February 10, 2024 Israel-Hamas war

By Chris Lau, Andrew Raine and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 0506 GMT (1306 HKT) February 11, 2024
28 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:53 p.m. ET, February 10, 2024

Israeli airstrikes kill at least 5 police officers in Rafah, Palestinian police say

From CNN’s Abel Alvarado

Palestinian police say at least five officers were killed Saturday in separate Israeli airstrikes that struck Rafah, the southern Gaza city where an Israeli ground offensive is looming.

The reports come as Israel claims to have killed three Hamas militants, including two senior military operatives, in the city Saturday.

Hospital reports civilian casualties: Another Israeli airstrike in Rafah hit a house and killed at least 12 civilians, according to information provided to CNN by the Abu Yousuf Al-Najjar hospital in Gaza. More people are believed to still be caught under the rubble.

It is unknown if Israel’s reports on the Hamas operatives’ deaths are linked to those coming from Palestinian police and hospital officials.

More on the situation in Rafah: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has directed his military to evacuate more than a million people living in Rafah — many of them already displaced by Israel's offensive elsewhere in the enclave.

Netanyahu told Israel's war cabinet that he wants a ground offensive in Rafah completed by the start of Ramadan on March 10, an Israeli official told CNN on Saturday.

Palestinians in the crowded city have warned they have nowhere else to go.

3:42 p.m. ET, February 10, 2024

Israel claims it uncovered a Hamas tunnel beneath UN agency's Gaza headquarters

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan and Lauren Izso

Israel claimed Saturday it uncovered a major Hamas tunnel hiding weapons underneath a United Nations aid agency headquarters in northern Gaza. 

The alleged finding took place as part of an Israeli military operation in the areas of Shati and Tel al-Hawa in northern Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces. 

The IDF claimed in a statement its troops reached a tunnel shaft located near a school operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). It did not say, however, when the discovery was made.

CNN has not independently verified Israel’s claims.

UNRWA head issued a quick response: The organization's commissioner-general, Philippe Lazzarini, said the agency did not know what is under its headquarters in Gaza and that “Israeli authorities have not informed UNRWA officially about the alleged tunnel,” so they are unable to address the claim further.

The UN agency carries out inspections inside its premises every quarter, and the last one that took place in its Gaza premises was completed in September, according to Lazzarini.

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz called for Lazzarini to resign after the latest claims of a tunnel beneath UNRWA headquarters Saturday. Lazzarini did not immediately respond.

Some background: Israel has longstanding issues with UNRWA, and the agency fired several employees after Israel alleged that some of its staff were involved in Hamas’ October 7 attacks of last year.

The United States and at least 13 of its allies have pulled funding for the agency while investigators probe the claims. UN officials have raised alarm that defunding the organization imperils its ability to provide lifesaving aid in the enclave.

Gaza is home to a sprawling underground network of tunnels used by Hamas. The group has claimed there are more than 300 miles worth of the subterranean passages.

CNN's Nadeen Ebrahim contributed reporting to this post.

3:01 p.m. ET, February 10, 2024

Gaza residents describe "total destruction" and desperate conditions after Israeli operations in the north

From CNN's Eve Brennan, Abeer Salman and Khader Al Za'anoun

The Tal El Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City is pictured on February 10.
The Tal El Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City is pictured on February 10. CNN

Israeli operations in northern Gaza left “total destruction,” according to residents in the Tal El Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City, with some saying they have had to drink from toilets due to a lack of water.

Abdul Kareem Al-Qaseer has been displaced for two months from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza to the “industrial area” southeast of Gaza City, where some industrial factories are located, he told a local journalist working for CNN on Saturday.

Al-Qaseer said the Israel Defense Forces "hit the whole area, (resulting in) a large number of martyrs and wounded people" where he was sheltering. 

“We were besieged. We tried to go back to the north, but we were besieged here," he said. "Every day there were martyrs. Every day there was shelling. Every day there was hunger."

"We even had to drink water from the toilets. We had to drink from it and make our children drink from it. There was no food, no drink,” Al-Qaseer added.
Abdul Kareem Al-Qaseer speaks in Gaza City's Tal El Hawa neighborhood on February 10.
Abdul Kareem Al-Qaseer speaks in Gaza City's Tal El Hawa neighborhood on February 10. CNN

Olfat Hamdan said she had witnessed bodies lying in the streets of Gaza City, noting that "nobody was able to drag them or move them."

“What have I seen? Total destruction — look at of the scale of the destruction,” she said in a video commissioned by CNN, as she pointed to damaged buildings and rubble around her. 

Another Gaza City resident, Main Naim, also said he had seen dead bodies on the streets, describing some as having been there for 10 days.

