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October 8, 2023 Israel-Hamas war news

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11:55 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Hamas says US sending carrier strike group is "aggression against Palestinian people"

Islamist militant group Hamas on Sunday accused the United States of taking part in "aggression against Palestinian people" by sending a Navy carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

"These movements do not frighten our people nor their resistance, which will continue to defend our people and our holy places," Hamas spokesperson Hazem Kassem said in a statement.

The Navy carrier strike group includes the USS Gerald R. Ford, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, accompanied by guided missile destroyers and guided missile cruisers.

The US is also positioning more fighter jets to the Middle East, as a deterrent to Hezbollah in Lebanon and other militant groups aligned against Israel, officials say.
11:51 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

At least 10 Nepalis killed in Hamas attack on Israel, ambassador says

At least 10 Nepali citizens were killed when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on Saturday, Nepal's ambassador to Israel told CNN on Sunday.

The deceased were agriculture students in the Alumim kibbutz, Ambassador Kanta Rizal said.

One Nepali student remains missing, Rizal added.

Officials say the death toll in Israel has passed 700 following Hamas' unprecedented surprise attack that began on Saturday. More than 400 Palestinians have died in the Israeli military response, according to the health ministry in Gaza. 
11:38 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Israeli embassy vandalized with swastika graffiti in Colombia, ambassador says

The Israeli embassy in Bogota has been vandalized with graffiti including swastikas, Israel's envoy to Colombia said on Sunday.

Photos posted by Ambassador Gali Dagan on X, formerly Twitter, show a pillar of the embassy building daubed with a swastika next to the Star of David and pro-Palestinian slogans.

The incident comes after Colombian President Gustavo Petro expressed support for the recognition of Palestine on Saturday, slamming the international community for treating the "Israeli occupation in Palestine" in a "very different way" from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

CNN has reached out to Bogota police for more details about the incident.

11:13 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Daughter and son-in-law of American university professor killed in Hamas attack 

A professor emeritus from Brandies University in Massachusetts said his daughter and son-in-law were killed in the Hamas attacks on Israel on Saturday. 

Ilan Troen told NPR that his daughter and son-in-law tried to shield their son from gunfire as militants attacked. 
"They were all together in the secure room. And they covered his body, and he was saved. Nevertheless, a bullet penetrated them and went into his abdomen,” Troen told NPR.

It is unclear whether Troen’s daughter and son-in-law, whose names have not been released, were US citizens. 

"We at Brandeis are deeply saddened to learn that Professor Troen has lost his daughter and son-in-law in the tragic events that are currently taking place in Israel," Brandeis University president Ron Liebowitz said in a statement. "Ilan, a Brandeis alumnus, and his family have long been treasured members of the Brandeis community, and we hold Ilan, his wife Carol, and his entire family in our thoughts."
10:51 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Hamas capabilities "severely degraded" in airstrikes, Israeli forces say

Israel has "severely degraded the capabilities" of Palestinian militant group Hamas as airstrikes on Gaza continued into early Monday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

The IDF said it targeted a structure that housed Hamas operatives and several of the group's operational command centers, including a three-floor command center.

The IDF also said it targeted:
  • A command center belonging to a senior Hamas naval forces operative, named as Mahmad Kashta 
  • A Hamas operational asset in a mosque in the city of Jabalia
  • An intelligence asset and an additional asset used by Hamas
Israel has been pounding Gaza with airstrikes and formally declared war on Hamas Sunday following an unprecedented surprise attack by the militant group that began on Saturday. More than 400 Palestinians have died, according to the health ministry in Gaza, and medical care has been complicated by Israel cutting power to the territory.
Officials say the death toll in Israel has passed 700.
11:20 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

US lawmakers and Biden officials discuss ramping up support for Israel

US lawmakers and Biden administration officials discussed increasing support for Israel at a briefing with House leadership on Sunday night, three people familiar with the call told CNN. 

Senior officials from the State and Defense Departments told the lawmakers they are moving as quickly as they can to deliver weapons and resources to Israel as part of already existing contracts, the sources said.

