Israel increased airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and sealed it off from food, fuel, and other supplies in retaliation for a bloody incursion by Hamas militants, as the war’s death toll rose to nearly 1,600 on both sides. Hamas also escalated on Monday, pledging to kill captured Israelis if attacks targeted civilians without warnings. In the war’s third day, Israel was still finding bodies from Hamas’ stunning weekend attack into southern Israeli towns. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to destroy the militants’ “military and governing capabilities.”
Most Israelis thought it was an ironclad social contract. Citizens would serve in the military and live along enemy borders. In exchange, the army would defend them. That contract was shattered Saturday when hundreds of Hamas militants breached Israel’s defenses from the Gaza Strip, pouring in by air, land and sea on a rampage that would leave hundreds dead. The infiltration caught Israel’s storied high-tech army unaware and stunned a country that prides itself on military prowess. Further shocking Israelis was how long it took the military to respond. As thousands in southern Israel found themselves besieged, their cries for help went unanswered for hours. Those missing relatives couldn't get information. It took more than a day for contact centers to come together.
An independent inquiry has opened in the U.K. to examine claims that British special forces murdered dozens of Afghan men during counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan a decade ago. It will also look into allegations that authorities subsequently covered up the alleged illegal activity. The inquiry opened at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Monday. It focuses on alleged unlawful killings that took place during night raids carried out by elite military units in the war-torn nation between 2010 and 2013. Families of those killed which included children say they were innocent and unarmed civilians and called on the inquiry to unearth the truth.
Israel’s intelligence agencies have gained an aura of invincibility over the decades because of a string of intelligence achievements against its enemies both near and far. But after Hamas militants streamed into Israel and killed hundreds in an unprecedented attack, catching Israel off guard on a major Jewish holiday, that reputation has been cast into doubt. The attack has raised questions about the country’s readiness in the face of a weaker but determined foe. The apparent lack of prior knowledge of Hamas’ plot will likely be seen as a prime culprit in the chain of events that led to the deadliest attack against Israelis in decades.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says he's ordered the Ford carrier strike group to sail to the Eastern Mediterranean to be ready to assist Israel after the surprise attack by Hamas that has left more than 1,000 dead and thousands wounded on both sides. Meantime, a U.S. official says preliminary reports indicate that at least four American citizens were killed in the attacks and an additional seven were missing and unaccounted for. The USS Gerald R. Ford and its approximately 5,000 sailors and deck of warplanes will be accompanied by cruisers and destroyers in a show of force that is meant to be ready to respond to anything, from possibly interdicting additional weapons from reaching Hamas and conducting surveillance.
The Israeli government has formally declared war and given the green light for “significant military steps” to retaliate against Hamas for its surprise attack from the Gaza Strip. The declaration on Sunday portended greater fighting ahead as the toll from the conflict passed 1,100 dead and thousands wounded on both sides. More than 24 hours after Hamas launched its unprecedented incursion out of Gaza, Israeli forces were still trying to crush the last groups of militant fighters holed up in several towns of southern Israel. At least 700 people have reportedly been killed in Israel. More than 400 have been killed in Gaza.
Nasser Abu Quta lost 19 members of his family in an instant when an Israeli airstrike blew up his home in a crowded refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. The bombardment followed a big, multi-front attack by Hamas militants on Saturday that so far has killed over 700 people in Israel. Abu Quta doesn’t understand why Israel struck his house. He insists there were no militants in his building. The Israeli military has not responded to a request for comment about the strike. The army says that it conducts precision strikes aimed at militant commanders or sites and that it doesn't target civilians. But human rights groups say they have identified a pattern of attacks on residential buildings.
The capture of dozens of Israeli soldiers and civilians by Hamas militants has stirred Israeli emotions more viscerally than any crisis in the country’s recent memory. It has also presented an impossible dilemma for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government. The Islamic militant group’s 2006 kidnapping of a sole young conscript, Gilad Shalit, consumed Israeli society for years, prompted Israel to bombard the Gaza Strip and release over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit’s freedom. This time, Gaza’s Hamas rulers have seized dozens of Israeli civilians and soldiers as part of a multipronged, shock attack.
The U.S. Marines say men and women are now fully integrated in boot camp. But from watching the training at Parris Island in South Carolina for several days, it's not that clear-cut. While male and female recruits are now in the same companies, the smaller platoons remain segregated by gender. Brig. Gen. Walker Field heads the recruit depot. He insists that keeping the platoons segregated is key to the way the Corps makes Marines, by taking individuals, breaking them down and building them back up as team members. Some female officers are also strong advocates of the continued segregation. Lt. Col. Aixa Dones says keeping men and women in separate platoons helps them stay focused.
Today in History Today is Saturday, Oct. 7, the 280th day of 2023. There are 85 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Oct. 7, 1991, University of Oklahoma law professor Anita…
A former U.S. Army intelligence officer has been charged with attempting to provide classified information to China's security services. Authorities say some of that information was listed on a Microsoft Word document titled “Important Information to Share with Chinese Government.” The Justice Department says authorities on Friday arrested former Sgt. Joseph Daniel Schmidt, 29, at San Francisco International Airport as he arrived from Hong Kong, where he had been living since March 2020. A federal grand jury in Seattle returned an indictment Wednesday charging him with retention and attempted delivery of national defense information. An attorney who represented Schmidt at a brief appearance at U.S. District Court in San Francisco did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
New clashes have broken out in northern Mali between military soldiers and separatist rebels. Both sides claimed late Friday to control the town of Anefis which is located south of the town of Kidal. The rebels who want to establish an independent state called Azawad claimed to have shot down an aircraft and a half-dozen drones belonging to Russian private military contractor Wagner. But the military claimed to have enacted heavy losses during the fighting. The armed groups had signed a 2015 peace agreement that allowed them to be integrated into the national military. But a letter signed by Mali's chief of staff is now raising concerns that some of those men have deserted and “joined the ranks of the terrorists.”
An aid group says heavy artillery fire killed at least 11 people and wounded 90 in a major city in conflict-torn Sudan. Doctors Without Borders said the attack took place in the city of Omdurman, just next to the capital of Khartoum, on Thursday but did not say which of the country’s warring parties was responsible. It said that children were among the dead. The group, also known by its French acronym MSF, says the wounded are being treated at Al Nao hospital in Omdurman. It's one of several facilities where the medical group operates. Sudan has been rocked since mid-April by fighting between the country’s military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
Turkish warplanes have carried out airstrikes on sites believed to be used by U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. The strikes late on Thursday came after the U.S. military shot down an armed Turkish drone that came within 500 meters of American troops in Syria. Turkey said its jets targeted some 30 sites, destroying caves, bunkers, shelters and warehouses. Turkey has been carrying out strikes on Kurdish targets in Iraq and Syria following a suicide attack outside the Interior Ministry building earlier this week. The attack was claimed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a designated terrorist group. The Pentagon said the Turkish drone bombed targets near the U.S. troops, forcing them to go to bunkers for safety.