(AP) Israel says it has brought in special forces to try to wrest control of four sites from Hamas fighters more than 24 hours after the militant group launched its unprecedented incursion into Israel.
Earlier Sunday, Israel formally declared war and gave the green light for “significant military steps” to retaliate against Hamas for the surprise attack. The Israeli military tried to crush fighters still in southern towns and intensified its bombardment of the Gaza Strip. More than 1,000 people have been killed and thousands wounded on both sides.
The fighting continued in several locations Monday morning.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS, TAKES NO ACTION ON US DEMAND
The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting behind closed doors Sunday but took no immediate action on a demand from the United States that all 15 members strongly condemn “these heinous terrorist attacks committed by Hamas.”
U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood said after the meeting that “a good number of countries,” but not all, denounced the unprecedented incursion by Hamas into Israel on Saturday morning.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told The Associated Press as he left the meeting that the U.S. was trying to say at the meeting that Russia isn’t condemning the attacks, but “that’s untrue.”
“It was in my comments,” Nebenzia said. “We condemn all the attacks on civilians.”
He said Russia’s message is: “It’s important to stop the fighting immediately, to go to a cease-fire, and to meaningful negotiations which were stalled for decades.”
China’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, expressed a similar position as he headed into the meeting.
But Wood said the international community must strongly condemn “this unprovoked invasion and the terrorist attacks” until Hamas ends its “violent terrorist activity against the Israeli people.”
BIPARTISAN UNITY IN CONGRESS TO HELP ISRAEL, PELOSI SAYS
Former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there is bipartisan unity in Congress “in support of what we need to do” to support Israel.
Speaking at an event in San Francisco on Sunday organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council Bay Area, Pelosi condemned the attacks on Israel as “acts of cowardice.”
“I want you to know that in the Congress of the United States … there is unity, bipartisan unity in support of what we need to do, whether it’s militarily, whether it’s diplomatically, whether it’s financially to help our friends, the Israelis,” Pelosi said, according to a recording of her remarks provided by her office.
Pelosi said the surprise attack from the Gaza Strip was “outside the circle of civilized human behavior.”
“This assault on these children, on these grandmas, on these families, is something that takes us to a different threshold of how we deal with this subject,” she said.
NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER CONDEMNS HAMAS ATTACK ON ISRAEL
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said he “condemns unequivocally” the attacks led by Hamas. “We are appalled by the targeting of civilians, and the taking of hostages which violate fundamental international humanitarian law principles,” he said in a statement.
New Zealand, which has previously designated the military wing of Hamas a terrorist organization, urged restraint but said it recognized Israel’s right to defend itself.
PRO-PALESTINIAN AND PRO-ISRAELI FACTIONS CLASH AT RALLY IN NY
Pro-Palestinian students waved flags, chanted and held signs calling for an end to U.S. support for Israel during a rally held a block from the United Nations on Sunday that erupted into a skirmish with supporters of Israel.
As the students left, a small group of men waving Israeli flags crossed over metal barricades erected to keep the protesters confined to the sidewalks. The action prompted students to rush back, with one grabbing an Israeli flag and throwing it to the sidewalk and stomping on it. He was joined by other pro-Palestinian protesters.
Police stepped in to push the crowds apart and pulled the Israeli faction away.
A separate pro-Palestinian rally was held Sunday in New York City’s Time Square. That protest was condemned before it began by New York Governor Kathy Hochul.
“The people of Israel are facing violent terrorist attacks and civilian kidnappings,” she said in a statement Saturday. “The planned rally is abhorrent and morally repugnant.”
AUSTRALIA WARNS CITIZENS TO NOT TRAVEL TO GAZA OR NEAR ITS BORDER
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Monday denounced the attack by Hamas and said that her government is warning Australians not to travel to Gaza or near its border.
“We unequivocally condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire, the targeting of civilians and the taking of hostages, a particularly distressing and egregious act,” Wong told reporters at Melbourne Airport.
Wong said she had spoken to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen over the weekend and expressed Australia’s solidarity and support for Israel’s right to defend itself.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remarked to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the Hamas attack “was obviously very well planned.”
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER SAYS HE’S OFFERED HELP TO ISRAEL
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says Sunak has spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and offered any support Israel needs.
The spokesperson said Sunday that Sunak reaffirmed that the U.K. will stand with Israel “unequivocally against these acts of terror.”
