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France 24
France 24

🔴 Live: More than 700 Israelis killed, more than 100 held 'prisoner' in war with Hamas

Israeli security forces take up position on a road following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, near Sderot in southern Israel on October 8, 2023. Š Ronen Zvulun, Reuters

The Israeli death toll from Hamas’s unprecedented incursion into Israel on Saturday has risen to 700, Israeli officials said on Sunday. Israel's army said it aims to evacuate all Israelis living close to the Gaza Strip within 24 hours as it deployed tens of thousands of soldiers to fight Palestinian militants who had infiltrated into Israel. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments on the unfolding situation on the Israel-Gaza border. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

00:30am: 'The fighting is still continuing more than 36 hours after this infiltration began'

FRANCE 24's correspondent Irris Makler in Jerusalem explains that the fighting is continuing as Israeli forces say they've killed around 400 militants and taken 'an unnamed number' into custody.

10:30pm: 'We are witnessing the emergence of a completely new Middle Eastern landscape'

"We are witnessing the emergence of a completely new Middle Eastern landscape," said Karim Emile Bitar, professor of international relations at Saint Joseph University of Beirut. "It will definitely be very difficult for Israel to get the hostages released before launching this ground operation, and if Israel does launch a ground operation, it could very well be one of the bloodiest chapters in the long history of Arab-Israeli conflicts." 

10:22pm: Senior Hamas official says militant group is holding more than 100 people captive after assault on Israel

A senior Hamas official says the militant group is holding more than 100 people captive after its unprecedented assault on Israel.

Mousa Abu Marzouk made the remarks Sunday to the Arabic language news outlet al-Ghad. The figure is in addition to more than 30 people said to be held by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.

10:18pm: Turkish, Emirati ministers discuss Israeli-Palestinian conflict, says Turkish source

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan discussed the fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces with his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates in a call on Sunday, a Turkish foreign ministry source said.

The source did not provide any further details on the call. Since the fighting began on Saturday, Fidan has also held calls with his US, Saudi, Qatari, Egyptian, Palestinian, Iranian, Spanish and Jordanian counterparts.

10:08pm: US aid amounts to 'aggression' against Palestinians, says Hamas

Palestinian militant group Hamas said Sunday that the United States' plan to provide increased military aid to Israel amounts to "aggression" against Palestinians, after Washington ordered navy ships and warplanes closer to Israel.

"The announcement of the US that it will provide an aircraft carrier to support the occupation (Israel) is actual participation in the aggression against our people," Hamas, which on Saturday launched the deadliest attack ever against Israel, said in a statement.

10:02pm: At least 3 Americans dead in Israel attacks, reports CNN

At least three Americans have been killed following Hamas fighters' attack on Israel on Saturday, CNN reported on Sunday citing a US memo.

9:52pm: US, Israel urge Hamas condemnation at Security Council

The United States on Sunday led calls for condemnation of a Hamas assault on Israel as the United Nations Security Council opened an emergency session on the crisis.

"I expect to hear from the other Council members very strong condemnation of these heinous acts of terrorism committed against the Israeli people and their government," senior US diplomat Robert Wood told reporters as he entered the closed-door session.

Brazil, which holds the Security Council's rotating presidency, called for the meeting after Hamas on Saturday launched a massive surprise attack, with the death toll a day later surpassing 1,000.

9:31pm: Israeli rescue service Zaka says at least 260 bodies removed from music festival that came under Hamas attack

The Israeli rescue service Zaka says its paramedics removed about 260 bodies from a music festival attended by thousands that came under attack by Hamas militants.

The total figure is expected to be higher as other paramedic teams were working in the area.

Video aired on social media and by Israeli news outlets showed dozens of festival goers running through an open field as gunshots rang out. Many hid in nearby fruit orchards or were gunned down as they fled.

8:41pm: Israel-Switzerland Euro 2024 qualifier postponed due to conflict

UEFA on Sunday announced next week's Euro 2024 qualifier between Israel and Switzerland, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed due to the conflict in the country.

