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Israel-Hamas war live updates: Blinken to return to Israel after 6-country blitz; U.S. offers sea evacuation to Americans in Israel

White House national security advisor says Israel has turned water back on in some parts of Gaza

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan takes questions during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 10, 2023.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Israel has reactivated the water pipes in southern Gaza after several days of cutting off the water supply in response to the deadly attack Hamas launched last weekend.

“I have been in touch with my Israeli counterparts just within the last hour who reports to me that they have in fact turned the water pipe back on in southern Gaza,” Sullivan said Sunday in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“That has been the subject of discussion over the course of the past few days,” he added.

In a series of Sunday interviews, Sullivan reiterated the U.S. stance that all innocent civilians must be protected amid the violence of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

His comments come as many civilians remain trapped in Gaza without access to basic necessities like food, water, medicine and shelter.

“The many, many Palestinians who have had nothing to do with the brutal terrorist organization among us the vast majority of the population of Gaza. They deserve dignity. They deserve safety and security,” Sullivan said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Sullivan also said the White House is “working actively” to get Americans in Gaza access to safe passage to leave the region, though those evacuation efforts have been thwarted by Hamas.

“So far, we have not been able to get American citizens through the border crossing and I’m not aware of anyone else being able to get out at this time,” he said.

Rebecca Picciotto

“We did not ask for this war, but we will win it,” Israeli Defense Forces’ Peter Lerner says

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said on Sunday the military plans to strike Hamas from the top through its institutions, “all the way down to the individuals that conducted the butchery of our babies.”

“We did not ask for this war, but we will win it,” Lerner said on “This Week” on ABC.

He said they’ve instructed Gazans to evacuate the north “to keep people out of harm’s way so that we can deal with Hamas.” But he said Hamas was trying to interfere with those efforts.

“They have no regard for human life, Israeli or Palestinian,” he said.

Lerner also said that some of its forces have dispersed to communities along the border with Lebanon “in anticipation for a potential uptick in violence with Hezbollah.”

Annie Nova

Israel urges Gazans south, as airstrikes continue ahead of ground assault

The Israeli military said on Sunday it would continue to allow Gazans to evacuate south ahead of an expected ground assault by its forces on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for unprecedented attacks by Hamas militants eight days ago.

The army said hundreds of thousands had already moved south as Israel carried out the most intense bombardment the enclave has ever seen in response to the killing of 1,300 people in Israel, including 279 Israeli soldiers.

Authorities in Gaza said more than 2,300 people had been killed, a quarter of them children, and nearly 10,000 wounded so far. The enclave’s hospitals are running short of medical supplies and struggling to cope with the flow of injured.


Regional WHO chief appeals for the immediate reopening of Eqypt’s Rafah border crossing with Gaza

Gazans with foreign passports wait at the Rafah Border Gate to cross into Egypt as Israel’s attacks on Gaza continue on the eighth day in Rafah, Gaza on October 14, 2023. 

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The regional head of the World Health Organization told The Associated Press on Sunday that evacuating hospitals from the northern part of the Gaza Strip is “impossible” and said Israel’s demand for the evacuation of medical facilities there goes against international law.

Ahmed Al-Mandhari said 22 hospitals with 2,000 patients in northern Gaza managed to move “mobile patients” to the south over the past two days but most of the patients can’t be evacuated.

“It is really very risky, very dangerous if we push these hospitals to evacuate,” he said in Cairo.

Egypt has yet to reach an agreement with Israel and Hamas to reopen the Rafah border crossing to deliver medical supplies and other humanitarian aid territory to the besieged, Hamas-ruled strip.

Al-Mandhari urged for the reopening “immediately, with no delay.” The U.N. health agency has supplies waiting in Egypt, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Rafah crossing but cannot take them inside, he said.

Rafah was shuttered early on Tuesday after Israeli airstrikes hit close to Gaza’s side of the crossing.

