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

On day six of the war, Israel gave the United Nations a deadline to evacuate residents in northern Gaza ahead of a ground invasion.
Palestinian citizens inspect the damage to their homes caused by Israeli airstrikes on Oct. 13, 2023, in Gaza City.

On day six of the war, the Palestinian death toll soared to 1,400 with 1,300 Israelis killed. Lebanon’s border with Israel saw increased tension as the Iranian foreign minister arrived in Beirut and Israel struck two Syria airports.

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. 12, 2023

11:00 pm: Israel gives UN 24 hours to evacuate North Gaza 

Israel told the United Nations that it should evacuate its staff as well as nearly 1.1 million Palestinians in northern Gaza from the area in the next 24 hours.

Axios and Reuters reported that the notice came from Israeli military as a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip looms.

“This amounts to approximately 1.1 million people. The same order applied to all UN staff and those sheltered in UN facilities, including schools, health centers and clinics," a UN spokesperson told Axios.

"The UN strongly appeals for any such order to be rescinded, avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.

5:53 pm: Iranian foreign minister arrives in Lebanon, greeted by Hamas

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Beirut, where he was welcomed by a Hamas representative. The foreign minister traveled to Iraq earlier on Thursday to discuss the Gaza war with officials there, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. Asked about possibly opening a new front against Israel, Amir-Abdollahian said, "There is a possibility of any decision," per a tweet from the agency.

5:30 pm: China’s uneasy limbo in Hamas-Israel war 
Beijing has been struggling to find its footing in reacting to the war in Gaza. After criticism for being too soft on Hamas, it clarified its stance on Monday. Joyce Karam analyzes Beijing’s position in this weekly China-Middle East briefing.

5:10 pm: Europe cracks down on Hamas-linked activities, fearing antisemitism 

From Germany to France to Spain, a spike in pro-Hamas sentiment after its attack on Israel and ongoing threats to Jewish communities is leading to a crackdown on activities by supporters of the group. Jack Dutton reports.

4:53 pm: Israeli police disperse pro-Hamas rally in Arab Israeli town 

Israel police dispersed a pro-Hamas demonstration in the Arab Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm, reported Ynet. Four people were detained for disturbing the public order. Earlier in the day, the National Security Council warned of pro-Hamas demonstrations organized for Friday in several countries that could turn violent.

4:40 pm: HRW says Israel used white phosphorus in Gaza, Lebanon

Human Rights Watch reported Thursday that Israeli forces have fired white phosphorus in populated areas of Gaza and a rural area of Lebanon’s border with Israel, posing unnecessary risks to civilians in potential violation of international humanitarian law.

The white-hot incendiary munition is typically used to destroy unwanted equipment and to confuse heat-seeking missiles in aerial combat. Its use in densely populated areas is restricted under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Israel has not ratified. The agreement prohibits the dropping of incendiary weapons over “concentrations of civilians” but contains significant loopholes.

4:13 pm: Webinar on Israel-Hamas war

If you missed our webinar this morning, catch up now on the discussion of the Israel-Hamas war with Ben Caspit and Daoud Kuttab. This session was the first part of our live Q&A webinar series on the conflict. To get an invite for the next one, subscribe to Al-Monitor's newsletters.

3:30 pm: IDF says reserve soldier killed Wednesday by Hezbollah missile

The Israeli army released news that a reserve soldier was killed on Wednesday by a missile targeting an IDF position near the border with Lebanon. The Hezbollah-affiliated news outlet Al-Manar published a breaking news ticker that referenced the IDF reporting that a soldier was killed by a Hezbollah missile.

3:00 pm: Macron says France won’t abandon its children in Gaza 

Speaking on TV, French President Emmanuel Macron said he would do everything possible to bring back French citizens held by Hamas in Gaza. A first flight from Tel Aviv carrying French citizens home landed at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations took place in Paris, Rennes and other cities despite a national ban.

2:46 pm: Egypt’s Sisi says Gazans must ‘remain on their land’

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that Palestinians in Gaza must “stay steadfast and remain on their land,” Agence France-Presse reported. His comments came amid calls for Egypt to allow Gazans to flee the enclave into Egyptian territory. Egypt controls the Rafah border crossing, the only border point in Gaza that is outside of Israeli control.

