The Times of Israel liveblogged Friday’s events as they unfolded
Yemen’s Houthi rebels appear to threaten Israel, after the Israel Defense Forces announced it was ramping up operations against Hamas in Gaza.
“Eilat,” Hezam al-Asad, a member of the Iran-backed group’s political bureau, writes on the social media platform X.
Earlier Friday, the IDF said a fighter jet intercepted a target over the Red Sea — apparently a drone heading for Israel — hours after an unmanned aerial vehicle slammed into the Egyptian town of Taba, wounding six people. Taba is located some 10 kilometers (six miles) from Eilat.
According to the military, the strike in Taba originated from “the Red Sea area,” an apparent reference to the Houthis in Yemen.
The blast in Egypt came days after the Houthis tried to fire missiles at Israel via the Red Sea.
Rocket warning sirens are activated in Netiv Ha’asara, a moshav that borders the northern Gaza Strip.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen decries a “despicable” resolution passed by the UN General Assembly that calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, amid the ongoing war sparked by the Hamas onslaught in southern Israel on October 7.
“Israel intends to eliminate Hamas just as the world dealt with the Nazis and ISIS,” Cohen says.
We reject outright the UN General Assembly despicable call for a ceasefire.
Israel intends to eliminate Hamas just as the world dealt with the Nazis and ISIS.
— אלי כהן | Eli Cohen (@elicoh1) October 27, 2023
Hamas welcomes the passage of a UN General Assembly resolution urging a ceasefire in Gaza and calls for its immediate implementation, including the entry of fuel and relief materials for civilians in the Strip, the terror group says in a statement.
The UNGA resolution passed overwhelmingly, though it did not include any mention of Hamas, leading the US and the vast majority of Western nations to avoid giving their support.
The rival Palestinian Authority’s foreign ministry also welcomes the resolution, saying that as Israel’s campaign “reaches a new peak of brutality,” there is “a solid international position rejecting Israel’s unhinged aggression.”
WASHINGTON — White House National Security spokesman John Kirby repeatedly refuses to comment on Israel saying its ground forces are expanding activity in Gaza and also refuses to comment on what a satisfactory long-term objective might be for the fighting.
“We’re not drawing red lines for Israel,” Kirby says on a call with reporters. “We’re going to continue to support them” but “since the very beginning we have, and will continue to have, conversations about the manner that they are doing this.”
Kirby says the US is still evaluating the impact of airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias and “we will not hesitate to take further actions in our own self-defense.”
He also says 10 additional trucks filled with humanitarian aid have made it to Gaza, bringing the total to 84, but that the US is aware that fuel there “is only anticipated to last a couple of days.”
The White House previously said US President Joe Biden was briefed Friday morning by his national security team on the latest developments in Israel and Gaza.
Israel angrily dismisses a UN resolution urging a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza, with the country’s ambassador saying Israel would continue to defend itself.
“This is a dark day for the UN and for mankind,” UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan says, vowing his country will use “every means” in fighting Hamas.
“Today is a day that will go down as infamy. We have all witnessed that the UN no longer holds even one ounce of legitimacy or relevance,” he said.
The head of Germany’s domestic security agency says he is worried by a rise in antisemitic offences in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict, comparing it to the “worst times in German history.”
The outbreak of the conflict has seen an increase in antisemitic violence, Thomas Haldenwang, the head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), tells magazine Spiegel.
Antisemitic crime figures had long been very high, but the recent rise is a “turning point,” Haldenwang says.
“I fear that this new wave of antisemitism will continue to occupy us for a long time,” he says.
US and Israeli officials tell ABC News tonight’s ground incursion in Gaza is not a large-scale offensive.
An unnamed American source tells the network the operation is a limited one. And IDF spokesman Peter Lerner says the current action is not the major operation that is expected.
Heavily intensified lsraeli airstrikes hit Gaza Strip. pic.twitter.com/GvAJDuvDLB
— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) October 27, 2023
The military wing of the Hamas terror group, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, says it is confronting an IDF ground incursion in the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas statement says “violent clashes” are taking place near Beit Hanoun in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and Bureij in the center.
Thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets in Ramallah, Nablus and other cities across the West Bank to protest in solidarity with those in Gaza, as Israel intensifies its military campaign against Hamas throughout the Strip.
רמאללה הערב pic.twitter.com/sfWFj3ToP3
— Carmel Dangor כרמל דנגור (@carmeldangor) October 27, 2023
A resolution calling for a Gaza ceasefire, which makes no mention of the Hamas terror group, has overwhelmingly passed the United Nations General Assembly.
One-hundred and twenty countries voted in favor of the non-binding resolution introduced by Jordan, while just 14 voted against, including the United States, Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Fiji, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Gineau, Paraguay and Tonga.
Forty-five countries abstained, including Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine and the UK.
The resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all civilians, the protection of civilians and international institutions, and ensuring the safe passage of humanitarian aid into the Strip.
The initiative is completely symbolic but highlights the overwhelming international support for the Palestinians amid Israel’s military campaign following the October 7 Hamas onslaught.
Canada sought to have an amendment added to the resolution to include a condemnation of Hamas, and a majority of members backed the proposal, but it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed in order to be adopted.
USA was one of just 14 countries to vote against a General Assembly Resolution calling for “an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.” pic.twitter.com/mowPZhbk8C
— Mark Leon Goldberg (@MarkLGoldberg) October 27, 2023
Fox news correspondent Trey Yingst reports on sounds of machine gun fire near Gaza border.
Machine gun fire along the Israel/Gaza border. pic.twitter.com/OttW0jy26K
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) October 27, 2023
An amendment to add a condemnation of Hamas to a Jordanian UN General Assembly resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza has been voted down.
Eighty-eight countries voted for the amendment, 55 voted against and 33 abstained, but two-thirds support from the 193-member body was needed in order for the measure to be adopted.
Jordan’s ambassador to the UN called the amendment an effort to “whitewash” Israeli “atrocities” in Gaza.
— Rami Ayari (@Raminho) October 27, 2023
Hamas is “ready” for an Israeli invasion of Gaza over the October 7 attacks, a top official of the Palestinian terror group says.
“If Netanyahu decides to enter Gaza tonight, the resistance is ready,” says Ezzat al-Rishaq, a senior member of the Hamas political bureau, on social media platform Telegram. “The remains of his soldiers will be swallowed up by the land of Gaza.”
The United States says that its strikes in eastern Syria hit ammunition linked to Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and expects a “significant” impact on Tehran-backed militias.
“The purpose for those two sites that we targeted was to have a significant impact on future IRGC and Iran-backed militia group operations,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby tells reporters.
“It went right at storage facilities and ammo depots that we know will be used to support the work of these militia groups, particularly in Syria.”
Top US Republican Jewish leaders head to Las Vegas for a key annual convention, with Israel’s war against Hamas set to dominate the gathering.
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) that traditionally welcomes White House hopefuls looking for donors is expected to be an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their support of Israel.
“The world will be watching,” the RJC wrote on social media as it announced a countdown to the event.
The @RJC Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas kicks off this weekend!
The world will be watching.
— RJC (@RJC) October 26, 2023
The eight main candidates for the Republican Party nomination are all expected to speak at the meeting, including frontrunner Donald Trump, and his nearest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Trump sparked fury in recent weeks by describing Lebanon-based Hezbollah as “very smart” and criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Saudi officials have reportedly warned American counterparts that an Israeli ground incursion into Gaza would have catastrophic implications for the Middle East.
