November 7, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Kathleen Magramo, Jack Guy, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt, Eric Levenson and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, November 8, 2023
49 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:45 p.m. ET, November 7, 2023

CIA director discussed hostage release effort with IDF chief of staff during Israel visit, IDF says

From CNN’s Tamar Michaelis in Jerusalem and Mariya Knight

The CIA is working with Israeli intelligence on plans to rescue hundreds of hostages from Hamas, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

CIA Director Bill Burns discussed the hostage release effort with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi on Tuesday as part of the CIA director's visit to Israel, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari told reporters.

Israel is Burns' first stop as he travels to multiple countries in the region to meet with intelligence counterparts. 

Intelligence materials, operational planning as well as other efforts to help with the hostages' release were presented during the meeting between Burns and Halevi. 

“Each hostage has their own intelligence file that’s being monitored,” Hagari told reporters Tuesday.

“We’re making our efforts along with the ISA (Israeli Security Agency), the Mossad, we’re together assessing the situation every day to see what we need to adjust, change and plan, in order to fulfill our task – to bring them (hostages) home,” Hagari said. 

CNN has reached out to the CIA for comment.

Some context: The IDF estimates 240 Israeli hostages are being held by Hamas in Gaza, including civilian men, women and children.

The militant group has released just four hostages – two elderly Israeli women and an American mother and daughter – while the IDF last week said troops had rescued an Israeli soldier.

Israel has insisted there will be no ceasefire until the hostages are freed.

9:25 p.m. ET, November 7, 2023

40 Filipinos among foreigners leaving Gaza through Rafah border crossing

From CNN’s Teele Rebane in Hong Kong

Forty Filipinos were among the latest foreign nationals able to flee Gaza into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced Wednesday. 

“They are now heading to Cairo where they will fly to return to our country in the following days,” Marcos said on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

He added that he hopes the remaining Filipinos in Gaza will soon be able to cross the border with their families, CNN affiliate CNN Philippines reported.

More than 600 foreign nationals were evacuated from Gaza to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing Tuesday, an Egyptian border official told CNN, the highest daily number since evacuations began last week.

8:15 p.m. ET, November 7, 2023

Israel hits thousands of "terrorist targets" as offensive amps up. Here are the top headlines to know

From CNN staff

Israel's offensive campaign continues as troops are now operating inside Gaza City, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also said Israeli troops have killed "thousands of terrorists, from above and under the ground."

Meantime, dozens of people evacuated to the southern part of the enclave during a four-hour window allotted by the Israel Defense Forces. Some people carried white flags, signaling their hope for a safe passage, video shows.

Israel is under mounting international pressure as its campaign against Hamas in Gaza continues. The Israeli army insists it is prepared to strike the militant group "wherever necessary," including civilian infrastructure. 

Here's what else to know:

  • Israeli movement: The IDF said it has “attacked over 14,000 terrorist targets” in the last month, eliminating many Hamas militants as well as destroying key infrastructure and weapons. Eyewitnesses described multiple explosions caused by Israeli airstrikes in central and southern Gaza on Tuesday. In the north, IDF troops are at the "heart of Gaza City" and targeting Hamas commanders, according to the country's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Netanyahu later said "Gaza City is encircled" and the IDF are "operating in it" and "advancing the pressure applied on Hamas every hour and every day."
  • Challenges to health care: Some doctors in Gaza have been performing operations, including amputations, without anesthesia, a World Health Organization spokesperson said. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said its humanitarian convoy came under fire when it was delivering essential medical supplies to health facilities in Gaza City. Doctors Without Borders also said one of its colleagues and several of his family members were killed in a blast at the Al Shati refugee camp.
  • The latest at the border: A total of 637 foreign nationals were evacuated from Gaza to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing on Tuesday, an Egyptian border official said. That is the highest daily number since the evacuations began last week. In addition, 15 wounded Palestinians arrived in Egypt for treatment through the crossing, the official added. 
  • Gaza death toll: More than 70% of the 10,305 people killed in Gaza since October 7 were children, women, and the elderly, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah said in a report Tuesday. UNICEF spokesperson James Elder defended the accuracy of the death toll numbers being reported out of Gaza, saying the organization's numbers closely align with that of the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza
  • Countries condemn humanitarian crisis: Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said Israeli strikes on civilian infrastructure in Gaza are "disproportionate" and "not acceptable," specifically referencing an Israeli attack on the Jabalya refugee camp. A Kremlin spokesperson urged for "humanitarian pauses," expressing deep concern over the “catastrophic” humanitarian situation. The United Nations Secretary-General also reiterated his calls for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire." IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that there would be no ceasefire and repeated the claim that Hamas is using "its population as a human shield."
  • Comments about a post-war plan: The White House is cautioning Israel against reoccupying Gaza after Netanyahu said Monday that Israel will have the "overall security responsibility" for an “indefinite period" after the war ends. The White House said reoccupation is "not good for Israel; not good for the Israeli people." Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Netanyahu, later said that Israel's post-war plan is not an "ongoing occupation" of Gaza, instead, describing something "more fluid" and flexible.
6:07 p.m. ET, November 7, 2023

Multiple explosions hit central and southern Gaza on Tuesday, eyewitnesses say

From CNN's Andrew Carey

Multiple explosions caused by Israeli airstrikes rocked central and southern Gaza on Tuesday morning, eyewitnesses said.

