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Biden says Americans are being held hostage by Hamas

The IDF said it had retaken full control of its border and found the bodies of 1,500 Hamas militants.

Coverage on this liveblog has now ended. Follow the latest updates from NBC News here. 

The known death toll in Israel increased Tuesday following the attacks by Hamas, which were condemned by U.S. President Joe Biden as “unadulterated evil.”

Around 1,200 people in Israel have been killed, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said, as more bodies have been found following Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israel.

“In this moment, we must be crystal clear,” Biden said in an address Tuesday. “We stand with Israel. We stand with Israel.”

Fourteen Americans have been killed, and Americans are among those taken captive and held hostage by Hamas, Biden said.

The number of dead in Gaza and the West Bank are 919, according to health ministries in the two areas.

Most of the dead are in Gaza, where Israel has been carrying out airstrikes in retaliation for the Hamas attack (Hamas is in control of Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority is in administrative control of parts of the West Bank).

Ground forces are also gathering near Gaza, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said early Wednesday. Israel has called up 300,000 reservists.

Biden urged Israel’s prime minister to minimize civilian casualties, administration officials said. The Biden administration is coordinating with other countries on a plan that would offer safe passage out of Gaza for civilians who risk getting caught in the crossfire, administration officials said.

American woman seeks answers about missing family in Israel

Scramble for shelter in Sderot as rockets launched from Gaza

SDEROT, Israel — Explosions happen quickly after rocket warnings in Sderot, about 2½ miles from the border with Gaza, as residents describe taking shelter from attacks.

More than 4,500 rockets have been fired from Gaza since Hamas attacked the country over the weekend, Israel’s military has said.

Israel has carried out airstrikes in response. The Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday that 2,294 Hamas targets have been struck.

A resident of Sderot described to NBC News’ Ellison Barber ducking as Hamas gunmen entered the town, peeking at them and hoping he would not be seen.

The closeness of towns like Sderot to Gaza means there is not much time after warnings about rockets or other attacks.

"It is literally seconds," Barber reported on NBC News Now. "Ten seconds or less to get into a shelter before you hear a boom, where it is intercepted, and then possibly have to worry about the possibility of shrapnel falling down or it strikes something."

Schumer ending Asia trip early to focus on Israel

A bipartisan group of senators who just met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing will return to the U.S. early “in light of the tragic events unfolding in Israel,” according to a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Schumer and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, are leading the delegation, which also includes Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; John Kennedy, R-La.; and Jon Ossoff, D-Ga. The senators arrived in Shanghai on Saturday for a trip to China, South Korea and Japan.

The Schumer spokesperson said the senators will move up their meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to Wednesday and return to the U.S. on Thursday. The Japan leg of the trip has been canceled, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo said in a notice.

Once Schumer is back in New York on Thursday evening, his spokesperson said, he will receive a classified briefing and updates on the Hamas terrorist attacks, meet with community leaders and attend Shabbat services.

In his meeting with Xi on Monday, Schumer criticized China’s initial statement on the violence in Israel and Gaza, which urged “relevant parties” to immediately cease hostilities and called for a two-state solution but did not explicitly condemn Hamas.

The Senate remains in recess until Monday. 

IDF official: 1,200 people in Israel killed in attacks

The number of people killed in Israel in Hamas attacks has risen to 1,200 as officials have found more bodies, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said Wednesday morning local time.

More than 2,700 other Israelis have been wounded, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a video livestream.

Conricus said ground troops have been sent to areas around Gaza, “and they are now close to the Gaza Strip getting ready to execute the mission that they have been given.”

“That is to make sure that Hamas, at the end of this war, won’t have any military capabilities by which they can threaten or kill Israeli civilians. That is our military aim,” he said.

Conricus also said that Hamas has its offices and other assets in civilian buildings in Gaza and that they are legitimate military targets for air strikes.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said today that at least 900 people have been killed just in Gaza and that 4,500 have been injured.

Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ has never been more important as it fends off Hamas attacks

Israel designed its vaunted Iron Dome air defense system for instances just like this one as rockets have rained down from Hamas militants in neighboring Gaza.

The short-range system, which became fully operational in March 2011, has been “tested consistently” and “successfully prevented countless rockets from hitting Israeli communities,” according to Israel’s Defense Ministry.

Read the full story here.

Utah man among those killed in Hamas attack, Romney says

Lotan Abir, of Utah, was among the over 1,000 people killed in Israel in the Hamas attack on the country, including an attack on a music festival, Sen. Mitt Romney said today.

“Today, news of the loss of one of our own from Utah further tears at our collective heart. I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Lotan Abir — may he rest in peace,” Romney said in a statement.

Abir was at the music festival when he was killed, Rabbi Avremi Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah told The Salt Lake Tribune. He first moved to Utah late last year after he completed military service in Israel, Zippel told the newspaper.

Members of Congress call for charter flights, other help to get Americans home

In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, more than 140 members of Congress urged that all available measures — including charter flights — be used to get Americans out of Israel.

“We ask that you consider charter flights and military options for evacuation, simultaneously,” wrote the lawmakers, including both Democrats and Republicans.

They said they have heard harrowing accounts from constituents trapped in Israel with no way home.

Some airlines, including American and Delta, have suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said officials have been in contact with U.S. citizens in Israel and in some cases have helped facilitate departures.

“The airport is still open. There are flights that are getting out of the airport in Tel Aviv. And so we encourage people to try to avail themselves of those options,” Miller said.

He said the State Department has also been talking to carriers and urging them to consider resuming travel in and out of Israel.

U.S. wants to create corridor that innocent Palestinians, Americans could use to escape Gaza

WASHINGTON — In a private phone call today, Biden urged Israel’s prime minister to minimize civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip as Israel sets out to destroy Hamas in reprisal for the deadliest attack the country has suffered in the last 50 years, two Biden administration officials and a former official told NBC News.

The Biden administration is coordinating with other countries on a plan that would offer safe passage out of Gaza for civilians who risk getting caught in the crossfire in the densely populated coastal enclave, administration officials said.

Palestinian civilians and Americans in Gaza would escape the war zone through a southern corridor leading into Egypt under the plan being considered.

With Israel preparing for a potential ground incursion into Gaza, civilians who have no connections to Hamas are in danger of being left homeless or being killed by the shelling.

Read the full story here.

Report: Propaganda network on X spread coordinated disinformation

Researchers have uncovered a propaganda network of 67 accounts on the X social platform that are coordinating a campaign of posting false, inflammatory content related to the Israel-Hamas war.

The research is believed to be the first concrete evidence that deliberate propaganda about the conflict has gone unchecked on the platform. Combined, the accounts’ misleading posts and videos have had millions of views.