“The Saudi leadership was hopeful that a ground operation could be avoided for reasons of stability as well as the loss of life,” US Sen. Richard Blumenthal tells The New York Times after meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh.
Senior Saudi officials have given more forceful warnings to their American counterparts behind closed doors, NYT reports, citing a Saudi official and a second source familiar with the matter.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has just wrapped up a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at UN headquarters in New York.
In his Thursday address to the General Assembly, the top Iranian diplomat warned that if Israel’s retaliation against Hamas doesn’t end then the US will “not be spared from this fire.”
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar met yesterday with the families of American-Israeli hostages currently being held by terror groups in Gaza, her office announces.
The hostages’ families met last week with Omar’s fellow Squad member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, indicating that they are engaging with lawmakers across the political spectrum in order to secure the release of their loved ones. Both Omar and Ocasio-Cortez have called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
Omar’s office tweets that she was “moved and honored” to meet with the hostages’ families. “We must do everything in our power to negotiate the safe release of all hostages held in Gaza. [Omar] will remain in touch with regional partners and NGOs to push for the release of the hostages, an end to the unjust targeting of civilians, and an immediate ceasefire,” the tweet adds.
Rep. Omar was moved and honored to meet with the family members of Israeli-American hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, on Thursday. We must do everything in our power to negotiate the safe release of all hostages held in Gaza. She will remain in touch with regional partners and NGOs…
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) October 27, 2023
After the IDF said earlier it was expanding its ground operations in the Strip, Palestinians in Gaza report IDF ground forces including tanks are operating within the enclave.
There are reports of heavy exchanges of fire between the soldiers and gunmen.
The reports can not be immediately verified. There is no comment from the IDF.
صفحة ألموغ بوكير العبرية: بعد إعلان المتحدث بإسم الجيش الإسرائيلي عن توسيع العملية البرية، أول توثيق للهجمات من شمال قطاع غزة. دبابات الجيش الإسرائيلي في العمل. pic.twitter.com/OyAlswmyy8
— الأمير ياسين (@M86950933) October 27, 2023
Earlier the Air Force carried out extensive bombardment of the Strip, apparently in preparation for the latest ground incursion.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi claims Israel has “launched a ground war on Gaza.”
Israel has made no such declaration. The IDF did say that it was ramping up its airstrikes and that ground force activity would expand overnight.
Israeli officials have likened Safadi to extremist National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, over the top Jordanian diplomat’s fiery rhetoric about Israel.
Safadi tweets that the outcome of Israel’s military operation “will be a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions for years to come.”
He calls on the international community to back a Jordanian UNGA resolution that calls for an immediate ceasefire but fails to mention Hamas.
“Millions will be watching every vote. History will judge,” Safadi says.
Twenty-five Democratic senators sign on to a statement calling for Israel to allow fuel deliveries to power hospitals and water treatment centers in Gaza.
Israel has thus far resisted such calls, saying that Hamas diverts fuel for its own use in terror activities.
“We condemn Hamas’s horrific terrorist attacks against Israel, for which Israel must hold Hamas accountable. In the course of that endeavor, every effort must be made to protect innocent civilians,” the statement led by Sens. Chris Murphy, Chris Van Hollen, Brian Schatz, Peter Welch and Jeff Merkley says.
“Right now, hospitals in Gaza are hours away from running out of fuel that powers ventilators, incubators for babies, and other lifesaving equipment, and diseases are rapidly spreading without power to treat and pump clean drinking water. To prevent a potential health crisis and help save countless lives, we believe it is possible to transport fuel directly to these hospitals, desalination plants, and water pumping stations with full transparency to prevent diversion to Hamas,” the statement continues.
“There are extensive oversight mechanisms in place that will track the fuel deliveries directly to the intended sites where they can be used immediately to prevent the deaths of innocent civilians, including babies and children. We encourage the Biden administration to work with our Israeli, Egyptian, and UN partners to enable these lifesaving deliveries,” the senators add.
The statement follows calls from at least seven Democrats who echoed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s urging of the UN Security Council to consider “humanitarian pauses” in the Gaza in order to allow the uninhibited entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and to allow civilians to reach safe zones away from the fighting.
Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated earlier in Ramallah in the West Bank, where some expressed support for Hamas amid Israel’s ongoing war against the terror group in Gaza.
The crowd chanted slogans including: “Liberate Gaza” and “The people want the Al-Qassam Brigades” in reference to Hamas’s armed wing.
Others waved Hamas flags along with banners representing a range of Palestinian movements.
Fakhi Barghouti, 80, said Palestinians in the West Bank “need to do more about the war in Gaza.”
Several people refused to answer AFP’s questions, believing that Western and particularly French media coverage of the war was “biased.”
Two rockets in the latest barrage from Gaza hit the town of Sderot.
One slammed into a home and another hit an outdoor shelter.
Some damage was caused but none were harmed.
Israel says the overnight blasts in the Egyptian resort towns of Taba and Nuweiba were caused by Houthi terrorists who were trying to harm Israel.
“The Houthis are a proxy of the Ayatollah’s terrorist regime in Teheran, which also controls the Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist organizations,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat says in a statement condemning the harm caused to Egypt’s security forces in the strikes.
Hamas calls on the world to “act immediately” to stop Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, as intense strikes pound the Palestinian territory.
“We call on the Arab and Muslim countries and the international community to take responsibility and act immediately to stop the crimes and series of massacres against our people,” Hamas says in a statement.
Rocket sirens sound in Ashkelon and Gaza periphery communities.
There are no immediate reports of impacts.
Anonymous leaflets warning Palestinians in the West Bank that they have “one last chance” to escape to Jordan or face another “Nakba” were placed on the cars of the residents of the northern West Bank village of Deir Istiya.
“The murderous ISIS satanic Hamas organization that wants to corrupt the country made the biggest mistake in history by declaring war on us and massacring children and the elderly,” the leaflets declare.
“You wanted a Nakba like what happened in 1948. We will bring down a great Nakba on your heads soon. You have one last chance to escape to Jordan in an orderly manner or we will forcibly expel you from our sacred lands that God bequeathed to us,” read the fliers, which were also placed on cars at the Yakir Junction just north of the Ariel settlement.
Deir Istiya Mayor Firas Diab tells Haaretz that settlers entered the farming lands of the village and hurled stones at the residents in recent days in crimes that went unpunished.
Settler violence has intensified further since the outbreak of the Gaza war.
הפלסטינים מדווחים: יהודים הניחו פליירים על כלי רכב בכפר דיר איסתיא, בהם נכתב ״יש לכם הזדמנות אחרונה לברוח לירדן באופן מסודר, ולאחר מכן נהרוג כל אויב ונגרש אתכם בכוח מאדמתנו הקדושה. קחו איתכם את החפצים שלכם מיד, וצאו כי אנחנו עומדים להגיע״ @gal_sade pic.twitter.com/yBacch7S4I
— Carmel Dangor כרמל דנגור (@carmeldangor) October 26, 2023
Dozens of IDF soldiers are filmed chanting “Ahmad Tibi is dead” and “Ahmad Tibi is a son of a b**ch,” referencing the Arab Israeli lawmaker in a pair of clips from this week uploaded to social media.
The IDF says in a statement that the soldiers’ behavior is inappropriate and that it is looking into the identities of those spotted in the videos.
