December 2, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

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

Updated 0504 GMT (1304 HKT) December 3, 2023
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1:03 p.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Destruction of Hamas would take a decade of war, Macron says, urging Israel to make its goal "better defined"

From Simon Cullen in London

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a press conference during the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on Saturday, December 2.
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a press conference during the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on Saturday, December 2. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron said the total destruction of Hamas would take 10 years of fighting, adding that Israel needs to further define its end goal with the war.

Speaking at a press conference at the COP28 climate talks in Dubai, Macron said he would be traveling to Qatar to “work together on a new truce as soon as possible.”

Israel on Saturday recalled its team of negotiators from Qatar after reaching a “dead end” in talks, according to a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

Macron said there needs to be a permanent ceasefire.

“I think we're at a moment when Israeli authorities will have to more precisely define their goal and the final outcome they're trying to achieve. What does the total destruction of Hamas mean? Does anyone think it is possible?" Macron said.  

“If this is the case, the war will last 10 years, and I don’t think that anyone is really able to define that goal. So it will need to be better defined,” he added.

Macron has reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself, but he said "the right for defense does not give you, in any way, the right to attack civilians."

The Israel Defense Forces has said it doesn’t target civilians.

1:59 p.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Harris says Israel must do more to protect civilians: "Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed"

From CNN’s Sam Fossum

An Israeli Air Force helicopter fires a missile while flying over the border with Gaza, near southern Israel, on Saturday, December 2.
An Israeli Air Force helicopter fires a missile while flying over the border with Gaza, near southern Israel, on Saturday, December 2. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

While the US supports Israel’s “legitimate military objectives” in Gaza, the civilian suffering in the enclave has been too high, US Vice President Kamala Harris said Saturday.

Harris, who met several key leaders in the region on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, said she spoke with them in depth Saturday about what expectations the US will have in regard to post-conflict planning. 

“As Israel defends itself, it matters how. The United States is unequivocal: International humanitarian law must be respected. Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering, and the images and videos coming from Gaza, are devastating,” Harris said at a news conference during the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. “It is truly heartbreaking.” 

“As Israel pursues its military objectives in Gaza, we believe Israel must do more to protect innocent civilians,” she added.

Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, at a hospital in Khan Yunis on Saturday, December 2.
Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, at a hospital in Khan Yunis on Saturday, December 2. (Fatima Shbair/AP)

The post-war vision for Gaza: Harris, who met several key leaders in the region on the sidelines in Dubai, said she spoke with them in depth Saturday about what expectations the US will have in regard to post-conflict planning. 

Harris and US President Joe Biden are already having discussions with their national security team and partners in the region about what a future path forward could look like for Gaza and the West Bank, Harris told reporters.

There are five principles currently guiding their approach: No forcible displacement of the Palestinian people, no reoccupation of Gaza, no siege or blockade, no reduction in territory, and no use of Gaza as a platform for terrorism, she said. 

“I've had a number of in-depth conversations with Arab leaders here in Dubai. Specifically, I proposed three areas of focus,” Harris said, pointing first to the reconstruction of critical infrastructure in Gaza, then strengthening the Palestinian Authority's security services, and lastly, revitalizing the PA’s governance structure. 

“When this conflict ends, Hamas cannot control Gaza, and Israel must be secure. Palestinians need a hopeful political horizon, economic opportunity and freedom and the region more broadly, must be integrated and prosperous. And we must, we must work toward that vision,” she said. 

Remember: The Palestinian Authority is a government body with limited self-rule in the West Bank. It was established in the 1993 Oslo Accords, a peace pact between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization that saw the PLO give up armed resistance against Israel in return for promises of an independent Palestinian state.

Hamas controls Gaza and presents itself as an alternative to the PA, which has recognized Israel and engaged in multiple failed peace initiatives with it.

12:22 p.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Hamas blames Israel and the US for war resuming after latest truce talks break down

From CNN’s Ibrahim Dahman in Cairo and Catherine Nicholls

After talks on a fresh truce broke down Saturday, Hamas said Israeli authorities had made a “predetermined decision to resume the criminal aggression.”

A Hamas spokesperson said the group had offered to exchange prisoners and hand over the bodies of hostages it said died during Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, but that Israel “refused to consider all these offers.”

