Israel-Hamas war live updates: Citizens flee to south Gaza after Israel gives evacuation order


Israel’s Gallant: Gaza war is existential, Hamas part of Iranian ‘axis’

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (R) visits Israeli military units in the south and makes observations, in Israel on October 10, 2023.

Ariel Hermon | IDF | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Israel is waging all-out war on Hamas militants to effect permanent change and safeguard its future as a prosperous democracy, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday, describing the 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 the Gaza Strip, Gallant said: “It doesn’t matter … (because) the idea is an Iranian idea.”

-Reuters

Blinken extends condolences during meeting with Palestinian Authority President Abbas

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) speaks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas during a meeting in Amman on October 13, 2023. 

Jacquelyn Martin | AFP | Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken extended condolences to the families of Palestinian civilian victims during a visit with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“The Secretary reiterated the United States’ unequivocal condemnation of the abhorrent terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel. The Secretary also detailed U.S. efforts to coordinate with partners to prevent the conflict from widening,” State Department spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement following Blinken’s meeting.

America’s top diplomat also “reiterated that Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to dignity, freedom, justice, and self-determination,” the statement added.

Before meeting with Abbas, Blinken visited with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. Blinken will also travel to Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Qatar in the coming days.

— Amanda Macias

U.S. Capitol Police increase security ahead of Hamas’ call for a ‘day of rage’

U.S. Capitol Police secure the U.S. Capitol Building in response to a call for a “Day of Rage” on October 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. 

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

The United States Capitol Police increased security around the Capitol Complex in response to Hamas’ call on social media for a “day of rage.”

Officers were seen by NBC News reporters patrolling the Capitol grounds and installing additional bike racks around the perimeter of multiple buildings.

“We are enhancing security throughout the Capitol Complex. Some of what we are doing will be visible, but for safety reasons we cannot provide the public details about all of the resources that we are putting into protecting the Congress,” the U.S. Capitol Police wrote in a statement yesterday.

U.S. Capitol Police secure the U.S. Capitol Building in response to a call for a “Day of Rage” on October 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. 

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

“Our dedicated teams are working around the clock to coordinate with our law enforcement and intelligence partners across the country to keep everyone safe,” the statement added.

— Amanda Macias

‘Tall order’ to carry out the evacuation of Gaza City, Kirby says

A full-scale southward evacuation of the roughly 1.1 million people in Gaza City, in line with Israeli military guidance, will be a “tall order,” according to John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications at the White House.

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby speaks during the daily briefing in the James S Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on June 12, 2023.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

“That’s going to be a tall order, given how densely populated it is, given that it’s a scene of combat. There are bombs falling, and strikes happening. That is a lot of people to move in a very short period of time. We recognize the challenge there,” he said Friday in a MSNBC TV interview.

Israel instructed the residents of north Gaza to move south of the Wadi Gaza wetlands overnight, citing their own safety. Concerns are bolstering over the possibility of an imminent Israeli ground incursion into Gaza, following the terrorist attacks of Palestinian militant group Hamas last weekend. The Israel Defense Forces have since sealed off the Gaza Strip and say their only objective is to remove the military abilities of Hamas.

Palestinians flee to safer areas following Israeli air strikes. Israel’s military on Friday called for the evacuation of civilians from Gaza City for their “safety and protection.” 

Mohammed Talatene | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

“We understand what they’re trying to do and why they’re trying to do this. They’re trying to isolate the civilian population from Hamas, which is their real target,” Kirby said.

Human rights groups have criticized Israel over the evacuation order. The U.N. has said the IDF informed it that Gaza City residents must flee within 24 hours. The IDF says the evacuation must happen “as soon as possible.”

Palestinians with their belongings crowd a street in Gaza City as they flee from their homes following the Israeli army’s warning on October 13, 2023. 

Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

“We also want to see that there are opportunities [for] safe passage out of Gaza writ large, that people have the ability to leave Gaza, and that’s not the case right now, so we’re continuing to work with the Israelis and the Egyptians on that as well,” Kirby signaled.

The U.S. earlier this week noted it was in talks with Egypt — the single land neighbor of the Gaza Strip other than Israel — to organize a humanitarian corridor. A route for the safe passage of refugees has yet to be declared.

Ruxandra Iordache

Biden expected to speak to the families of Americans held hostage by Hamas

President Joe Biden is expected to speak to the families of Americans held hostage by Hamas, a White House official confirmed to NBC News.

