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November 19, 2023 Israel-Hamas war


A still from CCTV video released by the Israel Defense Forces that it says shows Hamas fighters bringing hostages into Al-Shifa Hospital on October 7. Israel Defense Forces

The Israel Defense Forces has released CCTV videos and still images it says show Hamas fighters bringing hostages into the Al-Shifa Hospital on October 7.

IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari presented two short videos, along with several still images, which he said show Hamas fighters moving the hostages – one Nepali, one Thai – through the hospital, Gaza’s largest.

One of the CCTV videos shows a hostage being brought into the hospital through the main entrance, Hagari said. The hostage is being marched by force through the building.

Hagari, at a news conference Sunday, said the second CCTV video shows a second hostage – who has a bandaged hand and is clearly bleeding – being pushed on a gurney down a hallway and into a room.

Hagari did not spell out how the IDF had acquired the videos, although he did say Israeli intelligence officers were part of the operation inside the hospital to try to locate the hostages.

CNN cannot independently verify the content of the videos and the stills.

Opposing narratives: The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry responded to the IDF briefing by questioning the authenticity of the videos and stills — but went on to say that, if true, the pictures showed that hospitals were providing medical care to anyone who needed it.

The IDF spokesman dismissed suggestions the hostages had been brought to the hospital because they were wounded, claiming one of the two hostages was not injured and did not need medical treatment. They had been brought to the hospital first, before being later moved to hiding spots, like nearby apartments, he said.

“If medical care had been given at the hospital, if the hostages had remained there, then the Red Cross would have come, and the people would have been released. None of these things happened,” he said.

In a statement issued Saturday before the release of the CCTV videos, Hamas said it had brought several hostages to hospitals for medical treatment after they were injured in Israeli airstrikes.

Hagari said the latest videos had been shared with diplomats of the hostages’ countries of origin, adding the IDF has not yet located the Nepali and Thai hostages in Gaza.

The Nepali Embassy in Israel and Nepal’s Foreign Ministry had confirmed with CNN before the publication of the video that one Nepali citizen remained missing after the October 7 attack and was believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas.

Ten Nepali citizens were killed and several others injured when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on October 7, Nepal’s ambassador to Israel told CNN after the attack.

More context: After raiding Al-Shifa Hospital last Wednesday, the IDF is under tremendous pressure to prove its long-standing assertion that Hamas uses Gaza’s largest medical center for combat and command purposes.

The military also released video Sunday from inside an exposed tunnel shaft at the Al-Shifa compound, showing an underground tunnel extending downward from the shaft opening. 

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November 5, 2023 Israel-Hamas war


Humanitarian agencies have lost contact with aid workers in Gaza, as the Palestinian enclave faces its third communications blackout of the Israel-Hamas war, according to operators.

The company Paltel announced a “complete interruption” of its telecom and network services in a statement posted on Facebook. It said the interruption was due to “the main routes that were previously reconnected being cut off again from the Israeli side.”

The main United Nations agency supporting Palestinians in Gaza said it lost contact with “the vast majority” of its teams in the strip. The Palestine Red Crescent Society also said it couldn’t reach aid workers in the territory.

Here are some of the day’s other major developments:

Israel’s offensive in Gaza: The Israeli military said it was carrying out a significant strike on Gaza Sunday evening, after its forces reached the enclave’s coast earlier in the day.

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari provided few further details about the nighttime strike, beyond saying it was very extensive and targeted Hamas infrastructure both above and underground.

A CNN team in Sderot, southern Israel, which is not far from the Israel-Gaza border, observed a number of explosions and flares in the direction of Gaza on Sunday evening local time.

Earlier in the day, the IDF said its soldiers had reached the coast as part of an effort to encircle Hamas forces and strike targets in Gaza.

Blinken criss-crosses the region: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s whirlwind diplomatic trip to the Middle East continued Sunday, including an unannounced visit to Iraq.

Blinken met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Baghdad for more than an hour, emerging to say the meeting was “productive.”

The leaders discussed making sure the conflict in Gaza does not spread into the wider region, the top US diplomat said. That has been a key concern for the US, which has repeatedly warned Israel’s foes not to take advantage of the fighting with Hamas to launch a multi-front war.

