April 1, 2024 - Israel-Hamas war

By Jessie Yeung, Antoinette Radford, Maureen Chowdhury, Elise Hammond and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 0410 GMT (1210 HKT) April 2, 2024
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12:10 a.m. ET, April 2, 2024

Our live coverage of Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza has moved here.

11:40 p.m. ET, April 1, 2024

Japan lifts funding suspension of UN Palestinian relief agency

From CNN's Moeri Karasawa

Minister of Foreign Affairs for Japan Yoko Kamikawa during a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on January 8.
Minister of Foreign Affairs for Japan Yoko Kamikawa during a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on January 8. Andrzej Iwanczuk/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Japan has lifted its funding suspension of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa said Tuesday.

Israel has accused at least 12 staffers from the UN Relief and Works Agency of being involved in the October 7 Hamas attacks and has alleged that about 12% of the UN Relief and Works Agency's 13,000 staffers are members of Hamas or other Palestinian militant groups. UNRWA says it has fired 10 of the 12 accused staffers and that the other two are dead. CNN cannot confirm the allegations.

Japan's move came after a meeting on Saturday between Kamikawa and Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner General of UNRWA.

In the meeting, Lazzarini laid out the steps the agency was taking to “improve screening and education to ensure neutrality of UNRWA staff,” according to a statement from Japan's foreign ministry on Saturday.

UNRWA also agreed to establish a new framework with Japan on project management and monitoring to ensure “transparency and traceability of projects,” the ministry added.

Some background: UNRWA is the primary humanitarian aid group in Gaza. Some 2 million Gazans rely on the agency for aid, with 1 million people using UNRWA shelters for food and healthcare amid the fighting in the enclave.

11:32 p.m. ET, April 1, 2024

Australian among aid workers killed in Gaza, Australia's prime minister says

From CNN's Hilary Whiteman and Irene Nasser

Zomi Frankcom in Deir-al-Balah, Gaza.
Zomi Frankcom in Deir-al-Balah, Gaza. World Central Kitchen/X

An Australian is among members of the aid organization World Central Kitchen who were killed in Gaza, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Tuesday.

"Lalzawmi 'Zomi' Frankcom was doing extraordinarily valuable work. This is someone who volunteered in Australia to help people during the bushfires. This is someone who was volunteering overseas to provide aid through this charity for people who are suffering tremendous deprivation in Gaza," Albanese said.
"Australia expects full accountability for the deaths of aid workers, which is completely unacceptable," Albanese said. 

Australia has contacted Israel, Albanese said, adding that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has "requested a call-in from the Israeli ambassador to Australia" to "ask for accountability."

"The truth is that this is beyond beyond any reasonable circumstances that someone going about providing aid and humanitarian assistance should lose their life. And there were four aid workers as well as a Palestinian driver in this vehicle," Albanese said.

The prime minister sent his deepest condolences to her family.

10:57 p.m. ET, April 1, 2024

Iran's foreign minister says Israel carried out consulate attack, but that the US is responsible

From CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian speaks during a press conference at the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Beirut, Lebanon February 10.
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian speaks during a press conference at the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Beirut, Lebanon February 10. Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has blamed Israel for Monday's attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, but also said that the United States was responsible for it because it supports Israel.

The top diplomat's comments underscore the increasing strain between Tehran and Washington, with Iran pointing fingers at the US for its support of Israel.

Conveying the stern message in a post on X, Amir-Abdollahian said the Swiss chargé d'affaires in Tehran was summoned by Iran's Foreign Ministry early Tuesday to discuss the incident, given Switzerland's role in representing US interests in Iran.

“The dimensions of the Israeli regime’s terrorist attack and crime were explained, and the American administration’s responsibility underlined" in the meeting, the minister said.
“An important message was relayed to the American administration as the Zionist regime’s supporter,” he added. “The United States should be answerable.”

Some background: The Israel Defense Forces hasn't commented publicly on the strike that Iran said killed two commanders and several others. But IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari disputed that the building was a consulate. "This is a military building of Quds forces disguised as a civilian building in Damascus," he said. Separately, The New York Times reported that four unnamed Israeli officials acknowledged that Israel carried out the attack.

9:58 p.m. ET, April 1, 2024

5 people working with World Central Kitchen non-profit killed in Gaza, José Andrés says

From CNN’s Abeer Salman, Caitlin Hu, Muhammad Darwish, and Eyad Kourdi

Passports of the officials working at World Central Kitchen who were killed in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on April 1.
Passports of the officials working at World Central Kitchen who were killed in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on April 1. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu/Getty Images

At least five people working with the World Central Kitchen (WCK) have been killed in Gaza, WCK founder José Andrés told CNN on Monday, without giving specific details.

"We are aware of reports that members of the World Central Kitchen team have been killed in an IDF attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza. This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER. We will share more information when we have gathered all the facts,” WCK said in a separate statement.

Videos obtained by CNN show the bodies of multiple people wearing apparent WCK vests after an airstrike hit Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces said it is "conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident."

Among the deceased were found a British passport, a Polish passport, and an Australian passport.

CNN has reached out to the various foreign ministries – but has not yet received a response.

7:57 p.m. ET, April 1, 2024

White House is set to approve largest foreign military sale to Israel since October 7. Here's the latest

From CNN staff

Iran is accusing Israel of killing two senior commanders in a strike on its consulate in Damascus, Syria. Tehran promised a "decisive" response to the strike. The attack may be the most dangerous escalation outside of Gaza since the start of the Hamas-Israel war nearly six months ago.

