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

On the third day of our live coverage, Israel called up reservists and was preparing for a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip.
Amir Levy/Getty Images
Last Updated: 4 months 3 weeks ago

Israel has called in 300,000 reservists in preparation for a ground offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and has laid siege to the Palestinian enclave, cutting off its access to electricity, water and fuel.

The operation that appears to be imminent comes two days after Hamas carried out a surprise attack inside Israel, followed by a barrage of rockets from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes that have killed at least 900 Israelis and 687 Palestinians.

The US government confirmed on Monday the deaths of nine citizens in Israel, adding that there are other Americans whose whereabouts are unknown.

On Saturday, militants from the group fired more than 3,000 rockets toward the Jewish state, entered southern Israeli towns and took more than 100 hostages. Thousands on both sides were wounded.

With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing “mighty vengeance” against Hamas and Gaza militants, Israel has carried out 800 airstrikes since Saturday’s attack.

But with dozens of Israelis captured and believed to be in Gaza, the plans for a ground invasion are increasingly complicated. The leader of the Islamic Jihad movement said that his group is looking for a prisoner swap.

The United States has thrown its support behind the Israeli government and the Pentagon has dispatched the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group, which includes the guided missile cruiser USS Normandy and four guided missile destroyers, to the eastern Mediterranean.

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):

Monday, Oct. 9, 2023

11:04 pm: Blinken speaks with Israeli, French counterparts

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the Hamas attack first with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and then with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna. Blinken said on X, "I spoke with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen about how the US is supporting Israel as it defends itself against Hamas’ terrorist attack and reaffirmed efforts to secure the immediate release of all hostages." Colonna said that in their meeting, she and Blinken "reiterated our total condemnation of the terrorist acts committed by Hamas against Israel."

9:04 pm: Military leaders of Israel, US discuss Hamas attack

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi spoke with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Brown Jr. The Pentagon said the two discussed Hamas' attack and steps to strengthen US military posture in the region. IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said, "We are receiving all the assistance from them — full intelligence synchronization for all the theaters of war and full operational coordination with United States Central Command forces. The Americans have placed assets here, with ships that can protect and carry aircrafts. American deterrence against distant arenas is important." Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Sunday that the United States will supply Israel with urgently needed military equipment and that the USS Gerald Ford carrier and other American war ships are on their way to the Mediterranean Sea.

5:52 pm: IDF says it has struck 1,707 targets in Gaza 

The Israeli army said that since the beginning of the war up to 8:00 pm Monday local time, it had struck 1,707 targets in Gaza. They include 475 rocket-array targets, 73 combat-and-terror-management targets, 24 strategic military infrastructure sites and 22 underground targets. The IDF also said that the Israeli navy is currently striking Hamas targets on the Gaza Strip shore.

5:44 pm: US, UK, France, Italy and Germany issue joint statement supporting Israel 

The United States, Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany issued a joint statement Monday evening condemning Hamas’ terror attack and expressing support for Israel and its right to defend itself. The statement, which came after a telephone conversation between the leaders of the five countries, stated, "We — President Macron of France, Chancellor Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Meloni of Italy, Prime Minister Sunak of the United Kingdom and President Biden of the United States — express our steadfast and united support to the State of Israel and our unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its appalling acts of terrorism." 

The statement went on, "Our countries will support Israel in its efforts to defend itself and its people against such atrocities." The five leaders stressed that Hamas does not represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people, saying the organization "offers nothing for the Palestinian people other than more terror and bloodshed."

5:22 pm: Saudi Arabia working to stop escalation, MBS tells PA's Abbas

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call that the kingdom is working to “stop the ongoing escalation” in Gaza, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. Abbas thanked him for Saudi Arabia’s “support of the Palestinian people,” the Palestinian Authority’s WAFA news agency reported.

Later on Monday, MBS spoke to Jordan’s King Abdullah II on the situation in Gaza, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

Saudi Arabia has been in US-supported talks to establish relations with Israel in recent months.

4:17 pm: Biden says 11 Americans killed, likely US hostages

President Joe Biden said at least 11 US citizens were among those killed in the unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel, and other Americans are likely held hostage by the Palestinian militant group. “Sadly, we now know that at least 11 American citizens were among those killed — many of whom made a second home in Israel,” Biden said in a statement.

