December 3, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Heather Chen, Andrew Raine, Maureen Chowdhury and Antoinette Radford, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, December 4, 2023
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2:34 a.m. ET, December 3, 2023

Palestinian student shot in Burlington now paralyzed, mother tells CNN

From CNN’s Khalil Abdallah

Photo of Hisham Awartani, one of three Palestinian students shot in VT, with his mother, Elizabeth Price.
Photo of Hisham Awartani, one of three Palestinian students shot in VT, with his mother, Elizabeth Price. Institute for Middle East

Hisham Awartani, one of three Palestinian students who were shot while walking in Vermont is now paralyzed, his mother Elizabeth Price tells CNN. 

Price had previously shared that her son may not be able to move his legs for the rest of his life after a bullet became lodged in his spine.

Speaking to CNN, Price said they had launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to provide financial support for her son "as he prepares to move into this next phase of his life – recovery.”

“It's been a gut wrenching and difficult six days, but it's also been a remarkable and awe-inspiring time – first to watch Hisham and his two childhood friends meet this experience with resilience, strength and even deep concern for others (for each other, for their parents many miles away and for thousands of their people suffering under a brutal military bombardment) and, second, to see and feel the incredible support from all over the world, including messages of love and support from many of you,” Price said. 

A 20-year-old junior at Brown University, Hisham was coming to terms with the “very long road he has in front of him," Price said.

Awartani and his two friends -- Kinnan Abdalhamid of Haverford College and Tahseen Ali Ahmad of Trinity College – had been out for a walk in Burlington during the Thanksgiving holiday, chatting as they often did in English and Arabic, when they were shot, according to Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad.

In addition to Awartani’s life-altering spinal injury, the two other men were shot in the upper torso and lower extremities and hospitalized in the ICU, according to police. 

The suspect in the attack, 48-year-old Jason J. Eaton, was arrested and has been charged with three counts of attempted murder, to which he has pleaded not guilty. Authorities are investigating whether the incident was motivated by hate.

Price said Awartani was scheduled to be released from the hospital next week and will go on to receive rehabilitation care. 

Price also told CNN that Tahseen Ali Ahmad has been released from the hospital and his mother has now joined him after successfully obtaining an emergency visa to travel from Ramallah in the West Bank to the United States.

Read More: One of the three Palestinian students shot in Vermont is paralyzed from the shooting, his mother says

11:39 a.m. ET, December 3, 2023

It's morning in Gaza. Here's what you should know

From CNN staff

Israel has recalled its team of negotiators from Qatar after reaching a “dead end” in talks, according to a statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

The negotiations broke down Saturday after Israel continued to insist on the release of a group of women and Hamas refused, a source familiar with the talks told CNN.

After the negotiations broke down, Hamas blamed Israel and the US for the resumption of war. The group said Israeli authorities had made a “predetermined decision to resume the criminal aggression.” Israel, meanwhile, says Hamas did not uphold its end of the truce agreement.

The resumed fighting has brought new horrors to Gaza, which Israel has pounded with strikes since the deal collapsed Friday.

Here are other headlines you should know:

  • Ground operations to continue: Israel will continue ground operations in Gaza until all of its goals are achieved, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday. Israel's goals are freeing hostages, eradicating Hamas and preventing a "regime of terror" in Gaza, Netanyahu said. "There are no other ways to achieve these goals but to win, and there is no way to win other than ground maneuvering," he added.  
  • No ceasefire, no talks: Hamas has said there will be no negotiations or prisoner exchange with Israel until there is ceasefire in Gaza. Saleh Al-Arouri, deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, said Saturday “there are no negotiations now” and there will be no more prisoner exchanges “until the Zionist terrorist aggression is completely ended.”
  • Kamala Harris in Dubai: US Vice President Kamala Harris met with several key leaders Saturday on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. During a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Harris said Washington will not allow for the forced relocation of Palestinians or any redrawing of the current border of the Gaza Strip. She also said Saturday that while the US supports Israel’s “legitimate military objectives” in Gaza, the civilian suffering in the enclave has been too high. French President Emmanuel Macron also applied pressure to Israeli officials over the war, saying Israel needs to more clearly define its goals in the conflict.
  • Devastation in Gaza: The Israel Defense Forces said it struck more than 400 targets across Gaza in the first 24 hours following the collapse of a week-long truce with Hamas. Dozens of people are feared to be dead in northern Gaza’s Jabalya refugee camp after an apparent strike destroyed a multi-story concrete building Saturday. Separately, a doctor at a hospital in northern Gaza said more than 150 wounded people had arrived at his medical center Saturday from neighborhoods in the area, while at least 100 others had been brought to the hospital dead. Their families said they were victims of airstrikes.
  • More border clashes: Israel and Hezbollah exchanged fire across the border of northern Israel and southern Lebanon Saturday, according to statements from both sides, with Hezbollah saying one of its fighters was killed.
12:15 a.m. ET, December 3, 2023

Hamas says it launched a barrage of rockets at Tel Aviv

From CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali

Rockets are launched from northern Gaza on Saturday.
Rockets are launched from northern Gaza on Saturday. Amir Cohen/Reuters

The military wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, has launched a barrage of rockets toward Tel Aviv, it said in a statement late Saturday local time.

