October 13, 2023 - Israel-Hamas war news

By Kathleen Magramo, Adam Renton, Christian Edwards, Ed Upright, Aditi Sangal, Alisha Ebrahimji, Elise Hammond, Kaanita Iyer, Zoe Sottile and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 7:44 a.m. ET, October 16, 2023
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9:14 p.m. ET, October 12, 2023

"It isn't self-defense if you are an occupying force," queen of Jordan says about conflict

From CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Caroline Faraj

Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan, who is of Palestinian descent, on Wednesday gave her response to the Israeli-Hamas conflict in a social media post, saying: "It isn't self-defense if you are an occupying force."    

Rania posted her message as an Instagram story, a format that disappears after 24 hours. Jordanian state-owned media AlMamlaka TV republished the post.

Included in the queen's Instagram story was a post from Palestinian journalist Motaz Azaiza, which shows aerial footage of destruction in Gaza following Israel's bombardment.

The queen, who has 10 million Instagram followers, also shared a video from the news website "Eye on Palestine," which appears to show Palestinian children injured following Israeli airstrikes.

CNN has reached out to Rania's office for comment.

More context: Israel withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2005, but its blockade on the enclave effectively allows the country to control access to the land, air, and sea of the strip.

The blockade includes tight restrictions on the movement of residents in and out of Gaza and the movement of goods in and out.    

Current conflict: Israel’s continued airstrikes in Gaza have hit hundreds of targets and neighborhoods, deepening the humanitarian crisis. The Israeli airstrikes are in response to Saturday’s attacks when Hamas members broke through the heavily fortified border fence into Israeli territory. Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,200 people, including civilians and soldiers, and also took hostages.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II met on Wednesday to discuss recent events and how to stop the escalation in Gaza, Jordan's Royal Hashemite Court posted on social media Wednesday.

"Jordan is making intense efforts to discuss urgent international action to stop the escalation, protect the Palestinians, and prevent their displacement," King Abdullah II said. "The dangerous escalation and acts of violence and aggression currently taking place in the Palestinian Territories are proof that confirms, once again, that our region will never be secure nor stable without achieving just and comprehensive peace on the basis of the two-state solution."   

The two-state solution is a decades-old plan to establish a Palestinian state next to Israel.

This week, thousands took to the streets of Amman, Jordan, in a protest supporting the people of Gaza.  

12:24 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

More than 338,000 Palestinians have been displaced by the recent conflict, UN says

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Palestinians walk amid the rubble of destroyed and damaged building in the heavily bombarded city center of Khan Younis in southern Gaza following overnight Israeli shelling, on October 10, 2023.
Palestinians walk amid the rubble of destroyed and damaged building in the heavily bombarded city center of Khan Younis in southern Gaza following overnight Israeli shelling, on October 10, 2023. Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

More than 338,000 Palestinians have been displaced by the conflict between Israel and Hamas, said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the United Nations' secretary-general.

Nearly 218,000 of those are sheltering in 92 schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), Dujarric said Thursday.

Airstrikes have hit at least 88 education facilities, including 18 UNRWA schools and 70 Palestinian Authority schools, according to the UN. Two of the UNRWA facilities were being used as emergency shelters for displaced people, the UN added. 

"This means that for the sixth consecutive day, more than 600,000 children have had no access to education in a safe place in Gaza,” Dujarric said.

UNRWA said 12 of its personnel have been killed since October 7. 

The UN has warned the situation in Gaza is continuing to worsen as humanitarian organizations are unable to bring aid into the sealed-off enclave.

The World Health Organization said hospitals in Gaza are "at a breaking point."

Earlier Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned hospitals in Gaza "risk turning into morgues" as they lose power during Israel's bombardment. And shortages of food, water and electricity have already been putting extra strain on medical facilities.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said it has plans to work with UNRWA to “reach over 800,000 people across Palestine.” On Wednesday, the WFP said it delivered food to more than 175,000 displaced people across 88 shelters.

12:22 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

Videos obtained from cameras found on killed Hamas militants show assault on Israeli kibbutz

From CNN's Sharif Paget

Burned out buildings are seen in the aftermath of attacks on Kibbutz Kfar Aza in southern Israel.
Burned out buildings are seen in the aftermath of attacks on Kibbutz Kfar Aza in southern Israel. Muhammad Darwish/CNN

South First Responders in Israel said on Thursday it obtained footage from cameras found on the bodies of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants that shows the Saturday morning assault on the Israeli kibbutz Kfar Aza.

CNN geolocated the footage to the kibbutz. 

In one of the videos, militants wearing bulletproof vests and wielding rifles can be seen walking through the community and yelling as gunshots are heard in the background. 

