Video: British daughter of freed hostage Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, reveals her mother’s ‘hell’ at the hands of Hamas

Yocheved Lifshitz says the IDF ‘didn’t take Hamas threat seriously’ when her area was targeted before October 7 attack

Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, told a press conference: ‘We were the scapegoats, they had warned us three weeks before but the masses came to our roads and burnt our fields, they sent balloons with fire and they burnt our fields – the IDF didn’t take that seriously.

‘On Saturday morning, everything was quiet and then there was huge shelling on our community. It exploded the huge fence that was there, they opened the gates of the kibbutz and entered on masses, that was very very tough, I have all these images in my mind.’

*Translated from Hebrew

Hostage freed by Hamas was ‘hit by sticks’ as she was abducted, as 85-year-old speaks outside hospital

Yocheved Lifshitz, one of the two hostages freed by Hamas last night, is speaking to the press outside hospital in Tel Aviv alongside her daughter.

British citizen Sharone Lifshitz, 52, briefly broke into English to explain what her mother was saying in Hebrew about her traumatic experience.

‘My mum is telling the horrific stories, she is saying many, many people came through the fence.

‘She was taken on the back of a motorbike with her legs on one side and head on another side.

‘As she was taken she was hit with sticks.’

She added her elderly mother was forced to walk for a few kilometres on wet ground over a ‘spider web’ network of tunnels.

The terrorists took off Lifshitz’s watch and jewellery during the journey, her daughter said.

Pictured: French President Emmanuel Macron meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks in Jerusalem

Israel’s universities to delay the start of term until after reserve call-up ends

  • Universities in Israel will delay the start of the academic year until the call-up of reservists soldiers ends, the Committee of University Presidents has announced
  • The autumn term, which had been due to begin on October 15, had already been pushed back to November 5 and will now not start until December 3
  • Some 360,000 reservists have so far been called up to fight, including thousands of university staff and students
  • Around 30 per cent of all university students are among those now serving, The Times of Israel reports

Video: Dramatic moment a loud explosion interrupts a BBC journalist’s live report from Gaza

Pictured: Israeli tanks and infantry massed on the border with Gaza as the IDF says it is ready for ‘the next stage of the war’

Gaza death toll rises to 5,300, Hamas-run health ministry says

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 5,300, according to the enclave’s Hamas-run Health Ministry.

It also said that about 18,000 people have been injured since Israel’s airstrikes on the territory began over two weeks ago.

Pictured: Hostage Yocheved Lifshitz reunites with loved ones at hospital in Tel Aviv after being freed by Hamas terrorists

  • Yochved Lifshitz and Nurit Cooper, 79, were released by Hamas on Monday
  • They were among more than 200 people taken from Israel in Gaza on October 7
  • The women were handed over to the Red Cross at the Rafah crossing by black-clad masked Hamas gunmen
  • As she was released, Yochved turned to one of her captors and said ‘shalom’

Video: Israel says releasing hostages is a ‘good tactic’ for Hamas and that the terror group wants a ceasefire

Israelis ‘must not be complacent’ despite reduction of rocket attacks from Gaza, IDF spokesperson says

IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari has warned Israelis not to become complacent despite an apparent slowing of rocket fire in recent days.

‘Complacency must not be shown in the home front. This is an attempt by the enemy to put us to sleep,’ Hagari said.

Emmanuel Macron to be the first world leader to meet Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah since start of war, Palestinian leader’s office says

  • France’s President will meet Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah today, the Palestinian Authority leader’s office has said.
  • Emmanuel Macron is the latest Western leader to make a solidarity visit to Israel after the October 7 attacks by Hamas.
  • If he goes to the West Bank today, he would become the first world leader to visit the Palestinian Authority headquarters during the crisis.
  • The French presidency did not immediately confirm the meeting.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv on October 24, 2023. visit comes more than two weeks after Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip and killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burned to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials. (Photo by Christophe Ena / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ENA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Pictured: Palestinians despair at the devastation to their homes as families are ripped apart by relentless Israeli bombing across the Gaza Strip

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog tells Lebanon it is ‘playing with fire’ while Emmanuel Macron said France ‘will be here today, tomorrow and the day after’ at joint briefing in Jerusalem

  • Isaac Herzog has told Emmanuel Macron that Israel is committed to ‘destroying’ its enemies
  • ‘We demand the immediate release of all our citizens,’ Herzog also said
  • He said of fighting between Hezbollah and the IDF in the north of Israel: ‘We are following very closely the situation,’ he said
  • He added that while Israel is not looking for a confrontation, Lebanon was ‘playing with fire’ and ‘will pay the price’ if Hezbollah ‘drags us into war’
  • France’s President said his country would ‘be here today, tomorrow and the day after for peace and stability’
  • He added that Israel would not be ‘left alone in the war against terrorism’
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, shakes hands with Israel's President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. Emmanuel Macron is traveling to Israel to show France's solidarity with the country and further work on the release of hostages who are being held in Gaza. Christophe Ena/Pool via REUTERS

Israeli military spokesperson says the army is ready ‘for the next stage’ but is awaiting political instruction

  • IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said Israel’s military was ‘ready and determined’ for the next stage in the war and was awaiting political instruction.
  • He said Israel was learning from US experience in the Middle East but ‘our war is on our borders, not thousands of miles from Israel’
  • Hagari said that he is expecting weeks of fighting ahead
  • He said Egypt was playing a key role in negotiations for the release of hostages from Gaza

Israel Defence Forces say they hit ‘over 400 terrorist targets’ overnight including an underwater tunnel and Mosques ‘used by operatives’

Video: Two elderly Israeli women released by Hamas after being taken hostage on October 7 arrive at hospital in Tel Aviv

  • IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, suggested Israel had no intention of curbing its strikes
  • Hamas has repeatedly offered to release hostages on the condition that Israel stops its bombing campaign of Gaza
  • IDF claims it hit more than 400 militant targets overnight and killed dozens of Hamas fighters

Pictured: French President Emmanuel Macron visits Israel where he meets with families of hostages taken by Hamas and Isaac Herzog

More than 270 people remain in hospital after Hamas terror attack on October 7, Israel says

Israel’s health ministry says 278 people are still in hospital after the Hamas terror atrocity of October 7.

Of those being treated it said, 40 have suffered ‘severe’ injuries.

  • At least 10 British nationals have been killed in the conflict between Israel and Hamas
  • A further six remain missing and are feared to be among the hostages taken by Hamas, junior British finance minister Victoria Atkins has said
  • Hamas last night freed two Israeli women who were among the more than 200 hostages taken during its October 7 rampage in southern Israel

Pictured: Palestinians pull people from the rubble and mourn their dead as authorities say the death toll tops 5,000 and Israel steps up its airstrikes on Gaza overnight

Good morning and welcome to our live blog

What you need to know this morning as the Israel-Palestine war enters its 18th day:

  • Hamas has released two Israeli women, Yochved Lifshitz aged 85 and Nurit Cooper, 79
  • At least 10 British nationals have been killed in the conflict between Israel and Hamas
  • A further six remain missing and are likely being held hostage by Hamas, a minister has said
  • Israel’s military said it had hit more than 400 militant targets in Gaza overnight and killed dozens of Hamas fighters, including three deputy battalion commanders
  • French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting Tel Aviv and has met with families of hostage victims
  • The Palestinian health ministry says the Gaza death toll has topped 5,000, with the majority of those killed being civilians


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