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Israel Palestine news LIVE: Gaza hostage numbers now above 200 as Rishi Sunak arrives in Jewish state to hold talks with Netanyahu amid growing fears Hamas militants have used North Korean weapons


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Pictured: Tight security as Rishi Sunak arrives in Tel Aviv before going on to Jerusalem

Roundup: Here are the updates so far this morning

  • Rishi Sunak has touched down in Israel and will soon hold talks with PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • As he arrived, the British PM said he ‘stands with’ and ‘grieves with’ Israel.
  • Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is also on a visit to the region and has begun talks in Egypt on Thursday. He will also visit Qatar and Turkey.
  • Hamas fighters likely fired North Korean weapons during their attack on Israel, a militant video and weapons seized by Israel show.
  • The number of Israeli hostages confirmed to be held by Hamas has risen to 203, from a previous estimate of 199.
  • Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has accused Palestinian authorities of lying over the death toll of the hospital blast, which Gaza’s health ministry said killed hundreds.

Video: Israel releases footage of buildings being wiped out during airstrikes along the Gaza-Lebanon border

Pictured: Plumes of smoke rise as high rise buildings in northern Gaza Strip are decimated by Israeli bombardment

This picture taken from Israel's southern city of Sderot shows a smoke plume erupting during Israeli bombardment in the northern Gaza Strip on October 19, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, when Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by Jack Guez / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
This picture taken from Israel's southern city of Sderot shows a smoke plume erupting during Israeli bombardment in the northern Gaza Strip on October 19, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, when Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by Jack Guez / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

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Two US bases in Syria come under drone attack, according to Lebanese Iran-aligned media

Two US military bases in Syria have come under attack, Lebanon’s Iran-aligned Al Mayadeen TV reported on Thursday.

There was no official confirmation of the attacks.

Al Mayadeen reported a drone attack on the Al-Tanf base near Syria’s borders with Iraq and Jordan, and a missile attack on the Conoco base in the countryside of the northern Deir al-Zor region. It gave no further information

UK terror threat level under constant review, says Security Minister

Security minister Tom Tugendhat said the terror threat level is kept ‘under constant review’.

Asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain whether there might be plans to raise the alert, he said: ‘It’s not a plan, because we don’t plan for the alert to change. We change the alert according to information that we get.

‘And it’s not done by politicians, quite correctly, it’s done by experts, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre.’

He added: ‘I’m not going to be able to tell you much more than that, other than that we keep it under constant review.’

Mr Tugendhat alluded to the King’s speech on Wednesday about the need for ‘mutual understanding’, saying the level of ‘division’ in society plays a part in how safe the UK is.

‘We are safer when we stand together, when we are careful of our language and when we are measured in how we talk about really emotive subjects like the incidents in the Middle East in the last few days,’ he said.

Video: Rishi Sunak arrives in Israel and tells the country ‘I stand with you’ amid Hamas onslaught

Pictured: Heartbroken father holds his 3-year-old daughter’s body for the last time during her funeral after she was killed in Israeli strike on Gaza

The father of Alma Al Majayda, 3, killed in Israeli strikes, embraces her body during her funeral, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, October 19, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Medics identify boy and woman ‘incinerated’ in Hamas onslaught eleven days on from Hamas atrocity

A boy and a woman who were among the scores of people killed by Hamas gunmen in an Israeli border village have been located and identified, 11 days after the cross-border attack from Gaza, the medical assistance and casualty recovery group Zaka said.

Remains of the two newly discovered victims were found during searches of a house that had been burned down in Beeri, a kibbutz, or communal farm, Zaka said late on Wednesday.

‘Their bodies were incinerated after they were murdered,’ it said in a statement, without providing names for the two or elaborating on any possible relationship between them.

Israeli officials had previously given a death toll of at least 108 for Beeri – around 10% of its population. At least a dozen other Israeli communities were also overrun by the gunmen.

Israeli officials say the numbers keep slowly rising as forensics enable identification of especially ravaged corpses.

Palestinian rescuers pick through the rubble to find survivors in the aftermath of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, as it’s revealed 600 children remain ‘trapped’ under collapsed buildings

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Members of the Palestinian civil defence look for survivors in the rubble of a building hit during Israeli bombardment in Khan Yunis on the southern Gaza Strip on October 19, 2023. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Members of the Palestinian civil defence look for survivors in the rubble of a building hit during Israeli bombardment in Khan Yunis on the southern Gaza Strip on October 19, 2023. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

Video: Israeli Defense Forces mass tanks and troops on the Gaza border

An Israeli Harry Potter fan whose plight was highlighted by author JK Rowling has been found dead, the country has announced.

