Item 1: The WSJ published a much discussed article describing the Hamas attacks as coordinated with and authorized by Iran in a series of meetings in Beirut. The article appears to have been sourced entirely to Hamas representatives/officials. I would suggest great caution about these claims. Just because Hamas officials tell the Journal something doesn’t mean it’s true. What’s more, lots of people who know the region and know Iran suggest a lot of caution. To be clear, the point isn’t that this couldn’t be true, or partly true. But it would be an error to treat it as fact based on this one report.
Item 2: There are conflicting reports about mediation to swap women and children Israeli hostages in Gaza for women and children held in Israeli jails. The mediations are reportedly being led by Qatar. However, Israeli diplomatic sources have denied these reports. Best to treat this for now as simply unknown. Wait for clearer information.
Item 3: The Israeli Ministry of Defense has ordered a total closure of the Gaza Strip: No water, no power/energy, no food.
Item 4: Benny Gantz has been the opposition leader most open to forming a emergency national unity government, or with the most conciliatory terms for doing so. His terms for such a government now seem to be the creation of a war cabinet, which would include him and his deputy and exclude the extremist factions in the current government. There would also be a pause on all domestic legislation for duration of the war. This gets around the complexity and complications of forming a new government. All the existing ministers would remain in place but the war would be managed by a war cabinet of Netanyahu, Defense Minister Gallant and Gantz and his deputy, both of whom are former Chiefs of Staff of the IDF.
Item 5: The Israel fatality list now stands over 700. There now appear to have been either 250 or 260 at this music festival in the desert near the border with Gaza. That single event seems to account for a large percentage of the total fatalities. The Gaza Health Ministry reports 560 fatalities and 2900 wounded.