Israel-Palestine Escalation
Israel was hit by an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on October 7, with Hamas movement's troops infiltrating border areas. On October 8, the Israeli government announced that it had invoked Article 40 of the Basic Law, which means the country was officially in a state of war.
Palestinians stand around a building destroyed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa

Live Updates: Israeli Soldier Kidnapped by Hamas Freed During IDF Ground Operation in Gaza Strip

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Sunday that it was forced to suspend its operations in the Gaza Strip following the robbery of warehouses of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and a communications blackout in the region.
A communications blackout has been reported in the Palestinian exclave since Friday night when the Israel Defense Forces announced the expansion of ground operations in Gaza. The breakdown in communications disrupted emergency services and cut off contact with the UN staff delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
On Sunday, the UNRWA said that thousands of people had stormed its warehouses and distribution centers in Gaza, grabbing wheat flour and basic survival supplies.
"The morning’s events followed a harrowing 24-hour communication blackout and persistent access challenges that brought all WFP operations to a halt, leaving staff and partners incommunicado … Without additional fuel supplies, bakeries working with WFP in Gaza are no longer operational and transporters cannot deliver food where it’s needed," the organization said in a statement.
The statement added that there were about 80 tonnes of mixed food commodities, mainly canned food, wheat flour and sunflower oil in the looted warehouses.
"We need a humanitarian pause to be able to reach the people in need with food, water and basic necessities safely and effectively. Much more access is urgently needed, and the trickle of supplies needs to become a flow," WFP Representative and Country Director in Palestine Samer Abdeljaber noted.
On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing and abducting people in neighboring Israeli communities. Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food, and fuel. The blockade was later eased to allow trucks with humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. The escalation of the conflict has resulted in thousands of people killed and injured on both sides.
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18:34 30.10.2023
Mossad Chief Visited Qatar for Talks on Hostages Taken by Hamas - Reports
David Barnea, the director of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, visited Qatar over the past weekend to discuss Doha’s mediation in talks on releasing Israeli and foreign hostages taken by Hamas to the Gaza Strip during the October 7 attack, Axios reported on Monday, citing sources.
According to Axios, Barnea met with senior Qatari officials during his trip. Doha remains the main mediator between Israel and the Hamas movement on the issue of captives.
18:12 30.10.2023
Telegram to Block Channels That Promote Violence, Durov Says
Telegram channels that promote violence will be blocked for violating the rules of the messenger, Telegram founder Pavel Durov said on Monday.
“Channels calling for violence (as in the attached screenshot) will be blocked for violating the rules of Telegram, Google, Apple and the entire civilized world,” Durov wrote on his channel, and posted a photo of a post from one of the channels that calls for violence against Israelis in Russia’s Dagestan.
17:58 30.10.2023
Israeli Soldier Kidnapped by Hamas Freed During IDF Ground Operation in Gaza Strip
An Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas has been friend during a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday.
"Overnight, the soldier PVT Ori Megidish was released during IDF ground operations. PVT Megidish was kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist organization on October 7th. The soldier was medically checked, is doing well, and has met with her family," the IDF wrote on its Telegram channel.
17:10 30.10.2023
German Foreign Ministry Urges Israel to Protect Palestinians From Extremist Settlers
The German Foreign Ministry on Monday called on Israel to protect Palestinian civilians from extremist Israeli settlers.
Last week, media reported that Israeli settlers had carried out attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. Seven Palestinians have reportedly been killed by Israeli settlers since the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Gaza Strip.
"We call on Israel to protect Palestinians from the actions of extremist settlers and to bring those responsible to justice," a ministry spokesperson told a press conference of the German cabinet.