CARTER CENTER SAYS IT STRONGLY CONDEMNS TARGETING OF CIVILIANS
The Carter Center issued a statement saying it strongly condemns the targeting of Israeli and Palestinian civilians and is calling for dialogue and action from the international community to halt hostilities in the region.
The statement says fundamental human rights of all residents in the region must be protected, land claims and security concerns addressed, and the sanctity of Muslim and Christian holy sites preserved.
The statement added that “the urgency for a robust and renewed peace process has never been greater” and that “there is not a military solution to the crisis – only a political one.”
The Atlanta-based Carter Center is a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization founded in 1982 by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.
HAMAS OFFICIAL SAYS MORE THAN 100 ISRAELIS HELD CAPTIVE IN GAZA
A senior Hamas official says the militant group is holding more than 100 people captive after its unprecedented assault on Israel.
Mousa Abu Marzouk made the remarks to Arabic language news outlet al-Ghad on Sunday. The figure is in addition to more than 30 people said to be held by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.
During their rampage through southern Israel, militants dragged back into Gaza dozens of captives, among them women, children and the elderly. Their precise number hadn’t been clear until the two militant groups made their announcements.
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE SAYS HE AND FAMILY IN ISRAEL DURING ATTACK
The office of U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman says he and his family were in Tel Aviv when Hamas attacked Israel on Saturday and were forced to shelter in a hotel stairwell until Sunday morning.
The New York Democrat’s office released a short statement on Sunday saying Goldman, his wife and their three youngest children were in Israel for a Bar Mitzvah at the time of the attack.
The statement adds that the congressman was grateful for the assistance of Israeli and U.S. State Department officials “and he hopes all Americans can come together to support Israel’s right to defend herself from terrorism and war crimes.”
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO VOTE ON RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL
The U.S. House is preparing a bipartisan resolution that it “stands with Israel” and condemns “Hamas’ brutal war.”
The resolution from the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to be among the first items considered for voting once the House elects a new speaker.
“Now is the time to show the world the United States firmly stands with our friend and ally Israel in our condemnation of this heinous attack by Iran-backed terrorists,” said the committee chairman, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
“I expect this bipartisan resolution to be one of the first, if not the first, items considered on the floor once we elect a new speaker. And I expect it to receive overwhelming bipartisan support.”
House business is currently at a standstill after the historic ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The resolution says the House of Representatives “stands with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”
AT LEAST 260 BODIES RECOVERED FROM MUSIC FESTIVAL, ISRAELI RESCUE SERVICE SAYS
The Israeli rescue service Zaka says its paramedics removed about 260 bodies from a music festival attended by thousands that came under attack by Hamas militants.
The total figure is expected to be higher as other paramedic teams were working in the area.
Video aired on social media and by Israeli news outlets showed dozens of festival goers running through an open field as gunshots rang out. Many hid in nearby fruit orchards or were gunned down as they fled.
FRENCH-ISRAELI WOMAN MISSING AFTER HAMAS ASSAULT ON FESTIVAL
The husband of a French-Israeli woman who vanished while at a desert music festival pleaded tearfully on French television for authorities to do all they could to learn if his wife was dead or one of the captives Hamas says it is holding.
Idor Nagar’s desperation to know the fate of Celine Ben David Nagar, 26, reflected the torment of Israelis whose loved ones disappeared amid the surprise attack Saturday morning by Hamas militants and the ensuing violence. Dozens of people are being held captive in the Gaza Strip.
The couple’s six-month-old daughter sat on Nagar’s lap during the video interview with France’s BFM-TV. She is still being breast-fed, he said tearfully.
At 7:11 a.m. Saturday, shortly after the start of the Hamas attack, Nagar’s wife messaged that “All is well,” he recounted. At 7:15 a.m., she messaged that “Soldiers are coming.”
However, he said through a translator, he now believes the soldiers were not Israeli but assailants. “Was she taken hostage? Killed?” he asked.
Nagar geo-localized the car his wife had travelled in. He went to the area near the Gaza border and found it full of bullet holes but with no signs of blood — a reason to hope she is alive.
France has said it is looking into several reports of missing French nationals. One French woman has died, the Foreign Ministry said Sunday, without elaborating.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna called on Sunday for the “immediate liberation and without conditions” of Israeli captives. “The odious hostage takings by Hamas of men, women and children recalls … the terrorist character of this movement,” a ministry statement said.
TWO MEXICANS BELIEVED TO BE CAPTIVES IN GAZA
Two Mexicans, a man and a woman, are believed to be held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena said Sunday.
She did not name them and gave no details about whether they are resident in Israel or were visiting the area.
