February 6, 2024 Israel-Hamas war

By Amir Vera, Jack Guy, Antoinette Radford, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Tori B. Powell and Helen Regan, CNN

Updated 10:01 a.m. ET, February 7, 2024
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2:30 p.m. ET, February 6, 2024

Hamas gives "positive" response to framework agreement on hostage deal but offers few details

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler and Michael Conte

Hamas gave a “positive” response Tuesday to a framework agreement on a hostage deal, but offered few details in a short statement. 

The Palestinian Islamist group’s response included elements that have not been offered by Israel, including a “comprehensive and complete ceasefire” and “lifting their siege on the Gaza Strip,” as well as “completing a prisoner exchange.”

Qatar's prime minister also confirmed that Hamas had responded.

“The reply includes some comments, but in general it is positive. However, given the sensitivity of the circumstances, we will not tackle details,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said at a news conference alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Doha on Tuesday.

The Qatari prime minister said they have given the response to Israel and added, "we are optimistic."

Blinken heads to Israel later today.

12:25 p.m. ET, February 6, 2024

Blinken discusses hostages and humanitarian pause with Qataris and Egyptians 

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at Lusail Palace in Doha on Tuesday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at Lusail Palace in Doha on Tuesday. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani discussed “ongoing efforts to secure the release of the hostages held by Hamas and enable an extended humanitarian pause in the conflict in Gaza” in their meeting in Doha Tuesday.

The Qataris have served as a key mediator in the negotiations with Hamas, to whom a proposal to reach those aims was submitted more than a week ago. The group has not yet provided a substantive response to that proposal.

“Secretary Blinken and the Amir agreed to continue close coordination to increase humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and to urge the protection of civilians consistent with humanitarian law,” a readout from State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said.
“The Secretary reiterated the U.S. rejection of any forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza and underscored the U.S. commitment to establishing durable peace in the Middle East, including the establishment of a Palestinian state that ensures security for Israelis and Palestinians alike.” 

Prior to his meeting with the Emir, Blinken was in Cairo for discussions with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and other top Egyptian officials on the same matters. The Egyptians are the other key interlocutors with Hamas.

According to a readout from the Egyptian President’s office, “the meeting focused on developments in unyielding efforts aimed at reaching a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, exchanging detainees and hostages and providing access to desperately needed relief aid to end the severe humanitarian catastrophe in the sector.”

12:18 p.m. ET, February 6, 2024

Fighting intensifies in Gaza as aid workers caution expanded Israeli operation in Rafah. Catch up here

From CNN staff

Fighting between Israel and Hamas is ongoing across multiple parts of the Gaza Strip since Monday, with operations in Khan Younis and "targeted raids in the northern and central Gaza Strip," the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

Journalists working for CNN in Gaza reported that Israeli fire, including the shelling of an apartment block, caused multiple casualties across the territory since Monday.

But in the south, toward Rafah, aid workers have raised concerns over any expanded military operation, where satellite images show a makeshift tent city estimated to house more than 1 million civilians displaced by the war.

The director of the Hamas-run government media office also warned the expansion would "cause a real disaster."

Here's what else to know today:

  • Senior commander killed: One of the "most prominent leaders" of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was killed, along with 13 of his family members, in an Israeli airstrike on a property in Deir al-Balah over the weekend, the group announced. Issam Khattab “Abu Mazen” was killed at his family's home.
  • Crossing protests: The Kerem Shalom crossing, where aid is checked before it enters Gaza, has again been blocked by Israeli protesters — despite the area becoming a designated military zone. Israel says 100 aid trucks were able to enter the territory before the protesters arrived.
  • Nasser hospital: The Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza has accused the Israeli military of tightening a siege of the Nasser medical complex and putting the lives of 300 medical personnel, 450 wounded, and 10,000 displaced people at risk. In late January, Nasser Hospital was the largest functioning hospital in the Gaza Strip, according to Doctors Without Borders. It's adjacent to the main route for people trying to flee Khan Younis for somewhat safer areas along the coast.
  • Egypt visit: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has left Egypt after a one-on-one with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and is now in Doha, where he will meet with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
  • Red Sea attacks: A ship off the coast of Yemen received “slight damage” after a projectile was fired toward it, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organization said early on Tuesday. Another vessel, reported an explosion around 50 meters away from its side, British security firm Ambrey said in a statement Tuesday.

10:49 a.m. ET, February 6, 2024

Houthis say they will increase attacks on US and UK ships in the Red Sea if the war in Gaza does not stop

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq in Baghdad

Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen have vowed to increase their attacks on US and UK ships in the Red Sea if the war in Gaza does not stop.

The Houthis started targeting ships in the Red Sea in November 2023, and have warned they "will carry out more military operations against all hostile American-British targets," in the Red Sea "within the right to respond to the aggression, and the right to defend our beloved Yemen and its people," Houthi military spokesperson, Yahya Sare'e said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said Houthi forces "emphasize the continuation of their military operations" in the Red Sea "against Israeli shipping or those heading to the ports of occupied Palestine until the siege is lifted and the aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is stopped."

Remember: The Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea prompted the US and UK to retaliate with strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. The governments said they destroyed missiles, weapons storage sites and drone systems, according to senior officials.