The Iraq stop was the latest in a series of high-level meetings this weekend. Blinken visited Israel on Friday and met with key Arab leaders on Saturday in Jordan. He also met with the Palestinian Authority president Sunday in Ramallah, where the two discussed escalating settler violence in the West Bank.

He has now arrived in Turkey for his last stop of the tour.

Tension rising at Lebanon-Israel border: Tensions continued to flare at the northern Israel border Sunday, with Israel and Lebanon both announcing civilian casualties from the ongoing strikes between the Israel Defense Forces and Iran-backed Hezbollah.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah spoke on Friday about the October 7 Hamas attacks and ensuing war in Gaza. He said Hezbollah would be “prepared for all scenarios,” and that any escalation by the Israeli army at the border would be a “historic folly” that would prompt a major response. But he also said Hezbollah’s “primary goal” was to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza.

IDF accuses Hamas of using civilian infrastructure: The Israeli military released what it said was evidence of Hamas using civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and children’s playgrounds, as shields for its attacks on Israel. Images and video showed what a military spokesperson described as “launch pits” that Hamas used to fire rockets from the civilian areas. Officials with the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and the Hamas-controlled government media office in Gaza rejected the claims.

Unrest at Turkey airport: Turkish police broke up a pro-Palestinian protest after demonstrators tried to storm an air base housing US Air Force troops in southern Turkey, according to Turkish state news outlet, Anadolu Agency. 

In a post on its website, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation said it had organized the protest to “amplify the voice of the oppressed in Gaza” and show its opposition to what it described as the “pro-Israel attitude adopted by the United States.”

Police intervened, using tear gas and water cannons, after some protesters broke down barricades and attempted to enter the airbase, Anadolu added. 

Hostages in Gaza: The Israeli military’s current count of hostages being held by Hamas is 240, Hagari, the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesperson, said Sunday. The IDF has said the number can fluctuate based on updated intelligence.

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November 14, 2023 Israel-Hamas war


The Israeli military said it is conducting a raid inside Gaza’s biggest hospital as it targets Hamas militants it claims are operating beneath the structure — which the militant group and hospital officials deny. 

Thousands of Palestinians are believed to be sheltering in and around the hospital, where conditions have rapidly deteriorated with doctors working by candlelight and wrapping premature babies in foil to keep them alive

Here’s what we know so far:

The raid: On early Wednesday morning, local time, the Israeli military said it was “carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital” in Gaza.  

Hospitals are protected in times of war under international humanitarian law, but Israel said in a statement that Hamas’s “continued military use of the Shifa hospital jeopardizes its protected status.” 

Israel believes it has given Hamas operatives sufficient time to cease their alleged activities inside the building, according to the statement.  

The US on Tuesday cited intelligence suggesting Hamas has a command node under the hospital, seeming to back Israel’s assertion. CNN cannot independently verify the US or Israeli claims. 

Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner told CNN that the presence of civilians at the hospital makes the ground operation there “challenging.” He said Israeli forces were trying to “mitigate” the impact, citing the presence of medics and Arabic speakers among those carrying out the raid.  

What’s happening on the ground: Khaled Abu Samra, a doctor at the hospital, told CNN they were given 30 minutes’ warning before the Israeli operation on the complex began.

“We were asked to stay clear of the windows and the balconies. We can hear the armored vehicles, they are very close to the entrance of the complex,” he said. 

Khader Al Za’anoun, a journalist inside the hospital, told CNN that Israeli tanks had moved into the hospital complex, and there were gunfire exchanges across the yard. It’s unclear whether there are IDF soldiers inside the hospital buildings, Al Za’anoun said. 

What Palestinian authorities have said: Palestinian Health Minister Dr. Mai Al-Kaila said Wednesday the raid represented “a new crime against humanity, medical staff, and patients.” 

It could have “catastrophic consequences” for patients and medical staff, she said. Her health ministry is based in Ramallah and falls under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) — and is separate from the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza.

Hamas blamed both Israel and the US for the Israeli raid in a statement, claiming that the US had given Israel “a green light … to commit more massacres against civilians” by using Israel’s “false narrative” of Al-Shifa being used as a command center.

