December 4, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Kathleen Magramo, Antoinette Radford, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury and Chris Lau, CNN

Updated 1:51 a.m. ET, December 5, 2023
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6:35 a.m. ET, December 4, 2023

Israeli airstrikes hit 200 Gaza targets, IDF says

From CNN's Amir Tal

Palestinian citizens and rescue workers inspect the destruction caused by air strikes on December 4, in Khan Younis, Gaza.
Palestinian citizens and rescue workers inspect the destruction caused by air strikes on December 4, in Khan Younis, Gaza. Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Israeli airstrikes hit about 200 Hamas targets in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said in an update Monday, a day after the IDF announced it was expanding its ground operations to the entire enclave.

The targets included a school in the northeastern town of Beit Hanoun, which the IDF claimed contained "terror infrastructure" including tunnel shafts stocked with weapons and explosives.

Other airstrikes hit a vehicle holding weapons and an arms storage facility, the IDF said.

The Israeli navy also struck a number of targets overnight, “assisting with the reinforcement of ground troops,” the IDF said.

Expanded operation: The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday announced it is expanding its ground operations to all of Gaza, following the collapse of a truce with Hamas on Friday.

"The IDF is resuming and expanding the ground operation against Hamas’ strongholds across the whole Gaza Strip," IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told a news conference.

Israeli attacks in Gaza have resulted in the deaths of about 15,200 Palestinians since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which draws its figures from the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza.

2:03 a.m. ET, December 4, 2023

3 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza military operation, IDF says

From CNN’s Amir Tal

An Israeli soldier takes position during the ongoing ground operation in Gaza, in this handout still image obtained from a video released on December 2.
An Israeli soldier takes position during the ongoing ground operation in Gaza, in this handout still image obtained from a video released on December 2. Israel Defense Forces/Reuters

Three more Israeli soldiers have been killed fighting against Hamas in Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces, bringing the number of IDF losses inside the Palestinian enclave to 69 since the military operation began in October.

The IDF on Sunday announced it is expanding its ground operations to all of Gaza as it bombards the strip following the collapse of a truce with Hamas last week.

Israeli attacks in Gaza have resulted in the deaths of about 15,200 Palestinians since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which draws its figures from the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza.

11:59 p.m. ET, December 3, 2023

IDF expands Gaza ground operations as security chief vows to eliminate Hamas worldwide. Here's the latest

From CNN staff

The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday announced it is expanding its ground operations to all of Gaza, following the collapse of a truce with Hamas on Friday.

"The IDF is resuming and expanding the ground operation against Hamas’ strongholds across the whole Gaza Strip," IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari told a news conference.

"Our policy is clear — we will forcefully strike any threat posed against our territory."

Israeli attacks in Gaza have resulted in the deaths of about 15,200 Palestinians since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which draws its figures from the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Here's what else you need to know:

  • Evacuation warning: The IDF told civilians to leave large swaths of Gaza, including a number of neighborhoods in southern parts of the enclave, after it resumed its military offensive there. Earlier Sunday, the IDF told people to evacuate several areas southeast of the southern city of Khan Younis, where many have looked for shelter in recent weeks. The UN estimates up to 1.8 million people in Gaza, or nearly 80% of the population, are internally displaced.
  • New "Munich": Israel is determined to eliminate Hamas around the world even if it takes years, a top domestic security official said Sunday. "This is our Munich. Everywhere: in Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, everywhere," Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar said, according to public broadcaster Kan. Bar's mention of Munich is a reference to Israel's targeted assassination campaign against Black September operatives and organizers, following the Palestinian terrorist group's deadly attacks against Israelis at the 1972 Olympics in Germany.
  • Hamas commander killed: Israel killed the commander of Hamas' Shati Battalion in an airstrike on Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces said. IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the commander, Haitham Khuwajari, was responsible for carrying out raids into Israeli territory during the October 7 attack.
  • Qatar ceasefire call: Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani emphasized the need for a ceasefire in Gaza in a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday, the country’s state news agency said. It comes as the US steps up pressure on Israel to do more to protect civilians.
  • Camp strikes: Renewed Israeli strikes hit the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza on Sunday, as seen in verified videos from the scene as well as in reporting by the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa. The CNN-obtained video shows huge plumes of smoke filling the skyline after the Sunday strike.
  • IDF targets tunnels: The IDF said it has destroyed about 500 Hamas tunnels in Gaza during its offensive. It also claimed it has located more than 800 tunnel shafts in the enclave, claiming many "were located in civilian areas" and structures. 
  • Israeli soldiers killed: Israel says two more soldiers have died in their offensive in Gaza. Several others were “lightly injured” as a result of an anti-tank missile being fired toward an IDF vehicle in Beit Hillel in northern Israel. 
1:54 p.m. ET, December 4, 2023

"This is our Munich": Israeli security chief vows to eliminate Hamas around the world

From Tamar Michaelis and Hande Atay Alam 

Ronen Bar attends prayers in Jerusalem on April 9.
Ronen Bar attends prayers in Jerusalem on April 9. Abir Sultan/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Israel is determined to eliminate Hamas around the world even if it takes years, top domestic security official Ronen Bar said, according to a recording aired by public broadcaster Kan on Sunday.

"The cabinet set us a goal. In the words of the street, it is to eliminate Hamas. And we are determined to do it. This is our Munich. Everywhere: in Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, everywhere," the Shin Bet chief said. 