Tibi in a statement says, “There is no Arab member of the Knesset who does not receive death threats, but incitement at the army bases is something new we’ve been seeing these past couple of weeks, perhaps with the encouragement of the La Familia [hate group]. The Israeli police arrest Arab citizens for liking and reciting Quranic verses, but have not yet taken any action against the rampant incitement against the Arab public.”
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield pans a Jordanian resolution that will be voted on later today in the General Assembly for failing to mention Hamas.
“It is outrageous that this resolution fails to name the perpetrators of the October 7th terrorist attacks: Hamas,” Thomas Greenfield says in an address during a debate on the non-binding Jordanian resolution that calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
She also notes that the resolution doesn’t include the word “hostages.” However, it does “call for the immediate release of all civilians, demanding their safety, well-being and humane treatment in compliance with international law.”
Thomas-Greenfield urges members to back a Canadian amendment to the resolution that condemns Hamas and demands the immediate and unconditional release of hostages.
“It should be easy. This is the bare minimum that we would hope to see in this resolution,” Thomas-Greenfield says.
The US envoy clarifies that Palestinian civilians, UN personnel and humanitarian workers must be protected.
She then highlights the story of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael al-Dahdouh, whose wife, two children and grandchild were killed in an Israeli airstrike earlier this week.
“We must not become numb to the pain and the suffering of people like Wael Al-Dahdouh… My heart breaks for Wael. My heart breaks for all -– all of the innocent civilians who are caught up in this crisis,” she says.
Internet and phone services have collapsed in the Gaza Strip under intensified bombardment, largely cutting off its 2.3 million people from the outside world and each other.
Frequent explosions from airstrikes lit up the sky over Gaza City after nightfall, when the black-out in internet, cellular and landline services hit.
The Red Crescent says it lost all contact with its operations room and medical teams. It says it fears people will no longer be able to contact ambulance services. Other aid groups say they are unable to reach staff on the ground.
The Palestine Telecommunications Company, Paltel, announces “a complete disruption of all communication and internet services” due to bombardment.
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military has ramped up airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in the last few hours and will continue to carry out ground operations.
“The Air Force is striking underground targets very significantly,” he says, adding that ground forces will “expand” their activity tonight.
For the last two days, IDF infantry forces and tanks have conducted limited raids into the Gaza Strip.
Hagari says the IDF will continue to strike Gaza City and surrounding areas in northern Gaza, and renews his call for Palestinians to evacuate to the Strip’s south.
“We are prepared to defend in all arenas. We are acting in order to protect the security interests of the State of Israel,” he says.
The United Nations chief warns that Gaza faces “an unprecedented avalanche of human suffering” due to lack of food, water and power during Israeli bombing in response to the Hamas attack.
“I repeat my call for a humanitarian ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages and the delivery of life-saving supplies,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says in a statement.
“Misery is growing by the minute. Without a fundamental change, the people of Gaza will face an unprecedented avalanche of human suffering.”
US President Joe Biden was briefed this morning by his national security team on the latest developments in Israel and Gaza, the White House says.
Participating in the briefing were National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Brown, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency William Burns, the White House adds.
Israel believes that Hamas has been dragging out the hostage negotiations in order to try and delay an IDF ground incursion into Gaza, a senior Israeli official tells The Times of Israel.
The official says that despite leaks from Egyptian and Qatari officials over the past several days purporting significant progress in the talks to release a large number of hostages, no breakthroughs currently appear to be imminent.
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari dismisses reports of indirect negotiations with Hamas for the terror group to release some of the hostages it is holding in Gaza.
“I suggest not to pay attention to the rumors, this is psychological terror by Hamas,” he says.
“Do not give in to its manipulations,” Hagari adds.
A foreign worker is moderately wounded after a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip in the latest barrage on central Israel landed in agricultural land near Rishon Lezion, medics say.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says the man, hit in the chest by rocket shrapnel, is being taken to the nearby Asaf Harofe Hospital.
US Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff met earlier today with families of Americans currently held hostage in Gaza, the White House says.
Harris and Emhoff joined a meeting led by US hostage envoy Roger Carstens and listened to the families’ experiences over the past several weeks and expressed their support, says a US readout.
Harris relayed to the families that the Biden administration is “doing everything possible” to bring home the roughly 13 Americans currently held hostage along with all of the roughly 230 captives.
Doug and I met with families of Americans who are still unaccounted for following the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel, and my message to them was simple: You are not alone. @POTUS and I are doing everything we can to bring these Americans home. pic.twitter.com/ADUvjs7u0g
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) October 27, 2023
Reports coming from Gaza indicate communication networks in the Strip are down amid heavy Israeli bombardment.
The Hamas government says Israel “cut communications and most of the internet” across the Strip.
⚠ Confirmed: Live network data show a collapse in connectivity in the #Gaza Strip with high impact to Paltel, amid reports of heavy bombardment; the company is the last remaining major operator to supply service as connectivity declines amid ongoing fighting with Israel 📉 pic.twitter.com/nDPf7HnjKF
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) October 27, 2023
In a statement marking the five-year anniversary of the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, US President Joe Biden laments that “today’s remembrance comes on the heels of the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” referring to the October 7 Hamas onslaught in Israel.
“This devastating atrocity has brought to the surface painful memories left by millennia of antisemitism and the genocide of the Jewish people. The fear is amplified by the alarming rise of antisemitism abroad and at home,” Biden says in a statement reiterating remarks from speeches he has given since the Hamas assault.
Reflecting on the Tree of Life shooting, Biden says, “The hearts of Jewish communities were shattered, leaving behind survivors and families who will never be the same.”
“Under my presidency, we will continue to condemn antisemitism at every turn. We are increasing security around centers of Jewish life across the country. The Justice Department has made combating hate crimes a top priority. We passed the most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years. And we are implementing the first-ever national strategy to counter antisemitism. Because hate never goes away, it only hides until it is given just a little oxygen. And as a nation, we must ensure hate is never given any oxygen,” the US president says.
“During these difficult times, we must never lose hope or give up on a better tomorrow. We must recommit to speaking out against bigotry and hate in all its forms, whether it is racism, antisemitism, or Islamophobia. And we must come together as fellow Americans to heal the soul of our nation,” Biden adds.
A major rocket barrage is fired from Gaza toward Israel’s south and center.
Sirens sounded in Ramat Gan, Modi’in, Rishon Lezion, Holon, Ashdod, Ashkelon and more.
There are no reports so far of impacts.
Our Hebrew sister-site Zman Yisrael reports that several hospitals have been instructed by the Health Ministry to open wards in which to potentially receive released Israeli hostages.
The hospitals are Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Wolfson Medical Center in Holon and Schneider Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
The report notes that the instruction is part of general preparations for the potential need to treat freed captives, and not the result of concrete information that such a release is imminent.
Iran’s foreign minister warns that Lebanese and Palestinian terror groups have their “finger on the trigger” in anticipation of an Israeli ground offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
“What I gathered from what I heard from them and the plans that they have — they have their finger on the trigger,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says.
Speaking to US National Public Radio from the United Nations, where he is attending a General Assembly session on the crisis, Amir-Abdollahian says the terrorists’ actions would be “much more powerful and deeper than what you’ve witnessed.
“Therefore I believe that if this situation continues and women and children and civilians are still killed in Gaza and the West Bank, anything will be possible,” he says.
Amir-Abdollahian insists, however, that the groups will decide on their own rather than at the behest of Iran.
“We don’t really want this conflict to spread out,” he says.
Palestinian media outlets report heavy Israeli airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, especially in its north.
