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

Explosions illuminate the sky during Israeli strikes on Gaza City on October 10, 2023. Israel said it recaptured Gaza border areas from Hamas as the war's death toll passed 3,000 on October 10, the fourth day of gruelling fighting since the Islamists launched a surprise attack. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)
Last Updated: 5 months 2 weeks ago

Israel intensified its airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday ahead of what appears to be an imminent ground invasion, and as the fighting with Hamas enters its fifth day leaving more than 1,200 Israelis and 1,055 Palestinians dead.

The airstrikes went late into the night on Tuesday and resumed Wednesday morning local time, the IDF reported. Video footage circulating on social media showed complete neighborhoods flattened in Gaza as the humanitarian crisis worsened under the blockade. Israel also bombed the Rafah crossing into Egypt at least three times on Tuesday. 

New footage of Hamas' attack inside Israel surfaced on Tuesday, showing the public execution of civilians in broad daylight. President Joe Biden called the Hamas attack "sheer evil," while the US government confirmed the deaths of 14 US citizens and said there are Americans among the more than 100 hostages taken by Hamas.

On Monday, the group threatened to kill hostages if Israel kills Palestinian civilians. “We announce that every targeting of our people who are safe in their homes without warning, we will regretfully meet with the execution of our enemy’s civilian hostages,” Hamas spokesperson Abu Obeida said. He added that the executions would be broadcast “in audio and video.”

With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing “mighty vengeance” against Hamas and Gaza militants, Israel has carried out more than 1,900 airstrikes since Saturday’s attack.

The United States has thrown its support behind the Israeli government and the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group has arrived in the Mediterranean, carrying guided missile cruiser USS Normandy and four guided missile destroyers.

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. 10, 2023

11:30 pm: US considers evacuating Gazans to Egypt

The Biden administration is working on a plan to establish a humanitarian corridor that would enable the evacuation of Palestinian civilians and Americans from Gaza to Egypt. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the United States is talking with Israel and Egypt about establishing safe passage for Gaza civilians as Israel strikes the Strip in retaliation for the attack by Hamas.

"We are focused on this question; there are consultations going on," Sullivan told reporters, adding, "The details of that are something that is being discussed among the operational agencies and I don't want to share too much of that publicly at this time." Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah border crossing from Gaza on Monday.

9:05 pm: Israel strikes more than 70 targets in Gaza

The IDF struck more than 70 targets in Gaza in the early hours of Wednesday as the fighting between Israel and Hamas entered day five.

"A short while ago, dozens of fighter jets struck over 70 targets in the Daraj Tuffah area, where a large number of terror attacks against Israel are directed,” the statement said. 

7:40 pm: FOX Corporation donates $1 million to Israeli victims of Hamas attack

Fox Corporation announced it has donated $1 million to the United Jewish Appeal emergency fund, as part of relief efforts following Hamas attacks in Israel. The emergency fund will bring financial assistance to families of people killed, kidnapped or injured, help buy equipment for hospitals in Israel and offer relocation for vulnerable populations from the south to the center and north. It will also charter flights to bring Israeli reservists back from abroad to rejoin their units.

6:00 pm: 14 Thai nationals kidnapped by Hamas

The Foreign Ministry of Thailand said 14 of its nationals are held hostage by Hamas, not 11 as previously reported. A confirmed 20 Thai citizens were killed in the Hamas attack and 13 were injured.

5:31 pm: Iran-backed groups in Iraq, Yemen threaten US forces

Militias backed by Iran are threatening US forces in the region with missiles and drones if the United States intervenes on behalf of Israel in its war in Gaza, Reuters reported.

Kataib Hezbollah and Hadi Al-Amri, head of the Badr organization in Iraq and Yemen’s Houthi rebels were among those issuing threats.

The warnings raised concerns that the Israel-Hamas war could spread to a potential multifront conflict involving multiple countries. There are some 35,000 US troops in the Middle East, many of them based in Arab states in the Gulf.

Iran has continued to arm its network of proxies across the Middle East with drones and other projectile weapons even amid an informal detente, US officials have said.

5:15 pm: '20 or more' Americans missing in Israel 

At least 20 Americans are missing in Israel, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday. 

"We believe that there are 20 or more Americans who at this point are missing. But I want to underscore and stress, that does not mean necessarily that there are 20 or more American hostages. Just that is the number who are currently unaccounted for," Sullivan said.

