Israel Latest: Over 1,100 Dead as Conflict Enters Third Day

The death toll from the conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas has topped 1,100 as fighting enters a third day.

(Bloomberg) — The death toll from the conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas has topped 1,100 as fighting enters a third day. 

Oil jumped on fears the worst attack on Israel in decades could roil the wider Middle East, home to almost a third of global supply. Israel has pointed the finger at Iran but Western officials have been reluctant to publicly say Tehran was directly involved.

The Israeli central bank plans to sell foreign exchange for the first time as part of a $45 billion program to support the shekel, which dropped on Monday. The operation by Hamas, which included taking scores of Israeli hostages, is Israel’s worst military and intelligence failure in 50 years. The US is sending a carrier group and weapons to the region.

All time stamps Israel.

Iran Congratulates Hamas on ‘Victory’ (08:41am)

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, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Israel Says Still Fighting in ‘Volatile’ South (8:30 a.m.)

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 Wider Regional Confrontation Risk (8:15 a.m.)

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.

Israel Central Bank To Sell FX (8.10 a.m.)

The Bank of Israel said it will sell as much as $30 billion as part of a program to support markets following the attack.

The central bank will operate in the market during the coming period in order to smooth out volatility in the shekel’s exchange rate and provide the necessary liquidity, a statement Monday said. 

The shekel slipped 1.8% to 3.9146 per dollar, the weakest in seven years.

At Least Four Americans Killed: Schumer (6:25 a.m.)

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 a.m.)

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 a.m.)

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. 

IDF Says About 1,000 Militants Involved in Attack (2:55 a.m.)

Approximately 1,000 militants participated in the attacks in Israel, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson says in a live video on X, formerly known as Twitter.

More than 2,100 Israelis wounded. A high number of critically wounded “may not make it.”

Dollar Rises as Traders Seek Havens (2:07 a.m.)

The dollar strengthened against most of its major peers from the Asian open as currency traders got their first chance to react to a shock attack by Hamas within Israel.

The greenback — seen as a haven in times of trouble — advanced at least 0.2% versus the euro and pound, while risk currencies such as the Aussie and kiwi weakened. 

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