USS Ford arrives in region as Israel prepares full-blown assault on Gaza - Day 4 as it happened

Ahram Online , Wednesday 11 Oct 2023

Israel escalated its airstrikes on Gaza and cut off the Hamas-run strip from essential supplies including food and fuel, as fighting entered a fourth day

Israeli Army
Israeli soldiers take up position in Kfar Aza, in the south of Israel, bordering Gaza Strip on October 10, 2023. AFP

 

Summary

 

23:50 The Israel army Arabic-language spokesman says the Air Force struck the home of Abu Obeida, the spokesperson for Al-Qassam Brigades in the Gaza Strip.

He added that the army is continuing to carry out strikes in Gaza.

23:05 Israel army says it is carrying out artillery and mortar shells towards Syria after identifying a number of launches that crossed into Israeli territory.

22:45 The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said Israeli airstrikes have resulted in 900 deaths in Gaza, including 260 children and 230 women, with an additional 4,500 individuals wounded.

Airstrikes on residential neighborhoods have displaced approximately 140,000 citizens to UN shelters and hospitals, the ministry added. The UN is reporting that at least 200,000 residents have been displaced.

22:20 The Israeli ambassador to Egypt Amira Oron denied reports that Israel is pushing Gazans towards Egypt's border. 'Israel has no intentions regarding Sinai, and it has not asked the Palestinians to move there,” she said Tuesday evening in a statement published on her official social media accounts in Arabic.

She added that Israel is committed to the peace treaty with Egypt, in which the borders between the two countries were clearly defined. 

"Sinai is Egyptian territory where the Egyptian army has been combating terrorism over the past ten years,” she concluded.

21:45 US President Joe Biden stressed in a speech at the White House on Tuesday that Washington stands in solidarity with Israel against attacks on the Israeli people. 

The US president vowed that his country will do what it takes to support Israel "defend itself." 

21:10 Israel army spox says killing senior Hamas members is a top priority. “We will not stop the effort to eliminate senior Hamas officials, this is a top priority,” he said in a press conference reported by Israeli media.

20:40 After emergency talks between the 27 ministers, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the "overwhelming majority" of EU states oppose suspending aid to the Palestinian Authority.

EU foreign ministers urged Israel not to cut "water, food, or electricity" to Gaza and urged humanitarian corridors for those trying to flee the territory.

20:25 Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi says he is intensifying efforts to halt the current military confrontations, spare the blood of the Palestinian people, and protect civilians on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

20:05 A video footage posted by the Palestinian News Agency (Wafa) shows Israel purportedly used white phosphorus bombs on Lebanon earlier today.

19:50 The USS Gerald Ford carrier strike group arrived in the far Eastern Mediterranean, within range to provide a host of air support or long-range strike options for Israel if requested, a US official told the Associated Press.

The Pentagon has said that the US warplanes, destroyers, and cruisers that sailed with the Ford will conduct maritime and air operations which could range from intelligence collection and interdictions to long-range strikes.

19:00 Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi says “Egypt's national security is my top responsibility, and there will be no compromise or complacency under any circumstances.”

18:35 Israeli forces launched artillery fire at Lebanon after rocket fire towards Israel, the Israeli army said.

"In response to the launches identified from Lebanese territory toward Israeli territory, IDF (army) soldiers are currently responding with artillery fire," a statement said.

18:30 849 Palestinians have been killed and 4,360 others wounded following Israeli attacks on Gaza and the West Bank.

18:10 Lebanon "rockets were fired from... southern Lebanon towards the Galilee" region in northern Israel, the official National News Agency said.

18:00 Israeli military official says death toll from Hamas attack rises above 1,000.

17:35 Rocket sirens are sounding in northern and southern Israel according to the Israeli army as Israel faces rocket attacks from both the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.


Israeli Iron Dome defense system attempts to intercept rockets launched by the Palestinian factions against targets inside Israel on 10 October 2023. AFP

16:55 Israel army says it killed Jawad Abu Shamala, Hamas minister of economy, and Zakariya Abu Moammar a senior member of the group during its drone strikes on Gaza last night.

16:40 The United Nations human rights chief says Israel's total siege of the Gaza Strip, depriving civilians of goods essential for survival, is banned under international law.

16:20 Israeli air strike hit Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt for the second time in 24 hours, AFP reported.

Witnesses said the strike hit the no-man's land between the Egyptian and Palestinian gates, damaging the hall on the Palestinian side.

15:45 The European Union (EU) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) called for sustained aid for the Palestinian territories following concerns that it could be axed after the Hamas attack on Israel.

"They stressed the importance of sustained financial support for UNRWA (the UN relief agency for Palestinians) and to continue humanitarian and development support for the Palestinians in the occupied territories," said a joint declaration read out by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

14:00 Israel has not issued an official call for directing people of Gaza toward the Egyptian lands, Avichay Adraee, an Israeli army spokesman, said as Israeli air strikes on the strip have continued without respite over the past days.

