Israel-Hamas war live updates: France’s Macron proposes anti-IS coalition fights Hamas; Blinken to reaffirm ‘Israel’s right to defend itself’


Google disables live traffic conditions on Maps and Waze in Israel and Gaza

Google is disabling live traffic conditions in Israel and Gaza on its Maps and Waze apps, a spokesperson said Tuesday. The move comes as Israel is widely anticipated to embark on a ground invasion into Gaza.

“As we have done previously in conflict situations and in response to the evolving situation in the region, we have temporarily disabled the ability to see live traffic conditions and busyness information out of consideration for the safety of local communities,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

People traveling to a specific place will still get routes that take traffic conditions into account.

The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to comment about whether it requested the restriction.

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— Melina Khan

IDF chief says Gaza ground offensive delayed by tactical and strategic considerations

The Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff Herzi Halevi said Tuesday that its ground offensive into Gaza was being delayed by “tactical” and “strategic considerations,” according to local media reports.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference near the Gaza border, Halevi said that the IDF was poised to launch its highly-anticipated incursion, but noted that the time and shape of such an offensive was yet to be determined.

“We’ve prepared for this. The IDF and the Southern Command have prepared quality offensive plans to achieve the goals of the war,” he said.

“The IDF is ready for the [ground] maneuver, and we will make a decision with the political echelon regarding the shape and timing of the next stage,” Halevi says.

Israel has come under increasing pressure from the international community to temper its response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks as the humanitarian impact of the crisis escalates.

— Karen Gilchrist

Hamas official calls for halt to war on Gaza

Hamas on Tuesday called for a halt to the war on Gaza and pushed for the opening of humanitarian aid crossings, Reuters reported.

Speaking in a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, Hamas senior official Osama Hamdan urged Arab and Islamic countries and the United Nations to bring an end to Israel’s attack on Gaza. Israel’s continued aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip follows an Oct. 7 assault by the Palestinian militant group.

Hamdan also called on Arab countries to end the normalization of diplomatic ties with Israel.

— Karen Gilchrist

Antony Blinken says he will ‘reaffirm Israel’s right to defend itself’ at UN meeting

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives at the airport en route to Israel for crisis talks after a tour of Arab nationson October 16, 2023.

Jacquelyn Martin | Afp | Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he would “reaffirm Israel’s right to defend itself” at a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday.

Blinken, who has played a key role in diplomatic talks since the onset of the Israel-Hamas war, added in a post on social media that he would also discuss plans to stop the conflict from spreading as well as increasing humanitarian support for Gaza.

— Karen Gilchrist

Emirati businessman says likelihood of regional escalation appears low

Emirati billionaire businessman Hussain Sajwani said Tuesday that the chances of the Hamas-Israeli war escalating into a regional conflict currently appear low, but even that low probability is of concern to the region.

Sajwani, chairman of Dubai-based investment firm DAMAC Group, told CNBC that he believes the likelihood of a wider outbreak in the conflict currently stands around 5% to 10%.

“I hope this doesn’t get out of control, doesn’t become a regional war,” he said.

Sajwani, whose business interests include a vast property portfolio, added that he did not think the Dubai market would be significantly disrupted by the ongoing unrest.

“I don’t see the challenge for Dubai, I don’t see the challenge for the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]. I think hopefully it will get confined within an area, and I pray it gets over soon,” he added.

— Karen Gilchrist

IDF makes public appeal to Gazans to provide hostage information

The Israel Defense Forces have made a public appeal to the the people of Gaza to provide information about the location of the more than 200 hostages held by Hamas.

In a post on social media, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari urged residents of the besieged enclave to provide information on abductees. He added that a monetary and security would be provided in return.

“If you want a better future for you and your child, take action and give us as soon as possible solid and useful information regarding the abductees in your area. The Israeli army assures you that it will put forth maximum effort to provide you with security and your home, as well as a monetary reward. We guarantee you complete confidentiality.”

Reuters reported on Tuesday that IDF was also delivering leaflets across Gaza with similar pleas.

Hamas released two elderly hostages late Monday, taking the total number of captives freed to four.

— Karen Gilchrist

France’s Macron proposes anti-IS coalition fights Hamas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron (L) after their joint press conference in Jerusalem on October 24, 2023.

