Home Latest News Israel says Gaza siege won’t end until hostages released; Blinken arrives in Tel Aviv: Live updates

Israel says Gaza siege won’t end until hostages released; Blinken arrives in Tel Aviv: Live updates

Israel says Gaza siege won’t end until hostages released; Blinken arrives in Tel Aviv: Live updates


‘No one will preach us morals’ on Gaza Strip, Israeli minister says

No one will “preach” to Israel on morality on humanitarian grounds over its siege of the Gaza Strip, Israeli Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Israel Katz said Thursday.

“Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home. Humanitarian for humanitarian. And no one will preach us morals,” he said in a Google-translated post on social media platform X, previously known as Twitter.

Israel earlier this week declared a total siege of the Gaza Strip, following the terrorist attacks of Palestinian militant group Hamas. It is now no longer supplying the roughly 2.3 million people of the region with its food, water, fuel and electricity supplies.

The U.N. has expressed concern over the welfare of civilians following these restrictions, with the U.S. mentioning the possibility of a humanitarian corridor for the people of the Gaza Strip.

Ruxandra Iordache

Death toll rises

At least 1,200 Israeli people have been killed in Israel since the multi-pronged terrorist strikes of Palestinian militant group Hamas over the weekend, according to the latest update from Jonathan Conricus, spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces. Israeli public broadcaster Kan put this figure higher at 1,300 on Thursday. Discrepancies have been previously noted in the reporting of various official outlets.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a combined 1,232 people have been killed, Palestinian officials said, following airstrikes by Israel and a complete siege of Gaza in response to the Hamas attack.

Thousands of other people are injured in all three regions.

Ruxandra Iordache

Blinken to meet Israel PM Thursday

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken looks on, as U.S. President Joe Biden (not pictured) speaks about the conflict in Israel, after Hamas launched its biggest attack in decades, at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 7, 2023.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to arrive in Israel on Thursday and meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss developments since the brutal attack of Palestinian militant group Hamas over the weekend.

Separately, Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh said on X, previously known as Twitter, that Blinken will convene with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Friday.

Abbas will also on Thursday meet with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Amman, al-Sheikh added.

The U.S. has previously condemned the terrorist hostilities of Hamas and said it was in discussions with Egypt to organize a humanitarian corridor for civilians in the Gaza Strip, who are under a complete siege by Israel.

Ruxandra Iordache

X answers EU disinformation claims following Hamas hostilities

Linda Yaccarino, CEO, X/Twitter speaks onstage during Vox Media’s 2023 Code Conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel on September 27, 2023 in Dana Point, California. 

Jerod Harris | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

The X social media platform has “taken action to remove or label tens of thousands of pieces of content” since the terrorist attacks carried out by Palestinian militant group Hamas against Israel, company CEO Linda Yaccarino said in a public letter.

Yaccarino’s comments came after Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for the internal market, on Tuesday gave X owner Elon Musk 24 hours to respond to claims that his platform is “being used to disseminate illegal content and and disinformation in the EU,” following the Hamas hostilities.

The X platform has previously introduced policies to try to rein in disinformation during crisis situations, adding warning labels to debunk false allegations about events.

Ruxandra Iordache

Brazil calls for Friday meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Israel-Hamas war

Brazil called for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday to “address the situation in the Gaza Strip,” its foreign ministry said.

The country’s Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira has postponed a scheduled trip to the Philippines and will travel to New York for the assembly.

Brazil is the current October holder of the monthly rotating UNSC presidency. The council held an initial meeting on Sunday, Reuters reports, in the immediate wake of Palestinian militant group Hamas’ terrorist attack against Israel the day prior.

In a Google-translated Wednesday post on social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, Brazilian President Lula da Silva called for an end to the conflict and for the release of children captured by Hamas.

“An international humanitarian intervention is urgently needed. A ceasefire is urgently needed in defense of Israeli and Palestinian children,” he said. “Brazil, in the provisional presidency of the UN Security Council, will join the efforts to bring the conflict to an immediate and definitive end.”

