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Israel-Hamas war live updates: Israeli forces are in Gaza and ‘increasing the ground operation’; Hamas offers to swap hostages for prisoners

Nikki Haley swipes at Trump as GOP candidates tout staunch support for Israel

Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Annual Leadership Summit at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas on Oct. 28, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Republican presidential candidates delivered speeches touting their staunch support for Israel at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition’s summit Saturday — and sought to peel support away from former President Donald Trump, the front-runner, who recently faced backlash for criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and calling Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, “very smart.”

“America needs a captain who will steady the ship, not capsize it, and Republicans need a candidate who can actually win,” former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in her remarks, pointedly criticizing Trump, who has drawn strong support from Orthodox Jews, according to a poll this year by the Jewish Electoral Institute.

“I will not criticize Israel’s prime minister in the middle of a tragedy and war,” Haley added as Israel expanded its ground offensive in Gaza, with Netanyahu warning of a long and difficult war after Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7.

Read the full story here.

— NBC News

Second U.S. aircraft carrier group moves into the Mediterranean

Sunset is seen behind fighter jets on the flight deck of United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as it transits the Suez Canal in this picture taken April 2, 2021 and released by U.S. Navy on April 3, 2021.

Joseph T. Miller | Reuters

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and its strike group have moved through the Strait of Gibraltar, putting two American carriers in the Mediterranean Sea, a rare sight in recent years.

The USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is already in the eastern Mediterranean, part of a buildup of forces as the U.S. supports Israel in its war against Hamas.

The Eisenhower sailed into the Mediterranean on Saturday and is slated to move through the Suez Canal to the U.S. Central Command region as the American forces expand their presence in the Middle East to deter Iran and its proxy militant groups from trying to widen the war.

Associated Press

Communications blackout has Palestinians panicking

People check the destruction following Israeli strikes on Al-Shatee camp in Gaza City on October 28, 2023. 

Mohammed Abed | AFP | Getty Images

Now that Israeli bombs have cut off cellular and internet service for most of the 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip, it has fallen to a rare few Palestinians with international SIM cards or powered-up satellite phones to get the news out.

They described scenes of panic and confusion as Israel’s military attacks from the air, land and sea in the most intense bombing yet in the three-week war. Without social media to share their plight with the world, many seem consumed with fear and hopelessness.

Reached by WhatsApp, freelance photojournalist Ashraf Abu Amra in northern Gaza said the international community must intervene to save the people of Gaza from immediate death. Palestinian journalist Hind al-Khoudary reported that some 50,000 people have converged on Gaza’s largest hospital, where doctors are exhausted from operating on patient after patient using dwindling fuel and medical supplies.

Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations see record turnout across the globe

Hundreds of thousands of protesters in cities all over the world on Saturday marched in support of Palestinians and to demand a ceasefire in the war as Israel continued to expand its presence in Gaza this weekend.

This evening, for example, emergency responders in New York reported that the Brooklyn Bridge has been temporarily closed in both directions due to the protests.

And in London, for the third consecutive weekend, roughly 100,000 demonstrators marched, this time calling on the United Kingdom’s government to demand a ceasefire in the war. London’s police force reported on Saturday that it had made nine arrests, two of which were for assaults on officers.

Here are some of the major cities where people gathered in solidarity with Palestinians:


Demonstrators protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in London, Britain, on Oct. 28, 2023.

Susannah Ireland | Reuters


People hold Palestinian flags in front of the Colosseum during a demonstration in support of Palestinians in Gaza, as the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continues, in Rome, Italy, on Oct. 28, 2023.

Yara Nardi | Reuters


People take part in a demonstration organized by Amnesty International Denmark, CARE Denmark and Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at Christiansborg Palace Square in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Oct. 28, 2023.

Ritzau Scanpix | Via Reuters


People hold banners as they attend a pro-Palestinian demonstration, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Berlin, Germany, on Oct. 28, 2023.

Annegret Hilse | Reuters

New York

People gather as Pro-Palestinian protesters attend “Flood Brooklyn for Gaza” demonstration, as the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continues, in New York, U.S., on Oct. 28, 2023.

Caitlin Ochs | Reuters







‘A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in front of our eyes,’ UN chief says

Investors on edge as Middle East conflict intensifies

Video of Israeli Iron Dome intercepting an incoming rocket

Israel says its warplanes hit 150 underground targets

A fighter from Izz al-Din al-Qassam stands in front of a tunnel during an exhibition of weapons, missiles and heavy equipment for the military wing of Hamas in the Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip, during the commemoration of the 2014 war that lasted 51 days between Gaza and Israel.

Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

One of the biggest threats to both Israeli troops and the 2.3 million Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip is buried deep underground.

Israel’s military said Saturday that its warplanes struck 150 underground Hamas targets in northern Gaza, including tunnels, combat spaces and other infrastructure. But the extensive labyrinth of tunnels built by Hamas is believed to stretch for hundreds of miles (kilometers), hiding fighters, an arsenal of rockets and now more than 200 Israeli hostages.

Clearing and collapsing those tunnels is crucial to dismantling Hamas. But Israel’s military could be at a serious disadvantage underground. Urban warfare experts say the militants can be hiding in millions of places, choosing when and where to ambush their enemies.

Former Israeli soldier Ariel Bernstein described urban combat in northern Gaza as a mix of ambushes, traps, hideouts and snipers in tunnels so disorienting that it was like he was fighting ghosts.

Associated Press

Israeli communications minister says he will block Elon Musk’s deployment of Starlink in Gaza

The upper stage of a Falcon 9 rocket deploys a stack of Starlink “V2 Mini” satellites in orbit on Feb. 27, 2028.


Israeli Minister of Communications Shlomo Karhi on Saturday staunchly criticized Elon Musk’s announcement to deploy Starlink, the SpaceX-operated internet provider, in Gaza where access to internet and cellular communication has been cut off.

Earlier on Saturday, Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that he would use Starlink to “support connectivity” for internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza.

The communications minister responded to Musk with a post of his own, saying that Israel will use “all means at its disposal” to fight the launch of Starlink in Gaza. He added that Hamas would end up using Starlink for “terrorist activities.”

“Perhaps Musk would be willing to condition it with the release of our abducted babies, sons, daughters, elderly people. All of them!” Karhi wrote in the social media post. “By then, my office will cut any ties with starlink.”

Starlink has been used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in its fight against Russia.

But Musk has come under fire for his reported interference during some episodes of Russia’s war against Ukraine. In September, a Ukrainian adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized Musk for shutting down Starlink’s connection in the region in order to prevent a Ukrainian attack against Russian warships.

Rebecca Picciotto

Rockets, air strikes and another hospital hit

A Palestinian militant group in Gaza said it fired a barrage of rockets Saturday evening on Tel Aviv and on Ashkelon and Ashdod in southern Israel. The rockets by Al-Quds Brigades, the military arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was the latest in a series of rocket attacks on Israel on Saturday as Israeli forces continued its relentless aid and land bombardment.

One of the Israeli airstrikes across northern Gaza late Saturday afternoon caused damage to the Indonesian hospital in Beit Lahia, according to freelance journalist Anas al-Sharif, one of the few journalists in Gaza who remain connected to the outside world. He shared images of the hospital’s damaged roof.

The Israeli strikes caused a blackout that cut off telecommunications and internet access for Gaza’s 2.3 million people, disrupting ambulances and aid groups in the besieged strip and enabling the Israeli military to control the narrative in the new stage of fighting.

Associated Press

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: This is the second stage of the war

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses media during a joint press conference with French President in Jerusalem on October 24, 2023.

Christophe Ena | AFP | Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a Saturday press conference that Israel is in its second phase of what he expects will be a long and difficult war as the country expands its ground presence in Gaza.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz also spoke at the briefing, reiterating that the war against Hamas is likely not near its end.

Netanyahu doubled down on Israel’s two goals in the war: to eradicate the military and governing powers of Hamas and to rescue all of the group’s hostages. In response to a question about the potential conflict between those goals, he rejected the idea that there was any tension between eliminating Hamas and saving the hostages.

The prime minister warned civilians in Gaza to find safe areas as Israel intensifies its presence in the region. On Friday night, Israel launched a series of bombings in Gaza. Since then, there have been a variety of reports that civilians have lost connection to internet and cellular communication.

Gallant spoke on the complications of returning the hostages under Hamas. He said there might be a higher probability of rescuing the abductees as Israel’s military pressure escalates, which Gantz emphasized in his own remarks.

Earlier on Saturday, a Hamas spokesperson reportedly said in a broadcast on a Hamas-run television channel that the militant group was prepared to return its hostages in exchange for Israel’s Palestinian prisoners.

