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Hamas releases two US hostages and Egypt Gaza crossing opened for aid trucks


This aerial view shows humanitarian aid trucks arriving from Egypt after having crossed through the Rafah border crossing arriving at a storage facility in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 21, 2023. The first aid trucks arrived in war-torn Gaza from Egypt on October 21, bringing urgent humanitarian relief to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave suffering what the UN chief labelled a "godawful nightmare". Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after the Islamist militant group carried out the deadliest attack in the country's history on October 7. (Photo by Belal Al SABBAGH / AFP) (Photo by BELAL AL SABBAGH/AFP via Getty Images)

Day 16, Sunday 22 October (0900 Israel time)

• Egypt Gaza crossing opened on Saturday for 20 aid trucks
• New details revealed from Israeli interrogation of terrorist
• Israel says over 700,000 people have left northern Gaza
• 2,000 ultra-orthodox volunteer to join the IDF
• 100,000 marched in London anti-Israel rally

Two female hostages with American citizenship were released by Hamas on Friday night. Mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan spoke by phone with President Biden once freed.

20 lorries carrying humanitarian aid, including only water, food and medical supplies, were allowed into the Gaza Strip on Saturday via the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt.

In recent days over 2,000 ultra-orthodox people have applied to enlist and volunteer in the IDF. Recruitment of the volunteers is due to start on Monday.

Over 700,000 people have left the northern part of the Gaza Strip, as instructed by the IDF. A new leaflet drop in the north has warned that those who chose not to evacuate south of Wadi Gaza “may be considered a partner in a terrorist organisation.”

A senior Israeli defence official said on Saturday that there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip: “there is no shortage of water or food or medicine, for the next few weeks,” he said.

The IDF has accumulated footage from the 7th October Hamas terrorists’ body-worn cameras, and will screen it in a secure cinema facility for any press who wish to attend. No recording will be allowed, but the footage will be raw and unedited to document clearly what happened and to counter the many who claim reports have been exaggerated.

Fox News described some details of a newly-leaked video it has seen. The video shows an Israeli interrogator talking with one of the 7th October terrorists. The terrorists used a Telegram group to communicate as their massacre took place, using it to exchange videos of them killing civilians in their homes.

The terrorist reportedly acknowledges that Islam forbids the killing of women, children and elderly people, but that Hamas said they “could do whatever they felt like doing” and that this was a “suicide mission, telling them they should not plan on coming back.” He also says “commanders told them to step on the heads of civilians to behead them and do whatever they felt like,” adding: “we burned, we slaughtered and we beheaded people… we became animals. Things that humans do not do.”


A summit in Cairo on Saturday ended without leaders and foreign ministers agreeing a joint statement. Iran was not invited and the US did not send a top official. Hosted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, it included Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the Emir of Qatar, the leaders of Italy, Spain, Greece and Canada and the foreign ministers of Germany, France the UK, and Japan. The UN Secretary General and the president of the EU attended as did the UAE and Iraq.

In response to the many attacks by pro-Iranian, Shiite militias against American forces in Iraq and Syria, early this morning, the American Defence Minister announced the reinforcement of American forces in the Middle East, including the aircraft carrier Dwight Eisenhower and the strike group associated with it, as well as a wider deployment of air defence systems in the region. Additional forces will be put on standby.

Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, visited Israel yesterday to express her country’s solidarity, as did the President of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulidis. Both met with Binyamin Netanyahu.

In London, police estimate 100,000 people attended an anti-Israel march. A second smaller protest took place nearby, organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, at which the police mobilising “counter terrorism officers with specialist language skills”. Despite calls for jihad at the protest, the police say they did not identify any offences. While many countries have banned the organisation, the UK has not.


Since the beginning of the war, the IDF says it has identified around 550 failed rocket launches from Gaza which fell inside the Strip.

IDF strikes continued overnight in the Gaza Strip. Most were concentrated in southern Gaza, around the "Rio" cafe in Khan Yunis.

Israel continues its preparations for a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. Plans have been approved to expand operational activities and both regular and reserve units are conducting training exercises in the field.


In the early morning, the IDF attacked from the air a tunnel containing a terrorist cell in the Al-Ansar Mosque in the Jenin refugee camp. Thwarting a major planned terrorist attack. Palestinian channels report two people killed.


14 more communities in the north of Israel have been added to the state funded evacuation plan.

Yesterday evening, a rocket was launched toward an Israeli drone in the Lebanon border area. It was intercepted and the aircraft was not damaged. In response, IDF aircraft struck the military compound from which the rocket was launched.

Israeli fighter jets also struck Hezbollah military infrastructure and observation equipment in response to shootings towards Israeli territory.

An IDF soldier severely injured and evacuated to hospital on Saturday, when he was hit by an anti-tank missile from Lebanon, near Bar’am. Two additional soldiers were lightly injured and received medical treatment at the scene.

Since the start of the war, 19 Hezbollah operatives have been killed, six of them on Saturday.

The official Syrian News Agency reported that “around 05:25 the Israeli enemy simultaneously attacked the airports in Damascus and Aleppo. The runways were attacked and both airports are now closed.”

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