October 30, 2023 - Israel-Hamas war news

By Tara Subramaniam, Christian Edwards, Ed Upright, Aditi Sangal, Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond, Holly Yan, Zoe Sottile and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 1:08 p.m. ET, October 31, 2023
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7:44 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Kremlin says antisemitic riots at Russian airport caused by "external interference"

From CNN’s Anna Chernova

Russian National Guard vans parked at the airport in Makhachkala, Dagestan, on October 30.
Russian National Guard vans parked at the airport in Makhachkala, Dagestan, on October 30. Getty Images

The Russian government has blamed "external interference" for the antisemitic riots that broke out at the Makhachkala airport in Russia's southern region of Dagestan on Sunday.

“It is well known and obvious that yesterday’s events around the Makhachkala airport are largely the result of external interference, including external information influence,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists Monday.

An angry mob in the Muslim-majority region of Dagestan stormed the airport where a flight arrived from Israel on Sunday, forcing authorities to close the facility and divert flights.

At least 20 people were injured in the incident, including both law enforcement and civilians, according to a statement from Dagestan's health ministry on Telegram.

Multiple videos posted on social media showed a crowd of people inside the airport and on the runway, some waving the Palestinian flag, others forcing their way through closed doors in the international terminal.

According to Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been receiving extensive updates on the situation in Dagestan from various security agencies and local authorities, and has scheduled a meeting for Monday evening to address the riots.

7:07 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

UK pressing for a “humanitarian pause” to fighting in Gaza, British foreign secretary says

From CNN's Alex Hardie and Christian Edwards in London

The United Kingdom is “working extensively with the Egyptians, with the Israelis, and others to try and have a humanitarian pause” in Gaza, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Monday.

Cleverly said this would be a “temporary pause, so that we can get that humanitarian aid to the people that need it.”

Speaking in an interview with Reuters during a visit to Abu Dhabi on Monday, Cleverly said that aid to Gaza was “trickling through, but we need a significant increase in the volume.”

Cleverly said that UK aid to Palestinian people in Gaza “is predominantly stuck in Egypt” at the moment.

“It’s part of the reason I am meeting with (United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister) Sheikh Abdullah later on today and why I will continue to speak to political leadership in the region to try and get that aid to the people that need it,” he continued.

Some background: Many of Israel’s allies have stopped short of calling for a “ceasefire,” stressing that Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas after its brutal October 7 terror attack – but have begun to call for a “humanitarian pause” to the fighting to allow aid to reach the 2 million civilians living in Gaza.

A resolution calling for a halt to the fighting passed by an overwhelming majority of 120 nations at a meeting of the United Nations on Friday. The resolution called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the war between Israel and Hamas and for aid to be allowed to flow unrestricted into Gaza.

The United States and Israel sharply criticized the resolution text, however, for not explicitly criticizing Hamas.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan asked the assembly, “Why are you defending murderers?”

“Israel just endured the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, and according to a majority of the so-called family of nations, Israel has no right to defend itself,” he said.
5:36 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

German-Israeli woman kidnapped at music festival has been found dead, Israel's foreign ministry says

From CNN's Anna Chernova

Shani Louk
Shani Louk Shani Louk/Instagram

Shani Louk, a German-Israeli woman kidnapped by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack and taken to Gaza, has been found dead, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.

“We are devastated to share that the body of 23 year old German-Israeli Shani (Louk) was found and identified,” the ministry posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday.

Louk was at the Nova music festival in southern Israel on October 7 when Hamas breached the border between Gaza and Israel. They blocked off the road to the festival from the north and the south, before swarming the sprawling site on foot, videos showed. The militants then encircled the crowds on three sides, gunning them down and forcing them to flee over fields to the east.

More than 260 bodies were found at the Nova festival site itself, according to Israeli rescue service Zaka but, based on CNN's analysis, the total death toll could be even higher.

Louk was kidnapped at the festival and “tortured and paraded around Gaza by Hamas terrorists,” the foreign ministry statement said, adding that she “experienced unfathomable horrors.”

“May her memory be a blessing,” the statement said.

Note: Israeli authorities previously announced that Louk had been "found and identified" but did not specify that a bone fragment was found.

6:49 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Dozens of aid trucks wait to cross into Gaza from Egypt

From journalist Asmaa Khalil in Rafah, Egypt, and CNN's Abeer Salman in Jerusalem

A total of 59 aid trucks arrived on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza and were waiting to undergo security checks Monday morning, according to a CNN stringer in Rafah.

If the vehicles cross into the strip, it will mark a significant increase in the number of daily aid trucks arriving in Gaza. But it will still be far short of the roughly 455 trucks that used to enter daily, according to the United Nations.

Monday’s arrivals at the crossing follow a statement from the Israeli military on Sunday that it had worked out an inspection mechanism with Egypt and the United States that would allow more aid to enter. 

On Sunday evening, 24 aid trucks were received by the Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza, according to a statement from the aid group, adding to 10 that arrived earlier in the day.

"We received 24 trucks this evening from our brothers at the Egyptian Red Crescent through the Rafah crossing, containing food supplies and medical necessities," the statement said while highlighting that no fuel had been received.

The vehicles were allowed to enter Gaza after passing through inspection procedures on the Egyptian side, according to a CNN stringer on the ground, who spoke to an Egyptian border official at the crossing.

Some context: Israel imposed a complete closure on Gaza from the two crossings it controls, in response to the October 7 Hamas attack, leaving the Rafah crossing from Egypt as the only entry to the strip.

Aid has been able to trickle into Gaza for more than a week, after the first convoy of trucks entered through the Rafah crossing on October 21. But UN officials have warned that the current levels of aid are a "drop in the ocean" of the needs of some 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza, and the initial deliveries did not include vital fuel supplies.

6:42 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Barrage of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová in Ashkelon, Israel

A picture taken from Israel's southern city of Sderot shows rockets fired from northern Gaza towards Israel on October 30.
A picture taken from Israel's southern city of Sderot shows rockets fired from northern Gaza towards Israel on October 30. Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Several rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel Monday morning, a sign that Hamas is still capable of firing back despite enduring more than three weeks of intense bombardment by the Israeli military.

A CNN team on the ground in Askhelon, southern Israel, heard two successive barrages of rockets — at least six in total — just before midday local time on Monday. According to local media, one of the rockets fell onto an industrial complex in Ashkelon. The rest appeared to have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system.

Israel’s Home Front Command has issued thousands of warnings of incoming fire from the Gaza Strip since Hamas launched its terror attack on October 7. The vast majority have been intercepted by the Iron Dome, but a handful have caused damage in cities across Israel.

The Israeli military said that destroying the infrastructure that allows Hamas to fire rockets towards Israel was one of the priorities of its operation in Gaza. It said on Thursday that its intelligence reports suggested air strikes have killed a Hamas rocket commander, Hassan Al-Abdullah, who the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said commanded rocket units in the Khan Younis area of Gaza.

Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, told CNN it believes it has killed “scores” of senior figures in Hamas’s military structure since it began air strikes on Gaza more than three weeks ago — despite that, Hamas continues to fire rockets towards Israel on daily basis.

3:08 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Israeli forces say dozens of Hamas militants killed overnight in Gaza ground operations

From CNN's Hadas Gold

Israeli tanks and other military vehicles maneuver inside Gaza, as seen from Israel, on October 29.
Israeli tanks and other military vehicles maneuver inside Gaza, as seen from Israel, on October 29. Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

Dozens of Hamas operatives who had barricaded themselves in buildings and tunnels were killed overnight as Israel continued its ground operations in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Monday.

In one incident, an Israeli aircraft guided by IDF ground troops struck a staging post inside a building belonging to Hamas with over 20 militants inside, the IDF said in a statement.

Overnight, a guided fighter jet also struck the area of Al-Azhar University, where IDF troops had identified what they said were armed terrorists and an anti-tank missile launching post.

Over the past few days, the IDF says it has struck more than 600 "terror targets," including weapons depots, dozens of anti-tank missile launching positions, and hideouts and staging grounds used by Hamas.

Some context: Israeli troops have advanced more than 2 miles [about 3 kilometers] into Gaza in their expanding ground operation, a CNN analysis has found.

Israel over the weekend announced it had entered a “second stage” of its war against Hamas and on Sunday said its ground operation in Gaza would intensify, following weeks of aerial strikes on the Hamas-controlled territory.

The country was prepared for a “long and difficult” war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday, as it seeks to root out and “destroy” Hamas after its October 7 attack on Israel, which killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians.

2:18 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Gaza death toll nears 8,000, Palestinian Health Ministry says

From CNN’s Eyad Kourdi and Abeer Salman

The number of people killed during Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7 has risen to 7,950, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah said Sunday, drawing the data from sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of those killed are from vulnerable populations, including children, women and elderly people, according to the ministry's report. 

More than 20,000 people have been injured, the ministry added. 

The reported death toll includes 116 medical personnel, as many hospitals have been hit by military strikes.

In an earlier update, the ministry said 24 hospitals in northern Gaza, with a combined capacity of 2,000 beds, had been told to evacuate.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misstated the figures provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah. This has been amended.

12:48 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

"He couldn't finish the job": Thai farmer recounts horror of Hamas massacre

From CNN's Ivan Watson, Kocha Olarn and Heather Chen 

Touching the side of his neck gingerly, 30-year-old Withawat Kunwong reveals a jagged network of scars he received after being attacked at a poultry farm where he had been working in southern Israel.

