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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11:23 a.m. ET, October 11, 2023

Babies and toddlers were found with “heads decapitated” in Kfar Aza, Netanyahu spokesperson says

From CNN’s Lauren Izso and Mostafa Salem

Israeli soldiers walk through the remains of a residential area of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel, on October 10.
Israeli soldiers walk through the remains of a residential area of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel, on October 10. Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Babies and toddlers were found with their “heads decapitated” in Kfar Aza in southern Israel after Hamas’ attacks in the kibbutz over the weekend, Tal Heinrich, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Wednesday.

Heinrich's comments come after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told CNN Tuesday that Hamas militants carried out a “massacre” in Kfar Aza, in which women, children, toddlers and elderly people were "brutally butchered in an ISIS way of action.”

Hamas on Wednesday denied “false” media reports about attacking children during its attacks on Israel.

“The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has strongly dismissed the false claims promoted by some Western media outlets, such as Palestinian freedom fighters killing children and targeting civilians,” Hamas said on its Telegram channel.

11:27 a.m. ET, October 11, 2023

UK foreign secretary seen running into building in Israel as siren warns incoming rocket fire

From CNN’s Eve Brennan in London

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was seen in a video running into a building in Israel on Wednesday as sirens sounded warning of incoming rocket fire.

The video was posted to the official State of Israel’s account on social media platform X, formerly known at Twitter.

“While UK FM James Cleverly visits Ofakim in southern Israel, a siren goes off warning of incoming Hamas rocket fire. This is the reality Israelis live with every day,” the post said on the account which, it says, is managed by the foreign ministry’s digital diplomacy team.

1:34 p.m. ET, October 11, 2023

France says 11 citizens are dead and more than a dozen others, including children, are missing in Israel 

From CNN's Dalal Mawad in Paris

At least 11 French citizens were killed in Israel following the Hamas attacks over the weekend, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said Wednesday during an interview on France Info.

Earlier Wednesday, France said it believes several children are among the 18 French nationals missing in Israel, and that they are likely being held hostage.

French officials are in "constant contact with the families," of those missing, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said.

The president of the Senate Gerard Lacher compared the Hamas attacks to the 9/11 attacks, saying there will be “a before and after October 7.”

This post has been updated with the latest information.

11:20 a.m. ET, October 11, 2023

Jordanian king says regional security and stability compromised without a Palestinian state

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi

Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks at the opening of a new parliamentary session in Amman, Jordan, on October 11.
Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks at the opening of a new parliamentary session in Amman, Jordan, on October 11. Royal Hashemite Court/Reuters

Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Wednesday that the two-state solution will provide security, peace and stability in the region. 

“Our region will not enjoy security and stability without achieving a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution,” King Abdullah told Jordan’s parliament in a speech.

The two-state solution is a decades-old plan to establish a Palestinian state, next to Israel.

“The dangerous escalation and acts of violence and aggression currently taking place in the Palestinian territories are proof that confirms, once again, that our region will never be secure nor stable without achieving just and comprehensive peace on the basis of the two-state solution, where the Palestinian people will gain their independent and a sovereign state on the June 4, 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and so ending the cycles of killing, where the ultimate victims are innocent civilians,” King Abdullah said.

“Our compass will always point to Palestine, with Jerusalem at its heart," he added. 

11:33 a.m. ET, October 11, 2023

Putin calls to "minimize or reduce to zero" civilian casualties in expanding conflict

From CNN’s Anna Chernova & Jen Deaton

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday urged "both" sides in the fighting between Israel and Hamas to "minimize or reduce to zero" civilian casualties.

Speaking from Moscow on the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Putin suggested the lack of a two-state solution has led to the current "explosion of violence," saying, "Israel, as we know, was created, but Palestine as an independent sovereign state was never created, it did not happen."

The Russian president voiced his concern at the growing violence and urged efforts to minimize civilian casualties.

“We understand that the bitterness on both sides is very great, but no matter what the level of bitterness on both sides is, we still need to strive to minimize or reduce to zero losses among the civilian population, among women, children and the elderly,” Putin said.
“If men decided to fight among themselves, let them fight among themselves. Leave children and women alone,” he added. 

Some context: Putin’s comments come as he continues a ruthless war campaign against Ukraine and is being investigated by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity for among other things, allegations of targeting civilians.

Putin was speaking at a plenary session of the international forum "Russian Energy Week" in Moscow, which he attended with Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq Mohammed al-Sudani, who is on an official visit to Russia.

10:57 a.m. ET, October 11, 2023

1 Austrian national confirmed dead as 2 others remain missing

Austria has confirmed the death of one Austrian national in Israel, while two others remain missing.

"With grief I have to tell you that one of the three missing Austrian-Israeli dual citizens has been found dead after the Hamas attacks," a spokesperson for the Austrian Foreign Ministry told CNN on Wednesday.

Evacuations underway: The Austrian army is evacuating Austrian citizens from Israel as of Wednesday, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

As "numerous airlines have suspended their flights to Israel for security reasons until further notice," the Austrian government ordered the army to "carry out several evacuation flights" from Tel Aviv to the city of Paphos in Cyprus. From there, evacuees should organize travel home on regular flights.

Some background: About 8,000 Austrians, or people of dual-nationality, are currently in Israel, with 300 having registered for a possible evacuation.

“We will not abandon our Austrians and will get them out of the danger zone as quickly as possible," Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner said, according to the press release, adding that a Hercules C-130 plane, including a military crisis support team, was provided for the evacuation.

10:40 a.m. ET, October 11, 2023

Initial US intel casts doubt on direct Iran involvement in Hamas terror attack

From CNN's Zachary Cohen, Katie Bo Lillis, Natasha Bertrand and Jeremy Herb

Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, on October 7.
Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, on October 7. Fatima Shbair/AP

The United States has collected specific intelligence that casts doubt on the idea that Iran was directly involved in the planning, resourcing or approving of Saturday’s bloody attack on Israel by Hamas, according to several sources familiar with the intelligence. 

Still, the sources stressed that intelligence community is not ready to reach a full conclusion as they continue to look for evidence of Iranian involvement in the attack which caught both Israel and the United States by surprise. Additionally, since the attack, government officials have all pointed to Iran’s significant support for Hamas, including weapons and financing, that would have helped them even if not in a direct way.

The sources did not disclose any details about the nature of the intelligence, which one source briefed on the information said is extremely sensitive. 

But the sources said that this piece of intelligence has led US analysts to lean towards an initial assessment that the government of Iran did not play a direct role in the attack.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been briefed on the information and the early skepticism amongst intelligence analysts about Iranian involvement. 

For days, senior US officials have said publicly that they have no indication that Iran was directly involved in the attack, even as they have condemned Tehran as broadly “complicit” in the attack because its historic support for Hamas. 

“We’re looking to acquire further intelligence,” national security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters at the White House. “But as I stand here today, while Iran plays this broad role – sustained, deep and dark role in providing all of this support and capabilities to Hamas – in terms of this particular gruesome attack on October 7, we don’t currently have that information.”

Iran has for years been Hamas’ chief benefactor, providing it with tens of millions of dollars, weapons and components smuggled into Gaza, as well as broad technical and ideological support.

But Hamas maintains a degree of independence from the Iranian regime. Tehran doesn’t have advisers on the ground in blockaded Gaza, according to former security officials and other regional analysts, and it doesn’t command the group’s activities.

10:36 a.m. ET, October 11, 2023

King Charles III condemns "barbaric" Hamas attacks

From CNN's Max Foster in London

King Charles III is "appalled by and condemns the barbaric acts of terrorism in Israel," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Wednesday.

“This is a situation His Majesty is extremely concerned about, and he has asked to be kept actively updated," the spokesperson said.

"His thoughts and prayers are with all of those suffering, particularly those who have lost loved ones, but also those actively involved as we speak," the spokesperson added, concluding, "His Majesty is appalled by and condemns the barbaric acts of terrorism in Israel."
10:26 a.m. ET, October 11, 2023

Qatar mediating between Hamas and Israel to exchange women and youth on both sides, source says

From CNN’s Becky Anderson in Tel Aviv

Qatar is mediating with Israel and Hamas to exchange women and children hostages held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian "women and teenagers held in Israeli jails," a diplomatic source familiar with the discussions told CNN’s Becky Anderson.

What we know: Up to 150 hostages are believed to be held in Gaza, an Israeli official said.