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🔴 Live: Israel pounds over ‘500 Hamas targets’ overnight in Gaza

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Israeli air strikes and artillery shelling struck more than 500 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, the Israeli military said Monday as the Israeli military fought to regain control of the desert areas around Gaza. The death toll from the war with Hamas surged above 1,000 by Monday, the third day of clashes. Follow our liveblog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

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4:53am: Cathay Pacific cancels Tel Aviv flights on Tuesday citing Israel situation

Cathay Pacific Airways 0293.HK said on Monday that it was cancelling its flights CX675 from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv, and CX676 from Tel Aviv to Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Cathay said it would provide further updates ahead of its next scheduled service on Thursday Oct. 12.

3:50am: Iran’s UN mission says Tehran not involved in Hamas attacks

Iran’s mission to the United Nations said on Sunday that Tehran was not involved in one of the bloodiest attacks in Israel‘s history when Islamist group Hamas killed 700 Israelis and abducted dozens more.

“The resolute measures taken by Palestine constitute a wholly legitimate defense against seven decades of oppressive occupation and heinous crimes committed by the illegitimate Zionist regime,” Iran’s UN mission said in statement.

Iran has made no secret of its backing for Hamas, funding and arming the group and another Palestinian militant organisation Islamic Jihad.

3:45am: Oil prices jump more than $4 as Middle East violence rattles markets

Oil prices jumped more than $4 a barrel in early Asian trade on Monday, as dramatic military clashes between Israeli and Hamas forces over the weekend deepened political uncertainty across the Middle East.

The surge in oil prices reversed last week’s downward trend – the largest weekly decline since March – in which Brent fell about 11% and WTI retreated more than 8% amid concerns about high interest rates and their impact on global demand.

“Increasing geopolitical risk in the Middle East should support oil prices … higher volatility can be expected” analysts from ANZ Bank said in a client note.

The eruption of violence threatens to derail US efforts to broker a rapprochment between Saudi Arabia and Israel, in which the kingdom would normalise ties with Israel in return for a defence deal between Washington and Riyadh.

1:58am: US deploying ships closer to Israel

President Joe Biden ordered US ships and warplanes to move closer to Israel in a show of support.

The Pentagon said it was sending the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford and its accompanying warships to the eastern Mediterranean, while boosting fighter aircraft squadrons in the region.

US Central Command confirmed Sunday afternoon that ships and planes had begun moving to their new posts. 

1:15am: ‘Several’ US citizens have died following attacks in Israel 

Several US nationals have died since the start of Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, a National Security Council spokesman said Sunday, adding that US officials remained in touch with their Israeli counterparts.

Official word of Americans killed in the conflict came as Israel retaliated for the incursion, one of the bloodiest in it history, launching attacks on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

12:35am: US demands condemnation of Hamas at UN meeting, but Security Council takes no immediate action

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting behind closed doors Sunday, with the United States demanding all 15 members strongly condemn “these heinous terrorist attacks committed by Hamas,” but they took no immediate action.

US deputy ambassador Robert Wood said afterward that “a good number of countries” did condemn the Hamas attack but not all council members. He told reporters they could probably figure out one of them.

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told The Associated Press the Americans tried to say during the meeting that Russia isn’t condemning the attacks, but “that’s untrue.”

“It was in my comments,” he said. “We condemn all the attacks on civilians.”

Nebenzia said Russia’s message is: “It’s important to stop the fighting immediately, to go to a cease-fire and to meaningful negotiations, which were stalled for decades.”

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun voiced a similar position earlier, as he headed into the meeting. He said Beijing condemns all attacks on civilians, though he did not mention Hamas.

“What’s really important is to prevent the further escalation of the situation and further casualties of civilians,” Zhang said. “What’s also important is really to come back to the two-state solution.”

12:05am: Israel UN envoy decries ‘war crimes,’ UN Security Council meets

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Sunday accused Palestinian Islamist group Hamas of war crimes, vowing that it was time to “obliterate Hamas terror infrastructure,” as the UN Security Council met to discuss the conflict.

In a dramatic assault launched from the Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Saturday, Hamas militants stormed into Israeli towns, killing more than 600 people and escaping with dozens of hostages, in the deadliest day for Israel since the 1973 war.

“These are war crimes, blatant documented war crimes,” said Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan ahead of the closed-door meeting of the 15-member Security Council meeting.

“The era of reasoning with these savages is over,” he told reporters. “Now is the time to obliterate Hamas terror infrastructure, to completely erase it, so that such horrors are never committed again.”

10:22pm Senior Hamas official says militant group is holding more than 100 people captive after assault on Israel

A senior Hamas official says the militant group is holding more than 100 people captive after its unprecedented assault on Israel.

Mousa Abu Marzouk made the remarks Sunday to the Arabic-lanmguage news outlet al-Ghad. The figure is in addition to more than 30 people said to be held by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.

(France 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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