Live footage shows plumes of smoke and fireballs rising above Gaza City.
The Israel Defense Forces has not yet commented on the wave of airstrikes.
The Israel Defense Forces says fighter jets were scrambled after an “aerial threat” was identified over the Red Sea this morning.
The Israeli Air Force intercepted the “hostile targets” which did not enter Israeli airspace, the IDF says.
The military publishes a video showing the interception, which according to Egyptian media occurred near the Red Sea town of Nuweiba.
Earlier today, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that a strike in the Egyptian Red Sea town of Taba in the early hours of the morning originated from “the Red Sea area,” in an apparent reference to Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Egypt blasts came days after the Houthis attempted to fire missiles at Israel via the Red Sea.
Calls from Democratic lawmakers in the United States for a “humanitarian pause” in the Gaza fighting are growing.
After US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the UN Security Council on Wednesday to “consider” humanitarian pauses in order to allow the uninhibited entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and to allow civilians to reach safe zones away from the fighting, Reps. Ro Khanna, Jamie Raskin, Susan Wild, Dan Goldman, Jerry Nadler, Jan Schakowsky and Sen. Bernie Sanders have echoed the call.
The group does not include the over one dozen more progressive Democrats who have called for a more permanent ceasefire.
The Biden administration has argued that a ceasefire would amount to a victory for Hamas after the October 7 onslaught left 1,400 people dead in Israel.
The Iranian army starts a two-day drill with all units of its ground forces in Isfahan province, in the center of the country.
During the main stage of the drill on Friday, the army’s mobile assault brigades, armored divisions and squadrons of helicopters fire upgraded versions of Shafaq, Almas and Dehlaviyeh missiles to strike targets at a range of 8 to 20 kilometers, according to Iranian news agency Tasnim.
The commander of the air force, Yousef Ghorbani, announces on the sidelines of the drill, codenamed Eghtedar (Authority) 1402, that military helicopters are participating in the exercise.
These have been equipped with jamming systems, night vision capabilities, long-range missiles, and precision-guided munitions, upgrading the Iranian Army Aviation to the “undisputed helicopter power” in West Asia, Ghorbani boasts to Iranian state media.
Iranian army ground force has kicked off a #military drill in central #Iran. Kamikaze drone Arash, Dehlavieh missile launcher, 200 helicopters among others are used in the ongoing exercise. pic.twitter.com/E1b0e0BNnG
— Iran Nuances (@IranNuances) October 27, 2023
Hamas denies Israel’s allegation that it hides its command centers under Gaza’s hospitals, rejecting it as “baseless.”
Izzat al-Rishq, a member of the the terror group’s political bureau, says in a statement that “these lies represent a prelude to a new massacre against our people, greater than the one of the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital” — a reference to the October 17 blast widely seen as being caused by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket that Hamas has blamed on Israel.
The IDF said earlier that the main operations base of the terror group is located under Shifa Hospital, the largest in the Strip.
“Over 40,000 have sought refuge in Al-Shifa hospital, as they were displaced by the bombing that hit everything,” al-Rishq says. “We call on the leaders of Arab and Muslm countries to take action and stop the genocide against our people,” he adds.
The Israel Defense Forces says a number of rockets fired from Lebanon toward Israeli territory landed in Syria.
The attempted attack comes amid repeated missile and rocket fire by the Hezbollah terror group and allied Palestinian factions in southern Lebanon.
The IDF issues a graphic overlay of a satellite image of Shifa Hospital, showing what it says are Hamas command centers hidden underneath the hospital.
Culture Minister Miki Zohar tells Channel 12 that “responsibility” for the October 7 Hamas onslaught lies squarely on the government, but that “blame” over what happened cannot be determined until after the war when the matter has been thoroughly investigated.
Zohar’s remarks appear to go further than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has refused to say that he was responsible for what occurred. Netanyahu acknowledged that he too will have to answer questions when the probe into October 7 is launched but asserted that an investigation cannot be opened until after the war is over.
In a briefing for reporters of international media outlets, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the Hamas terror group’s main base of operations is under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
Hagari says that Hamas has several underground complexes under Shifa — the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip — which are used by the terror group’s leaders to direct attacks against Israel.
He notes: “We have concrete evidence that hundreds of terrorists flooded into the hospital to hide there after the massacres of October 7.”
He says Israel has intelligence that there are several tunnels leading to the underground base from outside the hospital, so that Hamas officials do not need to enter the hospital to reach it. But Hagari adds that there is also an entrance to the underground complex from within one of the wards.
“Hamas terrorists operate inside and under Shifa hospital — and other hospitals in Gaza — with a network of terror tunnels,” he says. “Shifa is not the only hospital — it is one of many. Hamas use of hospitals is systematic.”
Additionally, according to the IDF, Hamas’s internal security has a command center inside Shifa Hospital, from which it directs rocket fire on Israel and stores weapons.
IDF says Hamas uses Shifa Hospital in Gaza as underground base.
IDF claims there are several underground complexes used by Hamas to direct their activities and a tunnel that reaches the hospital, and allows entrance to the Hamas headquarters without going through the hospital. pic.twitter.com/4MakZfG3Ud
— Clash Report (@clashreport) October 27, 2023
Hagari accuses Hamas of using the hospital — with 1,500 beds and some 4,000 staff — as human shields.
“Hamas uses Shifa hospital as a shield for Hamas terror infrastructure,” Hagari says. “Hamas wages war from hospitals. By operating from these hospitals, Hamas not only endangers the lives of Israeli civilians; but also exploits innocent Gazan civilians.
“Hamas terrorists operate inside hospitals precisely because they know that the IDF distinguishes between terrorists and civilians.”
He says that the hospital’s energy infrastructure is also used by Hamas’s underground base.
He says the information on Hamas’s use of the hospital is based on a wide range of intelligence sources collected by the Military Intelligence Directorate and Shin Bet security agency. He says the intel has already been provided to allies.
And he warns: “When medical facilities are used for terror purposes, they are liable to lose their protection from attack in accordance with international law.”
The United States is imposing new sanctions on eight individuals with ties to terrorist group Hamas, including those who have played key roles in facilitating sanctions evasion by Hamas-affiliated companies, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announces.
He adds that four entities with ties to Hamas and other designated terrorist organizations are also being sanctioned.
Several rockets launched from the Gaza Strip in the latest barrage landed in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, local authorities say.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says its medics are scanning for possible injuries.
Footage shows one rocket impact on a road in the city, and damage caused to the balcony of an apartment in a high-rise building.
— כל החדשות בזמן אמת 🟢 (@Saher95755738) October 27, 2023
Nearly half of Israelis are opposed to an “immediate” military ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, according to a survey published today that was cited by the daily newspaper Maariv.
According to the poll by the Panel4All institute, 49 percent of respondents say it would be better to “wait” before launching a ground offensive on the Palestinian territory.
Just 29% of respondents say the offensive should start “immediately”.
The poll was carried out on October 25 and 26 with 522 people questioned for the survey in the country of approximately 10 million.
Last week, 65% of those surveyed by the same institute said that they supported a military invasion of the Gaza Strip, according to Maariv. However, that survey did not specify the timing of the operation.
The Hezbollah terror group launches anti-tank guided missiles and opens fire with light arms at an Israeli military position near Avivim, and against the Misgav Am area on the northern border.
The Israel Defense Forces says no soldiers were hurt in the attacks, and troops are responding with artillery shelling against the sources of the fire in southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attacks today, as well as dozens of missile and rocket attacks on IDF positions and Israeli towns since the war in the Gaza Strip began on October 7.
