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Day 13 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Thursday, Oct. 19

American forces in the region came under drone attacks in both Syria and Iraq and a US destroyer in the region thwarted cruise missile attacks by Yemen's Houthis in the Red Sea.
RED SEA - MAY 10: In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Logistics Specialist 1st Class Ousseinou Kaba (left), from Silver Spring, Md., and Logistics Specialist Seaman Abigail Marshke, from Flint, Mich., attach cargo to an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the "Nightdippers" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) May 10, 2019 in the Red Sea. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group has been deployed to U.S. Cen

US President Joe Biden offered strong support for Israel in an address to the nation, vowing that Washington will not lot Hamas win. American forces in the region came under drone attacks in both Syria and Iraq and a US destroyer in the region thwarted cruise missile attacks by Yemen's Houthis in the Red Sea.

Rina Bassist, Ezgi Akin, Beatrice Farhat, Elizabeth Hagedorn, Adam Lucente, Jack Dutton, Jared Szuba and Al-Monitor’s contributors on the ground in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel contributed to this blog.

Click here for our most recent updates.

Live updates (all times EDT):

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023

8:00 pm: Biden says 'we cannot' let Hamas win

US President Joe Biden expressed emphatic support for Israel and Ukraine in an address on Thursday, linking the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Russian President Vladimir Putin as two sides who share a goal to "annihilate neighboring democracy." 

Biden added that he is determined to make sure Hamas does not win the war against Israel. "We cannot and will not let terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin win. I refuse to let that happen." Elizabeth Hagedorn reports.

5:45 pm: Oil prices rise after Iran embargo threat

The price of Brent crude oil, the benchmark for global prices, rose further on Thursday to more than $93 a barrel. The increase followed Iran calling for an oil embargo of Israel amid the war in Gaza, though OPEC will not necessarily go along with such an action. Adam Lucente reports.

5:00 pm: US destroyer downs cruise missiles fired by Iran-backed Houthis

The Pentagon confirmed on Thursday that the USS Carney destroyer had shot down three land-attack cruise missiles and several drones fired by the Iran-backed Houthi militant group in Yemen. The missiles “were launched from Yemen heading north along the Red Sea, potentially towards targets in Israel,” according to the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, a US civilian contractor was reported to have died of a “cardiac episode” while seeking shelter during a drone attack at al-Asad airbase in Iraq on Wednesday as Iran-backed militias have upped their attacks on US targets in Iraq and Syria. Jared Szuba reports.

3:00 pm: US troops injured in al-Tanf attack in Syria

US troops at al-Tanf garrison in southern Syria sustained “minor injuries” in a drone attack targeting their outpost on Wednesday, said a US official. Jared Szuba reports.

1:45 pm: IDF says fate of 100-200 people unknown

The Israeli Defense Forces said on Thursday that 100 to 200 people remain unaccounted for after the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, and it believes that more than the 203 hostages are being held in Gaza. Of those captive, an estimated 30 are minors and 10 to 20 are elderly. Most are being held by Hamas, according to the army, but some of the kidnapped could be held by Islamic Jihad or private individuals.

1:20 pm: Gaza in 'unprecedented catastrophe' as humanitarian trucks wait at Rafah

Hundreds of aid trucks waited Thursday near the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, prepared to deliver much-needed humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip following a US-Egyptian agreement to open it. The death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 3,700 people. Al-Monitor's Beatrice Farhat reports.

11:45 am: US issues ‘worldwide’ alert for citizens amid Israel-Hamas war

US citizens abroad are advised “to exercise increased caution,” the US State Department said in a new bulletin Thursday. The US Embassy in Lebanon also urged Americans wishing to leave the country to make plans “as soon as possible.” Elizabeth Hagedorn reports.

7:05 am: Gaza death toll rises to more than 3,700

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said at least 3,785 people have been killed, including 1,524 children and 1,000 women, in the Israeli bombardment of the coastal enclave. More than 12,493 have been injured. 

The ministry added that the health sector has been severely affected by the Israeli strikes since Oct. 7 that have left 44 health care workers dead. Four hospitals were forced to stop working, according to the ministry, in addition to 14 health centers across Gaza.

5:00 am: Anti-tank missiles fired from Lebanon toward settlement in northern Israel

Two Kornet missiles were fired from Lebanese territory toward the Manara settlement in northern Israel, the Lebanese state-run National News Agency reported. Israel responded by shelling the border village of Meiss al-Jabal in Lebanon's south. The Israeli military reported earlier that an anti-tank missile had been launched toward Manara without casualties.

2:34 am: Israeli airstrikes destroy four residential towers in Gaza

Israeli airstrikes hit four residential towers in al-Zahra, in the central Gaza Strip, completely destroying them, the Wafa news agency said, citing local sources. There was no mention of casualties. According to Wafa, the Israeli military had ordered the residents of the towers, which included 270 apartments, to evacuate prior to the shelling.

2:18 am: Scotland’s first minister proposes to take in Gaza refugees

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said he is willing to take in Gaza refugees. Nadia El-Nakla, Yousaf’s British Palestinian wife, told the Guardian Wednesday that her parents were trapped in the Gaza Strip with little food.

1:54 am: Russia sends 27 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza

Russia will deliver 27 tons of humanitarian aid to the people of the Gaza Strip, said its Foreign Ministry. The assistance consists mainly of food supplies including flour, sugar, rice and pasta. An Il-76 transport aircraft is already en route to the El-Arish airport in Egypt, the ministry said.

1:37 am: IDF says it killed military head of Gaza’s Popular Resistance Committees

Israeli military jets struck and killed Rafat Abu Hilal, head of the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, in an overnight operation, said IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari.

Hamas' radio station reported that Jamila al-Shanti, the widow of Hamas co-founder Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi and the first woman elected to Hamas’ political bureau, was also killed in an Israeli airstrike.

1:00 am: Israel bombs areas in southern Lebanon

Israeli warplanes struck several areas in the western part of Lebanon's southern border region, the Lebanese state-run National News Agency reported. No casualties or material damage was reported. According to the agency, Israeli warplanes were flying over the southern region after midnight, including over the city of Sidon, causing sonic booms.

Click here for our most recent updates.

For our previous live coverage, see:

Day 12 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Wednesday, Oct. 18

Day 11 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Tuesday, Oct. 17

Day 10 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Monday, Oct. 16

Day 9 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Sunday, Oct. 15

Day 8 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Saturday, Oct. 14

Day 7 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Friday, Oct. 13

Day 6 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Thursday, Oct. 12

Day 5 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Wednesday, Oct. 11

Day 4 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Tuesday, Oct. 10

Day 3 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Monday, Oct. 9

Day 2 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Sunday, Oct. 8

Day 1 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Saturday, Oct. 7