2:39 pm: French prosecution opens inquiry into death of French nationals

The French national anti-terrorism prosecution has opened a preliminary inquiry into the death of 13 French citizens killed in the Hamas attack on Israel last Saturday. Another 17 French citizens have been declared missing.

2:38 pm: Western leaders to arrive in Israel Friday

President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola will travel to Israel Friday for a solidarity visit, said Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

2:25 pm: Turkey’s top diplomat to visit Egypt on Friday

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan will pay a two-day official visit to Egypt on Friday, his ministry said.

Fidan and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry are expected to discuss the raging Hamas-Israel conflict and efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.

2:20 pm: Twitter/X removes thousands of posts after EU disinformation warning

The social media platform has axed “tens of thousands of pieces of content” since the war started, after the European Union gave the company 24 hours to show it was taking action to combat the spread of “disinformation” on the war. More from Jack Dutton.

2:00 pm: UN reports 338,000 Gazans displaced

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that at least 338,000 people are now displaced across Gaza, including the 220,000 people sheltering at UNRWA schools. The figure has risen 30% since Wednesday. 

Airstrikes have damaged at least 88 educational facilities, including 18 UNRWA schools. Two of them were used as emergency shelters.

1:39 pm: Knesset approves establishment of emergency government

With a majority of 64 to 4, Israel’s parliament added five National Unity party legislators to the ruling administration, effectively approving the establishment of the emergency government.

1:38 pm: White House says ‘no plan, no intention’ for US troops in Gaza war

White House National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said Thursday that Israeli officials had made clear they did not want foreign troops involved in the Gaza war.

“There is no intention, no plan and frankly no desire by the Israelis for US combat troops to be involved in this conflict,” Kirby told reporters.

US officials have not explicitly ruled out air or naval strikes in defense of Israel or US personnel in the region, however.

1:30 pm: Massive displacement in Gaza

Three days into the Israeli siege and bombardment, the situation in the Gaza Strip is quickly worsening, with the death toll now over 1,400 and hundreds of thousands displaced. Beatrice Farhat reports.

1:21 pm: US to charter flights for Americans seeking to leave Israel

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the US government would charter flights in the coming days for American citizens seeking to depart from Israel.

Kirby said the US State Department is “still working through the details” of the plan.

1:18 pm: US death toll rises to 27

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that the death toll for US citizens in Israel has risen to 27, with 14 Americans unaccounted for.

1:15 pm: After rising antisemitic incidents, France bans pro-Palestinian protests

In France, which is home to large Jewish and Muslim populations, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has banned all pro-Palestinian protests in the country. In a statement, the minister ordered foreign nationals who break the rules to be "systematically" deported.

President Emanual Macron is scheduled to give a televised address on Thursday evening to call for unity amid a rise in antisemitic attacks across the country. Darmanin said that 24 people had been arrested in recent days following more than 100 antisemitic acts. Speaking to France Inter radio, he said that these were “mainly tags and swastikas” but also included insults, people with weapons near the entrance of a school or synagogue and a drone flying over a Jewish place of worship.

1:02 pm: Shooting in Jerusalem

The Israeli police tweeted that they received a report of gunfire directed toward the Shalem police station in Jerusalem and that "large police forces" were dispatched to the scene.

Further details were not immediately available.

1:00 pm: Netanyahu declares at Knesset: Israel is at war

At the Knesset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared officially that Israel is going to war. The Israeli premier also announced the government’s inclusion of five legislators from the National Unity party: Benny Gantz, Gadi Eisenkot, Gideon Sa’ar, Hili Trooper and Yifat Shasha-Biton. All five will be appointed to ministers without portfolios. The Knesset is now set to approve the appointments.

12:35 pm: US ‘retains right to freeze’ Iranian funds in Qatar, Blinken says 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Iran hasn’t yet accessed the oil revenue unfrozen as part of its deal to swap prisoners with the United States.

Speaking to reporters in Israel, Blinken did not confirm a report in The Washington Post that the United States and Qatar had agreed to prevent Iran from accessing the $6 billion unlocked for humanitarian purchases such as food and medicine.