5:00 pm: First American plane lands in Israel with ammunition

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said that the first airplane carrying American ammunition had landed in Israel. The Biden administration has said it would send new supplies of air defenses, munitions and other security assistance to Israel to defend itself against Hamas and other fronts, a pledge reiterated by President Joe Biden in his televised statement Tuesday evening. The American aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford is also on its way to the Mediterranean Sea.

4:30 pm: After suspending flights, Air France to fly dual citizens to Israel Thursday 

The French Foreign Ministry said that Air France will operate one flight on Thursday from Paris to Tel Aviv to enable dual citizens staying in France to return to Israel. Air France suspended its flights to Israel Saturday following the Hamas attack.

3:36 pm: Gaza death toll rises to 900

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that the number of people killed in the Gaza Strip in the war has risen to 900, in addition to 4,500 injured. Israel earlier said its death toll had passed 1,000.

3:35 pm: Rockets fired from Syria toward Israel didn’t cross border 

The IDF said it had identified several launchings of rockets in Syria toward Israel, but the rockets landed in Syrian territory and did not cross the border. No alarm sirens sounded in Israel. Israeli forces fired back with artillery toward the source of the rocket fire. Israel is now investigating.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights later reported that unspecified Palestinian factions "working with Hezbollah" fired mortars toward the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

3:27 pm: Biden calls Hamas act 'sheer evil,' speaks to Netanyahu for third time

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Joe Biden spoke on the phone for the third time since Hamas attacked Israel on Saturday. A statement issued by Netanyahu’s office said the president reiterated that the United States is standing by Israel’s side, fully supporting its right to defend itself. The Israeli premier thanked Biden for his support after the US president called the assault by Hamas "sheer evil." 

"There are moments in this life, and I mean this literally, when a pure unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world. The people of Israel lived through one such moment this weekend," Biden said from the White House. 

In the call, Netanyahu's office said he gave details of how Hamas attackers operated on Saturday. "They took dozens of children, bound them up, burned them and executed them. They beheaded soldiers. They mowed down these youngsters who came to a nature festival," said Netanyahu.

Hamas condemned Biden's statement.

3:13 pm: Two Palestinian attackers killed near Re’im, one killed near Ashkelon 

Two Palestinian assailants were shot and killed near Kibbutz Re’im, where hundreds of Israelis were killed or kidnapped during the music festival on Saturday, said the IDF, adding that Israeli troops continue to scan the area for other assailants. The IDF believes the two assailants had been hiding in the area since the Saturday attack. Another Palestinian assailant was shot and killed near the southern city of Ashkelon in an exchange of fire with police and IDF troops. Ynet said it is unclear whether the Ashkelon assailant had been in Israeli territory since Saturday or arrived later with a glider.

3:10 pm: US Secretary of State to visit Israel on Thursday

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel on Thursday to show support in the aftermath of Hamas' deadly attack, Elizabeth Hagedorn reports.

2:25 pm: US death toll climbs to 14, confirms hostages

At least 14 Americans are among those killed following the Hamas assault on Israel, President Joe Biden said in remarks from the White House. 

“We now know that American citizens are among those being held by Hamas,” Biden said. “We're going to continue to stand united, supporting the people of Israel, who are suffering unspeakable losses.”

2:20 pm: Putin, Erdogan discuss de-escalation, humanitarian assistance

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed potential initiatives to deliver humanitarian assistance to Gaza in a phone call on the fourth day of the Israel-Hamas war. The duo also discussed steps that can be taken to de-escalate the situation, according to a Turkish readout.

Erdogan also held a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, telling the UN chief that disproportionate assaults on civilians would lead the situation into a further stalemate, the Turkish presidency said.

2:05 pm: EU backpedaling on aid reveals policy fissures

The European Union remains deeply divided after a top official announced that the bloc had “immediately suspended” aid for Palestine in response to the attacks.

EU Commission members distanced themselves from the news and asserted that humanitarian aid payments will continue, though some countries warn that reviews are coming and could result in an aid suspension.

The EU Commission asserted in a separate statement that it was "launching an urgent review of the EU's assistance for Palestine" to ensure none of the bloc's funding "indirectly enables any terrorist organization to carry out attacks against Israel." Read our coverage here.

1:50 pm: Which armed groups are in south Lebanon?

With Israel and Hezbollah trading fire, Al-Monitor’s Beatrice Farhat explains three armed groups that are operating in south Lebanon and what they mean for the raging conflict in Gaza.

12:50 pm: Iran’s Khamenei salutes Hamas

In his first address since Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei threw his support behind the Palestinian militant group, which Tehran partially funds and arms. Khamenei denied, however, Iran’s involvement in the attack. Al-Monitor’s correspondent in Iran reports here.

