Los Angeles were filmed at an event yesterday striking a pair of pinatas plastered with the faces of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden.

A number of students are given turns to strike the pinatas as others can be heard cheering and chanting “Long live Palestine” and “Free Palestine.”

An LGBTQ pride flag, hung from a poll outside an adjacent building that serves as the campus LGBTQ center, is seen in the same frame that captured the students striking the pinatas.

Yemen’s Houthis claim to launch ‘batch’ of missiles toward southern Israel

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim they launched a “batch of ballistic missiles” targeting “various sensitive targets” in southern Israel, including the area of the city of Eilat.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Houthi spokesperson Yahya Saree claims the missiles hit their targets “despite the enemy’s secrecy about this.” There have been no reports about explosions apart from a drone that crashed earlier today in a school in Eilat, an incident that Saree doesn’t mention in the statement.

Saree says the Houthis will keep carrying out military actions to support the “oppressed Palestinian people” until the “Israeli aggression” in Gaza stops.

Earlier today, Israel said the Arrow air defense system successfully intercepted a long-range missile fired over the Red Sea toward Eilat.

IDF says Patriot air defense system downed ‘suspicious target’ north of Eilat

The Israel Defense Forces says it intercepted a “suspicious target” in the Arava region in southern Israel, north of Eilat.

The target, which did not enter Israeli airspace, was knocked out of the sky by the medium-range Patriot air defense system, the IDF says.

It is unclear what the target was.

Earlier, the long-range Arrow air defense system intercepted a surface-to-surface missile, apparently launched from Yemen, over the Red Sea near Eilat.

Netanyahu and his wife visit family of fallen IDF soldier Pedayah Mark

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara meet the family of 2nd Lt. Pedayah Mark, a soldier in the IDF’s Givati Brigade who was killed last week in battle in Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, right, meet the family of 2nd Lt. Pedayah Mark who was killed in battle in Gaza, in the West Bank settlement of Otniel, November 9, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Pedayah was the son of Rabbi Miki Mark, who was killed in a 2016 West Bank shooting attack. Pedayah was moderately hurt in that attack.

Relatives tell Netanyahu at the family home in the Otniel settlement that “even if Pedayah had known the end of the story, he would have entered Gaza and done everything.”

“His body was taken, but Hamas will never be able to take his spirit,” they add.

The premier hails the family’s faith and strength, saying that “all that your family has been through and everything you’re going through today is the test for the Nation of Israel. The pain is immense, but we are winning thanks to this spirit.”

After furor, Gaza-envelope communities to be excused from local council taxes for a year

The government has decided that local councils in the Gaza envelope area where Hamas carried out its October 7 massacres will not be required to collect arnona (local council property tax) from residents, Channel 12 reports.

This follows a week after local council chiefs in the area protested that they were being ordered to continue to collect the tax even though hundreds of their residents had been slaughtered, many of their homes had been destroyed, tens of thousands had been ordered to evacuate, and their communities were closed military zones.

The exemption from the tax will be in force for the next year at least, the TV report says.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet tomorrow with local council leaders in the area for the first time since the October 7 Hamas massacres.

Some of the local council leaders are “not sure” they will attend the meeting, Channel 12 reports.

US State Department says it hasn’t so far found evidence for Israeli war crimes in Gaza

The deputy spokesperson for the US State Department says Washington has so far found no evidence for claims by UN officials that Israel has been committing war crimes in its war against the Hamas terror group in Gaza.

“I’m not going to get into the specifics of those rigorous processes,” Vedant Patel says of the State Department’s procedures, in response to a reporter’s question.

“These are internal deliberative processes that are par for the course as we talk about the ways in which we go about this, but there is a rigorous process in place and we have not come to that conclusion in this specific case.”

‘There’ll be no ceasefire without return of the hostages,’ Herzog promises families

President Isaac Herzog meets families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, on November 9, 2023 in Tel Aviv. (Channel 12 screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the copyright law))
President Isaac Herzog meets families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, on November 9, 2023 in Tel Aviv. (Channel 12 screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the copyright law))

President Isaac Herzog meets at the renamed “Hostage Square” in Tel Aviv with families of Israelis held hostage in Gaza.

“We are here… to embrace, to strengthen and to pray with the families of the hostages,” he says.

“Israel is doing everything in its power, and it is missing no opportunity to reach the moment when we will bring the hostage home,” he promises. “This is the holiest mission we have, along with defeating Hamas in the war being fought by the best of our soldiers in Gaza.

“We are dealing with a bitter, cruel enemy,” he says. “It knows no God.”

“There will be no ceasefire without the return of the hostages,” Herzog vows.

Official: New humanitarian pauses to be in different area each day, announced hours ahead of time

Palestinians flee to the southern Gaza Strip along Salah al-Din Street in Bureij, designated as a humanitarian corridor by the IDF to escape Gaza's north, November 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians flee to the southern Gaza Strip along Salah al-Din Street in Bureij, designated as a humanitarian corridor by the IDF to escape Gaza's north, November 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

A senior Israeli official tells The Times of Israel that the “tactical, localized” pauses that Israel has agreed to start implementing today are an expansion of the humanitarian corridors that it began operating on Sunday to allow Gazans to evacuate from northern to southern Gaza — away from the most intense areas of fighting.

These new, four-hour pauses will take place in a different northern Gaza neighborhood each day, with residents notified three hours ahead of time. They will be able to use this time to either evacuate to the south via the two humanitarian corridors that Israel has established, or leave their homes in order to restock on food, medicine and other aid, the senior Israeli official says.

The neighborhoods chosen for the pauses will not be announced ahead of time in order to prevent Hamas from exploiting them for its own military purposes.

Israel to expand its humanitarian pauses in northern Gaza — Israeli, US officials

Palestinians fleeing Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza toward the southern areas walk along a highway on November 9, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and Palestinian terror group Hamas. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Palestinians fleeing Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza toward the southern areas walk along a highway on November 9, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and Palestinian terror group Hamas. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

An Israeli official and a US official tell The Times of Israel that the Jewish state will expand its humanitarian pauses in northern Gaza.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby’s announcement that Israel has agreed to implement daily, localized, four-hour humanitarian pauses to allow Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate to the south sparked a great deal of confusion, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly responding that there would be no “ceasefire” unless the hostages are released and IDF officials noting that they’ve already been implementing humanitarian pauses to allow for safe passage of civilians since the beginning of the week.

An Israeli official confirms that the localized humanitarian pauses it has already been implementing to allow for the safe passage of civilians through humanitarian corridors will be broader moving forward.

A White House official clarifies that Israel informed the US administration that moving forward, it will be “formalizing and expanding” the pauses that they’ve already been implementing over the past several days.

The official says that “temporarily pausing hostilities in a specific area or areas allow[s] for safe passage, evacuations of injured or wounded and for civilians to be able to replenish food, water and medical supplies.”

“They also told us that it’s a formalized plan of action that will take effect today, and that they are opening a second corridor to allow for safe passage for civilians and aid to be delivered and distributed,” the White House official says.

“Of course, if Hamas takes advantage of these pauses to initiate combat activities or fire rockets, the IDF said they will take action in response to the origin of the threat,” the White House official adds.

Gallant: IDF using new methods to deal with tunnels, preventing Hamas abusing humanitarian corridor

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issues a video statement at an undisclosed location, November 6, 2023. (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issues a video statement at an undisclosed location, November 6, 2023. (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant repeats in a press statement that Israel will not stop the fighting against the Hamas terror group in Gaza until the at least 239 captives held in the Strip are returned.

He notes the dozens of kids abducted and held by “animals,” vowing: “We won’t stop the fighting until we get them back. What father stops looking for their children? I see them as my own kids.”

Gallant claims that Hamas members hiding in tunnels under Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital are hearing the IDF’s operations in the area, feeling them draw near, “and shaking with fear.”

He notes the challenge of dealing safely with the issue of the need to enter the tunnels or destroy them while not harming hostages who may be there, saying the military is developing new methods and working on solutions, adding that this “will improve in the coming days.”

He again vows Israel will get to all the terrorists who took part in the October 7 Hamas massacres in southern Israel, saying this could take a month, a year, or even years if needed.

Turning to the northern front, Gallant says Hezbollah has been “trying to harm us as well, suffering blow after blow.”