17:03 30.10.2023
Over 100 Trucks With Humanitarian Aid Entered Gaza in 8 Days, Israeli Foreign Ministry Says
A total of 108 truckloads of humanitarian aid have entered the Gaza Strip in the last eight days, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
"A total of 108 trucks of humanitarian aid have entered Gaza in the past eight days. Aid includes water, food, and medical supplies," the ministry wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Earlier in the day, Egyptian newspaper Shorouk reported, citing the Egyptian Red Crescent chief in North Sinai, Raed Abdel Nasser, that over 130 trucks with humanitarian aid have entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt through the Rafah border crossing since October 21.
16:05 30.10.2023
Ten UN Staff Killed in Gaza Strip in Past 72 Hours, UNRWA Says
Ten workers of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) have been killed in the Gaza Strip in past 72 hours, the UNRWA said on Monday.
“In the last 72 hours, another 10 UNRWA staff have been killed, bringing the total to 63 UNRWA colleagues killed since 7 October,” the UNRWA said in a report.
16:04 30.10.2023
Germany, Israel Confirm Death of Dual Citizen Taken Hostage by Hamas
People walk between posters of hostages abducted by Hamas militants in Gaza, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 30.10.2023
Israel-Palestine Escalation
Germany, Israel Confirm Death of Dual Citizen Taken Hostage by Hamas
16:03 30.10.2023
Netanyahu’s Office Calls Hamas Video With Hostages ‘Psychological Propaganda’
A video with three Israeli female hostages released by Hamas is a "cruel psychological propaganda," the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Hamas released a video with hostages who accuse Netanyahu of the October 7 tragedy and demand their release in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
"I appeal to Elena Trupanov, Denial Aroni and Ramon Kirsht who were kidnapped by Hamas, which is committing war crimes, I hug you. Our hearts go out to you and the other captives. We are doing everything to return all captives and missing people home," the prime minister said, as quoted by his office in a statement.
14:29 30.10.2023
White House Says Rise in Anti-Semitic, Anti-Muslim Threats in US 'Unacceptable'
A growing number of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim threats in the United States is unacceptable and dangerous, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Monday.
"This year, in 2023, we can continue to see that rise. It is dangerous, it is unacceptable anywhere in the world, and certainly here in the United States of America," Kirby told CNN, commenting on Cornell University reporting a series of anti-Semitic threats made against its Jewish community.
Cornell University President Martha Pollack said in a statement on Sunday that the police are investigating a series of anti-Semitic online messages threatening violence to the school's Jewish community
Kirby pointed out that in 2022, the US saw a record number of "anti-Semitic events" since 1979.
"We are working very closely at the federal level with states and local authorities to be able to better identify threats to the Jewish community and disrupt them before they can actually take action. We are working on that very hard," he said.
He also acknowledged a growing number of anti-Muslim threats in the country.
"We are watching that very closely. But this is unacceptable in the United States of America in 2023," Kirby said.
12:35 30.10.2023
Lebanese Ex-Leader Welcomes Guterres’ Position on Situation in Gaza
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has called the UN Chief Antonio Guterres’ remark regarding the breach of international law in the Gaza Strip "the voice of reason in times of madness," and pointed out his courageousness as well.
On October 25, Guterres denounced "clear violations" of international law in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the UN Security Council meeting.
"The courage of the UN chief António Guterres is commendable; it is the courage of the truth and the voice of reason in times of madness. It is never too late to do the right thing and stop this war. Innocent civilians are paying the price for the incompetence of world leaders in failing to prevent the massacre," Siniora wrote in a letter published in the Financial Times on Monday.
12:03 30.10.2023
Sputnik’s correspondent footage of aftermath of Israeli strikes on residential areas in southwestern Gaza City
11:22 30.10.2023
Israeli tank shells car with civilians in Gaza Strip, 3 people killed, eyewitnesses tell Sputnik
10:57 30.10.2023
Israeli army releases footage it claims shows its forces expanding their ground operations in Gaza last night
10:20 30.10.2023
Israeli Tanks Seen on Outskirts of Gaza City, Key Road Cut Off - Reports
Israeli tanks have been seen on the outskirts of Gaza City, with the key road being cut off, AFP reported on Monday, citing eyewitnesses.