Rebecca Picciotto

Turkey and Oman to accuse Israel of war crimes

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a mass pro-Palestinian rally in Istanbul on Saturday that his country was making preparations to proclaim Israel a “war criminal” for its actions in Gaza.

In his address to hundreds of thousands of people who joined the rally, Erdogan also held Western countries responsible for the deaths in Gaza for failing to stop Israel’s attacks.

“Israel, we will proclaim you as a war criminal to the world,” Erdogan said. “We are making our preparations, and we will declare Israel to the world as a war criminal.”

Separately, Oman’s Foreign Ministry said Israel’s siege and bombardment of Gaza amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Omani ministry said in a statement that a wide-scale Israeli ground invasion of Gaza would have “serious catastrophic consequences on the region and the world, and the prospects of achieving peace and stability.”

Oman has a long record of serving as a key broker between Iran and the West when regional tensions flare.

The ministry called for the international community to immediately intervene to stop the Israel-Hamas war and to speed humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza.

Associated Press

‘The objectives of this war require a ground operation,’ IDF chief of staff says

Israeli forces are currently operating on the ground in the Gaza Strip, the chief of general staff for Israel, Gen. Herzi Halevi said in a video statement.

“This is a war with multiple stages,” Halevi said. “Today we move to the next one.”

He said the invasion was “all in service of the war’s objectives — dismantling Hamas, securing our borders and the supreme effort to return the hostages home.”

Responsibility for the situation in Gaza lies with Hamas and its criminal actions, Halevi said.

“The objectives of this war require a ground operation,” he said. “Achievements demand risks and, as we know, every victory comes at a price.”

At least 7,300 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry. In Israel, at least 1,400 people have been killed and 5,400 injured, according to the IDF. More than 220 hostages were taken to Gaza.

CNBC could not independently verify the number of deaths.

Annie Nova

Family members and supporters demonstrate in Tel Aviv demanding the return of hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas

People display posters during demonstrations in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, by family members and supporters of hostages who are being held in Gaza after they were kidnapped from Israel by Hamas gunmen.

People display posters during a demonstration, in Tel Aviv, Israel, by family members and supporters of hostages who are being held in Gaza after they were kidnapped from Israel by Hamas gunmen, Oct. 28, 2023.

Ammar Awad | Reuters

A woman displays a placard during a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel, by family members and supporters of hostages who are being held in Gaza after they were kidnapped by Hamas gunmen.

Ammar Awad | Reuters

A woman holds a sign and yellow ribbons during a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel, by family members and supporters of hostages who are being held in Gaza after they were kidnapped by Hamas gunmen. Oct 28, 2023.

Ammar Awad | Reuters

People with words painted on their backs sit next to a road during a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel, by family members and supporters of hostages who are being held in Gaza after they were kidnapped by Hamas gunmen. Oct. 28, 2023.

Ammar Awad | Reuters

Spokesman says Hamas is ready to trade hostages for Palestinian prisoners

The spokesman for the military wing of Hamas says the group is ready to swap dozens of hostages it is holding for all the Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

The spokesman, using the nom de guerre Abu Obeida, said in a televised speech Saturday that such a deal also could be conducted in stages, but that Israelis “should know the price that they have to pay.”

On Saturday, hundreds of relatives of hostages gathered in a square in downtown Tel Aviv and demanded that the government put the return of their loved ones ahead of Israel’s military objectives.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to meet with the hostage families later Saturday. Military officials have said they are trying to both topple Hamas and bring back the hostages but have not explained how they could obtain both objectives at the same time.

The families of the hostages fear Israel’s ramped-up offensive in Gaza is endangering the captives.

The Associated Press

Israeli Foreign Minister will reassess relations with Turkey after Erdogan comments

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a rally in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 28, 2023.

Dilara Senkaya | Reuters

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said he will reconsider the relations between Turkey and Israel in light of criticism from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Israel’s actions in the war against Hamas.

The foreign minister added that he has ordered envoys to Turkey to return to Israel.

“Given the grave statements coming from Turkey, I have ordered the return of diplomatic representatives there in order to conduct a reevaluation of the relations between Israel and Turkey,” Cohen wrote in a social media post on Saturday.

Erdogan spoke at a pro-Palestinian rally at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Saturday to condemn Israel’s attacks in Gaza. He doubled down on claims that Hamas is not a terrorist organization but rather a front of liberation.

The rally followed Erdogan’s earlier remarks on social media, denouncing Israel and calling on the country to “get out of this state of madness and stop its attacks.”

