Israel-Gaza live updates: Three Hamas deputy commanders killed: IDF

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(NEW YORK) — Thousands of people have died and thousands more have been injured since the militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel retaliated with a bombing campaign and total siege of the neighboring Gaza Strip, leaving the region on the verge of all-out war.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Oct 24, 6:52 AM EDT
‘Through hell,’ released Hamas hostage says of days in captivity

After Yocheved Lifschitz, 85, was taken hostage by Hamas militants, she was brought into a “huge network” of underground tunnels, which she described on Tuesday as being “like a spider’s web.”

“I’ve been through hell,” Lifschitz told gathered reporters in the lobby of the Tel Aviv hospital where she’s being treated.

As Lifschitz spoke in Hebrew, her daughter translated her words into English.

The 85-year-old had been taken by motorcycle on Oct. 7, carried away through fields while her captors struck her with sticks and removed her watch and jewellery, she said. She was made to walk a few kilometers to the entrance of one of the many tunnels Hamas has built under Gaza.

She said she was kept during her captivity in a “clean” location, where doctors visited every few days. Medicine was available, she said.

She slept on a mattress on one of the tunnel’s floors. She ate white cheese, cucumbers and pita bread, she said.

Oct 24, 1:06 AM EDT
Three Hamas deputy commanders killed: IDF

The Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday morning that three Hamas deputy commanders were killed Monday night.

“During the night, IDF aircraft also attacked operational headquarters used by operatives of the terrorist organization Hamas and assembly points of the terrorist organization located inside mosques,” the IDF said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

The deputy commander of the Nusirat battalion, the deputy commander of the Shati battalion and the deputy commander of the Alfurkan battalion of Hamas were killed, the IDF said in the post.

Oct 23, 10:27 PM EDT
Biden speaks with Netanyahu about hostages’ release, humanitarian assistance for Gaza

President Joe Biden spoke with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday afternoon, once again addressing his commitment to efforts to “secure the release of all remaining hostages taken by Hamas – including Americans – and to provide for safe passage for U.S. citizens and other civilians in Gaza,” according to a White House readout of the call. Biden welcomed the news of the two hostages who were released earlier on Monday, per the readout.

During the call, Biden also “underscored the need to sustain a continuous flow of urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza,” according to the readout.

Biden also spoke with Netanyahu about U.S. support for Israel and what the White House said was “ongoing efforts at regional deterrence, to include new U.S. military deployments.”

Oct 23, 6:06 PM EDT
Kirby warns of uptick in Iran-linked attacks

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday that in recent days there had been “an uptick in rocket and drone attacks by Iranian-backed proxy groups against military bases housing U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria.”

“We know Iran continues to support Hamas and Hezbollah, and we know Iran is closely monitoring these events and in some cases, actively facilitating attacks and spurring on others who may want to exploit for their own good, or for that of Iran,” Kirby said.

Kirby said Iran tries to “maintain some level of deniability here, but we’re not going to allow them to do that.”

He added that there is still no direct evidence that Iran was involved in Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

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