"In light of the current security situation in Israel, UEFA has decided to postpone all matches scheduled in Israel in the next couple of weeks with new dates to be confirmed in due course," UEFA said in a statement.

UEFA said it also "reserves a few more days to assess whether the European qualifiers 2024 match Kosovo-Israel can take place on the originally planned date of October 15 or requires postponement".

8:41pm: Islamic jihad faction holding over 30 Israelis captive, its chief says

Islamic Jihad chief Ziad al-Nakhala said on Sunday that his faction was holding captive more than 30 of the Israelis who were abducted in the Gaza Strip since Saturday after Hamas launched attacks on Israel.

The captives will not be repatriated "till all of our prisoners are released," al-Nakhala added, referring to thousands of Palestinians who are in Israeli prisons.

8:06pm: Gaza death toll rises to 413, health ministry

At least 413 Palestinians have been killed, including 78 children and 41 women, and nearly 2,300 wounded by Israeli air strikes in Gaza since Saturday, the health ministry of the Palestinian authority reported on Sunday.

7:50pm:  Attacks on Israelis in Gaza are war crimes, Israel's UN envoy says

The attacks on Israelis in Gaza over the weekend were war crimes, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations said on Sunday as Hamas fighters rampaged through Israeli towns killing 600 and abducting dozens more.

Israeli envoy Gilad Erdan, speaking to reporters at the United Nations ahead of a UN Security Council meeting later on Sunday, also said it was time to "obliterate" Hamas' military infrastructure.

7:46pm: The US will send a carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean in support of Israel

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Sunday he has ordered the Ford carrier strike group to sail to the Eastern Mediterranean to be ready to assist Israel after the surprise attack by Hamas that has left more than 1,000 dead and thousands wounded on both sides.

The USS Gerald R. Ford and its approximately 5,000 sailors and deck of warplanes will be accompanied by cruisers and destroyers in a show of force that is meant to be ready to respond to anything, from possibly interdicting additional weapons from reaching Hamas and conducting surveillance.

The large deployment, which also includes a host of ships and warplanes, underscores the concern that the United States has in trying to deter the conflict from growing. The Israeli government formally declared war Sunday and gave the green light for “significant military steps” to retaliate against Hamas.

7:44pm: US to send munitions to Israel, boost forces in region

The United States will provide munitions and equipment to Israel and boost American forces in the Middle East in response to the attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas, the Pentagon said Sunday.

"The United States government will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions," US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

The US defense chief also said he had directed the USS Gerald R. Ford, an aircraft carrier, and its accompanying warships to the eastern Mediterranean, and that Washington was augmenting fighter aircraft squadrons in the region.

7:21pm: Biden tells Netanyahu more military aid on way to Israel, says White House

US President Joe Biden said fresh military aid is on its way to Israel after the attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas with "more to follow over the coming days," the White House announced Sunday.

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also "discussed ongoing efforts to ensure that no enemies of Israel believe they can or should seek advantage from the current situation," it said in a statement.

7:17pm: IMF closely monitoring situation in Israel, Gaza

The International Monetary Fund on Sunday said it was closely monitoring developments in Israel and Gaza, and it was too early to assess any economic impact.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life. We are monitoring this concerning situation closely," an IMF spokesperson said, adding that it was too early to say anything about the economic consequences.

6:37pm: Biden orders 'additional support' for Israel, says White House

US President Joe Biden has ordered "additional support" for Israel after the attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas, the White House said Sunday, without giving details. 

"The President directed additional support for Israel in the face of this unprecedented terrorist assault by Hamas," the White House said in a statement. A senior US official had said Saturday that talks on supplying US military aid were underway.

6:28pm: Britain's Sunak says London 'unequivocally' stands with Israel

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday Britain was standing with Israel "unequivocally" following the attacks by Hamas and that London was working to ensure the world speaks in one voice.

"(Sunak) reaffirmed that the UK will stand with Israel unequivocally against these acts of terror. The prime minister offered Prime Minister Netanyahu any support Israel needs," Sunak's Downing Street office said in a statement following a phone call between the two leaders.

"The prime minister outlined the diplomatic work the UK is doing to ensure the world speaks with one voice in opposition to these appalling attacks. Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the prime minister for the UK's support."