He warns that the Air Force pilots are ready and waiting orders, with an “eye to the north.”

Calling the war “the most justified that Israel has ever fought” in its 75 years of independence, he says it is a fight “against evil, against those who wanted to publicly display the murders [on October 7] to drive us out of our land.” He says he has spoken with fighters who told him they’ll do “everything” to achieve victory.

He hails the importance of the IDF reserves, as well as the military industry employees and others working for Israel’s security establishment in the ongoing war.

He vows Israel will rebuild and restore the communities near Gaza ravaged on October 7 and evacuated days later.

“Thousands of volunteers from all strata of society are helping the farmers near Gaza,” he says. “They know that agriculture, settlement and security are one and the same. Therefore,” he promises, “we will rebuild the communities, we will seed the fields and we will return to life — to the routine of life” in those areas ravaged by the Hamas massacres.”

One reporter notes that IDF soldiers were seen calling out in Hebrew to people evacuating northern Gaza via the humanitarian corridor today, apparently out of concern that hostages were being moved by their Hamas captors.

Gallant says the IDF is employing unspecified methods to ensure Hamas fighters and Israeli hostages aren’t among the tens of thousands of people evacuating. “We take everything into account. First, we want all the Palestinian [noncombatants] to leave Gaza City. That is important so that we have freedom of action [against Hamas]. We don’t want to harm them. Those who don’t head south are placing themselves in danger.
We have methods… to ensure that those who leave are those who are supposed to leave, and that we get our hands on all the rest.”

IDF vows to deepen ground op in Gaza City, pans PIJ hostage clip as ‘psychological terror’

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says Israel will continue to deepen its ground operations in Gaza City.

“We will reach more and more Hamas strongholds,” Hagari vows.

Gazans using the humanitarian route to head south “see that Hamas has lost control” in northern Gaza, and the south is safer, he says.

Despite a relative decline in rocket barrages from Gaza at Israel, he urges the public not to be complacent.

Responding to claims by Hamas that dozens of IDF armored vehicles have been disabled, Hagari says they are at 90 percent competency, with the vehicles being repaired in the field or taken back to Israel for more serious repairs.

On a Palestinian Islamic Jihad video showing two Israeli hostages, Hagari says: “We have not missed and will not miss any opportunity to return the hostages.”

He says the claims by Islamic Jihad that two will be released is “psychological terrorism.”

 

IDF says Arrow air defense system intercepted missile launched over Red Sea toward Eilat

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the long-range Arrow air defense system has intercepted a surface-to-surface missile launched toward Eilat.

The missile was intercepted over the Red Sea, and there are no reports of injuries or damage in Israel.

Hebrew media shares footage apparently showing the successful interception.

Last week, a ballistic missile fired by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen at Eilat was downed by the Arrow air defense system.

Palestinian Authority says it could govern Gaza in case of US-enforced 2-state solution

A top Palestinian Authority official told US President Joe Biden’s administration last week that it is willing to take on a post-war role in governing the Gaza Strip if Washington commits to a “full-fledged two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” according to The New York Times.

Hussein al-Sheikh, the secretary-general of the PA’s parent Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), tells the outlet that Ramallah is seeking “a serious American initiative that would force Israel to abide by it, to commit to it. This current US administration is capable of doing that.”

He says such a solution must include an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and a resolution of the status of East Jerusalem.

Al-Sheikh claims no such deal would be possible under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or his current government.

US envoy says displaced Gazans will be able to return to their homes in the north

The US envoy for the humanitarian situation in Gaza reiterates that Palestinians fleeing northern Gaza to the southern part of the enclave to escape the most intense areas of the IDF’s military operation against Hamas will eventually be able to return.

“Those now in the south must have every ability to return to the north, when that is safe to do. We do not see any enduring displacement, even within Gaza, from north to south,” David Satterfield tells reporters.

Many of the buildings in northern Gaza have been destroyed in the fighting.

Air raid alarms sound in Eilat, hours after drone crash

Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in the country’s southernmost city of Eilat.

The alerts come after a drone of unknown origin slammed into a school in the city earlier today.

IDF spokesman says no shift in Gaza humanitarian pause policy, playing down US claim

An IDF spokesperson confirms that the military only plans “tactical, local pauses for humanitarian aid, which are limited in time and area,” in response to a White House spokesperson’s claim that Israel will engage in daily, four-hour humanitarian pauses throughout northern Gaza.

Lt. Col. Richard Hecht tells reporters that the planned pauses are continuations of Israel’s humanitarian corridor policy — four-hour windows to allow civilians to travel from northern to southern Gaza, which is relatively safer and is receiving humanitarian aid.

“We’re seeing people move, tens of thousands, even though there is pressure from Hamas not to let them go,” Hecht says, adding that the IDF plans to “expand it” and “do it more.”

The policy is “not a shift,” Hecht clarifies. It is a “tactical pause for the movement from a specific area [to the] south.”

IDF: Army chief Halevi, Shin Bet head Bar entered Gaza today, spoke to troops

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (center) and director of the Shin Bet security agency, Ronen Bar (left), are seen in the Gaza Strip, November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (center) and director of the Shin Bet security agency, Ronen Bar (left), are seen in the Gaza Strip, November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and the director of the Shin Bet security agency, Ronen Bar, entered the Gaza Strip today to assess the situation with the ground forces, the military says.

In remarks provided by the IDF, Halevi tells officers that the main point of strength the military has in the war is “partnership.”

“I look around and see the IDF, in every corner, everyone is doing everything just so that you will be as strong as possible,” Halevi says. “There is nothing they will not do to make you work better. Keep moving forward, thoroughly, and increase the pace. We’re behind you,” he adds.

Bar tells the ground forces that the Israeli public and the political echelon have “crazy and unprecedented appreciation” for their work.

US praises Germany for banning all Hamas activities, urges other countries to crack down

The United States welcomes Germany’s decision to ban activities supporting Hamas, which builds on the European Union’s designation to fully restrict and criminalize support of the Palestinian terror group.

“As the world witnessed on October 7, Hamas is a dangerous terrorist organization, which engages in barbaric actions and has compounded and perpetuated the suffering of the Palestinian people at every step of this crisis,” the US State Department says in a statement.

“We urge other governments around the world to take action under their own authorities to hold Hamas accountable as it seeks to sustain its terrorist activities,” the statement adds. “Hamas does not represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people, who deserve to live in safety, dignity and peace.”

Poll: 70% of US Jews feel less safe than before Israel-Hamas war

A new poll finds that 70 percent of American Jewish respondents feel less safe than they did before the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Three-quarters of Jewish respondents are concerned that their communities will face security problems as a result of the war, the survey — commissioned by the Jewish Federations of North America — finds.

Jews are twice as likely to say they worry about their personal safety compared to the general public, according to the poll.

Among Jews, those who wear distinctive Jewish items are twice as likely to say they feel worried about their safety “all the time,” relative to Jews who do not wear distinctive items, the poll finds.

The survey was conducted over text message with 3,777 people participating, 2,199 of them Jewish.

The total margin of error is 1.59%, with the margin of error for the Jewish respondents at 2.09%.

Islamic Jihad airs propaganda clip with signs of life from 2 hostages

Hostages Hannah Katzir, 77 (left), and Yagil Yaakov, 13, are seen in a propaganda clip aired November 9, 2023, by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group. (Screenshot)
Hostages Hannah Katzir, 77 (left), and Yagil Yaakov, 13, are seen in a propaganda clip aired November 9, 2023, by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group. (Screenshot)

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group has posted propaganda videos showing two Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip.

One clip shows an elderly woman, and the second clip shows a young boy. Media outlets name them as Hannah Katzir, 77, and Yagil Yaakov, 13, both kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7.

The pair speak in Hebrew, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of causing the ongoing situation.

It is the first time Islamic Jihad has posted footage of hostages it is holding.

The content of this and other similar videos are almost sure to have been dictated by the hostages’ captors and are widely regarded as an attempt at psychological warfare.

According to Reuters, the PIJ’s armed wing says it will soon release a woman and a boy — possibly the same two captives — for “humanitarian and medical reasons” once the “appropriate measures are met.”

Biden: Netanyahu taking ‘longer than I hoped’ to agree to days-long humanitarian pause

US President Joe Biden tells reporters he asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a humanitarian pause in the Gaza fighting that will last longer than three days.

