Syria:1 US Dollar = 14,000 SYP
Iran:1 US Dollar = 50,550 IRR
Iraq:1 US Dollar = 1,309 IQD
Egypt:1 US Dollar = 30 EGP
Saudi Arabia:1 US Dollar = 3 SAR
Türkiye:1 US Dollar = 28 TL

Israel and Palestinian Territories in October 2023

Table of Contents

October 3, 2023

  1. IDF Investigates Surge in Migrant Boats Reaching Israeli Shores Undetected (I24). The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are investigating a migrant boat incident in Netanya. Passports and personal items were found on board, indicating a rising trend in such incidents since 2017. IDF Navy and Israel Police are searching for the occupants, while radar systems are under review for improvements.
  2. Netanyahu Denies Rift with Ben Gvir Over Security Meeting Exclusion (Sharq Awsat). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied media reports suggesting a rift with National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir over his exclusion from a recent security meeting. Netanyahu stated that the meeting was focused on Iran and did not fall under Ben Gvir’s jurisdiction. The media had reported that Ben Gvir was excluded due to fears of information leaks and his controversial proposals.
  3. Israel Accuses France of Ignoring Hezbollah’s Growing Influence in Lebanon During Border Tensions (I24). Israel criticizes France for ignoring Hezbollah near the border. Foreign Ministry summons French deputy ambassador amid tensions over Hezbollah’s activities in Israeli territories. Israeli officials warn France’s alignment with Lebanon could hinder negotiations. France’s UNIFIL mandate draft changed after pressure from the US, Israel, and Security Council members.
  4. Israeli Authorities Close Ibrahimi Mosque, Allow Settler Entry to Al-Aqsa During Sukkot Celebrations (TRT Arabic). Tensions rise in East Jerusalem as Ibrahimi Mosque closed to Muslims during Sukkot, allowing settler access. Al-Aqsa Mosque sees hundreds of Israeli settlers with age restrictions for Palestinians. 859 settlers entered Al-Aqsa on the first day of Sukkot, causing increased regional tension.
  5. Israel’s Defense Exports Surge, Drone Sales to Countries Increase 40% Since 2020 (Al Monitor). Israel’s defense exports surged with drone sales up 40% since 2020. The Israeli Defense Ministry approved drone sales to 56 countries in 2022, compared to 41 in 2021 and 40 in 2020. Munitions sales rose by 45%, while intelligence and cyber systems increased by 24%. These exports, totaling $12.55 billion in 2022, benefited from the 2020 Abraham Accords, leading to $3 billion in exports to Arab nations in 2022. The growth continues with a commitment to sell the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system to Germany in 2023.

October 4, 2023

  1. Israeli Ministry Blocks European Ministers’ Visit to West Bank Palestinian Villages (AlWatan). The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied visits by Ireland, Norway, and Britain’s foreign ministers to Palestinian villages in Area C of the West Bank. Israel cited security concerns, fearing escalation and violence. The right-wing government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has intensified demolitions and displacements in Area C, despite its intended expansion for the Palestinian Authority. Settlement organizations are pressuring the government to hinder European aid to Palestinians in this region.
  2. Israel Expands Gazan Worker Permits, Eases Gaza Goods Entry, and Engages in Talks with Qatar for Hamas Salaries (Sharq Awsat). These measures are designed to reinforce American efforts in talks with Saudi Arabia by preventing Gaza-related tensions. Due to a recent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden highlighted that averting violence against Palestinians would enhance US-Saudi communication, signaling a show of strength in support of these negotiations. Meanwhile, Palestinian Islamic Jihad test-fired rockets toward the Mediterranean Sea, leading to an alert in southern Israel. These launches occurred after a hiatus in border riots and incendiary balloon attacks. The rockets were directed seaward and did not breach Israeli territory. The group characterized the event as a live fire drill simulating raids on Israeli military sites, including advanced offensive maneuvers. The timing coincided with increased Jewish visits to the Temple Mount during Sukkot.
  3. Israel Ranks High in TikTok Content Removal with 12.75% Rate (Jerusalem Post). Israel featured prominently in’ analysis of TikTok content removal rates, with 12.75% of videos removed from January to March 2023. Pakistan led the list with a 70.91% removal rate. The primary reasons for removal were minor safety concerns (30%), followed by the display of illegal activities and adult content. Israel’s strict moderation is in response to issues like cyberbullying, predatory behavior, and scams, despite the app’s 13+ age restriction. The UK also displayed active content removal practices, nearly 20% of videos were removed, reflecting a wider trend in content management.
  4. Leader of Afghan National Resistance Front Open to Cooperation with Israel for Peace (Jerusalem Post). Ahmed Massoud, leader of the Afghan National Resistance Front seeks support from any party backing their cause against terrorism and ignorance. Massoud, who studied at elite institutions and leads the resistance, aims for international backing in Europe and a democratic Afghan government that decides its international relations, including cooperation with Israel. He emphasizes the global need for peace and dialogue.
  5. Ben Gvir’s Anti-Terrorism Online Unit: 34 Arrests, 100 Investigations, 759 Posts Removed (Jerusalem Post). Since 2022, the Anti-Terrorism Online Operation Unit led by Itamar Ben Gvir has arrested 34 individuals for online terrorism incitement, conducted 100 investigations, and removed 759 posts from social media. The unit comprises various security personnel and prosecutors, effectively countering online radicalization and incitement to terrorism.

October 5, 2023

  1. World Jewish Center in Armenia Vandalized; Attackers Declare Jews “Enemies of the Armenian Nation (Jerusalem Post). The World Jewish Center in Yerevan, Armenia, was vandalized in an act believed to be linked to Armenia’s conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The attackers left a note declaring Jews as “enemies of the Armenian nation” and threatened further violence against Jewish communities.
  2. Heightened Security Measures During Jerusalem Main March Today (Ynet). Jerusalem’s annual main march kicks off today, leading to extensive road closures and traffic modifications. Hundreds of police officers and volunteers have been deployed to ensure the event’s security. The parade will commence at Bezalel Street and conclude at the First Station complex.
  3. Orthodox Jewish Extremists Spitting at Christian Pilgrims Sparks Outrage (CBN). Orthodox Jewish extremists were caught on video spitting at Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem’s Old City during the Feast of Tabernacles. Another group protested outside an International Christian Embassy event, shouting for Christians to stay out of Israel. Five individuals have been arrested in connection with the spitting incident.

