ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Oct. 8: Hamas, PIJ claim to hold 130 Israelis captive in Gaza, including IDF officials

ZAKA volunteer group says more than 250 bodies collected from site of music festival; families of missing Israelis beg for answers; residents of Sderot ordered to stay inside

  • A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023 (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
    A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023 (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
  • An Israeli digger removes the rubble from the police station that was overrun by Hamas terrorists on Saturday, in Sderot, Israel, and recaptured Sunday, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
    An Israeli digger removes the rubble from the police station that was overrun by Hamas terrorists on Saturday, in Sderot, Israel, and recaptured Sunday, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
  • Cars are on fire after a rocket fired from Gaza landed in Ashkelon, October 7, 2023. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
    Cars are on fire after a rocket fired from Gaza landed in Ashkelon, October 7, 2023. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
  • Israeli policeman and a soldier in Sderot, Israel, Sunday, Oct.8, 2023.  (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
    Israeli policeman and a soldier in Sderot, Israel, Sunday, Oct.8, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
  • A salvo of rockets is fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
    A salvo of rockets is fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, October 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, October 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO)
  • Smoke rises after Israeli air strikes near the border east of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
    Smoke rises after Israeli air strikes near the border east of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
  • Israeli forces outside the entrance to the southern Israeli town of Sderot, October 8, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
    Israeli forces outside the entrance to the southern Israeli town of Sderot, October 8, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
  • A family arrives to a police station in Lod, to provide DNA samples to help identify a relative missing since an unprecedented mass terror attack by Hamas, in southern Israel, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
    A family arrives to a police station in Lod, to provide DNA samples to help identify a relative missing since an unprecedented mass terror attack by Hamas, in southern Israel, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

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

Air Force continues mass strikes on Gaza to ‘devastate’ Hamas capabilities

A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023 (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023 (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

The military says aircraft are continuing to pound the Gaza Strip at this time in order to “devastate the capabilities of the Hamas terror group.”

Among the targets hit in recent hours were several command posts; a building housing Hamas operatives; a command center used by a senior official in Hamas’s naval forces; an “operational asset used by Hamas” located within a mosque in Jabaliya; and an asset used by the terror group for intelligence.

Palestinians say 19 members of same family killed in southern Gaza strike

Palestinians say 19 members of the same family were killed in the southern Gaza Strip today in an Israeli strike.

Nasser Abu Quta tells AP that the Israeli military fired an evacuation warning shot a short distance from his home, a precautionary measure meant to allow people to evacuate before airstrikes.

Abu Quta, 57, thought he and his extended family would be safe some hundred meters away from the house that was alerted to the pending strike. He huddled with his relatives on the ground floor of his four-story building, bracing for an impact in the area.

But the house of Abu Quta’s neighbor was never hit, the report says. In an instant, an explosion ripped through his own home, wiping out 19 members of his family, including his wife and cousins, he says. The airstrike also killed five of his neighbors who were standing outside in the jam-packed refugee camp, a jumble of buildings and alleyways.

There were no fighters in his building, he insists, and his family was not warned. The Israeli military has said it struck various Hamas offices and command centers in multi-story buildings. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the strike on Abu Quta’s home.

Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs: ‘The First Gaza War is planned to be the last one’

Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs tweets: “The First Gaza War is planned to be the last one as well!”

(Though there have been numerous brutal conflicts between Israel and the Strip, Fuchs appears to be signaling a different scale of battle, as Israel never before officially declared a state of war against Gaza as it has now.)

Fuchs relates his meeting with his late grandfather after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, in which the latter told him “If al-Qaeda managed to carry out such an attack, they’ll take over the world.”

“I calmed him and told him it was a wake-up call and that such terror would be defeated.”

Four soldiers lightly-to-moderately hurt in friendly fire incident in north

Four soldiers have been lightly-to-moderately wounded in northern Israel in a friendly fire incident.

Forces in Shtula, near the Lebanon border, encountered a vehicle that arrived at high speed and attempted to bypass their checkpoint. The forces opened fire.

It later became clear that the car was a military vehicle. Four soldiers inside were hurt.

Ashkelon home hit by rocket, 8-year-old injured

A house in Ashkelon has suffered a direct rocket hit after barrages on the city.

An eight-year-old child was moderately injured in the attack and has been rushed to hospital, according to media reports.

Commander of Tzeelim training base wounded yesterday, says IDF

Brig. Gen. Roman Gofman in an undated photo (Israel Defense Forces)
Brig. Gen. Roman Gofman in an undated photo (Israel Defense Forces)

Brig. Gen. Roman Gofman, the commander of the Tzeelim training base, was wounded during clashes with Hamas terrorists near Sderot yesterday.

The Israel Defense Forces says Gofman, who lives in Ashdod, set out for the Gaza border upon receiving reports of Hamas’s attack on southern Israel.

He clashed with Palestinian terrorists in Sderot, and was wounded. The military says he is in a stable condition.

Also directly fighting on the Gaza border yesterday was Maj. Gen. David Zini, the head of the IDF Training Command and General Staff Corps.

Footage shows Zini and a group of soldiers near the Black Arrow memorial site on the border, surrounded by the bodies of dozens of Palestinian terrorists following an intense battle.

Hamas spokesperson claims terror group still operating in several areas in Israel

Abu Ubaida, spokesman of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, speaks during a memorial in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on January 31, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)
Abu Ubaida, spokesman of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, speaks during a memorial in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on January 31, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

In a speech, Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claims that fighting is still ongoing in several areas near the northern Gaza border, including Zikim, Sufa, and Mefalsim, and that terrorists managed to take a new group of Israeli hostages into the Gaza strip today.

Abu Ubaida further claims that Hamas members killed and wounded a large number of Israeli forces in Mavki’im, south of Ashkelon, and retreated safely from the Urim base, which hosts the 3200 IDF Intelligence Unit, he adds.

The spokesman also alleges that Hamas members have documented cases in which Israeli forces killed a number of Israeli captives detained by the terror group. Hamas has made similar claims in the past, which later turned out to be false.

In a separate statement, another Hamas spokesman commented on the US sending an aircraft carrier group to the eastern Mediterranean in support of Israel, saying that the US is attempting to raise the collapsed morale of the Israeli army.

Gallant speaks again with US counterpart Austin, thanks him for support

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meet in Brussels on June 15, 2023. (Elad Malcha/Defense Ministry)
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meet in Brussels on June 15, 2023. (Elad Malcha/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks again with his US counterpart, Lloyd Austin, his office says.

According to the Israeli readout, Gallant stressed that Israel will win this war against Hamas and expresses appreciation to the US for its vocal support of Israel and its crucial aid.

The US readout says that Austin called Gallant to “express support for the people of Israel and to receive updates on Israel’s operation to restore security and safety from Hamas’ terrorist attack.” He notes the equipment and munitions being sent to Israel, as well as the US moving warships closer to Israel “boost regional deterrence.”

Health Ministry says number of wounded in Israel rises to 2,315

Wounded Israeli soldiers from the south arrive at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Wounded Israeli soldiers from the south arrive at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The Health Ministry updates that so far at least 2,315 people have been wounded and treated in Israeli hospitals since the outbreak of war yesterday.

Of those, 23 are in critical condition, 340 in serious condition, 449 in moderate condition, 1,233 in light condition, 56 are being treated for severe anxiety and 202 are still being evaluated by medical officials.

More than 700 are thought to have been killed, with that figure expected to rise.

Fresh rocket barrage toward Ashkelon shortly after round of rockets

Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Fatima Shbair)
Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Fatima Shbair)

Fresh rockets have been fired from Gaza toward Ashkelon just minutes after an earlier barrage, including reports of direct impacts.

Reports of direct rocket impacts in Ashkelon after barrage from Gaza

Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Fatima Shbair)
Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Fatima Shbair)

Medics are responding to reports of direct rocket impacts on a number of residential buildings in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon.

There is no immediate information available on casualties.

Hamas claims to have launched 100 rockets at Ashkelon.

UK PM says he has offered to send aid to Israel

The flag of Israel is projected onto the front of 10 Downing Street in London, October 8, 2023, to show solidarity with Israel. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
The flag of Israel is projected onto the front of 10 Downing Street in London, October 8, 2023, to show solidarity with Israel. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says Sunak has spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and offered any support Israel needs.

The spokesperson says Sunak reaffirmed that the UK will stand with Israel “unequivocally against these acts of terror.”

The blue and white Israeli flag was projected onto the façade of 10 Downing Street tonight after Sunak posted on X, formerly Twitter, “We stand with Israel.”

WSJ: Iran, Hezbollah helped Hamas plan multi-front attack on Israel

A salvo of rockets is fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
A salvo of rockets is fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

A report in the Wall Street Journal claims that Iran helped Hamas plan its attack on Israel during a meeting in Beirut last week, and has been working on it for weeks.

The report cites senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, and says plans were ongoing since August, and included several meetings in Beirut, which included members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp.

UAE calls for end to violence, says ‘appalled’ by Hamas taking civilians hostage

Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud attends a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, September 19, 2023. (Caitlin Ochs/Pool via AP)
Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud attends a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, September 19, 2023. (Caitlin Ochs/Pool via AP)

The United Arab Emirates calls to end the violence and protect civilians in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

In a statement, the UAE stresses that Hamas attacks “against Israeli towns and villages near the Gaza Strip, including the firing of thousands of rockets at population centers, are a serious and grave escalation.”

The statement also says it is “appalled by reports that Israeli civilians have been abducted as hostages from their homes.”

Abu Dhabi also says it “mourns the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives.”

IDF says Navy boat strikes three rocket launchers in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces says a Navy missile boat struck three rocket launchers, aimed at Israel, in the Gaza Strip.

IDF says it struck terrorist trying to enter Israel from Gaza

Fire and smoke rises during Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (Atia Mohammed/ Flash90)
Fire and smoke rises during Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (Atia Mohammed/ Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces says a fighter jet struck a Palestinian terrorist infiltrating into Israel from the Gaza Strip an hour ago.

“The IDF will continue to thwart terrorists and attempts to infiltrate into the territory of the State of Israel,” the military says in a statement.

One killed, two wounded in crash between trucks transporting armored vehicles

One person has been killed and two others are wounded in a crash between trucks transporting armored vehicles toward the border with the Gaza Strip, medics say.

The crash occurred on the Route 6 highway, close to the Sorek interchange.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it has declared a 25-year-old man dead at the scene, and is taking two men in their 40s to a nearby hospital in moderate condition.

Rocket sirens sound across central Israel as Hamas claims to target airport

Rocket sirens sound out in dozens of communities across central Israel, including Rishon Lezion, as Hamas claims to have targeted Ben Gurion Airport.

Lawyers for Netanyahu, Gantz expected to meet tomorrow to discuss unity government

Then-defense minister Benny Gantz and then-outgoing prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the Knesset plenum, June 13, 2021. (Noam Moskowitz/Knesset)
Then-defense minister Benny Gantz and then-outgoing prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the Knesset plenum, June 13, 2021. (Noam Moskowitz/Knesset)

Lawyers for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Unity party leader Benny Gantz are expected to meet tomorrow, in an attempt to hash out the details of an emergency unity government.

A spokesperson for National Unity confirms to The Times of Israel that a meeting is in the process of being scheduled.

Hamas boasts of some 130 Israelis held hostage, including IDF officials

A family arrives to a police station in Lod, to provide DNA samples to help identify a relative missing since an unprecedented mass terror attack by Hamas, in southern Israel, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
A family arrives to a police station in Lod, to provide DNA samples to help identify a relative missing since an unprecedented mass terror attack by Hamas, in southern Israel, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Hamas senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk boasts that the terror group is holding some 130 Israeli hostages, including high-ranking army officials, according to a report in the Palestinian al-Hadath news outlet.

Two arrested near synagogue in Jerusalem with knife, kippa and Star of David

A knife, kippa and Star of David necklace recovered from two suspects arrested near a synagogue outside in Jerusalem on October 8, 2023. (Israel Police)
A knife, kippa and Star of David necklace recovered from two suspects arrested near a synagogue outside in Jerusalem on October 8, 2023. (Israel Police)

Two suspects — Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem — were arrested near a synagogue in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem, holding a knife, police say.

Police say the two were also discovered with a kippa and a Star of David necklace, implying that the pair were going to attempt to pass themselves off as Jews.

US congressman was in Tel Aviv during Hamas attack, he says

Rep. Dan Goldman, D-New York, arrives to speak with reporters in Washington, July 31, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Dan Goldman, D-New York, arrives to speak with reporters in Washington, July 31, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

US Rep. Dan Goldman and his family were in in Tel Aviv when Hamas attacked Israel yesterday and were forced to shelter in a hotel stairwell until this morning, when they could safely leave the country, according to his office.

The New York Democrat’s office releases a short statement saying Goldman, his wife, and their three youngest children were in Israel for a bar mitzvah at the time of the attack.

“Congressman Goldman is grateful for the assistance of the State Department and Israeli authorities, and he hopes all Americans can come together to support Israel’s right to defend herself from terrorism and war crimes,” the statement reads.

US House of Representatives to vote on resolution of support for Israel

The US House of Representatives at the Capitol in Washington, October 4, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
The US House of Representatives at the Capitol in Washington, October 4, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The US House is preparing a bipartisan resolution that it “stands with Israel” and condemns “Hamas’ brutal war.”

