Israel-Palestine conflict LIVE: Biden says Israeli occupation of Gaza Strip would be a “big mistake”

Palestinian group, Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, has announced the start of military the operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel. Thousands of rockets have been fired from the blockaded enclave towards the occupied territories as far away as Tel Aviv, killing over 1,400 Israelis, including both military and settlers. More than 2,600 Palestinians have been so far killed in an exchange of fire between the two sides.

Blinken renews pledge of US support for Israel

Gallant says Tel Aviv will win war for ‘values’ of Israel and US

Head of Shin Bet: ‘We failed to generate sufficient warning’

The head of Israel’s Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, told the organisation’s staff that he bears responsibility for the attack on Israel on 7 October.

“Despite a series of actions we took, unfortunately, on Saturday, we failed to generate a sufficient warning that would have allowed us to thwart the attack,” he said Monday.

“As the head of the organisation, the responsibility for this falls on me,” he added.

Gaza Interior ministry: Water has not returned to enclave

The Palestinian interior ministry said that Israel has not resumed water supplies to Gaza despite reports that water has returned to some parts of the besieged enclave.

The interior ministry added that residents are now being forced to drink unclean and contaminated water, which could pose serious health issues and threaten the lives of citizens.

Blinken meets Netanyahu, Herzog in Israel

UK PM says 6 citizens killed, 10 missing after Hamas attack

Hamas fires rockets towards Jerusalem, Tel Aviv

Gaza death toll rises to 2,808: Ministry

Protesters rally in occupied West Bank in support of Gaza

Netanyahu warns Iran, Hezbollah

Majority of Americans want US to help Palestinians flee: Survey

11 Palestinian journalists, 1 Israeli, 1 Lebanese killed since Oct. 7

Egyptian foreign minister says Israel is blocking opening of Rafah border crossing

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said there has been no progress in efforts to open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference with his French counterpart, Shoukry blamed Israel for the continued closure of the crossing.

“The Israeli government has not yet taken a position that would allow the crossing to be opened from the Gaza side, allowing the entry of aid or the exit of citizens from third countries,” he said.

Egypt supports the opening of the crossing and that aid vehicles were standing by for permission to cross, Shoukry added.

“Egypt has been working since the beginning of this crisis and escalation to have the crossing open and allow the entry of humanitarian aid. A large number of it has been gathered in El-Arish,” he continued.

Five empty UN petrol trucks are now waiting at the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing, hoping to cross over and refuel in Egypt, a Palestinian official responsible for the Rafah crossing stated on Monday.

The Israeli prime minister’s office denied Monday there are any arrangements for the opening of the Rafah border.

‘If Hezbollah tests us, the reaction will be deadly’: Israeli army

Israel’s top military spokesperson has stated the decision to evacuate about 28 communities along the border with Lebanon was taken to reduce the risk of casualties among civilians and to allow the army “wider offensive freedom if required”.

“We will continue with a continuous assessment of the situation, we will not take risks,” Daniel Hagari said on X.

“If Hezbollah makes the mistake of testing us, the reaction will be deadly,” he added.

Situation at Khan Younis hospitals ‘catastrophic’

The situation at hospitals across Khan Younis is “catastrophic” as staff struggle to cope with the number of people wounded by Israeli bombardment and the severe shortage of water and electricity, medics have said.

“The situation is catastrophic. For the last seven days, we have had a continuous flow of wounded civilians. The hospital’s bed [capacity] was expanded many times,” Mohamed Kandil, director of the emergency department at Nasser Hospital, told Al Jazeera.

“In the last hour, we received 60 wounded civilians. That is a patient a minute. This is a very catastrophic situation,” he added.

“The hospital can’t operate much longer. The electricity is still off. The hospital’s fuel-based generators will be going off soon. The health system will collapse. The hospital will change to a graveyard.”

Pope Francis statement on Gaza ‘unacceptable’: Israeli FM

Israel’s foreign minister has described a statement by Pope Francis calling for respect of humanitarian rights in Gaza “unacceptable”.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said that Israel “expects the Vatican to come out with a clear and unequivocal condemnation of the murderous terrorist actions of Hamas terrorists who harmed women, children and the elderly for the sole fact that they are Jews and Israelis.”