October 6, 2023

  1. Israel’s Arms Supply to Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. Israel and Azerbaijan have expanded their strategic alliance, but it’s the discreet arms supply from Israel aiding Azerbaijan’s recent recapture of Nagorno-Karabakh that’s drawing attention. This development comes as the two nations also signed a space cooperation agreement at the International Astronautical Congress in Baku, focusing on joint projects in space technologies and Earth observation. The arms deal has raised questions about Israel’s geopolitical interests and its influence on regional conflicts (Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post).
  2. Five Israeli Undercover Soldiers Injured in Tulkarm Camp Operation. An operation in the Tulkarm Palestinian refugee camp resulted in injuries to five members of the Israeli undercover unit, Musta’ribin, three of them seriously. The injuries occurred due to a grenade ricochet. The operation also led to the death of two Palestinians and the arrest of two others. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of being responsible for operations against Israel (Syria TV).

October 10, 2023

  1. Hamas Threatens to Execute Israeli Prisoners in Retaliation for Civilian Bombings. The Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, has declared its intent to execute an Israeli civilian prisoner in response to any new Israeli bombings of civilian homes without warning. Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the Martyr Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, warned that they would broadcast the executions with audio and video, emphasizing Israel’s responsibility for the situation (Al Arabiya).
  2. Netanyahu Threatens Hamas: “We Will Change the Middle East”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the war on the Gaza Strip will be ongoing and vowed to “change the Middle East.” In a call with heads of Israeli local councils surrounding Gaza, he emphasized the need for a strong stance in the difficult days ahead and warned Hamas that they would face difficult and terrible consequences. The conflict began when Hamas and Palestinian factions launched the “Al-Aqsa Flood” military operation in response to Israeli attacks on Palestinians, leading to casualties on both sides (Anadolu Agency).

October 11, 2023

  1. Massacre Site Reveals At Least 40 Babies Among Victims. International journalists accompanied by IDF soldiers visited the aftermath of a Hamas attack in Kibbutz Kfar Aza. They discovered the shocking reality of over 40 babies among the victims, some of whom had been beheaded. Omar Barak, an Israeli army officer, stated that when Palestinian gunmen stormed the Kfar Aza community, they “set fire” to several homes to compel their occupants to come out. He described witnessing the aftermath of the attack and mentioned seeing the bodies of two children who had been assassinated (Times of Israel). 
  2. Israel Uncovers 1,500 Bodies of Hamas Fighters; Regains Border Control. The Israeli army announced the discovery of approximately 1,500 bodies of Hamas fighters in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Military spokesperson Richard Hecht stated that security forces have largely regained control of the border. The army is also preparing infrastructure for future operations. Israeli deaths have risen to 900, while Palestinian casualties stand at 700, including 140 children and 105 women (Sharq Awsat).
  3. Israeli Forces Locate 30 Missing People in Southern Kibbutz After Hamas Assault. Israeli forces located 30 missing people in the southern kibbutz of Ein Hashlosha three days into Hamas’s assault on southern Israel. A group of 16 Israelis and 14 Thais had gone missing, prompting authorities to launch a rescue operation. The joint effort involving the military, police, Shin Bet, and various ministries used location technology to locate the group, and they were found alive and well (Times of Israel). 
  4. IDF Confirms 1,200 Deaths in Hamas Attack; Targets Hamas Positions in Gaza. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed over 1,200 civilian and military deaths due to a Hamas attack. In response, the IDF conducted extensive overnight strikes, targeting hundreds of Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip. An attempt to target Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif resulted in the death of his cousin. This marks the eighth attempt on Deif’s life (i24).

October 12, 2023

  1. Israel’s Intel Minister Accuses Iran of Backing Hamas Attacks. Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel stated that Iran’s long-term support for Hamas makes it partly responsible for the recent attacks against Israel. Gamliel emphasized that the focus is currently on enhancing security measures. She also mentioned receiving global support, including from the Iranian diaspora. The minister condemned Hamas for committing “war crimes” and using civilians as human shields (Al Monitor).
  2. Israeli-American Teen Survives Hamas Attack After Parents Sacrifice Lives. In a tragic incident near the Gaza border, an Israeli-American teenager, Rotem Mathias, survived a Hamas attack on his family’s home by hiding under his deceased mother. His parents, Shlomi and Debbie Mathias, were killed while shielding him from gunfire. Rotem played dead for 30 minutes before finding a hiding spot. The family had less than a minute to seek shelter after being alerted to the attack. Rotem and his sisters, who were hiding in separate safe rooms, were eventually rescued by Israeli soldiers. The attack occurred just hours after the family celebrated the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (AP).
  3. Israelis Abroad Rush Home to Support War Effort as Conflict Continues. As the conflict with Hamas intensifies, Israelis living overseas are making urgent plans to return home. They aim to join reserve military units or volunteer in various roles. Israel’s military has recently expanded its reservist mobilization to 360,000. Individuals like Yaakov Swisa and Adam Jacobs feel a compelling duty to return, despite the war claiming at least 1,800 lives. Travel remains challenging due to suspended flights and U.S. State Department advisories (AP). 
  4. U.S. Jewish Communities Mobilize Rapid Aid for Israel Following Hamas Attack. In response to the recent Hamas attack on Israel, Jewish communities across the United States have rallied to provide aid, raising millions of dollars and sending supplies ranging from bulletproof vests to toiletries. Rabbi Jonathan Leener’s Brooklyn synagogue alone raised $5,000 within an hour. High-profile donors like Yuri Milner and Mike Bloomberg have also pledged significant contributions. Despite airlines suspending flights to Israel, communities are using social media and private charters to ensure supplies and donations reach their destination. Legacy aid organizations are also raising funds for both Israel and the Palestinian territories (Reuters). 
  5. Hamas Official Reveals Two-Year Secret Plan for Israel Invasion. Senior Hamas official Ali Baraka disclosed in an interview that the organization had been covertly planning an invasion of southern Israel for two years. Baraka stated that only a select few within Hamas were aware of these plans. He also mentioned that Russia is sympathetic to Hamas and benefits from the U.S. being entangled in this conflict. Additionally, Baraka revealed that any prisoner swap deals should include Hamas prisoners in the U.S. and Europe (MEMRI). 
  6. The Enigmatic Commander: Who is Mohammed Deif? Mohammed Deif, the secretive chief of Hamas’s military wing, is the mastermind behind the recent devastating attack on Israel. Deif began planning the operation two years ago, triggered by Israeli raids on Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque. A survivor of multiple assassination attempts, Deif is a highly elusive figure, rarely appearing in public. He is held responsible for numerous deaths in Israel and has been on the country’s most-wanted list for decades. His planning involved a long-term deception strategy, making Israel believe that Hamas was focused on economic development in Gaza. Deif’s whereabouts remain unknown, likely hidden in Gaza’s tunnel networks (Reuters). 
  7. Gaza’s 75-Year Struggle: A Timeline of Key Events. Gaza, a coastal strip with over 2 million Palestinians, has a history marked by conflict and hardship. From Ottoman rule to British, Egyptian, and Israeli military control, the area has seen significant changes. Major milestones include the influx of Palestinian refugees in 1948, Egyptian rule in the 1950s and 1960s, and Israeli occupation post-1967. The first Palestinian uprising in 1987 led to the formation of Hamas. The Oslo Accords in 1993 offered some autonomy but failed to achieve statehood. The second intifada in 2000 worsened conditions, leading to Israeli withdrawal in 2005. Hamas took control in 2006, resulting in international isolation. Repeated cycles of conflict have devastated Gaza’s economy, culminating in a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel in October 2023 (Reuters).
  8. Hamas Releases Israeli Woman and Children; Israeli Army Calls It a “Play”. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, announced the release of an Israeli woman and her two children, previously detained during clashes. Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adraee criticized the move as a propaganda stunt, labeling Hamas “worse than ISIS (Sky News). 
  9. Palestinian President Scheduled for Upcoming Moscow Visit. Kremlin foreign policy advisor Yuri Ushakov announced that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to visit Moscow in the near future. While a specific date has not been set, the visit is confirmed to take place “relatively soon,” according to Ushakov (Al Nahar). 
  10. World Leaders Omit Mention of Iran in Joint Statement Condemning Hamas. An initial draft of a joint statement from leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the US had explicitly warned Iran not to exploit the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. However, the final version omitted any reference to Iran. This comes during speculation about Iran’s role in supporting Hamas’s recent attacks on Israel. The U.S. has deployed aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean as a deterrent, while the world leaders’ statement strongly condemned Hamas’s acts of terrorism (Iran International). 

