Israel-Hamas Conflict Fallout
At least 199 people are being held hostage by Hamas, the Israeli military said yesterday, an increase from previous estimates of the number of people Hamas captured and brought back to the Gaza Strip after a surprise attack more than a week ago. Observers say the group may seek the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of hostages. See latest updates on the conflict here.
Israel also began evacuating 28 communities within 1.2 miles of its northern border shared with Lebanon, where its military has exchanged fire with Iran-backed Hezbollah; the group claims it destroyed surveillance cameras on Israeli army posts along the Lebanon border. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran and Hezbollah to stay out of its conflict with Hamas. (Hezbollah and Israel went to war in 2006.)
As of this writing, the death toll in Gaza has risen to more than 2,800, with at least 10,500 people injured. The death toll in Israel stands near 1,400 (most of which occurred during Hamas' initial attack), with at least 3,900 people injured. At least 22 hostages have died as a result of airstrikes, Hamas has claimed.
Separately, US officials opened a federal hate crimes investigation into a 71-year-old landlord accused of fatally stabbing a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy outside of Chicago. The attack was reportedly motivated by the Israel-Hamas conflict.
US President Joe Biden is expected to visit Israel tomorrow in a show of support, following US Secretary Antony Blinken's second trip to Israel yesterday since the conflict began.