Israel-Gaza live updates: Death toll in Gaza surpasses 20,000

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(NEW YORK) — The temporary cease-fire between Hamas and Israel ended on Dec. 1, and Israel has resumed its bombardment of Gaza.

The end of the cease-fire came after Hamas freed over 100 of the more than 200 people its militants took hostage during the Oct. 7 surprise attack on Israel. In exchange, Israel released more than 200 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Dec 20, 2:34 PM EST
IDF finds GoPro footage of 3 killed Israeli hostages before their death

GoPro footage from an Israel Defense Forces canine unit dog shows the three Israeli hostages five days before they were mistakenly killed by IDF forces, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a press briefing Wednesday.

“Five days before the abductees were killed by the IDF, amid the encounter of the Golani patrol, the dog came forward to clean the area,” Hagari said. “Terrorists shot the dog. Analyzing the voices in the video, we could recognize the abductees.”

“All three of them were identified by voice recognition,” Hagari said, adding that they were one kilometer from where they were mistakenly killed days later.

Hagari said the three Israeli hostages were able to escape because the Hamas terrorists holding them captive were killed.

“From there they went through a heroic journey of escape until that terrible tragedy happened,” Hagari said.

The IDF said on Friday its forces mistakenly killed three Israeli hostages who were carrying a stick with a white cloth in an area of “very intense fighting” in Gaza. The IDF said the three hostages were “mistakenly identified” as a threat.

The three men were identified as 28-year-old Yotam Haim; 26-year-old Alon Shamriz; and 22-year-old Samer Talalka.

Dec 20, 1:33 PM EST
IDF says it’s secured control over Hamas’ ‘Elite Quarter’ of Gaza Strip

Israeli troops have secured control over Hamas’ “Elite Quarter” in the center of Gaza City, including the area of the “Palestine Square,” the Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday.

“The complex includes a large network of tunnels that connects terrorist hideouts, bureaus, and residential apartments belonging to Hamas’ senior leadership,” the IDF said. “This complex, both above and below ground, was a center of power for Hamas’ military and political wings.”

Dec 20, 1:19 PM EST
Blinken: Conflict ‘needs to move to a lower intensity phase’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. is heading into next year focused on ensuring that Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel cannot happen again, as well as bringing the conflict in Gaza to an end as quickly as possible.

“We’re more determined than ever to ensure that out of this horrific tragedy comes a moment of possibility for Israelis, for Palestinians, for the region, to live in lasting peace and lasting security,” Blinken said at his end-of-year news conference Wednesday.

Blinken spoke about the need to downshift the scale of warfare, but he didn’t set a firm timeline.

“It’s clear that the conflict will move and needs to move to a lower intensity phase. And we expect to see, and want to see, a shift to more targeted operations with a smaller number of forces that’s really focused in on dealing with the leadership of Hamas, the tunnel network and a few other critical things,” Blinken said. “As that happens, I think you’ll see as well, the harm done to civilians also decrease significantly.”

Blinken also addressed intense negotiations over an Arab-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution to ramp up humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza and impose a halt in the fighting. That resolution is expected to come to a vote soon and it’s possible that the U.S. could veto it.

The secretary said the U.S. wanted to make sure the measure would actually advance the effort to move aid into Gaza and “doesn’t do anything that could actually hurt the delivery of humanitarian assistance — make it more complicated.”

He added that the U.S. was engaged “in good faith with other countries.”

“We’ve been working this intensely. I’ve been on the phones about this for the last the last couple of days,” Blinken said. “So, I hope we can get to a good place.”

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Dec 20, 12:41 PM EST
Death toll in Gaza surpasses 20,000

The death toll in Gaza since the start of the Israel-Hamas war has now surpassed 20,000, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health.

President Joe Biden called the death toll “tragic.”

Dec 20, 11:49 AM EST
White House says it’s working with Israel to bring down civilian death toll in Gaza

As the death toll in Gaza nears 20,000, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday that “the right number of civilian casualties is zero.”

“There’s no number of an innocent civilian killed or wounded that’s acceptable, nor should it be acceptable by anybody, which is why we’re going to continue to work with the Israelis about being more precise, more targeted, more delivered in their military operations,” Kirby said.

He said Israel has “taken on our concerns, and they have been receptive, and they have adapted their military operations to try to bring the number of civilian casualties down.”

“We want to see the number zero, but they have made some efforts,” Kirby added.

-ABC News’ Karen Travers and Cheyenne Haslett

Dec 19, 8:49 PM EST
Palestinian Islamic Jihad releases video of 2 Israeli hostages

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad released a video on Tuesday of two Israeli hostages pleading for their release.

The men — who identified themselves as Gadi Moses and Elad Katzir — spoke as they appeared in front of a plain background in the nearly 2 1/2-minute video.

“I want to convey to my friends and supporters that we must increase the pressure so that the government understands what we want,” Moses said in the video provided by the hostage-takers. “We want every effort to be made so that we will soon arrive back home to our friends, our family, to our home.”

Addressing Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Defense Forces Commander Hertzi Halevi, Moses said he feared being killed by an Israeli bomb.

“This situation where we could die at any moment is an unbearable situation; there is a reasonable chance that we will also be killed tonight,” he said.

Katzir, 47, also said the bombings “endanger our lives” and urged Israeli leaders to make a prisoner exchange deal.

“We don’t want to die in Gaza,” he said. “We want them to do whatever it takes to bring us home.”

It is unclear when the video was recorded and if the men were told what to say.

The hostages’ families gave ABC News permission to use stills from the video.

Dec 19, 2:54 PM EST
1,500 tunnel shafts, underground passages found in Gaza since start of war

The Israel Defense Forces said it’s found about 1,500 tunnel shafts and underground passages in Gaza since the start of the war.

The IDF — which has consistently accused Hamas of using civilians in Gaza as human shields — said most tunnels were under schools, hospitals, mosques, United Nations facilities and civilian institutions.