Earlier Monday, a spokesperson for Biden’s National Security Council confirmed nine US citizens had been killed in the deadliest attack on Israel in decades. “While we are still working to confirm, we believe it is likely that American citizens may be among those being held by Hamas,” Biden said.

He said he has directed his team to “work with their Israeli counterparts on every aspect of the hostage crisis,” including sharing intelligence.

Read the full story here. 

3:55 pm: Thousands march in Paris in support of Israel 

Thousands of people marched Monday evening in Paris from Victor Hugo Square to Trocadero Square in support of Israel. The march was organized by the CRIF, the umbrella organization for French Jews. 

Earlier in the day, leaders of the CRIF and other Jewish organizations met with French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin to discuss reinforcement of protection around Jewish institutions in the country. 

Darmanin warned that France would accept no attack against French Jews and that "attacking French Jews is attacking the Republic." Twenty antisemitic incidents have been reported in France since the attack by Hamas, including threats to synagogues, said Darmanin. He also said that 44 investigations have been opened into online hate speech.

The Eiffel Tower was lit Monday night with the colors of the Israeli flag in solidarity with the people of Israel and the victims of the Hamas attack. Earlier in the day, the French Foreign Ministry said that two French nationals were killed in the attack.

3:51 pm: Pentagon can’t confirm WSJ report on Iran’s role in Hamas attack 

The US Defense Department has no information corroborating the specifics of The Wall Street Journal’s report that Iran greenlit Hamas’ assault, a senior defense official told reporters on Monday, echoing previous statements by other Biden administration officials from other agencies, including top US diplomat Antony Blinken.

The Wall Street Journal’s report that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps helped Hamas plan Saturday’s assault has not been corroborated by other prominent news organizations.

3:50 pm: Egypt’s Sisi discusses de-escalation with Saudi crown prince, Turkey’s Erdogan

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi discussed the latest in the Israel-Gaza war with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Sisi and Mohammed bin Salman agreed on the importance of “self-restraint” and “voice of reason” in the ongoing Hamas-Israel war, according to a readout by the Egyptian presidency.

Sisi and Erdogan, meanwhile, discussed the steps that can be taken to de-escalate the situation, the Turkish presidency said.

Egypt had brokered prisoner swap talks between Israel and Hamas in 2020, but the talks failed. Cairo had also been one of the brokers of the 2011 prisoner exchange between the two sides that saw the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in return for the freedom of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

3:39 pm: Hamas’ military wing rejects negotiations ‘under fire’

Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson Abu Obeida said the Palestinian militant group would “not negotiate the issue of prisoners [while] under fire,” Al Jazeera reported. 

Separately, senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk told the network that Hamas is open to discussions over a truce once the militant group “achieved its targets.” 

Earlier Monday, al-Qassam Brigades said it would execute one Israeli hostage for each unannounced Israeli airstrike on civilians in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials say Israeli strikes have left more than 600 dead in the coastal territory.

3:11 p.m. Hezbollah says it struck Israeli military

The Lebanese military organization Hezbollah said that it struck two Israeli military positions after three Hezbollah fighters were killed in Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon, the Hezbollah-affiliated news outlet Al-Manar reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier on Monday that reinforcing Israel’s defenses to the north is a priority for the country. There has been cross-border fire between Israel and Lebanon in the past two days.

3:00 pm: European Union to 'review' aid to Palestinians after first saying it was suspending it

The European Commission announced Monday evening it was "launching an urgent review of the EU's assistance for Palestine." The commission added that the objective of this review is to "ensure that no EU funding indirectly enables any terrorist organization to carry out attacks against Israel." The announcement came hours after a statement by Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi that the EU was "immediately" suspending all of its development aid for Palestinians, a sum of $730 million. According to Haaretz, Ireland and Luxembourg claimed that the commission was not authorized to unilaterally make such a decision. European foreign ministers will discuss the escalation in the Middle East on Tuesday in Muscat, Oman, as part of the 27th EU-GCC Joint Council.

2:55 p.m. Gaza death toll rises to 687

The Palestinian Authority reported that the death toll from Israel’s strikes on Gaza has risen to 687, in addition to around 3,800 injured, according to the PA’s official news agency WAFA.

Israel has struck hundreds of targets throughout the Gaza Strip since Saturday following Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel.

WAFA further reported that 17 Palestinians have been killed and more than 90 others wounded in the West Bank in confrontations with Israel.

