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
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10:51 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Hamas capabilities "severely degraded" in airstrikes, Israeli forces say

From CNN’s Hadas Gold in Jerusalem

Israel has "severely degraded the capabilities" of Palestinian militant group Hamas as airstrikes on Gaza continued into early Monday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

The IDF said it targeted a structure that housed Hamas operatives and several of the group's operational command centers, including a three-floor command center.

The IDF also said it targeted:

  • A command center belonging to a senior Hamas naval forces operative, named as Mahmad Kashta 
  • A Hamas operational asset in a mosque in the city of Jabalia
  • An intelligence asset and an additional asset used by Hamas

Israel has been pounding Gaza with airstrikes and formally declared war on Hamas Sunday following an unprecedented surprise attack by the militant group that began on Saturday. More than 400 Palestinians have died, according to the health ministry in Gaza, and medical care has been complicated by Israel cutting power to the territory.

Officials say the death toll in Israel has passed 700.

9:47 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Hamas claims to be holding more than 100 hostages, including Israeli army officers

From CNN's Eyad Kourdi and Jonny Hallam

Hamas fighters are holding more than 100 Israeli hostages in Gaza, including high-ranking army officers, a spokesperson for the militant group claimed Sunday.

In an interview with Arabic news outlet al-Ghad TV, Mousa Abu Marzouk, chief deputy of Hamas' political bureau, said the number of Israeli hostages "hasn't been counted yet but they are over a hundred."

Asked about the presence of Israeli army officers among the hostages, Marzouk said: "There are high-ranking officers." 

Another Palestinian armed group, Islamic Jihad, on Sunday said it is holding at least 30 hostages in Gaza.

CNN is unable to verify the claims of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. 

Israel authorities have said that dozens of Israelis are being held hostage in Gaza but have not confirmed exact numbers.

In addition to Israeli captives, there are several other nationalities believed to be taken hostage. Two Mexican nationals, a woman and a man, have “presumably” been taken hostage by Hamas, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena said on Sunday. At least three Brazilian nationals are also missing, according to Brazilian authorities.

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

No UN Security Council action taken after emergency meeting

From CNN's Richard Roth and Samantha Beech in New York

Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, arrives to speak to reporters during a press conference before the UN Security Council meeting on Sunday.
Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, arrives to speak to reporters during a press conference before the UN Security Council meeting on Sunday. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

No action was taken following the United Nations Security Council emergency meeting on the situation in the Middle East, according to several Security Council members who spoke Sunday afternoon.

“I don’t want to get into what was really discussed in the briefing, but there are a good number of countries that condemned Hamas’ attacks," Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told reporters following the meeting. "They’re obviously not all (condemning the attacks), and I don’t really want to get into that. I think you can probably figure out one of them without me saying anything.”

Some context: The Security Council consists of 10 elected members, and five permanent members — China, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation. All 15 members would have needed to vote unanimously for any statement to emerge following the Security Council meeting.

More from the council: “The situation is still fluid and very dangerous,” Wood said.

He added officials are working hard to try to prevent the conflict from spreading through the region.

“It’s important that the global community condemn, strongly condemn, this unprovoked invasion and the terrorist attacks and activities that have taken place and are taking place,” Wood said.

When asked about the plight of Palestinians in the region, Wood said, “We condemn civilians who are hurt or killed anywhere in the world. That goes without saying. What’s important now is that the international community to show its solidarity with Israel."

Hamas should be condemned until they end their violent terrorist activity, he added.

11:10 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Hamas says it launched a "major missile attack" on Ashkelon in southern Israel

From CNN's Jonny Hallam

Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza, as seen from Ashkelon, on Sunday.
Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza, as seen from Ashkelon, on Sunday. Amir Cohen/Reuters

Hamas, which earlier said it was targeting Ben Gurion International Airport, also said it had launched "a major missile attack with 100 rockets" on Ashkelon in southern Israel.

