October 9, 2023 - Israel-Hamas war news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Ed Upright, Joshua Berlinger, Aditi Sangal, Dakin Andone, Maureen Chowdhury, Leinz Vales, Elise Hammond, Steve Almasy and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 10, 2023
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1:52 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

The Gaza Strip appears to be under heavy bombardment on Monday evening

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová and Alex Platt 

A near constant sound of explosions coming from Gaza is echoing throughout Ashdod, a city some 35 kilometers (21 miles) north of the enclave.

The strikes sound as if a massive thunderstorm was unfolding nearby, and the loud bangs are causing vibrations that can be felt throughout Ashdod.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement issued about two hours ago that it had attacked 130 Hamas targets in Gaza with airstrikes in the preceding three hours.

“Throughout the last 24 hours, Air Force planes have been carrying out extensive attacks along the length and breadth of the Gaza Strip, wreaking havoc on Hamas terrorists,” the IDF statement said at that time.

Since that statement, the strikes have continued and intensified. Flares light up above Gaza at regular intervals, and the darkness illuminated by bright orange lights.

As of 8:30 p.m. local time, the bombing appeared to be almost continuous, with numerous loud thuds heard every minute. While Gaza is often targeted by the IDF, the bombardment on Monday has been unusually heavy, both in its intensity and frequency.

At the same time, rockets continued to be fired from Gaza, albeit at much slower pace, and intercepted by Israel’s air defenses.

1:07 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

UN secretary-general calls for Hamas to cease attacks and release hostages

From CNN’s Richard Roth

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to the UN Security Council in July.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to the UN Security Council in July. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for Hamas to cease its attacks on Israel and release hostages.

In remarks on Monday, he also urged all parties to allow UN access to deliver humanitarian assistance to Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip.

Guterres reiterated that only negotiated peace and “the long-held vision of a two-State solution,” can bring stability to the region. 

The secretary-general condemned the “abhorrent attacks by Hamas and others against Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza periphery.”

Guterres said that while he recognized “the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people,” nothing can justify acts of terror, maiming, killing and the abduction of civilians.

“I am deeply distressed by today’s announcement that Israel will initiate a complete siege of the Gaza Strip, nothing allowed in — no electricity, food, or fuel,” the secretary-general said.

More about the seige: Israel's Minister of Defense said he has ordered the "complete siege" of Gaza, cutting off electricity, food, fuel and water to the enclave. This comes as Israel has pounded Gaza with airstrikes and formally declared war on Hamas Sunday.

More than 550 Palestinians have died, according to Gaza's health ministry, and medical care has been complicated by Israel cutting power to the territory.

12:51 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

How did Israel and Palestinians get here?

From CNN's Hadas Gold, Richard Allen Greene, Amir Tal, Ibrahim Dahman, Abeer Salman, Kareem Khaddar and Nadeen Ebrahim

A Palestinian man passes Israeli soldiers patrolling in a street of Gaza on December 20, 1987.
A Palestinian man passes Israeli soldiers patrolling in a street of Gaza on December 20, 1987. Esaias Baitel/AFP/Getty Images

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have existed since before the nation’s founding in 1948. Thousands of people on both sides have been killed and many more injured in the long-simmering conflict between the two sides over the past few decades.

Violence has been particularly heightened this year. The number of Palestinians – militants and civilians – killed in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces is at its highest in nearly two decades. The same is true of Israelis and foreigners – most of them civilians – killed in Palestinian attacks.

Israel and the militant group Hamas have been involved in armed conflict dating back as early as the 1987 First Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, against Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Israel captured Gaza from Egypt in a 1967 war, then withdrew in 2005. The small territory — home to some 2 million Palestinians — fell under Hamas’ control in 2007 after a brief civil war with Fatah, a rival Palestinian faction that is the backbone of the Palestinian Authority.

After Hamas seized control of Gaza, Israel and Egypt imposed a strict siege on the territory, which is ongoing. Israel also maintains an air and naval blockade on Gaza.

Before Saturday’s operation, the last war between Hamas and Israel was in 2021, which lasted for 11 days and killed at least 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel.

Saturday’s assault occurred on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 war, when Israel’s Arab neighbors launched a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, on October 6, 1973.

12:41 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

At least 4 Latin American citizens dead after Hamas attacks on Israel

From CNN's Claudia Rebaza, Patrick Oppman, Elis Barreto, Lucas Mendes, Mia Alberti, Karol Suarez, David Shortell and Sanie López Garelli  

At least four Latin American citizens are dead and 15 are missing after Hamas attacks on Israel on Saturday.

Four Argentinian nationals are dead and four have been missing since Saturday, Argentina’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Santiago Cafiero said on social media on Monday.

Panama’s Foreign Affairs Ministry reported a Panamanian woman missing after the attacks. Meanwhile, in Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the number of Mexican nationals missing is now three. 

“There are reports of three missing Mexicans; there is already communication with their relatives, a complete search effort is being done, our diplomats are acting to protect Mexicans," López Obrador said.  