Christophe Ena | Afp | Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron proposed expanding an existing coalition that fights IS to also combat Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“This is why France is ready for the international coalition against Daesh, in which we are engaged for our operation in Iraq and Syria, to also fight against Hamas,” he said during a press briefing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a CNBC translation.

Macron arrived in Israel earlier in the day and has also met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

He references the 86-member Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh, established in September 2014 to dismantle IS and its financing and military infrastructure.

“Hamas is a terrorist group, where the very objective is the destruction of the Israeli state,” Macron said Tuesday.

“I propose to our international partners, I mentioned it to you this morning, that we can build a regional and international coalition to fight against the terrorist group that threatens all of us.”

Macron reiterated that the battle against Hamas must be fought “without mercy, but not without rules,” urging no civilian deaths and respect for international laws governing warfare.

Ruxandra Iordache

‘I went through hell’: Hostage released by Hamas speaks on the abduction

Released hostage Yocheved Lifshitz, previously held by Hamas, speaks to the media on Oct. 24, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Alexi J. Rosenfeld | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Eighty-five-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz, one of two Israeli hostages released by Hamas on Monday, has spoken out about her abduction during the Oct. 7 multi-pronged terror attacks carried out by the Palestinian group.

In a press briefing, she said she was taken captive on a motorbike, beaten with sticks and taken to a network of tunnels like “spiderwebs,” according to a NBC News translation.

“I went through hell,” she said.

She added that captives were treated “well” and looked after at the site where they were held, as well as supplied with medical treatment and medication.

Lifshitz’s daughter said her father remains a hostage of Hamas and called for his release.

The Israel Defense Forces estimate roughly 222 people were taken captive during the Hamas offensive. Only four people, including Lifshitz, have been released to date.

Ruxandra Iordache

UN relief agency says it is unable to offer aid after Wednesday without fuel

The United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) will be unable to carry out aid operations after Wednesday night without fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip, Director Thomas White said.

“The key message is: we need fuel to come into Gaza otherwise the aid operation, clean drinking water, hospitals operating — will come to a close on Wednesday night,” White said in a TV interview with Al Jazeera.

“We’re providing fuel now to run desalination plants for drinking water. It’s keeping [Intensive Care] units operating in hospitals, it’s enabling us to distribute aid. The reality is even if a convoy comes into Gaza, if we don’t have fuel for our trucks, we won’t be able to pick it up,” he added, noting that no fuel has crossed the border into the Gaza Strip, despite the trickle of humanitarian aid deliveries traversing the Rafah Crossing from Egypt since the weekend.

UNRWA, which has been sheltering and distributing aid to Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday said 35 of its staff members have been killed since the start of the Israeli-Hamas conflict.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israel does not want war with Hezbollah, Israeli president says

Israel does not want a war with militant group Hezbollah, but Lebanon will “pay the price” if the two countries are pitted into such an altercation, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said.

Speaking at a press briefing with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron, Herzog said, “We are following very closely the situation with Lebanon. I think Hezbollah is playing with fire … And I want to make clear, we are not looking for a confrontation in our northern border with anyone else, we are focused on destroying Hamas infrastructure and bringing our citizens back home, but if Hezbollah will drag us into war, it should be clear that Lebanon will pay the price.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog addresses a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress at the U.S. Capitol on July 19, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Israel has been trading fire with Hezbollah since the Oct. 7 terror attacks perpetrated by Palestinian militant group Hamas. Hezbollah cites solidarity with the Palestinian people and retaliation for Israel killing several of the group’s members. As a result of the hostilities, Israel has had to evacuate several settlements near the border with Lebanon, raising concerns over the possibility of its conflict with Hamas spreading out into the broader Middle Eastern region.

Both Hamas and Hezbollah have historically benefitted from the support of Iran, who praised the early-October Hamas offensive, but denied involvement.

“Lebanon cannot be a sovereign member of the international community, its citizens carrying a Lebanese passport, but when it comes to attacking Israel, they are not responsible,” Herzog said Tuesday.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military says it struck over 400 Hamas targets in extensive 24-hour operation

The Israel Defense Force said it carried out a large-scale operation that struck over 400 targets of Palestinian militant group Hamas in the past 24 hours, according to a social media update.

The targets included Hamas gunmen setting up rocket fire, an operational tunnel shaft allowing infiltration of Israel through the sea, command centers and staging armament, according to the IDF.

