Israel and Hamas at war: Latest news

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Oct 17 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Blinken took shelter with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in a bunker during an air raid alert as the U.S. top diplomat worked on making progress to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. DIPLOMACY * Diplomats renewed calls for aid to the besieged Gaza Strip while Iran’s foreign minister said Israel would not be allowed to act there, warning of “preemptive action” in the coming hours. * Egypt President al-Sisi and U.S. President Biden underlined the necessity in a phone call of containing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict so that it doesn’t threaten regional security, Sisi’s office said. * Russian President Putin told Netanyahu that Moscow wanted to help prevent a humanitarian disaster in Gaza as he waded into the Middle East crisis with a flurry of calls to regional players. * Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau called for a humanitarian corridor to be opened into Gaza. * The United Nations Security Council was due to vote on rival resolutions by Russia and Brazil that focus largely on the humanitarian situation. CONFLICT * A top leader of Palestinian militant group Hamas said it “has what it needs” to free all Palestinians in Israel’s jails, indicating Hamas may try to use the Israelis it kidnapped as bargaining chips to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners. * Hamas has about 200-250 Israeli captives in Gaza, the group’s armed-wing spokesman said. The Israeli captives include high-ranking officers from the Gaza Division, said former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal. * Iran’s top envoy said Israel will not be allowed to take any action in the Gaza Strip without facing consequences, state TV reported. * Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas, discussed the release of civilian prisoners held by the group, a ministry source said. * The head of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency took responsibility for failing to prevent Hamas from carrying out its Oct. 7 rampage through Israeli towns that killed more than 1,300 people. HUMAN IMPACT * Gaza hospitals struggled to cope with air strikes and a blockade as they awaited the expected Israeli ground offensive. * 87-year-old Holocaust survivor Ruth Haran had felt safe in her own home in Israel but that changed on Oct. 7 when Hamas gunmen attacked the kibbutz of Beeri in southern Israel. They forced her into the house’s safe room. She emerged unscathed hours later. Her family did not. INSIGHTS AND EXPLAINERS * How Hamas secretly created a ‘mini-army’ to fight Israel. * Hamas uses a global financing network to funnel support from charities and friendly nations, passing cash through Gaza tunnels or using cryptocurrencies to bypass international sanctions. * What are the origins of Hezbollah: Iran founded it in 1982 to export its 1979 Islamic Revolution and fight Israeli forces after their 1982 invasion of Lebanon. MARKETS AND BUSINESS * Defense exchange-traded funds saw sharp inflows as the conflict threatened Middle East stability. * Traders said the Israel-Hamas conflict did not appear to threaten oil supplies in the short term as oil futures fell more then $1 a barrel on Monday and expectations rose that the U.S. and Venezuela could soon reach a deal easing sanctions on Venezuelan crude exports. * Saudi Arabia’s $778 billion sovereign wealth fund has mandated banks to arrange a bond sale, the first high-profile debt issue from the region since the Hamas attack. * Stablecoin issuer Tether has frozen 32 cryptocurrency wallet addresses containing a combined $873,118 linked to “terrorism and warfare” in Israel and Ukraine, the company said. * Wall Street surged and Treasury yields rose on Monday as investors embarked upon the first full week of third-quarter earnings while keeping a close eye on the Israel-Hamas war. Read Next article with gallery Middle Eastcategory Biden to visit Israel on Wednesday; Iran issues warning 12:35 AM UTC Middle Eastcategory Iran says ‘preemptive action’ by resistance front expected in coming hours October 16, 2023 United Statescategory Trump pledges to expel immigrants who support Hamas, ban Muslims from the U.S. October 16, 2023 Middle Eastcategory Hamas seeks Palestinian prisoners’ release, calls non-Israeli captives ‘guests’ 1:26 AM UTC ¬∑ Updated ago Compiled by Grant McCool; Editing by Cynthia Osterman Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Acquire Licensing Rights, opens new tab

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