November 4, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news

By Chris Lau, Andrew Raine, Tamara Qiblawi, Sophie Tanno, Laura Smith-Spark, Adrienne Vogt and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 0420 GMT (1220 HKT) November 5, 2023
44 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:17 p.m. ET, November 4, 2023

IDF says it will allow four-hour window for civilians in Gaza to evacuate

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tamar Michaelis

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it will allow people in Gaza to move south on specified streets Sunday, despite its troops coming under fire on Saturday while trying to secure a safe corridor for civilians.

The main route for evacuation will be Salah Al-Deen Street, with a window between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time, according to Avichay Adraee, IDF spokesperson for the Arab media.

"If you care about yourself and your loved ones, head south according to our instructions. Rest assured that Hamas leaders are already taking care to protect themselves," Adraee said on X Saturday night.

It was unclear how widely the message will be received on the ground, given the widespread electricity and internet outages, or how safe the passage will be.

According to Adraee, Hamas on Saturday fired mortar and anti-tank shells toward Israeli forces "who were keen to open the road from the north of the Gaza Strip towards its south."

"Hamas members carried out this because they wanted to keep human shields for themselves and their leaders," he said. "For your safety, take advantage of the next time to move south beyond Wadi Gaza."

The IDF has repeatedly called for civilians in Gaza to move south of Wadi Gaza as it has intensified its air and ground assault on Gaza City and Northern Gaza, including strikes on densely populated areas and civilian infrastructure that the IDF says is being used by Hamas militants. 

8:25 p.m. ET, November 4, 2023

Flurry of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel

From CNN's Bex Wright, Kevin Flower and Tamar Michaelis

Israel's Iron Dome system intercepts rockets over the sky of Tel Aviv, Israel, on November 4.
Israel's Iron Dome system intercepts rockets over the sky of Tel Aviv, Israel, on November 4. Reuters

A CNN team close to the Israel-Gaza border witnessed eight rockets fired from Gaza into Israel and shortly after, the IDF said it had intercepted six of the eight rockets. Israeli television channels aired live video of the rockets being brought down by the IDF's Iron Dome defense system.

The Israeli police also released a statement saying it was "conducting extensive scans to locate possible rocket impact sites in the central region and Tel Aviv." The statement noted there are no casualties "at this stage."

"Public cooperation saves lives. We urge residents to stay in protected areas, avoid approaching the scenes, and not touch rocket debris that may contain hazardous material, " the statement added. "The public is asked to report impact sites and rocket debris to the Israel Police's 100 hotline without delay."

Soon after, a barrage of new explosions was seen over Gaza City Saturday night, according to a CNN team close to the border.

The Israel Defense Forces have not yet commented on the new blast.

5:25 p.m. ET, November 4, 2023

Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah warns of catastrophic lack of medical resources and fuel in Gaza

From CNN's Kareem Khadder in Jerusalem, Clarissa Ward and Lauren Kent

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah warned Saturday of a "catastrophe within Gaza hospitals," adding that wounded people are "taking their last breaths" due to the lack of medical resources and fuel. 

Palestinian Health Minister Dr. Mai al-Kaila also called on the international community to provide fuel to Gaza hospitals to prevent the shutdown of services. 

As of midday on Saturday, more than 150 health care professionals in Gaza have been killed, according to the health ministry in Ramallah. The ministry also said "16 hospitals and 32 primary healthcare centers have been taken out of service."

"The continued Israeli shelling of the vicinity and entrances of Gaza hospitals in the north aims to force medical personnel to abandon their patients and leave the hospitals. This constitutes a complex massacre against the wounded and patients," al-Kaila added. 

Organizations outside of Gaza are also raising an alarm about the dire situation in the enclave's hospitals. 

MedGlobal, a US-based organization that supports local health programs for vulnerable populations across the globe, issued an urgent appeal for fuel to power a generator at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza.

MedGlobal President Dr. Zaher Sahloul said in a social media post Saturday that the organization's lead pediatrician in northern Gaza sent him a message about the "catastrophic situation," adding that a 2-year-old just died.

According to Sahloul, the pediatrician at Kamal Adwan Hospital, Dr. Husam Abu Safyia, added:

"Currently, surgeries have stopped, and the departments are without electricity and water." 

Earlier on Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres also highlighted the lack of medicine and other resources in Gaza, saying, "Fuel to power hospitals and water plants is running out."

Israel's stance: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that his government opposes any temporary ceasefire in Gaza unless Hamas frees all the hostages it holds. He also said it would continue to block fuel from entering Gaza. The Israeli military has claimed there are fuel supplies in Gaza being held by Hamas.

4:34 p.m. ET, November 4, 2023

Protesters in DC and London urge for ceasefire

From CNN’s Abby Baggini and Catherine Nicholls

Pro-Palestinian protesters rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, on November 4.
Pro-Palestinian protesters rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, on November 4. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Thousands of protesters rallied in Washington, DC, and in major cities across Europe on Saturday, calling for a ceasefire in the hostilities between Israel and Hamas as the humanitarian situation in Gaza worsens.

