Israel Latest: Air Raids on Gaza Intensify; US Sends Ammunition

Israel intensified air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza into a fifth day following the surprise attack by militants that left at least 1,200 Israelis dead.

(Bloomberg) — Israel intensified air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza into a fifth day following the surprise attack by militants that left at least 1,200 Israelis dead.

Some 900 have been killed in Gaza in reprisal attacks launched by Israel Defense Forces, which said its warplanes hit more than 450 targets in the last 24 hours. The first plane carrying advanced American ammunition arrived in Israel overnight, after US President Joe Biden vowed to provide full military and intelligence support.

The US is discussing safe passage for civilians in Gaza, while Israel’s military is building a base for thousands of soldiers in preparation for the next phase of its retaliation. Hamas, which the US and Europe have declared a terrorist group, said it was prepared to kill hostages if Israel attacks.


All time stamps are Israeli time.

Israel Offensive Continues With More Airstrikes in Gaza (9:37 a.m.)

IDF said it destroyed advanced detection systems used by Hamas to monitor Israeli aircraft, while warplanes hit areas that served as “terror hubs.”

Navy vessels and artillery struck targets in Khan Yunis and Gaza docks, killing a Hamas diver who attempted to infiltrate Israel.

Israeli authorities said they regained control of the Gaza border fence. However, there may still be infiltrators hiding out in Israel from Saturday’s incursion. 

China Envoy Backs Aid to Gaza in First Public Response to Crisis (7:12 a.m.) 

China’s special envoy for the Middle East called for humanitarian support for the Palestinian people in his first public response to the Hamas attack on Israel.

Zhai Jun, who has served as China’s special envoy on Middle East issues since 2019, made the call for aid in a telephone conversation with an official at Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry late on Tuesday.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping hasn’t spoken with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas since the conflict began, according to public statements.

US Discussing Safe Passage for Gaza Civilians (06:46 a.m.)

The US is discussing safe passage for civilians in Gaza with Israel and Egypt, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said at a briefing on Tuesday. 

“We are focused on this question, there are consultations ongoing,” he said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “The details of that are something that are being discussed among the — the operational agencies, and I don’t want to share too much of that publicly at this time.”

Death Toll in Gaza Reaches 900, Palestinian Authorities Say (06:30 a.m.)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said around 900 people, including 260 children, were killed in retaliatory attacks on Gaza by Israel. More than 4,500 others were wounded.

Israeli Death Toll Rises (5:58 a.m.)

IDF spokesman Lieutenant Jonathan Conricus said the “overwhelming majority” of the 1,200 Israeli fatalities were civilians. The count has risen as more bodies are found and not from new fighting, he said on the social media platform X.

“Sadly, something tells me that these numbers are not the final numbers,” he said in a video posted online. More than 2,700 people have been wounded so far, he added. 

Israel’s military deployed 300,000 reservists in different brigades and divisions close to the Gaza Strip, he said. They are “getting ready to execute the mission” that has been “given by the Israeli government to make sure that Hamas at the end of this war won’t have any military capabilities by which they can threaten or kill Israeli civilians.”

Israel Conducts New Counterstrike (5:11 a.m.)

Israeli jet fighters struck over 200 targets in the Al-Furqan neighborhood, Israel Defense Forces said in a social media post, calling the area a “hotspot from which Hamas devises and executes their attacks.” 

It was the third counterstrike in the area during the last 24 hours, in which 450 targets were struck, according to the post.

Biden, Netanyahu Discussed US Support (4:30 a.m.)

Biden spoke with Netanyahu on a call, according to a readout from the White House, and said support that arrived or would soon be on its way includes ammunition, Iron Dome interceptors and the world’s largest aircraft carrier. The two leaders agreed to speak again in the next few days. 

Read more: Biden Says US Rushing Military Aid to Israel Following Attack

Earlier, the American president said his administration will push for congressional approval of a new aid package soon. 

“In this moment, we must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel,” he said in a White House address. “This was an act of sheer evil,” he said of the weekend attack by Hamas.

Blinken Heads to Israel and Jordan (3:17 a.m.)

Blinken will travel to Israel and Jordan from Wednesday to Friday, the State Department said in a statement. 

Blinken wants to hear from Israel about what it needs and how to support the country, department spokesman Matthew Miller said at a news briefing. “The first tranche of security assistance is on its way and will arrive in the coming days, and more will follow,” he said.

Iran likely knew Hamas was planning the attacks, but the US has no confirmation Tehran was involved in the preparations, Miller said. 

Read more: What’s Hamas, the Militant Group That Attacked Israel: QuickTake

US Wants Qatar to Help With Hamas Hostage Talks (12:43 a.m.)

The US will encourage Qatar to help facilitate conversations with Hamas about the return of American hostages seized during the weekend incursion into Israel, the White House said.

“Qatar has access to Hamas that we certainly don’t have and the Israelis don’t have,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power.” At least 20 Americans remain unaccounted for, but the US has not yet determined how many are being held captive. Determining their location and condition of the Americans will likely prove difficult in the immediate future, Kirby said, because the US expects militants to move them around to avoid detection.

First American Ammunition Supplies Arrive (11:54 p.m.)

A plane carrying advanced armaments landed at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel late Tuesday. IDF said in an official message that Israel is grateful for the US backing and assistance during this challenging period.

Israel Responds to Fire From Syria With Artillery (11:30 p.m.)   

Israel’s military said it was responding with artillery and mortar shells in response to weapons fire from Syria. “Part of the launches crossed into Israeli territory and presumably fell in open areas,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a post on X, the former Twitter. 

Israel army radio said there were no reports of anyone wounded.

US Says No Confirmation Iran Planned Hamas Attack (10:00 p.m.)

The US has no confirmation that Iran planned or directed the Hamas attack on Saturday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.

“While Iran plays this broad role — a sustained deep and dark role — in providing all of this support and capabilities to Hamas,” Sullivan told reporters. “In terms of this particular gruesome attack on Oct. 7, we don’t currently have that information, we will continue to look for it.”

“We did not see anything that suggested an attack of this type was going to unfold any more than the Israelis,” he said.

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