2:48 pm: Netanyahu pledges to crush Hamas the way the West crushed ISIS 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel "will crush Hamas the way the enlightened world defeated Daesh." Speaking on TV, Netanyahu said that he has set five goals for the coming days: clearing all the towns and villages from attackers; proceeding to a massive offensive of a magnitude never seen before; reinforcing Israel's defense on the other fronts — namely against Hezbollah in the north, the West Bank and inside Israel; expanding international support to Israel; and reuniting Israeli citizens. 

"We have just started to strike Hamas. The pictures of the destruction are just the beginning," warned Netanyahu. He also warned Israelis to be careful of fake news. 

2:30 pm: 100 bodies discovered near kibbutz

The bodies of 108 Israelis were found near Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel, Israeli media reported, citing the Zaka search and rescue group.

The kibbutz was home to some 1,000 residents and is located less than 3 miles from the eastern border with Gaza. Earlier Monday, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said the Be’eri community was “very badly hit” during the Hamas assault on Saturday.

After an 18-hour standoff, Israeli security forces on Sunday freed roughly 50 hostages held inside a dining room of the kibbutz.

2:30 pm: Turkey’s Erdogan maintains cautious tone, urges Israel, Hamas to end hostilities

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan maintained his neutral stance on the Israel-Hamas war on Monday, calling on both sides to end hostilities.        
“We ask Israel to stop its bombardments of Palestinian lands and the Palestinians to stop their harassment of civilian settlements in Israel,” he said. “This step will open the door to peace. Today is the day that requires one to act in common sense and with human conscience, not in an impulsive way,” he added. 

Erdogan added that his country was making preparations to supply humanitarian aid that the people in Gaza would need. He also said that his country is ready to mediate on all issues, including a potential prisoner exchange between the warring sides should the parties involved demand.

2:10 pm: Israel reports launches from southern Lebanon

The IDF reported several launches of unspecified objects from southern Lebanon. There were no casualties, according to a tweet. The IDF said earlier on Monday that its helicopters carried out raids in Lebanon. Cross-border fire was exchanged between Israel and Lebanon on Sunday.

1:40 pm: Biden receives updates from national security team

President Joe Biden met with members of his national security team, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and principal deputy national security adviser Jon Finer, for updates on the Israel-Gaza conflict on Monday morning.

“He directed his team to follow up on coordination with Israel on all aspects of the crisis and to continue their work with regional partners to warn anyone who might seek to take advantage in this situation,” the White House said in a statement.

Biden is expected to hold calls with several close US allies later Monday.

1:32 pm: Israel's Home Front Command instructs citizens to stock up on food, medicine

Israel's Home Front Command, which is responsible for civilian defense, issued new instructions for Israeli citizens, asking them to be ready for various situations.

"You must prepare equipment that will allow you and your family to stay in the protected area for up to 72 hours," they read, "which should include a 3-liter supply of water per person, a supply of dry and canned food, battery flashlights, means of receiving alerts and updates (battery-operated radio and portable batteries for mobile phones), medicines and first aid kit, personal documents and cash, equipment for babies or animals."

1:20 pm: IDF says Israel clearing southern region of assailants

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari says Israel is completing the clearing of Hamas assailants from southern Israel and has information on almost all the Israelis taken hostage in Gaza.

Speaking at a press conference, Hagari said that IDF soldiers are still going from house to house in the villages and towns close to the Gaza border, searching for attackers. “There are no terrorists crossing the fence from Gaza into Israel,” he said.

1:08 pm: Hamas threatens to kill hostages if airstrikes continue

A spokesperson for Hamas’ military wing said the group will execute Israeli hostages if Israel’s strikes against the Gaza Strip continue.

“Every targeting of our people safe in their homes without prior warning, we will meet it with the execution of our civilian hostages and we will broadcast it with audio and video,” Abu Obeida of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said.

More than 100 hostages are believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza following the group’s incursion into Israel on Saturday.

12:50 pm: Israeli foreign minister warns Hamas on hostages

Israel’s chief diplomat warned Hamas against harming the hostages taken by the Gaza-based militants during their attack on Israel.  

“There are many Israelis and also others from different nationalities who are held hostage,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told reporters during a Zoom briefing.

"We demand Hamas not to harm any of the hostages," Cohen said, adding that “this war crime will not be forgiven.”

IDF spokesperson Maj. Libby Weiss added that Israel is committed to doing “whatever is possible” to rescue the hostages, regardless of their home country.