The accounts previously showed no outward association, but they suddenly began posting similar content over the weekend, according to Alethea, a company that analyzes social media. In many cases, the accounts would post the exact same phrases. It’s not clear whether the accounts were created expressly to post the misinformation or whether they had been hacked or sold.

Read the full story here.

Around the globe, honoring the victims

Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Terrorist Attacks in Israel - 09 Oct 2023
A woman arranges candles at a vigil in New York City on Monday. Ron Adar / Sipa USA via AP
Demonstration for Israel in Paris
Supporters rally in Paris on Monday in solidarity for the victims of the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel.Julien Daniel / MYOP via Redux Pictures

U.S. hostage negotiation experts being made available to Israel

The U.S. government is “making available to Israel” experts in hostage negotiation, a State Department spokesperson said.

The experts are in hostage negotiation and hostage recovery, spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters. They include people from the State Department and in other parts of the government, he said.

U.S. citizens are among the hostages Hamas is holding, Biden said earlier today. A number has not been given.

Miller said Israel has the right to defend itself, and when he was asked whether the U.S. was concerned that Israel could launch a ground attack in Gaza, he said, “Those are decisions for Israel to make.”

“Our point right now is that Hamas ought to release all of the hostages immediately. That’s the effort that we’ve been engaged in,” Miller said.

Thousands show support for Israel at NYC rally

Thousands gathered in Manhattan tonight for the “New York Stands with Israel” rally and vigil at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, just up the street from the United Nations and the Israeli Consulate. 

“Thousands have gathered here to stand in solidarity with our homeland,” Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, told the crowd. “Israel has experienced an atrocity that will never be forgotten.” 

Presha Kletenik, the head of school at the Manhattan Day School, a modern Orthodox school, said it was important for her to attend with her students.

She said some students who had traveled to Israel to celebrate Sukkot are unable to leave the country. She said some former students and faculty members have been called into the IDF reserves. 

“We have to stand and show Israel we are with them, in a large group,” she said. 

There was a significant security presence at the event, including metal detectors and large groups of New York police officers.

“Even with the rise of antisemitism nationally and internationally, I feel safe here,” said Stuart Ginsberg, a former American Jewish Committee regional president in Westchester, New York. “The city, the country, the world needs to see that Americans care about the security of Israel.” 

“Do I feel that we are any less safe now?” Ginsberg said. “Maybe, maybe not.”

First plane carrying U.S. armaments lands in Israel

The first plane carrying U.S. armaments landed at Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel tonight, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

“The armaments are designed to facilitate significant military operations and increase preparedness for other scenarios,” the IDF said in a statement.

The IDF added it was “grateful” for the U.S. support.

“Our common enemies know that the cooperation between our militaries is stronger than ever, and is a key part in ensuring regional security and stability,” it said.

Israel Defense Forces gives recap four days into war

London school warns parents, students to delete TikTok, Instagram to avoid exposure to upsetting Hamas content

The Jewish Free School, a British secondary school in London, sent an email informing parents that the school had warned students that Hamas could disseminate disturbing images on social media — and asked pupils to delete certain apps.

The school specifically suggested students delete TikTok and Instagram to prevent them from accidentally seeing upsetting content.

"In personal safety assemblies today, we have asked students to delete these applications from their phones and it is something you may wish to follow up at home," reads the email, which was reviewed by NBC News.

The email also urges parents to report it if their children see any disturbing images or video.

The Jewish Free School did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In its community guidelines, TikTok says it does not allow violent content.

"We do not allow content that is gratuitously shocking, graphic, sadistic, or gruesome or that promotes, normalizes, or glorifies extreme violence or suffering on our platform," the guidelines read.

Instagram also says it bans that kind of content.

"Sharing graphic images for sadistic pleasure or to glorify violence is never allowed," its community guidelines read.

Neither Instagram nor TikTok responded to multiple requests for comment.

Photos: Funeral of Israeli woman killed in attack on festival

People mourn at the graveside of Guez at her funeral in Ashkelon
Mourners today at the gravesite of Eden Guez in Ashkelon, in southern Israel.Violeta Santos Moura / Reuters
Funeral for festival-goer Guez killed by Hamas near Gaza in Ashkelon
Mourners at Eden Guez's funeral today.Violeta Santos Moura / Reuters

Hamas raped women and beheaded soldiers, Netanyahu told Biden

In a call to Biden today — the third such call since the war started — Netanyahu said Hamas attacked Israel with a barbarism not seen since the Holocaust.

“We had hundreds massacred, families wiped out in their beds and their homes, women brutally raped and murdered, over 100 kidnapped, including children,” Netanyahu said in a recording of a call that his office said was with Biden.

Netanyahu said the scope of the violence and evil was worse than what he had shared with Biden in earlier conversations.  

“They took dozens of children, bound them up, burned them and executed,” he said in the recording. “They beheaded soldiers; they mowed down these youngsters. … We have never seen such savagery in the history of the state.”

NBC News has not confirmed the reports of rapes and beheadings.

Sen. Ernst leads bipartisan congressional trip to Israel 

Hamas accuses Biden of 'blatant bias'

Hamas strongly denounced President Joe Biden’s support of Israel and called on the U.S. administration to move away from a "policy of double standards."

“We reject the fallacies in President Biden’s speech and affirm the right of our people to resist and end the occupation," the group said shortly after Biden's address, in which he vowed to stand by Israel and condemned Hamas' “vicious attacks."

Since the group launched its attack this weekend, Israeli officials say 1,000 Israelis have died and dozens have been taken hostage.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said more than 900 people have been killed in Gaza and the West Bank.

"We affirm the right of our Palestinian people to defend themselves, their land, and their Islamic and Christian sanctities, including the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, until their legitimate aspirations for liberation, return, and establishment are achieved. The Palestinian state with its capital, Jerusalem,” Hamas said.

Palestinian Health Ministry: Over 920 killed in Gaza and West Bank

More than 920 people have been killed in Gaza and the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The death toll includes at least 260 children, 22 families and 8 journalists, according to the health ministry’s branch in Gaza.

The ministry said that at least 4,600 people have been injured in Gaza and the West Bank.

The health ministry's branch in Gaza said Israeli airstrikes targeted residential neighborhoods, causing the displacement of more than 140,000 people. It also said that airstrikes hit nine health institutions.

The health ministry called for the urgent opening of a safe corridor to allow medical aid into the territory and facilitate the movement of those injured who can't receive treatment in Gaza.

