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

Israel at war with Hamas after unprecedented attacks

4 hr 4 min ago

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.”

4 hr 7 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.

4 hr 24 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.

4 hr 34 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.

4 hr 30 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.

5 hr 37 min ago

How did Israel and Palestinians get here?

From CNN’s Hadas Gold, Richard Allen Greene, Amir Tal, Ibrahim Dahman, Abeer Salman, Kareem Khaddar and Nadeen Ebrahim

Israeli soldiers celebrate the capture of Old Jerusalem in June,1967.
Israeli soldiers celebrate the capture of Old Jerusalem in June,1967. Bettmanm Archive/Getty Images

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have existed since before the nation’s founding in 1948. Thousands of people on both sides have been killed and many more injured in the long-simmering conflict between the two sides over the past few decades.

Violence has been particularly heightened this year. The number of Palestinians — militants and civilians — killed in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces is at its highest in nearly two decades. The same is true of Israelis and foreigners — most of them civilians — killed in Palestinian attacks.

Israel and the militant group Hamas have been involved in armed conflict dating back as early as the 1987 First Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, against Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Israel captured Gaza from Egypt in a 1967 war, then withdrew in 2005. The small territory — home to some 2 million Palestinians — fell under Hamas’ control in 2007 after a brief civil war with Fatah, a rival Palestinian faction that is the backbone of the Palestinian Authority.

After Hamas seized control of Gaza, Israel and Egypt imposed a strict siege on the territory, which is ongoing. Israel also maintains an air and naval blockade on Gaza.

Before Saturday’s operation, the last war between Hamas and Israel was in 2021, which lasted for 11 days and killed at least 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel.

Saturday’s assault occurred on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 war, when Israel’s Arab neighbors launched a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, on October 6, 1973.

3 hr 8 min ago

IDF strikes more than 200 targets in Gaza overnight

From journalist Lauren Izso in Ashdod 

Palestinians inspect the destruction from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City's al-Rimal neighbourhood early on October 10.
Palestinians inspect the destruction from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City’s al-Rimal neighbourhood early on October 10. Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

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

The targets were in the Rimal and Khan Yunis neighborhoods in the densely populated coastal enclave, where the IDF claimed a number of attacks against Israel were directed from. 

The IDF said it struck an Islamic Jihad terror infrastructure in Khan Yunis, a weapons storage site of Hamas militants located inside a mosque, and “operational terror infrastructure used by Hamas terror operatives,” among other targets. 

The fighter jets also struck a number of “operational residences” belonging to Hamas operatives, as well as a Hamas operational command center located inside a mosque, the IDF said.

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

A major Israeli offensive such as a ground incursion into Gaza is widely anticipated though the full scale of the Israeli response remains unclear.

Earlier Tuesday, the IDF said it had “more or less” restored full control over the border fence with Gaza, after it was breached by Hamas militants launching their surprise attack on Saturday.

5 hr 56 min ago

“The house and living room were filled with bullets”: Survivors recount horror of Hamas attack

From CNN’s Becky Anderson and Zeena Saifi

Members of an Israeli family who survived a Hamas attack on their home have described the terror unleashed by the Islamist militants during their unprecedented assault in southern Israel on Saturday.

The Shindler family’s home in the kibbutz of Kerem Shalom is located mere steps away from where militants bulldozed through the Gaza border as they launched a killing spree against civilians.

“They woke us up at 6:30, ‘red alert,'” mother of six young children, Revital Shindler, told CNN. “We went to the bathroom. We started hearing shots from everywhere, and the house and living room were filled with bullets.

“My husband heard noises in Arabic in the house. He immediately went into the safe room and held the door handle so that nobody could get in. They screamed at us ‘we are IDF soldiers, we want to come in.’

“We heard they had an Arabic accent, we said: ‘We are not opening the door,’ and there was a battle of shouting.”

She said the militants threw a grenade at the door, sending her husband, Amichai, flying through the air.

Amichai Shindler, 33, survived the blast and is recovering in hospital in Tel Aviv after one of his arms was amputated, his wife said.

It’s not the first time the family has experienced the pain of a terror attack. Over a decade ago, they lost Amichai’s 24-year-old brother, said his mother, Sagalit. He was shot by militants during a flare-up of tensions between Palestinians and Israelis. 

“It brings me back 13 years ago, to cope with this massacre, this monstrosity. It’s just so difficult and sad,” she said.

Despite the horror of Saturday’s attack, the family said they remain positive and hoped those injured would pull through.

“We believe Amichai will get out of this alive, and everyone else injured will, too. We want peace, this is all we want,” Revital told CNN.
“We are not afraid, we will continue to live in these places. We won’t flee as they wish because this is our home and we don’t have another.”

3 hr 2 min ago

IDF says it has “more or less” restored full control over border fence with Gaza 

From CNN’s Richard Greene in Jerusalem

Israeli forces patrol areas along the Israeli-Gaza border in Sa'ad on October 10.
Israeli forces patrol areas along the Israeli-Gaza border in Sa’ad on October 10. Ilia Yefimovich/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have “more or less” restored full control over the border fence with Gaza, after it was breached by Hamas militants launching their surprise attack on Saturday, according to IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht. 

“Looking towards the south, we have more or less restored full control over the border fence. Hopefully in the next few hours it will be final,” he said in a briefing on Tuesday. 

Hecht said Israeli forces have secured communities around the border and have nearly completed evacuations in the area.

He added there were two small firefights overnight in the Sa’ad and Kissufim communities. “We are focusing our offensive in the Gaza Strip and our airstrikes,” he said. 

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