Here is the situation on Tuesday, October 17, 2023:
- Ministry of Health officials told Al Jazeera that at least 71 people were killed overnight in Israeli bombardments.
- There were reports of heavy Israeli artillery shelling in some areas in the northern Gaza Strip.
- A top Hamas leader said it “has what it needs” to free all Palestinians in the Israeli jails, indicating the Palestinian group may try to use the Israeli captives as bargaining chips to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners.
- Hamas has 200-250 Israeli captives in Gaza, the group’s armed wing’s spokesperson said.
- The Israeli army said it killed four fighters while trying to cross the fence from Lebanon to plant an explosive device.
- The head of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency took responsibility for failing to prevent Hamas from carrying out its October 7 rampage through Israeli towns that killed hundreds.
- The World Health Organization warned there were only “24 hours of water, electricity and fuel left” in the besieged Gaza Strip.
- At least 2,808 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air raids. The number of Israelis killed in Hamas’s attack and military operation stands at about 1,400, including 286 soldiers.
- Gaza hospitals struggled to cope with air raids and a blockade as they awaited the expected Israeli ground offensive.
- A humanitarian aid convoy for Gaza has arrived at the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing. There is no confirmation about when the convoy will be allowed into Gaza.
- US President Joe Biden will visit Israel and Jordan on Wednesday. The US said it had agreed to a deal with Israel to allow in aid.
- Iran’s top envoy said Israel will not be allowed to take any action in the Gaza Strip without facing consequences, state TV reported.
- The Group of 7 head, Japan, will provide $10m in aid for civilians in Gaza, its foreign minister said, adding she was making final preparations for talks with her Iranian counterpart while monitoring the situation in Gaza with concern.
- In a phone call with Biden, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi underlined the necessity of containing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict so that it does not threaten regional security the latter’s office said.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 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 regional players.
Markets and business
- Defence exchange-traded funds saw sharp inflows as the conflict threatened Middle East stability.
- Oil prices fell slightly on Tuesday after a more than $1 slide amid hopes the US would ease sanctions on producer Venezuela and as Washington stepped up efforts to prevent an escalation of the war between Israel and Hamas.
- Stablecoin issuer Tether has frozen 32 cryptocurrency wallet addresses containing a combined $873,118 linked to “terrorism and warfare” in Israel and Ukraine, the company said.
- Asian stocks rose in cautious trade on Tuesday, with investors choosing to focus on corporate earnings prospects and the resilience of the US economy amid tensions in the Middle East.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies