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Full Text Articles – Audio Posts: Hamas attack ends relations between Netanyahu and Putin … Palestinian militant group received funds from sanctioned Russian crypto-exchange … ‘It was a pogrom’: Be’eri survivors on the horrific attack by Hamas terrorists … Putin pushes need for talks in calls with Israeli, Arab and Iranian leaders … Russia ready to help end Middle East crisis, Putin tells Netanyahu


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Hypocrite Putin set up the Gaza fire via Wagner Group, and now he pretends to fight it! – GS https://t.co/WjPKRcdUub
Poroshenko: Wagner signature behind Hamas attack https://t.co/xTn0oKZEVc › He said the same Russian signature was seen in the… pic.twitter.com/BKKmmid2tB

— Michael Novakhov (@mikenov) October 17, 2023

Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble of a building destroyed by Israeli strikes in Khan Younis

“The threat is high that this whole conflict gets out of control,” Ryabkov said.

Putin pushes need for talks in calls with Israeli, Arab and Iranian leaders

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with China Media Group anchor Wang Guan at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, in this image released October 16, 2023. Sputnik/Sergei Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing RightsMOSCOW, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…
posted 13m ago via reuters.com
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Monday that Russia was ready to help end the confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians, the Kremlin said. “Vladimir Putin informed (Netanyahu) about the steps Russia is taking to help normalize the situation, prevent further escalation of violence…
posted 16h ago via devdiscourse.com
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with China Media Group anchor Wang Guan at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, in this image released October 16, 2023. Sputnik/Sergei Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing RightsMOSCOW, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin entered the fevered diplomatic fray of the Middle…
posted 17h ago via reuters.com
 

, Israeli Prime Minister, managed to maintain “warm communication” with Russian dictator , but now this has ended, writes The Wall Street Journal.Source: WSJDetails: Journalists remind that Netanyahu stood with Putin even when the latter was increasingly isolated. Even Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the warming of its relations with Israel’s sworn…
posted 17h ago via news.yahoo.com
 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely speak during a phone call Monday evening, a senior official tells Fox News. The call will represent the first time the two leaders will speak since Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attacks on Israeli civilians prompted Israel to declare war against the Gaza-based terror…
posted 17h ago via foxnews.com
 

As Israeli soldiers regain control of areas near Gaza that came under attack, they are finding evidence seen in videos and photos and confirmed by witness accounts of the massacre of civilians by Hamas terrorists.
posted 18h ago via nytimes.com
 

The Hamas militant group attacked Israel on Saturday, Oct. 7, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare, “we are at war.” Israel says at least 1,400 people there, most of them civilians, have been killed since Hamas launched the coordinated, multi-fronted attack from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian territory it has controlled for…
posted 18h ago via cbsnews.com
 

The smell of death hits you at the entrance to kibbutz Be’eri. Until Saturday morning Be’eri had a population of 1,200, the largest of the 12 villages that make up the Eshkol regional council that runs along the border with Gaza.Now it is a place indelibly associated with horror and tragedy, as one of the centres of the massacre undertaken by the militant…
posted 18h ago via theguardian.com
 

This audio is created with AI assistance The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad received part of a $93 million payment through the sanctioned Russian crypto-exchange company Garantex, the Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 13.The sources used in the reporting alleged that Hamas likely used a similar funding scheme as a means of disguising…
posted 20h ago via kyivindependent.com
 

Full Text Articles

Putin pushes need for talks in calls with Israeli, Arab and Iranian leaders

posted at 10:02:22 UTC via reuters.com
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with China Media Group anchor Wang Guan in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with China Media Group anchor Wang Guan at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, in this image released October 16, 2023. Sputnik/Sergei Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

MOSCOW, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that Moscow wanted to help prevent a humanitarian disaster in Gaza as he waded into the Middle East crisis with a flurry of calls to key regional players.

The Kremlin said Putin expressed Russia’s willingness to work towards “ending the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation and achieving a peaceful settlement through political and diplomatic means”.