Asked whether he’s frustrated with Netanyahu, who has yet to heed such calls, Biden responds: “It’s taken a little longer than I hoped.”

Biden clarifies, though, that there is “None. No possibility” of a more permanent ceasefire, which Washington says would benefit Hamas.

Biden is asked why the US struck Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps weapons storage facility last night in eastern Syria. “Because they struck us,” he responds.

Biden says the US will strike back again “If we have to.”

Biden says “we’re still optimistic” regarding efforts to release the hostages before taking off from Washington on Marine Force One.

IDF says soldier died in Gaza today; confirms death of Roni Eshel, missing since Oct. 7

Roni Eshel, an IDF soldier who was stationed at a military base near the Gaza border when Hamas attacked on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy of Eyal Eshel via AP)
Roni Eshel, an IDF soldier who was stationed at a military base near the Gaza border when Hamas attacked on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy of Eyal Eshel via AP)

The Israel Defense Forces announces that a soldier was killed during fighting against Hamas deep in the Gaza Strip today.

He is named as Master Sgt. (res.) Dov Moshe Kogan, 32, a soldier of the Air Force’s elite Shaldag unit, from the northern community of Nov.

His death brings the toll of slain soldiers in Israel’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip to 35.

Additionally, the IDF says it has identified a soldier killed during the October 7 onslaught, who until now had been listed as missing.

She is named as Sgt. Roni Eshel, 19, an observation soldier in the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps’s 414th unit, from Tzur Yitzhak.

IDF: 9,500 rockets fired at Israel since Oct. 7, including 3,000 in 1st hours of onslaught

Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, October 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, October 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

The Israel Defense Forces releases long-awaited data on the activity of the military’s air defenses since the war began on October 7.

It also says that currently, Israel has the “largest deployment of air defense batteries ever.”

The IDF says that since the beginning of the war, some 9,500 rockets and mortars, as well as dozens of drones, have been fired at Israel, mostly from the Gaza Strip.

Some 900 rockets were launched from within civilian sites, including mosques, schools, hospitals and cultural centers. Around 12% of the rockets fell short inside the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF data.

Some 2,000 projectiles have been intercepted by the IDF’s air defense systems — the short-range Iron Dome, medium-range David’s Sling and Patriot, and long-range Arrow.

Many rockets landed in open areas, while some hit civilian sites, causing casualties. The IDF does not provide an interception rate, but the Iron Dome has previously been reported to have an estimated 95% success rate of downing rockets heading for populated areas.

During the first four hours of Hamas’s shock onslaught on southern Israel on October 7, some 3,000 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, according to the IDF data. For comparison, during the entire 2014 Gaza War, which lasted 50 days, some 4,000 rockets were fired in total.

The IDF says that since the ground operation began, it has identified “a significant decrease” in the amount of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

It says that for the first time ever, all of Israel’s air defenses are active at the same time.

“The air defense array is deployed in the most extensive way ever, and carries out interceptions from Mount Dov in the north to the Red Sea in the south,” the IDF says.

The IDF attributes the success of the array to “deep cooperation” with Israel’s defense industries, as well as the United States, the latter of which it says is “a force multiplier in this war.”

Israel says nothing new as White House says it agreed to daily 4-hour humanitarian pause

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office dismisses a White House statement that says Israel has agreed to a daily four-hour humanitarian pause in northern Gaza starting today.

With an announcement made three hours ahead of time, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says Israel has agreed to implement four-hour humanitarian pauses in northern Gaza each day.

“We’ve been told by the Israelis that there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause, and that this process is starting today,” Kirby says.

While this is the first time the US has announced this policy, Israel has been implementing these pauses since Sunday, opening a daily four-hour humanitarian corridor on Salah a-Din road for Palestinians to evacuate northern Gaza to its south. However, it has been referring to the policy as a “humanitarian corridor” and not “humanitarian pauses,” ostensibly sensitive to the limited political appetite in Israel for the IDF to be holding its fire while the hostages remain in Gaza.

Nonetheless, the localized pause has been implemented each day. On Wednesday, it was extended by one hour, and on Thursday, it was six hours due to the large number of Palestinians seeking to leave the area.

The IDF estimates that on Wednesday alone, some 50,000 Palestinians used the corridor to head south.

Because Israel has not described the holding of its fire to allow for the evacuation of Gazans from the north as “humanitarian pauses,” it appears to have sparked backlash, leading Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office to issue a statement saying that the IDF’s fighting is continuing and that there will not be any ceasefire without a return of the hostages.

“The fighting is continuing and there will be no ceasefire without the release of our captives,” the Prime Minister’s Office says in a statement. “Israel is enabling safe corridors from the Strip’s north to its south, as 50,000 Gazans did only yesterday.”

Jerusalem hospital commissions Torah scroll in memory of employees’ loved ones killed on and since Oct. 7

Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel on October 15, 2008. (Yossi Zamir / Flash 90)
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel on October 15, 2008. (Yossi Zamir / Flash 90)

Shaare Zedek Medical Center, a major private hospital in Jerusalem, is having a Torah scroll written in memory of the members of its community who have been killed or fallen in battle in the current war.

The project is an initiative of Shaare Zedek employees, and the completed Torah will reside and be used in the hospital’s synagogue.

“We hope that a Torah scroll in the hospital aimed at elevating the souls of the fallen souls will always remind those who pray and use the scroll that they are in a place that adds life,” said Rabbi Shmuel Slotki, whose wife Talia is a nurse at Shaare Zedek.

The Slotkis’ sons Noam and Yishai were killed by Hamas terrorists when they left their homes the morning of October 7 to answer desperate calls for help from residents of Kibbutz Alumim who reported they were under murderous attacks by terrorists.

Shaare Zedek is administering a crowdfunding campaign for the project. Since the campaign’s recent launch a month after the start of the war, NIS 65,000 ($17,000) of the required NIS 250,000 ($65,000) has been raised.

Palestinian Authority PM: Israel can’t destroy Hamas since it’s ‘an idea,’ isn’t just in Gaza

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh claims that Israel’s war goal of eradicating Hamas is impossible to achieve, because the terror group exists as an “idea” and many of its top members aren’t even in Gaza.

“The goal that they are setting — they will never reach this goal… because Hamas is not only in Gaza,” he tells France24. “Hamas is an idea, it’s not only a military structure or an organization in Gaza. Hamas is in the West Bank and Lebanon and Syria, Hamas leadership is in Qatar, and everywhere. So to say that the goal is to eliminate Hamas — it is totally not going to happen.”

Many have defined Israel’s goal as dismantling Hamas’s ability to rule Gaza and its ability to terrorize and target the residents of Israel, as it did in its October 7 onslaught.

Medics say 6 people hospitalized following drone crash in Eilat

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says following the drone crash that caused a blast in an Eilat school that six people have been taken to the city’s Yoseftal hospital as a result.

MDA says one of them, a man in his 20s, is in good condition after inhaling smoke, and five others suffered acute anxiety attacks.

Herzog: Despite media reports, there’s currently no ‘real proposal’ for hostage deal

President Isaac Herzog says that despite rampant media reports about an impending deal about Hamas releasing some hostages in exchange for a pause in the war, no such serious proposal is on the table.

“There is no real proposal that is viable from Hamas’s side on this issue,” Herzog tells NBC News.

“Whilst there are many, many people who are third parties who are sending optimistic messages to the news reels, I’m saying outright: According to my knowledge, up to now, there is no real substantial information that is showing any real offer of any process on the table.”

IDF says troops responding to mortar, missile and gunfire attacks from Lebanon

The Israel Defense Forces says a number of mortars were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel earlier, setting off sirens in Shtula and Even Menahem.

The IDF says it struck the launcher, as well as a second rocket launcher in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah operatives also fired an anti-tank missile and opened fire at an IDF post near Metula.

The IDF says it is responding with artillery shelling toward the source of the fire.

There are no reports of injuries in the attacks.

UNRWA chief says 99 of agency’s workers have been killed since start of war

The head of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants, says 99 of his colleagues have been killed in Gaza since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war a month ago.

Speaking to a Paris conference on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, UNRWA commissioner-general Phillip Lazzarini says this figure is “the highest number of UN aid workers killed in a conflict in such a short time.”

Lazzarini says over 700,000 displaced Gazans are now living in “degrading conditions in 150 UNRWA schools and buildings across the enclave.”