“None of the funds that have now gone to Qatar have actually been spent or accessed in any way by Iran,” Blinken said. “We have strict oversight over the funds, and we retain the right to freeze them.”

Republican lawmakers have called on the Biden administration to freeze Tehran’s access to the funds following the attack on Israel by Iran-backed militant group Hamas. The Washington Post reported that Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told House Democrats on Thursday the money “isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

12:30 pm: Erdogan slams Israel, Western powers over Gaza

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Israel for its Gaza bombardment as he slammed Western capitals over what he described as their silence in the face of the rising humanitarian toll in the Palestinian enclave.

“There is no explanation for the attacks that have reached the level of massacre against my Gazan siblings,” Erdogan said. “As of now, there is no water, no bread, no food in Gaza. All of these are violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Where is the West? Did they take any precautions? No!”

He also reiterated his criticism of Washington for dispatching an aircraft carrier group to the region, saying the United States should work to achieve peace in the region instead of “adding fuel to the fire.”

12:30 pm: Blinken will travel to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Qatar

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Egypt to discuss regional efforts to de-escalate the war between Israel and Hamas.

While in Israel on Thursday, Blinken met with Israeli leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The top US diplomat will travel next to Jordan, where he will meet with King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

12:00 pm: Jordanian king, PA president warn of deteriorating situation in Gaza

Jordan’s King Abdullah II hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Jordanian capital Amman for talks on the Hamas-Israel war. According to the official Petra News Agency, the two leaders agreed on the need to end the escalation in the Palestinian territories. They also called for the opening of a humanitarian corridor to facilitate the entry of aid into Gaza, where the humanitarian situation is quickly deteriorating. For his part, Abdullah reiterated his country’s support to the Palestinian people and commitment to provide aid to the besieged Gaza Strip.

12:00 pm: Britain to send two warships to the Mediterranean in support of Israel

London will send two warships to the eastern Mediterranean and start patrol and surveillance flights over Israel in a significant show of military support against Hamas, the British government confirmed. London said the role of the patrol and surveillance flights would be “to track threats to regional stability.” The United States has already sent an aircraft carrier to the region.

11:26 am: US defense chief says no conditions on military aid to Israel

US defense chief Lloyd Austin said Washington has “not placed any conditions” on provisions of military hardware to Israel.

“This is a professional military, led by professional leadership, and we would hope and expect that they would do the right things in the prosecution of their campaign,” Austin told reporters during a press conference at the NATO ministerial summit in Brussels.

UN human rights chief Volker Turk warned Tuesday that Israel’s decision to besiege the Gaza Strip could constitute a violation of humanitarian law.

11:19 am: US antisemitism envoy condemns Colombian president’s remarks on Gaza siege

US antisemitism envoy Deborah Lipstadt condemned recent comments by Colombian President Gustavo Petro comparing the Israeli siege of Gaza to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews.

“We were shocked to see Colombian President @petrogustavo compare the Israeli government to Hitler’s genocidal regime,” tweeted Lipstadt.

On Monday, Petro shared a video of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announcing a complete siege of the Gaza Strip following Hamas’ incursion into Israel. The minister said "no electricity, no food, no water, no gas” in reference to the siege. Petro tweeted, “This is what the Nazis said of the Jews” in response.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that two Colombians were reported missing following Hamas’ attack. On Thursday, the ministry announced it flew 100 Colombians home from Tel Aviv.

10:45 am: EU gives TikTok 24-hour ultimatum over Israel-Hamas war disinformation

EU digital chief Thierry Breton has shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, a letter to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, requesting that the company take “timely, diligent and objective” action to remove disinformation on the Israel-Hamas war. TikTok has yet to respond.

The content involves manipulated videos, images and facts, according to the letter. They include repurposed videos of festivals and unrelated mass gatherings purporting to depict the trance festival in southern Israel that Hamas attacked on Saturday, slaughtering hundreds of Israelis and kidnapping dozens.

Breton has issued similar ultimatums to X and Meta, saying if they fail to respond by the deadline, they could face investigation and possible penalties.

10:30 am: PA President Abbas condemns violence against civilians

Five days after the attack by Hamas and following Israel’s retaliation in Gaza, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned violence against civilians. "We reject the practices of killing civilians or abusing them on both sides because they contravene morals, religion and international law," the official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Abbas as saying.

Earlier in the day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Abbas' silence so far "shameful" and urged him to condemn Hamas' attacks.

10:10 am: Israel-Hamas War: Live Q&A with Ben Caspit & Daoud Kuttab

Join us today at 12:00 pm ET for the first in our live webinar series on the Israel-Hamas war. Al-Monitor Israel columnist Ben Caspit, reporting from Tel Aviv, and Al-Monitor Palestine columnist Daoud Kuttab, reporting from Amman, will discuss the latest developments in the war as well as answer all your questions. RSVP now.

9:41 am: Blinken speaks with Moroccan counterpart Bourita

The State Department released a readout of a call Wednesday between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in which the pair discussed “efforts to prevent a regional escalation and secure the release of hostages.”

Prior to the war, Morocco was expected to host this month the second ministerial-level gathering of the Negev Forum including Israel, the United States and several Arab states.

9:24 am: Gaza death toll exceeds 1,400

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that 1,417 people in Gaza have been killed in addition to more than 6,000 wounded as Israel continues heavily striking the enclave in the war with Hamas.

9:17 am: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to visit Israel tomorrow

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin will arrive in Israel Friday, Israel’s I24 news outlet reported. The United States has not yet confirmed the news.

Austin’s trip will overlap with a visit by top US diplomat Antony Blinken meant to show Washington’s support for Israel amid its war in Gaza.

Austin said Thursday the United States would not place any conditions on the munitions and equipment it is sending to Israel for its campaign, echoing prior comments by top US officials in saying he expects Israel to abide by international humanitarian law. 

8:39 am: Israel’s coordinator on captives meets with American deputy envoy

Israel’s coordinator for the issue of captives and missing, Gal Hirsch, met in Israel with deputy American envoy for hostage affairs Steven Gillen. A statement issued by the Israeli prime minister’s office said Hirsch updated Gillen on the situation of the missing and abducted by Hamas and the efforts undertaken by Israel to retrieve them. Hirsch spoke on the phone Wednesday with the American envoy for hostage affairs, Roger Carstens.

8:00 am: Israeli authorities detain 60 more Palestinians in West Bank: Palestinian media

Israeli authorities rounded up 60 more Palestinians in raids across the West Bank on Thursday, reported the official Palestinian news agency. According to Wafa, more than 200 people have been detained since Hamas’ attack on Israel and the ensuing clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the Palestinian enclave. The West Bank is under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

7:40 am: France works with Israel, other countries on missing, kidnapped nationals

French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre said that 12 French nationals were confirmed killed in the attack by Hamas and that 17 remain missing. She told Al-Monitor that France is working in close cooperation with Israel and with other countries searching for missing nationals. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna has been in contact with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and with other regional players since Saturday, said Legendre. The French minister has not yet scheduled a trip to Israel and is currently working on the resumption of Air France flights to Tel Aviv, she added.

7:36 am: Blinken reiterates US commitment to Israel’s security in Tel Aviv

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his arrival in Israel was not just as a US representative but also as a Jew, noting that his grandfather had escaped the pogroms in Russia and survived Auschwitz. Blinken said that at least 25 Americans are victims of Hamas' attack and that as long as the United States exists, Israel will never be alone.

7:24 am: Israel reportedly strikes Syria

Israeli airstrikes allegedly hit Damascus and Aleppo airports, Agence France-Presse reported, citing Syrian state television. SANA, Syria’s official news outlet, later reported that the Damascus and Aleppo airports went out of service after being targeted by Israeli missiles. The strikes hit the airports at around 1:50 pm local time and damaged landing strips, according to the outlet. Israel has carried out frequent airstrikes on Syria in the past, reportedly targeting Iranian military personnel and equipment in the country. Thursday’s airstrikes are the first during the ongoing Hamas-Israel war and come as fears of a regional multi-front war grow.