-ABC News’ Dana Savir

Dec 19, 2:31 PM EST
40 trucks carrying commercial goods cross into Gaza for 1st time since war began

Forty trucks carrying commercial goods crossed into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday — the first time commercial goods entered since the war began, Palestinian border crossing spokesman Wael Abu Omar told ABC News.

The trucks — carrying items including flour, oil and salt — entered through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing, the spokesman said.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Dec 19, 1:00 PM EST
Israeli president: ‘Israel is ready for another humanitarian pause’

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said Tuesday that “Israel is ready for another humanitarian pause and additional humanitarian aid in order to enable the release of hostages.”

Herzog said to achieve this, “the responsibility lies fully with [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar and the leadership of Hamas.”

“It is really important for us to reiterate — we are not fighting the people of Gaza. They are not our enemies,” the president said. “We are fighting Hamas, they are the enemy. And in this respect, we are taking all possible humanitarian steps according to international humanitarian law.”

Herzog said the amount of humanitarian aid for hard-hit Gaza “can be tripled instantaneously.”

“For the last two weeks, Israel has operated new scanning equipment in [the Israeli city of] Nitzana enabling the entry of 350 trucks a day. For the last two weeks there was a failure by the United Nations predominantly, and other partners, in the inflow of trucks into Gaza — only about 125 or 100 trucks a day,” he said. “You can triple the amount of trucks easily, if there was only an effort by the United Nations and its partners. The world has to know that you could have had tens of thousands of tons a day more going into Gaza.”

The U.N. has not commented.

Dec 19, 12:58 PM EST
Israeli president: ‘Israel is ready for another humanitarian pause’

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said Tuesday that “Israel is ready for another humanitarian pause and additional humanitarian aid in order to enable the release of hostages.”

Herzog said to achieve this, “the responsibility lies fully with [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar and the leadership of Hamas.”

“It is really important for us to reiterate — we are not fighting the people of Gaza. They are not our enemies,” the president said. “We are fighting Hamas, they are the enemy. And in this respect, we are taking all possible humanitarian steps according to international humanitarian law.”

Herzog said the amount of humanitarian aid for hard-hit Gaza “can be tripled instantaneously.”

“For the last two weeks, Israel has operated new scanning equipment in [the Israeli city of] Nitzana enabling the entry of 350 trucks a day. For the last two weeks there was a failure by the United Nations predominantly, and other partners, in the inflow of trucks into Gaza – only about 125 or 100 trucks a day,” he said. “You can triple the amount of trucks easily, if there was only an effort by the United Nations and its partners. The world has to know that you could have had tens of thousands of tons a day more going into Gaza.”

The U.N. has not commented.

Dec 19, 12:31 PM EST
IDF will still operate deep in Gaza during ‘next stage in the fighting’

Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz said Tuesday that even when Israel moves “to the next stage in the fighting, the [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers will continue to operate deep in the [Gaza] Strip until we achieve all our goals.”

“We will continue to hold territory in the [Gaza] Strip in order to provide security to the Israeli settlements,” Gantz said. “Our operational plan is still long.”

Dec 19, 12:19 PM EST
IDF says it found explosive device in Gaza medical clinic near school

The Israel Defense Forces said it found an “explosive device planted” in a medical clinic near a school in Shejaiya, Gaza.

The IDF said it also found “numerous weapons, including AK-47s, vests and cartridges.”

Dec 19, 11:57 AM EST
27 killed near Gaza refugee camp: Gaza Ministry of Health

Twenty-seven people were killed and at least 10 were injured after Israeli forces targeted the block 2 area in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health.

Two journalists were among the injured, the Ministry of Health said.

ABC News’ Nasser Atta

Dec 19, 11:36 AM EST
355,000 cases of skin and infectious diseases detected in Gaza

Health teams have detected 355,000 cases of skin and infectious diseases in Gaza, the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health said Tuesday, adding that the number of cases is likely much higher than what has been detected.

ABC News’ Nasser Atta

Dec 18, 4:30 PM EST
Hamas releases video of 3 elderly Israeli hostages

Hamas posted a video message on Monday showing three elderly Israeli hostages pleading for their release.

“I am here with a group of very old people, all with prior medical conditions, who are suffering here in very hard conditions,” one hostage said in the video.

Kibbutz Nir Oz identified the hostages as: 85-year-old Amiram Cooper, a father of three and grandfather of nine whose wife was abducted and later released; 79-year-old Chaim Peri, a father of five and grandfather of 13; and 80-year-old Yoram Metzger, a father of three and grandfather of seven whose wife was taken to Gaza and later released.

“Time is running out,” the kibbutz said in a statement. “Each passing day exacerbates their situation. … We urge the U.S. Defense Minister who is currently visiting Israel — they must be returned to their families now, before it’s too late.”

The Israel Defense Forces said the video “testifies to Hamas’ cruelty towards innocent, very elderly civilians who are in need of medical care.”

“The world must act in order to deliver medical aid and check on the state of the hostages,” the IDF said. “Our heart is with all hostages and their families, all the time. … Know that we are doing everything, everything in order to bring you back safely.”

ABC News’ Will Gretsky

Dec 18, 2:05 PM EST
Kirby on IDF killing of 3 hostages: ‘No doubt’ IDF will ‘do the forensics’ on rules of engagement

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby called the mistaken fatal shootings of three Israeli hostages by the Israel Defense Forces “tragic,” adding there’s “no doubt” the Israelis will be looking into their rules of engagement.

“I have no doubt that they will do the forensics on this to learn what happened and how to avoid it happening again,” Kirby said. “It’s tragic. It’s sad. And you can’t imagine that those IDF soldiers who pulled that trigger and killed those hostages feel very good about what they did. Of course not. It’s a traumatic event.”

Kirby said sometimes the rules of engagement isn’t the issue, but rather “just the way they’re enforced, or the interpretation of it by a unit on the ground or by an individual soldier.”

