The death toll from the conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas topped 1,100 as fighting continued for a third day. Israel has broadly pointed the finger at Iran, which has denied involvement.
(Bloomberg) — The death toll from the conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas topped 1,100 as fighting continued for a third day. Israel has broadly pointed the finger at Iran, which has denied involvement.
Oil jumped on Monday on fears the worst attack on Israel in decades could roil the wider Middle East, home to almost a third of global supply. The shekel dropped, even after the central bank plans unveiled an unprecedented $45 billion program to shore it up, while Israeli stocks have dived.
The operation by Hamas, which included taking scores of Israeli hostages, is Israel’s worst military and intelligence failure in 50 years. Western officials have said they’ve not yet seen evidence that Iran was directly involved. The US is sending a carrier group and weapons to the region and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized China for not showing Israel enough support.
All time stamps Israel.
Xi to Meet Schumer, US Senators (12 pm)
Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with a delegation of US senators in Beijing on Monday, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier in the day criticized Beijing’s response to Hamas’ incursion into Israel.
“I was very disappointed, to be honest, by the foreign ministry’s statement that showed no sympathy or support for Israel during these tough, troubled times,” Schumer said during a meeting with China’s top diplomat in Beijing on Monday. “I urge you and the Chinese people to stand with the Israeli people and condemn these cowardly and vicious attacks.”
Iran Says It Wasn’t Involved (11:15 am)
Iran rejected claims it was involved in Hamas attacks, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported, citing Ali Karimi-Maqam, a member of Tehran’s delegation to the United Nations.
“We stand at Palestine’s side in firm support out of sympathy,” he said. “But we have no role in Palestine’s response, because it is done purely by Palestine itself.”
Shekel, Israeli Bonds Slide (10:58 am)
The shekel and Israel’s government bonds bore the brunt of the market impact from the attack by Hamas over the weekend, with scattered impact on emerging-market assets globally.
The shekel slid as much as 2%, only briefly paring the losses as the central bank stepped in to supply dollar liquidity. Israel’s and Lebanon’s dollar bonds declined the most among emerging markets, with Israel’s 2120 “century bond” dropping to a record low. Israel’s stocks gained after after posting their worst drop since March 2020 on Sunday.
Iran Warns of ‘Destructive Response’ (10:39 am)
“Any foolish move against Iran will be met by Iran’s destructive response,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani says in press conference when asked to respond to “threats” from unspecified Israeli officials and US senators. Palestinians have legitimate right to push back Israeli attacks and occupation, he said.
US Embassy in Lebanon Tells Citizens to ‘Exercise Caution’ (9:24 am)
The US embassy in Beirut instructed its citizens through the region to exercise caution as “situation in Israel continues to be unpredictable,” it said on its account on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Israel Fighting More Incursions From Gaza (9 am)
Hundreds of Hamas militants are still trying to infiltrate southern Israel through breaches in the security fence, the Israeli army said.
Hostage situations inside Israel are continuing, in particular in one community, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Doron Spielman told Bloomberg Radio.
The reported Iranian role in plotting Saturday’s attacks is consistent with Iran’s funding for Palestinian militant groups and contacts between them, according to the IDF spokesman. “You can connect the dots,” he said.
More Than 123,500 Displaced in Gaza, UN Says (9:00 am)
A total of 123,538 Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza due to the violence, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The UN estimates about 73,500 of that number are sheltering in schools, some of them designated emergency shelters. Airstrikes and shelling by Israeli forces have targeted houses and apartment buildings, OCHA said in an update. Four large residential towers in Gaza city were completely destroyed, with no fatalities reported from the incidents, it said.
The agency also reported six health-care workers were killed in strikes that also damaged seven health-care facilities.
Iran Congratulates Hamas on ‘Victory’ (8:41 am)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi issued a message congratulating Hamas on its “victory.”
He called the attack “the manifestation of resistance against the flimsy zionist regime” in comments to the Iranian cabinet published by the government account on X.
Israel Still Fighting in ‘Volatile’ South (8:30 am)
The situation in the south of Israel remains volatile, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht, an Israeli military spokesman, said Monday. Israeli forces have hit more than 1,000 targets in Gaza, including rocket launching sites, and four combat divisions have been mobilized.
“We are still fighting,” he said. “There are seven to eight places near Gaza where we have warriors fighting terrorists. It is taking us more time than we expected.” Israeli forces have killed hundreds of Hamas fighters in Israel and Gaza, but the presence of hostages and missing civilians has forced the engagements to be more surgical and slower, he said.
He said the arrival of the US fleet was not aimed at events in Gaza but at the risk of anti-Israel forces elsewhere, such as in Lebanon and Syria, from joining in.
UAE Warns On Regional Risks (8:15 am)
The United Arab Emirates called for de-escalation of the violence and stressed the need for an international diplomatic effort to “prevent a wider regional confrontation” that risks wider instability and spillover, including the involvement by other groups.”
The UAE’s ministry of foreign affairs also stressed the need to continue with regional peace efforts. It called on the Palestinians and Israelis to return to negotiations for a final settlement within the parameters of the two state solution, according to a statement posted online.
At Least Four Americans Killed: Schumer (6:25 am)
At least four Americans have been killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement following an unclassified briefing.
“Sadly, we know the toll will rise,” he said, adding that the US was keeping all pressure on Iran and their proxies to ensure the situation does not turn into a regional conflagration.
China Calls for Ceasefire (6:17 am)
China called for an “immediate ceasefire” and reiterated support for an independent Palestinian state.
“The recurrence of the conflict shows once again that the protracted standstill of the peace process cannot go on,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement Sunday. It repeated Beijing’s support for a “two-state solution.”
Oil Soars on Middle East Tensions (4:08 am)
Oil initially rose 5% as Hamas’ surprise attacks on Israel threatened to inflame tensions in the Middle East, home to almost a third of global supply.
West Texas Intermediate traded near $87 a barrel as a war-risk premium returned to markets.
The latest events in Israel don’t pose an immediate threat to oil supply, but there’s a risk the conflict could spiral into a more devastating proxy war, embroiling the US and Iran. Any retaliation against Tehran amid reports it was involved in the attacks could endanger the passage of vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital conduit that Iran has previously threatened to close.
–With assistance from Galit Altstein, Ethan Bronner, Alisa Odenheimer, Gwen Ackerman and Marissa Newman.
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