November 6, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Kathleen Magramo, Sana Noor Haq, Ed Upright, Elise Hammond, Eric Levenson, Maureen Chowdhury and Steve Almasy, CNN

Updated 12:04 a.m. ET, November 7, 2023
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4:37 p.m. ET, November 6, 2023

Qatar condemns Israel’s claims about Hamas tunnel under Gaza hospital it funded

From CNN’s Abeer Salman and Kareem El Damanhoury

This picture taken on November 19, 2018 shows a view of the Qatari-built Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani hospital for Rehabilitation and Prosthetics in Gaza City.
This picture taken on November 19, 2018 shows a view of the Qatari-built Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani hospital for Rehabilitation and Prosthetics in Gaza City. Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

Qatar has condemned Israel for its allegations about the existence of a Hamas tunnel under Sheikh Hamad Hospital, which was funded by Qatar Fund for Development in northern Gaza, saying the claims were made “without any tangible evidence or independent investigation.”

“This is a blatant attempt to justify the occupation's targeting of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, residential areas, and shelters for displaced people,” the chairman of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza Ambassador Mohammed El Emadi said in a statement on Monday.

The comments come one day after the Israeli military shared images that purport to show a tunnel opening at the Sheikh Hamad Hospital. 

El Emadi said the hospital was built with Israel’s approval and that targeting it would constitute a war crime.

“Targeting Sheikh Hamad Hospital in Gaza means depriving thousands of patients of its services, which will be added to the series of war crimes committed by the occupation against civilians and their service facilities, especially the atrocities which recently affected several hospitals and ambulance conveys,” he said.

On Sunday, the head of the Hamas government media Salama Marouf called for the United Nations to verify Israel’s claims about the use of hospitals as shields.

"We are ready to receive any international committee assembled by the UN, the WHO, the International Red Cross, or any international body to come and examine closely and refute the lies and slanders about hospitals," Marouf said. "[The hospitals] are used for one purpose, which is to provide medical care to the wounded, injured and sick."

Some context: Qatar finds itself in a delicate diplomatic position in the Israel-Hamas war. The gas-rich monarchy has maintained a relationship with Hamas while being one of the United States' closest allies in the region. Meanwhile, it has also kept back-channel contacts with Israel.

Mediation has long been one of Qatar’s most “marketable skills,” said Joost R. Hiltermann, director of the Middle East North Africa program at the International Crisis Group think tank in Brussels, referring to the Gulf state’s long history of negotiating between international players at odds with one another.

3:53 p.m. ET, November 6, 2023

Israeli military says it destroyed Hezbollah weapons storage facility in Lebanon

From CNN’s Tamar Michaelis, Pierre Meilhan and Jo Shelley

The Israeli military said Monday it destroyed a Hezbollah weapons storage facility and struck other targets in Lebanon in response to rocket fire.

Earlier Monday, the Lebanon branch of Hamas' military wing claimed credit for firing 16 rockets toward Israel, saying it was retaliation for Israel's strikes in Gaza. 

The Israeli military said it was responding with artillery fire to the origin of about 30 launches from Lebanon toward northern Israel. 

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement its fighter jets, with support from artillery strikes, hit “a number of sites containing technological assets belonging to Hezbollah, a weapons storage facility, launch posts, and terrorist infrastructure.” 

The news comes as the situation on the Israel-Lebanon border has grown more active in recent days, with Israeli forces trading fire with Hezbollah and other militant groups.

3:50 p.m. ET, November 6, 2023

Israeli bombing hit Al Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza, residents say

From CNN's Mostafa Salem

The Al Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza was struck Sunday night during an intense night of Israeli bombing, several residents told a journalist working for CNN.

CNN and AFP video of the aftermath showed damage consistent with airstrikes. Another video by AFP showed a wounded resident of the Al Shati camp arriving at the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Sunday night, shortly after the reported strikes. 

The Israel Defense Forces said earlier that it had struck 450 Hamas targets in Gaza overnight. 

“Suddenly we heard sounds of two airstrikes, it was too loud, it felt like an earthquake, we saw stones flying everywhere,” one resident said.

“The refugee camp was terrifying tonight [Sunday], airstrikes from one direction and warships from the other, we came to this place thinking it’s safe,” another person added. 

The IDF has not yet commented on the incident but has repeatedly called on civilians to move south of Wadi Gaza as it intensifies its assault on Hamas in Gaza City and the northern part of the enclave. The IDF has said Hamas is embedding itself in civilian infrastructure and that it will strike Hamas “wherever necessary.” 