Main Naim speaks in Gaza City's Tal El Hawa neighborhood on February 10.
Main Naim speaks in Gaza City's Tal El Hawa neighborhood on February 10. CNN

“Nobody is able to move them,” he said. “They destroyed these areas, as you can see yourself,” he added, pointing to rubble in the video. 

Fighting has continued sporadically in northern Gaza. Earlier this month, the IDF reported further operations in the northern Gaza Strip, where it said "IDF troops are continuing to enter Hamas military compounds and eliminate terrorists." 

12:51 p.m. ET, February 10, 2024

Israel claims it killed 2 senior Hamas military members in Rafah

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan and Lauren Izso

Israeli military aircraft killed three Hamas members in Rafah on Saturday, including two senior military operatives, the Israel Defense Forces claimed in a statement.

The military said the operatives killed included Ahmed Eliakubi, who the Israeli military claims was “responsible for the security provisions for senior Hamas leaders and served as a senior commander in the Rafah district.”

The statement said the attack also killed a senior military member identified by the IDF as Iman Rantisi, and a third militant who was not identified.

CNN cannot independently verify the claims, due to the difficulty of reporting from the war zone.

Remember: Rafah is a southern Gaza city packed with Palestinians who have been displaced from other parts of the enclave, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now directed his military to plan for the evacuation of civilians before a coming ground offensive.

Rafah is the last major population center in Gaza not occupied by Israeli forces, and Palestinians living there have warned they have no place to go.

12:28 p.m. ET, February 10, 2024

Israeli fighter jets strike 3 Hezbollah military command centers in southern Lebanon, IDF says

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan and Lauren Izso

Israeli fighter jets struck three Hezbollah military command centers in southern Lebanon, the Israel Defense Forces said Saturday. 

Aside from the the command centers, located in the area of Ayta ash Shab and the coastal town of Naqoura, the aircraft struck additional Hezbollah locations in the areas of Khiam, Marwahin and Boustane, the IDF said in a statement. 

Israeli artillery, meanwhile, struck three launching sites in southern Lebanon after they were identified as locations targeting the town of Shlomi in northern Israel, according to the IDF.

Remember: Hezbollah is a powerful paramilitary group backed by Iran, which has engaged in increased cross-border skirmishes with Israel since the start of the latest war in Gaza.

More news from this region: The news of fresh Israeli strikes Saturday came as Lebanese state-run media reported a drone strike on a car about 40 miles from the border. Reuters reports that the drone targeted a Palestinian figure linked to Hamas, but that they survived the attack, according to security sources.

It also came as Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah met in Lebanon with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who called for a political solution to the war in Gaza.

11:50 a.m. ET, February 10, 2024

It's early evening in the Middle East. Here's what you need to know

From CNN Staff

Men walk along a street ravaged by Israeli bombing in Rafah, Gaza, on February 9.
Men walk along a street ravaged by Israeli bombing in Rafah, Gaza, on February 9. Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his country's war cabinet on Thursday that the Israel Defense Forces operation in Rafah must be complete by the start of Ramadan on March 10, an Israeli official told CNN on Saturday.

Netanyahu’s office said Friday that he had directed the military to plan for the “evacuation of the population” from Rafah, where there are believed to be more than 1.3 million people — many of them already displaced by Israel's offensive elsewhere in the enclave.

Here's what you need to about this and other developments in the Israel-Hamas war:

  • Where will the civilians go? Rafah is the last major population center in Gaza not occupied by the Israel Defense Forces, and it has rapidly become home to a huge population of displaced Palestinians. Satellite images showed this week how a tent city has swelled in size in just a few weeks. CNN has also previously reported on Palestinian civilians who followed evacuation orders being killed by Israeli strikes, underscoring the reality that evacuation zones and warning alerts from the Israeli military haven’t guaranteed safety for civilians in the densely populated Gaza Strip, where Palestinians have no safe place to escape Israeli bombs.
  • International alarm grows: Several non-governmental organizations have warned about the consequences of Israeli operations in Rafah. The Norwegian Refugee Council said earlier this week that the city, which borders Egypt, could soon turn "into a zone of bloodshed and destruction that people won’t be able to escape." Mustafa Barghouti, head of the Palestinian National Initiative said any attack on Rafah would lead to "massacres," and also a "wide ethnic cleansing of the population of Gaza, which is part of genocide."
  • 5-year-old Palestinian girl found dead: Hind Rajab, who was trapped in a car with her dead relatives after it came under Israeli fire in Gaza last month, has been found dead. Two men dispatched to rescue her have also been confirmed dead. Hind made a frantic call for help after her family was killed. Her mother told CNN the little girl had dreamed of being a doctor.
  • Hospital reportedly under fire: At least one person was killed and others were injured by Israeli gunfire at Nasser medical complex in southern Khan Younis early Saturday, the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza said in a statement. The ministry said Israel was firing on the hospital, where thousands are sheltering. CNN can't independently confirm the allegations. Medical officials at various hospitals in the enclave have for weeks reported siege-like conditions, with dwindling supplies and Israeli forces on all sides.

