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Gaza humanitarian crisis worsens, but Biden says Israelis "have to go after Hamas"

Gaza edges closer to humanitarian catastrophe ahead of likely Israeli invasion 03:34

Our coverage of latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war continues here. Catch up on earlier reporting below.

The Israel-Hamas war is expected to ramp up with a looming Israeli ground invasion of Gaza, where a humanitarian crisis is deepening. Israel has pounded the Palestinian territory with airstrikes since Hamas militants fired barrages of rockets and stormed into the Jewish state on a murderous rampage last weekend

In an interview with "60 Minutes," President Biden said "Israel has to respond. They have to go after Hamas," but warned that an Israeli occupation of Gaza would be "a big mistake."

The U.N. said almost a million Gaza residents have been displaced since the war started, with many following Israel's warning to flee to the southern half of the territory as food, water and fuel run short.

The only exit from Gaza, the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, remained closed Monday. Both Israel and Hamas denied reports of a temporary ceasefire in Gaza to enable humanitarian aid to enter in and foreigners to evacuate at the Rafah crossing.  

The death toll on both sides of the war continues to climb. Israel's military said Hamas' attack and ongoing rocket fire from Gaza has killed more than 1,300 people, including at least 276 troops, and injured 3,200 others. In Gaza, the Health Ministry said Monday that Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 2,750 people and wounded at least 9,700. 

The death toll includes 30 U.S. citizens, a State Department spokesperson confirmed Sunday, and 13 Americans remain unaccounted for.

The Israeli military said Sunday it has confirmed 155 people were taken captive by Hamas. A number of Americans are believed to be among them.


Israel ups number of hostages held by Hamas to 199

Israel's military Monday raised the number of hostages being held in Gaza to 199, but didn't say whether that includes foreigners.

"We have updated the families of 199 hostages," military spokesman Daniel Hagari told a media briefing. That's compared to an earlier number of 155 captives.

The U.S. State Deptartment has said 13 Americans remain unaccounted for. 

By Brian Dakss

Israel, Hamas deny reports of temporary cease-fire

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office and Hamas both denied reports Monday of a temporary ceasefire in Gaza to enable humanitarian aid to come in and foreigners to leave at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

"There is currently no ceasefire and humanitarian aid in Gaza in return for removing foreigners," a statement from Netanyahu's office said.

Reuters cited Hamas official Izzat El Reshiq as saying there was no truth to reports about the opening of the Rafah border crossing or temporary ceasefire.

By Brian Dakss

Israel orders evacuation of area near Lebanon border

The Israeli military has ordered people living in 28 communities near the Lebanese border to evacuate.

The order Monday comes amid increasing cross-border fire between Israel and the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah.

The military order affects communities within 1.2 miles of the border.

Hezbollah has said the increased strikes were a warning and did not mean Hezbollah has decided to enter the war. 

The Israeli army said Monday it was evacuating residents living along its northern frontier with Lebanon amid rising tensions there 10 days into its war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

According to Agence France-Presse, the army said in a statement that evacuees would be put up in "state-funded guesthouses."

By The Associated Press

Gaza humanitarian crisis deepens

More than a million people have fled their homes in the besieged Gaza Strip in the past week, ahead of expected Israel invasion that seeks to eliminate Hamas' leadership after its deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel. The enclave's food and water supplies are dwindling, and its hospitals are warning that they are on the verge of collapse.

Israeli officials have given no timetable for a ground incursion that aid groups warn could hasten a humanitarian crisis in the coastal Gaza enclave.

About 500,000 people, nearly one quarter of Gaza's population, were taking refuge in United Nations schools and other facilities across the territory, where water supplies were dwindling, said Juliette Touma, spokesperson for the U.N.'s Palestinian refugee agency. "Gaza is running dry," she said. The agency says an estimated 1 million people have been displaced in Gaza in a single week.

With the situation in Gaza growing increasingly desperate, the U.S. named David Satterfield, the former U.S. ambassador to Turkey experienced in Mideast diplomacy, to be special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that Satterfield will focus on getting humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza.

Hospitals in Gaza are expected to run out of generator fuel within two days, endangering the lives of thousands of patients, according to the U.N. Gaza's sole power plant shut down for lack of fuel after Israel completely sealed off the 25-mile long territory following the Hamas attack.

The World Health Organization expressed concern to The Associated Press about limited water and sanitation in the territory, particularly at hospitals where patients' lives can be lost due to infection and disease outbreaks. The WHO said four hospitals in northern Gaza are no longer functioning as a result of damage and 21 hospitals are under an Israeli evacuation order.

By The Associated Press

Biden condemns Illinois stabbing death of 6-year-old Muslim boy: "This horrific act of hate has no place in America"

President Biden on Sunday condemned a stabbing attack that killed a 6-year-old Muslim boy and seriously wounded his 32-year-old mother in suburban Chicago this weekend.

The victims' landlord, 71-year-old Joseph Czuba, is facing local hate crime charges in the Saturday morning attack, which took place in Plainfield Township, Illinois, according to the Will County Sheriff's Office. 

The boy was identified by the Justice Department as Wadea Al-Fayoume, and his mother as Hanaan Shahin. The Justice Department announced late Sunday it was launching a hate crimes investigation into the killing. 

"Jill and I were sickened to learn of the brutal murder of a child and the attempted murder of the child's mother yesterday in Illinois. Our condolences and prayers are with the family. This act of hate against a Palestinian Muslim family has no place in America," Mr. Biden said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. "As Americans, we must come together and reject Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred. I have said repeatedly that I will not be silent in the face of hate. We must be unequivocal," he added.

Detectives learned that the two victims were targeted because they are Muslim, and because of the the "on-going Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Sheriff's officials said the mother called 911 to report that her landlord was attacking her with a knife in their home. Deputies arrived to find the mother and son in a bedroom with multiple stab wounds.

The boy was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, where he died, the sheriff's office said. The mother was taken to a hospital in serious condition, but is expected to survive.

By Faris Tanyos

Netanyahu invites Biden to visit Israel

A U.S. official confirmed reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited President Biden to visit Israel, and that there have been discussions between the two sides about the possibility.

National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said, "We have no new travel to announce."

–Kristin Brown contributed reporting.


Hamas commander killed in Gaza airstrikes, Israeli military says

A commander for the Hamas militant group has been killed in airstrikes, Israeli military officials announced Sunday.

Israel struck about 250 targets Sunday with airstrikes from fighter jets, helicopters and aircraft, mostly in northern Gaza, Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Securities Authority said in a joint statement Sunday.  

Israeli intelligence determined that Muetaz Eid, commander of the Hamas Southern District of National Security, was killed in the strikes, IDF said.

IDF said its airstrikes hit "dozens of military headquarters, a series of military observation posts, and a number of rocket launching posts used by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations."

The IDF said earlier Sunday that Bilal al-Kedra, a senior Hamas commander, was also killed in a Gaza strike on Saturday night. 

The United Nations said late Sunday that Israeli airstrikes have killed 455 people in the Gaza Strip in just the past 24 hours, and left another 856 injured. 

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip on Oct. 15, 2023, shows smoke billowing after Israeli bombardment of an area in the north of the Palestinian enclave. JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

At least 2,670 people have been killed and 9,600 injured in Israel's retaliatory airstrikes since Oct. 7, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The Israeli death toll from the Hamas attacks has crossed the 1,300 mark, with another 3,200 people wounded. 

By Faris Tanyos

Israeli officials identify 2 Hamas leaders "responsible specifically" for attack

A senior Israeli official told CBS News he believes Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and El Deif are behind the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel which left at least 1,300 people dead.

"It's Sinwar and Deif," Ron Dermer, Israel's minister of strategic affairs and a member of its new war cabinet, told CBS News in an interview in Tel Aviv. "There are two people in Gaza. They're the ones who are responsible specifically for this attack. But they are backed, again, by Iran. They are backed financially. They are backed with weapons. They are backed with training, with logistics, with communication, with political support. Iran is the source of so many of the problems of the Middle East."

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht also singled out Sinwar in a briefing Saturday.

"That man is in our sights," Hecht said on Saturday. "He is a dead man walking and we will get to that man."

Israeli officials identify 2 Hamas leaders it says are responsible for the attack 02:50

Read more here.

By Norah O'Donnell

Biden agrees Hamas should be eliminated, says Israeli occupation of Gaza would be "a big mistake"

In an interview with "60 Minutes," President Biden said he agrees that Hamas needs to be eliminated.

"Yes, I do," Mr. Biden told "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley. "But there needs to be a Palestinian authority. There needs to be a path to a Palestinian state." 

Given last weekend's terrorist attacks, the president acknowledged a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians is not possible at the moment.

"Not now. Not now. Not now, but— but I think Israel understands that a significant portion of Palestinian people do not share the views of Hamas and Hezbollah," he said.

President Joe Biden: The 2023 60 Minutes Interview 13:33

Asked if he would support an Israeli occupation of Gaza, Mr. Biden said, "I think it'd be a big mistake. Look, what happened in Gaza, in my view, is Hamas and the extreme elements of Hamas don't represent all the Palestinian people."

Read more from President Biden's interview here.


Americans who were stranded in Israel start to return home

Many Americans who were stranded in Israel when major airlines canceled flights because of the conflict are finally beginning to return home. The U.S. State Department said more than 20,000 U.S. citizens stuck in Israel and Gaza have reached out to them for departure assistance. 

There were emotional reunions with family members as flights landed at New York and New Jersey airports, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was on hand to greet a planeful of Floridians who landed in Tampa Sunday evening.


How a retired Israeli general saved his family during the Hamas attack

A retired major general with the Israel Defence Forces and his wife grabbed a pistol, jumped into their jeep and headed south to rescue their son's family during Hamas' deadly incursion. 

Noam and Gali Tibon rescued survivors of the music festival massacre and helped wounded Israeli soldiers on the way. Hours after leaving his home in Tel Aviv, Noam Tibon battled gunmen in Nahal Oz and saved his son Amir Tibon, Amir's wife Miri Bernovsky-Tibon and their two young daughters.

"The Hamas terrorists, I mean, there were hundreds of them around and inside the kibbutz," Amir said. "The numbers are impossible to comprehend." 

Retired IDF major general recounts rescue of family during Hamas attack | 60 Minutes 13:25

Watch the full story from "60 Minutes" in the video above, and read more here.


Biden supports more aid to Israel and Ukraine

President Biden will ask Congress for billions more in funding for the Ukraine war and now Israel's war with Hamas.

In an interview with Scott Pelley on "60 Minutes," Mr. Biden sought to assure the American public that the U.S. can handle aiding both allies in these crises.

"We're the United States of America, for God's sake," he said. "We can take care of both of these and still maintain our overall international defense."

President Joe Biden: The 2023 60 Minutes Interview 13:33

As "60 Minutes" spoke with the president, his secretary of state was in Israel and his defense secretary was at a NATO meeting on Ukraine. Even with the two wars ongoing and dysfunction in Congress, Mr. Biden is sure he wants to run for office again.

"Imagine if we were able to succeed in getting the Middle East put in place where we have normalization of relations. I think we can do that," he said. "Imagine what happens if we, in fact, unite all of Europe and Putin is finally put down where he cannot cause the kind of trouble he's been causing. We have enormous opportunities, enormous opportunities to make it a better world."

Read more from President Biden's interview here.


U.S. State Department confirms 30 Americans killed, 13 missing

The U.S. State Department confirmed Sunday that 30 Americans have been killed and 13 are unaccounted for.

"State Department personnel have been in contact with their families," a spokesperson said in a statement. 

"The U.S. government is working around the clock to determine their whereabouts and is working with the Israeli government on every aspect of the hostage crisis, including sharing intelligence and deploying experts from across the United States government to advise the Israeli government on hostage recovery efforts," the statement said.


U.N. leader warns that the Middle East is "on the verge of the abyss"

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned Sunday that "we are on the verge of the abyss in the Middle East."