The statement also accused the UN of failing to defend Palestinians, saying: “The silence of the United Nations and the betrayal of many countries and regimes will not deter our Palestinian people from clinging to their land and their legitimate national rights.”  

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November 12, 2023 Israel-Hamas war


None of the operating rooms at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza are functioning due to lack of electricity, the medical center’s director told Al-Araby TV on Sunday.

“The operating rooms are completely out of service, and now the wounded come to us and we cannot give them anything other than first aid,” Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya said.

“Whoever needs surgery dies, and we cannot do anything for him.”

The hospital director said staff were trying to keep premature babies at the hospital alive after oxygen ran out and they had to be moved from the neonatal unit’s incubators.

“I was with them a while ago. They are now exposed, because we have taken them out of the incubators. We wrap them in foil and put hot water next to them so that we can warm them,” Abu Salmiya said.  

The doctor said several children have died while in the intensive care unit and the nursery over the last day.

People stand outside the emergency ward of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on November 10. Khader Al Zanoun/AFP/Getty Images

More background: Heavy fighting near Gaza’s largest hospital has left it in a “catastrophic situation,” with patients and staff trapped inside, ambulances unable to collect the wounded and life-support systems without electricity, health officials and aid agencies report.

The World Health Organization says Al-Shifa has been without power for three days.

“It’s been three days without electricity, without water and with very poor internet, which has severely impacted our ability to provide essential care,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on the social media platform X.

“Regrettably, the hospital is not functioning as a hospital anymore,” he said.

Dispute over fuel offer: The Israeli military said it put 300 liters of fuel at the entrance to the Al-Shifa Hospital complex on Sunday, but that Hamas had blocked the hospital from receiving it. 

Abu Salmiya, the hospital director, told Al-Araby TV that Israeli officials had indeed called him to offer the fuel — which he said would provide power to run the generators for only thirty minutes — but that staff had been too scared to go get it. 

An Israeli army soldier walks towards a building structure carrying gallon containers, as they say, while delivering fuel to Al Shifa hospital, in a location given as Gaza, in this screengrab taken from a handout video released on November 12. Israeli Army/Handout/Reuters

The Israel Defense Forces released a video it said showed soldiers delivering the jerry cans to a curbside location near the hospital entrance. It also released an audio recording, purportedly of a hospital official accusing a Hamas leader at the health ministry of refusing to allow it to be collected.

Abu Salmiya said it was the presence of Israeli tanks that prevented collection.

“Of course, my paramedic team was completely afraid to go out,” he said, adding, “We want every drop of fuel, but I told (the IDF) that it should be sent through the International Red Cross or through any international institution.” 

Hamas dismissed the allegations and said the Israeli fuel delivery was a propaganda stunt.

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October 31, 2023 – Israel-Hamas war


The Israeli army began its full ground operation in Gaza on Friday, moving tanks, bulldozers, infantrymen and combat engineer units into the Strip.

But rather than make any quick advance on Gaza City, Israeli forces so far appear to have moved only slowly toward the enclave’s largest population center.

Drawing on videos and photos from open and official sources, as well as reporting from CNN teams on the ground, it appears as though Israeli forces crossed the border in three main locations.

The first is in the northwest corner of the strip. A video released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Saturday morning showed bulldozers pushing through sand very close to the seashore. A breach in the perimeter fence, through which Israeli vehicles appeared to have entered Gaza, is clearly visible.

But there is also evidence of Israeli forces close to the sea further south from this location. 

On Sunday a video circulated showed Israeli soldiers waving a flag from the roof of a resort hotel, geolocated by CNN to Atatra, which lies about two miles south of the perimeter fence.

On Tuesday, photos released by the Israeli army showed soldiers even deeper into the Strip, just to the north of the Al-Shati, or Beach, refugee camp, which would put them only three miles or so from the centre of Gaza City.

