Live updates: Israel-Hamas war

Israel at war with Hamas after unprecedented attacks

1 min ago

More than 120 Israeli soldiers died in the Hamas attacks

From journalist Lauren Izso in Ashdod, Israel

At least 123 Israeli soldiers were killed in the attacks by Hamas that began early Saturday, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said.

Those 123 dead are included in the death toll of more than 900 people previously reported by the Israeli army.

Hagari added that the families of 50 Israeli hostages have been contacted by security forces. Hamas has claimed it is holding more than 100 captives, including Israeli army officers.

2 min ago

The Israeli military is responding to report of suspected aerial infiltration in the country’s north

From journalist Lauren Izso in Ashdod, Israel

Israeli soldiers kneel in position on patrol in northern Israel on October 10.
Israeli soldiers kneel in position on patrol in northern Israel on October 10. Lisi Niesner/Reuters

The Israel Defense Forces are conducting searches following a report of a suspected aerial infiltration in the northern areas of the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee, near Syria and Lebanon, it said in a statement.

Israel has warned hostile neighbors against trying to take advantage of Saturday’s attack with the military squarely focused on Gaza in the south.

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah appeared to try to do just that over the weekend, targeting an area known as Shebaa Farms using missiles and artillery.

Some context: Lebanon and Israel are considered enemy states, but a truce between the two has largely held since a conflict between them in 2006. There have been several small-scale rocket attacks from Lebanon in recent years that have prompted retaliatory strikes from Israel.

34 min ago

France is “not in favor” of suspending EU aid to the Palestinian people

From CNN’s Martin Goillandeau in London

France is “not in favor of suspending aid that directly benefits the Palestinian people,” the French foreign ministry said Tuesday.

France provided 95 million euros ($100m) worth of support to Palestinians in 2022, focusing on “water, health, food security and education.”

The statement said the ministry made its position clear to the European Commission following comments from a commission official that the European Union aid payments to Palestinians would be suspended following Hamas’ attack.

The EU later backtracked and said payments would not be halted, but was launching an “urgent review of the EU’s assistance for Palestine.” The review will not affect assistance provided by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.

CNN’s James Frater and Radina Gigova contributed to this post

1 hr 58 min ago

Israeli forces target Hamas “terror hubs” in hundreds of Gaza airstrikes

From CNN’s Ivana Kottasová and Lauren Izso in Ashdod, Israel

Smoke rises following Israeli strikes in Gaza on Tuesday.
Smoke rises following Israeli strikes in Gaza on Tuesday. Mohammed Salem/Reuters

The rolling thunder of explosions reverberated throughout the area around Gaza on Tuesday morning as the Israel Defense Forces carried out heavy bombardment against the enclave.

The strikes continued throughout the night and into the morning, with multiple fighter jets heard flying over the area.

The IDF said in a statement that its planes struck over 200 targets in Rimal and Khan Yunis in Gaza, claiming the areas “are used as terror hubs” by Hamas and that “a large number of terror attacks against Israel are directed there.”

The IDF said it was committed to “making sure Hamas doesn’t have any military capabilities at the end of the war.”

While the IDF said it was focusing on strikes against Hamas targets, the nature of Gaza — a narrow, densely populated strip of land completely sealed off from the outside world — means civilians, including children, are often caught up in the strikes.

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said Tuesday that the distinction between military and civilian targets was not so simple. “In buildings where people are living there could be a weapons store… there could be a Hamas kingpin living there,” he said.

Death toll rises: At least 900 people have died in Israel and more than 680 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict erupted on Saturday when Hamas launched a devastating surprise attack on Israel.

On Tuesday, the Hamas-controlled Government Media Office added that two local journalists were killed and another injured in an Israeli airstrike on a residential building in western Gaza.

The IDF strikes are even more complicated given that a number of hostages are being held by Hamas.

Israeli authorities believe women and children are among up to 150 hostages in Gaza, the country’s UN ambassador said. Hamas has claimed it is holding more than 100 captives, including Israeli army officers.

2 hr 3 min ago

US supports Israel’s defense against “Hamas’ terrorist attack,” Blinken says

From CNN’s Andrea Cambron

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Monday to discuss support for Israel as it “defends itself against Hamas’ terrorist attack,” according to a readout of the call. 

Blinken extended condolences to the foreign minister and reaffirmed US efforts to secure the release of hostages captured by Hamas militants.

The hostages include Israelis and foreign citizens including Brazilian and Mexicans. On Monday, President Joe Biden said in a statement it was “likely” that American citizens may be among those being held captive. 

Blinken also spoke to French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, according to a separate readout, and welcomed French and European efforts “toward our shared goal of ending Hamas’ violence.”

2 hr 6 min ago

Thai death toll rises following Israel attacks

From CNN’s Kocha Olarn in Bangkok, Thailand 

The number of Thai nationals killed in Israel has risen to 18, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. 

It also clarified that nine people have been injured, revising its earlier figure of 15.

So far, 11 Thai nationals are also believed to have been captured, with their whereabouts unknown, the ministry said.

