Monday, December 4, 2023

Israel-Palestine conflict: Hamas says US sending carrier strike group “aggression” against Palestinians

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 800 Israelis, including both military and settlers. More than 500 Palestinians have been so far killed in an exchange of fire between the two sides.

Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for striking Israeli areas near Lebanese border

The al-Quds Brigades of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for bombing several locations “in southern Lebanon on the border with occupied Palestine”.

Several explosions were seen in the disputed border region between Israel and Lebanon amid an air raid by Israeli forces on Monday.

Seven Israeli soldiers were injured as a result of that shelling, one of whom was critically wounded, according to the al-Quds Brigades.

Qatar in talks with Hamas over hostages

Qatar has been in talks with Hamas about the hostages that the group is holding inside the Gaza Strip, and the US has been coordinating with the Qataris as they play a key mediating role with Hamas, a senior US official and another person familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Qatar’s prime minister met with Hamas leaders on Sunday, one of the sources stated.

“Things are moving very fast,” the source added.

US officials at the White House and State Department, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, have remained in touch with the Qataris throughout the weekend as they communicate with Hamas.

A US official noted the US believes Qatar, which has strong ties to Hamas, was caught off guard by the group’s attack on Israel on Saturday.

Israeli military announces launch of largest airstrikes on Hamas in Gaza

The Israeli military announces it will carry out one of the largest airstrikes ever against Hamas in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli media also reported that Israel has hit 1000 targets in Gaza, adding that the military has announced it will continue airstrikes on Gaza, even if at the cost of harming Israeli captives in the enclave.

Netanyahu vows to use ‘enormous force’ in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to “change the Middle East” in the country’s war with Hamas.

“What Hamas will experience will be difficult and terrible … we are going to change the Middle East,” the 73-year-old leader told officials from southern Israel.

“This is only the beginning … we are all with you and we will defeat them with force, enormous force.”

Bad intelligence and political interference is to blame: Israeli colonel

An Israeli colonel who is currently on active duty told Middle East Eye that incorrect intelligence evaluations and government interference in the military meant Israel was caught off guard on Saturday when Palestinian fighters staged a devastating attack.

“The situation in Gaza has been stable for a long time, and we didn’t expect such a large-scale attack,” the colonel said, speaking anonymously because he wasn’t authorised to talk to the media.

The colonel added that Israel actually had information that Hamas and aligned groups were making preparations for an attack.

“This information was evaluated incorrectly. In particular, counterterrorism intelligence units thought that all these weapons used in this attack would be separately put into action in different attacks.”

“They could not make the assessment that kamikaze drones and their motorised parachutes, missiles, and mini drones would be used for a single all-out attack. Although I don’t like to call this a weakness, intelligence made a huge mistake,” he continued.

The colonel said that the relative stability in Gaza fostered great military indiscipline in the Israeli troops that served on the border.

“There is no logical explanation I can give to explain the sudden overrun of Israeli towns,” he continued, adding, “Maybe you should ask the government, which constantly interferes with the military.”

The colonel added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would have to attack Gaza with all his might, since politically he has no other choice.

“It will take us at least 10 years to clean up this mess,” he said.

“And for that to happen, Gaza should not cause us any major problems during that time. What to do for this is very clear: a major land and air operation. There is no other option.”

Gaza hospital out of service amid Israeli airstrikes: Palestinian health ministry

Services at the only functioning hospital in Gaza’s Beit Hanoun neighborhood have been suspended due to continuous Israeli airstrikes, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza stated Monday.

Extensive damage caused by continuous Israeli airstrikes blocked medical teams’ ability to enter or exit the building, the health ministry noted.

The ministry claimed nine ambulances had been targeted since Saturday.

Amputations and burns are among most common injuries at Gaza hospitals: Palestinian health ministry

Most of the patients arriving at hospitals in Gaza have sustained second-and third-degree burns and amputations of both their lower and upper extremities, a spokesperson for the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza told the news outlet Shibab Agency.

Many have also sustained shrapnel injuries, the spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qidra, told the Palestinian outlet.

The injured arriving at hospitals are mainly women and children, al-Qidra continued, adding this is a “result of Israelis directly targeting residential houses and buildings.”