Relatives pray by the body of Amir Ganan, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike, during his funeral in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip,
Relatives pray by the body of Amir Ganan, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike, during his funeral in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip today. Hatem Ali / AP

USS Gerald R. Ford arrives in Eastern Mediterranean Sea

The USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group has arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean to support Israel, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command.

"The arrival of these highly capable forces to the region is a strong signal of deterrence should any actor hostile to Israel consider trying to take advantage of this situation,” said Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of the U.S. Central Command.

The forces include "eight squadrons of attack and support aircraft, and the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), as well as the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers," the U.S. Central Command said.

More than 187,500 displaced across Gaza Strip, U.N. relief group says

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reported today that at least 187,518 people have been displaced across the Gaza Strip. That number is expected to rise.

"Nearly 137,500 internally displaced people (IDPs) are sheltering in 83 UNRWA schools in all areas of the Gaza Strip," according to an organization report. "As heavy airstrikes continue, more and more IDPs seek shelter in UNRWA’s schools."

The aid agency said some of its shelters are overcrowded and have limited drinking water, cleaning supplies, mattresses and blankets. It also said four people sheltering at one of its schools in Gaza City were injured, and that five students at its schools have been killed since Oct. 7.

Nearly half a million people who rely on UNRWA's food distribution centers have been unable to get rations because those centers are closed, said the organization.

Blinken headed to Israel to show 'unwavering' U.S. support

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel to show "unwavering" support for the country following Hamas attacks, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said at a briefing this afternoon.

Blinken will leave tomorrow and is expected to arrive in Israel on Thursday.

The secretary will "engage our Israeli partners directly about the situation on the ground and how we can continue to best support them in their fight against the terrorists who launched these horrific attacks," Miller said.

Blinken will meet with senior Israeli government officials and continue the discussions he and the president have been having with them since the initial attack, Miller said.

Nations scramble to find citizens dead or missing in Israel-Hamas war

As the Israel-Hamas war entered its fourth day, countries continued to work on locating their citizens caught in the crossfire.

Biden said that 14 Americans have been killed and an unspecified number of U.S. citizens are being held hostage by Hamas.

One Canadian was among the victims killed by Hamas, Taleeb Noormohamed, a member of the House of Commons of Canada, tweeted

France’s foreign minister said eight French nationals have been killed and 20 are missing, some of whom were likely kidnapped, including a 12-year-old boy. Four Russians were confirmed dead and six are missing, Russia's embassy rep told the Russian news agency RIA NovostiUkraine said Sunday two of its nationals were killed in Israel.

Thailand’s ministry of foreign affairs said 18 Thai nationals are dead but noted that number is from unofficial reports and is pending confirmation from Israeli authorities. Eleven other Thai nationals were taken hostage. 

In Latin America, Peru’s foreign ministry said that a citizen has died and another three nationals are missing. Colombia’s foreign ministry said two nationals are missing. Argentina’s embassy in Israel said seven nationals are dead and 15 are missing. Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Brazilian citizen Ranani Nidejelski Glazer died Saturday in Israel. 

All the while, nations have been sending planes to repatriate their citizens as commercial flights have been canceled in and out of Israel.

Biden speaks on U.S. sending military support to Israel

President Biden doubled down on the U.S.'s support of Israel against Hamas during his speech today.

He addressed the country after talking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said, the third call the two leaders have had since the war broke out Saturday.

Biden noted that the Department of Defense has moved USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the eastern Mediterranean and bolstered fighter aircraft presence in the area, in a bid to “strengthen our deterrence.”

The U.S. will also aid in hostage recovery efforts and support Israel's missile-intercepting Iron Dome.

"We stand ready to move in additional assets as needed," Biden said.

He also issued a warning to other powers "thinking of taking advantage of the situation," saying, "I have one word: Don't."

"Our hearts may be broken, but our resolve is clear," Biden said.

Pro-Palestinian marcher: 'They're going to wipe us out'

For Layal Luay, a Palestinian 23-year-old who attended a pro-Palestinian rally in London yesterday, the recent attacks in Israel have left her fearful for the future of the millions of people living in Gaza and the West Bank.

“I think of all the innocent civilians on both sides, of course, that are affected by this,” she said. “When I saw all the casualties, I was like they’re going to retaliate, they’re going to come for us and they’re going to wipe us out," referring to the Israeli military.

"Gaza is just so densely populated. And the West Bank too. And Israel is just so much stronger with their the military power, and they have the whole Western world backing them," she added.

Luay said she attended the protest as a show of solidarity for the Palestinian community's ongoing suffering but also to honor her family's heritage. Luay's grandfather left his Palestinian village for a university scholarship in Australia just before what Palestinians call "the Nakba," or "catastrophe," when hundreds of thousands of people were uprooted during Israel’s creation in 1948.

"He came back to find they killed his brothers," she said. It took him months to locate the rest of his family, who had fled to Syria, she added.

Luay said she does not support Hamas' use of violence. Attending the protest was not to celebrate the loss of lives but rather to stand by her Palestinian diaspora community at a difficult time.

"By going to these demonstrations, by talking about it with other Palestinians or Arabs who support it, and just knowing that it affects me — I'm not the only one who's like feeling down or low today," she said.


Biden: 'We must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel'

During his speech today, President Biden denounced Hamas' rampage against Israel, saying: "In this moment we must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel."

He called Hamas' assault against Israel "terrorism" that "brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS," specifically for its targeting of civilians.

"There’s no justification for terrorism. There’s no excuse. Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self determination,” Biden said, vowing to aid Israel.

He said the U.S. will send additional military assistance, including ammunition and interceptors to replenish Israel's Iron Dome.

Americans are being held hostage by Hamas, Biden says

President Biden said during his remarks today from the White House: "We now know that American citizens are among those being held by Hamas."

He didn't specify how many.

Biden stressed that his highest priority is to secure their safety and said he's directing his team to share intelligence and consult with Israeli counterparts to aid in hostage recovery efforts.

14 Americans killed in Israel-Hamas war, Biden says

President Joe Biden said in a news conference that 14 Americans have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war.

On Monday, officials said 11 Americans had been killed.

Photos: Gazans evacuate their homes

Palestinians evacuate their homes damaged by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images
Palestinians evacuate their homes damaged by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
Palestinians evacuate their homes damaged by Israeli airstrikes today.Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Death toll in Israel over 1,000, Israeli embassy says

Israeli soldiers carry the flag-covered coffin of Maj. Tal Cohen during his funeral at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem.
Israeli soldiers carry the flag-covered coffin of Maj. Tal Cohen at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem today.Francisco Seco / AP

The death toll in Israel has surpassed 1,000, Avi Gold, a spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., said this afternoon.

With this new number, and the Palestinian Ministry of Health reporting at least 830 deaths, the total death toll is quickly mounting.

