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Israel-Hamas conflict highlights: Fresh barrage of rockets fired from Gaza

Israel-Hamas highlights: Saturday's developments that took place amid an ongoing escalation between Gaza based Hamas and Israel. This blog has been closed.
Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip
Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip

Israel-Hamas conflict highlights: Death toll in Israel-Gaza war has crossed 700, local media reports said on Sunday. Tel Aviv declared a “state of war” on Saturday after Hamas launched a deadly surprise operation against the country – ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’, consisting of a barrage of 3,000 rockets and an unprecedented infiltration into Israel's southern towns. The conflict escalated with gunfights and hostage situations as the Hamas' assault extended to around 22 locations up to 15 miles from the Gaza border. As of now, the operation is still going on in eight locations, the Israeli forces said Sunday....Read More

Highlights from Saturday's events on the Israel-Hamas war.

The Israeli military said that it has also captured dozens of militants during its 'Operation Iron Swords’ against Hamas militants. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier vowed to reduce the group's Gaza hideouts to "rubble". The military in a late-night briefing said that the number of civilian and military personnel taken hostage by Hamas would shape the future of the war.

The bitter enemies have fought four wars since the Islamic militant group that opposes Israel, seized control of Gaza in 2007. Israel has maintained a blockade over Gaza since that time.

Follow all the updates here:
Oct 9, 2023 4:09 AM IST

What defence expert said on its Israel's preparedness?

Weighing in on the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, defence experts have said that Israel is a powerful country and its army is trained to deal with such attacks.

The experts were also of the opinion that Israel is capable of easily eliminating Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.

International Affairs and Defence Expert, Major General (Retd) Sanjay Soi told ANI that Hamas firing as many as 5,000 rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip definitely must have taken Israel by surprise.

"This was an intelligence failure on Israel's part. The death toll has soared and Israel is witnessing such a situation after a long time. Israel has a very strong intelligence system. They take a productive stand, Israel does not leave its land and cannot ever bear casualties," Maj Gen (Retd) Soi added.

Oct 9, 2023 3:37 AM IST

8-year-old injured after rocket hit home in Southern Israel

An eight-year-old child was moderately injured after a house in Southern Israel's Ashkelon hit by rockets launched from Gaza. The child has been taken to hospital, according to reports.

Oct 9, 2023 3:33 AM IST

Hamas operating in several parts of Israel, says spokesperson

The spokesperson of Hamas' military wing claimed 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.

Oct 9, 2023 3:17 AM IST

19 members of same family killed after Israeli airstrike

The evacuation warning came shortly after dark. The Israeli military fired the shot just a short distance from Nasser Abu Quta’s home in the southern Gaza Strip, 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 (yards) 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. In an instant, an explosion ripped through his own home, wiping out 19 members of his family, including his wife and cousins, he said. The airstrike also killed five of his neighbors who were standing outside in the jam-packed refugee camp, a jumble of buildings and alleyways.

The airstrike in Rafah, a southern town on the border with Egypt, came as Israeli forces intensified their bombardment of targets in the Gaza Strip following a big, multi-front attack by Hamas militants Saturday that had killed over 700 people in Israel by Sunday night. Hamas also took dozens of Israelis hostage and fired thousands of rockets toward Israeli population centers, although most were intercepted by the country's Iron Dome defense system.

Oct 9, 2023 2:59 AM IST

Fresh rockets fired at Southern Israel

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

Oct 9, 2023 2:53 AM IST

'Serious, grave escalation': UAE on Hamas attack

The United Arab Emirates on Sunday described attacks carried out by Palestinian Islamist faction Hamas against Israeli towns as a "serious and grave escalation."

The UAE foreign ministry in a statement also said it was "appalled" by reports Israeli civilians were taken as hostages from their homes.

"Civilians on both sides must always have full protection under international humanitarian law and must never be a target of conflict," the ministry added.

The UAE became the first Gulf country to normalise relations with Israel in 2020, breaking with decades of Arab policy toward the Palestinian cause.

Oct 9, 2023 2:27 AM IST

UEFA postpones upcoming games in Israel

European soccer's governing body UEFA has postponed all matches scheduled to take place in Israel over the next two weeks after Hamas' surprise attack.

“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 said in a statement on Sunday.

That includes Israel's match against Switzerland in 2024 European Championship qualifying, which had been scheduled for Thursday at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium.

“UEFA will continue to closely monitor the situation and will remain in contact with all teams involved before making decisions on new dates and on potential changes to other upcoming fixtures,” UEFA said.

Oct 9, 2023 2:03 AM IST

Over 100 held captive after attack

Senior Hamas official says militant group is holding more than 100 people captive after assault on Israel.

Oct 9, 2023 1:35 AM IST

3 US nationals killed in Israel attacks

At least three Americans have been killed following Hamas fighters' attack on Israel on Saturday, CNN reported on Sunday citing a U.S. memo.

Oct 9, 2023 1:24 AM IST

Nearlt 260 bodies rescued from music festival attacked by Hamas

The Israeli rescue service Zaka says its paramedics removed about 260 bodies from a music festival attended by thousands that came under attack by Hamas militants.

The total figure is expected to be higher as other paramedic teams were working in the area.

Video aired on social media and by Israeli news outlets showed dozens of festival goers running through an open field as gunshots rang out. Many hid in nearby fruit orchards or were gunned down as they fled.

Oct 9, 2023 12:57 AM IST

2 Ukrainians among those killed in Israel, confirms Zelensky

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that two Ukrainian nationals had died in unrest in Israel and that more than 100 citizens had contacted the country's embassy.

"Unfortunately, the deaths of two Ukrainian citizens have been confirmed," Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

Zelenskiy said he spoke on Sunday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressed "solidarity with Israel, which is enduring a brazen, large-scale attack".

Oct 9, 2023 12:49 AM IST

2 Mexicans believed to be captives in Gaza

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

She did not name them and gave no details about whether they are resident in Israel or were visiting the area.

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

Oct 9, 2023 12:06 AM IST

At least 30 Israelis captured by Palestine's Islamic Jihad group

The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group says militants in Gaza are holding dozens of Israeli captives, including more than 30 held by his group.

Ziad Nakhaleh said in a televised speech Sunday night that the captives will not be released until all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are set free.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group took part in the operation that Hamas carried out Saturday in which hundreds of Israelis were killed.

“The prisoners that are being held are in the tens, and I can say that they are much more than that,” Nakhaleh, who usually lives in Beirut, said. He added that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad has more than 30 captives.

Oct 8, 2023 11:50 PM IST

Major international airlines cancel flights to Israel

Major airlines cancelled dozens of flights to Tel Aviv this weekend after the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel.

American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates and Ryanair are among those pulling flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport.

However, airport authorities did not stop commercial air links with Israel's second international airport at Eilat, a tourist destination on the Red Sea.

And Israeli flag carrier El Al said Sunday that it was maintaining its Tel Aviv flights for now, though some flights operated by foreign partners had been cancelled.

El Al said it was operating "in accordance with the instructions of the Israeli security forces", with all flights now departing only from Terminal Three at Ben Gurion.

Like most other airlines, it said clients could change their tickets without charge.

In Athens, the foreign ministry said it was working to repatriate 149 Greek tourists from Israel, and 81 of them were due to arrive back late Sunday on an El Al flight.

After Saturday saw a list of major carriers cancelling flights Spain's AENA airports operator told AFP four of nine flights scheduled to Tel Aviv on Sunday had been cancelled, two from Madrid and two from Barcelona.

Another nine flights, from Tel Aviv to airports in Spain, have so far been unaffected, the operator said.

Spain's Air Europa said it had cancelled its two flights scheduled between Madrid and Tel Aviv, while Iberia Express, the low-cost arm of national carrier Iberia, went ahead with a Madrid-Tel Aviv flight after suspending two on Saturday.

Vueling, the Barcelona-based low-cost airline, said given the situation in Israel, "flights to/from Tel Aviv are affected and experiencing delays".

A spokesman for Germany's Lufthansa on Saturday cited "the current security situation" to say it was cancelling all flights to and from Tel Aviv "up until and including Monday".

Air France said it had halted Tel Aviv flights "until further notice", and the Air France-KLM group's low-cost carrier Transavia said it was cancelling all flights from Paris and Lyon to Tel Aviv up to and including Monday.

Italy's flag-carrier ITA airways cancelled its flight until Sunday morning at the earliest "to protect the safety of passengers and crew", while Polish carrier LOT scrapped its flights from the Polish capital on Saturday.

Other airlines suspending flights included Aegean, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Wizz Air and Air Canada. (AFP)

Oct 8, 2023 11:43 PM IST

10 Nepali nationals killed in Hamas attack

The Nepali embassy in Israel's Tel Aviv confirmed that 10 of its citizens are among those killed in the slew of attacks carried out by Hamas.

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

Oct 8, 2023 11:21 PM IST

Israelis lined up to give DNA samples. Why?

A line of Israelis snaked outside a central Israel police station to supply DNA samples and other means that could help identify missing family members. Israeli TV news aired a stream of accounts from relatives of captive or missing Israelis who wept and begged for assistance and information.

Oct 8, 2023 11:15 PM IST

Fight may expand to wider region, as it feared

In northern Israel, a brief exchange of strikes with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group fanned fears that the fighting could expand into a wider regional war.