“I think they have to know that the president of the United States of America cares deeply about them, deeply. We have to communicate to the world this is critical,” Biden said in a “60 Minutes” interview clip aired on CBS “This Morning” show.

“This is not even human behavior, it’s pure barbarism and we’re going to do everything in our power to get them home, if we can find them,” Biden added.

The White House has previously said “less than a handful” of U.S. citizens are believed to be held hostage by Hamas.

— Amanda Macias

Sen. Schumer to lead bipartisan delegation to Israel

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., arrives for a news conference after the senate luncheons in the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 27, 2023.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will lead a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Israel over the weekend, according to a Reuters report.

A spokesman for the New York Democrat confirmed to Reuters that Schumer will discuss U.S. humanitarian and security assistance with Israeli officials.

The congressional delegation’s visit to Israel comes on the heels of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s trip.

— Amanda Macias

How Israel’s tech community is responding to war

Amid the Israel-Hamas war, much of Israel’s tech community is still finding a way to push forward, according to a handful of tech community members CNBC spoke with. Some have up to 45 coworkers drafted for military reserve, some have seen people join Zoom calls in military uniform on breaks from duty and some have already been to multiple military funerals.

Israel’s tech community accounts for nearly one-fifth of the country’s annual GDP, making it the sector with the largest economic output for the country, according to the Israel Innovation Authority.

–Hayden Field

Israel resorts to using refrigerated containers as makeshift morgues

EDITORS’ NOTE – Graphic Content: This post contains images showing body bags of dead Israelis killed by the Hamas attacks.

As the death count in the Israel-Hamas war climbs, medical staff are using refrigerated containers to hold the bodies of Israeli citizens killed during the recent attacks by Hamas. These photos were taken during a tour of the Ramla, Israel, facility, which is working to identify the deceased.

At least 1,300 Israelis have been killed since the weekend attacks. In Gaza, at least 1,537 people have been killed.

Medical staff move human remains from a refrigerated container holding the bodies of Israeli citizens killed during the recent attacks by Hamas during a tour of the facility which is identifying the deceased on October 13, 2023 in Ramla, Israel.

Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

A general view of a row of thirteen refrigerated containers holding the bodies of Israeli citizens killed during the recent attacks by Hamas is opened, during a tour of the facility which is identifying the deceased on October 13, 2023 in Ramla, Israel.

Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

– Leon Neal | Getty Images

North Gaza residents head south — with no known destination

Palestinians flee to safer areas following Israeli air strikes. Israel’s military on Friday called for the evacuation of civilians from Gaza City for their “safety and protection.” Photo: Mohammed Talatene/dpa 

Mohammed Talatene | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Residents have begun to evacuate northern Gaza to head south, NBC News reports, following overnight instructions from the Israeli military to evacuate past the Wadi Gaza wetlands. Concerns have mounted that Israel plans a ground incursion into Gaza territory, in its quest to neutralize the military positions of Palestinian militant group Hamas — which carried out a deadly terrorist offensive against Israel over the weekend.

The U.N. says the civilians of north Gaza were given only 24 hours to evacuate southward — while the Israeli Defense Forces say the operation must be carried out as soon as possible. Humanitarian groups, including those under the umbrella of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, have decried the Israeli order as a shortcut to worsen the humanitarian crisis already unfolding in besieged Gaza.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) vehicles transport Palestinians whose homes were destroyed in the attacks to safe areas following the United Nations (UN) reported that the Israeli army wanted 1.1 million civilians in Gaza to leave their homes and move to the south of the region in Gaza City, Gaza on October 13, 2023. 

Ashraf Amra | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

“We’re just going, if you have a car just run. No one knows where we’re going, but we’re all evacuating,” Salma Shurrab, a 22-year-old student from Gaza City, told NBC News. “No one is left but us and we’re ready to run.”

She is one of a U.N.-estimated 1.1 million people who must now evacuate.

The Gaza Strip is surrounded by Israel, the sea, and Egypt — through the Rafah crossing. The U.S. had mentioned the possibility of creating a humanitarian corridor for refugees with Egypt, but the talks have yet to formalize into an official breakthrough.

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency, on Friday estimated that over 423,000 people across the Gaza enclosure have already been displaced, with more than 270,000 of these taking shelter at UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) sites. The figures likely also include refugees who were previously displaced.

