Israeli jets hit more targets in Gaza as the nation vowed to wipe out Iran-backed Hamas following its attack on southern Israeli towns and communities on Saturday.
(Bloomberg) — Israeli jets hit more targets in Gaza as the nation vowed to wipe out Iran-backed Hamas following its attack on southern Israeli towns and communities on Saturday.
So far 97 hostages are known to have been taken from Israel by the militants and their families have been notified, the Israeli military said.
There’s a widespread expectation that Israel is preparing a ground assault on Gaza, which would likely lead to huge casualties. Still, markets are “discounting the possibility of a massive conflict throughout the Middle East for now,” economist Nouriel Roubini told Bloomberg Television.
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(All time stamps are Israeli time)
Rising Risks to World Economy (12:30 pm)
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said geopolitical risks, heightened by conflict in the Middle East, now represent the biggest threat to the world economy.
“Geopolitical tensions are the real economic risks now, and we’re all aware of that,” Le Maire said, speaking to reporters in Marrakech, Morocco at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. “Any escalation in the region would have, of course, significant impact on global growth on global prosperity.”
Israel Says It’s Breaking Hamas Rule in Gaza (12:11 p.m.)
The Israel Defense Forces are breaking down Hamas’s ability to rule in the Gaza Strip, said spokesman Daniel Hagari. “In certain areas, the organization can no longer rule and we will continue until this is the case throughout,” he said.
He said ISIS flags were found on the bodies of some of the attackers who participated in the Saturday incursion.
So far 97 hostages are known to have been taken from Israel and notices have been given to the families, he said.
Hagari clarified that there was no security incident in northern Israel last night, after there were rumours of militants coming in from Lebanon, including on paragliders. “There was a malfunction that was not the result of a cyber attack but of an incorrect interpretation by commanders while making decisions.”
Markets Discounting Wider Conflict (12:06 pm)
Markets are “discounting the possibility of a massive conflict throughout the Middle East for now,” economist Nouriel Roubini told Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua.
The market also expects Israel “has no choice but go into Gaza and get rid of Hamas,” he said. He also highlighted that higher oil prices would be a stagflationary shock and a “huge dilemma for central banks.”
Oil Market Keeps Close Watch Even Without Direct Disruption (12:02 p.m.)
There’s been no direct impact on oil supply from the conflict, but the market will still “remain on tenterhooks” as long as the fighting continues, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly report.
In Moscow, the top oil officials from Saudi Arabia and Russia made a public show of unity and reaffirmed their close cooperation at a major industry event. Comparing recent movements in crude prices to a yo-yo, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in an interview with Rossiya 24 state TV that “this market cannot be left unattended.”
Israel Targets Hamas Leaders Across Gaza (10:50 a.m.)
Israel is targeting Hamas’ political leaders in Gaza as well as military ones as it seeks to crush the Palestinian group that launched a brutal attack on its civilians last weekend, military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht said. Hamas’s elite Nukhba forces led the Saturday assault and the military’s focus is to hit that group’s command centers in Gaza, Hecht told reporters on Thursday.
He said a widely anticipated ground invasion has not yet been decided upon by the new emergency unity government announced last night, in which an opposition leader, Benny Gantz, joins Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition for the duration of the war.
The military is nonetheless preparing for such a move, he said, should it be ordered.
Israel Says Hamas Attack Worst Event for Jews Since Holocaust (10:38 a.m.)
Israeli Defense minister Yoav Gallant called Saturday’s incursion the worst event for Jewish people since 1945. In a video statement to NATO defence ministers he said: “make no mistake. 2023 is not 1942. We are the same Jews but we have different abilities.”
Gallant vowed to destroy Hamas, saying that “it will be a long and difficult war” and that “Israel is prepared to defend its citizens against any threat.” Over 100 people had been kidnapped from Israel, and that 5,000 rockets had been fired since Saturday from the Gaza strip to Israel, he said.
Blinken Arrives in Israel (10:10 a.m.)
“The United States has Israel’s back,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on the tarmac before departing Washington. The top US diplomat, who will be on the ground in Israel for less than a day, is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, as well as other senior officials.
Blinken will then continue on and visit other countries in the region as part of a broader diplomatic effort to ensure other countries and non-state actors don’t take advantage of Israel as it retaliates against Hamas, according to a senior State Department official who briefed reporters traveling with Blinken.
Palestinian President Abbas will meet King Abdullah in Jordan Thursday and Blinken on Friday to discuss the situation in Gaza, Palestinian authorities said.
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