The International Committee of Red Cross has confirmed the release of two female civilian captives in response to Egyptian-Qatari mediation efforts.
Israeli media has named the women who have been released as as Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifshitz.A spokesman for armed wing of the militant group, said on Telegram that it had "decided to release them for humanitarian and poor health grounds."
It comes after it released two Americans on Friday, nearly two weeks after Hamas gunmen abducted them and others near Gaza in an October 7 cross-border assault, killing 1,400 people and taking more than 200 hostages.
Earlier the Prime Minister has said the deadly hospital blast in Gaza last Tuesday was "launched from within" as he pledged a further £20 million in aid to Palestinians.
Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons on Monday that British intelligence suggested the Al-Ahli hospital blast on October 17 was “likely caused by a missile, or part of one, that was launched from within Gaza towards Israel”.
At least 500 people died when Al-Ahli Arab hospital was hit, with Hamas and Israeli forces blaming each other for the strike.
Mr Sunak told the Commons: "We have taken care to look at all the evidence currently available."
He added that "misreporting" about who had caused the explosion "had a negative effect on the region", including impacting a key diplomatic visit by US President Joe Biden.
Palestinian officials say 436 people - including 182 children - have been killed in Gaza in the last 24 hours, while the total death toll has climbed above 5,000.
A third small aid convoy of 20 trucks entered Gaza from Egypt on Monday, the United Nations said.
Israel strikes 320 targets in Gaza in 24 hours, including tunnel housing Hamas militants
Third aid convoy enters Gaza from Egypt - reports
Israeli military says 222 people now confirmed as taken hostage by Hamas
Live coverage ends
Monday 23 October 2023 22:12 , Miriam Burrell
That's all for our live coverage this evening.
Please check back in the morning for more on the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Images released of two women freed
Monday 23 October 2023 21:09 , Miriam Burrell
Two women freed from captivity under Hamas militants have been identified by Israeli media as Yocheved Lipshitz and Nurit Cooper of the Israeli kibbutz of Nir Oz.
Their photos have been released.
Red Cross helps facilitate release of two hostages
Monday 23 October 2023 20:31 , Miriam Burrell
The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed that two women held hostage in Gaza have been released by Hamas.
The aid organisation said it helped to facilitate their release and they were transported out of Gaza this evening.
"Our role as a neutral intermediary makes this work possible and we are ready to facilitate any future release," it said in a statement on social media.""We hope that they will soon be back with their loved ones."
Two elderly women released by Hamas
Monday 23 October 2023 20:28 , Miriam Burrell
Two elderly women who were held captive by Hamas have been released, the militant group said, according to the state news agency.
They arrived at the Egyptian Rafah crossing on Monday.
Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the armed wing, said in a statement on Telegram: "We decided to release them for humanitarian and poor health grounds."
It named the two as Nurit Yitzhak and Yocheved Lifshitz.
It comes after an American mother and daughter were released on Friday.
Aid worker says supplies arriving in Gaza are 'drop in ocean'
Monday 23 October 2023 18:48 , Miriam Burrell
Mahmoud Shalabi, an aid worker with the Medical Aid for Palestinians group, said the aid shipments that Israel allowed to cross into Gaza were a "drop in the ocean of the needs" required to address the rapidly worsening humanitarian crisis there.
He told AP that the aid had not arrived in the northern part of the strip, which Israel wants to empty ahead of its looming ground invasion.
He said the supplies in the first convoy on Saturday were distributed only in the southern parts of Gaza, leaving the northern half struggling amid extremely dire conditions.
"The north didn't receive anything. It's like a death sentence for the people in the north of Gaza there," he said.
Tube driver suspended after leading 'free Palestine' chant on train
Monday 23 October 2023 18:45 , Miriam Burrell
A Tube driver who led a chant of “free, free Palestine” on a London Underground train on Saturday has been suspended pending further investigation into the incident, TfL said.
In footage shared on social media, the driver appeared to lead the chant over the PA system on a Central line tube packed full of people heading to a pro-Palestine march in central London.TfL said on Monday: "A driver has now been identified and suspended whilst we continue to fully investigate the incident in line with our policies and procedures.”
More aid trucks arrive in Gaza
Monday 23 October 2023 17:52 , Miriam Burrell
The United Nations said 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have crossed into Gaza from Egypt on Monday.