“The occupation and the US administration are the ones responsible for the resumption of the war and the continuation of the massacres in Gaza,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

What Israel is saying: Israel recalled its negotiators from Qatar on Saturday because of what it described as a “dead end” in the talks.

The Israeli prime minister's office said in a statement that Hamas didn't "fulfill its part in the agreement, which included the return of all women and children held hostage, in accordance with a list sent to Hamas and approved by them."

Reported sticking point: The negotiations broke down Saturday after Israel continued to insist on the release of a group of women and Hamas refused, a source familiar with the talks told CNN.

Israeli and US officials believe Hamas continues to hold hostage a number of women between the approximate ages of 20 to 30 – many of them kidnapped from the Nova music festival – CNN previously reported. Hamas has been insisting that some of the remaining women they were holding hostage were considered part of the Israel Defense Forces, which Israel denies. 

12:28 p.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Negotiations between Israel and Hamas broke down over release of women, source says

From CNN’s MJ Lee

An Israeli tank maneuvers near the Israel-Gaza border, as seen from southern Israel, on Saturday, December 2.
An Israeli tank maneuvers near the Israel-Gaza border, as seen from southern Israel, on Saturday, December 2. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

The negotiations between Israel and Hamas over hostages held captive in Gaza broke down Saturday after Israel continued to insist on the release of a group of women and Hamas refused, a source familiar with the talks told CNN.

As negotiations stood at an impasse over the women, Hamas pushed to begin negotiations on the release of men — possibly for a different set of terms, according to the source. Israel rejected that idea, insisting that it was imperative that all women be released first. 

Israeli and US officials believe Hamas continues to hold hostage a number of women between the approximate ages of 20 to 30 – many of them kidnapped from the Nova music festival – CNN previously reported. Hamas has been insisting that some of the remaining women they were holding hostage were considered part of the Israel Defense Forces, which Israel denies. 

Earlier Saturday, the Israeli government announced it recalled its team of negotiators from Qatar after reaching a “dead end” in talks.

“The Hamas terror organization did not fulfill its part in the agreement, which included the return of all women and children held hostage, in accordance with a list sent to Hamas and approved by them,” the statement said.

11:06 a.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Dozens feared dead after apparent strike destroys Gaza refugee camp building

From CNN’s Kareem Khadder, Abeer Salman, Mick Krever and Martin Goillandeau

Smoke rises in Jabalya, Gaza, as Israeli strikes continue on Saturday, December 2.
Smoke rises in Jabalya, Gaza, as Israeli strikes continue on Saturday, December 2. (Fadi Alwhidi/Anadolu/Getty Images)

Dozens of people are feared to be dead in northern Gaza’s Jabalya refugee camp after an apparent strike destroyed a multi-story concrete building Saturday.

The blast came after the Israel Defense Forces warned people in the area “to evacuate urgently because it is dangerous for you to remain there.”

The building was housing more than 100 displaced people from northern Gaza, according to Anas Ah-Sharif, a freelance journalist there. 

Pictures from the scene showed the building flattened, with Palestine Red Crescent Society rescuers and local people trying to dig through the rubble — one using a broken frying pan without a handle to shift concrete dust. 

Dozens of victims from the camp were transferred to the nearby Indonesian hospital, while “many others are still being pulled out from under rubble,” Palestinian journalist Khader Za'noon told CNN.

The IDF did not immediately respond to CNN questions about the blast in the Jabalya refugee camp, which is Gaza's largest.

The IDF had urged residents of several northern Gaza neighborhoods to evacuate and move south of Wadi Gaza on Saturday. The warnings were issued in Arabic on social media, but it is not clear that residents were able to receive the messages because electricity, phone signals and internet access are often disrupted in Gaza.

Strikes rain down on Gaza: The Israeli military said Saturday that it had carried out more than 400 strikes in the day since the truce with Hamas broke down on Friday morning.

Fadel Na’im, a doctor at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in northern Gaza, said Saturday more than 150 wounded people had arrived at the hospital from neighborhoods in the area, while at least 100 others had been brought to the hospital dead.

Families of victims there said their neighborhoods had been hit by airstrikes.

