November 11, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Chris Lau, Andrew Raine, Sophie Tanno, Adrienne Vogt and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 0514 GMT (1314 HKT) November 12, 2023
11 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:23 a.m. ET, November 11, 2023

Doctors Without Borders says it has lost contact with staff at Gaza's largest hospital

From CNN's Teele Rebane

People stand outside the emergency ward of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on November 10.
People stand outside the emergency ward of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on November 10. Khader Al Zanoun/AFP/Getty Images

Doctors Without Borders says it has lost contact with its staff inside Gaza's largest healthcare facility, Al-Shifa Hospital, amid reports of "heavy bombing" in the vicinity of the complex.

“Over the last few hours, the attacks against Al-Shifa Hospital have dramatically intensified. [Doctors Without Borders] staff at the hospital reported a catastrophic situation inside,” the humanitarian group said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, at 3:43 a.m. Gaza time (8:43 p.m. ET Friday).

The group said it was extremely concerned about the safety of staff and patients at Al-Shifa Hospital, some of whom were in critical condition and unable to move or evacuate.

"There is a patient who needs surgery. There is a patient who's already asleep in our department. We cannot evacuate ourselves and [leave] these people inside. As a doctor, I swear to help the people who need help," the group quoted Dr. Mohammed Obeid, a surgeon at the hospital, as saying.

Communications inside Gaza have been down periodically since Israel’s military campaign began last month – often as a result of power shortages or widespread network outages.

Some context: There have been reports of Israeli attacks near Al-Shifa Hospital, with hospital staff and the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah posting online videos appearing to show heavy bombing in the area surrounding the complex.

A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson said Friday that al-Shifa was “coming under bombardment,” adding that 20 hospitals in the Gaza Strip were “out of action.”

Asked about a potential Israeli airstrike on al-Shifa hospital on Friday, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said in a briefing: “I haven’t got the detail on al-Shifa but we do know they are coming under bombardment.”

The Israeli military has claimed that a "misfired projectile launched by terrorist organizations inside the Gaza Strip" was responsible for an earlier strike on the hospital.

The news comes a week after Israel targeted an ambulance outside the hospital, killing at least 15 people and injuring 50 more. Israeli authorities said the vehicle was being used by Hamas.

Israel accuses Hamas of embedding itself in civilian infrastructure and has said it will strike Hamas “wherever necessary.”

1:01 a.m. ET, November 11, 2023

IDF responds to CNN questions regarding tanks surrounding hospitals in the Gaza Strip

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has responded to CNN questions regarding tanks surrounding the Al Nasr and Al Rantisi Pediatric Hospitals, saying that it is currently “engaged in intense battle against Hamas" and is "unable to address" the queries.

The director of the two hospitals in northern Gaza, Mustafa al-Kahlout, told CNN on Friday that the health facilities had been surrounded by tanks, leaving staff members no way to leave.

Responding to CNN's enquiries, the IDF said: “Given that your question relates to specific military activity currently underway, we are unable to address or confirm specific queries."

On Friday, al-Kahlout asked for the Red Cross to assist with an evacuation.

“We are completely surrounded, there are tanks outside the hospital, and we cannot leave,” he said.

2:12 a.m. ET, November 11, 2023

West Bank Palestinians face increasing restrictions and settler violence as Gaza war escalates

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová and Adi Koplewitz

A man carrying a toddler walks along a street, damaged in an Israeli raid followed by clashes with Palestinians, in the occupied West Bank Jenin refugee camp on November 10.
A man carrying a toddler walks along a street, damaged in an Israeli raid followed by clashes with Palestinians, in the occupied West Bank Jenin refugee camp on November 10. Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

To be at work by 9 a.m., Joseph Handal gets up at 4:30 a.m., even though his workplace, a Franciscan church in the Old City of Jerusalem, is only a few miles from his home in Bethlehem.

The journey should take 25 minutes by road. But this is the occupied West Bank. Nothing is ever simple here.

“We wait for the bus and see if it comes. If it doesn’t come, the checkpoint is closed. Right now, it’s closed. But it may open later. Or maybe it won’t,” Handal told CNN, standing on the side of the road with a group of other workers.

As a Palestinian resident of the West Bank, Handal needs a permit to enter Jerusalem. He does have one – but whether he can make it to work depends on his ability to get through at least two Israeli checkpoints.

With Israel at war, he says this process has become a nightmare.

After Hamas launched its terror attack on Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,400 people and kidnapping some 240 others, Israel stepped up its security measures and began severely restricting the freedom of movement of Palestinian residents of the West Bank.

CNN has asked Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) for comment on the increased restrictions, but has not received a response.

Israel controls all entry and exit points to the West Bank through roadblocks and checkpoints which are staffed by soldiers and armed police. The security forces have always had the ability to close these checkpoints without warning but, since October 7, the closures have been more frequent and have lasted longer, residents and human rights watchdogs say.

