© Reuters. An Israeli soldier directs an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) at the Israeli side of the Gaza border, as violence around the nearby Gaza Strip mounts following a mass-rampage by armed Palestinian infiltrators, October 9, 2023. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
(Reuters) – Israel’s military said it conducted a “large-scale strike” in Gaza overnight, targeting an elite Hamas unit that led the deadly weekend attacks as the U.S. Secretary of State headed to the region to show solidarity with Israel and meet Arab leaders including Palestinians.
Israel formed an emergency unity government, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting in a war cabinet.
* Israeli strikes overnight were focused on Hamas’ “Nukhba”, which spearheaded Saturday’s attacks, Israeli military spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Hecht told reporters on Thursday.
* Palestinian gunmen were still trying to infiltrate Israel by sea and the military was still working to secure the Gaza fence, Hecht said, warning anyone who approached the fence would be shot.
* Hamas media said 15 Palestinians had been killed and several wounded in the latest Israeli air strikes.
* Israel says death toll now 1,200, with at least 220 of those Israeli soldiers, more than 2,700 people had been injured and scores taken hostage. The death toll in Gaza has risen to 1,200, with around 5,600 wounded, Palestinian media reported before the latest air strikes, citing Gaza’s health ministry.
* No decision on ground incursion, but Israeli military says preparing for it.
* Gaza’s southern neighbour Egypt has discussed letting humanitarian aid across the border but is against creating safe corridors for fleeing Palestinian refugees, Egyptian security sources said.
* Israel has put Gaza under “total siege” to stop food and fuel reaching the enclave of 2.3 million people, many poor and dependent on aid. Hamas media said electricity was cut after the only power station stopped working.
* About 340,000 were homeless in Gaza, huddling in U.N.-designated shelters or shattered streets.
* Governments around the world have arranged repatriation flights from Tel Aviv as the war escalates.
* Gaza’s 75 years of woe from the end of British rule to the present day – a brief history.
* On the grass of the kibbutz in Beeri, Israel, bodies in white body bags were laid out in rows. “I thought I’d seen enough but but nothing could prepare me for what happened there. The smell of bodies – as many times as I’ve showered this week – I can’t get that smell out,” a first responder said.
* “There are no wreaths left in Israel anymore,” said one of the many volunteers working to prepare funeral flowers for more than 1,200 Israelis killed since Hamas gunmen burst into Israel.
* Gazan rescuers pulled the body of a 4-year-old girl and other dead from the rubble of a municipal building where she and many others were sheltering.
* Israeli volunteers helped gravediggers at Israel’s main military cemetery as burials began for slain soldiers. “I decided that I’m going to do something for the people of Israel” said one.
* Hundreds of cars lie abandoned in the scramble to flee a massacre at an Israeli music festival where Hamas gunmen killed 260 people and took captives back into Gaza. The scene underlines the scale of the deadliest attack on Israel in decades.
* Initial U.S. intelligence reports show key Iranian leaders were surprised by the unprecedented attacks on Israel by Hamas, according to a source.
* Iranian and Saudi leaders in breakthrough telephone call, discuss Israel-Palestinian conflict, call for end to violence.
* A surge in doctored images, mislabelled videos and graphic online violence related to the Israel-Hamas conflict prompted the EU to urge Big Tech to remove illegal content or risk legal penalties.
* Pope Francis called for the release of all hostages taken by Hamas militants.
* U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in Israel on Thursday, in a show of solidarity. Blinken will also visit Jordan, but not visit the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where he ordinarily meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Israel’s response to Hamas’s attack was disproportionate by “preventing people meeting their most fundamental needs and bombing housing where civilians live”.
* EU humanitarian support to the Palestinian people “is not in question,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said, but the bloc must review its financial assistance.
* How a secretive Hamas commander masterminded the attack on Israel.
* Hamas waged a campaign of deception to pull off its stunning attack.
* Biden finds himself thrust into a crisis likely to reshape his Middle East policy, and into an uneasy alliance with far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
* Palestinian statehood, Jerusalem and refugees lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
MARKETS AND BUSINESS
* Oil prices fell as fears of disruption to supplies due to conflict in the Middle East receded a day after top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia pledged to help stabilise the market.
* Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron he would extend his five-year term “given the emergency situation and the challenges to the Israeli economy at this tough time,” the central bank said.
* The cost of insuring Israel’s debt against default surged to the highest level since 2013.
* International airlines have suspended hundreds of flights to and from Tel Aviv following the attack. Here’s a list.
* U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stuck to her view that the American economy is headed for a soft landing.