October 9, 2023 - Israel-Hamas war news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Ed Upright, Joshua Berlinger, Aditi Sangal, Dakin Andone, Maureen Chowdhury, Leinz Vales, Elise Hammond, Steve Almasy and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 10, 2023
17 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:21 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Israel is still fighting against Hamas on the ground but it's taking longer than expected, IDF says

From CNN’s Richard Allen Greene and Sophie Jeong

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are still fighting against Hamas on the ground in southern Israel, a military spokesperson said Monday, more than 48 hours after the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack.

“We are still fighting. Seven to eight open places around Gaza where we still have warriors fighting terrorists,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said. “It is taking us more time than we expected ... We thought this morning we would be in a better place."

It's also possible that Hamas fighters are still crossing into Israel from Gaza, he said, adding that Israeli airstrikes are targeting locations where militants are gathering to cross the border.

Dozens of Israelis are being held as hostages, Hect also said, without providing a specific number.

He added that Hamas did not "knock on the roof" — the Israeli military's warning for civilians before it bombs a building.

“When they came in and threw grenades at our ambulances they did not knock on the roof. This is war. The scale is different,” Hecht said.
7:24 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Senator Chuck Schumer urges China to stand with Israel during visit to Beijing

From CNN's Eric Cheung and Justin Robertson

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Monday. Andy Wong/Pool/Reuters

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged China to "stand with the Israeli people" during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Monday.

"The ongoing events in Israel over the past few days are horrific," Schumer told Wang at the beginning of bilateral talks before reporters were escorted out. "I urge you and the Chinese people to stand with the Israeli people and condemn these cowardly, vicious attacks." 

In a statement Sunday, China’s foreign ministry said it is "deeply concerned" over the escalation of tensions and violence.

The statement called on "relevant parties to remain calm, exercise restraint and immediately end the hostilities," and added that the "fundamental way out of the conflict lies in implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent State of Palestine."

Schumer, who is leading a bipartisan delegation to Beijing, told Wang on Monday he "was very disappointed," by the Chinese foreign ministry's statement "that showed no sympathy or support for Israel during these tough, troubled times."

1:46 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

How Hamas launched its surprise attack on Israel

By CNN's Gianluca Mezzofiore, Paul Murphy and Allegra Goodwin

Palestinian militants move toward the border fence with Israel from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday.
Palestinian militants move toward the border fence with Israel from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday. Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

Armed militants from Gaza launched a surprise attack on Israel at dawn on Saturday, blasting holes in the border fence, killing an unknown number of Israeli soldiers and taking hostages, propaganda videos geolocated and authenticated by CNN show.

Israeli soldiers at border posts appeared to have been largely caught by surprise by the assault, which was carried out using what appeared to be drones, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank guided missiles and assault weapons, according to videos shared on social media by the Islamist militant group Hamas.

The militants also took over military bases near the border, capturing military vehicles and setting fire to tanks. In some cases, fighters advanced for a few miles into communities near the security fence separating Gaza from Israel, taking civilians captive.

CNN has examined nearly a dozen Hamas propaganda videos, using analysis and geolocation to piece together what happened in key locations. These videos, published by Hamas on their social media channels, were heavily edited by the terror group.

Read CNN's analysis here.

1:07 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

IDF says Israel is not in full control along the Gaza border as troops go "door to door"

From CNN’s Yong Xiong

Smoke rises above buildings during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Monday.
Smoke rises above buildings during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Monday. Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

Israel is not in full control of its territory along the border with Gaza, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson told CNN on Sunday.

“We are still hunting down the last terrorist inside Israeli territory," Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said. “Our troops are going door to door and house to house, looking for, and in many cases, engaging with last terrorists inside Israel.”   

Conricus said there are still openings in the border, but they have been “temporarily patched up and guarded.”