The resolution from the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to be among the first items considered for voting once the House elects a new speaker.

“Now is the time to show the world the United States firmly stands with our friend and ally Israel in our condemnation of this heinous attack by Iran-backed terrorists,” says the committee chairman, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

“I expect this bipartisan resolution to be one of the first, if not the first, items considered on the floor once we elect a new speaker. And I expect it to receive overwhelming bipartisan support.”

House business is currently at a standstill after the historic ouster of speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The resolution says the House of Representatives “stands with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”

At UN Security Council session, US leads call for condemnation of Hamas

Illustrative: A meeting of the United Nations Security Council on New York City on September 21, 2023. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP)
Illustrative: A meeting of the United Nations Security Council on New York City on September 21, 2023. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP)

The United States leads calls for condemnation of a Hamas assault on Israel as the United Nations Security Council opens an emergency session on the crisis.

“I expect to hear from the other Council members very strong condemnation of these heinous acts of terrorism committed against the Israeli people and their government,” senior US diplomat Robert Wood tells reporters as he enters the closed-door session.

A closed-door session will not bring a formal resolution, but diplomats say that talks on even reaching a non-binding statement were difficult.

China says it would support a statement.

“We condemn all attacks against civilians,” Ambassador Zhang Jun says, while adding that China also wanted a return to the Middle East peace process.

Husband of missing French-Israeli woman appeals to Paris to help locate her

Idor Nagar (left) speaks on French television alongside a translator about his missing Israeli-French wife, Celine. (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)
Idor Nagar (left) speaks on French television alongside a translator about his missing Israeli-French wife, Celine. (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

The husband of a French-Israeli woman who vanished while at a desert music festival pleads tearfully on French television for authorities to do all they can to learn if his wife is dead or one of the captives Hamas says it is holding.

Idor Nagar’s desperation to know the fate of Celine Ben David Nagar, 26, reflects the torment of Israelis whose loved ones are missing. The couple’s 6-month-old daughter sat on Nagar’s lap during the video interview with France’s BFM-TV. She is still being breastfed, he says tearfully.

At 7:11 a.m. yesterday, shortly after the start of the Hamas attack, Nagar’s wife messaged that “All is well,” he recounts. At 7:15 a.m., she messages that “Soldiers are coming.”

However, he says through a translator, he now believes the soldiers were not Israeli, but assailants. “Was she taken hostage? Killed?” he asks.

Nagar geo-localized the car his wife had traveled in. He went to the area near the Gaza border and found it full of bullet holes but with no signs of blood — a reason to hope she is alive.

Israeli Navy takes Hamas deputy commander captive, says IDF

Israeli Navy ships fire at Hamas terrorists attempting to infiltrate into Israel, early October 7, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli Navy ships fire at Hamas terrorists attempting to infiltrate into Israel, early October 7, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces says the Navy’s Shayetet 13 unit has taken into custody the deputy commander of the southern division of the Hamas naval force in Gaza, Muhammad Abu Ghali.

“The suspect is being held and is currently being interrogated by the defense establishment,” the IDF says.

No further details are given on how Abu Ghali was captured.

IDF launches massive airstrikes against ‘nest of terror’ in Gaza’s Shuja’iyya

Fire and smoke rise from an explosion following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Fire and smoke rise from an explosion following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The Israel Defense Forces says it launched massive airstrikes against the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, targeting some 150 sites.

The IDF says Shuja’iyya is a “nest of terror” used by Hamas to launch attacks against Israel.

Some 100 tons of munitions were dropped on the neighborhood, the IDF says.

Earlier, the IDF carried out similar large-scale strikes in the Beit Hanoun neighborhood in northern Gaza.

The IDF says that it also targeted the home of a senior Hamas member, as the apartment was used by the terror group as “military infrastructure.”

IDF says it is still fighting terrorist infiltrators in Israeli territory

A corpse of a Palestinian terrorist lies along a road in an undisclosed location on the border with the Gaza Strip on October 8, 2023. (Menahem KAHANA/ AFP)
A corpse of a Palestinian terrorist lies along a road in an undisclosed location on the border with the Gaza Strip on October 8, 2023. (Menahem KAHANA/ AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says it is still fighting Palestinian terrorists in Israeli territory, 40 hours into the war launched by the Hamas terror group.

“The IDF’s standing and reserve ground forces, in cooperation with [other] security forces, are conducting prolonged fighting in the towns surrounding Gaza, and have [killed] hundreds of terrorists in the towns, the border, and the coastline, in the last 40 hours,” the IDF says in a statement.

The IDF says troops continue to carry out searches across the area, and are still exchanging fire with terrorists at this hour in various locations.

Two Mexican citizens believed to be held captive in Gaza

Palestinians inspect the rubble of a building after it was struck by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)
Palestinians inspect the rubble of a building after it was struck by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

Two Mexicans, a man and a woman, are believed to be held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena says.

She does not name them and gives no details about whether they are residents in Israel or were visiting the area.

On a message on X, formerly known as Twitter, Bárcena says the Mexican government is in contact with their relatives and the Israeli authorities.

Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has condemned the attacks against the Israeli people.

Rocket sirens sound in Sderot, Gaza border communities

Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Fatima Shbair)
Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Fatima Shbair)

Rocket sirens sound in Sderot and other neighborhoods near the Gaza border.

UEFA postpones Israel-Switzerland Euro 2024 qualifier due to war

Israel's midfielder #12 Gavriel Kanichowsky celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 group I qualification football match Israel v Belarus at Bloomfield stadium in Tel Aviv on September 12, 2023. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
Israel's midfielder #12 Gavriel Kanichowsky celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 group I qualification football match Israel v Belarus at Bloomfield stadium in Tel Aviv on September 12, 2023. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announces next week’s Euro 2024 qualifier between Israel and Switzerland, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed due to the conflict in the country.

“In light of the current security situation in Israel, UEFA has decided to postpone all matches scheduled in Israel in the next couple of weeks with new dates to be confirmed in due course,” UEFA says in a statement.

Palestinians report 11 killed across West Bank in clashes with Israeli forces

Palestinians attend the funeral of Ahmad Awawda, 19, who was killed in clashes with Israeli troops near the city of Nablus a day earier, in the the West Bank city of Jenin, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinians attend the funeral of Ahmad Awawda, 19, who was killed in clashes with Israeli troops near the city of Nablus a day earier, in the the West Bank city of Jenin, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

The Palestinian Authority health ministry says 11 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops across the West Bank since yesterday morning.

The clashes come amid Hamas’s attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces has not commented on the various incidents in the West Bank.

ZAKA says more than 250 bodies collected from site of music festival attacked by Hamas

Hundreds flee gunmen at a music festival near Kibbutz Re'im, October 7, 2023. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Hundreds flee gunmen at a music festival near Kibbutz Re'im, October 7, 2023. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A spokesperson for ZAKA, a volunteer group that handles human remains after terror attacks and other disasters, tells Hebrew media outlets that it has so far collected more than 250 bodies from the site of a music festival in the south, which was attacked by Hamas terrorists.

Many parents of youth who were attending the rave near Kibbutz Re’im have been desperately searching for news of their missing children since yesterday.

IDF strikes two high-rise towers in Gaza containing Hamas assets

A plume of smoke rises above buildings in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike, on October 8, 2023. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
A plume of smoke rises above buildings in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike, on October 8, 2023. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says it struck two high-rise towers in the Gaza Strip containing Hamas assets.

One of the buildings, the Hamas-owned National Islamic Bank, was struck by Israeli fighter jets, the IDF says.

The IDF says it also demolished a war room used by a senior Hamas member, Muntasir Frej.

Strikes are continuing in the Gaza Strip at this hour, the IDF adds.

Islamic Jihad leader claims terror group is holding over 30 Israeli hostages

Blood stains a wall at a police station in the southern city of Sderot after it was damaged during battles to dislodge Hamas terrorists who were stationed inside, on October 8, 2023. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/ AFP)
Blood stains a wall at a police station in the southern city of Sderot after it was damaged during battles to dislodge Hamas terrorists who were stationed inside, on October 8, 2023. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/ AFP)

Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad Nakhaleh releases a statement claiming that the group is holding more than 30 of the Israeli hostages currently in Gaza.

“The soldiers and settlers that we are holding as prisoners of war in Gaza are in the dozens and more. In fact, I can say that they far exceed this number. Islamic Jihad has more than 30 enemy prisoners so far,” he says.

The terror chief hails the ongoing conflict with Gaza as “days of pride and glory,” and praises the “image of unity between resistance forces” that has emerged from yesterday’s assault on Israel, adding that their jihad does not distinguish between Gaza, Jerusalem, and Jenin.

He stresses the humiliation suffered by Israel, claiming that from the first hours of the onslaught, Israel “called for help from its ally, America.”

“The battles that took place in the settlements [Israeli towns], the raids on the army bases, the capture of soldiers, and their leaving weapons behind are clear evidence that the [Israeli] army is weaker than many in the world believe,” Nakhaleh continues.

“The enemy government must surrender to this truth. The easiest way to avoid losing more prisoners is to acknowledge defeat,” Nakhaleh says. He then vows that the Islamic Jihad will continue to fight, and thanks to its will and sacrifices it will “change the equation.”

Many more Israelis are believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza, upward of 100.

Woman desperate for news on missing cousin, her two young children, spotted in Gaza

Yifat Zailer, 37, says she was horrified to see online video footage from Gaza showing her female cousin and the woman’s children, aged 9 months and 3 years, respectively.

“That’s the only confirmation we have,” she tells AFP, her voicing breaking with emotion, and adding there was no information on her cousin’s husband and her elderly parents.

“After the army took control of the kibbutz, they weren’t at home,” she says. “We assume they were kidnapped… We want to know what their condition is, we want them to return safe. They’re innocent civilians.”

Terror infiltration suspected in Sderot, residents ordered to stay home

An Israeli self-propelled howitzer rolls on a highway near the southern city of Sderot on October 8, 2023. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP)
An Israeli self-propelled howitzer rolls on a highway near the southern city of Sderot on October 8, 2023. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP)

There is a suspected terrorist infiltration into the southern city of Sderot, the municipality says.

“Due to the fear of terrorists infiltrating Sderot, [residents] should continue to lock themselves in their homes and stay near protected spaces, and not go out for any purpose. Please lock doors and windows and continue to obey instructions,” Sderot says in a statement to residents.

Live television footage shows Israeli forces standing guard, awaiting possible Hamas terrorists.

Earlier, the Israel Defense Forces ordered residents of Sderot and the nearby Kibbutz Mefalsim to remain in their homes until further notice.

Nepal confirms 10 of its citizens killed in Hamas attack on Israel

An Israeli soldier stands by the bodies of people killed by Palestinian terrorists who entered from the Gaza Strip, in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)
An Israeli soldier stands by the bodies of people killed by Palestinian terrorists who entered from the Gaza Strip, in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)

Ten citizens of Nepal are among those killed in the Hamas assault on Israel, the Himalayan republic’s embassy in Tel Aviv says in a statement.

“Ten Nepalis have tragically died, due to an attack by the Palestinian Hamas group, in a place called Kibbutz Alumim,” the statement says.

Hamas says 413 Palestinians killed in Gaza Strip so far

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa)
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa)

The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip says 413 Palestinians have been killed and another 2,300 have been wounded in the Gaza Strip.

Most of those were apparently killed in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s retaliatory strikes.

The IDF said it has killed at least 400 Palestinian terrorists both in Israel and in strikes in Gaza.

Several hundred rally in New York in support of Palestinians, terror onslaught

Pro-Palestinian protesters gather in Times Square in New York City on October 8, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Pro-Palestinian protesters gather in Times Square in New York City on October 8, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

Several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators rally in support of the Hamas terror attack on Israel in New York City’s Times Square.

The protesters wave Palestinian flags and chant “Resistance is justified,” “Globalize the intifada,” and “Smash the settler Zionist state.”

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” they chant.

Several dozen pro-Israel demonstrators, including many Israelis, rally across the street. They sing Israel’s anthem “Hatikvah,” bearing Israeli flags, and they chant “Shame” and “Murderers.”

Tensions run high, with the Israeli group chanting, “The people of Israel live” in Hebrew, and the pro-Palestinian group shouting back, “Free Palestine.” Some of the pro-Palestinian crowd makes crying faces at the Israelis to mock them.

Some opponents argue on the sidelines, but are quickly separated by police. Dozens of officers and metal barricades stand between the two groups.

Yesterday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul condemned the rally.

Pentagon says US sending munitions, equipment to Israel, redirecting aircraft carrier

The USS Gerald R. Ford. (Public domain)
The USS Gerald R. Ford. (Public domain)

The United States will provide munitions and equipment to Israel and boost American forces in the Middle East, in response to the attacks by Hamas, the Pentagon says.

“The United States government will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says in a statement.

The US defense chief also says he has directed the USS Gerald R. Ford, an aircraft carrier, and its accompanying warships, to the eastern Mediterranean, and that Washington is augmenting fighter aircraft squadrons in the region.