Relations between Israel and Turkey have been historically precarious. Erdogan had criticized Israel in the past for its treatment of Palestinians, but he sought to mend relations in an effort to shift to a more cooperative diplomatic approach with neighbors in the Middle East. In March 2022, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog visited Turkey in a step to normalize relations.

That diplomatic sea change may be reversing as Erdogan continues to publicly lash out at Israel for its wartime attacks, which have exacerbated a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Rebecca Picciotto

UNRWA chief says the communications blackout is ‘yet another action’ to thwart Gaza aid

Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) holds press conference in Jerusalem on October 27, 2023.

Mostafa Alkharouf | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, wrote an open letter on Saturday to his staff stationed in Gaza where internet and cellular connectivity are severely limited.

“The whole UNRWA family, including myself, is deeply worried about you, as most channels of communication have been cut across Gaza since last night,” Lazzarini said in the letter.

Internet and telecommunications access were cut off on Friday following a series of Israeli bombings in Gaza. Major cellular providers in Gaza said that the attacks had wiped out the last of their infrastructure, disabling most connectivity in the region.

Lazzarini said he had been able to contact a few UNRWA colleagues located in Rafah, a city in the south of the Gaza Strip near northern Egypt. He said he has been disconnected from other staff members in Gaza.

He called the situation in Gaza “hell on earth” and said the “communications blackout is yet another action taken to try to impede the humanitarian response to the civilians of the Gaza Strip.”

Convoys of humanitarian aid have trickled into Gaza over the past week as civilians are left without adequate access to food, water, medical resources, fuel, shelter and now, communications. However, sustaining the aid deliveries has proven difficult as officials negotiate how to send the trucks across the Rafah border crossing without getting diverted by Hamas.

Rebecca Picciotto

UN human rights chief says Israel’s military action takes pain in Gaza to ‘a new level’

The U.N. human rights chief said Israel’s overnight intense air and ground bombardment has taken the crisis in Gaza to “a new level of violence and pain.”

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk’s comments came in a statement Saturday as Gaza remained cut off from the outside world following a communication blackout.

He said the communication blackout has added to the misery and suffering of civilians in the Palestinian territory, with ambulances and civil defense teams no longer able to locate the wounded.

The humanitarian and human rights consequences will be devastating and long-lasting,” Turk said. “Given the manner in which military operations have been conducted until now, in the context of the 56-year-old occupation, I am raising alarm about the possibly catastrophic consequences of large-scale ground operations in Gaza and the potential for thousands more civilians to die.”

Associated Press

Israeli airstrikes and shelling continue in northern and southern parts of Gaza

A picture taken from near the southern Israeli city of Sderot on October 28, 2023, shows smoke raising during an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip. 

Aris Messinis | Afp | Getty Images

Saudi Arabia warns Israel on the danger of continued ground operations in Gaza

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry released a statement on Saturday condemning any ground operations by Israeli forces that may threaten the lives of Palestinian civilians.

“The Kingdom condemns and denounces the ground operations carried out by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip, and warns of the danger of continuing to carry out these blatant and unjustified violations of international law against our brotherly Palestinians,” the statement said.


Displaced Palestinians struggle daily for food and water in Gaza amid the ongoing war

Aid convoys continue to trickle into Gaza as displaced Palestinians struggle daily for food, water and fuel in the Gaza Strip.

UN aid is loaded on lorries to be distributed to Palestinian families and displaced families, many of whom fled the northern areas of the Gaza Strip following Israel’s call to move south for their safety, in Deir al-Balah on October 28, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

Palestinians collect food from a UN-run aid supply center, distributing food to local Palestinians and people displaced following Israel’s call for more than 1 million residents in northern Gaza to move south for their safety, in Deir al-Balah on October 28, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

Palestinian volunteers in Rafah prepare meals for families displaced from the northern and central parts of the city to the south due to Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza on October 28, 2023. 

Abed Rahim Khatib | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

A young Palestinian sit on plastic jerrycans at a water filling point, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on October 28, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

A man pushes his push bike past a gas station destroyed during Israeli bombardment in Khan Yunis refugee camp, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 28, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Mohammed Abed | AFP | Getty Images

Palestinian children sit in a vehicle loaded with house hold items in Khan Yunis refugee camp, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 28, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

People line up in front of a water tank with their bottles due to water crisis as a result of the suspension of water flow in the water pipes from Israel to the Gaza Strip in Rafah, Gaza on October 28, 2023. 

