January 14, 2024 Israel-Hamas war

By Heather Chen, Andrew Raine, Sophie Tanno and Antoinette Radford, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, January 15, 2024
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6:03 a.m. ET, January 14, 2024

Namibia rejects Germany's "shocking" support of Israel against ICJ genocide allegations

From CNN’s Larry Madowo

Namibia rejected Germany's “shocking” support of Israel against genocide allegations at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), according to a statement from the President’s office on Saturday.

The statement decried what it call the “genocidal intent of the racist Israeli state against innocent civilians in Gaza,” and cited Germany’s colonial history in the African nation. 

“On Namibian soil, #Germany committed the first genocide of the 20th century in 1904-1908, in which tens of thousands of innocent Namibians died in the most inhumane and brutal conditions,” the statement said, adding that the German government had not yet fully atoned for the killings. 

“In light of Germany’s inability to draw lessons from its horrific history, President @hagegeingob expresses deep concern with the shocking decision communicated by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany yesterday, 12 January 2024, in which it rejected the morally upright indictment brought forward by South Africa before the #InternationalCourtofJustice that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in #Gaza,” the statement said.

The Presidency said that Germany, in choosing to side with the Israeli government, had ignored findings from the United Nations regarding the deaths and displacement of civilians in Gaza.

Germany could not support the UN Convention against genocide while also supporting “the equivalent of a holocaust and genocide in Gaza,” according to the Namibian Presidency.

The statement concluded with an appeal to the German Government to reconsider its decision to support Israel before the ICJ.

Some context: In a statement issued after the second day of hearings at the ICJ, a German government spokesperson said that Germany “expressly rejects” allegations that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

Spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said Germany acknowledges diverging views in the international community on Israel’s military operation in Gaza but said that “the German government decisively and expressly rejects the accusation of genocide brought against Israel before the International Court of Justice.”

4:53 a.m. ET, January 14, 2024

Netanyahu says "nobody will stop us" from destroying Hamas as Israel marks 100 days of war

From CNN's Lauren Izso, Heather Law and Kareem El Damanhoury

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, on January 7.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, on January 7. Ronen Zvulun/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed "nobody will stop us" from destroying Hamas as the war between Israel and the militant group reached its 100th day.

Netanyahu suggested that Israel would not comply with the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where Israel is accused of genocide and could be ordered to halt its offensive.

"Nobody will stop us – not The Hague, not the axis of evil and not anybody else," he emphasized during a press briefing on Saturday, referring to Iran and its aligned groups across the Middle East.

Netanyahu said the genocide claims, brought by South Africa on Thursday, were a "hypocritical onslaught," adding that it was "at the behest of those who came to perpetrate another Holocaust against the Jews"

This "is a moral low point in the history of nations," Netanyahu said.

The prime minister also claimed several antisemitic items were found in Hamas tunnels in Gaza, including copies of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf." In addition, Netanyahu said, "in a home in Gaza, they found a child's tablet with a picture of Hitler as the screensaver."

Netanyahu stated that while antisemitism is the same, the Jewish people are different and will fight "until the end."

'We need to close it': Also during the press briefing, Netanyahu stressed that Israel can’t finish the war until they close the Philadelphi Corridor, a 14km strip of land that serves as the border between Egypt and Gaza. Such a move would give Israel complete control over Gaza.

Allowing the border with Egypt to remain out of Israel’s reach would put their war gains in jeopardy, Netanyahu said.

"We’ll destroy Hamas, we’ll demilitarize Gaza, and military equipment and other deadly weapons will continue to enter this southern opening, so of course we need to close it," Netanyahu explained.

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid, meanwhile, said Egypt remains in full control of its borders in an interview with Egyptian television channel Sada Al-Balad on Saturday.

“Egypt fully controls its borders and controls it completely, and these issues are subject to legal and security agreements between the countries involved, so any talk on this matter is generally subject to scrutiny and is responded to with declared positions,” Abu Zeid said.

4:52 a.m. ET, January 14, 2024

Israeli ground troops continue to uncover rocket launch sites used by militants in Gaza

From CNN's Lauren Izso and Andrew Carey

Israel’s military said it is still uncovering launch sites previously used by militants in Gaza to fire rockets at Israel. It has also insisted that increased pressure is needed in the besieged enclave to dismantle Hamas and ensure the return of hostages.

It comes as Israel looks to consolidate its control in northern Gaza.

In its Sunday morning update, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had located and destroyed several launch pits in Al-Atatra in the far north of the Gaza Strip.

Pictures posted on the IDF’s social media accounts showed a series of concealed metal tubes hidden in the ground and a larger pit reinforced with metal sheeting. 

While Israeli activities in the north of Gaza continue, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi underlined the military’s position that a main plank of their mission there had been completed.

