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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4:49 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Airlines are canceling flights to Tel Aviv

From CNN staff

Several airlines have suspended flights to and from Israel, as intense fighting rages between Israeli forces and Hamas:

American Airlines, has canceled all flights to and from Tel Aviv through Friday after the union representing the airlines’ pilots issued a stark warning about the dangers to the airspace and advised crews to turn down any assignment into the country. Further adjustments will be made as needed, the carrier said in a statement.

Delta Air Lines, has canceled all flights to and from Tel Aviv for the rest of October, but said it will work with Washington if needed for repatriation flights of US citizens. Delta flies to Israel from Atlanta, Boston and New York.

Norwegian Air has canceled all flights from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Tel Aviv until Sunday. In a statement, it said it will contact affected passengers directly and that it is working to find solutions for passengers currently in Israel. 

Korean Air, the only South Korean airline that operates direct flights between Incheon and Tel Aviv, canceled its Monday flight — but said it would operate a return flight from Tel Aviv to Incheon, to bring people home.

There are about 570 South Korean nationals residing in Israel and an additional 360 tourists in the country, according to the foreign ministry, though no Korean nationals have been reported as casualties yet.

Air India has also suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv until October 14, citing the safety of its passengers and crew.

Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific also canceled its Tuesday flight to and from Tel Aviv, saying it would closely monitor the situation.

Other major carriers, including United Airlines, have also seen flight disruptions and cancelations due to the conflict.

4:58 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

"I didn't want to believe the picture," says Israeli resident who recognized family member in Hamas image

From CNN's Lianne Kolirin

From top left, clockwise: Margit Silverman and her husband Yosi Shnaider; their daughter Shiri Bibes and her husband Yarden; Bibes’ son Kfir, Bibes’ son Ariel.
From top left, clockwise: Margit Silverman and her husband Yosi Shnaider; their daughter Shiri Bibes and her husband Yarden; Bibes’ son Kfir, Bibes’ son Ariel. Yosi Shnaider

Yosi Shnaider is desperately worried about his aunt and her family, he told CNN Monday, after recognizing her in images he said were posted by Hamas on social media.

“Nobody knows anything,” he said in a phone call Monday. “It’s hell. The situation in Israel is something we have never experienced.” 

Shnaider, who lives in the central Israeli town of Holon, told CNN that six members of his family are missing. They include his father's sister, Margit Silverman, and her husband Yossi. Their daughter, Shiri Bibes, her husband Yarden and their two sons Ariel and Kfir — aged four and nine months, respectively — are also missing.

All six are residents of the Nahal Oz kibbutz, which is less than three miles from the Gaza Strip.

“We were trying to call them all the time on Saturday morning but there was no answer,” Shnaider told CNN. But he was horrified after seeing images on his phone that he said were posted by Hamas.

“I couldn’t believe the picture and I didn’t want to believe the picture," Shnaider said. "But it was very clear that it was Shiri."

“Half an hour afterwards I got a movie of Shiri with her two children," he added, saying the clip was posted on Telegram. "So we know for sure that they have been kidnapped by Hamas."

Shnaider has "zero information" about his family, he said, noting his aunt has Parkinson's and diabetes and needs medication to survive. "We don't know if they are alive or injured."

"My only hope is that they don’t separate Shiri from her children," he said.

11:51 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Qatar in talks with Hamas over hostages, sources say

From CNN's Natasha Bertrand and Alex Marquardt

Qatar has been in talks with Hamas about the hostages that the militant group is holding inside Gaza, and the US has been coordinating with the Qataris as they play a key mediating role with Hamas, a senior US official and another person familiar with the discussions told CNN. 

Qatar’s prime minister met with Hamas leaders on Sunday, one of the sources said. 

“Things are moving very fast,” the source said. 

US officials at the White House and State Department, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, have remained in touch with the Qataris throughout the weekend as they communicate with Hamas.

A US official said the US believes Qatar, which has strong ties to Hamas, was caught off guard by the group’s attack on Israel on Saturday.

