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Good morning. The death toll from Hamas’s unprecedented multi-front assault on Israel passed 600 on Sunday, as Israeli forces hunted Palestinian militants still holding out in several locations in the south of the country.
By Sunday afternoon, Israel had regained control of most of the locations infiltrated by Hamas militants who stormed into the country from Gaza by land, air and sea before inflicting the highest number of casualties in a single attack within Israel’s borders since the state was founded in 1948.
However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the Jewish state still faced a “long and difficult” conflict with Hamas, as his security cabinet formally declared war. Israeli officials said the Palestinian militant group was holding more than 100 Israelis, including women and children, whom it had taken hostage during its assault on Saturday.
Israel responded to Hamas’s attack — which it said left more than 600 Israelis dead and more than 2,000 wounded — with a huge bombardment of Gaza. It also hit targets in Lebanon on Sunday after the Iran-backed Hizbollah militant group fired mortars towards Israel.
Officials in Gaza said 413 people had been killed by Israeli strikes on the territory and that 2,300 had been wounded. One official in the enclave said its hospitals were running at full capacity because of the number of casualties they had received since Saturday.
“The main hospitals’ capacity in Gaza is 2,000 beds,” Medhat Abbas, a director-general with the health ministry, told the Financial Times by phone. “The number of patients we have received since yesterday morning is now more than 2,000. The situation is very bad.” Read the full story.
Here’s more FT coverage of the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
The mastermind behind the attack: Mohammed Deif, commander of the military wing of Hamas, is described as single-minded about changing the nature of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and using violence as a means to achieve it.
Regional impact: Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel struck a blow to US President Joe Biden’s efforts to secure a grand bargain that normalises relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Blame game: The inquest into what went wrong ahead of Hamas’s attack could lead Israel down a dangerous path, writes Gideon Rachman.
And here’s what I’m keeping tabs on today:
Global economy: The IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings begin in Marrakech, Morocco. The IMF will also publish its latest World Economic Outlook.
Reports: Opec launches its annual World Oil Outlook.
China: Financial markets reopen after the Golden Week holiday.
Five more top stories
1. US carmaker Ford, Brazil’s Vale, China’s Tsingshan and Hong Kong’s Jardine Matheson are invested in Indonesian nickel projects responsible for the clearance of large swaths of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests. As demand increases for electric cars and the nickel batteries that power them, at least 76,301 hectares — an area the size of New York City — of tropical forests has been cleared within 329 nickel concessions, according to new data. Read the full story.
2. Bank of America, Barclays and other large banks that got stuck holding billions of dollars of leveraged loans in 2022 are sitting on the sidelines this year even as the buyout market revives. The group has become more reluctant to lead the financing for riskier buyouts, worried that the loans could get stuck on their balance sheets, bankers and buyout executives told the FT.
3. Several hundred people have been killed in an earthquake in western Afghanistan, Taliban officials said, one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the isolated country in years. The 6.3-magnitude quake struck an area near Herat, close to Afghanistan’s western border with Iran, on Saturday. Efforts to account for casualties have been complicated by the lack of state capacity and aid agencies in the region.
4. India must not let a handful of conglomerates “define its destiny”, the billionaire who founded one of the nation’s largest banks has warned, as he urged the country to aim for broader growth with many “winners”. The comments by Uday Kotak reflect concerns that a handful of tycoons and storied business houses have come to dominate swaths of the Indian economy. Here’s the full interview.
5. Germany’s conservative opposition won two decisive victories in regional elections on Sunday, while the three parties in chancellor Olaf Scholz’s governing coalition saw their share of their vote shrink in both states. But the day’s other big winner was the far-right Alternative for Germany which has soared in the polls in recent months on a wave of anger over rising refugee numbers. FT’s Germany correspondent Guy Chazan reports.
A day after the unprecedented attack from the Gaza Strip surprised Israel and its vaunted army, Israelis were left traumatised at what they had seen on their streets and in their homes — and by the apparent unreadiness of authorities tasked with protecting them.
We’re also reading . . .
Netflix and bill: Ever forgotten to cancel a subscription? Businesses are cashing in on our carelessness.
Employee perks: More companies are offering egg freezing as a benefit for staff, covering the cost of the process as part of fertility packages worth thousands.
SBF trial: Financial nihilism has produced this game of Monopoly money in the crypto world, writes Jemima Kelly.
Chart of the day
China’s manufacturers have cut prices this year as the domestic economy has weakened, potentially bringing some relief to western gift shoppers this Christmas. “I’d say broadly the supply picture coming out of China this year is vastly better than it has been for the past few years,” said Even Pay, an analyst at Trivium China.
Take a break from the news
Dumb Money is a new type of underdog story, but the film industry’s obsession with finance — and “finance bros” — isn’t. The 1987 drama Wall Street, particularly its ruthless villain, has for more than three decades served as a touchstone for young men in finance. Soraya Roberts examines why the movies never got over Gordon Gekko.
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