3 UK citizens are either missing or dead, their families say

Three women smoke and talk outside a police missing persons unit near Tel Aviv, Israel on October 8, 2023. (Times of Israel/Canaan Lidor)
Three women smoke and talk outside a police missing persons unit near Tel Aviv, Israel on October 8, 2023. (Times of Israel/Canaan Lidor)

Three British men are said to either be missing or dead, after the Hamas attack on Israel.

Nathanel Young, 20, was killed while serving in the Israel Defense Forces, his sister, Gaby Shalev, says on Facebook. His death was later confirmed by the Israeli embassy in London.

British photographer Danny Darlington, who lived in Berlin, and his German girlfriend, Carolin Bohl, have not been heard from after they hid out in a bunker at Kibbutz Nir Oz, according to Sam Pasquesi, who is Bohl’s brother-in-law.

Pasquesi says his family learned today from a man working at the kibbutz that the bodies of the two had been identified.

Jake Marlow, 26, had been providing security at a music festival near Kibbutz Re’im when he called his mother, Lisa, before dawn to say rockets were flying overhead. He texted her an hour later but that was the last she heard from him, she tells Jewish News. The Israeli embassy in London did not know whether Marlowe “was taken hostage or dead or in a hospital,” a spokesperson says.

In additional, a French citizen, a 20-year-old IDF soldier, has been confirmed killed, according to a French diplomat. Several more French citizens are still missing, says the official.

Biden tells Netanyahu boosted US aid to the IDF is ‘on its way,’ says White House

US President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, September 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
US President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, September 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

US President Joe Biden tells Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that additional US aid to the IDF “is now on its way to Israel with more to follow over the coming days,” according to a White House readout on the second call between the two leaders in as many days.

The two also discussed “ongoing efforts to ensure that no enemies of Israel believe they can or should seek advantage from the current situation,” the White House says.

“The president again expressed deep sympathy for all those missing, wounded, and killed, and pledged his full support for the government and people of Israel in the face of an unprecedented and appalling assault by Hamas terrorists.”

“They discussed the taking of hostages by Hamas terrorists, including entire families, the elderly, and young children. The president emphasized that there is no justification whatsoever for terrorism, and all countries must stand united in the face of such brutal atrocities.”

“President Biden updated the prime minister on the intensive diplomatic engagement undertaken by the United States over the last 24 hours in support of Israel,” the White House says. “The two leaders committed to stay in regular contact over the coming days.”

Families of missing Israelis in joint press conference: ‘Give us answers’

Uri David (right), who has not heard from his two daughters since soon after Hamas terrorists infiltrated into southern Israel on October 7, 2023, speaks during a press conference of families of Israelis whose relatives are missing, October 8, 2023. (Screenshot/used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)
Uri David (right), who has not heard from his two daughters since soon after Hamas terrorists infiltrated into southern Israel on October 7, 2023, speaks during a press conference of families of Israelis whose relatives are missing, October 8, 2023. (Screenshot/used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

At a joint press conference held by the family members of Israelis gone missing, the families demand the government provide them with answers and updates about their loved ones.

“Our number one goal is to bring back our family members, the missing, the captives,” says a representative of the group. “We are calling on the families. Don’t deal with this alone. You don’t have to do this alone… Be in contact with me,” he says, listing his phone number as 052-448-1981.

Uri David, whose two daughters are missing, says the current situation is “unbelievable… it’s impossible to understand. We are demanding this government give us answers. We know they won’t all be happy answers,” he adds, as parents around him break down in tears. “We want our children back, our family members.”

“We demand to meet [with government officials] tonight, we need answers, even some answers,” he adds.

Rocket fired from Gaza hits apartment building in Netivot

A rescuer walks in front of a damaged shop in Tel Aviv, after it was hit by a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
A rescuer walks in front of a damaged shop in Tel Aviv, after it was hit by a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip has impacted an apartment building in the southern city of Netivot, footage shows.

It is unclear whether there are any injuries.

Hamas launched a barrage rockets at Netivot a short while ago, with footage showing the Iron Dome air defense system downing many of the projectiles.

Health Ministry says so far more than 2,200 have been wounded in Israel

Wounded Israeli soldiers arrive at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/ Flash90)
Wounded Israeli soldiers arrive at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/ Flash90)

The Health Ministry says that, so far, more than 2,243 people have been wounded and brought to hospitals in Israel so far during the war.

The ministry says that 22 of them are in critical condition, 343 in serious condition, 439 in moderate condition, 1,093 in mild condition, 50 being treated for severe anxiety, and 187 being evaluated by medical officials.

Netanyahu holds security assessment with top officials

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) meets with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (C) and military chiefs at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv for a security assessment on October 8, 2023. (GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) meets with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (C) and military chiefs at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv for a security assessment on October 8, 2023. (GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is holding a security assessment in the Kirya IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv.

He is joined by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, IDF Chief of Staff Ron Dermer, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar, Mossad head David Barnea, National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, Military Secretary Avi Gil, and members of the IDF General Staff Forum.

Herzog vows that Israel will win this war: ‘We have no other choice’

President Isaac Herzog speaks to the nation, October 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog speaks to the nation, October 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

President Isaac Herzog urges national unity in his speech to the nation, saying “let us keep this spirit of heroism and this togetherness. It is our most powerful weapon.”

He asks citizens to avoid spreading rumors that serve Hamas and to follow orders from the Home Front Command.

“There is an indisputable fact here — the State of Israel will win this time as well,” he pledges. “We have no other choice.”

He calls Hamas’s attack “an unforgivable sin — a sin that is led not only by a murderous terrorist organization, but by an evil axis whose base is in Iran, whose proxies work tirelessly to undermine us.”

He calls Hamas “monstrous animals,” who slaughter toddlers and old women.

“My brothers and sisters: we are at war for our home,” says the president, “and we will win.”

He says that Israel will “make it clear that we are here forever, on our land in our country. Win, and build more and more, to replace homes that were destroyed.”

Military chief: Now is ‘time for war’; ‘questions and frustration’ will come later

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi holds an assessment at the IDF Southern Command in Beersheba, October 8, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi holds an assessment at the IDF Southern Command in Beersheba, October 8, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The chief of the Israel Defense Forces issues his first public comments since Hamas launched its attack against Israel yesterday morning.

“The State of Israel and the IDF are now waging war against a sinful attack by Hamas,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi says, in a video published by the military.

“This is murderous terrorism. We are attacking, pushing back, and striking everyone who took part in it. I know the last day was difficult, the price is a heavy price, I know there are many questions and a lot of frustration,” Halevi continues.

“But we are now focusing forward on doing and solving the problem. We have civilians, and members of the security forces, some of whom are in the hands of the enemy,” he says. “Therefore, it is time for war. Not a round, not an operation, time for war,” Halevi says.

“And in this war, the IDF will be strong and win. Long and complex days of fighting await us. We will maintain readiness in all arenas,” he adds.

The remarks are made during an assessment at the IDF Southern Command in Beersheba this afternoon.

Gantz says he will join emergency government if he is given real authority

MK Benny Gantz attends an Israel Hayom conference in Jerusalem, September 6, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
MK Benny Gantz attends an Israel Hayom conference in Jerusalem, September 6, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

National Unity party leader and former defense minister Benny Gantz says he is willing to join the government in the wake of Hamas’ assault on Israel, on condition that his party is given real influence in directing the war against the terror militia in Gaza.

The National Unity leader says he told the prime minister yesterday that he would be willing to join the government “with the intention of establishing a war cabinet that will direct the battlefront against Gaza and other fronts,” Gantz says in an address broadcast tonight.

“At this time, when the best of our sons and daughters are enlisting in the reserves, when we are eulogizing hundreds of dead, when we are all praying for the well-being of thousands of wounded, kidnapped and missing, we must take responsibility and enlist as leaders as well,” he says.

“If we are given the real opportunity to influence and participate in the management of the war we will be there till the end,” he adds.

Gantz, who also served as IDF chief of staff, appears to be hesitating over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer yesterday for him to join the government, along with the Yesh Atid party, and is insistent that he and senior party members play a major role in shaping Israel’s response to the attack before committing to join a Netanyahu-led cabinet again.

Gantz joined a short-lived Netanyahu-led government in May 2020 to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic and in a deal which was to see him become prime minister after 18 months, but the government collapsed in June 2021 before that could happen, after Netanyahu refused to approve the state budget.

Israeli death toll in Hamas onslaught surpasses 700 people

Soldiers walk in front of a police station that was damaged during battles to dislodge Hamas terrorists who were stationed inside, in the southern city of Sderot, on October 8, 2023. (JACK GUEZ/AFP)
Soldiers walk in front of a police station that was damaged during battles to dislodge Hamas terrorists who were stationed inside, in the southern city of Sderot, on October 8, 2023. (JACK GUEZ/AFP)

The Israeli death toll from the Hamas onslaught against the Jewish state has surpassed 700 people, report Hebrew media outlets, citing health officials.

Israeli forces continue to battle with Hamas gunmen, as they clear out communities along the border, and are discovered more bodies of Israeli citizens.

More than 2,100 people in Israel have been wounded so far.

White House: Biden orders ‘additional support’ sent to Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, listens as US President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 7, 2023, in Washington, about the situation in Israel. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, listens as US President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 7, 2023, in Washington, about the situation in Israel. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The White House says that US President Joe Biden has ordered “additional support” to Israel “in the face of this unprecedented terrorist assault by Hamas.”

The statement does not provide any further details on the support.

It does note that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been briefed on the situation and “will remain in close contact with our Israeli partners.”

Hundreds of UK MPs sign letter backing Israel and its ‘right to self defense’

In this handout photo provided by UK Parliament, then-UK prime minister Boris Johnson, left, speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons in London, on February 10, 2021. (Jessica Taylor/ UK Parliament via AP/ File)
In this handout photo provided by UK Parliament, then-UK prime minister Boris Johnson, left, speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons in London, on February 10, 2021. (Jessica Taylor/ UK Parliament via AP/ File)

Hundreds of British parliamentarians from both houses sign a statement condemning attacks by Hamas’s “marauding gangs of terrorists.”

“The attack by Iran’s Hamas proxy is a futile attempt to harm the movement for peace across the region, as Israel and its Arab neighbours work jointly for a future of shared prosperity,” says the statement drafted by the Britain-Israel All-Party Parliamentary Group, consisting of members from a range of political parties.

“The Abraham Accords have shown that a future of peace is possible and we celebrate the historic opportunity it presents and call for redoubled efforts to expand them.”

Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy is among the signatories.

“As members of all of the UK’s main political parties, we stand in solidarity with Israel and its right to self-defense at this time of great need,” says the statement.

IDF says Navy targeted several Hamas naval positions

The Israel Defense Forces says the Israeli Navy targeted a number of Hamas naval positions in the Gaza Strip today.

The military publishes footage showing the moment of the strikes.

The IDF says it used “accurate munitions” fired from a Navy vessel to hit the positions used by Hamas’s naval force.

France, Ukraine, Germany confirm their citizens among those killed, kidnapped in Israel

An Israeli digger removes the rubble from the police station that was overrun by Hamas terrorists on Saturday, in Sderot, Israel, and recaptured Sunday, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
An Israeli digger removes the rubble from the police station that was overrun by Hamas terrorists on Saturday, in Sderot, Israel, and recaptured Sunday, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

A French woman in Israel has died “in the context of the terrorist attacks,” France’s foreign ministry says, without providing details. French teams in Israel and Paris are trying to clarify the situations of several citizens who have not been located, the statement says.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it has to assume that German citizens are among those kidnapped by Hamas yesterday. It did not say how many people that might be, but says they are all believed to be Israeli citizens as well.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko says two Ukrainian women have been killed. Both had lived in Israel for a long time, he says, without elaborating on the circumstances of their death.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry says two Belarusians were injured during the shelling of the city of Ashkelon, and one of them is in serious condition.

IDF carrying out new airstrikes in Gaza

Fire and smoke rise following an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa)
Fire and smoke rise following an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa)

The Israel Defense Forces says it is carrying out a new wave of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF says it is hitting targets belonging to the Hamas terror group.

Further details will be provided soon, the IDF adds.

Israel calls on its citizens to leave Egypt, not visit Mideast countries with travel warnings

Illustrative. A resort in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, on October 4, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/ Flash90/File)
Illustrative. A resort in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, on October 4, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/ Flash90/File)

After today’s deadly shooting in Egypt, the National Security Council urges Israelis in Sinai and Egypt to leave the country as soon as possible.

In a statement on its website, the council also asks Israelis to refrain from traveling to Middle Eastern countries and other nations with travel warnings.

Sister of missing IDF soldier says terrorist answered his phone, said he was dead

Israeli soldiers deploy in an area where civilians were killed in the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023. (Oren ZIV / AFP)
Israeli soldiers deploy in an area where civilians were killed in the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023. (Oren ZIV / AFP)

The sister of missing IDF soldier Boaz Yogev says that their family called his cellphone and a terrorist answered and told them he was dead.

Harel Yogev tells the story to the Kan public radio station, saying that her mother called “and a terrorist answered, said my name is Mohammed… I’m so sorry, your son is dead.” Harel says the man on the phone claimed to be an IDF officer on her brother’s base, but that the IDF confirmed there was no officer by that name.

“Until now the army hasn’t been in contact at all. We don’t know anything. We’ve run to hospitals, to the police HQ, they aren’t telling us anything,” Harel says.

