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Israel-Hamas war live updates: Israel prepares for next stage of operations, opens new routes south in Gaza for fleeing citizens

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44 Mins Ago

Blinken calls for protection of civilians as Israel prepares for expected assault on Gaza

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken metts with the Saudi Foreign minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh on October 14, 2023.

Jacquelyn Martin | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday called for protection for civilians in both the Gaza Strip and Israel as the Israeli military ordered half of the Palestinian territory’s population to evacuate in advance of an expected ground assault.

Blinken met his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, in Riyadh as he began a third day of intense Middle East diplomacy aimed at preventing the Israel-Hamas war from expanding into a regional conflict and fueling a humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 14, 2023. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on October 13, 2023, began a tour of six Arab capitals to build pressure on Hamas while Israel readies a massive offensive on the Gaza Strip following the militants’ attacks. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin / AP / AFP) (Photo by JACQUELYN MARTIN/AP/AFP via Getty Images)

Jacquelyn Martin | AFP | Getty Images

Both stressed the importance of minimizing the harm to civilians as Israel prepared for an anticipated incursion against Hamas a week after the militant group’s unprecedented attack in Israel.

“As Israel pursues its legitimate right, to defending its people and to trying to ensure that this never happens again, it is vitally important that all of us look out for civilians, and we’re working together to do exactly that,” Blinken said before heading to the United Arab Emirates for similar discussions.

“None of us want to see suffering by civilians on any side, whether it’s in Israel, whether it’s in Gaza, whether it’s anywhere else.”

Associated Press

An Hour Ago

Qatar rejects attempts to ‘forcibly displace’ Palestinians in Gaza

Palestinians fleeing from northern Gaza to the south after the Israeli army issued an unprecedented evacuation warning to a population of over 1 million people in northern Gaza and Gaza City to seek refuge in the south ahead of a possible Israeli ground invasion, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. 

Hatem Moussa | AP

Qatar issued a statement Saturday, saying it rejects attempts to forcibly displace Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

A statement from the Qatari foreign ministry was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, in which it said “Qatar declares its categorical rejection of attempts to forcibly displace the Palestinian people from the Gaza Strip.”

It called for the lifting of the siege on the Gaza Strip, and demanded the “full protection for … Palestinian civilians according to the international and humanitarian laws.”

— Holly Ellyatt

An Hour Ago

Two Hamas commanders who led attack were killed, Israeli army says

Israel’s military said on Saturday it killed two Hamas commanders who were behind the cross-border deadly rampage into Israel a week ago.

A soldier walks past an area where tanks are positioned near the border with Gaza on October 11, 2023 in Be’eri, Israel.

Alexi J. Rosenfeld | Getty Images

The military said it killed Merad Abu Merad, who was the head of the Hamas aerial system, and Ali Qadi, a company commander of a commando force.

— Reuters

2 Hours Ago

U.S. reportedly working to get its citizens out of Gaza via Rafah border crossing

A picture taken on October 10, 2023, shows the closed gates of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Said Khatib | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. is working to get the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened on Saturday to allow U.S. citizens to leave, several news agencies reported Saturday.

AFP and Reuters reported earlier that the U.S. had been working with Israel, Qatar and Egypt to have the crossing point open from midday to 5pm local time, citing an un-named senior State Department official.

“We have been trying to facilitate access for it to be open from 12 to five today. The Egyptians, the Israelis and the Qataris have been working with us on that,” the official told reporters travelling with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Reuters reported.

NBC News has not yet been able to confirm the reports.

The reports follow a comment made by the IDF’s international spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht in a briefing this morning, advising that he was aware of talk of a humanitarian exit for U.S. citizens and that he expected an update on the situation this morning.

Blinken has conducted a flurry of diplomatic meetings in the Middle East this week, trying to prevent the Israeli-Hamas conflict from spreading in the wider region.

 — Holly Ellyatt

2 Hours Ago

Israeli military says it’s examining death of Reuters journalist in Lebanon

The Israeli army said on Saturday it was aware of the incident in southern Lebanon in which a Reuters journalist was killed and that it was being investigated.

“We are aware of the incident with the Reuters journalist. We are looking into it. We already have visuals. We’re doing cross examination. It’s a tragic thing,” a military spokesperson told reporters.

Israeli Merkava tanks are positioned in the upper Galilee in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon on October 11, 2023.

Jalaa Marey | AFP | Getty Images

Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah was killed and six other journalists injured in southern Lebanon on Friday when missiles fired from the direction of Israel struck them, according to a Reuters videographer who was at the scene.

— Reuters

3 Hours Ago

324 Palestinians killed in last 24 hours, Gaza says

EDITORS NOTE-Graphic Content: This post contains an image of death in Gaza.

Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours have so far killed at least 324 Palestinians and wounded 1,000 others, Gaza’s health ministry reported on Saturday, Reuters noted.

According to the report, the dead included at least 126 children and 88 women.

EDITORS NOTE-Graphic Content: A man carries a dead body to an ice cream refrigerators due to the insufficiency of the hospital morgues at the Suheda al-Aqsa Hospital (Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital) as Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip continue on its 8th day in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on October 14, 2023. 

Ashraf Amra | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

In total, 2,215 citizens in the Gaza Strip and West Bank have been killed, the ministry said Saturday, with the majority of those killed being in Gaza.

— Holly Ellyatt

3 Hours Ago

UN plane carrying medical supplies lands in Egypt, ready to supply Gaza

Workers load the trucks with boxes after a planes carrying Turkish humanitarian aid for residents of the Gaza Strip landed at El Arish International Airport in Egypt, neighboring the enclave under intense Israeli blockade and bombardment on October 13, 2023.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The head of the World Health Organization said a plane carrying medical supplies has landed in Egypt, with its cargo ready to be deployed to Gaza as soon as possible.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the plane had landed in Al Arish, close to the Rafah crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza.

“We’re ready to deploy the supplies as soon as humanitarian access through the crossing is established. We continue our plea to Israel to reconsider the decision to evacuate 1.1 million people,” he said, adding: “It will be a human tragedy.”

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are trying to leave northern Gaza after the Israeli military ordered over a million civilians to leave the area ahead of an expected ground offensive.

Humanitarian agencies say the 24-hour deadline given by Israeli authorities is not enough and have warned of disaster, saying civilians do not have enough time to evacuate.

All water, food, electricity, fuel and medical supplies to Gaza were cut by Israeli forces following Palestinian militant group Hamas’ attack a week ago. The World Health Organization is a specialized UN agency responsible for international public health.

— Holly Ellyatt

4 Hours Ago

EU top diplomat says Gaza City evacuation “virtually impossible”

EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell talks to the press as he arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at the Palacio de Congreso in Granada, southern Spain on October 5, 2023.

Jorge Guerrero | Afp | Getty Images

The European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell warned that Israel’s call to evacuate the roughly 1.1 million residents of Gaza City south of the Wadi Gaza river is “virtually impossible,” echoing earlier comments from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

“I fully endorse @antonioguterres warning that Israel’s request that 1 million civilians evacuate from the North of Gaza across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or shelter into a territory under siege is extremely dangerous and virtually impossible,” Borrell said on social media. He has been on a three-day visit to China, as the EU attempts to navigate de-risking, but not fully decoupling its trade relationship from Beijing.

The U.N. has previously condemned the terrorist attacks of Palestinian group Hamas, which killed and abducted Israeli civilians and nationals. U.N. officials have simultaneously expressed concern over the impact of Israel’s complete siege of the Gaza Strip, particularly after an Israeli instruction for the roughly 1.1 million people of Gaza City to evacuate southward in the short term.

Several humanitarian agencies have decried the evacuation order, saying it would exacerbate the existing crisis for civilians in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, Guterres urged all parties to allow “immediate humanitarian access” as the Israel-Hamas conflict deepens. “We need immediate humanitarian access throughout Gaza, so that we can get fuel, food and water to everyone in need.”

Ruxandra Iordache

4 Hours Ago

Israeli military says it thwarted infiltration and attacks from Lebanon

A picture taken from the Lebanese side of the border shows an Israeli soldiers patrolling inside the the northern Israeli village of Metula on October 13, 2023. 

Joseph Eid | AFP | Getty Images

Israeli military said it has been responding to Lebanese hostilities in overnight updates on the Telegram social media platform.

In a first post, the Israel Defense Forces said they struck a target in southern Lebanon belonging to Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has been exchanging fire with Israel throughout the week. The IDF said it carried out the offensive “in response to infiltration of unidentified aerial objects into Israel” and that it intercepted the object and fired against its forces.

In a later update, the IDF said it thwarted a “terrorist cell” that sought to enter Israeli territory from Lebanon, without identifying its allegiance.

CNBC could not independently verify the reports. The Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar TV, which has previously reported on firing between Hezbollah and Israel, has yet to mention a Hezbollah incursion.

Hezbollah has previously criticized Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip and has exchanged shelling with Israel, citing solidarity with the Palestinian people. On Friday, deputy chief of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem, said that the Lebanese group is prepared to intervene in the war between Israel and Hamas and “will carry out our duties whenever it is high time.”

