Day Twenty-Seven of Swords Of Iron
Foreign passport-holders are crossing from Gaza to Egypt.
Photo montage of IDF troops slain during Swords of Iron.
The IDF announced that it considers everything occuring in southern Lebanon to be the responsibility of Hezbollah. Therefore, in response to rocket attacks from Lebanon on northern Israel, the IDF launched air operations against positions held by Hezbollah, reportedly destroying command centers, operations bases, munitions depots, and infrastructure in southern Lebanon.
According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, binational relations with Bahrian are "stable" despite reports that Bahrain was withdrawing its ambassador to Israel. The ministry said it had not received any “announcement or decision from the Bahraini government to recall the countries’ ambassadors.”
The IDF is willing to allow some fuel shipments into Gaza, so long as it is reassured that no fuel reaches Hamas for military use. So far, Israel has barred all fuel shipments from entering Gaza since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Israel claims Hamas is hoarding fuel in underground reserves and diverting it for military use. Gaza's hospitals claim to have been forced to limit or halt operations because of a lack of fuel for their generators.
Hezbollah has released video showing a strike on the Zibdin Military Outpost by two drones in northern Israel, claiming serious Israeli casualties.
Israeli PM Netanyahu is reportedly weighing whether to grand a short ceasefire, as requested by the US. An Israeli official says a ceasefire of several hours is possible.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due in Israel on Novem. 3 to discuss a ceasefire, among other issues.
More than 20,000 people showed up on the evening of Nov.2 in solidarity with the hostages held by Hamas and to denounce antisemitism in Austria. For the first time ever in history, Israel's National anthem was played at the Heldenplatz.
Israeli Media has decided to boycott tomorrow's expected speech of Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, and refrain from mentioning it on any of its networks.
Syrian sources report that thousands of terrorists backed by Iran have arrived in southern Lebanon over the last week. Tens of thousands of terrorists are staging inside of Syria near that country's border with Lebanon and near the Golan Heights of Israel.
Families of people abducted by Hamas terrorists are receiving text messages in Hebrew, purportedly from Hamas, asking recipients to click on a link to receive information on the hostages. “This is a message from Al-Qassam,” reads the message, referring to Hamas’s military wing. “We have offered your government a prisoner swap, but it was not accepted,” the message continues. “This is our message: the release of all Zionist prisoners in exchange for the release of all Palestinian prisoners.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is weighing US requests for a short humanitarian ceasefire, according to Kan News reports.
An Israeli official says a ceasefire of several hours is possible.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that civilians have been “bear[ing] the brunt” of Israel’s military campaign targeting Hamas in Gaza and that he will be discussing “concrete steps” the IDF can take in order to protect civilians when he arrives in Israel tomorrow for his third visit since the war began. “Israel has not only the right but the obligation to defend itself and also to take steps to try to make sure that this never happens again,” Blinken said before leaving the US. “We’ve also said very clearly and repeatedly that how Israel does this matters,” he said, and added: “We’ve seen in recent days Palestinian civilians continuing to bear the brunt of this action, and… We want to look at concrete steps that can be taken to better protect them.”
He said Hamas is “quite literally” the reason why civilians have been in harm's way due to the terrorists using them as human shields and its placement of military sites underneath or inside hospitals, schools, and mosques.
Blinken said he wants to confer with Israel about its military campaign; ensured doesn't spread, continue to get more humanitarian aid into Gaza; helpiAmerican citizens and foreign nationals get out of Gaza be able to do so; secure the release of all hostages in Gaza; and set conditions for an eventual two-state solution after the war is over. He will travel to Jordan on the evening of November 3, and then Japan, South Korea, and India.
The war is costing Israel’s health maintenance organizations an additional $50.2 million per month. This adds to the financial woes of the four HMOs, which were already facing a combined deficit of $929 million for 2023.
Some of the unforeseen expenditures are the result of the HMOs having set up clinics in locations where evacuated and displaced citizens are temporarily being housed, such as Eilat, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Kibbutz Shefayim in central Israel.
“Our troops have completed the encirclement of Gaza City, the center of Hamas activity,” IDF spokesman Hagari said in a press conference. He said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh — who lives in Qatar — is due to visit Iran in his private jet. “They are trying to divert us from focusing on Gaza, we are focused on Hamas,” he says, after Iran-backed terror groups, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis, have stepped up attacks on Israel. Regarding a ceasefire, Hagari said “the term ‘ceasefire’ is not at all on the table at the moment.”
“While we were stopping, Hamas terrorists jumped out of tunnels, surrounded us from a number of areas, fired RPGs, and tried to reach our Namer [armored personnel carriers], and place explosives,” said Lt. Col. Tomer Greenberg, commander of the Golani brigade in a video statement. “Because we were well prepared, we managed to kill some of them, push back the others… the result was that they were dead and we continued our maneuver, until victory,” Greenberg adds.
Greenberg can be heard in a recording of a radio transmission describing the fighting to the commander of the Golani Brigade: “We received a significant attack here, assault attempts, I need suppressing fire to repel the terrorists’ attacks. Anyone who is outside the APC, kill.” One of the officers who participated in the battle, Cpt. “Nun” — who can only be identified by his rank and first initial in Hebrew — says it was an “excellent battle.”
“We encountered an ambush, and we battled dozens of terrorists. There are almost no injuries [to Israeli forces], and dozens of terrorists dead,” he said. He said it was an “excellent battle, a remarkable battle. And now we are preparing for the next battle, until victory.” The IDF also released a short clip from the battle itself, showing troops inside an APC approaching the site of the fighting and opening fire.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the IDF has “unique solutions” to demolish Hamas’s vast network of tunnels under the Gaza Strip. “We have unique solutions to reach all the tunnels and dismantle them underground; we are ready to do it,” Gallant told troops. “We will reach everywhere, and then the terrorists will have two options: either die in the tunnel or come out. And there, either die from the fire of our forces or surrender unconditionally,” he said. "There is no third option, those are the only options and that’s how we operate,” he adds.
Vice President Kamala Harris tells reporters while traveling in London that every Palestinian in Gaza who evacuates the Hamas-run enclave due to the war will be allowed to return. “The people who have been forced out have a right to return home, and there should be no forced displacement, no forced migration, and that is it,” Harris said.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) is the first US senator to express support for a ceasefire in Gaza, while clarifying that it must include the release of all hostages held by Hamas. His condition regarding the release of some 240 hostages sets him apart from the 18 Democrats from the far-left flank of his party who signed onto a resolution calling for a ceasefire, which makes no mention of those kidnapped into Gaza. When asked on CNN whether it is time for a ceasefire, he answered: "“I think it is.” He told CNN that his call for a ceasefire is “under circumstances, for example, the release of those who have been kidnapped as part of it, as an indication that this is a good faith effort on part of the other side.”
Discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more broadly, the pro-two-state Durbin says, “Let’s face it, this has gone on for decades. Whatever the rationale from the beginning has now reached an intolerable level. We need to have a resolution in the Middle East that gives some promise for the future."
The IDF has pushed to the outskirts of Gaza City, according to Israeli PM Netanyahu. His office stated: "We’re at the height of the battle. We’ve had impressive successes and have passed the outskirts of Gaza City. We are advancing." In a post on social media, Netanyahu wrote: "Today with our fighters in the field. We have very impressive successes, we are already more than the outskirts of Gaza City. We are making progress. Nothing will stop us. We will move forward. We will advance and win."
Visiting London, Vice President Harris refused to comment on Israel’s bombing of the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. "We're not telling Israel how it should conduct this war, and so I'm not going to speak to that."
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees claimed that 20 Gazans were killed by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp today. The follows nearly 200 dead at Jabalia on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf tweeted today that “we are witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza” and said Scotland “stands ready” to help treat injured civilians from Gaza. He wrote: “We condemn the recent bombing of Jabalia refugee camp, and reiterate our calls for an immediate ceasefire to allow significant amounts of aid through.”
This evening, Yousaf posted a clip of himself stating that “the people of Palestine, of Gaza, are a very proud people. They should not have to leave their land but of course many have been forced to leave … and of course many are lying injured in dying in hospitals”, which are fast running out of fuel and medical supplies.
He said: “There’s not been a request for the UK to receive medical evacuations from Gaza, but we hope that if that does come then the UK, and indeed Scotland, will be ready to play its part.”
Yousaf called for an immediate ceasefire.