Harel says they passed the recording onto the army but still received no information, and have no idea where her brother is, or whether he is still alive.

IDF calls on residents of Sderot, Mefalsim to stay inside homes until further notice

Israeli forces outside the entrance to the southern Israeli town of Sderot, October 8, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Israeli forces outside the entrance to the southern Israeli town of Sderot, October 8, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces instructs residents of Kibbutz Mefalsim and the city of Sderot, close to the border with the Gaza Strip, to remain in their homes until further notice.

No further details are given.

Herzog speaks with US VP Harris, who stresses Israel’s right to defense

US Vice President Kamala Harris shakes hands with President Isaac Herzog as they speak to the media prior to a meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, July 19, 2023. (SAUL LOEB / AFP/File)
US Vice President Kamala Harris shakes hands with President Isaac Herzog as they speak to the media prior to a meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, July 19, 2023. (SAUL LOEB / AFP/File)

President Isaac Herzog speaks with US Vice President Kamala Harris.

According to Herzog’s office, Harris sends her condolences to the Israeli people, and stresses Israel’s right to defend itself.

She says that the US will stand by Israel’s side throughout the war.

Herzog tells Harris that Israel will deal harshly with Hamas.

Yesterday, Harris tweeted: “Doug’s and my prayers are with the victims of the heinous terrorist attacks in Israel,” adding that her “support for Israel’s security is unwavering.”

Gallant in Ofakim: Israel’s response to Hamas ‘will be remembered for the next 50 years’

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with Israeli forces in the southern city of Ofakim, October 8, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/ Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with Israeli forces in the southern city of Ofakim, October 8, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/ Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visits the southern town of Ofakim, which Hamas terrorists had breached yesterday and taken Israelis hostage.

In remarks provided by his office, Gallant says Israel’s response in the Gaza Strip will be “remembered for the next 50 years and [Hamas] will regret that they started it.”

“The rules of war have changed. The price the Gaza Strip will pay will be a very heavy price, that will change reality for generations,” Gallant adds.

Foreign Ministry says 84 countries have expressed support for Israel

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen at a ceremony in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, January 2, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/ Flash90)
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen at a ceremony in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, January 2, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/ Flash90)

Some 84 countries and nations have released statements supporting Israel, according to a list compiled by the Foreign Ministry.

Many of the countries, including the US, UK, Australia, France, Norway and Austria, have seen multiple political leaders issue statements condemning the attacks and backing Israel’s right to self-defense.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has spoken with 17 foreign ministers, mostly from Europe, in the past 24 hours. He also held a briefing for foreign diplomats in Israel, and for Israeli diplomats abroad.

Israeli diplomats have conducted 180 interviews with foreign press since the war started, and have put up more than 580 posts in English, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi and Russian.

Universities push back start of fall semester amid ongoing war

Students at Tel Aviv University on the first day of the academic year, October 10, 2021. (Flash90, via JTA)
Students at Tel Aviv University on the first day of the academic year, October 10, 2021. (Flash90, via JTA)

The new academic school year at Israeli universities will begin on October 22, instead of October 15, the Committee of University Presidents announces.

Many students and faculty members have been drafted into reserve duty, the committee says in a statement.

“Our hearts are with the families of those who have been murdered. We send wishes for a quick recovery to the injured and are full of hope that those who have been kidnapped, the taken and the missing will return quickly,” they say.

The university school year in Israel usually begins after the High Holidays, so the fall semester usually begins significantly after the university system in the US or Europe. Affected by the delay are the Hebrew University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Tel Aviv University, and other major research universities in the country.

Earlier today, it was announced that primary and secondary schools around the country would be closed at least through Tuesday.

IDF names a further 13 soldiers killed in fighting with Hamas

Graves being prepared at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, October 8, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Graves being prepared at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, October 8, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces names another 13 soldiers killed in southern Israel during fighting with the Hamas terror group over the past day.

The names bring the toll of slain Israeli soldiers to 57.

Maj. Amir Skuri, 31, a Sayeret Matkal soldier, from Jerusalem

Maj. Ariel Ben Moshe, 27, a Sayeret Matkal commander

Lt. Shilo Cohen, 24, a Shaldag soldier, from Sderot

Warrant Officer Ido Rosental, 45, a Shaldag soldier, from Beit She’an

First Sgt. Aharon Farash, 36, a logistics NCO, from Ofakim

Staff Sgt. Roi Weiser, 21, a Golani soldier, from Efrat

Staff Sgt. Adir Gauri, 20, a Sayeret Matkal soldier, from Jerusalem

Staff Sgt. Guy Simchi, 20, a Paratrooper, from Gedera

Staff Sgt. Or Mizrahi, 21, a Nahal soldier, from Petah Tikva

Cpl. Ariel Eliyahu, 19, a soldier in the 7th Armored Brigade, from Mitzpe Yeriho

Cpl. Danit Cohen, 19, a soldier in the IDF Southern Command

Cpl. Amit Gueta, 21, a Maglan soldier, from Rehovot.

In addition to the 57 soldiers, police have named 34 officers, and the Shin Bet named five agents and veterans killed in the Hamas attacks. More than 600 people overall in Israel are believed to be dead, with that figure expected to rise.

IDF says it strikes Hamas tunnel underneath Gaza high-rise

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa)
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa)

The Israel Defense Forces says it struck a Hamas tunnel built underneath a high-rise tower in the northern Gaza Strip.

“A mosque is located adjacent to the tunnel, proving once again that Hamas deliberately embeds its military infrastructure in civilian areas,” the IDF says in a statement.

Berlin says it will reevaluate its aid to Palestinians following Hamas attack

Germany's Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze speaks in London, June 22, 2023. (Henry Nicholls/Pool via AP)
Germany's Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze speaks in London, June 22, 2023. (Henry Nicholls/Pool via AP)

Germany’s development minister says her country will review its aid for the Palestinian areas following the attack by Hamas on Israel.

The development ministry says Germany does not finance the Palestinian Authority directly, but a total of 250 million euros ($265 million) is currently pledged in German aid –- half of that for bilateral projects via Germany’s overseas aid agency and development bank, and the other half for the UN agency for the Palestinians, UNRWA.

Development Minister Svenja Schulze says in a statement that Germany already took great care that its aid for Palestinians “serves peace and not the terrorists.”

“But these attacks on Israel are a terrible watershed, so we will review our whole commitment to the Palestinian areas,” she adds.

Schulze noted that Israel has an interest in Palestinians being able to live in long-term stability, and said Germany will coordinate with its international partners.

IDF spox: There are still terrorists in Israel, but we will find them ‘wherever they are’

IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announces that Israel is at war, after a deadly mass Hamas infiltration from Gaza, October 7, 2023. (IDF Spokesman)
IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announces that Israel is at war, after a deadly mass Hamas infiltration from Gaza, October 7, 2023. (IDF Spokesman)

The Israel Defense Forces’ top spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, says the Air Force carried out a major attack against Hamas assets in the northern Gaza Strip.

In a press conference, Hagari says more than 50 fighter jets targeted 120 sites in the Beit Hanoun neighborhood, demolishing Hamas assembly areas used to launch attacks against Israel. In all, the IDF has struck some 800 sites since the fighting began early Saturday, Hagari says.

The IDF in a statement says Beit Hanoun is a “nest of terror” and used by Hamas to launch attacks against Israel over the last day.

There are still Hamas terrorists in Israel, and Israeli troops are working to find them and kill them, he says.

“We will purify the area and attack terrorists wherever they are,” he says.

“Hamas has inflicted a great disaster on the residents of the Gaza Strip. Hundreds dead, and thousands injured. We took dozens of terrorists captive, including in the last few hours,” he says.

“There will be a time for hard questions and tough investigation, but now we are at war and are busy attacking the enemy and winning,” Hagari adds.

Police publish footage of security forces battling terrorists in south

Israeli police deploy near Ashkelon, Israel, on October 8, 2023. (AP/Ohad Zwigenberg)
Israeli police deploy near Ashkelon, Israel, on October 8, 2023. (AP/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Police publish footage of Border Police officers fighting Hamas terrorists in southern Israel and rescuing Israeli civilians under fire.

Police say several Palestinian terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire near the border with the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu speaks again to Biden, says US president reiterates full support

US President Joe Biden, left, meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 20, 2023. (Avi Ohayon, GPO)
US President Joe Biden, left, meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 20, 2023. (Avi Ohayon, GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden speak by phone again.

According to Netanyahu’s office, Biden stresses his unwavering support for Israel.

Liberman: I’ll join government if PM vows to destroy Hamas, kill its leaders

Yisrael Beytenu party leader MK Avigdor Liberman arrives to a court hearing on petitions against a government law at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, September 28, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Yisrael Beytenu party leader MK Avigdor Liberman arrives to a court hearing on petitions against a government law at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, September 28, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Yisrael Beytenu chairman and former defense minister Avigdor Liberman says he will join the current government if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — together with the defense minister and IDF chief of staff — “stand in front of the cameras and inform the Jewish people” that the government intends to “eliminate the Hamas terror organization and all its terrorist leaders,” and will not suffice with anything less.

“I understand that we have other challenges including in the north against Hezbollah, captives in the Gaza Strip, the intentional community and other challenges,” says Liberman in a statement to the press.

“Our priorities must be clear — the elimination of Hamas and the heads of Hamas… Only in this way can we restore security to residents of the south and the rest of Israel’s citizens, and bring back our captives and those missing,” he adds.

It is unclear if Liberman has been asked to join the government and a Likud spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Netanyahu has proposed that the opposition Yesh Atid and National Unity parties join what would become a national unity government, but they have yet to agree to terms and publicly accept.

Herzog to address nation live this evening

President Isaac Herzog speaks during a ceremony at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on July 17, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)
President Isaac Herzog speaks during a ceremony at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on July 17, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

President Isaac Herzog will deliver an address to the nation at 7:30 p.m. local time, his office announces.

Former defense minister and opposition MK Benny Gantz is also supposed to speak at 7 p.m.

Germany’s Scholz speaks to Netanyahu, says he will talk to Cairo about mediation

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during his annual summer press conference in Berlin, Germany, July 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during his annual summer press conference in Berlin, Germany, July 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

German Chancellor OIaf Scholz stresses the need to avoid a wider “conflagration” in the Middle East after Hamas attacked Israel.

Scholz says he spoke today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and assured him that Israel’s security is a cornerstone of German policy. He pledges that “we will act accordingly.” He says he plans to speak to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and will support Egypt in efforts to mediate and de-escalate.

Scholz says he also will talk by phone with the leaders of the US, France and the UK to evaluate the situation.

“It is clear that we condemn the actions of Hamas in the strongest terms, but above all we are doing everything so that this attack doesn’t turn into a conflagration with incalculable consequences for the whole region — and we warn everyone in this situation against fueling terrorism,” he adds.

Gunfire reported in kibbutz near Gaza

Israeli forces cross a main road in an armored personnel carrier (APC) as additional IDF troops are deployed near the southern city of Sderot following an assault by Hamas terrorists, October 8, 2023. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)
Israeli forces cross a main road in an armored personnel carrier (APC) as additional IDF troops are deployed near the southern city of Sderot following an assault by Hamas terrorists, October 8, 2023. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

Gunfire is reported heard near Kibbutz Karmia, close to the northern border with the Gaza Strip.

The Hof Ashkelon Regional Council says it is looking into the reports.

Israeli driving ATV shot by security forces in Sderot after refusal to halt

Israeli forces walk by a burned car and a collapsed building in the  southern town of Sderot, October 8, 2023, following an assault by Hamas terrorists. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Israeli forces walk by a burned car and a collapsed building in the southern town of Sderot, October 8, 2023, following an assault by Hamas terrorists. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

A Sderot resident riding an all-terrain vehicle in the southern city was shot and wounded by Israeli forces after refusing to halt, the municipality says.

He is taken to a hospital for treatment, Sderot adds in a statement.

The incident comes as Israeli troops are fighting Hamas terrorists who infiltrated southern Israel, including Sderot, yesterday morning.

Netanyahu, Biden expected to speak again this evening

US President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, September 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
US President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, September 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden are expected to speak again this evening, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office tells The Times of Israel.

They spoke yesterday as well.

Zelensky speaks with Netanyahu, says Ukraine stands in solidarity with Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky meet on the UN General Assembly sidelines on September 19, 2023. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky meet on the UN General Assembly sidelines on September 19, 2023. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that in his phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu earlier today, “the prime minister spoke about the situation in Israel and the actions of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies to repel the attack.”

“We stand in solidarity with Israel,” writes Zelensky on Instagram, “which is suffering from a brazen large-scale attack, and extend our condolences over the numerous victims. Now it is important to ensure cooperation between the Israeli police and Ukrainian diplomats on the issue of security and protection of Ukrainian citizens in Israel.”

Israelis head home from New York amid worries over war

Israelis wait this morning at the gate at JFK International Airport for an El Al flight to Tel Aviv.

Unlike the usual loud and boisterous setting as passengers await boarding of a flight of the Israeli national carrier, the scene is subdued. Almost everyone is glued to their smartphones for the latest news about the war in Israel, some with tears in their eyes. Some are praying, others sit exhausted, lost in their thoughts.