And here are some of the latest developments from elsewhere in the Mideast:

  • More US strikes on Houthi weapons: The US launched more strikes on a series of missiles belonging to the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group in Yemen on Saturday, according to US Central Command, which said the weapons were "prepared to launch at ships in the Red Sea" and "presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region." The Houthis' attacks on global shipping and the growing US response are among the key flashpoints in the wider conflicts playing out during the Israel-Hamas war.
  • Lebanon drone strike: A drone strike targeted a car about 40 miles from the southernmost Lebanese-Israeli border, the Lebanese state-run National News Agency said Saturday. The report called it an "enemy drone," a likely reference to it being Israeli. The strike resulted in injuries, according to NNA, with the outlet not reporting any deaths at the time. Reuters cited four security sources saying a Palestinian figure linked to Hamas survived the attack. CNN has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment.
  • Iranian and Hezbollah officials meet: The reported drone strike came as Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah for a discussion on "the latest political and security developments in the region, especially in the Gaza Strip, southern Lebanon, and the rest of the fronts of the resistance axis," according to NNA. Hezbollah has been involved in tit-for-tat exchanges with Israel since the October 7 attacks, while other Iran backed allies of Hamas have been staging attacks.
12:21 p.m. ET, February 10, 2024

Iranian foreign minister calls for political solution to end the war in Gaza

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian and Lauren Kent

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, on February 10.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, on February 10. Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Saturday called for a political solution to end the war in Gaza and said that Tehran is in diplomatic talks with Riyadh to work on the issue.

"The region is moving toward stability, security and political solutions," Amir-Abdollahian said in a news conference during a visit to Beirut, Lebanon. "We announced from the beginning that war will not be the solution."

"The end of the war means the end of Netanyahu and his extreme cabinet," the Iranian foreign minister added, also warning Israel against further escalation in Lebanon, saying it cannot fight effectively on two fronts.

Amir-Abdollahian earlier met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah during his visit to Lebanon.

Remember: Conflict involving Western powers and Iranian proxies, like the powerful paramilitary group Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels in Yemen, is central to concerns the Israel-Hamas war could spread into a wider Mideast conflict.

11:38 a.m. ET, February 10, 2024

US conducts more strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen

From CNN’s Andrew Millman

The US conducted more strikes against targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen Friday, according to US Central Command, which said the strikes destroyed weapons that posed a threat to Navy and commercial ships.

The targets included two mobile unmanned surface vessels, four mobile anti-ship cruise missiles and one mobile land attack cruise missile, all of which were “prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea,” according to the CENTCOM statement.

The US said the targets "presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region."

Some context: The US has been trying to degrade the Iran-backed militant group's ability to threaten shipping in the region.

The Houthi rebels say their strikes on ships in the Red Sea are in response to Israel's military campaign in Gaza. There are fears that the attacks could help escalate Israel’s war against Hamas into a wider regional conflict.

Seeking to avoid a regional war with Tehran, the US has not targeted Iran directly, instead going after some of its most powerful proxies in the region.

Iran funds, arms and supplies these groups to different degrees, but its leadership does not control them directly.

10:07 a.m. ET, February 10, 2024

Hamas warns against attacks in Rafah "with the aim of displacing our Palestinian people"

From CNN's Abeer Salman in Jerusalem, Lauren Kent in London and Ibrahim Hazboun

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza, on February 9.
Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza, on February 9. Fatima Shbair/AP

Hamas on Saturday warned against attacks on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, calling on the UN and other intergovernmental organizations to prevent operations that it claims Israel is conducting "with the aim of displacing our Palestinian people."

"We warn of the danger of the occupation committing widespread and horrific massacres in the city of Rafah," Hamas said in a statement posted on Telegram, noting that the city is housing more than a million displaced Palestinian people "living in poor conditions."

According to the United Nations figures, more than 1.3 million people are believed to be in Rafah, the majority displaced from other parts of Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has directed the military to plan for the “evacuation of the population” from Rafah.

In its statement, Hamas urged the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the UN Security Council "to take urgent and serious action" to prevent attacks in Rafah.

Hamas also called out the US government for continuing to provide Israel with weapons, even as American authorities have raised concerns about a potential expansion of Israeli military operations into Gaza's southernmost city.

A spokesperson for the United States State Department said Thursday that the U.S. would not support an Israeli military operation in Rafah “without serious planning.”