Israel-Hamas war latest: Israel tells north Gaza residents to evacuate with ground invasion expected

UniqueThis 65 October 13, 2023

Israel's war with Hamas continues to escalate, with more missiles raining down on the densely-packed Gaza Strip and the death toll on both sides climbing ahead of a widely anticipated Israeli ground offensive in the Palestinian territory. 

Hamas claimed Friday that Israel's strikes killed at least 13 of the scores of Israeli and foreign hostages it seized during its brutal weekend terror attack on southern Israel. President Biden on Friday spoke with the families of 14 Americans who are missing and said earlier this week Americans were among the hostages who were taken by Hamas.

The Israeli military said Friday that troops have carried out "localized raids" in Gaza to hunt down Hamas militants and try to find hostages.

The United Nations said Israel's military told it late Thursday that everyone in northern Gaza, an estimated 1.1 million people, should evacuate to the south of the enclave within 24 hours, raising expectations an Israeli invasion was imminent. 

A U.N. spokesperson told CBS News the world body "considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences," but Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan dismissed the U.N.'s response "to Israel's early warning" as "shameful" and said it ignored the brutality of the attack on Israel.

Israel's military said Hamas' attack and ongoing rocket fire had killed more than 1,300 people and left at least 3200 wounded as of Friday. At least 27 Americans are known to be among the dead. In Gaza, the Health Ministry said Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 1,900 people, including 614 children, and left more than 7,696 others wounded.  

 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — the first Jewish Senate majority leader and the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the U.S. — is leading a bipartisan delegation of senators to Israel this weekend to express support for the country amid its week-old war against Hamas.

He told The Associated Press in an interview that he wants to make clear that the United States stands with Israel, and also show bipartisan support.

"To have a bipartisan delegation, led by the majority leader saying strongly and unequivocally we're with Israel is going to make a big difference to Israelis," Schumer said.

Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Mitt Romney of Utah and Democratic Sens. Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Mark Kelly of Arizona will also be on the trip.

Schumer also plans to discuss with high-level officials what kind of support Israel needs for both military and humanitarian operations. Those conversations will inform the White House request to Congress and what the Senate does after he returns, Schumer said, and how quickly he moves to try and pass new spending.

While negotiations are ongoing, Schumer said, he expects any package should include aid for Israel and Ukraine, along with possible aid for Taiwan as it faces threats from Beijing and money for the U.S. border.

Schumer said that his trip to Israel is deeply important to him not only because of his standing as the top Jewish U.S. elected official but also because of his own heritage. His great-grandmother and several of her children were killed by Nazis in Europe.

"This has deep resonance to people," Schumer said. "Because we have not seen anything as vicious and nasty as this since the Nazis."

Schumer is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and senior opposition figure Benny Gantz, who is part of a newly formed wartime cabinet in Israel.

Two other high-ranking officials, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, have visited in recent days.

 

In a briefing early Saturday morning, an Israeli military spokesperson hinted that Israeli soldiers are preparing for a possible ground incursion into Gaza.

"Around the Gaza Strip, as have been for many days, are Israeli reserve soldiers in formation, that are getting ready for the next stage of operations," Israel Defense Forces international spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a video. "They are all around the Gaza Strip. In the south, in the center, and in the north. And they are preparing themselves for whatever target they will get, whatever task."

Israeli defense officials said Friday that ground forces have launched raids into Gaza for the first time since the Hamas invasion, hunting for militants and the more than 120 hostages they are holding.    

Earlier this week, Israel said that it had deployed about 300,000 soldiers to the border with Gaza. Israel late Thursday and early Friday issued evacuation orders to the approximately 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza, warning them to leave evacuate south, with tens of thousands appearing to heed that call.

That order, however, prompted criticism from the United Nations, which said it was "impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences."

"We advertised our intentions in advance, not because it has any military logic, it doesn't," Conricus said Saturday. "Because we want civilians not to be affected by the war … We are not trying to kill or injure any civilians, we are fighting against Hamas."

He said there has been "a significant movement of Palestinian civilians towards the south," since the order was issued.

Since the Hamas invasion, Israel has issued a complete blockade on Gaza, with no food, water, gas, medicine or electricity allowed in, putting the region on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. 

At least 423,000 Palestinians have been displaced since the conflict began Oct. 7, the U.N. reported Friday. 