Eli Ben Ayun, 53, had just finished a family trip to New York over the Sukkot family when the war broke out.

“We felt horrible when we heard the news. We couldn’t believe it. The country is in a mess but it is our country,” he says as he sits next to his wife Orit and daughters Shir and Danielle.

Gallant says IDF goal is to ‘destroy the enemy and save the lives of our citizens’

Defense Minster Yoav Gallant holds an assessment at his office in Tel Aviv, October 8, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minster Yoav Gallant holds an assessment at his office in Tel Aviv, October 8, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant holds an assessment with the head of the IDF Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Rafi Milo, and other officials, his office says.

A statement from his office says Gallant tells the officials that Israel’s main goal on the home front is to “destroy the enemy and save the lives of our citizens.”

Gallant praises the officials for the evacuation of Israelis from towns close to the border with the Gaza Strip, and orders officials to put together plans for a possible evacuation of towns on Israel’s northern border as well, should fighting break out on that front too.

Additionally, Gallant instructs the officials to provide weapons, ammunition, and troops to security teams in towns close to the Gaza border.

Health Ministry says more than 2,150 Israelis wounded so far

Wounded Israeli soldiers arrive at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Wounded Israeli soldiers arrive at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The Health Ministry says that as of 5 p.m. at least 2,156 Israelis have been wounded and treated at hospitals so far during this war.

Of those, 20 are in critical condition, 338 in serious condition, 421 in moderate condition, 1,052 in mild condition, 49 being treated for severe anxiety and 167 still being assessed by medical officials.

Netanyahu names general as government point man on missing Israelis

FILE: Former IDF brigadier general Gal Hirsch gives a press conference in Tel Aviv announcing his entry into politics, December 26, 2018. (Flash90)
FILE: Former IDF brigadier general Gal Hirsch gives a press conference in Tel Aviv announcing his entry into politics, December 26, 2018. (Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appoints Gal Hirsch, a reservist brigadier general who commanded the 91st Division in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, as the government’s point man on missing and kidnapped citizens.

All government agencies will be under his direction on the matter, Netanyahu’s office says.

The position has been empty for the past year after the last official in the post, Yaron Blum, announced his resignation.

Blinken says working to verify reports of US hostages in Gaza, would be ‘a priority’ for White House

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference as he announces that five Americans who had been jailed for years in Iran have been freed, in New York City on September 18, 2023. (Craig Ruttle / POOL / AFP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference as he announces that five Americans who had been jailed for years in Iran have been freed, in New York City on September 18, 2023. (Craig Ruttle / POOL / AFP)

Echoing comments he made on CNN, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tells NBC’s Meet the Press that “we have reports” that several Americans are among the dead and kidnapped, but would not confirm.

He adds, “We are very actively working to verify those reports.”

Blinken says “any American anywhere who is being detained or held hostage, that is going to be a priority for this government, for this administration, and for me, but I don’t want to get ahead of where we are. We have reports, and we have to verify them.”

Police name another 4 officers killed in clashes with Hamas terrorists

Israeli police deploy near Ashkelon, Israel, on October 8, 2023. (AP/Ohad Zwigenberg)
Israeli police deploy near Ashkelon, Israel, on October 8, 2023. (AP/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Police name another four officers killed during fighting with Hamas terrorists in southern Israel:

Superintendent Vadim Blich, a commander in the coordination of enforcement operations unit; Chief Inspector Stas Shainkman, a member of the Yamam counter-terror unit; Sergeant Major Denis Belkin, a patrolman at the Sderot station; and First Sergeant Dvora Avraham, a patrolwoman at the Ofakim station

The Shin Bet, meanwhile, names five members and veterans killed during the Hamas attack.

Yossi Tahar, 39, Maor Shalom 46, and Amir Wax, 48, were killed when Hamas terrorists attacked southern towns; and Ili Nahman, 23, and Ido Edri, 24, were killed when terrorists attacked an outdoor rave near Re’im.

Israel denies it is conducting hostage negotiations via Egypt

Israeli Noa Argamani is seen being kidnapped by Hamas terrorist in the south on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)
Israeli Noa Argamani is seen being kidnapped by Hamas terrorist in the south on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

Despite media reports about Egypt negotiating with Hamas on Israel’s behalf, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel that the government “does not know of any such conversation and is not conducting any negotiations.”

Another officials tells The Times of Israel that “right now we are fighting terrorists on Israeli territory. We’re not involved in any talks about the hostages right now.”

The government has confirmed that at least 100 Israelis are being held in Gaza, with media reports suggesting as many as 170 may be captive in the Strip.

Government confirms at least 100 Israelis held captive in Gaza

A family arrives to a police station in Lod, to provide DNA samples to help identify a relative missing since an unprecedented mass terror attack by Hamas, in southern Israel, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
A family arrives to a police station in Lod, to provide DNA samples to help identify a relative missing since an unprecedented mass terror attack by Hamas, in southern Israel, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Israel’s Government Press Office confirms that at least 100 Israelis are currently being held captive in Gaza.

Posting an infographic on its Facebook page, GPO writes that “100+ kidnapped, 2,000+ injured, 600+ murdered.”

Until now Israel has refused to confirm the number of civilians or soldiers being held hostage. Media reports have suggested that at least 170 may be being held captive in Gaza.

Iran’s Raisi speaks to Hamas, Islamic Jihad as Tehran hails terror onslaught as ‘victory’

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a news conference on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters in New York City on September 20, 2023. (Ed Jones/AFP)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a news conference on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters in New York City on September 20, 2023. (Ed Jones/AFP)

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi speaks with leaders of Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, official media say, a day after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel.

“Raisi discussed the developments in Palestine in separate phone calls with Ziyad al-Nakhalah, secretary general of the Islamic Jihad Movement, and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the [Hamas] political bureau,” state news agency IRNA reported, without giving further details.

Iran hails the Palestinian attack, calling it a “proud operation” and a “great victory.”

“This victorious operation, which will facilitate and accelerate the collapse of the Zionist regime, promises the impending destruction of the Zionist regime,” says Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“I am congratulating this great and strategic victory, which is a serious warning to all compromisers in the region,” he adds in a letter to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, referring presumably to Arab countries that have normalized ties with Israel.

Plane set to bring back bodies, survivors of attack in Egypt

An Israeli tourist lies on the ground in Alexandria's Pompey's Pillar site after an Egyptian policeman opened fire, killing 3 people, October 8, 2023 (screenshot)
An Israeli tourist lies on the ground in Alexandria's Pompey's Pillar site after an Egyptian policeman opened fire, killing 3 people, October 8, 2023 (screenshot)

The military plane carrying Israeli tourists home from Alexandria is expected to take off within hours, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel.

The plane will carry the bodies of the two tourists slain earlier today, as well as survivors of the attack and one wounded Israeli.

Israel’s ambassador in Cairo Amira Oron has been in touch with senior military personnel in Egypt to arrange the logistics of returning the Israelis. The Egyptians are cooperating, says the official.

Diplomatic conversations between top officials have yet to occur.

WSJ: Egyptian negotiators failed to convince Hamas to release wounded hostages

Palestinians drive a captured Israeli military vehicle in Gaza City on Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians drive a captured Israeli military vehicle in Gaza City on Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Reports have been circulating that Egypt has been working to attempt to free some of the Israeli captives being held in Gaza.

More than 100 Israelis are believed to have been abducted and held in the Strip.

The Wall Street Journal, however, cites Egyptian officials saying that their negotiators “failed to convince the Palestinian factions to release injured Israeli captives.”

Earlier the newspaper reported that Israel had reached out to Cairo to request its intervention.

Netanyahu speaks with leaders of Ukraine, Germany, UK, Italy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a televised address on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot/ GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a televised address on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot/ GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with world leaders about the attacks from Gaza, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, and British PM Rishi Sunak, according to his office.

“All the leaders expressed unequivocal support for Israel’s right to defend itself as much as needed,” says the Prime Minister’s Office.

Japan, South Korea condemn Hamas incursion, as Seoul calls on its citizens to leave

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meets the journalists about North Korea's missile launch, at his office in Tokyo, July 25, 2023. (Kyodo News via AP)
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meets the journalists about North Korea's missile launch, at his office in Tokyo, July 25, 2023. (Kyodo News via AP)

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemns Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists over their incursion into Israel, urging all parties to use restraint.

“Japan strongly condemns the attacks which severely harmed innocent civilians,” Kishida says on X.

Kishida also condemns the gunmen over the reported abduction of a number of people, urging their immediate release.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry also says it strongly condemns “the indiscriminate attacks on Israel from Gaza” and calls for an immediate halt of these attacks.

The Japanese government says it is working to ensure the safety of its citizens in Israel and Gaza, while the South Korean foreign ministry urged its nationals to leave.

Hamas says 370 Palestinians killed so far in Gaza

Smoke rises after Israeli air strikes near the border east of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Smoke rises after Israeli air strikes near the border east of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip says 370 Palestinians have been killed and another 2,200 have been wounded in the Gaza Strip.

Most of those were apparently killed in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s retaliatory strikes.

The IDF said it killed at least 400 Palestinian terrorists both in Israel and in strikes in Gaza.

Blinken says US likely to announce new military aid to Israel later today

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, listens as US President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 7, 2023, in Washington, about the situation in Israel. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, listens as US President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 7, 2023, in Washington, about the situation in Israel. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The United States, a close ally and major supplier of arms to Israel, could announce later today new military support for the country following the Hamas attack, Secretary of State Antony Blinken says.

“We’re looking at specific additional requests that the Israelis have made. I think you’re likely to hear more about that later today,” Blinken tells CNN.

“President [Joe] Biden’s direction was to make sure that we’re providing Israel everything it needs in this moment to deal with the attacks from Hamas.”

Netanyahu joins Air Force chief in situation room as jets strike Gaza

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, October 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, October 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joins IAF Chief Tomer Bar in the air force command center at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv as Israeli fighter jets carry out attacks on the Gaza Strip.

He is joined by his top aides, including Military Secretary Avi Gil, Government Secretary Tzahi Braverman and Moshe Aviv, head of the National Public Diplomacy Directorate.

Blinken says there are ‘reports of several Americans killed, missing’ in Israel

A family arrives to a police station in Lod, to provide DNA samples to help identify a relative missing since an unprecedented mass terror attack by Hamas, in southern Israel, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
A family arrives to a police station in Lod, to provide DNA samples to help identify a relative missing since an unprecedented mass terror attack by Hamas, in southern Israel, October 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “We have reports that several Americans were killed.”

We are working overtime to verify that,” Blinken continues. “There are reports of missing Americans.”

Earlier in the day, the US Embassy refused to provide details about dead or missing citizens.

IDF: Interception on Lebanon border appears to be false alarm

The fence of an Israeli military position is seen damaged after Hezbollah targeted it by rockets on Mount Dov on the Lebanese border, Oct. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
The fence of an Israeli military position is seen damaged after Hezbollah targeted it by rockets on Mount Dov on the Lebanese border, Oct. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The Israel Defense Forces says the Patriot air defense system launch in northern Israel appears to be a false alarm.

The IDF says it identified a suspicious object in the air approaching northern Israel and fired an interceptor at it.

After an initial investigation, it was revealed to not be a drone, the military says. “There is no threat to residents,” the IDF adds.

The military says that contrary to various reports, it did not carry out new strikes in Lebanon.

Israel Police names two more fatalities in clashes with Hamas

1st Sgt. Vitaly Karisik, left and 1st Sgt. Alon Barad (Israel Police)
1st Sgt. Vitaly Karisik, left and 1st Sgt. Alon Barad (Israel Police)

Police name another two officers killed fighting Hamas terrorists in southern Israel during the past day.

1st Sgt. Vitaly Karisik, 38, from Ashkelon, and 1st Sgt. Alon Barad, 38, from Beersheba, were killed during a battle with Hamas gunmen in the southern town of Re’im, close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA in Gaza says 20,000 Palestinians sheltering in its schools

Palestinian firemen extinguish a fire that was raging in a building destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on October 8, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
Palestinian firemen extinguish a fire that was raging in a building destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on October 8, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

The UN agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, says over 20,000 people are sheltering in 44 of its schools around Gaza.

“The number [of displaced] is rapidly increasing, “ says Inas Hamdan, acting public information officer in Gaza.

The agency said three of its schools suffered “collateral” damage from Israeli airstrikes. The agency also said its operations of nine water wells around the Gaza Strip were stopped early yesterday. Operations in three wells resumed today, said Hamdan. The agency’s food distribution centers, which provide for over 540,000 of Gaza residents, have been closed since yesterday.

Israeli begs for info about her missing parents: ‘We just keep watching the news’

A photo of the father of Ella Ben-Ami purportedly being kidnapped to Gaza on October 7, 2023. (Used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)
A photo of the father of Ella Ben-Ami purportedly being kidnapped to Gaza on October 7, 2023. (Used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

Ella Ben Ami says that she believes her father has been kidnapped into Gaza after seeing a photo of him on social media being taken, and has no idea where her mother is.

The young woman tells Channel 12 news that she has not heard any updates from any government or IDF officials.

“We just keep watching the news all day hoping for news,” she says. “It’s horrible, it’s a horrible thought, that we are only finding out information from the news.”

