Israel’s army continues to bomb Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip
7:18 a.m.: The Israeli military has continued its bombardment in the Gaza Strip in response to terrorist attacks by the Islamist Hamas. A large-scale attack is currently underway against targets belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the armed forces announced on Telegram early Thursday morning.
On Saturday, terrorists carried out massacres in Israeli border towns and at a music festival on behalf of the Islamist organization ruling the Gaza Strip. As of Wednesday, 189 soldiers were among the more than 1,200 dead, the Israeli army said. The vast majority of those killed in the attacks are civilians. At least 3,000 people were injured and around 150 were kidnapped in the Gaza Strip.
Israel responded with heavy air strikes on the densely populated coastal strip. At least 1,100 people were killed there and more than 5,300 other people were injured.
US government in talks about allowing civilians to leave Gaza
6:47 a.m.: The US government is in talks with Israel and Egypt about opening a border crossing for civilians to leave the Gaza Strip. “We want to make sure to the best of our ability – and I know that Israel wants to make sure to the best of its ability – that civilians are not harmed,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken before his departure for Israel, where he will become prime minister on Thursday Benjamin Netanyahu and President Izchak Herzog want to meet.
Rescue workers on massacre in Israel: “There were trucks full of corpses”
4:20 a.m.: A rescue worker in Israel reported unimaginable scenes on site after the massacre by Hamas terrorists. “We thought we were strong, we thought we had seen everything, but we were convinced otherwise,” Avigdor Stern told the German Press Agency. The 39-year-old is one of hundreds of volunteers from the Zaka rescue service who have been helping for days in the border area with the Gaza Strip to completely recover the dead in order to pay their last respects.
He was in the synagogue when he heard about the worst bloodbath in Israeli history. He actually wanted to celebrate the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah (Joy of the Torah). “But we couldn’t dance, we just cried,” he says. After the holiday, he and his colleagues drove to the villages in the border area and found kilometers of devastation. “At that moment our lives changed forever,” says Stern, who lived as a rabbi in Konstanz on Lake Constance for several years.
“Such a mass of corpses, a corpse and another corpse and another corpse,” says Stern. There were so many that the body bags weren’t enough. They had to be requested from all over Israel. “There were trucks full of corpses,” says Stern, describing the scenes on site.
He and his colleagues had already seen a lot – victims of tsunamis, earthquakes, accidents, attacks, but this dimension was one that no one had expected. “Women, men, children, babies, I can’t even explain it,” says the Zaka helper and shows a photo with a small body bag. Written on it is “Baby.”
In the Jewish faith, every part of a body must be buried, Stern explains. This is how people are paid their last respects. This is Zaka’s job. “We knew we couldn’t stop, we knew we had to do this now.”
Army: 189 soldiers among those killed in recent Hamas terror
Thursday, October 12th, 12:58 a.m.: As of Wednesday, 189 soldiers were among the more than 1,200 people who died in Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel. The Israeli army announced this in the evening. The vast majority of people killed in the major attacks are civilians.
Hamas: Israeli hostage and her two children released
11:05 p.m.: The radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas has announced the release of an Israeli hostage and her two children. “An Israeli settler and her two children have been released after being arrested during the clashes,” the Essedin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, said on Wednesday evening.
Israel’s defense minister threatens Hamas with destruction
10:25 p.m.: In a TV statement, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant described Hamas’ attack on Israel as the worst terrorist attack “the world has ever seen.” And further: “It is the worst thing that has happened to the Jewish people since 1945.”
He also threatens: “Hamas will be wiped from the face of the earth. There are no circumstances where they kill Israeli children and we go back to everyday life.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also present at the same address. He also finds clear words: “Every Hamas member is a dead person.”
Government circles: Erdogan is negotiating with Hamas about the release of hostages from Israel
9:29 p.m.: According to government sources, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has begun negotiations with Hamas about the release of hostages from Israel. “They are negotiating to secure the release of hostages,” a government source told the AFP news agency on Wednesday, confirming reports from the Turkish private television channel Habertürk. The radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas kidnapped 150 hostages to the Gaza Strip during its major attack on Israel.
