Israel says soldier held hostage by Hamas rescued in Gaza as troops push deeper in

Israel says soldier held hostage by Hamas rescued in Gaza as troops push deeper in

A female Israeli soldier taken hostage by Hamas during the October 7 attacks has been freed during  the ground operations in Gaza, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) has said.

A statement released along with the Israel Securities Authority said that Private Ori Megidish was freed during IDF ground operations overnight.

“The soldier was medically checked, is doing well, and has met with her family. The IDF and ISA will continue to do everything it takes in order to release the hostages,” the statement added.

Israeli troops have expanded a ground assault in northern Gaza on Monday as medics say airstrikes hit close to hospitals where thousands are sheltering.Israeli advances have put their forces on both sides of Gaza City and the surrounding areas of northern Gaza, in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “second stage” of the war.

The military have put their forces on both sides of Gaza City and the surrounding areas of northern Gaza, in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “second stage” of the war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a defiant speech on Monday night where he said he would not agree to a ceasefire and quoted the Bible when he said "this is a time for war".

Follow latest updates below

Key Points

  • German-Israeli festival goer found dead

  • Video of 'hostages' released by Hamas

  • IDF says it rescued israeli soldier taken hostage by Hamas

  • Israel rules out ceasefire

What's happened overnight?

07:07 , Miriam Burrell

Israeli air strikes have hit areas near Gaza's Shifa and Al-Quds hospitals.

Palestinian militants clashed with Israeli forces in a border area east of the city of Khan Younis in the south, Palestinian media said.

It came hours after Israel released images of battle tanks on the west coast of Gaza, signalling a potential effort to surround Gaza's main city two days after the Israeli government ordered expanded ground incursions.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said on Sunday it had received warnings from Israel to immediately evacuate al-Quds hospital, where some 14,000 people have sought shelter.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli military 'eliminated multiple terrorists' overnight

07:11 , Miriam Burrell

The Israel Defense Forces said ground operations in Gaza continued and expanded overnight.

It said a Hamas post with more than 20 terrorist operatives inside was struck, while multiple terrorists barricaded in civilian buildings were "eliminated".

UK nationals could be stopped from leaving Gaza, US suggests

07:17 , Miriam Burrell

Hamas could be stopping British nationals from leaving Gaza, US President Joe Biden’s security adviser suggested.

Jake Sullivan said Egypt and Israel were prepared to allow foreign nationals to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

But he said Hamas had not agreed to terms that would allow foreigners to leave for Egypt and reach safety.

Rishi Sunak last week said UK Border Force are in Egypt to help British nationals escape when the crossing is opened to foreign nationals.

The Foreign Office is in contact with around 200 UK nationals in Gaza, Mr Sunak has previously said.

Read more here.

Pictured: Israeli blasts in Gaza on Monday

07:26 , Miriam Burrell

Blasts in Gaza as seen from Israel's southern city of Sderot.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Mob hunted Jews when plane from Tel Aviv landed at Russian airport

07:46 , Miriam Burrell

A mob of pro-Palestine protesters stormed an airport in Russia and demanded the passports of people who had been onboard a flight from Israel.

Police have had to take control of the airport with 60 people arrested after the facility was stormed on Sunday, the interior ministry said.

Read more here.

Protestors at the airport in Makhachkala (Telegram / @askrasul/AFP via Get)
Protestors at the airport in Makhachkala (Telegram / @askrasul/AFP via Get)

Video of Israel air strikes near Al-Quds Hospital

07:49 , Miriam Burrell

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has posted a video of what it says are Israeli strikes near the Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City.

UK to hold COBRA meeting to discuss national security risk

08:04 , Miriam Burrell

A COBRA emergency response committee meeting will be held today to discuss the UK's security risk from the conflict, the higher education minister Robert Halfon told Times Radio.

Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents have surged in London since Hamas launched its attack on Israel just over three weeks ago.

Five people have been charged after a massive pro-Palestinian demonstration was held in London on Saturday.

Read more here.

Foreign Secretary 'working on humanitarian pause'

08:14 , Miriam Burrell

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said the UK is working extensively on a humanitarian pause in the conflict so aid can reach civilians in Gaza.

He told Reuters in Abu Dhabi on Monday: "We're working extensively with the Egyptians, with the Israelis and others to try and have a humanitarian pause, a temporary pause so that we can get that aid to the people that need it.

"It's trickling through but we need a significant increase in the volume," he added.

