October 22, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news

By Rhea Mogul, Andrew Raine, Rob Picheta, Sophie Tanno, Tori B. Powell and Steve Almasy, CNN

Updated 12:05 a.m. ET, October 23, 2023
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1:05 p.m. ET, October 22, 2023

Some Gazans resort to writing names on legs of children to help identify them

From CNN’s Kareem Khadder and Manveena Suri

Some parents in Gaza have resorted to writing their children's names on their legs to help identify them should either they or the children be killed, according to videos filmed by a journalist working for CNN. 

The videos are from Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al Balah in central Gaza, a district where Israeli airstrikes took place overnight Saturday into Sunday.

They show a toddler and three children who have been killed, bearing their names written in Arabic on their calves. All four are seen lying on stretchers placed on the floor in a room that appears to be a morgue, which is full. It’s unclear whether their parents were also killed.

The journalist says the practice has become more commonplace in recent days. There have been chaotic scenes in several Gaza hospitals in the aftermath of airstrikes, with insufficient room to handle the influx of patients and morgues overflowing.

The videos show that in parts of the Al Aqsa hospital, which is overrun with patients, the injured people, including children, were lying in corridors on makeshift beds and mattresses Sunday morning.

The videos also show a stream of patients being brought in on stretchers early Sunday morning. Dozens of people have gathered outside for safety, while others are seen grieving.

1:03 p.m. ET, October 22, 2023

Gaza death toll rises to 4,651, according to Palestinian health ministry

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman and Kareem Khadder

Mourners attend a funeral in Khan Younis, Gaza, on October 22.
Mourners attend a funeral in Khan Younis, Gaza, on October 22. Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

The death toll in Gaza since October 7 has risen to 4,651 with more than 14,245 wounded, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza on Sunday.

A spokesman for the ministry, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qidra, said during the past 24 hours, 266 people had been killed including 117 children. 

The ministry has received 1,450 calls concerning missing people believed to be under the rubble, 800 of whom are children, according to Al-Qudra.

It comes after the Rafah border crossing opened for a brief window on Saturday, allowing Gaza to receive its first deliveries of vital aid.

However, international leaders have warned that much more is needed to combat the “catastrophic” humanitarian situation in the enclave that holds more than 2 million people.

11:11 a.m. ET, October 22, 2023

IDF won't say if Jenin mosque was hit by fighter jet strike

From CNN’s Richard Allen Greene, Sarah Dean and Manveena Suri

People check the damage at a mosque following an Israeli airstrike in Jenin, West Bank, on October 22.
People check the damage at a mosque following an Israeli airstrike in Jenin, West Bank, on October 22. Raneen Sawafta/Reuters

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht refused to say Sunday if a fighter jet was involved in the rare airstrike on a mosque in Jenin.

Israeli media reported Sunday that the strike did come from a jet, in what would be the first fighter jet strike in the West Bank in nearly two decades. 

“All I can say is it was an aerial strike,” Hecht told reporters. He said it was the first IDF aerial strike of any kind in the West Bank since a June incursion into Jenin began with one. 

A local resident interviewed by Reuters mentioned a drone, but it is unclear from his comment whether he saw where the strike came from. 

Hecht suggested the strike was carefully targeted. “You will see the mosque is still intact but we took out the terrorists,” he said of Sunday’s attack. 

Video from the scene showed two holes in the mosque roof and rubble inside, but the building and its minaret are still standing.

Some context: The Israeli military said it launched the strike early Sunday to thwart what it called "an imminent terror attack.” 

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it viewed the strike on the mosque in a refugee camp in the city of Jenin as a “dangerous escalation.”

“The Ministry views with great seriousness the bombing of the Jenin camp yesterday, and considers it a dangerous escalation using warplanes, resulting in Palestinian civilian casualties and terrorizing them, including children and women,” the ministry said in a statement following the airstrike. 

It labelled the strike as “an attempt to generalize the model of bombing the Gaza Strip to areas in the occupied West Bank.”

6:16 a.m. ET, October 22, 2023

Orders to evacuate Gaza hospitals are "a death penalty" for patients, Palestinian Red Crescent says

From CNN's Chloe Liu

Demands by Israel for the evacuation of Gaza hospitals amount to “a death penalty for patients,” according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The organization said the Israeli military issued three evacuation orders for the Al-Quds hospital on Friday. Spokesperson Nebal Farsakh told CNN Sunday: “We do not have the means to evacuate them safely. Most of the patients are with critical injuries.”

A total of 24 hospitals, including Al-Quds, are under the threat of “being bombed at any second due to Israeli evacuation orders,” Farsakh said. 

CNN has not independently verified this number. The Israel Defense Forces says Hamas frequently uses civilian facilities as cover for its military operations. The IDF told CNN Friday: "Hamas intentionally embeds its assets in civilian areas and uses the residents of the Gaza Strip as human shields.”

The World Health Organization has condemned “Israel’s repeated orders for the evacuation of 22 hospitals treating more than 2,000 inpatients in Northern Gaza.”

Farsakh said her team is counting on the international community to take action ahead and “stand for humanity.”

6:32 a.m. ET, October 22, 2023

Truck drivers hopeful they will cross border into Gaza with aid

From Asmaa Khalil in Rafah, Egypt

A truck driver waiting to pass through the Rafah crossing into Gaza with aid has said he is hopeful he will be successful.

“God willing, I am now entering the crossing, or in a few minutes. God willing, to deliver this aid and will go in and out safely, God willing,” Ali Shousha told CNN on Sunday morning. He is carrying food, blankets among other supplies. 

Driver Gamal al-Sakka also sounded hopeful: “God willing, we will fulfil the job and we are going to our beloved brothers,” he told CNN.

A total of 17 aid trucks carrying food and medicine were getting ready to enter the Gaza Strip through Rafah, the only entry point to Gaza not controlled by Israel, Egypt’s Red Crescent said earlier on Sunday morning.

Those follow the first 20 trucks that went through the crossing on Saturday, which has otherwise been closed since Hamas' initial attacks on October 7. The border point was quickly closed again on Saturday after the aid convoy had passed.

But the level of aid is nowhere near enough to sustain those in Gaza, where the humanitarian situation is dire. WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed on Saturday that “the needs are far higher” than the aid people in Gaza have received.

5:59 a.m. ET, October 22, 2023

Woman with five family members taken hostage hopes "Hamas will show the world they're still human"

From CNN's Chloe Liu

A woman whose five family members were taken hostage by Hamas, and whose mother and niece were killed, has told CNN she "doesn't even have time to stop to feel pain."

Hadas Kalderon’s husband, mother, niece, and two of her children were taken by Hamas on October 7.

The Israel Defense Forces then confirmed on Wednesday that Kalderon’s mother, Carmela Dan, and her niece, Noya Dan, had been found dead, Jason Greenberg, a relative who lives in Massachusetts, told CNN last week.

Kalderon said she has no information beyond her family members being abducted and does not know if they are receiving necessities like food and water.

“I don't have the time even to stop to feel the pain and to grieve. Wearing a black shirt -- it's the only thing I can do for grieving,” Kalderon said.

Kalderon describes her son, Erez, as “her angel” who loves to laugh and ride horses. Her daughter, Sahar, is an artist with a good heart, Kalderon said. She added that her husband, Ofer, is “the best father ever.”

She said the priority right now is not the war, but the “innocent people.”

“I think Hamas has a good opportunity to show the world they’re still human,” Kalderon said.

4:53 a.m. ET, October 22, 2023

Deputy chief of Hamas rocket force killed overnight, IDF says

From CNN’s Amir Tal in Jerusalem

The deputy chief of Hamas's rocket force and "dozens of terrorists" were killed in overnight strikes on Gaza, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a media briefing Sunday.

Hagari also said the number of people being held hostage in Gaza stood at 212.

The claims come after Hagari said Saturday that the Israel Defense Forces would increase airstrikes on Gaza.

11:11 a.m. ET, October 22, 2023

Jenin mosque strike a "dangerous escalation," Palestinian foreign ministry says

From CNN’s Kareem Khadder

People check the damage inside a building in the West Bank city of Jenin, following an Israeli airstrike on Sunday.
People check the damage inside a building in the West Bank city of Jenin, following an Israeli airstrike on Sunday. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

The Palestinian foreign ministry has said it views the strike on a refugee camp in the city of Jenin as a “dangerous escalation.”

The Israeli military said it launched an airstrike early Sunday against a mosque in the West Bank city of Jenin to thwart what it called "an imminent terror attack."

“The Ministry views with great seriousness the bombing of the Jenin camp yesterday, and considers it a dangerous escalation using warplanes, resulting in Palestinian civilian casualties and terrorizing them, including children and women,” the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement following the airstrike. 

It labelled the strike as “an attempt to generalize the model of bombing the Gaza Strip to areas in the occupied West Bank.”

The ministry also criticized the international community “for its failure to move so far to stop this Israeli killing and destruction against Gaza and its people, and considers that its responses are weak, selective and biased and do not rise to the level of the extent of the genocide that the Gaza Strip is being exposed to.”

4:02 a.m. ET, October 22, 2023

At least 65 arrested in occupied West Bank overnight, Palestinian Prisoners Club says

From CNN’s Abeer Salman

At least 65 people were arrested in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces overnight, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club.  

This takes the number of arrests since the beginning of October to more than 1,130, it said in a statement. 

This figure does not include workers or detainees from Gaza, the statement noted.

CNN has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for comment on the arrests. 

The Palestinian Prisoners Club is a non-governmental organization dedicated to addressing the concerns of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centers, according to its website.