He repeated his appeal for Hamas to release hostages and for Israel to allow humanitarian supplies and workers into besieged Gaza.

"Each one of these two objectives are valid in themselves. They should not become bargaining chips," the U.N. chief said in a statement.

"Gaza is running out of water, electricity and other essential supplies," he said. "The United Nations has stocks available of food, water, non-food items, medical supplies and fuel, located in Egypt, Jordan, the West Bank and Israel. These goods can be dispatched within hours."

Palestinians in Gaza take refuge in UN schools
Palestinians take shelter in a U.N. school in Deir al Balah, Gaza, as Israeli airstrikes on Gaza continue, Oct. 15, 2023. Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images

He said U.N. staff and their NGO partners "need to be able to bring these supplies into and throughout Gaza safely, and without impediment to deliver to those in need." 

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan responded: "All of the resources that the people of Gaza are lacking, were squandered by Hamas for the past 17 years for their terror war machine. ... There is plenty of fuel, food & medical supplies in Gaza. And it's all being used for Hamas' subterranean terror city, rocket launchpads, and missile manufacturing facilities."

By Pamela Falk

U.S. says it's working on "safe passage" for Americans out of Gaza into Egypt

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan says facilitating the safe exit of Palestinian-Americans out of Gaza is a main priority for the Biden administration.

"We are very focused on first … making sure that all American citizens in Gaza have safe passage out of Gaza and into Egypt," Sullivan said on "Face the Nation" Sunday morning.

"We're working on that round the clock," he told moderator Margaret Brennan. "We're not going to rest until that happens."

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says U.S. working on safe passage of Americans out of Gaza 07:24

Sullivan said U.S. officials are taking steps to provide the broader civilian population of Gaza access to safe areas as well as critical resources like food, water, shelter and medicine, "because the vast majority of Palestinians in Gaza have nothing to do with Hamas." 

Read more here.

By Emily Mae Czachor

France says 19 of its citizens killed in Hamas attack on Israel; 13 missing

France says it now counts 19 of its citizens who were killed in Hamas' assault on Israel just over a week ago, with no news of 13 others who are missing and who, in some cases, may be held hostage.

The latest tally was given by France's foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, on a visit Sunday to Israel. She vowed that "everything will be done" to free the hostages.

Colonna also urged that the United Nations be allowed to organize deliveries of food and other essentials to displaced people in southern Gaza "who are lacking everything."

Israel is entitled to defend itself against "the monstrosity of Hamas and the danger it represents," Colonna said after talks with Israeli officials but she also appealed for civilians to be safeguarded.

She urged Israel to abide by "international law, in particular international humanitarian law" and preserve Gaza's civilian population."

Colonna will also be traveling to Egypt and Lebanon in an effort to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from spreading to other parts of the region.

By The Associated Press

FBI sees uptick in threats against Jewish and Muslim Americans

The FBI said Sunday that it has seen an increase in reported threats against Jewish and Muslim Americans and houses of worship over the past week, and the bureau said countering terrorism remains its No. 1 priority. 

"We're going to continue to do everything in our power to protect the American people," FBI Director Christopher Wray said In a call with reporters Sunday. 

"Here in the U.S., we cannot and do not discount the possibility that Hamas or other foreign terrorist organizations could exploit the conflict to call on their supporters to conduct attacks on our own soil," Wray said. "We're also particularly alert to the potential these events have to inspire violence against Jewish Americans or Muslim Americans, institutions and houses of worship here. Over the past week, we have seen an increase in reported threats to these groups here in the United States, and we're moving quickly to mitigate them."

By Paula Cohen

Israel says Hamas holding 155 hostages

The Israeli military said Sunday it confirmed 155 people were being held hostage by Hamas since the Palestinian militant group staged its deadly attack last week.

Families of 155 hostages have been contacted by the authorities, military spokesman Daniel Hagari said, updating an earlier figure confirming 126 hostages. 


Ex-ambassador named U.S. special envoy for humanitarian issues

The U.S. announced on Sunday that President Biden has appointed former Ambassador David Satterfield as special envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues. 

"Special Envoy Satterfield will lead U.S. diplomacy to urgently address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including work to facilitate the provision of life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people and promote the safety of civilians," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Satterfield will lead efforts "to mitigate the humanitarian fallout of Hamas' terrorist attack against Israel, supporting critical efforts by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration," Blinken said.

Satterfield has over 40 years of experience in the region, he added. 

"Ambassador Satterfield's diplomatic experience and decades of work navigating the some of the world's most challenging conflicts will be instrumental in our continued effort to address humanitarian issues in the region – a top priority for President Biden – including our efforts to bring urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, particularly in Gaza, in coordination with the U.N., Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and other regional stakeholders," national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. 

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

Hamas political spokesman gives combative interview to CBS News

CBS News correspondent Imtiaz Tyab interviewed Dr. Ghazi Hammad, a spokesman for Hamas and senior member of its political bureau, on Saturday. Watch Tyab's report on the interview below:

Hamas political spokesman gives combative interview to CBS News 02:35

Gaza witnessing "unprecedented human catastrophe," U.N. agency says

Israel's strikes on the Gaza Strip have led to an "unprecedented human catastrophe" in the Palestinian territory, the United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees said Sunday.

"Not one drop of water, not one grain of wheat, not a litre of fuel has been allowed in the Gaza Strip for the last eight days," Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of UNRWA, told journalists.

"Raise the alarm that as of today, my UNRWA colleagues in Gaza are no longer able to provide humanitarian assistance as I speak," Lazzarini said.

"In fact, Gaza is being strangled and it seems the war right now has lost its humanity," he continued.

"If we look at the issue of water, we all know water is life and Gaza is running out of water and Gaza is running out of life."

Israel's Energy Minister Israel Katz earlier said water supply was resuming to southern Gaza after talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Joe Biden.

"This will push the civilian population to the southern (part of the) Strip," Katz said in a statement, a week after Israel had stopped supplying water to the entire territory as part of a "complete siege" on the Palestinian enclave.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan earlier said that Israel told him it turned the water supply back on in southern Gaza.

The municipality of Beni Suheila in southern Gaza confirmed that the water supply had resumed to the village.


UNIFIL says headquarters in Lebanon hit by rocket fire

The U.N.'s peacekeeping force in Lebanon said Sunday that its headquarters in Naqoura, near Lebanon's border with Israel, was hit by a rocket but that no one was injured.

"Today we are observing intense exchanges of fire in several areas along the Blue Line between Lebanese territory and Israel," UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon, said in a statement.

"There have been impacts on both sides of the Blue line. Our headquarters in Naqoura was hit with a rocket and we are working to verify from where. Our peacekeepers were not in shelters at the time. Fortunately, no one was hurt," it said. 

UNIFIL said military escalation continues and urged all the parties to halt fire.

"We remind all the parties involved that attacks against civilians or UN personnel are violations of international law that may amount to war crimes," it said. 

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

U.S. evacuation flights to continue Monday, Tuesday on "rolling basis"

U.S.-facilitated charter flights for Americans looking to leave Israel will continue Monday and Tuesday "on a rolling basis," the State Department said Sunday

The flights arranged by the U.S. government are departing from Ben Gurion International Airport. The State Department says Americans who want to get on a flight should go to Terminal 3, and should be prepared to wait.
Those traveling Sunday should look for a table with a U.S. flag at the terminal, where U.S. Embassy personnel will provide assistance, it said.

"Chartered flights will be to nearby safe locations, not back to the United States and you may not be able to choose your destination," the State Department says. "Seats are on a space available basis."

Dozens of major airlines canceled flights from Israel after Hamas attacked Israel and Israel responded with retaliatory strikes on the Gaza Strip. The U.S. announced late last week charter flights for Americans would begin starting Friday. 

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

2,670 Palestinians killed, Gaza Health Ministry says

The death toll in Gaza rose to 2,670 Palestinians killed, with another 9,600 injured, in Israeli attacks on the territory since Oct. 7, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

Blinken meets with Egyptian President El-Sisi

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday in Egypt, the latest in a series of discussions between Blinken and leaders of countries surrounding Israel and Gaza as the Biden administration works to stave off the possibility of broader regional conflict.

He spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier Sunday, following meetings with leadership in Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. On Thursday, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Addressing reporters on the tarmac before leaving Egypt, Blinken said he "had very good conversations" during his visits in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 

Blinken speaks to reporters in Cairo ahead of Israel's expected ground offensive in Gaza 02:07

He previously called the discussion with bin Salman "very productive," according to The Associated Press.

"The purpose of seeing all of our partners is, first and foremost, to listen to them, to hear how they're seeing this crisis, and to look at what we can do together to deal with many of the concerns that it's raised," he said.

Blinken said the Egyptian president and Saudi crown prince offered "practical ideas for getting assistance to Palestinians in Gaza who are in need" and engaged in "important conversations about the future," characterizing the discourse in both meetings as "positive."

"We came here with four key objectives: To make clear that the United States stands with Israel, to prevent the conflict from spreading to other places, to work on securing the release of hostages including American citizens, and to address the humanitarian crisis that exists in Gaza," he said.

Blinken reiterated that "Israel has the right, indeed, it has the obligation to defend itself against these attacks from Hamas," adding that Israel "needs to do this in a way that affirms the shared values we have for human life and human dignity to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians."

He also touched on "two very different visions for the future" - one where the U.S. and regional leaders are "normalizing relations" and "working together in common purpose" to uphold the rights of Palestinian people, and another involving violence and destruction that Hamas has demonstrated.

"I have no doubt what path people, the overwhelming majority of people in the region will prefer if given the opportunity," Blinken said. "So our responsibility is to make it real, to bring it to life, to make it a clear, affirmative choice. And that's what we're determined to do."  

By Emily Mae Czachor

Israeli colonel: "We failed protecting the civilians"

The Kfar Aza kibbutz, where Hamas gunmen went on a murderous rampage against families and children, has now become an Israeli front line. Throughout the settlement are burnt-out vehicles, destroyed homes and the corpses of Hamas gunmen left to rot where they fell.

"In this bed, two women were lying," Col. Golan Vach said. They were murdered inside the safe room that was supposed to protect them.

Israel says invasion of Gaza is imminent 04:17

Referring to a dead Hamas fighter in a doorway, Vach said, "You can still see the beast here … He was sitting here and shot everyone that stepped outside."

In what the Israelis call the "neighborhood of slaughter," nearly every single resident was killed, including 66 people on one street alone.

"Some of the children tried to hide behind these bushes, and they found them, and they slaughtered them, and they were happy," Vach said.

Amid the sadness is a growing anger: Why weren't communities so close to Gaza better protected, and why did it take Israeli forces hours to respond?

"We failed, period," Vach said. "We failed protecting the civilians. It shouldn't [have] happened, not like this, never, not on this scale."

By Charlie D'Agata

U.S. Senate delegation sheltered during rocket fire, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday that he and a bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators who are visiting Israel were rushed to a shelter in Tel Aviv to wait out rocket fire by Hamas. 

"It shows you what Israelis have to go through," he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. "We must provide Israel with the support required to defend itself."

Schumer is in Israel with Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and Mitt Romney, and Democratic Sens. Jacky Rosen and Mark Kelly.

"To have a bipartisan delegation, led by the majority leader saying strongly and unequivocally we're with Israel is going to make a big difference to Israelis," Schumer previously told The Associated Press about the visit.

Read more here.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

Gaza death toll rises to 2,450, health ministry says

The Gaza Health Ministry said Sunday that 2,450 Palestinians have been killed and 9,200 others have been wounded since fighting between Israel and Hamas started last weekend. That figure is more than during the 2014 Gaza war, which lasted more than six weeks.

The conflict is now the deadliest of the five Gaza wars for both sides.

More than 1,300 Israelis have died since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and at least 3,200 people have been wounded, Israel's military said. 