That could help ensure that Washington provides some items as soon as possible, amid questions about how quickly Congress could act on a larger aid package.

  • What the US may provide: Two people familiar said the briefing mentioned necessary items such as artillery shells and missiles for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system. While Israel's supplies are sufficient in the short term, they may need additional support if the conflict drags on, one person said. Artillery shells would be used if, say, Israel were to launch a ground incursion into Gaza.
  • Additional funding: Officials said they will look to send more aid immediately through the $100 million Presidential Drawdown Authority — which the Biden administration can use for purposes all around the world. The drawdown will likely need additional funds from Congress, the officials told lawmakers. In addition, lawmakers at the briefing pushed Biden administration officials to put forward a direct supplemental aid package for Israel.
  • The Iran question: Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told the briefing no direct connection had yet been found between Iran and the Hamas attack in Israel. According to a person familiar with the call, Nuland noted that Iran has historically provided weapons to Hamas, but US officials were looking for a more specific connection. Iran is Israel's archenemy, and the two countries have long engaged in a form of proxy war, in which Iran-backed groups fight Israeli forces.
10:09 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Israel soccer matches postponed due to conflict, UEFA says

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has postponed all upcoming matches scheduled in Israel due to the ongoing conflict, European soccer's governing body said Sunday.

“In light of the current security situation in Israel, UEFA has decided to postpone all matches scheduled in Israel in the next couple of weeks with new dates to be confirmed in due course,” UEFA said in a statement.

The matches affected include Thursday’s Euro 2024 qualifier between Israel and Switzerland, as well as Israel’s Euro Under-21 championship matches against Estonia and Germany.

Read more here.
9:51 p.m. ET, October 8, 2023

Fighting is raging after Hamas' unprecedented attack on Israel. Catch up on the latest here

Fire and smoke rise following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Sunday. Fatima Shbair/AP

The death toll is rising in Israel and Gaza as fighting rages between Israeli forces and Hamas militants and as more details emerge of the dead and those taken hostage.

Israel formally declared war on Hamas on Sunday after the Islamist militant group launched its deadly surprise assault on Saturday. Israel also cut power to Gaza — complicating medical care efforts as the densely-populated territory is pounded by Israeli airstrikes.
If you're just joining us, here's what you need to know:
  • Rising toll: More than 700 people have been killed in Israel, while more than 400 Palestinians have been killed, according to authorities. Some 2,300 others have been wounded in Gaza, with power cuts threatening "lives of hundreds of injuries and patients," said the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.
  • Music festival: Among the dead are at least 260 people whose bodies were found at the site of an Israeli music festival, according to rescue teams. Hamas gunmen shot at fleeing attendees and took others hostage during the event Saturday near the Israel-Gaza border.
  • Hostages taken: Hamas is holding more than 100 Israeli hostages in Gaza, including high-ranking army officers, a spokesperson for the militant group claimed Sunday. In addition to Israeli captives, there are also other nationalities believed to be taken hostage, including Mexican and Brazilian nationals — complicating Israel's response to the Hamas attack.
  • Fighting ongoing: Hamas claimed on Sunday that their forces are still present and conducting operations in Mavki'im in southern Israel, just north of Gaza. Hamas also said it had launched "a major missile attack with 100 rockets" on the southern coastal city Ashkelon, close to the Gaza border. CNN is unable to verify Hamas' claims. A spokesperson from Israel's military neither confirmed nor denied Hamas' claims, but said: "We're still fighting down south."
  • Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv: Loud explosions could be heard across central Israel and the suburbs of the city late Sunday, according to CNN teams on the ground. Hamas has claimed it is targeting Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel's international hub, which is located just outside Tel Aviv.
  • US sending jets: The US is sending a Navy carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, including guided missile destroyers and guided missile cruisers. The US is also positioning more fighter jets to the Middle East, as a deterrent to Hezbollah in Lebanon and other militant groups aligned against Israel, officials say.
  • No UN action: The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday — but no action was taken afterward. The Deputy US Ambassador to the UN said "not all" the member nations had condemned Hamas' attacks, but did not specify which. All 15 members need to vote unanimously for the UNSC to release a statement.