Here, follow MailOnline’s liveblog for all the updates on the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East today.
A couple arrested for daubing Stars of David across Paris have claimed they were ‘under instructions from Russia’.
The twist in the investigation comes following the arrest of a Moldavian couple who have admitted producing the stencil used earlier this week.
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Humza Yousaf expresses relief as he confirms in-laws have left Gaza: ‘We thank everyone for their messages of comfort’
Further to our update at 10:57, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has confirmed that his in-laws have been able to leave Gaza.
Blinken says Israel has ‘right’ and ‘obligation’ to defend itself, but must protect Gaza civilians
Blinken has said Israel has a ‘right’ and ‘obligation’ to defend itself against Hamas as he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
However, the US Secretary of State urged Israel to do everything it could to protect civilians caught in the crossfire.
Blinkens visit came after a group of UN-mandated human rights experts said ‘time is running out to prevent genocide and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza’.
Israel called the comments Hamas ‘propaganda’.
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan also called for an immediate ceasefire, saying ‘crimes against humanity’ were being committed in Gaza, and that Ankara was pushing for an international peace conference.
Blinken also met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog (pictured together below).
UN expresses ‘deep concern’ over Israel sending Palestinian workers back to Gaza
The UN has voiced deep concern as Israel began sending thousands of Palestinian workers back to Gaza today.
They had been stuck in Israel since the start of hostilities.
‘They are being sent back, we don’t know exactly to where,’ and whether they ‘even have a home to go to’, and ‘we are deeply concerned about that’, UN human rights office spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell told a press conference.
Israeli shelling strikes cars carrying people fleeing north Gaza, reports say
Israeli shelling has repeatedly struck cars carrying people fleeing from north Gaza along the two main roads to the south, the Associated Press reports.
Because the Gaza Strip’s main road, Salah al-Din, and the coastal highway are so dangerous, medics say it’s virtually impossible to recover bodies or save the wounded without being targeted.
Israeli shelling struck a convoy of mostly women and children who had tried to escape bombardment in the north on Friday, killing about 10-15 people, according to a freelance journalist who traveled with emergency workers to the site.
The local journalist, Fuad Abu Khamad, said he saw the bloodied bodies sprawled on the road with the few belongings they managed to take with them – mostly just bread and some canned food.
Israeli forces resumed shelling before the medics had time to determine who was alive or dead, he said.
Rescuers grabbed two survivors and rushed to Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital in central Gaza, south of the Israeli military’s evacuation zone.
‘It was a painful scene, women with their heads blown off, dead children who had just wanted to flee,’ he said.
IDF releases video claiming to show Israeli forces destroying Hamas tunnel network
The IDF has released footage claiming to show Israeli forces destroying a Hamas tunnel network inside Gaza.
The black and white clip opens by showing open fields, before two explosions erupt from the ground, sending out shockwaves, smoke and debris.
Hamas has an extensive network of tunnels underneath Gaza which its terrorist fighters use to move around unseen and as shelter from air strikes.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar: Israel’s response to Hamas attack ‘resembles something more approaching revenge’
Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said Israel’s response to the October 7 attack by Hamas ‘resembles something more approaching revenge.’
‘I strongly believe, like any state, Israel has a right to defend itself, has the right to go after Hamas, so they can not do this again,’ Varadkar told reporters in Seoul.
‘But what I am seeing unfolding at the moment isn’t just self-defence, it resembles something more approaching revenge and that’s not where we should be and I don’t think it is how Israel will guarantee its future freedom and security.’
Ireland’s stance on the conflict has sometimes been at odds with its Western allies, with Varadkar one of the first EU leaders to call on Israel to ensure its response to Hamas’s attack was ‘proportionate’.
Varadkar said he believes that ‘Israel listens to countries it considers to be friends and allies, like the US’. But he added that he is ‘not sure they listen very closely to what we have to say, quite frankly’.
‘It is a state we have relations with, but I don’t think we are as close as we might have been or perhaps could be, because we do take a different position than most Western countries on Palestine and what’s happening at the moment,’ he said.
IDF kills seven Palestinians in West Bank overnight, reports say
Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians and arrested scores more In large-scale raids in the West Bank overnight, IDF and Palestinian health officials have said, the Associated Press has reported.
Israeli forces killed three in Jenin, two in Hebron, one in Nablus and one in Qalandiya, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The military said the attack in Jenin included an airstrike – a once rare but now increasingly common form of attack in the territory.
It said Israeli forces killed Hamas terrorists after they threw explosives at the soldiers.
Forces also found explosives buried under the roads of the Jenin refugee camp, as well as an underground space with ammunition.
