November 9, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Kathleen Magramo, Heather Chen, Nadeen Ebrahim, Ed Upright, Alisha Ebrahimji, Adrienne Vogt, Matt Meyer, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, November 10, 2023
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8:12 p.m. ET, November 8, 2023

Videos released by Hamas show clashes with IDF in Gaza City

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

Even though IDF forces have encircled Gaza City and spent more than a month targeting Hamas positions and tunnels, footage of attacks recently released by Hamas and analyzed by CNN help illustrate how difficult it will be to stop the Islamist militants.

CNN has geolocated a number of the clashes seen in the Hamas videos to three main locations: the Al-Shati refugee camp, Atatra and Beit Hanoun. The videos were released after the Israeli ground invasion began.

The remaining fights CNN was unable to geolocate were either in incredibly dense city streets or rural areas — mainly olive groves. 

The overall success of the Hamas attacks depicted — whether the bulk of their fighters survive and whether they are causing IDF personnel casualties or disabling equipment — is unclear from the videos, which are heavily edited and redacted propaganda. Hamas only touts its successful missions in its videos. 

However, Hamas publishing body camera footage of its fighters carrying out an ambush does indicate that at least one of their fighters survived and brought back footage. 

CNN military analyst and retired US Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling reviewed the videos and said that Hamas was likely utilizing shape-charge rocket-propelled grenades, which have the potential to be specifically devastating to some military vehicles, like armored personnel carriers.  

An IDF spokesperson declined to comment on the number of military vehicles that have been disabled or destroyed during the ground invasion, citing "operational security considerations." 

"Whack-a-mole": Clearing Hamas' tunnels with weapons stockpiles and fighters inside will likely take months. Additionally, Hamas fighters can now also use the aftermath of the Israeli military strikes — the ruins of buildings — as cover to carry out their ambushes.

Hertling said that trying to stop these ambushes would be like "whack-a-mole" unless the IDF was able to knock out every single tunnel complex, tunnel opening or shaft.

"It's going to take months to do that," he said, noting that clearing operations can't be done by vehicles.  

IDF soldiers will have to clear each building individually, which will expose them to rifle and sniper fire from Hamas and, in turn, risk a skyrocketing casualty rate.

Hamas says the videos were taken on November 2, 3, 5, and 6. A CNN analysis could not independently confirm that time period, but the length and direction of the shadows in the videos also indicate many of the ambushes either occurred on different days or took place many hours apart.  

At most of the sites, Hamas fighters are seen carrying out multiple ambushes, at different times throughout the day.  

9:54 p.m. ET, November 8, 2023

IDF claims it destroyed 130 Hamas tunnel shafts in Gaza

From CNN's Tamar Michaelis in Jerusalem

The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday claimed it has destroyed 130 Hamas tunnel shafts since the start of the war, as Israel continues the "expansion" of its ground operation in Gaza. 

"Combat engineers fighting in Gaza are destroying the enemy's weapons and are locating, exposing and detonating tunnel shafts. With the expansion of the ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the soldiers are thwarting Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure," the IDF said in a press release on Wednesday.

"As part of the ground forces' activity in the Gaza Strip, IDF soldiers are currently working to expose and destroy Hamas’ tunnels," the statement said. "Since the beginning of the fighting, 130 tunnel shafts have been destroyed." 

The IDF added that Hamas' "preparation for a prolonged stay in the tunnels can be seen based on water and oxygen means found in the tunnels." 

School claim: One destroyed tunnel was near a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) sponsored school in the Beit Hanoun area of northern Gaza, the IDF claimed.

The IDF also shared a video allegedly showing the destruction "near the school" through a drone camera.

CNN cannot verify the IDF’s claims. CNN has reached out to UNRWA for comment.

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

"Nothing is left": Palestinians fleeing south in Gaza describe unbearable situation in Gaza City

From CNN stringer in Gaza and CNN’s Abeer Salman in Jerusalem

Palestinians walk down a road as they flee Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza towards the south, on November 8.
Palestinians walk down a road as they flee Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza towards the south, on November 8. Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of Palestinians fled northern Gaza on Wednesday, traveling miles on foot through the battered enclave in a growing exodus prompted by Israel’s intensified ground and air campaign.

Streams of people — women, children, the elderly and disabled — made their way down Salah Eddin Street, one of the two north-south highways in Gaza, along an evacuation corridor announced by the Israel Defense Forces.

One teenage girl compared the mass movement to the “Nakba,” or catastrophe, the Arabic term for the expulsion of Palestinians from their towns during the founding of Israel.

A man who did not provide his name told a CNN stringer in southern Gaza that he and his neighbors had lived through “horrifying days.” He said they had left their home in northern Gaza and moved several times, but that it was impossible to escape the airstrikes.

“This war left nothing safe — not churches, not mosques or anything. Today, they dropped the leaflet ordering us to leave to the alleged safe area. Now we are beyond this area of Wadi Gaza, and we are still hearing bombardments. There is no safe place in Gaza,” he said.

“We are seven families. All of our houses are gone. Nothing is left. We couldn't take anything — no clothes, no water, nothing. The way here was very difficult. If something falls, you are not allowed to pick it up. You are not allowed to slow down. Dead bodies everywhere.”

Read more about Palestinians fleeing northern Gaza.

12:25 a.m. ET, November 9, 2023

UN chief says something is "clearly wrong" with Israel's Gaza operation, pointing to civilian deaths

From CNN's Michael Rios

Antonio Guterres speaks at the ReutersNEXT Newsmaker event in New York City, on November 8.
Antonio Guterres speaks at the ReutersNEXT Newsmaker event in New York City, on November 8. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The number of civilian deaths in Gaza during the past month of war between Israel and Hamas means something is "clearly wrong" with Israel's military operation, the United Nations secretary general said Wednesday.

“Nothing should reduce our total rejection for the horrible things that Hamas did” in its October 7 attacks that killed about 1,400 people, Secretary-General António Guterres said in an interview with Reuters. “But we need to distinguish: Hamas is one thing, the Palestinian people (are) another.”

“There are violations by Hamas when they have human shields,” he said. “But when one looks at the number of civilians that were killed with the military operations, there is something that is clearly wrong.”

Israel’s operations must be conducted with full respect to the laws of war, Guterres said, while allowing for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

“To a certain extent, the sympathy that is generated in the world is being put into question by the images that every day we have in which we see people in a dramatic humanitarian situation," he said, also calling for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas.

Deaths in Gaza: About three-quarters of the 10,515 people killed in Gaza since the conflict began are children, women and the elderly, according to a report Wednesday by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which draws on sources from the Hamas-controlled enclave. It's unclear how many combatants are included in that total.