October 13, 2023

  1. Verified Photos Confirm Horrific Acts in Hamas’s Assault on Kfar Aza. The graphic images were shown to the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Israel and later released on Twitter by the Prime Minister’s Office. Hamas Denied civilian abuse and has launched a campaign to deny allegations of kidnapping, murdering, and abusing civilians during its recent attack on southern Israel. Deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri stated that their forces did not target civilians and that Palestinian civilians entered the conflict later. Antony Blinken is: “It’s impossible for me to look at the photos of families killed – such as the mother, father, and three small children murdered as they sheltered in their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz – and not think of my own children. Young people burned alive. Women raped. Parents executed in front of their children, children in front of their parents The release aims to show “just a fraction of the horrors that Hamas carried out,” according to a spokesman for the PMO. The death toll in Israel has surpassed 1,300, mostly civilians (Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel). 
  2. Dire Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza as Israeli Military Operation Looms. Israel’s military urges over 1 million civilians in Gaza City to evacuate, signaling an impending ground invasion. The UN highlights the impossibility of such a move without severe humanitarian fallout. Critical shortages in fuel, food, and water are reported by the ICRC and UNWFP. Retaliatory attacks have resulted in over 1,500 Palestinian deaths. (Reuters ).
  3. France Bans Pro-Palestinian Protests, Germany Bans Hamas Activities. The French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, has ordered the ban of “pro-Palestinian protests” due to potential public order disturbances. In response to Hamas attacks, Germany has imposed a ban on Hamas activities and plans to extend it to the Palestinian solidarity network “Sahar.” Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized a zero-tolerance policy for anti-Semitism and incitement, with strict enforcement by security agencies. The bans are unusual actions in both countries (Sharq Awsat).
  4. Britain Sends Ships, Troops, and Spy Planes to Support Israel. The United Kingdom will send two Royal Navy ships, spy planes, and troops to support Israel in response to the ongoing conflict. British authorities aim to provide military assistance, reassurance, and evacuation capabilities due to the heightened tensions. The move comes as Israel considers the potential for further aggression, with the United States also deploying significant naval assets to the Eastern Mediterranean. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has emphasized British support for Israel during this crisis. RAF Rivet Joint spy planes will likely play a crucial role in surveillance missions over Israel (24).
  5. Iran Denied Access to Released Funds After Hamas Attack.  The United States and the Qatari government have agreed to deny Iran access to a $6 billion account for humanitarian aid in light of Hamas’ attack on Israel, according to Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo. Senators from both parties, including Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown, have called on the Biden administration to reconsider the deal. The decision followed the US-Iran deal for humanitarian aid, part of a prisoner exchange aiming to reduce regional hostilities. The fund is financed by Iranian oil sales, but the Biden administration faced increasing pressure to prevent Iran from using the funds due to the scrutiny of Iran’s relationship with Hamas (Alarabiya).

October 17, 2023

  1. Ismail Haniyeh Veils Threats and Mocks Israeli Capabilities in Comprehensive Strategy. Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, issues a series of veiled threats against Israel, mocking its military capabilities and readiness. He calls for a unified resistance that includes regional players like Hezbollah and Iran, emphasizing the group’s preparedness for a prolonged conflict. Haniyeh also frames the ongoing strife as part of a 75-year-long Palestinian struggle, criticizing international actors for their roles. He suggests that the conflict is not just a Palestinian issue but a broader regional concern, affecting countries like Egypt and Jordan. The leader also hints at the group’s military capabilities, including prisoners of war, as he outlines a multi-faceted strategy against Israel. For a full English transcript of Haniyeh’s statement, click here. To watch with English subtitles, click here (ACLS YouTube Channel). 
  2. Hamas Signals Willingness to Use Hostages as Bargaining Chips for Prisoner Release. A top Hamas leader indicated that the group may use hostages, including Israelis and non-Israelis, as leverage to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. The hostages were taken during a violent attack on southern Israeli communities, resulting in over 1,300 deaths. Israel’s military estimates that Hamas is holding around 199 hostages, while Hamas claims to have between 200 and 250 (Jerusalem Post).
  3. Hamas Releases Video of French-Israeli Hostage; Mother Appeals for Daughter’s Return. Hamas released a video of 21-year-old French-Israeli citizen Mia Schem, who was abducted from a music festival in Kibbutz Re’im. In the video, Schem is seen asking for her release. Her mother, Keren Schem, confirmed her daughter’s condition and appealed to world leaders for her return. Israel and the French embassy have not commented on the video. The IDF is taking all measures to secure the return of hostages, according to an IDF spokesman (Haaretz).
  4. US Urges Israel to Plan for Post-Hamas Gaza. The Biden administration is pressing Israel to develop a strategy for the scenario where Hamas’s rule in Gaza is toppled. While Israel’s focus remains on removing Hamas from power, U.S. officials warn that lack of a post-Hamas plan could lead to an indefinite IDF presence in Gaza. The issue has gained urgency as Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli officials, emphasizing the need to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza while maintaining international support for Israel’s military operation (Times of Israel).
  5. Israel Requests $10B in Emergency US Military Aid. Israel has reportedly asked the United States for $10 billion in emergency military assistance, according to The New York Times. The aid package is being assembled by Congress and the White House and will also include funds for Ukraine, Taiwan, and the US-Mexico border. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed that discussions are underway to provide Israel with various types of ammunition and precision-guided munitions (Times of Israel). 
  6. Shin Bet Chief Takes Responsibility for Lack of Early Warning in Hamas Attack. The head of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency admitted to failing to provide an early warning for the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel. The statement came as new rocket attacks targeted Tel Aviv and other areas, coinciding with a visit from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. No immediate casualties were reported (Times of Israel).
  7. Netanyahu Warns Iran and Hezbollah Against Testing Israel on Its Northern Borders. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a warning to Iran and Hezbollah, cautioning them against “testing” Israel on its northern borders. He delivered this message during a speech in the Israeli Knesset, stating that the world needs to unite to defeat Hamas and likening Hamas to Nazis. Netanyahu’s remarks highlight concerns about regional stability and security along Israel’s northern frontiers (Sharq Awsat).
  8. EU to Open Humanitarian Air Corridor to Gaza via Egypt. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the European Union’s plan to establish a humanitarian air corridor to the Gaza Strip through Egypt. The first two flights carrying aid are set to launch this week. This comes after the EU tripled its humanitarian aid to over 75 million euros for Gaza (Al Nahar).
  9. German Chancellor to Visit Israel and Egypt During Middle East Conflict. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to visit Israel and Egypt as Western nations intensify their efforts to prevent further escalation in the Middle East conflict. During his visit to Israel, he expressed solidarity with the country, highlighting the importance of dialogue and preventing further escalation. Germany has expressed support for Israel following the recent violence initiated by Hamas, leading to discussions on security issues and humanitarian aid (Swiss Info).
  10. Putin Discusses Israel-Hamas Conflict with Netanyahu. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu about the ongoing conflict with Hamas. Putin briefed Netanyahu on his talks with leaders from Palestine, Egypt, Iran, and Syria. The discussion centered on preventing further escalation and a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Putin expressed condolences for the deceased Israelis and outlined Russia’s efforts to normalize the situation (The Moscow Times).
  11. UN Security Council Rejects Russian Ceasefire Proposal for Gaza. The UN Security Council failed to adopt a Russian-led resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The draft received five votes in favor and four against, with six abstentions. Russia blamed the failure on the “selfish intention of the western bloc,” while the US said the draft ignored Hamas’ terrorism. The resolution had aimed for a ceasefire, release of hostages, aid access, and civilian evacuation (UN News).