“That’s why doing the forensics on this is going to be so important for them to kind of figure out, is there a systemic issue … or was this an individual issue? Misunderstanding, miscalculation, fog of war? I mean, we just don’t know,” Kirby said. “I think we should be careful at this early stage, and certainly from here from Washington, to point the fingers at the exact rules of engagement.”

The IDF said it mistakenly killed three hostages who were carrying a stick with a white cloth during combat in Gaza, in what the head of the military said was “against the rules of engagement.” The IDF said the three hostages were “mistakenly identified” as a threat.

The three men were identified as 28-year-old Yotam Haim; 26-year-old Alon Shamriz; and 22-year-old Samer Talalka.

ABC News’ Justin Ryan Gomez

Dec 18, 1:49 PM EST
IDF: Israel closer today to war with Hezbollah than yesterday

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus said Israel is closer today to war with Hezbollah, Lebanon’s militant group, than yesterday, after a series of attacks over the past few days along Israel’s northern border.

“If we look at the amount of attacks and aggression that Hezbollah has mounted against Israel, more than a thousand different pieces of [ammunition] that have been fired at Israel, specifically by Hezbollah, then by any means, we could have been at war with Hezbollah long, long ago,” Conricus told reporters Monday. “And based solely on their actions, their violation of Israeli sovereignty and the casualties that they have caused … I think that we are — and without being cheeky — we are closer today to war than we were yesterday.”

Dec 18, 1:42 PM EST
In Israel meetings, Secretary Austin discussed shifting to lower intensity operations

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said while in Israel he’s offered “thoughts about how to transition from high intensity operations to a lower intensity and more surgical operations,” and Austin said he and the Israelis have “had great discussions on all of those issues.”

“In any operation like this, any campaign, there will be phases, and the most difficult part is as you shift from one phase to the next, making sure that you have everything accounted for and you get it right. So that requires detailed planning and very thoughtful planning,” Austin said during a joint press conference in Israel Monday with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Gallant said their discussions have been “transparent and frank.”

“On the personal level, I have a lot to learn from Gen. Austin,” Gallant said. “He always gives me good advice.”

Austin also reaffirmed America’s “unshakeable” support for Israel.

“At a time of mourning, a real friend shows up,” Austin said. “And I know how terrible these days have been for the Israeli people. And I know that Oct. 7 touched everyone in this small democracy.”

Austin emphasized the importance of limiting harm to civilians in Gaza, but he also stressed the “complexity” of the “battle space” in Gaza.

“Very closed spaces, dense population of people — and so that makes it very, very difficult to conduct any military operation,” he said. “Above and beyond that, we see that Hamas routinely uses civilians as shields. Beyond that, they place their headquarters and their logistical sites near protected sites: hospitals, mosques, churches, you name it.”

ABC News’ Matt Seyler

Dec 18, 11:56 AM EST
24 aid trucks cross through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza

Twenty-four aid trucks crossed through Israel’s Kerem Shalom border crossing point into Gaza on Sunday, marking the first time aid had gone through this crossing since the war began, Palestinian Rafah border crossing spokesman Wael Abu Omar told ABC News.

Another 150 aid trucks crossed through the Egypt-Gaza Rafah border crossing on Sunday, the spokesman said.

The Kerem Shalom border crossing point closed after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Last week, Israeli officials announced Kerem Shalom would open for security checks of aid trucks, but the trucks would still have to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing. Then on Friday, Israel and the U.S. announced aid trucks would also be allowed to cross into Gaza from the Kerem Shalom crossing point.

ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Dec 17, 10:20 PM EST
US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman addresses upcoming meeting with Israeli leaders

Gen. C.Q. Brown, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that in meetings in Israel on Monday with senior Israeli political and military leaders, he and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will discuss Israel’s criteria for deciding when to transition to stability operations in Gaza at the end of its major military operations and ensuring it is “a smooth transition.”

“The goal here is to have better security than they had prior to the events on 7 October,” Brown told reporters Sunday while en route to Israel.

Austin and Brown speak regularly with their Israeli counterparts about the conflict with Hamas and urge Israel to protect civilian lives as it carries out its operations, but their trip will build on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s meetings last week in Israel that had a similar focus.

“Part of this is us sharing our own experience and not building a plan for the Israelis, but actually talking through our own experiences and how we’ve gone through various conflicts in the past,” explained Brown.

“some level of stability to provide support for security, governance,” and the continued flow of humanitarian aid.

He added that senior U.S. military officers can offer political leaders an idea of what will be needed to carry out those stability operations and ensure a smooth transition.

But Brown said he would also be listening to Israel’s viewpoint.

“It’s more of a dialogue that goes both ways, and I’m trying to understand where they’re coming from and what they’re — how they see things,” he said. “And I try to share based on my experience and the things that we see on how best to move forward.”

ABC News’ Luis Martinez

Dec 17, 10:20 PM EST
US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman addresses upcoming meeting with Israeli leaders

Gen. C.Q. Brown, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that in meetings in Israel on Monday with senior Israeli political and military leaders, he and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will discuss Israel’s criteria for deciding when to transition to stability operations in Gaza at the end of its major military operations and ensuring it is “a smooth transition.”

“The goal here is to have better security than they had prior to the events on 7 October,” Brown told reporters Sunday while en route to Israel.

Austin and Brown speak regularly with their Israeli counterparts about the conflict with Hamas and urge Israel to protect civilian lives as it carries out its operations, but their trip will build on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s meetings last week in Israel that had a similar focus.

“Part of this is us sharing our own experience and not building a plan for the Israelis, but actually talking through our own experiences and how we’ve gone through various conflicts in the past,” explained Brown.

Brown said the next phase of stability operations in Gaza has to provide
“some level of stability to provide support for security, governance,” and the continued flow of humanitarian aid.

He added that senior U.S. military officers can offer political leaders an idea of what will be needed to carry out those stability operations and ensure a smooth transition.

But Brown said he would also be listening to Israel’s viewpoint.

“It’s more of a dialogue that goes both ways, and I’m trying to understand where they’re coming from and what they’re — how they see things,” he said. “And I try to share based on my experience and the things that we see on how best to move forward.”

-ABC News’ Luis Martinez

Dec 17, 5:04 PM EST
IDF says it’s discovered one of Hamas’ biggest tunnels under Gaza

Israel Defense Forces claimed on Sunday that it has discovered one of Hamas’ biggest tunnels under the Gaza Strip and that it plans to destroy it.

Measuring nearly 2 1/2 miles long and large enough to drive a vehicle through, the tunnel’s entrance was located roughly 1,300 feet from the Erez border crossing between Gaza and Israel, the IDF said in a post on the social media site X.

The shaft, constructed with reinforced concrete and reaching a depth of more than 160 feet, is believed to have taken years to build and millions of dollars to complete, according to the IDF. The tunnel is also equipped with electricity, communications networks and rails, according to the IDF.

It’s unclear when the tunnel was found. The IDF said it also found weapons, militants and booby traps in the tunnel.

The tunnel, according to the IDF, is the brainchild of Mohammed Sinwar, the brother of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. The IDF released a Hamas video it seized showing Mohammed Sinwar in the passenger seat of a Jeep driving inside the tunnel.

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari told reporters that the tunnel would be destroyed.

“Without demolishing the tunnel project of Hamas, we cannot demolish Hamas,” Hagari said.

The IDF claims to have destroyed more than 800 tunnels in Gaza since the beginning of the war.

ABC News’ Ines De La Cuetara

Dec 16, 4:58 PM EST
Shooting of 3 hostages was ‘against the rules of engagement’: IDF head

The Israel Defense Forces commander said the accidental shooting this week of three Israeli hostages in Gaza was “against the rules of engagement.”

The three hostages “did everything possible so that we would understand — they moved around shirtless so that we wouldn’t suspect them of carrying explosives and they held a white cloth, but the tension overcame all of the above,” Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said in a video statement Saturday.

He noted that the shooting of someone who raises a white flag and seeks to surrender “is forbidden.”

“However, this shooting was carried out during combat and under pressure,” Halevi added. “There may be additional cases in which hostages escape or are abandoned during combat, and we have the duty and responsibility to rescue them alive.”

Halevi said he and the IDF are responsible for what happened and “will do everything to prevent such incidents from recurring in future combat.”

-ABC News’ Dorit Long

Dec 16, 8:34 PM EST
Hostage captured at music festival confirmed dead, Israel says

Inbar Hayman, an Israeli hostage who was captured at the Re’im music festival, was killed in Hamas captivity, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said Saturday.

Hayman, 27, ran from the festival with two friends but was caught by “terrorists riding motorcycles,” the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum said in a statement Saturday.

-ABC News’ Dorit Long

Dec 16, 12:26 PM EST
Hostage captured at music festival confirmed dead, Israel says

Inbar Hayman, an Israeli hostage who was captured at the Re’im music festival, was killed in Hamas captivity, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said Saturday.

Hayman, 27, ran from the festival with two friends but was caught by “terrorists riding motorcycles,” the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum said in a statement Saturday.

-ABC News’ Dorit Long and Dana Savir

Dec 16, 9:09 AM EST
IDF says soldier who shot hostages felt ‘threatened’ before they opened fire

The Israel Defense Forces released information regarding its preliminary investigation into the killing of hostages, saying that the incident took place in an area of “very intense fighting.”

The three hostages came out of a building — a few meters from the troops — without shirts, carrying a stick with white cloth. A soldier saw them as a threat and opened fire, killing two hostages instantly, according to an IDF spokesperson.

The third was injured and ran back into the building where all three emerged from and someone cried “help” in Hebrew. At this point, the battalion commander ordered his troops to stop firing. But, despite the order, another burst was fired, killing the third hostage, according to an IDF spokesperson.

The three men killed have been identified as 28-year old Yotam Haim; 26-year old Alon Shamriz; and 22-year old Samer Talalka.

The IDF said the three hostages were ‘mistakenly identified’ as a threat. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident an “unbearable tragedy.”

Dec 15, 6:01 PM EST
IDF mistakenly killed 3 Israeli hostages during combat in Gaza

Israeli forces mistakenly killed three Israeli hostages during combat in Shejaiya, Gaza, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said during a press briefing Friday.

The hostages were identified as: Yotam Haim, who was kidnapped from Kibbutz Kfar Aza; Samer Talalka, who was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Am; and Alon Shamriz, who was taken from Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “an unbearable tragedy.”

“The entire State of Israel will mourn this evening. My heart goes out to the grieving families in their difficult time,” he said.

The IDF said it’s reviewing the incident. The IDF said “immediate lessons from the event have been learned, which have been passed on to all IDF troops in the field.”

Haim, 28, is survived by his parents, brother and sister, the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum said. He was a gifted musician, an animal lover and loved to cook Italian food, the forum said.

Shamriz, 26, lived in the Young Generation neighborhood of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, according to the forum.

Shamriz was slated to study computer engineering at Sapir College, the forum said.

“Alon’s family and friends described him as a lover of life and a dedicated basketball fan. He played on the Sha’ar Hanegev basketball team,” the forum said in a statement.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby called the incident “heartbreaking” and a “tragic mistake,” adding it is not particularly a reflection of Israeli’s ability to be precise.

Dec 15, 4:07 PM EST
Kirby: ‘Constructive’ conversations with Israelis about military transition

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said conversations with the Israelis about transitioning to lower intensity military operations have been “constructive.”

“There’s a general agreement that a transition to lower intensity operations obviously is going to be an important next step here,” Kirby said. “The idea of transitioning into different phases is certainly a common practice among militaries as they conduct operations of this kind.”

-ABC News’ Selina Wang

Dec 15, 2:33 PM EST
Al Jazeera cameraman killed in Gaza

Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa died in Gaza after he was struck and injured during combat in the region, ABC News has confirmed. He died at the scene before an ambulance could reach him.

