The Security cabinet on Thursday, voted to transfer tax revenue collected for the Palestinian Authority, despite an earlier objection by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. The decision came after the recommendation of the Defense Minister and the urging of defense officials worried of an outbreak of violence on the West Bank if the PA is unable to pay salaries.
The funds earmarked for Gaza would be withheld according to the decision. "Israel is cutting itself off from any contact with Gaza after October 7," the cabinet said in a statement.
Security forces clashed with terrorists during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp late on Thursday, to remove arms and explosives and arrest terror suspects. According to Palestinian health officials, at least one man was killed and two other injured, one seriously, in the fighting.
U.S. Vice President says Washington would not impose conditions on the support it gives Israel to defend itself in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack. "We are going to continue to stand with Israel's right to defend itself and, let's be clear and never forget what happened on Oct. 7, where hundreds, thousands, 1400, innocent people were killed, slaughtered. Young people who were simply attending a concert," Harris said on a visit to the UK.
An Israeli official said late on Thursday, that Blinken will give Israel more time to fight Hamas. The Biden administration has been under pressure, including from members of the Democratic Party, to pressure Israel to agree to a ceasefire.
A report published in the New York Times earlier quoted White House officials who said Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is expected to arrive on Friday for his 3rd visit to Israel since the start of the war, would be urging a humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza, to allow for a safe release of hostages, the distribution of aid to residents of the Strip and the evacuation of foreign nationals.
Israeli officials the secretary who will be participating in a meeting of the war cabinet, was not arriving to discuss a cease fire or a pause in fighting.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel was determined to win the war. The prime minister repeated Israel's position that fuel would not be allowed into Gaza because it is used to operate the Hamas war machine. Hamas claimed responsibility for rockets fire at Kiryat Shmona in the north where four rockets landed causing two injuries and a fire at an industrial area.
Earlier Hamas fired rockets at central Israel after barrages target Beer Sheva area. A home in the center was destroyed when a rocket landed on it but the elderly couple residing in it was unhurt after seeking cover in a shelter. In Galilee warning sirens sound. Homes takes direct hit from rocket in an agricultural community community in the center of the country, no injuries were reported there.
National Unity leader Benny Gantz said Gazan's who provide information on the whereabouts of hostages held by Hamas after they were abducted on October 7, would receive immunity from Israel. Gantz answered reporters questions in Tel Aviv. Gantz said he was not familiar with a report the the Russian Wagner group intended to arm Hezbollah with rockets. The Wall Street Journal quoted American officials who said the U.S. was monitoring the discussions between the Wagner group and the Lebanon based terror organization.
Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said Israeli troops were surrounding Gaza City. He said the forces are reaching substantial Hamas targets and are conducting urban warfare requiring valor. In a message to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah who is expected to make his first public speech since the war began, on Friday, Helevi said Israel was prepared to fight multiple fronts. "Israel did not start a war against Hezbollah and I do not recommend to anyone to start a war with us," he said.
The IDF early Thursday afternoon confirms the death of Lt. Col. Salman Habaka, 33, of the Druze village of Yanoch-Jat, commander of the 53rd Battalion, Uzbat al-Barak, during fighting in the northern Gaza Strip, the second killed soldier announced on Thursday. Habaka fought bravely in the battles in Kibbutz Be'eri on October 7 during the Hamas assault and massacre. Two other military officers and a soldier were seriously injured in fighting in the northern Gaza Strip, and an IDF female fighter from the Karakal Battalion was seriously injured in an operational activity in the area of the Paran Brigade.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Israel's recommendation that its citizens leave Russia's North Caucasus region after a violent anti-Israeli protest in Dagestan on Sunday was "anti-Russian." In a briefing with reporters, Zakharova said that the Israeli warning against travel in the mostly Muslim regions of the North Caucasus bore "no relation to reality". Dozens were arrested after hundreds of protesters stormed Makhachkala airport in Dagestan on Sunday, looking for Jewish passengers on board a plane arriving from Tel Aviv.
Military forces attacked a terrorist cell near the Lebanese border after it attempted to fire anti-tank rockets at military positions, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit reported Thursday. The IDF added that no injuries were reported after the terrorists launched the missile toward a military outpost close to the border, and hit its antenna.
A spokesman for the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza announced that two buses filled with 100 people holding foreign passports made their way from the Gaza Strip to Egypt late Thursday morning. At the same time aid trucks were seen entering the strip.