Hamas said it has been fighting Israeli forces in the camp and in the adjacent Sheikh Radwan neighborhood. 

A video published by Hamas’ military wing, Al Qassam Brigades, on Saturday showed militants firing rocket-propelled grenades on Israeli tanks from narrow streets and from destroyed buildings. Hamas said it was engaging Israeli forces on the borders of Al Shati Camp and the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood.  

On Monday, Hamas said it targeted Israeli military vehicles in the same locations. 

CNN could not independently verify Hamas’ claims.

3:43 p.m. ET, November 6, 2023

Biden and Netanyahu discussed "possibility of tactical pauses," White House says

From CNN's Donald Judd

US President Joe Biden listens to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he joins a meeting of the Israeli war cabinet in Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 18.
US President Joe Biden listens to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he joins a meeting of the Israeli war cabinet in Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 18. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed hostages, humanitarian aid and “the possibility of tactical pauses” in their call Monday, the White House said.

Biden “reiterated his steadfast support for Israel and the protection of Israeli citizens from Hamas and all other threats while also emphasizing the imperative to protect Palestinian civilians and reduce civilian harm in the course of military operations,” according to the White House readout. 

The president “also discussed the situation in the West Bank and the need to hold extremist settlers accountable for violent acts.”

The two leaders agreed to speak again in the coming days.

Some background: The rising death toll as Israel’s bombardment campaign on the densely populated strip has drawn international condemnation. On Monday, the Hamas-controlled health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said more than 10,000 people have died since Israel launched its war on Hamas.

The United Nations Human Rights Office said last week’s attacks on Gaza’s largest refugee camp “could amount to war crimes” given the scale of casualties and destruction.

Israel has said that it is targeting Hamas operatives in Gaza, adding that Hamas “intentionally embeds its assets in civilian areas” and uses civilians as human shields, a defense echoed by US officials.

The United States has backed Israel’s campaign throughout the war, saying it has a right to defend itself. It vetoed a UN Security Council resolution for humanitarian pauses to deliver aid into Gaza on October 18, but Biden last week said that he was supportive of a humanitarian pause to allow for the release of more hostages held in Gaza.

3:37 p.m. ET, November 6, 2023

Palestinian health ministry "has a track record of inflating" death toll, State Department official says

From CNN's Natasha Bertrand and Michael Conte

A man walks between the bodies wrapped in shrouds of those killed in Israeli bombardment in Deir Balah, central Gaza, at the Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital on November 6, 2023.
A man walks between the bodies wrapped in shrouds of those killed in Israeli bombardment in Deir Balah, central Gaza, at the Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital on November 6, 2023. Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

A State Department spokesperson said the death toll released Monday by the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Ministry of Health "is being used to assess the number of casualties" but said that the ministry "has a track record of inflating and being inaccurate about fatalities."

The ministry said more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its military offensive nearly a month ago. Israel declared war on Hamas after the Islamist militant group launched a brutal attack on October 7, killing 1,400 in Israel and kidnapping more than 240.

CNN cannot independently verify the numbers released by the ministry in Gaza, which is sealed off by Israel and mostly sealed by Egypt.

"I think we were very clear that no one in this administration is questioning that fatalities have happened, that civilians have lost their lives in Gaza," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said at a news briefing Monday. "What we are saying is that this is a ministry that is run by Hamas that just a number of weeks ... previously had unleashed a horrific terrorist attack on Israel, that has a track record of inflating and being inaccurate about fatalities. And so the point we are simply making is that there is that track record.

"That does not mean that these civilian casualties are not heartbreaking. That does not mean we’re not doing everything we can to ensure that number stays as low as possible.

"There is not another entity counting casualties in the region right now. The security parameters in the region right now make it difficult for other entities to be able to do so. So that is the number that currently exists," he said.

Similarly, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Monday the US assesses the number of civilian casualties inside Gaza “is in the thousands,” but he said he did not have a more specific number to provide.

The comments underscore the Biden Administration's general skepticism of the Palestinian Ministry of Health's death toll. Just under two weeks ago, President Joe Biden said he had "no confidence" in its figures.

2:10 p.m. ET, November 6, 2023

US denies sending message to Iran that it's seeking ceasefire in Gaza

From CNN’s Adam Pourahmadi in Abu Dhabi and Natasha Bertrand in D.C. 