 

After strongly criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel which left at least 1,300 dead in Israel — and calling the militant group Hezbollah "very smart" — former President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to walk back those initial comments which drew widespread condemnation.

At a political rally on Wednesday, Trump said Netanyahu "let us down" before the U.S. killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in 2020, and said Israeli leaders need to "step up their game." 

The former president said of Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese militia designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department, "You know, Hezbollah is very smart," amid Israel's concerns that Hezbollah could open another front in the war from the north. In an interview Thursday, Trump said Netanyahu was "not prepared" for last weekend's surprise assault by Hamas.  

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley were among those who condemned the GOP presidential frontrunner's comments.

Following the extensive criticism, Trump wrote in  a post Friday to his Truth Social platform that he stands with Israel and Netanyahu, according to the Associated Press.

Read the full story here. 

 

A New York City councilwoman was arrested Friday, accused of bringing a gun to a pro-Palestine rally.

Inna Vernikov, a 39-year-old Republican councilmember from southern Brooklyn, was arrested for bringing a handgun to a dual-rally of students outside Brooklyn College, which included pro-Palestinians on one side and pro-Israelis on the other, CBS New York reports.

"I'm here today to support the Jewish students that are in school today," she told reporters hours prior to her arrest.

While observing the pro-Palestinian rally, a gun was seen tucked into her waistband, the New York City Police Department reported.

She left the protest, but after photos of the gun were circulated on social media, she was contacted by police and eventually surrendered at a police station. She was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm, police said.

She also surrendered her gun and permit.

While Vernikov is a licensed gun owner, it is against the law to openly carry in New York City, according to CBS New York. 

"New York's gun safety laws apply to everyone," Gov. Kathy Hochul posted on social media in response to the arrest.

"No one is above the law," a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Eric Adams added.

Read CBS New York's full story here. 

 

The Israeli military said Friday that it was in communication with the families of 120 hostages who are being held by Hamas militants in Gaza, an Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson said in a post on social media.

Yohanan Plesner, a former Israeli commando, described the challenge faced by the IDF in finding and rescuing the hostages. "Hamas has underground tunnels and basements," Plesner explained to CBS News foreign correspondent Holly Williams. "But they sure know how to torture and hide people. And they have so many of them. So it will be extremely difficult."

Disturbing Hamas propaganda video appears to show militants mistreating captives.

For relatives of those taken, it's unbearable. Hamas claims 13 hostages held in Gaza have already been killed in Israeli airstrikes, something CBS News was unable to verify.

Gershon Baskin, an Israeli hostage negotiator who in 2011 dealt with Hamas directly to help secure the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, says that Hamas will not negotiate this time. According to Baskin, only Israel's military can free the hostages. 

"They're going to go in, in a military ground operation, to find and rescue the hostages as much as possible," Baskin said. "No doubt many hostages will be killed. But all their captors will be killed, from the top of the leadership, to the accountant of Hamas."

Israel has deployed about 300,000 soldiers to the Gaza border ahead of what could be a ground incursion into the territory. It has also ordered more than one million northern Gaza residents to evacuate to the south.

Baskin said he believes the hostages are not being held in a single location, but are being spread out across the Gaza Strip.

Watch the full story in the video below

Israel faces grim task in trying to find, rescue hostages from Gaza 02:15
 

Israeli defense officials said Friday that ground forces have launched raids into Gaza for the first time since the Hamas invasion, hunting for militants and more than 100 hostages they are holding.

Officials said the incursion involved tanks and infantry soldiers, searching and collecting evidence that would assist in locating the missing.

Ashkelon rocket fire
This aerial view shows a house hit by a rocket fired sent from the Gaza Strip into the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Oct. 13, 2023.  Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

The fighting has been fierce, and despite the relentless airstrikes by Israel on Gaza, Hamas unleashed its own retaliation Friday, firing more than 150 rockets on the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.

CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata and his crew witnessed the barrage of rockets on Ashkelon firsthand, hearing the air raid sirens before having only seconds to take cover before impact.

Further south, around a mile from the border with Gaza, CBS News found the fighting wasn't just concentrated on city centers, but on highways too, with remnants of Hamas fighters behind the Oct. 7 massacres still at large.

Israeli soldiers showed CBS News a bullet-riddled car of a suspected terrorist who was shot dead while he was racing in the direction of Gaza.