A second point at which Israeli forces appear to have entered Gaza is from the northeastern corner of the Strip near the town of Beit Hanoun, according to footage and satellite imagery. Video distributed by the Israeli army and geolocated by CNN shows dozens of soldiers advancing on foot across sandy terrain and, in a different clip, a bulldozer pushing through sandy soil to create a lane free from IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

Videos show deserted buildings that have sustained massive damage from Israeli aerial and artillery strikes ahead of the ground operation. There is no visible presence in the footage of civilians or Hamas militants, indicating people had fled or withdrawn before the Israeli military arrived. Even so, a CNN team just a mile or so away on the Israeli side of the border reported hearing sporadic machine gun fire, and on Tuesday morning multiple explosions from the same direction.

The CNN team reported the number of Israeli military vehicles inside the perimeter appears to be increasing, as the IDF appears to have expanded the ground operation once again.

Finally, another piece of video evidence, which surfaced on Monday, points to a possible third entry point about 10 miles (about 16 kilometers) to the south, along the eastern perimeter. The video, filmed by freelance Palestinian journalist Yousif Al Saifi, showed an Israeli tank opening fire on a car on the main Salah Al Din road, which runs the length of the Strip.

The video was geolocated by CNN to just south of the Netzarim junction, named after a former Israeli settlement, and likely regarded by Israel as a strategic location to hold by if it wants to divide the northern part of Gaza from the south.

Read more about Israel’s ground operation in Gaza.

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November 9, 2023 Israel-Hamas war


Israel had agreed to daily four-hour pauses of military operations in areas of northern Gaza, the White House said Thursday. A senior Israeli official said the “tactical localized pauses” would give people in the north the ability to travel south for aid and relief.

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November 8, 2023 Israel-Hamas war


Even though IDF forces have encircled Gaza City and spent more than a month targeting Hamas positions and tunnels, videotaped attacks recently released by Hamas and analyzed by CNN help illustrate how difficult it will be to stop the Islamist militants.

CNN has geolocated a number of the clashes seen in the Hamas videos to three main locations: the Al-Shati refugee camp, Atatra and Beit Hanoun. The videos were released after the Israeli ground invasion began.

The remaining fights CNN was unable to geolocate were either in incredibly dense city streets or very rural areas — mainly olive groves. 

The overall success of the Hamas attacks depicted — whether the bulk of their fighters survive and whether they are causing IDF personnel casualties or disabling equipment — is unclear from the videos, which are heavily edited and redacted propaganda. Hamas only touts its successful missions in its videos. 

However, Hamas publishing body camera footage of its fighters carrying out an ambush does indicate that at least one of their fighters survived and brought back footage. 

CNN military analyst and retired US Lt. General Mark Hertling reviewed the videos and said that Hamas was likely utilizing shape-charge rocket-propelled grenades, which have the potential to be specifically devastating to some military vehicles, like armored personnel carriers.  

An IDF spokesperson declined to comment on the number of military vehicles that have been disabled or destroyed during the ground invasion, citing “operational security considerations.” 

Clearing Hamas’ tunnels with weapons stockpiles and fighters inside will likely take months. Additionally, Hamas fighters can now also use the aftermath of the Israeli military strikes — the ruins of buildings — as cover to carry out their ambushes.

Hertling said that trying to stop these ambushes would be like “whack-a-mole” unless the IDF was able to knock out every single tunnel complex, tunnel opening or shaft.

“It’s going to take months to do that,” he said, noting that clearing operations can’t be done by vehicles.  

IDF soldiers will have to clear each building individually, which will expose them to rifle and sniper fire from Hamas and, in turn, risk a skyrocketing casualty rate.

 Hamas says the videos were taken on November 2, 3, 5, and 6. A CNN analysis could not independently confirm that time period, but the length and direction of the shadows in the videos also indicate many of the ambushes either occurred on different days or took place many hours apart.  

At most of the sites, Hamas fighters are seen carrying out multiple ambushes, at different times throughout the day.  

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November 4, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with foreign ministers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar, as well as the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization November 4, in Amman, Jordan. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on a multinational trip Saturday after visiting Israel for the third time since the October 7 Hamas attack.

Meanwhile, a US official told CNN that Hamas is blocking foreign nationals from leaving Gaza after an Israeli airstrike on an ambulance near a hospital Friday.