Petraeus: Hamas' attack on Israel was "far worse than 9/11"

Q&A: David Petraeus on Israel's response to the Hamas attack 05:29

Retired Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded America's wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, knows from experience what Israel is facing in its war against Hamas — sending an army, even one as powerful as Israel's, into the densely populated neighborhoods of Gaza.

"This is going to be a very, very tough fight," he told CBS News. "I almost can't imagine a more challenging contextual set of circumstances here than what they face.

"There are tunnels; there will be rooms that will have improvised explosive devices," he said. "You have to clear every building, every floor, every room, every basement, every tunnel. Civilian losses are inevitable, and tough Israeli losses lie ahead as well."

Petraeus, along with British historian Andrew Roberts, has just written a book titled "Conflict," a word which has come to define the century which began on 9/11. The Oct. 7 surprise attack by Hamas is, Petraeus said, "far worse than 9/11."

Read more here

By David Martin

U.S. national security adviser: "There is a risk of an escalation of this conflict"

President Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS' "Face the Nation" the U.S. is moving a second aircraft carrier group into the Middle East region to deter surrounding nations from widening the war between Israel and Hamas.

"There is a risk of an escalation of this conflict, the opening of a second front in the north and of course of Iran's involvement, that is a risk, and that's a risk that we have been mindful of since the start," Sullivan said.

Iran-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon have already been firing at Israel.

-Linda Kenyon


"There is no place safe … in Gaza Strip"

American Haneen Okal is desperately trying to get out of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip with her three children to join her husband in New Jersey.

But the only exit from Gaza, the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, remains closed.

"There is no place safe in here, in Gaza Strip," Okal said. "… All U.S. citizens are feeling abandoned and feeling that they are left alone."

By Ian Lee

Residents flee Israeli city near Gaza Strip: "It's on the front line"

Residents of the southern Israeli city of Sderot boarded buses for other parts of the country on Sunday to escape the rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip.

Sderot, a city of about 34,000 people located about a mile from the Gaza border, has been a frequent target of Hamas' rockets.

One of the residents, Yossi Edri, told Channel 13 before boarding a bus that "children are traumatized, they can't sleep at night."'

Thousands already left the city last week under a state-sponsored program that puts them up in hotels elsewhere as a respite from the violence. The program in Sderot was expanded Sunday.

"There is no reason to return to Sderot," Mayor Alon Davidi told Army Radio. "It's on the front line."

By The Associated Press

Israeli army awaits "political" green light for Gaza invasion

The Israeli army is awaiting a "political decision" on the timing of a major ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, military spokesmen said Sunday as civilians stepped up desperate efforts to flee northern Gaza.

Military spokesmen Lt. Col. Richard Hecht and Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told separate briefings on Sunday that "a political decision" will set off any action against Hamas.

"We will be holding discussions with our political leadership," Hecht told one briefing.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops near the Gaza border on Saturday that "more is coming." But he did not say when any ground operation would start.

Military spokesmen have told reporters that any invasion would aim to eradicate Hamas' militant network and leadership so that it cannot stage more attacks.

The Israeli military has particularly singled out Yahya Sinwar, the chief of Hamas in Gaza who they blame for the Oct. 7 attacks. "That man is in our sights," Hecht said on Saturday. "He is a dead man walking and we will get to that man."


Situation in Gaza hospitals getting ever more desperate

Medics in Gaza warned Sunday that thousands could die as hospitals packed with wounded people run desperately low on fuel and basic supplies. Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave struggled to find food, water and safety ahead of an expected Israeli ground offensive in the war sparked by Hamas' deadly attack.

A week of blistering airstrikes have demolished entire Gaza neighborhoods but failed to stem militant rocket fire into Israel.

Hospitals are expected to run out of generator fuel within two days, according to the U.N., which said that would endanger the lives of thousands of patients.

Gaza's sole power plant shut down for lack of fuel after Israel completely sealed off the 25-mile-long territory following the Hamas attack.

By The Associated Press

Pope calls for humanitarian corridors for Gaza residents

Pope Francis called on Sunday for humanitarian corridors to allow the delivery of essentials to the Gaza Strip, which is under heavy Israeli bombardment following a bloody attack on Israel by Gaza's rulers, Hamas.

"Humanitarian law must be respected, especially in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to guarantee humanitarian corridors and help the population," said the Pope after his traditional Angelus prayer in Rome's Saint Peter's Square.


Israel, Hezbollah exchange fire, heightening fears of a second front opening

Cross-border fire erupted between Israel and Lebanon early Sunday, killing at least one person on the Israeli side of the border. Both the Israeli military and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah acknowledged the fighting.

Hezbollah said it shelled Israeli military positions in the northern border town of Shtula. The group said in a statement the attack was in retaliation for Israeli shelling that killed Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah on Friday and two Lebanese civilians on Saturday.

Israel has responded by targeting the outskirts of the town of Ait el-Shaab, the Israeli military said.

The Israel Defense Forces also banned civilians from going within two-and-a-half miles of the Lebanese border.

In addition, the Reuters news service reports, Israel disrupted GPS electronic location services in the northern border area and at the Gaza front, according to Reuters.

Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service said a 40-year-old man was killed in the attack from Lebanon, without elaborating or giving his nationality.

As Israel wages its war against Hamas over last week's unprecedented attack by the Gaza Strip militant group, there's been concern that Hezbollah could enter the war as well as Israel moves toward launching a ground offensive in Gaza.

-- additional reporting by Brian Dakss

By The Associated Press

U.S. arranges for ship to evacuate Americans from Israel to Cyprus Monday

The United States has organized a ship to take Americans out of Israel to Cyprus on Monday, the U.S. Embassy said.

With Israel moving toward an invasion of the Gaza Strip, the ship will leave from the Israeli port of Haifa for Limassol, taking "U.S. nationals and their immediate family members with a valid travel document," the U.S. embassy said in a security alert Sunday.

Tens of thousands of U.S. passport holders live in Israel and 29 have been confirmed killed in the Hamas attacks on October 7. Another 15 are missing and believed to be among hostages held by Hamas since the attacks.

The U.S. embassy didn't say how many people would fit on the ship but said "boarding will proceed in order of arrival and is on a space limited basis."

Each passenger will have to sign a document promising to repay the cost of the trip and will only be allowed to bring one suitcase.

The embassy said some chartered flights would be arranged from Cyprus for onward travel.


Pete Davidson starts "Saturday Night Live" with somber, emotional cold open addressing terror attacks

"Saturday Night Live" returned over the weekend for the show's season 49 premiere -- its first show since the WGA strike ended -- and addressed the Hamas terror attack in Israel. Zach Seemayer of "Entertainment Tonight" wrote about the powerful open:

In what would usually be the show's "Cold Open" sketch, host Pete Davidson delivered an impassioned message about the attacks, and his own memories and experiences dealing with tragedy.

"This week, we saw the horrible images and stories from Israel and Gaza, and I know what you're thinking, 'Who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson?' Well, in a lot of ways, I am a good person to talk about it because when I was 7 years old, my dad was killed in a terrorist attack," Davidson intoned. "So I know something about what that's like."

Davidson's father, Scott Davidson, was a New York City fire fighter who died on 9/11 in the attacks on the World Trade Center. 

"I saw so many terrible pictures this week of children suffering, Israeli children and Palestinian children, and it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place, and no one in this world deserves to suffer like that, especially not kids," Davidson continued.

The 29-year-old comic recalled how, after his father died, his mom "tried pretty much everything she could do to cheer me up."

"I remember one day when I was 8, she got me what she thought was a Disney movie, but it was actually the Eddie Murphy standup special Delirious," he remembered. "We played it in the car on the way home, and when she heard the things Eddie Murphy was saying, she tried to take it away. But then she noticed something -- for the first time in a long time, I was laughing again. I don't understand it. I really don't, and I never will, but sometimes comedy is really the only way forward through tragedy."

"My heart is with everyone whose lives have been destroyed this week. But tonight, I'm going to do what I've always done in the face of tragedy, and that's try to be funny," Davidson concluded. "Remember, I said try. And live from New York, it's Saturday night!"


Blinken calls meeting with Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman "very productive"

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Sunday as the Biden administration scrambles to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from becoming a broader regional conflict.

Blinken and the crown prince spoke for a little less than an hour at the prince's private farm outside the capital of Riyadh, U.S. officials said.

Asked how the meeting went, Blinken replied "very productive," but there were no immediate details. The meeting was closed to media.

The talks came just hours after the Israeli military warned that a full-scale assault on Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip would begin soon and amid increasingly dire warnings that the expected ground invasion will have devastating consequences for Palestinian civilians.

Prince Mohammed is the sixth Arab leader Blinken has seen in person since he arrived in the Middle East on Thursday, stopping first in Israel to reaffirm the Biden administration's pledge to stand with and support Israel. From Israel, Blinken has traveled throughout the region meeting the leaders of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He planned to visit Egypt later Sunday. 

By The Associated Press

Hamas confirms 3 fighters killed infiltrating Israel from Lebanon

Hamas claimed responsibility Sunday for two infiltrations from Lebanon to Israel that killed three of its fighters, as war rages between the Gaza-based militants and Israel.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, said its members were "able ... to blow up the border fence and ... go forth inside occupied Palestine," clashing with "the enemy," whose planes targeted the fighters, killing three on Saturday.

Israeli forces on Saturday had said they killed several "terrorists" trying to cross from Lebanon.

In their statement, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades also claimed responsibility for an incident on Friday at the border when the group "advanced to go forth into occupied Palestine and was able to clash with the Zionist enemy army and withdraw peacefully."

Two Lebanese security sources had said on Friday that Israel shelled the southern Lebanon border region after a blast on the border fence, according to the Israeli army.

One of the security sources said the shelling followed an infiltration attempt from the Lebanese side of the border, while the Israeli army said it was responding to a blast that caused "light damage" to the border barrier.


Israel claims senior Hamas commander killed in airstrike

Israel's military says Bilal al-Kedra, a senior Hamas commander, was killed Saturday night in an airstrike on the Gaza Strip.

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, says he oversaw the raid on the Kibbutz Nirim and Nir Oz kibbutzes.

The IDF also says other "operatives" in Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were killed.

CBS News cannot confirm the claims.

By Brian Dakss

A timeline of the long history that led up to the Israel-Hamas war

The violent conflict between Israel and Gaza has its roots in 1967, when Israel captured the narrow coastal strip from Egypt during the Six-Day War.

Resistance to Israel's occupation led to the first Palestinian uprising, known as an intifada, and the birth of the militant group Hamas.

The fighting ended as the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords brought hopes of peace with a future Palestinian state. But frustrations led to a second, even more bloody intifada in 2000.

It ended in 2005, coinciding with Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, leaving it to be ruled by the Palestinians. The following year, Palestinians, angry with their government's corruption, handed Hamas an electoral victory in 2006.

But Palestinian rival group Fatah, along with Israel and the United States, rejected their rule.

That same year, Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who would eventually be exchanged for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

In 2007, Hamas seized control of Gaza during a civil war with Fatah. The following years would see sporadic violence and major wars.

But invading Gaza by ground is something Israel has only done twice. Israeli forces entered cities in 2009 to stop rocket attacks and weapons smuggling.

Then in 2014, Israeli forces led a shallow incursion, capturing territory along the Gaza border to destroy smuggling and attack tunnels. Every violent outburst ended in negotiations, but never addressed the underlying cause of the conflict, sowing the seeds of the next round of fighting.

U.S. presidents have tried, with varying degrees of effort, but failed to bring peace through a two-state solution.

A Palestinian state was never a major priority for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Palestinians have also rejected peace deals in the past, which leads to this latest round of fighting, because in the absence of peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, there will continue to be war.

Watch the full story in the video below

A timeline of the long history that led up to the Israeli-Hamas war 03:06
By Ian Lee

Chinese envoy to visit Middle East to push for ceasefire, state media says

Chinese envoy Zhai Jun will visit the Middle East next week to push for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict and promote peace talks, state broadcaster CCTV reported Sunday.

