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Israel-Hamas war: Protests mark 9 months since October 7

Published July 7, 2024last updated July 8, 2024

Protests to pressure the Israeli government to reach a hostage deal with Hamas are underway. The demonstrations come exactly nine months after the October 7 attacks by Hamas and other militants. DW has the latest.

Israeli protesters shout slogans and hold Israeli flags as they gather in a rally to mark 9 months since the Hamas attack
Marking nine months since the war in Gaza started, Israeli protesters blocked highways across the countryImage: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • Thousands of people have gathered across Israel, blocking roads and picketing politicians' homes
  • The demonstrators want a ceasefire deal with Hamas to pave the way for hostage releases
  • Protests started at 6:29 a.m. local time, corresponding to the time of Hamas' October 7 attack
Skip next section Hezbollah's 'largest' airstrike targets Israeli mountain base
July 8, 2024

Hezbollah's 'largest' airstrike targets Israeli mountain base

The Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah said it launched a drone attack on Mount Hermon in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights, where Israel has a key surveillance center.

Announcing "the largest operation" carried out by its air force, Hezbollah said in a statement that its fighters sent "several successive squadrons of drones to target the reconnaissance center" on Mount Hermon.

The Israeli military said an explosive drone "fell in an open area in the Mount Hermon area," but there were "no injuries."

Although it has repeatedly struck other areas in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, Hezbollah said it was the first time it had hit the military target, which is located at the highest point in the Israeli-controlled territory.

Fighting on Israel's border with Lebanon has intensified since Hamas' October 7 terror attack on Israel and the Israeli military response in Gaza. Hezbollah says it will continue operations as long as Israel is active in Gaza.  

Skip next section UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer urges 'caution' at Israel-Lebanon border
July 7, 2024

UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer urges 'caution' at Israel-Lebanon border

UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer, in his first phone call with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu since assuming office, urged "caution" at the Israeli-Lebanese border — a contentious flashpoint that has seen ongoing skirmishes since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 of last year.

A spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said Starmer told Netanyahu, the "situation on the northern border of Israel was very concerning, and it was crucial all parties acted with caution."

Israel has repeatedly come under fire there from Iran-backed Hezbollah militants and Israeli responses have led to concerns that the situation could spiral out of control, sparking a wider regional conflagration.

On Sunday, Hezbollah fired another 20 rockets in its latest provocation.

Starmer emphasized to Netanyahu, "the clear and urgent need for a ceasefire, the return of hostages and an immediate increase in the volume of humanitarian aid reaching civilians" in Gaza, according to Downing Street.
Starmer is also said to have added that it is "important to ensure the long-term conditions for a two-state solution were in place, including ensuring the Palestinian Authority had the financial means to operate effectively."

The new prime minister reportedly also spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a call in which he underscored the UK's support for Palestinians, saying they had an "undeniable right" to recognition. 

Houthis vow attacks until Israel ends war in Gaza

Skip next section Protesters call for deal to release hostages
July 7, 2024

Protesters call for deal to release hostages

Thousands of protesters rallied across Israel on Sunday demanding a deal for the release of hostages in Gaza.

Protests began at 6:29 am (0329 GMT), corresponding to the time of the Hamas-led cross-border terror attack on October 7 that sparked the war in Gaza, according to local media, marking exactly nine months since that day.

For the "day of disruption," demonstrators blocked streets and intersections nationwide. On the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway some tires burned before the police cleared the way.

Small groups of protesters gathered outside the homes of several ministers and coalition lawmakers with megaphones and banners.

Outside the house of cabinet minister Ron Dermer, a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a small crowd shouted, "Total failure! Total failure!"

The protests were spurred by reports that there has been progress in negotiations, mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the US.

"We know that after many efforts an agreement is now in sight and we can already hear the ministers issuing threats and wishing that the agreement fails," Jehuda Cohen, whose son was kidnapped on October 7, told Haaretz newspaper.

Demonstrators also called for new elections, criticizing Netanyahu's reliance on his far-right coalition partners who oppose concessions to Hamas.

Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by many countries including Israel and Germany.

Skip next section Egypt hosts Israeli, US teams for talks on Gaza deal — reports
July 7, 2024

Egypt hosts Israeli, US teams for talks on Gaza deal — reports

Egyptian media reported that Cairo was "hosting Israeli and American delegations to discuss the outstanding points" for a potential cease-fire and hostage release deal.

Egypt's state-linked Al-Qahera News cited a high-level source in a report that Egypt was holding "consultations and contacts" with Hamas as part of efforts to come to an agreement.

Indirect talks in which the United States, Egypt and Qatar are mediating have been at a standstill, with Hamas calling for and end to the war in return for around 120 hostages still being held by the group.

Israel launched a large-scale military offensive in Gaza after Hamas militants launched a terror attack on Israel in October last year that included the massacre of 1,200 people and around 250 people being taken hostage.

Skip next section Gaza death toll rises to 38,153 — Health Ministry
July 7, 2024

Gaza death toll rises to 38,153 — Health Ministry

Israel's offensive in Gaza in the past nine months has killed at least 38,153 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's Health Ministry. 

There were at least 55 deaths in the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 87,828 people have been wounded since the latest conflict began.

The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants, but the United Nations and multiple humanitarian organizations consider the casualty numbers broadly reliable.

Around half of Gaza's 2.3 million inhabitants are children, and the UN says the majority of civilians killed have been women and children. 

Israel launched its Gaza operation after Hamas carried out terror attacks in southern Israel on October 7. 

Israeli bombing of Gaza school kills 16 people

kb,ss/rc (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)