October 10, 2023 - Israel-Hamas war news

By Kathleen Magramo, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Ed Upright, Joshua Berlinger, Aditi Sangal, Dakin Andone, Steve Almasy, Tori B. Powell and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 12:03 a.m. ET, October 11, 2023
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7:12 p.m. ET, October 10, 2023

At least 20 Americans unaccounted for in Israel, White House says

From CNN's Donald Judd and Michael Conte

The Biden administration believes there are “20 or more Americans” missing from Israel as of Tuesday, but that number does not necessarily reflect the number of hostages in Hamas custody at this time, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

“We do not know about their condition, and we cannot confirm a precise number of American citizens,” Sullivan said during Tuesday’s White House press briefing. 

President Joe Biden confirmed that 14 Americans were among those killed during Hamas’ attack over the weekend and he said that US citizens are among those held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.

"We will work hour by hour, both to determine whether we can account for any of those Americans, or to confirm exactly what the number of Americans are being held hostage, and we will come back to you with that information as soon as we have it,” Sullivan said. “As you know, very sadly and tragically, the number of dead has risen with each passing hour, and that's true of the total number, it's also true of Americans, which has gone up just today from an earlier report this morning of 12 and 13 — now 14.” 

Sullivan declined to weigh in on the possibility of a ground incursion into Gaza and how that might affect American hostages.

"I'm not going to get into the operational discussions that the president and the prime minister had," he said, referring to a phone call between Biden and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. "That is important for them to be able to keep in his discreet channel between them."

White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby called on Hamas to release the hostages.

"They belong to be freed. We call on Hamas to release them now," Kirby told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Short of that, we're going to do everything we can to get them back with their families."

Kirby said the US doesn't have much information about the hostages right now, noting that an active war zone makes recovering them much more difficult.

The first step is communicating with the Israelis, he said.

"They're on the ground, they're closer to it, they have contacts that we probably could benefit from," he said. "We're having active conversations with the Israelis about what they're seeing, what they possibly know."

Kirby acknowledged the Israelis are very good at hostage recovery but confirmed the US has offered members of the US military, law enforcement and intelligence community to help with the hostage situation.

Earlier, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the US has military special operators who “are going to help” the Israeli military “with intelligence and planning” for potential operations regarding hostages taken by Hamas.

5:59 p.m. ET, October 10, 2023

Here's how to help humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza

From CNN Impact Your World

As deadly fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies, so too does a dire humanitarian crisis in the area.

Hundreds have been killed and thousands injured on both sides after Hamas launched unprecedented attacks on Israel on Saturday. Subsequent airstrikes have overwhelmed local hospitals and displaced more than 100,000 people in Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas on Earth.

The intense fighting has also hampered humanitarian relief. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which suffered damage to one of its buildings in Gaza, is calling for the protection of humanitarian workers, civilians, and critical infrastructure. Calling the situation “horrific,” Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is urging restraint after medical facilities have been destroyed in the fighting.

Impact Your World has gathered a list of vetted organizations that are on the ground responding.

You can support their work by clicking HERE.

6:00 p.m. ET, October 10, 2023

Hamas rejects Biden's remarks on Israel

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman

Hamas “firmly” rejected President Joe Biden’s remarks on Israel, calling it an "inflammatory statement” that aims to “escalate the tension by the barbaric Zionist regime against the Palestinian people,” according to a written statement published Tuesday. 

Hamas said Biden's remarks overshadowed the "criminality and terrorism of the Zionist government” and criticized the US president for not addressing "massacres committed by the Zionist forces against people in cold blood."

Hamas concluded the statement urging the American administration to reassess its position and accusing it of exhibiting a "policy of double standards" when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

6:55 p.m. ET, October 10, 2023

Biden posts new photo of call with Netanyahu

From CNN's Donald Judd

US President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Vice President Kamala Harris watches on at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2023.
US President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Vice President Kamala Harris watches on at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2023. Courtesy of POTUS/X

President Joe Biden shared a new photo from his call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office. 

“Like every nation in the world, Israel has a right and a duty to respond to these vicious attacks. I just got off the phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and I told him: If the United States experienced what Israel experienced, our response would be swift, decisive, and overwhelming,” Biden wrote, quoting his remarks from the State Dining Room earlier Tuesday. “Terrorists purposefully target and kill civilians. We uphold the laws of war.”
6:42 p.m. ET, October 10, 2023

First plane carrying US ammunition lands in Israel, country's defense forces says

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey, Jeremy Diamond and Michael Schwartz

The first supply of US weapons since Israel faced a devastating attack by Hamas arrived in Israel late Tuesday evening, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

“This evening a plane carrying advanced armaments landed at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel this evening," the IDF said. "The armaments are designed to facilitate significant military operations and increase preparedness for other scenarios."
“We are grateful for the US backing and assistance to the IDF, and to the State of Israel in general, during this challenging period. Our common enemies know that the cooperation between our militaries is stronger than ever, and is a key part in ensuring regional security and stability,” the statement said.