6:39 am: Jordan sends aid to Gaza via Egypt    
Jordan has dispatched the first batch of aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to the official Petra news agency. A Jordanian aircraft carrying medical supplies will land in Egypt and the aid will be shipped to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing in coordination between the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, the Jordanian army and Egyptian authorities.

6:35 am: Three killed in strikes on ministry building in Gaza’s Rafah

At least three people, including a child, were killed in Israeli airstrikes against a building of the Hamas-run Ministry of Social Development in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, reported Al Jazeera.

6:00 am: Gaza will soon run out of food, water, critical supplies: WFP

Gaza is on the brink of running out of food, water, electricity and critical supplies, the UN World Food Programme said on X. The UN agency's Middle East and North Africa office added that more than 800,000 people were affected by the war.

6:00 am: Turkish citizen confirmed killed in Hamas attack    
One Turkish national with dual citizenship was killed in the Israeli-Hamas conflict, Turkish Foreign Ministry sources confirmed on Thursday. Earlier Thursday, the Israeli Embassy in Ankara said one Turkish citizen had been killed by Hamas in its surprise attack on Israel and another was missing.

5:52 am: More than 1,300 Gazans killed in Israeli airstrikes

More than 1,354 people have been killed and another 6,049 injured in the Gaza Strip since Saturday, according to the Gaza-based Health Ministry, as Israel intensifies its airstrikes on the coastal enclave.

5:50 am: Egypt confirms Rafah crossing open, calls for aid to Gaza

Egypt called on all countries of the world and region as well as international organizations to send aid and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that Egyptian authorities have designated El-Arish International Airport in North Sinai to receive international aid bound for Gaza. The ministry denied reports that Egypt closed the Rafah border crossing with Gaza.

“Contrary to the inaccurate reports being circulated, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is open for business and has not been closed at any stage since the start of the current crisis,” the statement read. However, the Palestinian side of the crossing has been heavily damaged due to the Israeli airstrikes, the ministry added, calling on Israel not to target the crossing to allow it to serve as a “lifeline” to the Palestinians in Gaza.

5:45 am: Gaza hospitals ‘risk turning into morgues,’ Red Cross warns

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned on Thursday of the disaster facing Gaza hospitals amid the electricity cut.

Fabrizio Carboni, the ICRC’s regional director for the Near and Middle East, said the power cut put newborns in incubators and elderly patients on oxygen in extreme peril. “Without electricity, hospitals risk turning into morgues,” Carboni warned.

He also called on Hamas to release hostages, saying, “The taking of hostages is prohibited under international humanitarian law, and anyone being held should be immediately released.”

Meanwhile, with more than 1,300 Israelis dead, the IDF said Thursday that Israeli authorities have established the identities of 361 civilians out of 854 bodies brought in so far.

5:41 am: NATO chief: ‘Israel does not stand alone’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said “Israel does not stand alone” during a virtual session with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Gallant briefed NATO ministers via videoconference as they convened in Brussels today to discuss the conflicts in Israel-Gaza and Ukraine. The head of the transatlantic alliance said he condemned the recent attacks by Hamas on Israel in the strongest possible terms.

5:40 am: MBZ, Erdogan discuss war

UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the Israel-Hamas war in a phone call on Thursday. Erdogan told the Emirati president the end of hostilities would only be possible through positive steps by the international community, particularly countries in the region, the Turkish presidency said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during statements to the media at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on Oct. 12, 2023. (Photo credit: JACQUELYN MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

5:23 am: Netanyahu, Blinken meet in Tel Aviv 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Tel Aviv. Netanyahu thanked Blinken for his statement upon landing that "we are not going anywhere." The large meeting in Tel Aviv also includes Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, head of the National Security Council Tzachi Hanegbi and Israel’s ambassador in Washington Michael Herzog. Blinken will then meet privately with Netanyahu and with Israeli President Herzog. Blinken is also expected to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II.

5:02 am: UNRWA says 12 staffers killed in Gaza since Saturday

The UN refugee agency UNRWA has confirmed the death of 12 of its staffers in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its heavy bombardment on the enclave on Saturday. “We are devastated,” the agency said in a post on the X platform, calling on the need to protect UN staff and civilians at all times.