Abed Rahim Khatib | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

A man carries bags of food on a bicycle in the aftermath of Israeli strikes in Gaza City on October 28, 2023. 

Mohammed Abed | AFP | Getty Images

IDF issues ‘urgent’ advisory ordering residents in northern Gaza and Gaza City to relocate south

Israeli army spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari speaks to the press from The Kirya, which houses the Israeli Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv, on Oct. 18, 2023.

Gil Cohen-magen | Afp | Getty Images

As the Israeli military continues to escalate its ground offensive in Gaza, the country once again ordered Palestinians in northern Gaza and Gaza City to relocate south.

“This is an urgent military advisory from the Israel Defense Forces,” military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a video message posted on X. “For your immediate safety, we urge all residents of northern Gaza and Gaza City to relocate south immediately. This is a temporary measure. Moving back to northern Gaza will be possible once the intense hostilities end.”

Terri Cullen

Elon Musk says Starlink will provide connectivity to aid groups in Gaza

X CEO Elon Musk leaves a U.S. Senate bipartisan Artificial Intelligence Insight Forum at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 13, 2023.

Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Images

Elon Musk said Saturday that Starlink, the internet provider operated by SpaceX, will try to help internationally recognized aid groups regain connectivity after an Israeli attack on Friday cut off telecommunication and internet access to many residents of Gaza.

Musk’s announcement was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, in response to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who, in her own X post, said that it was “unacceptable” to cut off communication to 2.2 million people.

“Starlink will support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza,” Musk wrote in the post.

Starlink’s network of satellites is designed to provide high-speed internet to any region, but Gaza needs Starlink terminals in order to connect.

SpaceX Starlink internet terminal.

Future Publishing | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Currently, Gaza is in a near-total internet and cellular blackout. On Friday, Gaza’s biggest telecommunications provider, Paltel, said that Israeli bombardment had destroyed the last of its infrastructure.

It would not be the first time that the SpaceX and Tesla CEO would provide internet access to an area at war. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have used Starlink in the war against Russia.

Rebecca Picciotto

Israel reports striking Hezbollah site in Lebanon

Israel’s military says it is striking Hezbollah military infrastructure in Lebanon.

It said the strikes were ordered Saturday after “several anti-tank missile and mortar shell launches were identified from Lebanese territory toward Israel,” including Israeli military posts along the Israel-Lebanon border.

There has been concern that the Israel-Hamas war could expand into Lebanon and northern Israel if Hezbollah decides to join the conflict.

Associated Press

Hamas trying to locate 8 Russian-Israeli hostages at Moscow’s request: Russian state media

Hamas is trying to find eight Russian-Israeli hostages who are among the more than 220 kidnapped by the group during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, following Moscow’s request to release them, the AFP reported citing Russian state media.

“From the Russian side, via the foreign ministry, we received a list of citizens that have dual citizenship,” the AFP reported senior Hamas representative Moussa Abu Marzook as saying, as quoted by state news agency RIA Novosti.

“We are looking for those people… It is hard but we are looking. And when we find them, we will let them go,” he said. “We are very attentive to this list and will process it carefully because we consider Russia to be a closest friend.”

Russia has good relations with Hamas and does not consider it to be a terrorist group. Russia did not condemn Hamas for its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which killed at least 1,300 people. It also has good relations with Israel.

— Natasha Turak

Russia says Israel’s Gaza bombardment is against international law

The Black Sea grain deal will no longer be operational if its current state of implementation continues, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Israel’s bombardment of Gaza runs counter to international law and risks creating a catastrophe that could last decades.

Lavrov made the comments, some of Moscow’s most critical of Israel yet, in an interview with the Belarusian state news agency Belta, which released them on Saturday.

“While we condemn terrorism, we categorically disagree that you can respond to terrorism by violating the norms of international humanitarian law, including indiscriminately using force against targets where civilians are known to be present, including hostages that have been taken,” said Lavrov.

It was impossible, he added, to destroy Hamas – as Israel has vowed to do – without destroying Gaza along with most of its civilian population.

“If Gaza is destroyed and 2 million inhabitants are expelled, as some politicians in Israel and abroad propose, this will create a catastrophe for many decades, if not centuries,” warned Lavrov.

“It is necessary to stop, and to announce humanitarian programs to save the population under blockade.”


