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Biden told to press Israel on safety of civilians in Gaza; Canadians in West Bank will evacuate to Jordan early next week; Canadian-Israeli woman missing since music festival attack confirmed dead

  • Palestinians with dual citizenship outside Rafah border crossing with Egypt waiting for permission to leave Gaza on Oct 14, 2023.IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/Reuters

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Israel-Hamas war day eight

The brutal conflict in the Middle East has entered its eighth day. Thousands of Palestianians are streaming south in Gaza as Israel urges mass evacuation ahead of an expected ground offensive. The latest headlines:

Follow our live coverage below


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

1:10 a.m. ET

Israel strikes targets in Syria in latest flare-up along northern border

The Israeli military says it is striking targets in Syria after air raid sirens went off in two villages in northern Israel and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

In a statement, the military did not say what set off the sirens. It said it was firing artillery to strike back.

The incident is the latest in a continued flare-up along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and Syria after an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israeli communities set off a war with Israel.

-The Associated Press


12:05 a.m. ET

China special envoy to visit Middle East next week over Israel-Hamas war

China’s Special Envoy on the Middle East will visit the region next week over the crisis in Israel and Gaza, state media CGTN reported on Sunday.

China’s special envoy, Zhai Jun, told CGTN that he will “further strengthen co-ordination with all parties in the direction of a ceasefire, the protection of civilians, de-escalation and the promotion of peace talks.”

Beijing, which in recent months has positioned itself as a potential peacemaker in the Middle East, has been urging a ceasefire and last week angered Israel when it called for calm and restraint from all “relevant parties.”

– Reuters, Globe Staff


10:20 p.m. ET

Palestinian Health Ministry says 300 people killed in Gaza in 24 hours

The Palestinian Health Ministry said early Sunday that 300 people, mostly children and women, had been killed and 800 others had been injured in Gaza in the past 24 hours.

Israel has responded to last weekend’s attack by Hamas militants, which killed about 1,300 people, by subjecting Gaza to the most intense bombardment it has ever seen.

Gaza authorities have said more than 2,200 people have been killed, a quarter of them children, and nearly 10,000 wounded since that retaliation began. One million people have reportedly left their homes.

The Israeli military told residents of the northern half of the Gaza Strip on Friday to move south immediately and on Saturday said it would guarantee the safety of Palestinians fleeing on two main roads.

Israel says its evacuation order is a humanitarian gesture while it roots out Hamas fighters. The United Nations says so many people cannot be safely moved within Gaza without causing a humanitarian disaster.

Israel says Hamas is preventing people from leaving in order to use them as human shields, which Hamas denies.

– Reuters


9:29 p.m. ET

Second U.S. aircraft carrier en route to Eastern Mediterranean

The Biden administration is sending the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean to support Israel.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the additional carrier was being sent “as part of our effort to deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts toward widening this war following Hamas’s attack on Israel.”

The Eisenhower will join the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group, which is already sailing near Israel, to bolster U.S. presence there with a host of destroyers, fighter aircraft and cruisers.

The Eisenhower deployed from its homeport of Norfolk, Va., Friday. Having two carriers in the region can provide a host of options.

They can disperse and serve as primary command and control operations centers, to cover a wide swath of area. They can conduct information warfare. They can launch and recover E2-Hawkeye surveillance planes that provide early warnings on missile launches, conduct surveillance and manage the airspace.

Both ships carry F-18 fighter jets that could fly intercepts or strike targets. They also have significant capabilities for humanitarian work, including an onboard hospital with medics, surgeons and doctors, and they sail with helicopters that can be used to airlift critical supplies in or victims out.

– The Associated Press


7:52 p.m. ET

Russia asks U.N. Security Council to vote Monday on its Middle East resolution condemning violence against civilians

Russia has asked the United Nations Security Council to vote Monday on a draft resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict that calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and condemns violence against civilians and all acts of terrorism.

Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said on Saturday no changes had been made to the text since it was given to the 15-member body on Friday and that he expected the vote to be scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Monday.