“We completed the dismantling of Hamas' military frameworks in the northern Strip, and now the forces are embarking on missions to deepen and maintain the achievement in this area.
"There are still terrorists there, there is a little infrastructure, we will continue to strike, pursue and destroy,” Halevi said in an address Saturday evening, adding the focus of the military’s efforts was now in the center and the south of Gaza.

The army chief rejected calls for a ceasefire, saying it played into Hamas’s hands, and instead insisted increased Israeli pressure was the priority.

“Pressure that will lead to the dismantling of Hamas and the return of the hostages. This pressure, and only it, has succeeded in returning many hostages,” he said. 
12:04 a.m. ET, January 14, 2024

It's morning in Gaza. Here's what you need to know

From CNN staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will not consider the war against Hamas finished until the border between Egypt and Gaza is closed.

Israeli officials have not decided exactly how they would proceed with closing Gaza’s border with Egypt, according to Netanyahu — but doing so would signify a renewed Israeli control over the enclave not seen in years, and a blow to Palestinians’ limited sovereignty in Gaza.

The border crossing with Egypt, at the town of Rafah, is the only crossing point not controlled by Israel, though it has still been subject to limited access and lengthy Egyptian bureaucratic and security processes.

As the war enters its 100th day, the main United Nations agency operating in Gaza issued a stark warning that famine will spread across the enclave if more supplies are not allowed into the strip.

These are the biggest updates you need to know for Sunday:

  • More on the Egypt-Gaza border: "We’ll destroy Hamas, we’ll demilitarize Gaza, and military equipment and other deadly weapons will continue to enter this southern opening, so of course we need to close it,” Netanyahu said, referring to the Philadelphi Corridor, a 14-kilometer (roughly 8.6-mile) strip of land that serves as a buffer zone on the border between Egypt and Gaza. For nearly 17 years, Israel has not relinquished control of most of the coastal enclave’s perimeter, and Gaza has been almost totally cut off from the rest of the world, with severe restrictions on its population’s movement. Israel’s longstanding blockade has been fiercely criticized by international bodies, including the United Nations, while Israel argues that the blockade is vital to protect its citizens from Hamas. Egypt, in turn, asserted its control over its borders on Saturday and highlighted its role in the entry of humanitarian aid through the Rafah border crossing.
  • Famine looms in Gaza, UN agency warns: More commercial supplies must be allowed into Gaza to prevent a famine, United Nations Relief and Works Agency Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement Saturday. "Humanitarian aid alone will not be sufficient to reverse a looming famine," he said.
  • Strikes on Houthi targets: The US military launched additional strikes on the Houthi rebels in Yemen overnight Friday into Saturday local time, "in direct response" to the Iran-backed group's attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. The Houthis say the attacks are aimed at pressuring Israel into ceasing its heavy bombardment of Gaza. The back-and-forth is deepening fears that conflict will spread further throughout the Middle East.
  • Northern Gazans to stay put: Israel will not allow displaced residents of northern Gaza to return while the war is ongoing, Netanyahu also said Saturday, adding that the decision aligns with international law. Palestinian leaders have vowed not to allow the war to permanently remove Gazans from their homes, and the US has said Israel must allow Palestinians to return home "as soon as conditions allow."
  • Thousands rally in Tel Aviv: An estimated 120,000 people participating in a rally marking 100 days of Israel's war with Hamas, according to organizer the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum. The rally will continue until Sunday evening, it added.
  • March for Gaza in DC: Meanwhile, protesters descended on the front of the White House Saturday, prompting a Secret Service presence. Organizers said thousands of demonstrators attended the event, which called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and for an end to US support for Israel's offensive in the enclave.
12:14 a.m. ET, January 14, 2024

Egypt says it fully controls its borders after Netanyahu calls for closure of Gaza-Egypt border crossing

From CNN’s Kareem El Damanhoury

An aid truck returns after unloading humanitarian aid at Egypt's Rafah border crossing with Gaza on December 4, 2023.
An aid truck returns after unloading humanitarian aid at Egypt's Rafah border crossing with Gaza on December 4, 2023. AFP/Getty Images/File

Egypt remains in full control of its borders, foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said Saturday, following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for the closure of Egypt's border with Gaza before the war ends.

“Egypt fully controls its borders and controls it completely, and these issues are subject to legal and security agreements between the countries involved, so any talk on this matter is generally subject to scrutiny and is responded to with declared positions,” Abu Zeid said during an interview with Egyptian television channel Sada El-Balad on Saturday.

Netanyahu said Israel can’t finish its war against Hamas until the closure of the Philadelphi Corridor, a 14-kilometer (roughly 8.6-mile) strip of land that serves as the border between Egypt and Gaza. He said that even after Hamas is defeated, "military equipment and other deadly weapons will continue to enter this southern opening — so of course we need to close it."