Al Jazeera said its correspondent, Wael al-Dahdouh, was injured from shrapnel in the same incident.

Sixty-five journalists have been killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

-ABC News’ Nasser Atta and Sami Zayara

Dec 15, 1:19 PM EST
Lufthansa to resume flights to Israel

Lufthansa plans to resume flights to Tel Aviv in the new year, the airline confirmed Friday.

Lufthansa said it will offer four weekly flights from Frankfurt and three weekly flights from Munich starting Jan. 8.

Austrian Airlines and SWISS — subsidiaries of Lufthansa — will also resume some flights.

Flights to Beirut, which had also been suspended, resumed service on Friday, the airline said.

Dec 15, 12:01 PM EST
Bodies of 3 hostages recovered in Gaza, returned to Israel

The bodies of three hostages — two Israeli soldiers and one civilian kidnapped from the Supernova music festival — have been recovered in Gaza and returned to Israel, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The civilian was identified as 28-year-old Ella Toledano and the soldiers were identified as Cpl. Nik Beizer and Sgt. Ron Sherman, the IDF said.

Dec 15, 11:40 AM EST
IDF strikes Hamas infrastructure on Gaza-Egypt border

The Israeli Air Force “targeted and destroyed” Hamas military sites, weapons storage facilities and command and control centers along the Gaza-Egypt border, the Israel Defense Forces said.

“The sites that were struck in the Rafah area, where Hamas terrorists were operating, facilitated the smuggling efforts led by the Hamas terrorist organization, including the smuggling of weapons that endanger Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.

Dec 15, 10:20 AM EST
Sullivan: Israel allowing direct delivery of Gaza aid via Kerem Shalom crossing is a ‘significant step’

The Kerem Shalom crossing at the Israel-Gaza-Egypt border opened for inspections of humanitarian aid on Tuesday, and Israel is now taking the “significant step” to allow the direct delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing, said national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

Sullivan said he learned of Israel’s decision just before he departed Israel on Friday.

“President [Joe] Biden raised this issue in recent phone calls with [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, and it was an important topic of discussion during my visit to Israel over the past two days,” Sullivan said in a statement Friday.

“The United States remains committed to expanding and sustaining the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza. We will continue to work closely with Egypt and other partners on the delivery and distribution of humanitarian assistance through Rafah crossing, and we hope that this new opening will ease congestion and help facilitate the delivery of life-saving assistance to those who need it urgently in Gaza,” Sullivan added.

ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Dec 15, 9:29 AM EST
Sullivan: IDF’s long-term goal isn’t to occupy Gaza, but fight will take months

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Friday that it doesn’t make sense for Israel to occupy Gaza and that Israel has indicated it does not have long term plans to do so.

Sullivan said the fight against Hamas could take months, but he didn’t offer up any details about if the war’s intensity will shift gears.

As for the war’s impact on civilians in Gaza, Sullivan said, “The terrorists chose to embed themselves among civilians — and that creates an incredible burden on the IDF.”

“That burden does not lessen the IDF’s responsibility to weigh the distinguishes between terrorist targets and innocent people and to take every precaution to protect civilians and loss of life,” he continued. “It also doesn’t lessen the burden, by the way, to ensure that humanitarian assistance flows in sufficient quantities that the Palestinian people have access to the food, water, medicine, sanitation, that they don’t just need, that they deserve, as a basic matter of dignity, of human beings.”

“Israel has the right to go after Hamas in these difficult circumstances, and also has a responsibility to do so in a way that comports with our values, with international humanitarian law, and with the strategic necessity to see the fundamental difference between innocent Palestinian people and these evil terrorists of Hamas,” he said.

-ABC News’ Britt Clennett

Dec 14, 5:23 PM EST
Biden speaks with Turkish president about Israel-Hamas conflict

President Joe Biden spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan Thursday on a wide variety of topics including the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas conflict, according to the White House.

“President Biden reiterated his support for Israel’s right to defend itself. The leaders also discussed efforts to increase humanitarian assistance to Gaza and protect civilians and the need for a political horizon for the Palestinian people,” the White House said in a readout of the conversation.

-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow

Dec 14, 5:09 PM EST
Israeli health minister meets with ICRC to discuss hostage conditions

Israeli Minister of Health Uriel Buso and Director-General of the Ministry of Health Moshe Bar Siman Tov met Thursday with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross to stress that the health of the hostages in Gaza is deteriorating by the day.

Israeli officials said they’re calling for the ICRC to visit the hostages held by Hamas immediately to ensure they receive life-saving medical care.

“Hamas has already proven to the world that [it] does not hesitate to commit crimes against humanity, including against the elderly, women and children,” Buso said. “We expect the president and the organization to do everything possible to end the suffering of the hostages and their families immediately.”

There are 114 hostages believed to be alive or unaccounted for in Gaza, according to the Israeli prime minister’s office. Twenty-one hostages were believed to have been killed in captivity and their bodies remain in Gaza, the government said.

Dec 14, 4:18 PM EST
Woman released by Hamas desperate to reunite with husband who’s still held hostage

Raz Ben Ami was released from Hamas captivity two weeks ago, but her pain is far from over as her husband, Ohad, is still being held hostage.

“I’m not OK,” she told ABC News in an exclusive interview.

“How can I be OK when he is there and I’m here?” she said. “We want our family back together.”

Ben Ami and her husband were kidnapped separately from Kibbutz Be’eri. She said she tried to hide when she heard militants storming into her home and kidnapping her husband, but they found her and took her to Gaza on the back of a motorcycle.

She hasn’t shared the details of her time in captivity with her two daughters.

“She’s very afraid,” said one of her daughters, Ella Ben Ami. “I can just imagine what Hamas did to her.”

The mother and daughters said they will keep fighting for Ohad’s return by joining rallies and speaking to government officials.

“We’re here every night. That’s all we can do. What else can we do? Wait and hope,” Raz Ben Ami said.