“It puts you in a position where you can’t even tell someone ‘I’ll meet you tomorrow,’" said Mohammad Jamil, an Arabic teacher from a village near Hebron, "Because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

READ MORE: 'There is no future here': West Bank Palestinians face restrictions as war escalates

12:49 a.m. ET, November 11, 2023

It's morning in Gaza. Here's what you should know

From CNN staff

Cemetery attendant Sadi Berek, 63, works to maintain graves of children who were killed in the aftermath of Israeli attacks in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza, on Friday, November 10.
Cemetery attendant Sadi Berek, 63, works to maintain graves of children who were killed in the aftermath of Israeli attacks in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza, on Friday, November 10. Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu/Getty Images

The ferocity of Israel's military operation shows no sign of letting up. On Friday, Israeli tanks surrounded a Gaza hospital, its director said, as the territory’s largest healthcare facility came under a reported “bombardment.” Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it was "extremely disturbed" by reports of Israeli attacks near another Gaza hospital, Al-Shifa.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it is "prepared and operating in any arena that threatens the State of Israel."

Elsewhere, French leader Emmanuel Macro has said he wants other world leaders to back his call for a ceasefire.

Here's what to know:

  • Macron wants ceasefire: The French president says a ceasefire in Gaza is "the only solution" to the war between Israel and Hamas and hopes other world leaders will support his call. He told the BBC "there is no justification to attack civilians."
  • Hospital 'surrounded': The director of a hospital in northern Gaza has said it is completely surrounded by tanks, making it impossible to leave. Mustafa al-Kahlout, who heads Al Nasr hospital and Al Rantisi pediatric hospital, urged for an evacuation of the doctors and patients inside. His call comes after strikes were reported near at least two other hospitals in northern Gaza. The IDF has said Hamas is embedding itself in civilian infrastructure and that it will strike Hamas “wherever necessary.”
  • Hit on another hospital: The World Health Organization says it is “extremely disturbed” by reports of Israeli attacks near Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital. The Hamas-run media office claims the IDF carried out a strike on the hospital Friday. But the Israeli military has claimed that a misfired projectile "launched by terrorist organizations" inside Gaza was responsible.
  • Saudi summit: Saudi Arabia will host a Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit on Saturday in response to the "unprecedented circumstances in Gaza," according to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Adjusted Israeli death toll: Israel now believes around 1,200 people were killed by Hamas in a series of brutal attacks on Israeli communities and gatherings near Gaza on October 7. The number includes foreign workers and other foreign nationalities – and is a downward revision from a previous figure of 1,400. The current estimate is not final, because some of the bodies have yet to be identified.
  • Hostage negotiations: The parties involved in the ongoing negotiations to secure the release of hostages that Hamas is holding in Gaza are working toward a deal that would entail a sustained, dayslong pause in fighting in exchange for a large group of hostages being freed, a senior US official familiar with the talks told CNN Friday.
2:15 a.m. ET, November 11, 2023

WHO "extremely disturbed" by reports of Israeli attacks near Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital

From CNN’s Abeer Salman, Kareem El Damanhoury and Kareem Khadder

A Palestinian woman inspects the bodies of victims outside Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital who were killed in Israeli bombardment, on November 8.
A Palestinian woman inspects the bodies of victims outside Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital who were killed in Israeli bombardment, on November 8. Mohammad Abu Elsebah/picture alliance/Getty Images

The World Health Organization is “extremely disturbed” by reports of Israeli attacks near Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote in a statement early Saturday.  

“Many health workers we were in contact with have been forced to leave the hospital in search of safety,” Ghebreyesus said on X (formerly as Twitter), adding that “Many of the thousands sheltering at the hospital are forced to evacuate due to security risks, while many still remain there.” 

A doctor inside Al-Shifa Hospital posted a video on Instagram late Friday describing what he’s been hearing and seeing amid "heavy bombing" in the vicinity.

“The occupation now is heavily bombing the vicinity and the yards of Al-Shifa Hospital,” the doctor identified as Ezz Lulu said in a translation of the video. “The hospital is overcrowded with the injured and there’s not even space for medical treatment.” 

Video posted late Friday by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah also shows heavy smoke rising from behind the Al-Shifa Hospital and flares in the sky with frequent explosions being heard. 

The Israeli military has claimed that a "misfired projectile launched by terrorist organizations inside the Gaza Strip"was responsible for a strike on Al-Shifa Hospital.

In another video posted early Saturday local time, the health ministry reported heavy bombardment near the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza. The video shows two men in medical scrubs running into a building for cover as heavy bombing can be seen and heard near the hospital. 

The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Interior in Gaza said the Israeli military struck near the Indonesian Hospital late Friday.  

Earlier in the day, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said an Israeli military attack targeted the Al-Quds Hospital, killing one displaced person and injuring 28 others, including two in critical condition.

Most of the casualties were children, PRCS added. 

“PRCS expresses profound concern for the safety of its medical teams operating in the hospital, especially given the ongoing interruption of internet and communication services for the third consecutive day," the statement read.

The WHO said it has verified more than 250 attacks on the health sector in Gaza and the West Bank since October 7, including five hospital attacks in the strip on one day last week. 