Pictured: Jenin refugee camp in West Bank

08:28 , Miriam Burrell

Damage to the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied northern West Bank.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Higher Education Minister: 'It's frightening for Jews in England'

08:38 , Miriam Burrell

Higher Education Minister Robert Halfon said it's "unthinkable" that British Jews were now having to judge whether it was safe to enter central London at weekends, or whether to wear the Star of David in public.

Asked about the anti-Israel chant of “from the river to the sea” heard at protests, the Jewish minister told Times Radio: “It's horrific. It's scary. It's frightening for Jewish people in England at the moment.

"We have to make sure that British citizens are safe and secure from the threat of terrorism, as the Government always does,” the minister said.

Existing anti-terrorism laws 'strong', minister says

08:46 , Miriam Burrell

Amid calls from Met chief Sir Mark Rowley to review anti-extremism legislation in response to protest chanting, Higher Education Minister Robert said existing laws were "strong".

"It's always difficult to say that a particular form of words is automatically illegal. But what the police will be doing is they'll be looking at the conduct of people at marches and what they are saying,” Mr Hall told Times Radio.

“And as we know from what's happening in Dagestan at the moment - people going around searching for Jews, it appears on the back of the Palestine-Gaza situation - they (police) will be looking to see whether or not people are stirring up race hatred.

"It's worth remembering we've got quite a lot of existing laws at the moment. Section 17 of the Public Order Act which defines race hatred includes hatred on the grounds of nationality."

Rise in hate crimes in London but Met is 'taking action'

08:57 , Miriam Burrell

Metropolitan Police says it's supporting London communities affected by the Israel-Gaza conflict.

4 people killed, 5 injured in Jenin

09:27 , Miriam Burrell

Four Palestinians were killed early on Monday in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians, injuring a further five people.

Israeli media reported that there was heavy exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Jenin in a battle that included drone strikes.

Gunmen from the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp (AFP via Getty Images)
Gunmen from the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp (AFP via Getty Images)

James Cleverly to meet UAE foreign minister today

09:49 , Miriam Burrell

Some more detail on what we reported earlier.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is trying to arrange a temporary cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip so more humanitarian aid can be delivered.

He said that humanitarian aid was trickling into Gaza but the volume needed to be increased significantly.

Mr Cleverly is due to meet with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan later today.He stopped short of calling for a full ceasefire in the conflict.

"We're working extensively with the Egyptians, with the Israelis, and others to try and have a humanitarian pause, temporary pause so that we can get that humanitarian aid to the people that need it," Mr Cleverly told Reuters at the British Ambassador's residence in Abu Dhabi.

Israel has so far rejected international calls, including by the UN, for a humanitarian pause to its bombardment of Gaza that has killed more than 8,000, according to Palestinian health authorities.

James Cleverly (REUTERS)
James Cleverly (REUTERS)

'People in London should choose their words carefully'

10:34 , Miriam Burrell

Minister for London Paul Scully has spoken to the Standard on Jewish people feeling threatened after the London protests.

"People are understandably concerned about what is happening in Gaza, as well as the horrors of the terrorist attack by Hamas. Israel has a right to defend itself and Palestinians should be able to live a peaceful and equitable life," he said.

"It’s really important that people in London should choose their words carefully and not inflame hatred and violence.

"London is a really tolerant city that values people from all faiths and backgrounds."

3,457 children killed, Gaza health ministry says

10:50 , Miriam Burrell

In its latest update, the health ministry in Gaza says 8,306 Palestinians have been killed, including 3,457 children, in Israeli strikes since October 7.

The death toll in West Bank has risen to 329 Palestinians, the health ministry said.

Pictured: Devastation in Gaza

10:58 , Miriam Burrell

Israeli bombardment in the Nuseirat refugee camp.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Video shows 'motorway blocked by Israeli tank'

11:31 , Miriam Burrell

A video shared online appears to show an Israeli tank and bulldozer in central Gaza blocking the main north-south motorway.

Asking if forces have positioned on the road, Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told AP "we expanded our operations" but would not comment on specific deployments.

The video, posted to X, formerly Twitter, shows a car approaching an earth barrier across the road, where a tank is parked behind a small building.

The car stops and turns around.

As it heads away, the tank appears to open fire and an explosion engulfs the car.

The journalist who was filming the scene from another car races away in terror, screaming, "Go back, go back!" at an approaching ambulance and other vehicles.

The Gaza Health Ministry later said three people were killed in the hit car.

Flights from Tel Aviv to Makhachkala redirected

12:03 , Miriam Burrell

Flights from Tel Aviv to Makhachkala and Mineralniye Vody, both in Russia's heavily Muslim North Caucasus, will be temporarily redirected to other cities, Russian's aviation watchdog has said.

