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Israel-Hamas War highlights: US, UN seek safe zones for Gaza civilians after 1 million evacuation order

Israel Hamas War News highlights: Over 2,800 people have died in Israel and Gaza since the war began on October 7.
 Palestinian protesters push a dumpster to be used for cover during clashes with Israeli forces following a rally in solidarity with Gaza
Palestinian protesters push a dumpster to be used for cover during clashes with Israeli forces following a rally in solidarity with Gaza

Israel Hamas War News highlights: The Israeli military bombarded the Gaza Strip with more airstrikes as it continued blocking electricity, fuel, water and food on Thursday ahead of a possible ground operation if the government allows, in the strip which hosts around 2.2 million Palestinians. Over 2,800 people have died on both sides since the October 7 war began....Read More

Israel's energy minister Israel Katz said on Thursday the country will not allow basic resources — including electricity, water and fuel — or humanitarian aid inside the Gaza Strip until Hamas released around 150 Israeli hostages. Katz said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, “Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home.”

Several international aid groups said on Thursday that the humanitarian crisis was worsening as Israel continued blocking the entry of supplies through Egypt.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Tel Aviv on Thursday and assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of continued support from the US. Blinken said, “You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourselves, but as long as America exists you will never have to. ... We will always be there by your side.”

Follow all the updates here:
Oct 14, 2023 1:35 AM IST

Biden says it's a priority to address Gaza humanitarian crisis

US President Joe Biden on Friday said he was making a priority of urgently addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, adding he was committed to returning the Americans who had been taken hostage, Reuters reported.

"Our teams are working in the region - including communicating directly with the governments of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and other Arab nations and the United Nations - to surge support," Biden told reporters during the tour of a shipping terminal in Philadelphia.

Oct 14, 2023 12:48 AM IST

Israel-Hamas War LIVE: US, UN seek safe zones for Gaza civilians after 1 million evacuation order

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States, in collaboration with the United Nations and various international relief organizations, is actively engaged in the establishment of secure zones for Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Blinken's statement coincided with a mass movement of Palestinians toward the southern areas of Gaza, using both vehicles and on foot. This relocation was prompted by Israel's 24-hour evacuation notice. However, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have criticized the short deadline as impractical, particularly considering that over 1 million people reside in the designated area Israel called for evacuation.

(With Bloomberg inputs)

Oct 13, 2023 11:55 PM IST

Biden reaches out to families of 14 missing Americans following Hamas attacks

US President Joe Biden had a conversation with the relatives of 14 Americans who are currently missing following the Hamas attacks in Israel, news agency Reuters reported citing the White House. Biden and his team assured the families that American authorities would make every effort to reunite these individuals with their loved ones.

Regarding the casualties, the White House has officially confirmed the deaths of 22 Americans in the Hamas assaults on Israel, which commenced last Saturday. Kirby mentioned that U.S. authorities are still actively seeking more information about the number of Americans who may have been held as hostages by Hamas.

The conflict commenced last Saturday when Hamas initiated a surprise assault on Israel. In response, Israel declared a state of war against Hamas. As of now, there hasn't been a ground invasion, as launching an attack on the densely populated Gaza Strip, home to both Israelis and Palestinians, would result in a dire humanitarian crisis. On Friday, Israel urged civilians in the northern region to evacuate and relocate to the southern area, clearly signaling that a ground invasion may be the next inevitable step.

Oct 13, 2023 11:03 PM IST

Hamas says 70 people, mostly women and children, killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza's fleeing convoys

Hamas officials say that 70 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on convoys fleeing Gaza City.

Hamas’ media office says the cars were struck in three places as they headed south from Gaza City. It was not immediately clear who the target of the airstrikes was, or whether militants were among the passengers.

The army ordered residents to evacuate the city early Friday ahead of an expected ground invasion.

Oct 13, 2023 10:50 PM IST

EAM Jaishankar speaks to Saudi counterpart on Israel crisis

External affairs minister S Jaishankar spoke to his Saudi Arabian counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud on Friday as part of India’s outreach to Arab states on the fallout of the Hamas attacks on Israel.

The conversation between the Indian and Saudi foreign ministers follows Jaishankar’s conversation with his United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Wednesday.

“Appreciated the conversation with Foreign Minister HH @FaisalbinFarhan of Saudi Arabia. Discussed the grave situation in the Middle East,” Jaishankar said in a post on X.

Oct 13, 2023 10:41 PM IST

SWISS airlines suspends repatriation flights from Israel

Swiss International Air Lines said Friday it was suspending its repatriation flights from Israel until further notice, citing an expected Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

SWISS said it was cancelling two special flights from Tel Aviv to Zurich, scheduled for Saturday, to evacuate Swiss nationals.

Israel on Friday gave Palestinians 24 hours to leave Gaza City.

"We must therefore expect the... Israeli ground offensive," SWISS said in a statement.

Oct 13, 2023 10:23 PM IST

Palestinians flee northern Gaza after Israel orders 1 million to evacuate as ground attack looms

Palestinians began a mass exodus from northern Gaza Friday after Israel’s military told some 1 million people to evacuate toward the southern part of the besieged territory, an unprecedented order ahead of an expected ground invasion against the ruling Hamas militant group.

The U.N. warned that so many people fleeing en masse — almost half the Gaza population — would be calamitous, and it urged Israel to reverse the order. Families in cars, trucks and donkey carts packed with blankets and possessions streamed down a main road out of Gaza City, the biggest city.

Israel hammered neighborhoods in southern Gaza with airstrikes on Friday, and it said ground troops have conducted temporary raids in the territory to battle militants, search for weapons and evidence of the missing hostages.

Oct 13, 2023 10:08 PM IST

Iran Envoy to India Iraj Elahi says Iran played no role in Hamas attack on Israel, says “Hamas an independent player”

Iran Envoy to India Iraj Elahi says Iran played no role in Hamas attack on Israel, says “Hamas an independent player”. In an email interview to ANI, the envoy said:

"Western media tries to deny the independent power of Hamas by attributing recent developments to Iran’s support. However, in truth, the strength of Hamas stands as an undeniable fact, and it remains an independent player that can steer the course of events on its own. As the Supreme Leader has stated, Hamas executed this operation without the assistance of Iran. Nonetheless, Iran will always support the Palestinian cause and the legitimate resistance of the Palestinians, consistently condemning the ruthless violence and occupation by the Zionists."

Oct 13, 2023 9:41 PM IST

All 130 employees in Israel are safe: HCLTech CEO

Indian IT services company HCL Technologies (HCLTech) on Friday said that it has about 130 employees in Israel and the staff is safe.

The company is constantly monitoring the situation, CEO and Managing Director C Vijayakumar told PTI.

HCLTech does not have any business in Israel but some software teams are located there.

"We have about 130 employees in Israel. They are all locals. We don't do any business in Israel, but we have some software teams that are located there. They are fortunately safe and we are constantly monitoring (the situation)," he said.

Asked about the impact on business, he said: "We have not had any impact (on business) at this point in time.

Oct 13, 2023 9:39 PM IST

Blinken says he and Qatar PM discussed preventing Israel-Hamas conflict from widening

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday he discussed with Qatar's Prime Minister preventing any state or non-state actor from widening the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Speaking to the media alongside Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani after their meeting, Blinken also said the United States was working intensively to secure the release of hostages taken to Gaza by Hamas fighters during their rampage on Saturday.

Oct 13, 2023 9:39 PM IST

Infantino sends condolence to Israel and Palestinians

FIFA President Gianni Infantino wrote to the presidents of the Palestinian and Israeli Football Federations on Friday calling for "the immediate end of hostilities".

Infantino offered "our deepest condolences to the Israel Football Association and the Palestine Football Association in light of the horrendous violence that has been occurring over the past days."

The letter was sent to Moshe Shino Zuares, head of Israel's FA and Jibril Rajoub, the president of the Palestinian FA.

"FIFA joins in calling for the immediate end of hostilities and the immediate relief of the suffering of the people of both Israel and Palestine," Infantino said

Oct 13, 2023 9:21 PM IST

Israel-Gaza war throws problems with online speech regulation into stark relief

Eighteen months have lapsed since Russia invaded Ukraine. Last week, even as the Russia-Ukraine war continued, Hamas’ attack on Israel set of another war that runs the risk of Israel bombing Gaza and Gazans into oblivion, and destabilising the entire Middle East.

In between these two events, the social media landscape has undergone a sea change, chief amongst them being the acquisition of the microblogging platform Twitter, now X, by the mercurial child-bot Elon Musk. At the same time, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, launched a direct Twitter competitor, Threads.

On comparing the response of the regulators and the governments to the spread of news and mis/disinformation about the two wars on different social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube — it becomes increasingly clear that decisions about moderating content online are inextricably intertwined with geopolitics, how power is arranged along different blocs, and the impact of material realities of platforms on their content moderation decisions.

Oct 13, 2023 9:04 PM IST

Turkey says Israel's call for Gazans to move south 'inhumane'

Turkey said on Friday that Israel's call for Gazans to move south in 24 hours ahead of its planned ground offensive was inhumane and a violation of international law.

Israel called on Friday for all civilians in the northern half of the Gaza Strip, more than 1 million people, to relocate south within 24 hours, as it amassed tanks for an expected ground assault in response to an attack by the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

"Forcing the Gaza population of 2.5 million, who have been under indiscriminate bombing and deprived collectively of electricity, water and food, to relocate in an extremely small area is a blatant breach of international law and inhumane," Turkey's foreign ministry said.

Oct 13, 2023 9:03 PM IST

17 Palestinians killed in Israeli air strike in northern Gaza strip: Hamas media

The Palestinian pro-Hamas Shehab news agency on Friday said 17 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza Strip.

Oct 13, 2023 8:50 PM IST

Palestinian UN envoy urges UN chief to stop Israel ‘crime against humanity’

The Palestinian United Nations envoy appealed to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday to do more to stop a “crime against humanity” by Israel, which has warned nearly half of the population of the Palestinian Gaza Strip to relocate.

“He has to do more. Whatever was done was not sufficient. We need all of us to do more to stop this crime against humanity,” Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters ahead of a meeting of Arab Group ambassadors at the United Nations.

Oct 13, 2023 8:37 PM IST

Israeli evacuation call in Gaza hikes Egypt's fears of a mass exodus of refugees into its territory

Israel’s call Friday for half of the Gaza Strip’s population to evacuate south is hiking Egypt’s fears of a massive influx of refugees across the heavily fortified border into its territory.

Since Hamas’ bloody attack on Israel sparked a massive retaliation in Gaza, Egypt’s leadership has frantically tried to negotiate the entry of humanitarian aid through its crossing into the Palestinian territory — partially in hopes of averting an exodus into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Officials say its efforts have received no response from Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was expected to visit Cairo over the weekend and Egyptian officials are expected to discuss the entry of aid with him.

Israel sealed off the Gaza Strip, stopping all entry of food, water, medicine and fuel to its 2.3 million people, while bombardment has leveled swaths of its cities. That has left Egypt’s Rafah crossing as the sole access. But repeated Israeli airstrikes at the Palestinian side of the crossing have forced it to stop operating, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said, leaving trucks of aid stopped on the Egyptian side.

Oct 13, 2023 8:36 PM IST

Russian deputy foreign minister meets Israeli envoy to discuss Israel-Palestinian conflict

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Vershinin met Israeli ambassador to Moscow Alexander Ben Zvi on Friday and discussed the current situation around the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Russian foreign ministry said.

"In this regard, the current activities of the UN Security Council and its possible actions and moves were substantively reviewed, focusing on the urgent need to ensure the protection of civilians in both Israel and Palestine, to prevent catastrophic humanitarian consequences and the spread of the crisis to other countries in the region," the ministry said.

Earlier on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Israel was replying to an attack of unprecedented cruelty by using cruel methods of its own.

Oct 13, 2023 8:31 PM IST

'Where do we go?', Gazans ask after Israel's evacuation warning

Thousands of Palestinians poured into the streets of Gaza City on Friday in a panic to head southwards after Israel warned them to evacuate. But for many others, there is simply nowhere to go.

The rush to leave came after the Israeli military urged around 1.1 million Gazans living in the north of the Palestinian territory to flee "for their own safety and protection", ahead of an expected ground incursion.

Some were in cars, many others were on foot as they sought to make the trip to the south of the densely populated territory that is home to 2.4 million people on its 362 square kilometres (140 square miles).

But for thousands like Umm Hossam, they are left with one crucial question: "Where to go?"

Oct 13, 2023 8:18 PM IST

Saudi Arabia puts Israel deal on ice amid war, engages with Iran

Saudi Arabia is putting U.S.-backed plans to normalise ties with Israel on ice, two sources familiar with Riyadh's thinking said, signalling a rapid rethinking of its foreign policy priorities as war escalates between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas.

The conflict has also pushed the kingdom to engage with Iran. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took his first phone call from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi as Riyadh tries to prevent a broader surge in violence across the region.

The two sources told Reuters there would be a delay in the U.S.-backed talks on normalisation with Israel that was a key step for the kingdom to secure what Riyadh considers the real prize of a U.S. defence pact in exchange.

Oct 13, 2023 8:17 PM IST

Putin says calls for Leningrad-style siege of Gaza unacceptable

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said that calls to impose a blockade of Gaza similar to Nazi Germany's siege of Leningrad during World War Two were unacceptable and called for mediation to save civilian lives.

"Israel has faced such an unprecedented attack," Putin said. "But despite all the bitterness on both sides, I still think that we need to think about the civilian population."

He said there had been calls even in the United States for a blockade of Gaza on a par with "the siege of Leningrad during World War II" and that such calls were unacceptable.

Oct 13, 2023 8:09 PM IST

Israel denies deploying phosphorus bombs in Gaza, Lebanon

Israel on Friday denied accusations from rights groups that it had deployed the incendiary weapon white phosphorus in its war against Hamas militants in the densely populated Gaza Strip, after the Islamists' deadly attack at the weekend.

"We deny those allegations, we have not made use of white phosphorus, not in Gaza and not in Lebanon," an Israeli military spokesman said.

Israel has been pounding Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in recent days, after the Palestinian militants stormed across its border at the weekend, killing more than 1,200 people.

Oct 13, 2023 7:59 PM IST

Thousands flee north Gaza after Israel evacuation warning

Thousands of Palestinians fled to southern Gaza in search of refuge Friday after Israel warned them to evacuate before an expected ground offensive against Hamas in retaliation for the deadliest attack in Israel's history.

The call to get out came six days after Hamas gunmen burst through the heavily militarised border around the Gaza Strip and killed more than 1,300 people -- most of them civilians -- in an attack compared to 9/11 in the United States.

Nearly 1,800 Gazans -- again most of them civilians and including over 580 children -- have been killed in waves of missile strikes on the densely populated enclave, the health ministry said.

Oct 13, 2023 7:57 PM IST

Israel shells south Lebanon after border fence blast

Israel on Friday shelled a border region in southern Lebanon, two Lebanese security sources said, after a blast occurred on the border fence, according to the Israeli army.

One of the security sources said the shelling followed an infiltration attempt from the Lebanese side of the border, while the Israeli army said it was responding to a blast that caused "light damage" to the border barrier.

Oct 13, 2023 7:41 PM IST

Red Cross says Hamas attack doesn't justify Gaza's destruction

The massive Hamas attack on Israel cannot justify the "limitless destruction" of the Gaza Strip, the Red Cross said Friday, as Israel pounded the enclave.

"Nothing can justify the horrific attacks Israel suffered last weekend... but those attacks cannot in turn justify the limitless destruction of Gaza," the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement.

Oct 13, 2023 7:37 PM IST

Protesters in Pakistan denounce Israel's siege of Gaza; express solidarity with Palestinians

Hundreds of people across Pakistan staged demonstrations after Friday prayers in support of the Palestinians and to denounce the siege of Gaza by Israeli forces.

Responding to the call for a protest by various religious groups, people marched on roads after Friday prayers. They held the Palestinian flag and chanted slogans like saying ‘From land to the sea, Palestine will be free’ and ‘Stand in solidarity with Palestine’.

They also burnt the Israeli flag to show their anger at the rising deaths of Palestinians in Gaza.

Pakistan does not have diplomatic ties with Israel and refuses to recognise it as a sovereign country until the state of Palestine is established. Pakistanis cannot visit the Jewish state because their passport states it is "valid for all countries of the world except Israel."

Oct 13, 2023 7:21 PM IST

Switzerland says it’s confident Hamas not using nation’s banks

The Swiss government is confident that Hamas is not using the country’s banks, given the widespread condemnation of the group as a terrorist organization.

“You know that Hamas has already been defined as a prohibited terrorist organization by the large majority of countries, including our principal financial partners, the US and the EU,” Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis told reporters on Friday in Geneva. “We have no sense that the financial system could allow itself to have any kind of financial relations with Hamas,” given the wide scope of US sanctions against it, he said.