12:43 pm: Arab Israeli legislator calls on Palestinian groups to release Israeli hostages

Arab Israeli Knesset member Mansour Abbas called on the Palestinian groups in Gaza to release the Israelis they are holding, “especially since we are talking about children and the elderly.”

Interviewed on Israel’s public broadcaster Kan, Abbas said, “My position is a humanitarian one. We are ready to be part of the sides working on this file of releasing the prisoners.”

12:42 pm: UN head Guterres condemns Hamas attack, criticizes Israel’s Gaza siege

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticized both Hamas’ and Israel’s conduct in the ongoing conflict in remarks to the media.

Guterres began his speech by condemning what he described as the “abhorrent” attack carried out by Hamas and others against Israel.

“I recognize the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people, but nothing can justify these acts of terror and the killing, maiming and abduction of civilians,” he said, adding that the Israeli hostages should be released.

Guterres also criticized Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

“While I recognize Israel’s legitimate security concerns, I also remind Israel that military operations must be conducted in strict accordance with international humanitarian law,” he said, referencing reports that Israeli strikes have hit residential buildings.

Guterres added that he is “deeply distressed” by Israel’s announcement of a siege of the Gaza Strip, and urged all sides to allow the UN to deliver humanitarian supplies to the enclave.

Regarding internal displacement within Gaza, Guterres said there are currently 137,000 people sheltering at UN facilities.

12:30 pm: Scotland’s leader says in-laws trapped in Gaza

Scotland’s leader Humza Yousaf said his wife’s parents are trapped in Gaza as they were unable to leave the Palestinian enclave after Hamas’ attack on Israel on Saturday.

“They can’t leave, Gaza is under a blockade,” Yousaf told the BBC, adding that his in-laws were visiting their family members in Gaza at the time of the attack.

“Even with the assistance of the Foreign Office, they cannot guarantee any safe passage to any of the borders. Therefore, you can imagine my wife and I are sick with worry about whether or not, frankly, our parents — my in-laws — will survive,” he added.

Yousaf became the first Muslim leader of Scotland in March.

12:17 pm: At least 800 Israelis, 560 Palestinians have died since fighting began

Some 2,616 Israelis have been treated at hospitals since the beginning of the fighting on Saturday, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

The ministry said 578 people are currently hospitalized, including 157 in serious condition, 259 in moderate condition and 161 with light injuries.

Over 2,700 Palestinians have been wounded in the fighting, according to officials in Gaza.

11:55 am: Turkish president urges Israel's Herzog to avoid indiscriminate attacks on Gaza

During a phone call, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog to avoid steps that would further escalate the violence in Gaza.

“Any step that would harm the people of Gaza collectively and indiscriminately would further increase the suffering and violence in the region,” stated the Turkish presidency in a readout.

Erdogan stressed that restoring calm in the region as soon as possible was of great importance for the well-being of the Middle East.

Herzog, in turn, stressed that his country would protect its citizens and do everything it could to return the Israelis held hostage in the Gaza Strip, an Israeli readout of the call noted.

Herzog also thanked Erdogan for expressing his condolences. “The President of Turkey said he shared in the terrible grief of the citizens of Israel following the horrific massacre that took place on the Jewish holiday,” according to the Israeli readout.

Erdogan also held phone conversations on Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Lebanon’s Najib Mikati amid rising tensions between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Erdogan told Abbas that his country was doing everything in its power for calm to be restored in the region, the Turkish presidency said.

11:50 am: Leaders of France, Germany, Italy, UK to speak with Biden 

French President Emmanuel Macron said that he and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will hold a conference call Monday evening with President Joe Biden to discuss Israel and Gaza.

Meeting with European leaders in Hamburg, Germany, Macron said, “Germany and France are indeed together on the side of the people in Israel in this tragic moment.” 

Macron has spoken on the phone twice with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since Saturday’s Hamas attack began. He also spoke on the phone with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, expressing solidarity with Israel and supporting its right to defend itself.

11:50 am: Israel-Turkey flight prices surge as many flee war

Flight prices from Israel’s international airports to Turkey have risen by more than 600% over the past two days as people escape the country amid the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Flight prices from Israel to Turkey, which were around $180 before the war, have risen to as high as $1,300 as of Monday.

Thousands of passengers departing Israeli airports arrived in Istanbul as well as Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Antalya on Monday, Turkish news outlets reported.

