Israel-Hamas war threatens to engulf the entire Middle East as 'missiles are fired into Israel from Syria', salvoes are exchanged with Lebanon's Hezbollah and airstrikes 'hit the only land exit from Gaza into Egypt'

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  • READ MORE: Hamas launches mass rocket attack on Israel’s Ashkelon city after telling citizens they had to leave before 5pm or die

The war between Hamas militants and Israel has threatened to engulf the Middle East as neighbouring countries were drawn into the conflict and US president Joe Biden urged aligned groups not to get involved.

At least 1,800 people have been killed since Saturday when the Al-Qassam Brigades, the militia arm of Hamas, staged a surprise attack on Israel that saw a fusillade of missiles launched into the country and gunmen invade its streets.

Today, the war has escalated to draw in surrounding territories after shells were fired from Syria into Israel, reportedly by a Palestinian faction, prompting Israeli troops to fire back.

Rockets have also been fired back at Lebanon after a silo was launched from the country into Israel, for which no-one has yet claimed responsibility – though militant group Hezbollah is believed to be responsible. 

Israeli airstrikes also struck the only land exit from Gaza into Egypt today, shortly after a senior IDF spokesperson advised civilians in the Strip to flee through it.

Fire burns in the village of Jal al-Allam in southern Lebanon after Israel returned fire on Tuesday, following shelling from an unknown party into Israel

Fire burns in the village of Jal al-Allam in southern Lebanon after Israel returned fire on Tuesday, following shelling from an unknown party into Israel

Men carry the coffins of two Hezbollah soldiers who were killed by Israeli troops on Monday following an exchange of gunfire near the border with Lebanon

Men carry the coffins of two Hezbollah soldiers who were killed by Israeli troops on Monday following an exchange of gunfire near the border with Lebanon

Hezbollah fighters wearing military-style fatigues and wearing face paint attended the funeral

Hezbollah fighters wearing military-style fatigues and wearing face paint attended the funeral

US President Joe Biden has warned external actors not to get involved in the Hamas-Israel conflict as it threatened to consume the wider Middle East

US President Joe Biden has warned external actors not to get involved in the Hamas-Israel conflict as it threatened to consume the wider Middle East

Smoke rises from an explosion caused by Israeli airstrikes on the border between Egypt and Rafah in the Gaza Strip, closing the last exit out of Gaza

Smoke rises from an explosion caused by Israeli airstrikes on the border between Egypt and Rafah in the Gaza Strip, closing the last exit out of Gaza

A Palestinian sits on the rubble of a building destroyed in Israeli strikes, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip October 9, 2023

A Palestinian sits on the rubble of a building destroyed in Israeli strikes, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip October 9, 2023

Sinai for Human Rights, an Egyptian NGO, said that strikes through Tuesday had forced the border shut. Witnesses claim a building was damaged, Afp reported.

The Israeli military confirmed area strikes, claiming hits on ‘an underground tunnel for smuggling weapons and equipment’. No casualties were reported.

The strikes came as a senior IDF spokesperson today advised Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to flee through the crossing – before the military issued a correction. 

The IDF’s international media spokesman, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, had said: ‘Rafah crossing is still open. Anyone who can get out, I would advise them to get out.’

The military later clarified: ‘In recent days, the IDF has been instructing the population inside of the Gaza Strip to distance themselves from designated areas.

‘We emphasise that there is no official call by Israel for residents of the Gaza Strip to exit into Egypt.’

Egyptian officials were talking with Israel and the U.S., pushing to set up humanitarian corridors in Gaza to deliver aid, an Egyptian official said.

The U.N.’s World Health Organization said that supplies it had pre-positioned for seven hospitals in Gaza have already run out amid the flood of wounded. 

The head of the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said surgical equipment, antibiotics, fuel and other supplies were running out at two hospitals it runs in Gaza.

But the conflict is threatening to spread into neighbouring territories after salvos were fired into Israel from two border states.

Late on Tuesday, Lebanese officials confirmed that six rockets were fired into Israel from the south of the country.

The barrage, from the southern village of Qlaileh, prompted UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL to urge ‘everyone to exercise restraint at this critical time’.

Officials from the Hezbollah militant group did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said they had no information on the rockets.

The firing of the rockets from southern Lebanon came a day after three Hezbollah fighters were killed along the border, alongside an Israeli army officer.

Smoke billows from the Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt during an Israeli airstrike on October 10, 2023. A senior IDF spokesperson had encouraged Gazans to use the crossing - before the military rolled back his comments

Smoke billows from the Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt during an Israeli airstrike on October 10, 2023. A senior IDF spokesperson had encouraged Gazans to use the crossing – before the military rolled back his comments

Israeli forces launch artillery fire towards southern Lebanon on Monday after IDF troops clashed with Hezbollah soldiers, killing three

Israeli forces launch artillery fire towards southern Lebanon on Monday after IDF troops clashed with Hezbollah soldiers, killing three

A Lebanese man points out the damage caused by Israeli shelling in the border village of Dhayra. Israel says it fired on Hezbollah observation posts in response to rockets that were fired from Lebanon

A Lebanese man points out the damage caused by Israeli shelling in the border village of Dhayra. Israel says it fired on Hezbollah observation posts in response to rockets that were fired from Lebanon

Israeli shells explode over southern Lebanon on Tuesday in an exchange of fire between Israel and an unknown aggressor, believed to be the militant group Hezbollah

Israeli shells explode over southern Lebanon on Tuesday in an exchange of fire between Israel and an unknown aggressor, believed to be the militant group Hezbollah

United Nations peacekeepers on the Blue Line - the border marking the Lebanon-Israel border - on Tuesday. The UN has urged 'restraint'

United Nations peacekeepers on the Blue Line – the border marking the Lebanon-Israel border – on Tuesday. The UN has urged ‘restraint’

Funerals were held for the Hezbollah fighters on Tuesday, with their comrades turning out in military-esque fatigues and facepaint, alongside hundreds of other mourners. 

Hezbollah itself is a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK, and is committed to seizing Palestinian territories from Israel. 

The group, which is backed by Iran, has advocated for acts of terrorism in the past.

Elsewhere, the Israeli military said it had returned fire after shells were launched from Syria, landing in open areas. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

It said its soldiers had fired ‘toward the origin of the launching in Syria’. It did not provide details.

US President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has urged groups and countries with an interest in the Hamas-Israel war not to get involved.

In remarks delivered on Tuesday, Mr Biden said that at least 14 U.S. citizens were killed in Hamas’ attack and that Americans are among those being held hostage in Gaza. 

Biden, who spoke earlier in the day with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said ‘there is no justification for terrorism.’

Biden added an apparent warning to Hezbollah, saying: ‘To any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of the situation, I have one word: Don’t.’

Israeli Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu has warned Israel’s military campaign following Saturday’s onslaught is only the start of a sustained war to destroy Hamas and ‘change the Middle East’. 

Entire districts in Gaza were ‘razed’ in airstrikes today as Israel continues its response to an ongoing incursion launched by Hamas on Saturday.

Israel announced yesterday it would put the region under ‘complete siege’, making the Rafah crossing into Egypt the sole route out of the Gaza Strip by land. 

Hamas, in turn, launched a barrage of rockets at the port city of Ashkelon – hours after warning Israeli civilians had to leave before 5pm or die.

Smoke billows from the Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt during an Israeli airstrike on October 10, 2023. Gaza's border crossing with Egypt was hit by three Israeli air strikes Tuesday

Smoke billows from the Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt during an Israeli airstrike on October 10, 2023. Gaza’s border crossing with Egypt was hit by three Israeli air strikes Tuesday

Trucks leave Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt during an Israeli airstrike on October 10

Trucks leave Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt during an Israeli airstrike on October 10

The movement of people and goods across the border is strictly controlled under a blockade of Gaza enforced by Egypt and Israel, in place since 2007.

The Rafah crossing is restricted to humanitarian cases and requires lengthy authorisations. 

READ MORE: How Israel will carry out the siege of Gaza: With ground assault hours away, expert reveals how troops will be faced with deadly street-to-street battles at the risk of high casualties, combined with air power and artillery

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Hamas claims the strikes today have made the border impassable, according to The Times of Israel. 

Witnesses have said Egyptian employees at the border post have now been evacuated while ‘dozens of Palestinian families’ who had tried to enter Gaza were turned back towards El Arish, Egypt, in light of recent airstrikes.

Egyptian officials have been in talks with Israel and the US, aiming to set up humanitarian corridors in Gaza to deliver aid, according to an Egyptian official.

There were negotiations with the Israelis to declare the area around the Rafah crossing a ‘no fire zone,’ the official said, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity.

Airstrikes into the Gaza Strip have killed and displaced hundreds, if not thousands, over the last four days. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had advised civilians in the Gaza Strip to ‘get out of there now’ in a televised address on Saturday, stressing the IDF would use all of its military might to avenge the victims of Hamas’ attacks into Israel.

But strikes near the border have seen ‘disruption’ at the Rafah crossing in and out. 

Egypt is also looking to prevent a mass exodus from the Gaza Strip into its Sinai Peninsula. 

Israel’s assault on Gaza has caused alarm in Egypt, which has urged Israel to provide safe passage for civilians from the enclave rather than encouraging them to flee southwest towards Sinai, two Egyptian security sources said. 

Egypt today held talks to ‘settle the people of Gaza in [Egypt’s] Sinai Peninsula,’ state-linked TV channel Al Qahera News reported.

But sources said the country ‘has rejected and will reject this matter, which was also rejected by the Palestinian people.’

Earlier today, Al Jazeera reported Israel had threatened to strike any trucks carrying aid that attempted to enter Gaza through the crossing.

It follows Israel’s decision late on Monday to impose a ‘complete siege’ of Gaza, cutting off electricity, fuel and food for the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million people.

The country’s defence minister said yesterday: ‘We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly.’ 

Rights groups and charities have urged against the siege, claiming it will ‘lead to a humanitarian catastrophe’, and pleading with Israel not to prevent aid from reaching ‘an already vulnerable population’.

Mustafa Tamaizeh, Oxfam Acting Country Director in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel said: ‘Oxfam is horrified by the recent attacks. Violence never paves the way for peace. The international community must use all diplomatic tools at its disposal to secure an immediate ceasefire.

‘The decision to implement a ‘total siege’ by the Israeli government, in addition to the ongoing blockade, will further deny Gazan civilians essentials like food, water and electricity. 

‘This constitutes collective punishment of a population that bears no responsibility for the violence and is illegal under international law. 

‘It will not contribute to peace and security, instead, it will further fan the flames of this crisis.’

Humanitarian organisations have called for the creation of corridors to get aid into Gaza, warning that hospitals overwhelmed with wounded were running out of supplies.

Explosions illuminate the sky during Israeli strikes on Gaza City on October 10, 2023

Explosions illuminate the sky during Israeli strikes on Gaza City on October 10, 2023

Palestinians walk through the rubble of buildings hit by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza on Tuesday

Palestinians walk through the rubble of buildings hit by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza on Tuesday

Smoke rises and ball of fire over a buildings in Gaza City on October 9, 2023 during an Israeli air strike

Smoke rises and ball of fire over a buildings in Gaza City on October 9, 2023 during an Israeli air strike

General view of Gaza City on Monday after Israel launched air strikes in response to attacks by Hamas

General view of Gaza City on Monday after Israel launched air strikes in response to attacks by Hamas 

Israeli soldiers scan an area while sirens sound as rockets from Gaza are launched towards Israel near Sderot, southern Israel, on Monday, October 9, 2023

Israeli soldiers scan an area while sirens sound as rockets from Gaza are launched towards Israel near Sderot, southern Israel, on Monday, October 9, 2023

Israeli soldiers gather near tanks, as violence around the nearby Gaza Strip mounts following a mass-rampage by armed Palestinian infiltrators on Monday, October 9, 2023

Israeli soldiers gather near tanks, as violence around the nearby Gaza Strip mounts following a mass-rampage by armed Palestinian infiltrators on Monday, October 9, 2023

The conflict shows no signs of abating, despite efforts by Qatar and the United States to mediate peace talks between Hamas and Israel.

Israel expanded the mobilization of reservists to 360,000 on Tuesday, according to the country’s media. 

READ MORE: Who are Hamas? Everything you need to know about the Palestinian terror movement that has launched war on Israel 

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After days of fighting, its military said Tuesday morning that it had regained effective control over areas Hamas attacked in its south, and of the Gaza border. 

Israel is expected to launch a ground offensive into Gaza in the coming days, though plans have not yet been announced.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has pledged to strike Hamas with ‘unprecedented force’ in retaliation to harrowing attacked launched on civilians in Israel since Saturday.

‘We have only started striking Hamas,’ Netanyahu, 73, said in a nationally televised address late on Monday.

‘What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations,’ he added.

‘Hamas terrorists bound, burned and executed children. They are savages. Hamas is ISIS,’ Netanyahu concluded.

In response to mounting Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, killing hundreds of civilians, Hamas yesterday threatened to kill hostages taken for each strike on civilian houses in Gaza without pre-warning.

Hamas, the de facto governing authority of the Gaza Strip, has committed chilling atrocities in Israel over the past four days.

The group launched its incursion into Israel on Saturday with an early attack on the Nova trance festival in southern Israel.

The event was billed as a celebration of ‘friends, love and infinite freedom’.

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Video shows a smiling Shani, who loved to travel according to her family, dancing at the music festival moments before she was captured by the terrorists

Shocking footage shared on social media appears to show Palestinian fighters parading Shani's partially naked body on the back of a pick-up truck

Shocking footage shared on social media appears to show Palestinian fighters parading Shani’s partially naked body on the back of a pick-up truck

The body of a motorist lies on a road following a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Sderot, southern Israel October 7, 2023

The body of a motorist lies on a road following a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Sderot, southern Israel October 7, 2023

Israeli rescue teams evacuate the wounded near the southern city of Sderot on October 7

Israeli rescue teams evacuate the wounded near the southern city of Sderot on October 7

Hamas militants opened fire on civilian attendees, killing some 260+ in the attacks.

Early reports claimed many may have been taken hostage.

Among those reported dead was Nicole Louk, a 22-year-old tattoo artist and German-Israeli citizen, who was seen in harrowing footage stripped and paraded around in a truck.

The IDF claimed today that Hamas fighters had killed and decapitated babies at one kibbutz near the Gaza border. The claims have not been verified.







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