Zhai "will visit the Middle East next week to coordinate with various parties for a ceasefire, to protect civilians, ease the situation, and promote peace talks," CCTV said in a video posted to its official social media account on Sunday.

The CCTV report came as Israel appeared poised for a ground offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza.

More than one million people in the northern part of the crowded enclave have been ordered to flee ahead of the expected assault, an exodus that aid groups said would set off a humanitarian disaster.

Zhai said in an interview with CCTV that "the prospect of further broadening and outward spillover (of the conflict) is deeply worrying", according to the broadcaster.

Beijing's top diplomat Wang Yi called on Saturday for the United States to "play a constructive and responsible role" in the conflict, and urged "the convening of an international peace meeting as soon as possible to promote the reaching of broad consensus."

China's official statements on the conflict have not specifically named Hamas in their condemnations of violence, leading to criticism from some Western officials who said they were too weak.


Social media disinformation spreads amid war in Israel

As the war in Israel and Gaza plays out in real time on social media, experts say bad information and propaganda are spreading on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Alethea, a research group, said that they had detected a network of at least 67 accounts on the site posting false content about the war. Those posts, which include mistranslated videos, have received millions of views. 

Mike Caulfield, a research scientist at the Center for an Informed Public, a multidisciplinary research center at Seattle's University of Washington, said that ongoing disinformation can cause chaos. 

"When we flood people with this sea of unvetted information, much of it deceptive, we're throwing away the goodwill of our citizens," Caulfield said. "We're opening the door to a variety of people that want to manipulate their goodwill." 

Read the full story here.

By Kerry Breen

Iran criticizes Israel in wake of response to Hamas attack

Iran's United Nations envoy criticized Israel on Saturday for its response to the invasion of the militant group Hamas, and appeared to indicate the U.N. would be responsible for how the conflict will play out.

In a statement posted to social media, Tehran's permanent mission to the U.N. wrote that "Israeli apartheid's war crimes & genocide are not halted immediately, the situation could spiral out of control & ricochet far-reaching consequences—the responsibility of which lies with the UN, the Security Council & the states steering the Council toward a dead end."

Biden administration officials have said since the attacks began that Iran has long supported Hamas with material, financial and logistical support, but that to date no evidence had been unearthed to link the attacks, which killed more than 1,200 Israelis and wounded thousands more, to Tehran.

Several U.S. officials told CBS News that U.S. intelligence appears to indicate Iran was taken by surprise by Hamas' assault on Israel, which killed at least 1,300 people.

U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told CBS News' Pamela Falk Saturday that several meetings between Tor Wennesland, U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, have been "to discuss diplomatic efforts to release hostages, secure humanitarian access and prevent a spillover of the conflict to the wider region. This includes his recent meetings in Lebanon."

According to the Associated Press, Amirabdollahian told reporters in Beirut that Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group has taken all the scenarios of a war into consideration, and warned that Israel should stop its attacks on Gaza as soon as possible.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to the Middle East this weekend, where he is meeting with several Arab leaders in an effort to find a diplomatic solution to the Israel-Hamas conflict.  

--- Olivia Gazis and Pamela Falk contributed to this report.

By Faris Tanyos

Second U.S. aircraft carrier headed to Eastern Mediterranean

U.S. officials confirm a second U.S. aircraft carrier is headed to the eastern Mediterranean Sea. 

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower departed Saturday on a long-scheduled deployment and will join the USS Gerald R. Ford

The Ford aircraft carrier, which is the largest warship in the world, deployed from the western Mediterranean five days ago, following the Hamas attack on Israel. 

The Eisenhower aircraft carrier departed the Naval Station Norfolk on Oct. 14, according to a Navy statement, which made no reference to the conflict. 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in another statement released Saturday evening local time, however, that the ship's movement, "signal the United States' ironclad commitment to Israel's security and our resolve to deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this war."

Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, commander of the Carrier Strike Group, said in the statement the carrier's presence will strengthen the relationship with U.S. allies, "as we share the goal to deter aggression, and if required, deliver overwhelming combat power."

More than 1,300 people were killed in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. At least 29 Americans are known to be among the dead, a State Department spokesperson confirmed Saturday. President Biden held a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday evening in which he "reiterated" that Israel has "unwavering U.S. support," the White House said in a statement.

— Reporting contributed by Faris Tanyos, S. Dev. and David Martin. 

By Cara Tabachnick

Israel attacks Syria's Aleppo airport, monitor says

A Syrian opposition war monitor and a pro-government media outlet say Israel's military has attacked the international airport of the northern city of Aleppo, putting it out of service.

Al-Watan daily said the Saturday night strike hit the runway of Aleppo airport — putting it out of service just hours after it was fixed following a similar Israeli strike on Thursday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that the strike also hit the runway at Aleppo airport.

The attack on Aleppo airport came shortly after a rocket was reportedly fired from Syria into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

On Thursday, Israel struck the runways in Aleppo and Damascus International Airport. Aleppo was fixed within a day before it was again targeted Saturday.

There was no immediate comment from Israel's military, which rarely confirms such strikes.

By The Associated Press

"We're not walking away," Biden says of Americans kidnapped by Hamas

The White House released a video Saturday of President Biden's words to the families of American citizens who remain missing in the wake of Hamas' attack on Israel last weekend.

In the clip, in which the president addressed the families in a phone call Friday from the Oval Office, he tells the families that "there's no higher priority" than recovering the missing Americans, and "we're not walking away."

"We made it clear how important it is to you, to me personally, and to all the American people. And it really is. It really, really is. We're not walking away. We're not walking away, I promise you."

A State Department spokesperson said Saturday that at least 29 U.S. citizens were killed in the attack, and at least 15 others remain unaccounted for, along with one U.S. permanent resident.

"I know that people get on and talk to you and say what it's like," Mr. Biden told the families. "But I know from experience there's not a single thing more and more worrisome than someone you love, someone you adore, who adores you, and not knowing their fate, not knowing their fate."

The president was joined on the phone call with the families by Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Undersecretary of State John Bass, and National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk, the White House said.

Israeli Defense Forces said Saturday that at least 120 people were taken captive by Hamas during the invasion. IDF has amassed about 300,000 troops on the border with Gaza, and is expected to launch a ground invasion soon.

In an interview with "60 Minutes" set to air Sunday, Mr. Biden said the U.S. is "working like hell" to find Americans being held hostage. 

Pres. Biden on possible American hostages in Gaza | Sunday on 60 Minutes 00:19

"I say we're going to do everything in our power to find them," Mr. Biden replied. "Everything in our power. And I'm not going to go into the detail of that, but there's — we're working like hell on it." 

— Kathryn Watson contributed to this report. 

By Faris Tanyos

Biden reiterates "unwavering U.S. support" for Israel in call with Netanyahu, White House says

President Biden held a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday evening in which he "reiterated" that Israel has "unwavering U.S. support," the White House said in a statement.

Israel Defense Forces have amassed some 300,000 troops on the border with Gaza and are expected to launch a ground invasion soon. Israel on Friday issued evacuation orders to more than 1 million northern Gaza residents, warning them to move south of the Wadi Gaza wetlands ahead of the pending incursion.

Since Hamas militants invaded southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing at least 1,300 people and wounding at least 3,200 more, Israel has enacted a full blockade of the Gaza Strip, not allowing any food, water, gas, or electricity into the region.

In his call, Mr. Biden informed Netanyahu of his administration's efforts to ensure that "innocent civilians" in Gaza "have access to food, water and medical supplies," according to the White House. The president told Netanyahu the administration was coordinating with the United Nations and several Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt and Jordan, toward those ends.

In its own readout of the call, Netanyahu's office thanked Mr. Biden for the "deep and unconditional support" of the U.S., but did not mention their conversation regarding U.S. efforts to create humanitarian corridors for Palestinian civilians.

According to the latest numbers from the U.N., at least 400,000 Palestinians have been displaced since the fighting began. A U.N. spokesperson criticized Israel for its evacuation orders, saying in a statement it would be "impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences."

The Gaza Health Ministry has said at least 2,215 people have been killed in Israel's retaliatory airstrikes, and more than 8,700 wounded.

By Faris Tanyos

Oct. 7 website launched to collect Israeli survivor stories

More than 120 stories from survivors of the Oct. 7 attack on the Supernova trance festival have been collected on the Oct. 7 website launched earlier this week. Stories from people in Kibbutz Re'im, Kibbutz Nahal Oz, Kibbutz Be'eri and other attack sites have been posted on the website as

Each contributor shared their experience from that day and shared videos and photos they had taken. Millet, one survivor from the festival, said that she and her friends ran for three hours but couldn't escape the terrorists. 

Stories gathered from the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. October 7 website

She and her friends hid in the woods and they tried to breathe quietly without crying. 

"I wrote my family that I love them and I'm happy with the life I've had," Millet wrote, sharing three videos from the festival.

A resident of Ofakim, Michal, writes that she gathered six young children, including her newborn baby to hide, while her brother-in-law, Ariel, went to fight the terrorists. He had run over to her house to let her know Hamas was coming. She hid with the children under solar panels until they were rescued. Her brother-in-law was murdered in the fighting. Michal posted photos of her bombed-out home. 

By Cara Tabachnick

Palestinians evacuate northern Gaza as Israel warns of ground offensive

Palestinians struggled Saturday to flee from areas of Gaza targeted by the Israeli military a week after Hamas' bloody and wide-ranging attacks into Israel.

Israel renewed calls on social media and in leaflets dropped from the air for Gaza residents to leave their homes and move south, while Hamas urged people to stay in their homes. The U.N. and aid groups have said such a rapid exodus along with Israel's siege of the territory would cause untold human suffering.

Palestine Israel Conflict 2023
Palestinian families are evacuating to safer areas following overnight Israeli shelling. Momen Faiz via Getty Images

The evacuation directive covers an area of 1.1 million residents or about half the territory's population. The Israeli military said "hundreds of thousands" of Palestinians had heeded the warning and headed south. It gave Palestinians a six-hour window that ended Saturday afternoon to travel safely within Gaza along two main routes.

By The Associated Press

Palestinian Americans try to leave Gaza: "I feel like I'm betraying my family and friends."

Susai Beseiso, who grew up in Gaza and now lives in Utah, was waiting at the Rafah Crossing near Egypt with her mother, brother, sister and cousins on Saturday.

Beseiso was visiting family in Gaza on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israel killing more than 1,300 people and counter airstrikes began. Israeli airstrikes had killed at least 2,215 people, including 724 children, and left more than 8,714 others wounded, the Gaza Health Ministry said on Saturday.

U.S. officials said an agreement in principle had been worked out between Egypt, Israel and Qatar to allow Palestinian Americans and other dual citizens in Gaza to cross the Rafah border into Egypt at some point Saturday. 

On Saturday afternoon around 2:00 p.m. local time, Beseiso was waiting to cross the border, distressed by the fact that so many members of her family might not be able to cross with her. 

"I feel like I am betraying my family and my friends. I'm leaving them behind. I don't know what's going to happen to them. I don't know if they're going to be okay. I don't know if I'm going to ever see them again," Beseiso told CBS News.

The State Department in Washington D.C. told Beseiso the crossing would open Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. local time. When she first spoke to CBS News at 2 p.m. local, the crossing was not open. 

"It's just terrifying," she said. "No person on earth can go through this."

At 9 p.m. local time on Saturday, Beseiso and her family had left the border, which she says never opened. She says her contact at the State Department told her and her family to sleep near the crossing, but they decided it was too dangerous, as it was in the open with no shelter from bombs.

Beseiso told CBS News: "If I want to make a difference in my country, I want them to have a better life, I can't just die."

Marwan Al-Ghoul contributed to this report.

