November 1, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news

By Kathleen Magramo, Christian Edwards, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt, Dakin Andone, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, November 2, 2023
54 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
3:43 p.m. ET, November 1, 2023

Nearly half of Gaza's hospitals are out of service, Palestinian health ministry says

From CNN’s Kareem El Damanhoury and Kareem Khadder 

Sixteen out of 35 hospitals in Gaza are out of service due to bombardment and a fuel shortage, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah. 

The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, which is the leading cancer hospital in Gaza, is among hospitals that have stopped operating, the health ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, based in Ramallah, said on Wednesday that the lives of 70 cancer patients at the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital are seriously threatened, adding that the lives of about 2,000 other cancer patients are also under serious threat amid "catastrophic health conditions" due to the conflict.  

Hospital director Sobhi Skaik told CNN on Monday that the center was damaged in an Israeli attack, with its third floor suffering a direct hit causing damage to oxygen and water supplies, though no one was injured. The Israeli military told CNN in a statement Tuesday: “The IDF did not strike Gaza’s Turkish-Palestinian Friendship hospital.” It did not offer any further information.

The Palestinian health ministry further warned that Gaza’s largest hospital could be out of service very soon.

“Al Shifa Medical Complex will stop working in less than 24 hours due to running out of fuel,” the ministry said, adding that the hospital’s vicinity has been repeatedly hit by Israeli airstrikes.

The ministry called for Israeli attacks to stop, which it said would allow medical supplies and volunteer teams to enter, as well as wounded people to leave the strip for treatment.

Meanwhile, Israel has claimed that there is fuel in Gaza, but that it is under Hamas control.  

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN last week that there is “between 800,000 and perhaps more than one million liters of fuel of different types stored inside Gaza” under Hamas control, according to Israeli military intelligence estimates. He said some of that fuel was stockpiled and accused the United Nations and Hamas of stealing some of it as well.

CNN cannot independently verify the amount of fuel in Gaza. 

2:29 p.m. ET, November 1, 2023

US State Department is not assessing whether Israel has committed war crimes, spokesperson says

From CNN's Michael Conte

A State Department spokesperson said the agency is not beginning its official process to assess whether Israel has committed war crimes during the conflict with Hamas at the moment.

“We will continue to discuss with them [Israel] directly, as we will say publicly, that it is our expectation that in all of their activities, all their military campaigns that they comply with the laws of war,” said State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller at a press briefing.

Asked about the civilians Israel has killed in its strikes on the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, Miller said the department is “deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life,” but would not condemn the strikes.

4:45 p.m. ET, November 1, 2023

2 American aid workers have left Gaza and are now in Egypt

From CNN’s Stephanie Becker and Daniel Medina

Two aid workers — Ramona Okumura and Dr. Barbara Zind — are among the Americans who have crossed the border from Gaza into Egypt.

According to Okumura's nephew, Nicholas Pang, the family received a text saying she had crossed the border from Gaza early Wednesday morning. Okumura, a 71-year-old Seattle resident, was making prosthetics for Gazan children and had been staying in a United Nations compound when the war broke out following the attacks by Hamas on October 7.

Okumura's brother said she texted him at 4 a.m. local time, writing, "ACROSS PALESTINE BORDER ON SHUTTLE TO EGYPTIAN BORDER.”  

The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund told CNN that Dr. Barbara Zind, a pediatrician from Grand Junction, Colorado, is also now in Egypt. Okumura and Zind are headed to Cairo, the group said.

Some context: US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said earlier Wednesday that an initial group of foreign nationals, including US citizens, had departed Gaza and were in Egypt. Miller declined to give details on the number of US citizens who had left Gaza, citing “operational security” concerns. 

Americans are expected to leave Gaza today and others are being told to be “ready to go and to await further instruction,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Air Force One.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Okumura's role.

