Israel will continue ‘large-scale, significant strikes’ in Gaza
Plumes of smoke could be seen from the detritus of Israeli bombardment as it picks up in intensity after military officials announced an expanded ground operation into the Gaza Strip to eliminate Hamas, as seen from Sderot, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023.
Marcus Yam | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Israel will press on with “large-scale, significant strikes” as it seeks out Hamas militants and their leadership in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said.
“The IDF is continuing with large-scale, significant strikes from the air and from the sea, and the targeting of terrorists,” spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said in the latest press update.
Covered by aerial support, IDF forces — from infantry, armor, and artillery — entered northern Gaza overnight and “expanded ground activities,” he said.
He also said the IDF has killed key Hamas leaders including the commander of the naval force of the Gaza Brigade and other brigade commanders. CNBC could not verify those claims.
“These commanders are the operational commanders of Hamas, Hamas’ tactical leaders. Eliminating them facilitates the war’s progress and enables the forces on the ground to fight against a weaker enemy,” he said.
“The expansion of the IDF’s operational activity furthers the war’s goals,” he added.
— Joanna Tan
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Gaza is facing a ‘war of genocide’
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the international community to stop Israel’s aggression and bombardments in the Gaza Strip.
Christophe Ena | Afp | Getty Images
“Our people in the Gaza Strip are facing a war of genocide and massacres committed by the Israeli occupation forces in full view of the entire world,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a meeting with officials from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
Abbas is president of the Palestinian Authority, the internationally recognized government of the Palestinian people, which governs parts of the occupied West Bank. His Fatah movement, a rival to the Hamas, controls the PLO.
Meeting with leaders of the PLO in Ramallah, Abbas called on the international community to end Israel’s aggression in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
He questioned how it was possible “to remain silent in the face of over 3,000 Palestinian children killed and the shelling of hospitals, along with the ruthless destruction and collective punishment of civilians.”
“Gaza will remain an integral part of the Palestinian state, alongside the West Bank, including East Jerusalem… Jerusalem will remain our eternal capital, with its Islamic and Christian sanctities,” he declared, vowing to rebuild everything destroyed in Gaza by Israel’s bombardment.
— Joanna Tan
Israeli military spokesman declines to answer if Israel was responsible for Gaza blackout
Israel’s chief military spokesperson declined to say whether Israel was behind the telecommunications blackout that hit Gaza on Friday and which has left the besieged enclave largely cut off but said it would do what it needed to protect its forces.
Asked whether Israel had knocked out cellular services at the start of the ground offensive that began on Friday night, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said: “We do what we have to do to secure our forces for as long as we must, temporary or permanent, as much as we need to and we will not say anything further about that.”
Palestinian Red Crescent says 3 of its ambulances are out of fuel
The Palestinian Red Crescent says three of its ambulances can no longer operate as they have run out of fuel.
“From Gaza operations room to Palestine Red Crescent central headquarters operations room, we would like to inform you that due to the shortage of fuel (gasoline) 3 ambulance vehicles that operate on this type of fuel have been stopped,” according to voice message from a humanitarian worker inside Gaza, the PRCS said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Consequently, the operational capacity has been reduced to 27 ambulance vehicles only,” he added, according to the translation from Arabic.
He said that due to the communication blackout, “ambulance vehicles have been geographically distributed across all areas … this action increases the danger to the field teams.”
— Joanna Tan
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
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 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