Ruxandra Iordache

Hezbollah deputy chief says group is ready to intervene in Israel-Hamas war

The deputy chief of Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah, Sheikh Naim Qassem, delivers a speech during a ceremony commemorating the memory of its fallen leaders in the Ghobeiry neighbourhood of southern Beirut on February 15, 2022.

Anwar Amro | AFP | Getty Images

The deputy chief of Hezbhollah on Friday stressed that the Lebanese militant group is ready to intervene in the Israel-Hamas hostilities, according to the Hebzollah-affiliated al-Manar outlet.

“We will carry out our duties whenever it is high time,” Naim Qassem, the second in command of Hezbollah, is quoted as saying. “Israel is tending towards its demise, Western support will make no difference.”

Israel has been combating Palestinian militant group Hamas, which carried out a multi-pronged terrorist attack over the weekend.

Hamas and Hezbhollah have historically both received support from Iran — whose Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Friday met with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut to discuss the Israel conflict.

Hezbollah has exchanged fire with Israel across the border over the course of this week.

Ruxandra Iordache

Humanitarian agencies criticize evacuation of north Gaza

Palestinians flee to safer areas following Israeli air strikes. Israel’s military on Friday called for the evacuation of civilians from Gaza City for their “safety and protection.” 

Mohammed Talatene | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

A spate of humanitarian agencies have spoken out since Israel gave overnight instructions to evacuate the citizens of Gaza City south of the Wadi Gaza river. The U.N. says Israeli military informed it that civilians had 24 hours to move out.

The Gaza Strip has been sealed off from Israeli food, water, fuel and electricity supplies since the start of the week, following a weekend attack from Palestinian militant group Hamas against Israel.

Palestinians flee to safer areas following Israeli air strikes. Israel’s military on Friday called for the evacuation of civilians from Gaza City for their “safety and protection.” 

Mohammed Talatene | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

The latest evacuation orders have raised fears of a planned Israeli ground offensive into Gaza. The Israeli Defense Forces have yet to confirm such an operation and say their overall objective in their response is to strip away the military abilities from Hamas. Humanitarian agencies have spoken up out of concern for harm to civilians.

“The call from Israeli Forces to move more than 1,000,000 civilians living in northern Gaza within 24 hours is horrendous. This will only lead to unprecedented levels of misery and further push people in Gaza into abyss,” the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees said in a statement.

“The warnings and threats by the IOF to civilians to evacuate their homes are alarming and horrifying,” the Palestine Red Crescent Society said on social media.

“The Israeli military demand that 1.2 million civilians in northern Gaza relocate to its south within 24 hours, absent of any guarantees of safety or return, would amount to the war crime of forcible transfer. It must be reversed,” the Norwegian Refugee Council said.

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan before a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Oct. 8, 2023 in New York.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Amid backlash, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. has accused the alliance of ignoring Hamas activity so far.

“For years now, the UN has been ‘turning a blind eye’ to the arming of Hamas and its use of civilians to hide its murderous instruments. And now, instead of standing by Israel after the massacre by Hamas, they dare to preach to us when Israel tries to minimize harm to civilians,” Gilad Erdan said on social media on Friday, according to a Google translation.

“Right now the only thing the UN should focus on is the return of the abductees to Israel. This is the most urgent humanitarian crisis.”

Ruxandra Iordache

Iran’s foreign minster, Hezbollah leader discuss Israel-Hamas war

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (2nd-L) and Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib give a joint press conference in Beirut on October 13, 2023.

Anwar Amro | AFP | Getty Images

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Friday met with the leader of Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah militant group to discuss the ongoing conflict which has prompted Hezbollah and Isreal to exchange fire this week.

Amirabdollahian convened with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut on Friday, Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported, according to a Google translation.

A Hamas terrorist attack over the weekend has pushed Israel to declare war against the Palestinian militant group and declare a complete siege of the Gaza Strip. Fears have mounted over a potential Israeli ground incursion after Israeli military instructed the citizens of Gaza City to evacuate southwards.

Referring to the siege of Gaza, Amirabdollahian stressed: “The continuation of this war crime will face reactions in other areas,” for which he said Israel and its supporters would be responsible.

Iran has previously praised the hostilities of Hamas — which it also backs — but denied involvement. Hezbollah has exchanged shelling with Israel at the border between it and Lebanon, citing solidarity with Palestine.

Ruxandra Iordache

European Commission president arrives in Israel

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Israel on Friday “to express our solidarity with the Israeli people in the wake of the horrific Hamas terrorist attack” on Saturday, she said on social media.

She added that she is joined on the visit by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addresses the media on the Ukraine crisis, in Brussels, Belgium, September 28, 2022.

Yves Herman | Reuters

The EU has firmly condemned last weekend’s hostilities by Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The bloc’s foreign chief Josep Borrell has also spoken out against the siege of Gaza, which Israel has cut off from supplies of its water, fuel, food and electricity.

Von der Leyen’s arrival comes on the footsteps of a high-profile Thursday visit from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met with Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu and top defense and diplomacy officials.

Ruxandra Iordache

Italy convinced that Israel will have a ‘proportionate reaction’

Italy’s foreign minister expressed his conviction that Israel will not strike civilians and will have a commensurate response as it reacts to Saturday’s terrorist attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“I am convinced that Israel will have a proportionate reaction and will do everything to hit only Hamas,” Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Friday. He confirmed his arrival in Israel earlier in the day on social media.

His comments come after Israel gave overnight orders for the civilians of Gaza City to evacuate southwards past the Wadi Gaza river, bolstering expectations that the country’s military will proceed with a ground incursion against Hamas with the troops it has amassed at the border.

Ruxandra Iordache

Putin warns against ‘serious consequences’ of ground incursion in Gaza

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of the severe impact of a ground incursion in the Gaza Strip, amid mounting fears that Israel is preparing such an offensive following evacuation orders.

“A ground operation in the Gaza Strip and the use of heavy equipment in residential areas are fraught with serious consequences for all parties,” Putin said Friday, in Google-translated comments carried by Russian state news agency Tass.

“Civilian losses in the event of a ground operation in the Gaza Strip will be unacceptable,” he added.

Reuters reports that the Russian leader urged a peaceful resolution to the conflict sparked by terrorist attacks from Palestinian militant group Hamas over the weekend.

This pool photograph distributed by Russian state owned agency Sputnik shows Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attending a meeting with Azerbaijani President in Bishkek on October 12, 2023.

Pavel Bednyakov | Afp | Getty Images

Russia’s stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict has been muted, as Moscow seeks to maintain both its interests in Israel and its allegiance to Hamas-supporting ally Iran.

Putin was speaking from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan where he is attending a meeting of the council of the Commonwealth of Independent States, an Eurasian international organization. This is Putin’s first trip abroad since the issuance of an International Criminal Court warrant for his arrest on the grounds of unlawfully deporting children from occupied Ukrainian territories into Russia.

Read more:

Russia can gain from Middle East turmoil — but it could backfire if the war spirals out of control

Israel’s military criticizes Hamas rejection of evacuation call

A person holds a leaflet dropped from Israel army airplanes, warning residents of an ‘imminent attack’ on the Gaza Strip and the need to move to the south of Gaza, on October 13, 2023. 

Doaa Albaz | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces criticized the response of the political wing of Palestinian militant group Hamas for rejecting its calls for the civilians of Gaza City to evacuate south.

“Hamas is telling Gaza residents to ignore our safety instructions,” the IDF said in a social media post.

The Israeli military issued the evacuation instructions overnight, mounting fears of a potential Israeli ground incursion against Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip. Gaza is currently under total siege by Israel, following Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Saturday. The U.N. said the IDF gave a 24-hour deadline for the evacuation to take place.

Palestinian citizens inspect damage to their homes caused by Israeli airstrikes on October 13, 2023 in Gaza City, Gaza. 

Ahmad Hasaballah | Getty Images

Hamas accused Israel of “psychological warfare” and said: “We are fixed on our land, in our homes, and in our cities … and there is no displacement or deportation,” according to a NBC News translation.

Ruxandra Iordache

U.S. Secretary of Defense arrives in Israel

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (L) meets with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (R) in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 13, 2023. 

Ariel Hermoni | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel on Friday, to “demonstrate that America’s support for Israel’s security is ironclad,” he said on social media.

He will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense counterpart Yoav Gallant over the course of the day to discuss defense needs.

His trip follows the Thursday visit to Tel Aviv of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who reassured Netanyahu of Washington’s solidarity and ongoing assistance. Blinken has since left for Jordan.

U.S. President Joe Biden has already pledged to provide “surging additional military assistance, including ammunition, and interceptors to replenish Iron Dome” to Israel, following the terrorist offensive of Palestinian militant group Hamas over the weekend.