5:00 am: Egyptian president, British PM discuss Israel-Hamas escalation

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and Israel as the war enters its sixth day. According to a statement by the Egyptian presidency, the two officials agreed on the need to de-escalate the situation and protect civilians on both sides. Sisi stressed the need to ensure the entry of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

4:40am: Two injured in rocket fire to Sderot

Two people were injured in the southern Israeli city of Sderot by rockets fired from Gaza, according to the IDF. Sirens warning of rockets also sounded in the southern kibbutz of Kisufim.

4:05 am: Israeli universities postpone opening of academic year

The committee of Israeli universities announced the academic year will not open until Nov. 5 because of the war with Hamas. After a number of students posted support for Hamas on social media, Israel’s Beaux Arts Academy Bezalel said Wednesday it will expel any students who express support of Hamas terror.

3:37 am: Blinken en route to Israeli Defense Ministry  

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is now on his way to the Tel Aviv headquarters of the Ministry of Defense, where he will receive security briefings. Welcoming Blinken at Ben Gurion airport, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen thanked the Biden administration for its unequivocal support of Israel, stating, "The people of Israel will never forget the American support in these difficult days."

3:17 am: Blinken lands in Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Israel for a visit expected to last a couple of hours. Welcomed upon his arrival by Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Blinken is set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with President Isaac Herzog.

3:03 am: Israel’s defense minister briefs NATO counterparts

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant briefed NATO defense ministers who will convene today in Brussels. Gallant said via Zoom that attacks like Saturday’s have not been seen since 1945, adding, "But make no mistake, 2023 is not 1945. We are the same Jews but with different capabilities." Diplomatic sources told Al-Monitor that the American, British, German, Italian and Hungarian defense ministers all made strong declarations in support of Israel.

2:54 am: Iranian, Syrian presidents express support for Palestinian people

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, discussed the Hamas-Israeli war in a phone call. The two leaders praised the Palestinian people’s “legitimate resistance to defend their just cause and restore their rights,” a statement by the Syrian presidency read.

Assad called on Arab and Muslim nations to unite and protect the Palestinian people and end the Israeli aggression that has killed women and children, according to the statement. Iran has been accused of approving Hamas’ unprecedented and coordinated attack against Israel during a meeting in Beirut between representatives of Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian groups. All three parties have denied the reports.

2:34 am: Iran FM visits Lebanon, Iraq amid Hamas-Israeli escalation    
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian begins a regional tour on Thursday that includes stops in Iraq and Lebanon, according to state media outlets. The visit comes as the Hamas-Israeli conflict extends into southern Lebanon, where the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and Israel have been exchanging fire.

Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mojtaba Amani, confirmed the visit. “In light of the current Palestinian events, the crimes committed against Gaza and their dangerous ramifications, the foreign minister's regional trip will start today and includes Lebanon,” Amani said in a post on the X platform.

2:34 am: Israel won’t restore power, water supply until hostages returned

Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz said that Israel will not reinstate power and water and will not allow fuel trucks to enter the Gaza Strip until the hostages taken from Israeli territories are returned. "Humanitarian in exchange of humanitarian. Let no one give us moral lessons," wrote Katz on X.

2:08 am: 1,300 reported killed in Israel since Saturday

The latest data from Israeli authorities show that 1,300 people have been killed since Saturday morning, either by Gaza rockets or by Hamas attackers. Another 3,300 people were wounded and 28 remain in critical condition.

1:43 am: Rockets launched from Gaza toward coastal Sharon region, West Bank

After a lull of almost 10 hours, rocket sirens sounded in towns in Israel's Sharon coastal region and in the West Bank. No direct strikes were reported, said the IDF.

12:57 am: IDF strikes Hamas commando units across Gaza

The IDF said the Israeli air force carried out multiple strikes across the Gaza Strip overnight, targeting the bases of Nokhba, Hamas’ elite fighting unit that spearheaded Saturday’s attack on Israel. Mohammed Abu Shamala, a senior Hamas naval forces official, was also killed. The IDF said that his house had been used as a depot for naval equipment.

Click here for our most recent updates.

For our previous live coverage, see:

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