October 18, 2023

  1. Israeli Army Arrests 750 Palestinians in West Bank as Gaza Conflict Escalates. Palestinian sources report that the Israeli army has arrested 750 Palestinians in the West Bank since the recent outbreak of fighting in Gaza. This number excludes workers or detainees in Gaza. The arrests, which include at least 65 Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem, have raised concerns due to allegations of abuse and escalating criminality by Israeli forces. Many of those arrested face administrative detention or charges related to incitement, particularly in Jerusalem. Accessing information related to the detainees has become increasingly difficult due to new military orders enacted by the Israeli army (Sharq Awsat).
  2. Gaza’s doctors struggle to save hospital blast survivors as Middle East rage grows. Doctors in Gaza City faced with dwindling medical supplies performed surgery on hospital floors, often without anesthesia, in a desperate bid to save badly wounded victims of a massive blast that killed civilians sheltering in a nearby hospital after Israeli bombings and a blockade of the territory. The Hamas militant group blamed the blast on an Israeli airstrike, while the Israeli military blamed a rocket misfired by other Palestinian militants. At least 500 people were killed, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said. Rage at the hospital carnage spread through the Middle East as U.S. President Joe Biden landed in Israel in hopes of stopping a spread of the war, which started after Hamas militants attacked towns and cities across southern Israel Oct. 7 (AP).
  3. Moscow Calls on Tel Aviv to Prove Innocence in Gaza Hospital Massacre. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concern over the Gaza hospital strike, calling it a “horrific disaster” and emphasizing the need to halt the conflict. While the Russian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the attack on the Baptist Hospital, spokesperson Maria Zakharova cautiously avoided directly blaming the Israeli government. Instead, she urged Tel Aviv to provide satellite images and data to prove its lack of involvement. Zakharova criticized Western policies, holding them responsible for escalating violence in the Middle East. She referenced European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s remarks on Hiroshima to underscore Western accountability (Sharq Awsat).
  4. Chinese President Xi Jinping Welcomes Russian President Putin as “Old Friend” at the Belt and Road Forum. During discussions at the Belt and Road Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping warmly greeted Russian President Vladimir Putin, referring to him as an “old friend.” The two leaders’ meeting focused on the Belt and Road Initiative and highlighted their countries’ growing alliance in the face of opposition to the U.S.-led world order, support for Iran, and condemnation of recent events in Israel (Jerusalem Post). 
  5. Guterres Calls for Humanitarian Ceasefire in Israel-Palestine Conflict. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. He emphasized the need to alleviate human suffering and urged Hamas to release hostages while requesting Israel to allow unrestricted humanitarian aid into Gaza. Guterres condemned the October 7 Hamas attacks but stressed they should not justify collective punishment of Palestinians (Sharq Awsat).
  6. Netanyahu’s Accountability Looms as Public Anger Swells. Public dissatisfaction with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is escalating, with only 21% of Israelis wanting him to remain in office, according to a Maariv newspaper poll. The government is criticized for weakening Israel’s security and mishandling the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Netanyahu’s silence on his personal responsibility for the crisis is further fueling public anger, even as key officials admit to failures. The war’s impact on Netanyahu’s foreign policy goals and his party’s political future is increasingly uncertain (Al Nahar).

