October 29, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news

By Tara Subramaniam, Andrew Raine, Sophie Tanno, Maureen Chowdhury and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 0540 GMT (1340 HKT) October 30, 2023
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12:09 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

US has no intention of sending combat troops to Israel or Gaza, Harris says

From CNN's Kevin Liptak in Wilmington, Delaware

Kamala Harris speaks at the State Department in Washington, on October 26.
Kamala Harris speaks at the State Department in Washington, on October 26. Nathan Howard/Reuters

Vice President Kamala Harris said in an interview that the US has “absolutely no intention” of sending American combat troops into Israel or Gaza amid fears over a wider regional conflict.

“We have absolutely no intention, nor do we have any plans, to send combat troops into Israel or Gaza, period,” Harris said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday.

Harris, who has been included in briefings and phone calls on the Middle East crisis, closely stuck to the administration’s approach: Supporting Israel’s right to defend itself while also calling for the protection of civilians.

“By most estimates, at least 1,400 Israelis are dead. Israel, without any question, has a right to defend itself,” she said. “That being said, it is very important that there be no conflation between Hamas and the Palestinians. The Palestinians deserve equal measures of safety and security, self-determination and dignity, and we have been very clear that the rules of war must be adhered to and that there be humanitarian aid that flows.”

Read more from Harris' interview.

10:29 p.m. ET, October 29, 2023

More children killed in Gaza than in global conflicts annually over past 4 years, Save the Children says

From CNN Staff

A man holds wounded children near livestock around heavily damaged buildings after Israeli attacks at Nuseirat Refugee Camp in Gaza City on Sunday, October 29. 
A man holds wounded children near livestock around heavily damaged buildings after Israeli attacks at Nuseirat Refugee Camp in Gaza City on Sunday, October 29.  Ashraf Amra/Anadolu/Getty Images

The number of children reported killed in Gaza during Israel’s military campaign over the past three weeks has surpassed the annual number of children killed in armed conflict globally in each of the past four years, according to Save the Children.

More than 3,000 children have been reported killed in Gaza since October 7 by the enclave's Hamas-controlled health authorities. 

"The numbers are harrowing and with violence not only continuing but expanding in Gaza right now, many more children remain at grave risk," said Jason Lee, Save the Children's country director in the occupied Palestinian territory.

A total of 2,985 children were killed across 24 countries in 2022, 2,515 were killed in 2021 and 2,674 in 2020, according to the United Nations secretary general's annual report on children and armed conflict, cited by Save the Children.

In 2019, the UN reported 4,019 children were killed in conflicts around the world. 

Save the Children has added its voice to those calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. 

9:20 p.m. ET, October 29, 2023

Jordan asks US for Patriot air defense system amid fears of regional escalation

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan

Close US ally Jordan has asked Washington to deploy Patriot missiles to strengthen its air defenses at its borders, a Jordanian military spokesperson told state media on Sunday. 

The request comes at a time of heightening tensions in the Middle East due to the war in Gaza as well as clashes on the Lebanon-Israel border between Hezbollah and Israeli forces. 

"We asked the American side to strengthen our defense system with Patriot missiles. This system is expensive and cannot be employed with local capabilities, and we need a strategic partner," Jordan army spokesman Brig. Gen. Mustafa Al-Hiyari said on Al Mamlaka TV. 

Al-Hiyari said Jordan is facing ongoing threats, including ballistic missiles, from the north, east and west and the Patriot air defense system is “the best weapon to confront such a threat.”

Jordan is also requesting a system to combat drones that are used on drug smuggling, as they “have become a threat to all our fronts,” Al-Hiyari added.

CNN has reached out to US officials for comment. 

9:02 p.m. ET, October 29, 2023

Israel strikes military infrastructure in Syria

From CNN's Hadas Gold

Israeli forces struck military infrastructure in Syrian territory following launches toward Israel from the country, Israel's military said Monday.

Israeli warplanes regularly bomb targets in Syria, where the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights separates Israel from Iran-aligned fighters.

Iran's president said Sunday that Israel's offensive in Gaza had "crossed the red lines," as the US national security adviser warned of an "elevated risk" of the war expanding into a broader Middle East conflict.

9:14 p.m. ET, October 29, 2023

UN warns of "growing hunger and desperation" in Gaza. What to know as Israel's ground operation continues

From CNN staff

The UN warns "civil order" is deteriorating in Gaza after weeks of siege and bombardment, with people breaking into warehouses to take survival essentials.

Here are today's top headlines:

More on the warehouse break-ins: The United Nations World Food Programme said some of its aid supplies were looted in Gaza and warned of "growing hunger and desperation" in a news release Sunday. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said earlier Sunday that "thousands" of people had broken into some of its warehouses and distribution centers in the central and southern areas of the strip, "taking wheat flour and other basic survival items like hygiene supplies."