Photos: Israelis shelter in place in Ashkelon

Israelis take cover in a shelter in Ashkelon as a siren warns of incoming rockets fired from Gaza on Oct. 10, 2023.
Israelis take cover in a shelter in Ashkelon today.Ohad Zwigenberg / AP
An Israeli man reads from the Torah as people take shelter during a rocket attack in Ashkelon on Oct. 10, 2023.
A man reads from the Torah while sheltering in place.Jack Guez / AFP - Getty Images

Some U.S. sororities and fraternities post support for Israel

In the United States, some fraternities and sororities have posted their support for Israel to social media.

The chapter of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at the University of Richmond posted to its Instagram story that it "stands in solidarity with Israel as they fight for peace."

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to those who are affected and are sending love and prayers to our Jewish sisters, friends and community here at Richmond," the statement reads.

The Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, posted to Instagram that the sisters "send their love to those affected by the horrific events happening in Israel." The sorority also shared a post, in which they offer crisis services for students who may be struggling with the news.

At Columbia University, in New York City, the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, posted, in part, that the brothers "proudly stand with Israel in response to Hamas' unprovoked acts of terror, rape kidnapping and murder."

"No human being has the right to bare his teeth at his fellow man so savagely," the post said.

Brandeis professor says his slain daughter and son-in-law used their bodies to save their son

Brandeis professor Ilan Troen, whose American daughter and son-in-law were killed Saturday in Hamas’ attack on Israel, said they saved their son’s life by using their bodies as a shield. 

“In part they saved their son’s life, a 16-year-old boy, by throwing their bodies on him as the Hamas came, used explosives to break through the doors of their home, and used explosives to break into their so-called safe room,” Troen said on NBC News Now Tuesday.

“They came back time after time to see if they had killed everybody in the house. And when they weren’t satisfied, they lit the house afire, as they did all the other houses in the neighborhood, expecting that if there were a survivor, that survivor would run out and then they could shoot him.”

Troen, who lives in Negev, said that his family is now together and discussing how to bury their loved ones.

His daughter and son-in-law were both musicians who sent their kids to a joint Jewish and Arab school to learn both languages. The parents, he said, believed that “since we live in a fractious area, that it be important that people learn each other’s languages and cultures.” 

“There’s frustration, there’s anger. There’s not hate. We recognize this is not Islam,” he said, “We know that Hamas is not the entire Arab world.”

Photo: Israel's Iron Dome blocks Hamas' rockets

Israel's Iron Dome, left, intercepts rockets fired from Gaza, right, on October 10, 2023.
Israel's Iron Dome, left, intercepts rockets fired from Gaza, right.Eyad Baba / AFP - Getty Images

British surgeon says he is trapped in Gaza after going there to perform kidney transplants

Dr. Abdel Hammad, a surgeon from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said on Sky News that he is stuck in Gaza and has not been able to leave the bomb shelter where he has been hiding for several days.

Hammad traveled to the city Friday to perform a kidney transplant. For the past 10 years, he said, he has been traveling to Gaza from his home in Liverpool every three or four months to perform surgeries. On Saturday, he said he woke up to explosions.

“The debris, the glass in the yard and other buildings — it’s like the aftermath of an earthquake,” said Hammad. "I am probably in the safest place in Gaza at the moment, but sometimes there isn't a safe place at all in Gaza."

He said he has been in touch with the British embassy in Jerusalem, but feels completely trapped in Gaza. He has been trying to escape. While he said he has access to electricity, food and water in his shelter, some of his colleagues sheltering at home in the city do not have access to those same resources.

Hammad said he has not heard any of the people around dissenting the actions of Hamas.

Photo: Burning fishing boats in Gaza

Smoke rises from burning fishing boats caused by an Israeli airstrike at the seaport in Gaza.
Smoke rises from burning boats caused by an Israeli airstrike at Gaza's seaport today.Adel Hana / AP

Israel strikes vessels in Gaza City port

Video showed what appeared to be fishing boats and other vessels in the port of Gaza City on fire as clouds of dark smoke billowed over them as Israel pounds the region with airstrikes.

Retired Adm. James Stavridis said on MSNBC that the vessels at the Gaza City port were “probably targeted because they were part of a Hamas plan to move outside Gaza and come around Israeli security.”

Rockets from Lebanon hit 'open areas' of northern Israel

Israel's air force said 15 rockets were launched from Lebanese territory this evening.

It intercepted four of them and 10 fell in “open areas,” it said on X.

The IDF said its tanks have attacked two observation posts of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in response.

Later, the IDF said that in response to an anti-tank missile launched from Lebanese territory toward a military vehicle in the area of Avivim, an IDF helicopter struck an observation post belonging to Hezbollah. 

The attacks come one day after shelling bombarded parts of the Lebanon-Israel border, and after Israel said it killed Hezbollah militants.

John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, said on MSNBC last evening that the administration is concerned about Hezbollah and doesn’t want to see conflicts expand or escalate.

Missing American Israeli woman, daughter had been planning trip to Israel for months

Months before tragedy struck, Judith Raanan, 59, couldn't stop talking about her trip to visit friends and family in her native Israel, according to friend and Rabbi Meir Hecht from Evanston Chabad near Chicago.

Raanan liked to make the trip from Illinois to Israel every few years and often brought her daughter, Natalie Raanan, with her, Hecht said. Not only was it a way to stay in touch with loved ones, but it was also a way to reconnect with a culture Judith Raanan deeply loved.

"Judith is a very spiritual woman and she loves to pray. She loves to talk about her connection to God," Hecht said. "She feels very uplifted when she participates in the services and communal events."

The two women are among dozens who are missing and loved ones fear they were taken by militants.

Hecht described Judith Raanan as a close personal friend who frequently visited his family and brought toys for his children. A woman of strong faith, she was a regular attendee at Saturday services and on holidays.

Her daughter lived with her father and was not a member of the congregation, Hecht said.

"The members of my congregation are all terribly distressed and feeling pain and hurt, especially with someone we know so well," Hecht said of Judith Raanan. "We are praying for the best outcome."

Mother makes a plea to her daughter missing from music festival: "Be strong and know that we are looking"

The mother of a 21-year-old woman who went missing after the Hamas attack on a music festival in the Israeli desert said on MSNBC that she hasn't heard anything about where her daughter is for more than 3 days.

"The things that we see on the net are so horrifying that I think no human heart or brain can contain these actions and the lack of respect to human life," Ahuva Maizel said. “There are at least 100 families just like me."

Maizel said she last spoke to her daughter Adi Maizel on Saturday morning. Although she has spoken to the Israeli authorities, she said they have no information about the woman's whereabouts.