“Our shelters are overcrowded, with little food, water or privacy,” he says. “Children used to learn and laugh in this school. Today, they plead for a piece of bread and a sip of water.”

“The appalling sanitary conditions represent a looming public health hazard,” the UNRWA chief adds.

“Condemning the horrendous massacre committed by Hamas in Israel is the right thing to do. The UN has done so and continues to call for hostages to be released,” he clarifies. “This cannot, however, justify a war that disregards international humanitarian law and promotes dehumanizing rhetoric.”

Lazzarini calls for an immediate ceasefire, the funneling of significantly more aid into Gaza, more funds for the the cash-strapped UNRWA and for countries to figure out a plan for postwar Gaza that ensures equality for Israelis and Palestinians.

German FM to discuss war in Gaza in trip to Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks at the German Bundestag in Berlin on October 11, 2023. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks at the German Bundestag in Berlin on October 11, 2023. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is traveling to the Middle East for the third time in a month with stopovers planned in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Germany’s foreign ministry says Baerbock’s meetings will focus on the release of the German hostages held by the Hamas terror group in Gaza, the humanitarian situation there, and efforts to prevent a regional conflagration of the conflict.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has also traveled to Israel and other countries in the region since Hamas’s October 7 atrocities.

Arab Israeli soccer teams begin match with tribute to victims of Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught

A November 8, 2023, friendly match between soccer teams from the Arab towns of Umm Al Fahm and Kafr Qasim begins with a moment of silence for the victims of the October 7 Hamas massacre. (Israel Football Association/Facebook)
A November 8, 2023, friendly match between soccer teams from the Arab towns of Umm Al Fahm and Kafr Qasim begins with a moment of silence for the victims of the October 7 Hamas massacre. (Israel Football Association/Facebook)

A recent friendly match between soccer teams from the Arab towns of Umm Al Fahm and Kafr Qasim began with a moment of silence for the victims of the October 7 Hamas massacre, the Israel Football Association says.

Association board member and Umm al-Fahm team owner Muhammad Abu Alam says in a statement that he jointly made the decision to hold a moment of silence along with his Kfar Qasim counterpart Bilal Badir.

“Out of great pain that has not let up, we expressed the deep partnership and unity of all of us in a symbolic act of a minute’s silence in memory of the fallen. Wishing for better and beautiful days, for Arabs and Jews alike,” says a statement from Abu Alam.

IDF says its forces are fighting in Gaza City’s ‘military quarter’ near Shifa Hospital

IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image published by the military on November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip, in an image published by the military on November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces says its 162nd Division is operating in Hamas’s “military quarter” of Gaza City, clashing frequently with terror operatives.

According to the IDF, the so-called military quarter, adjacent to Shifa Hospital, is “the heart” of Hamas’s intelligence and operational activities, and sites in the area were used to plan and prepare the October 7 onslaught.

A graphic published by the IDF on November 9, 2023, showing a map of Hamas presence in Gaza City’s ‘military quarter. (Israel Defense Forces)

It says that in recent days, forces of the Givati Infantry Brigade and tanks entered the quarter to destroy Hamas infrastructure. Amid clashes in the area, more than 50 Hamas operatives were killed, the IDF says.

The IDF says troops found intelligence materials, tunnels, weapons manufacturing plants and anti-tank missile launch positions.

The quarter houses “strategic” Hamas sites, according to the IDF, including the terror group’s intelligence and air defense headquarters, political bureau offices, and a police station.

The IDF says the largest Hamas training camp is also in the quarter, along with other military positions, weapons manufacturing plants and warehouses, command centers, offices of Hamas commanders, and underground infrastructure — all embedded in the “heart of the civilian population.”

“This is further proof of the terrorist organization’s cynical use of the residents of the Gaza Strip as a human shield for its murderous terrorist activity,” the IDF says.

It adds that fighting in the quarter continues.

IDF says drone hit a school in Eilat, causing damage; background unclear

The scene of a blast in Eilat caused by a drone of unknown origin, November 9, 2023. (Courtesy)
The scene of a blast in Eilat caused by a drone of unknown origin, November 9, 2023. (Courtesy)

The Israel Defense Forces confirms a drone hit a school in the southernmost city of Eilat, causing damage.

“The identity of the aircraft and the details of the incident are under review,” it adds.

In recent weeks, the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have attempted to fire drones and missiles at Eilat, though in all the attempts the projectiles were either intercepted or missed their target.

Mossad chief has met CIA director, Qatari PM to discuss Hamas hostage deal — report

Mossad chief David Barnea has reportedly met with CIA Director William Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Doha to discuss the specifics of a deal with the Hamas terror group to release hostages and pause the fighting.

The discussion also included talk of having humanitarian aid enter Gaza, Reuters reports, citing an unnamed source briefed on the meeting.

Ongoing war costing economy some $600 million per week — Bank of Israel

The absence of many workers from their jobs due to the ongoing war with the Hamas terror group has been costing the Israeli economy an estimated NIS 2.3 billon ($600 million) per week, or about 6 percent of GDP, according to a research report by the Bank of Israel.

The report measures the weekly cost in the first three weeks of the war, which broke out on October 7, and attributes the drop in labor supply to the massive mobilization of reserve soldiers, the evacuation of residents in the south and north, and the closure of the education system, making it hard for parents to work.

The cost calculation breaks down into NIS 1.25 billion due to the complete closure of educational institutions, NIS 590 million due to the absence at work of 144,000 evacuated residents from war-affected areas, and about NIS 500 million due to the mobilization of about 360,000 reserve soldiers.

The partial opening of the education system in recent days may reduce the cost, the central bank notes.

Rocket alerts blare in communities near Lebanon border

Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in the northern communities of Shtula and Even Menahem, close to the Lebanon border.

The alerts come amid repeated rocket and missile attacks by Hezbollah and allied Palestinian terror factions from southern Lebanon on northern Israel.

Police say investigating Eilat blast as ‘suspected security incident’

The scene of a blast in Eilat caused by a drone of unknown origin, November 9, 2023. (Courtesy)
The scene of a blast in Eilat caused by a drone of unknown origin, November 9, 2023. (Courtesy)

Police say they are investigating the blast in the southernmost city of Eilat as a “suspected security incident.”

It asks the public to stay away from the area of a school where the large explosion occurred.

In surveillance camera footage from near the school, buzzing, possibly from a drone, can be heard before the blast.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

Blast reported in Eilat

A large blast is reported in the southernmost city of Eilat.

Images from the scene show damage to a local school.

There are no reports of injuries in the explosion.

The cause of the blast is still under investigation.

IDF says anti-tank missile fired at Israel from Lebanon; troops hit 2 Hezbollah cells

Israeli military tanks take up a position during a drill in the Golan Heights on November 9, 2023 (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)
Israeli military tanks take up a position during a drill in the Golan Heights on November 9, 2023 (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says it struck two Hezbollah anti-tank guided missile squads in southern Lebanon, near the Biranit military base and the northern community of Yiftah.

It adds that Hezbollah operatives opened fire at an IDF drone over the Mount Dov area earlier today. In response, another aircraft struck the source of the fire, and artillery shelled the area, the IDF says.

Meanwhile, an anti-tank missile was fired from southern Lebanon at the Mitzpe Adi base, near Margaliot. The IDF says it is responding with artillery shelling.

There are no reports of injuries in the attack.

Last night, the IDF says it also struck a terror cell in southern Lebanon approaching the border near Rosh Hanikra.

Opening Gaza aid conference, Macron calls for humanitarian pause, reiterates Israel’s right to defend itself

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a meeting with officials from Western and Arab nations, the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Nov. 9, 2023. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a meeting with officials from Western and Arab nations, the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Nov. 9, 2023. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron opens a Gaza aid conference with an appeal for Israel to protect civilians as it fights the Hamas terror group, saying “all lives have equal worth” and that fighting terrorism “can never be carried out without rules.”

The gathering in Paris brings together officials from Western and Arab nations, the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations, with the aim of providing urgent aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip that is being pounded by Israel in its war against Hamas, sparked by the terror group’s devastating October 7 massacre.

Israeli authorities weren’t invited but have been informed of the talks, Macron’s office said.