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Monday: The United Arab Emirates, the only Arab country with a seat in the UN Security Council at the moment, will seek a binding resolution from other Security Council members for an "immediate humanitarian pause" in the fighting, sources said. Earlier this month, the United States vetoed a draft resolution at the UNSC which called for a humanitarian pause. 

Gaza's second-largest hospital suffers extensive damage: Israeli airstrikes have “caused extensive damage to hospital departments and exposed residents and patients to suffocation” at the Al-Quds Hospital, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Sunday, accusing Israel of “deliberately” launching the airstrikes next to Gaza City's second-largest hospital "with the aim of forcing the medical staff, displaced people, and patients to evacuate the hospital.” The organization said it has received a warning Sunday from Israel to immediately evacuate the hospital ahead of possible bombardment, which the World Health Organization has said would be "impossible" without endangering patients' lives.

Israel appears to have advanced over two miles into Gaza: The troops in the video, taken on Saturday, are seen putting an Israeli flag on a Gaza resort hotel's roof. CNN geolocated the video to an area just over two miles from the Gaza-Israeli border. The video is one of the first glimpses into where Israeli ground forces have been, and what they've been doing, during the expanded ground operations in Gaza. A communications blackout in Gaza has significantly hampered the flow of information out of it, though providers said service was gradually being restored Sunday.

Iran says Israel has "crossed the red lines" in Gaza: Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said Sunday Israel's actions "may force everyone to take action." There are concerns that Israel's fierce military campaign in Gaza will open up more fronts. There is already crossfire exchanges on northern Israel and southern Lebanon border — separate from Israel's fighting with Hamas farther south, which is centered around Gaza. But an uptick in clashes with Hezbollah has raised fears that the powerful Lebanese paramilitary group could actively participate in the conflict. It comes as the US national security adviser warned of an "elevated risk" of the war expanding into a broader Middle East conflict.

Aid trucks cross from Egypt into Gaza: The Palestinian Red Crescent said it received 10 aid trucks via the Rafah border crossing, stating that the trucks contain "food supplies and medical necessities. The total number of received trucks so far has reached 94, while fuel has not been allowed to enter yet. Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders said it has sent 26 tons of medical supplies on a plane to Egypt to support the emergency medical response in Gaza.

Gaza death toll rises further: The death toll in Gaza has risen to 7,960, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah announced on Sunday, drawing the data from sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. More than 20,000 have been injured, the ministry said. Nearly three-quarters — 73% — of those killed are from vulnerable populations, including children, women, and elderly individuals, according to the ministry report, which adds that the total number of dead includes 116 medical personnel.

Video shows destruction at mosque and houses in a Gaza refugee camp: Video, obtained by CNN from a Gaza-based journalist, shows the aftermath of the destruction of a mosque and adjacent houses in the Al-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza on Sunday. There is a large amount of destruction at the site of an airstrike, with people searching through the rubble to look for survivors.  

US pressured Israel to restore connectivity in Gaza: After phone and internet service was severed late last week, civilians, aid groups and journalists were left without any means of communicating with the outside world. Service appeared to be gradually restored on Sunday. "We do feel strongly that the restoration of that communications was a critical thing," US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. "Because aid workers need to be able to communicate, civilians need to be able to communicate, and of course, journalists need to be able to document what is happening in Gaza to report it to the wider world."

8:36 p.m. ET, October 29, 2023

At least 10 injured as crowd storms Russian airport after flight arrives from Tel Aviv, officials say

From CNN's Josh Pennington, Pierre Meilhan, Maija Ehlinger and Hadas Gold

People crowd the tarmac at Makhachkala Uytash Airport in the southern Russian Republic of Dagestan on October 29.
People crowd the tarmac at Makhachkala Uytash Airport in the southern Russian Republic of Dagestan on October 29. From Telegram

At least 10 people are injured after a crowd stormed an airport in southern Russia following the arrival of a flight from Tel Aviv, according to a statement by the Dagestan health ministry late Sunday.

The Makhachkala Uytash Airport in the Republic of Dagestan has temporarily closed and flights have been diverted after "unknown persons" broke into the airport Sunday, according to a statement released by the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency. 

Multiple videos posted on social media show a crowd of people inside the airport and on the airfield, some waving the Palestinian flag, others forcing their way through closed doors in the international terminal. The crowd entered the airport after a flight from Tel Aviv landed on Sunday, according to Russian state media TASS.

TASS reports that "those gathered oppose the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

The injured are a mix of police officers and civilians, according to the health ministry, which said two people are in "critical condition."

The Red Wing Airlines flight from Tel Aviv arrived Sunday at 7:17 p.m. local time (12:17 p.m. ET), according to Flight Aware.