The IDF's assessment is that most of the remaining militants likely “crossed into Israel first, and then simply were not able to get back and were stuck in Israeli terrain and are now probably choosing to go out fighting and are trying to kill Israeli civilians or engaging with the Israeli troops," Conricus said.

The IDF's goal now is to rid Hamas of its "military capabilities to fight and to harm Israeli civilians, and also achieve the situation where Hamas no longer has the ability to govern the Gaza Strip," he said.

“Tomorrow morning, they will see a lot of their military infrastructure destroyed. And I think that there will be significant losses for Hamas," he said.
12:32 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Families of missing Israelis ask government for answers 

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Families of some Israelis feared to have been taken hostage by Hamas militants on Sunday urged the government to provide answers about their loved ones.

In a news conference broadcast by Israel's Channel 12, father Uri David said he had been on the phone with his two daughters for half an hour before they were believed to have been captured.

"I heard heavy breathing and then no more answers to my phone. I want the whole world to see what I’m going through," David said. 

A mother at the news conference in the city of Ramat Gan, Meirav Leshem Gonen, said she was on the phone with her daughter as gunmen shot at the car she was in.

Gonen said her daughter had begged for help as the militants approached. Gonen heard more shots fired — then the call ended.

David and Gonen said they do not know the status of their children. 

Hostages taken: Hamas militants claimed Sunday to be holding more than 100 hostages in Gaza, including high-ranking Israeli army officers.

Israeli authorities have said that dozens of hostages are being held in Gaza, but have not confirmed a precise number.

12:18 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Video shows Gaza militants shooting music festival attendees at point-blank range

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Teele Rebane 

A gunman is seen in dashcam footage from a car at a music festival in southern Israel.
A gunman is seen in dashcam footage from a car at a music festival in southern Israel. Obtained by CNN

Hamas militants who attacked a music festival in southern Israel Saturday shot and killed people at point-blank range then looted their belongings, according to dashcam footage authenticated and geolocated by CNN.

It's unclear whose car the video came from, or who salvaged the footage, which began circulating on social media on Sunday. But the clips are shedding new light on the attack at the festival site, where Israeli rescuers say they found 260 people dead.

The first video begins at 9:23 a.m., according to its timecode — several hours after attendees told CNN they heard the first explosions.

A militant is seen yelling, then pointing his machine gun at a person taking cover next to the car. Empty shells rocket out of the gun; it's unclear if he was firing warning shots, or if he had shot the civilian. 

The man, covered in blood, is led away by the gunman. It's unknown what happened to him afterward.

A second individual is seen lying on the ground at the back of another car. The person begins to move, when another militant appears on screen. The gunman runs up to them, fires at the person, and walks away.

A second video from the dashcam, timestamped 12:09 p.m., shows two militants approach the body of the second individual. 

After rifling through their pockets, a militant picks something off the body and puts it in his own back pocket.  

A few minutes later, they grab a woman out of the back of the car, and she is led off-screen. The militants then empty a suitcase from another car's trunk, going through the contents.

Shortly afterward, the captured woman is seen running and waving toward the festival grounds, with bullets hitting the ground around her. She takes cover again next to the emptied suitcase and open trunk. Her fate is unknown.  

12:09 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Oil rises, US stock futures drop on turmoil in the Middle East

From CNN's David Goldman and Michelle Toh

Oil prices surged and US stock futures fell on Sunday night in their first reaction to Israel’s war with Hamas.

Although Israel is not a major oil producer, escalating tensions in the oil-rich Middle East spooked investors who have already been selling off oil in recent weeks.

On Sunday night, US oil prices surged 4% higher above $86 a barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was also about 4% higher, trading around $88 a barrel.

Stephen Innes, managing partner of SPI Asset Management, said the surge was likely due to a tendency among traders to take “a buy-first-ask-questions-later response to Middle East geopolitical escalations.”

“Historical analysis suggests that oil prices tend to experience sustained gains after the Middle East crises,” he wrote in a note to clients Monday.

