October 23 | Israeli forces continue airstrikes on Hamas targets as invasion looms

A U.S. veteran non-profit organization is currently trying to rescue hundreds of trapped Americans in Israel.

The Special Operations Association of America (SOAA), which is based in Washington, D.C., has been working out of Tel Aviv to assist the stranded citizens. The SOAA is working to identify and reach the Americans who are still stranded amid the Israel-Hamas war.

The operations are being conducted by veteran volunteers working around the clock six days a week. Some of them only get one or two hours of sleep per night.

“We’re in contact with those American citizens trapped in Gaza and providing updates to official channels, keeping them calm, and staying prepared to move them to safety based on intelligence,” Executive Director of SOAA David Cook said.

“With Hamas currently in control of Gaza it is incredibly dangerous to evacuate trapped Americans,” Cook added. “We’re working with local authorities and the State Department to make sure Americans reach safety, but to do this without risk of innocent life we are favoring a slightly slower, but more deliberate and safe response.”

Fox News Digital’s Greg Wehner contributed to this report.

Posted by Andrea Vacchiano

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U.S. officials predict ‘significant escalation’ against American troops amid Israel-Hamas war

Senior Pentagon officials
predicted “significant escalation” of attacks against American troops in the Middle East during the Israel-Hamas war.

A senior defense official and a senior military official held a background briefing on Monday. Both officials referenced Iran as a malignant force.

“We see a prospect for much more significant escalation against U.S. forces and personnel in the near term,” the defense official explained. “And let’s be clear about it: the road leads back to Iran.”

The defense official also said that the Iranian government is currently equipping, funding and directing various Middle Eastern partners, including Lebanese Hezbollah militia groups.

“I think it’s fair to say when you see this uptick in activity in attacks by many of these groups, there’s Iranian fingerprints all over it,” the defense official said. 

Fox News Digital’s Greg Wehner contributed to this report.

Posted by Andrea Vacchiano

Israel-Hamas war: Who are the two Israeli hostages released today?

Two Israeli hostages named Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, and Nurit Cooper, 79, were released by Hamas terrorists on Monday, officials say.

The two women were kidnapped from their houses in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7. Both of the women’s husbands are still being held as hostages – Amiram Cooper, 85, and Oded Lifshitz, 83.

According to a statement released by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) acted “in all channels” to “overcome the many obstacles Hamas has laid” and secure the women’s release.

“After they were transferred to the hands of the IDF, they are making their way to a medical center in Israel who is prepared for them and where their family members await them,” the statement read. “We thank Egypt for the assistance and the Red Cross for their important role as life savers.”

“The government of Israel, IDF and the security establishment, will continue to act to the best of their abilities to trace all missing and return all hostages back home,” Netanyahu’s press release added.

Fox News’s Yael Rotem-Kuriel contributed to this report.

Posted by Andrea Vacchiano

President Biden on a ceasefire deal: ‘We should have those hostages released, and then we can talk’

President Biden said that the U.S. “can talk” about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas once hostages are released from Gaza, as the war between Israel and Hamas terrorists goes on.

After Biden walked away from the podium following a Monday press conference, a reporter shouted “Is the U.S. supporting a hostages for a ceasefire deal?”

“We should have a ceasefire…not a ceasefire – we should have those hostages released and then we can talk,” Biden replied.

At least 200 people were taken hostage by Hamas terrorists and forcibly brought into Gaza since October 7. Biden, along with European leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron, has called for the urgent release of all hostages.

“The leaders reiterated their support for Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorism and called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians,” a joint statement from the leaders read. The statement, which was released on Sunday, also requested the “immediate release of all remaining hostages.”

Posted by Andrea Vacchiano

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Israel-Hamas war: Two Israeli hostages released from Gaza as fighting continues

An Israeli source has confirmed to Fox News that two Israeli hostages have been released from Gaza, as the war between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continues.

The hostages were reportedly released after Qatari mediation efforts, according to an additional source.

More than 1400 Israelis have been killed since the war began on October 7, with at least 200 hostages taken into Gaza by Hamas fighters.

Palestinian authorities estimate that over 5,000 of their citizens have been killed so far, with nearly 16,000 injured.

Fox News’s Trey Yingst contributed to this report.

Posted by Andrea Vacchiano

Israel names 5 top Hamas commanders eliminated since October 7 assault

Israel says it has killed five commanders of a key Hamas military group in the 17 days since the war broke out in the region.

The IDF says each of the commanders was a member of the Hamas Aerial Array, which operates a variety of weapons against the State of Israel and played a significant role in the October 7 massacre.