In Washington, DC: A crowd of pro-Palestinian protesters packed into Freedom Plaza in the United States capital Saturday afternoon, as speakers called for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to US aid to Israel.

Freedom Plaza, located near the National Mall and White House, has been nearly entirely filled with chanting demonstrators donning red, green, and black attire and waving Palestinian flags.

The event organizers said they expected thousands of protesters. 

The speakers slammed US President Joe Biden's administration for its response to the crisis in Gaza, warning that they will not support the president in 2024 if he does not call for a ceasefire in the war.

"Let it be known to all of those, including Joe Biden and all of those congressmen who fail to see our humanity today, and who fail to hear our voices today, that we will not see their names on the ballot next year. And we will not hear them when they come calling upon us next year," said Omar Suleiman, a Muslim scholar who addressed the crowd. "We will not allow for them to tell us anymore that the only refuge we have from right-wing racists are two-faced liberals."

The march comes after several weekends of pro-Palestinian rallies in Washington.

The crowd is expected to march to the White House and then back to Freedom Plaza later Saturday.

In London: Thousands of people gathered in the UK capital on Saturday to call for a ceasefire in Gaza as airstrikes and fighting on the ground continue.

Demonstrators at the rally, which took place in Trafalgar Square, waved Palestinian flags and banners calling for a “ceasefire now.” Some people held signs that read “Free Palestine” and called for the bombing to stop. 

People attend a rally at Trafalgar Square in London on November 4.
People attend a rally at Trafalgar Square in London on November 4. Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu/Getty Images

“40,000 people packed into Trafalgar Square today to stand with Palestine,” the organizer of the event, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, posted on social media. London’s Metropolitan Police has not released any figures for the size of the demonstration.

The event was the third consecutive pro-Palestinian weekend rally in London. Thousands of people have attended each rally, with the Met Police estimating a turnout of 100,000 for the first solidarity march.

Demonstrations also took place in other cities across the UK on Saturday, including Manchester, Oxford, Newcastle, and Liverpool.

Thousands also took to the streets in cities across Europe, with demonstrations taking place in capital cities including Paris and Berlin.

3:47 p.m. ET, November 4, 2023

Israel police arrest 3 people at anti-government protests in Jerusalem

From CNN's Tamar Michaelis

Israeli police say they have arrested three people at anti-government protests in Jerusalem on Saturday.

Hundreds of people gathered to protest Israel's failure to prevent the October 7th Hamas attacks, police told CNN.

In videos shared by the police, protesters can be heard chanting, “Where were you in Kfar Azza?” (one of the communities most affected by the assault). Signs read, "Their blood is on your hands" and "The sleep of wisdom brings monsters to life," and called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's impeachment.

Families of hostages hold rally: Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, hundreds of family members of hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 are holding a rally in front of the Kirya, the government's military headquarters, "to demand greater actions by the government to release the hostages."

In a statement released ahead of the event, organizers said it is "not an anti-government protest. This is a rally of families and community that would like to see more done to release the hostages."

CNN's Bex Wright contributed reporting to this post.

3:18 p.m. ET, November 4, 2023

The top US diplomat met with Arab leaders today. Here's what else you should know on the Israel-Hamas war

From CNN staff

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with foreign ministers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar, as well as the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization November 4, in Amman, Jordan.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with foreign ministers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar, as well as the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization November 4, in Amman, Jordan. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on a multinational trip Saturday after visiting Israel for the third time since the October 7 Hamas attack.

Meanwhile, a US official told CNN that Hamas is blocking foreign nationals from leaving Gaza after an Israeli airstrike on an ambulance near a hospital Friday.

Here are some of the latest headlines:

Blinken meets with Arab leaders: The top US diplomat has reiterated his country's rejection of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, instead calling once again for "humanitarian pauses" to get aid into Gaza. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his government opposes any temporary ceasefire in Gaza unless Hamas frees all the hostages it holds, adding that it would continue to block fuel from entering the enclave.

Blinken met with foreign ministers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar, as well as the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Egyptian and Jordanian leaders made remarks after the meetings strongly condemning Israel's offensive. Blinken, who acknowledged differences with Arab leaders on their approaches to the conflict, will also travel to Turkey.

Hamas stopping foreigners from leaving, official says: Hamas is blocking foreign nationals from departing Gaza until Israel guarantees that ambulances from the Palestinian enclave can reach the Rafah crossing to Egypt, a US official familiar with situation told CNN Saturday.

The demand comes after Israel admitted on Friday that it attacked an ambulance outside Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in the enclave. The vehicle had been in a convoy headed for Rafah, which is the only remaining option for getting in and out of Gaza during Israel's siege of the territory. Israel claimed the ambulance was being used by Hamas fighters, which the Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza has rejected.

More than 700 foreign nationals were expected to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing Saturday, according to an official source on the Egyptian side of the crossing.