Hamas calls incursion a failure, while Israel claims to shoot down missile from Lebanon

Hamas has proclaimed Israel’s overnight ground incursion to be a failure. The group said in a statement Saturday that its military arm, the Al Qassam Brigades, used anti-tank Kornet rockets and mortar shelling to repel the attack and claimed its fighters inflicted casualties among Israeli troops. The militant group did not provide evidence.

Qassam Brigades said late Friday its fighters were clashing with Israeli troops in the town of Beit Hanoun in northwestern Gaza and in Al-Bureij in central Gaza.

Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, said it fired a barrage of rockets Saturday morning on the Kissufim kibbutz, northwest of the Negev desert.

Israel’s military announced it shot down a missile fired at an Israeli drone from Lebanon Saturday. It was not immediately clear if the missile was fired by Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said an Israeli drone fired three missiles on a Hezbollah stronghold in an area relatively far from the border Saturday. The agency said the drone struck Safi Mountain in Lebanon’s southern Apple province where Hezbollah has posts.

A Lebanese security official, meanwhile, confirmed the report, but a Hezbollah official said they had no immediate comment about the strike when contacted by the Associated Press.

Associated Press

Families of Israeli hostages demand meeting with defense minister, express concern over ground offensive

A table set, that symbolically represents Israeli hostages taken by Hamas is laid out during a demonstration by family members and supporters of missing persons, as they call for a dialogue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, in Tel Aviv, Israel October 28, 2023. 

Ammar Awad | Reuters

Families of the Israeli hostages taken captive by Hamas are demanding to meet with Israel’s defense minister as they express fear over Israel’s expanding ground offensive and its potential impact on the hostages.

“This night was the most terrible of all nights. It was a long and sleepless night, against the backdrop of the major IDF operation in the Strip, and absolute uncertainty regarding the fate of the hostages held there, who were also subject to the heavy bombings,” a statement from the families read. It said that the ground operation endangers the lives of the 229 hostages being held in Gaza.

“The families are worried about the fate of their loved ones and are waiting for an explanation,” it continued. “Every minute feels like an eternity. We demand that Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and members of the war cabinet — meet with us this morning!”

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari told the press that bringing the hostages home remains a “supreme national effort.”

— Natasha Turak

Israeli military forces are inside Gaza, IDF spokesman confirms

In this undated image taken from video released by Israeli Defense Forces, a line of Israeli tanks are shown during an incursion into the Gaza Strip.


Israeli forces are inside Gaza and expanding their offensive on the besieged territory, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari told press in an update. He said troops are “still in the field and continue the war,” and that there have been no IDF casualties so far.

Hagari confirmed that IDF forces had entered the northern Gaza Strip and said that Hamas commanders had been killed, including one he said had been a “major participant” in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel.

He added that more humanitarian supplies would be allowed into Gaza today, including food, water, and medicine. 

— Natasha Turak

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expresses ‘importance of protecting civilians’ in call with Israeli counterpart

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held a call with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant Friday night, during which he reiterated “the importance of protecting civilians during the Israel Defense Forces’ operations,” according to a Pentagon readout. 

Austin also stressed the need for “humanitarian aid delivery for civilians in Gaza” and the release of all the hostages held by Hamas, the Pentagon said.

— Natasha Turak

IDF says it struck ‘150 underground targets’ in northern Gaza

Israel Defense Forces said their fighter jets “struck 150 underground targets” in northern Gaza overnight.

The targets included “terror tunnels, underground combat spaces and additional underground infrastructure,” the military said, adding that “several Hamas terrorists were killed.”

In its daily update, the IDF said that in the last 24 hours, “ground forces, accompanied by fighter jets and UAVs, conducted limited operations in the territory of the Gaza Strip.” Videos showed plumes of smoke as it struck buildings and sites it said were associated with Hamas.

In addition, the IDF said it “executed a targeted operation from the sea in the southern Gaza Strip,” targeting Hamas military facilities that were utilized by the militant group’s naval commando forces.

Israeli naval vessels and aircraft were involved in the operation and soldiers left the area after the mission was completed, the IDF said.

Joanna Tan

Hamas vows to fight back in ‘full force’

The Hamas militant group vowed to fight back with “full force,” in response to Israel’s escalated ground and air attacks inside Gaza overnight

“Al-Qassam Brigades and all Palestinian resistance forces are fully prepared to confront the aggression with full force and thwart the incursions,” the group said on Telegram.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces said its forces were “expanding the ground activity” and had “increased attacks in Gaza.”