Noya Dan, a 12-year-old autistic child, and her 80-year-old grandmother Carmela, were among those who went missing when Hamas terrorists attacked on October 7.

Since then, their family have been clinging to the hope that they were kidnapped rather than killed, and would be found and returned by Israeli forces who are preparing to launch a ground assault attack against Hamas and to rescue hostages.

However, on Wednesday, the Dan family confirmed in a tragic post on Facebook that the bodies of both Noya and Carmela had been identified.

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James Cleverly meets with Egypt’s Foreign Minister

Breaking: Number of hostages confirmed to be held by Hamas rises to at least 203

The Israeli military has said the number of people being held hostage by Hamas is at least 203, rising from the previous confirmed number of 199.

The terrorist group has claimed that it has 250 people hostage.

UK Foreign Secretary visits Egypt, Qatar and Turkey

EU members discuss how to handle rising security challenges as Israel-Hamas war provokes new concerns

European Union interior ministers met Thursday to discuss how to manage the impact of the war between Israel and Hamas on the bloc, after a firebomb assault on a Berlin synagogue and killings in Belgium and France by suspected Islamist extremists.

Sweden hosted a meeting of ministers from eight countries, among them Germany, Belgium and France, focused on how to handle incidents where people burn the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

Protester Salwan Momika previously kicked and stomped on the holy book before setting it on fire outside the parliament in Stockholm and Iraqi Embassy.

Pictures and video: Joe Biden gets off Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews following his visit to Israel

U.S. President Joe Biden deboards at Joint Base Andrews, following his visit to Israel, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Maryland, U.S. October 19, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
US President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on early October 19, 2023. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has agreed to open the Rafah crossing into Gaza to allow a first batch of around 20 humanitarian aid trucks through, US President Joe Biden said October 18, 2023. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Jordan Foreign Minister: No one is ‘buying Israeli narrative’ on the Gaza hospital blast

Ayman Safadi told NBC that ‘no one… in this part of the world’ is buying Israel’s claim that Palestinian militants accidentally bombed Gaza’s al-Ahli Hospital.

‘The only way people would entertain a different narrative is if there was an independent international inquiry into the tragedy with impeccable evidence that it was not Israel,’ he added.

Meta to limit some Facebook comments on Israeli and Palestinian posts

Meta, which owns Facebook, said it has brought in temporary measures to limit ‘potentially unwelcome or unwanted comments’ on posts about the Israel-Hamas war.

Security minister rejects claims Britain has become a ‘permissive environment’ for antisemitism

Security minister Tom Tugendhat rejected an argument made by the Government’s independent adviser on extremism that Britain has become a ‘permissive environment’ for antisemitism.

Asked whether he agreed with the comments, he said: ‘No, I don’t agree with that. I think that the United Kingdom is a country and an environemnt in which we take all threats to any communities extremely seriously.

‘You just have to look at the response over the last 10 days – the way the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and I and many others have been reaching out to the Jewish community, making sure policing is appropriate… to give reassurance.

‘The way in which we’ve been engaging as well with the Muslim community, some of whom are feeling also vulnerable at this time, feeling stigmatised.’

Mr Tugendhat said it was a ‘perfectly legitimate’ to march in support of Palestine as some people are, but that others are ‘championing a death cult’.

Minister of State for Security Tom Tugendhat speaking during a vigil outside Downing Street, central London, for victims and hostages of Hamas attacks, organised by The Board of Deputies of British Jews, as the death toll rises amid ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza following the attack by Hamas. Picture date: Monday October 9, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Israel. Photo credit should read: Lucy North/PA Wire

Pictured: Rescuers pull children from the rubble of their homes as Israel continues to bombard the Gaza Strip with airstrikes

Palestinians work to rescue a boy trapped in the rubble following an Israeli strike on a house in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, October 19, 2023. REUTERS/Anas al-Shareef
Palestinians work to rescue a boy trapped in the rubble following an Israeli strike on a house in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, October 19, 2023. REUTERS/Anas al-Shareef

Egypt has agreed to reopen its northern border with Gaza to allow desperately needed humanitarian aid to enter the war-torn enclave — but there are growing fears Hamas will steal it for themselves or use it as cover to bring in more weapons.

