Israel's military said that of the at least 1,200 people killed in Israel following attacks by Hamas this weekend, at least 189 were Israeli soldiers, Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said at a news briefing Wednesday.
At least 1,100 people have been killed and 5,339 others wounded in Gaza since Saturday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.
The health ministry also warned on Wednesday that electricity outages will lead to the suspension of laboratory services and blood banks in at least 58 laboratories and blood banks, threatening the lives of thousands of people who need treatment.
Israel has stepped up its offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ initial onslaught over the weekend when armed militants poured over the heavily-fortified border.
Israel has also ordered a “complete siege” on the enclave, including halting supplies of electricity, food, water and fuel.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issued an updated statement, ruling out a "suspected infiltration" into Israel from Lebanon "as of right now."
There is no major security incident in northern Israel, IDF chief spokesperson Daniel Hagari said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
This comes after the IDF earlier said a report was received regarding a suspected "infiltration from Lebanon into Israeli air space." Sirens warning of incoming rocket fire were activated in most of northern Israel following the IDF's warning.
“There was an error - whether technical or human error,” Hagari said at the press event.
Talks are underway to allow United States and Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip to exit the territory into Egypt ahead of any land invasion of the territory by Israeli forces, according to a senior Israeli official.
Under the proposal being discussed, all US citizens would be permitted to pass through the Rafah border crossing if they present their US passports, while the movement of other Palestinian civilians would be limited to 2,000 people a day, the official with knowledge of the negotiations told CNN on Wednesday.
Final approval of the arrangement would need to come from the Egyptians, who control the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. The Israeli official said it was “in Israel’s interests” for as many Palestinians as possible to leave Gaza.
Some context: Airstrikes in Gaza have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes — but there is little room to go. Across the Middle East, Gaza is among the smallest and most densely packed cities.
Americans in Gaza who spoke with CNN have expressed fear and frustration about feeling that they are trapped without any safe route out of the region that is being heavily bombarded by Israeli forces.
There were reports that the only route of Gaza — via Egypt — was closed Tuesday due to strikes, and the threat of an Israeli ground incursion is looming.
As thousands of rockets have rained down on Israel, the country has been relying once again on the Iron Dome system to protect its citizens.
The missile defense system is one of the most important tools in Israel’s arsenal and has saved countless civilian lives over various conflicts in the last decade, analysts say. It is highly effective. The Israel Defense Forces said the system boasted a 95.6% success rate during a rocket salvo fired by Islamic Jihad in May.
The Iron Dome is designed to shoot down incoming projectiles. It is equipped with a radar that detects rockets and then uses a command-and-control system that quickly calculates whether an incoming projectile poses a threat or is likely to hit an unpopulated area. If the rocket does pose a threat, the Iron Dome fires missiles from the ground to destroy in the air.
Here's how it works:
The European Union's Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, wrote a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg Tuesday, saying that there has been a "surge of illegal content and disinformation" on Meta platforms.
He asked Zuckerberg to be “very vigilant” to ensure compliance with the rules, act against illegal content and deploy proportionate and effective mitigation measures.
“I urgently invite you to ensure that your systems are effective. Needless to say, I also expect you to be in contact with the relevant law enforcement authorities and Europol, and ensure that you respond promptly to any requests,” he added.
Breton urged Zuckerberg to respond to his requests within 24 hours, reminding him that penalties may be imposed if he did not comply.
As Israeli airstrikes in Gaza have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes and overwhelm areas, including hospitals, there is little room to go.
Take a look:
A report was received regarding a suspected “infiltration from Lebanon into Israeli air space,” Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Wednesday.
It did not provide further details and it was not clear whether the infiltration involved aircraft, drones, gliders, balloons or people.
It comes as sirens warning of incoming rocket fire have been activated in most of northern Israel.
People in Upper Galilee, in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon, have been ordered by the IDF to take cover in bomb shelters “against the backdrop of the concern of an aerial infiltration to the area,” the regional council said on its Facebook account on Wednesday.
The residents in the northern Israeli city of Haifa have been told to "immediately" enter a building, close and lock the doors and windows, and turn off the lights, Haifa municipality announced on Wednesday.
“Do not leave the building until you are notified the incident is over,” the municipality said on its Facebook page. “Traffic in the area is prohibited and there is no access until further notice.”
No crashes have been detected or casualties reported so far in Israel's territory following these reports, Israeli Air Force said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“IDF forces are scanning the area from the ground and from the air," it said, urging people to "continue to obey the instructions of the Home Front Command and act accordingly."
A senior Israeli official says Iran was aware of the operation and effectively “gave the green light” to Hamas attacks that killed more than 1,200 Israelis at the weekend, despite US intelligence suggesting senior Iranian government officials were caught by surprise by Saturday’s bloody attack on Israel by Hamas.
The official, who has been briefed on Israeli intelligence, told CNN Wednesday that Iran, which has provided longstanding funding and training to Hamas militants, may not have known about the exact timing of the raids from Gaza, but was certainly “aware of the Hamas operation before it happened.”
On the threat from the Hezbollah militia, the Israeli official told CNN that the Iranian-backed group was currently “allowing” Palestinian factions to attack Israel from Hezbollah-controlled territory.
Amid concerns of the US being drawn into a Mideast conflict, the official told CNN that “Israel does not expect the United States to fight for us,” saying that a US aircraft carrier group newly positioned off the Israeli coast would help provide “long-range coverage” in the event of a broader regional conflict.