October 11, 2023 - Israel-Hamas war news

By Kathleen Magramo, Adam Renton, Christian Edwards, Peter Wilkinson, Aditi Sangal, Dakin Andone, Leinz Vales, Steve Almasy, Elise Hammond, Tori B. Powell, Kaanita Iyer and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 2:51 p.m. ET, October 12, 2023
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2:35 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

11 teachers and 30 students of UN-run schools have died in Gaza, UN says

From CNN’s Richard Roth

Eleven teachers in schools in Gaza run by the United Nations and 30 students have been killed in the violence, the UN said Wednesday.

An additional three teachers and eight students were also injured, according to the UN.

As 1,000 houses in Gaza have been destroyed and 560 rendered uninhabitable, 220,000 people are seeking refuge from air strikes, the UN said.

As 1,000 houses in Gaza have been destroyed and 560 rendered uninhabitable, 220,000 people are seeking refuge from air strikes, the UN said.

There are 92 UN schools in Gaza filled with citizens as food and water supplies dwindle, with some staffers working 24 hours a day, the UN said. 

“Citizens need protection,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. “We want to see a humanitarian corridor.”

The UN is following up with global leaders about the crossing into Egypt and Secretary-General António Guterres has a pending phone call with the Israeli prime minister.

2:37 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

Israel music festival survivor says attack was "animal slaughter"

From CNN staff

 Sahar Ben-Sela speaks with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour during an interview on Wednesday from a wheelchair in a Tel Aviv hospital. 
 Sahar Ben-Sela speaks with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour during an interview on Wednesday from a wheelchair in a Tel Aviv hospital.  CNN

A survivor of the Nova music festival massacre described what happened as “animal slaughter” in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.  

“It’s like they take all the animals to one place and shoot them all,” Sahar Ben-Sela said from a wheelchair in a Tel Aviv hospital, recounting in great detail how a "big panic" set in as the shooting started amid the attacks by Hamas this weekend.

“Even in the biggest, worst scene that we’ve seen in movies, I can’t explain how many bullets and missiles were flying around us,” he said. 

A police officer pointed Sahar and others to go inside a shelter, he said -- a call heeded by dozens of people.  But unfortunately, the attackers started dropping grenades into the shelter and shooting people “point blank," Sahar said. Many of them died.  

“I got hit… but couldn’t really understand what happened,” Sahar said.

The world, he added, should know that “it was a peace festival, and we did nothing to provoke them. We just [were] dancing and having fun.” 

At least 260 bodies were found at the site of the festival, a rural farmland not far from the border between Gaza and Israel, according to Israeli rescue service Zaka. Some attendees were seen in videos posted on social media being taken hostage by armed captors.

2:04 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

At least 189 Israeli soldiers among 1,200 killed in Israel, IDF spokesperson says

From CNN's Hadas Gold

Israel's military said that of the at least 1,200 people killed in Israel following attacks by Hamas this weekend, at least 189 were Israeli soldiers, Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said at a news briefing Wednesday.

1:26 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

Gaza death toll rises to at least 1,100 killed, Palestinian officials say

From CNN's Abeer Salman and Ibrahim Dahman 

At least 1,100 people have been killed and 5,339 others wounded in Gaza since Saturday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. 

The health ministry also warned on Wednesday that electricity outages will lead to the suspension of laboratory services and blood banks in at least 58 laboratories and blood banks, threatening the lives of thousands of people who need treatment.

Israel has stepped up its offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ initial onslaught over the weekend when armed militants poured over the heavily-fortified border.

Israel has also ordered a “complete siege” on the enclave, including halting supplies of electricity, food, water and fuel.

1:28 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

IDF rules out "suspected infiltration" from Lebanon it reported earlier

From CNN’s Hadas Gold in Jerusalem

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issued an updated statement, ruling out a "suspected infiltration" into Israel from Lebanon "as of right now." 

There is no major security incident in northern Israel, IDF chief spokesperson Daniel Hagari said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

This comes after the IDF earlier said a report was received regarding a suspected "infiltration from Lebanon into Israeli air space." Sirens warning of incoming rocket fire were activated in most of northern Israel following the IDF's warning. 

“There was an error - whether technical or human error,” Hagari said at the press event.

1:09 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

Talks underway to allow US citizens and Palestinians to leave Gaza, Israeli official says

From CNN’s Matthew Chance in Tel Aviv

A man walks with mattresses in Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp on Wednesday.
A man walks with mattresses in Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp on Wednesday. Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

Talks are underway to allow United States and Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip to exit the territory into Egypt ahead of any land invasion of the territory by Israeli forces, according to a senior Israeli official. 

Under the proposal being discussed, all US citizens would be permitted to pass through the Rafah border crossing if they present their US passports, while the movement of other Palestinian civilians would be limited to 2,000 people a day, the official with knowledge of the negotiations told CNN on Wednesday.

Final approval of the arrangement would need to come from the Egyptians, who control the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. The Israeli official said it was “in Israel’s interests” for as many Palestinians as possible to leave Gaza.

Some context: Airstrikes in Gaza have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes — but there is little room to go. Across the Middle East, Gaza is among the smallest and most densely packed cities.

Americans in Gaza who spoke with CNN have expressed fear and frustration about feeling that they are trapped without any safe route out of the region that is being heavily bombarded by Israeli forces.

There were reports that the only route of Gaza — via Egypt — was closed Tuesday due to strikes, and the threat of an Israeli ground incursion is looming.

1:14 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

What you need to know about the Iron Dome — Israel's defense system

From CNN's Joshua Berlinger, Lou Robinson, Rachel Wilson and Will Mullery

The Iron Dome anti-missile system fires an interceptor missile as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel on August 6, 2022.
The Iron Dome anti-missile system fires an interceptor missile as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel on August 6, 2022. Ilia Yefimovich/picture-alliance/dpa/AP/File

As thousands of rockets have rained down on Israel, the country has been relying once again on the Iron Dome system to protect its citizens.

The missile defense system is one of the most important tools in Israel’s arsenal and has saved countless civilian lives over various conflicts in the last decade, analysts say. It is highly effective. The Israel Defense Forces said the system boasted a 95.6% success rate during a rocket salvo fired by Islamic Jihad in May.

The Iron Dome is designed to shoot down incoming projectiles. It is equipped with a radar that detects rockets and then uses a command-and-control system that quickly calculates whether an incoming projectile poses a threat or is likely to hit an unpopulated area. If the rocket does pose a threat, the Iron Dome fires missiles from the ground to destroy in the air.

Here's how it works:

1:04 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

EU warns Zuckerberg of a disinformation surge on Meta platforms following Hamas attack 

From CNN’s Eve Brennan in London 

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the tech giant's Connect developer conference on September 27,  in Menlo Park, California.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the tech giant's Connect developer conference on September 27, in Menlo Park, California. Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP

The European Union's Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, wrote a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg Tuesday, saying that there has been a "surge of illegal content and disinformation" on Meta platforms.

He asked Zuckerberg to be “very vigilant” to ensure compliance with the rules, act against illegal content and deploy proportionate and effective mitigation measures. 

“I urgently invite you to ensure that your systems are effective. Needless to say, I also expect you to be in contact with the relevant law enforcement authorities and Europol, and ensure that you respond promptly to any requests,” he added.

Breton urged Zuckerberg to respond to his requests within 24 hours, reminding him that penalties may be imposed if he did not comply. 

1:31 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

Israeli airstrikes are impacting a densely packed Gaza

As Israeli airstrikes in Gaza have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes and overwhelm areas, including hospitals, there is little room to go.

Across the Middle East, Gaza is among the smallest and most densely packed cities.

Take a look: