Israel-Gaza updates: IDF preparing for 'wide range of offensive plans'

Fighting is ongoing after Hamas launched an attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Last Updated: October 17, 2023, 4:16 PM EDT

At least 1,400 people have died and 3,400 others have been injured in Israel after the militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented incursion from air, land and sea on Oct. 7, Israeli authorities said.

In Gaza, 3,000 people have been killed and another 12,500 were injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Tensions are high with the prospect of ground war and evacuation orders for Gaza after the Israel Defense Forces called for "all residents of Gaza City to evacuate their homes" and "move south for their protection" early Friday, saying residents should move "and settle in the area south of the Gaza River." The announcement was made, according to the IDF, because it plans to "operate significantly in Gaza City in the coming days" and wanted "to avoid harming civilians."

Click here for the latest updates.

Oct 16, 2023, 2:47 PM EDT

Timeline: The Hamas attack and response

On the morning of Oct. 7, sirens echoed across Israel as Hamas terrorists began a full-fledged surprise attack from the air, sea and ground. Hundreds of armed Hamas fighters stormed into Israel from Gaza, charging into cities and gunning down citizens.

Friends and family mourn Dor Reder, who was killed following a deadly infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, at his funeral in Beit Kama, southern Israel, Oct. 16, 2023.
Violeta Santos Moura/Reuters

Israeli forces responded by sending wave after wave of bombs into Gaza, killing thousands, trapping civilians and raising fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

Click here for the full timeline

Oct 17, 2023, 4:16 PM EDT

Abbas pulls out of Biden meeting

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine, is pulling out of his Wednesday meeting with President Joe Biden.

"President Mahmoud Abbas decided to return to the homeland tonight, and he called for an emergency leadership meeting tonight," a senior adviser said Tuesday.

Biden is expected to leave the U.S. Tuesday night to head to Israel and Jordan.

-ABC News' Will Gretsky

Oct 17, 2023, 2:24 PM EDT

At least 500 killed in explosion at Gaza hospital: Gaza Health Ministry

At least 500 people have been killed in an explosion at Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the middle of Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The hospital served as a shelter for thousands of residents who fled their homes in northern Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces denied responsibility for the explosion, saying a failed launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad caused the blast.

"From the analysis of the operational systems of the IDF, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital, when it was hit," IDF said.

The World Health Organization condemned the blast and called for "the immediate active protection of civilians and health care" workers.

This hospital "was one of 20 in the north of the Gaza Strip facing evacuation orders from the Israeli military," the WHO said in a statement. "The order for evacuation has been impossible to carry out given the current insecurity, critical condition of many patients, and lack of ambulances, staff, health system bed capacity, and alternative shelter for those displaced."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has declared three days of mourning following the attack.

-ABC News' Will Gretsky

Oct 17, 2023, 1:08 PM EDT

Israeli official: Gaza aid must not go to Hamas

Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said Tuesday that officials plan to create "safe zones" in southern Gaza as the only places where residents can receive humanitarian aid.

Palestinians wait for bread baked on firewood, amid fuel and power shortages in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 16, 2023.
Mohammed Salem/Reuters

The aid would be "on one condition," Hanegbi said in Hebrew. "If this aid does not reach civilians, but goes to murderers, [the safe zones] will simply not exist."

Oct 17, 2023, 12:13 PM EDT

Rafah border crossing endured 4 bombings from Israel, Egypt says

The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza has now endured four bombings from Israel, according to a spokesperson for Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Rafah crossing was shut on Oct. 10 after it was hit by Israeli warplanes on the Palestinian side three times on Oct. 9 and 10.

Egypt has said it will not open its border crossing Rafah unless Israel allows aid to flow into Gaza.
Egypt has said it will not open its border crossing Rafah unless Israel allows aid to flow into Gaza.

"We are in constant contact with all U.N. agencies to extract a safe passage for the relief aid," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told BBC Radio. "There is not yet any sort of authorization for a safe passage from the other side of the crossing.”

Shoukry also called out Israeli leaders who urged Gaza residents to move south, saying, "Israel’s call for displacement to the South is in full contradiction to international humanitarian law, leaving people with no water, electricity or food."

Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble at a site of a house destroyed by Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip Oct. 16, 2023.
Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Related Topics