Here is the situation on Monday, October 9, 2023:
Gun battles are continuing between Hamas fighters and Israeli forces in three main areas in southern Israel – at a kibbutz in Karmia, and in the cities of Ashkelon and in Sderot.A senior Hamas official said the group is holding more than 100 Israelis captive in Gaza.Mousa Abu Marzouk, the Hamas official, made the remarks to the Arabic language news outlet Alghad on Sunday. “Senior Israeli officers are among those being held,” he said.Israel’s military, which faced awkward questions for failing to thwart the attack, said it had regained control of most of the border with Gaza, killed hundreds of people and taken dozens as prisoners.Also, a spokesperson for the Israeli military said his country has gathered 100,000 reserve troops near Gaza.A Wall Street Journal report said Iran helped Hamas plan its surprise attacks against Israel over the weekend, but Iran’s mission to the United Nations said Tehran was not involved in the attacks.“We emphatically stand in unflinching support of Palestine, however, we are not involved in Palestine’s response as it is taken solely by Palestine itself,” Iran’s mission said in a statement.
The UN Security Council met behind closed doors in an emergency session amid the war between Israel and Hamas but failed to achieve the unanimity needed for a joint statement.The United States said it would send multiple military ships and aircraft closer to Israel as a show of support following the surprise attack.The Mission of the State of Palestine to the UN released a statement saying “these developments did not occur in a vacuum, they are preceded by the killing this year of hundreds of Palestinians”.
Casualties and humanitarian situation
In response to the attack, Israeli air strikes hit housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque and homes of Hamas officials in Gaza on Sunday, killing more than 400 people, including 20 children.In the surprise attack, the armed group killed some 700 Israelis, according to media reports, and Hamas abducted dozens as they attacked Israeli towns.Israeli air attacks and shelling aimed at houses and apartment buildings have displaced some 123,538 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the UN humanitarian relief agency.A spokesperson for Thailand’s Foreign Ministry said 12 Thai nationals were killed and eight wounded in Israel.According to reports by CNN, four Americans were killed in Israeli attacks. On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US was “working overtime” to verify reports.A French citizen was also killed as a result of the attacks, a spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry said on Sunday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said two Ukrainians had also been killed.A Mexican woman and man were believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas in Gaza on Saturday, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena announced on social media platform X on Sunday.
Business and economy
Oil prices were up more than $3 a barrel in Asian trade on Monday as military clashes between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas raised concerns about supplies.Tech companies operating in Israel are expected to fortify security as they could face disruptions, said investors and analysts.Several airlines in Asia have cancelled their flights to Israel citing the security situation in the country.Hainan Airlines, the only Chinese airline to fly between China and Israel, cancelled flights between Shanghai and Tel Aviv on Monday, while Cathay Pacific also cancelled its flight between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies