November 14, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Tara Subramaniam, Brad Lendon, Sana Noor Haq, Adrienne Vogt, Leinz Vales, Dakin Andone, Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, November 15, 2023
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8:40 a.m. ET, November 14, 2023

Israel shows alleged Hamas "armory" under Gaza children’s hospital. Local health officials dismiss the claims

From CNN's Nic Robertson, Rebecca Wright, John Torigoe and David Shortell

A file image of the al-Rantisi children's hospital in Gaza on April 6, 2017.
A file image of the al-Rantisi children's hospital in Gaza on April 6, 2017. Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli military’s focus on hospitals in Gaza is growing more intense, with a spokesperson inviting news media to visit a medical center for children on Monday, where he alleged parts of the basement had been a Hamas “command and control center” and may have been used to hold hostages.

A CNN team embedded with the Israel Defense Forces and was shown guns and explosives in one room located beneath Al-Rantisi children’s hospital on Monday, which IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari termed as an “armory.”

He also pointed to a chair with a rope next to it and a piece of women’s clothing, which he said would be tested for DNA, and a makeshift toilet.

Hamas has repeatedly denied that its fighters hide under hospitals, as have Gazan health officials and hospital directors.

Speaking by phone to CNN on Tuesday, Mohammed Zarqout, who has responsibility for all of Gaza’s hospitals, said the basement at Al-Rantisi had been used as a shelter for women and children – not to store Hamas weaponry and hold hostages – as well as being the location of the pharmacy and some of the hospital’s administrative offices before rainwater made it “impossible” to use.

Zarqout also told CNN that medical staff had been forced to leave the hospital by Israeli soldiers and had been unable to take all the patients with them when they left.

In a statement on Sunday, the IDF said it was enabling passage by foot and ambulance to evacuate from three hospitals: Al-Shifa, Al-Rantisi and Nasser hospitals.

But concerns are mounting that hospitals are now being targeted for military action, as searing images and accounts from civilians inside continue to emerge and as doctors warn they cannot evacuate their most vulnerable patients.

Israeli troops had been conducting operations inside Al-Rantisi only a few hours before CNN’s visit, according to Hagari. He added that a forensic team would soon test the material left behind in the basement rooms to confirm any potential connection to the more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas during its rampage in Israel on October 7.

The IDF is also working to determine if there is a connection between an apparent nearby tunnel entrance and the rooms under the hospital.

Read more about Israel's claim that Hamas operated under a children's hospital in Gaza.

7:28 a.m. ET, November 14, 2023

Israelis are arming up after Hamas’ attack. Some worry it is playing to the far-right’s vision for the country

From CNN's Tara John and Adi Koplewitz

Behind tables laden with more than 50 assault rifles, Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, smiled at a crowd of people who had come to the coastal city of Caesarea for a ceremony to receive the firearms.

The divisive politician has been crisscrossing Israel in the past weeks handing out guns to civilian members of security squads as he expands Israeli citizens’ access to guns in the wake of Hamas’ attack last month. The aim, according to the Ministry of National Security, is to create teams to respond to future terror incidents.

The successes of some volunteer security units in southern Israel, who were able to push Hamas gunmen back on October 7 in certain locales, have attracted new members to the initiative.

The Israeli government says around 700 volunteer security squads, which will operate under the command of Israeli police, have been established following Hamas militants’ massacre of an estimated 1,200 people in Israel that day.

Critics see it as part of a far-right vision to inflame Israeli-Palestinian relations in the country, especially in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Palestinians fear these guns will be used against them.

Read the full story:

7:50 a.m. ET, November 14, 2023

Intense fire across Israel-Lebanon border overnight, Lebanese state news says

From CNN's Ben Wedeman and Stephanie Halasz

A picture taken from the Israeli side of border with Lebanon shows Israeli shelling near the southern Lebanese village of Aita Al Shaab on November 14.
A picture taken from the Israeli side of border with Lebanon shows Israeli shelling near the southern Lebanese village of Aita Al Shaab on November 14. Jalaa Marey/AFP/Getty Images

Lebanese national news agency NNA has reported intense shelling along the country's southern border with Israel.

No injuries have been reported.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) say its fighter jets fought back at mortar launches fired from Lebanon overnight and also struck Hezbollah infrastructure and operational command centers.

It said they successfully intercepted one mortar, with the rest landing in open area. Israel's defense forces claimed the mortars were targeting an IDF post near the Kibbutz Malkia, near the Lebanese border.

A CNN team in Southern Lebanon heard loud thuds throughout the morning on Tuesday, and saw plumes of smoke on the hills along the western sector near the border.

Remember: Hezbollah is an Iran-backed Islamist movement with one of the most powerful paramilitary forces in the Middle East. The group, which has its main base on the Israel-Lebanon border, could become a wildcard player in the Hamas-Israel war, and spark a wider regional conflict.

8:41 a.m. ET, November 14, 2023

Only one functioning hospital in northern Gaza, UN says

From CNN's Manveena Suri

Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza, on October 18.
Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza, on October 18. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu/Getty Images

Only one hospital in northern Gaza is operational, the United Nations said, as Israeli strikes hammer areas near and at medical facilities, leaving medical workers fighting to keep patients, including premature babies, alive.

“All but one of the hospitals in Gaza City and northern Gaza are reportedly out of service, as of 13 November, due to the lack of power, medical consumables, oxygen, food and water, compounded by bombardments and fighting in their vicinities,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday.

Out of roughly 30 hospitals and clinics in northern Gaza, only one medical facility can reportedly receive patients, according to the UN. At least 500 patients are trying to shelter at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, in Gaza City.

Recently, US President Joe Biden has expressed concern for hospitals in Gaza amid Israeli allegations that Hamas is using them to coordinate attacks.

“Well, you know, I have not been reluctant expressing in my concern with what's going on, and it’s my hope and expectation that there will be less intrusive action relative to the hospitals, we’re in contact with the Israelis,” the president said on Monday.

Biden added that there is an effort to take “this pause to deal with the release of prisoners, and that's being negotiated as well, and the Qataris are engaged, so I remain somewhat hopeful, but the hospitals must be protected.”

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan echoed Biden's remark on Monday, saying, "We do not want to see firefights in hospitals."

"We want to see patients protected," Sullivan said. "We want to see hospitals protected. We have spoken with the Israeli Government about this and they have said they share that view that they do not want to see firefights in hospitals."

Some context: Israel has repeatedly claimed there is a Hamas command center underneath Al-Shifa hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, which Hamas and hospital officials have denied. The Israeli military has also previously accused Hamas of embedding itself in civilian infrastructure.

CNN cannot independently verify the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claims.

Israeli authorities said they called for the evacuation of hospitals in the north, ahead of their offensive. But health workers at Al-Shifa told CNN they refused the order because they cannot leave patients, including at least 700 who will die if they are left behind.

CNN cannot independently verify whether any people have been able to evacuate.

CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali, Jo Shelley, Helen Regan, Abeer Salman and Kareem Khadder contributed reporting.

5:40 a.m. ET, November 14, 2023

ICRC president to meet with families of hostages taken by Hamas

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Lindsay Isaac

ICRC President Mirjana Spoljaric, pictured on June 7, will meet with the families of hostages taken by Hamas in Geneva on Tuesday.
ICRC President Mirjana Spoljaric, pictured on June 7, will meet with the families of hostages taken by Hamas in Geneva on Tuesday. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will meet families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza on Tuesday, as world leaders hold negotiations in a bid to secure their release.

The militant group abducted at least 240 hostages during its deadly incursion into southern Israel on October 7. Only a handful -- including two Americans -- have since been released.

Mirjana Spoljaric will meet with Israel's foreign minister and health minister alongside the families at the ICRC headquarters in Geneva.

“Families of hostages are living through an incredibly heart-wrenching time, and I want to underscore how hard we are advocating on behalf of their loved ones. This is a key priority for me, and I know the enormous pain the families are enduring,” Spoljaric said in the ICRC statement.

“We continue to insist on the hostages’ release and are doing everything in our power to gain access to them.

“We cannot do this alone; agreements must be reached that allow the ICRC to safely carry out this work,” Spoljaric added.

The ICRC said it has requested access to the hostages and information on their condition.

The humanitarian organization has also stepped up its relief response to Gaza, where Israel's mass bombardment of civilians and complete siege has deepened a humanitarian crisis -- killing at least 11,180 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in the occupied West Bank.