It comes after 60 people had been arrested after an anti-Israeli mob stormed Makhachkala airport in the Dagestan region on Sunday as a plane arrived from Israel.

Read more about the incident here.

A mob looking for Israelis and Jews overran the airport (AP)
A mob looking for Israelis and Jews overran the airport (AP)

Jewish people in UK experiencing fearful time, says minister

12:10 , Sami Quadri

It is a “fearful time” for Jewish people in the UK, an education minister has said.

Robert Halfon said people chanting “from the river to the sea” is “horrific” and that it is incumbent on everyone not to chant “known antisemitic slogans”.

Asked on Times Radio what he thought when he heard the phrase being chanted, Mr Halfon, who is Jewish, said: “It’s horrific. It’s scary. It’s frightening for Jewish people in England at the moment, you know.

“ is frightening when you hear those chants … when you hear cries of jihad every week in central London. It is frightening.

“When you hear that Jewish schools have to close their doors, when you hear of students – I am the universities minister as well – I get messages from Jewish chaplaincy service in higher education that Jewish students are having Palestinian flags draped over their cars or doors knocked on of the Jewish chaplain with people knocking on doors saying ‘we know where you live’."

Terror threat level will not be raised at Cobra meeting

12:28 , Sami Quadri

The terror threat level will not be raised at Rishi Sunak’s emergency Cobra meeting on Monday, Downing Street has suggested.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman told journalists: “I wouldn’t get in speculating on the terror threat. You’re right that it’s done by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre rather than set through a Cobra meeting.”

The official said he “can’t be definitive” on whether a change is being discussed at the meeting.

He said it is not “helpful to speculate” on whether there is a possibility of a heightened terror threat as a result of developments in Israel and Gaza.

The spokesman said: “We have expert security services and police forces working around the clock to try and keep the public safe. Clearly we recognise the potential for increased challenges due to the ongoing situation in Israel and Gaza. We’re very mindful of that.

“It is why there have been continuous discussions including with security services and the police about how we can keep the public safe.”

'From the river to the sea' chant is unacceptable, says Downing Street

12:43 , Sami Quadri

It is “not acceptable” for people to call for intifada or chant “from the river to the sea”, Downing Street has said.

Asked about reports pro-Palestinian demonstrators had used the Arabic word meaning shaking off or struggle, Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman told reporters: “Obviously that’s not acceptable and people need to think extremely carefully about the impact of their actions following a traumatic terror event which saw more than 1,000 people killed.”

He said the chant “from the river to the sea” is “deeply offensive” to many.

“Obviously it’s up to the police to make an operational decision about the use of that language if they see fit to do so, but I can understand how the use of that language and others will be of significant concern to many,” the spokesperson said.

He said the Government will “do everything possible” to provide reassurance to Jewish and Muslim communities across Britain.

Sirens sound in Jerusalem

13:16 , Miriam Burrell

Sirens have sounded in Jerusalem within the hour, Israeli Defense Forces said.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Pictured: Woman mourns family in southern Israel

13:27 , Miriam Burrell

Kibbutz Nir Oz resident Hadas Kalderon, whose children have been taken hostage, and mother and niece killed, breaks down in tears in the remains of her mother's home in southern Israel.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

German-Israeli festival goer found dead

13:37 , Miriam Burrell

German-Israeli woman Sani Luk, 23, who attended a music festival in southern Israel which ended in a bloody massacre earlier this month when Hamas opened fire, has been found dead, according to Israel's Foreign Ministry.

'Substantial' international terrorism threat in UK

15:05 , Miriam Burrell

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) is keeping the threat level from international terrorism at “substantial”, the Home Secretary has said.

Speaking to broadcasters, Suella Braverman said: “The Prime Minister chaired a Cobra meeting today, and I briefed him alongside operational leads from policing, counterterrorism and security agencies on the domestic security picture because, of course, keeping the British people safe is my top priority.

“As Sir Mark Rowley himself said, there is an accelerated terrorism threat because of what’s happening and it’s vital that we keep a close eye on the developing situation.”

Asked about the threat level, Ms Braverman said: “JTAC, the Joint Threat Assessment Centre, has maintained its assessment to date.”

Video of 'hostages' released by Hamas

15:10 , Miriam Burrell

A video appearing to show three women taken hostage during the October 7 attacks in southern Israel has been released by Hamas.

The women appear in the clip sitting side by side against a wall.

They appear to criticise Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ask to be taken home.

Mr Netanyahu wrote on X, formerly Twitter, in response: "We are doing evernything to bring all the kidnapped and missing people home."

