Israel Hamas war: Gaza border remains closed for aid and evacuations as humanitarian crisis deepens

Palestinian child wounded in Israeli bombardment is brought to a hospital in Deir el-Balah, Gaza Strip, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023.
Palestinian child wounded in Israeli bombardment is brought to a hospital in Deir el-Balah, Gaza Strip, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. Copyright AP Photo/Adel Hana
By Joshua AskewGiulia Carbonaro
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Our live coverage on day ten of the Israel-Hamas war.



  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said 6 British citizens died in the Hamas attacks and 10 more are missing
  • Iranian minister warns of war escalating to other fronts
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared the US support for Israel's right to defend itself during a visit to the country
  • Israel has dismissed reports of a ceasefire in south Gaza
  • Talks continue on opening Egypt's border crossing with Gaza to allow in aid and some Palestinians to flee, though there's yet no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough
  • At least 2,800 Palestinians have been killed, say authorities in Gaza. Two-thirds of whom are thought to be women and children
  • Israeli authorities say there are about 199 hostages in Gaza
  • US President Joe Biden has warned Israel occupying Gaza would be a "big mistake"
  • Around one million people have been displaced in Gaza, according to aid agencies
  • More than 1,000 Palestinians are missing under the rubble of buildings destroyed in Israeli airstrikes
  • Israel is massing its forces on the border in preparation for a ground invasion
  • More than 1,400 people were killed in Israel when Hamas fighters attacked civilians and soldiers just over a week ago


That's our live blog coming to a close today.

Read below to see how events unfolded on Monday. We're back Tuesday morning with all the latest overnight developments at 08:00 CET.

Thanks for reading.


Iranian minister warns of escalation of the war

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the possibility of the war between Israel and Hamas spreading outside the region "is approaching (the) unavoidable stage".

"Conferred with my counterparts from Malaysia, Pakistan, Tunisia", he wrote. "Underlined the need to immediately stop Zionist crimes and murder in Gaza and to dispatch humanitarian aid. I stressed that time is running out for political solutions; probable spread of war in other fronts is approaching unavoidable stage."


EU announces flight operation to bring aid to Gaza

The EU will send flights to Egypt "to bring lifesaving supplies to humanitarian organisations on the ground in Gaza," the European Commission announced on Monday.

The first two flights will leave for Egypt this week, the EU executive said, carrying humanitarian cargo from UNICEF including shelter items, medicines and hygiene kits.

"Additional emergency items from EU emergency stockpiles are available and ready to be deployed to our humanitarian partners as soon as requested," the Commission said.


UK PM's call with President of Palestinian Authority Abbas

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he spoke to the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas on Monday morning and expressed his condolences for the deaths of Palestinian civilians following Hamas' attack last Saturday.

Sunak reiterated that the UK believes that Hamas does not speak for ordinary Palestinians and that the country supports a two-state solution.

The two leaders agreed on the importance of avoiding further escalation of violence in the region, with Sunak expressing the UK's commitment to support the Palestinian Authority in trying to establish peace and stability.

The UK government said the two also discussed humanitarian aid and measures to protect civilians in Gaza. 


Blinken says US supports Israel's right to defend itself

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who's visiting Israel, said on Monday that his country supports Israel's commitment and obligation to defend itself, adding that Israel will "always have the support of the United States in that". 


UK increases humanitarian aid to Palestinians  

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Monday that his country will increase humanitarian aid to the Palestinians by a third, adding an extra €11.5 million (£10 million).

"We must support the Palestinian people because they are also victims of Hamas", Sunak declared in the British Parliament. He added that his government was deploying RAF aircraft and the Royal Navy to stop the supply of arms to the region and to assist with humanitarian efforts.


France calls for the Gaza blockade to be eased and accuses Hamas of stopping residents from leaving

French foreign minister Catherine Colonna accused Hamas of preventing Gaza residents from leaving as thousands have reportedly gathered close to the crossing with Egypt in the hope of leaving the territory.

"France appeals to all groups or states who could seek to profit from the situation to abstain from doing so", Colonna, who was visiting Egypt, said. 

    The French minister also called for the blockade of Gaza to be eased to allow humanitarian aid to reach residents.

    "The blockade doesn’t respect humanitarian law", she said. "Humanitarian aid must be permitted to enter Gaza, because it's unacceptable to leave women, men, children who aren't responsible for Hamas’s crimes suffering like this".


    Six Brits killed in Hamas attacks - UK PM

    Rishi Sunak has told the UK parliament that at least six Britons were killed in Hamas's surprise attack on southern Israel, with a further ten missing. 

    Addressing the House of Commons, the UK Prime Minister condemned Hamas' assault on Israel, calling for the "immediate release" of almost 200 people estimated to have been taken hostage by the militant group. 

    He then spoke to the British Jewish community. 

    "We stand with you now and always," he says to a chorus of "hear hear".

    "This atrocity was an existential strike at the very idea of Israel as a safe homeland."

    Sunak said British Muslims were "appaled by Hamas", saying the country should listen to their concerns with the same attentiveness. 

    "Let's say it plainly. We stand with British Muslim communities too," he said. 

    The UK PM said he supported Israel's right to defend itself, but insisted it must be done in line with international humanitarian law. 

    "As a friend we will continue to call on Israel to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians," he added.

    Last week, the UK increased its military presence in Cyprus to prevent further instability in the region and assist Israeli forces. 


    Two-thirds of those killed in Gaza are women and children - reports 

    At least 2,808 Palestinians have been killed and 10,859 wounded in the Gaza Strip in Israeli airstrikes, the health ministry says.

    Some 64% of all those killed are women and children, according to the government media office in Gaza. 

    It detailed that 254 Palestinians have been killed in the past 24 hours, while 37 medical staff were killed. 

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