Nearby, and also pointing in the direction of Gaza, was a mass of Israeli firepower and military hardware, with row upon row of personnel carriers, reinforced diggers and troops, preparing for a possible ground incursion.

Watch the full story in the video below. 

Israeli military launches raids into Gaza 02:29
 

The uncle of twin babies who miraculously survived alone after their parents were slain by Hamas militants in southern Israeli described Friday the agonizing hours of not being able to reach the infants.  

"We woke up to literally hell," said Dvir Rosenfeld, who lived in the Kfar Aza kibbutz, the site of one of the deadliest scenes, when Hamas gunmen invaded southern Israel from Gaza in the early morning hours of Oct. 7.

Rosenfeld hid with his wife and child in a shelter. But his sister, Hadar Berdichevsky, was murdered.

Berdichevsky's body was found in the kitchen of their apartment, and her husband, Itay, was found dead in the bedroom.

"I know that Itay died trying to protect them," Rosenfeld told "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell. "And I can't imagine what he been through knowing his wife just got murdered, and his two sons are next to him, and he's the only thing between the terrorists and the babies."

The twins, less than a year old, were alone for 14 hours before they were rescued by Israeli military secret agents.

Read the full story here and watch the video below.  

Israeli couple who were killed protecting their twin babies "were heroes," family says 03:54
 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone call on Friday with his counterpart at the Vatican, Holy See Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin, to discuss the situation in Israel and Gaza.

"The Secretary and Cardinal discussed shared concerns over Hamas' horrific terrorist attacks against Israel and the need to help protect the most vulnerable," a State Department spokesperson said in a news release. "The Secretary thanked Cardinal Parolin for the Pope's strong statement in support of Israel, affirming Israel's right to self-defense and calling for the release of hostages." 

Speaking in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday, Pope Francis asked "that the hostages be immediately released."

He also added that "it is the right of those who are attacked to defend themselves, but I am very worried by the total siege in which Palestinians live in Gaza, where there have also been many innocent victims." 

 
 

A 21-year-old from Long Island is feared to be abducted by Hamas and held in the Gaza Strip, his family told CBS New York on Friday. 

Omer Neutra was born and raised in Plainview, New York, to Israeli parents. After graduating from high school, he decided to take a gap year in Israel and stayed for military service. He was on a small military base on the morning of Oct. 7 when Hamas terrorists attacked Israel. 

His parents said they believe their Knicks-loving son is still alive. His mother, Orna, sent her son a message saying, "Omer, we know you are alive. We know you are whole. Be strong."

Long Island rallies around Omer Neutra, Israeli soldier feared held hostage by Hamas 02:11

Israel's Government Press Office said on Sunday that Hamas took more than 100 people hostage. The White House believes a number of Americans are among those being held hostage by Hamas, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist group.  National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said he could not confirm the precise number of U.S. citizens who are hostages.

Read the story on CBS New York.

 

The first charter flight from Israel carrying U.S. citizens has landed in Athens, Greece. More than 100 passengers were on the first flight, a U.S. official told CBS News.  

On Thursday the U.S. government announced that they will start arranging charter flights and passage on ships for U.S. citizens who haven't been able to find a way out of Israel. Charter flights will leave from Tel Aviv to Athens or Frankfurt, Germany. 

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the government provided charter flights for "additional options and capacity." 

Flights will be available until at least Oct. 19, a U.S. official said. 

"We'll continue to do flights as long as there is demand from American citizens looking for assistance departing Israel," a U.S. official told CBS News.

More than 20,000 people have contacted the U.S. State Department through their online form or phone seeking information about evacuation. 

Reporting contributed by Alex Sundby

 

President Biden again stated the United States' support for Israel in remarks in Philadelphia Friday, but he also warned that the country "can't lose sight" of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Gaza Strip. 

"We're making sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself and respond to these attacks," said Mr. Biden. "It's also a priority for me to urgently address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza." 

Mr. Biden said that he had directed teams to communicate directly with governments in the Middle East and "surge support" and humanitarian resources. 

Mr. Biden drew a line between civilians and members of Hamas, describing Hamas as a "pure evil" that "make Al-Qaeda look pure." Secretary of State Antony Blinken compared Hamas to ISIS in recent remarks. 

"We can't lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians have nothing to do with Hamas, and Hamas' appalling attacks, and they're suffering as a result as well," said Mr. Biden. 

