LAST UPDATE: 11:26
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) say they have reinforced the Red Sea region with naval vessels carrying missiles, following several missile and drone attacks by Yemen’s pro-Iranian Houthi rebels, who control about half of it. country and its capital, Sanaa, since 2015.
The IDF said the vessels were deployed on Tuesday “according to the assessment of the situation and as part of increased defense efforts in the area”.
On Tuesday, the military intercepted a missile and two drones fired from Yemen against Israel. A new strike attempt was foiled early Wednesday morning near Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat.
The military said it has several layers of air defenses in the area to protect against Houthi attacks.
US armed forces have also been deployed in the Red Sea region and have intercepted a number of Houthi missiles and drones heading towards Israel.
Hamas: 7 hostages killed by Israel’s strike in Jambaliya
Hamas’s armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, said on Wednesday that seven civilian hostages it had taken in Israel during its bloody October 7 attack were killed in Israel’s shelling of the Jabaliya refugee camp on Tuesday.
Three of the hostages who lost their lives had foreign passports.
The Palestinian Islamist group, which has controlled power in the Gaza Strip since 2007, has so far released four hostages out of a total of 239 believed to be being held.
Israel: 326 dead soldiers since October 7
The Israeli military said today that nine of its members were killed on Tuesday in fighting in the Gaza Strip against Hamas, releasing their names.
Casualties in Chahal’s ranks since October 7 now stand at 326, according to official figures.
Two more soldiers were seriously injured on Tuesday in hostilities in the Palestinian enclave, the statement released on the 26th day of the war.
The Israeli armed forces also announced that they have struck more than 11,000 targets in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war that broke out with the attack of Hamas from the Palestinian territory on October 7.
“Since the beginning of the war, the Israel Defense Forces have struck more than 11,000 targets belonging to terrorist organizations inside the Gaza Strip,” the armed forces said in a statement.
Telecommunications “blackout” in Gaza
The main telecommunications provider in the Gaza Strip announced in the early hours via X (formerly Twitter) that it had “completely” disrupted fixed and mobile networks and internet access in the enclave, which has been under siege by the Israeli army since on the 9th of October.
The Palestine Telecommunication Company (Paltel) explained that international connections that had been restored were cut again. “We have the sad obligation to announce the complete disruption of all telecommunications and internet services in the Gaza Strip,” the company said in a post addressed to “the beloved people of our homeland.” An AFP journalist in Gaza confirmed the outage, clarifying that he only has access to telecommunications networks through his international SIM card.
Telecommunications and internet access had already been cut in the Gaza Strip on Friday, when the Israeli army intensified its shelling of the Palestinian enclave, cutting off all access to its 2.4 million residents. They began to gradually recover from Sunday. The Palestinian Red Crescent announced when access to telecommunications networks and the internet was first cut that it had “lost all contact with the operations center and all (its) teams in the Gaza Strip”. Likewise the World Health Organization (WHO). The non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) had expressed its concern that the shutdown risked “being used as a cover for the commission of mass atrocities and contributing to impunity”.
Rafa border crossing opens
Qatar has reportedly brokered a deal that sees the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt open today and allow foreign nationals and dual nationals to leave the Strip.
According to the Reuters news agency, there is no agreement on how long the crossing will remain open.
The report says Qatar brokered the deal between Egypt, Israel and the Hamas terrorist group, which controls Gaza, in coordination with the United States.
Up to 500 foreign passport holders will cross the Rafah border crossing from Gaza into Egypt on Wednesday, an Egyptian security source said, after an agreement was reached to open the crossing. About 200 people were waiting on the Palestinian side of the border on Wednesday morning, the source said.
A second source with knowledge of the deal and the evacuations said there was a list of up to 500 people to leave the Gaza Strip, but that not all were expected to make it on Wednesday.
The Egyptians built a hospital near the Rafah pass
The first images of a newly constructed hospital facility opened by the Egyptians near the Rafah crossing in Sheikh Zuweid have been released.
The hospital is intended to treat wounded people passing through Gaza.
The Palestinian Authority calls for a general strike in the West Bank and North Jerusalem
A general strike is called today in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to denounce Israeli “aggression” in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The strike, called by the Fatah party that controls the Palestinian Authority, is affecting businesses, banks and universities and is accompanied by calls to “escalate the confrontation with the occupation”.