-ABC News’ Ines De La Cuetara

Dec 14, 4:10 PM EST
Biden: Israel should focus on ‘how to save civilian lives’ and ‘be more careful’ in Gaza

President Joe Biden said he wants Israel to “be more careful” with its attacks in Gaza and focus on “how to save civilian lives” as casualties continue to climb.

“I want them to be focused on how to save civilian lives. Not stop going after a Hamas, but be more careful,” Biden said Thursday during an event at the National Institute of Health.

The president was asked if he wanted Israel to scale back its assault on Gaza by the end of the year and transition to a “lower intensity” phase, but he did not address the question.

-ABC News’ Justin Ryan Gomez

Dec 14, 2:59 PM EST
11 Hamas supporters arrested for allegedly planning terror attacks in Europe

Eleven people known to law enforcement as Hamas supporters were arrested for allegedly planning terrorist attacks in two separate investigations in Europe on Thursday, according to European law enforcement officials.

In one investigation — which started before the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel — three people were detained in Berlin and one person was detained in the Netherlands under suspicion of planning terror attacks targeting Jewish institutions, Interpol officials told ABC News.

The three people detained in Berlin were allegedly trying to obtain heavy weapons since April, and law enforcement found a potential cache for hiding heavy weapons, officials said.

More arrests are expected, the officials added.

-ABC News’ Aicha Elhammar

Dec 14, 2:13 PM EST
US national security adviser discusses Hamas, humanitarian aid during Netanyahu meeting

National security adviser Jake Sullivan is in Israel, where he met Thursday with officials including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Netanyahu and Sullivan discussed the hostages, “the dismantling of Hamas’ military capabilities” and the “elimination of Hamas,” according to a readout from the Israeli prime minister’s office.

The two also discussed “humanitarian aid for the non-involved population” in Gaza.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Sullivan “discussed the next phase of Israel’s military campaign, and he asked hard questions, as we have been doing, about what all that could look like.”

“He did talk about possible transitioning from what we would call ‘high intensity operations,’ which is what we’re seeing [Israel] do now, to lower intensity operations sometime, you know, in the near future,” Kirby said, adding, “I don’t want to put a timestamp on it.”

Sullivan “also discussed efforts Israel is now undertaking to be more surgical and precise in their targeting and efforts that they are taking to help increase the flow of aid,” Kirby said.

-ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Dec 14, 2:08 PM EST
IDF withdraws from Jenin in West Bank after dayslong operation

The Israeli Defense Forces said it has withdrawn from the city of Jenin in the West Bank after a 60-hour counterterror operation, during which 60 people were arrested.

The IDF also said it destroyed some terrorist infrastructures and recovered over 50 weapons and hundreds of explosives.

Dec 14, 1:52 PM EST
Israeli president meets with families of hostages

Israeli President Isaac Herzog met with families of hostages in Hostage Square in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

Herzog and his wife joined the families to light candles on a Hanukkah menorah.

There are 114 hostages believed to be alive or unaccounted for in Gaza, according to the Israeli prime minister’s office. Twenty-one hostages were believed to have been killed in captivity and their bodies remain in Gaza, the government said.

Dec 14, 1:05 PM EST
US national security adviser discusses Hamas, humanitarian aid during Netanyahu meeting

National security adviser Jake Sullivan is in Israel, where he met Thursday with officials including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Netanyahu and Sullivan discussed the hostages, “the dismantling of Hamas’ military capabilities” and the “elimination of Hamas,” according to a readout from the Israeli prime minister’s office.

The two also discussed “humanitarian aid for the non-involved population” in Gaza.

Dec 14, 9:03 AM EST
Leaflets with bounties for Hamas leaders dropped in Gaza

Israeli leaflets allegedly offering bounties for information leading to the capture of Hamas leaders were reportedly dropped in Gaza on Thursday. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar was on top of the list, with a reward of $400,000 offered next to his name.

Dec 14, 8:51 AM EST
‘Dumb bombs’ dropped in Gaza

Nearly half of the air-to-ground munitions that Israel has dropped in Gaza have been unguided, otherwise known as “dumb bombs,” which are usually less precise, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News. The news was first reported by CNN.

Dec 13, 3:57 PM EST
Deadliest year ever for Palestinians in West Bank: UN

There have been 271 Palestinians, including 69 children, killed in the West Bank by Israeli Security Forces since Oct. 7, according to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. It’s been the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the United Nations began recording casualties, the agency said.

Dec 13, 3:13 PM EST
US hopes Kerem Shalom border crossing will open for transit soon

The U.S. hopes that the Kerem Shalom crossing at the Israel-Gaza-Egypt border, which opened for inspections of humanitarian aid on Tuesday, will open for transit soon, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said.

“We hope that Kerem Shalom will be open for transit soon. It’s my understanding that that’s a matter that’s before the Israeli government today — there may be a vote on it today,” Miller said. “We hope it will be approved and that Kerem Shalom will be opened not just for inspections, but for cargo to move in through Kerem Shalom, which would alleviate some of the traffic situation that has existed at [the] Rafah [crossing between Gaza and Egypt] and would help get more aid into the people who need it,” he said.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Dec 13, 3:12 PM EST
Netanyahu and Sullivan to meet Thursday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet on Thursday with national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who is arriving in Israel on Thursday.

Sullivan will talk to the Israelis about another cease-fire, getting more hostages released and opportunities to expand humanitarian aid, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

“Jake will also discuss the next phase of the military campaign and efforts to be more surgical and more precise and to reduce harm to civilians,” Kirby said.

He said these will be “extremely serious conversations” with the hope they will be “constructive.”

Dec 13, 2:43 PM EST
Biden was ‘moved’ from meeting with families of American hostages

President Joe Biden was “moved” by the stories from the families of American hostages during their meeting on Wednesday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

“The president was very grateful for the time that they afforded him. And he was moved by their stories, by the love they feel, by the hope that they still harbor,” Kirby said.