October 19, 2023

  1. Israeli Airstrike Targets Hamas National Security Commander and Family. In a significant development, an Israeli airstrike reportedly killed Hamas’s National Security Commander, Jihad Muhaisen, and his family in their home. This event is part of Israel’s ongoing efforts to target key Hamas figures (Sky News Arabia). 
  2. Israel Responds to Rocket Attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas. Israeli security forces retaliated against rocket attacks from southern Lebanon. Approximately 30 rockets were fired into Israel, resulting in rocket impacts in Kiryat Shmona and two reported injuries. Both Hezbollah and Hamas claimed responsibility for the rocket barrages, escalating tensions in the region (Jerusalem Post).
  3. Israeli Defense Minister’s Message to Soldiers: Gaza Soon from Within. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant’s remarks to infantry soldiers on the Gaza border suggest an impending ground invasion of the Palestinian enclave. He stated, “You see Gaza now from afar, and soon you will see it from within.” Israel is mobilizing troops and preparing for a large-scale air, land, and sea attack amid escalating tensions in the region (Al Hurra). 
  4. Explosion in Tulkarm Injures 10 Israeli Soldiers; Al-Quds Brigades Claim Responsibility. An explosion in Tulkarm left 10 Israeli soldiers injured, with one in serious condition. The Al-Quds Brigades claimed responsibility for ambushing the soldiers. Israeli forces declared the Nour Shams camp in Tulkarm a closed military zone. Over the past 24 hours, confrontations in the West Bank led to the death of 6 Palestinians, while in Tulkarm, a young man died after Israeli forces prevented his father from treating him, resulting in his father also being wounded (Al Hadath).
  5. British PM Sunak Stands by Israel’s Right to Defend Amid Gaza Conflict. In a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Netanyahu calls for global unity to combat Hamas, vowing unwavering resolve. Sunak backs Israel’s right to self-defense, emphasizing cooperation for humanitarian aid and hostages’ release in Gaza, while acknowledging Palestinian civilian suffering due to Hamas actions (:24).
  6. Hamas Accused of Using North Korean Weapons in Attack. A report by the Associated Press suggests that Hamas utilized North Korean weaponry in its October attack on Israel, despite North Korea’s denial of involvement. Evidence includes video footage and captured arms analyzed by experts, revealing the use of North Korean F-7 rocket shells. The findings raise concerns about illicit arms shipments and North Korea’s support for Palestinian militant groups. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the use of F-7 shells by Hamas, challenging North Korea’s denial (Sharq Awsat).
  7. Families’ Heartbreak: Kidnapped Children in Gaza. In a deeply emotional press conference held in Israel, families of children kidnapped by Hamas during the recent attack on October 7th shared their heart-wrenching stories. As they grapple with the absence of their loved ones, including young children, the families express their profound fear and anguish. Over 203 individuals, including soldiers, women, children, and the elderly, remain hostage in Gaza, intensifying the desperate need for their safe return. The situation continues to be fraught with tension, underscoring the urgency for a resolution (Al Hurra).
  8. Gaza Children Write Names for Identification Amid Israeli Strikes. Arabic media reports that children who have been displaced in Gaza due to the ongoing Israeli airstrikes are adopting a practice of writing their names on their hands as a precaution for potential identification in case of fatalities (Al Jazeera). 
  9. IDF Presents Evidence of Islamic Jihad’s Role in Gaza Hospital Explosion. IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari presented comprehensive intelligence, including audio recordings and videos, to demonstrate that an Islamic Jihad rocket caused the damage to a Gaza hospital. The evidence showed the trajectory of the rocket and its impact on the hospital. The IDF’s goal was to clarify the incident for the global audience and underline Israel’s commitment to transparency in the ongoing conflict. Hamas was found to have inflated casualties, and there was no IDF involvement in the hospital strike (Jerusalem Post).
  10. President Biden wraps up his visit to wartime Israel with a warning against being ‘consumed’ by rage. President Biden’s visit to wartime Israel resulted in vocal support and a humanitarian aid deal for Gaza. He likened the recent Hamas attack to 9/11, understanding the call for justice but cautioning against being consumed by rage, drawing a parallel with the U.S. response to 9/11 (AP).

October 20, 2023

  1. U.S. Intelligence Report on Gaza City Hospital Explosion Revealed. An unclassified U.S. intelligence report estimates the death toll from a Gaza City hospital explosion to be between 100 and 300, describing it as a “staggering loss of life.” The report contradicts Hamas’ initial claim that an Israeli airstrike caused the blast, supporting instead Israel’s evidence that a misfired Palestinian rocket was responsible. The U.S. intelligence assessment is ongoing and the casualty numbers may change (Sharq Awsat). 
  2. Israel Intensifies Gaza Strikes, Evacuates Town Near Lebanon. Israel has escalated its military actions in Gaza, leveling a district after giving residents a half-hour warning. The Israeli Defense Ministry also ordered the evacuation of Kiryat Shmona, a town near the Lebanese border, amid increasing clashes (Reuters). 
  3. Moody’s Puts Israel’s Credit Rating Under Review Due to Ongoing Hamas Conflict. Moody’s, a global credit rating agency, is reviewing Israel’s A1 credit ratings for a potential downgrade due to the ongoing conflict with Hamas. The agency suggests that the conflict’s length and severity could negatively affect Israel’s governance, fiscal health, and overall economy. This development follows a significant 80% increase in the cost to insure Israel’s government debt and comes after Fitch, another rating agency, also put Israel on negative rating watch (Jerusalem Post).
  4. China, Russia to Coordinate for Israel-Hamas Truce. China has announced its willingness to work with Russia to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas amid ongoing hostilities. The announcement comes as international efforts to halt the conflict have so far been unsuccessful. China’s special envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun, expressed the country’s readiness to play a “positive role” in resuming peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians (France 24). 
  5. Japan Urges Increased Oil Production Over Gaza Conflict Market Fears. Japan has called on Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to ramp up crude oil supplies to stabilize the global market. The request comes as Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza raises concerns about potential market destabilization and a negative impact on the global economy. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno emphasized the need for increased production to maintain market stability (Middle East Monitor).

October 24, 2023

  1. Hamas Highlights New Strategic Balance in Region After Al-Aqsa Storm Operation. Following the Al-Aqsa Storm operation outside Gaza, Hamas’ Political Bureau Head Ismail Haniyeh spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, emphasizing the establishment of a new strategic balance in the region. Haniyeh praised Iran’s support for Palestine and criticized the U.S.’ unwavering support for Israel. The article also highlighted the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza due to Israeli strikes (Tasnim Agency). 
  2. Day 18 of Israel-Hamas Conflict: Key Developments and Diplomatic Efforts. As the Israel-Hamas conflict enters its 18th day, the death toll in Gaza surpasses 5,000. Two elderly Israeli captives were released by Hamas, while Israeli air raids have resulted in significant casualties. Diplomatic efforts are underway, with French President Emmanuel Macron visiting Tel Aviv and the UN General Assembly set to discuss the situation. Meanwhile, tensions are also rising in the West Bank and along the Lebanon-Israel border (Al Jazeera). 
  3. EU Foreign Policy Chief Calls for Additional Gaza Aid and Humanitarian Ceasefire. EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, calls for increased aid to Gaza and suggests a humanitarian ceasefire during intense Israeli bombardment. Gaza receives only 4% of daily imports due to depleted supplies. EU employees criticize Ursula von der Leyen’s stance, condemning both Hamas’ attack on Israel and the disproportionate Israeli response (Sharq Awsat).
  4. Hamas Resumes Rocket Fires on Southern Israel. Hamas resumed rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on Monday morning, launching a barrage of rockets at southern Israel some 14 hours after sirens were last heard across Israel. Residents of the southern port city of Ashkelon, as well as those who remained in Gaza border towns such as Yad Mordechai, Erez, Karmia, and Nativ Ha’Asara were all told to seek shelter (Jerusalem Post).
  5. Israel Delays Ground Operation in Gaza for U.S. Reinforcements. The Israeli army postponed the anticipated ground operation in Gaza in response to Hamas’ recent actions. Israel’s move is dependent on the arrival of U.S. reinforcements in the region, with the U.S. preparing for possible Iranian attacks. While the delay is also attributed to operational readiness and resolving the issue of Palestinian prisoners, increased U.S. military presence aims to support Israel during the ongoing conflict (Haberler, Israeli Army Radio).
  6. North Korea Accuses Washington of Fueling Israel-Hamas Conflict. North Korea blames Washington for escalating the Israel-Hamas conflict, accusing the U.S. of driving the situation in the Middle East. This comes after the U.S. vetoed a UN resolution for humanitarian aid to Gaza, citing concerns about Israel’s self-defense rights. North Korea criticizes both the U.S. and the EU for their stances, while expressing concern about deteriorating Middle East conditions (Sharq Awsat).
  7. Germany Urges Fuel Delivery to Gaza, Warns of Cholera Outbreak. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for the delivery of fuel to the besieged Gaza Strip, which has been targeted by Israeli airstrikes for 17 days. Baerbock emphasized the urgent need for fuel, especially for hospitals and essential services like water desalination and drinking water pumps. She warned of the potential spread of cholera due to the dire situation. Fuel shortages have already had a severe impact on Gaza’s hospitals and daily life, prompting concerns about potential health crises (:24).
  8. Two Israeli Hostages Released by Hamas after 17 Days in Captivity. Hamas has released two elderly Israeli hostages, Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifshitz, who were taken captive from their homes in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7. The release comes after reports suggesting that up to 50 hostages with foreign citizenships could be freed. However, it is believed that at least 220 others, including the husbands of both women, are still held hostage by Hamas (Times of Israel).
  9. Herzog and Macron Discuss Israel’s Response to Hostage Situation. During a meeting in Jerusalem, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the ongoing conflict with Hamas, emphasizing the demand for the immediate release of Israeli citizens held hostage. Herzog warned of potential consequences for Lebanon if Hezbollah were to initiate hostilities. Macron called for targeted operations against terrorist organizations but cautioned against widening the conflict (Timesofisrael).
  10. Israel Protests Russian Stance on Gaza War, Calls for ‘More Balance. Israel has expressed dissatisfaction with Russia over its statements against Israel during the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The Israeli Foreign Ministry voiced its displeasure to a Russian official, urging Moscow to adopt more balanced positions. The Russian stance included submitting a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire that did not mention Hamas, as well as criticizing Israel’s methods in its campaign against the terror group. Israel argued that Russia’s remarks don’t align with the severity of the situation Israel is facing. Russia has sought to maintain relations with both parties but has faced criticism for comparing Israel’s Gaza blockade to the Nazi siege of Leningrad (Timesofisrael).

October 25, 2023

  1. Israeli Officials Demand UN Chief’s Resignation Over Gaza Tensions. Israeli officials call for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ resignation over his comments linking Hamas attacks to Palestinian territories’ control. Meanwhile, the US seeks a UN Security Council vote on Gaza, raising ceasefire concerns. Russia presents an alternative draft during Israeli-Hamas disagreements on aid and ceasefire terms. Israel’s cancellation of a meeting with Guterres and visa denials for UN representatives further escalate tensions (Aljazeera, Times of Israel, Al Arabiya).
  2. Israeli Navy Thwarts Hamas Sea Infiltration, Two Terrorists Killed. The Israeli Navy successfully foiled a Hamas attempt to infiltrate Israel from Gaza via the sea. The incident occurred in near-empty border towns of Zikim and Karmia, resulting in the deaths of two Hamas operatives (Times of Israel).
  3. Israel Responds to Syria Rocket Attack with Strikes on Syrian Army. Israel launched airstrikes against Syrian Army infrastructure after two rockets were fired at the Golan Heights from Syria. The strikes targeted radar sites and warehouses, resulting in reported casualties among Syrian soldiers (Jerusalem Post).
  4. Israeli Army Claims Iran Orchestrated Recent Regional Attacks. The Israeli army asserts that Iran directed its allied armed factions in Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon to launch recent attacks. Israel, in collaboration with the United States, is closely monitoring the situation. Additionally, Iran is accused of providing information to Hamas in Gaza and spreading anti-Israel sentiment globally through online campaigns (Al Jazeera). 
  5. Russia’s Calculated Stance in Israel-Hamas Conflict. Russia cautiously criticizes both Israel and Hamas, using the conflict to bolster its global influence and challenge Western isolation over Ukraine. While Moscow can’t mediate the Middle East crisis, it capitalizes on perceived Western shortcomings. The risk is strained relations with Israel, which hasn’t sanctioned Russia or armed Ukraine (AP).
  6. Israeli Finance Minister Amends Budget Due to Gaza War Cost. Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich declared that the 2023-2024 national budget is “no longer relevant” due to the ongoing Gaza war, estimating a daily direct cost of $246 million. He downplayed S&P Global’s economic outlook downgrade, expressing confidence in Israel’s financial stability. Smotrich praised Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron’s efforts during the crisis but remained non-committal on Yaron’s permanent tenure. Smotrich emphasized the priority of maintaining economic continuity during the conflict (Jerusalem Post).
  7. S&P Downgrades Israel’s Credit Rating Outlook Over War Uncertainties. Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has changed Israel’s credit rating outlook from “stable” to “negative” in light of the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza.. S&P cited the potential for the conflict to escalate and its impact on the country’s economy. Israel’s credit rating remains at AA-. This revision serves as a warning for a possible future downgrade. Fitch and Moody’s have also taken similar actions (Israel Hayom).

