Israel-Palestine conflict: Deaths rise to over 2,800 as panic grips Gaza, attacks continue

Suffering in Gaza has been rising dramatically with Palestinians desperate for food, fuel and medicine — here's what's happening on day 7 of the brutal war

By Agencies

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Palestinians with their belongings flee from their homes following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on October 13. — AFP
Palestinians with their belongings flee from their homes following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City on October 13. — AFP

Published: Fri 13 Oct 2023, 11:52 AM

Last updated: Fri 13 Oct 2023, 11:23 PM

Some 1.1 million people in northern Gaza have been ordered to evacuate south as the latest Israel-Hamas war entered its seventh day Friday as Israel appeared to be preparing a ground offensive. Hamas, meanwhile, urged residents to stay put.

The orders sent panic through civilians and aid workers already struggling under Israeli airstrikes and a blockade of the Hamas -ruled Gaza Strip. International aid groups warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis after Israel prevented entry of supplies from Egypt to Gaza’s 2.3 million people.

Suffering in Gaza has been rising dramatically with Palestinians desperate for food, fuel and medicine and the territory’s only power plant shut down for lack of fuel. The morgue at Gaza’s biggest hospital overflowed as bodies came in faster than relatives could claim them.

The war has claimed at least 2,800 lives on both sides since Hamas launched an incursion on October 7, firing thousands of rockets and rampaging through towns and an outdoor music festival.

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

Here's what's happening on day 7 of the war between Israel and Hamas militants:

  • Israel sounds infiltration alarm near Lebanon border

Israel on Friday shelled a border region in southern Lebanon, two Lebanese security sources said, after a blast occurred on the border fence, according to the Israeli army.

One of the security sources said the shelling followed an infiltration attempt from the Lebanese side of the border, while the Israeli army said it was responding to a blast that caused "light damage" to the border barrier.

The Israeli military warned residents of a village near the border on Friday to hole up at home and lock doors and windows.

The alert took place in Hanita, 500 metres (yards) from the border and opposite Aalma El Chaeb.

  • Hamas fires rockets
A salvo of rockets is fired by Hamas militants towards Israel in Gaza City on October 13 — AFP
A salvo of rockets is fired by Hamas militants towards Israel in Gaza City on October 13 — AFP

A Hamas official said they had launched 150 rockets toward the southern cities of Ashkelon and Sderot. Israel’s rescue service reported no major injuries.

In this photo, Israel's Iron Dome air defence system is seen intercepting the rockets launched from Gaza.

  • 'No white phosphorus used in Gaza'

The Israeli military denied accusations Friday that it has used white phosphorus as a weapon in Gaza, after Human Rights Watch published a report alleging that Israel had deployed it several times in the recent Israel-Hamas war.

“The current accusation made against the IDF is unequivocally false,” a statement from the military said. “The IDF has not deployed the use of such munitions.”

A Palestinian man sits with members of his family outside a building destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on October 12. — AFP
A Palestinian man sits with members of his family outside a building destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on October 12. — AFP
  • 9 killed in West Bank

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported Friday that 44 Palestinians have been killed in West Bank since the start of the war, with nine Palestinians killed today.

Two Palestinians were reportedly shot dead by Israeli troops in Tulkarem and a third was gunned down in Nablus.

  • Will Israel launch ground offensive?

Israel’s military delivered sweeping evacuation orders for almost half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people on Friday ahead of a feared ground offensive aiming at eradicating the Hamas militant group after its grisly assault into Israel, UN officials said. The evacuations could signal an impending ground offensive, though the military said Thursday that no decision had yet been made.


The military has invested tremendous resources for such a scenario, even building a training base in its southern desert meant to replicate Gaza’s urban landscape.

A ground offensive would send a strong message, and forces operating inside Gaza might have a better chance of killing top Hamas leaders and rescuing hostages.

Such an assault all but guarantees far higher casualties on both sides. And it would involve street-by-street battles with Hamas militants who’ve had years to prepare tunnels and traps.

  • Hamas calls warning propaganda

Hamas called on Palestinians to stay in their homes on Friday after Israel issued sweeping evacuation orders in Gaza.

The Hamas Authority for Refugee Affairs told residents of the north of the territory to “remain steadfast in your homes and to stand firm in the face of this disgusting psychological war waged by the occupation.”

Israel has ordered the evacuation of northern Gaza, including Gaza City, which is home to hundreds of thousands of people. Palestinians would only be able to flee south within Gaza — a narrow strip of land about 40km long — as Israel has completely sealed off the territory.

  • Panic in Gaza

Residents in northern Gaza awoke to panic Friday after its 1.1 million residents, including hundreds of thousands in Gaza City, were ordered to evacuate south.

There were no cars on the road except for ambulances. Because of the Internet outages and collapse of mobile-phone networks, Palestinians said information was scant and most still hadn’t heard direct orders from the army to evacuate.


“This is chaos, no one understands what to do,” said Inas Hamdan, an officer at the United Nations' Palestinian refugee agency in Gaza City while she grabbed whatever she could throw into her bags amid the panicked shouts of her relatives. She said all the UN staff in Gaza City and northern Gaza had been told to evacuate south to Rafah.

“Forget about food, forget about electricity, forget about fuel, the only concern now is just if you’ll make it, if you’re going to live,” Nebal Farsakh, spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza City said, breaking into heaving sobs. She said there was no possible way that 1.2 million people could be safely evacuated.

