Israel says it has killed Hamas commander with air strike on Gaza refugee camp

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The Israeli military said yesterday that it carried out an attack on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza that eliminated a Hamas commander, and which officials in the enclave said also killed dozens of civilians.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces said its air strike had killed Hamas battalion commander Ibrahim Biari, who he said had played a role in the Palestinian militant group’s deadly rampage through southern Israel on October 7. Israeli officials say more than 1,400 people died in the Hamas assault.

The strike came as Israeli ground forces engaged in fierce battles with Hamas fighters as they advanced on Gaza City, which Israel says is the group’s command hub.

The IDF said the attack on Jabalia had killed a “large number of terrorists who were with Biari”. “Underground terror infrastructure embedded beneath the buildings used by the terrorists also collapsed after the strike,” it added.

Video footage from the scene showed huge craters and collapsed buildings, with desperate crowds digging through the rubble in search of loved ones.

There were differing assessments of the death toll from the blast.

The director of Gaza’s Indonesia Hospital told the television station Al Jazeera that more than 50 Palestinians were killed and 150 wounded, but the director-general of the Palestine Red Crescent told the BBC that 25 civilians had died. The Financial Times has been unable to verify the number of people hurt or killed. Here’s the latest from the war.

Here’s what else I’m keeping tabs on today:

  • AI safety summit: The UK hosts world leaders, tech executives and researchers for a gathering to discuss the risks of artificial intelligence. Here’s what to expect.

  • UK-South Korea: South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol pays a state visit to Buckingham Palace and meets Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

  • Results: Asos, Aston Martin Lagonda, Electronic Arts, Estée Lauder, GSK, Kraft Heinz, PayPal, Qualcomm and Thomson Reuters are among those reporting. See our Week Ahead newsletter for the full list.

  • OpenAI: The tech group has been awarded a Stephen Hawking fellowship by Cambridge university, where the company’s co-founder Sam Altman is set to deliver a lecture.

  • Central banks: The US Federal Reserve is expected to keep its benchmark rate at a 22-year high when it announces its decision today. In the UK, Sarah Breeden becomes the Bank of England’s deputy governor for financial stability, while in Italy, Fabio Panetta begins his tenure leading the Banca d’Italia.

For the latest on central banks and their fight against inflation, premium subscribers can sign up to our Central Banks newsletter by Chris Giles here, or upgrade your subscription here.

Five more top stories

1. As the EU nears full capacity on gas, energy companies are turning to Ukraine for storage ahead of peak demand during the winter months. The bloc’s chambers are now almost 99 per cent full, surpassing its target of 90 per cent by November and making it less vulnerable to an energy shock.

2. Hamas’s incursion into Israel has raised the threat of terrorist attacks against Americans to new levels, the head of the FBI has warned. Christopher Wray told a US Senate committee yesterday that the militant group’s actions had given terrorists inspiration “the likes of which we haven’t seen” since the rise of Isis a decade ago. Here’s more from the congressional hearing.

3. Exclusive: Chinese artificial intelligence scientists have called for stronger regulation ahead of Britain’s AI safety summit, joining western academics in pushing for tighter controls on the technology than those being proposed by the UK, US and EU. Here’s what they argue should be done.

4. Exclusive: A group of US media veterans are backing a new trading firm with a financial news arm, according to several people familiar with the matter. Called Hunterbrook, the start-up founded by investor Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz and writer Sam Koppelman is designed to trade on market-moving news unearthed by its own investigative reporting. Here are more details on how it works.

5. Odey Asset Management is to close five months after allegations of sexual misconduct against its founder. One of London’s oldest hedge fund groups, the firm has been engulfed in crisis since an FT investigation in June reported claims from 13 women against Crispin Odey. Read the full story.

The Big Read 

© FT montage

Private equity surfed through a decade and a half of low interest rates, using plentiful and cheap debt to snap up one company after another to become the new titans of the financial sector. But dealmakers are now starting to feel the bite of rising borrowing costs, with the prospect of rates staying higher for longer pushing them to resort to various types of financial engineering.

Join us online tomorrow for a discussion on whether companies or private equity firms have the dealmaking advantage and on the future of M&A in a volatile economic environment. Register here.

We’re also reading . . . 

  • Europe’s problems: The continent remains the soft underbelly of the west, with several flaws stopping it from carrying its weight, writes Janan Ganesh.

  • FTX trial: Former crypto tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried will soon learn whether he was able to successfully counter his ex-colleagues’ testimony as the jury weighs duelling accounts of FTX’s downfall.

  • Morgan Stanley: When he takes over, Ted Pick faces an enviable problem, writes Brooke Masters: when the company has been doing this well, what can you do for a next act?

Chart of the day

A flurry of stock market listings on both sides of the Atlantic has proved to be a flop for investors. Companies such as Arm and Birkenstock are now trading below their initial public offering prices, damaging hopes of bankers who were expecting the listings to herald a return to normal activity levels.

Take a break from the news

Issa Diabaté is perhaps Ivory Coast’s most famous architect, writes Joe Penney for HTSI. His firm, formed in 2001 with Guillaume Koffi, has completed more than 90 projects in west Africa and has drawings for another 400. Today, the two architects are proposing a new urbanism — by looking to their roots.

The 2012 Pavillon Bambou beach house in Assinie
The 2012 Pavillon Bambou beach house in Assinie © Nuits Balneaires

Additional contributions from Benjamin Wilhelm and Gordon Smith

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