CNN has reached out to the governments of Qatar and Israel for comment.

11:50 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Mexico sending aircraft to evacuate 300 citizens in Israel

From CNN's Karol Suarez in Mexico City

Three hundred Mexican citizens in Israel have signed up to leave the country, Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Monday, noting the country would send two aircraft to carry out evacuations.

The majority of Mexicans in Israel are there for tourism and religious purposes, the president said. The government decided to send the aircraft — one will go in the morning, the other in the afternoon — due to commercial flight cancelations.

In addition, López Obrador said three Mexicans remain missing, saying the government is communicating with their relatives and that "our diplomats are acting to protect Mexicans."

11:36 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

What you need to know about Hamas

From CNN's Hadas Gold, Richard Allen Greene, Amir Tal, Ibrahim Dahman, Abeer Salman, Kareem Khaddar and Nadeen Ebrahim

Palestinian Hamas militants are seen during a military show in the Bani Suheila district on July 20, 2017 in Gaza City, Gaza.
Palestinian Hamas militants are seen during a military show in the Bani Suheila district on July 20, 2017 in Gaza City, Gaza. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Hamas is an Islamist organization with a military wing that came into being in 1987, emerging out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist group that was founded in the late 1920s in Egypt.

The word “Hamas” is itself an acronym for “Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia” – Arabic for Islamic Resistance Movement.

The group, like most Palestinian factions and political parties, insists that Israel is an occupying power and that it is trying to liberate the Palestinian territories. It considers Israel an illegitimate state.

Its refusal to recognize Israel is one reason why it has rejected peace talks in the past. In 1993, it opposed the Oslo Accords, a peace pact between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The group presents itself as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which has recognized Israel and has engaged in multiple failed peace initiatives with it. The PA is today led by Mahmoud Abbas and is based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Hamas, meanwhile, controls the Gaza Strip, an enclave that is home to some 2 million Palestinians and is frequently the site of civilian casualties when fighting flares between militants and Israeli forces.

Hamas has over the years claimed many attacks on Israel and has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel. Israel accuses its archenemy Iran of backing Hamas.

11:39 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Dozens of fighter jets struck several "targets" in Al-Furqan area in Gaza earlier Monday, Israel forces say

From CNN's Hadas Gold in Jerusalem

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said dozens of its fighter jets struck several "targets" in the Al-Furqan area in Gaza earlier on Monday.

The area "serves as a hub for the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip, from which many operations against Israel were launched, including over the last two days," the IDF claimed in a statement. 

11:30 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Ordinary Palestinians say they have nowhere to go to escape as Israel retaliates against Hamas

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman

Palestinians react following Israeli strikes on a residential building, in Gaza City, on October 9.
Palestinians react following Israeli strikes on a residential building, in Gaza City, on October 9. Yasser Qudih/Reuters

When the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a devastating attack on Israel over the weekend, it prompted vows of retribution from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared that his country was at war. On Monday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza, cutting off electricity, food, fuel and water to the enclave.

No strangers to war with Israel, many Gazans are sheltering in their homes, with the vast majority lacking access to bunkers. The territory is one of the most densely populated places on earth, where some 2 million people live in an area of 140 square miles.

Those who venture out do so only to complete essential errands, or to look for their missing loved ones in the carnage of Israeli strikes. The streets are damaged and covered with rubble, and the air smells of dust and gunpowder.

Salim Hussein, 55, lost his home when his building was targeted in an Israeli airstrike. He lived on the first floor and told CNN that he and his family were given warnings by Israel just moments before the building was struck. “We left (the tower) only with the clothes we had on,” he told CNN, adding that he and his family now have nothing left and nowhere to go.

The IDF on Sunday said it was focused on taking control of the Gaza Strip, and urged civilians there to leave residential areas near the border immediately for their safety as Israeli military operations continued to target Hamas.

But most Gazans have no way of fleeing the besieged enclave. All crossings out of the territory are shut, with the exception of the tightly controlled Rafah crossing with Egypt.

