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Day 21 of Hamas-Israel war blog: Friday, Oct. 27

Smoke and fire rise from buildings as people gather amid the destruction in the aftermath of an Israeli strike on Gaza City on Oct. 26, 2023, as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group.

As the Israeli army announced the expansion Friday evening, Palestinian media and an internet watchdog noted a complete "collapse of connectivity" in communications within Gaza.

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):

Friday, Oct. 27, 2023

4:10 pm: United Nations General Assembly votes in favor of 'humanitarian truce' in Gaza

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution calling for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza by a vote of 120-14. There were 45 abstentions to the resolution, which was introduced by 22 Arab nations. 

The body rejected an amendment offered by Canada and backed by the United States condemning the Hamas "terror attacks” on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7 and demanding the release of Israelis taken hostage by the group.

1:20 pm: IDF confirms Israel expanding attacks on northern Gaza, says Hamas headquarters under Gaza’s Shifa Hospital

Israel is expanding its strikes against terror infrastructure and underground targets in the northern Gaza Strip, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said on Friday night, adding that troops are also "expanding their ground activities." The news comes after the IDF published intelligence on Friday claiming that Hamas’ main operation base is located under Gaza’s Shifa Hospital.

Hamas denied it is using Shifa Hospital for military purposes. The group called the accusation a “lie” in a statement, the Hamas-affiliated Safa news agency reported.

The Palestinian Authority’s WAFA news agency reported that “unprecedented” Israeli airstrikes led to the “complete interruption” of internet and other communications services in the Gaza Strip, citing the Palestine Telecommunications Company (Paltel).

The internet watchdog NetBlocks tweeted that there is a “collapse in connectivity” in the enclave, including a “high impact” to Paltel. The company is the last major internet provider in Gaza amid the war, according to NetBlocks.

12:30 pm: Massive Israeli airstrikes hit northern Gaza

The Israeli air force is conducting massive strikes against targets in the northern Gaza Strip, reports Israel’s public broadcaster Kan. Hamas, for its part, fired an intense rocket barrage at central and southern Israel on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army confirmed on Friday that it had conducted a limited ground incursion overnight near the Shujaiya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, the second night in a row the IDF briefly entered the enclave.

11:40 am: Starbucks targeted by boycott, sit-ins in Turkey amid protests against Israel

As Turkey’s state-run rail company announced a boycott on Starbucks products, the ruling Justice and Development Party followed suit and organized sit-in protests at the coffee chain’s stores around the country. Read Ezgi Akin’s report.

9:20 am: More than 7,300 people killed in Gaza since Oct. 7

At least 7,326 people have been killed and more than 18,967 injured since Oct. 7 amid Israel's aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in the enclave. Among those killed were 3,038 children and 1,792 women, according to the ministry.

8:00 am: Several Israelis injured in Hamas rocket attacks on Tel Aviv

Three Israelis were injured Friday from a direct rocket hit on an apartment building in Tel Aviv. Hamas fired several rocket barrages at central and southern Israel Friday, most of which were intercepted by Israel’s missile defense systems. Meanwhile, the United States said this week that it will send additional missile defense interceptors “so Israel can sustain their Iron Dome defense systems and protect their citizens and cities.”

7:13 am: US slaps new round of sanctions on Hamas, IRGC members

The US Treasury Department imposed a series of sanctions against officials and financial entities linked to the Palestinian Hamas movement. The action constitutes the second round of sanctions against Hamas since it launched its surprise attack against Israel earlier this month. The Treasury Department also targeted a Hamas official based in Iran and members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “We will not hesitate to take action to further degrade Hamas’s ability to commit horrific terrorist attacks by relentlessly targeting its financial activities and streams of funding,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. Elizabeth Hagedorn reports.

5:45 am: 10 doctors, 10 aid trucks enter Gaza via Rafah crossing

A medical team consisting of 10 foreign doctors, along with 10 trucks carrying humanitarian assistance, mainly food, water and medicine, entered the Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing, a border official told Reuters. A total of 84 aid trucks have crossed into Gaza since the opening of the crossing point last weekend, as the Israeli bombardment of the besieged enclave continues amid a worsening humanitarian situation.

3:39 am: Projectiles fall on Egyptian Red Sea town

A projectile fell on the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Nuweiba, Egyptian security sources told Reuters. Authorities are currently looking into the incident, the sources said. The incident comes hours after a missile fired in the Hamas-Israel escalation hit a medical facility in Taba, another Egyptian resort town about 220 km (135 miles) from the Gaza Strip. The missile left at least six people injured, according to local reports. The Israeli army said an aerial threat was detected over Taba that might have originated from the Red Sea area, in reference to Yemen. Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said later on Friday that it regretted harm caused to Egyptian security forces as a result of projectiles "launched by the Houthi terrorist organization with the intention of harming Israel." Adam Lucente reports.

1:20 am: Will Lebanon's Hezbollah change rules of engagement on Israel to aid Hamas?

On Oct. 7, Hamas had launched its unprecedented attack on Israeli communities bordering Gaza, killing and injuring thousands and capturing over 200 people to hold as hostages in Gaza.

From the start, it became clear to Hezbollah — and to the Iran-backed armed groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and the Palestinian territories — that Hamas wouldn’t be able to handle the situation alone. 

At this point, however, it remains unclear what the current situation will ultimately mean for Hezbollah's rules of engagement on the Israel-Lebanon border. Read more.

1:17 am: Israeli troops go on a second, limited raid into northern Gaza

The Israeli army staged a second, limited raid overnight in the Gaza Strip, striking Hamas operatives and sites, said the IDF. The infantry and armored forces, operating under the cover of air force drones and combat helicopters, conducted raids near the Shuja’iyya neighborhood, in eastern Gaza City.

Click here for our most recent updates.