The one-page draft resolution also calls for the release of hostages, humanitarian aid access and the safe evacuation of civilians in need. It refers to Israel and the Palestinians but does not directly name Hamas.

A U.N. Security Council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, China or Russia. The United States has traditionally shielded its ally Israel from any Security Council action.

Israel was preparing on Saturday to launch a ground assault against Iran-backed Hamas in the Gaza Strip, after telling Palestinians living in the densely populated territory to move south towards a closed border with Egypt.

Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas in retaliation for an attack by the Palestinian Islamist group a week ago. Hamas stormed Israeli towns, killing 1,300 people and seizing scores of hostages - the worst attack on civilians in Israel’s history.

Israeli jets and artillery have already subjected Gaza to the most intense bombardment it has ever seen, putting the enclave, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, under total siege. Gaza authorities say more than 2,200 people have been killed.

– Reuters


7:10 p.m.

Lebanon’s army blames Israel for journalist’s death, Reuters calls for probe

The Lebanese army said on Saturday that Israel had fired a missile that killed a Reuters journalist in southern Lebanon, with a Lebanese military source saying the country had conducted a technical on-the-ground assessment after the attack that supported its claim.

The Lebanese military source also said the army had concluded the shell was fired by Israel based on observation by Lebanese army patrols in the area at the time of the incident. The source was not authorised to speak to media and spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Open this photo in gallery:

Videojournalist Issam Abdallah films a Ukrainian woman during an interview with Reuters amid Russia's attack on Ukraine in Zaporizhzhya, on April 17, 2022.UESLEI MARCELINO/Reuters

“The Israeli enemy launched a missile which hit a civilian car belonging to a media group which led to the martyrdom of the videographer Issam Abdallah,” the Lebanese army high command said in a statement posted on its website.

Reuters, in a statement, said: “We call on the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to conduct a thorough, swift and transparent investigation. It is critically important for journalists to be able to report freely and safely.”

Reuters video journalist Abdallah was killed while working with other journalists near the village of Alma al-Shaab, close to the Israeli border, where the Israeli military and Lebanese militia Hezbollah have been trading fire.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to the claims made by Lebanon or to a request for comment on the Reuters statement, which was signed by President Paul Bascobert and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni.

Israeli army spokesman Lt Col Richard Hecht earlier told a regular briefing that it was looking into the incident, adding: “We already have visuals. We’re doing cross examination. It’s a tragic thing.”

A Reuters witness at the scene said Abdallah, a Lebanese national, was struck by missiles fired from the direction of Israel.

State media earlier reported that Lebanon would submit a formal complaint to the U.N. Security Council on “Israel’s deliberate killing” of Abdallah.

Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib later confirmed, without elaborating, that the complaint said Israel had targeted journalists with “direct bombardment”, which had resulted in Issam Abdallah’s death.

While other news outlets, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, said the shells were Israeli, Reuters has not established that the missiles had been fired by Israel or that Israel was intentionally targeting the journalists.

Countries regularly write to the 15-member Security Council to register complaints and it is unlikely the body will take any action.

– Reuters


5:26 p.m. ET

Biden told to press Israel on safety of civilians in Gaza Strip

Pressure is growing on U.S. President Joe Biden to help alleviate the escalating humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian and foreign civilians are trapped amid a siege and expected ground invasion in Israel’s war with Hamas.

In a letter to the President and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 55 House Democrats called for the U.S. to put pressure on Israel to allow food, water and electricity into Gaza; open up a humanitarian corridor for Palestinians to escape; and tie any further military aid to Israel to humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“We strongly believe that Israel’s response must take into account the millions of innocent civilians in Gaza who themselves are victims of Hamas and are suffering the consequences of their terror campaign,” said the letter, spearheaded by Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Democrats’ Progressive Caucus.

On Saturday, Mr. Biden spoke separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, telling each that the U.S. wants to dispatch aid to civilians.

