January 30, 2024 Israel-Hamas war

By Amir Vera, Sana Noor Haq, Antoinette Radford, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 1:10 p.m. ET, January 31, 2024
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11:00 p.m. ET, January 30, 2024

WHO says it delivered essential medical supplies to key hospital in Khan Younis 

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London

Tedros Ghebreyesus speaks to the media during a news conference at the Government Buildings in Dublin on December 18, 2023.
Tedros Ghebreyesus speaks to the media during a news conference at the Government Buildings in Dublin on December 18, 2023. Niall Carson/AP/File

The World Health Organization (WHO) was able to reach Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis and "deliver essential medical supplies for 1000 patients" on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said.

WHO has issued several warnings about fighting in nearby areas. The vicinity around Nasser Hospital has seen frequent shelling and air strikes as the Israeli military says it is targeting operatives.

"Once the most important referral hospitals in southern Gaza, within a week Nasser has gone from partially to minimally functional, reflecting the unwarranted and ongoing dismantling of the health system," Tedros wrote in a post on X Tuesday.

A referral hospital is usually a major hospital that includes specialty and emergency care.

The team had hoped to also deliver food to the hospital but were unable to do so because those supplies were grabbed by crowds gathered around the checkpoint.

Tedros said the incident "underscores the utter desperation of people in Gaza, who live in hellish conditions, including severe hunger."

He highlighted the knock-on effect of delays in deliveries, saying the shortages "increase the health risks of vulnerable patients and hamper health personnel." 

The hospital is grappling with a "serious shortage" of specialist medical personnel, medicines, oxygen and fuel, Tedros said.  

He also said WHO continues to seek permission to deliver fuel to the hospital.  

8:59 p.m. ET, January 30, 2024

US destroyer intercepts Houthi missile, US Central Command says

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

A US destroyer intercepted a single Houthi anti-ship cruise missile launched toward the Red Sea on Tuesday, according to US Central Command.  

The USS Gravely, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, intercepted the missile shortly before midnight in Yemen (approximately 3:30 p.m. ET). There were no injuries or damage reported, Central Command said in a statement.

More on Red Sea attacks: The latest Houthi attack on commercial vessels in one of the world’s most critical waterways comes just days after a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile hit an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, sparking a fire on the ship.

The USS Carney, another destroyer operating in the region, was one of several ships that responded to the Marshall Islands-flagged M/V Marlin Luanda after it issued a distress call.

The US has carried out a series of strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, some along with the UK, to go after Houthi weaponry and disrupt the rebel group’s ability to target international shipping lanes.

8:09 p.m. ET, January 30, 2024

Families of US hostages meet with White House officials

From CNN's MJ Lee

The families of the six remaining American hostages in Gaza met Tuesday night at the White House with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and White House Middle East Coordinator Brett McGurk, according to a White House official. 

Sullivan and McGurk updated the families on the ongoing hostage negotiations, including information from Sullivan’s meeting this week with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. They also emphasized the administration’s continued commitment to get the hostages out, the official said. 

The families participated both in person and virtually and had a chance to ask questions.

7:17 p.m. ET, January 30, 2024

UN humanitarian committee calls on countries to reconsider funding suspension to UN aid agency

From CNN's Richard Roth

The heads of the United Nations' various humanitarian agencies warned nations against withdrawing funding from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

"Withdrawing funds from UNRWA is perilous and would result in the collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, with far-reaching humanitarian and human rights consequences in the occupied Palestinian territory and across the region. The world cannot abandon the people of Gaza." leaders of the UN's humanitarian coordination forum, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, said in a statement Tuesday.

More than a dozen countries have suspended their contributions to UNRWA following allegations that some of its staff members were involved in Hamas' October 7 attack. Many of those countries met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday evening to discuss possible steps forward. 

The UN officials cautioned that pausing funding to UNRWA would have "catastrophic" consequences.

"No other entity has the capacity to deliver the scale and breadth of assistance that 2.2 million people in Gaza urgently need," the committee said. 

The committee also reiterated the need for further investigation and accountability for the alleged involvement of the UNRWA staff members. 

6:51 p.m. ET, January 30, 2024

Netanyahu rejects Hamas demand for withdrawal from Gaza as part of hostage deal. Here's what you should know

From CNN staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a gathering at an Israeli settlement in the West Bank on Tuesday, January 30.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a gathering at an Israeli settlement in the West Bank on Tuesday, January 30. GPO/Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel “will not release thousands of terrorists,” as part of a deal with Hamas, vowing to press on until the aims of the war in Gaza are achieved.

And he pushed back at Hamas’s main stated aim in any deal, saying Israel would not pull troops out of Gaza.

“I hear statements about all kinds of deals,” he said in an address to Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. "So I want to make it clear, we will not end this war with less than the achievement of all its goals.This means, the elimination of Hamas, the return of all our hostages, and the promise that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel.”

The prime minister's comments come as Hamas has said it is studying a proposal for a potential hostage deal and ceasefire but that it wants the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.  