“People are directed to areas and shelters within the borders of the Gaza Strip without leaving it,” Adraee wrote on X, asserting that the Israeli forces are evacuating civilians from areas where Hamas has military presence.

13:15  The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he has invited the top diplomats from Israel and the Palestinian Authority to address an emergency meeting Tuesday of the bloc's foreign ministers, AFP said.

Borrell said Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki were asked to participate in the hybrid video and in-person talks after the surprise Hamas attack. 

12:45 The Media Office's Monitoring and Follow-up Unit in the Gaza Strip has documented attacks targeting journalists and media establishments, confirming the deaths of 7 journalists thus far due to recent Israeli airstrikes.

These journalists have been identified as Ibrahim Lafi, Muhammad Jarghoun, Muhammad Al-Salhi, Asaad Shamlikh, Saeed Al-Taweel, Muhammad Subh Abu Rizq, and Hisham Al-Nawajeha.

Furthermore, the office has reported that over 10 journalists have suffered various injuries, with two other journalists, Nidal Al-Wahidi and Haitham Abdel-Wahed, losing contact amid the turmoil.

Additionally, the unit has observed extensive damage to numerous media institutions' headquarters, both substantial and partial, stemming from the bombings. Notably, the "Palestine" and "Watan" towers have been significantly affected, with over 40 media establishments experiencing damage as a result.

12:30 Although many Israeli political figures advocate for the establishment of an emergency government, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has expressed strong opposition to the idea of forming a scaled-down war cabinet or any alternative to the existing government's cabinet, as reported by a source within the coalition, as per Haaretz on Tuesday.

12:20 The United Nations and other aid agencies are talking with Egypt to send humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza through the Rafah crossing point between the strip and Egypt, an Egyptian official and aid worker told AP on Tuesday. They said Egyptian authorities have contacted Israel and the United States to secure humanitarian corridors in Gaza amid Israel’s unrelenting bombardment of the strip.

Both the official and the aid worker spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists, AP news agency said.

The efforts came as Israel sealed it off from food, fuel, and other supplies to over 2 million people in Gaza in retaliation for a bloody incursion by Hamas militants.

12:15  The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group announced Tuesday that two of its members were killed by Israeli fire after crossing from Lebanon into Israel on Monday as part of the Hamas-led attack that started over the weekend. Funerals were set to be held in Ein el-Hilweh on Tuesday, AP said.

Islamic Jihad said in a statement that seven Israeli soldiers were wounded in Monday’s cross-border operation, while the Israeli army reported that its troops shot and killed several gunmen who crossed into the country from Lebanon. Israel also intensified shelling of southern Lebanon in response to the incident.

12:05 Egyptian security sources have warned of the resurgence of a frequently proposed Israeli scheme to resettle Gazans in Sinai, stressing that Egypt will reject such “historically and politically corrupt” proposals.

12:00  Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday denied any Iranian involvement in Hamas's shock weekend attack on Israel despite its strong support for the Palestinian militant group.

"The supporters of the Zionist regime (Israel) and some people in the usurping regime have been spreading rumours over the past two or three days, including that Islamic Iran was behind this action. They are wrong," Khamenei said in a speech at a military academy.

11:45 The Israeli occupation army said that there is no infiltration into Israel from Lebanon or Syria, following reports that residents had been asked to seek shelter, according to Haaretz.

11:40 50 families of Israelis were told their loved ones were kidnapped to the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation army Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said on Tuesday, adding that at least 123 Israeli soldiers have been killed.

According to Haaretz, the occupation army has secured control over all Israeli towns and communities near the border with Gaza. "From our understanding, no terrorists infiltrated Israel overnight. There were a few incidents of clashes with terrorists who had concealed themselves in Israeli territory after the initial attack."

Hagari added that Israel is launching airstrikes on Gaza every four hours.

Regarding the northern front, Hagari said there are no current security incidents on the border with Lebanon. However, he said that the IDF remains prepared.

11:30 Residents of the Gaza Strip woke on Tuesday to continued airstrikes.

Entire neighbourhoods had been leveled, Sky News Arabia TV reported, while 200 targets in Khan Yunis and the Rimal neighbourhoods had been bombed. The Associated Press also reported continued strikes against central Gaza City.

The bombardment has destroyed 790 housing units and severely damaged 5,330, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as reported by Sky News Arabia.

09:28 The Israeli army announced on Tuesday that they have recovered the bodies of 1,500 Hamas fighters around Gaza, despite Israeli statements on the first day of the fighting estimating the number of "infiltrators" to be only 1,000.

Around 1,000 Israelis have been killed, according to Israeli media reports, while Palestinian casualties in Gaza and the West Bank have topped 700.

09:10 The Israeli army has announced that they had restored control over the border fence with Gaza.

"Since last night we know that no one came in ... but infiltrations can still happen," Richard Hecht, a spokesman for the Israeli army said.

 

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