According to a White House summary of the call with Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Biden said he was trying to “ensure innocent civilians have access to water, food and medical care.” He gave Mr. Abbas his “full support” for the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to get aid to Gaza.

– Adrian Morrow in Washington

Continue reading …


3:30 p.m. ET

In Lebanon, some rush to leave as possible Israel retaliation against Hezbollah looms

Open this photo in gallery:

Smoke rises from Israeli shelling on the outskirts of the Lebanese village of Kfar Chouba, Lebanon, Oct. 14, 2023.Mohammad Zaatari/The Associated Press

Mohamad Chehab looks out from a shawarma restaurant to the apartment building where his father owns a sixth-floor home in south Beirut. In 2006, that building was among the first to be destroyed when Israel went to war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militants, whose headquarters was located nearby.

Thirteen years later, Israel is once again on a war footing and Mr. Chehab, an Ontario engineer and homebuilder, isn’t staying to see what happens to the apartment, which has been rebuilt.

His wife and mother have been calling daily, telling him “please, please, we don’t want to lose you there,” he said. With five children in Canada, “I can’t take the risk.”

So Mr. Chehab has booked a flight out of Lebanon on Sunday morning, cutting short a visit to a home he worries may not be safe.

“If something happens, I’m going to take this last look at it, because I don’t think I’m going to see it any more,” he said.

Israel, after all, has threatened to return Lebanon “to the stone age” if war once again breaks out with Hezbollah, and the signs from the border between the two countries have grown ominous.

Continue reading …

– Nathan VanderKlippe


3 p.m. ET

As Israel bombards Gaza, food and water runs low


2:20 p.m. ET

America’s top diplomat calls for protecting civilians as Israel readies an expected assault on Gaza

Open this photo in gallery:

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken talks during a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 14, 2023.POOL/Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Saturday for protecting civilians in the Gaza Strip and Israel as he intensified his diplomatic outreach across the Middle East and beyond to rally an international response to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from expanding.

Blinken met with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Riyadh before stopping in the United Arab Emirates as he sought ways to help civilians trapped in between the fighting and to address the growing humanitarian crisis. He also called his Chinese counterpart as Palestinians struggled to flee from areas of Gaza targeted by the Israeli military before an expected land offensive.

His efforts reflect the international concern about the number of civilians at risk and the potential ramifications of a prolonged war as Israel told Gaza residents to move south and Hamas urged people to remain in their homes. The Biden administration — from President Joe Biden to his Pentagon chief and top diplomat during their recent Mideast stops — has not publicly urged Israel to restrain its response after the Hamas attack a week ago, but has emphasized the country’s commitment to following the rules of war.

In visits with Saudi and UAE leaders, Blinken cited the need for humanitarian assistance and safe passage from those who wish to leave Gaza as he spoke to Arab audiences from their home turf, where his hosts put that issue at the top of their concerns.

An Israeli ground assault would worsen the plight of civilians in Gaza who are without power, fresh water or access to aid. Egyptian officials said the southern Rafah crossing would open later Saturday for the first time in days to allow foreigners out. Israel has advised all Palestinian civilians to flee south to avoid Israel’s continued offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza City.

– The Associated Press


1:46 p.m. ET

Israeli opposition politician Liberman to join unity government

Opposition politician Avigdor Lieberman will join the Israeli security cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party said on Saturday, broadening the emergency unity government formed after the devastating attack by Hamas.

The centrist party of former Defence Minister Benny Gantz agreed this week to form a unity government with Netanyahu and his right wing coalition partners to confront the crisis triggered by the unprecedented attack.

– Reuters


1:34 p.m. ET

German air force to evacuate citizens from Israel tonight, spokesperson says

Two German air force planes will evacuate German citizens from Israel tonight, a spokesperson for the German air force said on Saturday, without giving details on how many Germans would be flown out.

The A400M planes are expected to land at Germany’s Wunstorf air base at 3 a.m. and 4.30 a.m. (0100-0230 GMT) Sunday morning, respectively, the spokesperson added.

– Reuters


1 p.m. ET

U.S. urges American citizens to get close to the border crossing at Rafah

Open this photo in gallery:

People sit in front of the gates as Palestinians with dual citizenship wait outside Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the hope of getting permission to leave Gaza, amid the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 14, 2023.IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/Reuters

The U.S. State Department has been telling U.S. citizens in Gaza that, if it is safe, they should get close to the border crossing at Rafah. If the crossing opens, it may open with little notice and might not stay open long, the department told The Globe and Mail. The U.S. has a crisis intake form for citizens in Gaza to fill out and the department has tried to keep in touch with them.

– Adrian Morrow


12:35 p.m. ET

Reuters videographer killed in southern Lebanon by Israeli shelling is laid to rest

Open this photo in gallery:

Mourners carry the body of Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah, who was killed by Israeli shelling, during his funeral procession in his hometown of Khiam, southern Lebanon, Oct. 14, 2023.Bilal Hussein/The Associated Press

A Reuters videographer killed in Israeli shelling of southern Lebanon was laid to rest in his hometown Saturday in a funeral procession attended by hundreds of people.

Draped in a Lebanese flag, Issam Abdallah’s body was carried on a stretcher through the streets of the southern town of Khiam, from his family’s home to the local cemetery.

Dozens of journalists and Lebanese lawmakers attended the funeral.

Mr. Abdallah was killed Friday evening near the village of Alma al-Shaab in south Lebanon when an Israeli shell landed on a gathering of international journalists covering exchange of fire along the border between Israeli troops and members of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group.

– The Associated Press


12 p.m. ET

Canadians in West Bank will evacuate by bus to Jordan early in coming week, Joly says

Open this photo in gallery:

A Palestinian protester runs in front of burning barricades during a protest in West Bank city of Ramallah, Oct. 13, 2023.GORAN TOMASEVIC/The Globe and Mail

Canadians in the West Bank will be evacuated by bus to Jordan early this coming week, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail from Jordan, she said this evacuation would possibly take place Tuesday.

About 100 Canadians living in the West Bank have registered with Ottawa and have been seeking assistance in leaving. It’s not clear how many will be taking the bus to Amman.

Canadians across Israel and the Palestinian territories have been asking Ottawa for assistance in evacuating since the militant group Hamas attacked Israel Oct. 7. Hamas is designated a terrorist group by the Canadian government.

Ms. Joly, who was wrapping up a visit to Israel and Jordan to assess the impact of the conflict, spoke to The Globe after talking to the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government, as well as her counterpart in Jordan.

Her comments came after news broke that plans to allow Canadians and other foreigners to leave Gaza through the southern Rafah border crossing were cancelled. The minister said the inability to evacuate people through the Rafah border crossing illustrates the need for a full-fledged humanitarian corridor to enable safe passage out of Gaza.

About 150 Canadians have asked Ottawa for help leaving the territory that is under siege from Israel. Israeli officials have said Hamas, which controls Gaza, is preventing foreigners from leaving.

– Steven Chase


10:30 a.m. ET

Israel-Hamas war: Maps and graphics that show how the conflict is unfolding

Hundreds have been killed and thousands injured after the attack by Hamas on Israel. Here’s what the war looks like.


10 a.m. ET

Canadian-Israeli woman who went missing after music festival attack confirmed dead, family says

Open this photo in gallery:

An undated handout photo of Shir Hanna Georgy.Handout

Family of a Canadian-Israeli woman who was missing since Hamas militants ambushed a music festival in southern Israel last Saturday, says she has died.

Twenty-two-year-old Shir Georgy went missing after the militant group attacked the music festival near Kibbutz Re’im last Saturday.

Georgy’s aunt, Michal Bouganim, says the family is a mess and heartbroken.

Ms. Bouganim says the family is preparing to hold Ms. Georgy’s funeral in Israel tonight.

Ms. Georgy’s aunt shared a video earlier this week where the young woman is seen sitting on the floor and taking shelter with other people.