12:24 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Palestinian Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for striking Israeli areas near the Lebanese border

From CNN's Kareem Damanhoury and Hamdi Alkhshali

The al-Quds Brigades of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for bombing several locations “in southern Lebanon on the border with occupied Palestine.”  

Several explosions were seen in the disputed border region between Israel and Lebanon amid an air raid by Israeli forces on Monday.

Seven Israeli soldiers were injured as a result of that shelling, one of whom was critically wounded, according to the al-Quds Brigades. The Israel Defense Forces did not corroborate that claim.

4:49 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Airlines are canceling flights to Tel Aviv

From CNN staff

Several airlines have suspended flights to and from Israel, as intense fighting rages between Israeli forces and Hamas:

American Airlines, has canceled all flights to and from Tel Aviv through Friday after the union representing the airlines’ pilots issued a stark warning about the dangers to the airspace and advised crews to turn down any assignment into the country. Further adjustments will be made as needed, the carrier said in a statement.

Delta Air Lines, has canceled all flights to and from Tel Aviv for the rest of October, but said it will work with Washington if needed for repatriation flights of US citizens. Delta flies to Israel from Atlanta, Boston and New York.

Norwegian Air has canceled all flights from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Tel Aviv until Sunday. In a statement, it said it will contact affected passengers directly and that it is working to find solutions for passengers currently in Israel. 

Korean Air, the only South Korean airline that operates direct flights between Incheon and Tel Aviv, canceled its Monday flight — but said it would operate a return flight from Tel Aviv to Incheon, to bring people home.

There are about 570 South Korean nationals residing in Israel and an additional 360 tourists in the country, according to the foreign ministry, though no Korean nationals have been reported as casualties yet.

Air India has also suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv until October 14, citing the safety of its passengers and crew.

Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific also canceled its Tuesday flight to and from Tel Aviv, saying it would closely monitor the situation.

Other major carriers, including United Airlines, have also seen flight disruptions and cancelations due to the conflict.

4:58 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

"I didn't want to believe the picture," says Israeli resident who recognized family member in Hamas image

From CNN's Lianne Kolirin

From top left, clockwise: Margit Silverman and her husband Yosi Shnaider; their daughter Shiri Bibes and her husband Yarden; Bibes’ son Kfir, Bibes’ son Ariel.
From top left, clockwise: Margit Silverman and her husband Yosi Shnaider; their daughter Shiri Bibes and her husband Yarden; Bibes’ son Kfir, Bibes’ son Ariel. Yosi Shnaider

Yosi Shnaider is desperately worried about his aunt and her family, he told CNN Monday, after recognizing her in images he said were posted by Hamas on social media.

“Nobody knows anything,” he said in a phone call Monday. “It’s hell. The situation in Israel is something we have never experienced.” 

Shnaider, who lives in the central Israeli town of Holon, told CNN that six members of his family are missing. They include his father's sister, Margit Silverman, and her husband Yossi. Their daughter, Shiri Bibes, her husband Yarden and their two sons Ariel and Kfir — aged four and nine months, respectively — are also missing.

All six are residents of the Nahal Oz kibbutz, which is less than three miles from the Gaza Strip.

“We were trying to call them all the time on Saturday morning but there was no answer,” Shnaider told CNN. But he was horrified after seeing images on his phone that he said were posted by Hamas.

“I couldn’t believe the picture and I didn’t want to believe the picture," Shnaider said. "But it was very clear that it was Shiri."

“Half an hour afterwards I got a movie of Shiri with her two children," he added, saying the clip was posted on Telegram. "So we know for sure that they have been kidnapped by Hamas."

Shnaider has "zero information" about his family, he said, noting his aunt has Parkinson's and diabetes and needs medication to survive. "We don't know if they are alive or injured."

"My only hope is that they don’t separate Shiri from her children," he said.

11:51 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Qatar in talks with Hamas over hostages, sources say

From CNN's Natasha Bertrand and Alex Marquardt

Qatar has been in talks with Hamas about the hostages that the militant group is holding inside Gaza, and the US has been coordinating with the Qataris as they play a key mediating role with Hamas, a senior US official and another person familiar with the discussions told CNN. 

Qatar’s prime minister met with Hamas leaders on Sunday, one of the sources said. 

“Things are moving very fast,” the source said. 

US officials at the White House and State Department, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, have remained in touch with the Qataris throughout the weekend as they communicate with Hamas.

A US official said the US believes Qatar, which has strong ties to Hamas, was caught off guard by the group’s attack on Israel on Saturday.

CNN has reached out to the governments of Qatar and Israel for comment.

11:50 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Mexico sending aircraft to evacuate 300 citizens in Israel

From CNN's Karol Suarez in Mexico City

Three hundred Mexican citizens in Israel have signed up to leave the country, Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Monday, noting the country would send two aircraft to carry out evacuations.

The majority of Mexicans in Israel are there for tourism and religious purposes, the president said. The government decided to send the aircraft — one will go in the morning, the other in the afternoon — due to commercial flight cancelations.

In addition, López Obrador said three Mexicans remain missing, saying the government is communicating with their relatives and that "our diplomats are acting to protect Mexicans."