Earlier in the day, the Israel Defense Forces said that it had sent a fighter jet near Al-Azhar University in Gaza City to strike "armed terrorists" and "an anti-tank missile launching post."
10:20 30.10.2023
IDF Says Additional Forces Entered Gaza Strip at Night, Dozens of Hamas Members Killed
Additional Israeli military forces were deployed to the Gaza Strip at night, and dozens of Hamas members were killed, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Monday.
"At night, we expanded ground operations, and additional forces entered the enclave, including armored and engineering troops, as well as artillery... Dozens of terrorists were killed overnight," Hagari told a briefing
08:25 30.10.2023
IDS Says Sent Fighter Jet to Hit 'Armed Terrorists' Near Gaza City's Al-Azhar University
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday that it had sent a fighter jet near Al-Azhar University in Gaza City to strike "armed terrorists" and "an anti-tank missile launching post."
"Overnight, IDF troops identified armed terrorists and an anti-tank missile launching post in the area of the Al-Azhar University, and guided a fighter jet to strike them," the IDF wrote on Telegram.
The armed forces also struck a staging post inside a building belonging to Hamas, "with over 20 Hamas terrorist operatives inside it," the IDF said.
"During clashes with terrorists in the Gaza Strip, IDF troops killed dozens of terrorists who barricaded themselves in buildings and tunnels, and attempted to attack the troops," the IDF said, adding that it has struck over 600 Hamas targets over the last few days.
08:24 30.10.2023
Israel to Amend Law to Designate Individuals as Terrorists, Authorities Say
Israel will amend a 2016 counterterrorism law to give the state government the right to designate individuals as terrorists, according to a joint statement issued Sunday by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Justice Minister Yariv Levin.
The changes were approved by Israel's law committee.
"The law will be amended to allow the defense minister to declare people terrorists — today the law only allows organizations to be designated in this way. The purpose of the amendments is to prevent the funding of people active in a number of organizations, especially the Hamas terrorist organization," the statement read.
The new amendments will strengthen administrative measures that can be used against terrorists and terrorist organizations, and are aimed at solving problems related to recruitment, financing and money transactions for terrorist purposes, the statement added.
08:23 30.10.2023
Confirmed Number of Hostages in Gaza Rises to 239: IDF
The number of confirmed hostages held by Palestinian group Hamas was revised to 239 on Sunday, an Israeli military spokesman said.
"As of now, we have notified the families of 239 abducted people and 311 deceased soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces," Daniel Hagari told a news briefing.
The previous estimates put the number of those abducted into the Gaza Strip during the Hamas assault on October 7 at 230.
08:21 30.10.2023
US Puts Pressure on Israel to Restore Communications in Gaza: Reports
US President Joe Biden, left, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, to discuss the the war between Israel and Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 30.10.2023
Israel-Palestine Escalation
US Puts Pressure on Israel to Restore Communications in Gaza: Reports
08:18 30.10.2023
Turkey Not Seeking to Reach Point of No Return in Relations With Israel: Source
Turkey does not aim to reach the point of no return in relations with Israel, but the degree of cruelty in the Gaza Strip is prohibitively high, a diplomatic source in Ankara told Sputnik.
On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara was working to declare Israel a "war criminal."
"Relations between Turkey and Israel have recently been on the path to normalization, a number of steps have been taken. In particular, the appointment of ambassadors, joint projects in the energy sector, and preparations were underway for the visit of Mr. President to Israel. You see, the Turkish side did not have and has no intentions to achieve the point of no return in relations. But it is impossible to remain indifferent to the degree of extreme cruelty [in Gaza]. Ankara once again calls on the Israeli leadership to be prudential and to negotiate," the source said.
The source added that Erdogan's recent statement on his intention to declare Israel a "war criminal" is based "on the facts of the cruelty committed by the Israeli side against civilians in Gaza."
"All these facts have been collected and will be brought to the attention of the international community," the source said.