Ms. Georgy is the fourth Canadian to die in the Israel and Hamas conflict.

– The Canadian Press


9:14 a.m. ET

Canadians still trapped in Gaza as Rafah crossing exit agreement falls through

About 150 Canadians remained trapped in the Gaza Strip on Saturday afternoon after the apparent failure of an international agreement to allow foreign nationals to leave the besieged Palestinian territory.

Thousands of people were massing on Saturday at the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt, hoping to be allowed to leave the enclave, after earlier reports that the border crossing would be opened for five hours on Saturday afternoon. But confusion reigned when the gate did not open and Israeli authorities said the agreement was scrapped.

“The passage that was planned for today between 12:00-17:00 is cancelled,” read a message sent by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to Western embassies at midday local time on Saturday. The message was seen by The Globe and Mail.

“We wish to inform that, due to concerning information we received, we instruct everyone to go back immediately and stay from the area and wait for further updates.”

On Friday, federal officials in Ottawa said they were hoping that Canadians in Gaza would be able to leave through the Rafa crossing on Saturday. But they emphasized that the plans for foreign nationals were unconfirmed.

Open this photo in gallery:

Palestinians with dual citizenship wait outside Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the hope of getting permission to leave Gaza on Saturday.IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/Reuters

“This is a very volatile, very dangerous situation. It is a very dangerous border crossing point,” said Alexandre Lévêque, an assistant deputy minister who oversees Middle Eastern issues at Global Affairs Canada, at the briefing on Friday. He added that there are “no hard guarantees about this.”

In a report on Saturday, The Associated Press quoted a senior Egyptian official as saying that Egypt, Israel and the United States had reached an agreement to allow foreigners in Gaza to pass through the Rafah crossing into Egypt.

But the Israeli government message at midday seemed to take precedence over the Egypt report, and there was no indication that foreign nationals were entering Egypt as the five-hour period moved closer to expiring late on Saturday afternoon.

– Mark MacKinnon and Geoffrey York in Jerusalem


Israel-Hamas war

As of Oct. 14

Rocket strikes by Hamas

Israeli air strikes

Military base

Clashes

Closed bordercrossings

3

WEST

BANK

Tel Aviv

4

Jerusalem

5

DEAD

INJURED

Israel

Gaza

1,300

2,200

3,400

8,700

Israel Defense Forces estimate

1,500 Hamas killed in Israel

Closed

military

zone

Mediterranean

Sea

Ashkelon

Israeli-ordered

evacuation zone

Zikim

2

Evacuation routes

Sderot

Wadi Gaza

Kfar Aza

1

Nahal Oz

Refugee

camps

Shokeda

Be’eri

Rahat

Re’im

ISRAEL

Kisufim

Ofakim

GAZA

STRIP

Magen

Sufa

EGYPT

8 KM

1

Wadi Gaza: Israeli deadline extended to 4 p.m. local time for civilians to move south of river.

2

Gaza: Israel denies reports bodies of some hostages recovered.

Ali Qadhi, leader of Oct. 7 attacks, and Murad Abu Murad, Hamas aerial forces chief, killed in air strikes.

3

Lebanon: Israeli Defense Forces claim drone strike kills number of militants trying to cross into Israel.

4

West Bank: 54 Palestinians killed and 1,100 injured in six days.

5

Israel: Israeli Defense Forces report 265 soldiers killed in Hamas cross-border raid. 120 hostages held in Gaza.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: GRAPHIC

NEWS; OPENSTREETMAP; REUTERS

Israel-Hamas war

As of Oct. 14

Rocket strikes by Hamas

Israeli air strikes

Military base

Clashes

Closed border crossings

3

WEST

BANK

Tel Aviv

4

Jerusalem

5

DEAD

INJURED

Israel

Gaza

1,300

2,200

3,400

8,700

Israel Defense Forces estimate

1,500 Hamas killed in Israel

Closed

military

zone

Mediterranean

Sea

Ashkelon

Zikim

Israeli-ordered

evacuation zone

2

Evacuation routes

Sderot

Wadi Gaza

Kfar Aza

1

Nahal Oz

Refugee

camps

Be’eri

Shokeda

Rahat

Re’im

Kisufim

ISRAEL

Ofakim

GAZA

STRIP

Magen

Sufa

EGYPT

8 KM

1

Wadi Gaza: Israeli deadline extended to 4 p.m. local time for civilians to move south of river.