CNN reported Friday that initial efforts to secure safe passage for foreign nationals in Gaza were stymied in part by Hamas including its own members on a list of wounded Palestinians designated to pass through the Rafah crossing, according to a senior US official.

UN chief on Israel's ambulance attack: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement he was "horrified" by the strike, while calling for a ceasefire and release of hostages.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan accused Guterres of rushing to comment “without even bothering to ask” about the context of the strike. “You completely ignore the fact that Hamas intentionally exploits ambulances for terror,” Erdan wrote on Saturday in post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Strikes near hospital and school shelter: Israeli airstrikes have damaged a building located in front of the emergency entrance of Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City, injuring 21 people, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said Saturday.

A UN-run school serving as a shelter in a refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip was also struck Saturday, according to the main UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

Humanitarian situation: The number of people who have fled from north of Wadi Gaza to the southern part of the enclave is estimated to be 800,000 "to perhaps a million," the US special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues, David Satterfield, said Saturday. There has been no new fuel into Gaza since the war began, he said.

The US is looking at the prospect of establishing field hospitals in south Gaza, Satterfield said, and Israel is engaging with countries about putting hospital ships offshore of Gaza.

IDF says Hamas fired on safe route: The Israeli military accused Hamas of using an announcement telling Gaza residents to move safely south as an opportunity to fire on soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces.

The IDF had called on Gaza residents via its Arabic account on X, formerly known as Twitter, to use the main Salah-al-Din Road to move south for a three-hour period from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. local time. It's unclear how many Gaza residents had access to internet to see the message.

Turkey latest to recall ambassador: Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Israel for "consultations" due to the "unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza" and continuing Israeli airstrikes, the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday. Several other countries, including Honduras, Colombia, Chile, and Bahrain, have also withdrawn their ambassadors.

2:19 p.m. ET, November 4, 2023

Blinken and Qatari counterpart discussed civilian protection and aid during meeting, US says

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani at a hotel during a day of meeting, in Amman, Jordan, on Saturday, November 4.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani at a hotel during a day of meeting, in Amman, Jordan, on Saturday, November 4. Jonathan Ernst/Pool/AP

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Amman, Jordan.

Neither spoke during a brief photo spray at the beginning of their meeting on Saturday, but the US State Department released a statement later.

They discussed "the vital importance of protecting civilians, providing increased and sustained humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people, and ensuring Palestinians are not forcibly displaced outside of Gaza," according to a readout from spokesperson Matt Miller.

Blinken also "reiterated his thanks to the Qatari government for its work to secure the exit of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals from Gaza, the release of hostages held by Hamas, including two U.S. citizens, and continued efforts to prevent the conflict from spreading."

Qatar has served as a key negotiator in discussions with Hamas amid the conflict in Israel and Gaza. The US has credited the Gulf nation for its help in securing the release of four hostages held by the group, as well as for the eventual opening of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

2:09 p.m. ET, November 4, 2023

More Palestinians from Gaza arrive in Egypt for medical treatment, Egyptian official says

From Asmaa Khalil in Rafah and CNN's Zeena Saifi in Jerusalem

A total of 84 Palestinians needing urgent medical treatment have entered Egypt through the Rafah border crossing so far as of Saturday, an Egyptian government official told CNN. 

The injured Palestinians all had injuries sustained from airstrikes, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity since they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Most are currently receiving treatment in hospitals across the country, and more are expected to arrive in the coming days, the official added. 

According to an Egyptian border official, more Palestinians were expected to arrive in ambulances on Saturday, but the border was shut for a few hours out of caution following an Israeli airstrike that targeted an ambulance on Friday. Israel claimed the ambulance was being used by Hamas fighters, which the Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza has denied.

More on the Rafah crossing: Located in Egypt’s north Sinai, the Rafah crossing is the sole border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

It falls along an 8-mile (12.8-kilometer) fence that separates Gaza from the Sinai desert.

2:01 p.m. ET, November 4, 2023

IDF claims it didn't target Gaza school with airstrike, but says it may have been hit by Israeli fire nearby

From CNN's Kyle Blaine and Abeer Salman in Jerusalem

The Israel Defense Forces says it "did not target" a United Nations-sponsored school in Gaza that was hit in an airstrike on Thursday, but said the explosion may have been a result of Israeli fire aimed at another target nearby.

More than 20 people sheltering at the UN-run Jabalya Elementary School were killed by an Israeli strike Thursday, according to the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is the primary UN relief agency in the strip.

In response to CNN's question about the strike, the IDF said Saturday, "A report was received that a school was hit. According to a preliminary inquiry, the IDF did not target the location, but the explosion may have been a result of IDF fire aimed at another target. The circumstances of the incident are under review."

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the UNRWA, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that three of the agency's other schools were also hit by strikes.

In response to questions about those strikes, the IDF told CNN, "Based on an initial review the IDF is not aware of any military activity conducted by our forces in the vicinity of the location provided."