October 8, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news

By Tara Subramaniam, Andrew Raine, Thom Poole, Joshua Berlinger, Maureen Chowdhury, Matt Meyer and Jessie Yeung, CNN

Updated 0805 GMT (1605 HKT) October 9, 2023
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6:15 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

No UN Security Council action taken after emergency meeting

From CNN's Richard Roth and Samantha Beech in New York

Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood speaks to reporters ahead of a United Nations Security Council meeting on Sunday, October 8.
Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood speaks to reporters ahead of a United Nations Security Council meeting on Sunday, October 8. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

No action was taken following the United Nations Security Council emergency meeting on the situation in the Middle East, according to several Security Council members who spoke Sunday afternoon.

“I don’t want to get into what was really discussed in the briefing, but there are a good number of countries that condemned Hamas’ attacks," Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told reporters following the meeting. "They’re obviously not all (condemning the attacks), and I don’t really want to get into that. I think you can probably figure out one of them without me saying anything.”

Some context: The Security Council consists of 10 elected members, and five permanent members — China, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation. All 15 members would have needed to vote unanimously for any statement to emerge following the Security Council meeting.

More from the council: “The situation is still fluid and very dangerous,” Wood said.

He added officials are working hard to try to prevent the conflict from spreading through the region.

“It’s important that the global community condemn, strongly condemn, this unprovoked invasion and the terrorist attacks and activities that have taken place and are taking place,” Wood said.

When asked about the plight of Palestinians in the region, Wood said, “We condemn civilians who are hurt or killed anywhere in the world. That goes without saying. What’s important now is that the international community to show its solidarity with Israel."

Hamas should be condemned until they end their violent terrorist activity, he added.

6:03 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Hamas says it launched a "major missile attack" on Ashkelon in southern Israel

From CNN's Jonny Hallam

A still from a video shows the aftermath of a Sunday, October 8, missile attack on Ashkelon in southern Israel.
A still from a video shows the aftermath of a Sunday, October 8, missile attack on Ashkelon in southern Israel. MDA

Hamas, which earlier said it was targeting Ben Gurion International Airport, also said it had launched "a major missile attack with 100 rockets" on Ashkelon in southern Israel.

The rockets were fired at the coastal city in response to Israel Defense Forces "targeting of their safe houses," said the Izzedine al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian militant group.

Ashkelon is not far north of the border with the Gaza Strip.

5:22 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Explosions heard in central Israel as Hamas claims to target Ben Gurion Airport

From CNN's Jonny Hallam and Eyad Kourdi

Loud explosions could be heard across central Israel and the suburbs of Tel Aviv late Sunday, according to CNN teams on the ground.

Hamas has claimed it is targeting the Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel’s international hub, which is located just outside Tel Aviv.

The Izzedine al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in a statement that the "missile barrage was in response to the continuing crimes and targeting of civilian homes."

Remember: Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack from Gaza on Saturday, leading Israel to declare war on the Palestinian militant group. Since then, Israel has bombarded Gaza with airstrikes, and Hamas has launched further attacks from the territory.

4:32 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

At least 260 bodies found at music festival site in Israel after Hamas attack, rescue organization says

From CNN's Amir Tal in Jerusalem

At least 260 bodies have been found at the site of an Israeli music festival following Saturday's attack by Hamas, according to Israeli rescue service Zaka.

Hamas gunmen shot at fleeing attendees and took others hostage at the festival in a rural farmland area near the Gaza-Israel border, according to social media videos and accounts from festivalgoers.

The terrifying attack was just one of multiple locations hit on Saturday morning by the most sustained and coordinated assault inside Israel ever carried out by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group designated as a terror organization by the United States, European Union and Israel.

People run across an empty field away from gunshots at a music festival near the Gaza-Israel border on Saturday, October 7.
People run across an empty field away from gunshots at a music festival near the Gaza-Israel border on Saturday, October 7. From Instagram

The outdoor Nova Festival event was supposed to be an all-night dance party, celebrating the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Read more about the festival attack here.

CNN's Paul P. Murphy, Allegra Goodwin, Benjamin Brown and Sharif Paget contributed reporting to this post.

4:32 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Islamic Jihad says it is holding 30 hostages in Gaza

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman, Abeer Salman and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Islamic Jihad — a militant Palestinian faction which has also carried out terror attacks in Israel — is holding at least 30 hostages in Gaza who were captured Saturday, according to the group's secretary general, Ziyad al-Nakhala.

The group is calling for Israel to release some of its fighters in exchange for the hostages' release.

"The Islamic Jihad Movement currently has more than 30 prisoners, and they will not return to their homes until our prisoners are liberated," al-Nakhala said in a recorded, televised speech late Sunday.