It is not clear how many Israelis have been abducted and are being held captive in Gaza, and officials have not provided any details.

IDF says it is carrying out wave of ‘intense’ airstrikes in Gaza

Smoke rises after Israeli air strikes near the border east of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (Atia Mohammed/Flash90)
Smoke rises after Israeli air strikes near the border east of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, October 8, 2023. (Atia Mohammed/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces says dozens of fighter jets are carrying out a wave of “intense” airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.

“The IDF is attacking targets in the areas near the fence at Beit Hanoun, which are used by the Hamas terror group to carry out attacks against the State of Israel,” the military says in a statement.

Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi is holding an assessment with senior officers at Southern Command headquarters in Beersheba.

IDF says schools to remain closed across the country amid fighting

The Israel Defense Forces announces that schools across the entire country will remain closed in the coming days amid ongoing fighting between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip, as the Home Front Command extends existing restrictions.

Additionally, businesses south of Netanya and north of the central Negev can only be opened if there is ready access to bomb shelters, the military says.

Gatherings are restricted to 10 people outdoors and 50 people indoors in those areas, the IDF Home Front Command says.

The restrictions are valid till Tuesday at 6 p.m., but will likely be extended further amid the fighting.

Residents in north report air defenses over Safed activated

Residents of the northern city of Safed report that Israeli air defense systems are engaging projectiles over the area.

It is unclear if rockets were fired at the area, or a possible drone attack. Sirens did not sound in Safed or nearby towns.

Safed houses the IDF Northern Command headquarters, and a Patriot system is stationed in the area.

There is no immediate comment from the Israeli military on the incident.

Earlier, Hezbollah fired a number of rockets at IDF border positions in “solidarity” with Hamas. the IDF responded with artillery fire.

The incidents spark fears the conflict could spread to a second front.

US embassy won’t comment on American citizens killed or captured in Hamas attack

The US Embassy in Israel would not comment on the number of American citizens killed, injured, and missing in the Hamas attacks.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and have no further details,” says an embassy spokesperson.

The officials adds that “US citizens seeking to be in touch with the US Embassy in Israel may follow the link provided here, or call 1-833-890-9595 and 606-641-0131.”

Death toll jumps sharply to over 600 as forces clearing border areas find more bodies

Graphic content: The bodies of Israeli civilians killed by Hamas terrorists lie covered in the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023, after an unprecedented infiltration into Israel by hundreds of gunmen from the terrorist organization from Gaza. (Oren ZIV / AFP)
Graphic content: The bodies of Israeli civilians killed by Hamas terrorists lie covered in the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023, after an unprecedented infiltration into Israel by hundreds of gunmen from the terrorist organization from Gaza. (Oren ZIV / AFP)

The estimated death toll from the Hamas assault on Israeli border communities jumps sharply this afternoon from 300 this morning to some 600.

A spokesperson for ZAKA, a volunteer group that handles dead bodies and human remains after terror attacks, tells Hebrew media that more than 600 Israelis have been killed.

The bodies are found as Israeli forces continue to battle with Hamas gunmen, clearing them out of communities along the border.

Top Hezbollah official warns US, Israel that fighting may spread

The fence of an Israeli military position is seen damaged after Hezbollah targeted it by rockets on Mount Dov on the Lebanese border, Oct. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
The fence of an Israeli military position is seen damaged after Hezbollah targeted it by rockets on Mount Dov on the Lebanese border, Oct. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Hashem Safi al-Din, head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, holds a press conference today in which he gives a message to the US and Israel, saying that their violations of Islamic holy places and “crossing of all lines” have led to Hamas’s “Al-Aqsa Deluge” terror operation.

The whole Islamic nation will join the “deluge” if they persist in their “foolishness,” he says.

On Sunday morning, Hezbollah launched mortar shells at Israeli military sites on the Lebanon border, claiming it was in solidarity with the “Palestinian resistance.”

The Israel Defense Forces did not report any injuries, and said it responded with artillery fire toward the area of the launches and a drone strike against “Hezbollah infrastructure” in the area.

Security cabinet confirms Israel at war, can undertake ‘significant military activities’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) meets with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (C) and military chiefs at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv for a security assessment on October 8, 2023. (GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) meets with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (C) and military chiefs at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv for a security assessment on October 8, 2023. (GPO)

The security cabinet voted last night to put the country officially at war, and it can carry out “significant military activities,” the Prime Minister’s Office announces.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already said the country was at war after Hamas terrorists infiltrated southern Israel, killing hundreds.

The high-level security cabinet decision gives the declaration legal standing in keeping with Basic Law: The Government, which in its Clause 40 says that the country cannot go to war without a government decision.

Hamas videos show how it burst through border, assaulted Israeli communities

A compilation of clips released by Hamas shows how the terror group invaded southern Israel yesterday and carried out its vast, murderous attack, killing some 500 civilians and soldiers, and kidnapping dozens more to the Gaza Strip.

First, Hamas bombed Israeli observation towers and weapons systems on the border using drones.

Footage shows drones dropping explosive devices onto Israeli sites on the Gaza border.

Next, the terror group fired hundreds of rockets at southern and central Israel, as terrorists on paragliders flew over the border.

Moments later, Hamas approached the border fence, blew up holes in it using large explosive devices, and allowed hundreds of terrorists to infiltrate into Israel, many of them in trucks and motorcycles.

The terrorists then attacked Israeli army posts along the border, and nearby communities.

Hamas also attempted to infiltrate via the sea, but Navy forces repelled the attack, killing dozens of terrorists.

In hospital, survivors describe harrowing experience of Hamas attack

A couple describes their harrowing experience escaping from armed terrorists, while being treated at Soroka Medical Center. (screenshot from Channel 12, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A couple describes their harrowing experience escaping from armed terrorists, while being treated at Soroka Medical Center. (screenshot from Channel 12, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

There are some 700 injured citizens being treated at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Channel 12 reports, with many recounting the harrowing ordeals they faced in the Hamas assault.

Describing their experience as “a disaster,” one injured couple relates how they were driving to visit relatives in one of the communities near Gaza when they encountered a truck full of armed terrorists.

“We drove away, and later saw cars stopped on the road and people injured. We saw two more trucks and they opened fire at us.”

The couple sustained injuries but were able to drive away. They then hid in a forested area “for hours,” until they met soldiers who helped them, they said.

Since early Saturday, the country has been in a conflict with Hamas in Gaza, which launched an unprecedented ground, sea and air assault on southern Israel, including thousands of rockets.

Hundreds of terrorists breached the security fence and entered Israeli communities and cities, many riding pickup trucks.

IDF hits 3 command centers in Gaza, kills 2 terrorists trying to infiltrate from beach

The Israeli Defense Forces says fighter jets struck three command centers belonging to terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

Footage published by the IDF shows a strike on a Palestinian Islamic Jihad headquarters.

The IDF says the other two sites belonged to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and all three were used to manage the fighting against Israel.

The military also says it has killed two Palestinian terrorists who infiltrated into Israel from the Gaza Strip via Zikim beach.

Footage published by the Israel Defense Forces shows Navy forces targeting the two gunmen.

The IDF says that Navy has killed dozens of Palestinian terrorists attempting to infiltrate via the sea to carry out attacks in Israel.

Ex-soccer star Lior Asulin among those killed at nature party

The Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team announces that former star striker Lior Asulin was among the dead after Hamas gunmen opened fire on a nature party near the border during their massive assault.

“With great sadness, after many hours when he was declared missing, we have been informed that our former player Lior Asulin was murdered by terrorists at the party in Re’im,” Hapoel announces.

The Hapoel Tel Aviv club bows its head and sends condolences and strength to Lior’s family at this difficult time,” the club says.

Israeli death toll passes 600, another 2,048 injured

Wounded Israeli soldiers from the south arrive to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Wounded Israeli soldiers from the south arrive to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The death toll from the massive assault launched by Hamas on Israeli communities near Gaza and thousands of rockets fired into Israel is over 500, officials estimate.

Among the dead are dozens of soldiers and police who were killed battling the terrorists.

The Health Ministry also confirms that the number of wounded in hospitals has reached 2,048, including 20 in critical condition and 330 seriously wounded.

The military continues to battle gunmen in border communities more than 30 hours after the assault.

Military releases names of 18 more soldiers killed in battle with Hamas

The IDF releases names of 18 more soldiers killed in the war in the south:

Col. Roi Levy, 44, the commander of the Multidimensional Unit (Maglan), from Shavei Tzion

Lt. Col. Yonatan Tzur, 33, the commander of the Nahal Reconnaissance Battalion, from Kedumim

Maj. Avraham Hovlashvili , 26, an officer in Caracal, from Ashdod

Maj. Ido Yehoshua, 27, an Israeli Air Force instructor

Maj. (res.) Omri Michaeli, 35, a Duvdevan soldier, from Nes Tziona

Cpt. Arye Shlomo Tsering, 27, an Oketz officer, from Raanana

Lt. Shoham Tomer, 23, a Nahal officer, from Srigim

Lt. Itay Maor, 23, a Golani officer, from Rosh Haayin

Lt. Rom Shlomi, 23, a Shaldag officer, from Ganot

Sgt. First Class Vitaly Shipkevich, 21, an Egoz soldier, from Ariel

Staff Sgt. Ilay Gamzu, 20, a paratrooper, from Ashdod

Staff Sgt. Ohad Cohen, 20, a Shaldag soldier, from Idan

Sgt. Itay-El Marciano, 20, a paratrooper, from Shoham

Cpl. Itamar Ayish, 19, a Home Front Command soldier, from Kiryat Gat

Cpl. Ori Loker, 19, a Golani soldier, from Pardes Hana-Karkur

Cpl. Yaron Zahar, 19, a Golani soldier, from Kiryat Ata

Pvt. Ofir Davidian, 18, a logistics soldier in the Home Front Command, from Patish

Cpt. Tal Grushka, 25, a Nahal officer, from Kfar Saba

IDF says commander of elite ‘Ghost’ unit among those killed in battles

The head of the Multidimensional Unit unit, Col. Roi Levy, who was killed in fighting near the Gaza border on October 7, 2023 (IDF)
The head of the Multidimensional Unit unit, Col. Roi Levy, who was killed in fighting near the Gaza border on October 7, 2023 (IDF)

The head of the elite Multidimensional unit, also known as the “Ghost” unit, Col. Roi Levy was killed yesterday as his forces battled Hamas terrorists in the southern community of Re’im.

The IDF says he “led his team bravely, engaged [the terrorists], and entered the battle first in Kibbutz Re’im, in order to save citizens who were besieged in their homes.”

Some 10 Palestinian terrorists were killed in the exchange, the IDF says.

 

IDF to evacuate civilians from towns near Gaza border in next 24 hours

IDF troops regain control of Kibbutz Be'eri in Israel on October 8, 2023. (The IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
IDF troops regain control of Kibbutz Be'eri in Israel on October 8, 2023. (The IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

The Israeli military says it is evacuating civilians from towns adjacent to the border with the Gaza Strip at this stage.

The towns include Nahal Oz, Erez, Nir Am, Mefalsim, Kfar Aza, Gevim, Or Haner, Ibim, Netiv Ha’asara, Yad Mordechai, Karmia, Zikim, Kerem Shalom, Kissufim, Holit, Sufa, Nirim, Nir Oz, Ein Hashlosha, Nir Yitzhak, Be’eri, Magen, Re’im, Sa’ad and Alumim.

“Further evacuations will be carried out according to the assessment of the situation,” the IDF says.

“Our mission for the upcoming 24 hours is to evacuate all residents living around Gaza,” military spokesman Daniel Hagari tells reporters.

He says the evacuation could be carried out only after a proper “scan of the territory” to ensure that no terrorists were present.

“There are tens of thousands of combat soldiers in the area. We’ll reach each and every community till we kill every terrorist in Israel,” Hagari says.

Woman pleads for return of 85-year-old grandmother taken hostage in Gaza

An Israeli woman posts a heartfelt plea on social media with a photograph of her 85-year-old grandmother in the hands of Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

An unknown number of Israelis were captured in Israel and taken hostage by the terror group during their assault yesterday on Israeli border communities. The number is believed to be several dozen.

“This is my grandmother, she was captured and taken to Gaza,” writes Adva Adar on social media. “Her name is Yaffa Adar and she is 85!!”

“My grandmother established the kibbutz with her own hands, believed in Zionism, in this country that has abandoned her, a hostage,” she writes. “She is apparently thrown somewhere, suffering from severe pain, without medication, without food and without water, dying of fear, alone.”

“And no one is talking to us, no one can tell us anything.”

Foreign Ministry confirms 2 Israelis killed in Egypt, working to bring them home

The Foreign Ministry confirms that two Israelis and their Egyptian guide were killed when a “local” opened fire at them. There is a wounded Israeli in moderate condition, says the Foreign Ministry.

The Foreign Ministry, the National Security Council, the IDF, and Israel’s embassy in Cairo are all working to bring the Israelis back home.

IDF sets up situation room to figure out how many hostages Hamas took into Gaza

Palestinians terrorists transport an abducted Israeli civilian from Kibbutz Kfar Aza into the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
Palestinians terrorists transport an abducted Israeli civilian from Kibbutz Kfar Aza into the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

The Israel Defense Forces says it has established a situation room to focus on putting together accurate information regarding the Israeli hostages held by the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas gunmen took an unknown number of civilians and soldiers captive into Gaza after overrunning several military bases and communities.

Social media was filled with horrifying videos of men, women and children being carried into the Strip, many of them appearing to have been abused. There were also videos published of dead Israelis taken, including soldiers.

The head of the IDF Personnel Directorate, Maj. Gen. Yaniv Asor, appoints Lior Carmeli, a general in reserves, to head the team.

The IDF says the team will compile a “situational picture” for locating the captives, both soldiers and civilians.” Amid all the complexity and uncertainty, it is necessary to issue reliable messages as quickly as possible.

“Some families have already received messages about their loved ones,” the IDF says.

Police and the IDF Home Front Command have also established a situation room to identify those killed in the attacks using DNA samples provided by families.

A long line of Israelis with missing relatives snaked outside a police station in central Israel to supply investigators with DNA samples and other means that could help identify their family members.

Writing on X, opposition chief Yair Lapid calls on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately appoint a coordinator for missing and captive Israelis “so that there will be someone to work with the families.”

An Egyptian official says Israel has sought help from Cairo to ensure the safety of the hostages, and that Egypt’s intelligence chief had contacted Hamas and the smaller but more radical Islamic Jihad group, which also took part in the incursion, to seek information. Egypt has often mediated between the two sides in the past.

The official says Palestinian leaders claimed that they don’t yet have a “full picture” of hostages, but said those who were brought into Gaza were taken to “secure locations” across the territory.

“It’s clear that they have a big number — several dozens,” says the official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to brief media.

Heavy gun battle, tank fire reported in Magen community near Gaza border

Heavy gun battles are reported between Israeli troops and Palestinian terrorists in the southern town of Magen, close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

According to Hebrew-language media, the Israel Defense Forces is also using tanks against the terrorists in the area.

Nearly 30 hours after Hamas launched its assault on Israeli border communities, IDF forces continue to try and clear the areas.

After car chase, security forces kill terrorists heading to Ashkelon

Police say they have “neutralized” a car with Palestinian terrorists on the Route 4 highway.

Security forces chased after the terrorists from the Gaza border area, as they fled northward, before veering off into a field close to Ashkelon.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, at least three terrorists were killed.

Forces are scanning the area for other potential assailants who may have fled.

Medics, security sources say two Israelis, one Egyptian killed in Alexandria shooting

Local media say an Egyptian policeman opened fire on Israeli tourists in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, killing at least two Israelis and one Egyptian.

Extra News television channel, which has close ties to Egyptian security agencies, quotes an unidentified security official as saying that another person was wounded in the attack, which took place at the Pompey’s Pillar site in Alexandria.

It says the suspected assailant was detained.

Israel’s Zaka rescue service reports two people killed in Alexandria.

Sunday’s attack came as Israel was battling Palestinian terrorists after a major incursion from Gaza.

At least one Israeli said killed as gunman opens fire on tourist bus in Egypt

An Aug. 8, 2019 photo of Alexandria, Egypt. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
An Aug. 8, 2019 photo of Alexandria, Egypt. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

At least one Israeli has been killed when a gunman opened fire on a bus full of Israeli tourists in Egypt, according to Hebrew and Arabic media reports.

The Foreign Ministry says it is looking into reports that a gunman opened fire on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in the Egyptian port city Alexandria.

The RT Arabic outlet says two Israelis were killed by an Egyptian policeman, while Walla news says its has received word of one Israeli killed and one wounded.

According to RT Arabic, a security source says a policeman fired his weapon at the Israeli tourist group in the city’s Amoud Al-Sawari area.

IDF fires warning shots at Hezbollah members trying to rebuild tent on northern border

The fence of an Israeli military position is seen damaged after Hezbollah targeted it by rockets on Mount Dov on the Lebanese border, Oct. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
The fence of an Israeli military position is seen damaged after Hezbollah targeted it by rockets on Mount Dov on the Lebanese border, Oct. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The Israel Defense Forces says it fired warning shots toward Hezbollah members who were attempting to rebuild the tent on the Lebanon border after it was bombed earlier in response to a mortar attack.

“A short while ago, the IDF fired warning shots toward a number of suspects in the area of the infrastructure that was struck earlier today in Mount Dov,” the military says in a statement.

A military source says the suspects were attempting to rebuild the tent.

Israeli forces in gun battle with terrorists who tried to head to Ashdod

Israeli forces are engaged in a gun battle with Palestinian terrorists who drove from the Gaza border area toward Ashdod.

Footage shows Israeli forces managing to stop their car and firing heavily toward a field where the terrorists fled.

There is no immediate information on injuries.

11 Thai nationals being held by Hamas

Foreign nationals being held by Hamas gunmen, in an unconfirmed photo distributed on social media. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Foreign nationals being held by Hamas gunmen, in an unconfirmed photo distributed on social media. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Foreign Ministry of Thailand says 11 of its nationals were taken hostage during the fighting in southern Israel and presumably brought to Gaza.

“They are innocent and have nothing to do with any conflict,” Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said, according to the Bangkok Post.

There are some 5,000 Thais in areas of southern Israel currently under a war footing, according to Bangkok. Most are there as farmhands in agricultural communities, some of which came under attack in Saturday’s initial onslaught. Another two Thai nationals were confirmed killed.

Thawatchai and Thongkhoon Onkeaw say a picture appearing to show Thai workers being held by Hamas gunmen includes their son, Natthaporn Onkeaw, 26, the Post reports.

The picture, distributed on the Telegram messaging app, shows at least five men sitting in the dirt with their hands behind their backs in what appears to be a bunker, as masked gunmen train rifles on them.

The British Embassy also confirms to Sky News that British-Israeli Jake Marlow is missing in the area after having been at a desert party near Kibbutz Re’im. According to reports Marlow, who moved to Israel two years ago, was working security and has not been heard from since 8:45 a.m. Saturday morning. Videos from the party showed others being taken hostage by Hamas.

Israeli ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely told the network that she believed a British citizen had been abducted, but the Israeli embassy later retracted the claim, Sky reports.

Police chasing vehicle with gunmen heading north from Gaza

Police say forces are chasing a vehicle from the Gaza border area traveling north into Israel, believed to contain Hamas terrorists.

“Motorists are asked to exercise caution,” police spokesman Eli Levy says.

The incident comes as Israeli troops continue to battle Hamas terrorists who infiltrated into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip more than 24 hours later.

Netanyahu, military chiefs holding security assesment

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is holding a security assessment at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, his office says.

Also attending are Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and other senior security officials.

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange plunges after Hamas assault

Illustrative: View of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, November 29, 2020. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative: View of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, November 29, 2020. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange plunges as investors brace for uncertain times on the day after an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel was launched from Gaza by the Hamas terror group.

The TA-35 stock index of blue-chip companies falls 4.8%, the benchmark TA-125 index declines 5% and the TA-90 index, which tracks the shares with the highest capitalization not included in the TA-35 index, is down 5.8%.

The TA-Bank index of the five largest banks slumps 6.3%.

 

Thailand says two citizens killed in Hamas assault on Israel

Two Thai nationals have died in the violence between Israeli forces and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Thailand’s prime minister says.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin tweets Sunday he had received reports from the Thai ambassador in Tel Aviv “that two Thai people had died from the violence.”

He did not share further details, but says Thailand’s foreign ministry was working to evacuate Thais from the country.

Earlier, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Manet also confirmed the death of a Cambodian student who was in the country when the violence erupted.

Four wounded, one critical, in new rocket attack on Sderot

Israeli policeman and a soldier in Sderot, Israel, Sunday, Oct.8, 2023.  (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
Israeli policeman and a soldier in Sderot, Israel, Sunday, Oct.8, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says its medics are treating four people wounded in the latest rocket barrage from the Gaza Strip in the Sderot area.

One is in a critical condition, three are lightly wounded.

The Sdot Negev Regional Council meanwhile orders residents to remain in shelters until further notice.

The Sderot municipality says at least six buildings are hit.

 

Ongoing firefight between troops and terrorists in Kfar Aza

There are ongoing firefights between troops and terrorists in Kfar Aza near the Gaza border as the IDF works to clear all remaining terrorists more than 24 hours after Hamas launched its assault.

“As of this hour, there are forces fighting in Kfar Aza,” said IDF spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

Hebrew media says there are at least 10 terrorists holed up in Kfar Aza.

Hamas says 313 Palestinians killed so far

A ball of fire and smoke rises above a building in Gaza City on October 7, 2023 during an Israeli air strike. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
A ball of fire and smoke rises above a building in Gaza City on October 7, 2023 during an Israeli air strike. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip says 313 Palestinians have been killed and another 1,990 have been wounded in the Gaza Strip.

Most of those were apparently killed in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s retaliatory strikes.

The IDF said it killed at least 400  Palestinian terrorists in Israel and in strikes in Gaza.

IDF says it killed more than 400 terrorists

Palestinian firemen extinguish a fire that was raging in a building destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on October 8, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
Palestinian firemen extinguish a fire that was raging in a building destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on October 8, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces’ top spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, says the military killed more than 400 Palestinian terrorists in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, and captured dozens more, during the fighting that began yesterday.

“As of this hour, there are forces fighting in [Kibbutz] Kfar Aza, there are searches in a large number of towns. There are IDF forces in all towns, there is no town that does not have an IDF force in it,” Hagari says in a press conference.

Hagari says the IDF’s missions are to evacuate all residents from towns on the Gaza border, end the fighting in Israeli territory, control the breaches in the security barrier, and continue strikes against terror sites in the Strip.

IDF publishes footage of drone strike on Hezbollah tent

The Israel Defense Forces publishes footage of its airstrikes against a Hezbollah tent established in Israeli territory and other infrastructure on the Lebanon border in response to mortar fire.

The Lebanese terror group fired a number of projectiles at military sites in the contested Mount Dov region.

No injuries were reported in Israel or Lebanon.

UN peacekeepers on Lebanon border call for restraint from ‘everyone’

Israeli artillery at an undisclosed location in northern Israel bordering Lebanon on October 8, 2023. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)
Israeli artillery at an undisclosed location in northern Israel bordering Lebanon on October 8, 2023. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)

A UN peacekeeping force deployed along Lebanon’s southern border calls for “everyone to exercise restraint” and make use of the force’s “liaison and coordination mechanisms to de-escalate” and prevent a fast deterioration of the security situation.

It said it had detected several rockets fired from southeast Lebanon toward “Israeli-occupied territory,” followed by artillery fire from Israel toward Lebanon.

The statement came shortly after Hezbollah said it fired at Israeli positions in the disputed Mount Dov area along the border.

The force known as UNIFIL says it is in contact with authorities on both sides of the border at all levels “to contain the situation and avoid a more serious escalation.”

Bruno Mars leaves Israel after being caught up in rocket attacks

Pop star Bruno Mars leaves Israel after canceling a concert and spending several hours in Tel Aviv as the Hamas terror group fired rockets at southern and central Israel.

Late Saturday, an Instagram story from the entertainment show “Good Evening with Guy Pines” shows a screenshot of Mars, his band and crew lining up at Ben Gurion Airport’s Terminal 1.

“To your question, after the cancellation of the show due to the war, Bruno Mars left Israel today at 2 in the afternoon together with 60 crew members. He flew to Athens and from there will head to Qatar to continue his tour,” writes Good Evening on the Instagram story.

Bruno Mars is scheduled to perform in Qatar tonight.

Bruno Mars and his crew seen lining up to leave Israel after Hamas launched an attack on October 7, 2023 (Instagram: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Fire service announces death of third firefighter in battle near Gaza border

Sergeant Major Firefighter Arik Yehuda Marciano, 50, who was killed in the fighting in southern Israel on October 7, 2023 (Fire and Rescue Service)
Sergeant Major Firefighter Arik Yehuda Marciano, 50, who was killed in the fighting in southern Israel on October 7, 2023 (Fire and Rescue Service)

The Israel Fire and Rescue Services says Sergeant Major Firefighter Arik Yehuda Marciano, 50, a squad commander at the Kiryat Gat station, was killed during the Hamas attack on the Gaza border yesterday.

Marciano is the third firefighter killed in the attacks.

IDF says it hit home of Hamas intelligence chief in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces says it struck the home of the head of Hamas’s intelligence in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF says the home was used as military infrastructure by the terror group.

The military is currently continuing to carry out strikes across the Strip, the IDF adds.

Navy says it killed 5 terrorists hiding on Zikim beach

The Israeli Navy says it killed five Palestinian terrorists hiding on Zikim beach, close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

“In the last few hours, Navy control units identified five terrorists who were hiding in the Zikim area, in Israeli territory,” the military says.

Footage published by the Israel Defense Forces shows sailors of the 916th Patrol Squadron opening fire at the suspects in the area.

IDF releases names of 26 soldiers killed fighting in southern Israel

Col. Jonathan Steinberg, the commander of the Nahal Brigade, in an undated photo (Israel Defense Forces)
Col. Jonathan Steinberg, the commander of the Nahal Brigade, in an undated photo (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces publishes the names of 26 soldiers killed during fighting with Hamas terrorists on the border with the Gaza Strip during the past day. Their families have been notified.

The dead include:

Col. Jonathan Steinberg, 42, the commander of the Nahal Brigade, from Shomria.

Lt. Col. Sahar Machluf, 36, the commander of the 481st Signal Battalion, from Modiin.

Maj. Chen Buchris, 26, the deputy commander of Maglan, from Ashdod.

Maj. Chen Buchris, 26, the deputy commander of Maglan unit, who was killed in the fighting in southern Israel on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

Cpt. Adir Ovadi, 23, a commander in the Home Front Command, from Modiin.

Cpt. Yotam Ben Bassat, 24, a commander in the Multidimensional Unit, from Bat Hefer.

Lt. Or Moses, 22, a commander in the Home Front Command, from Ashdod.

Lt. Yiftah Yaabetz, 23, a commander in Maglan, from Ramat Hasharon.

Lt. Menashe Yoav Maliev, 19, an officer in the 7th Armored Brigade, from Kiryat Ono.

Lt. Or Yosef Ran, 29, a commander in Duvdevan, from Itamar.

Lt. Or Yosef Ran, 29, a commander in the Duvdevan unit who was killed in the fighting in southern Israel on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

Lt. (res.) Ido Edri, 24, an infantry officer, from Givaton.

2nd Lt. Adar Ben Simon, 20, a commander in the Home Front Command, from Neve Ziv.

2nd Lt. Adar Ben Simon, 20, a commander in the Home Front Command who was killed in the fighting in southern Israel on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

2nd Lt. Yanai Kaminka, 20, a commander in the Home Front Command, from Tzur Hadassah.

Sgt. First Class Amir Fisher, 22, a Duvdevan soldier, from Tel Aviv.

Staff Sgt. Ofir Tzioni, 21, a commander in the Home Front Command, from Yokne’am Illit.

Staff Sgt. Omri Niv Feirstein, 20, a Home Front Command soldier, from Givatayim.

Staff Sgt. Yuval Ben Yaakov, 21, a soldier in the 7th Armored Brigade, from Kfar Menahem.

Staff Sgt. Ido Harush,  a soldier in the 7th Armored Brigade, from Mitzpe Ramon.

Staff Sgt. Ido Harush, a soldier in the 7th Armored Brigade who was killed in the fighting in southern Israel on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

Sgt. Or Asto, 21, a logistics NCO in Golani, from Beersheba.

Sgt. Ofek Rosental, 20, a Maglan soldier, from Kfar Menahem.

Sgt. Eden Alon Levi, 19,  a commander in the Home Front Command, from Nirit.

Sgt. Idan Alon Levi, 19, who was killed in the fighting in southern Israel on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

Cpl. Dvir Lisha, 21, a Golani soldier, from Nitzan.

Cpl. Guy Bazak, 19, a Golani soldier, from Givatayim.

Cpl. Netanel Yang, 20, a Golani soldier from Tel Aviv.

Cpl. Adi Gurman, 19, a Unit 414 soldier.

Pvt. Neria Aharon Nagiri, 18, a Home Front Command soldier, from Talmon.

Pvt. Naama Buni, 19, a soldier in the 7th Armored Brigade.

An updated list of the slain soldiers and further details can be found at the following link.

Hezbollah says rockets and mortars fired at Israel ‘in solidarity’ with Palestinians

Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group says it fired dozens of rockets and shells on at three Israeli positions in the contested Mount Dov region in solidarity with the Hamas attack on Israel.

Hezbollah says in a statement that the attack using “large numbers of rockets and shells” was in solidarity with the “Palestinian resistance.” It says the Israeli positions were directly hit.

The Israel Defense Forces did not report any injuries and said it responded with artillery strikes and a drone strike.

There are no immediate reports on Lebanese casualties.

Hezbollah claims mortar fire from Lebanon at Israel

The Hezbollah terror group claims responsibility for the mortar fire earlier today from Lebanon at northern Israel.

In a statement, the terror group says it targeted three Israeli military sites in the contested Mount Dov region.

The Israel Defense Forces did not report any injuries, and said it responded with artillery strikes.

The IDF says it carried out a drone strike against “Hezbollah infrastructure” in the area.

According to a military source, the site was a tent the terror group set up in Israeli territory months ago.

Hezbollah has largely sat out previous rounds of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terror groups, only turning a blind eye to local factions operating out of its territory in southern Lebanon.

Residents in north urged to remain close to bomb shelters

Residents of the Upper Galilee area are urged to remain close to bomb shelters after an exchange of fire on the Lebanese border raises fears that the fighting in the south could spread to a second front.

The local council sends a message to residents telling them to stay close to bomb shelters or protected areas and to enter them in the event of warning sirens.

Sirens sound near Gaza border amid drone infiltration alert

A suspected drone infiltration alert is sounding in the southern town of Tekuma, close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

The siren comes following a brief lull in rocket attacks from the Strip on Israel.

Hamas says 256 Palestinians killed in Gaza

Fire and smoke rises above buildings during an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on October 8, 2023. (EYAD BABA / AFP)
Fire and smoke rises above buildings during an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on October 8, 2023. (EYAD BABA / AFP)

The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip says 256 Palestinians have been killed and another 1,788 have been wounded in the Gaza Strip.

Most of those were apparently killed in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s retaliatory strikes.

The IDF said it killed hundreds of Palestinian terrorists in Israel and in strikes in Gaza.

Germany, France step up security at Jewish sites after Hamas attack

Germany and France move to reinforce security around Jewish synagogues, schools and monuments after the surprise attack by Palestinian terror group Hamas against Israel.

Germany tightens police protection of Jewish and Israeli institutions, as some supporters of the Palestinians took to the streets of Berlin to celebrate the attack.

France focuses on Jewish synagogues and schools in cities across the country.

“In Berlin, police protection has been immediately stepped up,” Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser tells Bild newspaper. “The federal government and the regions are closely coordinating their actions.”

Germany’s authorities were also closely watching “potential supporters of Hamas in the Islamist sphere.” she adds.

In the UK, London’s police service says it had increased patrols across parts of the UK capital after “a number of incidents … in relation to the ongoing conflict in Israel and the border with Gaza.”

IDF artillery strikes targets in Lebanon as mortar shells fired toward Israel

The Israel Defense Forces says it is carrying out artillery strikes in Lebanon after a number of mortar shells were fired toward Israeli territory.

The projectiles landed in the contested Mount Dov region on the Lebanon border.

There are no reports of injuries or damage.

“The IDF has been taking preparational measures for this type of possibility and will continue to operate in all regions and at any time necessary to ensure the safety of the Israeli civilians,” the military says in a statement.

Number of wounded in Hamas assault rises to 1,864

Wounded Israeli soldiers from the south arrive to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Wounded Israeli soldiers from the south arrive to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The Health Ministry updates the number of Israelis wounded and hospitalized from the Hamas assault to 1,864.

Among them are currently 19 in critical condition, 326 seriously wounded, and 359 in moderate condition.

There are also 821 people lightly wounded and 20 being treated for traumatic stress. An additional 223 people are under medical supervision.

Security forces still searching for terrorist infiltrators in southern Israel

Israeli security forces are still searching communities in southern Israel for Palestinian terrorists who infiltrated from Gaza early Saturday morning during an unprecedented attack on Israel.

An unspecified number of terrorists have been captured or killed by security forces and others, with some making their way back to Gaza with captives, among them women, children, and elderly people.

Footage aired on Israel’s Channel 12 shows forces sweeping areas in Sderot and surrounding communities, as well as main thoroughfares searching for infiltrators.

Hostages in Kibbutz Be’eri and Ofakim were rescued by security forces earlier, and a police station in Sderot that was overrun by terrorists was cleared overnight, with 10 gunmen killed, according to authorities.

Hamas spokesman says Iran gave support for surprise attack on Israel

Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad tells the BBC that Iran gave its support to the Palestinian terror group to launch its surprise multi-front attack on Israel on Saturday, as cited by Hebrew media.

The unprecedented attack saw 300 Israeli civilians and security forces killed, over 1,000 injured, and an unknown number of people — women, children, men, elderly people, and soldiers — abducted from southern Israel and taken into the Gaza Strip.

Tehran is a key backer of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

Senate Democrats call for swift confirmation of Jack Lew as next Israel ambassador

Senate Democrats are calling for the swift confirmation of US President Joe Biden’s nominee to become the next ambassador to Israel Jack Lew against the backdrop of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

Republicans — namely Texas’s Sen. Ted Cruz — have previously indicated that they would try block Lew’s confirmation due to their objections with the Biden administration’s Israel policy.

But following Saturday’s Hamas attack on southern and central Israel, Sen. Chris Murphy says he spoke with Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Ben Cardin and that the two agreed to make Lew’s nomination the “first matter of business” when Congress reconvenes next week.

Fellow Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz echoes Murphy’s call, tweeting, “This is a serious situation that requires us to set aside our differences and make sure we have our full complement of leaders in defense and foreign policy.”

Israeli military launches strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza

The Israeli military says its forces are launching strikes on targets belonging to the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip, without providing further details.

Border Police chief praises forces who took control of Sderot police station, killed 10 terrorists

Border Police Commander Amir Cohen praises the Israeli security forces who took back control of a Sderot police station that was overrun by Hamas terrorists early Saturday, following an hourslong operation to flush them out.

At least 10 terrorists were killed in the operation, according to the announcement.

Cohen says Israeli forces including Border Police anti-terror forces and military troops “acted throughout the last day with great courage and determination.”

“We are in a difficult time,” says Cohen, “but now we raise our heads and continue to act with determination and… strength against any threat to provide security to the citizens.

“Full control was achieved and our forces neutralized about 10 armed terrorists in the station,” the police statement says.

Cohen says instructions are in place for residents to stay indoors, not go outside and call emergency services if they need help.

“There are large forces of police, Border Police and IDF and we will continue to provide ongoing security and respond to incidents quickly,” he says.

Biden: ‘We will never fail to have Israel’s back’

US President Joe Biden continues to express support for Israel following unprecedented attacks by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli civilians and soldiers on Saturday.

In a multi-front attack, Hamas terrorists infiltrated into at least 22 Israeli locations, killed civilians and soldiers, and took hostages to Gaza, amid barrages of rocket fire.

“This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage,” said Biden. “My administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock-solid and unwavering.”

“We will never fail to have Israel’s back,” he says in a series of posts on X.

“We will make sure that they have the help their citizens need and they can continue to defend themselves,” he says in a video posted to X.

US top diplomat speaks with Qatari, Jordanian officials to condemn Hamas attacks on Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a media briefing at the State Department, August 15, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon).
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a media briefing at the State Department, August 15, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon).

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani to condemn the “appalling terrorist attacks on Israel,” and reiterate “Israel’s right to self-defense,” his office says. and

Blinken calls “for coordinated efforts to achieve an immediate halt to the violent attacks by Hamas terrorists and other militants.”

He also speaks to Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Safadi, also the deputy prime minister, “to coordinate continued efforts to bring an immediate halt to the horrific and ongoing terrorist attacks on Israel.”

Blinken earlier spoke to a host of Mideast officials including Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the attacks and express support for Israel.

He also “discussed the unprecedented scale and brutality of the Hamas attacks on Israeli territory” with Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan, his office said.

Dozens of relatives of missing persons stream to police center to aid identification

Dozens of relatives of people who have gone missing in Saturday’s unprecedented assault by Hamas on Israeli communities, and are feared dead or abducted, have been streaming to a center for missing persons operated by the police and the Home Front Command near the airport.

Ynet reports that relatives have brought items like toothbrushes and other personal belongings of their missing loved ones to help provide DNA samples that could help ID them.

Police had called for families to contact the center with photos and DNA samples of missing persons. Those who are located in areas where they are not able to leave their homes were asked to call 105 with details and to go to a police station when possible.

Many of them have lost contact with their loved ones since the surprise, multi-front attack on Israel started this morning after dawn.

One father of a woman who has gone missing tells Ynet: “There is nothing more to do, wait for a miracle from God.”

An unknown number of people, including soldiers and civilians, young and old, were abducted by Hamas terrorists and taken into the Gaza Strip.

At least 300 people have been killed in the attacks as terrorists infiltrated at least 22 communities and gunned people down in the streets, in their vehicles, and in their homes, and took hostages.

Terrorist holed up in Ofakim home said killed by Israeli forces after hostages rescued

A terrorist who was holed up in a home in Ofakim where Israeli forces earlier rescued two hostages was killed, public broadcaster Kan reports.

Earlier reports said four terrorists who were holding them hostage were killed. At least one member of Israel’s security forces was injured, according to reports in the Hebrew media.

In Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel, Israeli security forces and Palestinian terrorists who infiltrated into the kibbutz from Gaza were earlier engaged in a gun battle.

Hebrew media reports say Israeli forces are still working to clear the kibbutz of terrorists and exchanges of gunfire were heard.

Dozens of people were earlier rescued from the kibbutz dining hall where they were held hostage for hours. According to Kan, at least 48 people were freed in the incident.

Israeli security forces take control of Sderot police station; 10 terrorists killed

Israeli security forces have taken control of a Sderot police station where Palestinian terrorists who infiltrated from Gaza had been holed up, following an hourslong standoff.

At least 10 terrorists were killed, Kan reports, citing a police statement.

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