"There are men inside, be careful," someone is heard yelling in Arabic. "The fighters and the Mujahideen have killed them."

In another video, several militants are seen positioned next to a tree inside the community with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) that appears to have malfunctioned. 

“What’s wrong with it, what’s the defect?," a militant says. 

As gunshots are heard, it appears as if militants are entering a home in the background of the video.    

Houses in Kfar Aza were ransacked and set ablaze, CNN has previously reported. At least 1,200 people have died in Israel since the conflict erupted, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, said Wednesday.

CNN's Celine Alkhaldi contributed to this report.

8:51 p.m. ET, October 12, 2023

Blinken arrives in Amman ahead of meeting with Palestinian president and Jordanian king

From CNN's Michael Callahan

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Amman, Jordan, early Friday.

The top US diplomat will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II later in the day. 

The intensive shuttle diplomacy comes as the US seeks to stop the conflict between Hamas and Israel from expanding, tries to secure the release of the hostages, and works with Egypt and Israel to open a humanitarian corridor from Gaza.

After Jordan, Blinken will travel to Qatar to meet with senior officials on Friday.

Qatar has been one of the key actors in talks with Hamas to try to secure the release of hostages held by the terrorist group.

12:19 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

Hamas appeals to relief organizations to provide essential supplies to Gaza

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman, Abeer Salman, Mohammed Tawfeeq and James Frater

An aerial view of buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City on October 11, 2023.
An aerial view of buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City on October 11, 2023. Yahya Hassouna/AFP/Getty Images

Hamas on Thursday appealed to international relief organizations to provide essential medical and relief supplies to Gaza as Israel continues airstrikes on the territory.

Gaza's humanitarian crisis has deepened, with warnings that the population is at risk of starvation and fuel could run out within hours. Israel is withholding essential supplies from the enclave in response to Hamas' brutal terror attacks, CNN previously reported. 

"We call on all relief, health and charitable institutions in our Arab and Islamic world and in the international community, to intervene urgently and quickly to bring in all necessary medical and relief supplies and fuel, to save more than two million Palestinian citizens," Hamas said in a statement.

The Palestinian Minister of Health Dr. Mai al-Kaila, in a statement on Thursday, "warned of the collapse of healthcare system in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the severe shortage of medical supplies, supplies for operating rooms, medicines, and blood bags."

The establishment of a full blockade that would include cutting off access to electricity, water, food and other goods "that are indispensable" for the survival of civilians in Gaza, "is unacceptable,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said in a Thursday statement.

Israel “has an obligation to allow for the entry of humanitarian aid and to ensure access to humanitarian assistance for the civilian population in Gaza,” she said, adding that humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza “should be a key priority.”

More than 1,500 people — including 500 children and 267 women — have been killed since Israel started strikes on Gaza following the deadly Hamas attack on Saturday, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. More than 6,600 have been injured, the ministry added.

More than 330,000 people have been displaced in Gaza since Israel began its bombardment of the enclave, according to a statement by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs early Thursday local time.

More context: While Hamas — designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union — controls Gaza, Israel has for years tightly restricted the movement of residents and goods in and out of the densely populated territory. Now the country is tightening its grip further in response to Hamas' unprecedented attack.

8:45 p.m. ET, October 12, 2023

Up to 40% of those wounded in airstrikes on Gaza are children, surgeon says

From CNN's Alex Hardie 

Children make up “between 30% and 40% of the wounded” in Israel's airstrikes on Gaza, British-Palestinian surgeon Ghassan Abu-Sittah told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

Speaking from Al Awda Hospital in Gaza, Abu-Sittah said “the overwhelming majority of the wounded are coming from the rubble of their own home.”

Children and other patients come in with wounds from "the blast, shrapnel, masonry that flies in and damages their bodies, or they are crushed under the rubble of their own home," the surgeon said.

“All of these injuries are extremely contaminated and require surgeries and repeated surgeries,” he said, adding, “the devastating thing is, with children, this is a lifetime worth of reconstructive surgery."

"As that body — that scarred body — tries to grow in the future, these kids will need surgery after surgery, as we have seen with the kids in Gaza’s previous wars — or in Syria, or in Yemen, or anywhere where children are hurt.”

“This has completely overwhelmed the health system, which was already on its knees at the end of 15 years of siege,” Abu-Sittah said, referring to Israel's tight control over the occupied territory's flow of goods, and its strict land, sea and air blockade.

“We are down on consumables, on the very material that you need to be able to treat patients,” he said.

Abu-Sittah traveled from London to Gaza on Sunday, saying that “as a Palestinian, I am driven to continuously come back and help my people here who are under continuous attack.”