Several people injured from rocket barrage in Jerusalem

Several people were injured Monday from a “direct strike in the recent rocket barrage,” a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) group confirmed.

“United Hatzalah volunteers are currently treating one person in a town in the Jerusalem area whose is in serious condition as a result of injuries sustained from a direct strike in the recent rocket barrage,” it said.

Additionally, volunteers are treating several others who were injured in a direct rocket strike in a town south of Jerusalem, the group added.

EU suspends Palestinian aid payments and ‘review’ future funding

The European Union suspended aid payments to the Palestinians and said it has placed 691m euros ($728m ) of support “under review” after Hamas launched its attack on Israel.

European Union Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi posted on social media: “All payments immediately suspended.”

“All projects put under review. All new budget proposals, including for 2023 postponed until further notice. Comprehensive assessment of the whole portfolio.”

Israel DM: Increase intensity of airstrikes on Gaza

Israel’s Defence Minister’s Yoav Gallant’s office has announced that he has called for an “increase of the intensity of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.”

According to Israeli media, he was also informed that all the air force pilots and reserve personnel reported for duty.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced in a statement Monday Israeli forces are currently conducting “wide-scale strikes” on several “strategic” centers in Gaza belonging to Hamas.

Israel attacks targets in Lebanese territory

The Israeli army has issued a statement on social media saying it has hit targets in southern Lebanon using helicopter gunships.

Separately, the United Nations Interim Forces in Southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) announced it detected explosions near al-Boustan in southwest Lebanon.

“UNIFIL Head and Force Commander Maj Gen Lazaro is in contact with the involved parties, urging them to exercise maximum restraint and utilise UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanisms to prevent further escalation and loss of life,” the UN force posted on X.

Hezbollah official: Group has not mounted any operation into Israel

A Hezbollah official told Reuters the group had not mounted any operation into Israel, in comments after Tel Aviv claimed it had killed a number of people who infiltrated from Lebanon.

The Israeli Army has claimed its troops killed a group of people who cross into Israeli territory from Lebanon.

Gunfights and explosions were heard in the area earlier, where the Israeli military announced a combat helicopter also struck.

Gaza: UN schools nearing capacity as people seek shelter

Shelters and UNRWA-run schools in Gaza are nearing capacity as Israel continues its heavy bombardment of the besieged enclave.

According to reports, many of the schools and shelters are now nearing capacity, as more people flee from their destroyed homes.

“We’re able to receive up to 150,000 displaced people into our current structure; we’re going to assess how long we can receive them for, give them food and other items we currently have,” UNRWA spokesperson Tamara al Rifai said.

France confirms second citizen dead in Hamas attacks

A second French citizen has been confirmed dead following Hamas’ surprise attack against Israel, the French Foreign Ministry confirmed Monday.

“France regrets the tragic death of a second French national, victim of the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel,” it announced in a statement.

The foreign ministry — which said it would continue to locate its missing citizens — previously confirmed the death of one citizen. It has not provided details about those killed or the circumstances of their deaths.

French President Emmanuel Macron had a phone call with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, according to an Élysée statement, which said Macron reiterated France’s full support for Israel and expressed his concern for the Israelis taken hostage or injured.

9 American citizens dead amid Israel conflict: US National Security Council spokesperson

A National Security Council spokesperson on Monday confirmed in a statement that nine US citizens are among those who have died in Israel’s conflict with Hamas.

“At this time, we can confirm the death of nine US citizens. We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and to the families of all those affected, and wish those injured a speedy recovery. We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in touch with our Israeli partners, particularly the local authorities,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

State Department spokesperson Matt Miller confirmed that reporting, telling CNN’s Phil Mattingly, “We are in close contact with the government of Israel as they continue to conduct security operations to locate missing US citizens.

“We are, of course, in close contact with the families of these nine deceased Americans and offering them any consular assistance that we can provide,” he added.

The US continues to gather information on US citizens involved in the conflict.

Over 10 British citizens feared dead or missing

UK media outlets reported that more than 10 British citizens are feared dead or missing in Israel following the attacks launched by Hamas from the Gaza.

