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Canadian Shir Georgy missing in Israel attended music festival near Gaza border; Family recounts details of Canadian Adi Vital-Kaploun’s abduction by Hamas, confirms her death

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People walk on rubble in the aftermath of a strike amid the conflict with Israel in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, October 12, 2023.IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/Reuters

Live updates: Israel-Hamas war day five

Israeli strikes levelled entire neighbourhoods in Gaza on Wednesday as the war between Israel and the Hamas militants that rule the Palestinian territory entered its fifth day. Israel has vowed unprecedented retaliation against Hamas after its fighters stormed through the border fence Saturday. The deadly incursion has claimed at least 2,100 lives on both sides so far.

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This live coverage has now ended. Find the latest up-to-date information on the Israel-Hamas war here.

1:15 a.m. ET

Israel conducts ‘large-scale strike’ on Gaza as Blinken heads to region

WASHINGTON, JERUSALEM and GAZA - Israel’s military said it was conducting a “large-scale strike” on targets belonging to Hamas in Gaza on Thursday, but gave no details, as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed to the region to meet leaders on both sides of the conflict.

Israeli jets have pounded Gazan targets for days in retribution for a weekend attack by Hamas militants who breached the border fence enclosing the enclave and rampaged through towns and villages, killing 1,200 people, injuring over 2,700, and taking scores of hostages, the Israeli military said.

At around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, Israel’s military said it was conducting a “large-scale strike” on targets belonging to Hamas in Gaza. It did not provide details.

Hamas media said 15 Palestinians had been killed and several wounded in Israeli air strikes.

Eyewitnesses reported Israeli aircraft heavily bombarding Gaza city and Gazan authoirities also reported an air strike on the Jabalia refuge camp in northern Gaza.

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 1,200, with around 5,600 wounded, Palestinian media reported earlier, citing Gaza’s health ministry.

Biden despatched his top diplomat to the Middle East to show Washington’s enduring support for Israel, seek to secure the release of captives, including Americans, and prevent a wider war from erupting.

Blinken will arrive on Thursday and will also visit Jordan, but will not visit the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where he ordinarily meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Blinken and Abbas will meet on Friday, Hussein Al-Sheikh, secretary general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on social media platform X, without elaborating.

Speaking to a roundtable of Jewish community leaders in Washington, Biden said his deployment of military ships and aircraft closer to Israel should be seen as a signal to Iran, which backs Islamist groups Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

“We made it clear to the Iranians: Be careful,” Biden said.

Iran likely knew Hamas militants were planning “operations against Israel” but initial U.S. intelligence reports showed that some Iranian leaders were surprised by the group’s unprecedented attack from Gaza, U.S. sources said on Wednesday.

Iran has said it was not involved in the Hamas attacks.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed the conflict on Wednesday, in the first telephone call between the two leaders since a China-brokered deal between Tehran and Riyadh to resume ties.

Raisi and the Saudi crown prince discussed the “need to end war crimes against Palestine,” Iranian state media said.

The Saudi crown prince “affirmed that the Kingdom is making all possible efforts in communicating with all international and regional parties to stop the ongoing escalation,” Saudi state news agency SPA said.

- Reuters


11:55 p.m. ET

Trump says Netanyahu was not prepared for Hamas attack

Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over what he described as a lack of preparation for a weekend attack by Palestinian Hamas militants that killed at least 1,200 people in Israel.

Speaking to Fox News, Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said Netanyahu “has been hurt very badly” due to the attack.

“He was not prepared. He was not prepared and Israel was not prepared. And under Trump, they wouldn’t have had to be prepared,” he said.

Trump’s comments came as Israel was still collecting its dead and reeling from one of the most devastating attacks in its history. It has retaliated with air strikes on Gaza that have killed at least 1,200 Palestinians.

One of Trump’s opponents in the Republican contest, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, criticized the former president over the comments.

“(It) is absurd that anyone, much less someone running for President, would choose now to attack our friend and ally, Israel,” DeSantis wrote on social media.

Trump and Netanyahu had a close relationship during Trump’s time as president, though cracks have appeared in their once ironclad rapport.

Speaking to supporters in Florida on Wednesday evening, Trump again commented on Israeli security preparedness, pointing to “some of the things that went wrong over the last week”.

Trump added: “They’ve gotta straighten it out because they’re fighting potentially a very big force, they’re fighting potentially with Iran.”

- Reuters


8:40 p.m. ET
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Undated handout photo of Shir Hanna Georgy, presumed to be held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. Courtesy of familyHandout

Canadian woman missing in Israel attended music festival near Gaza border

A Canadian woman is among the missing in Israel after her family confirmed that 22-year-old Shir Georgy has not been heard from since she sent a message to her father early Saturday morning from the music festival near the Gaza border that was attacked by Hamas militants.

Ms. Georgy’s aunt, Michal Bouganim, told The Globe and Mail that her last message was just before 8 a.m. and the family has since been piecing together videos and photos from social media to try and find her.

Ms. Bouganim said her niece arrived at the Supernova festival in Kibbutz Re’im, just five kilometres east of the wall that separates Gaza from Israel, in the early morning hours of Saturday. The sound of sirens went off around 6:30 a.m. before gunfire from militants tore through the crowd, reportedly killing more than 200 people.

“We are just living with hope because we don’t know anything yet for sure,” said Ms. Bouganim, who spoke in English and Hebrew, which was translated by a family friend.

Ms. Georgy found shelter inside a migunit, a small above-ground room intended to protect people from blasts. A video sent to her family, and provided to the Globe, shows the Ms. Georgy sitting against the wall with her knees pulled up to her chest, surrounded by at least 11 others. Another woman inside the room tells everyone to be quiet in Hebrew while shouting can be heard outside.