Officials react: The Israeli prime minister's office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a joint statement, saying Israel's government is monitoring developments at the airport. 

"Israel expects the Russian legal authorities to safeguard the well-being of all Israeli citizens and Jews wherever they are and to take strong action against the rioters and against the wild incitement being directed against Jews and Israelis," the statement added. 

The United States also called on Russia to protect Israelis and Jews.

In a post on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, Amb. Deborah E. Lipstadt, condemned the incident.

“We condemn the violent protests that have been reported in Russia threatening Israelis and Jews. We call on Russian authorities to ensure their safety," Lipstadt said.

Sergey Melikov, head of the Dagestan Republic, also denounced the unrest in a message on Telegram.

6:51 p.m. ET, October 29, 2023

Netanyahu deletes social media post accusing security chiefs of failing to warn about October 7 attack

From CNN's Lucas Lilieholm, Tamar Michaelis, Maija Ehlinger and Laura Paddison

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on Saturday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on Saturday. Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received sharp criticism after he accused security chiefs in a now-deleted social media post of failing to warn him about the impending Hamas attack prior to October 7.

Amid a chorus of disapproval from opponents and allies, Netanyahu deleted the post on Sunday morning, issuing a rare apology and stating Israel’s security heads had his “full backing.”

But the incident has done little to quell increasing frustration and anger directed at Israel’s leader for failing to anticipate the brutal Hamas attacks, which saw the group kill at least 1,400 people and take more than 200 hostages, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Netanyahu’s tweet comes at a time when he is also under increasing pressure from the families of hostages for a “comprehensive deal” to ensure their release. These calls are becoming more urgent amid concerns for what Israel’s expanding ground operations could mean for the safety of hostages trapped in Gaza.

In the now-deleted post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Netanyahu said, “At no point was a warning given to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Hamas’s intention to start a war. On the contrary, all the defense officials, including the heads of the Intelligence Directorate and the Shin Bet, assessed that Hamas was deterred.”

An outpouring of criticism swiftly followed Netanyahu’s post, following which, the prime minister deleted the post on Sunday morning and issued an apology. “I was wrong. Things I said following the press conference should not have been said and I apologize for that,” he wrote on X. Israel’s security chiefs had his “full backing,” he added.

But even in this apology, Netanyahu made no mention of his own responsibility for the failure to anticipate the deadliest attack in Israel’s history. By contrast, security chiefs Ronen Bar and Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, as well as chief of staff of the IDF Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, have all taken responsibility to some extent for failures that led to the attacks.

5:56 p.m. ET, October 29, 2023

International Criminal Court prosecutor says strikes on civilian infrastructure always have to be justified

From CNN's Melissa Bell and Chris Liakos in Cairo, and Catherine Nicholls and Jessie Gretener in London

The International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan told CNN on Sunday that anyone who targets civilian infrastructure in the Israel-Gaza conflict will need to "justify every strike.”

"There should be no doubt that every decision-maker, from head of government, to military advisors, to lawyers that have targeting-making decisions, should be on clear notice that they will be required to justify every strike against every civilian object," Khan said.

"What I can say, clearly, is the willful killing and hostage-taking are great breeches of the Geneva Conventions," Khan said. "In all circumstances, human objects have to be protected, unless you can establish that they've lost their protection," he continued. 

Khan said civilian targets, such as a “house or school or hospital or a church or a mosque,” are required to be protected under international law unless they become military objectives. 

He said to determine whether those targets are military objectives is “complex” and will require analysis and information. 

"You've got to prove that — you can't assume it. And the burden of proof is on the person that is firing at, or targeting the dwelling house, or the school or the hospital or the church or the mosque,” Khan outlined.

The prosecutor also warned that denying humanitarian assistance to civilians is a crime.

"I think that's, again, a matter that needs urgent consideration by Israel — to make sure that food and medicine go to children and women and men," Khan said.

He suggested that, even if a child were to survive an attack initially, a subsequent lack of medical care may mean dire consequences. 

"What kind of hope does a baby have, does a child have, to medical care if there's no anesthetic? If there's no morphine? If there's no medicine?" he asked.

"Whether a child is born Jewish in Israel or is a Christian or Muslim in Gaza — they're children and we should have that sense of humanity — that legal, ethical, moral responsibility to do right by them," Khan stated. 

More background: The ICC is an independent organization based in The Hague in the Netherlands and is not part of the United Nations system. Under Article 5 of the Rome Statute, the ICC has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. 

However, the ICC can only exercise jurisdiction over crimes if they were committed on the territory of a country that is a member — or by one of its nationals.

Israel is not party to the Rome Statute.

There have been some case-by-case exceptions. A state that is not party to the ICC can make a declaration to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC, and the United Nations Security Council can refer situation to the ICC even if the UN member state is not party to the statute.