“These are difficult days for these families. But as we all prepare for the holiday season that’s already upon us, we would do well to remember that for them, there’s going to be an empty chair at the table,” Kirby said.

“There’s going to be irrepressible ache and worry and fear,” he said. “So we should all keep them in our thoughts.”

Biden promised the families “that we’re going to keep them informed every single step of the way,” Kirby added.

-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow

Dec 13, 2:20 PM EST
Israeli hostage killed in captivity

Israeli hostage Tal Chaimi, a 41-year-old man and member of Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, was killed in captivity, the Hostages and Missing Families Forum said Wednesday.

Chaimi is survived by his wife and three children: 9-year-old twins and a 6-year-old son, the forum said.

Dec 13, 1:36 PM EST
American hostages families: There’s ‘no better friend’ than Biden

Jonathan Dekel-Chen, speaking on behalf of the family members of the eight Americans believed to be held hostage by Hamas, told reporters, “We could have no better friend in Washington or in the White House than President Biden himself and his administration.”

He said the families left their “terrific” meeting with Biden on Wednesday feeling the administration was “completely committed” to securing the release of their loved ones.

When asked for updates on their loved ones, the families declined to get into the specifics of the conversation.

But, Dekel-Chen said, “Today’s meeting with President Biden and Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken only reinforced that … they are willing and ready to do all that they possibly can, by any number of means, to get the hostages home.”

Liz Naftali, the great aunt of Abigail, the 4-year-old Israeli-American hostage released last month, said, “Abigail is a miracle.”

Naftali praised Biden and Blinken for their empathy.

“What the president and Secretary Blinken understand is that they’re just not numbers and they’re just not faces,” she said. “They are sons. They are grandparents. They are mothers.”

“We are thankful to the president and to his team, because we know that they are working 24 hours a day and they are going to work through the holidays,” she said. “They are going to do everything they can to make sure that all of our loved ones … come home.”

ABC News’ Molly Nagle and Fritz Farrow

Dec 13, 11:39 AM EST
No more children’s vaccines available in Gaza: Gaza Ministry of Health

Children’s vaccines have run out completely in Gaza, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

This “will cause catastrophic health repercussions on children’s health and the spread of diseases, especially among the displaced in overcrowded shelter centers,” Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra warned.

Dec 13, 11:23 AM EST
Biden meets with families of American hostages

President Joe Biden met privately Wednesday with families of Americans taken hostage by Hamas, according to the White House.

Participants included: Yael Alexander, Adi Alexander, Ruby Chen, Roy Chen, Ronen Neutra, Orna Neutra, Jonathan Dekel-Chen, Gillian Kaye, Aviva Siegel, Elan Siegel, Shir Siegel, Hanna Siegel and Liz Naftali.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Jon Finer, White House deputy national security adviser, also participated in the meeting.

Jon Polin and Rachel Goldberg, whose 23-year-old son, Hersh, was taken hostage, and Iris Haggai, whose parents were believe to be kidnapped, joined the meeting by phone.

ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Dec 13, 11:13 AM EST
US issues 4th round of sanctions against Hamas officials

The U.S. has announced another round of sanctions against Hamas officials, including key operatives in Turkey who allegedly worked to transfer money into Gaza to fuel Hamas operations.

These sanctions, imposed in coordination with the United Kingdom, are the fourth round imposed by the U.S. since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks on Israel.

The sanctions reflect the administration’s “commitment to dismantling networks that support Hamas funding streams as part of our continuous effort to prevent and deter its terrorist activity,” State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said in a statement.

ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Dec 13, 10:13 AM EST
Nearly 200 aid trucks entered Gaza on Tuesday

There were 197 humanitarian aid trucks that crossed through the Gaza-Egypt Rafah border crossing on Tuesday, entering Gaza, according to COGAT, the Israeli agency for civilian coordination with the Palestinians.

Eighty of those trucks were inspected at the Kerem Shalom crossing at the Israel-Gaza-Egypt border, which opened for the first time on Tuesday to expand the amount of aid entering Gaza.

Dec 13, 7:19 AM EST
US urges Israel to be as ‘deliberate as possible’ in Gaza strikes

U.S. officials are continuing to urge the Israeli military to be “as careful and deliberate as possible” as it strikes targets within Gaza, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

“We want to make sure they get as precise targets as possible to limit civilian casualties,” Kirby told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America on Wednesday.

He added that the U.S. will continue to support Israel, including making sure “they have the weapons to go after Hamas wherever they are inside Gaza.”

Dec 13, 6:27 AM EST
IDF commander among 10 killed overnight, IDF says

The Israel Defense Forces reported the deaths of 10 service members overnight, including a high-ranking officer, making Tuesday one of the deadliest days for the country’s military since the ground invasion began in Gaza.

Nine troops died in a single incident, an ambush in northern Gaza, officials said, marking the deadliest incident over the past month for the IDF.

At least 115 service members have been killed since Israel’s ground invasion began. A total of 444 have been killed since Oct. 7, officials said.

Dec 12, 7:31 PM EST
Biden says he doesn’t know if there are hostages in Gaza tunnels

President Joe Biden said he does not know for a fact if there are any hostages in the tunnels under Gaza amid reports that Israel began flooding some of them to target Hamas.

“There [are] assertions being made that they’re quite sure there are no hostages in any of these tunnels, but I don’t know that for a fact,” Biden told reporters during a briefing on Tuesday. “I do know that, though, that every civilian death is a national tragedy.”

Asked if he has spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about how long he believes the operation in Gaza should last, Biden declined to give a timeline.

“I want to make sure that we don’t forget what we’re doing here. We have to support Israel because they’re an independent nation,” he said, adding that the “brutality” of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel is “beyond comparison.”

Dec 12, 4:35 PM EST
Israel pumping seawater into some Gaza tunnels

Israel has recently started to pump seawater into Hamas’ underground network of tunnels, two U.S. officials confirmed to ABC News. It seems the flooding has been limited as Israel evaluates the effectiveness of this strategy compared to its other techniques.