Next to Ms. Georgy, who sits with her hand over her mouth, is another woman bleeding from a wound on her upper thigh. Blood is spattered on her legs and a white tourniquet is tied above the wound. There appears to be another injured person in the video laying on the floor, who is connected to an IV bag with a clear fluid inside.

Ms. Bouganim said three of her niece’s friends were killed at the festival while another managed to flee to safety. The family has been visiting hospitals in the area and have filed a police report on Georgy’s disappearance, but they have mostly been left to search for answers on their own. They believe she has been kidnapped and is still alive.

“We have to do everything we can, everything that there is to do to get her back to us safe,” said Ms. Bouganim. “She is an angel. She’s great. She’s the nicest person ever.”

- Alanna Smith


8:30 p.m. ET

Loved ones recount horrifying murder of Canadian who was shot by Hamas in front of children

Adi Vital-Kaploun’s last moments would have been pure horror. Not only were Hamas gunmen in her house, intent on killing her, they had her two young sons as well.

Ms. Vital-Kaploun, a 33-year-old Canadian citizen with ties to Ottawa, was shot in front of her two sons, four-year-old Negev and 4½-month-old Eshel, according to Dina Zaslacski, a family friend.

The family was told by the Israeli military that her body was then shoved under Negev’s bed and booby-trapped so it would explode whenever someone tried to pull her out, Ms. Zaslacski said.

“They put bombs all over her body and her dad was in the house. Thank God he didn’t open the door,” Ms. Zaslacski said, weeping as she spoke to The Globe and Mail.

Until Wednesday, friends and relatives believed Ms. Vital-Kaploun was a hostage of Hamas, somewhere in the Gaza Strip. That faint hope that she could somehow survive disappeared when the military found her body in the family’s home in Holit, a tiny kibbutz in the Negev Desert. It had taken days to find her because of the number of booby-traps Hamas had laid in the house.

- Mark MacKinnon


8:10 p.m. ET

Israel announces war cabinet as it warns fighting will intensify, Gaza’s only power plant shuts down

Israel’s government, bolstered by the creation of an emergency cabinet with opposition membership, is pushing ahead with military preparations for a possible ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The new decision-making body, described by the government as a “war management cabinet,” includes Benny Gantz, a former defence minister who now leads an Israeli centrist opposition party. He agreed on Wednesday to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in supervising Israel’s response to the weekend’s devastating attacks by Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza.

The death toll from those attacks, which began on Saturday in the country’s south, has now risen to more than 1,200, with more than 2,700 wounded. Israel’s retaliatory bombing strikes on the Gaza Strip have killed more than 1,100 people and wounded 5,339, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. In addition, Israel’s army says it has killed at least 1,000 Palestinian gunmen who participated in the attacks.

The Israeli military continued to mass its forces around Gaza on Wednesday. Large numbers of troops and tanks were visible near the kibbutzes of Be’eri and Re’im – both within sight of Gaza – where Hamas fighters carried out massacres of Israeli civilians on Saturday.

- Geoffrey York, Mark MacKinnon


6:28 p.m. ET

Biden warns Iran over Gaza

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday warned Iran against getting involved in Israel’s conflict with Hamas amid fears of a wider regional conflict.

Speaking to a roundtable of Jewish community leaders in Washington, Biden said his deployment of military ships and aircraft closer to Israel should be seen as a signal to Iran, which backs Islamist groups Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

“We made it clear to the Iranians: Be careful,” Biden said.

- Reuters


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Israeli soldiers walk in Kibbutz Be’eri, close to the border with Gaza Strip, October 11, 2023.GORAN TOMASEVIC/The Globe and Mail

5:50 p.m. ET

In Kibbutz Be’eri, where at least 120 residents were killed by Hamas, Israeli officers survey aftermath of attack

BE’ERI — Kibbutz Be’eri was a symbol of the Israeli national dream, the desire and ability to make the desert bloom. This tiny oasis of greenery on the northern edge of the Negev Desert was one of the most affluent of its kind and one of the few kibbutzim that remained true to the co-operative principles it was founded upon in 1946, two years before the state of Israel itself.

Today, Be’eri symbolizes the nightmare that has always haunted Israelis – that the massacres and pogroms that had driven their ancestors from Europe and other parts of the Middle East would somehow follow them here to this supposed refuge for the Jewish people.

When Hamas militants launched their surprise invasion of Israel on Saturday morning, Be’eri had just over 1,000 residents. By the time Israeli forces finally recaptured Be’eri more than three days later, at least 120 of those kibbutzniks were dead. And unknown number of others are being held hostage in the Gaza Strip.

- Mark MacKinnon, senior international correspondent


5:13 p.m. ET

Saudi Arabia ‘making unremitting efforts’ to reduce Gaza tensions, crown prince says

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stressed in a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that the kingdom is “making unremitting efforts” regionally and internationally to stop the intensification of the Israeli-Hamas war, the Saudi state news agency reported on Wednesday.

In a statement, the crown prince asserted the need to stop any Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, the agency said. Saudi Arabia firmly supported the Palestinian cause and attempts to achieve a comprehensive and just peace, it said.

Erdogan on Wednesday told bin Salman that Turkey had started work to get humanitarian aid to civilians affected by the war, the Turkish presidency said.

Turkey has offered to mediate the latest conflict, which began on Saturday when gunmen of the Palestinian militant group Hamas rampaged through Israeli towns, killing 1,200 people and taking scores of hostages to Gaza.

Saturday’s assault, the biggest incursion into Israel in decades, coincides with U.S.-backed moves to push Saudi Arabia towards normalizing ties with Israel in return for a defence deal between Washington and Riyadh.

- Reuters


5:06 p.m. ET

Biden calls Hamas attacks in Israel the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust

President Joe Biden says the weekend attack by Hamas militants on Israel was the deadliest against Jews since the Holocaust and called it a “campaign of pure cruelty.”