One hundred and two trucks of humanitarian aid entered Gaza today through Egypt’s Rafah crossing, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. For the first time, more than 100 trucks entered Gaza in a single day since Rafah opened on Oct. 21, which meets a benchmark set by the US for the number of truckloads it wants to see enter Gaza each day. This represents an increase of 47 trucks over Nov. 1, and brings the total number that have entered Gaza since October 21 to 374, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
The aid agency says the aid included food, water, relief supplies, medicine, and medical equipment, but did not include fuel.
Israel has blocked fuel from entering Gaza, maintaining that Hamas will divert it in order to power its tunnels and other military infrastructure.
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi indicated earlier today that Israel would allow fuel into Gaza if hospitals run out, but Netanyahu subsequently released a statement stressing that it had not been approved.
Israel’s top military commander has said IDF troops have surrounded Gaza City on three sides and are operating inside the city.
Israeli PM Netanyahu said the IDF had pushed further than the outskirts of Gaza City. “We’re at the height of the battle,” he said.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said four of its schools in Gaza that are being used as shelters have been damaged in less than 24 hours. At least 20 people have reportedly been killed and five others injured today after a school that is being used as a shelter was damaged at the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, the agency said.
Hamas claims that at least 27 people were killed in a blast near a UN school in the Jabalia camp today. It also claimed that at least 15 people were killed after a blast in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza today. The terrorist group claimed that a residential building was destroyed and scores of people are trapped.
According to Hamas, at least 9,061 people have been killed by Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct. 7, when Hamas unleashed its terror attack on Israel. Hamas claimed 3,760 children have died in Gaza.
The UN human rights office said Israel’s airstrike on Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp this week may be war crimes.
Eighteen Israeli soldiers have been killed amid fierce fighting in Gaza as the IDF pushes into built-up areas of Gaza.
The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt was open for a second day to allow evacuation of injured Gazans and foreign passport-holders. British nationals were able to get out of Gaza today, according to the UK Foreign Office. 74 dual US citizens left Gaza, according to President Biden. 60 wounded Gazans left for Egypt for treatment.
Hamas’s al-Qassam brigades said its fighters in southern Lebanon shelled the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona, where four rockets landed in an industrial area, injuring two people and damaging buildings.
Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia militant group also backed by Iran, said it had simultaneously attacked 19 positions in Israel this evening. This came just hours after Hezbollah used two drones bearing explosives in an attack on an Israeli command position in the Shebaa Farms area on the Lebanese-Israeli border today. This is the first admission by Hezbollah of a drone attack on the IDF, and comes just days after it used for the first time a surface-to-air missile against an Israeli drone.
President Biden called for a “pause” in the Israel-Hamas war on Nov. 1. Secretary of State Blinken is expected to return to the region on Nov. 3. Biden has been reportedly under pressure to call for a ceasefire or a meaningful humanitarian pause. Israel did not immediately respond to Biden’s remarks, but Netanyahu has previously ruled out a ceasefire.
A group of United Nations experts have called for a ceasefire in Gaza, warning that “time is running out” as Gazans are at “grave risk of genocide”. In a statement, they expressed “deep frustration with Israel’s refusal to halt plans to decimate” Gaza and said they felt “deepening horror” about Israeli airstrikes against the Jabalia refugee camp.
The IDF said ground forces have killed 130+ terrorists during clashes in northern Gaza today. It reported that troops “continue to wage fierce battles against Hamas terrorists,” while locating weapons and destroying the terrorists' infrastructure.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah will make his first public comments since Hamas and Israel went to war, a speech which will be closely watched for clues on how Hezbollah -- backed by Iran as is Hamas -- will play a role in the conflict.
Hamas reported that the IDF is in control of all roads leading from northern to southern Gaza, including Al-Rasheed Street, which runs along the coastline.
Footage released by IDF showed that the Israeli navy and air force struck Hamas positions in northern Gaza.
Gaza City is being besieged by the Israeli army's armored units from the south (from east to west along Gaza Street and 10th Street). The Israeli army also entered the Zeitoun district (from south to north almost 1.5 kilometers). The Israeli army was 1.2 km away from Al-Rashid Street.
Isreli Prime Minister Benjamin Netyanyahu said to troops of the IDF Marom Brigade: "We are in the middle of the campaign. We have very impressive successes. We are already past the outskirts of Gaza City. We are making progress."
An Israeli man, Elhanan Klein, 29, was killed today in a shooting attack on Route 557 near the town of Einav in Samaria, Israel. Magen David Adom emergency medical personnel said the victim’s vehicle overturned after being targeted by gunfire. One terrorist was shot and captured, according to reports. Klein was a father of three from Einav. He was reportedly murdered as he returned home on a break from IDF reserve duty.