More than 200 trucks and some 3,000 tonnes of aid are now positioned at the Rafah crossing, Gaza’s only connection to Egypt, to deliver food, water and medicine to the millions of civilians trapped there amid withering Israeli airstrikes.

But under the deal agreed by Egypt after intense talks with President Joe Biden yesterday, only 20 trucks with humanitarian aid will be allowed into the enclave from Friday at the earliest amid fears that Hamas will confiscate the supplies.

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Hamas militants ‘likely used North Korean weapons in attack on Israel’

Hamas fighters likely fired North Korean weapons during their attack on Israel, a militant video and weapons seized by Israel show, despite Pyongyang’s denials that it sells arms to the militant group.

The video was analysed by two experts on North Korean arms.

Rishi Sunak says ‘I grieve with Israel’ as he lands in the country for talks

Arab leaders called off talks with Biden due to ‘irresponsible speculation’ over hospital blast, security minister claims

Security minister Tom Tugendhat said ‘irresponsible speculation’ over the al Ahli hospital blast led to Arab leaders calling off talks with US President Joe Biden.

He told Times Radio: ‘The reason we’re going to be so careful about this is that the premature speculation comes at a cost. Let’s be clear that the reality is there were beginning of talks promised between President Biden and some Arab leaders, and irresponsible speculation led to some of those leaders walking away as they thought that it would be unacceptable to discuss such matters after Israel had been accused of this attack.’

He added: ‘It now appears that that was at best speculation and at worst propaganda by a terrorist organisation.’

Mr Tugendhat said he would not ‘name names’ over who in particular was responsible for the speculation but pointed to commentary on social media platforms.

Pictured: Rishi Sunak being briefed as he was en route to Israel this morning for talks with Netanyahu

Over 3,400 Gazans killed in Israeli airstrikes and vast majority are elderly, women and children, Palestinian Health Ministry says

Of the 3,478 Palestinians killed and 12,065 injured in Israeli air strikes, 70 per cent were elderly people, women and children, Gaza’s health ministry has said this morning.

Pictured: Israeli tanks positioned on border with Gaza ahead of anticipated ground invasion

Joe Biden gave Israel’s leaders U.S. approval to launch a ground invasion of Gaza, according to a report.

The U.S. president told Netanyahu he was ‘fully in support’ of Israel’s plans to invade Gaza to ‘eradicate Hamas‘, according to The Times.

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Breaking: Nestle says it has ‘temporarily shut down’ a production plant in Israel

Nestle says it has ‘temporarily shut down’ one of its production plants in Israel as a ‘precaution’, becoming the first consumer products giant to announce a response to the conflict there.

Several global companies have temporarily shut some operations in Israel and asked their employees to work from home after the country came under a surprise attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas earlier this month.

‘Our focus is on keeping our colleagues and employees safe. I have no comment on the development of the business,’ Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider said on an earnings call with journalists. ‘We’ve taken necessary precautions.’

Other multinational packaged goods companies have so far remained silent on the conflict, even as retail, healthcare and oil companies have rushed to voice their positions.

The silence follows criticism of the packaged goods industry for choosing to keep one foot in Russia while continuing to sell ‘essential’

FILE PHOTO: Nestle's logo is seen at a plant in Konolfingen, Switzerland, Sept. 28, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Breaking: Rishi Sunak arrives in Israel and will hold talks with Benjamin Netanyahu

Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel today as he appeals to all sides to avoid ‘further dangerous escalation’ of the conflict.

After disembarking from his plane, Mr Sunak said the UK ‘stand with’ the people of Israel over the ‘unspeakable, horrific act of terrorism’ by Hamas.

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Pro-Palestinian protesters rally inside and in front of the US Capitol

Pictured: Buildings reduced to rubble by Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip

Good morning, welcome to MailOnline’s live blog

Here is what you need to know this morning:

  • Rishi Sunak arrives in the Jewish state to hold talks with PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Biden says the U.S. will provide $100 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinians affected by conflict in Gaza and the West Bank.
  • Egypt and other Arab countries typically don’t want to take in Palestinian refugees.
  • Relatives of people taken hostage by Hamas militants tell their stories as they hope for their safe return.
  • The U.S. has vetoed a proposed U.N. resolution to condemn violence against civilians in the Israel-Hamas war.
  • Rage at the Gaza hospital blast carnage spread throughout the Middle East.





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