Biden made the remarks while speaking Wednesday with Jewish leaders as the U.S. said the number of U.S. citizens killed during the Hamas-Israel war had risen to 22.

- The Associated Press


4:38 p.m. ET

Turkey in talks seeking release of civilians held by Hamas, according to senior Turkish official

ANKARA — Turkey, which has historically had contacts with Hamas, is carrying out negotiations aimed at securing the release of civilians held by the militant Palestinian group, a senior Turkish official said on Wednesday.

After the Hamas attack on Israel at the weekend, Ankara has launched diplomacy seeking to mediate the conflict.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said President Tayyip Erdogan ordered the talks. Erdogan has held phone calls with regional powers this week to convey Ankara’s offer to mediate and discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Turkey is carrying out negotiations regarding the civilian prisoners held by Hamas. Upon President Tayyip Erdogan’s orders, the relevant institutions are carrying out a process regarding the civilians held by Hamas,” the person said, without providing further details.

Turkish politicians, including Erdogan, have previously met members of Hamas. There has been no official statement from Ankara about contact with the group since the fighting began.

Scores of Israelis and others from abroad were taken to Gaza as hostages, some of whom were paraded through streets. Both sides have said many women and children were among the dead and wounded.

Turkey, which has backed Palestinians in the past, supports a two-state solution to the conflict and hosts Hamas members. It has been working to repair its ties with Israel after years of acrimony, primarily by focusing on energy cooperation.

Since the fighting began on Saturday, Ankara has called for restraint and urged the protection of civilians in both Israel and Gaza.

It has also warned against the conflict spreading to a wider region, saying the only path to regional peace is through the formation of an independent Palestinian state.

Erdogan on Wednesday also said Israel’s response to Hamas in Gaza amounted to a “massacre”, referring to its blockade cutting off water and electricity to the city and to civilian deaths.

- Reuters


4:26 p.m. ET

Netanyahu says soldiers beheaded, women raped in Hamas attack

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Hamas militants beheaded soldiers and raped women in their attack on Israel.

Netanyahu, in a late night televised address, detailed some of the atrocities that took place during the attack. He said boys and girls were shot in the head and that people had been burned alive.

At least 1,200 Israelis were killed in the attack, which set off fierce Israeli response in the Gaza Strip.


3:54 p.m. ET

UN Security Council to meet on Israel, Gaza on Friday

The United Nations Security Council will meet on Friday afternoon, diplomats said, to discuss the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza.

The council has not yet decided if the meeting will be public, diplomats said. The 15-member body met behind closed-doors on Sunday, a day after Hamas rampaged through Israeli towns and villages, killing 1,200 people and taking scores of hostages back to Gaza.

- Reuters


3:27 p.m. ET

Third Canadian confirmed killed in Israel

A third Canadian is confirmed dead following Saturday’s attack by Hamas in Israel.

Thirty-three year old Adi Vital-Kaploun was killed on her kibbutz near the Gaza border on Saturday, Andrea Freedman, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa told reporters on Wednesday.

In a statement read on behalf of Ms. Vital-Kaploun’s family, Ms. Freedman described her as a wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, niece and cousin.

“Her children are miraculously home and safe, but she is not,” Ms. Freedman said. “She was murdered by terrorists in her home, just for being Jewish.”

Ms. Vital-Kaploun was a dual national, with both Canadian and Israeli citizenship. Ms. Freedman said that she grew up in Israel and lived on a kibbutz with her husband and children.

She said Ms. Vital-Kaploun had roots in Ottawa with a large extended family.

Ms. Freedman described her as a “proud Canadian citizen from a local Ottawa family with deep community ties, and made sure to convey this pride in Canada to her children.”

She described Ms. Vital-Kaploun as a multi-talented musician, dancer and athlete, with a degree in chemical engineering and a background in cyber security.

- Marieke Walsh, senior political reporter


3:23 p.m. ET

Labour Minister O’Regan denounces CUPE Ontario for ‘antisemitic conspiracy theories’

Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan is denouncing a prominent Ontario union and its leader for issuing social media statements that he says glorify violence and promote antisemitic conspiracy theories in the wake of deadly attacks by Hamas on Israel.

Mr. O’Regan said that comments made by the Canadian Union for Public Employees in Ontario and its president, Fred Hahn, are disappointing and do not reflect the broader labour movement. In a statement the day after the attacks, Mr. Hahn celebrated “resistance,” and CUPE Ontario later blamed criticism of his comments on “trolls” from the “pro-Israel lobby.” The reference to trolls was later removed.

“I stand with the many labour leaders calling Hamas’ attacks out for what they are: terrorism. The loss of civilian life is not a cause for celebration. Not in Canada. Not anywhere,” Mr. O’Regan said in a statement to the Globe and Mail.

“I am profoundly disappointed to see CUPE Ontario double down on this glorification of violence, and now resort to the spreading of antisemitic conspiracy theories. This is not a reflection of Canada’s labour movement, and we cannot let it take away from the outpouring of support union leaders have expressed for Israel.”

Mr. Hahn, whose CUPE Ontario represents almost 300,000 workers, said in one social-media post on Sunday, the day after the initial attacks, that he was thankful for “the power of resistance around the globe.”

In the post on “X,” the social-media platform formerly known as Twitter, Mr. Hahn added that “resistance is fruitful and no matter what some might say, resistance brings progress.” He also shared an image on Instagram that contained the text, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – a phrase associated with calls for the destruction of Israel.

CUPE Ontario later released a statement in which it said it had been targeted by “trolls,” including the “highly organized pro-Israel lobby that seeks to control the anti-Palestinian narrative fed to Canadians.” The statement condemned both the Hamas attack and the subsequent retaliatory strikes by Israel and said Mr. Hahn recognizes “Palestinians’ rights under international law to resist occupation through armed struggle.”

