Israel’s military said it killed the head of a key Hamas missile unit in a targeted airstrike, while the army on the ground pushed deeper into the Palestinian militant group’s strongholds in the north of Gaza. Another 50,000 people have left the area.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said US fighters fired on a weapons depot in Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He described it as a “self-defense strike” in retaliation for attacks on American forces.
Israel at War
Macron told a group of leaders, international organizations and NGO representatives in Paris that France had already announced €20 million of extra aid since the Hamas attacks on Israel on Oct. 7. That’s despite calls by the French party Les Republicains to pause aid to screen its use.
Scholz Decries Antisemitic ‘Poison’ (12:50 p.m.)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz marked the 85th anniversary of the 1938 Nazi pogrom against Germany’s Jews by declaring the country’s zero tolerance for antisemitism. In a speech in Berlin on Thursday, Scholz called recent instances of discrimination and violence against Jews in Germany, including those since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, a “disgrace.”
Worker Shortages Cost Israel $600 Million a Week (11:00 a.m.)
A shortage of workers cost the Israeli economy as much as 2.3 billion shekels ($597 million) a week. School closures, which forced parents to work less and led to other disruption, accounted for more than half of the total losses, according to a report by the Bank of Israel’s research department.
Other key factors were evacuations of residents from high-risk areas and the mobilization of reservists, it said. After the conflict’s first three weeks, the partial re-opening of the education system has helped cut the costs from staff shortages. The report said its estimates don’t reflect the total damage to the labor market and the economy.
Israel Says Head of Hamas Unit Killed (10:55 a.m.)
Israel’s army said it killed the head of a Hamas anti-tank missile unit blamed for carrying out numerous launches aimed at Israeli soldiers and civilians. A fighter jet targeted Ibrahim Abu-Maghsib of the Central Camps Brigade, who — based on an intelligence assessment of Israel’s army and security services — died in the attack, according to a statement.
The Israel Defense Forces separately released footage of a Hamas weapons and storage facility that it said was found in a residential building.
Hapoalim Sees Covid-Like Economic Hit (9:58 a.m.)
Israel’s economy is set for a slump this quarter that might be comparable to the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, even as household expectations suggest the crisis will not be prolonged and spending by consumers has picked up slightly, according to analysts at Bank Hapoalim.
Israeli Army Takes Over Hamas Outpost (8:33 a.m.)
Israel’s army said it had taken over a Hamas outpost in western Jebaliya, one of the group’s military strongholds. The Israel Defense Forces said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that the operation uncovered tunnel shafts — including one located next to a kindergarten — leading to an extensive underground route.
“The soldiers completed the takeover after 10 hours of fighting, during which they eliminated terrorists, captured weapons, and collected significant operative materials about the enemy’s operational plans,” the IDF said in a post.
UN Says About 50,000 People Evacuated to Southern Gaza (7:32 a.m.)
The UN agency for humanitarian affairs said about 50,000 more people evacuated to the south of Gaza through a “corridor” opened by the Israeli military on Wednesday. Hundreds of thousands of people, including internally displaced persons, are still in the north of the strip, the agency added.
Shelters are overwhelmed by the number of internally displaced persons and the daily volume of aid only “meets a fraction of people’s needs.” The drinking water that enters Gaza is only sufficient for 4% of its residents, it said.
Turkish Municipality Cancels Israel Contract (6:38 a.m.)
A province in northern Turkey canceled a $150 million contract with Israel’s Eco Wave Power over the country’s “brutal attacks,” Mayor Hilmi Guler said in a post on X. The contract to generate electricity from tidal energy was scrapped on Oct. 17, he said, adding that he was announcing it to the public due to unspecified allegations about the municipality.
Turkey and Israel restored diplomatic ties last year, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has since angered Israel by criticizing its operation in Gaza and describing Hamas as a “liberation group.” Israel says its invasion of Gaza is aimed at destroying Hamas, which is designated a terrorist group by the US and European Union. Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel last week.
Clinton Says Israelis and Palestinians Need New Leadership for Peace (6:42 a.m.)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said both Israel and the Palestinians need new leadership to have a chance of achieving a peace deal once the current war in the Gaza Strip ends.
“You have to create the environment in which there is a chance to revitalize the peace process,” Clinton said in an interview with Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Thursday.
Pressed on whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be a partner for a two-state solution, Clinton said, “I don’t think there’s any evidence of that. I think the Israeli people will have to decide about his leadership.”
Israel Combat Engineers Uncover Tunnels (5:40 a.m.)
The IDF said its combat engineers have uncovered 130 tunnel entrances since the war began. In a post on X, the IDF said that water and oxygen storage discovered inside the tunnels suggest Hamas was preparing for extended stays underground.