 (via REUTERS)

Fears for Al-Quds hospital

16:13 , Jordan King

Palestinian health officials said air strikes had hit near hospitals in Caza City today, including Al-Shifa, Al-Quds and the Turkish Friendship Hospital.

A spokesperson at the Palestinian Red Crescent recently told the BBC that these strikes have caused "some damage to the Al-Quds hospital building” already.

Reports from last night said there may have been an evacuation order in place forAl-Quds but it is not clear where this was ultimately rescinded.

When asked whether it was still in place, the IDF told the BBC: "It’s in the north, so yes.”

Israel claims Hamas is using hospitals as shields for its operations, something Hamas denies.

People wait outside Gaza City's Al-Quds Hospital on October 29 (AFP via Getty Images)
People wait outside Gaza City's Al-Quds Hospital on October 29 (AFP via Getty Images)

Suella Braverman calls pro-Palestine protests "hate marches"

16:25 , Jordan King

The Home Secretary said the hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets in support of Palestine were taking part in “hate marches”.

She urged officers to take a “zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism” after attending an emergency Cobra meeting chaired by Rishi Sunak today.

Benjamin Netanyahu condemns Hamas hostage video as 'cruel propaganda'

16:30 , Jordan King

The Israeli Prime Minister said the clip showing hostages criticising their government was "cruel psychological propaganda".

In a statement, Mr Netanyahu repeated a pledge to make every effort to bring the hostages home.

He said: "Abducted by Hamas, which is committing war crimes, I embrace you. Our hearts are with you and with the other captives. We are doing everything to bring home all the captives and the missing."

IDF says it rescued israeli soldier taken hostage by Hamas

16:53 , Jordan King

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) and Israel Securities Authority (ISA) have just released a statement saying they managed to rescue a female soldier from Hamas last night.

They wrote: "Overnight, the soldier PVT Ori Megidish was released during ground operations. PVT Megidish was kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist organization on October 7th.

"The soldier was medically checked, is doing well, and has met with her family.

"The IDF and ISA will continue to do everything it takes in order to release the hostages."

Private Ori Megidish (centre) (ISA)
Private Ori Megidish (centre) (ISA)

Netanyahu welcomes home IDF soldier who 'was rescued from Hamas'

17:27 , Jordan King

The Israeli Prime Minister has just posted a video welcoming private Ori Megidish home after she was reportedly rescued by the IDF.

Mr Netanyahu wrote in Hebrew: "Last night our forces freed the female soldier Private Uri Magidish from Hamas captivity. Uri was kidnapped on the black morning of October 7th."Welcome home, Uri."I congratulate the Shin Bet and the IDF for this important and exciting achievement, an achievement that expresses our commitment to the release of all the abductees."The entire nation of Israel salutes the Shin Bet and salutes the IDF."And to the terrorists of Hamas and ISIS I say - you are monsters. We will continue to pursue you, we will continue to hunt you down. We will cripple you until you fall at our feet."

'This is a time for war': Netanyahu says Israel will not agree to a ceasefire

17:36 , Jordan King

The Israeli Prime Minister is delivering a speech right now, repeating condemnation for Hamas "using Palestinians as human shields".

Despite growing calls for a ceasefire around the world, Mr Netanyahu said Israel would not agree to one "after the horrific attacks of October 7 just as the US would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbour to the terror attack of 9/11".

He went on: "Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorists, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the Bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war - this is a time for war, a war for a common future."

'Israel will fight until this battle is won' - Netanyahu

17:52 , Jordan King

In Mr Netanyahu's defiant speech, he said: "This is a time to draw a line between the forces of civilisation and the forces of barbarism.

"It is a time for everyone to decide where they stand. Israel will stand against the forces of barbarism until victory.

"I hope and pray that civilised nations everywhere will back this fight because Israel’s fight is your fight, because if Hamas and Iran’s axis of evil win - you will be their next target. That’s why Israel’s victory will be your victory.

"But make no mistake. Regardless of who stands with Israel, Israel will fight until this battle is won and Israel will prevail.

"May God bless Israel and may God bless all those who stand with Israel."

'Not a single civilian has to die' - Netanyahu

17:57 , Jordan King

When journalists asked Mr Netanyahu whether he thought Israel's attack on Gaza to defeat Hamas was a "collective punishment" of the Palestinian people, the Prime Minister essentially blamed Hamas for civilian deaths in Gaza.

He said: "Not a single civilian has to die. Hamas simply has to let them go to the safe zone that we’ve created in southeastern Gaza."

He went on to repeat Israel's accusation that Hamas is using civilians as "human shields", adding that the question on civilian deaths "should be placed on Hamas".