Govt cannot move British citizens through Rafah crossing, PM says
Monday 23 October 2023 17:34 , Miriam Burrell
The Government has not been able to secure the movement of any British nationals through the Rafah crossing, Rishi Sunak has said.
The Prime Minister told the Commons: “I know it will be a frightening time for British nationals in Gaza and their families. We are continuing to provide assistance to them and they are in contact with the Foreign Office.
“We have not been able to secure the movement of any British nationals the other way across the Rafah crossing but we have already had those discussions with the Egyptians, including myself with President El-Sisi to ensure that when the possibility is there that they can cross.
"Indeed we have pre-positioned rapid deployment teams for the border force into Egypt and close to the border to make sure that logistically we can collect them and get them home as safely as possible when that happens.”
£20m in aid will go towards food, water and healthcare
Monday 23 October 2023 16:30 , Miriam Burrell
An additional £20 million in UK aid announced by Rishi Sunak will allow United Nations’ agencies and the Red Cross to provide essential items and services, the Foreign Office said.
“The aid will respond to critical food, water, healthcare, shelter and protection needs for those affected by this severe humanitarian crisis,” the department said.
It said all aid undergoes “rigorous oversight and multiple safeguards” to prevent UK funding from going to Hamas.
UK still committed to two-state solution, Sunak says
Monday 23 October 2023 16:19 , Miriam Burrell
The UK is still committed to a two-state solution to bring peace to Israel and Palestine, Rishi Sunak told the Commons.
"Our support for a two-state solution is highly valued across the region, but it can’t be a cliched talking point to roll out at times like this. The truth is that in recent years, energy has moved into other avenues like the Abraham Accords and normalisation talks with Saudi Arabia," he said.
"We support those steps absolutely and believe that they can bolster wider efforts.
"But we must never lose sight of how essential the two-state solution is."
Police must 'take action to tackle extremism' PM says after 'jihad' chant
Monday 23 October 2023 16:16 , Miriam Burrell
The police must take “all necessary action to tackle extremism”, Rishi Sunak said after condemning the use of the word jihad at pro-Palestinian protests on the weekend.
The Prime Minister said: “We have seen hate on our streets again this weekend. We all stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. But we will never tolerate anti-Semitism in our country.
“Calls for jihad on our streets are not only a threat to the Jewish community but to our democratic values and we expect the police to take all necessary action to tackle extremism head on.”
PM: Hospital blast 'launched from within Gaza'
Monday 23 October 2023 16:14 , Miriam Burrell
The explosion at the al Ahli hospital in Gaza was “likely caused” by a missile launched from within Gaza towards Israel, Rishi Sunak said.
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons: “We have taken care to look at all the evidence currently available.
“I can now share our assessment with the House. On the basis of the deep knowledge and analysis of our intelligence and weapons experts, the British Government judges that the explosion was likely caused by a missile or part of one that was launched from within Gaza towards Israel.
“The misreporting of this incident had a negative effect in the region, including on a vital US diplomatic effort, and the tensions here at home.”
PM announces further £20m in support for Palestinians
Monday 23 October 2023 15:52 , Miriam Burrell
The Prime Minister has announced a further £20 million package of support for Palestinian civilians.
Making a statement in the Commons, Rishi Sunak said: “We have already committed £10 million of extra support to help civilians in Gaza. And I can announce today that we are going further."
Babies could die 'within five minutes' once power is gone, warn doctors
Monday 23 October 2023 15:28 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Doctors at a Gaza neonatal intensive care unit say babies reliant on incubators will die "within five minutes" once power in the besieged enclave runs out.
"We call on everyone to send the necessary medical supplies for this critical department or else we face a huge catastrophe," said Dr Nasser Bulbul at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
"If the electricity is out, in these departments, where there are 55 babies, we will lose all those who need electricity within five minutes."
Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for the Gaza health ministry, said there were 130 newborn babies in electric incubators across the Gaza Strip.
Mr Qidra said generators at hospitals - and especially at Shifa hospital, the largest of Gaza's 13 public hospitals - were running out of fuel and "just at the bottom of tankers".
"We have switched the fuel to the most essential life-saving services, including the incubators, but we don't know how long this will last," he said.
"We are appealing for the whole world to help with fuel. We have even asked our public and private petrol stations to donate whatever they can save of fuel to help save lives in hospitals."