Imad Abu Alaa, U.N. Palestinian refugee agency officer in charge of shelters in northern Gaza, echoed that there were too many people to evacuate on too short of notice for it to work. “What about U.N. shelters? We’re talking about civilians. Suddenly that doesn’t even matter?” he said.

Farsakh said there are hospital patients who cannot be moved under the current conditions, and many of the medics were refusing to leave and abandon their patients. Instead, she said, they called their colleagues to say goodbye.

  • 'Significant force' to be deployed

The Israeli military says it will operate with “significant force” in Gaza in the coming days, a spokesperson said Friday, adding that the evacuation order was made so it can strike Hamas militants/

Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesperson, said that the military “will make extensive efforts to avoid harming civilians.”

“Out of an understanding that there are civilians here who are not our enemy and we do not want to target them, we are asking them to evacuate,” he said.

  • Belgium on heightened alert

Police in Belgium’s Antwerp, home to a large Jewish population, have evacuated its Central Station while they investigate a suspicious package left behind.

In a statement, the police of the port city of 500,000 called on everyone to avoid the massive station as “all entries are being closed off. The building is being emptied.”

Belgium, like most nations, had been on heightened alert since last weekend attacks of Hamas on Israel and the war between the two that followed.

  • Egypt fears mass influx of migrants

Half an hour after a massive evacuation order was called in Gaza, veteran Egyptian politician Mustafa Bakri accused Israel of trying to drive Palestinians into Egypt.

“It seems that this warning foretells the imminent ground aggression and forced displacement of the people of the Gaza Strip towards the border with Egypt, so that they can eliminate the dream of establishing a Palestinian state,” Bakri said on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

Here's a map of Egypt showing the border crossing:

Cash-strapped Egypt fears a mass influx of migrants on its eastern border. It has called for international aid to be funnelled through its Rafah crossing with Gaza.

  • Relief for Indians on first repatriation flight

India’s first chartered flight brought over 200 Indian nationals back home from Tel Aviv on Friday, nearly a week after the latest Israel-Hamas war erupted.

"Everyone is scared. We have no idea what would happen there. We had to move to shelters when there were missile attacks. This was not normal,” said Deepak Sharma, a 20-year-old student who was studying physics at a college in north Israel.


There are about 18,000 Indian citizens living in Israel, a small percentage of them students, according to India’s External Affairs Ministry. Nearly one-third of them have registered with the Indian embassy ready to fly back home.

New Delhi has not heard of any Indian casualties since Hamas launched its incursion, the ministry said.

  • Middle East diplomacy

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has opened a second day of frantic Mideast diplomacy, seeking to avert an expanded regional conflict while pledging full support for Israel as it steps up its war with Hamas and prepares for an expected ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.


A day after visiting Israel to offer the backing of President Joe Biden's administration, Blinken was in Jordan on Friday for talks with Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has a home in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

Later Friday, Blinken is to fly to Doha for meetings with Qatari officials and end the day in Saudi Arabia.

Blinken’s message has been to reassure Israel that America stands with it, to urge neighbouring countries like Iran and Syria and anti-Israel groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement not to enter the conflict. He is also seeking Arab help in trying to convince Hamas to release the hostages it is now holding.

  • Families cutting down to one meal a day

The number of people forced from their homes by the airstrikes soared 25% in a day, reaching 423,000 out of a population of 2.3 million, the UN said Thursday. Most crowded into UN-run schools.

Families were cutting down to one meal a day, said Rami Swailem, a 34-year-old lecturer at Al Azhar University, who had 32 relatives sheltering in his home. Water stopped coming to the building two days ago, and they have rationed what’s left in a tank on the roof.

The death toll from Israeli strikes on Gaza rose to 1,537, with 6,612 people wounded, the Gaza-based Health Ministry said Thursday. Of those killed, 500 were under the age of 18, the ministry said.


Palestinians were reporting heavy Israeli airstrikes across the besieged Gaza Strip, with bombardment on residential buildings in densely populated city districts and refugee camps.

  • Nepal evacuates citizens

More than 200 Nepali nationals evacuated from Israel returned home Friday as the government worked to bring back the bodies of 10 Nepali students killed in the unprecedented attack by Hamas.

Nepal’s foreign minister, Narayan Prasad Saud, accompanied 254 citizens on a plane chartered by the government. The returnees were welcomed home by family and friends at Kathmandu airport.

In addition to those killed, four Nepalis were wounded and one is still missing, Saud said. One of the wounded was flown back in the evacuation flight and three others were getting treated at hospitals in Israel, Saud said.

He said 54 Nepali nationals still in Israel have been moved to safer areas and will be evacuated eventually. Many Nepalis in Israel are students studying agriculture techniques.

  • Philippine official pushes for Hamas blacklisting

A top Philippine national security official said on Friday he would push for the designation of the Hamas militant group as a terrorist organisation under his country’s anti-terrorism law for its “barbaric terrorist assault” on Israel which killed hundreds of people, including at least three Filipinos.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano said blacklisting the Hamas as a terrorist organisation would be a Philippine expression of “solidarity with the people of Israel.”

Such a designation, which has to be approved by the government’s Anti-Terrorism Council, would allow Filipino authorities to temporarily freeze financial and other assets, if any, of Hamas and its supporters to prevent acts of terrorism.

The US State Department designated Hamas, which has vowed to annihilate Israel, a terrorist group in 1997. The European Union and other Western countries also consider it a terrorist organization.

(Inputs from AP, Reuters, AFP)


More news from World