CNBC could not independently verify developments on the ground.

The IDF is conducting an extensive campaign to dismantle Hamas military capabilities in the Gaza Strip, following the group’s multi-pronged terrorist attack of Oct. 7.

Ruxandra Iordache

France’s Macron reiterates solidarity with Israel amid visit

French President Emmanuel Macron in Pairs on Oct. 18, 2023.

Chesnot | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Thirty French nationals were killed in the Hamas terror attacks of Oct. 7, with nine others still missing or held hostage by the Palestinian militant group, French President Emmanuel Macron said on social media, amid a visit to Israel.

“We are bound to Israel through grief,” he said, according to a CNBC translation. “In Tel Aviv, alongside their families, I expressed the solidarity of the nation.”

Macron landed in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Reuters reported, and is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog over the course of the day.

A spate of high-profile Western politicians have journeyed to Israel to show solidarity since last week, including U.S. President Joe Biden.

Ruxandra Iordache

The Bank of Israel should and will ‘place a lot of weight’ on stabilizing the market: Former governor

Karnit Flug, former Bank of Israel governor and vice president of research at the Israel Democracy Institute, discusses what the central bank should do in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war.

Bank of Israel should and will 'place a lot of weight' on stabilizing the market: Former governor

China urges Israel to abide by international humanitarian law in its self defense

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at a press briefing during the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on October 18, 2023.

Wang Zhao | Afp | Getty Images

China urged Israel to abide by international humanitarian law and to protect the safety of civilians in its war with the Hamas militant group, calling for peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in “major choices between war and peace.”

“Every country has the right to self-defense, but every country should abide by international humanitarian law and protect the safety of civilians,” China Foreign Minister Wang Yi was reported to have told his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen in a call on Monday.

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— Clement Tan

Obama warns that ignoring human cost in war could ‘ultimately backfire’

Former U.S. President Barack Obama cautioned that “any Israeli military strategy that ignores the human costs could ultimately backfire.”

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Former U.S. President Barack Obama has called for restraint in the Israel-Hamas war.

“The world is watching closely as events in the region unfold, and any Israeli military strategy that ignores the human costs could ultimately backfire,” Obama warned in a blog post.

He emphasized his support for the Jewish state and its right to protect its citizens, saying: “I fully support President Biden’s call for the United States to support our long-time ally in going after Hamas.”

“But even as we support Israel, we should also be clear that how Israel prosecutes this fight against Hamas matters,” Obama said, highlighting that Israel must abide by international rules, “including those laws that seek to avoid, to every extent possible, the death or suffering of civilian populations.”

“This is an enormously difficult task. War is always tragic, and even the most carefully planned military operations often put civilians at risk,” he acknowledged.

“The Israeli government’s decision to cut off food, water and electricity to a captive civilian population threatens not only to worsen a growing humanitarian crisis; it could further harden Palestinian attitudes for generations, erode global support for Israel, play into the hands of Israel’s enemies, and undermine long term efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region,” he warned.

Joanna Tan

Clean water shortages a ‘major concern’ in the Gaza Strip, U.N. humanitarian agency says

Clean water shortages remain a “major concern” in the Gaza Strip, as humanitarian aid supplies start to trickle into the besieged enclosure, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its latest update.

“The shortage of clean potable water, alongside water consumption from unsafe sources, remains a major concern,” OCHA said.

“On 23 October, the Rafah crossing with Egypt opened for the third consecutive day, allowing the entry of 20 trucks carrying food, water and medical supplies. This is equivalent to about four per cent of the daily average volume of commodities entering Gaza prior to the hostilities. None of the aid shipments have included desperately needed fuel to power hospitals and water facilities.”

Deprived of Israeli resources, the Gaza Strip began receiving humanitarian assistance over the weekend, as U.N.-brokered truck convoys entered the territory through the Rafah crossing from Egypt.

The U.N. agency drew further alarm bells over the overcrowding of hospitals in the Gaza Strip, with the Shifa facility — the largest in the area — currently treating 5,000 patients, or over seven times more than its capacity of 700 patients.

OCHA estimates there are now 1.4 million internally displaced persons in the Gaza Strip, of whom 590,000 people are taking cover in the shelters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees group.

Ruxandra Iordache

Hamas hostage release is an attempt to ‘buy time,’ IDF spokesperson says

The “cynical” Monday release of two Israeli hostages is a bid by Palestinian militant group Hamas to buy time and does not lay the foundation of a cease-fire, an Israeli spokesperson said overnight.

