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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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.