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Critical Alert

Cross-border violence likely to continue after
Gaza-based militants launch attack on Israel Oct. 7; flight
disruptions reported in Israel.


affected by this alert:  Israel, Palestinian Territories

alert began 10/08/23 14:46 GMT and is scheduled to
expire 10/09/23 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Armed conflict
  • Location(s): Israel; Palestinian Territories (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security, transport and
    business disruptions, border closures, retaliatory strikes, power
    outages; possible evacuations

Fighting will almost certainly continue in Israel and over the
Israel-Gaza border between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants
over the coming days after Palestinian militants, led by Hamas,
launched a surprise land, air, and sea attack on Israel early Oct. 7.

Latest Developments

Ground-based fighting continues to persist between Israel and Gaza
militants in multiple communities in southern Israel near the
Israel-Gaza border as of the afternoon of Oct. 8. Hamas militants have
reportedly infiltrated as many as 22 locations within Israel since Oct.
7, shooting at civilians and soldiers, while launching thousands of
rockets toward the country. Projectile fire has targeted, and will
likely continue to target, multiple cities in southern and central
Israel, including but not limited to Tel Aviv, Sderot, Bat Yam, Rishon
LeZion, and Yavme. Hamas possesses thousands of rockets in its arsenal,
including the Ayyash 250, which has a purported range of up to 250 km
(150 miles). Additionally, the Lebanese militant group Hizballah has
also launched several rockets and drones against targets in northern

Hamas militants have reportedly taken an unspecified number of
Israelis, including Israeli soldiers, hostage, holding them in and near
the Gaza Strip. Israeli authorities have indicated that at least 600
people have been killed and 2,000 wounded in Israel amid the assault.

Gaza and the West Bank

Israeli forces have launched major retaliatory airstrikes in the Gaza
Strip, killing more than 400 people and wounding nearly 2,000 in the
territory as part of “Operation Iron Swords.” Israeli
authorities have also ordered electricity to be cut in Gaza amid the
fighting; internet service disruptions have also been reported.
Additionally, Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in the West Bank
Oct. 7, and a general strike is underway across the territory as of
Oct. 8. Additional incidents of civil unrest and clashes with security
forces are likely in the West Bank.

Political Response

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared Israel to be
“at war” and called for a large mobilization of military
reservists in response to the Palestinian militant assault. Israeli
military officials have also claimed that the country is prepared to
defend against any possible military action by Hizballah militants in
Lebanon. Authorities have declared a state of national civil emergency
across Israel, allowing law enforcement officers to “utilize additional

Travel Disruptions

The conflict has caused significant flight disruptions in Israel, with
the Israel Airports Authority temporarily closing multiple airports in
central and southern areas of the country Oct. 7. While Tel Aviv’s Ben
Gurion Airport (TLV) reportedly remains open as of the afternoon of
Oct. 8, several airlines had canceled flights to and from the airport,
including American Airlines (AA), Air France (AF), Delta Air Lines
(DL), Lufthansa (LH), Emirates (EK), and Ryanair (FR), among others.
Flight disruptions, including delays and cancellations, are likely at
TLV and other airports in Israel until the situation stabilizes and
rocket fire from the Gaza Strip subsides. Moreover, officials may
suspend all flight operations at TLV on short notice in response to
conflict developments. The Civil Aviation Authority also said Oct. 7
that no sports or leisure flights may take off into Israeli airspace
until further notice.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have closed roads near the border with
the Gaza Strip, including Route 4 from the Zikim junction to Netiv
Ha’asara, Route 34 from the Yad Mordechai junction to Nir Am, and Route
232 from Mefalsim to Sa’ad and Nir Yitzhak to Kerem Shalom. Authorities
have also closed the Zikim beach on the Gaza border, suspended train
services between Ashkelon and Sderot, and reportedly closed border
crossings with Jordan amid the conflict. Officials have announced that
schools will be closed in central and southern Israel on Oct. 8.

Tactical Analysis

Heightened security measures and disruptions to transport and business
will almost certainly continue in central and southern areas of Israel
over at least the short term. Heightened security is likely at all
Israeli ports of entry over the coming days, and the status of border
crossings, airports, seaports, roads, and rail services may change on
short notice in response to conflict developments. Precautionary
measures, such as evacuations, are possible in areas impacted by armed

Anti-Israel militants may stage opportunistic attacks amid the fighting
from within the West Bank, southern Lebanon, and/or Israeli cities and
towns. Demonstrations are also possible within Israel and the
Palestinian Territories amid prevailing heightened tensions. Clashes
between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out at any
demonstrations that materialize.

Background and

Hamas, the Gaza-based militant group, launched a surprise land, sea,
and air assault against Israel early Oct. 7. Hamas has called the
operation ‘Al-Aqsa Flood.’ It is the largest and most coordinated
attack against Israel in years. It coincided with the Jewish religious
holiday Simchat Torah and, perhaps not coincidentally, 50 years and a
day after the beginning of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Allies of Israel,
including states with no official relations, such as Saudi Arabia, have
condemned the attack, while supporters of Hamas, including Iran and
Hizballah, have welcomed it.

Reconsider nonessential travel to Israel and the Palestinian
Territories until the situation stabilizes, particularly to central and
southern Israel. Monitor local media and abide by security forces’
directives. If incoming mortar rounds or rockets are reported or
warning sirens sound in the general vicinity, report to the nearest
bomb shelter and await further instructions from authorities. If there
is no shelter nearby, stay indoors and away from windows and exterior
walls. If possible, move to a ground floor or basement. Maintain
contact with diplomatic missions. Avoid all demonstrations and
concentrations of security personnel.

Please email
as soon as possible with any changes or updates to contact information
you have to this roster as well as any concerns or issues that arise in
relation to this crisis.

We will not reach out to your participants directly unless you
authorize the CISI Crisis Management Team to do so.

Once you authorize CISI to communicate with your paricipants in this
area, we will notify them of the security evacuation trigger and work
to bring them to the nearest safe location. Updates will be sent to you
on the progress and next steps throughout the evacuation of each of
your participants.


Cultural Insurance Services International
Crisis Team


Daytime Contact:

203-399-5557, 9am – 5pm EST



After Hours

203-550-9028, 5pm – 9am EST and






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