On a message on X, formerly known as Twitter, Bárcena said that the Mexican government is in contact with their relatives and the Israeli authorities.
Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has condemned the attacks against the Israeli people.
PENTAGON PUTS U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER ON ALERT TO ASSIST ISRAEL
The Pentagon has ordered the Ford carrier strike group to be ready to assist Israel, two US officials said. The carrier was already in the Mediterranean conducting naval exercises with Italy.
The USS Gerald R. Ford is the United States’ newest and most advanced aircraft carrier.
The vessel and its approximately 5,000 sailors and deck of warplanes will be accompanied by cruisers and destroyers in a show of force that is meant to be ready to respond to anything, from possibly interdicting additional weapons from reaching Hamas and conducting surveillance.
The large deployment, which also includes a host of ships and warplanes, underscores the concern that the United States has in trying to deter the conflict from growing.
BIDEN PROMISES HELP FOR ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES
President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning, the White House said, and told the Israeli prime minister that “additional assistance for the Israeli Defense Forces” is now on the way to Israel.
There will be more assistance in the coming days, Biden told Netanyahu, according to the White House. It was their second call since the surprise Hamas attack.
Biden and Netanyahu plan to remain in touch, and the two leaders also discussed “ongoing efforts to ensure that no enemies of Israel believe they can or should seek advantage from the current situation.”
MORE THAN 70,000 TAKE SHELTER IN GAZA SCHOOLS, UN AGENCY SAYS
The U.N. agency for Palestinians refugees says 74,000 people in Gaza Strip have taken shelter in dozens of its schools following calls from Israel for residents of border areas to evacuate. The number of displaced increased by nearly 50,000 overnight, when about 20,000 first moved into U.N.-operated schools.
UNRWA said Sunday the number is likely to increase amid heavy shelling and airstrikes in different parts of the overpopulated besieged territory of 2 million people.
The agency confirmed that one of its schools was directly hit earlier Sunday and said it suffered severe damage but there were no casualties. Associated Press video shot Sunday showed a large crater in the middle of the Gaza school that sheltered 225 people.
“Schools and other civilian infrastructure, including those sheltering displaced families, must never come under attack,” UNRWA said in a statement.
THREE BRITISH MEN DEAD OR MISSING, THEIR FAMILIES SAY
Three British men were said to either be dead or missing after the Hamas attack on Israel.
Nathanel Young, 20, was killed while serving in the Israel Defense Forces, his sister, Gaby Shalev, said on Facebook. His death was later confirmed by the Israeli Embassy in London.
British photographer Danny Darlington, who lived in Berlin, and his German girlfriend, Carolin Bohl, had not been heard from after hiding out in a bunker at kibbutz Nir Oz, according to Sam Pasquesi, who is Bohl’s brother-in-law.
Pasquesi said his family learned later Sunday from a man working at the kibbutz that the bodies of the two had been identified.
Jake Marlow, 26, had been providing security at a music festival near kibbutz Re’im when he called his mother, Lisa, before dawn to say rockets were flying overhead.
He texted her an hour later but that was the last she heard from him, she told Jewish News. The Israeli Embassy in London did not know if Marlowe “is taken hostage or dead or in a hospital,” a spokesperson said.
The U.K. Foreign Office did not immediately return messages seeking comment on the three.
FRENCH WOMAN KILLED, OTHER EUROPEANS BELIEVED HELD CAPTIVE
A French woman in Israel has died “in the context of the terrorist attacks,” France’s foreign ministry said Sunday, without providing details. French teams in Israel and Paris are trying to clarify the situations of several citizens who have not been located, the statement said.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it has to assume that German citizens are among those kidnapped by Hamas on Saturday. It didn’t say how many people that might be, but said they are all believed to also be Israeli citizens.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said two Ukrainian women had been killed. Both had lived in Israel for a long time, he said without elaborating on the circumstances of their death.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said two Belarusians were injured during the shelling of the city of Ashkelon, and one of them was in serious condition.
ISRAEL CONFIRMS AMERICANS ARE AMONG HAMAS CAPTIVES
Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, Ron Dermer, said American citizens are among those who were taken captive but gave no details about them, nor about Americans who might have been killed.
“Unfortunately I can’t. We have a lot of dual citizens in Israel. I suspect there are several, but we’re still trying to sort through all of all this information after this horrific surprise attack and we’ll make sure to put that information out so that the loved ones of these people who were killed and who are held hostage, they know as quickly as possible,” Dermer told CNN’s ‘’State of the Union.’’