40% of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks have been children - Gaza health ministry
Monday 23 October 2023 15:13 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
More than 40 per cent of the thousands of people killed in Gaza since Israel launched its relentless retaliatory attack have been children, according to the enclave's health ministry.
At least 5,087 Palestinians have been killed in two weeks of strikes, including 2,055 children, the health ministry said.
The Israeli bombardment was triggered by an October 7 cross-border assault on Israeli communities by Hamas militants who killed 1,400 people and took more than 200 hostage - the bloodiest episode in a single day since the state of Israel was founded 75 years ago.
'Children, babies, pregnant women will die if Gaza hospitals don't receive fuel' says Actionaid
Monday 23 October 2023 14:59 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Charity Actionaid is warning children, babies in incubators and pregnant women "will lose their lives if fuel is not provided to hospitals in Gaza”.
The UN said the lives of at least 120 newborn babies in incubators in Gaza’s hospitals are at risk as fuel runs out.
Actionaid is calling for an immediate ceasefire and for a "sustainable humanitarian corridor" to be opened so desperately needed aid can be sent into Gaza - particularly fuel which is not understood to have yet been delivered in aid packages.
Riham Jafari, Advocacy and Communications Coordinator at ActionAid Palestine, said: “Hospitals are relying on fuel-powered generators for their electricity. Fuel and medical supplies should be provided now to Gaza.
"Children, patients, babies in incubators, pregnant women will lose their lives if fuel is not provided to hospitals in Gaza."
Palestinian teen lost 13 relatives in Israeli airstrikes on southern Gaza
Monday 23 October 2023 14:38 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
A Palestinian teenager was left to identify the bodies of her relatives after losing 13 relatives including her parents in Israeli airstrikes.
Dima Al-Lamdani, 18, and her family fled from their refugee camp in Gaza City to the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, after the Israeli army said it was safer there, the teen told news agency Reuters.
Days later, she reportedly lost her parents, seven siblings and four members of her uncle's family in a blast.
"They told us to evacuate your place and go to Khan Younis because it is safe...they betrayed us and bombed us," she said.
She said her family and that of her uncle travelled in two cars across Gaza, and took refuge in a temporary shelter in Khan Younis when it was attacked.
"At 4.30am I was awake and sitting with my aunt drinking coffee," she said. "Suddenly I woke up in the middle of ruins. Everyone around me was screaming, so I screamed."
Ms Lamdani, the side of her face grazed and bruised, searched for her family members in the morgue on Tuesday, to discover only her brother and two young cousins had survived.
"This is a nightmare. It will never be wiped from my memory," she said. "I had a sister, 16. They wrote my name on the white sheet they wrapped her body in - they thought it was me."
Laws around extremism and hate crime 'probably need re-drawing', suggests Met Commissioner
Monday 23 October 2023 14:21 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has suggested laws around extremism and hate crime "probably need re-drawing".
Regarding his "constructive" meeting with Home Secretary Suella Braverman this afternoon, Sir Mark said: "The conversation finished really around the line of the law.
"It’s our job to enforce to that line. It’s Parliament’s job to draw that line. And the thought that maybe events at the moment … maybe some of the lines aren’t quite in the right place.”
“The law that we’ve designed around hate crime and terrorism over recent decades hasn’t taken full account of the ability in extremist groups to steer around those laws and propagating the truly toxic messages through social media.
“Those lines probably need re-drawing."
'Police enforce law, not taste and decency' - Met Police Commissioner
Monday 23 October 2023 14:17 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has said police enforce the law and cannot police taste and decency.
Following a “constructive” meeting with Home Secretary Suella Braverman, he suggested that laws around extremism and hate crime should be redrawn.
There was an apparent clash between the Home Secretary and the Met after officers and legal experts found no crime had been committed by protesters chanting “jihad” during demonstrations in London at the weekend.
“We are absolutely ruthless in tackling anybody who puts their foot over the legal line. We’re accountable for the law," Sir Mark said this afternoon. "We can’t enforce taste or decency, but we can enforce the law."
Met Police Commissioner suggests hate laws should be amended
Monday 23 October 2023 13:56 , Sami Quadri
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said police enforce the law and not taste and decency.
Speaking to journalists after a “constructive” meeting with the Home Secretary, he suggested that laws around extremism and hate crime should be redrawn.
