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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8:09 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

Gaza residents say IDF dropped leaflets from planes ordering them to evacuate south

From CNN's Abeer Salman in Jerusalem

A leaflet lies on the ground dropped by Israeli army planes above Gaza City, asking them to flee to the south of the Strip immediately, on October 13.
A leaflet lies on the ground dropped by Israeli army planes above Gaza City, asking them to flee to the south of the Strip immediately, on October 13. Mohammed Talatene/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) dropped leaflets from planes into Gaza calling on residents to leave their homes and evacuate south, images on social media showed.

Live footage from news agencies earlier showed leaflets falling from the sky.

“For your safety, you should not return home until further notice from the IDF,” the leaflet said.

“All public shelters known in Gaza have to be vacated,” the leaflet added.

“It is forbidden to get close to the security border fence. Every person who approaches the fence is subjecting themselves to death.”

“You have to vacate your homes immediately and head to the south of Wadi Gaza,” the leaflet said.

A diagram was drawn on the leaflet showing arrows towards south Gaza with a designated area at the top left corner of the map saying “Humanitarian Aid Zone.”

CNN has reached out to the IDF for comment.

7:06 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

Putin says Israeli incursion into Gaza would be difficult

From CNN's Vasco Cotovio in Kyiv and Anna Chernova

Russian President Vladimir Putin said an Israeli “ground operation” into Gaza would be problematic because of the risks of using heavy military equipment in civilian areas.

“We understand what it is, to say it semi-professionally, using heavy equipment in residential areas is a difficult task. It is fraught with serious consequences for all sides,” he said during a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States on Friday.

“And to carry out these operations without the equipment is even more difficult.”

“The most important thing is that losses among civilians will be completely unacceptable, nearly 2 million people live there,” he added.

Putin’s remarks contrast with Russia’s own actions as it continues a full scale invasion of Ukraine. Moscow has been accused of numerous violations of international law and of committing war crimes, namely the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, as it continues to prosecute the war against its neighbour.

It has, on numerous occasions, according to numerous investigations, used “heavy equipment” in civilian areas.

Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure and rejected having committed any war crimes during what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Putin also said Moscow is prepared to act as a mediator in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

8:05 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

Israel has dropped the same number of bombs on Gaza in six days as during the entire 2014 conflict

From CNN’s Teele Rebane in Hong Kong and Allegra Goodwin in London

Hatem Moussa/AP
Hatem Moussa/AP

Israeli forces have dropped about 6,000 bombs on Gaza between October 7 and 12, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) said in a statement Thursday. 

This is equivalent to the total number of airstrikes on Gaza during the entire 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict, which lasted from July 7 to August 26 of that year, according to data from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).   

2014 was the deadliest year on record in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with at least 2,251 Palestinians killed in Gaza during 50 days of war, according to data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).  

As of Thursday, 6 days into the current conflict, at least 1,537 people have been killed in Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. 

“The airstrikes killed hundreds of terrorists and attacked over 3,600 targets,” the IAF said in its statement, listing targets such as command and control targets, strategic military infrastructure, weapons production sites, intelligence assets, leadership targets, naval superiority targets and rocket system targets.

The Gaza neighborhoods of Beit Hanoun, Shejaiya, Rimal, El-Furkan and Tuffah suffered “extensive and heavy damage” it added.

CNN has geolocated more than 30 airstrikes, most of them in the northern part of the Gaza Strip and analyzed satellite imagery which confirms extensive damage to the Al-Shati and Jabalia refugee camps near Gaza City.

6:45 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

European Union leaders arrive in Israel "to express solidarity"

From CNN's James Frater in London

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola arrived in Israel Friday.

Von der Leyen wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that she had arrived in Israel "to express our solidarity with the Israeli people in the wake of the horrific Hamas terrorist attack."

Metsola, also writing on X, said: "We are here with a message of solidarity after the worst terror attack Israel has endured in generations."

"Terror will not prevail. How we respond matters," Metsola said. "We can – we must – stop Hamas. And do what we can to mitigate humanitarian consequences."
7:10 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

CNN team hears loud bangs near Jerusalem's Old City as police restrict access

From CNN's Ivana Kottasova, Becky Anderson and Abeer Salman in Jerusalem

Just minutes before the prayers were set to begin in Jerusalem on Friday, a CNN team on the ground heard several loud bangs, likely stun grenades. 

Smoke was visible near the Lions' Gate -- one of several entrances to Jerusalem's Old City.

The road leading to the gate has been sealed off by Israeli authorities, who restrict entry to the Old City.

