GAZA Weekend War Recap: Hamas Continues Attacks as Israel Bombs Gaza

  • American IDF Soldier Celebrates 22nd Birthday Amidst Kidnapping by Hamas

An American serving in the Israeli military marked his 22nd birthday on October 14th while reportedly being held captive by Hamas, as stated by his parents and synagogue. Omer Neutra, originally from Long Island, New York, was identified as one of the IDF soldiers kidnapped by Hamas during the past weekend.

Omer’s mother, Orna Neutra, shared a poignant connection, noting that Omer was born in 2001, shortly after the tragic events of 9/11. He grew up in New York, embodying a unique blend of a thoughtful and jovial personality. However, his parents now find themselves deeply concerned for his well-being as he remains in captivity.

  • UK Prime Minister Confirms Six British Citizens Killed and 10 Missing in Hamas Attacks on Israel

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that at least six British citizens lost their lives, while an additional 10 are still unaccounted for in the aftermath of Hamas’ attacks on Israel. Sunak, delivering the somber news at the House of Commons, expressed the nation’s grief over the tragic loss of British lives.

The United Kingdom is actively collaborating with Israel to ascertain the facts surrounding these casualties, with efforts underway to provide support to the affected families as they endure the pain of these devastating losses.

  • US Embassy in Cairo Tracks Over 250 Americans Seeking Evacuation from Gaza Amid Rafah Border Delays

An internal government memo obtained by CNN revealed that the US Embassy in Cairo is closely monitoring the status of 253 US citizens who, along with 153 associated family members, are urgently seeking evacuation from Gaza through the Rafah border crossing. This update came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s promise to open Rafah, accompanied by the appointment of former Ambassador David Satterfield to aid US relief efforts.

Despite these efforts, the reopening of the Rafah crossing remains uncertain. Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, attributed the continued closure to Israel, emphasizing that the situation at the crossing remains fluid and unpredictable, leaving travelers in limbo.

  • UN Fuel Trucks Enter Gaza Amidst Humanitarian Aid Appeal

A CNN staff member present at the Rafah border crossing observed five UN fuel trucks entering Gaza on Monday afternoon. This marked the first entry of fuel trucks into Gaza since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. The supply of fuel to Gaza required coordination with Israel, and these deliveries aim to alleviate the pressing humanitarian situation in the territory.

Egypt has faced mounting pressure to act, as Gaza continues to be subjected to Israeli airstrikes, resulting in a dire need for essential supplies. The Rafah crossing remains the primary gateway for both evacuating people from the enclave and delivering much-needed aid to its residents. However, the crossing has been frequently closed in the past week, causing supplies to accumulate on the Egyptian side and obstructing the flow of aid to Gaza.

  • Israeli Knesset Briefly Evacuated as Rocket Sirens Sound in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

The Israeli Knesset, the nation’s parliament, was temporarily evacuated due to rocket sirens that sounded in Jerusalem, warning of incoming rocket fire. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced the sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, while two CNN journalists reported hearing sirens and the subsequent loud thuds in both cities.

During the evacuation, lawmakers left the floor and took shelter in a nearby corridor, remaining there for several minutes until receiving the all-clear signal. Rockets in the Tel Aviv area resulted in one woman being wounded, according to Israel’s national blood and medical emergency service, the Magen David Adom.

  • Antony Blinken Returns to Tel Aviv for Meetings with Israeli Officials

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to Tel Aviv for discussions with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and opposition leader Yair Lapid. Earlier on the same day, Blinken held meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem.

Blinken’s discussions included updates on regional engagements and the ongoing situation. During his meeting with Netanyahu, Blinken emphasized the United States’ support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ terrorism. The swift release of hostages held by Hamas was also a topic of discussion during Blinken’s meetings.

  • Gaza’s Rafah Border Crossing Suffers Unrepaired Airstrike Damage

Authorities responsible for the Rafah border crossing, which connects Gaza to Egypt, have been unable to repair the damage inflicted by Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza side. The ongoing damage has contributed to the delay in reopening the Egypt-Gaza border, and concerns regarding further strikes in the vicinity have hindered repair efforts.

In response to the damage, Egyptian authorities have installed cement slabs on their side of the border, following multiple Israeli airstrikes last week. The videos and images depict the debris caused by the strikes on the Palestinian side of the crossing and the installation of cement slabs on the Egyptian side.

The Rafah crossing remains the sole route for supplying Gaza, though it has been largely closed in the past week. As humanitarian supplies accumulate on the Egyptian side, both Gazans and foreign nationals have been unable to cross the border, exacerbating the region’s challenges.

  • Israeli Airstrike Targets House in Rafah, Resulting in Casualties

An Israeli airstrike targeting a multi-story house in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip resulted in at least five casualties, according to the Palestinian interior ministry. The ministry reported that the strike occurred without prior warning from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).