Its readout of the call did not include any mention of the ceasefire that Russia is trying to achieve by putting forward a resolution in the United Nations Security Council.

But Putin briefed Netanyahu on conversations with the leaders of Iran, Egypt, Syria and the Palestinian Authority in which the Kremlin said earlier that this had been discussed.

“A unanimous opinion was expressed on the need for an early ceasefire and the establishment of a humanitarian truce in order to urgently provide assistance to all those in need,” it said of those conversations.

“There was also serious concern about the likelihood of the conflict escalating into a regional war.”

The crisis has partly diverted the world’s attention from Russia’s war in Ukraine, providing Moscow with an opportunity to demonstrate its strong ties with all the key players in the Middle East and cast itself as a voice for peace and restraint.

It has repeatedly blamed past U.S. policy failures for creating the conditions that led to the latest explosion of violence in the Middle East.

The Kremlin said Putin expressed his condolences to Netanyahu over the deaths of more than 1,300 Israelis in a wave of attacks launched from Gaza on Oct.7 by Islamist militant group Hamas.

He also told Netanyahu about “the steps Russia is taking to help normalize the situation, prevent further escalation of violence and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip”.

Israel has responded to the attacks with 10 days of intense bombing that Gaza authorities say has killed at least 2,750 people, mostly civilians. Putin said last week that Israel had the right to defend itself but that an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza would lead to an “absolutely unacceptable” number of civilian casualties.

Iranian state media said President Ebrahim Raisi told Putin in their conversation that supporting the Palestinians was Iran’s foreign policy priority but “resistance” groups made their own independent decisions.

They quoted Raisi as saying: “There is a possibility of the conflict between Israel and Palestinians expanding to other fronts.”

Putin also spoke to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Palestinan President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whom he asked for assistance from Cairo in evacuating Russian citizens from Gaza, the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin leader was also shown discussing the Middle East and Ukraine at a televised meeting with officials including spy chiefs and his defence minister.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Putin that the situation was worsening and Israeli army actions were “indiscriminate”.

“The threat is high that this whole conflict gets out of control,” Ryabkov said.

  • Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble of a building destroyed by Israeli strikes in Khan Younis

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  • Israeli soldiers gather on and around a tank near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge in Moscow, Mark Trevelyan in London, Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; Editing by Rod Nickel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

As Moscow bureau chief, Guy runs coverage of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Before Moscow, Guy ran Brexit coverage as London bureau chief (2012-2022). On the night of Brexit, his team delivered one of Reuters historic wins – reporting news of Brexit first to the world and the financial markets. Guy graduated from the London School of Economics and started his career as an intern at Bloomberg. He has spent over 14 years covering the former Soviet Union. He speaks fluent Russian. Contact: +447825218698

Chief writer on Russia and CIS. Worked as a journalist on 7 continents and reported from 40+ countries, with postings in London, Wellington, Brussels, Warsaw, Moscow and Berlin. Covered the break-up of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Security correspondent from 2003 to 2008. Speaks French, Russian and (rusty) German and Polish.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Monday that Russia was ready to help end the confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians, the Kremlin said. “Vladimir Putin informed (Netanyahu) about the steps Russia is taking to help normalize the situation, prevent further escalation of violence and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip,” the Kremlin said.

Earlier on Monday Putin discussed the crisis with the leaders of Iran, Egypt, Syria and the Palestinian Authority and said any form of violence against civilians was unacceptable, the Kremlin said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with China Media Group anchor Wang Guan in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with China Media Group anchor Wang Guan at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, in this image released October 16, 2023. Sputnik/Sergei Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

MOSCOW, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin entered the fevered diplomatic fray of the Middle East on Monday, speaking to five of the major players including Iran and leading Arab powers in an attempt to secure a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas.

Russia, which has relationships with Iran, Hamas, major Arab powers as well as with the Palestinians and with Israel, has repeatedly said the United States and the West have ignored the need for an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders.

Putin spoke to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by telephone, the Kremlin said. He also plans to speak to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Putin that the situation was escalatory, that Israeli army actions were “indiscriminate” and that the risk was that Israel would begin a ground operation against Gaza.