Associated Press

Egypt’s President Sisi in talks to get aid to Gaza, presidency says

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the United Nations in New York on September 25, 2019. Egypt’s economy and infrastructure has been under the folds of the Egyptian Armed Forces ever since the former general took over almost a decade ago.

Angela Weiss | Afp | Getty Images

Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is in talks with international and regional partners to enable aid deliveries into Gaza and to de-escalate the fighting there, his office said on Sunday.

Israeli bombardments on the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing into Egypt, the main crossing out of Gaza not controlled by Israel, have disrupted operations there.

Aid from several countries has been building up in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula due to a failure to reach a deal enabling its safe delivery to Gaza and enabling evacuations of some foreign passport holders through the Rafah crossing into Egypt.

U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths said on Saturday that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is “fast becoming untenable”.

The statement from Sisi’s office also said Egypt rejected any plan to displace Palestinians “to the detriment of other countries,” and said Egypt’s own security was a red line.

Sisi also proposed a summit to discuss the crisis, according to the statement.


Blinken will return to Israel after stops in Arab nations aimed at avoiding a broader conflict

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he arrives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, after making a day trip to the United Arab Emirates. 

Jacquelyn Martin | Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return to Israel this week after completing a frantic six-country rush through Arab nations aimed at preventing the Israel-Hamas war from igniting a broader regional conflict.

The U.S. State Department announced Blinken’s plan to travel Monday to Israel — his second visit in five days — as America’s top diplomat arrived in Cairo for talks Sunday with Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. It was the last of Blinken’s meetings with Arab leaders amid increasing fears that an impending Israeli ground offensive into Gaza could spark a wider war with devastating humanitarian consequences.

Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters traveling with Blinken that the secretary was returning to Tel Aviv “for further consultations with Israeli officials.” Miller did not elaborate.

Before landing in Egypt, Blinken met on Sunday morning with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. That meeting followed talks over the previous three days with the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

Associated Press

Pope Francis renews his call for the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas

Pope Francis photographed on August 9, 2023, in Vatican City.

Vatican Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Pope Francis on Sunday renewed his call for the release of Israeli hostages held by Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers and called for humanitarian corridors to help those under siege in Gaza.

“I continue to follow with much sorrow what is happening in Israel and Palestine,” Francis said during his Sunday’s Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square. “I think back to the many people, especially the little ones and the elderly.”

The Pope reiterated his appeal for the release of scores of Israeli hostages snatched during Hamas’ deadly incursion into southern Israel last weekend and taken to Gaza.

“I strongly ask that the children, the elderly, women and all civilians don’t become victims of the conflict,” Francis said. He added that humanitarian law must be respected, “especially in Gaza where there is an urgent need to guarantee humanitarian corridors and to rescue the entire population.”

The Pope appealed for the world not to “shed any more innocent blood, neither in the Holy Land, nor in Ukraine, nor anywhere else. Enough! Wars are always a defeat, always.”

Associated Press

Thousands march in Moroccan capital in support of Gaza Palestinians

Thousands took the streets of the Moroccan capital on Sunday to rally in support of Palestinians in Gaza and denounce Israel’s actions in the latest war with Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.

Waving Palestinian flags, the rally also marked a major showing for the banned Islamist movement Al Adl Wa Ihssane, which supports Hamas. After Hamas’s unprecedented and deadly Oct. 7 incursion into Israel, Morocco issued a statement condemning the violence. Royal Air Maroc, temporarily cancelled flights from Casablanca to Tel Aviv — a route that began in 2021.

Demonstrators marched in central Rabat and threw smoke bombs and fireworks as riot police stood between them and the Parliament building and other landmarks.

Hassan Ait Amar, a 52-year-old from Casablanca, carried a sign demanding Morocco’s lawmakers revoke a normalization of ties with Israel.

“If they want peace, they (Israel) should respect Palestinians, international law and a two-state solution,” he said.

