Israel says it plans to intensify its attacks on Gaza starting today.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday in response to a question about a possible ground invasion into Gaza, the Israeli Rear Adm Daniel Hagari said: “We will deepen our attacks to minimise the dangers to our forces in the next stages of the war. We are going to increase the attacks from today.”
On October 7, Hamas militants stormed into Israel from Gaza and killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burned to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials.
Since then, more than 4,300 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed in relentless Israeli bombardments, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.
Read on for the latest news.
‘We’re going to get them all out’: Biden’s promise to freed hostages
The White House has posted a brief clip of President Biden’s phone call with two newly freed American hostages to celebrate their release from Gaza, theNew York Postreports.
“Hey Judith,” Biden greeted Judith Raanan, 59, who was abducted with her 17-year-old daughter Natalie when Hamas stormed Kibbutz Nahal Oz on October 7.
The women, of Evanston, Illinois, were visiting family for the Jewish holidays.
“I’m so glad you’re home – or, not home, but glad you’re out,” Biden told the mother and daughter on the Friday call, according to the video shared on X.
“Hey, Nat, how are you? God love ya,” Biden said. “I’m just delighted we were able to get you out, we’ve been working on it a long time.”
The two women – who were released by Hamas on Friday after almost two weeks in captivity – thanked the commander-in-chief for his support of Israel.
“We’re going to get ‘em all out – God willing,” Biden promised, referring to 10 other missing Americans who are suspected to have been taken by the terror group.
‘In the heart’: Militant group’s chilling admission
The deputy leader of Hezbollah has issued a chilling warning if Israel starts a ground offensive in Gaza, saying the Iran-backed militant group based in Lebanon is already “in the heart of the battle”.
Hezbollah said six of their fighters were killed on Saturday, as the Israeli military traded fire with Hezbollah on the Lebanon-Israel border.
“We are trying to weaken the Israeli enemy and let them know that we are ready,” said
Hezbollah’s deputy leader Sheikh Naim Kassem, according to the Associated Press.
Hezbollah number two Naim Qassem also warned the movement stood ready to step up its involvement
“Let’s be clear, as events unfold, if something comes up that calls for greater intervention by us, we will do so,” said Qassem.
Wild scenes in UK as thousands march for Palestine
Nearly 100,000 people took to the streets in London on Saturday in an event organised by pro-Palestinian groups calling for “an end to the war on Gaza”.
Marchers held signs reading “Freedom for Palestine”, “Stop Bombing Gaza” and “End Israeli Apartheid”.
Many waved Palestinian flags and some chanted “5, 6, 7, 8, Israel is a terrorist state” and “Free Palestine”.
“We came to show our support because we can’t stay silent, watch the news, and then do nothing,” Mariam Abdul-Ghani, an 18-year-old student whose family is from the Palestinian territories, told AFP.
The march brought traffic at the Marble Arch landmark to a standstill, before it broke up peacefully close to Downing Street.
There were also huge protests in other cities including Birmingham, Manchester, and Cardiff.
Horror as Jewish leader found dead outside home
A prominent synagogue president in Detroit in the US, was found dead outside of her home early on Saturday morning, police said.
Samantha Woll was found with multiple stab wounds and police discovered a trail of blood leading to her home, where they believe the crime was committed.
The 40-year-old, who led the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue since 2022 and previously worked with US congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, has been remembered as a “kind” person who was “driven by her sincere love of her community”.
“Sam truly used her faith and activism to create a better place for everyone,” Michigan Attorney-General Dana Nessel said in one of many tributes which has poured in online.
An investigation is currently taking place, and police are yet to release a motive for the crime or comment if it was considered a hate crime.
Top Hamas official killed
A senior Hamas commander and his wife have reportedly been killed in an Israeli air strike.
Talal al-Hindi, a field commander in Hamas’ military wing, al-Qassam brigades, was killed in a strike on his home in the Gaza Strip, according to Hamas-affiliated Safa News Agency.
He is believed to have been killed while sheltering with his wife Fadwa, his daughter Israa, and her daughter Baraa.
It comes days after fellow Hamas commander, Jehad Mheisen, was killed alongside members of his family in an Israeli air strike on his home — The Sunreports.
A third Hamas top commander, Ayman Nofal, has also been killed.
Cancer patient threw himself on Hamas grenades
A cancer patient attending the Supernova festival in Israel when Hamas terrorists invaded and slaughtered 260 innocent civilians on October 7 survived a selfless act of heroism when he jumped on grenades in a bid to save others.
Raz Peri, who is battling lymphoma, said he was at the festival to “feel alive again” but had to quickly turn to survival mode as the invasion unfolded, he told CNN from his hospital bed.
The 20-year-old watched in horror as “40 to 50” Hamas terrorists gunned down fleeing festival-goers during the early stages of the attack, the New York Postreports.
He scrambled with four others for shelter in a roadside bunker, but one of the women screamed when they saw the terrorists approaching the hide-out and speaking Arabic.
He told the outlet that he “had nothing, just my hands” and was forced into a fistfight with one terrorist as they entered the doorway following the woman’s scream.
Other Hamas invaders began firing at Peri but instead struck a hiding festival-goer in the leg.
The fight ended outside the shelter with Hamas terrorists accidentally shooting dead one of their own, the outlet reported.
They quickly retreated back into the shelter, and then the remaining terrorists surrounded the structure and peered in with “crazy eyes,” before throwing multiple grenades inside.
Peri then selflessly threw his body onto the grenades to absorb the blast and save the others.
The explosion tore through his leg and left him partially unconscious, The Times of London reported.
He has been recovering for the past 13 days at the Kaplan Medical Centre in Rehovot.
Israel declares ‘next phase of war’
Israel is to immediately step up its strikes in Gaza to increase pressure on Hamas, a military spokesman told a press conference on Saturday.
Israel has also massed tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks along the Gaza border for a widely anticipated ground invasion.
“We have to enter the next phase of the war in the best conditions, not according to what anyone tells us. From today, we are increasing the strikes and minimising the danger,” military spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari told a press conference.
His comments came hours after the first international aid to reach Gaza since October 7 crossed the border from Egypt into the besieged Palestinian territory