In a statement to The Globe and Mail on Tuesday, Mr. Hahn defended the posts.

“We are proud of our longstanding support for the rights of Palestinians, including their right to resist oppression and occupation, and we are proud of the leading role that many of CUPE’s locals have played in this work,” Mr. Hahn said.

A spokesperson for CUPE Ontario did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Mr. O’Regan’s remarks. Earlier Wednesday in a social-media post, Mr. Hahn wrote that “for anyone to imagine that I would ever endorse violence is horrific to me.”

CUPE Local 3906, which represents teaching assistants, postdoctoral fellows and sessional faculty at McMaster University, also drew criticism over the weekend for a social-media post. The union local posted a message, since deleted, that said, “Palestine is rising, long live the resistance,” and included a quote from Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani.

- Laura Stone, Queen’s Park reporter


3:09 p.m. ET

Jewish group says Ottawa woman killed in Israel

The Jewish Federation of Ottawa says a Canadian citizen, Adi Vital-Kaploun, was killed by Hamas militants in Israel.

- The Canadian Press


2:49 p.m. ET

Around 70 Canadians stuck in Gaza, government officials say

Around 70 Canadians are stuck in the Gaza Strip and have asked for help, federal government officials said Wednesday, but the Canadian government has no way of reaching them without a humanitarian corridor.

For Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families seeking to leave Israel as violent clashes continue, military flights from Tel Aviv to Athens could begin as early as Thursday evening.

Officials who spoke with reporters on background Wednesday afternoon said approximately 1,000 Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank have asked for consular help and about 700 of them want to get on a flight out.

The government has taken the highly unusual step of offering military flights even though the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv was still open.

Speaking earlier Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said the government felt it needed to step in because many commercial flights were cancelled or delayed.

“Usually when there are still commercial flights, we don’t do assisted departure,” Joly said.

“This is quite rare.”

The war, sparked after Hamas conducted surprise attacks across the Israeli border from Gaza on Saturday, has already claimed more than 2,200 lives.

As of Tuesday night, Joly said, there were 4,249 Canadians registered in Israel and another 476 in the West Bank and Gaza.

- The Canadian Press

Israeli airstrikes transformed a central district in northern Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp into massive mountains of rubble and huge fields of debris with mangled infrastructure. (October 11)

The Associated Press


2:06 p.m. ET

First Canadian evacuation plane, privately organized, flies out of Israel

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Antonella Kamien, pictured at Haifa airport in Israel, is a Canadian who left on a privately organized evacuation flight from Haifa on Wednesday October 11, 2023.Geoffrey York/The Globe and Mail

HAIFA—As they boarded the first Canadian evacuation flight from Israel, departing Canadians said they felt frustrated by a lack of clear communication from their embassy in the country.

The first flight, a privately organized Dash 8 charter, took off from a small airport in the Israeli city of Haifa on Wednesday afternoon carrying 27 passengers, mostly Canadians. It arrived an hour later in Larnaca, Cyprus.

Two more Canadian flights, with as many as 267 passengers, are being privately arranged in the next two days, and the federal government has promised to organize a larger evacuation on Canadian military planes by the end of the week, with those flights likely to begin on Friday.

- Geoffrey York, Africa bureau chief


1:53 p.m. ET

Ontario Premier Ford, rival Liberals call for NDP MPP Sarah Jama’s ouster over Israel statement

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is calling on an NDP MPP to resign after she refused to retract a statement about Israel that her own party leadership has asked her to withdraw.

Sarah Jama, a New Democrat who was elected to the Ontario legislature last March, issued a statement on Tuesday in which she urged the state of Israel to “end all occupation of Palestinian land” and to “end apartheid.”

The post empathized with the struggles of Palestinians and called for a ceasefire and de-escalation to the conflict, but did not mention the brutal violence perpetrated against Israelis by Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls the Gaza Strip.

Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles later said the caucus did not approve Ms. Jama’s statement and called on the MPP to retract it. But the post remained online overnight and past noon on Wednesday.

- Laura Stone, Queen’s Park reporter


1:45 p.m. ET

Before-and-after satellite photos of Beit Hanoun show impact of Israeli strike

Handout satellite photos dated Oct. 10 and June 5 show the destruction of Beit Hanoun, a city on the northeast edge of the Gaza Strip. Israeli military said aerial strikes were conducted Oct. 8 against Hamas military targets near the barrier dividing Israel from Beit Hanoun.

Photos by PLANET LABS

1:14 p.m. ET

Lebanon’s Hezbollah on war footing but moves carefully as conflict widens

Lebanon’s Hezbollah has moved carefully since , keeping Israeli troops busy with attacks at the Lebanese border but not opening a big front, sources familiar with its thinking told Reuters.

The Iran-backed group is on a war footing, deploying special forces and priming its rockets in preparation for the possibility of war.

Tensions are higher than at any point since it fought a 2006 conflict with Israel, the sources said. Three Hezbollah fighters have already been killed.

Hezbollah’s Palestinian allies, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have also entered the fray, attacking Israel from Lebanon for the first time, including a cross-border infiltration on Monday in which the Israeli army says three of its soldiers and two gunmen were killed.

But while Hezbollah is not ruling out war, the sources said its moves so far have been designed to be limited in scope, preventing a big spillover into Lebanon while keeping Israeli forces occupied in northern Israel.

One of the sources, speaking with Reuters on condition of anonymity, said Hezbollah was mounting strikes here and there and responding to Israeli fire into Lebanon while closely observing the situation in the Gaza Strip and the south.

- Reuters


12:29 p.m. ET

U.S. State Department confirms deaths of at least 22 Americans

The United States has confirmed the deaths of at least 22 U.S. citizens following Hamas’ attack on Israel, a State Department spokesperson said on Wednesday.

- Reuters


12:22 p.m. ET

Top U.S. general says no indications other Israeli adversaries to join war

The U.S. military has yet to see any sign that other Israeli adversaries are preparing to move against Israel following a surprise attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, General C.Q. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday.

“I’m not seeing any indications of additional players that are going to get involved to the detriment of Israel,” Brown, a four-star Air Force general, said at a Brussels press conference.

Hamas gunmen rampaged through Israeli towns over the weekend, killing 1,200 people and taking scores of hostages to Gaza. Israel has retaliated with air strikes that have killed more than 1,000 people in Hamas-ruled Gaza as it prepares for a possible ground offensive.

At least 14 Americans were killed during the Hamas attack on Saturday, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.

Since the Hamas attack, the U.S. military has sought to deter other Israeli adversaries by moving assets into the region that include the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, which has arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The force includes the carrier, a guided missile cruiser and four guided missile destroyers.

The United States also bolstered U.S. Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region, and moved to replenish Israeli air defenses and munitions stockpiles as Israel moves against Hamas.

Brown said those troop movements were helpful to Israel.

“Those are the kinds of things, having talked to my counterpart from Israel, they were very appreciative of the steps that we took with our force posture. It helps to deter,” Brown said in his remarks at NATO headquarters.

- Reuters


12:03 p.m. ET

Israel tells residents in north to shelter after ‘hostile aircraft’ enter from Lebanon

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A hole is seen in the roof of a home that received a direct hit by a mortar in Metula near Israel's border with Lebanon, in northern Israel, October 11, 2023.LISI NIESNER/Reuters

The Israeli military said Wednesday night that hostile aircraft had entered the country from Lebanon, setting sirens blaring across northern Israel as it urged citizens there to shelter.

The military did not specify the kind of aircraft. But Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Palestinian militants are known to have drones and gliders.

The news came after Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli military position earlier Wednesday, claiming to have killed and wounded troops. The Israeli military confirmed the attack but did not comment on possible casualties. The Israeli army shelled the area in southern Lebanon where the attack was launched.

– The Associated Press


12:00 p.m. ET

Egypt rejects any move to set up safe corridors for refugees: security sources

Egypt has discussed plans with the United States and others to provide humanitarian aid through its border with Gaza Strip but rejects any move to set up safe corridors for refugees fleeing the enclave, Egyptian security sources said on Wednesday.

One of the security sources, who asked not to be identified, said Egypt rejected the idea of safe corridors for civilians to protect “the right of Palestinians to hold on to their cause and their land.”

– Reuters


12:00 p.m. ET

Britain’s foreign minister visits Israel, shelters as siren sounds, Israeli government says

British foreign minister James Cleverly was seen taking shelter as a siren went off during his visit to Israel on Wednesday, in a video clip posted on social media platform X by the Israeli foreign ministry.

Cleverly, who is visiting Israel to show solidarity following attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas, could be seen running into a building in Ofakim in southern Israel.

A siren, which the ministry said warned of incoming Hamas rocket fire, rang out in the background.

Britain’s Foreign Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the video.

“I’m here in Israel today to show that the UK’s support for the Israeli people is unwavering,” Cleverly wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, before the video was published.

– Reuters


11:49 a.m. ET

What is known so far about victims from outside Israel

Several French children are missing and are likely among the hostages held in Gaza following Saturday’s attack by Hamas against Israel, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Wednesday.

“I want to have a special thought for the French victims (in Israel) and for our missing compatriots, whose situation is extremely worrying. Among them, several children, probably kidnapped,” she told senators.

Ms. Borne said 10 French citizens are now confirmed to have been killed in the attacks, and 18 – including children – are missing.

As well, the United States expects the number of Americans confirmed dead in the attack by Islamist militant group Hamas in Israel to rise on Wednesday, a State Department spokesperson said. At least 14 Americans have been confirmed dead so far after Saturday’s attack.

Spain’s Foreign Ministry says one of two Spaniards affected by the Hamas attacks in Israel has died.

The ministry named the woman as Spanish-Israeli citizen Maya Villalobo Sinvany. The ministry gave no further details about the woman. Spain’s state news agency Efe and other outlets have reported that Villalobo was on military service at an Israeli miliary base at the time of the attacks.

The Austrian government has confirmed that one of three Austrian-Israeli citizens who had been missing after Hamas’ attack on Israel, has been found dead. The government did not release the victim’s name and said that out of respect for the victims and their families, no further details would be released.

The deputy director of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees provided an update to the number of staffers killed in Gaza since Saturday, which rose to 11 from nine.

Jenifer Austin said in a statement Wednesday that the dead include five teachers at UNRWA schools, one gynecologist, one engineer, one psychological counselor and three support staff.

She said some of the victims were killed in their homes with their families.

– Reuters, The Associated Press


11:04 a.m. ET

Map: Air strikes in Gaza and Israel

Israel-Hamas war

As of Oct. 11

Rocket strikes by Hamas

Israeli air strikes

Refugee camps

Military base

Closed border breaches/crossings

Avivim

1

Baqa ash-Sharqiyya

WEST

BANK

Tel Aviv

Jerusalem

2

Nevatim

Be'er-Sheva

DEAD

INJURED

Israel

Gaza

1,200

950

3,007

5,000

Israel Defense Forces estimate

1,500 Hamas killed in Israel

Ashkelon

Mediterranean

Sea

Zikim

Beit Hanoun

Erez crossing

Al Daraj

Sderot

4

Al Furqan

Gaza

City

3

Kfar Aza

Nuseirat

5

Nahal Oz

Be’eri

GAZA

STRIP

Re’im

ISRAEL

Kisufim

Khan Younis

Ofakim

Magen

Rafah

EGYPT

Sufa

6

8 KM

Kerem Shalom checkpoint

1

Avivim: Rockets fired from Lebanon. Mortars also launched from Syria as northern front heats up.