Israel and Morocco normalized relations as part of the 2020 Abraham Accords, a series of diplomatic agreements between Israel and four Arab countries brokered by then-President Donald Trump. Israel is home to a large community of Jews of Moroccan descent. Morocco and Israel have agreed to military cooperation and boosted trade.

Associated Press

EU to hold emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss Israel-Hamas war

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, rings a bell at an informal meeting of European Union (EU) leaders in Granada, Spain, on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The European Union on Tuesday will hold an extraordinary meeting of its member states to discuss the fallout of the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict and the potential consequences for the bloc.

European Council President Charles Michel said in an invitation letter issued Saturday that it was of the “utmost importance” to establish a “clear unified course of action that reflects the complexity of the unfolding situation.”

“If we are not careful, it has the potential to exacerbate tensions between communities and feed extremism” in the European Union, Michel said.

“There is a major risk of migration and movements of a large number of people to neighboring countries which already have a significant number of refugees on their territory. If not handled carefully, there is a risk of onward migratory waves to Europe,” he added.

— Sam Meredith

Germany issues travel warning for Israel, Palestinian territories and Lebanon

Germany’s Foreign Office said Sunday that it had decided to issue a travel warning for Israel, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.

“We urgently appeal to refrain from traveling to these countries and areas. In general, a travel warning is only issued if there is danger to life,” the German Foreign Office said in a post via X, formerly known as Twitter.

The ministry also urged people already in these areas to register themselves with the German government.

— Sam Meredith

UK wants to minimize Palestinian and Israeli casualties, foreign minister says

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly speaks to the media outside BBC Broadcasting House in London, after appearing on the BBC One current affairs programme, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.

Jonathan Brady – Pa Images | Pa Images | Getty Images

British Foreign Minister James Cleverly says he has not specifically asked Israel to wait until Palestinian civilians have moved to the south of Gaza before carrying outs its expected military operation.

“I haven’t asked that specific request because Hamas are trying to prevent people leaving northern Gaza,” Cleverly told the BBC Sunday morning.

“Of course, we want to minimize Palestinian casualties, we want to minimize Israeli casualties. We want everybody to respect civilians, but the real clear distinction is Israel are trying to get civilians out of danger, Hamas are trying to put civilians into danger and that is a fundamental difference between the two,” he added.

The Palestinian militant group of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has told citizens to ignore Israel’s evacuation order. The United Nations has said the evacuation order is not possible and warned of “devastating humanitarian consequences.”

— Sam Meredith

Israeli military says Lebanese border is now ‘strictly’ off-limits

The Israel Defense Forces said it has isolated the area within 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) of the country’s border with Lebanon.

IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the move was taken in response to shooting from Lebanon at Israeli territory.

“Following the assessment of the situation and the shooting incident in the north, it was decided to isolate the area of ​​up to four kilometers from the northern border with Lebanon,” Hagari said on X, formerly known as Twitter, according to a Google translation.

“The IDF clarifies that entering the area is strictly prohibited and asks the public to be vigilant and not to enter the area.”

He added that the Israeli military was undertaking “proactive GPS jamming” in the area, which could affect location-based apps.

Katrina Bishop

Palestinian citizens flee their homes as Israel prepares next stage of military operations

Images published Sunday showed Palestinian citizens leaving their homes as Israel’s military prepares for its next stage of operations.

Palestinian families flee their homes following an Israeli attack on the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern of Gaza Strip on Oct.15, 2023.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

A Palestinian boy carries his pet bird in a cage as families leave their homes in the southern of Gaza Strip on Oct. 15, 2023.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

Palestinian families flee their homes following an Israeli attack on the Rafah refugee camp.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

— Sam Meredith, Getty Images

Israeli citizens evacuate city of Sderot near Gaza

Israeli citizens on Sunday were seen placing their bags on board a bus in the city of Sderot as they evacuated in search of safer areas amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

The city is located close to the Gaza border.