Macron reiterates calls for a humanitarian pause in Israel’s operations. He said that by attacking Israel on Oct. 7, Hamas “shouldered the responsibility for exposing Palestinians to terrible consequences,” and he again defended Israel’s right to defend itself.

But Macron also stresses that civilians must be protected. “It’s absolutely essential. It is nonnegotiable,” he says.

“All lives have equal worth and there are no double standards for those of us with universal and humanist values,” he says.

“Fighting terrorism can never be carried out without rules. Israel knows that. The trap of terrorism is the same for all of us: giving in to violence and renouncing our values,” he adds.

Rockets fired toward Ashdod, surrounding towns

Sirens sound in the coastal city of Ashdod and surrounding towns as a barrage of rockets is fired.

At least two rockets are intercepted by missile defense systems.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Earlier, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that one of the aims of the IDF’s Gaza ground operation was to stymie the rocket fire from the Strip and allow the return  of a semblance of ordinary life in Israel.

‘Hate marchers’: UK minister accuses police of being overly lenient toward ‘pro-Palestinian mobs’

Suella Braverman, Britain's home secretary, arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, October 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Suella Braverman, Britain's home secretary, arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, October 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Britain’s interior minister accuses the country’s largest police force of being more lenient toward pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel demonstrators than other groups, deepening a political feud sparked by the Israel-Hamas war.

In a highly unusual attack on the police, Home Secretary Suella Braverman says London’s Metropolitan Police force was ignoring lawbreaking by “pro-Palestinian mobs.” She describes demonstrators as “hate marchers.”

Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protests have been held in London and other British cities every weekend since the war began more than a month ago after Hamas launched a devastating attack on Israel.

The government has criticized organizers for planning a march on Saturday because it is Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of World War I.

The march is a day before the main Remembrance Sunday commemorations, when King Charles III, senior politicians, diplomats, military leaders and veterans attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph war memorial in central London. The planned route does not pass close to the monument, which is steps from Parliament.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has criticized the planned protests on Remembrance weekend as “provocative and disrespectful.” But after summoning police chief Mark Rowley for talks yesterday, Sunak said the government backed “the right to peacefully protest. And the test of that freedom is whether our commitment to it can survive the discomfort and frustration of those who seek to use it, even if we disagree with them.”

Gallant: One of the military’s Gaza objectives is to prevent rocket fire on Israeli towns

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with officials during a meeting of the upper committee for the economy during an emergency, on November 9, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with officials during a meeting of the upper committee for the economy during an emergency, on November 9, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says one of the objectives of the military’s ground offensive in the Gaza Strip is to stop Hamas rocket fire on Israeli towns, so that the public can return to their daily routines.

“We are in a prolonged war, and the issue of the civilian economy is a main factor in the management of the war. We need to resolve things quickly, even if not perfectly,” says Gallant during a meeting with directors general of government ministries, local officials, and the head of the IDF Home Front Command.

“We will have to operate with an expanded budget policy and shorten lengthy administrative work,” he says.

Gallant says the IDF’s ground operation in Gaza “suppresses a significant part of the threat to the home front. The rocket fire by Hamas these days is mainly intended to disturb the routine of life.”

“We need to make sure that the citizens are given security and the ability to have an uninterrupted daily routine,” Gallant adds.

‘The most free-spirited person I know’: Rose Lubin, killed in stabbing attack, is eulogized at funeral

Family and friends attend the funeral of Rose Elisheva Lubin at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on November 9, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Family and friends attend the funeral of Rose Elisheva Lubin at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on November 9, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Thousands gather at Mount Herzl national cemetery for the funeral of Sergeant Rose Ida Lubin, who was killed Monday in a stabbing attack outside of Jerusalem’s Old City while on duty as a Border Police officer.

Lubin, 20, a recent immigrant to Israel from Atlanta, Georgia, was a lone soldier through the Garin Tzabar program.

She is eulogized by her parents, brother and rabbi, her adopted families from Jerusalem and Kibbutz Sa’ad and fellow Border Police officers.

Lubin is described as a stellar big sister to her younger siblings, a colorful, wise soul who is a vegan, wrestler, cheerleader and Zionist deep in her heart.

“Rose is the most free-spirited person I know,” says her brother Alex.

Sgt. Rose Elisheva Lubin (Israel Police)

Her mother reads from Lubin’s bat-mitzvah speech, and notes Rose’s desire to “create a mind-blowing life story.”

“The human race will never be perfect,” says Rose’s mother, Robin, reading from the speech. “I have figured out that happiness isn’t something you search for, but find in the people you love.”

One of Lubin’s Border Police colleagues speaks about her colorful personality, her smile and her motivation.

At the end of the funeral, three sets of shots are fired into the air.

Scholz vows to protect Germany’s Jews amid rising antisemitism: ‘Never again’ is now

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during a central commemoration ceremony for the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht in the Beth Zion Synagogue in Berlin on November 9, 2023. (John MACDOUGALL / POOL / AFP)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during a central commemoration ceremony for the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht in the Beth Zion Synagogue in Berlin on November 9, 2023. (John MACDOUGALL / POOL / AFP)

Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledges to protect Germany’s Jews against a “shameful” upsurge in antisemitism in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Speaking in a Berlin synagogue that assailants targeted with two Molotov cocktails last month, Scholz says: “Essentially this is about keeping the promise given again and again in the decades since 1945…the promise ‘never again.'”

The German leader was speaking on the 85th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass or Kristallnacht, a spasm of orchestrated violence that ushered in the Nazi’s slaughter of six million European Jews during World War II.

On November 9-10, 1938, Nazi thugs murdered at least 90 Jews, torched 1,400 synagogues across Germany and Austria and destroyed Jewish-owned shops and businesses.

Since the devastating Hamas attack on October 7, some 2,000 antisemitic incidents linked to the war have been reported so far in Germany, federal police say. Authorities have boosted security around Jewish institutions.

In October two men hurled Molotov cocktails at the Beth Zion synagogue in Berlin. No one was hurt, but the attack left many Jews in the capital rattled.

Rallies on German streets have in some cases seen far-right and far-left extremists chanting anti-Israel and antisemitic slogans and sparked clashes with police.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Police say fellow officer abandoned post in ‘serious failure’ at time of attack that killed Rose Elisheva Lubin

Sgt. Rose Elisheva Lubin (Israel Police)
Sgt. Rose Elisheva Lubin (Israel Police)

Police say that an officer has been transferred after an investigation found there was a “serious disciplinary and operational failure” in the circumstances surrounding the killing of Border Police officer Sgt. Rose Elisheva Lubin, 20.

According to the statement by police, the unnamed officer abandoned his post and “acted in complete opposition to orders and instructions” at the time of Monday’s stabbing attack.

It is unclear from the police statement whether the officer abandoned his post ahead of the attack, or during.

The assailant, a 16-year-old resident of East Jerusalem’s Issawiya neighborhood, was shot dead at the scene.

Lubin moved to Israel from the United States in August 2021, and was drafted to police as a so-called “lone soldier” in March 2022.

She was buried today at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery.

IDF denies military’s edited film of Hamas atrocities has leaked online

View of the destruction caused by Hamas terrorist in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, southern Israel, October 15, 2023 (Edi Israel/Flash90)
View of the destruction caused by Hamas terrorist in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, southern Israel, October 15, 2023 (Edi Israel/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces spokesperson’s unit says that contrary to reports, its edited film of Hamas atrocities has not leaked online.

“The film is screened in a limited manner to decision-makers, media and influencers in Israel and the world, subject to strict conditions and accompanied by an IDF representative or an authorized person on its behalf,” the IDF says.

“The participants in the screening undertake to comply with the viewing conditions and sign a document in which they undertake not to photograph or distribute any part of the film,” the military says. “We and ask the public to refrain from spreading false rumors and from forwarding and opening links that claim to contain the film.”

The graphic 47-minute film was put together by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office from footage retrieved in large part from video cameras worn by the Hamas terrorists.

Messages have circulated throughout the morning in parent groups, warning that there may be a version of the film circulating online.

Mental health professionals in Israel have an issued an urgent call to the government to scrap Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reported plan to show the film to the general public.