2

Gaza: Israel denies reports bodies of some hostages recovered.

Ali Qadhi, leader of Oct. 7 attacks, and Murad Abu Murad, Hamas aerial forces chief, killed in air strikes.

3

Lebanon: Israeli Defense Forces claim drone strike kills number of militants trying to cross into Israel.

4

West Bank: 54 Palestinians killed and 1,100 injured in six days.

5

Israel: Israeli Defense Forces report 265 soldiers killed in Hamas cross-border raid. 120 hostages held in Gaza.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: GRAPHIC NEWS;

OPENSTREETMAP; REUTERS

Israel-Hamas war

As of Oct. 14

Rocket strikes by Hamas

Israeli air strikes

Military base

Clashes

Closed border crossings

3

Mediterranean

Sea

ISRAEL

WEST

BANK

Ashkelon

Closed military zone

Tel Aviv

4

Israeli-ordered

evacuation zone

Zikim

Jerusalem

2

Evacuation routes

Sderot

5

Kfar Aza

Wadi Gaza

1

Nahal Oz

Be’eri

Refugee

camps

Netivot

Shokeda

Rahat

Re’im

Kisufim

GAZA

STRIP

Ofakim

Magen

DEAD

INJURED

Sufa

1,300

2,200

3,400

8,700

Israel

Gaza

EGYPT

Israeli Defense Forces estimate

1,500 Hamas killed in Israel

8 KM

1

3

Wadi Gaza: Israeli deadline extended to 4 p.m. local time for civilians to move south of river.

Lebanon: Israeli Defense Forces claim drone strike kills number of militants trying to cross into Israel.

2

4

Gaza: Israel denies reports bodies of some hostages recovered.

West Bank: 54 Palestinians killed and 1,100 injured in six days.

5

Ali Qadhi, leader of Oct. 7 attacks, and Murad Abu Murad, Hamas aerial forces chief, killed in air strikes.

Israel: Israeli Defense Forces report 265 soldiers killed in Hamas cross-border raid. 120 hostages held in Gaza.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: GRAPHIC NEWS; OPENSTREETMAP; REUTERS


7:29 a.m. ET

Israeli army says it killed two Hamas commanders who led last week’s attack

Israel’s military said on Saturday that it killed two Hamas commanders who were behind the crossborder deadly rampage into Israel a week ago.

The military said it killed Merad Abu Merad, who was the head of the Hamas aerial system, and Ali Qadi, a company commander of a commando force.

-Reuters


6:43 a.m. ET

Palestinians scramble to flee northern Gaza

Palestinians scrambled to flee northern Gaza on Saturday after the Israeli military ordered nearly half the population to evacuate south and carried out limited ground forays ahead of an expected land offensive a week after Hamas’s bloody, wide-ranging attack into Israel.

Israel renewed calls on social media and in leaflets dropped from the air for some 1 million Gaza residents to move south, while Hamas urged people to stay in their homes. The United Nations and aid groups have said such a rapid exodus would cause untold human suffering, with hospital patients and others unable to relocate.

Families in cars, trucks and donkey carts packed with possessions crowded a main road heading away from Gaza City as Israeli air strikes continued to hammer the small, besieged territory, where supplies of food, fuel and drinking water were running low because of a complete Israeli siege.

Egyptian officials said the southern Rafah crossing would open later Saturday for the first time in days to allow foreigners out.

Israel said Palestinians could travel along two main routes without being harmed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time. It said “hundreds of thousands” of Palestinians had already headed south. But some live up to 20 kilometres away, and many roads were demolished by air strikes and fuel was running short.