Here are some of the latest headlines:

Blinken meets with Arab leaders: The top US diplomat has reiterated his country’s rejection of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, instead calling once again for “humanitarian pauses” to get aid into Gaza. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his government opposes any temporary ceasefire in Gaza unless Hamas frees all the hostages it holds, adding that it would continue to block fuel from entering the enclave.

Blinken met with foreign ministers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar, as well as the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Egyptian and Jordanian leaders made remarks after the meetings strongly condemning Israel’s offensive. Blinken, who acknowledged differences with Arab leaders on their approaches to the conflict, will also travel to Turkey.

Hamas stopping foreigners from leaving, official says: Hamas is blocking foreign nationals from departing Gaza until Israel guarantees that ambulances from the Palestinian enclave can reach the Rafah crossing to Egypt, a US official familiar with situation told CNN Saturday.

The demand comes after Israel admitted on Friday that it attacked an ambulance outside Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in the enclave. The vehicle had been in a convoy headed for Rafah, which is the only remaining option for getting in and out of Gaza during Israel’s siege of the territory. Israel claimed the ambulance was being used by Hamas fighters, which the Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza has rejected.

More than 700 foreign nationals were expected to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing Saturday, according to an official source on the Egyptian side of the crossing.

CNN reported Friday that initial efforts to secure safe passage for foreign nationals in Gaza were stymied in part by Hamas including its own members on a list of wounded Palestinians designated to pass through the Rafah crossing, according to a senior US official.

UN chief on Israel’s ambulance attack: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement he was “horrified” by the strike, while calling for a ceasefire and release of hostages.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan accused Guterres of rushing to comment “without even bothering to ask” about the context of the strike. “You completely ignore the fact that Hamas intentionally exploits ambulances for terror,” Erdan wrote on Saturday in post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Strikes near hospital and school shelter: Israeli airstrikes have damaged a building located in front of the emergency entrance of Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City, injuring 21 people, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said Saturday.

A UN-run school serving as a shelter in a refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip was also struck Saturday, according to the main UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

Humanitarian situation: The number of people who have fled from north of Wadi Gaza to the southern part of the enclave is estimated to be 800,000 “to perhaps a million,” the US special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues, David Satterfield, said Saturday. There has been no new fuel into Gaza since the war began, he said.

The US is looking at the prospect of establishing field hospitals in south Gaza, Satterfield said, and Israel is engaging with countries about putting hospital ships offshore of Gaza.

IDF says Hamas fired on safe route: The Israeli military accused Hamas of using an announcement telling Gaza residents to move safely south as an opportunity to fire on soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces.

The IDF had called on Gaza residents via its Arabic account on X, formerly known as Twitter, to use the main Salah-al-Din Road to move south for a three-hour period from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. local time. It’s unclear how many Gaza residents had access to internet to see the message.

Turkey latest to recall ambassador: Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Israel for “consultations” due to the “unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza” and continuing Israeli airstrikes, the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday. Several other countries, including Honduras, Colombia, Chile, and Bahrain, have also withdrawn their ambassadors.

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November 3, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news


Newborns, women and children are “disproportionately bearing the burden” of the war in Gaza, several United Nations aid agencies said in a joint statement Friday.

“The bombardments, damaged or non-functioning health facilities, massive levels of displacement, collapsing water and electricity supplies as well as restricted access to food and medicines, are severely disrupting maternal, newborn, and child health services,” they said.

The statement was released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Many pregnant women aren’t able to access the medical care they need, and maternal deaths are expected to increase.

“The psychological toll of the hostilities also has direct – and sometimes deadly – consequences on reproductive health, including a rise in stress-induced miscarriages, stillbirths and premature births,” the statement added.

Malnutrition, already an issue before the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, is now even more dire and can have effects on childhood survival and development, the statement warned.

The lives of newborns “hang by a thread” because “an estimated 130 premature babies who rely on neonatal and intensive care services will be threatened,” if hospitals run out of fuel. Incubators and other medical equipment will no longer function, it warned.

The statement calls for “an immediate humanitarian pause” in order to “alleviate the suffering and prevent a desperate situation from becoming catastrophic.”

Some 9,155 people have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, according to figures released Friday by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah drawn from sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. More than 23,000 others have been injured.

The ministry’s report states that close to 73% of the fatalities belong to vulnerable groups, including children, women, and elderly individuals.

Some context: The myriad challenges of managing medical care in Gaza was further underscored Friday when an airstrike on an ambulance outside Gaza City’s largest medical facility killed at least 15 people and injured 50 others, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health.

The Al-Shifa Hospital has increasingly found itself part of the frontline as Israel claimed the facility is the site of a significant Hamas command and control center.

Palestinians have rejected the Israeli claim, with its Director General of the Gaza Health Ministry, Dr. Medhat Abbas, telling CNN last week that Gaza’s hospitals “are used to treat patients only” and are not being used “to hide anyone.”

Israel claimed responsibility for an attack on the ambulance, saying the vehicle was used by Hamas.

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November 2, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news


An 81-year-old Palestinian-American woman received clearance to exit the Gaza Strip – but is unable to do so without support for her medical needs, her attorney Ghassan Shamieh told CNN on Thursday.

Her grandson, Said Bsieso, says his grandmother is running out of time.

“She’s probably lost like 30 pounds at least,” he said at a news conference in San Francisco Thursday. “She’s running out of medication and… I don’t know if she can handle a trip back here by herself.”  

Shamieh said the woman’s son traveled from Gaza to California to escort her for the visit to Gaza in August, but since he is not a US citizen and his US visa is now expired, he is unable to escort her out. 

The attorney declined to detail the woman’s ailments but said her age, combined with a lack of food, water and medication has challenged her mobility.

He is calling on the US State Department to provide the woman with the medical supervision she needs to exit Gaza safely.

“We think that the US has an obligation to evacuate its citizens safely,” he said. 

Some background: Between 20 and 25 US citizens arrived Thursday on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing from Gaza, an Egyptian border official told CNN.

Overall, 341 foreign nationals crossed on Thursday, the official said. 

The exodus of the foreign nationals was the result of a deal announced Wednesday brokered by Qatar between Israel, Hamas and Egypt, in coordination with the US, that allows for the departure of those individuals, alongside critically injured civilians from Gaza, according to sources familiar with the talks.

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November 1, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news


Crowds gathered at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt on Wednesday, as multiple sources told CNN that up to 500 foreign nationals could be allowed to flee the besieged enclave. Follow for live updates.

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October 27, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news


A top Palestinian telecoms provider said it suffered a “complete disruption of all communication and internet services” in Gaza on Friday as Israel continued to pound the coastal enclave with airstrikes in as the Israel Defense Forces announced it is “expanding ground operations.”

Independent internet monitoring groups told CNN it was the worst internet blackout in Gaza since the latest war between Israel and Hamas began on October 7, raising fears that Palestinian civilians will be unable to communicate with the outside world as the war escalates.  

“We regret to announce a complete disruption of all communication and internet services with the Gaza Strip in light of the ongoing aggression,” the Palestine Telecommunications Company, known as Paltel, said in a Facebook post on Friday evening local time. Paltel provides internet and cell service in Gaza and the West Bank.

“The heavy bombardment of the past hour has resulted in the destruction of all remaining international paths connecting Gaza to the outside world,” Paltel said on Facebook. “This destruction is in addition to the paths that were previously destroyed during the ongoing aggression, which has led to the interruption of all communication services from our beloved Gaza Strip.”

It could take days, if not longer, for Gazans to restore internet connectivity on a broad scale given the ongoing bombardment and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at Kentik, a California firm that monitors online connectivity globally.

Madory said the current outages are “probably the worst that Gaza has ever experienced.”

“The Gaza War in 2014 experienced [internet] outages but it was nothing like this,” Madory told CNN.

NetBlocks, an internet monitoring firm based in London, told CNN that the outage on Friday marked a “turning point” in Gazans’ ability to “keep the outside world informed on the situation on the ground.”

“Today’s incident is the largest single disruption to internet connectivity in Gaza observed since the beginning of the conflict,” NetBlocks claimed.

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October 30, 2023 – Israel-Hamas war


A female Israeli soldier who was kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 has been rescued during ground operations in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said Monday.

