June 22, 2024

(Bloomberg) — Israel’s ruling coalition wants to form an emergency government with the opposition to tackle the nation’s worst crisis in decades. As the conflict entered its fourth day, Israel said it’s building a base for thousands of soldiers in preparation for the next phase of its retaliation.

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Israel struck the Gaza Strip overnight and has vowed to respond “very severely and aggressively” to Saturday’s attacks. While a ground invasion hasn’t been announced, many Israelis and Palestinians expect one. Iran’s supreme leader warned against it.

The mass mobilization means the military is stretched for equipment, and the US said security assistance and aid is on the way. President Joe Biden said at least 11 Americans had died and others were likely being held hostage. Hamas said late Monday the militant group was prepared to kill hostages.

All time stamps are for Israel

Ruling Coalition Wants to Form Emergency Government (2:20 p.m.)

Israel’s ruling coalition said it wants to form a rare emergency government with the opposition following Saturday’s attacks by Hamas that killed more than 900 Israelis.

“All the heads of the coalition, without exception, supported the establishment of a national emergency government and authorized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to act for its establishment,” Likud, the premier’s party, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Some opposition leaders, including former Prime Minister Yair Lapid and ex-Defense Minister Benny Gantz, said over the weekend that they’d favor such a move.

France Says Plausible Iran Helped Hamas (1 p.m.)

French President Emmanuel Macron said there wasn’t any definite trace of Iran’s direct involvement in Saturday’s attacks at this stage, but added it was plausible the country cooperated with Hamas and provided help.

He told a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Hamburg that public statements made by Iran were “unacceptable.” “We very clearly condemn all the countries who cheered the horrors committed by Hamas, which is the case of Iran,” he said.

Israeli, Palestinian Foreign Ministers Invited to EU Meeting (1:04 p.m.)

The European Union’s foreign affairs chief asked Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to join an emergency meeting of EU ministers on Tuesday. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki was also invited to speak to the group, Josep Borrell said in a post on X.

Iran is Key to Whether Conflict Roils Oil Market (1 p.m.)

“The road to an oil crisis leads through Iran,” Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group and a former White House official, told Bloomberg television on Thursday. “Right now, our odds are about 20% — but with risks skewed sharply higher — that this will affect oil in a material way.”

“Secondarily, you’ve got to watch Lebanon and Hezbollah. Other than a formal accusation of Iranian complicity, an expansion of the conflict in Lebanon is how this thing could spread and become a major oil and LNG issue.”

Hamas Leader Says Will Only Discuss Hostage Situation After War Ends (12:57 p.m.)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the group “informed all parties that contacted us” regarding hostages that “this file will not be discussed before the end of the battle,” according to a statement. It “will only be at a price that the resistance will accept,” he said.

He urged other “resistance groups” to join Hamas’s fight.

Egypt’s state-run Ahram Online website on Monday reported the country was working to facilitate a prisoner-exchange deal, looking to secure the release of Palestinian women and children held by Israel in return for that of Israeli “civilian women” taken by Hamas. It cited people it didn’t identify.

Number of Palestinians Displaced in Gaza Rises to 180,000 (11:59 a.m.)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency said 180,000 people had now been internally displaced in Gaza due to the violence. Some 137,500 are sheltering in 83 UNRWA schools.

Israel Expects Gaza to Lose Electricity Within Days (11:47 a.m.)

Energy Minister Israel Katz says he expected electricity in Gaza to completely cut within days, with local suppliers disabled. Electricity supply coming from Israel has already been shut down. Water is likely to cut within a week, once pumping wells are emptied, he said.

Khamenei Warns Against Attacks on Gaza (11:23 a.m.)

“The massacre and mass killing of the people of Gaza will bring a greater calamity” on Israel, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said at a military graduation ceremony. “They should know that the reaction to these atrocities will be a heavier slap”

Khamenei repeated his country’s denial of involvement in the attacks, and said the Hamas operation was a response to Israeli “crimes.”

“The incumbent government of the Israeli regime is the culprit,” he said. “Of course, we defend Palestine and their fight,” said Khamenei, who’s previously criticized Arab countries for normalizing ties with Israel.

Israel Builds Up Forces Near Gaza (10:01 a.m.)

The Israeli military is building a base next to the Gaza Strip to accommodate tens of thousands of soldiers.

“Israel is going to respond very severely and aggressively and there will be more loss of life,” Richard Hecht, a spokesman for the Israeli military and lieutenant-colonel, told journalists in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. “We should all change the paradigm here. This is not tit for tat.”

The mass and rapid mobilization means the military is stretched for equipment, leaving some troops with older items, Hecht said. He warned there could be errors when it comes to hitting targets in Gaza.

Jordan Closes Bridge to West Bank (9:57 a.m.)

Jordan’s Public Security Directorate says it has closed the Allenby Bridge, which connects the West Bank to Jordan. The bridge is the sole designated exit and entry point into West Bank through Jordan.

Emirates Operating Flights to Israel (9:40 a.m.)

Dubai’s Emirates Airline said flights to and from Tel Aviv and Amman are operating as per schedule. “We continue to closely monitor the situation in Israel, and we are in close contact with the relevant authorities regarding developments,” the airline said.

The three major US airlines this week halted flights with Israel, while some Middle Eastern and European carriers have continued to give passengers an exit route from the developing war.

Oil and Shekel Stabilize (8:15 a.m.)

The Israeli shekel was little changed in early trading on Tuesday, rising to 3.94 per dollar. It slumped on Monday despite a huge support package announced by the central bank.

Israel’s $45 Billion Shekel Defense Is Tested in Market Showdown

Oil fell slightly, with Brent trading at $87.80 a barrel. It jumped a day earlier on fears the conflict could embroil major energy producers in the region such Iran and Saudi Arabia.

–With assistance from Gwen Ackerman, Alisa Odenheimer, Galit Altstein, Marissa Newman, Patrick Sykes, Arsalan Shahla, Ania Nussbaum and Tarek El-Tablawy.

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