Oct 8, 2023 10:56 PM IST

US to send an aircraft carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean to support Israel

The United States is expected to send an aircraft carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean to support Israel.

Oct 8, 2023 10:44 PM IST

Israeli President Herzog addresses nation, vows that Israel will win the war

President Isaac Herzog delivered a speech to the nation, emphasizing the importance of national unity, Times of Israel reported on Sunday. He urged the people to maintain the spirit of heroism and togetherness, highlighting it as their most powerful weapon.

Oct 8, 2023 10:34 PM IST

U.N. agency says humanitarian access needed to get food to Gaza

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) called on Sunday for the creation of humanitarian corridors to bring food into Gaza as Israeli air strikes pounded the Palestinian enclave following deadly Hamas attacks.

"As the conflict intensifies, civilians, including vulnerable children and families, face mounting challenges in accessing essential food supplies," the Rome-based WFP said.

Oct 8, 2023 10:14 PM IST

Biden orders 'additional support' for Israel

US President Joe Biden has ordered "additional support" for Israel after the attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas, the White House said Sunday, without giving details.

Oct 8, 2023 10:13 PM IST

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

British parliamentarians from both houses on Sunday signed a statement condemning attacks by Hamas in Gaza and across Israel.

Oct 8, 2023 10:00 PM IST

IDF carries out new airstrikes in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces said that it is carrying out a new wave of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, Times of Israel reported on Sunday.

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

Oct 8, 2023 9:47 PM IST

Israeli President Herzog speaks with US VP Kamala Harris

Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke with US Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday.

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

Oct 8, 2023 9:45 PM IST

Recap | Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with European leaders

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the UK's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday. Netanyahu said the leaders expressed their full support for Israel to defend itself "as much as it takes".

Oct 8, 2023 9:27 PM IST

Indian nationals in Israel and Gaza safe

There have been no untoward incidents involving Indians living and working in Israel so far amid escalating tensions in the region, even as the Indian embassy in Tel Aviv received requests from its citizens, including tourists, stranded in the country to facilitate their safe exit.

Israel witnessed a surprise and unprecedented multifront attack – by air, land and sea – by the Hamas militant group, which rules the Gaza Strip, in its southern parts on Saturday morning.

Oct 8, 2023 9:14 PM IST

Israeli President Isaac Herzog to address the nation shortly

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

Oct 8, 2023 8:50 PM IST

German Chancellor warns of ‘incalculable’ consequences of spread of violence in Middle East

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz cautioned on Sunday about the rapid spread of violence, emphasising the potential far-reaching consequences for the entire region. This warning came in the wake of the largest assault on Israel in years, perpetrated by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

"We warn everyone against fueling and spreading terror in this situation," he said, noting he would hold a discussion with U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the topic later on Sunday.

"The security of Israel is Germany's reason of state and we will act accordingly," he said.

The chancellor was referring to Germany's perceived historic duty towards Israel given its responsibility for the Holocaust, echoing a statement made earlier in the day by the leaders of all three parties in his centre-left coalition as well as the opposition conservatives.

Oct 8, 2023 8:24 PM IST

British man serving in Israeli army killed

A British man, who was a member of the Israeli army, has tragically lost his life in an attack carried out by Hamas militants, BBC reported on Sunday. Nathanel Young, a 20-year-old British national, was serving with the Israeli Defence Services when he lost his life on the Gaza border in an attack by Hamas militants, as reported by his family.

Oct 8, 2023 8:08 PM IST

Ukrainian President Zelensky reaffirms Kyiv's backing for Israel on call with PM Netanyahu

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reaffirmed Kyiv's backing for Israel during a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This show of support came in the wake of Israel's response to a significant attack by the Palestinian Hamas group.

Oct 8, 2023 8:01 PM IST

Security Cabinet has approved ‘war situation’, taking significant military steps: Israel PM's Office

The security cabinet approved the "war situation" and taking the "significant military steps according to the Article 40 of Basic Law: The Government."," Israel Prime Minister's Office announced on X.

Oct 8, 2023 7:55 PM IST

Germany hikes protection of Israeli, Jewish institutions - Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday Germany had increased the protection of Israeli and Jewish institutions in Germany, the day after the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas launched the biggest attack on Israel in years.

Oct 8, 2023 7:52 PM IST

Police name other 4 officers killed in clashes with Hamas terrorists

Israeli police on Sunday named the other four officers killed in clashes with Hamas group. They are: Superintendent Vadim Blich, Chief Inspector Stas Shainkman, Sergeant Major Denis Belkin, and First Sergeant Dvora Avraham.