Dozens of countries are evacuating their citizens from Israel since Hamas’ surprise attack early on Saturday and the ensuing escalation, which also disrupted international flights from and to Israel, causing major delays. More than 800 Israelis and at least 510 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting broke out. Thousands more have been wounded on both sides, and dozens of Israelis have been taken hostage in the Gaza Strip.

11:45 am: Dozens of foreign nationals killed in escalation

Dozens of foreign nationals have been killed in the war between Hamas and Israel including 9 Americans, 12 Thai, 10 Nepali and 2 French citizens. Many more are missing and feared captured. Adam Lucente and Rina Bassist have the latest toll here.

11:34 am: Hezbollah member reported killed in Israeli bombing

One Hezbollah member was killed in Israeli bombardment in Lebanon’s south, a reporter for Reuters tweeted. Neither Hezbollah, Lebanon nor Israel immediately confirmed the news.

Israeli military spokesperson Avichay Adraee tweeted earlier on Monday that Israeli helicopters had carried out raids in Lebanon.

There was cross-border fire between Israel and Lebanon on Sunday.

11:30 am: Israel’s Lapid speaks with Emirati foreign minister, thanks him for support

Israel’s opposition head Yair Lapid said on X that he’d spoken on the phone with Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, who had “expressed his solidarity with Israel.”

A Sunday statement by the Emirati Foreign Ministry said that the “attacks by Hamas against Israeli towns and villages near the Gaza Strip, including the firing of thousands of rockets at population centers, are a serious and grave escalation.” The statement noted that the Emirates is “appalled by reports that Israeli civilians have been abducted as hostages from their homes.”

11:25 am: Turkey’s Erdogan strikes moderate stance on Gaza war

What is behind Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s moderate tone on the Israeli-Hamas conflict, and can Ankara mediate? Read Amberin Zaman’s timely explainer here.

10:50 am: Netanyahu denies receiving warnings from Egypt prior to Hamas attack

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied reports that he received warnings from Cairo about an imminent attack by Hamas.

A statement issued by Netanyahu’s office read, “No warning message was relayed to us from Egypt. The prime minister did not speak and did not meet with the head of the Egyptian intelligence service since the establishment of the government — not directly and not indirectly. This is totally fake news.”

It was referring to a report by Ynet earlier in the day that head of the Egyptian intelligence service Abbas Kamel had spoken with Netanyahu on the phone some two weeks before the attack and warned him that “something extremely unusual, a horrifying operation” was about to take place.

10:40 am: Gaza rocket fire persists, Israelis injured in Jerusalem and environs

Two people were seriously injured in Jerusalem by rockets fired from Gaza. Others were injured in the Jerusalem-area villages of Har Adar and Abu Gosh and in the town of Beitar Ilit.

Rockets were also fired toward the central Tel Aviv area, but most were intercepted in the air by the Iron Dome missile defense system. Ynet reports that one Gaza rocket fell in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said he has ordered the IDF to “significantly increase the magnitude of attacks on the Gaza Strip.” Gallant said that the main goal of the IDF is “eliminating all Hamas targets.”

10:23 am: Lebanese army urges citizens to avoid border areas

The Lebanese army has called on citizens to take the “utmost precaution” amid intense Israeli artillery shelling in the villages of Dhayra and Ayta a-Shaab in the south of Lebanon.

9:25 am: Lebanon in state of alert as Hezbollah-Israel tensions rise

Beatrice Farhat reports from Beirut on ongoing concerns and fears in Lebanon over Hezbollah’s potential involvement in the Israel-Hamas war.

8:55 am: Oil prices spike, Israeli currency tumbles

Jack Dutton reports on the business impact of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Read here.

8:45 am: Clashes, cross-border fire reported in south Lebanon

Local media reported heavy Israeli artillery fire in the village of Dhayra in southern Lebanon, with rockets launched toward Israel. In a post on the X platform, the IDF's Arabic-language spokesperson Avichay Adraee said the IDF has killed a number of gunmen who crossed into Israel from Lebanon. He added that the army is currently combing the area, while helicopters are carrying out air raids on the Lebanese side of the border.

8:34 am: US confirms death of 9 Americans

The State Department has confirmed that nine US citizens in Israel have been killed and says there are other Americans whose whereabouts are unknown.

“At this time, we can confirm the deaths of nine US citizens,” State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said in a statement. “We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and to the families of all those affected.”