-The Associated Press


LEBANON

WEST

BANK

Jerusalem

GAZA

STRIP

ISRAEL

EGYPT

JORDAN

50 KM

Population density

Low

Dense

Ashkelon

Closed

military

zone

Military base

Zikim

Border crossing

ISRAEL

Sderot

GAZA STRIP

Gaza City

Nahal Oz

Israeli-ordered

evacuation zone

Be’eri

Wadi

Gaza

Refugee

camps

Re’im

Kisufim

Khan Younis

Sufa

Rafah

North

EGYPT

5 KM

Young population

Per cent, 2020 estimates for age brackets

0 to 14

15 to 24

25 and older

22%

Gaza Strip

West Bank

Israel

25%

50%

MURAT YÜKSELIR AND JOHN SOPINSKI / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: OPENSTREETMAPS; GRAPHIC NEWS; european commission; United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs; REUTERS

LEBANON

WEST

BANK

Jerusalem

GAZA

STRIP

ISRAEL

EGYPT

JORDAN

50 KM

Population density

Low

Dense

Ashkelon

Closed

military

zone

Military base

Zikim

Border crossing

ISRAEL

Sderot

GAZA STRIP

Gaza City

Nahal Oz

Israeli-ordered

evacuation zone

Be’eri

Wadi

Gaza

Refugee

camps

Re’im

Kisufim

Khan Younis

Sufa

Rafah

North

EGYPT

5 KM

Young population

Per cent, 2020 estimates for age brackets

0 to 14

15 to 24

25 and older

22%

Gaza Strip

West Bank

Israel

25%

50%

MURAT YÜKSELIR AND JOHN SOPINSKI / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: OPENSTREETMAPS; GRAPHIC NEWS; european commission; United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs; REUTERS

Population density

Low

Dense

Ashkelon

LEBANON

Closed

military

zone

Military base

WEST

BANK

Zikim

Jerusalem

GAZA

STRIP

Border crossing

ISRAEL

Sderot

GAZA STRIP

ISRAEL

EGYPT

JORDAN

50 KM

Gaza City

Nahal Oz

Israeli-ordered

evacuation zone

Be’eri

Wadi Gaza

Ofakim

Refugee

camps

Re’im

Kisufim

Magen

Khan Younis

Sufa

Rafah

Young population

Per cent, 2020 estimates for age brackets

0 to 14

15 to 24

25 and older

22%

Gaza Strip

West Bank

North

EGYPT

Israel

5 KM

25%

50%

MURAT YÜKSELIR AND JOHN SOPINSKI / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: OPENSTREETMAPS; GRAPHIC NEWS; european commission; United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs; REUTERS

6:13 a.m. ET

Agreement reached to allow foreigners to leave Gaza amid mass Palestinian evacuation from north: Egyptian official

Egypt, Israel and the United States have agreed to allow foreigners in Gaza to pass through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, a senior Egyptian official says.

The official said Saturday that Israel has agreed to refrain from striking areas the foreigners would pass through on their way out of the besieged Palestinian territory. He said Qatar also was involved in the negotiations and the participants received also approval from the Palestinian militant groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

A second official at the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing point said they received “instructions” to reopen it on Saturday afternoon for foreigners coming from Gaza.

The first official said negotiations were still under way to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza through the crossing point. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.

-The Associated Press


5:45 a.m. ET

Israeli military says its ‘looking into’ death of Reuters journalist in Lebanon

The Israeli army said on Saturday it was aware of the incident in southern Lebanon in which a Reuters journalist was killed and that it was being investigated.

“We are aware of the incident with the Reuters journalist. We are looking into it. We already have visuals. We’re doing cross examination. It’s a tragic thing,” a military spokesperson told reporters.

Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah was killed and six other journalists injured in southern Lebanon on Friday when missiles fired from the direction of Israel struck them, according to a Reuters videographer who was at the scene.

