Israel bombarded Gaza late on Sunday night in "the worst attacks since the beginning of the war," Al Jazeera reported. Meanwhile, US media are reporting that Egypt's Rafah crossing will be opened at 9:00 a.m. for a few hours. A security source told the ABC network that an agreement was reached to open the crossing to accommodate the exit of foreign citizens from the Gaza Strip to Egypt, as well as for the transfer of humanitarian aid to the strip.
Also on Sunday night, The IDF spokesman for foreign media, Jonathan Conricus, accused Hamas of attacking a convoy that was evacuating from the northern Gaza Strip and killing 70 civilians who were in it three days ago. "We did not target any convoy of civilians, and we estimate that this attack was carried out by Hamas," Conricus said. "When you think logically about who will benefit from these photos, you realize that only one organization - Hamas. We have already seen that there is no limit to its corruption, this is an organization of subhumans. I don't think they have a problem killing civilians if they think it will help them in the international arena."
In a recent conversation amid the conflict with Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended an invitation to U.S. President Joe Biden to visit Israel and arrangements are underway for a potential visit in the upcoming days, the Prime Minister's Office confirmed on Sunday. The White House said there are no such trips planned at this time. But the Associated Press reported later on Sunday night, citing a senior administration official, that Biden is considering a trip to Israel in the coming days, but nothing has been finalized.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas late Sunday night for the first time clearly condemned the murderous terrorist attack by Hamas, saying that these were "actions that do not represent the Palestinians." The condemnation, which Abbas voiced during a conversation with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, was published in the Palestinian news agency Wafa. But hours later the reference to Hamas was deleted in a rewritten story, with no explanation.
President Isaac Herzog presented in an interview with CNN Sunday evening a booklet entitled “The Warrior's Guide - Jihad Version," which proves that Hamas intended to execute prisoners and use electric shocks against them as part of its abduction strategy.
According to him, the booklet, which was recovered from one of the Hamas terrorists eliminated by Israeli forces on the battlefield, advises terrorists in detail on how to carry out kidnappings. According to the description, the kidnappers are required to create chaos and intimidation, coercing and blindfolding captives, using electric shocks and even executing any person who may pose a threat or distraction. Terrorists were also instructed to collect the captives and use them as human shields if necessary without distinction of religion, race or sex.
The IDF and Shin Bet said Sunday night that Muataz Eid, the head of the terror group’s national security southern district, was killed in an Israeli airstrike.
The military said that it had struck more than 250 targets—including dozens of military headquarters, observation posts and several rocket-launching sites belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad—throughout the Gaza Strip Sunday, mostly in the north of the Palestinian enclave.
Meanwhile, Iran said on Sunday that if Israel does not attack it, its interests or its citizens, then Iran's armed forces would not engage militarily with Israel.
"Iran's armed forces will not engage, provided that the Israeli apartheid does not dare to attack Iran, its interests, and nationals. The resistance front can defend itself," Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York told Reuters.
Earlier Sunday, air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and neighboring central Israeli cities while sporadic rocket fire into Gaza border communities throughout the day. Several rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Earlier Sunday, the IDF said that dozens of rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel, nine of which crossed into Israeli territory and five were intercepted by air defense systems, while the rest landed in unpopulated areas. In retaliation, Israeli fighter jets struck Hezbollah military outposts in Southern Lebanon.
For the first time since the beginning of hostilities over a week ago, air raid sirens also sounded in the northern city of Nahariya. Hamas' military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the rockets fired from Lebanon.
Central Israel also came under rocket attack earlier Sunday afternoon, with air raid sirens sounding in Tel Aviv and neighboring cities.
Meanwhile, at the end of a two-hour meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, representatives of the families of the captives and missing persons said that Netanyahu "gave us an explicit commitment that one of the war's objectives is to bring our captured loved ones home." A representative for the families added that relatives do not know the condition of the captives in Gaza.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday toured the border with Gaza and met with forces stationed there as they prepare for a possible ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave.
