Israel Latest: Military Builds Forces Near Gaza as US Sends Aid

The conflict between Israel and militant group Hamas entered its fourth day, with at least 1,500 fatalities so far. Overnight, Israel struck the Gaza Strip and is now building a base to accommodate thousands of soldiers in preparation for the next phase of its retaliation.

(Bloomberg) — The conflict between Israel and militant group Hamas entered its fourth day, with at least 1,500 fatalities so far. Overnight, Israel struck the Gaza Strip and is now building a base to accommodate thousands of soldiers in preparation for the next phase of its retaliation.

The country will respond “very severely and aggressively,” a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday, echoing comments from Benjamin Netanyahu. While the prime minister didn’t announce a ground invasion, many Israelis and Palestinians expect one. Iran’s supreme leader warned against such a move.

Israel’s mass and rapid mobilization means the military is stretched for equipment, and the US said security assistance and aid is on the way. President Joe Biden said at least 11 Americans had died and others were likely being held hostage. Hamas said late Monday the militant group was prepared to kill hostages. 


All time stamps are for Israel

Israeli, Palestinian Foreign Ministers Invited to EU Meeting (1:04pm)

The European Union’s foreign affairs chief asked Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to join an emergency meeting of EU ministers on Tuesday. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki was also invited to speak to the group, Josep Borrell said in a post on X.

Israel Builds Up Forces Near Gaza for Next Phase of Conflict

Iran is Key to Whether Conflict Roils Oil Market (1 p.m.)

“The road to an oil crisis leads through Iran,” Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group and a former White House official, told Bloomberg television on Thursday. “Right now, our odds are about 20% — but with risks skewed sharply higher — that this will affect oil in a material way.”

“Secondarily, you’ve got to watch Lebanon and Hezbollah. Other than a formal accusation of Iranian complicity, an expansion of the conflict in Lebanon is how this thing could spread and become a major oil and LNG issue.”

Hamas Leader Says Will Only Discuss Hostage Situation After War Ends (12:57pm)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the group “informed all parties that contacted us” regarding hostages that “this file will not be discussed before the end of the battle,” according to a statement. It “will only be at a price that the resistance will accept,” he said.

He urged other “resistance groups” to join Hamas’s fight.

Egypt’s state-run Ahram Online website on Monday reported the country was working to facilitate a prisoner-exchange deal, looking to secure the release of Palestinian women and children held by Israel in return for that of Israeli “civilian women” taken by Hamas. It cited people it didn’t identify.

Number of Palestinians Displaced in Gaza Rises to 180,000 (11:59pm)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency said 180,000 people had now been internally displaced in Gaza due to the violence. Some 137,500 are sheltering in 83 UNRWA schools.

Israel Expects Gaza to Lose Electricity Within Days (11:47am)

Energy Minister Israel Katz says he expected electricity in Gaza to completely cut within days, with local suppliers disabled. Electricity supply coming from Israel has already been shut down. Water is likely to cut within a week, once pumping wells are emptied, he said.

Khamenei Warns Against Attacks on Gaza (11:23am)

“The massacre and mass killing of the people of Gaza will bring a greater calamity” on Israel, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said at a military graduation ceremony. “They should know that the reaction to these atrocities will be a heavier slap”

Khamenei repeated his country’s denial of involvement in the attacks, and said the Hamas operation was a response to Israeli “crimes.” 

“The incumbent government of the Israeli regime is the culprit,” he said. “Of course, we defend Palestine and their fight,” said Khamenei, who’s previously criticized Arab countries for normalizing ties with Israel.

Israel Builds Up Forces Near Gaza (10:01 a.m.)

The Israeli military is building a base next to the Gaza Strip to accommodate tens of thousands of soldiers. 

“Israel is going to respond very severely and aggressively and there will be more loss of life,” Richard Hecht, a spokesman for the Israeli military and lieutenant-colonel, told journalists in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. “We should all change the paradigm here. This is not tit for tat.”

The mass and rapid mobilization means the military is stretched for equipment, leaving some troops with older items, Hecht said. He warned there could be errors when it comes to hitting targets in Gaza.

Jordan Closes Bridge to West Bank (9:57 a.m.)

Jordan’s Public Security Directorate says it has closed the Allenby Bridge, which connects the West Bank to Jordan. The bridge is the sole designated exit and entry point into West Bank through Jordan.

Emirates Operating Flights to Israel (9:40 a.m.)

Dubai’s Emirates Airline said flights to and from Tel Aviv and Amman are operating as per schedule. “We continue to closely monitor the situation in Israel, and we are in close contact with the relevant authorities regarding developments,” the airline said. 

The three major US airlines this week halted flights with Israel, while some Middle Eastern and European carriers have continued to give passengers an exit route from the developing war. 

Oil and Shekel Stabilize (8:15 a.m.)

The Israeli shekel was little changed in early trading on Tuesday, rising to 3.94 per dollar. It slumped on Monday despite a huge support package announced by the central bank.

Israel’s $45 Billion Shekel Defense Is Tested in Market Showdown

Oil fell slightly, with Brent trading at $87.80 a barrel. It jumped a day earlier on fears the conflict could embroil major energy producers in the region such Iran and Saudi Arabia.

How Hamas Outmaneuvered Israel (7 a.m.)

Facing one of the most sophisticated surveillance states on the planet, Hamas simply went dark. The militant group’s attack on Saturday caught Israel’s national security apparatus completely off guard — a shocking fact given the scope of the incursion, which included attacks by sea, air and land, and pushed deep into Israeli territory.

While many questions remain unanswered, what’s clear is that Hamas went low-tech, avoiding Israel’s ability to tap its communications, and even, perhaps, exploiting the Israeli Defense Forces’ confidence that its missile attacks could be repelled or prevented.

Conflict Tests Musk’s X (6:23 a.m.)

Posts about the attack in Israel have led to confusion, misinformation and conflict on Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, exposing how his acquisition and policy changes have transformed the social media site into an unreliable resource during a time of crisis, researchers said. Mike Rothschild, a conspiracy theory researcher who has studied viral falsehoods on social media, said that news of the attack on Israel was “the first real test of Elon Musk’s version of Twitter, and it failed spectacularly.

Meanwhile, hacking groups — including some tied to Russia — are attacking Israeli government and media websites, allying themselves with the Palestinian military group Hamas that launched a series of deadly attacks on the country over the weekend.

–With assistance from Gwen Ackerman, Alisa Odenheimer, Galit Altstein, Marissa Newman, Patrick Sykes and Arsalan Shahla.

More stories like this are available on

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.