Hezbollah leadership on Friday met with the foreign minister of Iran, which supports both the group and Hamas. Iran has praised the deadly multi-pronged Hamas attacks of Oct. 7, but denied involvement.

5 Hours Ago

IDF opens new evacuation routes in Gaza for 6 hours

The Israel Defense Forces will allow movement on two streets in Gaza “without any harm” between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time, the military’s Arabic-language spokesman Avichay Adraee said on X, according to a Google translation.

The IDF encouraged civilians to take advantage of the route to move south from Beit Hanoun to Khan Yunis.

— Christine Wang

6 Hours Ago

IDF spokesman defends evacuation order

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus defended the evacuation order, saying it would keep civilians safer and out of an area where Israel is “going to enhance our military operations.” He reiterated that Israel is targeting Hamas and its military infrastructure.

Palestinians with their belongings flee to safer areas in Gaza City after Israeli air strikes, on October 13, 2023.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

Conricus slammed Hamas for telling civilians to ignore the evacuation order, accusing the Palestinian militant group of using civilians as a human shield.

— Christine Wang

6 Hours Ago

Israel Defense Forces say over 120 civilians are being held hostage in Gaza

Israel Defense Forces said over 120 civilians are being held captive in Gaza by Hamas. The military previously said it had notified families of at least 120 people who were taken hostage by the Palestinian militant group.

— Christine Wang

6 Hours Ago

U.S. has not asked Israel to delay ground operation, official says

A senior U.S. official told NBC News that the U.S. has not asked Israel to delay its ground offensive in Gaza.

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 comment strikes down a Fox News report that Washington had asked for the operation to be delayed until after safe passage could be secured for evacuating Palestinians.

A State Department official said Friday the U.S. believes Israel is trying to minimize harm to civilians and that its military has a right to respond with operations it deems necessary.

— Christine Wang

6 Hours Ago

Evacuation deadline passes with no sign of Israeli ground offensive

Israel’s deadline for the evacuation of northern Gaza has now passed.

Its military is expected to commence a ground offensive into the area after amassing troops at the border over the past week. While Israel never confirmed such plans, the 24-hour notice for the evacuation of 1.1 million Palestinians raised concerns it would begin a new phase of its efforts to wipe out Hamas’ military capabilities.

— Christine Wang

14 Hours Ago

‘There is nowhere to hide from the bombs’: Civilians trapped in Gaza can’t escape Israel’s siege

Palestinians with their belongings flee to safer areas in Gaza City after Israeli air strikes, on Oct.13, 2023.

Mohammed Abed | AFP | Getty Images

In the Gaza Strip, a small stretch of land blockaded off with concrete walls and barbed wire fences and whose last remaining border crossings have been shut, survival is increasingly a game of chance.

“It’s insane and brutal — I can’t believe they’re doing this to the whole population. The amount of airstrikes are massive,” Omar, a Gazan development worker with two young children, told CNBC via voice note. “We’re OK for now but it’s very scary, and with each bomb, we feel it’s going to be our turn.” Omar asked that only his first name be used out of concern for his family.

Without bomb shelters, people try to hide in hallways, away from windows, in schools, or even in the street alongside piles of rubble. But those spots aren’t safe either, Palestinians in Gaza say.

Read the full story here.

— Natasha Turak

12 Hours Ago

Palestinians evacuate from northern Gaza

Palestinian women walk with children and belongings as they flee an area in the aftermath of an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on October 13, 2023. 

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

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

Riding a donkey drawn cart as family along with hundreds of other Palestinian carrying their belongings flee following the Israeli army’s warning to leave their homes and move south before an expected ground offensive, in Gaza City on October 13, 2023.

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

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

Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

Entire families could be seen fleeing northern Gaza in cars, trucks, donkey carts and on foot after the Israeli military asked 1.1 million people to evacuate ahead of an expected ground invasion.

The United Nations has demanded that “Israel immediately rescind its order for 1.1 million Palestinians to leave northern Gaza within 24 hours, condemning the evacuation order as a crime against humanity and a blatant violation of international humanitarian law.”

“Forcible population transfers constitute a crime against humanity, and collective punishment is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” said Paula Gaviria Betancur, special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons. “We are horrified at the prospect of an additional 1 million Palestinians joining the over 423,000 people already forcibly driven from their homes by the violence over the past week.”

Israel has not yet said anything about the timing of the invasion.

Three convoys of evacuees in Gaza were hit by strikes, killing 70 people, according to a statement released by Hamas. NCB News reported.

At least 1,300 people have been killed in Israel and 1,900 people have been killed in Gaza as a result of the Israel-Hamas war, according to official estimates from both sides.

Riya Bhattacharjee

8 Hours Ago

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here

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