“It is unacceptable that you put out a statement expressing worry primarily for Gazan civilians while Israel is burying 1,300 who were murdered,” Cohen added.

On Sunday, Pope Francis stated that a humanitarian corridor should be opened to help those under siege in Gaza, and appealed for the release of Israeli hostages taken by Palestinian groups in the enclaves.

“I strongly ask that the children, the sick, the elderly, women and all civilians do not become victims of the conflict,” he told crowds in St Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

“Humanitarian rights must be respected, above all in Gaza.”

Israel arrests 70 Palestinians in West Bank, including journalists

Israeli forces have arrested at least 70 Palestinians during raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem overnight, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.

Two journalists were among those arrested, the rights group added.

The raids took place in Hebron, Tulkarm, Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, Bethleham and Jerusalem, among other areas.

The prisoners’ society said Israeli authorities have detained around 540 Palestinians in raids across the occupied territories since the start of the war on 7 October.

Arab League chief urges opening of humanitarian corridors

The Arab League chief has called for an immediate end to military operations in Gaza and for aid to be allowed into the besieged enclave.

“We demand the immediate end of military operations and the opening of safe corridors to bring aid to the population,” Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said during a meeting in Baghdad.

Residents drinking ‘unhealthy water’ as services not resumed: Gaza official

Gaza’s Interior Ministry says contrary to Israeli claims, water services have not resumed in the besieged enclave.

“The residents drink unhealthy water, posing a serious health crisis that threatens the lives of the citizens,” spokesperson Eyad al-Bozom stated.

For the past 10 days, no clean water had been provided by Israel to any of the five governorates within the besieged enclave, al-Bozom added.

10 people, all members of one family, killed in Israeli airstrike on Khan Younis: Doctors

Ten people were killed after an Israeli airstrike on Al Kizan neighborhood of Khan Younis on Monday, doctors in Nasser Hospital have confirmed.

They were all members of a single family, the doctors said, adding 23 people had been injured.

Khan Younis is in southern Gaza, which has become increasingly crowded with displaced civilians after Israel told people to evacuate northern Gaza.

Blinken returns to Israel for meetings with Netanyahu and other officials

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Tel Aviv, where he is expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli war management cabinet. His first meeting with Netanyahu is scheduled for around 6 a.m. ET.

The US top diplomat was in Israel last week, days after Hamas launched its deadly attacks in Israel, in a show of support from the Joe Biden administration as it seeks to reinforce the country’s defenses and prevent the conflict from escalating further.

Blinken’s return Monday comes as the US seeks to help American citizens trapped in Gaza make their way across the only remaining exit from the besieged strip, the Rafah crossing to Egypt. The US is also working with regional partners to help secure the release of hostages, including American citizens, taken by Hamas during their raid on October 7.

On Sunday Blinken promised the crossing “will be open” and that the US was working with the UN, Egypt, Israel and others to coordinate aid efforts.

Water supply hasn’t been restored in Gaza: Water Authority

Water supply has not been restored to Gaza, the director of the enclave’s water authority told announced on Monday.

“I strongly deny the news of supplying Gaza Strip with water, these are false allegations and lies,” Munther Shublaq said.

His remark comes a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office told CNN that Israel had turned on water to southern Gaza. US national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday also shared the possible development with CNN.

It was unclear if Israel cutting electricity in Gaza had affected the water supply but the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Saturday that most people in Gaza had no access to water.

“As a last resort, people are consuming brackish water from agricultural wells, triggering serious concerns about the spread of waterborne diseases,” it added.

Israeli army confirms 199 captives taken by Hamas

Daniel Hagari, Israel’s army top spokesperson, says the military has notified the families of 199 people who were taken captive by Hamas into the Gaza Strip. This figure is up from the 155 previously stated by the army.

“We are making valiant efforts to try to understand where the hostages are in Gaza, and we have such information,” Hagari was quoted as saying by Israeli media.

“We will not carry out an attack that would endanger our people,” he added.

German Chancellor to visit Israel on Tuesday: Report

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Israel on Tuesday, broadcaster ntv reports, citing government sources.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was in Israel last week.

UN team waiting on Egyptian side of Rafah crossing for green light to deliver aid to Gaza

A UN humanitarian team is waiting on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing in the hopes that it will be given the green light to deliver aid supplies to Gaza.

