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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5:25 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Humanitarian group confirms delivery of aid from trucks that crossed into Gaza 

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

Humanitarian organization the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) confirmed that it received food and medical supplies from 26 trucks that managed to cross into Gaza on Monday. 

"We received 26 trucks containing food supplies and medical equipment from the Egyptian Red Crescent through the #Rafah crossing this evening," the PRCS said Monday in an update post on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

A CNN stringer — who was present on the Egyptian side of the crossing — confirmed earlier Monday the 26 trucks had passed inspection and crossed into the Gaza Strip. The PRCS said this brings the total number of trucks that have crossed successfully from Egypt into Gaza to 144. 

In its statement, the aid group highlighted once again that fuel supplies have still not been allowed into the besieged enclave. 

5:40 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Shani Louk declared dead after forensic examiners identified bone fragment from her skull

From CNN's Jake Tapper

Ricarda Louk shows a photo of her daughter Shani Louk in Berlin on October 19.
Ricarda Louk shows a photo of her daughter Shani Louk in Berlin on October 19. Christoph Soeder/dpa/picture alliance/Getty Images

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the death of 23-year-old German-Israeli woman Shani Louk after forensic examiners found a bone fragment from her skull, a source involved with her identification told CNN. 

The bone fragment was from the petrous part of the temporal bone, which is at the base of the skull, normally near the carotid artery, a major blood vessel that provides blood to the brain. A DNA test concluded the fragment belonged to Louk. 

The bone fragment, combined with the circumstances surrounding the October 7 attack and video that appeared to show Louk unconscious on the back of a Hamas truck, led investigators to conclude these were her remains.  

The determination was made by five top experts at the health ministry, including Dr. Chen Kugel, the director of Israel's National Center of Forensic Medicine.

Louk attended the Nova music festival in southern Israel when Hamas attacked. 

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

The identification adds Louk to the hundreds-high death toll of Hamas' terror attacks on southern Israel. 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.

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

4:41 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Israeli ground operation seemingly intensifying in Gaza, CNN crews report

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová

A photo released by the IDF on October 30 shows its forces continue to expand ground operations in Gaza.
A photo released by the IDF on October 30 shows its forces continue to expand ground operations in Gaza. EyePress News/Shutterstock

Israel’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip intensified on Monday, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) apparently advancing further inside the enclave. CNN teams on the ground in Sderot, about a kilometer from the Gaza perimeter, heard machine gun fire on numerous occasions during the day, suggesting intense fighting on the ground in the northern parts of the Gaza Strip.

The IDF has not released details about how far it has advanced, but it is clear that Israeli troops have established positions well within the strip. Tanks and armored personnel carriers were seen moving inside the border fence on Monday, with more vehicles seen approaching toward the perimeter from staging grounds further away.

At the same time, the IDF continued its campaign of intense bombardment against Gaza, now well into its third week, firing artillery rounds, mortars and what appeared to be guided munitions into the Strip. Fighter jets, drones and helicopters were also operating in the area, with one plane flying in circles over the enclave for much of the afternoon.

IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said earlier in the day that the Israeli military is “expanding” its activity.

“This is armored and infantry activity, offensive action that is expanding in the Gaza Strip in order to achieve the two objectives we were given for this war,” Hagari said. “One, to dismantle Hamas, and the other, to bring home the hostages. Both objectives are served by expanding our operational activity and we will strive to achieve them to the fullest."

Earlier, a video of an Israeli tank apparently opening fire on a passenger vehicle as it executed a U-turn on the main road running through Gaza was shared online. Geolocated by CNN and filmed by Yousif Al Saifi, a Palestinian freelance journalist, the footage shows the tank close to the Netzarim junction, a key crossroads to the south of Gaza city, and about 3 kilometers from the Strip’s eastern boundary.

In response to the video, a spokesperson for the IDF told CNN that Hamas uses civilian equipment inside Gaza, but acknowledged that they didn’t know who was inside that particular car.

“How can you tell there aren’t terrorists inside that car? Hamas has no jeeps or tanks, they use civilian equipment for their military purposes,” IDF spokesman Maj. Nir Dinar told CNN.

The IDF said Monday its troops, supported by the Israel Air Force, managed to thwart “multiple attacks from several terrorist cells” in Gaza. It also said it “destroyed terror infrastructure, including anti-tank missile launchers and other launch pads.”

Despite the intense pressure Israeli forces are applying to the Gaza Strip, Hamas continues to fire rockets toward Israel. CNN’s team in Sderot saw several outgoing rounds being fired in the early evening, after multiple rounds earlier in the day.

4:51 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

White House says Israel is "certainly" making an effort to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza

From CNN's Donald Judd

Smoke rises in Gaza as Israeli airstrikes continue on Monday.
Smoke rises in Gaza as Israeli airstrikes continue on Monday. Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told reporters Monday the administration believes Israel is “certainly” making an effort to minimize humanitarian casualties in Gaza.

“Without getting into, reacting to events on the ground in real time, which we are just not going to do, this is a conversation we consistently have at had with our Israeli counterparts,” Kirby told reporters during Monday’s White House press briefing. “That was part of the discussion yesterday with the prime minister, and you heard the prime minister today speaking in Tel Aviv about the efforts that they're undertaking to try to avoid civilian casualties, and I think that they certainly are making that effort.” 

Still, he said: “It doesn't mean that there haven't been civilian casualties — tragically, there have been many, thousands of them, but unlike Putin in Ukraine, and unlike what Hamas did on October 7, killing civilians is not a war aim of the Israeli Defense Forces.” 

The NSC spokesperson told reporters that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has himself brought up the issue of civilian casualties in Gaza in conversations with US President Joe Biden, and that both leaders “recognize that as democracies, it's important to abide by the law of war, to protect innocent life and to and to try to minimize civilian casualties.��� 

“There's not a single conversation we haven't had with our Israeli counterparts to better understand what they're doing to try to minimize civilian casualties — and again, as friends can and friends should do with one another, to make sure that we're on the same page about that,” he said. “And the United States is literally leading the effort to try to get humanitarian assistance in to Gaza — and if it wasn't, quite frankly, for American leadership, I don't think you'd see —in fact, I know you wouldn't see the increase of the aid getting in.”

More context: Muslim-American leaders told Biden in a small private meeting last Thursday he and his administration needed to show more empathy toward Palestinian lives and pushed back on his comment casting doubt on civilian death figures in Gaza provided by the health ministry there, according to two of the attendees.

Kirby's comments Monday also come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier pushed back on criticism about civilian casualties and said Hamas was preventing civilians from moving to the safe zone in southern Gaza. 

Israel’s bombardment has left at least 7,960 people dead, mostly civilians, according to figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah drawn from sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. 

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Khalil Abdallah contributed reporting to this post.

4:32 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Here's how Gaza's vital services are affected when fuel runs out

From CNN's Rachel Wilson, Lou Robinson and Amy O'Kruk

Fuel is a lifeline for more than 2 million people in Gaza who, three weeks into the siege, are suffering from dire shortages of basic supplies and medical care. The lack of fuel has crippled hospitals, water systems, bakeries and relief operations in the strip, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) warned on Sunday that the aid convoy system in Gaza “is geared to fail” if Israel continues to ban fuel.

Amid the threat of vital infrastructure collapsing without fuel, thousands of desperate Palestinians broke into the UNRWA’s warehouses for supplies on Saturday.

The enclave has gone without any fuel deliveries for almost three weeks since the Israeli government ordered a “complete siege” on October 9 and halted food, fuel, water and electricity supplies after Hamas’ attack left more than 1,400 Israelis dead.

Nearly all fuel has been exhausted and UN officials are warning that hospitals are on the brink of collapse without the ability to run backup generators to treat people.

Here's a look at how services are affected in Gaza when fuel runs out:

As of Monday morning, 118 aid trucks with food, water and medical supplies have entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing. Israel began allowing a limited number of trucks through on October 21 but has continued to refuse fuel, saying Hamas would use it to launch weapons.

The Israel military says there are fuel supplies in Gaza being held by Hamas which are not being distributed for humanitarian purposes, CNN reported.

The main UN agency in Gaza has said it will have to stop operating when fuel runs out, which was expected on October 25, though some operations have continued by severe rationing. Gaza cannot produce food or clean water without electricity or fuel.

Read more about the situation in the enclave here.

4:30 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

House Republicans' $14.3 billion Israel aid bill offsets spending by cutting IRS funds 

From CNN's Haley Talbot, Kristin Wilson and Manu Raju

The Capitol Building is seen on September 23.
The Capitol Building is seen on September 23. Aaron M. Sprecher/AP

The House has released the text of the supplement Israel funding bill, appropriating $14.3 billion dollars to the Mideast nation.

As House Speaker Mike Johnson noted last week, the bill includes the same amount in spending cuts, rescinding $14.3 billion that had been allocated to the IRS as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Democrats are warning that the bill’s offsets could cost its passage in the House. And so far, two House Republicans – Tom Massie and Marjorie Taylor Greene – have said they will oppose the bill.  

In the Senate, both top leaders have pressed to have any funding for Israel combined with Ukraine and border security funding. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer offered a new warning Monday to Johnson over his push to include spending cuts to offset the costs of the Israel package, signaling the chamber would reject the House plan if Republicans pursue that approach.

Schumer also told CNN that the funding package should include funding for Ukraine, even as Johnson plans to move a stand-alone Israel bill.

"We believe our Democratic Caucus — we should be doing all of it together. Israel, Ukraine, South Pacific," Schumer said of the bill.

And he said of the Johnson plan to cut $14.3 billion from the IRS to pay for the plan: "Obviously, a pay-for like that makes it much harder to pass."

3:56 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Vice President Harris will discuss Israel with UK prime minister and other world leaders in London this week

From CNN's DJ Judd

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet Thursday with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other leaders while in London this week, where she will continue the United States' "close consultations on the conflict between Israel and Hamas and Russia's war in Ukraine,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday.

Harris is scheduled to travel to London Tuesday. She will attend the Global Summit on AI Safety hosted by Sunak on Thursday and return to the US that evening.

In an interview that aired Sunday, Harris said the US has “absolutely no intention” of sending American combat troops into Israel or Gaza amid fears over a wider regional conflict.

Harris, who has been included in briefings and phone calls on the Middle East crisis, closely stuck to the administration’s approach: Supporting Israel’s right to defend itself while also calling for the protection of civilians.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed reporting to this post.

9:11 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

Father of Israeli hostage held by Hamas relieved to see his daughter alive

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan

The father of Daniel Aloni said his heart stopped when he saw the picture of his daughter on television Monday after Hamas released a video in which she appeared with two other female Israeli hostages.

Ramos Aloni held a news conference in Jerusalem with other hostage family members and said that he was “shocked” to see his daughter being held captive by Hamas but felt relieved to see all three women alive. 

“I felt relief that they are alive because up until today, we had no information, no verified information,” the father said.

He also asked for the International Committee of the Red Cross to take the initiative and “demand to see all our hostages. The Red Cross must demand medical support.” He said his daughter needs regular medication and needs them on a daily basis. 

He then called on Qatar and Egypt and additional countries that are involved to end the hostages’ captivity and bring them back.

Aloni's father said that aside from Daniel, her sister Sharon, and her 3-year-old twins, his 5-year-old granddaughter and son-in-law David are all believed to be held hostage in Gaza.

2:52 p.m. ET, October 30, 2023

US is pushing Israel to maintain communications networks in Gaza and restore water, State Department says

From CNN's Michael Conte

An antenna of a communications tower is seen in Rafah, southern Gaza, on October 28.
An antenna of a communications tower is seen in Rafah, southern Gaza, on October 28. Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

The US is pushing Israel to “ensure that communication networks in Gaza remain operational,” as well as to restore essential services of water and fuel, according to a State Department spokesperson.

“We made clear to the government of Israel over the weekend that communications networks need to be restored, and we are pleased that they took steps to do that,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said at a press briefing Tuesday.

Miller also said the US is “making progress” on ensuring fuel deliveries to Gaza.

The US also has an agreement with Israel to turn a second water line into Gaza back on, according to Miller, but “there are issues with parts of that line actually being damaged.”