2

Nevatim Airbase: U.S. renews supplies for Iron Dome rocket interception system.

3

Kfar Aza: Massacre site includes women and children.

4

Gaza City: Israeli Air Force destroys aircraft detection system. 450 targets hit in Hamas strongholds of Al Furqan and Al Daraj.

5

Gaza: Sole power plant has less than 12 hours of fuel left.

6

Egypt: U.S., Israel, Egypt discuss safe passage for Gaza civilians.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: GRAPHIC

NEWS; OPENSTREETMAP

Israel-Hamas war

As of Oct. 11

Rocket strikes by Hamas

Israeli air strikes

Refugee camps

Military base

Closed border breaches/crossings

Avivim

1

Baqa ash-Sharqiyya

WEST

BANK

Tel Aviv

Jerusalem

2

Nevatim

Be'er-Sheva

DEAD

INJURED

Israel

Gaza

1,200

950

3,007

5,000

Israel Defense Forces estimate

1,500 Hamas killed in Israel

Ashkelon

Mediterranean

Sea

Zikim

Beit Hanoun

Erez crossing

Al Daraj

Sderot

Al Furqan

4

Gaza

City

3

Kfar Aza

5

Nahal Oz

Be’eri

GAZA

STRIP

Re’im

ISRAEL

Kisufim

Khan Younis

Ofakim

Magen

Rafah

EGYPT

Sufa

6

Kerem Shalom checkpoint

8 KM

1

Avivim: Rockets fired from Lebanon. Mortars also launched from Syria as northern front heats up.

2

Nevatim Airbase: U.S. renews supplies for Iron Dome rocket interception system.

3

Kfar Aza: Massacre site includes women and children.

4

Gaza City: Israeli Air Force destroys aircraft detection system. 450 targets hit in Hamas strongholds of Al Furqan and Al Daraj.

5

Gaza: Sole power plant has less than 12 hours of fuel left.

6

Egypt: U.S., Israel, Egypt discuss safe passage for Gaza civilians.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: GRAPHIC NEWS;

OPENSTREETMAP

Israel-Hamas war

As of Oct. 11

Rocket strikes

by Hamas

Refugee camps

Israeli air strikes

Military base

Closed border

breaches/crossings

Avivim

Ashkelon

1

Baqa ash-

Sharqiyya

Zikim

Mediterranean

Sea

WEST

BANK

Tel Aviv

Erez crossing

Beit Hanoun

Jerusalem

Al Daraj

4

Al Furqan

Sderot

Gaza

City

3

Kfar Aza

2

Nevatim

5

Nahal Oz

Be'er-Sheva

Be’eri

GAZA

STRIP

Re’im

ISRAEL

Kisufim

Khan

Younis

Ofakim

Magen

DEAD

INJURED

Rafah

Israel

Gaza

1,200

950

3,007

5,000

EGYPT

Sufa

6

Israeli Defense Forces estimate

1,500 Hamas killed in Israel

8 KM

Kerem Shalom checkpoint

1

4

Avivim: Rockets fired from Lebanon. Mortars also launched from Syria as northern front heats up.

Gaza City: Israeli Air Force destroys aircraft detection system. 450 targets hit in Hamas strongholds of Al Furqan and Al Daraj.

2

5

Nevatim Airbase: U.S. renews supplies for Iron Dome rocket interception system.

Gaza: Sole power plant has less than 12 hours of fuel left.

3

6

Kfar Aza: Massacre site includes women and children.

Egypt: U.S., Israel, Egypt discuss safe passage for Gaza civilians.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: GRAPHIC NEWS; OPENSTREETMAP


11:01 a.m. ET

Putin accuses U.S. of inflaming Middle East

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Wednesday of inflaming the Middle East by sending an aircraft carrier group to the region, saying “compromise solutions” were needed and that he hoped common sense would prevail.

The Kremlin chief has called the explosion of violence between Israel and the Palestinians a vivid example of the failure of U.S. policy in the Middle East, which he says has taken no account of the needs of the Palestinians.

Following the surprise attack by Hamas militants on Israel on Saturday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the U.S. was moving a carrier strike group, which includes the USS Gerald R. Ford, closer to Israel.

Mr. Putin, speaking at an energy conference in Moscow, said the U.S. move, which was also fiercely criticized by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, was a mistake.

“I don’t understand why the U.S. is dragging aircraft carrier groups into the Mediterranean Sea. I don’t really understand the point. Are they going to bomb Lebanon or what?” he said.

“Or have they decided to try to scare someone? There are people there who are no longer afraid of anything. This is not the way to solve the problem. Compromise solutions need to be looked for. Of course, such actions are inflaming the situation.”

– Reuters


10:13 a.m. ET

Third Canadian presumed dead in Hamas attack: Ottawa

OTTAWA—The federal government said Wednesday there are now likely three Canadians who were killed in Saturday’s attack. Julie Sunday, Assistant Deputy Minister for Consular, Security and Emergency Management at Global Affairs Canada, told reporters there are two confirmed Canadian deaths and now also a third who is presumed dead. She said more details would be released later Wednesday.

Steven Chase, Marieke Walsh


10:04 a.m. ET

Netanyahu, opposition agree on unity government in Israel

Top opposition Israeli politician, Benny Gantz, says he has reached an agreement to enter a wartime unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr. Gantz, a former defense minister and military chief of staff, released what he said was a joint statement with Netanyahu.

The statement said they would form a five-member “war-management” Cabinet. It will consist of Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Gantz, current Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and two other top officials serving as “observer” members.

It said the government would not pass any legislation or decisions that are not connected to the war as long as the fighting continues. It was not immediately clear what would happen to Mr. Netanyahu’s existing government partners, a collection of far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties.

