November 29, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Tara Subramaniam, Antoinette Radford, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 12:11 a.m. ET, November 30, 2023
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12:11 a.m. ET, November 30, 2023

Deal reached to extend Israel-Hamas truce, Israeli military says

From Tamar Michaelis

A vehicle carrying hostages released as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas, drives by, in Ofakim, Israel, November 30.
A vehicle carrying hostages released as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas, drives by, in Ofakim, Israel, November 30. Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas has been extended to a seventh day, Israel Defense Forces said Thursday morning. Hamas also confirmed the extension of the truce.

This is the second extension of the initial four-day truce that began on Friday.

The truce has resulted in the return of 70 Israelis under the agreement. During the pause, three dual-national Israeli citizens and 24 foreign nationals have also been released outside of the deal.

11:13 p.m. ET, November 29, 2023

Hamas blames Israel for impasse in ceasefire extension talks

From CNN’s Kareem El Damanhoury

Talks for an extension of a current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are at an impasse, according to a statement from Hamas Thursday.

Hamas said Israel had refused an offer to extend the truce in exchange for receiving seven detained women and children and the bodies of three deceased women or children who Hamas claim were killed by Israeli bombardment.

The truce is set to expire at 7 a.m. local time (midnight ET).

10:52 p.m. ET, November 29, 2023

Hamas military wing asks fighters to be ready for combat if truce isn’t extended

From CNN's Kareem El Damanhoury and Michael Rios

The Hamas military wing on Thursday asked its forces to maintain a high-combat readiness posture in the final hours of a truce with Israel in case it isn’t renewed.

The Al-Qassam Brigades said on Telegram that its fighters should remain in the high-combat readiness position unless an official statement is issued confirming the extension of the truce, which is set to expire at 7 a.m. local time (midnight ET). 

Key mediator Qatar is "very optimistic" an extension will be announced, a foreign ministry spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday. 

However, the Israeli military is prepared for the next stage of the war in Gaza when the truce ends, Herzi Halevi, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff said Wednesday, according to an IDF statement.  

10:43 p.m. ET, November 29, 2023

14 hostages released Wednesday evening have arrived at medical centers in Israel, Ministry of Health says

From CNN's Tamar Michaelis

A helicopter with Israeli hostages released earlier by Hamas lands at Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan, Israel, in the early morning hours of November 30.
A helicopter with Israeli hostages released earlier by Hamas lands at Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan, Israel, in the early morning hours of November 30. Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

Fourteen hostages released from Hamas captivity on Wednesday have arrived at medical centers across Israel, according to the country's Ministry of Health.

Of the 10 Israelis who were released as part of the framework agreement between Israel and Hamas:

  • Four children are at Schneider Children’s Hospital
  • One child is at the Soroka Hospital
  • One woman arrived at Ichilov Medical Center
  • Four other women are at Sheba Medical Center.

Of the 14, four were Thai nationals whose release was part of a separate deal negotiated by the Thai government. All four arrived at the Shamir Medical Center following their release. 

9:31 p.m. ET, November 29, 2023

Truce talks continue, but issues remain as current deal is set to expire at midnight ET

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond, MJ Lee and Kaitlan Collins

Negotiations are ongoing to see if the truce between Israel and Hamas can be extended, according to two US officials.

As of now, it is unclear whether those issues will be resolved before the current truce expires at 7 a.m. local time (midnight ET), leaving open the possibility that the fighting could resume Thursday.

US officials were more optimistic earlier on Wednesday, but it appears that issues arose later in the day.

An Israeli official told CNN that the war cabinet met late Wednesday night as talks continued. 

CNN’s political and foreign policy analyst Barak Ravid reported on social media that “Israeli officials say Hamas proposed via mediators to release less than 10 hostages or to release hostages that are not women & children. The Israeli officials said that if Hamas doesn't produce a list that includes 10 women & children by 7am local time, the fighting will resume.” 

Ravid is a reporter with Axios.

There have been past issues with lists provided by Hamas, but ultimately the negotiators worked through any problems.

9:49 p.m. ET, November 29, 2023

Thai foreign ministry identifies 4 released hostages

From CNN's Kocha Olarn in Bangkok

Thai nationals walk to a bus as they leave the Shamir Hospital in Ramle, Israel, on Wednesday, November 29, on their way back to Thailand.
Thai nationals walk to a bus as they leave the Shamir Hospital in Ramle, Israel, on Wednesday, November 29, on their way back to Thailand. Maya Levin/AP

Thailand's foreign affairs ministry identified four Thai hostages who were released by Hamas Wednesday.

The names of those released are as follows:

  • Paiboon Rattanin
  • Kong Saelao
  • Jakkrapan Srikeina
  • Chalermchai Sangkaew

The four are now at Shamir Medical Center, where they are undergoing medical checkups.