By Haley Ott

Reuters calls for thorough investigation into attack that killed its journalist

Reuters has called for the Israel Defense Force to conduct a "thorough, swift and transparent investigation" into the attack that killed video journalist Issam Abdallah and injured others, including journalists from AFP and Al Jazeera.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by the killing of Issam. He was a brilliant and passionate journalist, and much loved at Reuters. We are urgently seeking information and supporting Issam's family and colleagues at this terrible time," Reuters president Paul Bascobert and Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement.

"We reiterate our requests sent over the past several days to the Israeli authorities for clarity on the rules of engagement and assurances that Reuters journalists and offices in Gaza will not be targeted as part of Israel's military operations. We have still not received a response," the statement continued.

The Lebanese flag-draped casket of Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah is seen during his funeral in El-Khiam on October 14, 2023. Photo by Fadel Itani/AFP via Getty Images
Mourners carry the flag-draped casket of Lebanese Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah during his funeral in the village of El-Khiam on October 14, 2023. Abdallah was killed on October 13 and six others from AFP, Reuters and Al Jazeera were wounded while working in southern Lebanon, the three news organizations said. Fadel Itani/AFP via Getty Images

An Israeli military spokesman said Saturday that the Jewish state was "very sorry" about the death of Issam when a rocket hit a group of journalists near Lebanon's southern border with Israel, but he did not confirm the rocket was fired by Israel as claimed on Friday.

"Reuters urges the IDF to respect and work with the media, including Reuters, to ensure the safety of all journalists reporting in the region," the statement said.

By Joe Ruiz

Blinken calls for protecting civilians as Israel readies an expected assault on Gaza

Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Saturday for protecting civilians in the Gaza Strip and Israel as he intensified his diplomatic outreach across the Middle East and beyond to rally an international response to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from expanding.

Blinken began a tour earlier this week of Arab capitals and met with leaders including Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. His hosts put humanitarian assistance as the top of their concerns, and Blinken cited the need for humanitarian assistance and safe passage from those who wish to leave Gaza.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Lusail on October 13, 2023. JACQUELYN MARTIN/AFP/ via Getty Images

Blinken also called Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to seek his country's help in preventing the war from spreading, asking Beijing to use whatever influence it has in the Mideast. He also said that an agreement in principle had been worked out between Egypt, Israel and Qatar to allow Palestinian Americans and other dual citizens in Gaza to cross the Rafah border into Egypt. 

By late on Saturday crowds of foreigners and Palestinian-Americans were still waiting. Blinken planned to stop in Egypt on Sunday.

CBS News has learned that the Egyptian government is holding up the opening of the Rafah crossing, which would allow Palestinians attempting to flee the Gaza Strip entry into Egypt.

Read the full story here.

Reporting by AP

By The Associated Press

Egyptian government holding up opening of Rafah crossing

CBS News has learned that the Egyptian government is holding up the opening of the Rafah crossing, which would allow Palestinians attempting to flee the Gaza Strip entry into Egypt.

The State Department has previously said it has been "in touch with a number of the roughly 500-600 [U.S.-Palestinian dual nationals]... who have expressed interest in receiving information about leaving" the Gaza Strip amid retaliatory airstrikes and an expected ground offensive.

A senior State Department official told reporters traveling with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Friday in Saudi Arabia that the U.S. was "trying to facilitate" a five-hour opening of the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing from the Gaza Strip to enable civilians to flee the heavily-bombarded Palestinian territory.

"The Egyptians, the Israelis and the Qataris have been working with us on that," the official said, adding that it was "not clear at all if Hamas was going to allow people to make it to Rafah" from inside Gaza.

Margaret Brennan and Christina Ruffini contributed reporting. 

By Kerry Breen

Israel admits intelligence 'mistakes' in failing to predict Hamas attacks

A senior Israeli official admitted Saturday "mistakes" in intelligence assessments ahead of a brutal Hamas attack last weekend that took the country by surprise.

"It's my mistake, and it reflects the mistakes of all those making (intelligence) assessments," National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi told a press briefing when asked about his recent remarks predicting no Hamas aggression.

"We really believed that Hamas learned the lesson from" its last major war with Israel in 2021, Hanegbi said.


IDF says it is "preparing to expand the attack" on Gaza Strip

The Israel Defense Forces said in an online statement that they are "preparing to expand the attack" on the Gaza Strip. 

The military, which recently mobilized hundreds of thousands of reservists, is "preparing to implement a wide range of offensive operative plans which include, among other things, an integrated and coordinated attack from the air, sea and land," according to the statement. 

The IDF said that its battalions and soldiers are deployed nationwide and "prepared to increase readiness for the next stages of the war - with an emphasis on a significant ground operation." 

An Israeli ground offensive has been expected for several days. This comes after a week of retaliatory airstrikes in response to Hamas' terrorist attack in Israel last weekend. Earlier Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared a video of himself speaking to infantrymen and asking if they were "ready for the next stage." 

By Kerry Breen

Tens of thousands shelter in Gaza's largest hospital

The head of Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, told the Associated Press that there are 35,000 people sheltering inside the facility ahead of Israel's expected ground operation in the territory.  

The Israeli military has urged civilians in the northern parts of territory to move south, but efforts to do so have been complicated by a tight blockade preventing food, water, fuel and more from entering the Gaza Strip, and ongoing airstrikes in retaliation for Hamas' attack last weekend. Earlier Saturday, the Gaza Health Ministry said two hospitals were no longer able to continue operating because of the airstrikes, and other hospitals had been damaged. 

By Kerry Breen

Jewish people around the world grieve and pray for peace in Shabbat services

Jews in communities far from Israel gathered at synagogues this weekend for their first Shabbat services since Hamas militants attacked Israel, igniting an ongoing war. Rabbis led prayers of peace and shared grief with their congregations. At many synagogues security was tight.

"More Jews were killed last Shabbat … than on any other day since the Holocaust," said Rabbi Daniel Fellman of Temple Sinai, during the first service following the violence in Israel. "It isn't that Hamas wants the destruction of Israel. It's that Hamas wants the destruction of you and me."

Israel Palestinian Synagogues
Anne Faigen, right, says a silent prayer for her friends in Israel while at a Shabbat service at Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. Jessie Wardarski / AP

"The world deserves better, the Palestinian people deserve better and we need to do better," Fellman continued. 

Fellman's congregation – and others across the world – heeded the words of an Israeli soldier who had urged worshippers "to go sing and dance, go make sure that every person in the world hears us singing this prayer this Shabbat."

Read the full story here.

By The Associated Press

Thousands rally in London in support of Palestinians

Thousands of demonstrators marched through central London on Saturday to show their support for Palestinians and demand that Israel stop bombing civilians in the Gaza Strip as the Israel-Hamas war heightens tensions around the world.

Protesters waving Palestinian flags and chanting "Free Palestine" and "Stop the bombing" crowded into the streets outside the headquarters of the BBC for a 1 1/2-mile march that was scheduled to end at about 3 p.m. local time near the prime minister's residence at 10 Downing Street.

Pro-Palestinian protesters are seen marching in London on October 14, 2023. One protester in the foreground is carrying red and green smoke flares.
Protesters hold flares during a pro-Palestinian demonstration on October 14, 2023, in London. Kin Cheung / AP

The Metropolitan Police Service deployed more than 1,000 officers to police the event after an increase in both antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents since Hamas militants attacked Israel last weekend.

Police have restricted marchers to a designated route through central London, warning that anyone who strays from it will be arrested. Similar precautions are in place near the Israeli Embassy.

By The Associated Press

Netanyahu tells Israeli military members "the next stage is coming"

Video shared by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on social media showed him meeting with Israeli soldiers. 

Netanyahu was visiting with infantrymen outside the Gaza Strip, Reuters reported.

"You ready for the next stage?" he asked, according to a translation of the video by Reuters. "The next stage is coming." 

The infantrymen can be seen nodding. 

Israel is largely anticipated to begin a ground offensive in Gaza after a week of airstrikes as retaliation for Hamas' bloody terrorist attack on Oct. 7. Late Thursday night, Palestinians in the northern part of the Gaza Strip were told they had 24 hours to evacuate to the southern part of the territory. 

By Kerry Breen

Blinken speaks with China, Saudi Arabia

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with leaders from China and Saudi Arabia on Saturday. 

Blinken met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Riyadh. During their meeting, he emphasized the United States' "unwavering focus on halting terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel," a spokesperson for the State Department said. Blinken and the Foreign Minister discussed "continued engagement with regional partners to prevent the spread of conflict in the region and their shared commitment to taking steps to help protect civilians." 

Before leaving the country, Blinken also spoke with Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, to tell him that the purpose of his trip throughout the Middle East is to prevent the Israel-Hamas conflict from widening. Blinken told Wang that he believes it is important that China use its relationships in the region to keep the conflict from spreading. Their call lasted about an hour, according to the State Department.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), meets with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh on October 14, 2023. Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), meets with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh on October 14, 2023.  Jacquelyn Martin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
By Kerry Breen

Airstrikes impact hospital operations and care, Gaza Health Ministry says

Two hospitals in the Gaza Strip are no longer providing services, the Gaza Health Ministry said Saturday. 

The ministry said that 15 hospitals in the Israeli territory have been damaged, along with 23 ambulances, amid retaliatory airstrikes from Israel. Ten paramedics have been killed and 27 more have been injured, the ministry said. 

Multiple international agencies have expressed concern about the state of medical care in the Gaza Strip amid the airstrikes and a complete blockade that has stopped the flow of medicine, food, water, electricity and fuel into the territory. The World Health Organization on Thursday released a statement warning that Gaza's health system was at a "breaking point." 

By Kerry Breen

U.S. authorizes departure of non-emergency government personnel from Jerusalem embassy

The U.S. State Department said Saturday it had authorized the departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members from the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and its branch office in Tel Aviv "due to the unpredictable security situation in Israel," Reuters reported.

By Joe Ruiz

Red Cross says it is "appalled to see the human misery" in Israel, Gaza

The Red Cross said Saturday it was "appalled" by the human misery unleashed by the war between Hamas and Israel, saying its volunteers would not abandon those who needed them most.

It called on both sides to abide by international humanitarian law, protect civilians and allow humanitarian organizations to alleviate the growing levels of suffering.

"The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is appalled to see the human misery that has unfolded over the last week in Israel and Gaza," with civilians paying the highest price, a statement issued by the heads of both branches of the Red Cross Movement said. 

Thousands of Palestinians sought refuge Saturday after Israel warned them to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip ahead of an expected ground offensive against Hamas, one week after the deadliest attack in Israel's history. Hamas militants killed more than 1,300 people in the attack on Israel, sparking a massive retaliatory bombing campaign targeting the Islamist group, which has killed more than 2,200 people in Gaza.

U.S. officials show support for Israel, express concern about Gaza humanitarian crisis 02:55

The Red Cross chiefs said there was "devastating" human suffering on all sides, and in international humanitarian law, "there is no hierarchy in pain and suffering." 

"These rules exist to help preserve humanity in the darkest moments, and they desperately need to be followed today. They are and should remain our compass to ensure that we put humanity first," the statement said. "The Movement is committed to continuing to provide protection and life-saving relief to the people suffering the horrors of the ongoing violence. The needs are staggering and will only continue to increase if the hostilities persist. We call on all parties to exercise restraint, to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, and to protect civilians."

Alarm has grown over the fate of Palestinian civilians in blockaded and besieged Gaza if it becomes the scene of intense urban combat.

"Nothing can justify the horrific loss of civilian lives in Israel last weekend... but such tragedy cannot in turn justify the limitless destruction of Gaza," the Red Cross statement said. "We are deeply alarmed by the call for relocation in Gaza. Our volunteers refuse to leave and abandon those who need them most. They must be protected – so that they can protect others."


U.S. working with Israel, Egypt to get Rafah crossing from Gaza opened for civilians to flee

A senior State Department official told reporters traveling with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Friday in Saudi Arabia that the U.S. was "trying to facilitate" a five-hour opening of the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing from the Gaza Strip to enable civilians to flee the heavily-bombarded Palestinian territory.