Thai embassies in various locations are working to reach out to the Palestinian Authority to request their release.

Thailand’s foreign minister has also spoken to his Israeli counterpart, who expressed condolences for the deaths of Thai citizens, the ministry said. Compensation will be provided to the families of Thai victims, the ministry added.

Return to Thailand: At least 15 Thai nationals, including some of the injured, are scheduled to leave Israel on Wednesday to return to Thailand. 

The group will return through commercial flights, as Thai military aircraft have not received permission to enter Israeli airspace, the Thai foreign minister said.

There are approximately 30,000 Thai workers in Israel, according to the ministry. As of Monday, more than 1,000 Thai workers have requested help with evacuation.

2 hr 23 min ago

Here’s what you need to know about Iran’s relationship with Hamas

From CNN’s Nadeen Ebrahim

The scale and sophistication of the Hamas incursion into Israel Saturday prompted questions about whether the militant group could have done it alone — and if it had help, whether that could have come from its longtime backer in the region, Iran.

While Tehran has commended the operation, it has denied involvement. US deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said there is no “direct information” linking these attacks to Iran at this time, but that the US believes Iran is “broadly complicit” in Hamas attacks in Israel.

Yet Iran’s evolving relationship with Hamas and its Palestinian militant partners, the Islamic Jihad, is well documented.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • An ambiguous and evolving alliance: Hamas turned against Iran for several years over its support for Syria’s dictator President Bashar al-Assad during the country’s civil war. Ultimately it returned to Tehran’s orbit, and has been openly communicating with Iran and its paramilitary allies about its militant goals.
  • Funding: Israel says Iran supports Hamas to the tune of some $100 million dollars a year. The US State Department in 2021 said the group receives funding, weapons and training from Iran, as well as some funds that are raised in Gulf Arab countries.
  • Regional coordination: Iran’s paramilitary allies in the region — namely Lebanon’s Shia armed group Hezbollah — have repeatedly boasted about an ironclad security coordination with Palestinian Islamist groups. (Much of the Western world and some Arab countries consider Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad to be terrorist groups.)

CNN’s Betsy Klein, MJ Lee, Jim Sciutto and Pamela Brown contributed reporting.

Read more here.

2 hr 33 min ago

Taking hostages is a “crime against humanity,” father of missing Israeli woman says

From CNN’s Jadyn Sham

Tomer Shalom, an Israeli citizen whose 20-year-old daughter has been missing since the weekend, said the capture of hostages by Hamas militants is a “crime against humanity.”

Shalom told CNN his daughter, Noam, called him frightened and crying at around 8:30am on Saturday from a music festival in southern Israel after Hamas militants stormed the event.

He heard gunshots over the phone, he said.

“It’s beyond understanding. You cannot imagine this situation that kids are going to dance and you know, have fun, and going to club and they are not coming back home because they have been captured,” Shalom said.

At least 260 people died in the festival attack and an unknown number of revelers were taken hostage to Gaza, according to Israeli authorities.

Shalom said his daughter, a paramedic, spoke to a friend on the phone around 9:15am on Saturday from an ambulance where another friend was being treated for a gunshot wound.

It’s the last time anyone heard from her, he said.

“Fragile” situation: Israeli authorities believe women and children are among up to 150 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, according to the country’s UN ambassador. Hamas has claimed it is holding more than 100 captives.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces are pounding Gaza from the air after Hamas threatened to kill civilian hostages and broadcast the executions if airstrikes target the enclave without warning.

Shalom said the situation is “very fragile.”

“If we let this thing happen, if we won’t raise our voice now, we normalize the situation…We should all raise our voice, they are not allowed to take kids,” Shalom said.

2 hr 28 min ago

Killing Gaza hostages “will not make things better,” IDF warns Hamas

From CNN’s Richard Allen Greene and Alex Stambaugh

Killing hostages “will not make things better,” an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson said Tuesday, a day after Hamas militants threatened to execute civilian captives if Israel targets Gaza without warning. 

Israeli authorities believe women and children are among up to 150 hostages being held by Islamist militants in Gaza, according to the country’s UN ambassador. Hamas has claimed it is holding more than 100 captives, including high-ranking Israeli army officers.

“If they harm one of these grandmothers or one of these babies or one of these children, it will not make things better and they know it,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said.

Dozens of Israeli fighter jets struck more than 200 targets in Gaza overnight, the IDF said in a statement Tuesday. 

The bombings have killed at least 687 people, including dozens of children and women, and left thousands injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

More than 137,000 people are taking cover from Israeli strikes at UN emergency shelters in Gaza. The shelters are at 90% capacity, the UN relief agency said.

Hecht said Tuesday that the IDF was sending some warnings before bombing targets, including via social media and warning shots.

“We will be notifying the best way we can… people will have to move,” he said. 

Asked if the IDF was distinguishing between civilian, governmental and military targets, Hecht said the distinction was not so simple.

“In buildings where people are living there could be a weapons store… there could be a Hamas kingpin living there,” he said.

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