In a situation update Monday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said it has sent “an advance team to Egypt to prepare for the possible opening of a humanitarian corridor to bring humanitarian aid supplies into the Strip.”

“For the fifth consecutive day, Gaza has had no electricity, pushing vital services, including health, water and sanitation to the brink of collapse, and worsening food insecurity,” the UNRWA statement added.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is the only remaining outlet for supplies, but it has been closed for much of the past week.

Israel killed 2,750 Palestinians in Gaza: Health ministry

Israel has killed at least 2,750 Palestinians in Gaza since the war broke out over a week ago, the Palestinian health ministry said on Monday.

More than 9,700 have been wounded in that same period.

China’s special Middle East envoy to visit region next week

China’s special envoy on the Middle East issue, Zhai Jun, will visit the region next week, Chinese state media reported Monday.

In an interview with CGTN, he said he would promote peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to provide further details Monday.

Israel denies reports of plans to open Rafah border crossing

The Israeli prime minister’s office has denied there are any arrangements for the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

“At the moment there is neither a ceasefire nor humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip in return for the exit of foreigners,” the office announced

Hamas also issued a statement noting it had not received confirmation from Egypt about the possible opening of the Rafah border crossing.

A security alert from the US Embassy in Jerusalem earlier on Monday cited media reports saying the Rafah crossing will open at 9 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) on October 16.

“We anticipate that the situation at the Rafah crossing will remain fluid and unpredictable and it is unclear whether, or for how long, travelers will be permitted to transit the crossing,” the embassy statement added.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is the only remaining outlet for supplies, but it has been closed for much of the past week, with neither Gazans nor foreign nationals able to cross. Tons of vital humanitarian supplies for people in Gaza have been piling up on the Egyptian side of the border.

UN sheltering 400,000 Palestinians at its schools, buildings in Gaza

More than 400,000 Palestinians are sheltering in UN schools and buildings across the Gaza Strip, the global body announced.

“Old people, children, pregnant women, people with disabilities are just being deprived of their basic human dignity. This is a total disgrace,” the UN agency in Palestine said on X.

“We as UNRWA are mourning the loss of 14 colleagues,” it added.

At least 1,000 people under the rubble in Gaza

More than 1,000 people are missing under the rubble of buildings in Gaza that were destroyed by Israeli air strikes, the Palestinian civil defence team announced.

There were injured and dead among them, the team said in a statement, adding that many others were pulled alive out of the rubble, 24 hours after buildings were struck.

More than 2,670 people have been killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza with at least 9,600 wounded.

Four Gaza hospitals not functioning after Israeli bombardments: UN

At least four hospitals in northern Gaza are no longer functioning following Israeli bombardments, according to the United Nations.

The World Health Organization announced 21 other hospitals in the besieged Strip have been ordered to evacuate by Israel.

The UN health agency warned the “forced evacuation of hospitals may amount to a violation of international humanitarian law”.

Israel announces evacuation close to northern border

Israel announced Monday it will start the evacuation of residents in 28 villages up to 2km (1.2 miles) from its border in the north with Lebanon.

The announcement comes as the exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters has been intensifying since the start of the conflict in Palestine a week ago.

On Sunday, at least one Israeli soldier died and three were wounded after the Lebanese group launched repeated attacks towards a military post in northern Israel.

Killing of emergency service workers a ‘war crime’: Gaza government

The bombing of Gaza’s civil defence headquarters and the killing of at least five emergency service workers has been denounced as a “war crime” by officials in the besieged enclave.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Gaza government’s media office said the most recent targeting of the emergency workers should be added “to the crimes of the occupation that require accountability”.

At least seven people were killed after two civil defence headquarters were hit by Israeli air raids, according to reports.

US working to get assistance into Gaza: Blinken

The United States is “actively working” to ensure that humanitarian assistance can get into Gaza, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday.

In a short message on “X”, formerly Twitter, Blinken wrote: “We stand with Israel as it defends itself. The United States is also actively working to ensure the people of Gaza can get out of harm’s way and the assistance they need — food, water, medicine — can get in. Hamas does not care if Palestinians suffer.”

Gaza is facing a critical humanitarian crisis, with shortages of water, electricity, food, fuel and medicine. The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, the only remaining outlet for supplies, has been closed for much of the past week. Tons of vital humanitarian supplies for people in Gaza have been piling up on the Egyptian side of the border.