Miller said there are unaccounted-for Americans and that US officials are working with Israeli partners to determine their whereabouts.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration was “working overtime” to verify reports that US citizens had been killed in Israel or taken hostage by Hamas.

8:08 am: 560 Gazans killed in Israeli strikes

Gaza's Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas, has updated its death toll, saying 560 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes since Saturday and 2,900 others wounded.

7:23 am: Qatar mediating hostage release with Hamas

Qatari mediators are in contact with Hamas officials to try to negotiate freedom for Israeli women and children seized by the group, Reuters reported. The hostages, held in Gaza, would be released in exchange for 36 Palestinian women and children from Israel’s prisons, the report read.

Majed Al-Ansari, the Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesperson, confirmed to Al-Monitor that Doha is working to end the conflict.

"We are in constant contact with all sides at the moment,” Ansari said. “Our priorities are to end the bloodshed, release the prisoners and make sure the conflict is contained with no regional spillover."

6:58 am: Opening of Israeli academic year postponed

Heads of Israeli colleges and private universities joined their counterparts in Israeli public universities, announcing they are postponing the opening of the academic year, set to commence this week after the Tabernacles Jewish holiday. Each higher education institution will set its own new opening date for the beginning of the academic year, said a statement published by the heads of the colleges.

6:57 am: Israel’s energy minister instructs Gaza water cut

Israel’s Energy Minister Israel Katz said he has instructed his office to cut the Israeli supply of water to the Gaza Strip. "I have ordered to disconnect immediately water supply from Israel to Gaza. Gas and fuel supplies were cut off Saturday. Whatever used to be, is no more." A statement by the minister’s office said these decisions will remain valid until the end of the campaign. According to a Ynet report, based on assessments of Israeli security experts, local Gaza electricity supply could end tomorrow. At the moment, Gazans are connected to electricity for three hours followed by 12 to 15 hours without power.

6:07 am: Iran: any Israeli action against us will be met with a 'devastating response'

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday that if Israel attacks the Islamic Republic it would be met with “a devastating response.” Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani made the comments as Iran called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the fighting between Hamas and Israel continued into its third day. "Anyone who threatens the Islamic Republic of Iran should know that any foolish action will be met with a devastating response," Kanaani said.

Iran has denied involvement in the attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group, which it has a long history of supporting, with Hamas assailants killing at least 700 Israelis and abducting dozens more. More than 500 Palestinians have also died. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said there is no evidence suggesting Iran was involved in planning the surprise attack, but a Hamas spokesperson told the BBC on Sunday that the militant group received support from its ally to carry out the offensive.

6 am: Kremlin says Russia 'extremely concerned' over war

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that his country was “extremely concerned” over the Israel-Hamas war.

“This situation is potentially fraught with the danger of spillover. Therefore this is a great danger for the region, so we are extremely concerned,” Peskov was quoted as saying by the Russian press during a briefing in Moscow.

He added that the Russian Embassy in Israel has no information yet on any Russian casualties in the country.

According to the Israeli Statistics Bureau, around 15% of Israel’s population — over a million people — are native Russian speakers.

5:59 am: Al-Qassam spokesman says four Israeli captives killed in Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza

Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas' military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, said on his Telegram channel that the Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip since last night have killed four Israelis who were held captive by the group’s fighters. More than 100 Israeli hostages are believed to have been taken by Hamas to Gaza since it launched its surprise attack into southern Israel on Saturday.

5:50 am: IDF says 300,000 reserve soldiers mobilized within hours

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the army mobilized 300,000 reservists within hours, noting it is the largest-ever mobilization for Israel in such a short period of time. The Israeli army is now establishing several artillery positions near the Gaza border. Hagari said that the breaches in the border fence by Palestinian infiltrators will now be secured with IDF tanks and fighter jets. The IDF is currently heavily shelling targets within the Gaza Strip.

5:30 am: Al-Qassam Brigades say 120 rockets fired toward southern Israel

Al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, said in a statement it fired 120 rockets toward the southern Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon. Al Jazeera TV channel had reported intense rocket fire from inside Gaza. The channel’s reporter said sirens were going off in various areas in southern Israel. The Israeli Magen David Adom ambulance service said four people were wounded in the rocket attack on the two cities, including a 75-year-old man who is in serious condition.

5:22 am: Israel’s defense minister orders complete blockade of Gaza

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a full siege on the Gaza Strip. Speaking at an assessment meeting at the IDF Southern Command, Gallant said, "I instructed to implement a full blockade over the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity [supplied from Israel], no food [coming in from Israel], no gas. All will be closed."

4:28 am: Austria halts aid to Palestinians over Hamas attack

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said his country was suspending $20 million in aid to a series of Palestinian projects. In a sign of solidarity, the Israeli flag has been raised over the Austrian chancellor’s office and the Austrian Foreign Ministry. In Germany, Berlin's Brandenberg Gate on Saturday night was lit up with the Israeli flag to show support. Germany said Sunday it will review its aid for the Palestinians. German Development Minister Svenja Schulze said that "these attacks on Israel mark a terrible fracture," adding that Berlin will "now review our entire engagement for the Palestinian territories."

4:23 am: Eastern European countries and Thailand evacuate citizens from Israel — Haaretz

Several countries are evacuating nationals from Israel, and Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria evacuated citizens out of the Middle Eastern country on Sunday night, Haaretz reported. Poland and Thailand are set to send to Israel military planes on Monday, to evacuate those nationals who wish to leave the country. NBC reported Sunday night that the United States is discussing the possibility of evacuating citizens, though no decision has been made. NBC said that one of the options considered is evacuating US nationals by American naval ships. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto posted on Facebook that 215 people were evacuated from Israel at dawn (early Monday). Romania said it evacuated 245 of its nationals. Bulgaria evacuated 90 citizens via an airplane charted by the government in Sofia.

4:18 am: IDF says Israel moving to offensive

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said, "We have now moved to an offensive." Hagari said that for the moment no more battles are taking place in Israeli towns or villages, stating that "we completely control all Israeli localities now." He added this does not mean there are no more Palestinian assailants on Israeli territory, as some of them could be hiding. Hagari said that the IDF is currently evacuating all the villages and kibbutzim near the Gaza border, but is not planning to evacuate the southern town of Sderot for the time being.

3:57 am: Israel’s Foreign Ministry instructs its envoys abroad to stay home

Israeli diplomats are requested to stay home unless they receive a security authorization to go out, reports Ynet. In countries considered sensitive security-wise, such as Egypt, diplomats set to arrive to their duty stations were instructed to remain in Israel. Security measures of Jewish and Israeli institutions have been increased in several countries since Saturday morning, including in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland. Several rallies in support of Israel took place on Sunday in the United States, as well as rallies in support of the Palestinians. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi participated at an Israel support rally at a synagogue in San Francisco. In New York, a clash broke out near the United Nations compound between supporters of Israel and a group of Palestinian supporters who had rallied at Times Square. A march in support of Israel is expected Monday evening in Paris, organized by the CRIF (umbrella organization of French Jews).

3:48 am: Nearly 500 people killed in Gaza according to latest death poll

At least 493 people have been killed since Saturday in Israeli strikes targeting various areas of the Gaza Strip, in response to Hamas’ surprise attack against Israel. The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said 2,751 others have been injured.

3:43 am: EgyptAir suspends flights to Tel Aviv, airport officials say

Egypt’s national carrier EgyptAir suspended flights to Tel Aviv on Monday due to the ongoing escalation between Hamas and Israel. The flights will remain suspended until further notice, two Cairo airport officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to speak to the media. Al-Monitor has contacted the airline for confirmation.

1:05 am: Israel Bank sells foreign currency, to prevent fall of shekel 

The Bank of Israel announced an unusual intervention in the country’s foreign currency market, with the plan to sell up to $30 billion in foreign currency in order to prevent the fall of the shekel. By the end of August, Israel’s foreign currency reserves stood at $202 billion. Israel’s shekel dropped sharply following the Hamas attack, reaching 3.91 shekels to the dollar in the early hours of Monday. The ratio dropped slightly following the bank's announcement to sell foreign currency.

0:01 am: Israeli airstrikes hit mosque in Gaza’s al-Shati camp, leaving casualties

The Israeli military launched a series of airstrikes in al-Shati refugee camp in the east of the Gaza Strip, hitting Al-Garbi Mosque and causing heavy damages. At least eight people have been killed, including a young girl, according to Palestine’s official WAFA news agency. The strikes destroyed much of the camp, with people still looking for victims under the rubble, while ambulances are having difficulties reaching the affected area. Israel’s N12 channel said the strikes targeted Hamas command posts in the camp, including one set up inside a mosque.

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

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