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
8 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
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.

11:25 p.m. ET, November 13, 2023

Blinken acknowledges disagreements within State Department on Israel-Hamas war in email to staff

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses the media, following the conclusion of 2+2 ministerial dialogue in New Delhi, India, on November 10.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses the media, following the conclusion of 2+2 ministerial dialogue in New Delhi, India, on November 10. Jonathan Ernst/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged disagreements within the State Department over the Biden administration’s approach to Israel-Hamas war in an email to staff Monday.

His message to personnel, sent on the heels of his recent travels, comes amid growing anger and dissent not only from staff at the State Department but within the broader Biden administration.

CNN reported last week that hundreds of personnel at the US Agency for International Development signed an open letter calling for a ceasefire, and there are reports of a “dissent memo” inside the State Department.

Last month, a State Department official publicly resigned in protest of the administration’s policy on the Israel-Hamas war. 

"I know that for many of you, the suffering caused by this crisis is taking a profound personal toll,” Blinken wrote in his email Monday, which was seen by CNN. “The anguish that comes with seeing the daily images of babies, children, elderly people, women, and other civilians suffering in this crisis is wrenching. I feel it myself.”

The top US diplomat noted that “some people in the Department may disagree with approaches we are taking or have views on what we can do better.”

The State Department head then noted that forums have been organized in Washington, DC, so that employees can provide feedback.

“We’re listening: what you share is informing our policy and our messages,” he said.

In his email, Blinken provided an overview of his trip to the Middle East and Asia last week, saying that the US’ “overarching objective remains the same: to bring this terrible conflict to a close as quickly as possible, while standing by Israel’s right and obligation, in full accordance with international humanitarian law, to ensure a terrorist attack like October 7th never happens again.”

He reiterated that “far too many Palestinian civilians have died” and “much more can and should be done to reduce their suffering.”
“As I said in private and in public, we believe Palestinian people’s voices must be at the center of post-crisis governance in Gaza,” Blinken wrote. “We believe in Palestinian-led governance of Gaza, with Gaza unified with the West Bank. Gaza’s reconstruction must be supported with a sustained mechanism.”

HuffPost was the first to report on Monday’s email.

At a State Department briefing Monday, spokesperson Matt Miller noted that “the State Department, like every organization, not just in government but around the world, contains people with a diversity of views.” 

“One of our strengths as an organization is that we have that diversity of views and that we welcome people to make those views known,” Miller said. He said that Blinken has met with a number of people "from all ranks of the department, from different bureaus in the department, to hear exactly what they think about our policy, both with respect to Israel and its conflict with Hamas, and with respect to other matters, including very controversial matters.”

11:12 p.m. ET, November 13, 2023

Gaza's largest hospitals are no longer operating as fighting escalates. Here are the key things to know

From CNN staff

The situation inside Gaza’s two largest hospitals is worsening as Israeli forces continue their assault in the enclave. Both Al-Shifa Hospital and Al-Quds Hospital are no longer functioning because of the lack of fuel and electricity, Palestinian officials said.

Doctors at Al-Shifa Hospital are refusing a mandatory evacuation order from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), warning that about 700 patients will die if left behind, the director-general of the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said.

Israel has insisted it is justified in taking military action around the hospital, despite criticism from the UN and others. A US official with knowledge of American intelligence told CNN Hamas has a command node under the Al-Shifa hospital, uses fuel intended for the hospital and its fighters regularly cluster in and around Al-Shifa.

Hamas and hospital officials have denied the command center accusation. 

Here are the key things to know:

  • The largest hospital in Gaza: The director of Al-Shifa Hospital, Mohammad Abu Salmiya, said the conditions in the facility are “catastrophic” as essential units collapse. Premature babies are being wrapped in foil and placed next to hot water in a desperate bid to keep them alive, the director said. The remaining fuel reserves have also dried, leaving the facility unable to function, according to Salmiya. 
  • The second-largest hospital: Attempts to evacuate staff and patients from Al-Quds Hospital were thwarted due to heavy fighting as the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported "intense gunfire" near the facility in Gaza City. The Israeli military said it killed a group of Hamas fighters “embedded” among civilians at the hospital after its troops were fired on from the hospital entrance. The PRCS disputed claims about “armed militants launching shells from inside Al-Quds Hospital.” It said there were “no armed individuals inside the hospital and no shots were fired from inside.”      
  • Updated death toll: At least 11,180 Palestinians, including 4,609 children and 3,100 women, have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in the occupied West Bank. Additionally, 53 ambulances have been disabled, the ministry said.  

  • Rafah crossing latest: Ten buses carrying 564 foreign nationals came into Egypt from Gaza through the Rafah crossing on Monday, an Egyptian border official said. A total of 154 aid relief trucks also made their way into Gaza, loaded with essential supplies such as food, water, relief items, medical equipment, and medications, according to an Egyptian border official.
  • Future aid in jeopardy: The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said it has no fuel to fill its trucks in Gaza and will not be able to facilitate aid deliveries through the Rafah crossing on Tuesday. The agency had been using fuel from a strategic reservoir inside Gaza after brokering access with the IDF. But now that the reservoir is dry, negotiations to refill are “stalled” at the “highest level of the Israeli government,” said Thomas White, the director of UNRWA Affairs in the Gaza Strip.

  • Fighting across the border: An Israeli electric worker was killed in a Hezbollah missile attack on Dovev in northern Israel, the Israel Electric Corporation said. The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for an attack with anti-tank missiles on Sunday, saying it was aimed at a military logistical team setting up communication towers. Later, the Lebanese state-run news agency said two Israeli missiles struck a convoy of media in the town of Yaroun on Monday near the border.
  • Netanyahu’s latest comments: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday doubled down on Israel’s war against Hamas, vowing that Israel will see the “war to the end.”  On Sunday, the Israeli prime minister refused to answer whether he would take responsibility for failing to prevent the October 7 attack on Israel, saying that there would be time for such “difficult” questions once the war is over.