Earlier Tuesday, President Joe Biden pledged that the US would make sure Israel has the tools it needs to defend itself and that it was surging military assistance to Israel.

5:39 p.m. ET, October 10, 2023

American Airlines cancels Israel flights through December 4

From CNN's Pete Muntean

American Airlines says it is canceling all flights to and from Israel’s main international airport through December 4 “as a result of the current operating environment.”

The airline operates flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport.

“We will continue working closely with our partner airlines to offer assistance to those looking to exit TLV with safety and security remaining our highest priorities,” American Airlines said in a statement. 

The airline said it has also “extended our travel alert providing additional flexibility to customers whose travel plans are impacted by this adjustment.”

On Monday, Delta Air Lines, which operates flights to Israel from Atlanta, JFK, and Boston, said it was canceling flights for the rest of October. 

The State Department said earlier Tuesday that it has been encouraging airlines “to consider resuming travel in and out of Israel.”

6:46 p.m. ET, October 10, 2023

Israeli defense minister: "Gaza will never return to what it was"

From CNN's Amir Tal

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant attends a press conference after signing a joint declaration with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on intent over the purchase by Germany of Israel's Arrow 3 missile defense system on September 28, 2023, in Berlin, Germany.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant attends a press conference after signing a joint declaration with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on intent over the purchase by Germany of Israel's Arrow 3 missile defense system on September 28, 2023, in Berlin, Germany. Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Israel’s defense minister said he has “released all restraints” on the Israel Defense Forces' troops in their fight against Hamas.

“Whoever comes to decapitate, murder women, Holocaust survivors — we will eliminate him at the height of our power and without compromise,” Yoav Gallant told soldiers during an inspection of the front line along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

“Hamas wanted a change in Gaza, it will change 180 degrees from what he thought. They will regret this moment. Gaza will never return to what it was,” Gallant said, calling Hamas the "ISIS of Gaza."

The minister visited the IDF’s Gaza division headquarters in the Re’im military base. He also spoke to Shaldag fighters, paratroopers and soldiers at kibbutz Be’eri, one of the sites Hamas first targeted over the weekend. 

“We will be back here, in Be’eri, in a few months, and the situation will be different. We will settle the kibbutz to the last meter, and what happened in Gaza will not happen,” Gallant said. 

Airstrikes have been Israel’s primary retaliation measure so far in Gaza, with jets repeatedly pounding the heavily populated 140 square mile coastal strip, turning multiple buildings to rubbledisplacing tens of thousands of people and sending waves of injured Palestinians to overwhelmed hospitals.

8:17 p.m. ET, October 10, 2023

At least 21 people killed and 130 injured in the West Bank, Palestinian health ministry says

From CNN’s Kareem Khadder and Raja Razek

The death toll in the West Bank since Saturday has now risen to 21 killed and 130 injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

The West Bank is led by the Palestinian Authority. The Fatah party, a rival faction to Hamas, is the political backbone of the Palestinian Authority.

The deaths occurred in clashes due to Israeli “aggression” and many of the victims were shot, the ministry said.

Clashes erupted in several parts of the occupied West Bank amid a closure that was imposed by the Israeli army following Hamas' attack in southern Israel Saturday morning.

4:47 p.m. ET, October 10, 2023

Quiet streets but the unmistakable sounds of war in the city of Ashdod

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová in Ashdod, Israel

The streets of Ashdod have been deserted since Hamas launched its surprise attack on Saturday morning.

But the unmistakable sounds of the war are constant in this Israeli city, about 35 kilometers (20 miles) north of Gaza.

An intense and near continuous thunder of explosions has been heard from the Gaza Strip for more than 48 hours now. At the same time, rockets are being launched from the Gaza Strip.

When that happens, the sirens go off, giving residents about 45 seconds to find a shelter. Most of the buildings in Ashdod were built in the 1990s, during the city’s huge expansion following a wave of immigration from the Soviet Union. That means most apartments are equipped with shelters — a requirement for all buildings built here after 1993.

The vast majority of restaurants and cafes are shut, the sprawling beaches are closed and most people are staying inside.

For days now, the city has seen a heavy military presence and tensions are running high. At one point on Tuesday evening, about two dozen soldiers could be seen running outside and spending about 15 minutes patrolling a street in the city center before returning to one of the hotels that have become their hub.