8:44 p.m. ET, October 12, 2023

Israeli prime minister will meet with US defense secretary on Friday

From CNN's Oren Liebermann, Natasha Bertrand and Michael Conte

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will meet with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday, following a visit to Israel by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

A senior defense official confirmed to CNN that Austin — who is currently in Brussels for a meeting of NATO defense ministers — would travel to Israel to meet Netanyahu. The official added that Austin is also expected to meet with the minister of defense, and the Israeli War Cabinet.

Austin would discuss Israeli leaders' operational planning and the objectives for their response "to Hamas’s brutal ISIS-style attack," the official said in a background call with reporters.

The official added that Israel has requested “precision-guided munitions” from the US in addition to Iron Dome missile interceptors.

Netanyahu met Blinken in Tel Aviv on Thursday. 

9:30 p.m. ET, October 12, 2023

As Israel cuts off food, water and fuel in Gaza —humanitarian crisis worsens. Here's what to know

From CNN staff

Warning: This post contains graphic descriptions of violence.

Israeli jets continued to pound the densely populated Gaza Strip on Thursday in response to Hamas’ brutal terror attacks Saturday that left at least 1,200 people dead and thousands of others injured.

It has implemented a "complete siege," of the Hamas-run enclave, cutting off food, electricity, fuel and water. Humanitarian groups are warning supplies are running low.

More than 1,500 people have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Here are the top headlines to know:

  • Complex hostage situation: Hamas is holding as many as 150 people hostage, according to Israeli authorities. Israel is cutting off any electricity, water or fuel to Gaza until the hostages are returned home, Energy Minister Israel Katz said. Hamas, meanwhile, is warning that it will start executing hostages if Israel targets people in Gaza without warning. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, said "reason dictates" the hostages are being kept underground.
  • Humanitarian crisis: Israel is continuing airstrikes and withholding essential supplies from Gaza. Food and water are limited and "quickly running out" on the enclave, the deputy head of emergencies of the UN World Food Programme said. Gaza’s only power station stopped working on Wednesday after running out of fuel, the head of the Gaza power authority said. So far, more than 330,000 people have been displaced there, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
  • Graphic photos: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office Thursday released “horrifying photos of babies murdered and burned by the Hamas monsters.” The three photos, posted on the social media account for Netanyahu's office, showed two babies whose bodies had been burned beyond recognition and a third blood-stained infant’s body. The prime minister said he shared the photos, among others, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday.
  • PM thanks US: Netanyahu thanked the US for its “incredible support for Israel” during his country’s “war against the barbarians of Hamas.” During his trip, Blinken also said he met with the families of Americans killed or taken hostage by Hamas. At least 27 Americans have been killed and 14 are unaccounted for, the White House said.
  • Countries arrange to evacuate citizens: Officials around the world are working to evacuate their citizens from Israel following the attacks by Hamas, organizing repatriation flights in an effort to get them home as the crisis unfolds. The United States and Ukraine both scheduled flights to pick up citizens tomorrow and Saturday. Other countries like India, Nepal and Colombia have already evacuated hundreds of people.
  • Global support: There are no plans to put US troops on the ground in Israel, a top White House official said, pointing instead to a wide array of intelligence sharing, and weapons and munitions contributions to Israel. The United Kingdom has also sent warships and surveillance aircraft to the eastern Mediterranean to support Israel, its defense ministry said.
9:39 p.m. ET, October 12, 2023

UN condemns attacks on civilians in Israel and Gaza

From CNN’s Caitlin Danaher

The United Nations has “unequivocally condemned” attacks on civilians in Israel and Gaza, and also Israel’s “further tightening of the unlawful blockade,” in a statement released Thursday.

The killings and hostage-taking by Hamas "constitute heinous violations of international law and international crimes, for which there must be urgent accountability,” the statement read.

There is no justification for such violence in Israel or Gaza, the statement said.

The UN also focused on the plight of Palestinians in Gaza.

Independent experts of the UN said they “strongly condemn the horrific crimes committed by Hamas,” including the killing and hostage-taking of innocent civilians. “We also strongly condemn Israel’s indiscriminate military attacks against the already exhausted Palestinian people of Gaza,” the experts said. 

“There is no justification for violence that indiscriminately targets innocent civilians, whether by Hamas or Israeli forces. This is absolutely prohibited under international law and amounts to a war crime."

The experts also warned the withholding of essential supplies, such as food, water and medicine, will “precipitate a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where its population is now at inescapable risk of starvation.”

They called for the establishment of humanitarian corridors to allow people to leave Gaza.

The UN urged the international community to “address the root causes of the current conflict, including the 56-year-old occupation and the annexation pursued by Israel.”