The Israeli Defense Forces on Thursday said that the first plane carrying U.S. arms landed in southern Israel.

Ruxandra Iordache

Hamas armed unit says 13 captives killed in Israeli airstrikes

The al-Qassam Brigades, the armed unit of Palestinian militant group Hamas, said that 13 of its hostages were killed in the past 24 hours in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. The toll includes foreigners, al-Qassam said in a Telegram post translated by NBC News.

CNBC could not independently verify the reports.

Hamas took civilian captives during a multi-pronged attack carried out over the weekend, which has sparked retaliatory offensives from Israel. Analysts have noted that holding hostages gives Hamas a significant bargaining chip in the event of an Israeli incursion into Gaza.

Ruxandra Iordache

Russia may gain from Middle East crisis, analysts say, but it could backfire if war spirals out of control

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks past Kyrgyz honour guards during a welcoming ceremony prior to talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart in Bishkek on October 12, 2023.

Vyacheslav Oseledko | Afp | Getty Images

Russia may find itself in a position to benefit from the escalating crisis in the Middle East, analysts told CNBC.

They cited how the Israel-Hamas war may help to distract from the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, boost Russia’s oil-exporting status and provide Moscow with an opportunity to mediate between disparate regional parties.

However, one geopolitical analyst warned it is also a “very, very nervous moment for Moscow,” particularly if the Israel-Hamas conflict spills over and Russia sees its influence, interests and assets damaged in the Middle East.

Read the full story from CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt.

— Sam Meredith

Israeli military says its ongoing goal is to ‘strip away’ Hamas’ military abilities

Israeli Army Spokesperson for International Media, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus.

Jalaa Marey | Afp | Getty Images

The aim of the Israeli campaign in the Gaza Strip is to “take all of Hamas’ military abilities and strip them away” to avoid further Israeli civilian casualties, Jonathan Conricus, spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces, said in a video update released early Friday.

“That is the purpose of what we are doing now inside the Gaza Strip. That is why the Israeli air force has been delivering significant amounts of ordinance of bombs on the Gaza Strip. And that is what we will continue to do as this war unfolds and as we will deal a decisive blow to Hamas,” he added.

Hours prior, the IDF told roughly 1.1 million people in northern Gaza to evacuate southwards of the Wadi Gaza wetlands.

“This evacuation is for your own safety. You will be able to return to Gaza City only when another announcement permitting it is made,” the IDF said in the message it distributed on Telegram, which it said it communicated to the civilians of Gaza City. The instruction to evacuate has bolstered concerns that Israel, which has amassed forces on the border with Gaza, is preparing a ground incursion.

The Telegram post did not reference a 24-hour deadline — a timeframe that the U.N. said the IDF supplied them for the operation.

“We understand that this will take time,” Conricus said in the video update. “It’s not an easy process.”

Ruxandra Iordache

UN refugee agency relocates Gaza premises

The entrance of the Gaza City headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) on August 7, 2023.

Majdi Fathi | Nurphoto | Getty Images

The U.N. Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has relocated its central operations in Gaza to the south of the territory as it continues with its local humanitarian work.

In a post update on the X social media platform, previously known as Twitter, it urged Israeli authorities to protect all civilians who take cover in its shelters, including schools.

Earlier in the week, the U.N. said that schools and premises of the UNRWA were among the sites hit in Israeli retaliatory air strikes that followed a terrorist attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas at the weekend. Twelve UNRWA staff members have been killed since the start of the conflict, the agency said Thursday.

Its operational relocation south takes place as the U.N. said Israel has supplied a 24-hour deadline for the roughly 1.1 million people in northern Gaza to evacuate south.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israel’s use of white phosphorus in Gaza and Lebanon endangers civilians, says HRW

Smoke rises as the Palestinian Foreign Ministry claimed that Israel used phosphorus bombs in its attacks on populated areas in Gaza City, Gaza on October 11, 2023.

Ali Jadallah | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Israel’s use of white phosphorus in military operations in Gaza and Lebanon puts civilians in danger as it exposes them to severe and long-lasting injuries, Human Rights Watch warned.

“White phosphorus, which can be used either for marking, signaling, and obscuring, or as a weapon to set fires that burn people and objects, has a significant incendiary effect,” the non-governmental organization said, noting it can burn people and objects, as well as set on fire structures and fields in the vicinity.