-Reuters


Open this photo in gallery:

A Palestinian man crosses a street after getting food for his family in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, on October 14, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

5:35 a.m. ET

Jordan says Palestinian displacement pushes region to ‘abyss’ of wider conflict

Jordan on Saturday said any move by Israel to impose a new displacement of Palestinians would push the region to the “abyss” of a wider regional conflict.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi also said Israel’s blocking of humanitarian aid to Gaza and forcing its residents to leave their homes as it escalates its military action were a “flagrant” breach of international law.

Israel had given the entire population of the north of the Gaza Strip a Saturday morning deadline to move south ahead of an expected ground offensive to root out Hamas militants. It has said it will keep two roads open until 4 p.m. to allow people to escape.

Mr. Safadi said the military campaign against Hamas was killing innocent civilians and would bring despair and destruction in its wake that would not bring security to Israel.

“The war is killing and displacing innocent Palestinians and will leave the region and the world facing the repercussion of an environment of destruction and despair that Israel will create in Gaza,” Mr. Safadi said in comments after meeting his Canadian counterpart, Mélanie Joly.

-Reuters


4:25 a.m. ET

Supplies for Gaza arrive in Egypt ahead of reopening of Rafah crossing

A plane carrying medical supplies for Gaza from the United Nations health agency landed Saturday in el-Arish airport in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, awaiting the reopening of the Rafah crossing point. That’s according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

“We’re ready to deploy the supplies as soon as humanitarian access through the crossing is established,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Egypt has designed el-Arish airport to receive supplies from aid agencies and foreign governments to deliver them to Gaza. Rafah was forced closed earlier in the week after Israeli air strikes hit close its gate on the Palestinian side.

Mr. Adhanom also pleaded for Israel to reconsider its decision to evacuate 1.1 million people to the southern part of Gaza, saying, “It will be a human tragedy.”

-Associated Press


12:58 a.m. ET

Canadians in Gaza may be able to leave Saturday through Rafah border crossing: Global Affairs

Canadians stuck in the Gaza Strip may be able to leave through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Saturday, government officials said Friday, as Israel launched its first raids into the Palestinian territory ahead of an expected ground invasion.

At a press briefing in Ottawa, federal officials stressed that plans for foreign nationals to leave Gaza were not yet confirmed. And they warned that exiting the territory will be logistically difficult, because communications are unreliable and there will be little advance notice if the border opens.

“This is a very volatile, very dangerous situation. It is a very dangerous border crossing point,” said Alexandre Lévêque, an assistant deputy minister who oversees Middle Eastern issues at Global Affairs Canada. He added that there are “no hard guarantees about this.”

Those who would be allowed to leave Gaza include Canadians, permanent residents of Canada and their families. The officials also said plans for Canadians wanting to leave the West Bank, another Palestinian enclave where fears of violence are rising, will be finalized in the next few days.

Marieke Walsh and Steven Chase

Continue reading …


12:57 a.m. ET

Gazan doctor receives honorary degree from Toronto Metropolitan University

A Palestinian doctor from Gaza, who is spreading a message of peace and dialogue as the Middle East again erupts into war, received an honorary degree and a standing ovation this week.

“We all share this humanity,” Izzeldin Abuelaish told a crowd of gowned graduates at Toronto Metropolitan University on Thursday.

In a commencement address, he urged the young adults gathered to build a better world by rising above conflict and division.

“The world in which we live is endemic with violence, with injustice, with fear and hatred,” he told the crowd. “To endure this world, we need truth.”

Now a Canadian citizen, Dr. Abuelaish grew up in the Jabalia refugee camp before earning a medical degree and working around the world as a celebrated doctor. He is currently a faculty member at the University of Toronto’s health department.

But he is mostly known for his forbearance and for speaking out about how he saw three of his daughters die in Gaza during a 2009 clash between Israel and Hamas.

Colin Freeze

Continue reading …


‘Don’t stop, don’t stop’: Inside a Supernova festivalgoer’s escape from the Hamas concert attack

Shye Weinstein, a Canadian who recently moved to Tel Aviv, documented how his group got out of the desert rave massacre.


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