Israel’s war against Hamas has entered its twenty-seventh day, three weeks after Hamas killed at least 1,300 Israelis and wounded more than 3,300 in a merciless assault. In the Gaza Strip, the Hamas-controlled health ministry reports that more than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are holding hostage more than 242 soldiers and civilians, including foreign nationals.
Israel has moved past “the gates of Gaza City,” according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and fierce fighting has been reported on the ground by both Palestinians and the IDF. Hamas and Hezbollah rocket fire at Israel and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza continue. As calls for a ceasefire or humanitarian pause in Gaza grow louder, Israel’s military chief promised fuel would be allowed into the Strip if hospitals run out.
Israel’s Abraham Accords ally Bahrain has recalled its ambassador and froze economic ties.
Here’s what you need to know 27 days into the war.
■ The United States has been flying surveillance drones over Gaza in search of hostages taken by Hamas when the Palestinian militant group attacked Israel on October 7, two U.S. officials said on Thursday.
■ U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in Israel on Friday, where he will push Israel to adopt humanitarian pauses in order to get further humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and to create a better environment for the potential release of hostages held captive by Hamas.
■ As Israel keeps a tight lid on the location of its ground forces in Gaza, Prime Minister Netanyahu said the military was “already more than at the gates of Gaza City.” IDF Chief of Staff Halevi said that Israel is operating with less than half of the air force’s strength in Gaza, and is ready to attack other fronts if necessary.
■ After Jordan recalled its Israeli envoy on Wednesday, Bahrain’s parliament announced the recall of its ambassador and the freezing of economic ties. This marks the first time an Abraham Accords state has halted relations with Israel.
■ According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. officials believe that the Wagner paramilitary group, who has played a key role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, may provide an anti-aircraft system to Hezbollah as a second front looms on the Israel-Lebanon border.
■ As Hezbollah steps up its social media blitz ahead of Hassan Nasrallah’s speech Friday, an Iranian militia arrived in southern Lebanon and is assisting Hezbollah, according to the IDF.
■ The police have so far identified 828 of the civilians murdered by Hamas on October 7. 331 IDF soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the war, 19 of them since the ground incursion started over the weekend.
■ Hamas rocket barrages targeted northern and southern Israel throughout the day. In northern Israel, a direct rocket hit caused a large fire.
■ The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza reported that more than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed since war broke out.
■ The IDF chief said that Israel will allow the supervised transfer of fuel into the Strip when it runs out in Gaza hospitals. UNRWA said the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship hospital in Gaza City reportedly ran out of fuel and was forced to stop most of its activities, rendering 70 cancer patients at serious risk.
■ The humanitarian situation in Gaza was the subject of talks between the U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and the Saudi defense minister, and U.S. Vice President Harris and the UN Secretary General.
■ Dozens of masked settlers set fire to shops in the Palestinian village of Deir Sharaf in the West Bank on Thursday; two were arrested. Elhanan Klein, from the settlement of Einav, was shot dead by Palestinians Thursday morning while driving home from reserve duty.
■ Israeli forces said they arrested 21 Hamas members in the West Bank on Thursday overnight. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that two Palestinian were killed and four others were seriously wounded by IDF fire in the West Bank. A 14-year-old Palestinian reportedly shot by the IDF in Nablus on Monday died of his wounds.