Israel identified the commanders as Murad Abu Murad, Commander of the Hamas Aerial Array in Gaza City; Moed’ Abdel Rahman, Head of Hamas Training Portfolio in Gaza City; Othman Hamdan, Aerial Defense Officer of Hamas’ Zabra Tel Elhua Battalion; Machud El Rifi, Hamas Weapons Supply Manager in Gaza City, and Essan Shalouf, Head of Training for the Hamas Aerial Defense Array in northern Gaza.

Israel has so far restricted itself to launching airstrikes against Hamas installations in Gaza, but the military appears poised for a ground assault as well. Military experts say such an operation is the only way to ensure the destruction of Hamas, which is Israel’s stated goal.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Gov. Larry Hogan cuts ties with Harvard over ‘dangerous anti-Semitism’

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has withdrawn his offer to participate in fellowships at Harvard this fall, citing “dangerous anti-Semitism” that has spread across the campus.

Hogan, a Republican, made the announcement Monday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The move comes after dozens of Harvard student organizations and staff blamed Israel for the October 7 Hamas attack that left at least 1,400 people murdered.

“This morning, I informed Harvard that I must withdraw my offer to participate in fellowships this Fall. I cannot condone the dangerous anti-Semitism that has taken root on their campus,” Hogan wrote.

Harvard University has been the center of controversy ever since the Hamas attack on Israel, with pro-Palestinian student groups releasing a joint statement claiming Israel was “entirely responsible” for Hamas’ attack. It said, “Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum. For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison.”

Fox News’ Gabriel Hayes contributed to this report.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Israeli firepower striking targets deeper in Lebanon as it warns Hezbollah to stay out of conflict

Conflict between Israel and Hezbollah continues to escalate this week as Israel began hitting Hezbollah targets deeper in Lebanon.

Israeli forces
have warned Hezbollah not to join Hamas’ war against Israel, vowing to destroy the terrorist organization if it does. The Iran-backed group has continued to fire missiles into Northern Israel since Hamas’ October 7 assault.

Israel would be faced with a true two-front war should the conflcit escalate, with Hamas to the south and Hezbollah to the north.

The U.S. has joined Israel in threatening both Iran and Hezbollah with retaliation should they intervene. The U.S. has stationed two aircraft carrier strike groups in the Eastern Mediterranean to assist Israel should it need them.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

New York Times admits it relied ‘too heavily’ on Hamas claims in report on Gaza hospital explosion

The New York Times admitted on Monday that “editors should have taken more care with the initial presentation” of the explosion that occurred at a Gaza hospital last week after the paper “relied too heavily on claims by Hamas.”

Much of the legacy media has egg on its face for allowing the Hamas-backed Gaza Health Ministry to set the initial framing of the story, as Hamas’ claim that Israel was at fault was widely parroted. The Israel Defense Forces determined the blast was caused by a rocket misfire launched by Islamic Jihad, another terrorist organization active in Gaza. President Biden, based on evidence from the IDF and U.S. intelligence, has publicly said Israel was not to blame. 

The New York Times published a lengthy editor’s note on Monday explaining its mistakes.

Read more from Fox News’ Brian Flood

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Iran-backed militias in Iraq claim responsibility for attack on US military base in Syria

Two U.S. defense officials confirmed to Fox News a base housing U.S. troops in Syria was attacked by drones Monday morning.

The officials say no injuries have been reported. Iran-backed militias in Iraq claimed they were responsible for the attack, which took place in southeastern Syria. The attack is at least the fourth time a U.S. base has come under drone attack in the Middle East since Hamas launched its assault on Israel on October 7. A U.S. base in Iraq was also struck last week.

The U.S. currently has about 900 U.S. forces in Syria and 2,500 troops in Iraq, U.S. officials confirmed to Fox News.

U.S. forces in the region remain on high alert amid Israel’s war against Hamas. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has set aside 2,000 U.S. troops to be prepared to intervene in the conflict if necessary.

Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Professor warns that Israel-Hamas conflict has ingredients for ‘World War III’

Foreign policy expert Prof. Kiron Skinner warned that the Israel-Hamas war has all the ingredients to potentially lead to a “World War III” on Monday.

Skinner made the comments on Fox News, saying various factors may lead a widespread regional conflict in the Middle East, which could escalate into a global conflict. She pointed to Iran’s threats to get involved in the war, which could in turn trigger a response from the U.S.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

How Pro-Palestinians are using ‘Algospeak’ to dodge social media scrutiny and disseminate hate

Have you ever seen a post on social media that uses emojis, asterisks or code words to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? If so, you might have encountered what some activists call “Algospeak” – a secret language that helps them evade social media policies and algorithms.