 

Several journalists from the BBC were dragged from their car, searched and pushed against a wall by Israeli police in Tel Aviv, the broadcaster said Friday. 

The BBC said the journalists were driving to a hotel when their car was intercepted. Their vehicle was marked "TV" in red tape. Reporters Muhannad Tutunji and Haitham Abudiab said they identified themselves as journalists and showed police their press ID cards. Tutunji said he tried to film the incident, but his phone was thrown on the ground and he was hit on the neck. 

"One of our BBC News Arabic teams deployed in Tel Aviv, in a vehicle clearly marked as media, was stopped and assaulted last night by Israeli police," a BBC spokesperson said. "Journalists must be able to report on the conflict in Israel-Gaza freely."

Earlier Friday, a journalist for Reuters was killed in Lebanon when an Israeli shell hit a group of international journalists. Several other reporters were injured.

 

A graphic created by the Associated Press shows the evacuation zone Israel has ordered in the Gaza Strip. The zone covers a sizable chunk of the Palestinian territory.

Israel has told residents of northern Gaza to flee to the territory's southern half, which borders both Israel and Egypt. Palestinians have since begun a mass exodus, the Associated Press reported.

Israel warns 1.1M people in north of Gaza to relocate in south
Omar Zaghloul/Anadolu via Getty Images

Gaza is one of the most densely populated places in the world. More than 1 million people live in the northern part of the territory, and another 1.2 million in the south. The United Nations warned the migration of so many people cannot "take place without devastating humanitarian consequences." 

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Israel in a televised address Friday night, after the beginning of the Jewish sabbath. 

"We are striking our enemies with unprecedented might," Netanyahu said. "I emphasize that this is only the beginning." 

"We will end this war stronger than ever," Netanyahu continued. "We will destroy Hamas." 

Netanyahu did not elaborate on what further actions the country might take as it retaliates against Hamas for its brutal attack on Israelis last Saturday. 

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed reporting. 

 

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international medical organization also known as Doctors Without Borders, says Israel gave Al Awda Hospital in Gaza two hours to evacuate.

"We unequivocally condemn this action, the continued indiscriminate bloodshed and attacks on health care in Gaza," it said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

The organization said it is trying to protect its staff and patients, and that its staff on Friday evening local time was still treating patients. 

🔴BREAKING: Israel has given Al Awda Hospital just two hours to evacuate. Our staff are still treating patients.We unequivocally condemn this action, the continued indiscriminate bloodshed and attacks on health care in Gaza.

We are trying to protect our staff and patients.

— MSF International (@MSF) October 13, 2023
 

President Biden on Friday spoke for over an hour with families of Americans who are missing following Hamas' attack on Israel, according to the White House and a source familiar with the conference call. 

The president, joined by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, Undersecretary of State John Bass, and National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk, spoke with families of 14 Americans still unaccounted for after Hamas attacked Israel, the White House said. 

The U.S. believes Americans are among the scores of hostages being held by Hamas, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist group.

After speaking with the families, Mr. Biden said, "They're going through agony not knowing what the status of their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, children, are. You know, it's gut-wrenching. I assured them of my personal commitment to do everything possible to return every missing American to their families. We're working around the clock to secure the release of Americans held by Hamas, in close cooperation with Israel and our partners around the region. We're not going to stop until we bring them home."

Mr. Biden sat down earlier with with CBS News' Scott Pelley, in an interview for 60 Minutes, and spoke about his plans for the call.

Pres. Biden plans to meet virtually with families of American hostages 00:26

"I think they have to know that the president of the United States of America cares deeply about what's happened to them — deeply," Mr. Biden said. "We have to communicate to the world this is critical. This is not even human behavior. It's pure barbarism. And we're going to do everything in our power to get them home if we can find them." 

Watch President Biden's interview with Scott Pelley this Sunday on 60 Minutes

 

Tens of thousands of Muslims demonstrated Friday across the Middle East in support of the Palestinians and to protest against the Israeli airstrikes pounding the Gaza Strip, underscoring the risk of a wider regional conflict erupting as Israel prepares for a possible ground invasion there.

From Amman, Jordan, to Yemen's capital, Muslims poured out onto the streets after weekly Friday prayers. At Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Israeli police had been permitting only older men, women and children to the sprawling hilltop compound for prayers, trying to prevent the potential for demonstration as tens of thousands attend on a typical Friday.