The figure has been reported by the BBC. The news outlet reproted it had learnt the information from an “official UK source”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is scheduled to hold an emergency Cobra meeting later on Monday.

Israel denies negotiations for humanitarian prisoner swap: Report

Israeli officials have told the Times of Israel that “there is no negotiation” over the release of prisoners after reports emerged that Qatar was working on mediating an exchange deal.

Earlier, a source told Reuters that Qatari mediators held urgent calls with Hamas to negotiate the release of Israeli women and children in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.

The source added Qatar had been working in tandem with the United States since Saturday night to make the deal happen.

Israel ‘ignored’ warning by Egypt: Intelligence official

An Egyptian intelligence official has stated that Egypt spoke with Israelis and warned that “something big” was about to happen, without elaborating, The Associated Press has reported.

“We have warned them an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big. But they underestimated such warnings,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

According to the official, Israeli officials were focused on the occupied West Bank and downplayed any threats from Gaza.

But, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office released a statement saying that reports that Egyptian intelligence officials warned Israel about a potential attack are “incorrect and false”.

Arab League foreign ministers to meet in Cairo on Wednesday

Arab League foreign ministers will meet on Wednesday in the Egyptian capital Cairo, to discuss Israel’s “aggression on the Gaza Strip”.

The meeting is set to find “avenues of political action at the Arab and international level,” Arab League deputy chief Hossam Zaki said in a statement.

Israel says soldiers deployed against incursion from Lebanon

The spokesperson of the Israel Defense Forces(IDF) has stated the military has deployed troops against a suspected infiltration from Lebanon.

“A report was received about the infiltration of several suspects into Israeli territory from Lebanese territory. IDF forces are deployed in the area,” Daniel Hagari said in post on X.

Israel’s Army Radio gave the location as near Adamit, which is across from the Lebanese border towns of Aalma El Chaeb and Zahajra.

Gaza death toll rises to more than 550: Palestinian health ministry

At least 560 people have killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel began carrying out airstrikes, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

As of Monday afternoon, 2,900 people had been wounded in the raids, it added.

EU foreign ministers will meet to address the situation in Israel on Tuesday

European Union foreign ministers are expected to meet on Tuesday to address the situation in Israel, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I am convening tomorrow an emergency meeting of EU Foreign Ministers to address the situation in Israel and in the region,” Borrell said on Monday.

An EU official told CNN that the meeting will be held in a hybrid format with “a combination of personal presence of those EU Ministers who went to Muscat” for a meeting of the EU-Gulf Cooperation Council and via video link for those not traveling to Brussels.

Over 2,500 injuries tied to Hamas attack have been reported in Israel

As of Monday afternoon, 2,506 people had been wounded in the attacks by Hamas that began Saturday morning, the Israeli Health Ministry has confirmed.

The number of Israelis killed since Hamas launched its military operation has now reached 800, according to Israel media.

Water supply to Gaza to be ‘immediately cut’: Israel minister

Israeli energy minister, Israel Katz, has ordered “to immediately cut the water supply” to Gaza, his spokesperson said.

Katz’s order came soon after Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” on the Gaza Strip, which receives about 10 percent of its annual water from Israel.

On Sunday, all electricity and fuel was cut off to the besieged Strip.

‘High risk’ of third party entering war: Russia

Russia announced there is a “high risk” of a third party entering the ongoing fighting after an announcement from the Pentagon it was moving warships and aircraft carriers closer to Israel.

“The risk of third forces becoming involved in this conflict is high,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the local TASS news agency.

“It is very important to find ways as soon as possible to move towards some kind of negotiation process,” he added.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, has also said talks on a two-state solution are the only way forward, making his comment at a news conference in Moscow alongside the Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Russia’s news agency TASS quoted Lavrov as saying there was a need to “pay special attention to the reasons why it has been impossible to resolve the Palestinian issue for decades”.

Former Israeli PM says an incursion into Gaza is “not off the table”

Israeli opposition leader and former caretaker Prime Minster Yair Lapid stated a ground incursion into Gaza is “not off the table”, but that Israel must consider the fate of the dozens of hostages that have been whisked into the enclave.