Biden considering trip to Israel: Report

US President Joe Biden is considering a trip to Israel in the coming days, according to US news outlets.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Biden to Israel, according to Hebrew media outlets, but the White House hasn’t decided whether to make the trip, the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal reported.

The visit would be a sign of US support for Israel amid the war, but it would also come as Israel prepares for a deadly ground invasion of the besieged Gaza Strip and pummels the enclave with air strikes and artillery.

Rafah crossing may open at short notice and for a “limited” time: US Embassy

Desperate residents hoping to exit Gaza via the Rafah crossing may receive “very little notice” if it opens, the US Embassy in Israel warned on Monday.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is the only remaining outlet to get people out of the enclave and supplies into it, but it has been closed for much of the past week.

“It is unclear whether, or for how long, travelers will be permitted to transit the crossing. If you assess it to be safe, you may wish to move closer to the Rafah border crossing,” the embassy said, adding there may be “very little notice if the crossing opens and it may only open for a limited time.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Sunday that “Rafah will be open” after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Israel threatens to target Gaza’s only power plant if it resumes services

Israel threatened to target Gaza’s only operational power plant if it resumes services, according to officials at the facility.

Israel has imposed a total blockade on the Gaza Strip. Israel’s Defence Minister has suggested that electricity, fuel and water supply to the besieged enclave will not be restored until Israeli hostages taken by Hamas are released.

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been forced to run on generators, but fuel reserves are only expected to last for 24 additional hours, the UN announced on Sunday.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned that, “hospitals in Gaza risk turning into morgues without electricity.”

Biden says Israeli occupation of Gaza would be a “big mistake”, but Israel “has to respond” to attack

President Joe Biden said it would be a “big mistake” for Israel to reoccupy Gaza, but that Israel “has to respond” and “go after Hamas” after last week’s attacks — which he compared to the Holocaust — in an interview that aired Sunday.

Asked by “60 Minutes” if he agreed with a “total siege” of Gaza, Biden said he was confident Israel would act within the rules of war and there would “be an ability for the innocents in Gaza to be able to have access to medicine and food and water.”

Asked if he would support an Israeli occupation of Gaza at this point, Biden answered more directly.

“I think it’d be a big mistake,” he stated.

“Look, what happened in Gaza, in my view, is Hamas and the extreme elements of Hamas don’t represent all the Palestinian people. And I think that…It would be a mistake to…for Israel to occupy…Gaza again. We…but going in but taking out the extremists the Hezbollah is up north but Hamas down south. Is a necessary requirement.”

It was his most public warning so far against an Israeli occupation of Gaza.

Biden also added he wanted to see aid supplies sent into Gaza and the establishment of a humanitarian corridor for civilians to leave the enclave, but said it was “hard.”

His administration was working on that with Israeli and Egyptian officials, he continued.

While Biden said he believes Hamas must be eliminated entirely, he added “there needs to be a Palestinian Authority. There needs to be — a path to a Palestinian state.”

Asked if there should now be a ceasefire, Biden voiced support for further action against Hamas.

“Look, there’s a fundamental difference,” Biden said.

“Israel is going after a group of people who have engaged in barbarism that is as consequential as the Holocaust. And — so I think Israel has to respond. They have to go after Hamas.”

Guterres urges Hamas to release captives without conditions

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed for Hamas to release captives without conditions and for Israel to allow rapid and unimpeded humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip.

“Each one of these two objectives are valid in themselves. They should not become bargaining chips and they must be implemented because it’s the right thing to do,” Guterres said in a statement.

An Israeli military spokesperson has confirmed that 155 captives are being held in Gaza.

“We have informed the families of 155 captives held by Hamas in Gaza,” the spokesperson stated.

Netanyahu invites Biden to visit Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited US President Joe Biden to visit Israel soon, and the two sides are discussing the possibility, a source familiar with the matter said.

It wasn’t clear how advanced the discussions were, or when a possible trip might occur.

The White House said Sunday it didn’t have any new travel plans to announce.

If Biden were to visit, it would come after high-stakes shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has been jetting between countries in the region for the past several days.