Read the full story here.

 

An Israeli shell hit a group of international journalists covering clashes on the border in south Lebanon Friday, killing one Reuters journalist and leaving six other people injured. 

"We are deeply saddened to learn that our videographer, Issam Abdallah, has been killed. Issam was part of a Reuters crew in southern Lebanon who was providing a live signal. We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region, and supporting Issam's family and colleagues." 

Reuters confirmed that two of its other journalists, Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh, also sustained injuries.  

Images posted on social media from the scene showed a charred car.

Qatar's Al-Jazeera TV said two of its employees, Elie Brakhya and reporter Carmen Joukhadar, were among the wounded. 

The shelling occurred during an exchange of fire along the Lebanon-Israel border between Israeli troops and members of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group.

The Lebanon-Israel border has been witnessing sporadic acts of violence since Saturday's attack by the militant Palestinian group Hamas on southern Israel. 

Journalists from around the world have been coming to Lebanon out of concern that war might break out between Hezbollah and Israel.  

On Friday afternoon, President Joe Biden commented on the incident. 

"Our heartfelt prayers are with their families," Mr. Biden said, adding that he was hoping for the injured reporters' "full and swift recovery." 

Reporting from CBS News and The Associated Press.

 

The Israeli military said Friday that troops had entered the Gaza Strip to hunt down Hamas militants and try to find dozens of hostages taken by the Palestinian faction as it launched a terror attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson did not say how many forces had entered the small, densely-packed Palestinian territory, where Israel is widely expected to launch a full ground invasion in the coming days or even hours.

"Over the past 24 hours, IDF forces carried out localized raids inside the territory of the Gaza Strip to complete the effort to cleanse the area of terrorists and weaponry," a statement from Israel's army said. "During these operations, there was also an effort to locate missing persons."

Israel's government telecommunications minister said Friday that all internet service would be cut off in Gaza from Saturday.

 

Two dozen Israeli human rights groups, including B'Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights, put out a joint statement Friday calling for the "end to all indiscriminate harming of civilian lives and infrastructure" in Israel and Gaza.

The statement said the groups "are shocked and horrified in these dreadful days" and that "it will take time to fully understand the implication and consequences of Hamas' heinous attack, for which there can be no justification."

They then called for an end to the "bombardment" impacting civilians in Israel and Gaza.

"Even now, and especially now, we must maintain our moral and humane position and refuse to give in to despair or the urge for vengeance," the statement said.

"It remains our duty in these terrible times – as we count our dead on the Israeli side and worry about wounded, missing, and abducted loved ones, and as bombs are being dropped on residential neighborhoods in Gaza wiping out entire families with no possibility of the burying the dead – to raise our voices loud and clear against the harming of all innocent civilians, both in Israel and Gaza."

The groups called for the release of the hostages being held by Hamas, and said "humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach" civilian populations and medical facilities and that "places of refuge must not be harmed." 

"The killing of additional civilians will not bring back those who were lost," the organizations said.

 

"Can you imagine that I lived my whole life here in Gaza and I can't recognize the streets right now?" Plestia Alaqad, a young journalist from Gaza, said in a video posted on her Instagram account.

Alaqad has been documenting the situation on the ground in the enclave of more than 2 million people for days. International journalists have not been able to enter the Palestinian territory since Israel imposed a complete blockade in the wake of its Hamas rulers' terror attack on southern Israel.

"Today has been one of the hardest days for me personally," Alaqad said Friday, the seventh consecutive day of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. "Seeing kids injured and martyred… Seeing kids screaming and crying out of fear, because of pain or because they don't know anything about their parents… Seeing pain and fear inside of people's eyes.. It's too much to handle.. I'm trying to hold up as much as I can, but literally my heart and brain can't understand or process what's happening." 

She said she was running between buildings and spending a lot of time at a hospital, because it was one of the only places she could access the internet. She said there was no electricity or water.

"I tried to evacuate and go to where my parents are, but I couldn't find a car or a taxi and I need to like walk for an hour or more in which I don't have energy and my back hurts a lot from wearing the press vest which I'm sure it doesn't protect from anything, but at least it makes me feel that I did what I'm supposed to do to protect myself."

In one post on Friday, Alaqad said she was "glad I was able to share part of the truth or part of what's happening with the world… There's still time before the night comes — I'll see if I'll have any options and keep you updated."