The United States has denied claims by Iran saying US officials indicated they were seeking a ceasefire in Gaza. 

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told state-aligned Tasnim News Agency that the US had sent Tehran a message in the last three days about seeking a ceasefire in Gaza. 

“They did some actions, but in practice, they’ve only supported mass killing and genocide in Gaza,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

When asked by CNN, a spokesperson for the US National Security Council said "that statement was categorically false."

"We have made clear to Iran that it should not seek to expand the conflict and the consequences should it choose to do so," the spokesperson said. "We have also made clear publicly and privately that we demand the release of hostages held by Hamas. Implementing the release of hostages would require a humanitarian pause in the fighting. Any delay in that process rests with Hamas.”

Amir-Abdollahian's comments come after Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani made a visit to Tehran on Monday, a day after meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Baghdad.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called for coordination between Iraq and Iran to increase “political pressure” on the US and Israel in order to stop the bombings in Gaza, according to state media IRNA.

2:23 p.m. ET, November 6, 2023

Biden administration says it will continue to urge Israel to back humanitarian pause

From CNN's Donald Judd

US President Joe Biden leaves the room at the end of a press conference following a solidarity visit to Israel, on October 18, in Tel Aviv.
US President Joe Biden leaves the room at the end of a press conference following a solidarity visit to Israel, on October 18, in Tel Aviv. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden's administration will continue to urge its Israeli counterparts to pursue a humanitarian pause in Gaza, the White House said Monday in an effort to safely negotiate the release of hostages still being held.

“We still believe in the value of temporary humanitarian pauses for specific purposes — to get things in and to get people out, including hostages,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said. “We still think there's value to that, and we're gonna continue to make that case and to have that discussion — not only with Israel but with other partners in the region.”  

He added that the administration believes “we're at the beginning of this process, not the end.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the administration is working on the issue almost every minute of every day.

“When it comes to humanitarian pauses, we are engaged with the Israelis on the particular practicalities of that. One critical aspect though is seeing progress on hostages. That is something we are intensely focused on," Blinken told reporters in Turkey earlier Monday. 

5:15 p.m. ET, November 6, 2023

Catastrophe unfolding in Gaza makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire urgent, UN secretary-general says

From CNNs Richard Roth, Pierre Meilhan and Mariya Knight 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday. Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters on Monday that Gaza is "becoming a graveyard for children" and the deteriorating conditions in the enclave make the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent.

“The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis. It is a crisis of humanity,” the secretary-general told reporters at the UN in New York. 

Following those comments, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan called for Guterres to resign and accused him of remaining silent regarding the Israeli casualties in the October 7 Hamas attack.

“It has been over 30 days since the children of southern Israel were intentionally slaughtered by Hamas terrorists, but you have said NOTHING about the 'graveyard of children' the south of Israel has become,” Erdan said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Monday.

Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen echoed Erdan, saying, “Hamas is the problem in Gaza, not Israel's actions to eliminate this terrorist organization.”

The remarks from both sides come as the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 surpassed 10,000, the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza announced Monday.

Guterres went on to announce that the UN and its partners are launching a $1.2 billion humanitarian appeal to help the entire population of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

“The unfolding catastrophe makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent with every passing hour. The parties to the conflict — and, indeed, the international community — face an immediate and fundamental responsibility: to stop this inhuman collective suffering and dramatically expand humanitarian aid to Gaza,” Guterres said. 

The secretary-general also stressed the importance of protecting civilians, called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and that “no party to an armed conflict is above international humanitarian law.” 

More than 400 trucks have crossed into Gaza from the Rafah crossing in the last two weeks, coming short of the roughly 500 a day that crossed before the conflict, Guterres said.

The Rafah crossing “alone does not have the capacity to process aid trucks at the scale required,” and the aid that has come through so far represents a “trickle of assistance does not meet the ocean of need,” Guterres said. 

Guterres reiterated his condemnation of the Hamas October 7 attacks and called for the release of the hostages held captive by the militant group. 

The post has been updated with the reaction from Israeli officials.

12:42 p.m. ET, November 6, 2023

Biden spoke to Netanyahu this morning in first call in over a week

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

US President Joe Biden spoke Monday morning with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to an official.

It's their first call in more than a week.

Biden and Netanyahu met in person in Israel on October 18, during which Biden expressed support to the country and promised new aid. And in a phone call last week, Biden "underscored the need to immediately and significantly increase the flow of humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of civilians in Gaza,” according to a White House summary of the call.