11:58 a.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Israel and Hezbollah exchange cross-border fire

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Simon Cullen

Smoke rises on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel, as seen from Tyre, Lebanon, on Saturday, December 2.
Smoke rises on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel, as seen from Tyre, Lebanon, on Saturday, December 2. (Aziz Taher/Reuters)

Israel and Hezbollah exchanged fire across the border of northern Israel and southern Lebanon Saturday, according to statements from both sides, with Hezbollah saying one of its fighters was killed.

The Israel Defense Forces said it was “striking Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in Lebanese territory with aircraft, mortar fire and artillery fire.”

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said Israeli forces targeted Hamul, east of Naqoura, with a number of artillery shells. It said this was accompanied by aerial attacks.

Earlier on Saturday, Hezbollah claimed they targeted an Israeli artillery site in an area near the border with Lebanon using rockets.

The IDF confirmed that several of its posts near the border had been targeted. It said the IDF had launched strikes on the source of the attacks.

Remember: Border skirmishes between Israel and Hezbollah have increased in the weeks since Hamas launched its attacks on October 7, with the crossfire becoming increasingly deadly.

A Reuters journalist is among the civilians to have been killed on the Lebanese side of the border.

While Hezbollah has not directly intervened on behalf of Hamas, the powerful Iran-backed paramilitary group is among the proxy organizations that have caused fears of a wider regional conflict.

11:16 a.m. ET, December 2, 2023

The US will "under no circumstances" permit the forced relocation of Palestinians, Harris says

From CNN’s Sam Fossum

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, on December 2.
US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, on December 2. Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

Washington will not allow for the forced relocation of Palestinians or any redrawing of the current border of the Gaza Strip, US Vice President Kamala Harris said in a meeting Saturday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

"Under no circumstances will the United States permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza," Harris said, according to a statement from the White House.

Israel says its military campaign in Gaza is aimed at destroying Hamas, the militant Islamist group responsible for the October 7 terror attack that left more than 1,200 Israelis dead and saw another 240 taken hostage.

However, regional leaders like Jordan's King Abdullah II have expressed concerns that Israel could use the conflict to seize parts of Gaza or expel its Palestinian residents.

It's also unclear what role Israel plans to play after the conflict ends. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN in November that Israel's security role in a post-war Gaza would be an “over-riding, over-reaching military envelope,” but did not explain what that meant.

During their meeting, Harris and Sisi discussed "ideas for post-conflict planning in Gaza including efforts on reconstruction, security, and governance," the statement said.

"She (Harris) emphasized that these efforts can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people towards a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority and have significant support from the international community and the countries of the region."

11:08 a.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Israel negotiators reach "dead end" in Qatar talks, prime minister's office says

From Tamar Michaelis in Tel Aviv and Simon Cullen in London

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 17.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 17. Maya Alleruzzo/AP

Israel has recalled its team of negotiators from Qatar after reaching a “dead end” in talks, according to a statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

“The Hamas terror organization did not fulfill its part in the agreement, which included the return of all women and children held hostage, in accordance with a list sent to Hamas and approved by them,” the statement said.

The negotiators were from Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. The statement said it was the head of the agency, David Barnea, who recalled the team.

Remember: An agreement between Israel and Hamas was reached with the help of foreign mediation and saw a seven-day pause in fighting, with the release of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. More aid was also able to flow into the enclave during the truce.

The pause began on November 24 and was renewed twice before ending on Friday morning.

9:16 a.m. ET, December 2, 2023

55 trucks of aid enter Gaza through Rafah crossing, border spokesperson says

From CNN’s Lina El Wardani and Ibrahim Dahman in Cairo

Fifty-five aid trucks with medicine and food and three trucks of fuel have entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing on Saturday, a spokesperson for Rafah crossing Wael Abu Omar told CNN.

The Palestinian Red Crescent confirmed the crossing on its official Facebook Page, adding their crews have “now received aid trucks through the Rafah crossing from our partners in the Egyptian Red Crescent”.

The deliveries come despite the collapse of a truce between Israel and Hamas that also saw hostages freed.

More aid entered Gaza during the pause in fighting but the UN said the level was "completely inadequate," with more than two millions people living in the territory.