The wound, Kunwong says, is a painful reminder of the fear and trauma he endured on October 7 when thousands of Hamas fighters broke through Israel’s border defenses in an unprecedented surprise attack.

The farm he had been working on was located in the Holit kibbutz, an agrarian community near the Gaza Strip. He was livestreaming from the farm when loud explosions were heard and thick black plumes of smoke rose into the air as rockets flew overheard.

He recalled hiding for hours that day but was discovered by a man he recalled as being a Palestinian dressed in civilian clothes who tried to cut his throat with a kitchen knife, after he “refused to surrender. A savage fight ensued.

After the violent struggle with his attacker, Kunwong was left for dead, heavily bleeding from the wound in his throat. He was eventually found and cared for by other migrant workers. He managed to survive, he believes, because the knife had been blunt and broken.

“He couldn’t finish the job,” he told CNN. “This injury still hurts but I feel the hurt inside more,” he added.

His story is a tragic illustration of the human toll of the ongoing war that has claimed thousands of lives in both Israel and Gaza and displaced more than a million people in the Hamas-controlled territory.

Hamas has described its brutal attack as an assault on Israel. But so many of those murdered and kidnapped by the militant group’s fighters were also foreign nationals.

Read more about the hostages.

12:04 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

UN warns of "growing hunger and desperation" in Gaza as Israeli troops advance. Here's what to know

From CNN staff

"Civil order" is deteriorating in Gaza after weeks of siege and bombardment, with people breaking into warehouses to take survival essentials, according to United Nations agencies.

The UN World Food Programme said some of its aid supplies were looted in Gaza and warned of "growing hunger and desperation" in a news release Sunday. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said earlier Sunday that "thousands" of people had broken into some of its warehouses and distribution centers in the central and southern areas of the strip, "taking wheat flour and other basic survival items like hygiene supplies."

Here's what you need to know:

  • Emergency meeting: The United Arab Emirates, the only Arab country with a seat in the UN Security Council, will seek a binding resolution from other members for an "immediate humanitarian pause" in the fighting in Gaza during an emergency meeting Monday, sources said. Earlier this month, the United States vetoed a draft resolution at the council that called for a humanitarian pause. 
  • Hospital hit: Israeli airstrikes have “caused extensive damage to hospital departments and exposed residents and patients to suffocation” at the Al-Quds Hospital, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Sunday, accusing Israel of “deliberately” launching the airstrikes next to Gaza City's second-largest hospital "with the aim of forcing the medical staff, displaced people, and patients to evacuate.” It also said it received a warning Sunday from Israel to immediately evacuate the hospital ahead of possible bombardment, which the World Health Organization has said would be "impossible" without endangering patients' lives.
  • Israeli advance: Israeli troops in a video taken Saturday, are seen putting an Israeli flag on a Gaza resort hotel's roof. CNN geolocated the video to an area just over 2 miles [about 3 kilometers] from the Gaza-Israel border. It's one of the first glimpses into where Israeli ground forces have been, and what they've been doing, during the expanded ground operations in Gaza. A communications blackout in the enclave has significantly hampered the flow of information out of it, though providers said service was gradually being restored Sunday.

  • Regional conflict fears: Israel has "crossed the red lines" in Gaza, which "may force everyone to take action," Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said Sunday, while US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned of an "elevated risk" of a spillover conflict in the Middle East. Experts say that while Iran is wary of being dragged into the Israel-Hamas war, it may not be in full control if the militias it backs in the region — like the Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah — independently intervene as Hamas suffers heavy blows and the death toll in Gaza continues to mount.
  • Aid trucks cross: The Palestinian Red Crescent said it received 10 aid trucks via the Rafah border crossing containing food supplies and medical necessities. The total number of received trucks so far has reached 94, while fuel has not been allowed to enter yet. Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders said it has sent 26 tons of medical supplies to Egypt to support the emergency medical response in Gaza.
  • Death toll mounts: The death toll in Gaza has risen to 7,960, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah announced on Sunday, drawing the data from sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. More than 20,000 have been injured, the ministry said. Nearly three-quarters — 73% — of those killed are from vulnerable populations, including children, women, and elderly individuals, according to the ministry report, which adds that the total killed includes 116 medical personnel. 
  • Gaza connectivity: After phone and internet service was severed late last week, civilians, aid groups and journalists were left without any means of communicating with the outside world. Service appeared to be gradually restored on Sunday. "We do feel strongly that the restoration of that communications was a critical thing," US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. "Because aid workers need to be able to communicate, civilians need to be able to communicate, and of course, journalists need to be able to document what is happening in Gaza to report it to the wider world."