"The Egyptians, the Israelis and the Qataris have been working with us on that," the official said, adding that it was "not clear at all if Hamas was going to allow people to make it to Rafah" from inside Gaza.

The U.S. official said the State Department was "in touch with a number of the roughly 500-600 [U.S.-Palestinian dual nationals]... who have expressed interest in receiving information about leaving" the coastal enclave, which has been subject to a complete Israeli blockade for a week.

Part of the Southern District of Israel, political map, with the Gaza Strip
A map shows southern Israel, the Gaza Strip and surrounding countries, including the location of the Rafah border crossing from Gaza into Egypt's Sinai peninsula. Getty/iStockphoto

"We have informed U.S. citizens in Gaza with whom we are in contact that if they assess it to be safe, they may wish to move closer to the Rafah border crossing," a U.S. State Department spokesperson said separately Friday, adding that "there may be very little notice if the crossing opens and it may only open for a limited time."

The State Department urged U.S. citizens in need of assistance in Gaza to complete an emergency help form available on its website, at

Egypt denied closing the Rafah crossing earlier this week, accusing Israel of blocking access to it with continued shelling on the Palestinian side.

Israel's military said Friday that Gazans from the densely populated northern half of the Palestinian territory had until 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern) to evacuate to the south, toward Rafah, "to preserve your safety." It suggested two routes southward through Gaza that it said would be spared from attacks during the time window, but Israel's relentless shelling of the Palestinian enclave continued in the meantime, including strikes on Khan Younis, just north of Rafah.

Palestinian man carries a wounded girl at the site of Israeli strikes in Khan Younis
A Palestinian man carries a wounded girl at the site of Israeli strikes, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 14, 2023. STRINGER/REUTERS
By Tucker Reals

Qatar blasts Israel over "attempts to forcibly displace" Palestinians in Gaza

Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized Israel Saturday for what it said were attempts to "forcibly displace" Palestinian civilians as the Israeli military continued bombarding the Gaza Strip. 

In a statement posted on its social media accounts, the Gulf state's foreign ministry said it categorically rejected "attempts to forcibly displace the brotherly Palestinian people from Gaza Strip and calls for lifting the blockade on the Strip and providing full protection to civilians under international law."

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns of the danger of adopting a policy of collective punishment, including calls to evacuate the population of the northern Gaza strip. It also considers that forcing civilians to displace or seek refuge in neighboring countries constitutes a violation of international laws."

Qatar has hosted Hamas' primary political office outside of Gaza for more than a decade, where the top leadership of the militant group has been based. 

By Emmet Lyons

Blinken says "vitally important that all of us look out for civilians" amid Israel-Hamas war

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Saturday for protection for civilians in both the Gaza Strip and Israel as the Israeli military ordered half of the Palestinian territory's population to evacuate in advance of an expected ground assault.

Blinken met his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, in Riyadh as he began a third day of intense Middle East diplomacy aimed at preventing the Israel-Hamas war from expanding into a regional conflict and fueling a humanitarian crisis.

"As Israel pursues its legitimate right, to defending its people and to trying to ensure that this never happens again, it is vitally important that all of us look out for civilians, and we're working together to do exactly that," Blinken said before heading to the United Arab Emirates for similar discussions. "None of us want to see suffering by civilians on any side, whether it's in Israel, whether it's in Gaza, whether it's anywhere else."

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Saudi Arabia
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives for a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 14, 2023. Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/REUTERS

A U.S official said Saturday that the U.S. did not ask Israel to slow or hold off on the evacuation plan. The official said the discussions with Israeli leaders did stress the importance of taking into account the safety of civilians as Israel's military moved to enforce the evacuation demand.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about internal discussions, said the Israeli leaders acknowledged the guidance and took it under advisement.

By The Associated Press

Rights groups, witness accuse Israel of using white phosphorus shells in Gaza

Two humanitarian organizations and an eyewitness who spoke with CBS News have accused Israeli forces of using white phosphorus shells in the Gaza Strip over the last week, in what critics say could be a violation of international laws requiring military forces to take all possible precautions to avoid harm to civilians.

Amnesty International said Friday that photos and video verified by the organization's Crisis Evidence Lab "indicate that Israel has been using white phosphorus ammunition" in densely populated civilian areas of Gaza.

The IDF, responding to an earlier report claiming white phosphorus use in Gaza by the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization, strongly denied any use of the controversial weapon in Gaza amid its week-long bombardment of the Palestinian territory, carried out in retaliation for the unprecedented terror attack launched by the region's Hamas rulers on Oct. 7.

Israeli airstrikes over Gaza Strip
Smoke is seen over Gaza City amid claims by Palestinian officials and human rights organizations that Israel has used white phosphorus incendiary bombs in its attacks on populated areas in Gaza, Oct. 11, 2023. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu/Getty

Palestinian officials in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip also alleged the use of white phosphorus this week.

The Reuters news agency quoted an Israeli military spokesman as saying Friday that the "current accusation made against the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) regarding the use of white phosphorus in Gaza is unequivocally false."

"The IDF has not deployed the use of such munitions," Reuters quoted the IDF as saying.

By Emmet Lyons

U.N. agency head says Israeli blockade putting Gazans at risk of death from dehydration

The head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees says hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced over the past 12 hours in the Gaza Strip. Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General, warned that the Gaza Strip is running out of clean water and fuel is urgently needed in order to have safe drinking water.

Lazzarini said in statement that more than 2 million people are at risk as water runs out adding that "it has become a matter of life and death."

Lazzarini said Gaza's water plant and public water networks have stopped working and people are now forced to use dirty water from wells, increasing risks of waterborne diseases.

"Nearly 1 million people have been displaced in one week alone," he said, adding that at the U.N. base in the southern Gaza Strip - where UNRWA has moved its operations - drinking water is also running out.

He called for lifting the blockade that Israel imposed on Gaza adding that if drinking water is not available, people will start dying of severe dehydration, among them young children, the elderly and women.

By The Associated Press

Gaza health officials put death toll from Israeli strikes over 2,200

The Health Ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said Saturday that the death toll from a week of Israeli airstrikes on the Palestinian territory had risen to at least 2,215 people, including 724 children. It said more than 8,714 others were wounded.

By Tucker Reals

Israeli military "very sorry" for journalist's death in shelling near southern Lebanon border

An Israeli military spokesman said Saturday that the Jewish state was "very sorry" about the death of a Reuters journalist killed the previous day when a rocket hit a group of journalists near Lebanon's southern border with Israel, but he did not confirm the rocket was fired by Israel as claimed on Friday.

"We are very sorry for the journalist's death," Israel Defense Forces spokesman Richard Hecht told reporters, according to the French news agency AFP, which saw two of its own journalists wounded in the same strike, along with four others. 

"We are looking into it," Hecht said about who fired the rocket that struck the television live shot position overlooking the border, which has seen cross-fire between Israel forces and Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants since the group's Hamas allies launched an unprecedented attack on Israel a week ago. 

Lebanon's army on Saturday blamed Israel for the attack, saying the Jewish state had "launched a missile which hit a civilian car belonging to a media group which led to the martyrdom" of Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah.

A journalist's car burns in Alma Al-Shaab, southern Lebanon
A journalist's car burns at the site where Reuters videojournalist Issam Abdallah was killed and six others were injured on Oct. 13, 2023, when missiles fired from the direction of Israel struck them, in Alma Al-Shaab, near the border with Israel, southern Lebanon, Oct. 13, 2023. THAIER AL-SUDANI/REUTERS

Despite repeated stern warnings from the U.S. not to get involved in the current war, Hezbollah has said it's ready to join Hamas' fight against Israel, which could significantly escalate the conflict and draw in other regional powers such as Iran.

By Tucker Reals

Israeli military says "terrorists" killed trying to cross into Israel from Lebanon

Israeli forces on Saturday said they had killed several "terrorists" trying to cross from Lebanon amid heightened tensions and after repeated cross-border shelling. The military "identified a terrorist cell which attempted to infiltrate from Lebanon into Israeli territory," a military spokesman said, adding that a drone strike "targeted the terrorist cell and killed a number of the terrorists".

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said Friday that it was "fully prepared" to join its Palestinian ally Hamas in the war against Israel when the time is right.

Arab countries, the U.S. and the United Nations have urged Hezbollah to stay out of the growing conflict, but the Lebanese-based group's deputy chief Naim Qassem said the movement would not be swayed.

Tensions rise on Israel's border with Lebanon as Hezbollah continues its assault 02:09

Amid the mounting tensions, Israel shelled two villages in south Lebanon near the border on Friday, Lebanese security sources said, following a blast on the border fence.

A Reuters journalist was killed and six others, from AFP, Reuters and Al Jazeera, were wounded in southern Lebanon on Friday when they were caught up in cross-border shelling. 


World Health Organization says shipment of medical supplies ready for Gaza at Egypt border

The head of the World Health Organization said Saturday that a plane carrying "medical supplies to support the urgent health needs in Gaza" had touched down in northeast Egypt, close to the Rafah border crossing with the Palestinian territory, and that the U.N. health agency was "ready to deploy the supplies as soon as humanitarian access through the crossing is established."

The Rafah border crossing, controlled by Egypt, is the only official exit point from the Gaza Strip that has not not sealed by Israel over the past week, but Egypt has accused Israel of blocking traffic through it by bombing around the crossing. 

In a statement issued Thursday, Egypt's Foreign Ministry said the Rafah crossing "has not been closed at any stage since the beginning of the ongoing crisis, except that its basic facilities on the Palestinian side were destroyed as a result of the repeated Israeli bombing, preventing it from operating normally."

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his tweet announcing the arrival of the plane carrying medical aid in Egypt that the U.N. agency wished to "continue our plea to Israel to reconsider the decision to evacuate 1.1 million people," referring to the Israeli military's call for all civilians in the northern half of the Gaza Strip to evacuate to the south. 

The WHO chief said demanding such an exodus would create "a human tragedy."

By Tucker Reals

Israel gives civilians deadline to flee Gaza City, "to preserve your safety"

Israel's military warned residents of Gaza City on Friday morning that they had until 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern) to leave the city and head into the southern half of the Gaza Strip via two roads "without any harm."

"We have appealed to you to leave Gaza City to the south of Wadi Gaza in order to preserve your safety," Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee said in a tweet. "I would like to inform you that the IDF will allow movement on the indicated streets without any harm between the hours of 10:00-16:00. For your safety, take advantage of the time."

His tweet, written in Arabic, included a map showing two roadways from the densely-populated northern half of the Palestinian territory with arrows indicating the routes to the south. 

In a separate statement, the IDF said the call for Gazans in the northern half of the enclave had been "sent out using a variety of different means in an attempt to minimize the harm to non-combatants," including pamphlets dropped from aircraft. 

"Hamas terrorists are hiding in terror tunnels located under the houses in Gaza City and in civilian buildings," the IDF said, adding that it had noted "a trend of residents moving towards the south, even though the Hamas terrorist organization tried to deny the move in order to use these residents as a human shield."

Aftermath of Israeli strikes in Gaza
A Palestinian woman reacts in the aftermath of Israeli strikes, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 14, 2023. IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS

The spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General told CBS News on Thursday evening that Israeli military liaisons had informed the global body there would be a 24-hour window for Gazans to evacuate the northern half of the strip. 

The U.N. said it would be "impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences," and over the following 24 hours, there was no reiteration or clarification of any specific deadline from the IDF.

Palestinians flee northern Gaza after Israeli evacuation order 04:07

The IDF has said it's preparing for a widely-expected ground invasion of Gaza, but that Israel's political leaders have yet to order one.

By Tucker Reals

France to deploy 7,000 soldiers after teacher's slaying linked to Israel-Hamas war

France will deploy 7,000 soldiers after a Chechen-origin man fatally stabbed a teacher and severely wounded three other adults at a school in the northeastern town of Arras, the Elysee presidential palace said Saturday.