Oct 8, 2023 7:49 PM IST

Israel denies onducting hostage negotiations via Egypt

Despite reports in the media suggesting that Egypt is negotiating with Hamas on behalf of Israel, an Israeli official told The Times of Israel that the government is unaware of any such discussions and is not engaged in any negotiations with Hamas.

Oct 8, 2023 7:36 PM IST

Almost 1,000 killed in Israel war with Hamas

The death toll surged to almost 1,000 since Palestinian militant group Hamas launched its massive surprise attack on Israel with a barrage of rockets and a large-scale ground assault, officials on both sides said Sunday.

Oct 8, 2023 7:21 PM IST

Poland to evacuate its citizens from Israel

Poland will send military planes to evacuate its citizens from Israel, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Sunday, a day after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel.

"We are sending air force transport planes to carry out the evacuation of Poles currently staying in Israel. Soldiers from our special forces will ensure loading protection and safety on board," Duda wrote on X social media platform.

Oct 8, 2023 7:20 PM IST

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

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu was present alongside IAF Chief Tomer Bar at the air force command center located in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv as Israeli fighter jets conducted airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Accompanying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were his key aides, which included Military Secretary Avi Gil, Government Secretary Tzahi Braverman, and Moshe Aviv, who serves as the head of the National Public Diplomacy Directorate. They joined him at the air force command center during the Israeli fighter jet attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Oct 8, 2023 7:17 PM IST

370 Palestinians killed in air strikes

The health ministry in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, has reported that 370 Palestinians have lost their lives and an additional 2,200 have been injured in the Gaza Strip. The majority of these casualties are believed to have occurred in the Gaza Strip due to Israel's retaliatory airstrikes.

Oct 8, 2023 7:04 PM IST

US 'likely' to give details on new military assistance for Israel later on Sunday: Antony Blinken

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

"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 told CNN.

Oct 8, 2023 6:56 PM IST

Major airlines cancel dozens of flights to Tel Aviv

Major airlines have cancelled dozens of flights to Tel Aviv this weekend after the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise large-scale attack against Israel.

American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates and Ryanair are among those pulling flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport.

Oct 8, 2023 6:55 PM IST

Update: Israel says over 600 dead, more than 100 'prisoners' in war with Hamas

The death toll in Israel after a surprise attack by Hamas has surged to more than 600, while over 100 people were being held as "prisoners" by the militant group, the Israel government said.

The government's press office posted the latest figures on its Facebook, which were confirmed to AFP by an official working at the bureau who declined to be named.

Oct 8, 2023 6:45 PM IST

Turkey discusses Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Spain, Jordan

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Sunday held calls with his counterparts from Spain and Jordan to discuss the conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas, Reuters quoted a Turkish foreign ministry source.

Oct 8, 2023 6:16 PM IST

Iran's president speaks to Hamas, Islamic jihad leaders

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi spoke Sunday with leaders of Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, official media said, 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.

Oct 8, 2023 6:08 PM IST

Israel's Ambassador to India Naor Gilon speaks about the crisis situation in his country

“We know Hamas from the past, the next thing, they will start hiding behind the civilian population. Now they have also Israeli hostages to hide behind and to present themselves as the victim. This is always the issue…Hamas will not be able to continue doing atrocities. It's clear to us that Iran is involved with it”: Israel's Ambassador to India Naor Gilon

Oct 8, 2023 5:46 PM IST

Death toll in Israel over 500, reports local media

Israeli TV reports put the death toll from Hamas attack between 500 and 600, according to Reuters.

Oct 8, 2023 4:44 PM IST

Hamas ‘execute’ Israeli girl in front of family

A video purportedly showing a couple, their son and daughter in Israel being held hostage by Hamas was widely shared on social media.

Israel-based journalist Hananya Naftali shared the video saying that another daughter of the couple was executed in front of the family. “She went to heaven”, a terrorist was heard shouting as the two children cried over their sibling's death. Read on.

Oct 8, 2023 4:42 PM IST

Toll in Hamas attack in Israel rises to 350

The total number of Israelis killed since Hamas began its attack on Israel has jumped to 350, Reuters reported.

Oct 8, 2023 4:35 PM IST

Israel warns of ‘severe strike’ inside Gaza Strip

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will be striking "severely inside the Gaza Strip" in response to Hamas' incursion, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht told CNN. “Our goals will probably be decided today, tomorrow by the government, but doing this in a composed way,” he said.

Oct 8, 2023 4:33 PM IST

Israel says Hamas took dozens of hostages into Gaza

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht told CNN that Hamas has taken “dozens” of hostages into Gaza.

“Because life here is very sacred, we are making sure that we come out and understand the numbers exactly,” he said.

Oct 8, 2023 4:12 PM IST

Air France flights to Tel Aviv suspended

Air France has suspended its flights to Tel Aviv following Saturday's attack on Israel by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.