– The Associated Press


9:47 a.m. ET

Evacuation of Canadians in Israel to begin by end of week, Foreign Affairs Minister Joly says

Canada will begin airlifting citizens out of Tel Aviv by the end of the week, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says.

Canadian Armed Forces aircraft will ferry Canadians, Canadian permanent residents and their children and spouses to Athens, Greece. From there, Ottawa has arranged for an Air Canada aircraft to take passengers back to Canada.

The Canadian military is dispatching two CC-150 Polaris aircraft to pick up Canadians in Tel Aviv, General Wayne Eyre, chief of the defence staff, said.

Steven Chase, Marieke Walsh


9:11 a.m. ET

Egypt discussing plans to provide aid to Gaza under limited ceasefire: security sources

Egypt has discussed plans with the United States and other countries to provide humanitarian aid through its border with the Gaza Strip under a limited ceasefire, two Egyptian security sources said on Wednesday.

The aid would pass through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

– Reuters


9:08 a.m. ET

Erdogan calls Israel’s blockade, bombing of Gaza disproportionate response

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Israel’s blockade and bombing of Gaza in retaliation for Palestinian militant group Hamas’ attack was a disproportionate response amounting to a “massacre.”

With Ankara offering to mediate, Mr. Erdogan and his foreign minister held calls with regional powers, the United States and others. However, Israel’s envoy to Ankara has said it is too early to discuss mediation.

Speaking to his ruling AK Party in parliament, Mr. Erdogan said even war had a “morality” but the flare-up since the weekend had “very severely” violated that.

“Preventing people meeting their most fundamental needs and bombing housing where civilians live – in short, conducting a conflict using every sort of shameful method – is not a war, it’s a massacre,” he said, referring to Israel cutting off electricity and water to Gaza and destroying infrastructure.

Turkey, which has backed Palestinians in the past and hosted members of Hamas, has been working to mend ties with Israel after years of animosity. Unlike the European Union and U.S., Ankara does not consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

While not openly blaming Israel, Turkey has said the fighting is due to years of injustices against Palestinians and that the only path to peace is the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state in a two-state solution.

– Reuters


9:02 a.m. ET

Israel shells southern Lebanon in response to fresh Hezbollah attacks

Open this photo in gallery:

A view shows damage after Israeli shelling in the village of Dhayra, near the border with Israel, in southern Lebanon, Oct. 11, 2023.MOHAMED AZAKIR/Reuters

Israeli shelling hit southern Lebanese towns on Wednesday in response to a fresh rocket attack by powerful armed group Hezbollah, as cross-border violence extended into a fourth day.

Hezbollah said it had fired precision missiles at an Israeli position in response to the killing of its members in Israeli shelling earlier this week, pledging “decisive” responses to attacks on Lebanese territory, especially deadly ones.

The Israeli military said it had hit a Hezbollah position with an air strike and had also “attacked” Lebanon after a military post near the Israeli town of Arab al-Aramshe was targeted with anti-tank fire on Wednesday.

It did not immediately provide details on casualties.

– Reuters


8:10 a.m. ET

Gaza’s sole power station runs out of fuel, shuts down: Energy Ministry

Gaza’s only power plant has run out of fuel, forcing it to shut down after Israel cut off supplies, the Energy Ministry said Wednesday.

That will leave only generators to power the territory.

The blackouts come as Israel has decided to block fuel shipments into the Gaza Strip as part of what the Israeli government has called a “complete siege” on the territory run by the Hamas militant group.

– The Associated Press


8:00 a.m. ET

More than 180,000 Palestinians made homeless since attacks: UN

Open this photo in gallery:

Palestinians leave al-Karama neighbourhood in Gaza City to safer areas on Oct. 11, 2023, as raging battles between Israel and the Hamas movement continued for the fifth consecutive day.MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images

Palestinian media said Israeli airstrikes had hit homes in Gaza City, the southern city of Khan Younis and in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. Residents on social media said many buildings had collapsed, sometimes trapping as many as 50 people.

The United Nations said more than 180,000 Gazans had been made homeless, many huddling on streets or in schools.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said Israeli strikes had since Saturday destroyed more than 22,600 residential units and 10 health facilities and damaged 48 schools.

Violence also flared in Arab East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, where officials say 21 Palestinians have been killed and 130 injured in clashes with Israeli forces since Saturday.

– Reuters

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is pleading that the violence in Israel and Gaza remains contained, with no further military escalations in other areas in the region.

The Associated Press


7:31 a.m. ET

Netanyahu, Gantz finalizing details on coalition: statement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition figure Benny Gantz met on Wednesday and were “finalizing the details”, Mr. Gantz’s office said in a statement without elaborating.

Israeli media said their meeting aimed to agree on bringing Mr. Gantz’s centrist National Unity party into Mr. Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist coalition for a broad emergency government.

The Associated Press


7:06 a.m. ET

Iranian-backed militia threatens to attack U.S. bases if country intervenes in Israel-Hamas conflict

The leader of a prominent Iranian-backed militia in Iraq threatened Wednesday to attack American bases in retaliation if the United States intervenes in the latest war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.

“Our missiles, drones, and special forces are ready to direct qualitative strikes at the American enemy in its bases and disrupt its interests if it intervenes in this battle,” Ahmad “Abu Hussein” al-Hamidawi, head of the Kataib Hezbollah militia, said in a statement. He also threatened to launch missiles at Israeli targets.

The Associated Press


7:02 a.m. ET

Nine staffers killed in strikes on Gaza since Saturday, U.N. agency says

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees told the AP on Wednesday that nine of its staffers have been killed in airstrikes since the the start of the Israeli bombardment on Gaza on Saturday, with several killed late Tuesday.