Since then, the terror group has also named 47 members killed in Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon. The IDF says it has been targeting Hezbollah squads and sites belonging to the terror group.
Medics from the International Committee of the Red Cross enter Gaza for the first time since the outbreak of war on October 7, a spokeswoman for the organization says.
Six medical staff crossed through Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt, alongside four other ICRC specialists and six aid trucks.
The UN warns that “many more will die” in Gaza from catastrophic shortages after nearly three weeks of bombardment by Israel in response to Hamas staging the deadliest attack in its history.
It also raises the alarm over alleged “war crimes” being committed as the deadly Israel-Hamas conflict rages.
“People in Gaza are dying, they are not only dying from bombs and strikes, soon many more will die from the consequences of (the) siege,” says Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).
Israel has cut supplies of food, water and power to Gaza, notably blocking all deliveries of fuel saying it would be exploited by Hamas to manufacture weapons and explosives.
“Basic services are crumbling, medicine is running out, food and water are running out, the streets of Gaza have started overflowing with sewage,” Lazzarini says.
Israel has renewed water supplies to southern Gaza but says it will not consider other matters so long as Hamas holds over 220 hostages captured as it massacred Israeli communities on October 7.
Qatar-based Al Jazeera reports talks are advancing on a deal to release Israeli hostages in Gaza, which would include a ceasefire.
The report cannot be verified or corroborated.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says Israel expects to launch a ground offensive into Gaza soon that will be long and difficult, and aim to destroy a vast network of tunnels used by the territory’s Hamas rulers.
Gallant says the ground invasion will include large forces, backed by airstrikes, and “will take a long time,” without elaborating. He says it will be followed by a third phase of lower-intensity fighting, as Israel destroys ”pockets of resistance.”
Gaza hospitals have been scrounging for fuel to run emergency generators that power incubators and other life-saving equipment after Israel cut off all fuel deliveries to Gaza at the start of the war, forcing its only power plant to shut down.
Gallant says Israel believes that Hamas would confiscate any fuel that enters. He says Hamas uses generators to pump air into its hundreds of miles of tunnels, which originate in civilian areas. He shows reporters aerial footage of what he says is a tunnel shaft built right next to a hospital.
“For air, they need oil. For oil, they need us,” he says.
The Shin Bet says the head of the security agency, Ronen Bar, and IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, toured the agency’s special operations command room today.
The two were briefed by Shin Bet employees on the agency’s activities in the war, it says, including “the intelligence efforts to locate the hostages and missing people, and the joint activity with the IDF… in intelligence and operations.”
The agency releases heavily blurred photos showing Bar and Halevi at the Shin Bet special operations command room.
Overnight, troops of the Israeli Navy’s Shayetet 13 commando unit carried out a raid in the southern Gaza Strip from the sea, the Israel Defense Forces says.
The IDF says the forces destroyed Hamas infrastructure and operated in a compound used by the terror group’s naval commando forces.
לוחמי שייטת 13 ביצעו במהלך הלילה פשיטה ממוקדת מהים בדרום רצועת עזה. במסגרת הפעילות, הכוחות השמידו תשתיות טרור של ארגון הטרור חמאס ופעלו במתחם המשמש את כוחות הקומנדו הימי של הארגון.
בתקיפה לקחו חלק כלי שיט נוספים של זרוע הים וכלי טיס. הכוחות יצאו מהמרחב עם סיום המשימה. pic.twitter.com/3l9Ouqi9nj
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) October 27, 2023
Other Navy forces participated in the mission, and all the Shayetet 13 commandos left the area and returned to Israel after the operation, the IDF adds.
The Hamas terror group in a statement earlier today claimed to have repelled the Israeli raid from the sea.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza says 7,326 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since the eruption of war with Israel on October 7.
The latest death toll includes 3,038 children killed, a ministry statement claims.
US President Joe Biden cast doubt this week on the death toll, which includes combatants, terrorists killed after crossing into Israel to slaughter people in their homes, and those killed by misfired Palestinian rockets.
However, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees says Hamas’s death toll figures have proved to be “credible” in previous conflicts.
“In the past, the five, six cycles of conflict in the Gaza Strip, these figures were considered as credible and no one ever really challenged these figures,” UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini told reporters in Jerusalem earlier.
Tel Aviv police chief Peretz Omer says the rocket strike in Tel Aviv damaged both a top floor apartment and an apartment below,
Omer asks that large crowds that showed up at the site to have a look-see not do so, and instead stay away and watch on television.
Mayor Ron Huldai, showing up at the scene, also tells other rubberneckers to stay away.
He says schools in the city will only open in places where there are shelters, with rocket sirens a regular occurrence.
Police and the National Cyber Directorate are advising people not to answer WhatsApp calls from unknown numbers coming from abroad, warning that they could be part of an attempt to hack phones.
The calls, which also include video calls, are apparently flooding Israelis’ phones, according to authorities.
At least one such call has come to a Times of Israel phone number as of this writing, from a Toledo, Ohio, area code.
“We recommend not answering them and not calling them back,” police say.
The cyber directorate notes that answering the call itself will not lead to a phone being hacked or damaged. It says the issue is being reported to Meta, WhatsApp’s parent company.
Authorities ask that WhatsApp users set their privacy settings to hush calls from unknown numbers.
The Magen David Adom emergency service reports that there are no injuries from the second barrage toward Tel Aviv and areas south and east, aside from a number of people hurt while running to bomb shelters.
Channel 12 news reports that two rockets fell in open areas near Ashdod, without causing damage or injuries.
There are also reports of a rocket hitting a walkway at a park in Tel Aviv. Video shows damage to the sidewalk and scorch marks from the impact.
— החדשות – N12 (@N12News) October 27, 2023
The Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades claims responsibility for the second barrage to target the Tel Aviv area in under half an hour, after also claiming the first.
“The al-Qassam Brigades has renewed bombing Tel Aviv in response to Zionist massacres against civilians,” it says.
Sirens are sounding again in Tel Aviv as well as the Shfela (Judean lowlands) area southeast of the city.
Suburbs east of Tel Aviv are also included in the alert.
Video shows the moment a rocket appears to hit a building in Tel Aviv, with a large fireball going up.
Footage shows the moment of the rocket impact in Tel Aviv pic.twitter.com/BnyWYeDRgd
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) October 27, 2023
Four people were injured and were in light to moderate conditions.
Rocket launched from Gaza hits an apartment building in Tel Aviv: 3 injured pic.twitter.com/vIIVGQIrDU
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) October 27, 2023
Hamas’s Al-Qasam Brigades have taken responsibility for the rocket barrage fired at Tel Aviv.
Video shows smoke rising from a building apparently damaged by the rocket fire.
Reports of a direct rocket impact in Tel Aviv pic.twitter.com/eoL397rpTC
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) October 27, 2023
Magen David Adom head Eli Bin tells Channel 12 news that there are initial reports of a rocket hitting a building in Tel Aviv.
The channel reports at least eight other rockets were intercepted.
Rocket sirens sound in the Tel Aviv area, including suburbs of the city.
Several interceptions are captured by TV cameras.
The sirens are followed by rocket alarms in areas just to the north of Gaza.
Rocket sirens are sounding in Ashdod.
The attack appears to be the first outside the immediate area abutting Gaza since last night.
There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The Israeli military releases what it says is a recording of a call between Hamas terrorists during their murderous rampage through Israel on October 7.
