Israeli army says killed two Hamas commanders who led attack
Israel’s military said on Saturday it killed two Hamas commanders who were behind the cross-border deadly rampage into Israel a week ago.
The military said it killed Merad Abu Merad, who was the head of the Hamas aerial system, and Ali Qadi, a company commander of a commando force.
U.S. reportedly working to get its citizens out of Gaza via Rafah border crossing
The U.S. is working to get the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened on Saturday to allow U.S. citizens to leave, several news agencies reported Saturday.
AFP and Reuters reported earlier that the U.S. had been working with Israel, Qatar and Egypt to have the crossing point open from midday to 5pm local time, citing an un-named senior State Department official.
“We have been trying to facilitate access for it to be open from 12 to five today. The Egyptians, the Israelis and the Qataris have been working with us on that,” the official told reporters travelling with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Reuters reported.
NBC News has not yet been able to confirm the reports.
The reports follow a comment made by the IDF’s international spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht in a briefing this morning, advising that he was aware of talk of a humanitarian exit for U.S. citizens and that he expected an update on the situation this morning.
Blinken has conducted a flurry of diplomatic meetings in the Middle East this week, trying to prevent the Israeli-Hamas conflict from spreading in the wider region.
— Holly Ellyatt
Israeli military says it’s examining death of Reuters journalist in Lebanon
The Israeli army said on Saturday it was aware of the incident in southern Lebanon in which a Reuters journalist was killed and that it was being investigated.
“We are aware of the incident with the Reuters journalist. We are looking into it. We already have visuals. We’re doing cross examination. It’s a tragic thing,” a military spokesperson told reporters.
Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah was killed and six other journalists injured in southern Lebanon on Friday when missiles fired from the direction of Israel struck them, according to a Reuters videographer who was at the scene.
324 Palestinians killed in last 24 hours, Gaza says
Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours have so far killed at least 324 Palestinians and wounded 1,000 others, Gaza’s health ministry reported on Saturday, Reuters noted.
According to the report, the dead included at least 126 children and 88 women.
In total, 2,215 citizens in the Gaza Strip and West Bank have been killed, the ministry said Saturday, with the majority of those killed being in Gaza.
— Holly Ellyatt
UN plane carrying medical supplies lands in Egypt, ready to supply Gaza
The head of the World Health Organization said a plane carrying medical supplies has landed in Egypt, with its cargo ready to be deployed to Gaza as soon as possible.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the plane had landed in Al Arish, close to the Rafah crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza.
“We’re ready to deploy the supplies as soon as humanitarian access through the crossing is established. We continue our plea to Israel to reconsider the decision to evacuate 1.1 million people,” he said, adding: “It will be a human tragedy.”
Tens of thousands of Palestinians are trying to leave northern Gaza after the Israeli military ordered over a million civilians to leave the area ahead of an expected ground offensive.
Humanitarian agencies say the 24-hour deadline given by Israeli authorities is not enough and have warned of disaster, saying civilians do not have enough time to evacuate.
All water, food, electricity, fuel and medical supplies to Gaza were cut by Israeli forces following Palestinian militant group Hamas’ attack a week ago. The World Health Organization is a specialized UN agency responsible for international public health.
— Holly Ellyatt
EU top diplomat says Gaza City evacuation “virtually impossible”
The European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell warned that Israel’s call to evacuate the roughly 1.1 million residents of Gaza City south of the Wadi Gaza river is “virtually impossible,” echoing earlier comments from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
“I fully endorse @antonioguterres warning that Israel’s request that 1 million civilians evacuate from the North of Gaza across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or shelter into a territory under siege is extremely dangerous and virtually impossible,” Borrell said on social media. He has been on a three-day visit to China, as the EU attempts to navigate de-risking, but not fully decoupling its trade relationship from Beijing.
The U.N. has previously condemned the terrorist attacks of Palestinian group Hamas, which killed and abducted Israeli civilians and nationals. U.N. officials have simultaneously expressed concern over the impact of Israel’s complete siege of the Gaza Strip, particularly after an Israeli instruction for the roughly 1.1 million people of Gaza City to evacuate southward in the short term.
Several humanitarian agencies have decried the evacuation order, saying it would exacerbate the existing crisis for civilians in the Gaza Strip.
On Friday, Guterres urged all parties to allow “immediate humanitarian access” as the Israel-Hamas conflict deepens. “We need immediate humanitarian access throughout Gaza, so that we can get fuel, food and water to everyone in need.”
— Ruxandra Iordache
Israeli military says it thwarted infiltration and attacks from Lebanon
Israeli military said it has been responding to Lebanese hostilities in overnight updates on the Telegram social media platform.