In the central Gazan city of Deir al-Balah, at least two blasts were reported in a camp for displaced people south of the Wadi Gaza waterway. 

Dr. Khalil al-Daqran, the head of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital's nursing section, said at least 10 people had been killed. CNN has reached out to the IDF for comment but has not received a response. 

One video from Deir al-Balah shows a house apparently leveled by one of the blasts. People in the area are seen combing through heaps of debris, trying to pull victims from under the rubble.

Another series of videos shows people fleeing the site of a second explosion. Wounded children can be seen being carried away in the arms of adults.

“There is a shortage of fuel which means earth diggers are not able to go to the site of the attack and help clear the rubble," al-Daqran said. “Ambulances and civil defense vehicles are not able to get to the site to evacuate the injured and dead.”

Israel is under mounting international pressure as its campaign against Hamas in Gaza continues. The Israeli army insists it is prepared to strike the militant group "wherever necessary," including civilian infrastructure. 

It has issued several appeals to civilians to evacuate south of the Wadi Gaza as ground operations in particular focus on Gaza City and the north of the enclave, but it continues to strike in other areas.

In southern Gaza, a resident of Khan Younis said an airstrike hit a residential area early Tuesday morning. 

Videos obtained by CNN show massive destruction to a building, with rubble strewn across the street and thick dust filling the air.

“Babies, children, elderly people,” the man said, listing those caught up in the blast. “I’m not sure about their fate.”

6:13 p.m. ET, November 7, 2023

Biden says he hasn't spoken with Netanyahu Tuesday as more countries condemn humanitarian crisis in Gaza

From CNN's Donald Judd, Niamh Kennedy, Lauren Kent, Anna Chernova and Mariya Knight

President Joe Biden speaks at the Amtrak Bear Maintenance Facility, in Bear, Delaware on November 6.
President Joe Biden speaks at the Amtrak Bear Maintenance Facility, in Bear, Delaware on November 6. Andrew Harnik/AP

President Joe Biden said he hasn't had a chance to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. He did, however, ask the Israeli leader to consider a humanitarian pause when the two leaders spoke on Monday. 

“I didn’t get a chance to talk to him today. I did ask him for a pause in the past – yesterday. I’m still waiting to hear from other people,” Biden told reporters.

Earlier Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the administration supports “pauses in the fighting of a temporary nature for specific purposes,” including efforts to secure the safe release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

Meantime, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Tuesday, where she “reiterated her support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens and combat terrorism following Hamas’s horrific attack,” according to the White House. The vice president “emphasized the importance of protecting civilian lives and respecting international humanitarian law," the White House said.

Outside the United States, as Israel’s military response to the Hamas massacre of October 7 goes into its fifth week, criticism from some of Europe’s leaders is growing louder.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Tuesday described Israeli strikes on civilian infrastructure in Gaza as "disproportionate" and "not acceptable," in one of the stronger public condemnations from an European Union leader.

He appeared to single out an Israeli attack on the Jabalya refugee camp on October 31, which satellite images and video showed had taken out multiple buildings. The Israeli military claimed that it had taken out a top Hamas commander in the strike.

"If there are attacks against Hamas for eliminating terrorists, these attacks must be proportionate. For example, in days before, there was an attack on a refugee camp which killed tens of civilians with the view of eliminating one Hamas terrorist," De Croo told journalists at a news conference in Brussels.
"This is not proportionate or acceptable," the Belgian prime minister said.

In Russia, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov urged for "humanitarian pauses" in Israel's ongoing military operation in the Gaza Strip, expressing deep concern over the “catastrophic” humanitarian situation in the region.

“It is of utmost importance for us in this situation that humanitarian pauses are ensured,” Peskov said. “It is crucial for us that the humanitarian needs of the civilian population of Gaza are met."

The United Nations Secretary-General also reiterated his calls for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” and for the release of hostages on Tuesday, according to a spokesperson for António Guterres.   

"He will never forget the horrendous images of civilians being killed and maimed and others being dragged away into captivity. He reiterates his appeal for their immediate and unconditional release,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN chief said in a statement. 

7:42 p.m. ET, November 7, 2023

Some doctors performing operations without anesthesia in Gaza, World Health Organization says

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite, Hamdi Alkhshali and Tamara Qiblawi

Christian Lindmeier attends a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland on June 16, 2015.
Christian Lindmeier attends a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland on June 16, 2015. Xu Jinquan/Xinhua/ZUMA

Some doctors in Gaza have been performing operations, including amputations, without anesthesia, a World Health Organization spokesperson said Tuesday.