"MFA warmly extends its congratulations to the recently released and reiterates its urgent call for the release of the remaining hostages," the ministry said in a statement.

Some former Thai hostages will arrive back home in Thailand on Thursday. Their flight is expected to arrive in Bangkok at 3:10 a.m. ET.

A total of 23 Thai hostages have been released since the October 7 attacks, and nine remain in captivity, according to the Thai foreign ministry.

8:12 p.m. ET, November 29, 2023

US wants Israel to move civilians out of southern Gaza before Israel focuses attacks there

From CNN's MJ Lee, Jennifer Hansler and Katie Bo Lillis

Displaced people move toward the southern part of Gaza in Gaza City, on Tuesday, November 28.
Displaced people move toward the southern part of Gaza in Gaza City, on Tuesday, November 28. Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu/Getty Images

Biden administration officials are discussing with their Israeli counterparts how to protect thousands of civilians who fled to southern Gaza should the Israel Defense Forces target the area once the pause in fighting with Hamas ultimately ends, according to multiple United States officials.

Among the many options that US and Israeli officials are actively deliberating include moving civilians who went south at the onset of the war back up north once military operations there have ended, one senior US official told CNN. While much of northern Gaza has already been decimated from the fighting and airstrikes, Israel has made clear it is bent on finishing its military operations there.

So far the IDF has warned displaced Palestinians against returning from the south. Moving civilians back north would represent a significant humanitarian challenge, as an estimated 40% to 50% of structures in northern Gaza have been damaged, according to satellite analysis by independent researchers.

Why start conducting operations in the south: A major reason Israel is expected to begin focusing its military operations in southern Gaza is that intelligence suggests Hamas leadership has fled to that region, according to one US official. That official did not say whether this was US or Israeli intelligence.

In private, Biden administration officials — including President Joe Biden himself — are telling their Israeli counterparts that they do not want to see the IDF resume the kinds of air strikes from earlier in the war that led to massive casualties and widespread destruction, multiple officials told CNN. Instead, Israel must be “more cautious, more careful, more deliberate, and more precise in their targeting,” one senior administration official said.

While it’s not clear whether Israel would ultimately agree, some US officials expressed optimism that Israel was at least receptive to considering such ideas.

“There is an understanding that a different type of campaign has to be conducted in the south than was conducted in the north,” another senior administration official said.

Read more about what the US is saying to Israel as fighting is set to resume

7:17 p.m. ET, November 29, 2023

Israeli leaders ratchet up war rhetoric as truce expiration looms

From Tamar Michaelis and CNN's Sugam Pokharel

Israeli government and military leaders ratcheted up war rhetoric Wednesday as the expiration of a truce deal between Israel and Hamas looms.

“Over the past few days I’ve been hearing this question – will Israel go back to fighting after maximizing this phase of returning our hostages? So my answer is unequivocal – Yes,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. 

The truce is set to expire at 7 a.m. local time Thursday (Midnight ET)

Netanyahu vowed that Israel would fight until the end. 

“This is my policy, the whole cabinet stands behind it, the whole government stands behind it, the soldiers stand behind it, the people stand behind it – that is exactly what we will do,” the prime minister said. 

Negotiators are working toward another potential extension of the truce between Israel and Hamas, now into its sixth day. Key mediator Qatar is "very optimistic" an extension will be announced, a foreign ministry spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday. 

A senior Israeli official said earlier that Israel is trying to see “whether there is a possibility” to extend the truce with Hamas.  

The Israeli military is prepared for the next stage of the war in Gaza when the truce ends, Herzi Halevi, the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff said Wednesday, according to an IDF statement.  

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, echoing Halevi, said “IDF troops in the air, ground, and sea, are prepared to resume operations immediately [should the decision be made]." 

Gallant however added that Israel was "taking every possible measure to return the hostages and to maximize the current framework in which all the women and children held hostage in Gaza, will be released." 

Meanwhile, Benny Gantz, who is a part of the emergency war cabinet, noted Wednesday that "we are in complex moments, and in a window of time within the outline for the return of our hostages." 

"We will work to exhaust it as much as possible. At the same time, we are prepared and ready to return to combat, at any given moment, including these moments," he said. 

Gantz stressed that fighting would continue and that it would "expand to wherever it is needed throughout the Strip. There will be no cities of refuge." 

Halevi, the military chief of staff, on Wednesday approved plans for the next stage of the military operation in Gaza, according to the IDF. 

On Tuesday, Halevi said the Israeli military was using the pause to beef up its readiness for combat. 

“The IDF is prepared to continue fighting. We are using the days of the pause as part of the framework to learn, strengthen our readiness and approve future operational plans,” Halevi told a group of soldiers in northern Israel.