The group claimed the action is in response to what it calls "Zionist massacres against civilians."

The rockets were fired from a location in the northern Gaza Strip, according to Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas' political bureau.

Earlier Saturday evening, Israel's Iron Dome defense system launched at least a dozen intercepts over central Tel Aviv. It was the second round of threats over the city since the truce between Israel and Hamas ended.

12:17 a.m. ET, December 3, 2023

Israel will continue ground operations in Gaza until all goals are met, Netanyahu says

From CNN's Mariya Knight and Mitchell McCluskey

Smoke rises from northern Gaza on Saturday.
Smoke rises from northern Gaza on Saturday. Amir Cohen/Reuters

Israel will continue ground operations in Gaza until all of its goals are achieved, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated in a press conference Saturday.

"We will continue the war until we achieve all our goals, and we can’t achieve these goals without the ground maneuvering," Netanyahu said. "There are no other ways to achieve these goals but to win, and there is no way to win other than ground maneuvering." 

Netanyahu said Israel's goals are freeing hostages, eradicating Hamas and preventing a "regime of terror" in Gaza.

"We must achieve these goals; this is the only thing that is important to me," he said.

Netanyahu also spoke of the freed hostages, but declined to provide details on the conditions in which they were kept in Gaza. 

"As evidence has been gathered, you realize they experienced hell," he said.

Pressure from abroad: Earlier Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron said Israeli authorities need "to more precisely define their goal and the final outcome they're trying to achieve."

"What does the total destruction of Hamas mean? Does anyone think it is possible?" Macron said, adding that he thinks the eradication of Hamas would take 10 years of fighting.

The US has also pressured Israel to be more targeted in its renewed offensive in the enclave.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasized in remarks Saturday that the protection of civilians in Gaza is crucial to Israel’s long-term success against Hamas. Speaking at a defense forum in California, Austin warned Israel to avoid driving civilians "into the arms of the enemy" and to "shun irresponsible rhetoric" while expanding access to humanitarian aid in Gaza.

“It would compound this tragedy if all that awaited Israelis and Palestinians at the end of this awful war was more insecurity, more rage and more despair,” Austin said.

Message for Hezbollah: Netanyahu also reiterated his warning against Hezbollah becoming more involved in the conflict.  

"In the north, we are operating all the time against Hezbollah, eliminating terror squads bringing terrorists further from the border," Netanyahu said. 

"We are on the offensive and, let me declare, we are committed to bring security both to the north and the south; if Hezbollah makes such mistake and enters the expanded war, it will demolish Lebanon single-handedly," the prime minister continued. 

CNN's Haley Britzky contributed reporting to this post.

11:59 p.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Hamas says no negotiations or prisoner exchange with Israel until there is ceasefire in Gaza

From CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali

Saleh Al-Arouri, deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, conveyed the group's official stance on negotiations and hostage-prisoner exchanges in an interview with Al Jazeera TV on Saturday. He said “there are no negotiations now” and there will be no more prisoner exchanges until there is a ceasefire in Gaza and “until the Zionist terrorist aggression is completely ended.”

The remaining hostages still being held captive by Hamas are soldiers and former soldiers, according to Al-Arouri, who added that “there will be no negotiations regarding them until the end of the aggression.” 

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Saturday that Hamas refuses to release 17 women and children.

Al-Arouri said adult male hostages — “all of whom served in the army, with some still on the reserve list” — are now subjected to different standards by Hamas. The Israeli prime minister’s office said Saturday that 117 men remain captive.

“We said from day one that the price for releasing Zionist prisoners is the liberation of all our prisoners, after the ceasefire,” Al-Arouri added.

More context: The negotiations between Israel and Hamas over hostages held captive in Gaza broke down Saturday after Israel continued to insist on the release of a group of women and Hamas refused, a source familiar with the talks told CNN.

As CNN previously reported, US and Israeli officials believe Hamas is refusing to release a number of women in their 20s and 30s taken at the Nova music festival — claiming those women are considered soldiers, which Israel denies. 

11:58 p.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Following breakdown of talks, US says it will keep pushing to restore pause and get hostages out

From CNN’s MJ Lee

US President Joe Biden's administration will “pursue every effort” to secure the release of the hostages that Hamas is holding in Gaza, including American citizens who remain unaccounted for, a senior administration official said on the heels of negotiations in Doha, Qatar, breaking down.

The White House has said there is one American woman and seven men unaccounted for following Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.

