Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades hold a Palestinian flag as they destroy a tank of Israeli forces in Gaza City, Gaza on October 07, 2023.
Hani Alshaer | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The surprise attack by Hamas on Israel suggests a massive intelligence failure as the Israeli government appeared blindsided by the infiltration of Hamas fighters across the southern border and the launch of thousands of rockets.
The Hamas assault by air, land and sea also raised questions as to why U.S. intelligence agencies apparently did not see it coming, experts and former intelligence officials said.
U.S. officials said that if the Israelis knew an attack was imminent, they did not share it with Washington.
“We were not tracking this,” one senior U.S. military official told NBC News.
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— NBC News
Israel’s counteroffensive against the Palestinian Hamas militant group will likely stretch for months — even years. That’s especially so if suspicions that Iran was involved in the militants’ ambush on Israel turn out to be true.
“Jews have not faced this kind of atrocity in the world since the Holocaust, so … everything is on the table if you are an Israeli Jew today,” Ian Bremmer, president and founder of political consultancy Eurasia Group told CNBC.
“To take out the leadership of Hamas, it is not going to be a matter of days or weeks. This is months or maybe years. This is going to go on for a long, long time,” he added.
A view of debris after Israeli airstrikes at al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza Strip on October 09, 2023.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The weekend assaults happened a day after the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, inviting comparisons with the deadliest Arab-Israeli war in 1973 that threatened to imperil the state of Israel.
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— Clement Tan
Israel’s central bank on Monday announced it will sell up to $30 billion in foreign reserves to support its currency which has fallen sharply following the deadly incursion by Hamas militants over the weekend.
“The Bank will operate in the market during the coming period in order to moderate volatility in the shekel exchange rate and to provide the necessary liquidity for the continued proper functioning of the markets,” the Bank of Israel said in a statement.
The Israeli shekel last weakened 1.63% to trade at 3.90 against the greenback — its weakest in seven years.
—Lee Ying Shan
China called for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict — and for “establishing an independent State of Palestine,” according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement Sunday.
“The fundamental way out of the conflict lies in implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent State of Palestine,” the Chinese foreign ministry said.
Its online statement described the situation as an “escalation of tensions and violence between Palestine and Israel.”
It did not mention the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. and the European Union.
— Evelyn Cheng
Jonathan Conricus, spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said Saturday’s surprise attack by Hamas on Israel marked “by far the worst day in Israeli history.”
Speaking in a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, Conricus said: “If you are Americans, and want to compare this to something in American history, then this could be a 9/11 and a Pearl Harbor wrapped into one.”
He said the Israeli military had amassed around 100,000 reserve troops in the south of the country.
“Our job is to make sure that at the end of this war, Hamas will no longer have any military capabilities to threaten Israeli civilians with,” he said.
“In addition to that, we are also to make sure that Hamas will not be able to govern the Gaza Strip.”
Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip — a small strip of land between Israel and Egypt — in 2005 and Hamas took control of the area in 2007. Currently, more than 2 million Palestinians live in Gaza.
— Katrina Bishop
Fire and smoke rise after an Israeli air strike targeted the National Bank on Gaza City, on October 8, 2023.
Ahmed Zakout | AFP | Getty Images
The Israel Defense Forces said it struck more than 500 enemy targets in an overnight attack on Gaza following a surprise offensive by Palestinian militant group Hamas early Saturday.
The targets included seven command centers used by Hamas, the IDF said in a Google-translated update on Monday.
“The IDF will continue to attack with force in the Gaza Strip and deal lethal damage to the terrorist organizations,” the force said.
Israel has pledged war and is carrying out a spate of retaliatory attacks following the Hamas attack of Saturday, which left more than 1,100 dead across Israel and the Gaza Strip.
— Ruxandra Iordache
Thailand’s government confirmed that 12 of its citizens were killed in the violence that engulfed southern Israel over the weekend as the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas launched a surprise attack of unprecedented scale on the country.
Eleven Thai citizens were also kidnapped as Hamas took an unknown number of hostages from the area, the Thai foreign ministry said. The total number of hostages is more than 100, Israeli officials say.
Eight Thais were also injured since the fighting began. More than 1,000 Thai workers in Israel have asked to be evacuated. Some 30,000 Thai nationals work in Israel, the foreign ministry said.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that the Royal Thai Air Force is on standby to evacuate its citizens from Israel.
— Natasha Turak
A column of Israeli Merkava tanks is amassed on the outskirts of the northern town of Kiryat Shmona near the border with Lebanon on October 8, 2023.
Jalaa Marey | AFP | Getty Images
A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces said that Israeli troops were still battling with Hamas on the ground but have so far not progressed at the expected pace, more than 48 hours after the initial attack by the Palestinian terrorist group.
“We are still fighting. Seven to eight open places around Gaza where we still have warriors fighting terrorists,” IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said. “It is taking us more time than we expected … We thought this morning we would be in a better place.”
He added that Hamas fighters may still be entering Israel from Gaza, and said that Hamas did not “knock the roof” before attacking civilian areas, which is the term for what Israel says is its warning to civilians before it bombs a building.
“When they came in and threw grenades at our ambulances they did not knock on the roof,” Hecht said. “This is war. The scale is different.”
— Natasha Turak
Oil prices jumped 4% as the Israel-Hamas conflict extended into its third day following a surprise attack on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Global benchmark Brent traded 4.53% higher at $88.33 a barrel Monday, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 4.69% to $86.63 per barrel.
At dawn on Saturday during a major Jewish holiday, Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a multi-pronged infiltration into Israel — by land, sea and air using paragliders. The attack came hours after thousands of rockets were sent from Gaza into Israel.
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— Lee Ying Shan
More than 1,100 people have been killed since the terrorist group Hamas launched a massive surprise attack on Israel in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Israeli authorities say at least 700 Israelis have been killed, with Gaza’s health ministry reporting more than 400 Palestinians dead in retaliatory airstrikes carried out by the Israel Defense Forces. An unconfirmed number of foreign nationals were also killed.
Medical treatment for Palestinians in Gaza is being hampered by Israel cutting power to the blockaded territory.
— Natasha Turak