“The threat is high that this whole conflict gets out of control,” Ryabkov told Putin at a meeting also attended by Russia’s spy chiefs and military leaders.

He said that the United States was ultimately responsible for the crisis due to its failed policy in the Middle East and that Washington was blocking a Russian resolution in the UN Security Council.

Putin, who says the West is seeking to cleave Russia apart by supporting Ukraine, says the current violence in the Middle East shows just how far U.S. policy in the region has failed.

Putin will meet Xi Jinping in China this week in a bid to deepen a partnership forged between the United States’ two biggest strategic competitors.

Russia and China, both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, have said that the fundamental issue at the heart of the conflict is the lack of justice for the Palestinians.

CHINA AND RUSSIA

The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital – all territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war.

“We believe that the main thing right now in this situation is to immediately cease the fire and begin the process of a political settlement,” Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov was quoted by state news outlets as saying.

China’s foreign minister on Monday called for a ceasefire to halt the bloodshed in Israel, suggesting at a meeting with his Russian counterpart that major world powers should work to avoid a humanitarian disaster.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the conflict between Israel and Hamas with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing ahead of a visit by President Vladimir Putin to China.

“The United Nations Security Council must take action, and the major powers should play an active role,” Wang told Lavrov, according to a Chinese transcript of the meeting.

“It is imperative that a ceasefire be put in place, that the two sides be brought back to the negotiating table, and that an emergency humanitarian channel be established to prevent a further humanitarian disaster.”

  • New cardinals meet family members after consistory ceremony at the Vatican

  • A view of trucks carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians

  • Palestinian workers work in a Qatari-funded construction project in the southern Gaza Strip

  • Members of Hezbollah march with party's flags during a rally marking al-Quds Day, (Jerusalem Day) in Beirut

Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

As Moscow bureau chief, Guy runs coverage of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Before Moscow, Guy ran Brexit coverage as London bureau chief (2012-2022). On the night of Brexit, his team delivered one of Reuters historic wins – reporting news of Brexit first to the world and the financial markets. Guy graduated from the London School of Economics and started his career as an intern at Bloomberg. He has spent over 14 years covering the former Soviet Union. He speaks fluent Russian. Contact: +447825218698

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, Israeli Prime Minister, managed to maintain “warm communication” with Russian dictator , but now this has ended, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Source: WSJ

Details: Journalists remind that Netanyahu stood with Putin even when the latter was increasingly isolated. Even Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the warming of its relations with Israel’s sworn rival, Iran, have failed to undermine this cooperation.

It is noted that the leaders kept in touch by phone, and Netanyahu announced a non-aligned approach to the war in Ukraine, refusing to provide Kyiv with lethal assistance or air defence systems despite Western pressure.

Quote: “Now, after the deadly attack by Iranian-backed Hamas militants on Israel, these conversations seem to have stopped.

Putin is one of the few world leaders who did not call Netanyahu to express his condolences over the deaths of more than 1,300 Israelis killed by Hamas in this attack.”

More details: The publication notes that the termination of the agreement between Russia and Israel highlights the broader tectonic shifts in Russia’s role in the Middle East since Putin started the war in Ukraine.

In exchange for the Shahed drones, Russia provided Iran with Yak-130 training aircraft and is considering selling Su-35 fighter jets to Iran, which could change the balance of air forces in the Middle East.

The journalists also explain that the Kremlin has its own reasons to welcome the war as far away from the Russian borders as possible.

Ahead of Russia’s presidential election scheduled for March, Putin is looking for a way to distract himself from the war in Ukraine, reads the article.

Note: On 14 October, Hamas stated that it welcomes “Russia’s tireless efforts aimed at ending Israel’s aggression” against militants.

Ukrainska Pravda is the place where you will find the most up-to-date information about everything related to the war in Ukraine. Follow us on Twitter, support us, or become our patron!

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely speak during a phone call Monday evening, a senior official tells Fox News. 

The call will represent the first time the two leaders will speak since Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attacks on Israeli civilians prompted Israel to declare war against the Gaza-based terror group.

Netanyahu and Putin will speak before the Russian president is expected to meet this week with Chinese leaders in Beijing on a visit that underscores China’s support for Moscow during its war in Ukraine. Russia and China have forged an informal alliance against the United States and other democratic nations that is now complicated by the Israel-Hamas war. 

China has sought to balance its ties with Israel with its economic relations with Iran and Syria, which are strongly backed by Russia. Putin’s visit is also a show of support for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to build infrastructure and expand China’s overseas influence.

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN BLAMES US FOR CREATING CONDITIONS LEADING TO ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

Putin and Netanyahu with flowers

The Biden administration deployed Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the Middle East to meet with Arab leaders in hopes of deterring a wider-ranging conflict amid the war in Israel, as Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah has been exchanging fire with Israelis along the country’s northern border with Lebanon, raising concerns of the opening of a second front. 

Meanwhile, Netanyahu, whose forces have been pummeling the Gaza Strip with retaliatory air strikes, is readying a planned ground operation against Hamas this week. 

Blinken, while traveling in the Mideast over the weekend, called Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to ask Beijing to use whatever influence it has in the region to keep other countries and groups from entering the conflict and broadening it, according to the State Department, which declined to characterize Wang’s response. China is known to have close trade and political ties with Iran, which in turn supports Hamas and Hezbollah.

During a call with an adviser to the Brazilian president, Wang had come out more strongly for the Palestinians compared to his Chinese counterparts, saying that “the crux of the matter is that justice has not been done to the Palestinian people.”

“This conflict once again proved in an extremely tragic manner that the way to solve the Palestinian issue lies in resuming genuine peace talks as soon as possible and realizing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian nation,” Wang said, according to The Associated Press. 

Putin in Russian during meeting on Hamas war

China’s Middle East envoy, Zhai Jun, talked to Palestinian and Egyptian officials by phone this past week, calling for an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian support for the Palestinian people. Zhai also called Israeli officials to say China “has no selfish interests on the Palestinian issue but has always stood on the side of peace, on the side of fairness and justice.” He said that “China is willing to work with the international community to promote peace and encourage talks.”

NETANYAHU TELLS BIDEN ‘WE HAVE TO GO IN’ TO GAZA FOLLOWING HAMAS ATTACKS: REPORT

Putin will be among the highest profile guests at a gathering marking the 10th anniversary of Xi’s announcement of the BRI policy, which has laden countries such as Zambia and Sri Lanka with heavy debt after they signed contracts with Chinese companies to build roads, airports and other public works they could not otherwise afford.

Putin’s visit has not been officially confirmed, according to the AP, but Chinese officials have suggested he will arrive late Monday.

In June, Xi hosted the Palestinian president in Beijing and invited the Israeli prime minister for an official state visit. 

Netanyahu and Chinese officials

Netanyahu accepted, and China was on track for a bigger role in the region, but Hamas attacks against Israel have made Netanyahu’s planned late October trip uncertain. China’s stated neutrality on the war has upset Israel, but Beijing may gain in the long run by forging closer ties with Arab countries, experts told the AP. 

Netanyahu has invited President Biden to visit Israel amid the war against Hamas. 

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Just weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February, Putin met with Xi in Beijing and the sides signed an agreement pledging a “no-limits” relationship. Beijing’s attempts to present itself as a neutral peace broker in Russia’s war on Ukraine have been widely dismissed by the international community.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Hamas Leaves Trail of Terror in Israel

posted on Oct 16 2023 16:03:20 UTC via nytimes.com

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As Israeli soldiers regain control of areas near Gaza that came under attack, they are finding evidence seen in videos and photos and confirmed by witness accounts of the massacre of civilians by Hamas terrorists.

The Hamas militant group attacked Israel on Saturday, Oct. 7, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare, “we are at war.” Israel says at least 1,400 people there, most of them civilians, have been killed since Hamas launched the coordinated, multi-fronted attack from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian territory it has controlled for years. 