 

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Friday that while the Biden administration "understands what they're trying to do here," the Israeli government's call for the roughly 1 million Palestinians in the northern half of the Gaza Strip to evacuate to the south of the enclave was "a tall order."

"They're trying to make the case that they don't want to cause additional civilian casualties," Kirby said in an interview with MSNBC, noting that Gaza's Hamas rulers had conversely "put out an order for people to stay in their homes," which he said was effectively telling civilians to make themselves "human shields."

"We also want to see that there are opportunities, safe passage out of Gaza, writ large - that people have the ability to leave Gaza, and that's not the case right now, so we're continuing to work with the Israelis and the Egyptians," he said. Egypt controls the only exit from the southern Gaza Strip, the Rafah crossing, and says it has been impassable due to Israeli airstrikes.

He acknowledged that getting the 1.1 million who live in northern Gaza, according to the United Nations, south of the Israeli-designated half-way point of the Gaza Wadi wetlands "is gonna be a tall order, given how densely populated it is, given that it's a scene of combat, that there are bombs falling and strikes happening. That is a lot of people to move in a very short period of time."

 

The death toll in the Gaza Strip after six days of Israeli airstrikes carried out in response to Saturday's brutal attack by Gaza's Hamas rulers rose to 1,799 on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory. 

The ministry said the death toll included 583 children and 352 women, and that 7,388 more people were wounded.

 

Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pledged her country's solidarity during a visit to Israel on Friday. She criticized the brutal terror attack carried out by the Hamas on southern Israel and called on the Palestinian faction to release all of the hostages it has seized. 

"In these terrible days, we stand by your side and feel with you," Baerbock said alongside her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen. "In these days we are all Israelis." 

Baerbock joined Cohen in Netivot, near the border with the Gaza Strip.

Never Again!

I visited today the city of Netivot together with the German Foreign Minister @ABaerbock. She came for a solidarity visit and was exposed to the atrocities of Hamas. She expressed support for Israel and its right to defend itself.

The crime committed by Hamas last… pic.twitter.com/X3wzbCyk3r

— אלי כהן | Eli Cohen (@elicoh1) October 13, 2023
 

The World Health Organization says the forced evacuation of severely ill or badly injured people from hospitals in northern Gaza would amount to a "death sentence" for some.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told a U.N. briefing in Geneva on Friday that the two major hospitals in northern Gaza have already exceeded their combined 760-bed capacity, and warned of a shortage of blood in hospital blood banks across Gaza. Furthermore, several medications are in short supply, including for diabetes, seizures and asthma, as well as painkillers and dialysis solution.

In general, "hospital corridors are overflowing. Dead bodies are piling up as there is no more space in morgues," he said.

Jasarevic said some patients - many of whom are children - were on life support systems like mechanical ventilators, "so moving those people is a death sentence. Asking health workers to do so is beyond cruel."

 

Top Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari denied that the Israel Defense Forces airstrikes had killed hostages held by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

"We have our own information and do not believe the lies of Hamas," Hagari told the Al Jazeera Arabic television network, referring to a claim issued by Hamas earlier in the day that 13 hostages held by the group had been killed by the strikes. 

Gaza Comes Under Sustained Bombardment By Israel After Hamas Attacks
Palestinians displaced from their homes as a result of Israeli airstrikes are seen in Gaza City, Oct. 13, 2023. Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty

Hagari also denied that Israel has targeted civilian infrastructure, reiterating long-standing Israeli accusations that Hamas uses hospitals and United Nations-run facilities including schools, as command centers and weapons depots via a vast network of tunnels in Gaza.

He renewed Israel's call for Palestinians to flee from the northern portion of Gaza, which includes the densely-packed Gaza City, to the southern half of the Palestinian territory, across the Wadi Gaza wetlands area.

"We will follow your movement. We are not targeting you when you head towards the south," he said, addressing Gaza residents. "We know that Hamas is obstructing the roads to the south." 

Gaza Comes Under Sustained Bombardment By Israel After Hamas Attacks
Palestinians displaced from their homes as a result of Israeli airstrikes are seen in Gaza City, Oct. 13, 2023. Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty

Israel's airstrikes and six-day blockade of the Gaza Strip have made the notion of a mass-exodus of the roughly 1 million people in the northern half of the region "impossible," according to the United Nations, "without devastating humanitarian consequences."

