Day 13, Thursday 19 October (0900 Israel time)
• Rishi Sunak will arrive in Israel
• Israel to allow aid into Gaza from Egypt, with conditions
• Not an Israeli strike: US intelligence and President Biden back Israel’s analysis of Gaza hospital carpark explosion
• Strikes continue in Gaza and the north
“I want the people of Israel, the people of the world, to know where the United States stands… I wanted to come and personally make that clear.” – Joe Biden, speaking in Israel, during a seven hour visit on Wednesday.
Today, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will arrive in Israel for a two day visit. This comes after US President Biden’s visit yesterday and German Chancellor Olaf Sholz’s before that.
Meanwhile, Israel Police, the IDF and ZAKA volunteers have identified the bodies of 732 of those killed since the war with Hamas started on 7th October. This represents over 80% of the civilians murdered (excluding any of those taken hostage who may have been killed already). 607 have been sent for burial. The teams have been working 24 hours a day, including over Shabbat, to identify and bury as many of the dead as possible.
The bodies of Erick Peretz and his daughter Ruth, who had cerebral palsy, were found after the two were brutally murdered. The disabled teenager and her father had been missing since the Nova music was attacked by Hamas and her wheelchair had been found abandoned.
Human remains and bone fragments continued to be uncovered among the ashes and rubble of the massacres, including those of young children and women. Many show signs of having been tortured.
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who famously described Hamas as his “friends”, wrote on X that “Israeli air strikes… hit Al Ahli hospital in Gaza”. The statement remains, even after the debunking of the fake news.
Israeli president Isaac Herzog has condemned the BBC for its "atrocious" refusal to brand Hamas as a terrorist group.
President Biden’s visit to Israel went ahead despite the high level of chaos caused when the Palestinian Islamic Jihad accidentally rocketed a carpark outside a Gaza hospital. As a result of the international media’s adoption of the fake news angle that Israel had bombed the hospital, Biden’s summit in Jordan with the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Egypt, was cancelled.
A senior source in Hamas told Al Jazeera that America had wanted to use the summit to persuade Egypt to take in Palestinians from Gaza. The Egyptians are reluctant to do so out of concern for their own national security.
Speaking in Israel, Biden said the US intelligence backed up Israel’s analysis that the attack on the hospital carpark was carried out by the “other team”.
During his journey back to America, Biden spent thirty minutes on the phone to Egypt’s president, securing a commitment to allow aid to cross into Gaza at the Rafah crossing.
It will not allow any humanitarian aid from Israeli territory to enter the Gaza Strip as long as our the hostages are not returned.
Israel demands the Red Cross visits its abductees, and is working to mobilise extensive international support for that demand.
Israel has agreed not to thwart humanitarian supplies via Egypt, providing they only constitute food, water and medicine for the civilian population located in the southern Gaza Strip or moving there; the supplies must not reach Hamas, and any supplies which do, will be stopped.
The IDF continues to strike in Gaza, saying that during Wednesday it “struck hundreds of Hamas terror structures, including dozens in Shuja'iyya. The structures include anti-tank missile launching posts, terror tunnel shafts, intelligence infrastructure, and additional command centres. Dozens of mortar launchers were also struck, the majority of which were destroyed immediately after launching shells at Israel.”
More than ten terrorists belonging to the ‘Nukbah’ forces who carried out the invasion on 7th October were targeted.
Fighter jets struck Rafat Harb Hussein Abu Hilal, the head of the military branch of the “Popular Resistance Committees” in Rafah.
Hezbollah released footage of its snipers taking out IDF CCTV surveillance cameras along the Israel-Lebanon border (Hamas started its 7th October attack of the south by targeting Israeli surveillance equipment its border with Israel).
The IDF attacked Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in the area between Nakura and Tzur in the south of the country.
There was a large explosion and exchange of fire in the Quneitra area, on the Israel-Syria border. Syrian sources report that the IDF fired artillery at a Hezbollah launch site.