The foreign ministry spokesperson further reiterated Egypt's role in the entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing, blaming Israel for hindering it.

"We have made it clear from day one that any decisions that hinder the entry of aid are essentially Israeli measures and it comes through various methods, including strictness in inspecting trucks, wasting a lot of time in the inspection process, prohibiting and obstructing the entry of medical aid, and obstructing the entry of journalists and officials," he said. 

 

12:05 a.m. ET, January 14, 2024

Protesters from "March on Washington for Gaza" reach White House

From CNN staff

With the US Capitol in the background, demonstrators rally during the March on Washington for Gaza at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, on January 13.
With the US Capitol in the background, demonstrators rally during the March on Washington for Gaza at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, on January 13. Jose Luis Magana/AP

A large group of protesters reached the White House in the United States capital on Saturday as part of an event dubbed "The March on Washington for Gaza."

Protest organizers — a coalition of groups including the Council on American-Islamic Relations — said thousands of demonstrators attended the event Saturday afternoon, which saw attendees listen to speakers and march from Freedom Plaza to the White House.

Organizers had arranged buses to allow people from outside the area to travel to Washington, DC, for the march, which called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and for an end to US support for Israel's offensive in the enclave.

Officials placed additional fencing in front of the White House complex ahead of the event, according to the US Secret Service. Chants could be heard inside the White House complex after the protesters arrived there Saturday evening, and several Secret Service agents could be seen monitoring the situation.

President Joe Biden is not at the White House Saturday evening.

12:57 a.m. ET, January 14, 2024

UN agency says more commercial supplies must be allowed into Gaza to prevent famine

From CNN’s Shirin Zia Faqiri

Palestinians wait to collect food at a donation point in a refugee camp in Rafah, southern Gaza, on December 23, 2023.
Palestinians wait to collect food at a donation point in a refugee camp in Rafah, southern Gaza, on December 23, 2023. Saher Alghorra/Middle East Images/AFP/Getty Images/File

Commercial goods are desperately needed in Gaza to prevent an incoming famine as Israel approaches the 100th day of its war in the enclave, according to the head of the main United Nations agency working in Gaza.

"The crisis in Gaza is a man-made disaster compounded by dehumanizing language and the use of food, water and fuel as instruments of war," United Nations Relief and Works Agency Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement Saturday. "Humanitarian aid alone will not be sufficient to reverse a looming famine."

Lazzarini urged leaders to heed the calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and enable the delivery of more food, medicine, water and shelter to those affected by the enclave's “mass displacement.”

"The onset of winter makes life even more unbearable, especially for those living out in the open,” the UN official warned.

More than 1.4 million people are staying in “overcrowded and unsanitary” UN shelters, where they lack food and hygiene, according to Lazzarini.

The commissioner-general also spoke of the war's toll on Israelis since Hamas launched its devastating attack on the country on October 7, 2023. Dozens of hostages captured during the attack remain held in Gaza.

"It's been 100 days of ordeal and anxiety for hostages and their families," Lazzarini said.

11:59 p.m. ET, January 13, 2024

Thousands participate in Tel Aviv rally marking 100 days of war, according to organizer

From CNN's Lauren Izso

People react during a rally to mark 100 days of captivity for hostages by Hamas in Gaza on January 13 in Tel Aviv, Israel.
People react during a rally to mark 100 days of captivity for hostages by Hamas in Gaza on January 13 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Amir Levy/Getty Images

An estimated 120,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv to participate in a rally marking 100 days of Israel’s war with Hamas, according to rally’s organizer, the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum.

The so-called "100 Days of Hell rally" started at 8 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) on Saturday and will go on until 8 p.m. Sunday, which will be the 100th day of the war.

CNN cannot independently confirm the size of the crowd.

11:59 p.m. ET, January 13, 2024

Netanyahu says border between Egypt and Gaza must be closed prior to war's end

From CNN's Lauren Izso and Heather Law

The border between Egypt and Gaza must be closed before Israel's war with Hamas is finished, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday.

During a news briefing marking Israel's 100th day of war with Hamas, Netanyahu stressed that Israel can’t finish the war until the closure of the Philadelphi Corridor, a 14-kilometer (roughly 8.6-mile) strip of land that serves as the border between Egypt and Gaza.

"We’ll destroy Hamas, we’ll demilitarize Gaza, and military equipment and other deadly weapons will continue to enter this southern opening — so of course we need to close it," Netanyahu said.

There are different ways Israel can take over the corridor, but officials have not decided exactly how they would proceed with doing so, Netanyahu said, further emphasizing that the only decision they have made is that the crossing "must be closed."