Lufthansa has massive problems with evacuation flights from Israel
8.40 p.m.: Shortly after a hotline was activated for German citizens to book evacuation flights from Israel with the airline Lufthansa, massive problems arose. Several German citizens reported to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” that the hotline could not be reached despite more than 100 calls. There is also no waiting loop, just a busy signal. There were also corresponding complaints on social media.
The Foreign Office said in the evening that Lufthansa had informed that its call center was currently faced with an extremely high volume of inquiries. Accordingly, the airline assured that it was working hard on a solution.
The Foreign Office announced on Tuesday that four special flights would be offered by Lufthansa on Thursday and Friday to bring German nationals out of Israel. German citizens who have registered on the Foreign Office’s crisis list were informed about this on Wednesday. They were given a telephone number in Germany through which they could book the flights. Apparently she can’t handle the onslaught. The tickets cost 550 euros each, of which the federal government covers 250 euros.
Lufthansa also wants to use two wide-body aircraft for the planned special flights. On Thursday and Friday, a Boeing Jumbo 747-400 (371 seats) is scheduled to take off from Frankfurt and an Airbus A350 (293 seats) from Munich to Tel Aviv. There will also be one Airbus A321 at each hub, each with 200 seats. For both days combined, this results in a total capacity of 2,128 seats. Numerous pilots and flight attendants volunteered to fly on behalf of the federal government despite the existing safety risks, as the airline announced upon request.
According to the Foreign Office, more than 100,000 Germans are in Israel, the majority of them German-Israeli dual nationals. By Wednesday morning, more than 5,000 of them had registered on the crisis list. However, it is unclear how many of them want to leave the country.
False alarm in northern Israel sends two million people into bunkers
7.30 p.m.: After northern Israel was temporarily put on alert, the army has given the all-clear. Israel’s military announced on Wednesday evening that no more immediate threats to Israeli territory had been identified. The sirens had previously blared in large parts near the demarcation line with neighboring Lebanon.
There is increasing evidence that the alarm was a false alarm. According to a military spokesman for the Israeli army, there was no security incident in the north of the country. The cause of the alarm should now be investigated. The sirens sent around two million people in the region to shelters.
Germany sends Israel Heron combat drones
7:11 p.m.: Germany also supports Israel’s offensive against Hamas militarily. This is reported by the “Mirror“. Accordingly, the Air Force is providing two Heron combat drones. German pilots are being trained on both in Israel, and now, according to the report, Israel’s Air Force asked whether Germany would give them up for the offensive. On Wednesday, Defense Minister Pistorius gave the green light.
According to “Spiegel”, the training has been taking place for months. The drones come in two variants. A reconnaissance variant and a combat drone with precision missiles. Both drones are on loan for training in Israel.
Alarm in northern Israel: Flying objects from Lebanon entered airspace
5:57 p.m.: According to the military, northern Israel has been placed on a state of alert. Sirens wailed in large parts of the country near the demarcation line with neighboring Lebanon on Wednesday evening, the army said. The armed forces reported a suspected “infiltration from Lebanon into Israeli airspace.” The army ordered people in the north of the country to stay in shelters until further notice.
Israeli media reports that flying objects from Lebanon violated Israeli airspace. These should include drones and paragliders. Dozens of drones were shot down. A local politician said that “some of the planes have people on board.” The Israeli army is sending attack helicopters in response.
Many Lebanese in the south of the country have already fled for fear of a possible military escalation between the Shiite militia Hezbollah and the Israeli military. According to eyewitnesses, several villages were deserted on Wednesday. Residents from the port city of Tire were reminded of previous serious conflicts with Israel.
Hezbollah signaled its willingness to fight after sending a US aircraft carrier to the eastern Mediterranean: The organization is considered a close ally of Iran, is well equipped militarily and is hostile to the Jewish state.