October 26, 2023

  1. Israeli Troops Enter Gaza in Preparatory Move for Anticipated Ground Invasion. The Israeli military carried out a ground raid in northern Gaza as a preparation for an expected larger ground invasion. The United Nations warned of fuel running out in Gaza, hampering relief efforts. The death toll in Gaza surpassed 7,000, with an increased risk of more casualties if Israel proceeds with a ground offensive against Hamas (AP).
  2. Escalating Conflict in Gaza Results in 7,000 Deaths; Missiles Target Tel Aviv. Israel’s ongoing Operation “Iron Swords” has led to over 7,000 deaths in Gaza, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health. Al-Qassam Brigades retaliated with missile attacks on Tel Aviv. The UN states there is no safe place in Gaza, and the Israeli army is preparing for a possible ground invasion despite international warnings (Al Hadath).
  3. UNGA to Call for Gaza War Ceasefire, Without Condemning Hamas. The UN General Assembly is set to demand a Gaza war ceasefire in a resolution, but it does not condemn Hamas for the October 7 attack. Jordan is pushing for international support, emphasizing the need to protect civilians and allow humanitarian aid. The resolution also opposes plans to relocate Palestinians outside Gaza, fearing permanent expulsion (Jerusalem Post).
  4. Russia-US Rivalry Blocks UNSC Condemnation of Hamas. Russian-American competition hinders UNSC condemnation of Hamas following the Gaza war and the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which resulted in numerous casualties. Despite both countries submitting resolutions condemning Hamas, the UNSC failed to reach a consensus, with Russia and China vetoing the US-backed resolution (Jerusalem Post).
  5. Hamas and Islamic Jihad Threaten Severe Response to Israeli Ground Invasion. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have warned of a fierce response to an Israeli ground invasion in Gaza, vowing to make it a challenging endeavor. The article also touches on the presence of hostages held by Hamas, adding complexity to the situation (AL-Monitor).
  6. Israeli Banks’ Stocks Drop 20% Since Gaza War Onset. The stocks of Israel’s top five banks listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange have fallen by 20% since the start of the Gaza war on October 8. Foreign investors continue to sell shares in Israeli companies, particularly banks. Despite these losses, Israeli banks had previously reported substantial profits in the first half of 2023, but are now expected to face declining earnings in the last quarter of the year. The ongoing conflict is contributing to the drop in bank stock values, with uncertainty affecting investor sentiment (Anadolu Agency).
  7. UK to hold emergency response meeting on Israel-Gaza strategy. Britain will convene a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency response committee on Thursday to consider its strategy and approach towards Gaza and the Israeli-Hamas conflict, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden told Times Radio. Britain is pushing for a humanitarian pause to the conflict, and for Britons in Gaza to be able to leave safely (Jerusalem Post).
  8. Spanish Minister Urges Europe to Cut Ties with Israel During Gaza Conflict.. Spain’s Acting Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, has called on European nations to sever diplomatic relations with Israel, impose an arms embargo, and implement economic sanctions. She labeled the situation in Gaza a “genocide” and demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders responsible for civilian bombings face the International Criminal Court. Belarra accused the EU and the US of endorsing Israel’s actions, which she considered a violation of human rights (MEM).
  9. Japan Urges Israel to Halt Gaza Attacks for Humanitarian Aid. Japan has called on Israel to temporarily cease its attacks on besieged Gaza to allow humanitarian aid to enter, according to Reuters. The appeal was made during a meeting between Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Israeli Ambassador to Japan. Japan is also arranging a visit by its Foreign Minister to Israel and Jordan to contribute to Middle East conflict de-escalation efforts (Sharq Awsat).
  10. Satellite Images Show Gaza Strip Before and After Israeli Airstrikes. Satellite images reveal the impact of recent Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, particularly in Beit Hanoun and Atatra. The Israeli Air Force has been targeting weapons depots and Hamas tunnels, causing substantial damage to the region (Jerusalem Post).
  11. Israeli Women in France Advocating for Kidnapped Family Members Held by Hamas. Four Israeli women are in France, meeting with French and international leaders to gain support in securing the release of their family members held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. Their advocacy efforts aim to raise awareness and seek assistance in bringing their loved ones back home (Jerusalem Post).
  12. Israeli Ground Forces Raid Hamas Sites in Gaza, Withdraw – IDF. Israeli ground forces conducted a limited incursion into Gaza, targeting Hamas sites and withdrawing shortly after. The operation, carried out by the Givati Brigade, involved tanks and infantry striking terrorists, terror infrastructure, and anti-tank missile launch posts. In addition, Israel struck 250 Hamas targets overnight, bringing the total airstrikes for the week to around 1,000. The IDF also struck Hamas from the sea near the Khan Yunis area. Despite reduced rocket fire from Gaza overnight, the IDF urges Israelis to remain vigilant. The IDF continues to purchase equipment and receives support from the US. The government faces criticism for its support to evacuees and survivors. International pressure grows regarding humanitarian issues in Gaza. Iranian and Turkish officials express their views on the conflict (Jerusalem Post).
  13. Israel’s Imports at Risk Due to Ongoing Conflict. The article discusses the potential threat to Israel’s imports due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Shipping companies are reconsidering calling Israeli ports due to the conflict, increasing risk premiums and costs for shipping. Israel relies heavily on imports for various essential goods, and the situation could impact its food and other supplies. The conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon further adds to the risks. If shipping companies avoid Israeli ports, it could result in shortages (Times of Israel).
  14. Indian Protest for Gaza Mistakenly Raises Italian-Like Flag. A pro-Palestine march in Kerala, India, went viral for mistakenly raising a flag resembling Italy’s instead of Palestine’s. The flag actually belonged to the Indian Islamic Welfare Party, whose logo is similar to the Italian flag. The incident drew mockery online, including from Indian political figures (Sharq Awsat).

October 27, 2023

  1. Moscow Hosts Controversial Talks with Hamas and Iran, Ignites Israeli Ire. In a meeting hosted by Moscow, a Hamas delegation and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister discussed the Israel-Hamas conflict and potential prisoner releases. The talks resulted in Hamas expressing readiness to release civilian prisoners, albeit delayed due to Gaza’s volatile situation. They claimed that around 50 hostages were killed in Israeli airstrikes. Israel vehemently condemned the meeting, urging Russia to expel the Hamas officials, thereby highlighting Russia’s complex role in Middle East geopolitics (i24, Al Monitor, Israel Hayom). 
  2. EU and Spain Advocate for Israel-Palestine Peace Talks, Omit Hamas. Spain and the EU propose separate but aligned international peace conferences to address the Israel-Palestine conflict, both supporting a two-state solution. While Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez calls for recognizing Palestine and humanitarian aid to Gaza, the EU explicitly excludes Hamas from any talks. Both proposals aim for regional stability due to the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crises (MEMO, Anadolu Agency).
  3. Palestinian Agony Echoed at UN as Calls for Ceasefire Clash with Israel’s Stance on Hamas. In yesterday’s UN meeting, the Palestinian ambassador had urgently called for an immediate ceasefire, spotlighting the devastating impact on Palestinian civilians. “Is this the war some of you are defending? These are crimes. This is barbarism,” he stated. He also pointed out that 70% of those killed in Gaza were children and women, asking, “Is this the war some of you are defending?” Israel’s representative had opposed the call, insisting that eradicating Hamas was the only option. The session had revealed stark divisions, with Arab nations supporting a ceasefire, while Israel argued it would let Hamas rearm. The meeting had accentuated the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people (AP). 
  4. Israel Prepares for Prolonged Gaza Ground War; Humanitarian Crisis Deepens. Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant indicated that a long, grueling ground war in Gaza is imminent, aimed at dismantling Hamas’ extensive tunnel network. The announcement came three weeks after Hamas initiated attacks, leading to ongoing airstrikes in Gaza. The Palestinian death toll has surpassed 7,300, with essential supplies running critically low. The situation has escalated regional tensions and worsened the humanitarian crisis (AP).