Israelis place their bags on board a bus as they evacuate from the Israeli city of Sderot to safer areas in the state of Israel on Oct. 15, 2023.

Jack Guez | Afp | Getty Images

Israelis board a bus in the city of Sderot as battles between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continue.

Jack Guez | Afp | Getty Images

— Sam Meredith, Getty Images

Deadliest week on record for journalists covering Israel-Palestine, NGO says

Israeli journalists take cover during a rocket attack from Gaza in the southern Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Aza near the border with the Palestinian territory, on October 10, 2023.

Jack Guez | AFP | Getty Images

The president of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a U.S. non-governmental organization that promotes press freedom, said the last week has been the deadliest on record for journalists covering Israel-Palestine.

As of Saturday, 12 journalists had been killed, eight were injured and two were missing over the course of the first eight days of the Israel-Hamas war, the CPJ said in an update via its website.

Of the journalists confirmed to have been killed, the CPJ said 10 were Palestinian, one was Israeli and a Beirut-based journalist was killed during a shelling attack in southern Lebanon.

“This is the deadliest week ever for journalists covering Israel-Palestine in the more than 30 years that @pressfreedom has been covering attacks on the press,” Jodie Ginsberg, president of the CPJ, said Saturday via X, formerly known as Twitter.

— Sam Meredith

U.S. offers Americans in Israel sea evacuation on Monday

The U.S. Embassy in Israel said it would help Americans and their immediate family members with valid travel documents to depart the northern Israeli port city of Haifa via sea to Cyprus on Monday.

In a security alert posted on its website Sunday, the embassy said boarding for passengers would begin at 8 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) and U.S. citizens must arrive at Haifa Port’s passenger terminal no later than 9 a.m. local time.

“Boarding will proceed in order of arrival and is on a space limited basis,” the embassy said.

The alert listed several instructions for travelers and noted the passage to Limassol Port in Cyprus was expected to take roughly 10-12 hours.

— Sam Meredith

IDF says no operations in northern Gaza from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time

Palestinian citizens inspect damage to their homes caused by Israeli airstrikes on October 14, 2023 in Gaza City, Gaza. Many Gazan citizens have fled to the south following warnings from the Israeli government to do so.

Ahmad Hasaballah | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Israel Defense Forces said Sunday in a message addressed to residents of Gaza City and northern Gaza that it won’t carry out any military operations from 10 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET) to 1 p.m., renewing its call for people to move southward.

“Residents of Gaza City and northern Gaza, in the past days, we’ve urged you to relocate to the southern area for your safety. We want to inform you that the IDF will not carry out any operations along this route from 10 AM to 1 PM,” the IDF said in a post via X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Your safety and that of your families matters. Please follow our instructions and head southward,” it added.

The United Nations has criticized Israel’s military for issuing an evacuation order to 1.1 million people in northern Gaza, saying it is “impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences.”

— Sam Meredith

Death toll in Gaza crosses 2,300

EDITORS NOTE-Graphic content- Image shows body bags of those killed in Gaza.

More than 2,300 people have been killed and another 9,000 injured in Gaza, according to the local health ministry’s latest update.

Mourners pray over the shrouded bodies of members of the Agha family, killed in an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, during their funeral on October 14, 2023.

Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

In Israel, at least 1,300 have been killed and 3,300 wounded, according to public broadcaster Kan.

— Christine Wang

Blinken to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he arrives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, after making a day trip to the United Arab Emirates. 

Jacquelyn Martin | Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to meet with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh at 7:30 a.m. local time (12:30 a.m. ET), a U.S. official said.

The meeting comes as Blinken is scheduled to depart for Egypt later in the day, where he is expected to discuss a tentative agreement to grant Americans in Gaza safe passage through the Rafah border crossing.

— Christine Wang

UN agency calls for protection of civilians in its shelters, including those in northern Gaza

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East called on Israeli authorities to protect all civilians in its shelters across the Gaza Strip, including those in northern Gaza and Gaza City.