Human Rights Watch said the rights group witnessed videos taken in Lebanon and Gaza this week that showed a number of airbursts of artillery-fired white phosphorous over the Gaza City port and two rural locations along the Israel-Lebanon border.

Using the substance violates international humanitarian law which prohibits putting civilians at unnecessary risk, HRW said.

“Any time that white phosphorus is used in crowded civilian areas, it poses a high risk of excruciating burns and lifelong suffering,” said Lama Fakih, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

— Charmaine Jacob

IDF confirms it has ordered civilians in Gaza to move south ‘for their own safety’

A boy carries a mattres as Palestinians with their belongings flee to safer areas in Gaza City after Israeli air strikes, on October 13, 2023. 

Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

Israel Defense Forces confirmed it has ordered civilians in northern Gaza to evacuate south “for their own safety.”

“Gaza City is an area where military operations are taking place,” IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“This evacuation is for your own safety,” he said, adding that residents will only be able to return when another announcement permitting them to do so is made.

He repeatedly warned that they should not approach the border with Israel.

“Hamas terrorists are hiding in Gaza City, inside tunnels, underneath houses and inside buildings populated with innocent Gaza civilians,” Conricus said, calling on Palestinians to distance themselves from the militants who are using them as human shields.

Joanna Tan

Death toll mounts

The parents and sister of French-Israeli soldier Eli Valentin Ghenassia, who was killed in combat at Kibbutz Beeri during an infiltration by Hamas militans, mourn during his funeral in the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on October 12, 2023. 

Ronaldo Schemidt | AFP | Getty Images

The latest figures show further increases in the total number of people killed following Palestinian militant group Hamas’ multi-pronged attack last Saturday and Israel’s retaliatory strikes.

At least 1,300 people have been killed in Israel since the hostilities, according to official figures, with another 3,300 wounded.

A combined 1,568 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank over the same period, official figures show.

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Mourners pray before the wrapped bodies of Palestinian victims who were killed in an Israeli air strike during their funeral in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on October 13, 2023.

Said Khatib | AFP | Getty Images

It should be noted that there can be discrepancies between the figures reported by various official sources, as events continue to develop on the ground.

Ruxandra Iordache

UN says Israel wants 1.1 million people in Gaza to move south in the next 24 hours

This picture taken on October 13, 2023 shows flyers dropped by the Israeli military over Gaza City, warning residents to flee “immediately” to the south.

Mohammed Abed | AFP | Getty Images

Israel has called for the evacuation of 1.1 million residents in north Gaza to move south in the next 24 hours, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, confirmed with NBC News.

“The United Nations considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” the statement said.

The entire population of Gaza north of Wadi Gaza has been ordered to relocate to southern Gaza “within the next 24 hours,” the Israeli military informed the UN and the Department of Safety and Security in Gaza  before midnight local time.

Palestinians with their belongings flee from their homes following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on October 13, 2023.

Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

That’s 1.1 million people — about half the size of Gaza Strip’s population.

The move suggests that Israel could be moving to proceed with its ground offensive into the Palestinian enclave to pursue Hamas militants that the Jewish nation has pledged to wipe out.

The same order was given to all of UN’s staff and those taking refuge in UN facilities, such as schools, medical centers and clinics.

Joanna Tan

No ‘direct evidence’ Iran participated in Hamas terror attacks, White House says

White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby joins White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. October 12, 2023. 

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The White House said there was no “direct evidence” that Iran was a participant in the surprise terror attacks carried out by Hamas in Israel.

“We’re still looking into this but again, no direct evidence that Iran was a participant in these attacks,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House.

“But again, we’re still we’re still monitoring it,” Kirby added.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden warned Iran to “be careful” as tensions in the region soar.

— Amanda Macias

No plans to put U.S. forces on the ground in Israel, White House says

Israeli tanks move near Gaza border as Israeli army deploys military vehicles around the Gaza Strip, Israel on October 12, 2023.

Mostafa Alkharouf | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that while the U.S. will continue to evolve its strategic planning around the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, there are no plans to put American servicemembers on the ground in Israel.

“There are no intentions, no plans to put American troops on the ground in combat,” Kirby told reporters at the White House during a press briefing. “There is no interest from the Israelis,” he added.

A senior Defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity per ground rules established by the Pentagon, echoed Kirby’s remarks in a separate briefing with reporters.

“We are consistently and continuously consulting with them on their needs. What they have asked of us is to expedite security systems so that they are able to defend themselves,” the official said.

— Amanda Macias

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *