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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12:13 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

"We cannot cope": Palestinian doctor describes chaotic scenes inside Gaza's largest hospital

From CNN's Vasco Cotovio and Abeer Salman

Bodies of Palestinians killed by an explosion at the Al-Ahli Hospital are gathered in the front yard of the Al-Shifa hospital, in Gaza City on October 17.
Bodies of Palestinians killed by an explosion at the Al-Ahli Hospital are gathered in the front yard of the Al-Shifa hospital, in Gaza City on October 17. Abed Khaled/AP

The head of surgery at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza — the enclave’s largest — says staff at the facility “cannot cope” with the huge number of patients they are treating, as he shared video of the chaotic scenes inside the hospital’s emergency ward. 

The video he recorded and sent to CNN shows several rows of patients lining both sides of a hospital corridor, some on stretchers, others simply lying on the floor. 

“This is the yellow area of our emergency department at the Shifa medical complex. Injured people there, there, there…,” Dr. Marwan Sai’ida says as he pans the camera, covering the entire length of the corridor. “[We are] overrun with patients, huge number of injured people.”

Like most specialists at the hospital, he says he is now just working in the emergency ward to help treat the many wounded that continue to arrive. 

“[It is] difficult to cope with this situation, this is horrible, the staff cannot cope with this huge number of injured people,” he says, “There’s no more space.”

Sai’ida, who is also the head of International Cooperation at the Palestinian Ministry of Health, says there are currently 8,000 people at the hospital, and called on global leaders to act to end the war.

11:53 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

US Democrat warns House Speaker's plan to cut funding in Israel aid package could jeopardize passage

From CNN's Manu Raju

Josh Gottheimer and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz bow their heads during a vigil for Israel on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building on October 12, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Josh Gottheimer and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz bow their heads during a vigil for Israel on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building on October 12, 2023 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a prominent Jewish Democrat and Israel supporter, warned that the plans by House Speaker Mike Johnson to advance an aid package for Israel and offset it with spending cuts threaten its chances of passage.

Typically, emergency aid packages are not offset by spending cuts and the move to do so could cost Johnson support from Democrats.

Here's Wasserman Schultz's full statement:

“Support for defending Israel should not come with conditions, be it cutting foreign military financing by 30% or offsetting aid in a time of crucial need. I am deeply disturbed by Speaker Johnson playing political games with Israeli emergency funding, something our nation has never done in a time of crisis.
This extreme tactic undercuts our credibility and feeds the absurd notion that America must choose between providing for our neighbors and pushing back against genocidal terrorists who kill and kidnap Israelis and Americans.
We cannot afford to politicize the battle against Hamas and Iran, giving ammunition to anti-Israel extremists around the world.
"When your neighbor’s house is on fire, you don’t haggle over the price of the garden hose. Speaker Johnson's political games are offensive to all pro-Israel Americans, and I hope he reverses course immediately. ”

Some more context: Johnson vowed on Sunday to move forward with a $14.5 billion aid package for Israel when the House returns later this week, according to sources on his first GOP conference call since ascending to the top job.

Johnson’s decision to move a standalone funding bill for Israel, which he told members would be fully paid for, and detach it from Ukraine aid will tee up a showdown with the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House, which prefer to link the two issues, given Ukraine aid on its own faces an uncertain path in the GOP-led House. Johnson told CNN last week he supports Ukraine aid but needs “conditions” on it.

11:19 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Lebanese prime minister fears escalation of Israel-Hamas war could plunge Middle East "into chaos"

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan

Lebanon's caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati gives an interview in Beirut, Lebanon, on October 30.
Lebanon's caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati gives an interview in Beirut, Lebanon, on October 30. Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

An escalation of the war in Gaza could plunge the whole region into chaos, Lebanon's caretaker prime minister said Monday.

“I see that there is a real race between a ceasefire in Gaza and escalation, because escalation is not only affecting Lebanon, and I fear that escalation will spread to the whole region, plunging the Middle East into chaos," Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in a video interview with AFPTV.

As the war in Gaza intensifies, Hezbollah continues firing rockets toward Israel and Israeli strikes target southern Lebanon, Mikati also said his country is at the “heart of the storm … but has lived through all the wars of the region and, on the contrary, Lebanon has been the most resilient."

Lebanon has also been the site of protests as thousands rallied in support of Palestinians in Gaza following Israel’s siege and strikes on the enclave.

12:02 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Blinken spoke with his Qatari counterpart as talks continue with Hamas over hostages

From Alex Marquardt and Jennifer Hansler

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Monday as Doha continues to lead negotiations for the release of hostages from Hamas, according to two sources briefed on the call. 

“The Secretary reiterated his thanks to the Qatari government for its work to secure the exit of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals from Gaza, the release of hostages held by Hamas, including two American citizens, and continued efforts to prevent the conflict from spreading,” spokesperson Matt Miller said in a readout.

11:01 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Israeli forces launch overnight operation against armed Palestinian groups in West Bank

From CNN's Andrew Carey

Palestinians gather following an Israeli military raid on the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp, in Jenin, West Bank, on October 30.
Palestinians gather following an Israeli military raid on the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp, in Jenin, West Bank, on October 30. Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images

Israel reported new operations against armed Palestinian groups in the occupied West Bank overnight, as the Palestinian Ministry of Health said four men were killed in an Israeli air and ground operation in Jenin.

The four men were named as Amir Sharbji, 25; Nawras Bajawi, 28; Wiaam Hanoun, 27; and Mousa Jabarin, 23. Five others were injured, two of whom were in critical condition, health officials said. Israel said Hanoun was a prominent member of Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli military said the Jenin operation was one of several carried out across the West Bank. Others took place in Hebron and in various villages across the territory.

According to Palestinian eyewitnesses in Jenin, the Israeli army launched two airstrikes on the refugee camp, causing severe damage to buildings.

In separate videos obtained by CNN, an Israeli bulldozer can be seen repeatedly driving into a building apparently trying to smash down the ground floor frontage.

Another video shows the arched gates at the camp entrance being destroyed as a bulldozer drives backward and forward into the structure. 

Other videos record intense bursts of gunfire.

In a statement Monday morning, Israeli officials - using biblical terms to reference the West Bank - said, “At the end of an extensive arrest operation to thwart terrorism and confiscate weapons tonight, 51 wanted persons were arrested in Judea and Samaria, of which 38 were operatives in the terrorist organization Hamas.”

The statement said that Israeli forces had located and destroyed what they said was a booby-trapped observation post, as well as a vehicle in which “ammunition and military equipment were found.”

The latest fatalities bring the total number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank since October 7 to 121, according to Palestinian Ministry of Health figures.

The UN’s humanitarian affairs office says that figure amounts to more than a third of all Palestinians killed in the West Bank by soldiers or settlers since the beginning of 2023.

Some background: Jenin sits toward the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and has officially been under the administration of the Palestinian Authority since 1993.

The city houses a tightly packed refugee camp, which has been the focus of this week’s raids. It was established in 1953 for Palestinians who were uprooted from their homes after Israel’s creation in 1948. Decades later, it’s now a built-up area with homes, shops and schools, but it has one of the highest rates of poverty of all of the West Bank refugee camps, according to the UN.

9:46 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Israel claims its troops killed senior Hamas operatives as part of expanded operations in Gaza

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan

 

The Israeli military said Monday its troops have killed four prominent Hamas operatives as part of its expanded ground operations in the Gaza strip. 

The Israel Defense Forces in a statement provided the following names of killed Hamas members:

  • Jamil Baba, commander of Hamas’ naval forces in its Central Brigade
  • Muhammad Safadi, commander of the anti-tank missile unit
  • Muwaman Hijazi, a prominent operative in Hamas' anti-tank missile unit
  • Muhammad Awdallah, a senior operative in Hamas’ production department

The Israeli military also said it “destroyed terror infrastructure, including anti-tank missile launchers and other launch pads,” it added.

9:31 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

75 aid trucks are waiting to cross from Egypt into Gaza, Egyptian official says

From Asmaa Khalil in Rafah and CNN’s Zeena Saifi in Jerusalem

Seventy-five aid trucks arrived on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Monday, according to a statement by the Secretary General of North Sinai Governorate, Osama Al-Ghandour.

Sixty are currently undergoing security checks, while the remaining 15 are waiting to be inspected, according to a CNN stringer on the ground in Rafah.

Al-Ghandour confirmed that a total of 193 trucks carrying more than 3,100 tons of food, medicines and medical supplies have arrived at the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing since October 8 from the Egyptian Red Crescent. 

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, only 118 trucks have been received so far inside the Gaza Strip “due to the complex inspection procedures imposed by Israel, which impedes the arrival of aid to Gaza.”

Israel has maintained its ban on the entry of fuel into the Gaza Strip, Al-Ghandour added.

He said that the medical sector in North Sinai is ready to receive wounded Palestinians from Gaza to be treated in Egyptian hospitals as soon as they are allowed to cross through.

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.

9:12 a.m. ET, October 30, 2023

US sending "strong" message of deterrence to Iran amid fears of escalating conflict, White House official says

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby speaks in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 24.
Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby speaks in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 24. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The US is working to send a “strong” message of deterrence to Iran as concerns of a wider regional conflict escalate, the White House said Monday.

“We’re certainly going to act — if we have to— to continue to protect our troops and our facilities. We have proven that we will strike and act to do that. And that's a strong message that Iran needs to take away. We take those responsibilities seriously,” said John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications.

“We also take our national security interest writ large in the region very seriously, which is why the president has now employed two aircraft carrier strike groups … We've got to make sure we send a signal to all actors, not just Iran, but all actors, certainly Iran included, that we will take our national security interest very seriously. We will protect and defend our troops. And we'll do it at a time in a manner of our choosing,” he told CNN. 

Remember: Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said Sunday that Israel has "crossed the red lines" and it "may force everyone to take action." There are concerns that Israel's fierce military campaign in Gaza will open up more fronts. There are already crossfire exchanges on northern Israel and southern Lebanon border — separate from Israel's fighting with Hamas farther south, which is centered around Gaza. But an uptick in clashes with Hezbollah has raised fears that the powerful Lebanese paramilitary group could actively participate in the conflict. It comes as the US national security adviser warned of an "elevated risk" of the war expanding into a broader Middle East conflict.

6:31 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Here’s what you need to know as Israeli troops advance further into Gaza

From CNN Staff

Israeli soldiers have advanced more than 2 miles into Gaza, a CNN analysis has found. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Friday it was “expanding ground operations” in the besieged enclave. Gaza residents told CNN earlier that they had been subjected to the most intense airstrikes since Hamas’ October 7 attack and that their communications links had been severed.

Since then, United Nations agencies have warned that “civil order” is deteriorating in Gaza after weeks of siege and bombardment, with people breaking into warehouses to take survival essentials.

Meanwhile, Shani Louk, a 23-year-old 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 said.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Gaza “desperation”: The situation in Gaza is “growing more desperate by the hour,” United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Sunday, as he reiterated his calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The UN reported that thousands of desperate Palestinians are taking basic items like flour and hygiene supplies from warehouses – while facing sustained Israeli airstrikes. Some 59 aid trucks arrived on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing Monday, according to a CNN stringer in Rafah, but UN officials have warned that the current level of aid is far below than 455 trucks that used to enter daily.
  • “Impossible” evacuation: The Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza, which is treating hundreds of patients while offering shelter to 12,000 displaced people, received new warnings on Sunday from Israel to immediately evacuate the hospital ahead of a possible bombardment. The World Health Organization said the order was “impossible” to follow without endangering patient’s lives. The hospital is located north of Wadi Gaza, the line Israel urged people in Gaza to flee south of as it continues to strike what it says are Hamas targets in the north.
  • Israeli advance: Israel over the weekend announced it had entered the “second stage” of its war against Hamas, warning Sunday that its ground operation in Gaza would intensify. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was prepared for a “long and difficult” war as it seeks to “destroy” Hamas and prevent it from launching further attacks on Israeli soil. So far, Israeli troops appear to have advanced more than two miles into Gaza, according to a CNN analysis of video showing soldiers putting an Israeli flag on a hotel rooftop in the strip.
  • Antisemitic riot in Dagestan: An angry mob in Russia’s Muslim-majority region of Dagestan stormed an airport where a flight from Tel Aviv arrived Sunday, forcing authorities to close the facility and divert flights. Multiple videos on social media showed a large crowd inside the Makhachkala Uytash Airport (MCX) and on the runway. Some waved the Palestinian flag; others forced their way through closed doors in the terminal. In photos and videos verified by CNN, the crowd outside held antisemitic signs that included slogans like “We are against Jewish refugees,” and “There is no place for child-killers in Dagestan.” The Kremlin blamed the riot on “external interference.”
  • Hostage killed: 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 said Monday. Louk was at the Nova music festival in southern Israel when Hamas breached the border between Gaza and Israel. She was kidnapped at the festival and “tortured and paraded around Gaza by Hamas terrorists,” the foreign ministry said, adding that she “experienced unfathomable horrors.” More than 260 bodies were found at the Nova festival site itself, according to Israeli rescue service Zaka, but a CNN analysis showed the death toll could be even higher.
  • Death toll in Gaza rises: At least 8,260 people have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which draws from sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. More than 21,000 others have been injured, the ministry said Monday. Women, children and the elderly make up more than 70% of those killed, the ministry said. The main UN relief agency for Gaza has also updated its figures and says almost 672,000 displaced people are sheltering in 149 UNRWA installations across Gaza, such as schools and health care facilities.

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