“We appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire now,” the WHO said.

CNN reached out to the Israeli military for comment and has not immediately heard back. The Israeli military has previously maintained that it is targeting Hamas infrastructure across the strip.  

Some context: This comes as Israeli tanks have surrounded the Al Nasr hospital and Al Rantisi Pediatric hospital in northern Gaza, its director Mustafa al-Kahlout told CNN, heightening fears Friday that Israel’s military campaign is further endangering Gazan patients and medical staff.

Patients and babies in the intensive units of Gaza City's Al-Quds Hospital could die as it faces shut down in coming hours due to lack of fuel supplies, PRCS has also warned.

So far, at least 18 out of Gaza’s 35 functioning hospitals have gone out of service, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah on Thursday. 

12:00 a.m. ET, November 11, 2023

Saudi Arabia will host a joint Arab Islamic summit today

From CNN's Matog Saleh

Saudi Arabia will host a Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit on Saturday in response to the "unprecedented circumstances in Gaza," according to a statement released by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs early Saturday local time.

Saudi Arabia was initially going to host Arab and Islamic Summits separately on Saturday but has decided to combine the two after consultations with the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. 

12:42 a.m. ET, November 11, 2023

French president calls for Gaza ceasefire and urges other world leaders to join him

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy and Maija Ehlinger

French President Emmanuel Macron attends an EU summit in Brussels on October 27.
French President Emmanuel Macron attends an EU summit in Brussels on October 27. Alex Sochacki/Kommersant/Sipa USA/AP/FILE

French President Emmanuel Macron called for a ceasefire in Gaza, calling it "the only solution" to the war between Israel and Hamas. 

While he said Israel had the right "to protect itself and react" to the October 7 attacks carried out by Hamas, he also said that Israel should comply "with international rules of war and humanitarian international law."

Macron added that he hopes other world leaders will join his call for a ceasefire. 

"We share the pain and we do share a willingness to get rid of terrorism. We know what terrorism means in France. But I think there is no justification to attack civilians," Macron said while speaking to the BBC from the Élysée Palace on Friday. 

Some background: The US administration, for its part, has resisted calling for a ceasefire, although officials have worked to ramp up aid going into Gaza and pushed for humanitarian pauses to allow more assistance to flow into the enclave and to allow civilians to flee away from the fighting.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday gave one of his most direct condemnations of the civilian death toll in Gaza and said more needs to be done to “minimize harm to Palestinian civilians.”

Although Blinken commended Israel for its announcement of daily military pauses in areas of northern Gaza and two evacuation corridors, he said that “there is more that can and should be done to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians.”

2:38 a.m. ET, November 11, 2023

ICU patients and babies “will lose their lives" at Gaza City hospital facing shutdown, Palestinian group warns

From CNN’s Abeer Salman and Kareem El Damanhoury

Gza City's Al-Quds Hospital could shut down in the coming hours, threatening the lives of patients and babies, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) warns.

“Al-Quds Hospital is at risk of closure in the upcoming 3 hours due to the depletion of fuel supplies and the non-arrival of aid,” PRCS said in a statement early Saturday local time. “500 patients and injured will be deprived from medical care. Those who are at the ICU and babies in incubators will lose their lives."

On Wednesday, PRCS said it was scaling back most operations amid a fuel shortage to ensure the provision of minimal services.  

So far, at least 18 out of Gaza’s 35 functioning hospitals have gone out of service, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah on Thursday. 

The Israeli military has said Hamas is embedding itself in civilian infrastructure and that it will strike Hamas “wherever necessary.”

CNN's Lucas Lilieholm contributed reporting.

12:52 a.m. ET, November 11, 2023

Negotiators discuss dayslong pause in fighting in exchange for freeing large group of hostages

From CNN's MJ Lee

A fireball erupts during Israeli bombardment of Gaza, as seen from Israel, on November 9.
A fireball erupts during Israeli bombardment of Gaza, as seen from Israel, on November 9. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

The parties involved in the ongoing negotiations to secure the release of hostages that Hamas is holding in Gaza are working toward a deal that would entail a sustained, dayslong pause in fighting in exchange for a large group of hostages being freed, a senior US official familiar with the talks told CNN Friday.

If a deal were to be struck, the hostages would exit Gaza in stages on a rolling basis – with priority placed on extra vulnerable groups, like children and women – in a process that is expected to take multiple days, the official said.

Still, they repeatedly cautioned that the talks could at any point stall or deteriorate: “It’s been close before. There’s no certainty at all.”

Many details have yet to be worked out — and it would still likely be days, even in the best-case scenario, before a deal could be reached, the official said. But even as a deal was being considered, Israel did not relent in its Gaza offensive. CNN reporters witnessed a heavy bombardment by Israeli forces in Gaza late Friday.

Remember: The US, Israel and Hamas – with Qatar playing a significant mediating role – have been engaged in talks for weeks to free the hostages from Gaza.

Read more about Gaza hostage negotiations here.