The number of hostages confirmed kidnapped into Gaza has risen to 242, according to IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Daniel Hagari, who said Thursday morning that the families of the hostages have been notified.
Hagari in a morning briefing also sent a message to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, ahead of his expected speech on Friday, saying that the IDF "is very strongly prepared on the northern border."
An Israeli man in his 30s was killed after his car overturned as a result of a shooting attack on his car on Route 557 near the West Bank village of Beit Lid in Samaria. He was pronounced dead at the scene. IDF soldiers have set up road blocks in the area and are pursuing the terrorists.
Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that a meeting was held Thursday morning with ambassadors from various countries, to inform them of Cairo's efforts to bring about the opening of the Rafah crossing, in order to evacuate 7,000 foreign citizens from the Gaza Strip, including those with the citizenships of more than 60 countries. At the same time, Russia's Sputnik network reported that 400 people with foreign nationalities are expected to leave the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing during the day Thursday. The Palestinian news agency Shahab also reported that 60 wounded people left the Strip to receive medical treatment in Egypt.
The Israel Police reported Thursday that the police and Shin Bet foiled a planned terror attack against security forces in east Jerusalem last month, arrested two terror suspects, and uncovered an explosives lab inside an apartment in the Shufat refugee camp. In their investigation, the suspects said they contacted Palestinians affiliated with terrorist organizations in the West Bank, who planned to execute a combined shooting attack in order to draw forces into the apartment before setting off the explosives.
IDF combat soldiers from the Golani Brigade killed dozens of terrorists in Gaza overnight Thursday, who fired anti-tank missiles, explosives, and hand grenades at the forces. Troops additionally reached and dismantled a large number of terror infrastructure in the Strip’s north.
The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday morning announced the name of another soldier who was killed during fighting in Gaza. Reserve officer Lt. Yuval Zilber, 25 of Ramat Gan, a soldier in the 7007th Infantry Battalion in the Jerusalem Brigade, became the the 17th soldier to be killed in battle since the beginning of ground operations in the Gaza Strip.
After some 10 hours of quiet, rocket alert sirens sounded in southern Gaza on Wednesday morning.
On Wednesday night in the United States, US President Joe Biden called for a humanitarian "respite." At a campaign event in Minnesota, a protester who demanded that Biden call for a cease-fire heckled the president. She was escorted out by security guards, and the president, for his part, said he thought a lull in the fighting was necessary. "It means giving time to get the prisoners out," said Biden. Later, the White House clarified that he meant the hostages who are being held in Gaza.
The IDF spokesman said on early Thursday, that a surface-to-air missile was launched from Lebanon toward an IDF UAV. In response, the IDF struck the terrorist cell that fired the missile and the launch site. There was no damage to the UAV. In addition, a number of launches were identified from Lebanon toward the area of Har Dov and Mount Hermon in northern Israel. They fell in open areas. IDF artillery struck the source of the launches in response.
The U.S. news website Politico reported that US President Joe Biden recently discussed with his senior staff the possibility that Benjamin Netanyahu's days as Prime Minister of Israel are numbered, and even presented this assessment to Netanyahu himself in a conversation he had with him, against the backdrop of the war and the massacre on October 7. The White House denied the report. "The issue has not been discussed by President Biden in the past and it is not being discussed now. We are focusing on handling the current crisis," the White House said.
Jordanian authorities issued warnings to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as to Hezbollah and Hamas, following missile launches into Israel, due to concerns over the potential threat to Jordanian airspace, the Al-Rai Al-Youm newspaper reported late on Wednesday.
Jordan issued the warning following the Houthi's declaration they launched drones toward Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city, though it remains uncertain if the Yemeni military provided any guarantees.
Jordan, for its part, has informed parties that its defense forces will deal with any threat to Jordanian territory and has called on Hamas to intervene to prevent launches toward Eilat due to its proximity to the port city of Aqaba.
U.S. President Joe Biden and his and top aides have discussed the possibility that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political career may be nearing its end, a notion he shared with the Israeli leader during a recent discussion, Politico reported Wednesday night.
According to two senior U.S. officials who spoke to Politico, there is concern within the Biden administration that Netanyahu might escalate the ongoing war against Hamas, linking his political fate to wartime actions.
The report reveals that as part of discussions about Netanyahu's political future, U.S. government officials are currently in talks with Minister Benny Gantz and former prime ministers Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid. The White House denied the report, saying that Biden does not discuss Netanyahu's political trajectory.
First published: 07:37, 11.02.23