A task force — set up to analyze the requirements for drafting a new Swiss law condemning Hamas — will also verify financial flows from Swiss government agencies to non-governmental organizations that work in the region, Cassis said.

Oct 13, 2023 7:12 PM IST

Israel sounds infiltration alarm in village near Lebanon border

The Israeli military warned residents of a village near the Lebanese border on Friday to hole up at home and lock doors and windows, saying a suspected armed infitration was under way.

The alert took place in Hanita, 500 metres (yards) from the border and opposite the Lebanese community of Aalma El-Chaeb.

Oct 13, 2023 7:07 PM IST

So far, no expectation of any disruption in supply lines: Hardeep Singh Puri

Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said that there is no expectation of any disruption in supply lines for crude oil so far.

Asked if the conflict can have an impact on oil supplies, Puri told reporters here, ".. so far, no expectation of supply lines being disrupted".

"I am reasonably confident that both on issues related to availability and affordability that we can navigate forward.

Oct 13, 2023 6:55 PM IST

US to coordinate with Israel to secure release of hostages from "Hamas' clutches": Lloyd Austin

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said that the US will continue to coordinate with Israel to help secure the release of hostages from the clutches of Hamas, including American citizens.

Further stating that there is no justification for terrorism, Austin said, "Now, this is no time for neutrality, for false equivalence or for excuses for the inexcusable."

"We will continue to coordinate closely with Israel to help secure the release of innocent men, women and children in the clutches of Hamas, including American citizens," the US Defence Secretary said during a press conference with the Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Friday.

Oct 13, 2023 6:49 PM IST

1,799 Palestinians killed and 6,388 wounded in Israeli strikes: Gaza health ministry

Gaza's Health Ministry said on Friday that 1,799 Palestinians had been killed and 6,388 wounded in Israeli air strikes on the blockaded enclave since Saturday.

Oct 13, 2023 6:48 PM IST

Erdogan says Israel must allow humanitarian aid via Egypt

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Israel needed to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through Egypt's Rafah crossing after the first plane carrying Turkish aid arrived in Egypt.

In a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan said that Turkey will continue sending aid to Gaza in cooperation with Egypt and that Turkish authorities were continuing contacts to free hostages and find a solution to the crisis.

Oct 13, 2023 6:31 PM IST

Hamas 'takes evil to another level' from IS jihadists: US defence secretary

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday said Hamas fighters took "evil to another level" from Islamic State jihadists, as he pledged "iron-clad" backing for Israel in its war against the Palestinian Islamists.

"In encountering ISIS I felt as if we were staring evil in the eye -- it was truly evil," said Austin after talks with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant.

"And what we've seen from Hamas, it takes that evil to another level."

Oct 13, 2023 6:25 PM IST

US ready to send more military aid to Israel, says Austin

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon was ready to deploy more military aid to Israel as Israeli forces prepare for a likely invasion of Gaza in response to a devastating attack by militant group Hamas.

Austin said that munitions, air defence capabilities and other equipment and resources were "rapidly flowing" to Washington's closest Middle Eastern ally. Israel has vowed to crush Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that rules Gaza.

Oct 13, 2023 6:22 PM IST

UK woman arrested over suspected pro-Hamas speech

Police have arrested a 22-year-old woman in England suspected of having made a speech backing Hamas, despite laws forbidding explicit support for banned organisations, the local force said Friday.

The woman was detained under the terrorism act Thursday following an investigation into a speech given at a protest on Sunday in the southern English city of Brighton, police said.

Police want to speak to anyone who attended the demonstration, particularly those who may have footage of the protest and speech, said a statement from the Sussex force.

Hamas, whose gunmen launched the deadliest ever attack on Israel, is a banned terrorist organisation in the UK. The group's weekend assault from Gaza has triggered a war that has already claimed thousands of lives.

Oct 13, 2023 6:12 PM IST

Israeli fire kills 5 in West Bank as Palestinians rally for Gaza: ministry

At least five Palestinians were killed Friday by Israeli fire across the occupied West Bank during rallies in solidarity with war-battered Gaza, the Palestinian health ministry said.

AFP correspondents and a security official reported clashes in Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarm, Hebron and other cities and towns, with the Palestinian Red Crescent reporting dozens wounded across the West Bank, some critically.

Deaths were recorded in Tulkarm, Nablus, Beit Ula and Tammun, the health ministry said in separate statements.

Oct 13, 2023 5:58 PM IST

US Defense Secretary Austin tells Israel's Netanyahu 'we have your back' after the attack by Hamas

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is in Israel on Friday for meetings with senior government leaders and to see firsthand some of the U.S. weapons and security assistance that Washington rapidly delivered to Israel in the first week of its war with the militant Hamas group.

Austin is the second high-level U.S. official sent by President Joe Biden to visit Israel in two days. His quick trip from Brussels, where he was attending a NATO defense ministers meeting, came a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in the region. Blinken is continuing the frantic Mideast diplomacy, seeking to avert an expanded regional conflict.

Oct 13, 2023 5:55 PM IST

Iran holds state-organised rallies in support of Palestinians

State-organised rallies were held across Iran on Friday in support of Tehran's Palestinian Islamist ally Hamas and against the ongoing Israeli bombardment of the blockaded Gaza Strip, state TV reported.

Israel's military on Friday called for all civilians of Gaza City - more than 1 million people - to relocate south within 24 hours, as it amassed tanks for an expected ground offensive n response to a devastating attack by Hamas militants.

"Death to Israel. Death to Zionism!" shouted Iranian demonstrators, many carrying Palestinian flags and those of the powerful Iranian-backed Lebanese armed group Hezbollah.

Oct 13, 2023 5:37 PM IST

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Tel Aviv

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Tel Aviv.

PM Netanyahu: "Hamas is ISIS....Hamas is worse than ISIS...Just as the whole civilised world united to fight ISIS, the world has to unite to help us fight Hamas. I know that you stand with us."

Oct 13, 2023 5:33 PM IST

Gaza war is for Israel's future, Hamas is part of Iranian ‘axis’: Gallant

Israel is waging war against Hamas militants to effect permanent change and preserve its existence as a prosperous democracy, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday, describing the Palestinian faction as part of an "axis of evil" with Iran.

Asked during a news conference with his U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin whether Tehran consented to the weekend Hamas onslaught from Gaza, Gallant said: "It doesn't matter ... (because) the idea is an Iranian idea."

Oct 13, 2023 5:17 PM IST

Israel orders unprecedented evacuation of 1 million in Gaza as possible ground offensive looms

Israel’s military told some 1 million Palestinians on Friday to evacuate northern Gaza and head to the southern part of the besieged territory, an unprecedented order applying to almost half the population ahead of an expected ground invasion against the ruling Hamas militant group.

The U.N. warned that so many people fleeing en masse — with just a 24-hour deadline — would be calamitous. Hamas, which staged a shocking and brutal attack on Israel nearly a week ago and has fired thousands of rockets since, dismissed it as a ploy and called on people to stay in their homes.

The evacuation order, which includes Gaza City, home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, sparked widespread panic among civilians and aid workers already running from Israeli airstrikes and contending with a total siege and a territory-wide blackout.

Oct 13, 2023 5:08 PM IST

Protesters march, Israel urges evacuation in Gaza

Israel called for an evacuation of all civilians in Gaza City and gave the United Nations 24 hours to move its staff from nearby areas, indicating a ground operation could be coming soon.

The UN said it would be impossible to move the million or so inhabitants of the northern half of Gaza Strip to the south, as demanded by Israeli authorities.

Oct 13, 2023 4:53 PM IST

Hezbollah says 'when time comes for any action, we will carry it out'

Hezbollah deputy chief said on Friday that the powerful Iran-backed group was "ready" and would "contribute" to confrontations against Israel according to its own plan, despite foreign powers asking them to stay on the sidelines.

Sheikh Naim Qassem said that major powers, Arab countries and the United Nations had "directly and indirectly" told Hezbollah "not to interfere" in ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Oct 13, 2023 4:43 PM IST

Israel's call to move Gaza civilians ‘horrendous’: UN agency

The United Nations Palestinian refugee agency on Friday described Israel's call to move more than 1 million civilians in northern Gaza in 24 hours as "horrendous" and said the enclave was rapidly becoming a "hell hole".

"The call from the Israelis Forces to move more than 1 million civilians living in northern Gaza within 24 hours is horrendous," Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said in a statement.

Oct 13, 2023 4:42 PM IST

European Commission President arrives in Israel to express solidarity

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday arrived in Israel with President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola to express solidarity with the Israeli people in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attack.