An IDF spokesperson said they initially misspoke when they said she had been released from Hamas. The initial IDF announcement was a translation error as she had been “actively rescued” with “boots on the ground” in a joint operation between the IDF and the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), or Shin Bet, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday local time.

“Based on intelligence” the Israeli special forces went into northern Gaza knowing her whereabouts and rescued her, Conricus said.

“They were in there for a job,” Conricus said adding that he is happy with the results as Pvt. Ori Megidish is “well mentally and physically” and reunited with her family.

He added that Megidish has also provided information about her captivity with Israeli intelligence officers which “can be used for the future.”

Conricus did not share if there were other such operations planned based on existing intelligence on the exact whereabouts of the remaining hostages, but told CNN “we are definitely committed to get all of our 238 hostages currently held by Hamas in Gaza, all of them, to get them home.”

He alleged that Hamas is indulging in psychological warfare by using hostages as leverage.

Conricus pushed back on claims that Israel’s ground operations in northern Gaza would potentially have a negative impact on hostage negotiations, saying that based on the rescue of Pvt. Ori Megidish, “I would argue that the reality on the ground dictates differently.”

Conricus, who did not rule out other potential hostage rescue missions in the future, told CNN that Israeli forces on the ground are expecting “fierce resistance” and “tunnel warfare, booby traps, IEDS, anti-tank mines, snipers, and many other things,” but so far “progress is good.”

He added that the Israeli military is making “considerable efforts, now in the ground warfare, to distinguish between combatants and non-combatant,” adding that they are “moving slowly and deliberately.”

This post has been updated to reflect the latest statements from the IDF.

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October 29, 2023 Israel-Hamas war


The UN warns “civil order” is deteriorating in Gaza after weeks of siege and bombardment, with people breaking into warehouses to take survival essentials.

Here are today’s top headlines:

More on the warehouse break-ins: The United Nations World Food Programme said some of its aid supplies were looted in Gaza and warned of “growing hunger and desperation” in a news release Sunday. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said earlier Sunday that “thousands” of people had broken into some of its warehouses and distribution centers in the central and southern areas of the strip, “taking wheat flour and other basic survival items like hygiene supplies.”

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Monday: The United Arab Emirates, the only Arab country with a seat in the UN Security Council at the moment, will seek a binding resolution from other Security Council members for an “immediate humanitarian pause” in the fighting, sources said. Earlier this month, the United States vetoed a draft resolution at the UNSC which called for a humanitarian pause. 

Gaza’s second-largest hospital suffers extensive damage: Israeli airstrikes have “caused extensive damage to hospital departments and exposed residents and patients to suffocation” at the Al-Quds Hospital, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Sunday, accusing Israel of “deliberately” launching the airstrikes next to Gaza City’s second-largest hospital “with the aim of forcing the medical staff, displaced people, and patients to evacuate the hospital.” The organization said it has received a warning Sunday from Israel to immediately evacuate the hospital ahead of possible bombardment, which the World Health Organization has said would be “impossible” without endangering patients’ lives.

Israel appears to have advanced over two miles into Gaza: The troops in the video, taken on Saturday, are seen putting an Israeli flag on a Gaza resort hotel’s roof. CNN geolocated the video to an area just over two miles from the Gaza-Israeli border. The video is one of the first glimpses into where Israeli ground forces have been, and what they’ve been doing, during the expanded ground operations in Gaza. A communications blackout in Gaza has significantly hampered the flow of information out of it, though providers said service was gradually being restored Sunday.

Iran says Israel has “crossed the red lines” in Gaza: Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said Sunday Israel’s actions “may force everyone to take action.” There are concerns that Israel’s fierce military campaign in Gaza will open up more fronts. There is already crossfire exchanges on northern Israel and southern Lebanon border — separate from Israel’s fighting with Hamas farther south, which is centered around Gaza. But an uptick in clashes with Hezbollah has raised fears that the powerful Lebanese paramilitary group could actively participate in the conflict. It comes as the US national security adviser warned of an “elevated risk” of the war expanding into a broader Middle East conflict.