“On one hand everything is on the table, nothing is off, including an incursion. On the other hand, we have people there, and we are worried sick about them,” Lapid said in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson.

Israeli authorities have confirmed “dozens” are being held in Gaza, while Hamas claims to have more than 100. Islamic Jihad announced it is holding 30.

Israel to impose ‘total blockade’ on Gaza

Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defence minister, has announced a “complete siege” of Gaza, saying authorities would cut electricity and block the entry of food and fuel.

For context, it’s important to note that Gaza has been under a crippling air, land and sea blockade since 2007.

The more than 2 million residents continue to face water and electricity shortages, as well as a lack of medicines and doctors unable to perform surgeries.

Israel calls on 300,000 reservists

Israel has drafted a record 300,000 reservists in its response to a multi-front Hamas attack from Gaza and is “going on the offensive”, the chief military spokesperson said on Monday.

Chief military spokesperson Rear-Admiral Daniel Hagari stated 300,000 reservists have been called up by the military since Saturday, a number suggesting preparations for a possible invasion – though any such plans have not been officially confirmed.

“We have never drafted so many reservists on such a scale,” he continued, adding, “We are going on the offensive.”

Hagari confirmed media reports that 700 people had been killed, including 73 confirmed members of the security forces.

The Israeli Army also announced that it will be transferring over 1,000 weapons to strengthen their forces in the occupied West Bank, and around settlements.

Israel’s military says it has retaken control of all communities around Gaza

There is no fighting going on between Israel Defense Forces troops and Hamas inside Israel, and the IDF has re-taken control of all communities around the Gaza Strip, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told reporters on Monday.

The announcement comes more than 48 hours after Hamas launched a surprise attack with thousands of rockets and sent fighters across the border in an incursion the likes of which Israel has not seen since its 1948 War of Independence.

Gaza death toll nears 500: Palestinian authorities

At least 493 people have died and 2,651 have been wounded in Gaza since Israel began carrying out airstrikes in response to Hamas’ surprise attack early Saturday morning, the Palestinian health ministry in the enclave has announced

Shekel tumbles as Israeli Central Bank moves to stabilise it

Israel’s shekel has fallen to a near eight-year low against the US dollar amid the fighting.

The central bank announced it will sell up to $30bn in foreign exchange to prop up the currency following market uncertainty.

In a statement announcing the plan, the bank said it “will operate in the market during the coming period in order to moderate volatility in the shekel exchange rate and to provide the necessary liquidity for the continued proper functioning of the markets”.

It added it would provide additional liquidity of up to $15bn in the market, as well.

Oil prices soar, gold also jumps

Oil prices soared more than four percent on Monday, sparking concerns about possible supply shocks from the crude-rich region. Any sustained rally in oil prices would act as a tax on consumers and add to global inflationary pressures.

Meanwhile, gold prices climbed more than 1 percent as the risk of a wider war prompted a rush to safe-haven investments like bullion.

Several international air carriers have also suspended flight services with Tel Aviv, saying they are waiting for conditions to improve before resuming.

UN says over 123,000 displaced in Gaza

More than 123,000 people have been displaced in the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the conflict between Palestinian fighters and Israel, according to the United Nations.

“Over 123,538 people, have been internally displaced in Gaza, mostly due to fear, protection concerns and the destruction of their homes,” the UN’s humanitarian agency, OCHA, has announced.

Gaza death toll rises to 436, with more than 2,200 injured

The death toll in Gaza Strip has risen to 436, Palestinian officials said Monday, as Israel pummels the isolated, densely populated territory with airstrikes.

The toll includes 81 children and 61 women, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza.

Some 2,271 people have been injured in Gaza, including 244 children and 151 women, the ministry added.

Germany “has to assume” its citizens are among Hamas hostages: Source

Germany “has to assume” there are German citizens among those captured by Hamas on Saturday, a German foreign office source told CNN Sunday.

“As far as we know, they are all people who have Israeli citizenship in addition to German citizenship,” the source added.

The German foreign ministry and German embassy in Tel Aviv are coordinating “very closely” with Israeli authorities, the source stated.

The source said that Germany will not comment publicly on the number of kidnapped or individual cases to protect those individuals.