12:45 pm: Turkish carriers halt Israel flights

Turkey’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines announced that it has suspended all Israel flights. Yahya Ustun, Turkish Airlines’ vice president of media relations, announced the decision on X.

“Due to the current situation in Israel, our flights have been suspended until further notice,” he said.

Later on Tuesday, Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines also announced the suspension of its Israel flights until further notice.

12:20 pm: Al-Monitor confirms Egypt warned Israel

Al-Monitor’s Ben Caspit has confirmed that Egyptian intelligence services sent a warning to Israeli counterparts on an impending assault by Gaza militants. Read the full piece here.

12:00 pm: Austria says unknown number of Austrians among Hamas hostages

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said an unknown number of Austrians have been taken hostage by Hamas. “We hope that the hostages return to their families in good health. Every effort should be made and supported in this regard. Austria is also among the victims of this. Although the exact number is unknown at the moment, there are some Austrian citizens who are also being held hostage,” Nehammer said in a joint press conference with Turkey’s president in Ankara.

Earlier Tuesday, Austrian officials said they suspected that Hamas was holding three Austrian citizens.

12:00 pm: Ditching his prior caution, Erdogan criticizes US, Israel over Gaza

In a departure from the cautious tone he struck earlier this week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Israel’s “merciless” bombardment in Gaza.

Erdogan also lashed out at Washington for dispatching its USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier to Israel, arguing that the carrier was sent to the region to hit Gaza. “What is it going there for? It will destroy all Gaza and its surroundings, committing serious massacres.”

US military officials insist there are no plans to place American troops on the ground in the conflict. The US military is highly unlikely to strike Hamas or other Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip under existing legal authorities.

US officials haven’t publicly ruled out strikes, but have signaled the deployment of the USS Ford is meant as a deterrent.

11:48 am: UAE to send $20M in aid to Palestinians via UNRWA

United Arab Emirates President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered $20 million in aid to be sent to the Palestinian people, according to state-owned news agency WAM.

The move comes “as part of the UAE’s policy to provide urgent relief and assistance to vulnerable populations and those in need around the world in times of crisis,” WAM reported.

11:45 am: Houthi leader says ready to fight in Gaza if US intervenes

The leader of the Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, said that his forces are “ready” to participate militarily in the war in Gaza if the United States intervenes directly, the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reported.

Yemen borders neither the Palestinian enclave nor Israel, however, and the leader admitted that Houthi forces “have a problem in geography” with the prospect, according to Saba.

11:06 am: Prolonged energy price hike caused by conflict could impact global economic growth: IMF

A sustained increase in energy prices following the Israel-Gaza war could affect the growth of the global economy, but it is too early to make an accurate assessment, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.

On Monday, Brent crude rose 4.2% to $88.15 a barrel, while US prices also increased, as investors feared that the conflict could impact energy production in the Middle East.

"One of the things we have observed already is that oil prices have increased somewhat over the past few days," Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, director of research at the IMF, said at a news conference on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings in Marrakesh on Tuesday.

"Often in situations where there is geopolitical instability in the region ... we see spikes in energy prices, in oil prices. We have seen that in the previous crises and conflicts," he said.

Gourinchas emphasized it was too early to say whether the increase in energy prices will be sustained.

"The work we have done at the research department at the fund suggests that if there is something like a 10% increase in oil prices, this would weigh down on global output by 0.15% in the following year and will increase global inflation by 0.4%," he said.

10:53 am: Palestinian death toll rises to 830 in Gaza

The Palestinian Health Ministry announced that the number of people killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza has risen to 830.

Israel has continued striking the enclave on Tuesday amid continued fighting.

11:00 am: IDF retaliates after rocket fire from Gaza, Lebanon

The IDF is currently firing artillery toward southern Lebanon after rocket fire was directed at Israel and the Gaza Strip. Minutes earlier, alarm sirens sounded simultaneously in the Upper Galilee region in the north of Israel, in the central Tel Aviv area and in the southern city of Ashkelon. So far, authorities have reported that one rocket hit a house in Ashkelon. Most of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. Israeli authorities have decided to keep schools across the country closed at least until Thursday.

10:54 am: Cross-border fire intensifies in south Lebanon

A series of rockets were fired from southern Lebanon toward the Galilee area in Israel. The Israeli army responded with artillery fire. No casualties have been reported so far.

The IDF later said it detected around 15 rockets from Lebanon. Four were intercepted and 10 fell in open areas, according to a tweet.

10:04 am: Two killed in Israel by rocket fire from Gaza

Two non-Israeli workers in the southern village Talmei Eliyahu were killed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip. Israeli authorities did not provide information on their nationality. Rockets are being fired into the south of Israel and the center-north Wadi Ara region, where several Arab Israeli villages are located.

9:10 am: Israeli death toll rises to 1,000

Some 1,008 Israelis have been killed in the violence since Hamas forces infiltrated the country on Saturday, according to the Israeli Embassy to the United States.

More than 3,400 more had been injured, the embassy said.

Gaza officials have reported the deaths of 770 Palestinians in the violence.

8:50 am: Putin calls conflict 'failure' of US Middle East policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the recent bloodshed between Israelis and Palestinians as a “failure” of US policy in the Middle East.

Speaking to visiting Iraq Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, Putin said, "I think that many people will agree with me that this is a vivid example of the failure of United States policy in the Middle East.”

Putin accused Washington of ignoring the interests of the Palestinians, including their need for an independent state.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Kremlin said it was speaking to both sides and wanted to play a role in resolving the fighting between them.

6:59 am: IDF: no official call for Gazans to flee to Egypt

The IDF tweeted, “There is no official call by Israel for residents of the Gaza Strip to exit into Egypt,” adding that the Israeli military has been instructing people in Gaza to distance themselves from certain areas.

Earlier, an IDF spokesperson called on people in Gaza to leave to Egypt via the Rafah crossing.

6:38 am: Israel evacuates all citizens around Gaza border: report

Israel has evacuated all remaining citizens from the areas around the Gaza border fence, Al Jazeera reports.

Israeli security forces have also sealed all the gaps in the fence, according to the network

6:21 am: Gaza death toll reaches 765

The Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said at least 765 people have been killed in Israeli strikes since Saturday and more than 4,000 others wounded. The ministry said in a Facebook statement that it was unable to update its death toll earlier due to internet cuts and disruption of communication networks.

5:56 am: Lebanon’s caretaker PM holds security meetings amid border tensions

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati held a series of meetings with security officials and foreign diplomats, including the Egyptian ambassador to Beirut, the official National News Agency reported.

The meetings come amid ongoing tensions between the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and Israel in southern Lebanon. The two sides have exchanged heavy fire in the past few days.

5:45 am: Palestinian Interior Ministry reports notice to immediately evacuate Rafah crossing

The Ramallah-based Ministry of Interior said Egyptian authorities have asked the Palestinian side at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip to immediately evacuate the site amid threats of an imminent strike on the crossing.

5:16 am: Saudi Arabia calls for emergency OIC meeting

Saudi Arabia has called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to convene for an emergency meeting to discuss the latest escalation between Hamas and Israel. According to the Saudi Al-Ekhbariya news site, the kingdom urged the OIC to tackle the repercussions of the escalation on the security and stability of the region as well as the safety of civilians.

5:02 am: WHO calls for humanitarian corridor in Gaza

The World Health Organization has called for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor into the Gaza Strip amid a tightening siege and intense airstrikes. 

“WHO is calling for an end to the violence. … A humanitarian corridor is needed to reach people with critical medical supplies,” spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told a press briefing in Geneva. 

The UN organization confirmed the targeting of 13 health facilities in the coastal enclave since the weekend escalation, according to Jasarevic. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported earlier on Monday that four ambulances were directly hit by Israeli airstrikes in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

5:00 am: Pentagon warns Iran, Hezbollah to stay out of Hamas-Israel war

The Pentagon has begun rushing air defense munitions and other equipment to Israel’s military as special operators from its elite Joint Special Operations Command remain poised to assist with intelligence and planning for potential hostage rescue operations by the IDF in Gaza, reports Jared Szuba from Washington.

4:28 am: Israel confirms all water and electricity supply to Gaza stopped

Israel’s Energy Minister Israel Katz said Tuesday morning local time, "So far, we transferred to Gaza 54,000 cubes of water and 2,7000 megawatts of electricity per day. This is finished. Without fuel, Gaza’s local power production is set to be paralyzed in a few days. Their water wells will be paralyzed within a week."

4:25 am: Israeli police warn of fake WhatsApp messages sent by Hamas or other sources

Israel police said that in the past few hours, Israelis have received WhatsApp messages telling them their relatives had been killed. "These are fake messages that were not sent by any official source. Israeli citizens must only take into account messages coming from official sources. The police are working to identify and block those sending these messages."