Bar's mention of Munich is a reference to Israel's targeted assassination campaign against Black September operatives and organizers, following the Palestinian terrorist group's deadly attacks against Israelis at the 1972 Olympics in Germany.

"It will take a few years, but we will be there to do it. The security responsibility is ours. Our duty is to provide both security and a sense of security," he said, adding, "Unfortunately, on October 7 we were unable to do it. I think we are on the rise. We are not waiting. We are already drawing our lessons from the events."
11:41 p.m. ET, December 3, 2023

Qatari prime minister stresses need for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war

From CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali

Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani attends a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York on November 29.
Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani attends a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York on November 29. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani emphasized the need for a ceasefire in Gaza in a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday, the country’s state news agency said.

The prime minister reaffirmed Qatar's commitment, alongside its mediation partners, to ongoing efforts aimed at restoring calm to the region. Last month, Qatar brokered a deal between Israel, Hamas and Egypt, in coordination with the United States, to release foreign nationals and critically injured Palestinian civilians from Gaza to Egypt, according to sources familiar with the talks.

On Sunday, the prime minister expressed concern that the continuation of bombings in the Gaza Strip after that humanitarian pause complicates mediation endeavors and worsens the humanitarian crisis.

Al-Thani conveyed Qatar's unwavering condemnation of all forms of targeting civilians, particularly women and children, emphasizing that actions such as these, including the policy of collective punishment, are unacceptable under any circumstances.

According to the statement, the prime minister underscored the urgent requirement for opening humanitarian corridors to ensure the safe passage of relief and aid to Palestinians affected by the ongoing conflict.

10:01 p.m. ET, December 3, 2023

Hamas commander killed in airstrike, IDF says

From CNN's Heather Law and Tamar Michaelis

Israel killed the commander of Hamas' Shati Battalion in an airstrike on Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces said.

In a news conference, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the commander was responsible for carrying out raids into Israeli territory in the October 7 attack.

"Following IDF and ISA intelligence, an IDF fighter jet struck and killed Haitham Khuwajari, the Commander of Hamas’ Shati Battalion. Under his command, Hamas terrorists carried out raids into Israeli territory on October 7 during the invasion and massacre in southern Israel," a joint statement from the IDF and the Israel Security Agency that followed the news conference read.

The statement also said Khuwajarai "was in command of Hamas' forces fighting against IDF soldiers in the Shati area."

The IDF took control of Al-Shati refugee camp located in the northern Gaza strip in mid-November. 

Israel's military says they will "continue to pursue the site and eliminate each of the commanders who command the area under their control as [the IDF] did yesterday in the Sajaya Battalion."

1:53 p.m. ET, December 4, 2023

Israel is expanding its ground operations to all of Gaza, IDF says

From Tamar Michaelis

Israeli military tanks maneuver near the border with Gaza on Sunday, December 3.
Israeli military tanks maneuver near the border with Gaza on Sunday, December 3. Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Israel is expanding its ground operations to all of Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Sunday.

"The IDF is resuming and expanding the ground operation against Hamas’ strongholds across the whole Gaza Strip," IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari told a news conference.

Hagari also underlined "the importance of air assistance provided by the Air Force to ground forces," saying airstrikes against Hamas' headquarters, weapons manufacturing facilities, tunnels, and rocket launching sites limit the threats posed against the ground operation.

"Our policy is clear — we will forcefully strike any threat posed against our territory," he said. 

11:44 p.m. ET, December 3, 2023

Israel targets Jabalya refugee camp in new strikes

From CNN's Jennifer Z. Deaton, Hande Atay Alam and Celine Alkhaldi 

In this still from video obtained by Reuters, smoke fills the air in Jabalya, Gaza, on December 3.
In this still from video obtained by Reuters, smoke fills the air in Jabalya, Gaza, on December 3. Obtained by Reuters

Renewed strikes hit the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza on Sunday, as seen in verified videos from the scene as well as in reporting by the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa. 

The CNN-obtained video shows huge plumes of smoke filling the skyline after the Sunday strike.  

A separate video released by Reuters news agency shows two tearful young boys searching frantically through the rubble for their father and brother, missing after the airstrike.

"My father's been killed," one boy cries following a strike on the camp Sunday.

Israel also targeted Jabalya on Saturday, killing prominent Palestinian scientist Sufyan Tayeh, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.  

CNN has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment.

On both Saturday and Sunday, Israel issued online warnings saying the military had resumed "working forcefully against Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip."  IDF spokesperson Avichay Adraee posted on X, "To the residents of Jabalia, Al-Shuja’iya, Al-Zaytoun, and the Old City of Gaza - in order to preserve your safety, we call on you to evacuate your homes immediately."

It is unknown if residents in the Jabalya camp have internet access to see the warnings from the IDF.

7:33 p.m. ET, December 3, 2023

Israel says negotiations are over with Hamas and recalls negotiators from Qatar

From CNN's Tamar Michaelis in Tel Aviv and Simon Cullen in London

Israel recalled its team of negotiators from Qatar on Saturday after reaching a “dead end” in talks, according to a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

“The Hamas terror organization did not fulfill its part in the agreement, which included the return of all women and children held hostage, in accordance with a list sent to Hamas and approved by them,” the statement said.

The negotiators were from Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. The statement said it was the head of the agency, David Barnea, who recalled the team.

Remember: An agreement between Israel and Hamas was reached with the help of foreign mediation and saw a seven-day pause in fighting, with the release of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. More aid was also able to flow into the enclave during the truce.

The pause began on November 24 and was renewed twice before ending on Friday morning.