3:36 p.m. ET, November 1, 2023

Palestinian Red Crescent says it received 55 aid trucks at Rafah crossing on Wednesday

From CNN's Amir Tal and Michael Conte

Palestinian Red Crescent teams receive trucks with humanitarian aid from the Egyptian Red Crescent at the Rafah crossing on November 1.
Palestinian Red Crescent teams receive trucks with humanitarian aid from the Egyptian Red Crescent at the Rafah crossing on November 1. Palestinian Red Crescent

The Palestinian Red Crescent said its teams at the Rafah crossing have received 55 trucks of humanitarian aid from the Egyptian Red Crescent on Wednesday, noting those trucks contained food, water, medicine and medical supplies.

That brings the total number of trucks received since aid was first allowed to enter Gaza to 272, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Earlier Wednesday, a spokesperson for the US State Department said over 200 aid trucks had entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing since October 21, when the first vehicles carrying aid were able to cross into the enclave.

“We expect today's number to surpass yesterday's, just as yesterday's number surpass(ed) the day before’s, as we continue to ramp up deliveries to Gaza,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Wednesday. 

Some context: The most recent shipments included “only water, food, and medical equipment,” according to a spokesperson for Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Israel has refused to allow vital fuel supplies into Gaza, citing the risk of it being stolen by Hamas.

Though the number of trucks going into the enclave has increased in recent days, it's still less than a normal day's worth of aid before the conflict started. Prior to October 7, there were 450 trucks going into Gaza daily, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory Lynn Hastings said in a press briefing last week. 

3:28 p.m. ET, November 1, 2023

White House avoids criticism of Israeli strike on refugee camp

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Palestinians inspect the damage of buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes on Jabalya refugee camp on the outskirts of Gaza City on October 31.
Palestinians inspect the damage of buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes on Jabalya refugee camp on the outskirts of Gaza City on October 31. Abdul Qader Sabbah/AP

The White House continued Wednesday to avoid direct criticism of Israel's military actions in Gaza, including its massive airstrike on a refugee camp, saying it wouldn't respond to each development on the battlefield.

Speaking aboard Air Force One, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said instead the US was in constant conversation with the Israelis about the importance of protecting civilian lives. 

"We’re going to be cautious about reacting to each and every event on the ground," Kirby told CNN, adding the US was still gathering details on the strike.

He could not provide American estimates of causalities.

Kirby declined to elaborate on US President Joe Biden's personal reaction to the airstrike, which occurred Tuesday.

He said the US has long been concerned about the imperative to protect civilians.

"There's not a conversation we're having with our Israeli counterparts that doesn't reflect our continued concern over civilian casualties and urging them to be as careful and deliberate as possible to avoid that risk," he said.

"You'll continue to hear from the president about our significant concern over civilian harm," Kirby added later.

 

2:13 p.m. ET, November 1, 2023

Why the Rafah border crossing has a critical role in the Israel-Hamas war

From CNN's Abbas Al Lawati and Mohammed Abdelbary

A small number of Palestinians and foreign nationals have finally been able to leave Gaza on Wednesday, after weeks of intense negotiations resulted in the partial opening of the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

On Wednesday, some exited Gaza through Rafah following a deal brokered by Qatar between Israel, Hamas and Egypt, in coordination with the United States.

It comes soon after aid trucks were able to start entering the enclave in greater numbers in the opposite direction — a development that also required lengthy talks.

Located in Egypt’s North Sinai, the Rafah crossing is the sole border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. It falls along an 8-mile (12.8-kilometer) fence that separates Gaza from the Sinai desert.

Rafah is the only Gazan border crossing that isn’t controlled by Israel, which shut its crossings with the territory following Hamas’ October 7 attack. It has emerged as a crucial location as the humanitarian situation in the territory worsens.

Before the war with Hamas that started in early October, Israel had two crossings with Gaza: Erez, which is for the movement of people, and Kerem Shalom, for goods. Both were heavily restricted and have been shut since the war began.

According to United Nations figures, an average of 27,000 people crossed the border each month as of July this year. The border was open for 138 days and closed for 74 this year until that month.

