(Bloomberg) — French President called for an international coalition to fight Hamas and warned other Iranian-backed militant groups not to open new fronts in the war, as Israel said it struck more targets in Gaza and also in Lebanon.
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Israel’s military said there are “long weeks of fighting ahead,” though it wouldn’t say if a ground invasion of Gaza is imminent. Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross said some hospitals in northern Gaza have no power and are short of medicines.
On Monday night, Hamas released two women who were among around 220 hostages taken to Gaza when the militant group — designated a terrorist organization by the US and European Union — attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7. Israel says Hamas killed more than 1,400 people. Authorities in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip say Israel’s bombardments have killed thousands.
(All time stamps are Israeli time)
Israel Targets Hamas Operatives in Gaza (5:29 pm)
Israel killed a number of Hamas operatives, including the deputy commander of the battalion that took part in the Kibbutz Be’eri massacre on Oct. 7, Israel’s military said. Two other deputy battalion commanders were also killed, it said.
Hamas, meanwhile, said it launched missile attacks on Tel Aviv. Air raid sirens sounded in the city and in surrounding towns.
Austrian, Czech Leaders Next to Visit Israel (5:15 p.m.)
Government leaders from Austria and the Czech Republic are set to travel to Israel on Wednesday, the latest in a flurry of diplomatic trips. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog in a sign of solidarity with Israel.
Egypt Says Israel Stopping Foreigners Leaving Gaza (4:57 p.m.)
The Rafah border crossing from Gaza to Egypt isn’t safe for individuals, Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service, told reporters, saying that Israel is blocking foreign nationals from leaving the territory. Rashwan reiterated that Egypt’s side of the border crossing is open.
Israeli Aircraft Strike Militant Cell in Lebanon (4:45 p.m.)
Military aircraft targeted a militant cell inside Lebanon along with numerous weapons in their possession, Israel said. In a separate incident, Israel said its forces were responding with artillery fire toward the source of a reported anti-tank missile launched from Lebanon toward Israeli territory.
Erdogan and Putin Discuss Conflict (4:31 p.m.)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed spiraling violence and Gaza’s growing humanitarian crisis, according to a readout of a phone call issued by Erdogan’s office.
Erdogan told Putin that the “deaths of civilians were mounting amid escalating violence toward Palestinian territories and that the silence of Western states has brought the humanitarian crisis in Gaza to an unavoidable level,” the readout said.
Gaza Healthcare System Collapses (2:20 p.m.)
A spokesman for the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said the healthcare system had collapsed. A dozen hospitals and 32 health centers are already out of service and there are fears more will halt operations due to airstrikes and shortages of fuel, Ashraf Al-Qidra said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said its teams visited hospitals in northern Gaza and found facilities with no power, no painkillers and reported medical procedures being carried out by flashlight. The World Health Organization said almost two-thirds of Gaza’s health facilities have ceased functioning, the AP reported.
Hamas Has ‘Spiderweb’ of Tunnels, Hostage Says (2:21 pm)
Hamas built a huge network of underground tunnels in Gaza, similar to a spiderweb, one of the released Israeli hostages told reporters. Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, said her kidnappers took her into the maze of tunnels, which she described as very damp. They walked for kilometers underground until they reached a large hall where she was held initially.
UK Says Israel Promised to Abide by International Law (1:45 pm)
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said he received assurances from Israel that it will abide by international law as its military seeks to defend citizens and secure the release of hostages. “I have raised this issue directly with my Israeli counterparts,” he told the UK Parliament. “I’ve received assurances from the Israeli president to that effect.”
World Bank Chief Says War Could Deal Economic Blow (1 p.m.)
The war could deal a “serious” blow to the global economy, World Bank President Ajay Banga told Saudi Arabia’s flagship investment conference, the Future Investment Initiative.
“There’s so much going on in the world in geopolitics, in the wars that we’re seeing, with what just happened in Israel and Gaza,” he told a panel. “When you put all of this together, the impact on economic development is even more serious. I think we’re at a very serious juncture.”
Earlier, State Street Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ron O’Hanley told Bloomberg TV from the conference that geopolitics is weighing on investment markets “now as much as anything.”
Macron Urges Coalition to Fight Hamas (1 p.m.)
The French leader said he was ready for the international coalition against Islamic State to turn its focus onto Hamas. “The priority — your priority, but also that of all democracies and of France — is to defeat these terrorist groups with you,” Macron said at a joint press briefing with Netanyahu during a trip to Israel on Tuesday.
Macron also said Palestinians have the right to their own state and called for the resumption of the peace process with Israel.
Israel Says ‘Long Weeks of Fighting Ahead’ (10 a.m.)
The military anticipates “long weeks of fighting ahead,” without saying whether a ground invasion would soon begin. Spokesman Daniel Hagari told a press briefing that troops are prepared for battle but are waiting for optimal timing and government orders.
The air force is carrying out “very significant strikes” in northern Gaza, particularly around Gaza City, Hagari said, urging Palestinians to evacuate to the south of the enclave. Israel has also targeted multiple Hamas and Hezbollah cells planning to launch rockets at Israel over the past day, he said.
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