Israel Latest: Musk’s Starlink Approached as Biden Readies Trip

Israel is in talks with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to set up a Starlink satellite network to bolster wartime communications. Authorities are working to allow civilians to exit Gaza through a crossing with Egypt.

(Bloomberg) — Israel is in talks with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to set up a Starlink satellite network to bolster wartime communications. Authorities are working to allow civilians to exit Gaza through a crossing with Egypt. 

Iran-backed Hezbollah said it launched attacks against several Israeli targets near the border with Lebanon. The Israeli military said it shelled Hezbollah positions and reported gunfire at army posts.

US President Joe Biden is set to travel to Israel Wednesday as a show of solidarity after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization by the US and European Union. The Israeli military struck the south of the Gaza Strip after ordering people to seek refuge there.

For more on the Israel-Hamas war, click here.

Scholz Pledges ‘Unwavering Support’ During Tel Aviv Visit (6:30 p.m.)

Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated Germany’s unwavering support for Israel at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following talks in Tel Aviv.

Scholz said the two leaders had discussed “improved humanitarian access” to Gaza and pledged that his government would work “to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population.” The German leader will travel on to Egypt for a meeting with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Wednesday.

Israel in Talks With Musk’s Starlink (4:37 p.m.)

Israel said on Tuesday it’s in talks with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to set up a Starlink satellite network to bolster wartime communications ahead of an expected ground incursion into the Gaza Strip.

The Communications Ministry said the network would allow Israeli towns near the frontlines to have continuous internet service. Israel is also weighing a possible cut-off of all internet and phone services in Gaza, the spokesman said.

Hezbollah Attacks Israeli Targets (4:26 p.m.)

Iran-backed Hezbollah said two of its members were killed during an operation against Israel while the Israeli military said that anti-tank missile from Lebanon wounded two of its reservists.

Hezbollah said that it launched attacks against several Israeli locations near the border including army posts, the group’s Al Manar TV reported.

Israel Defense Forces said they shelled Hezbollah positions and reported gunfire at army posts on the border.

Oil Steadies, Shekel Extends Slump (4:04 p.m.)

Oil steadied as the US intensified diplomatic efforts to contain the crisis in Gaza. The dollar strengthened, while Israel’s shekel remained under pressure as investors weighed the latest efforts to contain the war.

Some of the region’s other asset classes are drawing back investors.

US Sending Sailors and Marines, Washington Post Says (3:40 p.m.)

The US is sending an amphibious task force of thousands toward Israel where they’ll be positioned aboard warships in case the conflict with Hamas expands, Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

More than 4,000 sailors and Marines will join a growing US fleet off the coast of Israel that will include two aircraft carriers and their escort ships. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the US Department of Defense said it placed 2,000 personnel and a range of units on a heightened state of readiness in order to respond quickly to the evolving security situation in the Middle East, according to a statement. 

Biden to Attend Jordan Summit (2:20 p.m.)

Jordan’s King Abdullah will host a four-way summit in Amman on Wednesday with Biden, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the developments in Gaza, Jordan’s Royal Hashemite Court said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

King Abdullah warned German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday that thousands of innocent Palestinians are at risk if the war doesn’t end.

Israel Says Working to Allow Civilian Exit Through Rafah (11:28 a.m.)

Mark Regev, an adviser to Netanyahu, said Israel is working with international stakeholders to allow civilians to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing that connects the territory with Egypt. He didn’t elaborate on whether all civilians would be allows out or only foreign nationals.

The opening of Rafah “was supposed to happen yesterday. We worked with relevant parties to make that happen yesterday. But unfortunately, Hamas prevented that from happening and they closed their side of the closing,” Regev told Bloomberg Radio. 

Aid Trucks Held Up Near Egypt-Gaza Crossing (10:19 a.m.)

A convoy of humanitarian aid is still unable to enter Gaza, Khaled Zayed, chairman of the Red Crescent in Egypt’s North Sinai, told Al-Arabiya. The TV channel aired footage of dozens of trucks backed up near the Rafah border.

Mark Regev earlier told Times Radio in the UK that the crossing will open to allow foreign nationals to leave, with Israel seeking guarantees incoming aid won’t be commandeered to support Hamas.

Israel Strikes in South Gaza, AP Says (8:50 a.m.)

Palestinians said there’d been heavy Israeli bombing in southern Gaza, the part of the besieged territory where Israel had told civilians to seek refuge, the Associated Press reported.

Israeli bombs struck sites west and southeast of Khan Younis and west of Rafah, the crossing to Egypt where thousands of people have massed to try and get out of Gaza, the agency said, citing local reports.

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