"Nothing justifies the horror being endured by civilians in Gaza," WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said Tuesday during a press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, stressing their "desperate need for water, fuel, food and safe access to health care to survive."

Lindmeier reiterated the United Nations' calls for "unhindered, safe and secure access" for some 500 trucks of aid a day — not only across the border but also “all the way through to the patients in the hospitals,” where surgeries including amputations were being performed without anesthesia.

The level of death and suffering is “hard to fathom,” he added.

Lindmeier also said that at least 16 health care workers have been killed while on duty, stressing that any attacks on health care are forbidden by international humanitarian law. 

Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, said Tuesday that one of its colleagues and several of his family members were killed in a blast at the Al Shati refugee camp.

Mohammed Al Ahel, an MSF laboratory technician and several members of his family died in the blast Monday, the organization said.

MSF said in a statement that it is “gravely concerned for all of our colleagues in Gaza, many of whom are still working in hospitals across the Strip providing lifesaving care.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also said Tuesday that its humanitarian convoy came under fire when it was delivering essential medical supplies to health facilities in Gaza City.

According to ICRC, two trucks were damaged in the attack, and a driver sustained minor injuries.

"These are not the conditions under which humanitarian personnel can work," William Schomburg, the head of the ICRC delegation in Gaza, said in a statement. "We are here to bring urgent assistance to civilians in need. Ensuring that vital aid can reach medical facilities is a legal obligation under international humanitarian law."

This post was updated with the latest information from the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

5:14 p.m. ET, November 7, 2023

US lawmaker makes emotional House floor speech defending herself and Palestinians

From CNN's Clare Foran and Morgan Rimmer

United States Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib — the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress — delivered an impassioned speech on the House floor defending herself and speaking in support of Palestinians as the House debates a resolution to censure her over her criticism of Israel. 

She grew emotional and had trouble speaking after she said: “I can’t believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable.” 

After a long pause, during which Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar stood up to comfort her and put her hands on Tlaib’s shoulder, Tlaib braced herself against the podium and said: “We are human beings just like anyone else.”��

Tlaib said that her grandmother “like all Palestinians, just wants to live her life with freedom and human dignity we all deserve.”

“The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinians sound different to you all. We cannot lose our shared humanity,” she said. 

“I will not be silenced and I will not let you distort my words,” she said. “Trying to bully or censor me won’t work.” 

Tlaib argued that her criticism of the Israeli government should not be conflated with accusations of antisemitism. 

“No government is beyond criticism. The idea that criticizing the government of Israel is antisemitic sets a very dangerous precedent, and it’s been used to silence diverse voices speaking up for human rights across our nation," she said.

The House voted Tuesday to advance a resolution to censure Tlaib after a motion to table – or block – the resolution failed, setting up an expected vote on passage of the resolution on Wednesday.

Progressive Democrats attacked their Republican colleagues over the resolution, accusing them of bigotry, misrepresenting Tlaib’s words and attacking free speech.

“Her voice matters. She is the only Palestinian-American in the Congress, and this is a representative body,” Rep. Debbie Dingell said. “Her perspective reflects many that she represents, especially when it’s not twisted.”

Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley called the censure resolution “blatantly Islamophobic, anti-democratic and an utter waste of time.”

However, GOP Rep. Max Miller one of the only Jewish members of the House Republican conference, disagreed. 

“I believe that actions have consequences, and I believe that after a long string of antisemitic remarks and hate-filled rhetoric, censure is an appropriate consequence for the gentlelady from Michigan. Never again, damn it, means never again,” he said.

3:56 p.m. ET, November 7, 2023

Netanyahu senior adviser: "We are not talking about any sort of ongoing occupation of the Gaza strip"

From CNN staff

Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that Israel's post-war plan is not an "ongoing occupation" of Gaza.

"I think you could expect something more fluid, something more flexible where we can move in and move out as need be to deal with the security situation," he said. "We're not talking about any sort of ongoing occupation of the Gaza strip."

Asked about Netanyahu’s comments on ABC News on Monday that Israel will have the "overall security responsibility" in Gaza for an "indefinite period" after the war ends, Regev said: "We have to distinguish between a security presence and political control."

"When this is over and we have defeated Hamas, it is crucial that there won’t be a resurgent terrorist element, a resurgent Hamas. There is no point doing this and just going back to square one," Regev told CNN.

"There will have to be an Israeli security presence, but that doesn’t mean Israel is re-occupying Gaza, that doesn’t mean that Israel is there to govern the Gazans," he continued.

"On the contrary, we are interested in establishing new frameworks, where the Gazans can rule themselves, where there can be international support for the reconstruction of Gaza. Hopefully, we can bring in countries – Arab countries as well – for a reconstruction of a demilitarized, post-Hamas Gaza," he said.