Illinois mom and daughter remain missing in Israel
Rabbi Meir Hecht, co-director at Chabad of Evanston, Illinois, joins ‘FOX & Friends First’ to discuss two Americans still missing in Israel as Hamas continues to wage war on civilians.
Several Middle Eastern countries and other regional authorities have weighed in on the war between Israel and Hamas forces in Gaza, which started when Hamas terrorists, which rule the Gaza Strip, carried out a massacre of Israeli civilians in border towns and at a music festival on Saturday. It has claimed more than 2,200 lives on both sides in just five days.
Leaders in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and a prominent school in Egypt have expressed support for fighters in Gaza and have condemned Israel, where more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, have died. The Gaza Health Ministry says more than 1,050 of their own people have been killed.
The war is expected to escalate as Israel has amassed forces near its border with Gaza, ahead of a potential ground operation. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has also moved troops to its northern border, which it shares with Syria and Lebanon, after the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles at Israeli soldiers.
Rocket fire from Gaza continued to fall onto Tel Aviv Wednesday and, as night falls on the region, additional rocket fire is expected.
ISRAEL AT WAR WITH HAMAS AFTER SURPRISE ATTACKS, MORE THAN 1,200 ISRAELIS DEAD
Participants of a solidarity rally for Israel hold Israel’s flag in their hands after terrorists carried out a massacre among Israeli civilians in border towns and at a music festival on Saturday on behalf of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. (Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Other leaders, including the Vatican, have called for an end of the warring and the killing of innocent civilians.
What is Syria saying?
Palestinian factions based in the Syrian capital of Damascus have expressed their support to fighters in Gaza, promoting the claim that Hamas is helping liberate their land.
The officials, from factions including the “Palestinian Islamic Jihad” and the “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command,” have called for Arab foreign ministers, who are meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, to clearly state their support for the Palestinian people in Gaza.
ISRAEL RESPONDS TO HEZBOLLAH ATTACK FROM LEBANON DEPLOYING ‘TENS OF THOUSANDS’ TO NORTHERN BORDER
Israeli forces have launched rockets into southern Lebanon, striking Hezbollah forces, the IDF said. (Fox News)
An IDF spokesman said Wednesday that Israel received rocket-fire from Lebanon and Syria and was mobilizing “tens of thousands” of troops toward its northern border in response.
Spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus did not say whether the rockets were fired by a Syrian militant group, Hezbollah or another faction. IDF returned fire, striking where the rockets were fired, he said.
A column of Israeli Merkava battle tanks is amassed in the upper Galilee in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon on Oct. 11, 2023. (JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images)
There have been concerns this third front — in addition to fighting in Gaza and, separately, in Lebanon — heightened tensions and could escalate into a regional war.
What is happening in Iraq?
The Kata’ib Hezbollah, a prominent Iranian-backed terrorist group in Iraq, released a statement Wednesday threatening to attack American bases if the United States intervenes in the current Israel-Hamas war.
“Our missiles, drones, and special forces are ready to direct qualitative strikes at the American enemy in its bases and disrupt its interests if it intervenes in this battle,” Ahmad al-Hamidawi, head of the Kataib Hezbollah militia also known as “Abu Hussein,” said in a statement.
US AMMO ARRIVES IN ISRAEL AHEAD OF EXPECTED GROUND OPERATION IN GAZA
Al-Hamidawi also threatened to launch missiles directly at Israeli targets and has called on Iraqis to demonstrate their support for the Hamas military campaign. They are also collecting money for to support Hamas.
Israel is currently fighting a multipronged war after rockets were fired in from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, an IDF spokesman said. (Fox News)
Iraq does not share a border with Israel as it is separated by Jordan and Syria.
The King of Jordan has called for a ‘two-state solution’
King Abdullah II of Jordan has called for peace between Gaza and Israel but said Israeli-Palestinian relations could never be stable without a “two-state solution.”
Such a proposal includes Palestinian people getting their own land and country, which Israel opposes.
AT LEAST 40 BABIES, SOME BEHEADED, FOUND BY ISRAEL SOLDIERS IN HAMAS-ATTACKED VILLAGE
“There will be no security, no peace, no stability without just and total peace that comes through a two-state solution,” King Abdullah II told the Jordanian parliament Wednesday, calling for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
King Abdullah II of Jordan called for peace between Gaza and Israel, after Hamas militants killed over 700 Israelis on Saturday. (Li Rui/Xinhua via Getty Images)
The King of Jordan has also mobilized medical and humanitarian aid teams to the blockaded Gaza Strip through Egypt.
A major university in Egypt claims Israel is guilty of war crimes
Al-Azhar al-Sharif, the Sunni world’s foremost seat of religious learning, released a strongly-worded statement Wednesday alleging Israel has committed “genocide and war crimes” against civilian Palestinians in Gaza.
The Cairo-based religious institution called for Arab and Islamic countries to take “a serious and unified position against the West’s inhuman rally.” It also condemned its “inhuman siege” of Gaza and claimed Israel’s attacks were killing “innocent Palestinian civilians,” which Israel has denied.
The statement called for an investigation into the alleged actions.
ISRAEL LAUNCHES MASSIVE AIRSTRIKES ON DOWNTOWN GAZA CITY, NETANYAHU SAYS: ‘WE HAVE ONLY STARTED’
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi warned about “grave security and humanitarian repercussions” in a statement Wednesday amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
He said his government, which has mediated previous cease-fires between Israel and Palestinian militants, is seeking to “contain the situation,” according to the Egyptian leader’s office.
Egypt has closed the Rafah border, which it shares with Israel and the Gaza Strip, according to an Egyptian security official.
What is the Vatican saying?
On Wednesday, Pope Francis called for the immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas.
Pope Francis blesses the crowd at the end his weekly general audience on St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Oct. 11, 2023. (Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
On Saturday, Hamas fighters carried out the most serious assault on Israel in its 75-year history. The attack, which took place on a religious holiday in Israel, included Hamas terrorists killing 260 Israelis at a music festival and the taking of more than 130 hostages. These hostages include Americans and European nationals.
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Pope Francis said he is praying for those who saw “a day of celebration transformed into a day of mourning.” He also said that he is following events in Israel and the occupied territories with “pain and apprehension,” with “many dead and injured.’’
The pope clarified that “whoever is attacked has the right to defend himself” but said he was “very worried about the total siege under which the Palestinians in Gaza are living, where there are also many innocent victims.”
Thousands of people on both sides, Israel and Gaza, have been wounded.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.