“The protection of civilians is paramount, including in times of conflict,” said Juliette Touma, director of communications of the agency, known as UNRWA. “They should be protected in accordance with the laws of war.”

Ms. Touma said the strikes killed the U.N. staffers at their homes across the territory. She also said that 18 UNRWA schools-turned-shelters were damaged in the bombing, and that its headquarters in Gaza City was also damaged, without causing casualties.

– The Associated Press


6:39 a.m. ET

China calls for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas conflict

HONG KONG—China on Wednesday reiterated calls for a ceasefire in the rapidly escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Beijing has in recent months positioned itself as a potential peacemaker in the Middle East, and is rare among major global powers in having good relations with all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide. But as the latest violence dashes any chances of a settlement in the near future, China has struggled to walk the tightrope of responding to the crisis in a way that does not damage those ties.

In a statement Sunday, Beijing called for calm and restraint from all “relevant parties,” sparking anger from Israel, whose ambassador to China said it was not appropriate for a “friend” to equivocate “when people are being murdered, slaughtered in the streets.” During a meeting between U.S. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and Chinese President Xi Jinping this week, the American also urged “the Chinese people to stand with the Israeli people and condemn the cowardly and vicious attacks” by Hamas.

A statement late Tuesday from China’s special envoy to the Middle East appeared designed to alleviate some Israeli anger. Zhai Jun said China “opposes and condemns acts that harm civilians,” and called for an immediate ceasefire.

Mr. Zhai’s comments were echoed by Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Wednesday, who said the solution to the current crisis “lies in peace talks, the implementation of the two-state solution, and the early, comprehensive and proper settlement of the Palestinian issue through political means so that the legitimate concerns of all parties can be guaranteed.”

James Griffiths


Oct. 11, 6:25 a.m. ET

Israeli strikes demolish Gaza neighbourhoods as sealed-off territory faces blackout

Open this photo in gallery:

A view of the rubble of buildings hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, Oct. 10, 2023.Hatem Moussa/The Associated Press

Palestinians in the sealed-off Gaza Strip scrambled to find safety Wednesday, as Israeli strikes demolished entire neighbourhoods, hospitals ran low on supplies and a power blackout was expected within hours, further deepening the misery of a war sparked by a deadly mass incursion of Hamas militants.

Airstrikes smashed entire city blocks to rubble in the tiny coastal enclave and left unknown numbers of bodies beneath mounds of debris. The bombardment raged on even though militants are holding an estimated 150 people – soldiers, men, women, children and older adults – who were dragged into Gaza during the weekend attack.

Israel has vowed unprecedented retaliation against the Hamas militant group ruling the Palestinian territory after its fighters stormed through the border fence Saturday and gunned down hundreds of Israelis in their homes, on the streets and at an outdoor music festival.

The war, which has already claimed at least 2,100 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate – and compound the misery of people living in Gaza, where basic necessities and electricity were already in short supply.

Israel has stopped the entry of food, water, fuel and medicine into the territory – a 40-kilometer-long strip of land wedged among Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea that is home to 2.3 million Palestinians. The sole remaining access from Egypt was shut down Tuesday after airstrikes hit near the border crossing.

– The Associated Press


Oct. 10, 6:20 p.m. ET

Canada to evacuate citizens from Israel using military aircraft: Mélanie Joly

OTTAWA—Canada will begin evacuating its citizens from Israel “in the coming days” using military aircraft, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced Tuesday.

She said flights will leave from Tel Aviv and those eligible for a seat include Canadian citizens and permanent residents as well as their spouses and children.

Ms. Joly also directed her statement to Canadians in the West Bank as well as Gaza, which is under siege from Israel. The minister said Ottawa is working on options “for those who cannot reach the airport in Tel Aviv” – but provided no details.

Many commercial flights to and from Israel have ceased operating after the Islamist militant group Hamas launched one of the biggest attacks in decades on Israel Saturday. Hamas is designated a terror group by the Canadian government.

“I know that this situation has been difficult,” Ms. Joly said in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Many of you want to return home to your family and have no way to do so safely,” she said. “We will help you.”

She said more details will be revealed on Wednesday.

Steven Chase, Marieke Walsh


Oct. 10, 5:52 P.M. ET

Israel prepares for expected ground invasion of Gaza Strip, exchanges fire with Hezbollah in Lebanon

Open this photo in gallery:

Israeli soldiers remove the body of civilian in a kibbutz near the border with Gaza, in Kfar Gaza, Israel on Oct. 10.Amir Levy/Getty Images

TEL AVIV—Tensions spiked around Israel on two fronts Tuesday, as the country’s military continued to mass troops ahead of an expected ground invasion of the Gaza Strip and exchanges of fire continued across the northern border with Lebanon.

In the south, Israeli warplanes hammered Gaza, reducing entire buildings to rubble throughout the fourth day of an all-out war that began on Saturday when Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza, launched a surprise attack that killed more than 1,000 Israelis. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has declared that the country is implementing a “full siege” of the densely packed strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians.

On Tuesday, the Israeli military escorted journalists into the Kfar Aza kibbutz, one of the Israeli communities briefly taken over by Hamas on the weekend. A Reuters reporter saw the bodies of Israeli residents and dead Hamas fighters lying in the streets amid burned-out cars and smashed furniture. U.S. President Joe Biden, in a special address on Tuesday, described the Hamas attack as “pure, unadulterated evil.”

The threat of a region-wide war continued to grow on Tuesday as Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia – which, like Hamas, is backed by Iran – fired a guided missile across Israel’s northern border, striking an Israeli military vehicle. After that, Israel shelled a Hezbollah observation post in southern Lebanon. It was the second straight day of tit-for-tat fire across the border, prompting the northern Israeli town of Metula to recommend that its 1,700 residents evacuate.

- Mark MacKinnon


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