Hamas claims to hold 200-250 hostages, including high-ranking IDF officers and is demanding the release of about 6,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails in return.
Ronen Bar, director of Israel’s domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet, has taken responsibility for the failures that enabled the Hamas attacks that killed more than 1,400 people on October 7 but has said, “There will be time for investigations. Now we fight”.
Around 600,000 people have reportedly evacuated Gaza City, but 100,000 remain. Around 160 trucks carrying humanitarian aid are heading for the Rafah crossing from El Arish in Egypt, although it’s still unclear if or when the border will open.
Iran has warned that a multi-front war against Israel is becoming more likely as the IDF prepares for a ground assault on Gaza, threatening “preemptive actions in the coming hours,” most likely by its proxies in the region, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.