4:05 am: Iran’s Khamenei hails Israeli intelligence failure in Hamas offensive

In his first televised speech since Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hailed Israel’s “irreparable intelligence” and “military failure.” Speaking at a graduation ceremony for cadets of the Iranian armed forces in Tehran, Khamenei reiterated his country’s non-involvement in the Palestinian operation but said, “We kiss the hands of those who planned the attack on the Zionist regime." He added, "The courageous action and great sacrifice that the Palestinians made was a response to the long years of crimes committed by the Zionist enemy.”

3:59 am: Israel police freeze Hamas crypto accounts

Israeli police managed to freeze the cryptocurrency accounts Hamas has used to collect donations on social networks. "With the outbreak of the war, Hamas launched a fundraising campaign on social networks asking its supporters to deposit cryptocurrencies into the organization’s account," read a statement. "The Lahav 433 cyber unit and the Defense Ministry’s branch battling economic terror acted immediately to locate the accounts and freeze them with the assistance of the crypto exchange Binance, in order to transfer the funds to the state treasury."

3:57 am: Austria, Brazil to evacuate citizens from Israel

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer confirmed his country plans to evacuate Austrian citizens wishing to leave Israel after Saturday’s Hamas attack. An Austrian military plane is set to evacuate the citizens in shuttle flights between Israel and Cyprus. Brazil is also sending aircraft to Israel on Tuesday to evacuate nationals who requested to leave. On Monday, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria also evacuated citizens. Russia’s ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov said Tuesday morning his country is considering rescue flights.

3:50 am: Russian ambassador to Israel confirms one Russian national killed, nine missing

Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov said that one Russian citizen, a dual citizen, was killed in Saturday’s Hamas attack. Viktorov said that nine other Russians are missing and that four of them appear on the Israeli list of missing/abducted persons. Interviewed by Israel’s public broadcaster Kan, the ambassador said, "Hundreds of Russian citizens have submitted a request to the embassy to be evacuated from Israel. Russia is considering an aerial rescue of its citizens."

3:30 am: Israeli government to mobilize 360,000 reservists

The Israeli government has approved the mobilization of up to 360,000 reservists. On Monday the Israeli air force flew reservists and soldiers on vacation in Europe back to Israel. Israeli airlines El Al and Arkia have added flights to enable Israelis abroad, notably reservists, to return home.

3:00 am: Under siege, Gaza braces for worst 

Rasha Abou Jalal reports from Gaza on the humanitarian disaster caused by the Israel-Hamas military escalation for residents of the Gaza Strip.

2:55 am: IDF says no shortage of food while Israelis swarm shops

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari announced, "There is no shortage of food or water in Israel." His message came after the Home Front Command, responsible for civilian defense, urged citizens to gather food, water and batteries in their shelters to last for 72 hours. Within minutes of the announcement, Israelis rushed to buy large quantities of basic food products. The Shufersal supermarket chain said Tuesday morning it was limiting the number of basic food products each person could buy, including water, eggs, milk and bread. 

2:47 am: UN says mass displacement underway in Gaza

The UN refugee agency UNRWA said in a press release that over the past 24 hours, nearly 137,500 displaced Gazans have taken shelter in 85 UNRWA schools. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, more than 187,518 people have been displaced since Israel launched its air campaign against Gaza on Saturday.

1:41 am: Two Palestinian journalists killed in Gaza airstrikes

Two Palestinian journalists were killed and a third seriously injured after Israel struck the Hajji Tower in Gaza City, which houses a number of media institutions. The official Palestinian WAFA news agency identified the victims as Saeed Radwan al-Taweel, the editor-in-chief of Al-Khamsa News website, and Mohammad Rizq Sobh, a photographer for the Khabar Agency.

12:40 am: IDF reports striking more than 200 targets in Gaza overnight 

The Israel army said it struck more than 200 targets in the Gaza Strip over Monday night. Targets included a weapons storage site located inside a mosque, an apartment used by Hamas’ anti-tank guided missile forces and a high-rise tower used by the group. IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said, "We focus on extensive damage, not on precision." Hagari said that also during the night, Israeli troops killed an attacker in Kibbutz Sa’ad near the border with Gaza, but stressed that the IDF did not detect any new breaches of the border.

12:04 am: IDF calls on Gazans to flee to Egypt

Against the backdrop of extensive Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets, the Israeli army is encouraging residents of Gaza to flee to Egypt. "I am aware that the Rafah crossing is still open," IDF spokesperson for foreign media Richard Hecht said, adding, "Anyone who can get out, I would advise them to get out."

Click here for our most recent updates.

For our previous live coverage, see:

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