In the equity markets, US stock futures, which rose Friday on a surprisingly strong American job market report, fell sharply Sunday night.

Dow futures were down 200 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures were down 0.7%. And Nasdaq futures were 0.7% lower.

Global investors fear prolonged tensions in the Middle East could hurt the fragile global economic recovery.

Read more here.

11:59 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

It's morning in Israel and Gaza. Catch up on the latest here

From CNN staff

A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on Sunday.
A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on Sunday. Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

The death toll is rising in Israel and Gaza as fighting rages between Israeli forces and Hamas militants and as more details emerge of the dead and those taken hostage.

Israel formally declared war on Hamas on Sunday after the Islamist militant group launched its deadly surprise assault on Saturday. Israel also cut power to Gaza — complicating medical care efforts as the densely-populated territory is pounded by Israeli airstrikes.

If you're just joining us, here's what you need to know:

  • Rising toll: More than 700 people have been killed in Israel, while more than 400 Palestinians have been killed, according to authorities. Some 2,300 others have been wounded in Gaza, with power cuts threatening "lives of hundreds of injuries and patients," said the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.
  • Music festival: Among the dead are at least 260 people whose bodies were found at the site of an Israeli music festival, according to rescue teams. Hamas gunmen shot at fleeing attendees and took others hostage during the event Saturday near the Israel-Gaza border.
  • Hostages taken: Hamas is holding more than 100 Israeli hostages in Gaza, including high-ranking army officers, a spokesperson for the militant group claimed Sunday. In addition to Israeli captives, there are also other nationalities believed to be taken hostage, including Mexican and Brazilian nationals — complicating Israel's response to the Hamas attack.
  • Fighting ongoing: Israel has "severely degraded the capabilities" of Hamas as airstrikes on Gaza continued into early Monday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said. Hamas claimed on Sunday that their forces are still present and conducting operations in Mavki'im in southern Israel, just north of Gaza. Hamas also said it had launched "a major missile attack" on the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, close to the Gaza border. CNN is unable to verify Hamas' claims. A spokesperson from Israel's military neither confirmed nor denied Hamas' claims, but said: "We're still fighting down south."
  • Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv: Loud explosions could be heard across central Israel and the suburbs of the city late Sunday, according to CNN teams on the ground. Hamas has claimed it is targeting Ben Gurion airport, Israel's international hub, which is located just outside Tel Aviv.
  • US sending jets: The US is sending a Navy carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, including guided missile destroyers and guided missile cruisers. The US is also positioning more fighter jets to the Middle East, as a deterrent to Hezbollah in Lebanon and other militant groups aligned against Israel, officials say. In response, Hamas accused the US of taking part in "aggression against Palestinian people."
  • Washington support: US lawmakers and Biden administration officials discussed increasing support for Israel at a briefing with House leadership on Sunday night, three people familiar with the call told CNN. Senior officials from the State and Defense Departments told lawmakers they are moving as quickly as they can to deliver weapons to Israel as part of already existing contracts, the sources said.
  • No UN action: The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday — but no action was taken afterward. The Deputy US Ambassador to the UN said "not all" the member nations had condemned Hamas' attacks, but did not specify which. All 15 members need to vote unanimously for the UNSC to release a statement.
11:55 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Hamas says US sending carrier strike group is "aggression against Palestinian people"

From CNN’s Eyad Kourdi

Islamist militant group Hamas on Sunday accused the United States of taking part in "aggression against Palestinian people" by sending a Navy carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

"These movements do not frighten our people nor their resistance, which will continue to defend our people and our holy places," Hamas spokesperson Hazem Kassem said in a statement.

The Navy carrier strike group includes the USS Gerald R. Ford, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, accompanied by guided missile destroyers and guided missile cruisers.

The US is also positioning more fighter jets to the Middle East, as a deterrent to Hezbollah in Lebanon and other militant groups aligned against Israel, officials say.