The attack on Friday was denounced by President Emmanuel Macron as an act of "Islamist terror" in Arras, which has large Jewish and Muslim populations. The deployment of the soldiers will be completed by Monday evening.

Teacher killed in knife attack in school in Arras, northern France
French police work at the scene after a teacher was killed and several people injured in a knife attack at the Lycee Gambetta-Carnot high school in Arras, northern France, Oct. 13, 2023. PASCAL ROSSIGNOL/REUTERS

Schumer leading bipartisan trip to Israel this weekend

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — the first Jewish Senate majority leader and the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the U.S. — is leading a bipartisan delegation of senators to Israel this weekend to express support for the country amid its week-old war against Hamas.

He told The Associated Press in an interview that he wants to make clear that the United States stands with Israel, and also show bipartisan support.

"To have a bipartisan delegation, led by the majority leader saying strongly and unequivocally we're with Israel is going to make a big difference to Israelis," Schumer said.

Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Mitt Romney of Utah and Democratic Sens. Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Mark Kelly of Arizona will also be on the trip.

Schumer also plans to discuss with high-level officials what kind of support Israel needs for both military and humanitarian operations. Those conversations will inform the White House request to Congress and what the Senate does after he returns, Schumer said, and how quickly he moves to try and pass new spending.

While negotiations are ongoing, Schumer said, he expects any package should include aid for Israel and Ukraine, along with possible aid for Taiwan as it faces threats from Beijing and money for the U.S. border.

Schumer said that his trip to Israel is deeply important to him not only because of his standing as the top Jewish U.S. elected official but also because of his own heritage. His great-grandmother and several of her children were killed by Nazis in Europe.

"This has deep resonance to people," Schumer said. "Because we have not seen anything as vicious and nasty as this since the Nazis."

Schumer is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and senior opposition figure Benny Gantz, who is part of a newly formed wartime cabinet in Israel.

Two other high-ranking officials, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, have visited in recent days.

By The Associated Press

Israeli soldiers are amassed "all around the Gaza Strip," Israeli military official says

In a briefing early Saturday morning, an Israeli military spokesperson hinted that Israeli soldiers are preparing for a possible ground incursion into Gaza.

"Around the Gaza Strip, as have been for many days, are Israeli reserve soldiers in formation, that are getting ready for the next stage of operations," Israel Defense Forces international spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a video. "They are all around the Gaza Strip. In the south, in the center, and in the north. And they are preparing themselves for whatever target they will get, whatever task."

Israeli defense officials said Friday that ground forces have launched raids into Gaza for the first time since the Hamas invasion, hunting for militants and the more than 120 hostages they are holding.    

Earlier this week, Israel said that it had deployed about 300,000 soldiers to the border with Gaza. Israel late Thursday and early Friday issued evacuation orders to the approximately 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza, warning them to leave evacuate south, with tens of thousands appearing to heed that call.

That order, however, prompted criticism from the United Nations, which said it was "impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences."

"We advertised our intentions in advance, not because it has any military logic, it doesn't," Conricus said Saturday. "Because we want civilians not to be affected by the war … We are not trying to kill or injure any civilians, we are fighting against Hamas."

He said there has been "a significant movement of Palestinian civilians towards the south," since the order was issued.

Since the Hamas invasion, Israel has issued a complete blockade on Gaza, with no food, water, gas, medicine or electricity allowed in, putting the region on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. 

At least 423,000 Palestinians have been displaced since the conflict began Oct. 7, the U.N. reported Friday. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross on Saturday also called for a "pause in the fighting" in order for humanitarian groups to go into Gaza and provide aid to Palestinians.

"With a military siege in place, humanitarian organizations including the ICRC will not be able to assist such a massive displacement of people in Gaza," the group said. "The needs are staggering, and humanitarian organizations must be able to increase aid operations."

By Faris Tanyos

Trump changes course, says he supports Netanyahu after earlier comments draw condemnation

After strongly criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel which left at least 1,300 dead in Israel — and calling the militant group Hezbollah "very smart" — former President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to walk back those initial comments which drew widespread condemnation.

At a political rally on Wednesday, Trump said Netanyahu "let us down" before the U.S. killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in 2020, and said Israeli leaders need to "step up their game." 

The former president said of Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese militia designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department, "You know, Hezbollah is very smart," amid Israel's concerns that Hezbollah could open another front in the war from the north. In an interview Thursday, Trump said Netanyahu was "not prepared" for last weekend's surprise assault by Hamas.  

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley were among those who condemned the GOP presidential frontrunner's comments.

Following the extensive criticism, Trump wrote in  a post Friday to his Truth Social platform that he stands with Israel and Netanyahu, according to the Associated Press.

Read the full story here. 


New York City councilwoman arrested for bringing gun to pro-Palestine rally

A New York City councilwoman was arrested Friday, accused of bringing a gun to a pro-Palestine rally.

Inna Vernikov, a 39-year-old Republican councilmember from southern Brooklyn, was arrested for bringing a handgun to a dual-rally of students outside Brooklyn College, which included pro-Palestinians on one side and pro-Israelis on the other, CBS New York reports.

"I'm here today to support the Jewish students that are in school today," she told reporters hours prior to her arrest.

While observing the pro-Palestinian rally, a gun was seen tucked into her waistband, the New York City Police Department reported.

She left the protest, but after photos of the gun were circulated on social media, she was contacted by police and eventually surrendered at a police station. She was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm, police said.

She also surrendered her gun and permit.

While Vernikov is a licensed gun owner, it is against the law to openly carry in New York City, according to CBS New York. 

"New York's gun safety laws apply to everyone," Gov. Kathy Hochul posted on social media in response to the arrest.

"No one is above the law," a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Eric Adams added.

Read CBS New York's full story here. 

By CBS New York Team

Israel faces harrowing task of rescuing hostages held by Hamas

The Israeli military said Friday that it was in communication with the families of 120 hostages who are being held by Hamas militants in Gaza, an Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson said in a post on social media.

Yohanan Plesner, a former Israeli commando, described the challenge faced by the IDF in finding and rescuing the hostages. "Hamas has underground tunnels and basements," Plesner explained to CBS News foreign correspondent Holly Williams. "But they sure know how to torture and hide people. And they have so many of them. So it will be extremely difficult."

Disturbing Hamas propaganda video appears to show militants mistreating captives.

For relatives of those taken, it's unbearable. Hamas claims 13 hostages held in Gaza have already been killed in Israeli airstrikes, something CBS News was unable to verify.

Gershon Baskin, an Israeli hostage negotiator who in 2011 dealt with Hamas directly to help secure the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, says that Hamas will not negotiate this time. According to Baskin, only Israel's military can free the hostages.
"They're going to go in, in a military ground operation, to find and rescue the hostages as much as possible," Baskin said. "No doubt many hostages will be killed. But all their captors will be killed, from the top of the leadership, to the accountant of Hamas."

Israel has deployed about 300,000 soldiers to the Gaza border ahead of what could be a ground incursion into the territory. It has also ordered more than one million northern Gaza residents to evacuate to the south.

Baskin said he believes the hostages are not being held in a single location, but are being spread out across the Gaza Strip.

Watch the full story in the video below

Israel faces grim task in trying to find, rescue hostages from Gaza 02:15
By Faris Tanyos

Israeli forces begin ground raids into Gaza as Hamas launches rockets on Israeli city of Ashkelon

Israeli defense officials said Friday that ground forces have launched raids into Gaza for the first time since the Hamas invasion, hunting for militants and more than 100 hostages they are holding.

Officials said the incursion involved tanks and infantry soldiers, searching and collecting evidence that would assist in locating the missing.

Ashkelon rocket fire
This aerial view shows a house hit by a rocket fired sent from the Gaza Strip into the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Oct. 13, 2023.  Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

The fighting has been fierce, and despite the relentless airstrikes by Israel on Gaza, Hamas unleashed its own retaliation Friday, firing more than 150 rockets on the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.

CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata and his crew witnessed the barrage of rockets on Ashkelon firsthand, hearing the air raid sirens before having only seconds to take cover before impact.

Further south, around a mile from the border with Gaza, CBS News found the fighting wasn't just concentrated on city centers, but on highways too, with remnants of Hamas fighters behind the Oct. 7 massacres still at large.

Israeli soldiers showed CBS News a bullet-riddled car of a suspected terrorist who was shot dead while he was racing in the direction of Gaza.

Nearby, and also pointing in the direction of Gaza, was a mass of Israeli firepower and military hardware, with row upon row of personnel carriers, reinforced diggers and troops, preparing for a possible ground incursion.

Watch the full story in the video below. 

Israeli military launches raids into Gaza 02:29

By Faris Tanyos

Israeli parents killed protecting twin babies "were heroes," family says

The uncle of twin babies who miraculously survived alone after their parents were slain by Hamas militants in southern Israeli described Friday the agonizing hours of not being able to reach the infants.  

"We woke up to literally hell," said Dvir Rosenfeld, who lived in the Kfar Aza kibbutz, the site of one of the deadliest scenes, when Hamas gunmen invaded southern Israel from Gaza in the early morning hours of Oct. 7.

Rosenfeld hid with his wife and child in a shelter. But his sister, Hadar Berdichevsky, was murdered.

Berdichevsky's body was found in the kitchen of their apartment, and her husband, Itay, was found dead in the bedroom.

"I know that Itay died trying to protect them," Rosenfeld told "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell. "And I can't imagine what he been through knowing his wife just got murdered, and his two sons are next to him, and he's the only thing between the terrorists and the babies."

The twins, less than a year old, were alone for 14 hours before they were rescued by Israeli military secret agents.

Read the full story here and watch the video below.  

Israeli couple who were killed protecting their twin babies "were heroes," family says 03:54
By Faris Tanyos

Blinken speaks with Holy See Secretary of State about war

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone call on Friday with his counterpart at the Vatican, Holy See Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin, to discuss the situation in Israel and Gaza.

"The Secretary and Cardinal discussed shared concerns over Hamas' horrific terrorist attacks against Israel and the need to help protect the most vulnerable," a State Department spokesperson said in a news release. "The Secretary thanked Cardinal Parolin for the Pope's strong statement in support of Israel, affirming Israel's right to self-defense and calling for the release of hostages." 

Speaking in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday, Pope Francis asked "that the hostages be immediately released."

He also added that "it is the right of those who are attacked to defend themselves, but I am very worried by the total siege in which Palestinians live in Gaza, where there have also been many innocent victims." 

By Joe Ruiz

Biden says U.S. will do "everything in our power" to find Americans held hostage by Hamas

President Biden says the U.S. is "working like hell" to find Americans being held hostage by Hamas militants in Gaza.

In an interview for this Sunday's 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley asked, "To those holding American hostages in Gaza, you say what?" 

"I say we're going to do everything in our power to find them," Mr. Biden said. "Everything in our power. And I'm not going to go into the detail of that, but there's —we're working like hell on it." 

Pres. Biden on possible American hostages in Gaza | Sunday on 60 Minutes 00:19

More from the president's conversation with Scott Pelley, Sunday on 60 Minutes.

By Paula Cohen

Israeli soldier from Long Island feared abducted by Hamas

A 21-year-old from Long Island is feared to be abducted by Hamas and held in the Gaza Strip, his family told CBS New York on Friday. 

Omer Neutra was born and raised in Plainview, New York, to Israeli parents. After graduating from high school, he decided to take a gap year in Israel and stayed for military service. He was on a small military base on the morning of Oct. 7 when Hamas terrorists attacked Israel. 

His parents said they believe their Knicks-loving son is still alive. His mother, Orna, sent her son a message saying, "Omer, we know you are alive. We know you are whole. Be strong."

Long Island rallies around Omer Neutra, Israeli soldier feared held hostage by Hamas 02:11

Israel's Government Press Office said on Sunday that Hamas took more than 100 people hostage. The White House believes a number of Americans are among those being held hostage by Hamas, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist group.  National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said he could not confirm the precise number of U.S. citizens who are hostages.