In a first post, the Israel Defense Forces said they struck a target in southern Lebanon belonging to Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has been exchanging fire with Israel throughout the week. The IDF said it carried out the offensive “in response to infiltration of unidentified aerial objects into Israel” and that it intercepted the object and fired against its forces.
In a later update, the IDF said it thwarted a “terrorist cell” that sought to enter Israeli territory from Lebanon, without identifying its allegiance.
CNBC could not independently verify the reports. The Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar TV, which has previously reported on firing between Hezbollah and Israel, has yet to mention a Hezbollah incursion.
Hezbollah has previously criticized Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip and has exchanged shelling with Israel, citing solidarity with the Palestinian people. On Friday, deputy chief of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem, said that the Lebanese group is prepared to intervene in the war between Israel and Hamas and “will carry out our duties whenever it is high time.”
Hezbollah leadership on Friday met with the foreign minister of Iran, which supports both the group and Hamas. Iran has praised the deadly multi-pronged Hamas attacks of Oct. 7, but denied involvement.
IDF opens new evacuation routes in Gaza for 6 hours
The Israel Defense Forces will allow movement on two streets in Gaza “without any harm” between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time, the military’s Arabic-language spokesman Avichay Adraee said on X, according to a Google translation.
The IDF encouraged civilians to take advantage of the route to move south from Beit Hanoun to Khan Yunis.
— Christine Wang
IDF spokesman defends evacuation order
Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus defended the evacuation order, saying it would keep civilians safer and out of an area where Israel is “going to enhance our military operations.” He reiterated that Israel is targeting Hamas and its military infrastructure.
Conricus slammed Hamas for telling civilians to ignore the evacuation order, accusing the Palestinian militant group of using civilians as a human shield.
— Christine Wang
Israel Defense Forces say over 120 civilians are being held hostage in Gaza
Israel Defense Forces said over 120 civilians are being held captive in Gaza by Hamas. The military previously said it had notified families of at least 120 people who were taken hostage by the Palestinian militant group.
— Christine Wang
U.S. has not asked Israel to delay ground operation, official says
A senior U.S. official told NBC News that the U.S. has not asked Israel to delay its ground offensive in Gaza.
The comment strikes down a Fox News report that Washington had asked for the operation to be delayed until after safe passage could be secured for evacuating Palestinians.
A State Department official said Friday the U.S. believes Israel is trying to minimize harm to civilians and that its military has a right to respond with operations it deems necessary.
— Christine Wang
Evacuation deadline passes with no sign of Israeli ground offensive
Israel’s deadline for the evacuation of northern Gaza has now passed.
Its military is expected to commence a ground offensive into the area after amassing troops at the border over the past week. While Israel never confirmed such plans, the 24-hour notice for the evacuation of 1.1 million Palestinians raised concerns it would begin a new phase of its efforts to wipe out Hamas’ military capabilities.
— Christine Wang
‘There is nowhere to hide from the bombs’: Civilians trapped in Gaza can’t escape Israel’s siege
In the Gaza Strip, a small stretch of land blockaded off with concrete walls and barbed wire fences and whose last remaining border crossings have been shut, survival is increasingly a game of chance.
“It’s insane and brutal — I can’t believe they’re doing this to the whole population. The amount of airstrikes are massive,” Omar, a Gazan development worker with two young children, told CNBC via voice note. “We’re OK for now but it’s very scary, and with each bomb, we feel it’s going to be our turn.” Omar asked that only his first name be used out of concern for his family.
Without bomb shelters, people try to hide in hallways, away from windows, in schools, or even in the street alongside piles of rubble. But those spots aren’t safe either, Palestinians in Gaza say.
Read the full story here.
— Natasha Turak
Palestinians evacuate from northern Gaza
Entire families could be seen fleeing northern Gaza in cars, trucks, donkey carts and on foot after the Israeli military asked 1.1 million people to evacuate ahead of an expected ground invasion.
The United Nations has demanded that “Israel immediately rescind its order for 1.1 million Palestinians to leave northern Gaza within 24 hours, condemning the evacuation order as a crime against humanity and a blatant violation of international humanitarian law.”
“Forcible population transfers constitute a crime against humanity, and collective punishment is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” said Paula Gaviria Betancur, special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons. “We are horrified at the prospect of an additional 1 million Palestinians joining the over 423,000 people already forcibly driven from their homes by the violence over the past week.”
Israel has not yet said anything about the timing of the invasion.
Three convoys of evacuees in Gaza were hit by strikes, killing 70 people, according to a statement released by Hamas. NCB News reported.
At least 1,300 people have been killed in Israel and 1,900 people have been killed in Gaza as a result of the Israel-Hamas war, according to official estimates from both sides.
— Riya Bhattacharjee
Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here
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