There was an apparent clash between the Home Secretary and the Met after officers and legal experts found no crime had been committed by protesters chanting “jihad” during pro-Palestine demonstrations in London at the weekend.
Sir Mark said: “We are absolutely ruthless in tackling anybody who puts their foot over the legal line. We’re accountable for the law. We can’t enforce taste or decency, but we can enforce the law.”
He added: “The conversation finished really around the line of the law. It’s our job to enforce to that line. It’s Parliament’s job to draw that line. And the thought that maybe events at the moment … maybe some of the lines aren’t quite in the right place.”
Sir Mark went on: “The law that we’ve designed around hate crime and terrorism over recent decades hasn’t taken full account of the ability in extremist groups to steer around those laws and propagating the truly toxic messages through social media.
“Those lines probably need re-drawing.”
Downing Street has no plans to give police more powers
Monday 23 October 2023 13:45 , Sami Quadri
Downing Street says it has no plans to give police more powers after the Met faced criticism for failing to take action against activists chanting "Jihad" at a pro-Palestine rally.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Some of these scenes will have likely been incredibly distressing for people to witness, not least to the UK’s Jewish community who deserve to feel safe at what must be an incredibly traumatic time.
“We do believe the police have extensive powers in this space and we will continue to discuss with them so there is clarity and agreement about how they can be deployed on the ground.”
Asked if there are plans to give police more powers, he said: “I’m not aware of any, no.”
Israeli ambassador’s comments on Irish president not helpful, says minister
Monday 23 October 2023 13:18 , Sami Quadri
Ireland’s Enterprise Minister has said the Israeli ambassador’s comments accusing the Irish president of misinformation were not helpful.
Dana Erlich told the Sunday Independent at the weekend that she was frustrated at the “misinformation” shared by President Michael D Higgins on whether Israel had breached international law.
Ms Erlich also said that Ireland was not a neutral country in relation to Israel-Palestine.
Asked about the comments on Monday, Simon Coveney, who is a former foreign affairs minister, told RTE Radio: “I don’t think that’s helpful.
“President Michael D Higgins is somebody who for many years has taken an interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“He, like many others in Ireland, is deeply concerned about what is currently unfolding in Gaza.
“I don’t think it’s helpful when an ambassador starts to make pointed comments in relation to our president."
'Hero' British-Israeli, 22, killed in Hamas attack on Israel, says family
Monday 23 October 2023 13:05 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
A 22-year-old British national serving in the Israeli military is among those killed in the Hamas attack on Israel, his family has confirmed.
Yosef Guedalia was a "righteous and good person" who was saving people "minutes before he got shot", according to a remarks from his brother reported by the BBC.
Reports from Israel suggested the member of an elite commander unit was killed while confronting gunmen at Kibbutz Kfar Aza as Hamas carried out its atrocity on October 7.
His brother Asher said Yosef, a British-Israeli, was "always happy, there was no bad in him", adding he was "a righteous and good person", according to the BBC.
"He literally saved people minutes before he got shot," Asher said.
"He acted with heroism and determination, he continued to fight and didn't think of himself or hesitate... He went in to rescue as many citizens as possible before they got murdered in their homes and to kill as many terrorists as he could."
Asher said Yosef, who had been married for just under a year, knew "he might not get back to his wife and his family".
"But that’s his calling," Asher told the BBC. "That’s the hero we had for 22 years".
EU trying to work out how best to get aid to Gaza, says Swedish foreign minister
Monday 23 October 2023 12:51 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
EU countries are still discussing the idea of a humanitarian ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas but there are different ways to get much-needed aid to Palestinians in Gaza, says Swedish foreign minister Tobias Billstrom.
"The discussions are ongoing, but the question really isn't about a ceasefire, but about how to bring aid forward and that can be done in very many different ways," he told reporters after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.
He said Sweden preferred a UN proposal for a humanitarian corridor.
Earlier on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell voiced support for a "humanitarian pause" but some of the bloc's foreign ministers expressed reservations about the idea.
182 children killed in 24 hours as Gaza death toll tops 5,000, says health ministry
Monday 23 October 2023 12:13 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
The Palestinian death toll in Gaza has climbed to 5,087, the Gaza Health Ministry has said.
It says 182 children are among 436 Palestinians who have been killed in the last 24 hours alone.
