April 22, 2024 - Israel-Hamas war (2024)

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12:35 a.m. ET, April 23, 2024

Our live coverage of Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza has movedhere.

12:09 a.m. ET, April 23, 2024

It's midnight in Gaza. Catch up on the latest

From CNN staff

An independent review of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has said the agency's neutrality must be strengthened.

Despite UNRWA adopting a "robust framework" in 2017 to address issues of neutrality, the issues persist, the review said. However, the report did note that "Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence" for their allegations that "a significant number of UNRWA employees are members of terrorist organizations."

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Oren Marmorstein criticized the report, saying this is not what a “genuine and thorough review looks like. This is what an effort to avoid the problem and not address it head on looks like.” Israel haslongstanding issues with UNRWA, accusing it of aiding Hamas and calling for it to be entirely dismantled.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres accepted recommendations made by the review, which is a “very important step,” the head of the review, Catherine Colonna, said. It is now up to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini "to take this forward and to provide a clear plan on how the agency will follow up on these recommendations,” Colonna said, adding that “UNRWA plays an indispensable and irreplaceable role in the region.” Lazzarini welcomed the findings and recommendations of the review.

Here's what else to know:

  • French and Egyptian presidents talk: EgyptianPresident AbdelFattah el-Sisi helda phone call on Monday withFrench President Emmanuel Macron. They "reviewed the latesteffortsto achieve an immediate, urgentandlastingceasefire, exchange detaineesandhostagesandprovide access forhumanitarianaid," according to a statement from theEgyptianpresidency.
  • UK consulate"alarmed"byWestBankviolence: The British Consulate in Jerusalem said on X Monday that they are "alarmedby escalatingviolenceand destructionintheWestBankand the number of casualties, notablyinNour Shams refugee campin#Tulkaremover the weekend. De-escalation is urgently needed.WestBankstability is essential to keep alive prospects of peace."
  • British sanctions on Iranian military figures: The UK announced new sanctions on six Iranian military entities whose assets were frozen for being “involved in hostile activity,” a statement from the British government said. Meanwhile, the European Union’s foreign ministers agreed to expand existing sanctions onIran’sdrone and missile program, the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said Monday.
  • Rockets launched from Lebanon: In continuation of months-long fire exchanges, Hezbollah fired rockets from Lebanon into Israel.

This post has been corrected to reflect that rockets were fired by Hezbollah from Lebanon

12:09 a.m. ET, April 23, 2024

About 35 rockets launched from Lebanon into northern Israel, IDF says

From CNN's Ruba Alhenawi, Larry Register and Charbel Mallo and Eugenia Yosef

About 35 rockets fired from southern Lebanon into the area of Ein Zeitim in northern Israel were detected Monday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

IDF forces "attacked the source of the shooting," it said, adding that there were no casualties from the rockets fired from Lebanon.

The IDF also said it "attacked terrorist targets in southern Lebanon."

Hezbollah said in a statement it "bombarded the command headquarters of the Third Infantry Brigade of the 91st Division in the Ein Zeitimbase with tens of Katyusha rockets."

Remember: There have been months of cross-border fire by both Israel and Hezbollah that have displaced tens of thousands of Lebanese and Israeli residents from their homes. Israel has fired artillery and launched jets and drones to strike targets while Hezbollah has used some of its vast arsenal of rockets and missiles.

This post has been corrected to reflect that rockets were fired by Hezbollah from Lebanon

3:24 p.m. ET, April 22, 2024

State Department's annual human rights report cites allegations of "war crimes" in Gaza conflict

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

The US State Department’s annual report on human rights raises sharp concerns about the war between the Hamas and Israel in Gaza, citing allegations of war crimes.

The report, which covers the year 2023, noted that “human rights groups reported extensive and in many cases unprecedented conflict-related abuses and alleged the commission of war crimes by Israel, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and other Palestinian militant groups.”

Those abuses include the killings, torture, abductions and sexual violence carried out by Hamas, PIJ and others on October 7, according to the report.

They also include “reports of systemic torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment of Palestinian detainees in prison facilities after October 7,” and the forced disappearance of thousands Palestinians from Gaza.

While the report does not represent the US government’s own conclusions, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in remarks Monday that “we have processes within the department that are looking at that incidents that have been raised.”

“Those processes are ongoing,” he said. “It's important that we take the time to do our best to get the facts, to get the information, to do the analysis. It's very challenging to do this in real time.”

2:59 p.m. ET, April 22, 2024

"Everybody's terrified": Palestinians in Rafah fear bloody ground offensive, says relief group worker

From CNN’s Sana Noor Haq

April 22, 2024 - Israel-Hamas war (1)

Children desperately looking for food hold empty plates and saucepans in the streets and raw sewage spills in between rows of tents.

These are among the memories Melanie Ward has of Rafah, in southern Gaza, where more than 1 million people have been forced to flee Israel’s bombardment, according to the United Nations.

"Every morning you wake up to the sound of gunfire from battleships off the coast,” Ward, the CEO for the relief group Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), told CNN by phone on Wednesday. “You literally never know if something is about to hit you.”

Displaced Palestinians who have been uprooted from their homes and packed into the tiny area of land fear they will have nowhere to escape to ahead of an anticipated bloody Israeli ground offensive, said Ward, who visited Rafah earlier this month.

“Everybody's terrified," she said. "People are thinking about what they're going to do. Where are they supposed to go? Will they get any warning?”

“Where over a million people are supposed to go from Rafah, I do not know. It’s impossible to see.”

A UN expert warned on Monday that the psychological terror of Israel’s offensive in Gaza could manifest years from now in the form of increased mental health illnesses among Palestinians there.

Ward told CNN that Gazans are “completely exhausted” by more than six months of persistent bombardment, displacement and siege.

"You can see in people's faces... They're staring into the distance. They can't focus properly on conversations. They are really depressed,” she added. "The people of Gaza are being destroyed.”
2:44 p.m. ET, April 22, 2024

Hospital workers forced to re-use orthopedic devices from dead patients, says relief group CEO

From CNN’s Sana Noor Haq

Melanie Ward still remembers the terrified mother in Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, in Deir al-Balah, who begged her to expose the plight of Palestinians trying to survive Israel’s bombardment in Gaza.

"How do you tell a mother of a child in hospital that the problem isn't that the world doesn't know what's being done to them? It's that the world has no will to stop it,” Ward, the CEO for the relief group Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), told CNN by phone on Wednesday.

Scores of displaced patients and their relatives covered the grounds of Al-Aqsa hospital, said Ward, who visited the medical facility in central Gaza earlier this month.

Ward described scenes of injured children screaming in pain and overwhelmed doctors struggling to prevent infections among wounded patients.

Israel’s severe aid restrictions have drained water and medical supplies, Ward added.

“I saw someone who had an open wound with flies in it,” she recalled.

"Sometimes there's no running water on the wards... They're having to remove them (external fixators; pins and rods needed for orthopedic surgery) from limbs of dead people and try to clean them and then re-use them.”

Local staff displaced by Israel’s military offensive are facing the grief of relatives killed by bombardment, while others shelter in homes that have been partially destroyed by Israeli missiles, Ward told CNN.

Those in the north are struggling to find food, she said.

"Everybody is traumatized and terrified,” Ward added. “Palestinian colleagues are just trying to survive like everybody else... They’re terrified about the future for their children. How do you recover from this?”

1:34 p.m. ET, April 22, 2024

EU to expand sanctions on Iran's drone program, top diplomat says

From CNN's Louis Mian in London

April 22, 2024 - Israel-Hamas war (2)

The European Union’s foreign ministers have agreed to expand existing sanctions on Iran’s drone and missile program, the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said Monday.

Borrell said the new sanctions enlarge "the geographical area of this framework to cover drone and missile deliveries not only to Russia,” but also Iran's proxies in the region.

The sanctions will broaden the list of components blocked from being exported from the EU that are used in the production of drones and missiles.

The EU’s decision comes after Iran’s recent unprecedented attack on Israel, which cameafter a suspected Israeli attack on an Iranian diplomatic complex in Syria earlier this month.

The US last week announced new sanctions on 16 people and two entities associated with Iran’s drone program.

3:09 p.m. ET, April 22, 2024

UNRWA neutrality must be strengthened, independent review finds

From CNN's Tim Lister

An independent review of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has said the agency's neutrality must be strengthened.

Earlier this year, Israel accused at least 12 UNRWA staffers of being involved in Hamas' October 7 terror attacks and has alleged that about 12% of the agency's 13,000 staffers are members of Hamas or other Palestinian militant groups.

The review, which was led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and published Monday, was not tasked with addressing Israel's allegations, but had a broader mandate to "assess whether UNRWA is doing everything within its power to ensure neutrality."

Despite UNRWA adopting a "robust framework" in 2017 to address issues of neutrality, the issues persist, the review said. However, the report did note that "Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence" for their allegations that "a significant number of UNRWA employees are members of terrorist organizations."

"They include instances of staff publicly expressing political views, host-country textbooks with problematic content being used in some UNRWA schools, and politicized staff unions making threats against UNRWA management and causing operational disruptions,” it said.

The review also found that “UNRWA's facilities have sometimes been misused for political or military gains, undermining its neutrality.”

Israel's response: “The Colonna report ignores the severity of the problem, and offers cosmetic solutions that do not deal with the enormous scope of Hamas' infiltration of UNRWA,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Oren Marmorstein alleged in a statement, adding this is not what a “genuine and thorough review looks like. This is what an effort to avoid the problem and not address it head on looks like.” Israel has longstanding issues with UNRWA, accusing it of aiding Hamas and calling for it to be entirely dismantled.

This post has been updated with additional statements from the independent review.

9:34 a.m. ET, April 22, 2024

Aid missions to hospitals in northern Gaza hampered by checkpoint delays, WHO says

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman

Efforts to reach two hospitals in northern Gaza over the weekend were only partly successful because of delays at checkpoints and ongoing fighting, according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

"On 20 April, WHO and partners could only partially complete their mission to Kamal Adwan and Al-Awda hospitals due to severe delays at checkpoints and ongoing hostilities," Tedros wrote Monday on X.

As a result, he said "fuel and medical supplies did not reach Kamal Adwan, for the second time in the last 7 days, and partners were also unable to assess needs at Al-Awda to support restoration of services. This is further increasing the health risks of critical patients being treated there.”

The mission was nonetheless able to evacuate four critically sick patients from Kamal Adwan, along with their caretakers, including one at possible risk of having a leg amputated, he said.

“We again call for compliance with international humanitarian law, including access to health care and humanitarian aid for civilians in desperate need of help. Once again, we call for a ceasefire!” Tedros wrote.
April 22, 2024 - Israel-Hamas war (2024)
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