In the call, a man can be heard yelling orders at others who appear to be next to him, including telling them to “kill anyone you catch.”
He also boasts to the person on the other end of the call about his actions, asking them to listen as he shoots someone.
“The bastards live happily while we are humiliated. I’m going to tear them apart one by one,” he yells.
He also asks that someone go to tell his family about his actions, which appears to be a theme. A recording of a call released by the army previously featured another Hamas terrorist bragging to his family that he had killed 10 Jews.
The United Nations says Friday it is concerned that war crimes were being committed in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“We are concerned that war crimes are being committed. We are concerned about the collective punishment of Gazans in response to the atrocious attacks by Hamas, which also amounted to war crimes,” UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani tells a press conference in Geneva.
The UN’s OHCHR previously said it was launching an inquiry into possible war crimes since October 7, including Hamas’s assault on southern Israel, in which the group killed some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped at least 233 others, as well as Israel’s response, which has included a punishing air campaign on Gaza as it seeks to topple Hamas.
The United States has expanded its effort to cut off funding for Hamas, announcing a second round of sanctions against people and organizations linked to the group since it launched an attack on Israel that killed more than 1,400 people.
The new sanctions highlight Iran’s role in providing financial, logistical and operational support to Hamas, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control says in a statement. They include a Hamas representative in Iran and members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
“Today’s action underscores the United States’ commitment to dismantling Hamas’s funding networks by deploying our counterterrorism sanctions authorities and working with our global partners to deny Hamas the ability to exploit the international financial system,” Adeyemo says.
Among those targeted are Khaled Qaddoumi, described as a liaison between Hamas and the Iranian government; and Ali Morshed Shirazi and Mostafa Mohammad Khani, officials in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force who are accused of training and assisting Hamas terrorists.
The US also sanctioned a number of organizations, including the Iranian Bonyad Shahid, also known as the Martyrs Foundation. US officials say the group, which is affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad, funnels millions of dollars through the Gaza-based Al-Ansar Charity Association for the families of militants.
Rocket sirens have sounded in Kissufim and Kerem Shalom abutting Gaza, ending a 10-hour break in which no launches were detected.
There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
A spokesperson for the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing tells the New York Times that 10 aid trucks have entered the Strip Friday.
So far, 84 trucks with food, medicine and water have entered the enclave since Israel began allowing aid in nearly a week ago, according to the newspaper.
The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees is warning that remaining public services in besieged Gaza are collapsing fast and that people in the territory gripped by war now face food shortages.
Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini criticizes the international community, saying it “seems to have turned its back on Gaza.”
Lazzarini says the agency was very short on fuel in Gaza and needs about 160,000 liters (42,200 gallons) of fuel a day to supply hospitals and bakeries. The agency had previously warned on Tuesday that it would run out of fuel by Wednesday night.
UNRWA staffers in Gaza are saying their operations are crumbling and “for the first time ever, they report that now people are hungry,” Lazzarini says. “Civil order is collapsing.”
Asked how long supplies will last, Lazzarini says “certainly no more than a few days.” Lazzarini adds that 57 employees of the agency in Gaza have been killed since the war started on Oct. 7.
“To equate Gaza with Hamas is very dangerous and misleading,” he says. “We cannot turn a blind eye to this human tragedy.”
The Israel Defense Forces says it has killed the commander of Hamas’s West Khan Younis Battalion, Madhat Mubasher, in an overnight airstrike in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF says Mubasher “took part in sniper attacks and was responsible for large explosive devices [used] against IDF forces and Israeli towns.”
Separately, the IDF says that over the past day, it carried out more than 250 airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
צה״ל ושב"כ חיסלו הלילה את מדחת מבאשר, מפקד גדוד מערב חאן יונס בארגון הטרור חמאס. מדחת לקח חלק בפיגועי צליפה ומטענים גדולים לעבר כוחות צה״ל ולעבר יישובי ישראל.
כמו כן, ביממה האחרונה צה״ל תקף מעל ל-250 מטרות של ארגון הטרור חמאס ברצועת עזה, ביניהן, מנהרות טרור, עשרות מחבלים >> pic.twitter.com/aWBrHL2c75
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) October 27, 2023
The targets included Hamas tunnels, command centers, rocket launching positions, and dozens of operatives, the IDF says.
The military also confirms a Skylark 3 drone crashed in the Gaza Strip earlier today, “as a result of a technical error.”
There is no fear of sensitive information leaking from the device, the IDF adds.
A Washington Post analysis, using triangulated videos and other data, appears to confirm Israel’s contention that the blast at al-Ahli hospital on October 17 was not caused by an Israeli airstrike, but rather a misfired Palestinian rocket.
However, like a New York Times analysis, it finds that a video that appears to show a rocket exploding in mid-air moments before the blast, and cited as evidence by the IDF, likely shows an unrelated Iron Dome interceptor missile.
The Post’s review, using videos shot in Bat Yam and Netivot, finds the rockets were fired from somewhere southwest of the hospital.
We triangulated the rocket launch to a place southwest of al-Ahli Hospital that matched the location the IDF has identified as the launch site of a misfired rocket that hit the hospital. We also geolocated the barrage’s initial path and found it flew in the hospital's direction. pic.twitter.com/ynRRuQkSzY
— Evan Hill (@evanhill) October 27, 2023
Another video, in which a projectile can be heard screaming through the air before the hospital parking lot goes up in flames, is consistent with the noise a falling rocket would make as opposed to an air strike, according to forensic audio experts.
Damage from the blast site is also consistent with a malfunctioning rocket filled with fuel and not an air strike, it finds.
Video filmed from a building about 500 feet southeast of the hospital captured the high-pitched scream of a projectile speeding by just before the explosion. The Post sent that video to multiple audio forensic experts for review. pic.twitter.com/u87lVcl0MK
— Evan Hill (@evanhill) October 27, 2023
However, al-Jazeera footage cited by the IDF as proof of the failed rocket launch actually appears to show an Iron Dome missile exploding mid-air, according to the station, which uses other videos to triangulate the launch source to outside Gaza. Experts note the missile’s trajectory shows it changing direction, rather than following a rocket’s ballistic path.
The Israeli military has claimed the rocket that hit al-Ahli was misfired during an Islamic Jihad barrage.
Check your own footage before you accuse Israel.
18:59 – A rocket aimed at Israel misfired and exploded.
18:59 – A hospital was hit in Gaza.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 18, 2023
Egypt now believes a drone and not a missile struck the Red Sea resort town of Taba overnight, according to al-Qahera news, which has close ties to Egypt’s intelligence service.
The station reports the missile struck a medical facility where ambulances were parked and a hospital administration building. An investigation is underway.
It also reports that a second projectile struck Nuweiba.
Footage shared online shows smoke rising from an apparent impact in mountains above the Red Sea resort town.
منذ قليل تم قصف محطة كهرباء نويبع في عمق الأراضي المصرية بالصواريخ.pic.twitter.com/SLYorlWXWp
— Screen Mix (@ScreenMix) October 27, 2023
🚨🚨 عاجل 🚨🚨
🚨 قبل قليل… طائرات اسرائيلية تقصف نويبع في عمق الاراضي المصرية. pic.twitter.com/QC919ASuEB
— رؤى لدراسات الحرب (@Roaastudies) October 27, 2023
An unnamed security source cited by al-Qahera says Egypt reserves the right to respond to the attack and says that once the destination for the launch is determined, all options are available.