"The forces of light are fighting the forces of darkness," he said. "We are facing a savage culture that does not accept our existence here." Gallant told reporters that the shortcomings exposed in the deadly October 7 assault would be investigated thoroughly but now was "time for war." He vowed to do everything in his power to secure the release of the hostages.
Government ministers observed a moment of silence on Sunday in memory of the over 1,300 Israeli victims killed since Hamas launched its murderous attack. In the first meeting of the expanded emergency government, which now includes the National Unity Party under the leadership of Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the IDF was prepared for the mission ahead and is aware it has the complete backing of the Israeli public, as troops prepare to launch a ground incursion into Gaza.
Nine days into the war, the prime minister was scheduled to meet Sunday with the families of hostages who were abducted by Hamas to Gaza, his office said. He was also scheduled to meet bereaved families who have lost loved ones in the murderous onslaught by Hamas.
Over a week after the carnage, the full scope of the devastation in Gaza border towns was still being coming to light. In Kibbutz Nir Oz, at least 25 members were murdered while 80 were unaccounted for. In Kibbutz Kar Aza, at least 52 people were murdered, seven were known to have been abducted and 13 others were still missing and their fate remained unknown. The military said earlier that the commander of the Hamas massacre in Nir Oz was killed in an IDF strike. He also commanded the massacre in Kibbutz Nirim.
While Gaza came under unceasing attacks from the IDF, Pope Francis said a corridor to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza must immediately be established. "I forcefully ask that children, the sick, the elderly and women, and all civilians do not become the victims of the conflict," he said at his weekly address to thousands of people in St. Peter's Square. "May humanitarian rights be respected, above all in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to guarantee humanitarian corridors to help the entire population," he said in front of thousands at St. Peter's Square.
A military spokesperson said earlier that GPS services were deliberately being disrupted on the southern front with Gaza as part of its operations. He said civilians in Gaza would be given more time to evacuate to the south of the Strip but urged them to do so quickly, for their own safety. He said Hamas was actively trying to prevent civilians from escaping south and again used his microphone to call on Gazans to leave the northern half of the Strip.
On the northern front, the IDF said it was attacking targets in S. Lebanon after at least five mortar shells fell in Israel since the morning hours on Sunday. One man was killed and three others were wounded in one attack on the border community of Shtula.
Earlier in the day, IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that the military had declared a zone within 4 km (2 miles) of the Lebanese border off-limits to public access on Sunday.
The IDF released a recording of a phone call its intelligence unit had with a resident of the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza who told him Hamas operatives had confiscated car keys and personal belongings from civilians trying to flee.
Hagari said 286 families of fallen soldiers have been informed thus far and the families of 126 people known to have been abducted to Gaza were also told.
In an early morning briefing, he said that 100 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets were struck in Gaza overnight and that hundreds of thousands of civilians have already relocated to the south of the Strip after Israel's warnings for them to leave the more northern areas. He denied claims by Hamas that convoys of civilians fleeing south were attacked by Israel.
The United States was offering Americans in Israel and their immediate relatives evacuation by sea from Haifa to Cyprus on Tuesday, a U.S. embassy spokesperson said.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is due to return to Israel on Monday, said he had productive talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Riyadh. "The two affirmed their shared commitment to protecting civilians and to advancing stability across the Middle East and beyond," spokesman Mattew Miller said.
Joshua Zarka, head of strategic affairs at the Foreign Ministry accused Iran on Sunday of trying to open a second war front by deploying weapons in or through Syria. " The original post also said "The Israelis are determined to prevent," he said responding to a post on the X social-media platform that posited such a scenario.
Iran's Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, told Al-Jazeera on Sunday that his country was warning Israel through its allies to end its attacks on Gaza, which he called "crimes," before it would be too late.
First published: 20:45, 10.14.23