"I have arrived in Israel with @EP_President to express our solidarity with the Israeli people in the wake of the horrific Hamas terrorist attack," the European Commission President wrote on 'X'.

United States Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin also arrived in Tel Aviv on Friday even as high-ranking US officials continued their reachout efforts in the region.

On arrival in Tel Aviv, Lloyd Austin said that US support for Israel was ironclad.

"Just landed in Tel Aviv. Today, I'll meet with Prime Minister @netanyahu, Minister @YoavGallant & other senior leaders to demonstrate that America's support for Israel's security is ironclad & talk to them face-to-face about their defence needs. We stand w/ the people of Israel," he posted on X.

Oct 13, 2023 4:41 PM IST

Palestinian leader Abbas warns of 'second Nakba' catastrophe in Gaza

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Friday warned against a "second Nakba" catastrophe facing Palestinians after the Israeli army ordered more than one million people to evacuate north Gaza.

Abbas "completely rejects the displacement of our people from the Gaza Strip, because it will be tantamount to a second Nakba for our people," he said, according to a statement published by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Oct 13, 2023 4:34 PM IST

Day 7 of the Israel-Hamas war

Israel’s military ordered hundreds of thousands of civilians living in Gaza City to evacuate Friday ahead of a feared Israel ground offensive. The directive came on the heels of what the United Nations said was a warning they received from Israel to evacuate 1.1 million people living in northern Gaza within 24 hours.

Suffering in Gaza has been rising dramatically with Palestinians desperate for food, fuel and medicine and the territory’s only power plant shut down for lack of fuel. The morgue at Gaza’s biggest hospital overflowed as bodies came in faster than relatives could claim them.

Oct 13, 2023 4:29 PM IST

In Israel, Italy foreign minister compares Hamas to ISIS, Nazis

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani compared Hamas to the Islamic State group and the Nazi SS during a visit to southern Israel on Friday.

"Hamas is like ISIS, like the SS, like the Gestapo, they do the same things, they are terrorists, murderers and are using the Palestinian people as a shield, which is not right," he said in comments reported by Italian media and confirmed to AFP by his spokesman.

"We must avoid further innocent deaths."

Tajani said his visit to the Israeli town of Netivot near the Gaza border was intended to show Italy's solidarity with Israel after Hamas militants attacked from the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

Oct 13, 2023 4:25 PM IST

Husband seeks safe return of wife stranded in Israel amid ongoing conflict

In a heartfelt plea to the Indian government, Dr Ramesh, a Professor at Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, has requested the safe return of his wife, Dr Radhika, who is currently stranded in Israel due to the ongoing conflict in the region.

Dr Radhika had embarked on a two-month training program in Israel, which has now become a source of distress and concern for her family.

Dr Ramesh revealed, "My wife left for Israel for a two-month training program... Because of the ongoing conflict, she is in trouble. I got messages from her that she is currently safe but is under a lot of stress. I request the government and the Prime Minister to rescue her and bring her to India under Operation Ajay. Her parents are also worried. My son is also eager to meet his mother."

The professor further shared that Radhika's parents are equally worried about her safety, and their son eagerly awaits the return of his mother.

Oct 13, 2023 4:18 PM IST

Palestinian President Abbas to Blinken: 'We reject the forced displacement of our people in Gaza'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Amman on Friday that he "rejects the forced displacement" of Palestinians in Gaza, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

He said such an event would constitute a "second Nakba", referring to the mass displacement of Palestinians in the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation, adding that humanitarian corridors must be allowed in the blockaded coastal enclave immediately to prevent a humanitarian disaster, the report said.

Oct 13, 2023 4:09 PM IST

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin lands in Tel Aviv

United States Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin arrived in Tel Aviv on Friday even as high-ranking US officials continued their reachout efforts in the region.

On arrival in Tel Aviv, Lloyd Austin said that US support for Israel was ironclad.

"Just landed in Tel Aviv. Today, I'll meet w/ Prime Minister @netanyahu, Minister @YoavGallant & other senior leaders to demonstrate that America's support for Israel's security is ironclad & talk to them face-to-face about their defence needs. We stand w/ the people of Israel" he posted on X.

According to a statement from the US Department of Defence Austin's visit to Israel underscores the United States' unwavering commitment to support Israel following the recent deadly attacks by Hamas terrorists.