Joanna Tan

‘Heaviest and most sustained bombardment into Gaza to date,’ NBC says

Smoke rises and billows in different regions of Gaza as the Israeli army conducts the most intense air attacks on the 21st day in Gaza Strip, Gaza on October 27, 2023. 

Ali Jadallah | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Relentless bombardments on Gaza continued for hours overnight in what NBC News correspondent Ellison Barber said was “by far the heaviest and most sustained bombardment into Gaza to date.”

The Israel Defense Forces announced Friday night that the military was expanding ground operations into Gaza.

Inside Gaza, a crew member of NBC News told colleagues in a text message: “The situation we’re in is difficult, so difficult and very dangerous,” he wrote. “We’re being extensively shelled by artillery and by air.” 

He said “every street” was affected and people were “carrying their dead and injured in the most basic methods … on trollies and in tuk-tuks.”

“It’s very dangerous everywhere — they are bombing us from the sky above and the ground,” he added.

Joanna Tan

Israel’s foreign minister says UN’s call for truce is ‘despicable’

Israel’s foreign minister has rejected the United Nations’ call for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza, calling it “despicable.”

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Eli Cohen said: “We reject outright the UN General Assembly’s despicable call for a ceasefire. Israel intends to eliminate Hamas just as the world dealt with the Nazis and ISIS.”

The UN General Assembly on Friday voted to adopt a resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

The non-binding resolution saw an overwhelming 120 nations vote in favor of the ceasefire. Fourteen countries, including the U.S. and Israel, voted against the resolution while 45 others abstained.

— Joanna Tan

Israel claims to have killed the leader of Hamas’ aerial array in overnight strikes

Israel claims to have killed the head of Hamas’ aerial array, Asem Abu Rakaba, in overnight strikes.

“Abu Rakaba was responsible for Hamas’ UAVs, drones, paragliders, aerial detection and aerial defense,” said the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli Security Agency in a joint statement.

An explosion is seen on the Israel-Gaza border, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from the Israeli side, October 27, 2023. 

Reuters Tv | Reuters

Abu Rakaba was said to have taken part in planning the killings and kidnappings that took place in communities in southern Israel on Oct. 7. “He directed the terrorists who infiltrated Israel on paragliders and was responsible for the drone attacks on IDF posts,” the statement said.

CNBC was not able to verify those claims.

Joanna Tan

Biden says military strikes in Syria aimed to ‘deter Iran and Iran-backed militia groups’

President Joe Biden said he ordered the military strikes against facilities in eastern Syria to stop Iran and its affiliates from further attacking U.S. personnel and facilities.

“I directed the strikes in order to protect and defend our personnel,” Biden said in a letter to the House Speaker.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a prime-time address to the nation about his approaches to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, humanitarian assistance in Gaza and continued support for Ukraine in their war with Russia, from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S. October 19, 2023. 

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The strikes were in response to a series of attacks by militia groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) since Oct. 17, he added.

The precision strikes targeted facilities used by the IRGC and its affiliated groups for command and control, munitions storage, and other purposes, the president said.

The goal was to “degrade and disrupt the ongoing series of attacks against the United States and our partners,” and to “deter Iran and Iran-backed militia groups from conducting or supporting further attacks on United States personnel and facilities,” he added.

Joanna Tan

U.S. State Department calls for Americans in Lebanon to ‘leave now’

The U.S. State Department has urged American citizens in Lebanon to “leave now while commercial flights remain available due to the unpredictable security situation.”

Security forces intervene with tear gas to Palestinian refugees and Lebanese during the demonstration in solidarity with Gaza and condemnation of Israel after protesters try to cross the barbed wire in front of the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon on October 18, 2023. 

Houssam Shbaro | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

“The best time to leave a country is before a crisis if at all possible,” the U.S. embassy in Lebanon said in a security alert.

The State Department updated its travel advisory for Lebanon to Level 4, “do not travel” on Oct. 17.

It citied “the unpredictable security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hizballah or other armed militant factions.”

“There is no guarantee the U.S. government will evacuate private U.S. citizens and their family members in a crisis situation,” the U.S. embassy in Beirut warned.

— Joanna Tan

Pope Francis prays for a world in ‘a dark hour’ and danger from ‘folly’ of war

Pope Francis waves to the crowd during the Sunday Angelus prayer in St.Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Oct. 15, 2023, calling for humanitarian corridors to allow the delivery of essentials to the Gaza Strip, which is under heavy Israeli bombardment following a bloody attack by Hamas.

