Israel vowed to wipe Hamas “off the face of the Earth” as its new unity government signaled a major ground offensive soon. The assault by the militant group since the weekend has killed some 1,200 people in Israel. In Gaza, at least 1,200 people have been killed in reprisal attacks.
(Bloomberg) — Israel vowed to wipe Hamas “off the face of the Earth” as its new unity government signaled a major ground offensive soon. The assault by the militant group since the weekend has killed some 1,200 people in Israel. In Gaza, at least 1,200 people have been killed in reprisal attacks.
“I say here, to everyone — we will wipe out this thing called Hamas,” Defense Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The address came hours after Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed to Israel to show US support.
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All time stamps are Israeli time.
Gaza Displacement Accelerates (6:50 a.m.)
About 1,200 people have died in Gaza and 5,600 others wounded, a health ministry spokesperson said, while mass displacement continues.
The total number of displaced people increased by 30% over the past 24 hours, now totaling 338,934. Of this, over two thirds are taking shelter in UNRWA schools, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
DeSantis Lashes Out at Trump Over Israel remarks (6:47 a.m.)
Donald Trump is drawing criticism from Ron DeSantis, a rival for the Republican presidential nomination, over comments on Israel.
Trump at a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida on Wednesday night said Hamas would never have carried out the assault under his watch and condemned the violence that was mostly inflicted on Israeli civilians.
Blinken to Meet Abbas, Jordan’s King (6:30 a.m.)
Palestinian President Abbas will meet the King Abdullah in Jordan Thursday and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday to discuss the situation in Gaza, Palestinian authorities said.
Israel Targets Hamas Leaders, Infrastructure (4:45 a.m.)
Israel Defense Forces are prioritizing strikes on Hamas commanders and officials as well as its intelligence and financial infrastructure within the Gaza Strip, spokesman Jonathan Conricus said in a video briefing on the X social media platform.
He added there are about 300,000 members of Israel’s ground forces positioned nearby and they are “making preparations for the next stage of the war, which will come when the timing is opportune and fit for our purposes.”
There are “extensive” attacks currently happening on many Hamas locations, the IDF also said in a separate social media post.
China Envoy Expected to Speak to Israel (4:40 a.m.)
China’s special envoy on Middle East issues is expected to speak Thursday with Israeli officials, according to Israel’s Ambassador to China.
China has so far avoided blaming any party for the violence and repeated its support for independent Palestinian statehood as part of a two-state solution. Beijing said it’s a friend to both sides, but its refusal to condemn the violence from Hamas risks upsetting Israel, a key trade and technological partner.
Read: China Middle East Envoy Expected to Speak to Israel on Thursday
Iran Knew Attack Plans But Not Timing, WSJ Says (3:03 a.m.)
A preliminary unclassified assessment by US intelligence agencies shows Iran had some indication Hamas was planning an attack against Israel but Tehran didn’t know the timing or scale of the assault, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The assessment also said US intelligence agencies have not yet reached a definitive conclusion on whether some in Iran may have been aware of what was being considered or helped direct the assault, the paper reported.
Iran likely knew Hamas was planning the attacks, but the US has no confirmation Tehran was involved in the preparations, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at a White House briefing. “Hamas wouldn’t have been able to function at all had it not been for propping up by the Iranian regime,” he added.
Biden Condemns Hamas in Call With UAE Leader (1:05 a.m.)
President Joe Biden condemned “Hamas’s terror” and warned against “anyone who might seek to exploit the current situation in Israel” during a call with United Arab Emirates leader Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the White House said.
The two leaders also spoke about “the importance of ensuring humanitarian assistance reaches those in need.” The UAE signed the Abraham Accords with Israel in 2020.
Biden has conducted a series of calls with leaders in Europe and the Middle East seeking to rally support for Israel.
Netanyahu: Every Hamas Member is a ‘Dead Man’ (12 a.m.)
Netanyahu described the horror of the weekend attack as he vowed to “crush and destroy” Hamas.
Benny Gantz, the leader of an opposition party, foreshadowed the looming ground campaign. There is a time for war and time for peace,” Gantz said. “Now is time for war.”
Blinken Heads to Israel, Fate of Hostages Unclear (9:45 p.m.)
Blinken took off for Tel Aviv, saying the point of his trip, which may include other stops in the region, is to show the US has Israel’s support at a time of crisis.
The US is also investigating the fate of the at least 17 Americans who remain unaccounted for following the attacks. The White House is only aware of a “very small” number who are believed to be hostages, spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday.
The US has not received proof of life regarding the suspected hostages and does not know where they are, Kirby added.
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