Escalation in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #1 as of 18:00, 7 October 2023
On 7 October 2023, since the early morning hours, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza launched thousands of rockets toward Israel and breached through the perimeter fence of Gaza at multiple locations. Members of armed groups entered into Israeli towns, communities, and military facilities near the Gaza Strip, killing and capturing Israeli forces and civilians. The Israeli military declared “a state of war alert,” and begun striking targets in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian armed groups who had entered Israel initially claimed to have captured about 52 people, including members of Israeli forces and civilians, taking them to Gaza as rocket fire continued.
As of 17:30, Magen David Adom reported that at least 70 Israelis and possibly also foreign nationals had been killed, including one paramedic. At least 985 people had been injured, according to the Israeli Ministry of Health. According to media reports, over 200 people have been killed and 1,500 injured in Israel.
At around 10:45, Israeli forces began striking targets in the Gaza strip.
As of 18:00, the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza reported that 198 Palestinians had been killed and 1,610 others had been injured.
During airstrikes, Israeli forces hit the Indonesian hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza, with a missile, killing two Palestinian men, including a staff member of the hospital, and injuring five others. Damage was also caused to the oxygen station inside the hospital. Additionally, at about 14:00, Israeli forces reportedly hit an ambulance stationed in front of Nasser Hospital in the city of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. Several Palestinian paramedics were reported injured.
At about 11:00, Israeli forces reportedly killed a Palestinian journalist east of Al Bureij, in Gaza city, while he was covering the events.
By 18:00, at least 20,000 internally displaced people were sheltering in 44 UNRWA schools, including 28 designated emergency shelters, in all areas in the Gaza Strip, except Khan Younis.
Exchanges of fire in the towns and communities surrounding Gaza took place throughout the day, the afternoon and evening. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza continued to fire rockets at Israel. Israeli airstrikes also continued throughout the afternoon and evening targeting multi-storey buildings. At least one high rising building comprising tens of apartments was destroyed.
In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, confrontations have been increasing in multiple locations. As of 17:00, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported to have treated 23 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces, including nine who were hit with live ammunition, six injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, four who required treatment for teargas inhalation, three who had shrapnel wounds and one who was physically assaulted. PRCS also reported seven Palestinians injured by Israeli settlers, including two injured with live ammunition in Salfit. According to initial reports, three Palestinians were killed by either Israeli forces or settlers and a child was critically injured.
Also in the West Bank, the Israeli authorities put in place multiple movement restrictions, including the closure of several checkpoints leading to Jerusalem. Additionally, they closed the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan for Palestinian travellers.
The humanitarian coordinator has activated a contingency plan for Gaza and is working to secure access with all parties for a scale up of the needed humanitarian response.