Israel Latest: No Hostage Deal in Sight as Army Battles in Gaza

(Bloomberg) — Israel’s military engaged in fierce battles with Hamas militants deep in the Gaza Strip and fired at targets in Lebanon in retaliation for attacks by Hezbollah. The head of the country’s national security council said there’s no deal in sight to get more hostages freed.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian called for the “last political opportunities” to be used to halt the war. The United Nations warned that the situation in Syria, which borders Israel and where many Iran-backed militias operate, is “at its most dangerous for a long time” as Israel increases airstrikes on the country.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening as aid trucks only trickle in. Egypt said it’s ready to allow many more to make the crossing, and blamed Israel for obstructing deliveries. Authorities in Hamas-run Gaza say the death toll there since the war erupted on Oct. 7 — when the militant group killed 1,400 people in southern Israel — has surpassed 8,500.

For more on the Israel-Hamas war, click here.

(All time stamps are Israeli time)

Egypt Says It’s Ready to Let Thousands of Trucks into Gaza (4:30 p.m.)

Egypt’s government is ready to allow thousands of aid trucks into Gaza, far more than the 250 that have been able to enter since the war started, and Israel is obstructing the process, said Diaa Rashwan, head of the country’s State Information Service, according to the official Middle East News Agency

Rashwan cited the initial bombing of roads to the border crossing and Israeli inspection procedures that have slowed shipments. International organizations, warning of a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, say aid delivered so far is far too little. Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer said Monday that aid deliveries should rise to 100 trucks per day by midweek.

Israel Says No Hostage Deal Via Qatar in Sight (4:00 p.m.)

There’s no deal within sight to free more Hamas hostages via Qatari mediation, the head of Israel’s National Security Council, Tzach Hanegbi, said in a press conference. Qatar “realized Hamas is misleading them,” Hanegbi said.

Qatar, which hosts the Hamas political leadership, said last week that negotiations to release more Israeli hostages held by Hamas were still ongoing and could see more breakthroughs soon.

Yemen Houthis Say They Launched Rockets, Drones at Israel (3:15 p.m.)

Houthi rebels launched ballistic missiles and drones targeting different parts of Israel, spokesman Yahya Saree says in a statement. The group vows to carry out more attacks until Israel’s “aggression” stops.

Iran Foreign Minister Meets Hamas Leader (2:54 p.m.)

Iranian Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian met Hamas’s political leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar to discuss the war, Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The meeting was their second since Hamas launched its Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. The Iranian diplomat has also visited Hezbollah’s leadership in Lebanon. Amirabdollahian will visit Turkey after Qatar, IRNA said.

Israel Reports Exchanges of Fire With Hezbollah (2:30 p.m.)

Israel’s soldiers hit militants planning to launch anti-tank missiles into its territory, while separately, missiles were fired from Lebanon toward two Israeli military outposts. Israel responded to the sources of that missile fire as well as to earlier failed Hezbollah launches that fell in Lebanon.

Earlier, Hezbollah said they targeted a group of Israeli forces with guided missiles near the border with Lebanon, according to the militant’s Al-Manar TV.

Read More: Israel Battles Hamas as Troops Push Deeper Into Gaza Strip

Israel Reports Fierce Battles With Hamas Deep in Gaza Strip (1:42 p.m.)

Combined Israeli forces attacked a Hamas outpost, killing dozens of Hamas militants, including those about to launch rockets, the army spokesman’s unit said in a text message. The Israeli soldiers confiscated weapons, including bombs and guns.

Gaza Health Ministry Says Hospital Generators Will Soon Stop Working (1:05 p.m.)

The main generators in Al-Shifa Hospital and Indonesian Hospital will stop working tomorrow, according to the ministry of health in Hamas-run Gaza.

“We call on Egypt to open the Rafah crossing and ensure the flow of medical aid, fuel and the exit of the wounded,” spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said. The ministry updated the number of killed in Israeli airstrikes to 8,525 people, including thousands of women and children.

Iran Sees ‘Last Political Opportunities’ to End War (1 p.m.)

“We need to use the last political opportunities to stop the war” between Israel and Hamas, Iranian Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian told Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in a meeting in Doha, according to a ministry statement.

“If the situation gets out of control, no side will be spared from the consequences,” he said, calling on Muslim countries to use all their capacities to end Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza.

Read More: Israel-Hamas War Escalation Puts Qatar’s Clout to the Test

Drones Target Iraqi Base Housing US Forces, Says Reuters (12:40 p.m.)

Two armed drones targeted the Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq early on Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter. There were no casualties or damage to the site, which houses US and other international forces.

On Monday, four Katyusha rockets were fired at the base, but it was unclear if there were any casualties, according to Reuters.

The Pentagon said yesterday that US and coalition forces have been attacked several times in Iraq and Syria since the Israel-Hamas war erupted.

Israel Updates Number of Hostages Held by Hamas to 240 (10:19 a.m.)

Military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said Israel’s now identified 240 hostages held in Gaza, even after one of them was freed in an operation conducted by Israel Defense Forces on Monday.

The fact that hostages include people of other nationalities is making it difficult to identify all of them, he said.

Israel Says It Expands Operations in Gaza (10:05 a.m.)

“We are expanding our activities in Gaza,” Jonathan Conricus, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, said. “Israeli troops are in various parts of northern Gaza.”

Tanks and other vehicles are “moving slowly, meticulously with a lot of firepower to support them with lots of intelligence,” he said. They’re “looking for Hamas and engaging with their combatants.” Israel intercepted a unmanned aerial vehicle over the Red Sea, public broadcaster Kan News reported.

While airstrikes continue all over the strip, “we will focus our activities on the northern part of Gaza,” Conricus said. “That is the center of gravity of Hamas.”

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