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Israel Latest: US Says Forces Attacked Again After Syria Strike

(Bloomberg) -- The Pentagon said its military personnel in Syria and Iraq have come under attack four times since an overnight US airstrike on an arms depot, which was intended as a deterrent.

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Israel’s military said it’s enacting pauses in the fighting that will enable more Palestinians in north Gaza, where the army is pushing deeper into Hamas strongholds, to escape to the south. More than 50,000 people fled in that direction Thursday, Israel said. The White House said the pauses will last four hours every day.

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Palestinian officials in the West Bank reported that eight people were killed there in clashes with the Israeli army. Islamic Jihad — which like Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the US — said it’s ready to release two hostages held in Gaza.

For more stories on the Israel-Hamas war, click here.

Israel Carries Out Strikes on Syria After Drone Attack on School (5:40 a.m.)

Israel said it struck back at organization from Syria that carried out a drone attack on a school in Eilat.

The Israel Defense Forces said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that it “holds the Syrian regime fully responsible for every terror activity emanating from its territory.”

No further details were provided.

Netanyahu Says Accord With Saudis Is Still Possible (2:45 a.m.)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a peace deal with Saudi Arabia was still possible, despite intense fighting in the Gaza Strip.

“I think it will be a reality,” Netanyahu said during an interview with Fox News’s Special Report that was broadcast Thursday evening. “I think conditions will be ripe. In fact, after a victory, I think they’ll be even riper.”

Asked about President Joe Biden’s comments earlier that the fighting has “taken a little longer than I’d hoped,” Netanyahu responded, “Well, it’s taken a little longer that I’d hoped.”

Pentagon Says US Forces Attacked 4 Times After Syria Strike (10:30 p.m.)

US personnel in Syria and Iraq came under attack four times since the Pentagon targeted a weapons supply depot in Syria overnight, in what was meant to be a deterrence strike, a spokeswoman said.

Three personnel suffered minor injuries in the latest attacks, deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters. She said US personnel had come under attack by drones and rockets a total of 46 times since Oct. 17. Fifty-six personnel were injured in those attacks and all have returned to duty, Singh said. The US says its warplanes struck a weapons-storage facility on Wednesday night that belonged to Iran and its affiliates.

Paris Conference for Gaza Pledges €1 Billion Aid (9:00 p.m.)

Participants at a Paris conference on the humanitarian situation in Gaza have pledged €1 billion in aid for Palestinians, according to an aide to French President Emmanuel Macron. It wasn’t immediately clear how much of that represents new commitments.

More Than 50,000 Leave North Gaza for South, Israel Says (8:30 p.m.)

More than 50,000 people left north Gaza for the south on Thursday via what Israel calls a humanitarian corridor to allow Palestinians to escape the area where fighting is heaviest, Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said. The United Nations has said about 50,000 Gazans fled the north on Wednesday, a sharp increase from the previous few days.

Israeli Pauses Are Result of American Diplomacy, US Says (8:15 pm)

Israel’s decision to allow daily, four-hour pauses in the fighting for the evacuation of civilians and the distribution of aid was a “direct result” of diplomatic discussions between top Biden administration officials and their Israeli counterparts, State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.

Israel Army Says Pauses Are to Let Gazans Move South (7:20 p.m.)

Israel will enact “tactical local pauses for humanitarian aid, which are limited in time and area,” army spokesperson Richard Hecht told reporters in a briefing, speaking after the White House said that Israel plans daily four-hour pauses in the fighting in some areas.

Hecht said one purpose of the plan is to allow civilians in Gaza to move from the territory’s north, where the heaviest fighting is taking place, to the south. He said the pauses don’t represent a shift in strategy and Israel was already doing something similar.

Islamic Jihad Says Ready to Release Two Hostages (6:35 pm)

Islamic Jihad’s military wing said it was ready to release two captives, an elderly woman and a young boy for “humanitarian and health reasons,” Al Jazeera TV reported citing a spokesperson for the Palestinian militant group known as Abu Hamza. The release will happen as soon as conditions are suitable, Abu Hamza said.

School in Israeli Red Sea Resort Hit by Drone (6:15 p.m.)

A civilian building in the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat was hit by an unidentified unmanned aerial vehicle, Israel’s military said, without giving further detail. There were no reports of casualties or claims of responsibility.

The Jerusalem Post said that the building was an elementary school and that initial supports suggested it may have been hit by a falling Israeli drone. Israel has also been targeted by attempted missile strikes from rebels in Yemen, which is at the opposite end of the Red Sea from Eilat.

Israel to Begin Pauses in Gaza Fighting, Kirby Says (5:50 p.m.)

Israel will begin to implement four-hour pauses in areas of northern Gaza each day, with an announcement to be made three hours before the pauses begin, National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“We’ve been told by the Israelis that there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause, and that this process is starting today,” Kirby said. There was no immediate corresponding announcement by Israel. On Wednesday Israeli military officials said there have already been pauses in the campaign to enable Palestinians to escape from northern Gaza to the south.

Israel, Hezbollah Exchange Fire in North (5:00 p.m.)

The Israeli military said tanks and artillery fired at targets in Lebanon after mortar shells were aimed across the border, including some directed at an Israeli army post in Metula. Hezbollah said it had targeted Israeli infantry near the border.

West Bank Health Ministry Says 8 Killed (2:48 p.m.)

Eight people were killed and 12 more injured in clashes with Israel Defense Forces, the Health Ministry in the West Bank said. Six of the deaths were caused by a drone attack in the Jenin camp, Palestinian Authority official news agency Wafa reported.

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