Germany’s top security official says she has implemented a formal ban on activity by or in support of Hamas and is dissolving Samidoun, a group that was behind a celebration of Hamas’ attack on Israel. Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that the government planned to take action against the two groups on Oct. 12. Hamas was already a designated a terrorist group by the US.
Israeli tank commander Lt. Col Salman Habaka, 33, a member of Israel's Druze community, was killed in action while commanding his tank battalion in northern Gaza. He had been celebrated for his heroic actions during Hamas’s attack on Be’eri kibbutz, the scene of one of the worst massacres on Oct. 7. On that day, he brought two tanks to the kibbutz and engaged terrorists holed up in homes there. Habaka is the most senior officer to have been killed during the IDF’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip. Israel's military death toll since the invasion began now stands at 18.
According to Hamas, an Israeli air strike hit a residential building in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, killing at least 15 people, the Associated Press reports. Dozens of people are under the rubble, according to Qatar’s Al Jazeera television. The strike created a large crater and severely damaged the surrounding buildings.
Egypt says it will help evacuate about 7,000 foreign passport holders from Gaza.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted it is “saddened and disturbed” by the loss of 33 journalists in the conflict. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the journalists and media workers confirmed dead to-date include 28 Palestinians, four Israelis and one Lebanese national. Another eight journalists have been reported injured and nine are reported to be missing or detained.
British PM Rishi Sunak and the UN secretary-general, António Guterres agreed on the need to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. According to Sunak's office, “The leaders ... discussed the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and agreed on the importance of urgently scaling up the delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid.” “The prime minister and the secretary-general agreed on the need to reinvigorate international efforts to reach a lasting resolution to the conflict and progress work towards a two-state solution,” a spokesperson said. They met during the inaugural AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park.
UNRWA, the UN relief and works agency, said it is harboring around 690,000 internally displaced people in Gaza. Calling the situation "desperate," UNRWA said, "Our shelters are almost 4x their intended capacity and overcrowded conditions continue to create severe health and protection concerns.”
POLITICO reported on Nov. 1 that President Biden and top advisors believe Israeli PM Netanyahu’s political days are numbered, and conveyed this view to Netanyahu during a recent conversation. The report cited senior administration officials as well as a current and former U.S. official. “There’s going to have to be a reckoning within Israeli society about what happened,” one official told POLITICO. “Ultimately, the buck stops on the prime minister’s desk.” The report also said Netanyahu has defied predictions in the past.
The Metropolitan Police in England have arrested a man at home in front of his family for negative comments he made online regarding Hamas and the Palestinian Flag. The man called the police a “disgrace” and asked “Where is my freedom of speech.”
At the UN on Nov. 1, Russia's ambassador to the UN said Israel does not have the right to defend itself. According to Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, the US and its allies are hypocritical for talking “about Israel’s alleged right for self-defense, which, as an occupying state, it does not have, as was confirmed by the [U.N.’s] International Court [of Justice] consultative ruling in 2004.”
Hamas's Al-Qassam Brigade released a video of one of its drones dropping a grenade on a group of IDF troops near Beit Hanoun, northeastern Gaza. Of the approximately 20 Israeli troops, approximately six are seen to fall to the ground at the time the grenade detonated. The IDF has not yet released word of casualties.
Jewish protesters crowded St. Pancras Underground station in London, callled for a ceasefire and accused police of “attempting to arrest Jews in prayer,” according to the Black-Jewish Alliance in a social media post. A prayer service came with a sit-in at the station. Jewish Anti-Zionist Action organized the protest, and claimed to be a coalition of British Jews who “will not allow a genocide to happen in our name”. The group said “hundreds of Jewish Anti-Zionists and allies” had taken part in a sit-in that began at 7.45am at St Pancras station.
About 100 foreign nationals were allowed to leave via Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt, according to Hamas spokesman Wael Abu Mohsen. By the end of today, about 400 foreign passport holders are expected to cross. A list of those approved for crossing included hundreds of US citizens, 50 Belgians, and various other countries. 60 severely wounded Gazans are also expected to cross in ambulances. There are 2.4 million residents of Gaza.