The ICRC said it focused its aid efforts for Gaza “in particular its support for emergency healthcare, amid the dangerous and chaotic conditions.”

3:24 a.m. ET, November 14, 2023

UN office in Gaza says they "cannot afford" to lower their flag along with other UN offices globally

From CNN’s Manveena Suri

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency office in Gaza will keep its flag at full staff because it cannot “afford” to lower it, as hundreds of thousands remain reliant on the UN there, according to the agency’s director in Gaza.

United Nations offices around the world lowered their flags to half staff on Monday and all UN staff held a moment of silence to mourn and honor their colleagues who lost their lives in Gaza, according to a statement from the United Nations. 

Director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Thomas White speaks to press members in Gaza City, Gaza, on February 23.
Director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Thomas White speaks to press members in Gaza City, Gaza, on February 23. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

“As the rest of the world at UN offices lowered their flags yesterday, we decided to keep our flag flying,” Tom White, the head of UNRWA in Gaza, told CNN’s John Vause on Tuesday.

“We could not afford to lower our flag at this time with you know, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people seeking protection under a UN flag and relying upon the UN for their basic needs, their basic humanitarian needs. So, we kept our flag flying. We're here to deliver to the people with what resources we have,” White said.

It has been “exceptionally tough” for the community in Gaza to be mourning the loss of so many civilians, White added.

11:42 p.m. ET, November 13, 2023

Hamas video claims an Israeli hostage in Gaza was killed in an Israeli airstrike 

From CNN's Andrew Carey

A video has emerged on a Hamas social media channel which claims an Israeli woman held hostage in Gaza has been killed in an Israeli airstrike.

The clip — which is just over a minute in length — appeared Monday evening on the Telegram channel of the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. 

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the woman’s family is aware of the video’s existence. 

CNN is not showing any of the video and has not confirmed her death.

Most of the video shows the woman speaking into camera reading a short statement. She gives details of her father and mother, her hometown and her Israeli ID. She gives her age as 19. 

After the spoken statement, the video shows an image of what appears to be the woman’s body, following what the video claims was her death in an Israeli airstrike on November 9.     

In a short statement late Monday, the IDF said an army representative had visited the family home to inform them of the video. 

“Hamas continues to use psychological terror and acts inhumanely, through videos and photos of the hostages, as it has done in the past,” the IDF statement said. 

11:24 p.m. ET, November 13, 2023

Gaza is on the brink of a communication blackout, Palestinian telecommunication minister warns

From CNN's Abeer Salman and Eyad Kourdi

The Gaza Strip is facing an imminent, complete halt of communications and internet services by Thursday, the Palestinian telecommunication minister said Sunday. 

The expected interruption is due to the depletion of fuel supplies and is expected to exacerbate the ongoing humanitarian crisis by hindering Palestinians’ ability to reach emergency, relief and rescue services, according to Ishaq Sidr, the minister of telecommunications and information technology.

An outage could prevent Civil Defense and Red Crescent teams from coordinating a response to emergency sites, Sidr said at a news conference from the occupied West Bank.

Any interruption between the crews of these groups on the ground and their centers of communication "may cause the inability to direct these crews to distress sites, which means the loss of many lives, and deliberately depriving our people in Gaza of their right to communicate, especially in light of the displacement and continuous bombing,” Sidr said. 

The minister characterized these developments as a “violation of international law and basic human rights.” 

Since Friday morning, CNN hasn’t been able to reach Palestinians in northern Gaza via the internet, although regular phone calls have been possible despite frequent disconnections. In southern Gaza, intermittent internet access is still available. 

11:24 p.m. ET, November 13, 2023

More than 100 UN staffers killed in Gaza since war began, aid agency says

From CNN's Hande Atay Alam 

At least 102 United Nations staff members have been killed in Gaza since the war began, a UN aid agency operating in the enclave said Monday.

"In the last 24 hours, one UNRWA staff member was killed with her family in the north of the Gaza Strip due to strikes," bringing the death toll to more than 100, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said in a statement. 

At least 27 staff members have also been injured since the start of the war, it said.

"This is the highest number of United Nations aid workers killed in a conflict in the history of the United Nations," UNRWA said. 

United Nations offices around the world lowered their flags to half-staff on Monday and all UN staff held a moment of silence to mourn and honor their colleagues who lost their lives in Gaza, according to the statement.