Read the story on CBS New York.

By Cara Tabachnick

First charter flight out of Israel carrying U.S. citizens lands in Greece

The first charter flight from Israel carrying U.S. citizens has landed in Athens, Greece. More than 100 passengers were on the first flight, a U.S. official told CBS News.  

On Thursday the U.S. government announced that they will start arranging charter flights and passage on ships for U.S. citizens who haven't been able to find a way out of Israel. Charter flights will leave from Tel Aviv to Athens or Frankfurt, Germany. 

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the government provided charter flights for "additional options and capacity." 

Flights will be available until at least Oct. 19, a U.S. official said. 

"We'll continue to do flights as long as there is demand from American citizens looking for assistance departing Israel," a U.S. official told CBS News.

More than 20,000 people have contacted the U.S. State Department through their online form or phone seeking information about evacuation. 

Reporting contributed by Alex Sundby

By Cara Tabachnick

Biden reiterates support for Israel but says "we can't lose sight" of Palestinian suffering

President Biden again stated the United States' support for Israel in remarks in Philadelphia Friday, but he also warned that the country "can't lose sight" of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Gaza Strip. 

"We're making sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself and respond to these attacks," said Mr. Biden. "It's also a priority for me to urgently address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza." 

Mr. Biden said that he had directed teams to communicate directly with governments in the Middle East and "surge support" and humanitarian resources. 

Mr. Biden drew a line between civilians and members of Hamas, describing Hamas as a "pure evil" that "make Al-Qaeda look pure." Secretary of State Antony Blinken compared Hamas to ISIS in recent remarks. 

"We can't lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians have nothing to do with Hamas, and Hamas' appalling attacks, and they're suffering as a result as well," said Mr. Biden. 

By Kerry Breen

BBC journalists assaulted by police in Tel Aviv, broadcaster says

Several journalists from the BBC were dragged from their car, searched and pushed against a wall by Israeli police in Tel Aviv, the broadcaster said Friday. 

The BBC said the journalists were driving to a hotel when their car was intercepted. Their vehicle was marked "TV" in red tape. Reporters Muhannad Tutunji and Haitham Abudiab said they identified themselves as journalists and showed police their press ID cards. Tutunji said he tried to film the incident, but his phone was thrown on the ground and he was hit on the neck. 

"One of our BBC News Arabic teams deployed in Tel Aviv, in a vehicle clearly marked as media, was stopped and assaulted last night by Israeli police," a BBC spokesperson said. "Journalists must be able to report on the conflict in Israel-Gaza freely."

Earlier Friday, a journalist for Reuters was killed in Lebanon when an Israeli shell hit a group of international journalists. Several other reporters were injured.

By Kerry Breen

Map shows evacuation zone in Gaza

A graphic created by the Associated Press shows the evacuation zone Israel has ordered in the Gaza Strip. The zone covers a sizable chunk of the Palestinian territory.

Israel has told residents of northern Gaza to flee to the territory's southern half, which borders both Israel and Egypt. Palestinians have since begun a mass exodus, the Associated Press reported.

Israel warns 1.1M people in north of Gaza to relocate in south
Omar Zaghloul/Anadolu via Getty Images

Gaza is one of the most densely populated places in the world. More than 1 million people live in the northern part of the territory, and another 1.2 million in the south. The United Nations warned the migration of so many people cannot "take place without devastating humanitarian consequences." 

By Kerry Breen

Netanyahu: "This is only the beginning"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Israel in a televised address Friday night, after the beginning of the Jewish sabbath. 

"We are striking our enemies with unprecedented might," Netanyahu said. "I emphasize that this is only the beginning." 

"We will end this war stronger than ever," Netanyahu continued. "We will destroy Hamas." 

Netanyahu did not elaborate on what further actions the country might take as it retaliates against Hamas for its brutal attack on Israelis last Saturday. 

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed reporting. 

By Kerry Breen

MSF says Gaza hospital given 2 hours to evacuate

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international medical organization also known as Doctors Without Borders, says Israel gave Al Awda Hospital in Gaza two hours to evacuate.

"We unequivocally condemn this action, the continued indiscriminate bloodshed and attacks on health care in Gaza," it said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

The organization said it is trying to protect its staff and patients, and that its staff on Friday evening local time was still treating patients. 

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

Biden speaks with families of 14 American still missing

President Biden on Friday spoke for over an hour with families of Americans who are missing following Hamas' attack on Israel, according to the White House and a source familiar with the conference call. 

The president, joined by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, Undersecretary of State John Bass, and National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk, spoke with families of 14 Americans still unaccounted for after Hamas attacked Israel, the White House said. 

The U.S. believes Americans are among the scores of hostages being held by Hamas, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist group.

After speaking with the families, Mr. Biden said, "They're going through agony not knowing what the status of their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, children, are. You know, it's gut-wrenching. I assured them of my personal commitment to do everything possible to return every missing American to their families. We're working around the clock to secure the release of Americans held by Hamas, in close cooperation with Israel and our partners around the region. We're not going to stop until we bring them home."

Mr. Biden sat down earlier with with CBS News' Scott Pelley, in an interview for 60 Minutes, and spoke about his plans for the call.

Pres. Biden plans to meet virtually with families of American hostages 00:26

"I think they have to know that the president of the United States of America cares deeply about what's happened to them — deeply," Mr. Biden said. "We have to communicate to the world this is critical. This is not even human behavior. It's pure barbarism. And we're going to do everything in our power to get them home if we can find them." 

Watch President Biden's interview with Scott Pelley this Sunday on 60 Minutes

By Kathryn Watson

Tens of thousands in Middle East protest Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

Tens of thousands of Muslims demonstrated Friday across the Middle East in support of the Palestinians and to protest against the Israeli airstrikes pounding the Gaza Strip, underscoring the risk of a wider regional conflict erupting as Israel prepares for a possible ground invasion there.

From Amman, Jordan, to Yemen's capital, Muslims poured out onto the streets after weekly Friday prayers. At Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Israeli police had been permitting only older men, women and children to the sprawling hilltop compound for prayers, trying to prevent the potential for demonstration as tens of thousands attend on a typical Friday.

Read the full story here.

By Kerry Breen

1 journalist killed, 6 wounded in Israeli strike near Israeli-Lebanon border

An Israeli shell hit a group of international journalists covering clashes on the border in south Lebanon Friday, killing one Reuters journalist and leaving six other people injured. 

"We are deeply saddened to learn that our videographer, Issam Abdallah, has been killed. Issam was part of a Reuters crew in southern Lebanon who was providing a live signal. We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region, and supporting Issam's family and colleagues." 

Reuters confirmed that two of its other journalists, Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh, also sustained injuries.  

Images posted on social media from the scene showed a charred car.

Qatar's Al-Jazeera TV said two of its employees, Elie Brakhya and reporter Carmen Joukhadar, were among the wounded. 

The shelling occurred during an exchange of fire along the Lebanon-Israel border between Israeli troops and members of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group.

The Lebanon-Israel border has been witnessing sporadic acts of violence since Saturday's attack by the militant Palestinian group Hamas on southern Israel. 

Journalists from around the world have been coming to Lebanon out of concern that war might break out between Hezbollah and Israel.  

On Friday afternoon, President Joe Biden commented on the incident. 

"Our heartfelt prayers are with their families," Mr. Biden said, adding that he was hoping for the injured reporters' "full and swift recovery." 

Reporting from CBS News and The Associated Press.


Israel says troops have carried out raids in Gaza ahead of expected ground offensive

The Israeli military said Friday that troops had entered the Gaza Strip to hunt down Hamas militants and try to find dozens of hostages taken by the Palestinian faction as it launched a terror attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson did not say how many forces had entered the small, densely-packed Palestinian territory, where Israel is widely expected to launch a full ground invasion in the coming days or even hours.

"Over the past 24 hours, IDF forces carried out localized raids inside the territory of the Gaza Strip to complete the effort to cleanse the area of terrorists and weaponry," a statement from Israel's army said. "During these operations, there was also an effort to locate missing persons."

Israel's government telecommunications minister said Friday that all internet service would be cut off in Gaza from Saturday.

By Tucker Reals

Israeli human rights groups call for end of "indiscriminate harming of civilian lives" in Israel and Gaza

Two dozen Israeli human rights groups, including B'Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights, put out a joint statement Friday calling for the "end to all indiscriminate harming of civilian lives and infrastructure" in Israel and Gaza.

The statement said the groups "are shocked and horrified in these dreadful days" and that "it will take time to fully understand the implication and consequences of Hamas' heinous attack, for which there can be no justification."

They then called for an end to the "bombardment" impacting civilians in Israel and Gaza.

"Even now, and especially now, we must maintain our moral and humane position and refuse to give in to despair or the urge for vengeance," the statement said.

"It remains our duty in these terrible times – as we count our dead on the Israeli side and worry about wounded, missing, and abducted loved ones, and as bombs are being dropped on residential neighborhoods in Gaza wiping out entire families with no possibility of the burying the dead – to raise our voices loud and clear against the harming of all innocent civilians, both in Israel and Gaza."

The groups called for the release of the hostages being held by Hamas, and said "humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach" civilian populations and medical facilities and that "places of refuge must not be harmed." 

"The killing of additional civilians will not bring back those who were lost," the organizations said.

By Haley Ott

Palestinian journalist shares "pain and fear" in Gaza in her social media posts

"Can you imagine that I lived my whole life here in Gaza and I can't recognize the streets right now?" Plestia Alaqad, a young journalist from Gaza, said in a video posted on her Instagram account.

Alaqad has been documenting the situation on the ground in the enclave of more than 2 million people for days. International journalists have not been able to enter the Palestinian territory since Israel imposed a complete blockade in the wake of its Hamas rulers' terror attack on southern Israel.

"Today has been one of the hardest days for me personally," Alaqad said Friday, the seventh consecutive day of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. "Seeing kids injured and martyred… Seeing kids screaming and crying out of fear, because of pain or because they don't know anything about their parents… Seeing pain and fear inside of people's eyes.. It's too much to handle.. I'm trying to hold up as much as I can, but literally my heart and brain can't understand or process what's happening." 

She said she was running between buildings and spending a lot of time at a hospital, because it was one of the only places she could access the internet. She said there was no electricity or water.

"I tried to evacuate and go to where my parents are, but I couldn't find a car or a taxi and I need to like walk for an hour or more in which I don't have energy and my back hurts a lot from wearing the press vest which I'm sure it doesn't protect from anything, but at least it makes me feel that I did what I'm supposed to do to protect myself."

In one post on Friday, Alaqad said she was "glad I was able to share part of the truth or part of what's happening with the world… There's still time before the night comes — I'll see if I'll have any options and keep you updated."

By Haley Ott

U.S. National Security Council's John Kirby says Israel's Gaza evacuation call "a tall order"

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Friday that while the Biden administration "understands what they're trying to do here," the Israeli government's call for the roughly 1 million Palestinians in the northern half of the Gaza Strip to evacuate to the south of the enclave was "a tall order."

"They're trying to make the case that they don't want to cause additional civilian casualties," Kirby said in an interview with MSNBC, noting that Gaza's Hamas rulers had conversely "put out an order for people to stay in their homes," which he said was effectively telling civilians to make themselves "human shields."

"We also want to see that there are opportunities, safe passage out of Gaza, writ large - that people have the ability to leave Gaza, and that's not the case right now, so we're continuing to work with the Israelis and the Egyptians," he said. Egypt controls the only exit from the southern Gaza Strip, the Rafah crossing, and says it has been impassable due to Israeli airstrikes.

He acknowledged that getting the 1.1 million who live in northern Gaza, according to the United Nations, south of the Israeli-designated half-way point of the Gaza Wadi wetlands "is gonna be a tall order, given how densely populated it is, given that it's a scene of combat, that there are bombs falling and strikes happening. That is a lot of people to move in a very short period of time."

By Tucker Reals
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