CNN’s Nadeen Ebrahim and Elliott Gotkine contributed to this report.

Read more here.

11:24 a.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Explosions and smoke seen in disputed border region between Israel and Lebanon

From CNN's Mia Alberti in Beirut, Hamdi Alkhshali and Charbel Mello

Smoke billows following Israeli artillery bombing on the outskirts of the Lebanese border village of Aita al-Shaab, on October 9.
Smoke billows following Israeli artillery bombing on the outskirts of the Lebanese border village of Aita al-Shaab, on October 9. Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images

Several explosions were seen in the disputed border region between Israel and Lebanon on Monday amid an air raid by Israeli forces. 

Live images broadcast from several Lebanese channels show Israeli helicopters flying over the border region as towers of smoke can be seen billowing below. Most of the smoke is seen rising from unpopulated areas but not far from villages.

The Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) reported the raids struck an empty house.

Several foreign missions in Lebanon including those from Germany, the US and the UK, updated their travel advisories for citizens in Lebanon, urging them to exercise caution.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a brief statement Monday that its helicopters were striking in Lebanese territory after a "number of armed suspects" who "infiltrated" Israel from Lebanon were killed. Lebanon borders Israel to the north.

The Lebanese Army urged citizens to avoid areas along the southern border amid the Israeli air and artillery strikes.

“The outskirts of the towns of al-Dhaira and Aita Al-Shaab and other border areas are being subjected to air and artillery bombardment by the Israeli enemy. The Army Command calls on citizens to take the utmost precaution and caution and not to go to areas adjacent to the border in order to preserve their safety,” the Lebanese Army said in a statement.

The IDF similarly cautioned Israeli civilians residing near the Lebanese border to "remain in their homes."

4:53 p.m. ET, October 9, 2023

Amid "grief and anger," US business groups rally in support of Israel after attack

From CNN's Matt Egan

JPMorgan Chase & Company Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon testifies at a Senate Banking Committee annual Wall Street oversight hearing, on September 22, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
JPMorgan Chase & Company Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon testifies at a Senate Banking Committee annual Wall Street oversight hearing, on September 22, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Business leaders across the United States have expressed outrage and solidarity with Israel after the deadly surprise attack by Hamas.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said Sunday the bank stands with Israel, instructing the company's employees there to work remotely for the foreseeable future, a person familiar with the matter told CNN, as Dimon pledged support for the people of Israel.

"This past weekend's attack on Israel and its people and the resulting war and bloodshed are a terrible tragedy," Dimon told all employees on Sunday in a memo obtained by CNN. "We stand with our employees, their families and the people of Israel during this time of great suffering and loss," Dimon said.

Morgan Stanley has also advised its handful of employees located in Israel to stay home at this time, a person familiar with the matter told CNN.

Goldman Sachs has also instructed employees at its Tel Aviv office to work remotely, according to a person familiar with the matter.

"All of us at Goldman Sachs are thinking of you and your families in the face of this shocking aggression directed at the people of Israel," Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said Sunday in a memo obtained by CNN. "The dynamics in the Middle East have always been difficult and complex. But, these attacks are terrorism and violate our most fundamental of values."

Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, told CNN in a statement on Monday: "New York City's business community is reacting with the same grief and anger at these senseless acts of terrorism that we felt in response to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. For New Yorkers, this is personal." 

The Partnership represents more than 300 of New York City's business leaders and companies that employ more than 1 million New Yorkers.

"Nothing can justify the premeditated violence that took place in Israel this weekend," Wylde said.

The Business Roundtable, a trade group representing leading US CEOs, said Monday in a statement to CNN: "We join the US government and global community in condemning the horrific attacks on Israel and stand in solidarity with the Israeli people." 

The US Chamber of Commerce said in a statement on Sunday it "strongly condemns the heinous" attacks.

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the people of Israel and stand in solidarity with them as they battle the scourge of terrorism," the Chamber said.

The business group added that it's in touch with partners from the Israeli government and AmCham Israel to explore ways to provide humanitarian assistance.