Aid trucks cross from Egypt into Gaza: The Palestinian Red Crescent said it received 10 aid trucks via the Rafah border crossing, stating that the trucks contain “food supplies and medical necessities. The total number of received trucks so far has reached 94, while fuel has not been allowed to enter yet. Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders said it has sent 26 tons of medical supplies on a plane to Egypt to support the emergency medical response in Gaza.

Gaza death toll rises further: The death toll in Gaza has risen to 7,960, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah announced on Sunday, drawing the data from sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. More than 20,000 have been injured, the ministry said. Nearly three-quarters — 73% — of those killed are from vulnerable populations, including children, women, and elderly individuals, according to the ministry report, which adds that the total number of dead includes 116 medical personnel.

Video shows destruction at mosque and houses in a Gaza refugee camp: Video, obtained by CNN from a Gaza-based journalist, shows the aftermath of the destruction of a mosque and adjacent houses in the Al-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza on Sunday. There is a large amount of destruction at the site of an airstrike, with people searching through the rubble to look for survivors.  

US pressured Israel to restore connectivity in Gaza: After phone and internet service was severed late last week, civilians, aid groups and journalists were left without any means of communicating with the outside world. Service appeared to be gradually restored on Sunday. “We do feel strongly that the restoration of that communications was a critical thing,” US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. “Because aid workers need to be able to communicate, civilians need to be able to communicate, and of course, journalists need to be able to document what is happening in Gaza to report it to the wider world.”

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October 28, 2023 Israel-Hamas war


Destruction in northern Gaza after Israeli airstrikes is pictured on October 28. Mohammed Saber/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Israeli ground forces are inside Gaza after entering the enclave overnight, as Palestinians experienced what they have described as the most intense round of airstrikes since Israel began its retaliation against Hamas’ October 7 terror attack.

The expanded operation has left families of the more than 200 hostages taken to Gaza fearful for their loved ones. A group lobbying for the families of Israeli hostages spoke of “the most terrible of all nights” as emotions spiked with the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) expansion of its ground operation.

Catch up below on the latest developments in the war:

Israel’s goals in this stage: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Saturday the war in Gaza is “going to be long.” He said the goals of this stage of the war are to destroy Hamas and return the hostages the militant group took on October 7 and still holds in Gaza. Netanyahu confirmed he spoke with family members of the hostages and said he vowed to them that he would exhaust all options to return their loved ones home.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement his country had entered “a new phase in the war.” The official said Israel “attacked above ground and below ground. We attacked terrorist operatives at all levels, in all places. The instructions to our forces are clear: the operation will continue until a new order is given.”

Details on the expanded ground operation: Israeli forces “went into the Gaza Strip and expanded the ground operation where infantry, armor and engineer units and artillery with heavy fire are taking part,” IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Saturday morning. “The forces are in the field and continue the fighting,” he added, without giving further details.

Hagari’s words confirm the military operation has undergone a significant expansion after what it had earlier described as two “targeted raids,” which took place on Wednesday night and Thursday night. Both those raids saw ground forces withdraw after a few hours. However, it does not appear as though any major ground offensive aimed at seizing and holding significant amounts of the territory is yet underway. In a fresh call for Gazans to move south, the IDF spoke of an “impending” operation.

Mourning in Gaza: Gazans mourned the loss of their loved ones on Saturday following a night of intense Israeli airstrikes, with many gathering at Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah in central Gaza. Video captured by CNN shows multiple bodies, including those of children, covered in white shrouds or thick blankets, placed on the ground in the hospital yard. Another video showed a young man lying on the floor of the hospital as doctors operated on him.

More than 2 million people live in the enclave, and for weeks people in the territory have faced Israeli airstrikes and a growing humanitarian situation, with shortages of water, food and fuel. The IDF said Gazans who had moved south of Wadi Gaza, a waterway bisecting the center of the strip, were in a “protected space,” and would receive more food, water and medicine today, but did not give any details.

Aid agencies lose contact: Communications in the enclave have been severely disrupted, leaving aid agencies out of touch with their staff on the ground and emergency services struggling to reach those in need. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday morning that reports of the intense bombardment are “extremely distressing.” He added: “We are still out of touch with our staff and health facilities. I’m worried about their safety.” Several United Nations agencies have also reported losing contact with their local staff in Gaza.

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