Sara Netanyahu’s aide resigns after being suspended for tirades against ‘traitors from the left’

Sara Netanyahu at a voting station in Jerusalem, during national elections, on March 23, 2021. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)
Sara Netanyahu at a voting station in Jerusalem, during national elections, on March 23, 2021. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)

An aide to Sara Netanyahu resigns after she was suspended for a series of inflammatory Facebook posts lashing out at so-called “leftists” amid the ongoing war in Gaza sparked by the Hamas terror group’s deadly shock assault in southern Israel.

According to the Ynet news site, Tzipi Navon resigns after it becomes clear that her 14-day suspension was going to be extended.

Navon made a number of posts using the terms “traitors,” “treasonous kikes,” “scum” and “fifth column.”

In one Facebook post denouncing a group that criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the October 7 Hamas massacre, Navon wrote that “traitors from the left are continuing to incite” against the premier.

In another post she wrote that Channels 12 and 13 were trying to “divide and harm Jewish morale” during the current war with Gaza, and separately called Channel 12 “fifth columnists.”

In another post, Navon reposted a picture of body bags, ostensibly of victims of the Hamas massacre, writing: “Well pedophile friend, Brothers in Arms, the air force and army enlistment refusers, are you satisfied now???” in reference to former prime minister Ehud Barak and the anti-judicial overhaul movement.

Sara Netanyahu’s chief of staff is a state-paid position in the civil service working as an employee in the prime minister’s residence, which is under the authority of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Film of Hamas atrocities shown in Los Angeles; protesters scuffle outside

A screening is held for the Hollywood community of a film of the murderous atrocities committed by Hamas against Israelis on October 7.

The event showing “Bearing Witness to the October 7 Massacre,” was reportedly organized by Gal Gadot and Israeli director and screenwriter Guy Nattiv, with a second screening to be held in New York.

According to ABC news, Gadot did not attend the screening at the Museum of Tolerance.

The Hollywood Reporter says Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan was in attendance, along with security officials.

The event was held under tight security.

According to local news affiliate Fox 11, there were brief scuffles outside the Los Angeles venue when pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators clashed.

The graphic 47-minute film was put together by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office from footage retrieved in large part from video cameras worn by the terrorists, who documented the carnage in real time.

On October 7, several thousand terrorists burst through the border from Gaza by ground, air, and sea. They attacked over 20 Israeli towns, kibbutzim, and IDF bases, leaving many of them in total ruin.

They killed some 1,400 people and took over 240 to Gaza as hostages, where they still remain.

PA says 6 Palestinians killed, 5 wounded in renewed clashes

The Palestinian Authority health ministry reports six killed and at least five wounded in renewed clashes with the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp.

The IDF reportedly carried out a drone strike against a group of armed Palestinians in the area. Earlier this morning, IDF troops operated in Jenin to clear explosive devices that were planted in the streets of the refugee camp.

Health Ministry cuts red tape for sperm retrieval from sons killed in war

Illustrative -- In this May 15, 2018, photo, a scientist picks up a vial containing frozen donor sperm samples in a lab in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Illustrative -- In this May 15, 2018, photo, a scientist picks up a vial containing frozen donor sperm samples in a lab in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

The Health Ministry is allowing parents to circumvent usual legal procedures to have the sperm of their fallen soldier sons, or civilians sons killed during the war, to be retrieved before burial.

According to a report in Haaretz, sperm has been retrieved from 33 men in the last month — four of them civilians and the rest soldiers.

In normal times, posthumous sperm retrieval (PSR) can be done at the request of a widow without any need for legal bureaucracy, but parents who want their dead son’s sperm to be retrieved and preserved must obtain an order from a family court. This requirement has been eliminated, at least temporarily.

The Health Ministry has set up a special unit that works 24/7 with the IDF and the four hospitals housing sperm banks — Ichilov, Sheba, Shamir (Assaf Harofeh), and Beilinson — to notify families of the option of PSR and set it up as quickly as possible following the death of their son or husband.

Sperm must be retrieved within 24 hours after death to increase its chances of viability when it is later unfrozen and used to fertilize an egg. However, experts say that PSR can be performed even several days after death when sperm is no longer motile.

“We look for and prefer sperm that are moving. But even sperm that is not motile does not mean that it is not alive. We know how to make it move after it is unfrozen,” said Dr. Yuval Or, head of the IVF unit at Kaplan Medical Center.

IDF says it killed Hamas regional commander responsible for anti-tank missile attacks

The Israel Defense Forces says it has killed a senior Hamas commander responsible for the terror group’s anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) operations in central Gaza.

In a joint statement with the Shin Bet security agency, the IDF says Ibrahim Abu-Maghsib was the head of Hamas’s ATGM array in the so-called central camps brigade.

“As part of his position, he directed and carried out numerous anti-tank missile launches directed at Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,” the statement says.

The IDF publishes a video showing the strike.

Separately, the IDF says Navy forces struck Hamas ATGM launch positions in the Gaza Strip today.

Ex-MK detained after announcing anti-war protest

Mohammad Barakeh, chair of umbrella organization for the Arab community, the High Follow-up Committee in Jerusalem on November 3, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Mohammad Barakeh, chair of umbrella organization for the Arab community, the High Follow-up Committee in Jerusalem on November 3, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A former lawmaker from the Arab-majority Hadash party is detained for questioning after he announced a protest against the Israel-Hamas war.

Mohammad Barakeh, chair of umbrella organization for the Arab community, the High Follow-up Committee, called for Arab officials to demonstrate in Nazareth. The general public was not invited to the rally, the Ynet news site reports.

Police say in a statement that Barakeh is detained because he, “contrary to police instructions, is trying to organize a demonstration that could lead to incitement and damage public order.”

With over 50% of operating rooms not fortified, staff must exit during rocket attacks – report

View of a new intensive care unit built in the underground parking lot of the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, in Jerusalem, October 25, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
View of a new intensive care unit built in the underground parking lot of the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, in Jerusalem, October 25, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

More than half the operating rooms in Israeli hospitals are not fortified against missile attacks, according to a report by the Kan national broadcaster.

As a result, nearly all medical staff must exit such operating rooms and go to safe areas when rocket sirens sound — except during critical lifesaving surgeries.

In addition, only 30-40 percent of hospital beds in Israel are in protected spaces.

The Health Ministry reportedly plans to ultimately fortify all hospital wards, dialysis centers, and blood banks at the cost of NIS 4.5 billion ($1.2 billion). The idea is for all hospitals and medical facilities to be able to function as “isolated islands” for up to 72 hours without outside help during a war or another emergency.

In the near term, the ministry hopes to achieve protection of 50% of hospital beds — an additional two thousand — in the next two months at a cost of NIS 200 million.

IDF opens evacuation corridor from northern Gaza to south, with extended hours

Palestinians fleeing Gaza City toward the south walk on a road on November 8, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
Palestinians fleeing Gaza City toward the south walk on a road on November 8, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces’s Arabic-language Spokesman, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, says Israel will again open a corridor for Gazan civilians in the north of the Strip to escape southward.

Adraee writes on X that Israel will open Salah-al-Din Street for southward traffic between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Previous days saw the corridor open for only four hours.

He says that yesterday some 50,000 Gazans took advantage of the safe route to head to southern Gaza.

“Do not listen to what some Hamas leaders say from their hotels abroad or from the underground places they have arranged for themselves and their family members,” Adraee warns. “For your safety, take advantage of the [opening of Salah a-Din] to move south, beyond Wadi Gaza.”

The IDF has warned that northern Gaza is a battle zone, as it moves to target Hamas’s main stronghold in the area.

IDF: Troops found Hamas drone manufacturing plant, weapons depot in Gaza residential building

Hamas drones found by Israeli troops in a residential building in Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Hamas drones found by Israeli troops in a residential building in Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip have located a Hamas drone manufacturing plant and weapons depot inside a residential building.

The Israel Defense Forces says the building, in Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, is located next to a school.

Footage shows troops finding several Hamas drones in the building, as well as equipment used to manufacture them, and instructions to make explosive devices. It says troops also recovered a number of bombs at the site.

Adjacent to the manufacturing site and weapons depot is a children’s bedroom, the IDF says.

Rocket sirens sound in Ashdod

Rocket sirens sound in the coastal city of Ashdod, sending residents running for shelter.

It is the first time in some 36 hours that rockets were aimed at communities located beyond the Gaza border area.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Hillary Clinton: ‘There was a ceasefire on October 6. Hamas chose to break it’

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton appears on 'The View,' November 8, 2023 (Screen grab used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton appears on 'The View,' November 8, 2023 (Screen grab used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton goes viral with a long explanation of the situation in Gaza and why she is not calling for a ceasefire.