The rockets were fired at the coastal city in response to Israel Defense Forces "targeting of their safe houses," said the Izzedine al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian militant group.

Ashkelon is not far north of the border with the Gaza Strip.

8:09 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Explosions heard in central Israel as Hamas claims to target Ben Gurion Airport

From CNN's Jonny Hallam and Eyad Kourdi

Loud explosions could be heard across central Israel and the suburbs of Tel Aviv late Sunday, according to CNN teams on the ground.

Hamas has claimed it is targeting the Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel’s international hub, which is located just outside Tel Aviv.

The Izzedine al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in a statement that the "missile barrage was in response to the continuing crimes and targeting of civilian homes."

Remember: Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack from Gaza on Saturday, leading Israel to declare war on the Palestinian militant group. Since then, Israel has bombarded Gaza with airstrikes, and Hamas has launched further attacks from the territory.

7:56 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

At least 260 bodies found at music festival site in Israel after Hamas attack, rescue organization says

From CNN's Amir Tal in Jerusalem

At least 260 bodies have been found at the site of an Israeli music festival following Saturday's attack by Hamas, according to Israeli rescue service Zaka.

Hamas gunmen shot at fleeing attendees and took others hostage at the festival in a rural farmland area near the Gaza-Israel border, according to social media videos and accounts from festivalgoers.

The terrifying attack was just one of multiple locations hit on Saturday morning by the most sustained and coordinated assault inside Israel ever carried out by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group designated as a terror organization by the United States, European Union and Israel.

The outdoor Nova Festival event was supposed to be an all-night dance party, celebrating the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Read more about the festival attack here.

CNN's Paul P. Murphy, Allegra Goodwin, Benjamin Brown and Sharif Paget contributed reporting to this post.

7:52 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

US Navy moves carrier strike group to eastern Mediterranean Sea with Israel at war

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

A US Navy carrier strike group is headed to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as Israel prepares for a large-scale campaign against Hamas in Gaza.

The USS Gerald R. Ford, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was sailing with the Italian Navy earlier this week, according to the ship’s social media, putting it close to Israel.

The carrier will be accompanied by guided missile destroyers and guided missile cruisers, which are two other classes of Navy warship.

The US is also taking steps to bolster its presence of fighter jets in the region, including F-35, F-15, F-16 and A-10 squadrons. It sent several of these aircraft to the Middle East in recent months in response to aggression from Iranian forces across the region, including in Syria and in the Gulf of Oman.

Why it matters: The strike group’s presence is intended as a deterrent to Hezbollah in Lebanon and other militant groups aligned against Israel, the officials said.

US President Joe Biden warned Saturday that “this is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage.”

Remember: Hamas, like Hezbollah, has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and Israel.

Israel accuses its archenemy Iran of backing Hamas.

An official in US President Joe Biden's administration said Saturday that it's not yet clear whether Iran played a direct role in this weekend's attacks on Israel, but that there is no question Hamas is funded, equipped and armed by Iran.

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

Tens of thousands displaced in Gaza, UN relief agency says

From CNN's Kareem Khadder and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Women are seeing walking by destroyed buildings in southern Gaza on Sunday.
Women are seeing walking by destroyed buildings in southern Gaza on Sunday. Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Gaza as Israeli Defense Forces continue to target Hamas positions on the strip, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said on Sunday.

"The number of people forced to flee their homes in search of safety has significantly increased overnight. Nearly 74,000 displaced people are now in 64 UNRWA shelters, with numbers likely to increase as heavy shelling and airstrikes continue including on civilian areas," the agency's statement said.

The statement also noted that an "UNRWA school sheltering displaced families in the Gaza Strip was directly hit today (Sunday). The school, sheltering more than 225 people, was severely damaged. No casualties were recorded among the displaced."

"Schools and other civilian infrastructure, including those sheltering displaced families, must never come under attack," the agency said.