UK advises against all but essential travel to Israel

The British government says it updated its travel advice for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, recommending against all but essential travel.

Britain had already advised against all travel to Gaza, but on Sunday also added several areas in Israel close to the border with Gaza to that recommendation, and changed its advice for the country as a whole.

The British Foreign Office also asked all Britons in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to register their presence there, so they can be kept updated of further changes to travel advice.

Israel is still fighting against Hamas on the ground but it’s taking longer than expected: IDF

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are still fighting against Hamas on the ground in southern Israel, a military spokesperson said Monday, more than 48 hours after the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack.

“We are still fighting. Seven to eight open places around Gaza where we still have warriors fighting terrorists,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said.

“It is taking us more time than we expected … We thought this morning we would be in a better place.”

It’s also possible that Hamas fighters are still crossing into Israel from Gaza, he stated, adding that Israeli airstrikes are targeting locations where militants are gathering to cross the border.

Dozens of Israelis are being held as hostages, Hect also said, without providing a specific number.

He added that Hamas did not “knock on the roof” — the Israeli military’s warning for civilians before it bombs a building.

“When they came in and threw grenades at our ambulances they did not knock on the roof. This is war. The scale is different,” Hecht continued.

Hamas says US sending carrier strike group is “aggression against Palestinian people”

Hamas has accused the United States of taking part in “aggression against Palestinian people” by sending a Navy carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

“These movements do not frighten our people nor their resistance, which will continue to defend our people and our holy places,” Hamas spokesperson Hazem Kassem said in a statement.

The Navy carrier strike group includes the USS Gerald R. Ford, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, accompanied by guided missile destroyers and guided missile cruisers.

The US is also positioning more fighter jets to the Middle East, as a deterrent to Hezbollah in Lebanon and other militant groups aligned against Israel, officials say.

Hamas capabilities “severely degraded” in airstrikes, Israeli forces

Israel has “severely degraded the capabilities” of Palestinian militant group Hamas as airstrikes on Gaza continued into early Monday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

The IDF added it targeted a structure that housed Hamas operatives and several of the group’s operational command centers, including a three-floor command center.

The IDF also announced it targeted:

  • A command center belonging to a senior Hamas naval forces operative, named as Mahmad Kashta
  • A Hamas operational asset in a mosque in the city of Jabalia
  • An intelligence asset and an additional asset used by Hamas

Israel has been pounding Gaza with airstrikes and formally declared war on Hamas Sunday following an unprecedented surprise attack by the militant group that began on Saturday. More than 400 Palestinians have killed, according to the health ministry in Gaza, and medical care has been complicated by Israel cutting power to the territory.

Officials say the death toll in Israel has passed 700.

Israel amasses 100,000 reserve troops near Gaza Strip

A spokesman for the Israeli military stated his country has gathered 100,000 reserve troops near Gaza for the ongoing war with Hamas.

“We have amassed around 100,000 reserve troops who are currently in southern Israel,” said Jonathan Conricus in a video posted to X.

“Our job is to make sure that at the end of this war, Hamas will no longer have any military capability to threaten Israeli civilians,” he continued, noting, “In addition to that, we are also to make sure that Hamas will not be able to govern the Gaza Strip.”

Conricus added that Israeli troops are hunting down the last Palestinian fighters who had infiltrated southern Israel.

Hamas claims to be holding over 100 hostages, including Israeli army officers

Hamas fighters are holding more than 100 Israeli hostages in Gaza, including high-ranking army officers, a spokesperson for the group claimed Sunday.

In an interview with Arabic news outlet al-Ghad TV, Mousa Abu Marzouk, chief deputy of Hamas’ political bureau, said the number of Israeli hostages “hasn’t been counted yet but they are over a hundred.”

Asked about the presence of Israeli army officers among the hostages, Marzouk stated: “There are high-ranking officers.”

Another Palestinian armed group, Islamic Jihad, on Sunday said it is holding at least 30 hostages in Gaza.

Israel authorities have announced that dozens of Israelis are being held hostage in Gaza but have not confirmed exact numbers.

In addition to Israeli captives, there are several other nationalities believed to be taken hostage. Two Mexican nationals, a woman and a man, have “presumably” been taken hostage by Hamas, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena said on Sunday. At least three Brazilian nationals are also missing, according to Brazilian authorities.

4 Americans killed in Israel attacks, with death toll expected to rise

Members of Congress were told that four Americans have been killed following the attacks in Israel close to the Gaza border, according to a source familiar with a briefing to key House committees on Sunday evening.

The death toll of American citizens is expected to rise, the source added.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Gaza: UN relief agency

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Gaza as Israeli Defense Forces continue to target Hamas positions on the strip, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said on Sunday.

“The number of people forced to flee their homes in search of safety has significantly increased overnight. Nearly 74,000 displaced people are now in 64 UNRWA shelters, with numbers likely to increase as heavy shelling and airstrikes continue including on civilian areas,” the agency’s statement added.

The statement also noted that a “UNRWA school sheltering displaced families in the Gaza Strip was directly hit today (Sunday). The school, sheltering more than 225 people, was severely damaged. No casualties were recorded among the displaced.”

“Schools and other civilian infrastructure, including those sheltering displaced families, must never come under attack,” the agency stated.

No UN Security Council action taken after emergency meeting

No action was taken following the United Nations Security Council emergency meeting on the situation in the Middle East, according to several Security Council members who spoke Sunday afternoon.

“I don’t want to get into what was really discussed in the briefing, but there are a good number of countries that condemned Hamas’ attacks,” Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told reporters following the meeting.

“They’re obviously not all (condemning the attacks), and I don’t really want to get into that. I think you can probably figure out one of them without me saying anything.”

The Security Council consists of 10 elected members, and five permanent members — China, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation. All 15 members would have needed to vote unanimously for any statement to emerge following the Security Council meeting.

“The situation is still fluid and very dangerous,” Wood said.

He added officials are working hard to try to prevent the conflict from spreading through the region.

“It’s important that the global community condemn, strongly condemn, this unprovoked invasion and the terrorist attacks and activities that have taken place and are taking place,” Wood continued.

When asked about the plight of Palestinians in the region, Wood stated, “We condemn civilians who are hurt or killed anywhere in the world. That goes without saying. What’s important now is that the international community to show its solidarity with Israel.”

Hamas should be condemned until they end their violent terrorist activity, he continued.

Israel requests precision-guided bombs and interceptors from US: Israeli and US officials

Israel is requesting precision-guided bombs and additional interceptors for the Iron Dome from the US, according to an Israeli military official and a US defense official.

The request comes as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has promised the US will move security assistance to Israel as soon as today.

The Israeli official said the request to the Americans includes Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAMs, a kit that turns an unguided “dumb” bomb into a precision “smart” weapon. Israel has used precision-guided bombs to strike targets in Gaza from the air.

Israel is also requesting more interceptors for Iron Dome, a short-range aerial defense system that has intercepted many of the rockets fired from Gaza. But the system has been overwhelmed by barrages of rockets, allowing some rockets to get through and hit Israel.

The US has provided millions of dollars in funding for Iron Dome.

The Israeli official also said the Israeli military could request more capabilities and weapons, depending on how Israel’s campaign against Hamas plays out.

“As and if other events evolve, then we will need other parts as well,” the official added.

Air Canada joins airlines canceling flights to Tel Aviv

Air Canada is canceling all flights to Tel Aviv as of Sunday, joining a number of other international airlines suspending routes to Israel.

The Canadian airline announced it will adjust flights and plans as it monitors the situation in Israel. Passengers flying to or from Tel Aviv will be allowed to make changes to their plans, including requesting a refund.

Air Canada currently has 10 weekly flights planned for departure from Canada to Tel Aviv daily and three times a week from Montreal.

United Airlines and American Airlines have also suspended flights to Tel Aviv. Delta Air Lines, Air Malta and Portuguese airline TAP have also canceled flights to Israel.

Hainan Airlines, the only Chinese airline to fly between China and Israel, also cancelled flights between Shanghai and Tel Aviv on Monday, while Cathay Pacific also cancelled its flight between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Korean Air cancelled its flight between the port city of Incheon and Tel Aviv on Monday and said it expects future flights to be irregular.

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