Israel has indicated the launch likely came from Yemen.
At least 233 hostages were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip on October 7, the IDF says, raising the number from 228 announced a day earlier.
IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military has notified the families of 229 hostages that their loved ones are currently being held in the Gaza Strip.
The number also does not include four released hostages — mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Ra’anan, who were freed a week ago, and elderly women Yocheved Lifshitz and Nurit Cooper, freed on Monday night.
Hagari says the number is not final as the military continues to investigate new information.
A missile strike in the Egyptian Red Sea town of Taba originated from “the Red Sea area,” IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says, in an apparent reference to Yemen.
“In the last few hours, an aerial threat was detected in the Red Sea area. Fighter jets were scrambled to the threat area and the issue is under investigation,” Hagari says.
“To our understanding, the impact that occurred in Egypt originates from this threat. Israel will work together with Egypt and the US and tighten the defense against threats from the Red Sea area,” he adds.
According to Egyptian media, six people were wounded in a strike in Taba.
Reuters reports that the Egyptian town of Nuweiba was also hit by a rocket. Taba borders Eilat, which was recently targeted by Gazan rockets, while Nuweiba is some 50 kilometers further south and likely out of range of Hamas’s arsenal.
The incident comes about a week after Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen attempted to fire missiles at Israel via the Red Sea. Those missiles were shot down by the US and Saudi Arabia.
The Israel Defense Forces confirms it killed Ayser Mohammad Al-Amer, a field commander in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Jenin wing, during clashes in the Jenin refugee camp overnight.
The army also confirms that it clashed with Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin refugee camp and the city of Qalqilya; Palestinians earlier reported four killed, including Al-Amer, in the two locations.
The army says it returned fire at Palestinians shooting at forces and rioters hurling explosive devices. No injuries were reported on the Israeli side.
Troops detained 17 members of the Hamas terror group, as well as 19 other wanted Palestinians, in overnight arrest raids across the West Bank, the IDF says.
A Massive Force of over 100 IDF Armored Vehicles including a number of Caterpillar D9 Armored-Bulldozers have reportedly entered the City of Jenin in the West Bank within the last hour, in what appears to be a Large-Scale Raid for the Arrest of Hamas and PIJ Members; the Force… pic.twitter.com/b4jJ4F5axh
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) October 26, 2023
Since the war in the Gaza Strip began on October 7, troops have arrested some 1,030 wanted Palestinians in the West Bank, including some 670 affiliated with Hamas, according to the military.
There have been numerous clashes between IDF forces and Palestinians in the West Bank in the past two weeks, and several attempted terror attacks, the IDF says.
According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, 110 West Bank Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, and in some cases settlers, since October 7.
Separately, the IDF says the head of the Central Command, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox, signed off on a demolition order against a home owned by Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri, in the town of ‘Arura, near Ramallah.
Arouri is thought to live in Turkey.
Qatari Ambassador to the US Meshal bin Hamad al Thani has spoken with an Israeli man whose wife and three children are being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, the Ynet news website reports.
Avichai Brodetz, who has been staging a one-man vigil outside Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, thanked the envoy for Qatar’s efforts to free the hostages, according to the report.
He asked al Thani to keep up the intensive contact to free his family and the 30-odd other children kidnapped by terrorists on October 7, Ynet reports.
The talks are the first known contact between Qatar and Israeli civilians seeking the return of their loved ones. Reports indicate that the Israeli point man on the issue, Gal Hirsch, has been largely sidelined.
There is no confirmation of the talks from Qatar.
Hamas needs to find where all the people kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during their attack on southern Israel on October 7 have been stashed, according to a member of a Hamas delegation visiting Russia.
The Hamas official, named as Abu Hamid, tells Russia’s semi-official Kommersant news outlet that the group has always been willing to release civilians, but “needs time to find them.”
He claims members of various groups are holding hostages, and a ceasefire is needed to allow Hamas to carry out its search, find the hostages and then release them.
A small Israeli military surveillance drone crashed in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, according to Palestinian media reports.
The unmanned aerial vehicle, a Skylark model, was on a reconnaissance mission when it fell out of the sky for as-yet unknown reasons.
مصادر صحفية : "سقوط طائرة مسيّرة تابعة لجيش لاحتلال على منزل في حي الزيتون بمدينة غزة". pic.twitter.com/q5o8V0577I
— وكالة الرأي (@alrayps) October 27, 2023
Many Skylark UAVs have crashed in hostile territory over the years.
The Hamas terror group claims to have anti-aircraft abilities.
Egypt’s al-Qahera news outlet reports that all six people injured in a missile strike on the Red Sea border town of Taba have been released from the hospital.
Egypt is continuing to investigate the source of the missile, it says.
The fire comes about a week after Yemeni rebels attempted to fire missiles at Israel via the Red Sea.
Four Palestinians were killed and at least 12 more injured as Israeli forces raided West Bank cities overnight, the official Palestinian Wafa news agency reports.
Three of the deaths occurred in the Jenin refugee camp, where the Palestinian Islamic Jihad says its members clashed with troops who entered with bulldozers.
Ayser Mohammad Al-Amer, a local field commander for the terror group was killed, PIJ says.
سرايا القدس – كتيبة جنين تزف شهيدها القائد الميداني / ايسر محمد العامر أحد أبرز قادة وأبطال كتيبة جنين ، الذي ارتقى اليوم الجمعة 27-10-2023م أثناء قيامه بواجبه الجهادي دفاعاً عن المخيم ونصرةً لغزة ضمن معركة #طوفان_الأقصى#غزة_العزة #جنين_تقاوم #كويتيون_ضد_التطبيع pic.twitter.com/kl5e0xUhyi
— abbas mohammad (@AbbasMohamad16) October 27, 2023
A second man, Abdullah Basam Abu Al-Haija, was also shot to death, and Palestinians found a third fatality, Jawad Al-Turki, after troops pulled out of the city, Wafa reports.
In Qalqilya, Qassam Abdel Hafez, who had spent time in Israeli prison, was reportedly shot to death. The circumstances of the shooting were unclear.
According to WAFA, four people were also shot and injured during a raid in Nablus.
The three northern West Bank cities, where terror groups have managed to challenge Palestinian Authority control, have been the focus of Israeli raids for over a year.
There is no immediate comment from the IDF.
Israel overnight sent tanks and troops into the Gaza Strip for a second limited incursion in as many nights, the Israel Defense Forces says, striking Hamas operatives and sites.
The raid near the Shuja’iyya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City was carried out by infantry, combat engineering and armored forces, with Israeli Air Force drones and combat helicopters providing air cover, according to the military.
כוחות חי"ר, שיריון והנדסה בפיקוד עוצבת ׳געש׳ (36) ובליווי של כטמ"מים ומסוקי קרב של צה"ל פשטו ביממה האחרונה פשיטה במרכז רצועת עזה. כחלק מהפשיטה, כלי טיס וארטילריה של צה״ל תקפו מטרות של ארגון הטרור חמאס בשכונת סג'עיה וברחבי הרצועה >> pic.twitter.com/oP6aTax85Y
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) October 27, 2023
The IDF says artillery and airstrikes were carried out against sites belonging to the Hamas terror group, including anti-tank guided missile launch sites and command centers.
Several Hamas members were also struck by the forces, the IDF says.
All the Israeli forces left the area after several hours, and no injuries are reported.
The operation marks the second night in a row that IDF forces briefly enter the Gaza Strip, ahead of an expected full ground offensive.