The New York Times reported that four unnamed Israeli officials acknowledged that Israel carried out the attack. CNN cannot verify the report and has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for comment.

The military hasn't commented publicly on the strike, but IDF spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, disputed that the building was a consulate. "According to our intelligence, this is no consulate and this is no embassy," he said. "This is a military building of Quds forces disguised as a civilian building in Damascus."

The Quds Force is a unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps responsible for foreign operations.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is close to approving the sale of as many as 50 American-made F-15 fighter jets to Israel, in a deal expected to be worth more than $18 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter. The transaction would amount to the largest US foreign military sale to Israel since the country went to war with Hamas on October 7.

Here's what else to know:

Israel's treatment of detainees: The Israel Defense Forces told CNN on Monday that those detained in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza during a 14-day operation are being "treated in accordance with international law." Al-Shifa medical workers have said that staff were forced to strip naked, and that one staff representative was left "half naked for three hours" before being allowed to talk.

Ambulances face hurdles in reaching Al-Shifa: Ambulances trying to reach Al-Shifafollowing the withdrawal of Israeli troops are finding it "almost impossible because of the damaged roads," Gaza's Civil Defense tells CNN. "Right now, we are putting out fires, retrieving bodies of martyrs and moving the injured. But unfortunately, the ambulances can’t reach the hospital because of the problems on the road," Director of Operations Raed al-Dahshan told CNN.

The UN will also try to reach Al-Shifa: The United Nations is planning a mission to Al-Shifa Hospital as soon as it is "allowed to help people receive medical attention and to assess the facility," the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Monday.

Hamas leader's sister arrested in Israel: Sabah Abdel Salam Haniyeh, the sister of the head of Hamas’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, has been arrested in Israel on suspicion of terror offenses. She is accused of “having contact with Hamas operatives” and “inciting and supporting acts of terrorism in Israel,” according to Israeli police.

US pushed for alternatives to Rafah ground offensive: Senior US and Israeli officials met virtually to discuss potential military operations in Rafah on Monday. The White House said there was no breakthrough, but that conversations will continue over the coming weeks.

In other news:

  • US and Jordanian forces conducted joint humanitarian airdrops of food into northern Gaza, according to US Central Command.
  • France is circulating a new draft resolution at the United Nations that calls for an immediate ceasefire and the release of all Israeli hostages.

This post has been updated with the New York Times report about the Damascus attack.

7:58 p.m. ET, April 1, 2024

Here's what Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital looked like before it was devastated during Israel's siege

From CNN's photo team

A journalist working for CNN said the scene at Gaza City's Al-Shifa Hospital on Monday “feels like a horror movie" after Israeli forces withdrew, ending their two-week siege of the facility.

Here's what the hospital complex looked like a few months ago:

Displaced Palestinians gather in the yard of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza on December 10, 2023.
Displaced Palestinians gather in the yard of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza on December 10, 2023. AFP/Getty Images

Here's what it looked like today:

People inspect the damage at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza on April 1.
People inspect the damage at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza on April 1. Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Getty Images
7:15 p.m. ET, April 1, 2024

US has not yet seen operational plans from Israel on Rafah strategy, US official says

From CNN's MJ Lee

The Biden administration has yet to see operational plans from the Israeli government detailing what a major military operation into Rafah would look like, including how Israel would try to protect the more than 1 million civilians in that area, US officials tells CNN on the heels of a virtual meeting of senior American and Israeli officials Monday.

Senior US officials have been steadfast in their public warnings in recent weeks that Israel must not expand its military operations into southern Gaza without an executable plan to protect the many civilians who are currently sheltering in Rafah.

The fact that the US has yet to be presented with a detailed blueprint on how Israel would conduct such an operation makes it clear that if Israeli forces were to move forward with a ground incursion into Rafah at this time, Israel would be crossing the so-called “red line” that President Joe Biden warned about recently.

CNN previously reported that in Monday’s meeting, the two delegations discussed the situation in Rafah and that US officials presented to their Israeli counterparts alternatives to a major ground operation into southern Gaza.

7:03 p.m. ET, April 1, 2024

Russia denounces attack on Iranian consulate in Damascus. Here are the latest reactions

From CNN’s Mariya Knight, Eyad Kourdi and Hamdi Alkhshali

The Russian Foreign Ministry “strongly condemned” the attack on the Iranian consulate building in Damascus in a statement published on its website Monday.

“We consider any attacks on diplomatic and consular facilities to be categorically unacceptable, the inviolability of which is guaranteed by the relevant Vienna Conventions,” the ministry said, adding that “such aggressive actions by Israel are absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped.”

Iran has blamed Israel for Monday's attack. When asked if Israel was involved, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari told CNN's Jim Sciutto that Israel won’t comment on the attack but believes the Iranian building that was struck is a "military building of Quds forces," with his a unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

CNN cannot independently verify the claims from either country.

In other reactions:

  • Hamas denounced the strike and blamed Israel, labeling the assault as a "blatant violation of international law" and an "infringement on the sovereignty of both Syria and Iran."
  • Oman's foreign ministry expressed its “strong condemnation and denouncement” in a statement.
  • Hezbollah, the Lebanese group backed by Iran, blamed Israel for the strike and warned it would face "punishment and revenge."
  • Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry condemned the attack and rejected the targeting of diplomatic facilities under any pretext, citing a violation of international diplomatic laws.

This post has been updated with Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia's responses.