Thirty Americans are known to have been killed, a State Department spokesperson confirmed Sunday, and 13 Americans remain unaccounted for. Officials say a number of Americans are believed to be among those taken hostage by Hamas

Gaza health officials say at least 2,750 people, including hundreds of children, have been killed by Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes, and almost 10,000 more wounded.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza have been displaced, and Israel’s military issued a warning Thursday that everyone in northern Gaza should evacuate to the south of the enclave, raising expectations that an Israeli invasion was imminent. The U.N. says food, water and fuel supplies are running low, with humanitarian conditions rapidly deteriorating. 

Here’s what we know so far.

What happened?

Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group launched an unprecedented attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, Oct. 7, firing thousands of rockets as hundreds of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land and sea, catching the country off guard on a major holiday, Simchat Torah, a normally joyous day when Jews complete the annual cycle of reading the Torah scroll. 

In an assault of startling breadth, Hamas gunmen rolled into as many as 22 locations outside the Gaza Strip, including Israeli towns and other communities as far as 15 miles from the Gaza border. In some places they gunned down civilians and soldiers as Israel’s military scrambled to muster a response. 

Families were slaughtered in their homes and on the streets, while others were seized by Hamas as hostages. The Israeli military said Monday it has confirmed 199 people are being held captive by Hamas and allied groups. 

Map shows some of the locations of Hamas' attacks in Israel Map shows some of the locations of Hamas’ attacks in Israel Yasin Demirci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Rockets also struck Tel Aviv and other Israeli communities, slamming into homes and businesses.

Militants fired more rockets from Gaza in the days that followed, damaging a hospital in the Israeli coastal town of Ashkelon on Sunday, senior hospital official Tal Bergman said.

TOPSHOT-PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-GAZA-CONFLICT A salvo of rockets was fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023.  MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

More than 250 mostly young people who had been attending a music festival near Kibbutz Re’im in the Southern Israeli desert were among the dead after Hamas militants entered the area and began firing into the crowd. Others were apparently dragged away as hostages. Haaretz, one of Israel’s largest newspapers, described the scene as a “massacre” and a “battlefield,” reporting that terrorists on motorcycles drove into the crowd shooting.

In small Israeli communities near the Gaza border, first responders and security forces arrived to discover evidence of atrocities: families massacred in their homes, even babies and children murdered at the Kfar Aza kibbutz.

“We see blood spread out in homes. We’ve found bodies of people who have been butchered,” said Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Maj. Libby Weiss. “The depravity of it is haunting.”

Israel kibbutz the scene of a Hamas “massacre,” first responders say 04:28

Hamas says it’s holding “dozens” of Israeli civilians and soldiers captive in the Gaza Strip. Their capture marks a major escalation in the fighting. President Biden confirmed Tuesday that a number of American citizens were among those being held; he did not say exactly how many.

A Hamas military official threatened on Monday to kill the hostages it was holding if Israeli airstrikes continue “targeting” Gaza residents without warning.

“We declare that any targeting of our people in their homes without prior warning will be regrettably faced with the execution of one the hostages of civilians we are holding,” a spokesman for Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in an audio statement, news agencies reported.

Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan accused Hamas of “blatant, documented war crimes.”

Meanwhile, Israeli social media filled up with desperate pleas for information about missing friends and relatives and heart-wrenching tributes to loved ones, including whole families, slaughtered.

Gun battles and rocket fire continued in the days that followed in Israel. An Israeli military official told CBS News on Monday that they had regained control of the communities around the Gaza Strip but fighting had not ceased.

TOPSHOT-ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-CONFLICT People try to extinguish fire on cars in Ashkelon, southern Israel, following a Hamas rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, 2023.  AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the Hamas attacks “in the strongest terms,” urged maximum restraint and stressed that violence can’t solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel’s response

In a televised address the night of the attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who earlier declared Israel to be at war, said the military would use all of its strength to destroy Hamas’ capabilities. But he warned that “this war will take time. It will be difficult.”

“The enemy will pay an unprecedented price,” he said, promising that Israel would “return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known.”

Israel declares war after Hamas launches surprise attack 03:38

Israel’s military said it was targeting command centers used by Hamas in the blockaded Gaza Strip, along with another Iran-backed militant group, Islamic Jihad, but many civilians were among those killed.

The Israeli airstrikes in Gaza flattened residential buildings in giant explosions, including a 14-story tower that held dozens of apartments as well as Hamas offices in central Gaza City. 

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Monday that he’d ordered a tightening of the Gaza blockade: “Nothing is allowed in or out. There will be no fuel, electricity or food supplies,” he said in a statement. “We fight animals in human form and proceed accordingly.”

Israel continue airstrikes in Gaza Israeli airstrikes on the Islamic National Bank of Gaza destroyed buildings in the Rimal district of Gaza City, Gaza, on Oct. 8, 2023. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Loudspeakers atop mosques in Gaza City blared stark warnings to residents to evacuate, and by Thursday the U.N. said at least 338,000 Gaza residents have been displaced. 

Israel appeared to be readying for a ground invasion as the weekend approached, with the United Nations saying Israel’s military told it late Thursday that everyone in northern Gaza should evacuate to the south of the enclave within 24 hours.

A U.N. spokesperson told CBS News the world body “considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences.” Israeli Ambassador Erdan dismissed the U.N.’s response “to Israel’s early warning” as “shameful” and said it ignored the brutality of the attack on Israel.

What is Hamas, and what’s the Iran link?

Hamas is the Palestinian militant faction that governs the Gaza Strip, a 230-square-mile area where more than 2 million people live. Israel and the U.S. have designated Hamas a terror organization.

Hamas is backed by Iran and gets most of its funding and support from the Iranian regime. 

“What I can say, without a doubt, is that Iran is broadly complicit in these attacks,” U.S. deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said on “CBS Mornings” Monday. “Iran has been Hamas’ primary backer for decades. They have provided them weapons. They have provided them training. They have provided them financial support. And so, in terms of broad complicity, we are very clear about a role for Iran.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday denied reports that the country had a direct role in planning or carrying out the attack, with spokesman Nasser Kanani telling reporters in Tehran that the Palestinians had “the necessary capacity and will to defend their nation and recover their rights” without help from their primary benefactors in Tehran. 

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh claimed in an address Saturday that the fight would expand to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and to Jerusalem, Reuters reported.

“How many times have we warned you that the Palestinian people have been living in refugee camps for 75 years, and you refuse to recognize the rights of our people?” Reuters quoted Haniyeh as saying.

Hamas calls for Israel’s destruction and has opposed past efforts at Israeli-Palestinian peace accords, using tactics including suicide bombings to attack the Jewish state. 

Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza since Hamas took control of the territory in 2007. The blockade, which restricts the movement of people and goods in and out of the enclave, has devastated the Palestinian territory’s economy. Israel has defended the blockade as necessary to keep militants in Gaza from stockpiling weapons — though Hamas clearly managed to obtain an arsenal of rockets and other weaponry despite the restrictions.

Over the years, fighting has flared up repeatedly between Israel and Hamas and other militant groups based in Gaza, including the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad.

What have U.S. leaders said in response to the attack?

Officials across the U.S. responded quickly to condemn the Hamas attack.

“The people of Israel are under attack, orchestrated by a terrorist organization, Hamas,” President Biden said Saturday in brief remarks at the White House. “I want to say to them and to the world, and to terrorists everywhere, that the United States stands with Israel.”

The president said he was in contact with King Abdullah II of Jordan about the situation, along with U.S. congressional leaders. He said he’d directed his team to maintain contact with “leaders throughout the region.”

“We’ll make sure that they [Israel] have the help their citizens need, and they can continue to defend themselves,” Mr. Biden added.

On Tuesday, he spoke again from the White House and called the attacks “pure, unadulterated evil” at the “bloody hands” of Hamas.

“In this moment, we must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel. We stand with Israel,” he said. “And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, to defend itself and to respond to this attack.”