“Algospeak” is a term recently coined to describe strategically modified language to evade algorithmic detection. At its core, “Algospeak” involves altering language with a collection of phrases, special spellings and code words that pro-Palestinian activists use to prevent their posts from being removed or suppressed by social media companies.

For example, they might use “terrier” instead of “terrorist,” “P*les+in1ans” instead of “Palestinians,” or “violin” instead of “violence.”

Read more from Fox News’ Kurt Knutsson

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

IDF member describes Hamas ‘evil’ witnessed with his own eyes

An IDF soldier joined Fox News to describe scnes of carnage he witnessed in Southern Israel following the October 7 attack by Hamas on Monday.

The IDF special forces member, who spoke with Fox under the name “Nimrod” says he saw scores of bodies in the streets, with many of the women having been raped.

He described one incident in which a group of Israelis were hding in a bomb shelter. Hamas militants soon found them, and the terrorists pulled one woman out, saying she would be set aside for rape. The terrorists then threw two grenades insde the shelter, “killing everyone.”

Israel is now poised for a ground invasion fo the Gaza Strip, though no timeline has been offered.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

FOX News visits Israeli town brutally terrorized by Hamas

Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst led a Fox News crew to an Israeli village that had been brutalized in Hamas’ October 7 attack on Monday.

Footage from the scene shows bloodstained floors, bullet holes and broken shelter doors–evidence of Hamas’ crimes during its surprise attack 17 days ago. Yingst says residents of some of the homes were executed at point blank range by Hamas terrorists, while others were burned.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Journalists react with horror after Israel shares footage of October 7 Hamas assault

The Israeli government shared footage of Hamas’ October 7 terror attack with roughly 100 journalists on Monday, prompting horrific descriptions on social media.

Israel has chosen not to release the footage publicly out of respect for the families of the victims, but journalists described horrific scenes of brutality and violence. Footage reportedly showed Hamas terrorists murder a father in front of his two sons in one instance. Another showed a militant bragging to his mother about having killed 10 Jews, having called her on the phone of a dead victim.

Israel’s release of footage comes as its military is poised for a ground invasion of Gaza. Israeli Defense Forces have remained mustered on the Gaza border for more than a week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “destroy” Hamas, but has offered no timeline for when an invasion might begin.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Son of Hamas founder says mainstream media ‘afraid’ to label group a genocidal religious movement

The son of a Hamas founder said Hamas is even more dangerous than ISIS on Monday, claiming the mainstream media is afraid to call it a genocidal religious movement for fear of igniting a full-on religious war.

“It’s their own comparison to say Hamas and ISIS because I think Hamas is a lot more dangerous,” Mosab Hassan Yousef told “FOX & Friends.”

“Look at the division and the global confusion because of Hamas. They brought us to our knees somehow by their brutality and their barbarism. Brutality is even understating Hamas’ acts. Hamas is a religious movement, and they are a raging religious movement against Israel. The mainstream media cannot say this, because they are afraid to ignite a religious war. And what I say, it already is. They want to annihilate the Jewish people because they are Jewish people, because they are a Jewish state.”

Yousef, who renounced the terrorist group and became an informant for Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet in the 1990s, said Hamas couldn’t be negotiated with since it wasn’t a national or political movement.

Read more from Fox News’ David Rutz

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

AOC accuses Israel of responding to Hamas attack with ‘war crimes’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. insisted that she was not defending Hamas as she accused Israel of committing war crimes on Sunday.

Ocasio-Cortez appeared on MSNBC’s “The Mehdi Hasan Show” to defend her position of calling for a ceasefire following Hamas’ attack against Israel on Oct. 7. When asked whether Israel had a right to defend itself, she argued that “war crimes” are not the appropriate response.

She began, “I think one of the things that’s important to recognize about this situation is the asymmetry of what is going on as well as the collective punishment of what is happening to the Palestinian people at this moment. Hamas has absolutely engaged in horrific attacks. Every single day there are more details that are released about what occurred on October 7th that shocks the human consciousness and shocks our conscience, our collective conscience.”

“However we do know as well that war crimes do not constitute and are not an appropriate response for other war crimes,” Ocasio-Cortez explained.

“It is inacceptable to think that 1700 Palestinian children alone, their deaths will somehow make up or justify the violence of what we saw on October 7th.”