Alberto Pizzoli | Afp | Getty Images

Amid the latest bloodshed in the Middle East, Pope Francis led special Friday evening prayers in St. Peter’s Basilica for a world “in a dark hour” and in “great danger” from what he described as the folly of war.

Francis delivered his remarks in the form of a prayer to the Virgin Mary and didn’t mention by name the conflict that exploded when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel retaliated by sealing off the Gaza Strip and battering the Palestinian territory with airstrikes.

He said he was praying for “especially those countries and regions at war,” and he pleaded with Mary to “take the initiative for us, in these times rent by conflicts and laid waste by the fire of arms.”

“This is a dark hour,″ Francis said in a subdued voice, in his remarks in the basilica.

Associated Press

Videos of Hamas attack suggest that jihadism has evolved in chilling new ways

The brutality and elation of Hamas militants as they killed Israeli civilians — including babies, young children and the elderly — is evident in an Israeli government compilation of videos shown to about two dozen journalists in New York on Friday.

The videos, which were aired for the first time outside of Israel, consist mostly of GoPro, cell phone and dash cam footage recorded by the attackers themselves. The atrocities and war crimes shown suggest that jihadism has evolved in chilling and perverse new ways.

Hamas appears to have combined the tactics of the Islamic State militant group, the Taliban and other organizations by mounting large-scale attacks that included an estimated 2,000 fighters, mass hostage-taking, rape, beheadings and livestreaming.

Palestinian members of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, take part in a gathering on Jan. 31, 2016, in Gaza City to pay tribute to their fellow militants who died after a tunnel collapsed in the Gaza Strip.

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

On October 7th, Hamas killed over 1,000 Israeli civilians in the worst terrorist attack in the country’s 75 year history. The militants appear at ease in the videos, slowly searching houses filled with signs of everyday life — a freshly-made breakfast, an iPad, a pair of shoes — as Israelis civilians hid in nearby safe rooms. Hamas members appear amazed and elated by the success of their operation and the slow response of Israeli security forces. 

Israeli officials who attended the screening told reporters that Hamas attacked more than 30 locations and that it took hours for Israeli forces to dislodge them. “In some places, it took 8 to 12 hours,” said retired Maj. General Mickey Edelstein, currently serving as a reservist. “In some places, it took over a day.”

Read the full NBC News report here.

— NBC News

Palestinian data provider says internet service has been cut off in Gaza Strip

Rescuers look for survivors in the rubble of a building hit in an Israeli air strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 24, 2023.

Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

The Palestinian telecommunications provider Paltel says internet service in Gaza Strip has been cut off by Israeli bombardment. Services were cut Friday evening, following a heavy round of Israeli airstrikes that lit up the night sky over the darkened territory.

Rights groups and journalists also say they lost contact with colleagues in the enclave. The Associated Press’s attempts to contact people in Gaza did not go through.

— The Associated Press

About 85 trucks carrying humanitarian aid arrive in Gaza

The second convoy of aid trucks cross the Rafah border from the Egyptian side on October 22, 2023 in North Sinai, Egypt.

Mahmoud Khaled | Getty Images

The White House confirmed that about 85 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have arrived in Gaza but added that the region desperately needs fuel.

“No fuel has yet been allowed in,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on a conference call.

“The U.N. Relief Agency was able to get hold of a little bit over a day’s worth of fuel from a commercial facility in Gaza,” he said, adding that the fuel in Gaza is expected to run out soon.

— Amanda Macias

Fifty hostages killed in bombings, Hamas says

Israeli shelling of the Gaza Strip has killed 50 of the hostages abducted by Hamas during its terror attacks of Oct. 7, a representative of the Palestinian militant group told Russian news outlet Kommersant, according to a Google translation.

A member of the public looks at a wall displaying pictures of people still held hostage in Gaza, on October 26, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images

Captives will not be released until a ceasefire is agreed with Israel, Hamas representative Abu Hamid said, as a delegation of the group visited Moscow.

Al-Qassem, the armed wing of Hamas, also posted on its Telegram account that it estimates 50 “prisoners” have been killed in Israeli bombardment.

CNBC could not independently verify the figures, and the Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The IDF has previously said that Hamas captured roughly 224 people, of which only four have been released to date.

Some questions have risen over the accuracy of numbers reported by Hamas and Hamas-controlled facilities, such as the death toll supplied by the Gaza Health Ministry.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Oct. 25 said he has “no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using” for the death toll reported in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, according to Reuters, without disclosing why.

Ruxandra Iordache

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