President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken President Joe Biden, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, condemned the attack and vowed U.S. support for Israel in remarks from White House  on Oct. 7, 2023.  JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Mr. Biden spoke Friday with the families of some of the Americans who are missing, some of whom may be held hostage by Hamas.

“I think they have to know that the president of the United States of America cares deeply about what’s happened to them — deeply,” Mr. Biden told CBS News’ Scott Pelley. “We have to communicate to the world this is critical. This is not even human behavior. It’s pure barbarism. And we’re going to do everything in our power to get them home if we can find them.” [Watch more of the interview this Sunday on 60 Minutes.]

Pres. Biden plans to meet virtually with families of American hostages 00:26

Leaders in New York, New Jersey and other communities across the U.S. condemned the attacks. New York City Mayor Eric Adams, whose city is home to the largest Jewish population outside Israel, called the attack a “cowardly action by a terrorist organization.”

Adams said city authorities are monitoring the situation for any possible threats to the local community.

“While there is no credible threat to New York City at this time, our administration is in touch with Jewish leaders across the five boroughs, and we have directed the NYPD to deploy additional resources to Jewish communities and houses of worship citywide to ensure that our communities have the resources they need to make sure everyone feels safe,” Adams said in a statement. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed Sunday that the U.S. would be “rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions.” 

Austin said he had directed the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the eastern Mediterranean, which includes an aircraft carrier and the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy. 

More

The smell of death hits you at the entrance to kibbutz Be’eri. Until Saturday morning Be’eri had a population of 1,200, the largest of the 12 villages that make up the Eshkol regional council that runs along the border with Gaza.

Now it is a place indelibly associated with horror and tragedy, as one of the centres of the massacre undertaken by the militant Islamist group Hamas in southern Israel beginning on Saturday morning.

Be’eri, once popular with Israelis as a weekend getaway with its art gallery and nearby mountain-biking trails, had by Tuesday been turned into a war zone, the bloated bodies of the Hamas terrorists who attacked this place still dotted around the kibbutz, and tanks and armoured cars at the entrance where Hamas smashed in.

Audible in the distance the sound of detonations can be heard coming from the direction of Gaza, outgoing artillery firing close by from the positions now occupied by the army.

Be’eri, founded two years before the state of Israel, was once a pleasant place to live with houses and apartments set apart among the trees, and grassy verges joined by little sandy roads. Now the homes are broken and violated.

map

In some places the doors of the surviving houses stand open as if the residents had simply left to go for a coffee at the kibbutz cafe, pictures of the families that lived here pinned with magnets to fridges.

In other places it is clear that the Hamas militants who stormed Be’eri set fire to buildings to drive out the occupants who were hiding there: to kill or capture. Mostly to kill.

Building after building has been destroyed, whether in the Hamas assault or in the fighting that followed, nearby trees splintered and walls reduced to concrete rubble from where Israeli tanks blasted the Hamas militants where they were hiding. Floors collapsed on floors. Roof beams were tangled and exposed like rib cages.

A damaged building with bullet holes and a gaping hole from a blast at one endBuilding after building has been destroyed. Photograph: Quique Kierszenbaum/The Guardian

Many of the juxtapositions on Wednesday were jarring, describing how very ordinary lives were ripped utterly apart. In the kibbutz’s communal dining hall, where residents once gathered to take meals, there are still menus and posters for the kibbutz’s running club and a personal trainer.

It is also where the bodies of the dead, 108 in all, were brought and laid out to await collection by the emergency services.

Now it is the Hamas dead who are being removed by workers from Zaka, an emergency group, in white overalls and orange helmets and masks.

For the Israeli soldiers who now populate Be’eri, these are scenes promoting conflicting emotions. Moving through the kibbutz journalists shouted questions to a harried Israeli soldier who it transpires had fought there.

The body of a Hamas militant in kibbutz Be’eriThe body of a Hamas militant in kibbutz Be’eri Photograph: Quique Kierszenbaum/The Guardian

“When I arrived I saw soldiers fighting here just to get into the kibbutz,” he said. “We were going from apartment to apartment. We will have difficult questions to ask [in the future]. For now we have to look forwards: to the defence of the people and getting the survivors out.”

“I feel anger. I feel speechless and frustration,” said Richard Hecht an army spokesperson accompanying the international media. “You can still smell the bodies here. It’s overwhelming.”

Itai Veruv, an Israeli major general who led the fighting here, could only describe it in historic terms of the Jewish history of persecution. “What happened here was a pogrom,” he says.

It is a word that has been used repeatedly about Be’eri. “[It’s] what happened in Europe in the old days,” adds Veruv. “This was not a war. They wanted to kill and kidnap to Gaza. Women and children.”

The picture of what happened in Be’eri has been emerging piecemeal over several days. How in the space of the horrifying hours of the murderous rampage on Saturday, at least 100 people were slaughtered here, dragged from their homes and murdered or dragged off at gunpoint as hostages to Gaza.

Family photos among the destruction.Family photos among the destruction. Photograph: Quique Kierszenbaum/The Guardian

That terrible experience was chronicled in text messages, and desperate calls to family calling for help, and in the gruesome videos shot by Hamas itself within the kibbutz.

In text messages during the attack with this Guardian reporter, one resident – who survived with their family – had pleaded for help in contacting the army as Hamas stormed neighbouring houses.

Describing sounds of nearby shooting, the resident said: “We need to get the army here. It’s not enough. Please get the army come to save us.”

Amit Man, a 25-year-old paramedic, was one of those who lived here. Her last contact was a text she sent to her sister Haviva from the kibbutz clinic, where she was treating the wounded members.

Then there was Yaffa Adar, an 85-year-old who had lived in Be’eri for most of her life. Among those missing, believed captured, there is video of Yaffa sitting surrounded by young men telling her to “smile” in Arabic.

For those residents of Be’eri still alive, things can never be the same.

“I feel like the state of Israel ceased to exist,” Amit Halevi, the 70-year-old chairman of Be’eri, told the Haaretz newspaper on Monday, echoing Veruv. “What is this, some pogrom in Lithuania?”

Uri Ben Tzvi, another survivor from Be’eri, compared his experience to one of the Holocaust’s most famous victims

“I was like Anne Frank,” said Ben Tzvi, 71, who hid with his wife in a narrow corridor in one of the kibbutz’s structures. “It was a pogrom. Like going back to the Kishinev pogrom,” he said referring to a 1903 series of massacres in what is now Moldova.

This audio is created with AI assistance

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad received part of a $93 million payment through the sanctioned Russian crypto-exchange company Garantex, the Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 13.

The sources used in the reporting alleged that Hamas likely used a similar funding scheme as a means of disguising their transactions and evading sanctions.

Garantex customers in Russia can deposit cash in rubles and then receive the equivalent in cryptocurrency, which can then be withdrawn abroad in a foreign currency, effectively disguising the origin of the funds. According to the WSJ’s reporting, there is “little trackable record of the transactions,” making it difficult for international financial crime regulators to crack down on such exchanges.

After the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned more than 80% of the Russian banking industry following the full-scale invasion, crypto has become one of the primary ways that Russians can move money around in foreign banks. The gaps in enforcement also provide opportunities for terrorist groups such as Hamas or Islamic Jihad to fund their operations.

Unnamed Treasury Department sources told the WSJ that the U.S. was considering additional actions against Garantex to stop the flow of illegal or sanctioned money.

The WSJ estimates that as much as $7-30 billion have been funneled through Garantex since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion. The company was sanctioned by the Treasury Department in April 2022.

Nate Ostiller

News Editor

Nate Ostiller is a News Editor. He works on special projects as a researcher and writer for The Red Line Podcast, covering Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and focused primarily on digital misinformation, memory politics, and ethnic conflict. Nate has a Master’s degree in Russian and Eurasian Studies from the University of Glasgow, and spent two years studying abroad at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. Originally from the USA, he is currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia.

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