A further 15,273 Palestinians have ben injured in strikes by Israel, which began on October 7 in retaliation to Hamas' surprise incursion on Israel, the Hamas-run ministry said.
Chemical weapon instructions found on body of Hamas fighter, claims Israeli president
Monday 23 October 2023 12:06 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Israeli president Isaac Herzog has claimed instructions on how to make chemical weapons were found on the body of a Hamas fighter.
He told Sky News the instructions were "official Al Qaeda material".
"In this material there were instructions how to produce chemical weapons," he said. "It speaks about arson, and various chemicals that come out and produce chemical weapons...simple as that."
Details emerge of overnight Israeli raids on Gaza
Monday 23 October 2023 11:51 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Israel's military says its ground forces have mounted overnight raids "deep" into Gaza while airstrikes targeted Palestinian militants assembling to repulse any wider Israeli invasion, as each side prepares for the next stage of the escalating war.
"During the night there were raids by tank and infantry forces," Israel's chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a televised briefing on Monday.
"These raids are raids that kill squads of terrorists who are preparing for the next stage in the war," he said, describing incursions that went "deep" into Gaza.
"These raids also locate and search for anything we can get in terms of intelligence on the missing and the hostages."
Rear Admiral Hagari said such interventions helped understand where "the terrorists are assembling". "The terrorists are getting organised in anticipation of the next stages of the war, and our role is to reduce these threats," he said.
Stoking expectations of a full-scale ground offensive by Israeli forces massed around Gaza, he said the military's operational readiness was improving and being enhanced "all the time".
How soon Israel might launch a full-scale invasion is not clear, and neither side can know exactly what to expect when it does. The Middle East's most powerful military faces a group that has built up a powerful arsenal with Iran's help, fighting in a crowded urban setting and using a vast tunnel network it has built that Israeli troops have dubbed the "Gaza Metro".
Hamas 'simply decided to burn families in their homes' - IDF spokesperson
Monday 23 October 2023 11:31 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
IDF spokesperson Michael Edelstein has shared details of Hamas' raids on Israeli villages, at a press briefing in Israel.
"I have first-hand evidence that they simply decided to burn families within their homes," he said.
"On the other hand they tried to - and they took - hostages alive.
"They took the families in the kibbutz of Be'eri. They were aiming to take three years old - over a dozen kids they were taking into Gaza."
He said the Israeli military believes "orders were there" for the militants to kill, rape and kidnap civilians.
"The orders were there...orders were there, how to kill, how many to kill, how many to take as hostages," he said. "Orders were there to rape. All was written and ordered for them."
IDF holds news conference in Tel Aviv
Monday 23 October 2023 11:23 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
The Israel Defence Forces are holding a press conference in Israel, which has just begun.
Israel intercepts 'suspicious target' that crossed border from Lebanon
Monday 23 October 2023 11:17 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) says it has launched an "interceptor" at a "suspicious aerial target" that reportedly crossed into Israel from Lebanon.
Sirens were sounded in areas of the border as a precaution, the IDF added on X, formerly Twitter.
Tunnel housing Hamas fighters among hundreds of targets struck in 24 hours, says Israel
Monday 23 October 2023 11:12 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
The Israeli military says a tunnel housing Hamas fighters, and dozens of command and lookout posts are among targets it has struck in the last 24 hours.
As we reported earlier, Israel says it has struck more than 320 targets in Gaza in the last day.
It said in a statement that it destroyed sites "liable to endanger the troops who are preparing on the Gaza periphery for a ground manoeuvre" as well as dozens of mortar and anti-tank missile launcher positions.
Palestinian media reported that the Israeli attacks concentrated on the Gaza Strip's centre and north.
A strike on a house near the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza killed several Palestinians and wounded others, according to media reports.
First Minister says in-laws in Gaza down to six bottles of clean water among 100 people
Monday 23 October 2023 11:00 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Humza Yousaf’s mother-in-law has said she is living through “torture” in Gaza, the Scottish First Minister said this morning.
Speaking to journalists from flood-hit Brechin on Monday, Mr Yousaf stepped away from cameras to take a call, which he later said was from Elizabeth El-Nakla.
Mrs El-Nakla and her husband Maged – parents of Mr Yousaf’s wife Nadia – were visiting family in Gaza when the hostilities flared.
“They’re really living in a situation that my mother-in-law describes as torture,” said Mr Yousaf.