10:30 a.m. ET, February 6, 2024

US secretary of state arrives in Qatar after meeting with Egyptian president

From CNN's Alex Stambaugh

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he departs for Doha, at Cairo East Airport, in Cairo, Egypt, on February 6.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he departs for Doha, at Cairo East Airport, in Cairo, Egypt, on February 6. Mark Schiefelbein/Reuters

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived at the next stop on his whirlwind trip in the Middle East: Qatar. He is set to meet with Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as well as Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

Blinken traveled to Doha from Cairo amid reports that Israel is planning to shift its offensive to Rafah, a key site on the border with the Sinai Peninsula where countless people have gathered to try to get to Egypt and the only port of entry for critical humanitarian aid. 

While in Cairo, the secretary met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in a meeting that lasted nearly two hours, according to US reporters traveling with the secretary. The meeting also included intel chief Abbas Kamel, who was a part of the Paris talks on the hostages. Egypt has been a key conversational partner with Hamas in these talks.

US officials have stressed that the ball is in Hamas' court on the proposal to release hostages and reach a sustained pause in the fighting in Gaza. 

Blinken has a news conference scheduled for noon ET.

CNN's Jennifer Hansler contributed reporting.

This post has been updated to note Blinken's arrival in Qatar.

9:57 a.m. ET, February 6, 2024

Coalition of Palestinian militant groups says senior commander killed in Israeli airstrike

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman

Palestinians inspect the damage in Deir Al-Balah, central Gaza, on February 4, following an Israeli strike.
Palestinians inspect the damage in Deir Al-Balah, central Gaza, on February 4, following an Israeli strike. Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has announced that a senior commander was killed, along with 13 of his family members, in an Israeli airstrike on a property in Deir al-Balah over the weekend.

Issam Khattab “Abu Mazen” was killed at his family's home, according to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a coalition of Palestinian militant groups.

It described him as “one of the most prominent leaders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.”

On Sunday, CNN reported that at least 14 Palestinians were killed, including two children and four women, and many others injured due to airstrikes in Deir al-Balah, citing a doctor at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. 

11:18 a.m. ET, February 6, 2024

Kerem Shalom crossing, where aid is cleared for Gaza, has again been disrupted by protesters

From Lauren Izso and Tim Lister

Protesters block humanitarian aid due to enter Gaza on February 6, in Kerem Shalom, Israel.
Protesters block humanitarian aid due to enter Gaza on February 6, in Kerem Shalom, Israel. Amir Levy/Getty Images

Videos from the Kerem Shalom crossing between southern Israel and Gaza show protesters — many draped in Israeli flags — protesting along a large line of trucks that deliver humanitarian aid shipments into the territory.

Israeli officials told CNN that the crossing is currently blocked by the protesters, but more than 100 trucks had gone through inspection before they arrived on Tuesday.

The group behind the protests — Tsav 9 – said Tuesday morning that “at this time the Kerem Shalom crossing was blocked for the movement of aid and supply trucks to Hamas. The people of Israel won!”

The group has demanded freedom for the Israeli hostages in Gaza before further aid is allowed into the territory. They have been protesting at the crossing since late January.

The disruption comes despite the designation last month by the IDF of Kerem Shalom as a closed military zone.

8:58 a.m. ET, February 6, 2024

Khan Younis hospital complex under siege, Gaza health ministry says, as video shows small arms fire

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman and Tim Lister

The Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza accused the Israeli military of tightening a siege of the Nasser medical complex and putting at risk the lives of 300 medical personnel, 450 wounded, and 10,000 displaced people. Video filmed in the immediate vicinity of the complex near the southern city of Khan Younis Tuesday shows intense small arms fire as a handful of people try to escape the area.

The hospital is adjacent to the main route for people trying to flee Khan Younis for somewhat safer areas along the coast.

Video recorded close to the medical complex’s northern gate shows a few people running amid the crack of small arms fire and the whirr of drones overhead.

“The occupation snipers (Israeli troops) are shooting in the area around the Nasser Hospital. There are gunshots at the gate because the occupation snipers are stationed on top of the buildings,” a man says in the video geolocated by CNN.

The road leading to the coast is completely empty because “snipers are shooting at anybody who crosses this road. The situation is a very difficult,” he added.

The Israel Defense Forces said troops were attacked in civilian areas in Khan Younis. It said that the 98th Division, including the Givati Brigade, "encountered hostile fire from buildings. In response, they alerted in a combat helicopter, which quickly identified and neutralized the source of the gunfire on the building's first floor." Another man was killed as he approached Israeli soldiers, the IDF added.

The Hamas-run health ministry added that the medical complex lacks anesthesia, intensive care capacity and surgical supplies, with its electricity generators down to four days of fuel. It also alleged that the Israeli military is impeding the movement of ambulances.

CNN's Lauren Izso contributed to this report.

6:15 a.m. ET, February 6, 2024

IDF says projectiles were fired into northern Israel from Lebanon

From CNN's Lauren Izso and Charbel Mallo

The Israel Defense Forces said several “projectiles” were fired into northern Israel from Lebanon.

It said that the attack was aimed at Margaliot in northern Israel and that artillery retaliated and struck the sources of the fire. 

Two soldiers were slightly wounded, the IDF said.

Earlier Tuesday, IDF fighter jets targeted a Hezbollah military base near Marwahin in southern Lebanon, the IDF added, as well as Hezbollah's operational facilities near Meiss El Jabal, also in southern Lebanon. 

For its part, Hezbollah announced three attacks Tuesday against targets in northern Israel, two of them targeting the Ramim barracks near Kiryat Shimona.