“Remember, there was a ceasefire on October 6, that Hamas broke by their barbaric assault on peaceful civilians,” she tells “The View,” an ABC daytime show. “There was a ceasefire. It did not hold because Hamas chose to break it.”

“Hamas have consistently broken ceasefires over a number of years,” she says.

“Israel has a right to defend itself, as does Ukraine,” she says.

“Israel should conduct itself by the rules of war and do everything it can to prevent and limit civilian casualties,” she says

“Those three things are all true themselves,” says the former top US envoy.

Clinton explains that she has been to Gaza and understands the situation there and Hamas’s use of civilians “as tools of war.”

“I think we’re now moving toward a position where humanitarian pauses are on the table, as they should be,” she says.

“We should remember over 240 innocent people — not only Israelis — are held hostage [in Gaza],” she says. “This is a multinational hostage situation.”

Clinton also explains attempts over the years for a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

“I believe it’s imperative… to try finally to dislodge Hamas and have a leadership that will work for a two-state solution, which should be the outcome we all hope and pray for,” Clinton says.

2 Palestinians killed in West Bank clashes with Israeli troops, PA says

The Palestinian Authority health ministry reports that two Palestinians were killed in clashes with the Israeli military in the West Bank town of Beit Fajjar, near Bethlehem, and in Dura, near Hebron.

The Israel Defense Forces does not comment on those clashes, but says troops operated in the Jenin refugee camp overnight with armored D9 bulldozers, uncovering and destroying dozens of makeshift bombs that were hidden in the area.

Troops clashed with gunmen in Jenin, with the IDF saying it carried out a drone strike against a group of armed Palestinians who were shooting at Israeli forces.

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.

Separately, the IDF says that yesterday the head of the Central Command, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox, signed off on a demolition order for the home of Daoud Faiz, a Palestinian terrorist who rammed into a group of off-duty soldiers and civilians near Modiin in August, killing Sgt. Maksym Molchanov.

Shas minister says comments on Netanyahu needing to call election after war were ‘taken out of context’

Yoav Ben-Tzur arrives for a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on January 3, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yoav Ben-Tzur arrives for a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on January 3, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Shas minister who said he believes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have no option other than calling elections within 90 days of the end of the Israel-Hamas war issues a statement claiming his words were misrepresented.

“My words were taken out of context. In response to the usual question about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s responsibility, I wanted to say that this is not the time to deal with this and that after the war, Netanyahu himself will lead the investigation,” Labor Minister Yoav Ben-Tzur says.

“In any case, [the comments] do not represent the position of the Shas movement, which is determined by the Council of Sages and is presented only by the chairman of the movement. In war, you don’t talk about politics and I made a mistake in my judgment,” he says.

Troops captured key Hamas stronghold and fought gunmen in tunnels during 10-hour battle, IDF says

Soldiers guard the entrance to a Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip, in a handout photo published November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Soldiers guard the entrance to a Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip, in a handout photo published November 9, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces says troops of the Nahal Infantry Brigade captured a Hamas stronghold, known as outpost 17, in west Jabaliya after 10 hours of fighting.

The IDF says the soldiers battled Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives in the stronghold, who were both “above ground and in an underground route in the area.”

According to the IDF, dozens of terror operatives were killed during the fighting.

It says troops located many weapons and uncovered tunnel shafts, including one located adjacent to a kindergarten that led to an “extensive underground route.”

Troops also found “significant” Hamas battle plans in outpost 17, the IDF adds.

The IDF did not immediately provide new information on potential casualties among troops.

Meanwhile, the IDF says the Air Force carried out strikes against hundreds of targets in the Gaza Strip over the past day.

Shas minister: I believe Netanyahu will have to call elections within 90 days of war’s end

Shas MK Yoav Ben-Tzur speaking to reporters at the Knesset on August 1, 2019, after filing his party forms ahead of the elections. (Raoul Wootliff/Times of Israel)
Shas MK Yoav Ben-Tzur speaking to reporters at the Knesset on August 1, 2019, after filing his party forms ahead of the elections. (Raoul Wootliff/Times of Israel)

A minister from the Haredi Shas party says he believes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have no option other than calling elections within 90 days of the end of the Israel-Hamas war.

“At the end of the war, Netanyahu will be forced to go to the elections within 90 days. It will be before an investigative commission of one kind or another, in my opinion,” Labor Minister Yoav Ben-Tzur tells the Maariv newspaper.

“The prime minister himself will initiate the elections. We can’t continue like this any longer. The public will have its say and then we’ll see if Netanyahu gets a mandate,” he says, according to the Walla news site.

“Fairness requires that after such a terrible event, the public must have its say. The government will not be able to continue functioning in the current situation,” he says.

Netanyahu has remained adamant that only when the fighting is over will the question of who is responsible be raised.

Despite this, he has apparently sought to place blame on others for the colossal intelligence and policy failures leading up to the Hamas assault, the deadliest in Israel’s history.

Rocket sirens in Gaza border communities

After an overnight pause of some 11 hours, rocket sirens sound in the Gaza border towns of Kissufim and Nahal Oz.

The communities have been largely evacuated in the wake of October 7.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Eliahou Elmakayes identified as 34th IDF soldier killed in Gaza ground offensive

Master Sgt. (res.) Eliahou Benjamin Elmakayes, who was killed fighting in Gaza on November 8, 2023. (Courtesy)
Master Sgt. (res.) Eliahou Benjamin Elmakayes, who was killed fighting in Gaza on November 8, 2023. (Courtesy)

The Israel Defense Forces announces that Master Sgt. (res.) Eliahou Benjamin Elmakayes, a soldier of the Combat Engineering Corp’s 8219th Battalion, was killed during fighting in the central Gaza Strip yesterday.

Elmakayes, 29, was from Jerusalem.

His death brings the toll of slain soldiers in Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza to 34, and 352 since October 7.

Additionally, an officer and soldier of the Paratrooper’s 202nd Battalion, a reservist officer of the 551st Brigade’s 697th battalion, and a soldier of the 551st Brigade’s 6551st Battalion were seriously wounded in separate clashes in Gaza yesterday, the IDF says.

Vivek Ramaswamy calls Ukraine’s Zelensky a ‘Nazi’ during GOP presidential debate

Republican presidential candidate businessman Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NBC News, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Republican presidential candidate businessman Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NBC News, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy calls Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a “Nazi” during tonight’s GOP debate in Miami.

Asked whether he’s convinced by Zelensky’s calls for more aid from the US to assist in the war against Russia, Ramaswamy says he is not and claims that a growing number of Republicans are beginning to follow his lead in opposing US involvement in the matter.

“Ukraine is not a paragon of democracy. This is a country that has banned 11 opposition parties. It has consolidated all media into one state TV media arm — that’s not democratic. It has threatened not to hold elections this year unless the US forks over more money — that is not democratic. It has celebrated a Nazi in its ranks, the comedian in cargo pants, a man called Zelensky… That is not democratic,” Ramaswamy says of the Ukrainian president, who is Jewish.

“The regions of Ukraine that are occupied by Russia right now in the Donbas: Luhansk and Donetsk. These are Russian-speaking regions that have not even been part of Ukraine since 2014.”

“To frame this as some kind of battle between good versus evil, don’t buy it,” he claims.

Rare aid delivery reaches Shifa hospital in Gaza City, UN says

An aerial view shows the compound of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on November 7, 2023. (Bashar Taleb/AFP)
An aerial view shows the compound of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on November 7, 2023. (Bashar Taleb/AFP)

A rare delivery of emergency medical supplies and medicines has reached Al-Shifa hospital in the war-ravaged north of the Gaza Strip, the UN says, warning though that far more was needed.

Israel says that Hamas has built its main command center underneath Shifa hospital.

In a joint statement, the heads of the United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees and the World Health Organization says the aid had reached Gaza’s largest hospital “despite huge risks to our staff and health partners due to the relentless bombardments.”

They highlighted that the delivery of life-saving supplies was only the second to reach the hospital, located in Gaza City, since the war between Israel and Hamas erupted over a month ago.

“While welcome, the quantities we delivered are far from sufficient to respond to the immense needs in the Gaza Strip,” UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of WHO, write in the statement.