So far, four Americans have been released since the start of the war: 4-year-old Abigail Edan on November 26;  Liat Beinin on November 29; and Judith Tai Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan, on October 20.

As CNN previously reported, US and Israeli officials believe Hamas is refusing to release a number of women in their 20s and 30s taken at the Nova music festival — claiming that those women are considered soldiers, which Israel denies. 

“The onus is on Hamas to live up to its terms of the deal and release these young women without delay,” the official said. 

The refusal not only violates the terms of the deal initially struck by Israel and Hamas, but is “totally unacceptable” given “credible allegations of sexual violence linked to Hamas and the October 7 atrocities,” the official said.

CNN has reported that Israeli police are using forensic evidence, video and witness testimony and interrogations of suspects to document cases of rape amid the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. Women and girls caught in the rampage were brutalized sexually, as well as physically tortured and killed, witnesses to the aftermath say.

Police Superintendent Dudi Katz said officers have collected more than 1,000 statements and more than 60,000 video clips related to the attacks that include accounts from people who reported seeing women raped. He added that investigators do not have firsthand testimony, and it is not clear whether any rape victims survived.

12:27 a.m. ET, December 3, 2023

Over 15,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7, Hamas-run ministry says

From CNN's Abeer Salman, Kareen Khadder and Hamdi Alkhshali

Five members of the Sabah family were killed in the Israeli attacks are buried by their relatives after funeral prayers in Gaza on Saturday.
Five members of the Sabah family were killed in the Israeli attacks are buried by their relatives after funeral prayers in Gaza on Saturday. Doaa Albaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

At least 15,207 Palestinians have been killed in total as a result of Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7, according to a spokesperson for the Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza.

At least 40,652 others have been injured in Gaza during the conflict, and 70% of the victims are children and women, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra said in a news conference Saturday.

At least 193 Palestinians have been killed since a truce between Hamas and Israel expired on Friday and Israel resumed its offensive in the enclave, the ministry said.

Some background: CNN cannot independently verify the numbers released by the ministry in Gaza, which is sealed off by Israel and mostly sealed by Egypt.

Israel has said it is targeting Hamas operatives in Gaza, repeatedly accusing Hamas of embedding in civilian infrastructure and using civilians as human shields — a defense echoed by officials from its close ally the United States.

But the US has also acknowledged the devastating civilian toll in Gaza and urged Israel to take more care to protect civilians in the next phase of its war. "Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed," US Vice President Kamala Harris said Saturday.

Hospitals in peril: Twenty hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still out of service, despite some medical centers partially resuming operations after receiving fuel during the now-expired truce, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank said in a statement.

Al-Qudra said the bed occupancy in Gaza’s hospitals was at 171%, while the intensive care unit occupancy is 221%.

“All hospitals are overcrowded with the number of wounded, exceeding their medical capabilities and capacity, and lacking surgical tools and bone stabilizers. Hospitals lost their capacity to treat patients, and hundreds of patients and injured receive treatment on the floor,” he added.

11:58 p.m. ET, December 2, 2023

Israeli defense minister says Hamas violated agreement to return 15 women and 2 children

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant blames Hamas for breaching the truce agreement with Israel, he said in a news conference Saturday. 

"Hamas explicitly violated the agreement we reached with the US, Egypt and Qatar," Gallant said. 

The truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed after Hamas promised to return the remaining 15 women and two children but did not follow through, Gallant said.  

Gallant also addressed Hamas' Wednesday claim that two young children — 4-year-old Ariel and 10-month-old Kfir Bibas — had been killed in an Israeli airstrike, stating only that they had been photographed alive earlier.

"Hamas promised to bring women and children; there have been 17 left behind. We need all 17, two kids of the Bibas family and 15 women," Gallant said.

"This is their obligation because we agreed on it," he said. 

CNN earlier reported that the negotiations between Israel and Hamas broke down Saturday after Israel continued to insist on the release of a group of women and Hamas refused, according to a source familiar with the talks. As negotiations stood at an impasse over the women, Hamas pushed to begin negotiations on the release of men — possibly for a different set of terms, according to the source. Israel rejected that idea, insisting that it was imperative that all women be released first. 

Israeli and US officials believe Hamas continues to hold hostage a number of women between the approximate ages of 20 to 30 — many of them kidnapped from the Nova music festival — CNN previously reported. Hamas has been insisting that some of the remaining women they were holding hostage were considered part of the Israel Defense Forces, which Israel denies. 

IDF operations in Gaza won't stop, Gallant says: The defense minister added that the Israel Defense Forces operations in Gaza will continue.  

"Gaza City is more than half of Hamas' power," Gallant said. "We still have work to do there. We will continue to act all around the Gaza Strip."

When asked about whether Israeli bombardment of Gaza could impact the remaining hostages, Gallant expressed that the "aggressive action" taken by the IDF is necessary. 

"We take everything into consideration," he said.