Israel bombards Gaza and House Speaker latest: Morning Rundown

Israel pounds the Gaza Strip with airstrikes. A festival organizer describes coming face to face with Hamas gunmen during her escape. Also, Republican lawmakers will hear from two congressmen vying for the House speaker role. 

Here’s what to know today.

Israel secures its border as it pounds Gaza

Israel says it has retaken full control of its border with Gaza, three days after Hamas fighters broke through the fence to launch their bloody attack. No Hamas militants have crossed into Israel since last night, an IDF spokesperson said, although he added that infiltrations could still be possible.

The bodies of some 1,500 Hamas militants have been found inside Israel, a sign of the significant force Hamas appeared able to muster for its surprise assault.

The IDF bombarded Gaza and told citizens to leave the blockaded strip of land, which now faces an Israeli “siege” and potential ground operation. But it was unclear how they would do so.

And as the overall death toll soared, deadly clashes at Israel’s northern border with Lebanon raised fears of a broader regional conflict.

President Joe Biden will address the war in a speech at 1 p.m. ET.

Follow live coverage here.

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What a ‘complete siege’ of the Gaza Strip could look like

In response to the deadly attacks by Hamas, Israel announced yesterday that its blockade on the Gaza Strip would become a full-scale “siege” — allowing no food, water, electricity or fuel to its 2.3 million residents, half of them children. Civilians and aid workers say daily life is already dire, and Israel’s siege, coupled with devastating airstrikes, will make things even worse

Music fest organizer describes coming face to face with Hamas gunmen

As festivalgoers enjoyed the SuperNova X music and arts festival early Saturday, the music was so loud that one of the event’s organizers, Noa Beer, and others in the crowd couldn’t hear the rockets launched from Gaza — but they could see them. “It looked like fireworks,” Beer said. But security guards entered the dance floor, and an announcement was made telling people to leave quickly.  

That announcement set off a frantic flee to safety amid an attack that would kill 260 festivalgoers. Beer recounted her harrowing escape as she fled by car. At one point, she was surrounded by gunmen who opened fire. “They looked me in the eyes,” she said. “They saw terror, and they gave zero s—s about it.”

Jordan and Scalise to make their pitches for the House speaker spot

This afternoon, House Republicans will take their first formal step toward electing a new House speaker when Reps. Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise make their case for the leadership role at a closed-door candidates forum.

Tensions are high. Right-wing firebrand Jordan and Majority Leader Scalise have already split the conference. And Kevin McCarthy himself is a dark horse candidate for the vote, even though he’s insisted he isn’t running for his old job.

After today’s meeting, House Republicans are expected to hold a private, secret ballot election tomorrow morning to choose the nominee before they call the floor vote. But several House Republicans have said it isn’t clear whether they would elect a speaker by the end of the week. 

Teens are jumping on the TikTok Shop gold rush

A feature on TikTok released last month has become a conduit for a new type of commission-based marketing on the internet. TikTok Shop allows anyone to profit by advertising products — and some teens are using their social media marketing skills to get a cut of the earnings. The app’s rules forbid minors from applying to TikTok Shop. Still, some users appear to have found a loophole.

Reporter Kat Tenbarge looks at how people are taking advantage of TikTok Shop to make money and the influence it seems to already have on the internet.

Politics in Brief 

Classified documents: Special counsel Robert Hur interviewed President Joe Biden in the investigation of his handling of classified documents, raising the possibility that the nearly nine-month probe may be nearing its end. And special counsel Jack Smith pushed back against former President Donald Trump’s bid to delay his classified documents trial until after the 2024 election.

2024 election: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ended his Democratic presidential nomination and launched an independent bid instead, saying he wants to “spoil” the election for Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Meanwhile, in the race for the 2024 GOP nomination, former Rep. Will Hurd of Texas suspended his presidential campaign.

Texas politics: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton plans to file criminal complaints against the lawmakers who led his impeachment, alleging they doxxed him when they released documents that included his home address.

Staff Pick: Getting Covid over and over

Most of us have gotten Covid at least once — maybe even two or three times. But this story describes the experiences of people who have gotten five or more infections. We were curious to hear about how the illness changed each time, since more encounters with Covid are likely in store for all of us. — Dana Varinsky, health editor

In Case You Missed It 

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Elizabeth Robinson

Elizabeth Robinson is a newsletter editor for NBC News, based in Los Angeles.

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