South Korean and US troops have been conducting live-fire exercises this week to hone their ability to respond to potential “Hamas-style surprise artillery attacks” by North Korea, South Korea’s military said Friday.
The two forces regularly conduct live-fire and other training, but this week’s drills come after the Hamas terror group’s October 7 assault on Israel raised security jitters in South Korea, which shares the world’s most heavily fortified border with rival North Korea.
Some 2,500 terrorists led by Hamas launched a surprise invasion of southern Israel from Gaza under the cover of heavy rocket and artillery fire on October 7, slaughtering some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking at least 228 more captive.
Experts say the North’s forward-deployed long-range artillery guns can fire about 16,000 rounds per hour in the event of a conflict, posing a serious threat to Seoul, which is about 40-50 kilometers (25-30 miles) from the border.
In a simulated response to “the enemy’s (possible) Hamas-style surprise artillery attacks,” the exercises practiced strikes designed to “remove the origins of the enemy’s long-range artillery provocations at an early date,” South Korea’s Ground Operations Command says in a statement.
An Israeli soldier wounded during the Hamas attack in southern Israel on October 7 died of his wounds yesterday, the military says.
He is named as Sgt. Shoam Moshe Ben-Harush, 20, a soldier in the Nahal Brigade’s reconnaissance unit, from Hispin.
Ben-Harush’s death brings the total number of slain soldiers, officers, and reservists — many of whom are local security officers — in the war to 310.
A senior US military official says precision strikes in Syria, announced earlier by Pentagon head Lloyd Austin, struck weapons and ammunition storage areas that were connected to the IRGC.
Two F-16 fighter jets carried out the sortie on sites near the town of Boukamal near the Iraqi border, the official says. The area is thought to be a main conduit for weapons transfers between Iran and Syria or Lebanon, via Iraq.
The official said there had been Iranian-aligned militia and IRGC personnel on the base and no civilians, but the US does not have any information yet on casualties or an assessment of damage. The official would not say how many munitions were launched by the F-16s.
A senior defense official says the sites were chosen because the IRGC stores the types of munitions there that were used in the strikes against US bases and troops.
Cabinet said slated to okay police use of live fire against protesters blocking roads during multi-front war
The government is slated to advance new measures that will allow police to use live fire against Israeli citizens who are blocking roads or entrances to towns during a “multi-front war,” the Kan public broadcaster reports.
Police will only need approval from a senior officer before opening fire under the loosened rules, Kan says, adding that Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara agreed to fast-track the legislation, which had been pushed by far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir earlier this year.
Interior Minister Moshe Arbel pens a letter to Givatayim mayor Ran Kunik urging him to reverse a decision to cease all construction work in the town in order to prevent construction workers who are mostly Arab from entering.
“There is a strict prohibition to harming a person’s livelihood on the basis of origin, nationality or religion. Such decisions crush the fabric of common life in the country… and play into the hands of the enemy,” Arbel writes.
שר הפנים, משה ארבל בפנייה לראש עיריית גבעתיים בעקבות החלטתו על השבתת אתרי הבנייה בעיר, בגלל נוכחות פועלים ערבים: ״חל איסור חמור לפגוע בפרנסתו של אדם על רקע מוצא, לאום או דת. החלטות מעין אלו מרסקות את מרקם החיים המשותפים במדינה״, כתב השר ארבל. pic.twitter.com/vN0DziZI1t
— מוחמד מג'אדלה محمد مجادلة (@mmagadli) October 26, 2023
Earlier today, US military forces stuck two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups in response to a recent series of attacks against American personnel based in Iraq and Syria by Iran-backed militias, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announces.
One American contractor for the US military died from a heart attack while sheltering during one of those strikes and 21 US soldiers suffered were lightly injured before returning to duty shortly thereafter, the Pentagon says.
US President Joe Biden “directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” Austin says in a statement.
Austin stresses that the US “does not seek conflict and has no intention nor desire to engage in further hostilities, but these Iranian-backed attacks against US forces are unacceptable and must stop.”
“Iran wants to hide its hand and deny its role in these attacks against our forces. We will not let them. If attacks by Iran’s proxies against US forces continue, we will not hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people,” the US defense chief says.
“These narrowly tailored strikes in self-defense were intended solely to protect and defend US personnel in Iraq and Syria. They are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict,” Austin clarifies
“We continue to urge all state and non-state entities not to take action that would escalate into a broader regional conflict,” he says.
A missile fell near a medical facility in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Taba next to the Israeli border, injuring six people Egypt’s Al Qahera News reports.
The IDF says it is aware of a security incident on the other side of its border with Egypt.
It is not clear whether the missile was related to the Gaza war or whether it was an errant launch.
US President Joe Biden held an unpublicized meeting with Muslim American community leaders at the White House earlier today, CNN reports, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
The move comes amid growing fury among Arab and Muslim Americans over Biden’s support for Israel’s military response to the Hamas onslaught, which he has stressed must include protections for Palestinian civilians.
The president came under particular fire yesterday for saying that he has “no confidence” in the death tally from the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.
Muslims make up just over one percent of the American population but are concentrated in several swing states such as Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Georgia.
A source told CNN that today’s meeting focused on the White House’s efforts to combat Islamophobia — a top concern for Muslim Americans after the brutal murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian-American outside of Chicago by a man who police say targeted him and his mother due to their religion and heritage background.
White House spokesperson John Kirby hits back at a reporter during a press briefing who called US President Joe Biden’s dismissal of the Hamas-run health ministry’s death tally “harsh.”
“What’s harsh — what’s harsh is the way Hamas is using people as human shields. What’s harsh is taking a couple of hundred hostages and leaving families and anxious, waiting and worrying to figure out where their loved ones are. What’s harsh, is dropping in on a music festival and slaughtering a bunch of young people just trying to enjoy an afternoon,” Kirby says.
“I could go on and on. That’s what’s harsh. That is what’s harsh and being honest about the fact that there have been civilian casualties and that there likely will be more is being honest because that’s what war is. It’s brutal, it’s ugly, it’s messy. I’ve said that before. The president also said that yesterday. That doesn’t mean we have to like it, and it doesn’t mean that we’re dismissing anyone of those casualties — each and every one is a tragedy in its own right… It would be helpful if Hamas would let [Gazans] leave… We know that there are thousands waiting to leave Gaza writ large and Hamas is preventing them from doing it. That is what is harsh.”
“What’s harsh — what’s harsh is the way Hamas is using people as human shields. What’s harsh is taking a couple of hundred hostages and leaving families and anxious, waiting and worrying to figure out where their loved ones are.”
— Herbie Ziskend (@HerbieZiskend46) October 26, 2023
Israel has informed Qatari mediators that in exchange for the release of a significant number of hostages from Gaza, it is prepared to give something in exchange, the Kan public broadcaster reports.
The report citing an unnamed political source does not specify what Israel would be willing to offer and Jerusalem has already been said to reject proposals that required it to allow fuel into Gaza due to fears that it’ll be used by Hamas.
Israel has publicly insisted that the hostages must be released unconditionally and it is unclear whether they gave anything in exchange for the release of the first four hostages over the past week.
Kan reports that Israel passed along its red lines for the negotiations to the Qatari mediators.
Hamas is reportedly seeking the entry of fuel into Gaza as well as the release of security prisoners from Israeli jails along with a ceasefire.
The source speaking to Kan speculates that a major development in the talks would soon unfold.
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