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Israel-Hamas war updates and latest news on Gaza conflict

British PM meets Saudi crown prince as part of Mideast tour

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday, as part of the British leader’s broader Middle East tour to diplomatically rein in escalations of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“We agreed on coordinated action to prevent further escalation in the region, provide vital humanitarian aid in Gaza and support stability, both now and in the long-term,” Sunak said Thursday on social media.

“As an international community, we must not let Hamas’ terror attack become a catalyst for a terrible humanitarian crisis in Gaza. We will work together to ensure regional stability and prevent a dangerous escalation,” he added in a separate update on X, formerly known as Twitter.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves Downing Street ahead of the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on October 18, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Riyadh has historically been a stalwart supporter of the cause of the Palestinian people, refusing official diplomatic relations with Israel on that count. Under U.S. auspices, ties between the two countries had been thawing in recent months, but the Oct. 7 terrorist attack of Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel’s retaliatory strikes against the Gaza Strip have cast shadow over the future of the relationship.

Earlier on Thursday, Sunak visited Israel, where he met with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and with Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Britain expressed solidarity with Israel in the latter’s “darkest hour.”

Sunak is on Friday expected to travel to Egypt, with whose leadership he has been discussing support for a humanitarian aid corridor to the Gaza Strip.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military says it attacked over 100 operational targets of Hamas

People inspect the area at the Greek Orthodox Church after an Israeli attack in Gaza City, Gaza on October 20, 2023. At least two women have been killed and many other people have been injured in the attack, the Palestinian news agency WAFA said Thursday.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces attacked over 100 operational targets belonging to Palestinian militant group Hamas in an overnight offensive, the military said in an Friday morning update on Telegram.

The IDF said the hostilities also killed a Hamas naval operative involved in the terror attacks of Oct. 7, Amjad Majed Muhammad Abu ‘Odeh.

CNBC could not independently verify developments on the ground.

The IDF has been carrying out an intense air strike campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip enclosure, as it seeks to remove the military capabilities of Hamas.

The Israeli military has simultaneously been exchanging fire with Hezbollah, most recently reporting retaliatory strikes against the Lebanese militant group’s infrastructure and observation posts in response to anti-tank missiles shot from Lebanon over the course of Thursday.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israel announces evacuation of city near Lebanon border

Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the Israel Defense Forces have asked residents to leave Kiryat Shmona, a city near the northern border with Lebanon, according to a post from the ministry on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

The ministry said residents would be moved to state-subsidized guesthouses and that the IDF notified the mayor.

The border town has been battered by rockets as tensions flare with Iran-backed fighters in Lebanon and Syria.

— Christine Wang

‘We can’t ignore the humanity of innocent Palestinians:’ Biden addresses Israel-Hamas war as fighting rages

A woman cries as she bids farewell to the bodies of Palestinians killed during Israeli airstrikes on October 19, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza.

Ahmad Hasaballah | Getty Images

In a rare prime-time Oval Office address, President Joe Biden urged Israel “not be blinded by rage.”

“When I was in Israel yesterday, I said that when America experienced the hell of 9/11, we felt enraged as well,” Biden said. “While we sought and got justice, we made mistakes. So, I cautioned the government of Israel not to be blinded by rage.”

Biden also said that “Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people.”

“The U.S. remains committed to the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and to self-determination,” President Biden says. “The actions of Hamas terrorists don’t take that right away … We can’t ignore the humanity of innocent Palestinians who only want to live in peace.”

Palestinian emergency services and local citizens search for victims in buildings destroyed during Israeli air raids in the southern Gaza Strip on October 19, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. 

Ahmad Hasaballah | Getty Images

Palestinian emergency services and local citizens search for victims in buildings destroyed during Israeli air raids in the southern Gaza Strip on October 19, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. 

Ahmad Hasaballah | Getty Images

Biden slams Iran for involvement in supporting Russia, Hamas and other malign actors

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 on Oct. 19, 2023.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Joe Biden vowed to hold the Iranian regime to account for supporting both Russia, Hamas and other malign actors as the U.S. works to support Israel and Ukraine on two different war fronts.

“Iran is supporting Russia, Ukraine and supporting Hamas and other terrorist groups in the region and will continue to hold them accountable,” Biden said.

The Biden administration has previously warned Iran to not further escalate the ongoing war in the Middle East.

— Amanda Macias

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