“Hamas is doing what we are anticipating they would do: very cynical, psychological warfare, trying to bide for time, buy time, by using the release, the slow drip release of some of the hostages,” Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Jonathan Conricus told NBC News in a TV interview, stressing that all of the 222 hostages abducted by Hamas on Oct. 7 must be returned.

Hamas released two hostages on Monday, bringing the combined count to four. The IDF did not play a part in negotiating the captives’ return, according to Conricus.

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

Jalaa Marey | Afp | Getty Images

Asked whether Hamas’ Monday concession paved the path to a cease-fire, the IDF spokesperson said, “I am not aware of any such discussions. The only thing I am aware of is troops ready on the ground, air force striking Hamas targets from the air, and an elevated sense of understanding within the IDF that there is a tremendous task at hand that needs to be done.”

The IDF has been accruing forces at the border with the Gaza Strip enclave, in preparation for a long-anticipated ground incursion that some have begun to question whether U.S. diplomacy could deter.

“Our ground forces are ready to commence significant military operations in Gaza and to bring the fight to Hamas on their home turf, whenever we will get the directive from the war cabinet, that will commence,” Conricus said, adding there is “very close coordination, both on the military and on the strategic international level between Israel and the U.S,” specifically to prevent a spillover of the Israel-Hamas conflict into the broader Middle East.

Ruxandra Iordache

Two elderly Israeli hostages arrive in Tel Aviv after their release

One of the freed hostages in a wheelchair disembarks from a military helicopter after landing on the roof of Ichilov Hospital.

Picture Alliance | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Two Israeli women who were kidnapped and subsequently freed by Hamas, landed in Tel Aviv, Israel early Tuesday.

An Israeli military helicopter carrying Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, arrived on the rooftop of Ichilov hospital, according to Reuters footage.

One of them was seen in a wheelchair while the other was carried out on a stretcher.

The military wing of Hamas said in a statement on Telegram that the women were released for “compelling humanitarian” reasons. The Israel Defense Forces has previously said the militant group is “trying to present itself as a humanitarian organization to the world” by the release of hostages.

Hamas militants massacred 1,400 people, including babies, women and elderly, and kidnapped more than 200 people from Israel in their Oct. 7 rampage. Little is known about their well-being and whereabouts.

The militants have so far released four hostages.

Joanna Tan

Third aid convoy enters Gaza, UN warns fuel about to run out

A third convoy of humanitarian aid trucks delivered water, food and medicine to the besieged Gaza Strip on Monday, but the United Nations warned that fuel was not included and reserves will run out within the next two days.

Humanitarian deliveries through the Rafah crossing from Egypt began on Saturday after wrangling over procedures for inspecting the aid and bombardments on the Gaza side of the border had left relief materials stranded in Egypt.

Reuters

Not the time for a ceasefire in Israel-Hamas conflict, says White House’s Kirby

This is not the time for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas militants, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told CNN on Monday.

“We don’t believe that this is the time for a ceasefire,” he said. “Israel has a right to defend themselves. They still have work to do to go after Hamas leadership.”

Reuters

Israel says the two hostages released by Hamas will receive medical treatment and see family shortly

Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, who was held as hostage by Palestinian Hamas militants, is seen in this handout picture obtained by Reuters on October 23, 2023, as Hamas announced she was going to be released.

Hostages And Missing Families | via Reuters

A spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office confirmed that Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yochaved Lifshitz, 85, were released by Hamas after being taken hostage for a little over two weeks.

“After being handed over to the Israeli Defense Forces, they are making their way at this time to a medical center in Israel that was organized and specially prepared to receive them. Their family members will be waiting for them there,” Netanyahu’s office wrote in a statement.

Nurit Cooper, 79, who was held as hostage by Palestinian Hamas militants, is seen in this handout picture obtained by Reuters on October 23, 2023, as Hamas announced she would be released.

Hostages And Missing Families Forum | via Reuters

“We thank Egypt for the assistance and the Red Cross for their important role as life savers. The Government of Israel, the IDF and the entire security establishment will continue to operate with the best of their abilities and efforts in order to locate all of the missing and return all of the abductees home,” the statement added.

— Amanda Macias

CNBC’s previous coverage





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