“The whole night there will be missiles, rocket fire, drones – they don’t know whether they are going to make it from one night to the next.
“They’re down to six bottles of clean drinking water in a house of 100 people including a two-month-old baby, she tells me.”
'I used cola to wash a cut...I'm dead inside' says nurse at packed Gaza hospital
Monday 23 October 2023 10:54 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
An emergency nurse working at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City has described how medics are being forced to think on their feet as they treat hundreds of new arrivals each day, with no supplies.
"Last night it was a horror movie," Naseralldin Abutaha told NBC News this morning. "Blood and dead bodies everywhere."
The 21-year-old nurse said staff were sometimes having to make tourniquets out of shirts, adding that without a supply of clean water "I swear I once used cola to wash a cut."
"I feel if I didn't die I'm dead inside," he told NBC. "I can't cry anymore."
He reported treating as many as 200 patients each day, within 12-hour shifts.
Third aid convoy enters Gaza from Egypt - reports
Monday 23 October 2023 10:28 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
A third convoy of aid trucks have entered the Rafah crossing from Egypt this morning bound for the besieged Gaza Strip, according to an aid worker and two security sources.
Deliveries of aid through Rafah began on Saturday after wrangling over procedures for inspecting the aid and bombardments on the Gaza side of the border had left relief materials stranded in Egypt.
Twenty trucks are understood to have entered Gaza on Saturday, followed by a further 14 on Sunday. It is not yet clear how many entered this morning.
Pictured: Israeli troops assembled at Gaza border
Monday 23 October 2023 10:26 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Photos show Israeli soldiers preparing for an expected ground offensive in Gaza, at an undisclosed location near the border with Gaza, in Israel, this morning.
Met Police should use 'full force of law' against jihad-chanting protesters, says minister
Monday 23 October 2023 10:20 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
The Met Police will be questioned about its response to pro-Palestine protesters chanting “jihad”, a Cabinet minister has said ahead of a meeting today between Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Scotland Yard chief Sir Mark Rowley.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper told Times Radio: “I saw those clips of that chanting at the weekend. I along with many people would have been disturbed by it.
“The Home Secretary will make it clear that the Government thinks the full force of the law should be used.
“The police are operationally independent, which I think is appropriate, and they will have to explain the reasons for the decisions they have taken.”
Read the full story here.
Hamas says its fighters engaged Israeli force infiltrating Gaza
Monday 23 October 2023 10:12 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Hamas says its fighters engaged with an Israeli force that infiltrated the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
Militants engaged with the infiltrating force, destroying two bulldozers and a tank and forced the force to withdraw, before they returned safely to base, a statement byHamas' armed wing Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades said.
It comes as expectations Israel will launch a full-scale ground offensive on the besieged Gaza enclave grow.
There was no immediate Israeli comment about the destruction of Israeli equipment or vehicles.
London woman whose parents are missing in Gaza calls for medical corridor for hostages
Monday 23 October 2023 09:36 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
A British woman whose elderly parents are missing in Gaza has called for a medical corridor to be established to hostages currently being held in the territory.
Sharone Lifschitz, from London, says she has not heard from her mother and father, both in their 80s and with complex health needs, since they were abducted from their home on October 7.
They are believed to be among the 222 hostages the Israeli military says are currently being held in Gaza.
Speaking on Times Radio, Ms Lifschitz said: “There is a humanitarian corridor which is going into Gaza but we don’t have a medical corridor to the hostages.
“My father had high blood pressure the night before (he was taken) – can I please know if a doctor saw him?
“I think that everybody has the right to have their family looked after and to have minimal care.”
Israel says 222 hostages being held by Hamas
Monday 23 October 2023 09:07 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
The Israeli military has said the number of people being held captive by Hamas is higher than previously thought.
The number was previously put at around 200, but in a televised briefing this morning, chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said 222 people are now confirmed as taken hostage during the October 7 cross-border onslaught by Hamas.
EU foreign policy chief says ceasefire 'is needed' so more aid can enter Gaza
Monday 23 October 2023 08:41 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has joined calls for a pause in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, so more aid for Palestinian civilians can be sent into Gaza.
He said EU foreign ministers will today discuss a call from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for such a pause.
"Now the most important thing is for humanitarian support to go into Gaza," Mr Borrell told reporters in Luxembourg this morning.