Police have been restrictive about who can enter the city. Access to the al-Aqsa compound has been restricted to people over the age of 60, an eyewitness told CNN. 

In a video obtained by CNN, upwards of 10 Israeli soldiers could be seen climbing the stairs toward the al-Aqsa mosque.

CNN’s Becky Anderson and team reported from Jerusalem, overlooking the Old City at midday as the prayers took place.

“This is the most contentious site in Jerusalem and really at the heart of this conflict,” Anderson reported live on air.

“Anybody can visit, but only Muslims can pray here… This hour the question is, who will be allowed by Israeli authorities, Israeli soldiers, to actually access this site?” Anderson said. 

“We are being told it is selective access today, but we just need to wait to see how this develops,” Anderson added.

Later, shortly before 2 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET), a CNN team observed Israeli police firing more tear gas in East Jerusalem near the entrance to the Old City. The police also sprayed the Palestinian neighborhood with skunk water — a foul-smelling liquid designed to disperse crowds.

The atmosphere is tense. There have been some skirmishes and rock throwing, but the situation remains relatively calm.

Some context: Restricting access to the al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, is a contentious move that could be seen as provocation. Palestinians living in the West Bank have not been allowed to enter the city for days.

6:30 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

UN Human Rights office urges Israel and Hamas to respect international law

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

The UN Human Rights Office has said it is following the situation in Israel and Gaza with "deepening horror," and urged all parties involved in the conflict to respect international humanitarian law.

"More than 2,700 people, including civilians, have already been killed in both Israel and Gaza. We urge Palestinian armed groups to halt the use of inherently indiscriminate projectiles, which violate international humanitarian law, as well as attacks directed against civilians. And we urge Israel to ensure full respect for international humanitarian and human rights law in any and all military operations," spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani said Friday.

Shamdasani said that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk urges all States to "insist upon and assist the parties to the conflict in immediately implementing a humanitarian corridor to ensure safe and unimpeded access to humanitarian aid."

"We should not look back and regret that we did not do everything in our power to avoid a disaster," she added.

Israel's military has warned all civilians in the north of Gaza to evacuate "southwards."

"This order is affecting more than a million Palestinians, including children, older and sick people, forcing them to relocate with little or no transport and with scant guarantees for their safety, amidst continuing hostilities.

"We echo the Secretary-General’s Spokesperson’s call for this to be rescinded, avoiding a calamitous situation," Shamdasani said.

6:20 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

Baghdad holds largest pro-Palestinian march in decades

From CNN’s Martin Goillandeau, Aqeel Najim and Nechirvan Mando

People gather at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, during a demonstration against Israel on October 13.
People gather at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, during a demonstration against Israel on October 13. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis gathered on Tahrir Square in Baghdad on Friday in one of the largest pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the country in decades, according to footage on state-run television Al-Iraqiya.

People traveled from different parts of the country in what Iraqi media called a “million man march,” following a call from Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Monday to unite ��in support of the Palestinian cause.”

Al-Sadr called on Iraqis to protest against “international terrorism” and the “American occupation.”

Protesters were seen waving Iraqi and Palestinian flags, burning Israeli flags and heard shouting slogans against Israel and America.

“No to the occupation! No to Israel! No to America!" they chanted, per the Al-Iraqiya footage.

The protest was followed by a large prayer gathering on the square in solidarity with Palestinians, amid Israeli air strikes on Gaza this week following the deadly Hamas attack.

6:04 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

Hamas said it fired rockets toward Ben Gurion airport and the southern Israeli city of Sderot

From CNN's Mostafa Salem

Hamas has said it launched rockets towards Ben Gurion International Airport and the southern Israeli city of Sderot.

The militant group said in a statement Friday that 50 rockets were fired towards Sderot.

Hamas also said it targeted Israeli soldiers in Kfar Sa’ad with two explosive drones.

6:00 a.m. ET, October 13, 2023

Mass relocation of Gazans is "war crime of forcible transfer," says Norwegian Refugee Council

CNN’s James Frater in London

Israel's order for 1.1 million people living in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes – ahead of a potential ground invasion – would "amount to the war crime of forcible transfer," the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland said Friday.

The relocation order “must be reversed," he said.

Egeland called Western and Arab Nations “who have influence over the Israeli political and military leadership” to “demand that the illegal and impossible order to relocate is immediately rescinded.”

“The collective punishment of countless civilians, among them children, women, and the elderly, in retaliation for acts of horrible terror undertaken by armed men is illegal under international law,” Egeland said.

Egeland stressed “the loss of civilian lives caused by deliberate or indiscriminate use of force is a war crime for which the perpetrators will have to answer.”