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Day 18 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Tuesday, Oct. 24


On a solidarity visit Tuesday, France's president expressed support for Israel's fight against Hamas but warned against the risk of regional war as the humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate.

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):

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023

8:10 pm: Pentagon confirms 24 personnel hurt in rocket, drone attacks in Iraq, Syria

Twenty-four US personnel have been injured in at least 13 rocket and drone attacks in Syria and Iraq since Oct. 17, a US official confirmed to Al-Monitor. Twenty troops were injured in a drone attack on the Al-Tanf garrison on Oct. 18, the largest single incident of US troops being injured since attacks began amid Israel’s war in Gaza.

8:00 pm: Israeli army hits Syrian military targets

Israeli jets struck overnight several Syrian military targets and mortar-launching sites after rockets were fired from Syrian territory toward Israeli communities in the Golan Heights. Also overnight, Israeli troops exchanged fire in two incidents with armed Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin.

5:49 pm: Blinken backs ‘humanitarian pause’ in Gaza

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday endorsed a possible “humanitarian pause” in the fighting to protect civilians and allow for aid delivery in Gaza, marking the first time the Biden administration has publicly suggested a break in the hostilities. Elizabeth Hagedorn reports.

4:00 pm: Turkey’s foreign minister visits UAE

Turkey’s top diplomat Hakan Fidan visited the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday and will head to Qatar as Ankara seeks to expand its mediation role in the Israel-Hamas war. Ezgi Akin reports.

3:50 pm: Israeli army says it killed 6 Hamas divers 

The Israeli army said on Tuesday that it killed six Hamas divers who were trying to enter southern Israel from the sea. Hamas-affiliated news agency Safa reported Tuesday that a number of divers had successfully entered Israel and have been clashing with the IDF. 

2:50 pm: Saudi Arabia evacuates embassy staff, diplomats’ families from Lebanon

Saudi Arabia has evacuated the families of its diplomats and employees at its embassy in Beirut on two military planes, The Associated Press reported, citing Lebanese airport officials. The Saudi government did not immediately comment on the news.

The Saudi Embassy in Lebanon urged citizens to leave the country last week amid the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The US Embassy in Lebanon took similar action last week amid border clashes between Hezbollah and Israel.

Earlier on Tuesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and the lifting of the siege over the enclave.

2:30 pm: 13 attacks target US forces in Iraq, Syria

The US Department of Defense said on Tuesday that American and coalition troops in Iraq and Syria came under attack at least 13 times in the last week.

2:00 pm: Macron meets Abbas in Ramallah

French President Emmanuel Macron met with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday in Ramallah after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day. Macron stressed to Abbas the importance of maintaining humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The French president will head to Jordan on Wednesday to meet with King Abdullah II.

1:20 pm: Israel relayed to Russia ‘dissatisfaction’ over Hamas position

Israel has quietly expressed to Russia its displeasure over statements issued by Moscow on the Hamas war, a senior Israeli diplomatic source confirmed to Al-Monitor’s Rina Bassist.

12:00 pm: 33 Americans killed in Israel-Hamas war

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that the number of Americans killed in the Hamas attack now stands at 33.

11:53 am: Five Israelis wounded by rockets fired at Tel Aviv

Five Israelis were wounded in a barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at the Tel Aviv region. Rockets were also fired at the central Sharon region, the south of Israel and the West Bank.

10:00 am: Israel sees Gaza ground invasion as inevitable

With the Gaza war in its third week, Israeli security officials tell Al-Monitor that Israel will not necessarily wait for approval from the Biden administration to launch the ground offensive against Hamas, but that it is taking messages relayed by Washington very seriously. An insider read from Ben Caspit.

9:43 am: China calls on Israel to 'protect Chinese institutions'

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a call with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, during which the Chinese diplomat called for de-escalation and dialogue in the ongoing war in Gaza and urged Israel to “take effective measures to protect the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Israel,” according to a Tuesday readout.

China has criticized Israel’s conduct in the war but has not explicitly condemned Hamas. China has significant economic interests in Israel, including a port in Haifa. Adam Lucente reports.

8:12 am: Hospitals in Gaza at 'total collapse' as death toll reaches 5,791

Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry reported that 12 hospitals and 32 clinics have stopped operating due to airstrikes. Speaking at a press conference in Gaza City, ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said 12 hospitals in the territory are now out of service as the number of injured continues to increase. He added the Israeli bombardment since Oct. 7 has killed at least 5,791 Palestinians, including 2,360 children, and wounded 16,297 others.

5:51 am: Israeli airstrikes near Palestinian Red Crescent hospital in Gaza

Israeli airstrikes hit a residential house near a hospital affiliated with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Khan Yunis, leaving a number of deaths and injuries. The PRCS said in a post on X that Al-Amal hospital is sheltering more than 4,000 displaced people who fled northern Gaza.

2:15 am: Qatar's emir says no 'green light for unconditional killing' by Israel

Qatar's ruling Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani condemned Israel's indiscriminate bombardment of civilians in the Gaza Strip. "Israel should not be given a green light for unconditional killing," Sheikh Tamim said in a speech before Qatar's Shura Council. Doha hosts several senior Hamas officials.

1:30 am: Dozens killed in overnight Israeli raids across Gaza

At least 140 Palestinians were killed in a series of Israeli airstrikes that hit various areas of the Gaza Strip overnight, according to the Hamas-run government media office in Gaza. More than 5,000 Palestinians have been killed and at least 15,000 injured since the Hamas-Israel war erupted Oct. 7.

12:47 am: France’s Macron lands in Israel

French President Emmanuel Macron has landed in Israel for a solidarity visit. He will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and families of French nationals kidnapped by Hamas. Thirty French nationals have been killed by Hamas and seven are missing. 

12:21 am: Israeli army strikes 400 Hamas targets in last 24 hours

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the Israeli army attacked over 400 military targets in the Gaza Strip and killed several Hamas field commanders. Israeli air force jets struck dozens of infrastructural targets and various Hamas meeting points in the northern Gaza Strip neighborhoods of Shujaiya, Shati, Jabaliya, Darj Tafah and Zeitoun, as well as the entrance of a Hamas tunnel on the Gaza coast.

Click here for our most recent updates.

For our previous live coverage, see:

Day 17 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Monday, Oct. 23

Day 16 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Sunday, Oct. 22

Day 15 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Saturday, Oct. 21

Day 14 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Friday, Oct. 20

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

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