In Nablus, Israeli forces demolished the home of a Palestinian militant whom they accused of carrying out a shooting attack in the town of Huwara earlier this year, killing two Israelis.
- Across the West Bank, the military arrested 37 Palestinians, identifying 17 of them as Hamas militants.
- Israel has stepped its raids on Palestinian towns and cities in the West Bank since the start of the war, leaving at least 141 Palestinians dead in what U.N. monitors say is the deadliest period in the territory on record.
Breaking: Gaza death toll rises to 9,227
At least 9,227 Palestinians were killed, including 3,826 children, in Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct. 7, the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza said on Friday.
Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf’s in-laws are among 92 British citizens who will be allowed out of Gaza today, it has been reported.
Elizabeth El-Nakla and her husband Maged – the parents of Mr Yousaf’s wife Nadia – have been trapped in Gaza since Israel laid siege to the territory.
Since then, there have been serious concerns for their safety, with Mr Yousaf last week taking to social media to say they had lost contact with them amid a telecommunications blackout, leaving them with no information on their well being.
But his family will be revealed today with the news that nearly 100 British citizens are set to be permitted to leave Gaza for Egypt today through the Rafah border crossing in southern Gaza, with Elizabeth and Maged expected to be among them.
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Families of nine Israeli victims of Hamas massacre lodge complaint to ICC for suspected war crimes
The families of nine Israeli victims of last month’s Hamas attacks have lodged a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for suspected war crimes, their lawyer said today according to AFP news agency.
The families also want Hamas prosecuted for genocide, and the ICC to issue an international arrest warrant for its leaders, lawyer Francois Zimeray said.
‘The complaint concerns victims who were all civilians,’ Zimeray said, adding that several of them were at the ‘Tribe of Nova’ rave party – a music festival.
‘The complaint states that the Hamas terrorists do not deny the crimes committed, which they have amply documented and broadcast, and that the… facts cannot therefore be disputed,’ he said.
MAP: The situation on the ground in Gaza
British nationals desperate to escape Gaza were left in despair yesterday after learning their wait to enter Egypt would continue.
A second tranche of foreign nationals were permitted out of the region through the heavily fortified Rafah Crossing, but many British names were not on the list.
Up to 200 British passport holders are thought to still be in the Palestinian territory which has been pummelled by Israeli air strikes for three weeks.
Israeli and Egyptian authorities have a list of British nationals and their dependants, yet other nations have been prioritised in the two days since the border opened.
For some British families, the situation is becoming increasingly precarious.
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This video released by the IDF shows fighters continuing to battle against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Using combat planes and helicopters they attacked a number of military compounds of the Hamas organisation.
The Israeli forces also attacked buildings captured by Hamas using a naval missile ship. During the firefight, approximately 130 terrorists were eliminated.
UN launches emergency aid appeal seeking $1.2 billion
The UN has launched an emergency aid appeal seeking $1.2 billion to help some 2.7 million people in Gaza and the West Bank.
‘The cost of meeting the needs of 2.7 million people – that is the entire population of Gaza and 500,000 people in the occupied West Bank – is estimated to be $1.2 billion,’ the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
OCHA had originally sought $294 million in aid to support nearly 1.3 million people in an appeal on October 12.
‘The situation has grown increasingly desperate since then,’ it said.
Breaking: Blinken meets with Netanyahu
Pictures have been released showing US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.
We will bring you more on this shortly.
Israel ‘considering special courts to try Hamas terrorists’, reports say
Israel’s judicial system is considering setting up special courts to try the Hamas terrorists who were captured during the October 7 massacre.
The country’s attorney general, the State Attorney’s Office, the Courts Administration, and the State Prosecutor’s Office are understood to believe trying the cases in a normal court would not be the correct approach.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the Justice Ministry is examining legislation that would authorise a special court to try the terrorists.
It is not clear how many Hamas gunmen were captured by Israeli forces. Israel has said 3,000 Hamas fighters entered Israel on October 7 when they carried out the massacre, killing more than 1,400 people. At least 1,000 terrorists are thought to have been killed, and several fled back to Gaza.
The Jerusalem Post points out that the trial being considered by the country’s Justice Ministry could replicate that of Nazi official Adolf Eichmann.
Eichmann, a German-Austrian, was sentenced to death and hanged in Israel for his involvement in the Nazi Holocaust during the Second World War.
IN PICTURES: Gaza border region
We have pictures coming through from the Gaza border region, offering a glimpse of Israel’s military activities.
Photographs show artillery units in position near the territory, and tanks moving through the hills.
Israel said earlier that it now has Gaza City, the territory’s largest city, completely surrounded, as it continues its operation to eliminate Hamas.