Here are other headlines you should know:

  • Jordan attack update: President Joe Biden told reporters he has made a decision about the US response to the drone strike that killed three US service members and injured dozens in Jordan. Meantime, the most powerful Iran-backed militia in Iraq announced the suspension of its military operations against US forces, two days after the attack. “We’ve seen those reports," a Pentagon official said. "I don’t have a specific comment to provide other than actions speak louder than words.”
  • Military activity: The Israeli military confirmed Tuesday that it has been pumping "large volumes of water" into suspected Hamas tunnels in Gaza. When rumblings of the military's plans to flood tunnels emerged in December, concerns were raised about the safety of hostages, many of whom are believed to be held underground. Experts also highlighted concerns about the potential to contaminate freshwater supply and damage infrastructure at the surface level.
  • UNRWA updates: The US has put about $300,000 in funding to the the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East on hold in light of the allegations brought by Israel that some of the agency’s employees were involved in the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

  • Missing rescue team: The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said it lost contact with a team in central Gaza that was dispatched to rescue a 6-year-old girl, who was trapped in a car after her family members were killed in an Israel strike. CNN has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment on operations in the area.
  • Israeli military at Khan Younis hospital: After surrounding the Al Amal hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza for more than a week, Israeli military vehicles entered its compound, which is crowded with thousands of displaced people, the PRCS said. The tanks fired "live ammunition and smoke grenades,” the aid agency said. Meanwhile, the chief of staff of Israel's military said it will not allow hospitals to become a “cover for terrorism” after special forces infiltrated the Ibn Sina hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin and killed three Palestinian men.
  • UK weighs Palestinian statehood: The United Kingdom will consider recognizing a Palestinian state to help end the war with Israel, the country's foreign secretary said. Also, the UK said it was “alarmed” by a conference held in Jerusalem on Sunday calling for the resettlement of Gaza by Jewish Israelis, which was attended by several Israeli cabinet ministers.
5:15 p.m. ET, January 30, 2024

Powerful Iran-backed militia in Iraq says it's suspending military operations against US forces

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq, Oren Liebermann and Aqeel Najim

The most powerful Iran-backed militia in Iraq announced on Tuesday the suspension of its military operations against US forces, two days after a drone attack killed three US service members and wounded dozens of others in Jordan. 

"We are announcing the suspension of military and security operations against the occupation forces (US troops) — in order to prevent embarrassment to the Iraqi government,” Kataib Hezbollah said in a statement. “We will continue to defend our people in Gaza in other ways, and we recommend to the brave Mujahideen of the Free Hezbollah Brigades to (carry out) passive defense (temporarily) if any hostile American action occurs towards them.”

The group is considered the most powerful armed faction in the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of a number of Iran-backed militias in the country. The US holds Iran broadly responsible for arming and supporting these groups and has specifically singled out Kataib Hezbollah as likely to have carried out the deadly attack on Sunday.

Asked about the statement, Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said at a briefing Tuesday:

“We’ve seen those reports. I don’t have a specific comment to provide other than actions speak louder than words.”

The US has carried out a series of strikes in Iraq and Syria since the start of the war in Gaza targeting Kataib Hezbollah and other groups in response to attacks on US interests in the region. Even so, the attacks have persisted. US troops in the Middle East have come under attack approximately 166 times since October, US officials said. 

4:53 p.m. ET, January 30, 2024

Israel will not allow hospitals to be a "cover for terrorism," military chief of staff says

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Herzi Halevi, the Israel Defense Forces chief of the general staff, speaks during his transition ceremony in Jerusalem on January 16.
Herzi Halevi, the Israel Defense Forces chief of the general staff, speaks during his transition ceremony in Jerusalem on January 16. Maya Alleruzzo/Pool/Reuters

The chief of staff of Israel's military said it will not allow hospitals to become a “cover for terrorism” after special undercover forces infiltrated the Ibn Sina hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin and killed three Palestinian men, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Defense Forces Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi claimed that the men were involved in a terrorist cell planning to carry out a “serious attack” on Israeli civilians.

The IDF has repeatedly accused Hamas of using hospitals as shelters to plan operations and as “human shields.” Hamas has previously denied such allegations.

“We do not want to turn hospitals into battlefields,” Halevi said. “But we are even more determined not to allow hospitals in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Lebanon, above ground or in tunnel shafts and tunnels under hospitals, to become a place that is a cover for terrorism, and one that allows terrorists to stash weapons, to rest, to go out to carry out an attack.” (Judea and Samaria are the Jewish biblical names for the West Bank.)

In his address to IDF reservists, Halevi said that the Israeli military will “enter even the most complex places to eliminate terrorism, to harm terrorism, to strike terrorists.”

4:13 p.m. ET, January 30, 2024

UK will consider recognizing a Palestinian state to help end the war, foreign secretary says

From CNN's Zahid Mahmood

The United Kingdom will consider recognizing a Palestinian state to help end the war with Israel, the country's foreign secretary said Monday.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron told a Westminster reception for Arab ambassadors in London that the move would help to make a two-state solution an “irreversible” process to end the war, according to the UK’s Press Association news agency (PA).

It follows Cameron's written remarks earlier this week, in which he said:

"We must give the people of the West Bank and Gaza the political perspective of a credible route to a Palestinian state and a new future. And it needs to be irreversible.
"This is not entirely in our gift. But Britain and our partners can help by confirming our commitment to a sovereign, viable Palestinian state, and our vision for its composition," Cameron wrote on Sunday. "And, crucially, we must state our clear intention to grant it recognition, including at the United Nations."

Amid a fresh US push for a two-state solution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the idea of Palestinian sovereignty suggesting Israel’s security needs would be incompatible with Palestinian statehood.