"And the more it’s placed on Israel, the more you’re going to see it repeated," Mr Netanyahu argued, "other criminal organisations will use civilians as human shields."

Families of 'hostages' in Hamas' video speak out

18:26 , Jordan King

The families of the Israeli hostages seen in a video released by Hamas today addressed the press this evening.

Remus Aloni, father of Danielle Aloni, said his "heart nearly stopped beating" when he saw his daughter but he also said it was a relief to see she was alive.

Avital Kirsht Buchshtov, the mother of Rimon Kirsht, is worried that Rimon does not appear to have her glasses with her.

"I do not wish upon any mother what we are suffering over the last 24 days," she said.

They all repeated calls to get their loved ones safely home.

 (via REUTERS)

Last charter flight to help Americans leave Israel will depart on Tuesday

18:59 , Jordan King

The US State Department said the last planned charter flight for Americans to get out of Israel will leave from Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

The US government began chartering flights from Tel Aviv to Athens on October 13.

US airlines have halted all flights to Israel and earlier this month added flights to Athens to help Americans return home. There are still other limited international commercial flights available from Tel Aviv, the State Department noted.

Demand for the flights has fallen sharply, with Sunday's plane containing just five passengers, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said today at a press briefing.

He added that the US will continue to assess the situation and "whether circumstances change on the ground and if we need to make additional arrangements."

Labour suspends Andy McDonald over 'from the river to the sea' pro-Palestine speech

19:02 , Jordan King

Labour has suspended its MP Andy McDonald, claiming comments he made at a pro-Palestine rally were "deeply offensive".

Mr McDonald, who will sit as an independent MP while an investigation takes place, used the phrase "between the river and the sea" in a speech during a demonstration at the weekend.

A Labour spokesperson said: "The comments made by Andy McDonald at the weekend were deeply offensive, particularly at a time of rising antisemitism which has left Jewish people fearful for their safety.

"The chief whip has suspended the Labour whip from Andy McDonald, pending an investigation."

Some pro-Palestinian protesters have chanted "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" during recent demonstrations in London.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has previously branded the slogan antisemitic and claimed that it is "widely understood" to call for the destruction of Israel, but pro-Palestinian protesters have contested this definition.

In a video shared by Mr McDonald on X, formerly known as Twitter, of his speech at the rally, he said: "We will not rest until we have justice. Until all people, Israelis and Palestinians between the river and the sea can live in peaceful liberty."

He went on to chant "free Palestine", alongside the crowd.

Kamala Harris to meet with Rishi Sunak in London to discuss the Israel-Gaza war

20:41 , Jordan King

The US Vice President will discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict and "consult on next steps in our support for Ukraine" with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to London later this week, a White House official said this evening.

Harris will also attend a summit and deliver a speech on artificial intelligence.

US Vice President Kamala Harris (REUTERS)
US Vice President Kamala Harris (REUTERS)

Unicef directer says more than 420 children killed or injured in Gaza every day

22:05 , Jordan King

Unicef's executive director Catherine Russell told a UN security council meeting that more than 420 children are being killed or wounded in Gaza each day the conflict continues.

She said: "The true cost of this latest escalation will be measured in children’s lives, those lost to the violence and those forever changed by it."

Executive Director of UNICEF Catherine Russell addressing members of the UN Security Council (AP)
Executive Director of UNICEF Catherine Russell addressing members of the UN Security Council (AP)

UNRWA says nearly 70% of those killed in Gaza are women and children

22:13 , Jordan King

The head of the UN relief agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini told today's UN security council that the majority of Gaza's reported death toll is made up of women and children.

Citing Hamas' figures, he said nearly 3,200 children have been killed in the last three weeks.

“This cannot be collateral damage,” he said.

The father of a young boy from the al-Aqad family, reacts as he holds the body of his child (AFP via Getty Images)
The father of a young boy from the al-Aqad family, reacts as he holds the body of his child (AFP via Getty Images)

Gaza in pictures

22:17 , Jordan King

Photos from tonight show smoke and flames rising from west Gaza during an Israeli airstrike.

Flames rise during an Israeli air strike on west Gaza (REUTERS)
Flames rise during an Israeli air strike on west Gaza (REUTERS)
Smoke and flames rise during an Israeli air strike on west Gaza (REUTERS)
Smoke and flames rise during an Israeli air strike on west Gaza (REUTERS)

That concludes our coverage for today

22:21 , Jordan King

This is the end of The Evening Standard's live coverage of the Israel-Gaza war, we will be back tomorrow morning to bring you any overnight developments.