Some context: Islamic Jihad and Hamas are separate organizations, but they both operate in the Gaza Strip and they are aligned in their opposition to Israel.

The total number of hostages taken during Hamas' assault this weekend is not yet clear, but Israeli officials have said there are dozens of captives.

4:10 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

At least 3 Americans killed in attacks in Israel near the Gaza border, according to government memo

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

At least three Americans have been killed following the attacks in Israel close to the Gaza border, according to an internal US government memo reviewed by CNN. 

Earlier Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN the US had received reports of missing and dead Americans, and the administration was working “overtime” to verify. 

The internal memo says the State Department is aware of three US citizens killed in the Gaza periphery, as well as additional Americans who have not been accounted for.

CNN has reached out to the State Department for comment.

The US embassy in Jerusalem, meanwhile, has also updated its contingency planning “for any potential evacuation by land or air,” according to the memoOn Saturday, the embassy issued a “shelter in place” for embassy personnel after Hamas launched its surprise attack.

4:23 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

More than 400 Palestinians killed and 2,300 hurt since Saturday, according to health ministry in Gaza

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman and Mohammed Tawfeeq

People mourn family members killed in Israeli strikes during a funeral in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on Sunday, October 8.
People mourn family members killed in Israeli strikes during a funeral in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on Sunday, October 8. Yasser Qudih/AFP/Getty Images

At least 413 Palestinians have been killed, including 78 children, and 2,300 others wounded in Gaza since Saturday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.

Power cuts in the territory pose "a big challenge for the medical sector," the ministry said, threatening the lives of hundreds of others who need treatment.

Key context: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Saturday that Israel will halt the supply of "electricity, fuel and goods" into the Gaza Strip, although military spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said Sunday only electricity had been cut.

Since then, power is only available for an average of four hours per day, down from the usual eight hours.

Israel has formally declared war on Hamas, which controls Gaza, after the militant group's surprise attack Saturday. It has been pounding the territory with airstrikes since.

2:50 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Israeli ambassador says Hamas has committed "blatant, documented war crimes" and calls on UN to act

From CNN’s Samantha Beech in New York

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan speaks to reporters in New York on Sunday, October 8.
Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan speaks to reporters in New York on Sunday, October 8. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan has demanded the United Nations Security Council condemn the “ruthless terror attacks” by Hamas against Israel.

“Israel has one, sole demand. Hamas’ war crimes must be unequivocally condemned. This unimaginable atrocity must be condemned. Israel must be given steadfast support to defend ourselves. To defend the free world,” Erdan said, speaking to reporters ahead of the Security Council's emergency meeting on the situation in the Middle East on Sunday.

“In the wake of the Holocaust, the world swore, 'never again,'” he continued. “This very body, the UN, was established on the ashes of the Holocaust. Yet yesterday, we watched as hundreds of Jews were massacred in cold blood. This is a 'never again' moment.” 

“Today, many members of the international community are supporting Israel,” he told reporters. “But if history has taught us anything, we know that tomorrow that may not be the case,” Erdan said, adding "the UN, the Security Council, have a very short memory when it comes to Israel."

The ambassador said the reports and videos depicting Hamas' kidnapping and killing of Israeli citizens are "blatant, documented war crimes."

"What we are witnessing are war crimes, blatant, barbaric war crimes," Erdan said. "Slaughtering civilians, using hostages, taking babies from their mothers. There are no words to describe such savagery."

Erdan condemned Hamas as a "genocidal Islamist jihadist terror organization," saying it is "no different than ISIS." The Palestinian militant group is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, Israel and other countries.

"Israel is at the forefront of the war on terror," Erdan told reporters.

2:22 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Gaza, UN relief agency says

From CNN's Kareem Khadder and Mohammed Tawfeeq

A person walks through the debris of a destroyed building in Gaza City, on Sunday, October 8.
A person walks through the debris of a destroyed building in Gaza City, on Sunday, October 8. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Gaza as Israeli Defense Forces continue to target Hamas positions on the strip, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said on Sunday.

"The number of people forced to flee their homes in search of safety has significantly increased overnight. Nearly 74,000 displaced people are now in 64 UNRWA shelters, with numbers likely to increase as heavy shelling and airstrikes continue including on civilian areas," the agency's statement said.

The statement also noted that a "UNRWA school sheltering displaced families in the Gaza Strip was directly hit today (Sunday). The school, sheltering more than 225 people, was severely damaged. No casualties were recorded among the displaced."

"Schools and other civilian infrastructure, including those sheltering displaced families, must never come under attack," the agency said.