October 31, 2023

  1. Hamas Atrocities Documentation Center. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has initiated the Hamas Atrocities Documentation Center (HADC). The center aims to provide historical records of Hamas’ actions for academic and educational purposes. The documentation includes various forms of violence and atrocities committed by Hamas, ranging from kidnappings to massacres. The content, which includes graphic videos and descriptions, is available on MEMRI’s Telegram account (MEMRI).
  2. Escalating Conflict in Gaza. Israeli and Hamas forces intensify ground and air operations, causing a severe humanitarian crisis. Israel expands its ground operations following an attack that killed over 1,400 people. Hamas militants retaliate with machine guns and anti-tank shells. The conflict has left 8,306 dead, including 3,457 minors, and over one million homeless in Gaza. Despite the devastation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rules out a ceasefire. The situation has sparked global protests and incidents of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia (Al Nahar).
  3. Psychological Warfare in Gaza Conflict: Hamas Releases Hostage Video. Amid escalating ground battles in Gaza, Hamas releases a video of Israeli female prisoners, pressuring Netanyahu for their release. Israel continues its military operations, claiming progress and the liberation of a captive soldier. The situation adds complexity to ongoing negotiations and raises questions about the psychological tactics employed by both sides (Sharq Awsat). 
  4. Netanyahu Ignored 2016 Warning on Hamas Attack. A 2016 document from then-Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Netanyahu of Hamas’ intentions to escalate conflict with Israel. The document, labeled as “top secret,” outlined Hamas’ strategies, including taking hostages and targeting settlements. Despite its detailed nature, the warning was not taken seriously by Israeli officials, raising questions about preparedness and accountability (Al Hadath).
  5. Al-Qassam Brigades Engage Israeli Forces in Southern Gaza. The military wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, reports confrontations with Israeli forces in the southern Gaza Strip. Utilizing machine guns and missiles, they claim to have targeted four vehicles and two tanks. The situation remains tense with ongoing gunfire and explosions reported in various parts of Gaza (Al Hadath).
  6. Gaza Tunnels for Hamas, Not Civilians, Says Official. Mousa Abu Marzouk, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau, stated in an interview that the tunnels in Gaza were constructed to shield Hamas fighters from airstrikes, not to protect civilians. He argued that the responsibility for civilian protection lies with the United Nations and Israel, citing the Geneva Conventions and the high percentage of refugees in the Gaza Strip (MEMRI).
  7. One Million Homeless Due to the Ongoing Israeli Bombing. UN warns of humanitarian catastrophe as over one million Gazans are displaced due to Israeli airstrikes. Palestinian Red Crescent reports new bombardment near Al-Quds Hospital. The UN aid system collapses, leading to the halt of four aid distribution centers. Both sides continue to engage in violent clashes (Al Hadath).
  8. Putin Links Palestine and Ukraine Conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that resolving the Middle East conflict requires the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. He criticized the U.S. for benefiting from ongoing crises and emphasized that Russia’s military operations are aimed at fighting those behind the Palestinian tragedy. Putin also claimed that the U.S. is weakening as a global superpower and is resistant to Russia’s role in solving global issues (Al Maydeen).
  9. Netanyahu Seeks European Pressure to Convince Egypt on Gaza Refugees. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought European leaders’ support to pressure Egypt into accepting refugees from Gaza. Despite objections from major European nations and Egypt, there’s growing pressure for Egypt to admit refugees from Gaza, with potential implications for the Israel-Egypt relationship. Talks also consider the transfer of injured individuals from Gaza to Egypt. The situation remains dynamic as international efforts seek humanitarian solutions amid the ongoing Israeli-Gaza conflict (Alkhaleej Online).
  10. Al-Quds Brigades Spokesman Foresees Strategic Shift in Battle. Abu Hamza, the spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades, stated in a video speech that the ongoing conflict will experience a comprehensive strategic shift in favor of the resistance. He warned that attempts by the Israeli army to regain confidence in Gaza are futile and cautioned that the lives of Israeli prisoners are at risk due to ongoing bombings (Al Maydeen).
  11. Gaza War Exacerbates Israeli Economic Struggles. Israel’s Central Bank and international credit rating agencies state that the conflict in Gaza is the primary reason behind the negative assessment of Israel’s economy. They predict a 5% contraction in the Israeli economy in the last quarter of this year, citing concerns over government debt, military mobilization, tourism disruption, and decreased consumer spending. This could lead to increased unemployment, fiscal deficits, and a rise in sovereign debt. The extended military conflict could further deteriorate the Israeli economy and hamper long-term prospects, highlighting the need for a genuine and lasting resolution to the Palestinian issue (Aljazeera).
  12. Israeli Ministry Proposes Transferring Gaza Population to Sinai. An official document from the Israeli intelligence ministry suggests relocating Gaza’s 2.3 million residents to Sinai, with plans for temporary tent cities and a security zone in Israel. The proposal has sparked controversy, evoking memories of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, and faces international legality concerns. Egypt’s foreign ministry rejects such plans, and Palestinians consider it a red line, potentially leading to a new war. Israeli officials downplay the document, calling it a conceptual idea commonly discussed within the government (Sharq Awsat).
  13. Israeli Ambassador Accuses UN of Letting Down Tel Aviv. Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Meirav Eilon Shahar, has criticized the UN and its agencies for not sufficiently denouncing Hamas attacks and the rise in anti-Semitism. She expressed disappointment and called for condemnation of Hamas’s actions and the use of protected facilities for military purposes in Gaza (TRT World).
  14. Gaza Conflict Threatens Global Oil Prices and Food Security. The World Bank warns that the Israel-Hamas conflict could push oil prices to over $150 per barrel, potentially doubling current prices. This could also jeopardize global food security. While the likelihood of oil reaching $150 due to this conflict is uncertain, escalating tensions in the region and potential disruptions in oil production pose significant risks. The conflict’s impact on commodity markets, coupled with events in Ukraine, could lead to a “dual energy shock” for the global economy. The World Bank emphasizes the importance of managing inflation and diversifying food sources to mitigate potential food price spikes (Al Monitor).
  15. Israel-Russia Relations Strained Over Dagestan Mob Incident. Tensions escalate as Russian President Putin calls a security meeting following an anti-Israeli mob incident in Dagestan, and a recent Hamas delegation visit to Moscow. This marks a public crisis in Israeli-Russian relations, with concerns over Moscow’s alignment with Hamas and potential implications for the Middle East. The incident in Dagestan, where rioters targeted Israeli and Jewish passengers, raises questions about the safety of Jews in Russia. The incident’s connection to the Kremlin is unclear, but experts warn of possible antisemitic incidents due to Moscow’s pro-Hamas stance. The situation may impact the Israeli-Russian military communication channel in Syria (Al Monitor).
  16. Israel Intercepts Missile Launched from Red Sea Area. Israel’s military successfully intercepted a ground-to-ground missile launched from the Red Sea area. The defense system, Iron Dome, was used to thwart the attack, marking the first use of this system since the conflict with Hamas in Gaza. Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for launching drones towards Israel, a response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza (DW).

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