They describe conditions at the hospital as “disastrous,” with “almost two patients for every bed” as “the number of wounded increases by the hour.”

Doctors were being forced to treat wounded and sick patients in corridors, on the floor and outdoors, “while patients are undergoing immense and unnecessary pain as medicines and anaesthetics are running out,” they say.

At the same time, tens of thousands of displaced people had sought shelter in the hospital’s parking lots and yards.

Lazzarini and Tedros urgently appeal for fuel deliveries to humanitarian agencies in Gaza.

“Without fuel, hospitals and other essential facilities such as desalination plants and bakeries cannot operate, and more people will most certainly die as a result.”

DeSantis: There could have been more hostages had I not helped evacuate people from Israel

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NBC News, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NBC News, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Speaking during the Republican presidential debate, Florida Governor Ron DSsantis claims that there would have been more hostages in Gaza had he not scrambled state resources to help evacuate 700 people.

“We had Floridians that were over there after the attack. [US President Joe Biden] left them stranded. They couldn’t get flights out. I scrambled resources in Florida. I sent planes over to Israel, and I brought back over 700 people to safety. There could’ve been more hostages had we not acted,” DeSantis says. “We acted, and we saved lives.”

No one was kidnapped into Gaza after October 7, though, so it’s unclear why DeSantis says that the charter flights he helped organized prevented additional hostages from being taken into Gaza.

The Biden administration also organized charter planes and ships of its own to help evacuate American citizens after the war broke out.

‘They’ll grow up and become soldiers’: Interrogated Hamas terrorist said to justify killing children

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)

A terrorist from Hamas’s elite Nukhba Force who was caught by Israel during the October 7 massacre told Shin Bet interrogators that he had received orders to kill Israeli children, Haaretz reports.

“They’ll grow up and become soldiers” he explained, according to Haaretz.

He went on to justify the decapitation of Israeli victims, saying it was done to “to sow fear” among the Israeli public.

The terrorist said he didn’t regret anything he had done and said that in “terms of the brutality, there’s no difference” between the acts carried out by Hamas and those done by ISIS, Haaretz reports.

‘You worked for infidel Jews’: Clip shows Hamas brutally abducting Arab Israeli on Oct. 7

An Arab-Israeli man is abducted by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel on Ocober 7, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
An Arab-Israeli man is abducted by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel on Ocober 7, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

Newly released footage taken from the GoPro camera of a Hamas gunman shows how members of the terror group captured an Arab Israeli man while wearing IDF uniforms.

They are seen shooting into a roadside bomb shelter where he is hiding and ordering him to come out. They then shout at him to tell them where the town of Re’im is while threatening to slit his throat. One of them beats him with his weapon and another kicks him in the head.

They then take off his shirt, zip-tie his hands behind his back and throw him in the back of a car.

The man pleads with the terrorists not to kill him, saying he is not a soldier. “I beg of you in the name of Allah,” he says.

“You worked for the infidel Jews. Now you know Allah?!” one of the terrorists responds.

It is not clear what ended up happening to the Arab Israeli man.

Sissi said to reject US proposal for Egypt to run Gaza security until PA ready to take over

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi meets with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna (not pictured) in Cairo on September 14, 2023. (Khaled DESOUKI/AFP)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi meets with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna (not pictured) in Cairo on September 14, 2023. (Khaled DESOUKI/AFP)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi reportedly rejected a proposal from CIA Director William Burns for Cairo to temporarily manage security in the Gaza Strip after the war until the Palestinian Authority is prepared to take over.

Sissi told Burns that Egypt won’t play a role in removing Hamas as the terror group has helped keep its border with Gaza relatively calm in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing senior Egyptian officials.

The CIA declined to comment on the matter.

Three pro-Iran fighters killed in Israeli strikes near Damascus: monitor

Illustrative: Footage purported to show a strike on the Aleppo airport in Syria, October 14, 2023. (Screenshot: X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Illustrative: Footage purported to show a strike on the Aleppo airport in Syria, October 14, 2023. (Screenshot: X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Israeli air strikes killed three pro-Iran fighters as they hit sites belonging to the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah group near the Syrian capital Damascus, a war monitor says.

Israel has struck Syria several times in the past month as regional tensions simmer over the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

“Three non-Syrian pro-Iran fighters were killed in Israeli strikes on farms and other sites belonging to Hezbollah near Akraba and Sayyida Zeinab,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) war monitor.

SOHR, run by a single person, has regularly been accused by Syrian war analysts of false reporting and inflating casualty numbers as well as inventing them wholesale.

Akraba houses a military airport, the monitor said, more than 10 kilometers from Damascus International Airport.

Israel also struck Syrian air defense sites in the country’s southern Sweida province, says the monitor.

Syrian state media says Israeli air strikes had hit military sites in southern Syria, causing material damage.

“At approximately 22:50 pm today, the Israeli enemy carried out an air attack from the direction of Baalbek in Lebanon, targeting some military points in the southern region, causing some material losses,” official news agency SANA says, quoting a military source.

Nine people affiliated with Iran-backed groups in Syria killed in US strikes — war monitory

Nine people affiliated with Iran-backed groups in Syria were killed on Thursday in a US strike on the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, a war monitor said.

“Nine people working for Tehran-backed groups were killed in US strikes on sites used by pro-Iran groups,” Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), told AFP.

SOHR, run by a single person, has regularly been accused by Syrian war analysts of false reporting and inflating casualty numbers as well as inventing them wholesale.

Two Israelis seriously and moderately wounded after terror shooting in northern West Bank

Two Israelis were shot while driving near the northern West Bank settlement of Itamar in an apparent terror attack, the Magen David Adom emergency service says.

MDA says its medics are providing treatment at the scene to a 21-year-old man who is conscious but seriously wounded along with a 23-year-old woman who was moderately wounded and fully conscious,

A 5-month-old baby girl was in the back seat of the car but was not injured in the shooting.

Even after being shot, the wounded man managed to continue driving to the nearest settlement where medics were dispatched to the scene.

A helicopter is en route to transfer the couple to a nearby hospital, MDA says.

US strikes IRGC weapons depot in Syria for second time since outbreak of Israel-Hamas war

Illustrative: American soldiers drive a Bradley fighting vehicle during a joint exercise with Syrian Democratic Forces at the countryside of Deir Ezzor in northeastern Syria, December 8, 2021. (Baderkhan Ahmad/AP)
Illustrative: American soldiers drive a Bradley fighting vehicle during a joint exercise with Syrian Democratic Forces at the countryside of Deir Ezzor in northeastern Syria, December 8, 2021. (Baderkhan Ahmad/AP)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announces that two American F-15s conducted a strike on a weapons storage facility used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups in eastern Syria in response to another spate of attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by the IRGC and other Iran-backed forces.

“The United States is fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities. We urge against any escalation. US personnel will continue to conduct counter-ISIS missions in Iraq and Syria,” Austin says in a statement.

This is the second time since the outbreak of the war that the US has announced having carried out such strikes.

Report: Police receive witness testimony of gang rape, murder of a woman during Oct. 7 onslaught

Terrorists burst through the border fence from Gaza into Israel on October 7, 2023. (Channel 12 screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the copyright law)
Terrorists burst through the border fence from Gaza into Israel on October 7, 2023. (Channel 12 screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the copyright law)

Police have reportedly received testimony from witnesses to a gang rape that took place during the October 7 onslaught in southern Israel perpetrated by Hamas terrorists.

The witness told police that she had seen the gang rape of another young woman who had been trying to hide from Hamas terrorists who were dressed in army uniforms, Haaretz reports without citing any sources.

“They bent someone over… I realized he was raping her and passing her on to someone else who was also in an army uniform,” the witness said, according to the Haaretz report.

One of the rapists then shot the woman in the back of the head and several terrorists proceeded to mutilate her body, the witness told police.

A second witness told police that the first witness had shared what she saw with him in real time, Haaretz reports.

To date, the most corroborated accounts of sex crimes during the Hamas onslaught have been from volunteers from Zaka, an ultra-Orthodox organization that helps retrieve and identify bodies.

Israeli security forces, law enforcement and medical officials have yet to formally confirm allegations of rape by Hamas terrorists but the charge has been used regularly by Israeli government officials in their recounting of what took place on October 7.

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