Ruxandra Iordache

Saudi, Iran leadership discuss Israel-Hamas conflict in first call since resuming relations

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ahead of a working lunch at the G20 summit on Nov. 15, 2022 in Nusa Dua, Indonesia.

Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi discussed the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, in their first official phone call since their two nations resumed diplomatic ties.

The conversation took place on Wednesday and lasted 45 minutes, Iran’s state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency said in a Google-translated report, and was also noted by the Saudi Press Agency.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have both historically advocated the cause of the Palestinian people, with Tehran also supporting Hamas. Since the bloody Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel over the weekend, Riyadh has called for an “immediate halt to the escalation between the two sides,” while Iran has repeatedly denied involvement in the hostilities, but also described them as a “natural reaction.”

The Wednesday engagement marked the first conversation between the high-profile officials of the two countries, who only ended years of tensions and agreed to rekindle diplomatic relations in a China-brokered deal in March.

Ruxandra Iordache

UN secretary-general calls for immediate release of Israeli hostages, protection of Gaza civilians

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at U.N. headquarters on September 19, 2023 in New York City.

Adam Gray | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called for the immediate release of all Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. He urged all parties to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip who are caught in the crossfire as Israel declared war on Hamas militants, who control the Palestinian enclave.

“I appeal to all parties — and those who have an influence over those parties — to avoid any further escalation and spillover,” Guterres said at a press conference Wednesday. It was his second statement in three days on the Israel-Hamas conflict. “International humanitarian law must be respected and upheld.”

“UN premises and all hospitals, schools and clinics must never be targeted,” the secretary-general said, adding some UN staff died while working to support the people of Gaza.

With Israel cutting off all supplies as the Jewish state continues its bombardment of Gaza, aid agencies and workers have been scrambling to find alternative access routes where humanitarian supplies may be channeled to Gaza.

“I want to thank Egypt for its constructive engagement to facilitate humanitarian access through the Rafah crossing and to make the El Arish airport available for critical assistance,” Guterres added.

— Clement Tan

Biden tells Iranians: ‘Be careful’

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at a roundtable with Jewish community leaders in the Indian Treaty Room of the White House on Oct. 11, 2023.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden said his administration warned Iran to be careful after Hamas’ attacks on Israel.

After listing aid the U.S. is sending to Israel, Biden “made it clear to the Iranians: Be careful.”

The president made the remarks at a roundtable of Jewish leaders at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

Sources tell NBC News that U.S. intelligence shows Iranian leaders were surprised by Hamas’ attack on Israel, but White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that Iran was “complicit” in the attack because it has backed Hamas for decades.

Biden called the attack by Hamas “pure cruelty.”

“I would argue it’s the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust,” Biden said.

Emma Kinery

Israel to form emergency government for war against Hamas

Israel will form an emergency government amid the war against Hamas, seeking to shore up security decision-making as the conflict with the Palestinian militant group persists.

Then Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz arrives for a photo at the President’s residence during a ceremony for the new coalition government in Jerusalem, on June 14, 2021.

Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images

Opposition leader and former head of the army Benny Gantz will join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet alongside Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Israeli media reported.

— Sam Meredith

Medical services in Gaza enter ‘critical stage,’ Palestinian health ministry says

Medics attend to children, wounded by Israeli airstrikes, at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on October 11, 2023.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

Health services in the Gaza Strip are at a “critical stage,” the Palestinian health ministry said in a Facebook post.

“Medicines, medical consumption and fuel are running out” and hospitals are fully occupied, with wounded patients “on the ground due to the intensification of Israeli aggression,” a spokesman said.

“Urgent action must be taken to provide a safe corridor for medical supplies and the wounded and patients should leave before it is too late,” the ministry warned.

Egypt is reportedly in talks with the U.S. to provide aid to Palestinians through the Egyptian border with Gaza, Reuters reported quoting Egyptian security sources, adding that moves to set up a safe passageway for fleeing refugees of the Palestinian enclave have been rejected.

— Joanna Tan

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