"I'm almost ashamed to be called a human being if other human beings can do such things to their own kind," she said. "I don't know if it's possible to make peace with these animals."

Maizel said the pain she feels now, not knowing if her daughter is dead in Israel or being held hostage in Gaza, is indescribable.

"If anyone can hear me, if my daughter hears me: Adi, my Adi, I'm begging you please, be strong and know that we are looking and we will not stop until we will find you," she said.

Father of missing U.S. citizen and Israeli soldier calls on Biden to help

The father of a missing U.S. citizen and Israeli soldier called on Biden and the United States to “take the lead” along with Israel to help its citizens who are missing or have been taken hostage.

Ruby Chen said on MSNBC that he last spoke to Itay Chen, his 19-year-old son who is a U.S. and Israeli citizen, on Saturday morning. Chen said his son, who is a member of the IDF, sent him a message saying his base, which is on the border of Gaza, was being attacked.

Chen said representatives from the IDF told him that his son is "missing in action," meaning that since Saturday morning "there is no one that has seen him" and he was not identified as being in a hospital or among the dead.

"We urge President Biden not to take a backseat here, and take the lead" along with Israel "dealing with this situation, and especially with U.S. citizens that their location is not known at the moment."

Chen said he and other families of dual citizens who are missing loved ones "would highly request to have a formal representative sit with us and explain to us what they know and what they’re doing in order to support us."

NBC News reached out the State Department for comment.

Police investigate pro-Palestinian protest at Sydney Opera House over alleged antisemitism

Protesters show their support for Palestinians in front of the Sydney Opera House.
A pro-Palestinian protest in Sydney yesterday.Izhar Khan / AFP - Getty Images

Australian police said today they were investigating a pro-Palestinian protest outside Sydney Opera House, after footage emerged of a small group appearing to chant antisemitic slogans at the demonstration.

Around 1,000 pro-Palestinian supporters marched through downtown Sydney last evening to the city’s iconic Opera House, which the government had illuminated in the colors of the Israeli flag following Saturday’s attacks by Hamas, which Israel says killed more than 900 people.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that at least 830 Palestinians had been killed in Israeli retaliation airstrikes on the blockaded enclave since then.

Organizers of yesterday’s rally distanced themselves from the conduct, which they said came from a small minority, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

“I intervened immediately. This behavior has no place at these rallies,” academic and activist Fahad Ali told the Herald. “There was a group of individuals who were looking for trouble. They were certainly in the minority of the protest.” Ali added that organizers would seek approval for a rally planned for Sunday.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese today called the reports of antisemitic slogans “horrific."

“We are a tolerant multicultural nation,” he said. “I understand that people have deep views about issues relating to the Middle East conflict but, here in Australia, we have to deal with political discourse in a respectful way.”

'We know basically nothing': Uncle of 23-year-old believed to be taken hostage from music festival pleas for help

The family of a missing 23-year-old woman believed to be taken hostage from the Supernova music festival Saturday is pleading for information on her whereabouts. 

Tiferet Lapidot turns 23 today, her uncle Harel Lapidot told NBC News. She had been traveling and recently returned to Israel for the Jewish High Holidays and her birthday.

“She went to a party on Saturday in the Negev, the Supernova festival near Kibbutz Re’im, not far away from the border with Gaza. Saturday morning about 9 a.m. she called her mother and she told her that she’s hiding with her friend because they are shooting all over,” Harel said. Tiferet hung up because she heard a vehicle approaching, and she hasn’t been heard from since. 

Tiferet Lapidot
Tiferet Lapidot.Courtesy Harel Lapidot

Israeli police told the family that her phone pinged in the Gaza Strip and they believe she's being held hostage there.

Harel said he is Canadian, as is Tiferet’s father, and calling upon the Canadian government to "help us to demand that our children who are Canadian" be kept "safe and sound" and not harmed.

“We haven’t received any help. We are highly disappointed with the approach towards the whole thing,” he said. “We truly don’t know what’s going on with her. We know basically nothing.”

The family is left in agony as they wait upon news on Tiferet's well-being.

“We are just horrified of what’s going on,” he said.

Photos: Gazans seek help for wounded children

A man carries a wounded child to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.
Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
A man carries a wounded child to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.
People bring wounded children to Gaza's al-Shifa hospital today.Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images

More rockets fired over Ashkelon

Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip are intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defense missile system over Ashkelon on Oct. 10, 2023.
Israel's Iron Dome intercepts rockets over Ashkelon today.Jack Guez / AFP - Getty Images

ASHKELON, Israel — A volley of rockets continued to fly over the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon just after 5:30 p.m. local time, as NBC News’ Richard Engel said he estimated that between 100 to 200 rockets have been fired at the city since the strikes began at 5 p.m.

While the Iron Dome defense system was able to intercept most of the rockets, it appeared “a few of them got through,” Engel said from Ashkelon. “It only takes one to cause a tragedy.”

Engel said Israeli media was reporting there have been some casualties from the strikes.

UAE to send $20 million in aid to Gaza

UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has directed $20 million in urgent aid to be sent to Gaza, according to state media.

The support will be provided through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Emirates News Agency reported.

Egypt facilitating aid to Gaza

Egypt's foreign minister said the country is working to facilitate the movement of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

An Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson tweeted today that Egypt is working to “contain the escalation” in the strip and “calm the situation.”

It comes amid mounting international calls for aid to reach hard-hit Gaza — home to more than 2 million people on a narrow strip of land wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. 

Egypt's assistance is imperative as the Rafah crossing is the only land crossing from Gaza into Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

'It's not a battlefield, it's a massacre': Israeli military officer describes aftermath of Hamas assault on a kibbutz

A ruined home in Kfar Aza, Israel, on Oct. 10, 2023.
A ruined home in Kfar Aza, Israel, today.Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

Journalists were taken through the decimated and charred remains of kibbutz Kfar Aza, 3 miles from Israel’s border with Gaza, that was attacked Saturday.

Israeli troops were going house by house to retrieve civilian bodies, most of which were found burned in their homes; meanwhile the bodies of Hamas fighters lay where they fell. 

“It’s not a battlefield. You see the babies, the mothers, the fathers in the bedrooms,” Maj. Gen. Itai Veruv said. “How the terrorists killed them, it’s not a war, it’s not a battlefield, it’s a massacre.”

The death toll in three days of war has tipped over 1,700, a number likely to grow as strikes upon Israel and Gaza are ongoing.

At least 830 dead in Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinian Health Ministry says

People mourn in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on Oct. 10, 2023.
People mourn in Khan Yunis, Gaza, today.Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images

At least 830 people are dead in Gaza and the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

This includes at least 140 children, Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said during a speech at the 70th WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean yesterday.

More than 4,200 people have been injured, according to the Health Ministry.

Photo: Iron Dome intercepts rockets over Ashkelon

Israel's Iron Dome defense missile system intercepts rockets fired from Gaza over Ashkelon.
Israel's Iron Dome defense missile system intercepts rockets fired from Gaza over Ashkelon today.Jack Guez / AFP - Getty Images

Pressure on Gaza border alarms Egypt as strikes close crossing

Trucks leave Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt during an Israeli airstrike.
Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Tuesday.Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images

Egypt is moving to prevent a mass exodus from the Gaza Strip into its Sinai Peninsula, as Israeli bombardments halted crossings at the only exit point from the Palestinian enclave today, Gaza officials and Egyptian security sources said.

Rafah is the sole possible crossing point into Sinai for Gaza’s 2.3 million residents. The rest of the strip is surrounded by Israel and the sea.

Gaza’s Hamas-run Interior Ministry said bombardments both yesterday and today had hit an entry gate on the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, causing work to stop there. 

The Israeli military revised today a recommendation by one of its spokespeople that Palestinians fleeing its airstrikes in the Gaza Strip head to Egypt, saying in a follow-up statement that the main crossing on that border was currently closed.

Relatives of hostages who are U.S. citizens urge Biden admin to take action to release them

The relatives of people who have been taken hostage by Hamas and are U.S. citizens called on Biden and his administration to take action to bring them home during a press conference in Tel Aviv.

After saying that the Israeli government has the responsibility of bringing back all hostages, the son of missing 66-year-old Adrienne Neta stressed the Biden administration also shares responsibility for every U.S. citizen whose life is at stake in the Israel-Hamas war.

“They’re responsible to bring the U.S. citizens back home, safe and sound. We expect nothing less from the U.S. administration from President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken,” he said. “I speak in the name of myself and my family and I wish for the quick solution for this terrible, terrible situation that all of us are in.”

The father of 19-year-old Itay Chen also urged the public to “not think of us as a headline” as he hoped the media would “amplify” their message of asking the U.S. government “not to take a back seat.”

“The U.S. has a lot of resources and its attention is able to do many things that can be different than what the Israeli government could do,” he said. “And we are asking on behalf of my family for President Biden to reassure his heart is in the right place when it comes to Israel, and Secretary of State to do what they can to make this end for us as soon as possible to become family wholly again.”

NBC News reached out the U.S. State Department and the Israeli government press office for comment.

Biden to speak with Israel PM Netanyahu 

Biden will speak with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later this morning to discuss the U.S.’ support for Israel and efforts "coordinated with partners and allies to defend Israel and innocent people against terrorism and to deter other hostile actors from exploiting this attack on Israel," the White House has said.

Ahead of the talk, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will receive an update on the situation in Israel from their national security teams and give direction on next steps, the White House said.

Jordan to send aid to Gaza Strip

King Abdullah II of Jordan has directed the dispatch of “urgent” aid to Palestinians in Gaza as the densely population region remains under unrelenting Israeli attacks.

The Royal Hashemite Court announced on X that the aid will pass via the Rafah crossing, the sole crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

The mission is in “full prior coordination with Egypt,” the court said, noting Jordan will also work to identify the needs of Palestinians in the West Bank.

U.S. is focused on making sure Israel has munitions and weapons, National Security Council says

John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, said today on “Morning Joe” that the first tranche of U.S. assistance is on its way to Israel and “the effort and the focus is on making sure that Israel has the munitions, the weapons, the tools that they need to defend themselves and to go after these Hamas terrorists.”

Kirby said he could not confirm if any Americans were among the hostages taken from Israel, but “we have to prepare for the grim possibility, the likelihood” that they could be.

He said there are a number of Americans who are unaccounted. 

“We’re hearing from lots of families, as you might expect, who are trying to get information about loved ones they haven’t heard from,” he said.

The U.S. was also offering Israel hostage crisis and recovery expertise, Kirby said. 

“We are clearly interested in helping them with any expertise and intelligence when it comes to getting those hostages freed, whoever they are.”

Families desperately seek relatives taken hostage

Israeli families are waiting in agony for word about the safety of their loved ones taken hostage by Hamas, as the militant organization said it will execute hostages if Israel's strikes on Gaza continue.

Yoni Asher, whose wife, Doron, and two young daughters, Raz and Aviv, ages 3 and 5, and mother-in-law were taken hostage by Hamas militants Saturday, told NBC News' Raf Sanchez he wishes he could take their place.

"I'm ready to get killed right now for their lives. They can take me for as long as they want," he said.

Abbey Onn, an American living in Israel, said five members of her family were kidnapped by Hamas and she saw video of her 12-year-old cousin being taken captive.

"It's something no parent, no human can ever imagine," she said.

The Israel Defense Forces estimates up to 150 people have been taken hostage, and the families of 50 abducted individuals have been informed.

The mother of a 6-month-old girl is missing, feared kidnapped — and the community has rallied with milk supplies

TEL AVIV — A neighborhood has come together to donate milk after the mother of a 6-month-old baby was believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas militants Saturday.

Ido Nagar, 33, said his wife, Celine Ben David Nagar, 32, was driving south from their home in Holon, south of Tel Aviv, with two friends Saturday when she called to say she could hear rocket-warning sirens and would try to turn back to get to a shelter. The last thing she told him was that turning back may have been a mistake — “soldiers are coming,” she said.

Celine Ben David Nagar, Ido Nagar and their 6-month-old, Ellie. The community has rallied with milk supplies after the mom went missing, feared kidnapped.
Celine Ben David Nagar, Ido Nagar and their 6-month-old, Ellie. The community has rallied with milk supplies after the mom went missing, feared kidnapped.Courtesy Ido Nagar

Later, her car was found with two bullet holes in the door, its windows smashed with a small amount of blood outside the vehicle. “I’m assuming that they were taken by Hamas,” Ido Nagar told NBC News.

Since Saturday, Nagar said, his family has been flooded with support from neighbors, with many dropping off enough milk for the couple’s baby, Ellie, to fill a whole fridge. “My wife has a lot of friends, a lot of supporters ... and I really hope that we get her back.”

“She’s the love of my life. She was perfect,” he said. “We had such a perfect... we have such a perfect marriage.”

Buildings lie in ruin in Gaza

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City
Belal Al Sabbagh / AFP - Getty Images
Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City
Belal Al Sabbagh / AFP - Getty Images

Aerial photos show heavily damaged buildings following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City today.

IDF: 'We are prepared for combat on all fronts and at all borders'

The IDF said today it was “prepared for combat on all fronts and at all borders.”

It has regained full control of the area surrounding Gaza, with no infiltrations from Gaza overnight to its knowledge, said Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesman.  

He said the IDF conducted “an unprecedented attack in Gaza,” striking in waves and conducting airstrikes every four hours over the past 36 hours. The main strike targeted the Rimal area in the center of Gaza, an area that “has very significant meaning to senior Hamas leaders and operatives,” he said. 

“Hundreds” of Hamas operatives were killed during the strikes, he said.

Hagari said the chief of general staff spoke with U.S. military officials and the IDF is “working with the U.S. in complete operational cooperation.”

“The U.S. forces that have arrived at the area of the Mediterranean Sea are powerful forces,” he said. “They came with an aircraft carrier carrying tens of aircraft, with vessels, with thousands of missiles and munitions. There is great coordination between our forces.”

Hamas gives southern city of Ashkelon until 5 p.m. to evacuate

Hamas appears to have given an ultimatum to residents of the coastal Israeli town of Ashkelon to leave their homes by 5 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET).

Spokesman Abu Ubaidah said the warning is in response to Israel "displacing our people and forcing them to flee their homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip."

Ubaidah didn't elaborate on what could happen to the city, which sits close to the Gaza border, after the deadline.

Israelis donate goods to soldiers and hard-hit families

Chantal Da Silva / NBC News

TEL AVIV — Residents of Herzliya, just north of Tel Aviv, were busy packaging donated items to be distributed to both soldiers fighting Hamas and families in the hardest-hit parts of Israel.

Chantal Da Silva / NBC News

Children’s clothing could be seen stacked in boxes, alongside toiletries and fresh clothing for soldiers outside Herzliya City Hall.

“I’m definitely scared,” one volunteer commented before packing more donations away. But, she said: “This is my home. I grew up here. My life is here.”

U.N. warns of residential damage in Gaza, calls full siege a violation of international law

The United Nations human rights chief pleaded with the international community to defuse what he called "an explosive powder keg” situation in Israel.

Volker Türk called on Palestinian armed groups to immediately and unconditionally release all civilians who were captured and are still being held, saying that taking hostages is against international law.

He said information gathered by his office indicates that Israeli air operations have hit large residential towers in Gaza City and other residential buildings across Gaza, schools and premises of the U.N. relief and works agency, UNRWA, resulting in civilian casualties.

He also warned that a full siege of Gaza, announced by Israel yesterday, is prohibited under international humanitarian law, as it deprives civilians there of goods essential for their survival, and risks seriously compounding the already dire human rights and humanitarian situation in the enclave that's home to 2 million people.

Vigils and rallies held across U.S.

Candles were lit and crowds gathered in solidarity with Israel and with Palestinians in vigils across the U.S. last night. 

Gatherings were held in Los Angeles, hundreds rallied outside a Jewish community center in Philadelphia joined by Gov. Josh Shapiro, and in the nation's capital, demonstrators supporting Palestinians rallied near the White House. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke about restoring peace during a gathering of hundreds of people in a “Stand with Israel” rally in an Albany synagogue. 

Meanwhile at the University of Florida, 20 people were injured at a vigil for Israel last night after an attendant fainted and others called 911. That 911 call was misunderstood by the crowd, which “dispersed in a panic” and injuries were caused by the crowd rush, university police said

More vigils and events will be held across the country today including: a Greater Miami Jewish Federation solidarity rally, a D.C.-area vigil for Israel, a Palestinian rally near New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s home and in New York, a UJA Federation of NY Stands with Israel rally and a Solidarity Vigil for Israel at Baruch College in Manhattan.

At a kibbutz near Gaza, Israeli soldiers secure Hamas attack site

KFAR AZA, Israel — This kibbutz just a few miles from the Gaza border was a scene of deadly violence over the weekend. Now it's back under Israeli control as the IDF says it has achieved its main priority of securing the country's land from Hamas fighters.

The death toll is growing but Israeli soldiers, going door to door, believe there are still dozens of bodies waiting to be found.

With Israeli troops and tanks gathering near the border and Israel flattening Gaza's skyline with airstrikes, the risk of escalation may only be mounting.

Iran's supreme leader praises Hamas attack on Israel

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said today that Iran "kisses" the hands of those who orchestrated the Hamas assault on Israel, but maintained that Tehran played no role in it.

“We kiss the foreheads and arms of skillful and intelligent designers and Palestinian youth, but those who say that the recent epic is the work of non-Palestinians suffer from miscalculation," Khamenei said, as reported by the country's state media.

Khamenei also praised what he called “irreparable” intelligence and military failure for Israel.

New images show the aftermath of the Supernova festival attack

Photo agency images emerged today showing the abandoned site of the devastating weekend attack at the Supernova desert music festival by Palestinian militants near Kibbutz Reim in the Negev desert in southern Israel, in which 260 people were killed.

Supernova desert music Festival attack
Jack Guez / AFP - Getty Images
Supernova desert music Festival attack
Jack Guez / AFP - Getty Images file
Supernova desert music Festival attack
Jack Guez / AFP - Getty Images
Supernova desert music Festival attack
Jack Guez / AFP - Getty Images

Read more: ‘They looked me in the eyes’: Festival organizer describes coming face to face with Hamas gunmen.

Dashcam video shows Hamas gunmen toss a grenade into a bomb shelter near the Supernova music festival

Warning: This video contains images some might find disturbing.

Hamas says it will not discuss prisoner swap until aggression ends

Hamas is not open to a prisoner exchange as active battles continue, Ismail Haniyeh, one of the organization's leaders, said in a statement today.

Prior media reports stated that Qatar was mediating for a potential swap of Israeli hostages in exchange for imprisoned Palestinians. Haniyeh said that "all parties" have been informed of the group's decision.

He went on to add that "that the colonial occupation would pay a price for the devastation inflicted upon the Palestinians in Gaza."

An estimated 100 people were taken hostage in Israel.

Death toll soars past 1,600

More than 1,600 people have been killed three days after Hamas' surprise attacks, with more than 900 people dead in Israel and at least 770 in Gaza, according to officials.

Over 6,000 people were injured in Israel and Gaza, officials said.

Gaza City smolders in wake of Israeli missile barrage

Gaza City's al-Rimal district
A Palestinian youth sits in front of a charred building as a fire rages through its interior, following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City's al-Rimal district on Tuesday. Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images
Gaza City's al-Rimal neighborhood
A Palestinian man walks through debris from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City's al-Rimal neighborhood early on Tuesday. Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
A Palestinian man walks past damaged buildings with a suitcase on his shoulders following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City
A Palestinian man walks past damaged buildings with a suitcase on his shoulders following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on Tuesday. Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
Palestinians carrying personal belongings walk past heavily damaged buildings following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City's al-Rimal district
Palestinians carrying personal belongings walk past heavily damaged buildings following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City's al-Rimal district, on Tuesday.Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images

Israeli couple feared dead or kidnapped found alive

TEL AVIV — One Israeli family had a rare happy outcome as people around the country wait for news of missing loved ones who may have been taken hostage by Hamas militants.

The family of David and Denise Heiblum feared they were either dead or kidnapped by Hamas after all communication from them stopped at noon on Saturday while they were hiding in a shelter in their kibbutz near the Gaza border.

David's father, Pepe, told NBC News on Monday he was trying to stay strong and not lose hope. David's cousin, Jacques Butbol, said they were praying for any proof of life from David and Denise, and were struggling to get any information about the missing couple from Israeli authorities.

“The army found him, which was a miracle,” Butbol said. He said soldiers had initially gone to the house when the couple was first feared missing, but found no trace of his cousin and his wife.

“They were just like, hidden very well in the house. They didn’t go out of the house, they didn’t do anything for 56, 58 hours.” Butbol said Tuesday.

“Thank God, at least one good news in these crazy days that we’re having,” he said.

Hamas calls for general mobilization across 'Arab and Islamic world'

Hamas issued a call for a general mobilization this morning in a sign the group was not looking to lay down arms any time soon, despite the threat of an imminent ground operation into Gaza by Israel.

The militant group said in a post on its website that it is calling on fighters "in our Arab and Islamic world and the free people of the world," to join them in their struggle.

It said the mobilization effort will commence on Friday.

50 families told their loved ones have been taken hostage, IDF says

The Israel Defense Forces say 50 families of those kidnapped by Hamas have been notified to date.

There have also been more than 4,500 rockets fired out of Gaza, the military said in a post on X. Its operational update said that 1,352 targets have been struck in the ongoing assault on Gaza.

Video shows the bloody aftermath of Hamas' attack on Israel’s Be’eri kibbutz

Warning: this video contains graphic images.

Quiet streets in Jaffa as Israel reels from Hamas attack

TEL AVIV — The streets around the Clock Tower in the historic port of Jaffa are usually bustling with people, but this morning they are practically empty.

It’s “the most important place in Jaffa, this square,” said Bashar Harar, 56, as he looked out at the empty chairs and tables in front of Tower Toast, the café where he works.

“There are no people, there are no tourists,” he said, noting that the Clock Tower, which commemorates Israelis killed in the battle for the town in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, is usually popular among tourists.

Harar said he could understand why the square was so quiet. "This time is more dangerous,” he said.

Bashar Harar, 56, works at the Tower Toast café in Jaffa
Bashar Harar, 56, works at the Tower Toast café in JaffaChantal Da Silva / NBC News

124 IDF soldiers confirmed dead so far

The IDF said today that 124 of their soldiers have been killed since Hamas invaded Israel on Saturday.

An unconfirmed number of Israeli soldiers have also been taken hostage.

7 Palestinian journalists killed in Gaza, authorities say

Government officials in Gaza confirmed today the deaths and names of seven Palestinian journalists who have been killed since Hamas' incursion into Israel and Israel's retaliatory airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians, including some journalists, carry the bodies of two Palestinian reporters, Mohammed Soboh and Said al-Tawil, who were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, today.Fatima Shbair / AP

Gaza residents 'traumatized' as relentless Israeli bombing continues

As Israel brought its military might to Gaza, home to more than 2 million people, resident Ahmad Alghari said he and his family heard sorties of F-16s and relentless bombings every few minutes.

"Everyone freezes, starts shaking and tried to find their moms or sisters or brothers to hang on tight," the 33-year-old break dancer, told NBC News in a telephone interview.

"Sometimes we jump when we hear the sound of a bomb. Most people are like zombies," he said. "They are traumatized," he said, adding the siege imposed by Israel had left ordinary civilians like him without food, clean water and electricity.

Palestinians inspect the massive destruction following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City's al-Rimal district today.Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images

More than 180,000 people displaced in Gaza, United Nations says

The United Nations is sounding the alarm about the humanitarian crisis developing in Gaza amid retaliatory strikes by Israel in the aftermath of the Hamas incursion.

Mass displacement of civilians has escalated in the past 24 hours across the Gaza Strip, the U.N. said in its report today, reaching more than 187,518 and is expected to increase further.

Almost 137,500 internally displaced people are sheltering in 83 U.N. schools in all areas of the Gaza Strip, the report said.

Friend of missing mother says her children were used as human shields

A friend of a mother taken by Hamas militants in Saturday’s attack said her children were used as human shields as the fighters focused on killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians.

Moshiko Ben-Giat, who described himself as a longtime friend of the mother, who’s still missing, said militants took her two boys, 4 and 4 months old.

The boys were “dragged by the Hamas terrorists from house to house ... to be used as a human shield,” Ben-Giat said today on MSNBC.

The neighbor looking after the pair was also enlisted to tell locals in Hebrew to come out of shelters, but some did not comply and survived, he said. The children were taken toward Gaza, but as they neared the border the neighbor was told to take them back, Ben-Giat said.

Both children were recovering at a medical facility, Ben-Giat said, where their father reunited with them. The fate of their mother remains unknown.

IDF fighter jets strike more than 200 targets inside Gaza

Israel continued to strike targets inside the Gaza Strip today, three days after Hamas' incursion into Israel.

It said it was striking "terror targets belonging to terrorist organizations" inside the enclave in retaliation.

Overnight, it said dozens of fighter jets struck over 200 targets in Rimal and Khan Yunis, which the IDF said are used as "terror hubs" by Hamas.

Israeli mother wants missing son home ‘safe and alive’ 

Lightning strikes over Gaza as buildings burn

Image: Lightning strikes as smoke billows following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Oct. 9, 2023.
Lightning strikes as smoke billows following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City yesterday.Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images

Israel says border with Gaza finally secured

Israel says it has retaken full control of its border with Gaza, three days after Hamas fighters broke through the fence to launch their operation.

No Hamas militants have crossed into Israel since last night, spokesperson Richard Hecht said, although he added that infiltrations could still be possible.

Israeli soldiers patrol a road near the border fence with Gaza today.JACK GUEZ / AFP - Getty Images

1,500 bodies of Hamas militants found in Israel, IDF says

The bodies of some 1,500 Hamas militants have been found inside Israel, IDF spokesperson Richard Hecht said, three days after the group launched its incursion from the Gaza border.

That number would be a sign of the significant force Hamas appeared able to muster for its operation.