"Personally, I think a humanitarian pause is needed in order to allow humanitarian support to come in and be distributed."
Heavy airstrikes reported near Gaza hospital, and within evacuation area
Monday 23 October 2023 08:31 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
The Palestinian Red Crescent medical service reported heavy overnight airstrikes near al-Quds hospital in Gaza City. The hospital is reportedly housing more than 12,000 displaced people, as well as patients.
The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said. It said airstrikes hit residential apartments in the town of Khan Younis and the Nuseirat refugee camp, both of which are south of the evacuation line.
The Israeli military says it does not target civilians. It says Palestinian militants have fired over 7,000 rockets at Israel since the start of the war.
As we reported earlier this morning, the Israeli military says it has struck more than 320 militant targets throughout Gaza over the last 24 hours.
It said it has destroyed anti-tank positions and other targets that could endanger forces preparing for "a manoeuvre in the Gaza Strip," an apparent reference to a ground operation.
Video of Tube driver leading 'free Palestine' chants 'disturbing', says Transport Secretary
Monday 23 October 2023 07:50 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Transport Secretary Mark Harper has said a video appearing to show a Tube driver leading chants "free Palestine" chants is “disturbing”.
British Transport Police (BTP) is investigating the incident, which came on Saturday on a packed Tube as up to 100,000 protesters headed to Marble Arch for a pro-Palestine rally.
Footage circulating on social media reportedly shows chants being led by the driver over the intercom and sung by passengers.
Mr Harper told Sky News this morning: “I saw that clip and on the face of it it was disturbing, but I know the British Transport Police and Transport for London are investigating that.
“Because they are investigating that it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on an ongoing police investigation, but they took that very seriously and I thank them at the weekend for their vigilance on that matter.
“I want to make sure people across the country are secure and those sorts of things will have been very concerning, particularly to people in the Jewish community.”
Two Palestinians killed at West Bank refugee camp, says health ministry
Monday 23 October 2023 07:41 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Two Palestinians have been killed at the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said this morning.
Residents told news agency Reuters Israeli forces raided the camp and carried out widespread arrests, where they clashed with gunmen and some youths who threw stones.
Israeli forces have currently retreated to the outskirts of the camp, the residents added.
The Israeli army has not issued a statement about the incident.
IDF says it has struck more than 300 Gaza targets in 24 hours
Monday 23 October 2023 07:29 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
The Israel Defence Forces says it has hit more than 320 targets throughout the Gaza Strip in the last days.
In the post published on X, formerly Twitter, around 6.40am on Monday, the IDF added it has "continued to attack terrorist infrastructures and military targets" in the enclave.
צה"ל תקף ביממה האחרונה למעלה מ-320 מטרות ברחבי רצועת עזה.
ביממה האחרונה צה"ל המשיך לתקוף בעוצמה תשתיות טרור ומטרות צבאיות בשטח רצועת עזה >> pic.twitter.com/PjffLcwX7b
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) October 23, 2023
Pictured: Aftermath of Israeli strikes on Khan Younis
Monday 23 October 2023 07:24 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Photos this morning show the aftermath of Israeli attacks on the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
Second convoy of aid trucks enters Gaza
Monday 23 October 2023 07:07 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
A second convoy of 14 aid trucks has entered the Rafah crossing to the besieged Gaza Strip overnight, after the first delivery of much-needed aid entered on Saturday.
Meanwhile US President Joe Biden and Netanyahu affirmed in a call "there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza", the White House said.
The UN humanitarian office said the volume of supplies entering so far was just four per cent of the daily average before the fighting broke out, and a fraction of what was needed as food, water, medicines and fuel stocks run out.
Israel strikes Lebanon and Gaza overnight
Monday 23 October 2023 06:53 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Good morning, and welcome to The Standard's live blog where we'll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war between Israel and Gaza.
Fighting is continuing to flare on the border between Israel and Lebanon.
Israeli aircraft struck two Hezbollah cells in Lebanon early this morning, which the Israeli military said were planning to launch anti-tank missiles and rockets toward Israel.
Hezbollah said one of its fighters was killed, without providing details.
Israel also launches more air strikes on the Gaza Strip overnight, Palestinian media reported. A strike on a house near the Jabalia refugee camp, in northern Gaza, killed several Palestinians and wounded others, according to media reports.