Updated: 8:00 a.m. October 18, 2023
The Israel-Hamas war is in its 12th day of fighting. So far more than 4,800 people have been killed total in Gaza and Israel. Protests have broken out across the Middle East after a deadly explosion at a Gaza hospital killed hundreds on Tuesday. Palestinian officials blamed Israel for the bombing while Israel denied any involvement.
President Biden says it appears the deadly explosion at a hospital in Gaza was "done by the other team." Biden made the comment shortly after arriving in Israel today and speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Hundreds are believed to have died Tuesday after a hospital was struck in Gaza City. Palestinian officials blamed Israeli airstrikes for the blast, but the IDF has denied any involvement. In Tel Aviv today, Biden told Netanyahu, "Based on what I've seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you."
Updated: 1:00 p.m. October 17, 2023
The buildup of Israeli forces continues ahead of an expected ground offensive against Hamas. Israel has imposed a blockade of the Gaza Strip after Hamas' deadly surprise attacks earlier this month. The U.S. and Israel have agreed to a plan to provide humanitarian aid from donor nations to civilians in war-torn Gaza.
Oil prices are surging as fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East impacts markets. Neither Israel nor Hamas is a significant oil supplier, but the risk to oil markets will rise if the conflict broadens. Analysts expect oil prices to hit 100-dollars a barrel in the short term because of the growing risk of regional escalation.
Updated: 9:00 a.m. October 17, 2023
President Biden will be in Tel Aviv tomorrow to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as casualties mount in the ongoing bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas. Israel has imposed a blockade and bombardment of the Gaza Strip has been ongoing since Hamas' coordinated attacks earlier this month. The Palestinian Ministry of Health says more than 28-hundred are dead and ten-thousand-plus injured among the millions currently trapped in Gaza. Israel says Hamas' assault and continued rocket attacks have killed around 14-hundred people and wounded 35-hundred others. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Biden's visit is meant to reaffirm the United States' commitment to Israel and its people's security. The President is also expected to stop in Amman to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas alongside Jordan's King Abdullah and the president of Egypt.
Updated: 9:00 p.m. October 16, 2023
President Biden is taking a trip to Israel. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday during a briefing after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the President will make the trip on Wednesday. Biden is expected to meet with Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders. He was invited to Egypt for an international summit on Saturday that focuses on the future of Palestinians, but it is unclear if he would make any additional stops should he choose to make the trip to Israel. U.S. officials have discussed with Egypt ways to get humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
A report says the Pentagon has told 2,000 U.S. troops to be ready to deploy to the Middle East. The "Wall Street Journal" said the troops would not be serving in a combat role if sent. The report comes just as the U.S. sends a second carrier strike group off the coast of Israel. The first carrier strike group arrived last week. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the carriers are meant "to deter hostile actions against Israel."
Updated: 9:00 a.m. October 16, 2023
The war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas is raging as a ground invasion of Gaza appears imminent. This comes as clean water food, medical supplies, and fuel are running short in Gaza as thousands attempt to flee south. The death toll from the fighting has left over 41-hundred people dead. At least 30 Americans have been killed and thirteen are still unaccounted for. The Israel-Hamas war began when Hamas militants killed Israeli citizens and soldiers, and took hostages on October 7th.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has vowed to protect the UK's Jewish communities amid tensions over the war between Israel and Hamas.
Updated: 7:00 a.m. October 16, 2023
America's top diplomat is in Israel today as fighting continues between the IDF and the Palestinian militant organization Hamas. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv this morning after a weekend of meetings with leaders in the region. He's expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his newly-formed war cabinet on his second visit to the country within just a few days. It comes as Israel is said to be readying for a major offensive, from the land, air, and sea, against Hamas targets in Gaza a little over a week after militants carried out a surprise attack that led to a declaration of war. Thousands of lives have been lost on both sides of the conflict since then.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he's learned what Israelis have to go through after his delegation was rushed to a shelter in Tel Aviv. Schumer and Senators Bill Cassidy, Jacky Rosen, Mark Kelly and Mitt Romney have been in Israel meeting with government leaders and with local families. He posted a picture Sunday on X, formerly Twitter, showing the space where he took shelter in. The New York Democrat says they were having lunch when sirens went off after rockets were launched by Hamas. He reiterated that the U.S. needs to provide Israel "with the support required to defend itself