Internally displaced Palestinians rest as they take refuge in a United Nations school, in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern of Gaza Strip on October 14, 2023, as fighting between Israel and the Hamas movement continues for the eighth consecutive day in the Gaza Strip enclave.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

The UNRWA warned that despite Israel’s order to evacuate the north, many people will not be able to flee, particularly pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

“UNRWA shelters in Gaza and northern Gaza are no longer safe. This is unprecedented,” it said.

“This war should be no exception, protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, including United Nations buildings, applies to this conflict too.”

Israel has ordered roughly 1 million residents in northern Gaza to evacuate to the south ahead of an anticipated ground offensive.

Palestinians fill water bottles and take them home as a UN report states that more than 2 million people struggle with water shortage, in Khan Younis, Gaza on October 14, 2023. 

Mustafa Hassona | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Separately, the UNRWA warned that 2 million people are at risk as water runs out in Gaza and called for humanitarian supplies to be let in. It said its newly relocated base in the south is also running out of water as it takes in refugees, thousands of whom it said followed the evacuation order.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said fuel needs to be brought in immediately to guarantee safe drinking water.

“If not, people will start dying of severe dehydration, among them young children, the elderly and women. Water is now the last remaining lifeline. I appeal for the siege on humanitarian assistance to be lifted now,” he said.

— Christine Wang

IDF renews calls for residents to evacuate to southern Gaza

Palestinians with their belongings leave Gaza City as they flee from their homes following the Israeli army’s warning on October 13, 2023.

Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces reiterated its call for residents to evacuate to southern Gaza, in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Earlier, the military posted another video listing other acts committed by Hamas, saying the Palestinian militant group “has shown the world time and time again what they are capable of.”

“Now the IDF is prepared to counter with an even greater force. There is no place in the world for terrorism,” it said.

The posts come as Israel is expected to commence a ground offensive in Gaza.

— Christine Wang

Israel Defense Forces says its preparing for ‘wide range’ offensive

Israel continues to deploy soldiers and armored vehicles along the Gaza border in Zikim kibbutz of Ashkelon, Israel on October 14, 2023. 

Mostafa Alkharouf | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces, or IDF, said it was “preparing to implement a wide range of offensive operative plans” which will include “an integrated and coordinated attack from the air, sea and land” against Hamas.

The IDF added that it had already completed its mobilization of hundreds of thousands of servicemen for the counteroffensive, according to a statement translated by NBC News.

Israeli soldiers prepare armed drones stationed close to the Palestinian Gaza Strip enclave, from a field near the southern Israeli city of Sderot, on October 14, 2023, as fighting between Israel and the Hamas movement continues for the eighth consecutive day.

Thomas Coex | AFP | Getty Images

“IDF battalions and soldiers are deployed all over the country and are prepared to increase readiness for the next stages of the war — with an emphasis on a significant ground operation,” the statement added.

Israeli soldiers in an armoured vehicles drive along a street near northern town of Kiryat Shmona close to the border with Lebanon on October 9, 2023.

Jalaa Marey | AFP | Getty Images

Deal to allow Americans out of Gaza through Rafah gate faces obstacles, officials say

The tentative agreement to grant Americans in Gaza safe passage into Egypt through the Rafah gate continues to face significant obstacles to implementation, U.S. officials told NBC News.

Previous discussions between Egypt, the U.S., Qatar and Israel looked set to allow Americans across the border crossing during a five-hour window Saturday, but NBC reports the deadline came and went without any immediate sign of success. One official told NBC the parties are continuing to negotiate.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to land in Cairo on Sunday and the deal is set to be a key issue on his agenda.

While sticking points remain, the State Department has urged the estimated 500 to 600 Americans in Gaza to move south, warning that if the crossing opens, the window could be brief.

— NBC News, Christine Wang

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here

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Israel-Hamas war live updates: Blinken to return to Israel after 6-country blitz; U.S. offers sea evacuation to Americans in Israel


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