Read more from Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Netanyahu: If Hezbollah launches war on Israel and invades ‘it will make the mistake of its life’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an open warning against Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, which operates in Lebanon, discouraging them from invading Israel as his country is widely expected to launch a ground offensive in Gaza. The expected ground invasion follows Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 rampage into southern Israeli communities.

While visiting troops in northern Israel on Sunday, Netanyahu said if Hezbollah were to launch a war and invade Israel, “it will make the mistake of its life. We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine, and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating.”

Hezbollah, which is armed with tens of thousands of rockets, has teased aggressions with Israel, even firing anti-tank missiles into northern Israel and targeting military outposts. Israel has evacuated thousands of civilians near the northern border as a precaution.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed. The total mostly consists of civilians slain during the initial Hamas attack. At least 222 people have been captured and dragged back to Gaza, including foreigners, according to Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Read more from Fox News’ Lawrence Richard

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

There is no other option than to eliminiate Hamas: Israel consulate spokesperson

Israel has no other option than to fully eliminate Hamas and its influence in Gaza, an Israeli consulate officials said Monday.

The official, Itay Milner, appeared on Fox News on Monday to discuss Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “destroy” Hamas, calling them “bloody monsters” following their October 7 attack on Israel.

Milner went on to say that a potential conflict between Israel and Hezbollah to the north would be far more severe than the ongoing war. Hezbollah, an Iran-back terrorist group, has far greater access to support than Hamas and is much more powerful.

“We are preparing for any scenario, and I can assure you that if they do try to start a war with Israel that, as the prime minister said, that would be the biggest mistake that they’ve ever done,” Milner said.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Biden admin reportedly urged Israel to delay ground invasion to buy time for hostage talks

President Biden’s administration urged Israel to delay its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip followi Hamas’ unprecedented October 7 assault.

Administration officials say they recommended the delay in hopes to buy time for further hostage negotiations, according to the New York Times.

The officials reportedly said no ultimatums were made, however, and the U.S. would still fully support Israel if it were to move forward with a ground invasion.

Israel’s military has been positioned for a ground invasion of Gaza for more than a week, unleashing an onslaught of airstrikes on Hamas positions.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has predicted that any invasion of Gaza would be defined by slow movement, IEDs, and booby-traps as Hamas terrorists have had ample time to prepare for an invasion.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Blinken warns US ‘won’t hesitate’ to get involved in Israel-Hamas war if line is crossed

The United States is poised to get involved in the Israel-Hamas war should the conflict escalate into regional forces intentionally targeting American personnel, senior officials said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Sunday that the U.S. expects Iranian proxies to seek opportunities to escalate the Israel-Hamas war and asserted that the Biden administration is prepared to respond accordingly if American civilians or armed forces become targets.

“This is not what we want, not what we’re looking for. We don’t want escalation,” Blinken said. “We don’t want to see our forces or our personnel come under fire. But if that happens, we’re ready for it.”

Austin added: “What we’re seeing is a prospect of a significant escalation of attacks on our troops and our people throughout the region. We’re going to do what’s necessary to make sure that our troops are in that position and they were protected and that we have the ability to respond.” He affirmed that the U.S. has the right to defend itself and said, “We won’t hesitate to take the appropriate action.”

Austin also said the U.S. would continue to increase its presence in the region to “send another message to those who would seek to widen this conflict.”

Read more from Fox News’ Lawrence Richard

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Pro-Hamas protests have European politicians worried as US watches closely

Pro-Hamas protests popping up in the streets of Europe and in certain U.S. cities are sparking new debates over what critics have called misguided multiculturalism, failed integration, underfunded police forces and unchecked immigration.

Outbreaks of alleged antisemitism targeting Israel unfolded among some pro-Palestinian protesters in London and in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday as demonstrators chanted the controversial slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

An estimated 100,000 demonstrators turned out in London to align themselves with the Palestinian cause – a section of some seemingly in favor of Hamas, whose stated aims are to eradicate Israel and murder Jews.

U.K. Home Secretary
Suella Braverman termed the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” as antisemitic, noting that the language is “widely understood to call for the destruction of Israel.” Braverman’s governmental office is comparable to the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security.

Robert Jenrick, the U.K. immigration minister, took pro-Palestinians to task for chanting “jihad” on the streets of the British capital. He said they are “inciting terrorist violence” by invoking the oft-cited battle cry by radical Islamists.

Read more from Fox News’ Benjamin Weinthal

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Israeli speaks out after brother-in-law killed by Hamas: ‘Don’t think the media is doing a good job’

Israeli Idan Rakovsky spoke to Fox News Digital after his brother-in-law, Avidan Tordjman, was killed by Hamas members in the infamous October 7 attacks. He criticized international media — both left-wing and right-wing — for its treatment of the Israel-Hamas war.

“How would the average American, or Canadian, or British, or French — doesn’t matter now — How would he or she respond to [an event] 20 times 9/11 in one day?” Rakovsky said of the October 7 attacks by Hamas that left at least 1,400 Israelis killed, with at least 199 others being taken hostage by Hamas into Gaza.

“That’s what we’re going through right now,” Rakovsky said, again comparing the shock and tragedy of the Hamas attacks on Israelis and other citizens at a festival on the Gaza-Israel border to 9/11. “So seeing the coverage outside of Israel is very, very hard,” he said.

“I can tell you that we are already used to it, unfortunately,” he said. “So it doesn’t really bother us anymore. We know that Israel is strong for itself and that we have no one to rely on [but] ourselves. And that’s that’s fine with us. And that’s why we need to be as strong as we can.” 

Rakovsky responded directly to the media coverage of the Gaza hospital bombing, which has sparked intense debate online as outlets, including CBS and The New York Times, received criticism for suggesting that Israel was to blame.

Read more from Fox News’ Jeffrey Clark

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

The Jewish vote may swing Republican in 2024 as Israel war continues, experts say

Jewish-Americans may be more likely to vote for Republican candidates in 2024 as stances from some Democratic canddiates on the Israel-Hamas war push them away.

Division among Democrats over the war is likely to have a meaningful effect on the presidential race down to local congressional races, insiders and several Jewish voters told Fox News Digital.

Multiple House Democrats – including Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and other members of the far-left “Squad” – have taken aim at President Biden and Democrat leadership over their support for Israel.

“I have not seen this kind of a shift – at least a discussed shift, obviously no one’s voted yet – since 1980,” Jake Novak, the former media director at the Israeli Consulate in New York, told Fox News Digital. “In 1980, Jimmy Carter still won a majority of the Jewish vote, but it was way down from ’76. There were a lot of Jewish voters who were disappointed in him.”

Sixty-four percent of Jewish voters in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center, identify as Democrats or left-leaning while 26% consider themselves Republicans or right-leaning. Another 9% do not lean left or right, the think tank’s data shows.

Despite the gap in support for Democrats over Republicans from Jewish Americans, Novak, a political analyst, said he expects there to be “significant change” in how the demographic votes next year.

Read more from Fox News’ Kyle Morris

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Netanyahu offers deadly warning to Hezbollah as Israel prepares for Gaza invasion

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an open warning to the Iran-backed terrorists of Hezbollah on Monday, discouraging them from invading Israel from the north as his country is widely expected to launch a ground offensive in Gaza.

The expected ground invasion follows Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 rampage into southern Israeli communities. While visiting troops in northern Israel on Sunday, Netanyahu said if Hezbollah were to launch a war and invade Israel from Lebanon, “it will make the mistake of its life. We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine, and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating.”

Hezbollah, which is armed with tens of thousands of rockets, has teased aggressions with Israel, even firing anti-tank missiles into northern Israel and targeting military outposts. Israel has evacuated thousands of civilians near the northern border as a precaution.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed. The total mostly consists of civilians slain during the initial Hamas attack. At least 222 people have been captured and dragged back to Gaza, including foreigners, according to Fox News’ Yael Kuriel.

Read more from Fox News’ Lawrence Richard

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Israeli forces struck 320 Hamas military targets over 24-hour period: IDF

The Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli Securities Authority announced that Israeli forces have struck more than 320 Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip within the past day.

“Over the past day, the IDF continued to strike terror infrastructure and military targets in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF and ISA said in a statement. “Following ISA and IDF intelligence, the terror targets struck included tunnels containing Hamas terrorists, dozens of operational command centers, some of which concealed Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, military compounds, and observation posts.”

“Furthermore, the IDF struck targets that posed a threat to forces in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip who are preparing for ground operations, including dozens of mortar shell and anti-tank missile launch posts,” the statement continued. “Overnight, an IDF tank thwarted a number of terrorist cells, including an anti-tank missile cell.”

Since Hamas launched its Oct. 7 attack, more than 5,700 people have been killed in Gaza and Israel and thousands more have been wounded.

As of Monday morning, the number of people taken hostage by Hamas has reached 222.

Fox News’ Yael Kuriel contributed to this report.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

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