Satellite images of Gaza have shown Israeli forces infiltrating deep into the territory as they continue to intensify their operations to eliminate the Hamas terror group.
While Israel has so far stopped short of the rapid, overwhelming all-out ground assault on Gaza that many expected and feared, the satellite images still demonstrate a significant ground force.
Israeli troops appear to be advancing on three main routes, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a US research group that analyses conflicts.
One thrust came from Gaza’s northeast corner. Another, south of Gaza City, cut across the territory, reaching the main north-south highway. The third, from Gaza’s northwest corner, has moved about 3 miles down the Mediterranean coast, reaching the outskirts of the Shati and Jabaliya refugee camps.
It is the result of the first and third thrust that we can see in these satellite images.
Israel releases hundreds of Palestinian workers back into Gaza
Israel has released hundreds of Palestinian workers who said they had been held in an Israeli-run jail since the war broke out October 7.
The workers were dropped off by buses early Friday near Gaza and walked into the southern edge of the besieged territory through the Kerem Shalom border crossing.
The workers were among what Israeli rights groups believe are thousands of laborers marooned in Israel since the outbreak of the war. They say some of the workers were detained by Israel without charge or due process.
The office of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Thursday night: ‘Those workers from Gaza who were in Israel on the day of the outbreak of the war will be returned to Gaza.’
The United States has intelligence that Russia’s Wagner mercenary group plans to provide Hezbollah, the Iranian backed Lebanese militia, an air defence system, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified U.S. officials.
The Journal said Wagner plans to supply the Pantsir-S1 system, known by NATO as the SA-22, which uses anti-aircraft missiles and air-defence guns to intercept aircraft.
Wagner Group, which was funded by the Russian state and has been brought firmly under Kremlin control since an aborted mutiny by its former leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in June, did not reply to a request for comment from Reuters.
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Breaking: Blinken arrives in Israel for urgent talks over humanitarian pause
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Israel for urgent talks with Israeli officials about their escalating war with Hamas in Gaza.
Blinken landed in Tel Aviv on Friday for his third trip to Israel since the war began with Hamas’ incursion into Israel on October 7.
He will also visit Jordan and may make additional stops in the region before traveling to Asia early next week.
America’s top diplomat will again stress Israel’s right to defend itself but will also be making the case for Israel to respect the rules of war as well as consider postwar scenarios for how the territory can be run if and when it succeeds in eradicating Hamas, which has ruled over Gaza since 2006.
For the past week, the US administration has been pushing a two-state resolution to establish a durable and lasting peace.
Blinken will also urge Israeli authorities to rein in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank by Jewish settlers, amid fears of a wide conflict.
WATCH LIVE: View over Israel-Gaza border as seen from Israel
Fears are growing today that Hezbollah is set to declare war with Israel and light the touch paper for a larger conflict in the Middle East.
The terror group’s chief Hassan Nasrallah will break weeks of silence since war broke out between Hamas and Israel in a speech today, that some fear could signal Hezbollah’s intention to wade deeper into the on-going conflict.
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Israel-Hamas conflict: What you need to know on day 28 of the war
Good morning, and welcome to MailOnline’s live blog covering the Israel-Hamas war that today entered its 28th day.
Gaza health authorities say at least 9,061 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its assault on the enclave of 2.3 million people in retaliation for deadly attacks by Hamas militants on southern Israel.
Israel says Hamas killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and took more than 240 hostages in the attacks on October 7.
With the conflict at the end of its fourth-week, here’s what you need to know:
- The United States’ top diplomat Antony Blinken landed in Tel Aviv on Friday to push for humanitarian pauses in the fighting
- Blinken, on his second trip to Israel in a month, is due to discuss with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders
- His arrival comes as Lebanon’s Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah is set to break weeks of silence since the war began with a speech that some fear could signal Hezbollah’s intention to wade deeper into the on-going conflict
- Meanwhile, Israel says it has surrounded the Palestinian enclave’s biggest city and the focus of its drive to annihilate Hamas
- Food, fuel, water and medicine are growing more scarce
- Mounting casualties among Palestinian civilians, along with acute shortages of basic supplies, have intensified calls by global leaders for a pause in fighting
- Israel has dismissed these calls, saying it targets Hamas fighters whom it accuses of intentionally hiding among the population and civilian buildings
- A group of independent United Nations human rights experts warned that Palestinians in Gaza are at ‘grave risk of genocide’
- Israel has said it has lost 18 soldiers in the offensive into Gaza
- Hamas and allied Islamic Jihad fighters were emerging from tunnels to fire at tanks, then disappearing back into the network, witnesses say
- The Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt is due to open for a third day
- According to border officials, more than 700 foreign citizens left for Egypt via Rafah on the two previous days