Closures often depend on the security and political situation on the ground. While Israel has no direct control over the crossing, Egypt’s closures often coincide with Israel’s own tightening of restrictions on Gaza.

Read more about the critical role of the Rafah crossing.

3:52 p.m. ET, November 1, 2023

IDF confirms second Jabalya blast was the result of an airstrike

From CNN's Kevin Flower

Palestinians conduct search and rescue operations after the second bombardment at Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza City on November 1.
Palestinians conduct search and rescue operations after the second bombardment at Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza City on November 1. Ali Jadallah/Anadolu/Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that a blast in the Falluja neighborhood of the Jabalya refugee camps was due to an airstrike Wednesday.

The IDF said in a statement its jets "struck a Hamas command and control complex in Jabaliya," adding that "Hamas terrorists were eliminated in the strike."

"Hamas deliberately builds its terror infrastructure under, around and within civilian buildings, intentionally endangering Gazan civilians," the IDF said.

The statement said the IDF has been urging people in the neighborhood to leave. It also reiterated its call for civilians in northern Gaza to evacuate to the southern part of the enclave.

The airstrike rocked the refugee camp for the second day in a row. Video from the site showed catastrophic damage and people digging through the rubble searching for bodies. 

The first Israeli strike on the Jabalya refugee camp on Tuesday killed a large number of people, according to eyewitnesses and medics there. Israel says its strike targeted and killed a top Hamas commander, while Hamas strongly denied the presence of one of its leaders in the camp.

This post has been updated with additional information about the airstrike.

2:03 p.m. ET, November 1, 2023

Some US citizens have departed Gaza and are in Egypt, State Department spokesperson says 

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler and Aileen Graef

An initial group of foreign nationals, including US citizens, have departed Gaza and are in Egypt, US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said Wednesday.

He declined to give details on the number of US citizens who have departed, citing “operational security” concerns. 

Americans are expected to leave Gaza today and others are being told to be “ready to go,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Air Force One.

“A handful of Americans are expected to depart today, and we expect to get more to come in future days. The State Department has communicated directly with American citizens and Gaza over the past 24 hours to tell them to be ready to go and to await further instruction,” Kirby said.

Kirby also pushed back on the suggestion that the United States would support a permanent settlement outside of Gaza for Palestinians.

Some context: The departures of injured Palestinians and some foreign nationals followed a deal brokered by Qatar between Israel, Hamas and Egypt, in coordination with the US, according to sources familiar with the talks.

The deal to release foreigners from Gaza into Egypt is not part of any potential deal to secure the release of hostages being held by Hamas, multiple sources emphasize to CNN. Those talks are still ongoing and one US official said they would caution against drawing any comparisons between the two parallel missions.

2:04 p.m. ET, November 1, 2023

At least 361 foreign nationals have entered Egypt through the Rafah crossing from Gaza, Egyptian official says

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

At least 361 foreign nationals have entered Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, an Egyptian government official tells CNN.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The official said 76 are now on their way to Cairo, where some will catch flights back to their home countries, while the rest are still at the crossing completing the necessary paperwork.

According to the official, 491 foreign nationals were registered to arrive in Egypt today, but the remaining 130 either didn’t make it to the border crossing or refused to cross without their families, whose names were not registered on the list.  

As of Wednesday evening, the Rafah crossing remains open, and the rest of the foreign nationals registered to cross today will continue crossing through. 

The breakdown for the nationalities of the 76 individuals en route to Cairo is the following:  

  • 29 from Austria 
  • 12 from Australia
  • 1 from the United Kingdom 
  • 12 from Jordan
  • 5 from Saudi Arabia 
  • 4 from Italy
  • 13 from Japan

More context: The release of the foreign nationals is the result of a deal brokered by Qatar between Israel, Hamas and Egypt, in coordination with the US, that would allow for the release of those individuals, alongside critically injured civilians from Gaza, according to sources familiar with the talks. The agreement is separate from any hostage negotiations, the source added.

Sources close to the matter had also told CNN that up to 500 foreigners were expected to cross out of Gaza at Rafah.