The US Senate will receive a classified briefing Wednesday regarding the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and humanitarian situation in Gaza, according to a Senate source.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. C.Q. Brown will brief the senators.

Half a million people have fled to southern Gaza: IDF

About half a million people have left northern Gaza for the south following Israel’s evacuation notice on Friday, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said Sunday.

The estimate represents roughly half the population of northern Gaza, where the IDF is gearing up for the next stages of its war with Hamas, which runs the territory.

“The estimates — and I emphasize these are estimates and it is difficult to track — but we are looking at approximately half a million [people],” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

The evacuation advisory came after Israel imposed a complete siege on Gaza.

Southern Gaza is struggling to accommodate the influx of people. Shelters are overloaded and the area is experiencing shortages of food, water and fuel.

Conricus added Israel has “opened taps” on its side to allow water to enter southern Gaza, but stated he “doesn’t have visibility on exactly how much is actually flowing where it should.”

There aren’t enough shelters for those fleeing to southern Gaza: UN official

Shelters in southern Gaza are overloaded, with shortages of crucial supplies, as tens of thousands of people flee from Israeli airstrikes on the north of the coastal enclave, a UN official said Sunday.

“We are at a very limited capacity in the south,” Lynn Hastings, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said on UNTV.

“There aren’t shelters available in the south in terms of the numbers that are coming.”

Southern Gaza is also experiencing shortages of food, water and fuel, she added.

“There’s some food in distribution sites, but we can’t get to them because of the bombardment,” Hastings said.

The fuel scarcity has widespread ramifications for the area.

“No fuel means no desalination,” Hastings continued, adding, “Gaza is heavily reliant on desalination. No fuel also means no health care because you need electricity to run hospitals.”

Israel-Hamas war risks escalating into wider conflict: US national security adviser

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday warned of the risk of a wider regional conflict in the Middle East as Israel pounds Gaza with airstrikes.

“There is a risk of an escalation of this conflict, the opening of a second front in the north, and of course of Iran’s involvement — that is a risk. And that’s a risk that we have been mindful of since the start,” Sullivan said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“It’s why the President moves so rapidly and decisively to get an aircraft carrier into the eastern Mediterranean, to get aircraft into the Gulf, because he wants to send a very clear message of deterrence to any state or any actor that would seek to exploit this situation.”

The Pentagon has ordered a second carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea and is sending Air Force fighter jets to the region as Israel prepares to expand its Gaza operations, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement Saturday.

The US warships are not intended to join the fighting in Gaza or take part in Israel’s operations, but the presence of two of the Navy’s most powerful vessels is designed to send a message of deterrence to Iran and Iranian proxies in the region, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.

If Hezbollah joins the conflict, it could provide the next flashpoint that would entangle bigger regional powers such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Confirmed US death toll in Israel rises to 30

At least 30 US citizens have died in Israel, a State Department official said Sunday. That number has risen by one since Saturday.

The State Department is “also aware of 13 American nationals who are unaccounted-for,” the spokesperson said. That number has gone down by two people since Saturday.

The spokesperson stated officials have been in contact with families, and that the US government “is working around the clock to determine their whereabouts.”

Americans are believed to be among the hostages taken by Hamas when it launched its October 7 surprise attack on Israel.

The US “is working with the Israeli government on every aspect of the hostage crisis,” the spokesperson added, “including sharing intelligence and deploying experts from across the United States government to advise the Israeli government on hostage recovery efforts.”

More US attack aircraft arrive in Middle East in a move to bolster defense posture: Central command

Additional US attack aircraft have arrived in the Middle East as part of a plan to bolster American defense posture in the region, US Air Combat Command announced Sunday.

The deployment of additional A-10 Warthog attack aircraft, along with other US fighter jets, is intended to deter any “Iranian aggression” or an expansion of the fighting beyond Israel’s borders, a US official previously told CNN.

“A-10s from the 354th EFS have arrived to the US Central Command AOR (Area of Responsibility),” Air Combat Command posted on social media Sunday.

“This arrival bolsters the US defense posture, enhances air operations throughout the Middle East, and reassures our allies and regional partners we remain postured to protect and defend their freedom,” the post added.

Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the US would “augment” its fighter squadrons in the Middle East under US Central Command.

In addition to F-35s and F-15s, Austin also said F-16 and A-10 squadrons in the region would be bolstered.

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