6:26pm: Americans among hostages taken by Hamas, says Israeli ambassador

An unknown number of Americans are among the hostages that Hamas took as it attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli ambassador to the United States said Sunday.

The diplomat, Michael Herzog, was asked on CBS News if there were Americans among the soldiers and civilians that the Palestinian militant group abducted in southern Israel.

"I understand there are, but I don't have details," he said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told US television on Sunday that the administration was working to check on reports that US citizens were among the dead and captive in the surprise Hamas assault that began Saturday.

6:10pm: 'Enemy still on the ground' in Israel, says army

The Israeli army said it was sending in reinforcements against Hamas militants who were still on Israeli territory on Sunday, a day after they stormed across the border from Gaza.

"The enemy is still on the ground" in Israel, military spokesman Daniel Hagari told journalists at a news conference.

"We are reinforcing our forces, especially near the Gaza Strip," he said, adding the army had struck 800 Hamas targets in the coastal enclave.

5:40pm: 'There will be an increased potential of sharing of intelligence'

During their phone call Prime Minister Benjamin asked US President Joe Biden for increased military aid but also increased intelligence sharing. "The US does share intelligence with Israel but not to the same level as it does with some of its allies such as the United Kingdom," said Fraser Jackson, FRANCE 24's correspondent in Washington, D.C. "So, there will be an increased potential of sharing of intelligence between the two countries [Israel and the United States]". 

"More importantly, the United States maintains a large stockpile of weapons within Israel, in multiple sites [across the country], it has almost 2 billion dollars worth of arms and munitions that are stockpiled in cache there so it is possible that the US could grant Israel access to that," said Jackson. 



5:39pm: Biden spoke with Israel PM Netanyahu on Sunday 

US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, CNN reported.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier said Washington would announce new assistance for Israel on Sunday after Hamas fighters rampaged through Israeli towns, with the country suffering its bloodiest day in decades on Saturday.

5:30pm: French national killed in Israel, says foreign ministry

One French citizen has been killed as a result of the attacks in Israel, a spokesperson for the French foreign ministry said on Sunday.

Israel battered Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday after Hamas fighters rampaged through Israeli towns, with hundreds killed on both sides and spiralling violence threatening a major new Middle East war.

4:42pm: 'Today's focus has been on the hostages in Gaza' 

"Today's focus has been on the hostages in Gaza because [. . .] it's chaos," said FRANCE 24's correspondent in Jerusalem Irris Makler, who described a phoning programme where people were calling in and describing their loved ones, asking 'has anyone seen them', giving a phone number, and each one repeating like a mantra: 'the authorities haven't contacted me'."


4:42pm: Erdogan urges Israel, Hamas 'to support peace'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday urged Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas "to support peace" and refrain from harming civilians.

"There is no good in (attacking) civilians," Erdogan said as all-out war raged around Gaza. "We are ready to do everything to reduce the tensions ... We invite all the actors to support peace."

4:19pm: Israel has right to defend itself against 'barbaric attacks', says Scholz

Israel has the right to defend itself against "barbaric attacks", German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday, after the Palestinian militant group Hamas's massive surprise assault. 

Israel also has the right "to protect its citizens and to pursue the attackers", he told a press conference, as the death toll surged to almost 1,000 since the attack was launched.

4:09pm: Netanyahu speaks with German, Ukraine, British leaders

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday spoke with the leaders of Germany, Ukraine, Italy and Britain, who all expressed support of Israel's right to defend itself "as much as it takes", said a statement from Netanyahu's office.

4:05pm: Iran's Raisi says his country supports the legitimate defense of Palestine 

Iran supports the legitimate defence of the Palestinian nation, said Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a statement on Sunday, according to Tasnim news agency, adding that "the Zionist regime and its supporters are responsible for instability in the region".

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas took Israel by surprise with the biggest attack in decades by gunmen who killed scores of people and brought hostages back into the Gaza Strip.

3:35pm: Poland to evacuate its citizens from Israel 

0 will send military planes to evacuate its citizens from Israel, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Sunday, a day after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel.

"We are sending air force transport planes to carry out the evacuation of Poles currently staying in Israel. Soldiers from our special forces will ensure loading protection and safety on board," Duda wrote on X social media platform.

Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said Poland was sending two C-130 Hercules planes to evacuate some 200 Poles from Ben Gurion Airport.

3:34pm: US says Saudi, Israel normalization efforts should continue

It is too soon to determine how the attack on Israel unfolded, what possible role Iran may have played, or whether the attack was meant to derail Saudi-Israeli normalization talks, U.S. Deputy National Security adviser Jon Finer told Fox News on Sunday.

"We think it would be in both countries' interests to continue to pursue this possibility," Finer said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday," referring to Saudi Arabia and Israel efforts to normalize their ties.

3:29pm: Gaza death toll in war with Israel rises to 370, says ministry

3:23pm: More than 20,000 Palestinians leave Gaza's border region, says UNRWA 

UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinians, said Sunday that more than 20,000 Palestinians had left Gaza's border region to head further inside the territory and take refuge in UN schools. 

3:27pm: Disrupting Saudi-Israel ties may have motivated Hamas attack, Blinken says

Disrupting a potential normalization of ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia could certainly be part of the motivation for the latest attack on Israel by Hamas, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told US media on Sunday.

The United States has also taken note of reports of several Americans killed in Israel and Washington is looking to verify the details and figures, Blinken added in his interview on Sunday with CNN.

3:20pm: US 'likely' to give details on new military assistance for Israel later Sunday, says Blinken

The United States, a close ally and major supplier of arms to Israel, could announce later Sunday new military support for the country following the Hamas attack, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

"We're looking at specific additional requests that the Israelis have made. I think you're likely to hear more about that later today," Blinken told CNN.

"President (Joe) Biden's direction was to make sure that we're providing Israel everything it needs in this moment to deal with the attacks from Hamas."

3:12pm: Major airlines cancel dozens of flights to Tel Aviv

Major airlines have cancelled dozens of flights to Tel Aviv this weekend after the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise large-scale attack against Israel.

American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates and Ryanair are among those pulling flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport.

However airport authorities did not stop commercial air links with Israel's second international airport at Eilat, a tourist destination on the Red Sea.

3:06pm: More than 100 held 'prisoner' by Hamas, says Israeli government

2:56pm: Two Ukrainians killed in Israel

Two Ukrainians have died during the latest escalation of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, a spokesperson for Ukraine's foreign ministry told AFP Sunday. 

"We have confirmed information about the deaths of two Ukrainian women in Israel. Both citizens had been living in the country for a long time," Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said, adding the consulate was in touch with the victims' relatives.

2:45pm: Iran's president speaks to Hamas, Islamic jihad leaders

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi spoke Sunday with leaders of Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, official media said, a day after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel.

"Raisi discussed the developments in Palestine in separate phone calls with Ziyad al-Nakhalah, secretary general of the Islamic Jihad Movement, and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the (Hamas) political bureau," state news agency IRNA reported, without giving further details. 

2:25pm: British man killed in Hamas attack in Israel, says family

A British man who was serving in the Israeli army died in the attack by Hamas militants, his family said on Sunday, as another man was reported missing.

Nathanel Young, 20, "was killed on the Gaza border yesterday" a family Facebook post said.

Young, who was originally from north London, had been living in accommodation for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers in Raanana, north of Tel Aviv, the Jewish News added.

2:17pm: Israeli media say death toll from Hamas's wide-ranging incursion has risen to 600

Several Israeli media outlets are reporting that the death toll from Hamas’ wide-ranging incursion into Israel has risen to 600. 

The Kan public broadcaster and Channel 12, as well as the Haaretz and Times of Israel newspapers, reported the toll Sunday. 

1:48pm: Israel's envoy to Turkey says it's too early to talk mediation, calls for end of Hamas presence

Israel's Ambassador to Turkey, Irit Lillian, said on Sunday that it was too early to talk about mediation offers between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas, adding the attacks showed that Hamas should not have any presence in Turkey or elsewhere.

In an online briefing with journalists afterwards, Turkey said it was in contact with all parties and stood ready to de-escalate.

Lillian said Israel's priority was its response to the attack. "Mediation comes at a different point of time. Right now, we are unfortunately counting the dead, we are trying to heal the wounded, we don't even know what is the number of the citizens abducted," she said.

"We want to see all the abducted people coming home and we want quiet and calmness coming back to Israel and the region," she added. "After that, we can talk about mediation and who are going to be the players in this mediation."

The conflict comes as Turkey, which has backed Palestinians in the past, hosted members of Hamas, and supported a two-state solution to the conflict, works to repair ties with Israel after years of animosity.

Ankara does not consider Hamas a terrorist organisation.

1:41pm: Missing British man 'in Gaza' after surprise Hamas attack, says envoy

A British man "is in Gaza" following kidnappings by Hamas in an assault on Israel, the country's ambassador to Britain said on Sunday.

"I know there is one British citizen who is in Gaza at the moment," Tzipi Hotovely told Sky News, without clarifying if he was believed to have been kidnapped. "The Israeli government is doing everything we can to help those who are held hostage and every citizen who is taken is returned," she said.

The ambassador did not name the missing man but the mother of Jake Marlowe, 26, who moved to Israel from Britain two years ago, said she had not heard from her son since the attack. 

She said he had been providing security at the rave party in the desert near Kibbutz Reim close to the Gaza border that was attacked.

"He is missing, we don't know for sure that he is taken hostage or dead or in a hospital," said an embassy spokesperson.

1:06pm: Hezbollah tells Palestinian militants 'our guns and rockets are with you'

Senior Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine said his group's "guns and rockets" were with Palestinian militants who carried out a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday that left 250 Israelis dead.

"Our history, our guns and our rockets are with you. Everything we have is with you," Safieddine said at an event in the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahieh on Beirut's outskirts in solidarity with the Palestinian fighters.

1:02pm: British citizen missing after Hamas attack on music festival in Israel

A British citizen is missing after the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked a music festival near Gaza, Israel's embassy in the United Kingdom said on Sunday.

Jake Marlowe, 26, went missing early on Saturday, the embassy said.

His mother, Lisa, told Jewish News that he was providing security at a party and that she had last heard from her son via text message.

"He was doing security at this rave and called me at 4:30am to say all these rockets were flying over," she said. "Then, at about 5:30am, he texted to say, 'signal very bad, everything OK, will keep you updated I promise you,' and that he loves me."

Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, told Sky News earlier that a British citizen was in Gaza.

But she did not identify the name of the individual. "I know that Israel is doing everything to make sure all the people being kept hostage at the moment in the hands of Hamas will be released," she said.

12:47pm: France strengthens security around synagogues, Jewish schools

Security has been stepped up around synagogues and Jewish schools in France in light of this weekend's attacks on Israel by the Islamist group Hamas, French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne said on Sunday.

"We have stepped up security at places of worship and at the schools," Borne told BFM TV.

"There is no specific threat at this stage, but we will remain extremely vigilant," she added.

12:21pm: Air France flights to Tel Aviv suspended, says French prime minister

Air France has suspended its flights to Tel Aviv following Saturday's attack on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

"Air France has suspended its flights for the time being," French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne told BFM TV on Sunday.

12:17pm: Arab League chief heads to Moscow for talks after Hamas attack on Israel

Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit headed to Moscow on Sunday for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the situation in Gaza after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas launched the biggest attack on Israel in years.

Aboul Gheit, who served as Egypt’s foreign minister during the final seven years of Hosni Mubarak’s rule, will discuss the "ongoing escalation in the Gaza Strip," said a spokesman for the Cairo-based league of Arab states.

After Hamas's attack on Saturday, Russia expressed grave concern, calling on both Palestinian and Israeli sides to cease violence and blamed the West for blocking the Middle East Quartet.

Moscow said that a proper negotiation was necessary to provide for the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the borders of 1967 with a capital in East Jerusalem.

12:15pm: Pope calls for end to attacks in Israel-Gaza war

Pope Francis called for an end to attacks and violence in Israel on Sunday, saying terrorism and war would not solve any problems, but only bring further suffering and death to innocent people.

"War is a defeat, only a defeat. Let's pray for peace in Israel and Palestine," the pope said in his weekly address to the faithful in St. Peter's Square.

On Saturday, a multi-pronged attack by Palestinian gunmen on Israeli towns left at least 250 Israelis dead, with more than 300 Palestinians killed in Israel's retaliatory bombardment.

11:29am: Two Israeli tourists, one Egyptian shot dead in Alexandria

Two Israeli tourists and their Egyptian guide were shot dead on Sunday in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, the Israeli foreign ministry said.

A policeman alleged to have carried out the shooting in the Sawari district of Alexandria was in custody, two Egyptian security sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

One Egyptian was injured in the shooting, the first such attack on Israelis in Egypt in decades. The Egyptian interior ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

The shooting happened one day after an attack against Israel by Islamist group Hamas, for which Israel vowed "mighty vengeance" in response. Hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis have been killed.

11:21am: Israel expected 'stronger condemnation' of Hamas from China, says Beijing embassy official

Israel expected to see a "stronger condemnation" of Hamas from China, a country it views as its friend, Yuval Waks, a senior official at the Israeli embassy in Beijing, said on Sunday.

"When people are being murdered, slaughtered in the streets, this is not the time to call for a two-state solution," Waks told reporters.

China's foreign ministry earlier on Sunday urged the relevant parties to remain calm and immediately end the hostilities to protect civilians, adding that "the fundamental way out of the conflict lies in implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent State of Palestine".

11:19am: Palestinian Authority calls for emergency Arab League meeting

The Palestinian Authority submitted a memorandum on Sunday calling for an emergency Arab League meeting at the foreign ministerial level, according to WAFA, the Palestinian news agency.

The request for the meeting comes in light of the "brutal and ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, including the escalation of the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by thousands of settlers", WAFA quoted Arab League Ambassador Muhannad Al Aklouk as saying.

11:10am: Hamas may be holding a 26-year-old Franco-Israeli 

The Palestinian militant group Hamas may have kidnapped a 26-year-old French-Israeli man on Saturday morning after launching their unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel, said French politician Meyer Habib on Sunday, who represents the Eighth constituency for French residents overseas, which includes Israel. 

"A 26-year-old Frenchman, Avidan T, from Bordeaux, was probably kidnapped in southern Israel by Hamas while attending the music festival," a rave party in the desert targeted by the assailants, Habib said on X, formerly Twitter.  

"He may be being held by the terrorists. His family, his father, with whom I spoke at length, have not heard from him" since Saturday morning, he added.

10:10am: Israel says it will evacuate residents near Gaza within 24 hours

Israel's army said Sunday it aims to evacuate all Israelis living close to the Gaza Strip within 24 hours as it deployed tens of thousands of soldiers to fight Palestinian militants who had infiltrated into Israel.

"Our mission for the upcoming 24 hours is to evacuate all residents living around Gaza," military spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters, adding that fighting was still on to "rescue hostages" held by militants in Israel.

"There are tens of thousands of combat soldiers in the area. We'll reach each and every community till we kill every terrorist in Israel."

9:43am: Gaza death toll in war with Israel rises to 313, says ministry

The death toll in the Gaza Strip rose to 313 Sunday, the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said, as the army carried out air strikes on Hamas targets for the second consecutive day.

The Hamas-controlled ministry said another 1,990 people had been wounded in the fighting that began on Saturday after Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel in a surprise dawn assault. 

9:38am: Israeli military official says 'hundreds of terrorists' killed, dozens captured in Hamas battles

An Israeli military official says "hundreds of terrorists" have been killed and dozens captured amid ongoing fighting with Hamas militants in Gaza and southern Israel. 

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari spoke to reporters on Sunday, more than 24 hours after the Palestinian militant group launched an unprecedented assault into Israel, killing hundreds of people and taking captives back into blockaded Gaza as the group launched thousands of rockets. 

Israel is battling militants in the south and launching air strikes across Gaza that have leveled buildings.

8:36am: Qassam brigades says its fighters are still engaged inside Israel

Hamas's armed wing said on Sunday that its fighters are still engaged in fierce clashes in several sites inside Israel.

The statement by Qassam Brigades said fighting continues in several areas bordering the Gaza Strip including Ofakim, Sderot, Yad Mordechai, Kfar Azza, Be'eri, Yatid and Kissufim.

7:51am: Indonesia calls for an end to Israeli-Palestinian violence

Indonesia, a long-time supporter of the Palestinian cause, said on Sunday it was deeply concerned about the escalation of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians and called for the violence to end.

"Indonesia is deeply concerned with the escalation of conflict between Palestine and Israel. Indonesia urges the immediate end of violence to avoid further human casualties," the Indonesian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Indonesia has consistently voiced support for the Palestinian struggle to gain independence. 

"The root of the conflict, namely the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel, must be resolved, in accordance with the parameters agreed upon by the UN," the statement said. 

The world's most populous Muslim-majority nation has also said it had no interest in opening diplomatic ties with Israel. 

7:22am: Hezbollah claims rocket, artillery attack on Israeli-occupied Shebaa farms

The armed group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a rocket and artillery attack on the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms on Sunday, saying it was "in solidarity" with the Palestinian people.

The group said in a written statement that the attack targeted three posts including a "radar site" in the Shebaa Farms, a slice of land occupied by Israel since 1967 that Lebanon has claimed as its own.

Israel responded on Sunday with artillery fire on southern Lebanon.

7:12am: Israeli military says at least 26 soldiers killed in unprecedented Hamas attack on country’s south

Israel’s military said Sunday at least 26 soldiers have been killed in an unprecedented attack by the Hamas militant group on the country’s south.

The figure is part of a death toll of over 300 people, the deadliest attack against Israelis in decades.

6:57am: Israeli army fires artillery on southern Lebanon

The Israeli army said it fired artillery on southern Lebanon on Sunday in response to a shot from the area.

"Israeli artillery is in the process of striking the area of Lebanon from which a shot was fired," said a statement, which was issued shortly before 7:30am (04:30 GMT) and did not give any further details about the attack.

5:40am: China says 'deeply concerned' over 'escalation' of violence between Israel, Palestinians

China said on Sunday it was "deeply concerned" by the weekend's dramatic escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, urging all sides to show "calm".

"China is deeply concerned about the current escalation of tension and violence between Palestine and Israel," Beijing's foreign ministry said.

Beijing "calls on all parties concerned to remain calm and exercise restraint, cease fire immediately, protect civilians and prevent further deterioration of the situation", it said.

China said Sunday that "the repeated clashes between Palestine and Israel fully demonstrate that the long-term stagnation of the peace process is unsustainable".

"The fundamental way out of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the implementation of the 'two-state solution' and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state," it added.

4:15am: Israel faces a 'long and difficult war', warns Netanyahu

In a televised address Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who earlier declared Israel to be at war, said the military will use all of its strength to destroy military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

But he warned, “This war will take time. It will be difficult."

“All the places that Hamas hides in, operates from, we will turn them into ruins," he added.

“Get out of there now," he told Gaza residents, who have no way to leave the tiny, overcrowded Mediterranean territory of 2.3 million people.

3:58am: Accepting Israeli security demands will not bring peace to region, says Hamas leader in Lebanon

Osama Hamdan, the leader of Hamas in Lebanon, told Reuters that Saturday's operation should make Arab states realise that accepting Israeli security demands would not bring peace.

"For those who want stability and peace in the region, the starting point must be to end the Israeli occupation," he said. "Some (Arab states) unfortunately started imagining that Israel could be the gateway for America to defend their security."

The Hamas attack was praised by Iran and by Hezbollah, Iran's Lebanese allies.

1:10am: Israel will cut off supplies to Gaza, says Netanyahu's office

The Israeli military later released an Arabic-language video warning Gazans to leave their homes in targeted areas of the dense coastal enclave.

In Gaza, much of the population was thrown into darkness after nightfall as electrical supplies from Israel – which supplies almost all the territories’ power – were cut off.

Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that Israel would stop supplying electricity, fuel and goods to Gaza.

Israeli troops were still clashing with Hamas fighters in some parts of southern Israel. In a briefing on social media, an Israeli army spokesperson said the situation was not fully under control.

1:08am: The Republican field is blaming Joe Biden for dealing with Iran after Hamas' attack on Israel

Former President Donald Trump and other GOP contenders tried to lay blame on the Biden administration after Hamas militants launched the deadliest attack on Israel in decades, citing a $6 billion transfer to Iran that administration officials insisted Saturday had yet to be spent.

“The Hamas terrorist invasion of Israeli territory and the murder of Israeli soldiers today and the brutal murder of citizens is an act of savagery that must and will be crushed," Trump said at an appearance in Waterloo, Iowa.

Trump, like others, directly blamed the $6 billion – “American taxpayer dollars helped fund these attacks,” he said in an earlier statement – and argued that, under Biden, the US is perceived as being “weak and ineffective” on the global stage, opening the door to hostility.

“They didn’t have that level of aggression with me. They didn’t have it. This would have never happened with me either,” Trump claimed, adding later in Cedar Rapids that Biden had “betrayed Israel" with the deal.

00:40am: US says 'too early' to tell if Iran directly involved in Hamas attack on Israel

A senior White House official said Saturday it was "too early to say" whether Israel's arch foe Iran was "directly involved" in the large-scale attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas.

However, there was "no doubt Hamas is funded, equipped and armed by Iran and others", he added, as the conflict between the two sides escalated to its bloodiest point in decades.

00:35am: US-Israel discussions on military aid 'very much under way', says White House official

Talks with Israel on providing US military assistance are "very much under way", a White House senior official said Saturday, following the surprise large-scale attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The official indicated an announcement by Washington was possible as early as Sunday, but noted that the situation in Congress – where the lower chamber currently lacks a leader – will complicate the matter.

There is "probably is a role for Congress here and without speaker of the House, that is a unique situation we're going to have to work through", he said.

FRANCE 24's Fraser Jackson reports from Washington DC

00:30am: Saudi FM speaks with Blinken to urge halt to violence in and around Gaza

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan has spoken to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to urge a halt to the violence in and around Gaza.

A Saudi Foreign Ministry statement released late Saturday says the two discussed “the necessity of working towards an immediate halt to the escalation".

Prince Faisal emphasized “the kingdom’s rejection of the targeting of civilians and the need for all sides to respect international humanitarian law".

The Saudis have been in talks with the White House over potentially forging diplomatic relations with Israel. Those efforts have been thrown into question by the unprecedented incursion into Israel launched by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Saturday.

00:22am: Blinken speaks with Egypt to seek 'immediate halt' to Hamas assault

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Saturday with Egypt, a key intermediary between Israel and Hamas, to seek an immediate end to the offensive by the militants, the State Department said.

In a telephone call with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Blinken raised "the urgency in achieving an immediate halt to the appalling assault by Hamas terrorists against Israel", State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

00:12am: US says it is working with others to prevent Gaza conflict from spreading

The United States is working with other governments to make sure the crisis does not spread and is contained to Gaza following a deadly Hamas attack in Israel, a senior Biden administration official said on Saturday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also said the US did not have any information at the moment to determine that Iran was involved in the "specific" assault in Israel, even though Tehran's long-standing support for Hamas was well known.

The official said the US was looking closely at the issue.

Key developments from Saturday, October 7

More than 200 Israelis were killed on Saturday as Hamas militants carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel at daybreak, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land and sea and catching the country off guard on a major holiday.

At least 232 people have been killed and 1,610 wounded in Gaza, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was at "war" with Palestinian militant group Hamas after barrages of rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Saturday.

The total number of Israelis captured by Hamas in a surprise attack on Israeli towns on Saturday was "several times greater" than dozens, a spokesperson for the armed wing of Hamas said in a recording aired shortly after midnight on Sunday. The spokesman said those taken captive were spread throughout all areas of the Gaza Strip.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and Reuters)

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