Aseel Hassan, 13, and Anas, 14, were among those killed, according to The Guardian, by an Israeli air strike on Oct. 19 destroyed their home in Dei al-Balah. Majd Souri, 7, was killed an Oct 20 air raid that damaged a building next to the St. Porphyrius Greek Orthodox church in Gaza City. 17 others were killed, including Majd's siblings Julie, 9, and Soheil, 15. The three siblings were members of Gaza's tiny Christian community, which numbered no more than 1000. The IDF claimed that the strike was intended for a Hamas command center.
Four Palestinians, including three teenagers, were shot dead in the West Bank today, according to AP. More than 130 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the start of the war.
According to Hamas, at least 9,061 people have been killed by Israeli strikes on Gaza since the Oct. 7 massacre unleashed by Hamas 7. Another 32,000 people have been injured.
Those killed include 3,760 children as well as 2,326 women, according to Hamas.
The IDF claimed ‘dozens’ of Hamas terrorists were killed in overnight operations. The IAF stated that IDF infantry and armor were fired on with anti-tank weapons and grenades in overnight operations.
President Biden called for a “pause” in the fighting in Gaza to enable the release of hostages, speaking at campaign event in Minneapolis on Nov. 1. When a woman shouted a demand for a ceasefire, Biden said: “I think we need a pause. A pause means give time to get the prisoners out.” White House officials later clarified he was referring to hostages being held by Hamas.
Hamas claims that 195+ residents of Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp were killed in Israeli airstrikes on Oct. 30-31. The IDF killed senior Hamas officials in both attacks, including Muhammad A’sar, the commander of Hamas’s anti-tank guided missile array, who was killed on Nov. 1.
According to Martin Griffiths, a leading UN human rights official, there are “serious concerns” over the “high number of civilian casualties and the scale of destruction” after the strikes. He said the airstrikes were “just the latest atrocity to befall the people of Gaza” and said the world “seems unable, or unwilling, to act”.
Philippe Lazzarini of UNRWA said the destruction in Gaza is “unprecedented”. After visiting Gaza for the first time since Oct. 7, Lazzarini said it was “one of the saddest days in my humanitarian work” and urged a “meaningful” humanitarian response to prevent people in Gaza from dying.
The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened for the first time on Nov. 1, allowing the evacuation of dozens of injured Palestinians requiring hospital treatment and hundreds of foreign passport holders. Late on Nov. 1, at least 335 dual nationals and 76 injured seriously wounded and sick people had crossed the border. Four hundred people holding foreign passports are expected to cross today, in addition to 60 wounded.
According to Médecins Sans Frontières, 20,000 wounded Gazans are trapped in Gaza despite the evacuation of some foreign passport holders and badly injured Palestinians across the border to Egypt on Nov. 1
Fifteen Israeli soldiers have been killed amid fierce fighting in Gaza. The heaviest loss of life occurred when a “Namer” armoured personnel carrier was hit at about noon on Oct. 31 by an anti-tank guided missile, killing 11 soldiers and wounding several more.
Thai officials held direct talks with Hamas in Iran last week. Negotiators met Hamas officials in Tehran on Oct. 26. Hamas pledged that the 22 Thais being held in Gaza would be released at the “right time”.
The only cancer treatment hospital in Gaza has gone out of service after it ran out of fuel, health officials said on Nov. 1. The director of the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship hospital told a press conference: “We tell the world – don’t leave cancer patients to a certain death due to the hospital being out of service.”
Hamas claims that 8,796 Palestinians, including 3,648 children, have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7. The number has not been independently verified. The UN reported that at least 123 Palestinians, including 34 children, have been killed in the Israeli-occupied West Bank since Oct. 7.
House Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) survived a censure vote on Nov. 1 over her history of anti-Israel remarks and participating in a pro-Palestinian protest in October following the massacre unleashed by Hamas terrorists in Israel. The House voted 222-186 to block a resolution to censure Tlaib after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) introduced the measure last week. 186 Republicans voted against tabling the measure, and 23 Republicans voted in favor of tabling. All House Democrats voted in favor of tabling the censure, while 13 did not vote.
Jerusalem police and Shin Bet security announced the dismantling of a terrorist cell in the Shuafat refugee camp. Two terrorists were arrested before they could carry out a plot to use explosive devices they manufactured at an apartment in Shuafat. They are undergoing questioning at the Jerusalem District Court. Formal charges are expected to be filed against the suspects in the coming days.