Reporting by CBS News and The Associated Press

 

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told him the terror attack by Hamas militants on Israel are "worse than what I saw with ISIS." 

"As you know, I was the guy who initially put the ISIS campaign together, and this is worse than what I saw with ISIS," the U.S. defense chief said. "We do stand with you, Mr. Prime Minister," he assured Netanyahu. 

"Just as the entire civilized world united to fight ISIS, the entire civilized world has to unite to help us fight Hamas, and I know that you stand with us," Netanyahu responded.  

WATCH: U.S. @SecDef Lloyd Austin meets @IsraeliPM Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military base. pic.twitter.com/pQuMcGScFa

— U.S. Embassy Jerusalem (@usembassyjlm) October 13, 2023

The meeting took place at Israel's Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, the central command for the Israel Defense Forces. 

 

Israeli military aircraft dropped thousands of leaflets on the northern Gaza Strip Friday warning residents in the Palestinian territory  to evacuate to its southern half. The U.N. has said that trying to evacuate the roughly 1.1 million people who live in the area would be impossible "without devastating humanitarian consequences."

 The airstrikes have left many of Gaza's roads impassable and Israel has imposed a complete blockade of the region, leaving the territory starved of water, food and fuel.

"Don't return to your homes until further notice from the Israel Defense Forces," the leaflets warned Palestinians who have few options for escape, adding that "all known and public shelters in Gaza City must be evacuated." The leaflets warned that anyone in Gaza who approached the security fence separating it from Israel risked being killed.

"Every morning we wake up to killings and death," Gaza resident Mohamed Abu Ali said Friday. "We don't know where to go. We don't know where is safe."

Israel continues effort to "crush" Hamas 06:38

The northern end of Gaza — a narrow, 25-mile-long strip of land sandwiched between Israel and the Mediterranean sea — is the most densely populated part of the Palestinian territory.

The warning to evacuate from the area came ahead of a widely expected Israeli ground invasion of Gaza, the planning for which has been complicated by Hamas' kidnapping of over 100 people, including some Americans, who are believed to be held at locations across Gaza.

Hamas said Friday morning that 13 of the hostages were killed by Israel's airstrikes over the preceding 24 hours, and it has refused to negotiate over the release of the captives until Israel stops bombing civilians with little or no warning in Gaza.

By Tucker Reals and Imtiaz Tyab.

 

Friday's midday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem — often a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian violence — appeared to have taken place without major incident despite the war raging between Hamas and Israel. 

Only people over the age of 50 were allowed into the mosque to pray, and they came and went without incident amid a heavy Israeli police presence.

Damascus Gate, the main entrance into Jerusalem's Old City from Palestinian East Jerusalem, is often the scene of clashes when tension flares in the region. Today, it remained almost empty.

There were some clashes in the nearby neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz, as Israeli police blocked some Palestinians from approaching the Old City, but no major violence was reported.

 

Social media videos appeared to show unrest inside Jordan on Friday, amid reports of Jordanian authorities firing tear gas at people who were trying to cross the border into the Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

Crisis 24, a risk consultant agency, said there were ongoing demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinian people taking place in various in major Jordanian cities Friday, including the capital Amman, where U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with Jordan's king.   

Jordanian military forces had been deployed along the country's border with the West Bank, Crisis 24 said. 

Israel Political Map
A map shows Israel, with Jerusalem and other major cities labeled, along with the Palestinian territories of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Getty/iStockphoto

Videos posted on social media showed the huge crowds gathered in Amman, waving Palestinian flags.  

The demonstrations come amid ongoing Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, the much smaller Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas, which health officials in the region say have killed at least 1,500 Palestinians since Saturday's brutal attack on Israel by Hamas. More than 1,300 people in Israel have been killed.

Hamas had called on Muslims around the world to protest and attack Israelis and Jews in a "day of rage" on Friday.

 

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has criticized the Israeli military for its ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip, calling the strikes and the blockade of the Palestinian territory a form of "collective punishment." 

"Israel is under threat. They do have a right to defend themselves, but they don't have the right to breach international humanitarian law," Varadkar said in a Thursday interview with Irish state broadcaster RTÉ. 

The Irish leader said Israel faces legitimate threats as nation "surrounded by these brutal, savage, groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, countries like Iran, often supported by Islamic fundamentalists and anti-Semites around the world." 

But he calle