The development was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The Israeli Defense Forces has not publicly commented.

ABC News previously reported that Israel was exploring a range of options to take out Hamas’ tunnels, including flooding them with seawater — an approach some worried could have devastating long-term environmental impacts and other ramifications for Gaza’s civilian population.

In 2015, Egypt used seawater to flood a section of tunnels in the southern stretch of the enclave to disrupt smuggling activity, which led to complaints about damaged homes and crops, as well as contaminated water supplies.

ABC News’ Luis Martinez, Shannon Crawford and Justin Gomez

Dec 12, 3:44 PM EST
Biden says Netanyahu needs to ‘strengthen’ and ‘change’ the Israeli government

President Joe Biden said at a campaign reception that Israel is starting to lose support and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to “strengthen” and “change” the government to find a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This is the most conservative government in Israel’s history,” Biden said, adding that the government “doesn’t want a two-state solution.”

“You cannot say there’s no Palestinian state at all in the future. And that’s going to be the hard part,” he said.

“Bibi’s got a tough decision to make,” Biden said, referring to Netanyahu.

Biden added, “In the meantime, we’re not going to do a damn thing other than protect Israel in the process.”

The president also recounted a recent conversation with Netanyahu, saying, “It was pointed out to me — I’m being very blunt with you all — it was pointed out to me that — by Bibi — that. ‘Well, you carpet-bombed Germany. You dropped the atom bomb. A lot of civilians died."”

“I said, ‘Yeah, that’s why all these institutions were set up after World War II to see to it that it didn’t happen again — it didn’t happen again,” Biden said. “Don’t make the same mistakes we made at 9/11. There was no reason why we had to be in a war in Afghanistan at 9/11. There was no reason why we had to do some of the things we did.”

ABC News’ Molly Nagle, Mary Bruce and Justin Gomez

Dec 12, 1:34 PM EST
IDF recovers bodies of 2 more hostages

The Israel Defense Forces said it has recovered the bodies of two more hostages: 28-year-old Eden Zecharya, who was taken hostage from the Supernova music festival, and 36-year-old soldier Ziv Dado.

The IDF said its special forces recovered their bodies in Gaza and brought them back to Israel.

Dado was a husband and father of a 5-month-old girl.

“Ziv loved helping others, especially underserved populations,” the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum said. “During his military service, he received certificates of excellence, was beloved by his commanders and superiors.”

Zecharya’s boyfriend died in the Oct. 7 attack while she was injured and kidnapped.

Zecharya “was filled with joy for life” and planned to study digital marketing, the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum said.

She was devoted to her two dogs, and “in her last phone call, she managed to ask her father to look after her dogs,” the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum said.

Dec 12, 1:16 PM EST
8-year-old girl in Gaza: ‘Save us’

As the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens by the day, ABC News spoke with several children in Gaza whose lives have been upended.

“We started building tents with our own hands,” said Neda, an 8-year-old girl. “People became literally crazy. Whenever we found anything good or not, we would wear it.”

“Oh world, save us from this war,” Neda said. “We are young people, children who want to live like the rest of the children in the world.”

She wondered, “They wanted to remove Hamas, but what is our fault?”

Rama, a 9-year-old girl, said her “house was shaking” from “all the missiles.”

She asked, “If they bomb all the hospitals, where will we be treated?”

At a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., President Joe Biden said Israel is starting to lose support and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has to strengthen and change” the government to find a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Bibi’s got a tough decision to make,” Biden said, referring to Netanyahu, according to a pool report.

“This is the most conservative government in Israel’s history,” Biden said, adding that the government “doesn’t want a two-state solution.”

ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Dec 12, 11:59 AM EST
IDF recovers bodies of 2 more hostages

The Israel Defense Forces said it has recovered the bodies of two more hostages: 27-year-old Eden Zakaria, who was taken hostage from the Supernova music festival, and 36-year-old soldier Ziv Dado.

The IDF said its special forces recovered their bodies in Gaza and brought them back to Israel.

Dec 12, 11:27 AM EST
Biden to meet with family members of American hostages

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden will hold a meeting at the White House with family members of Americans taken hostage by Hamas, according to a White House official.

This appears to be the first in-person meeting between Biden and relatives of hostages. The president held a Zoom call with the families on Oct. 13.

ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Dec 12, 10:41 AM EST
Kerem Shalom crossing at Israel-Gaza-Egypt border opens

The Kerem Shalom crossing at the Israel-Gaza-Egypt border opened on Tuesday to expand the amount of aid into Gaza, according to COGAT, the Israeli agency for civilian coordination with the Palestinians.

The first batch of humanitarian aid trucks underwent inspection at Kerem Shalom Tuesday morning and is now en route to the Gaza-Egypt Rafah border crossing, COGAT said.

The simultaneous security checks at the Kerem Shalom crossing and the Israel-Egypt Nitzana crossing will double the volume of aid delivered through Rafah and admitted into the Gaza Strip, COGAT said Monday.

Dec 12, 8:20 AM EST
Twenty killed in airstrikes on Rafah in southern Gaza, health ministry says

At least 20 people were killed in airstrikes on the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health.

The city has been designated a safe zone by the Israeli military for displaced civilians in war-torn Gaza.

Dec 12, 6:03 AM EST
IDF says 20 soldiers killed by accident in Gaza since start of war, most by friendly fire

Twenty Israeli soldiers have been killed by accident in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war, most by friendly fire, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The IDF confirmed to ABC News on Tuesday that a total of 105 soldiers have died since ground operations were launched in Gaza, 20 of which were considered accidents. Of those 20 accidental deaths, 13 were due to friendly fire, one was caused by firing irregularities and six were accidents involving weaponry, machinery or trampling, according to the IDF.

Dec 12, 5:19 AM EST
Biden says commitment to Israel is ‘unshakable,’ but warns ‘the whole world’s public opinion can shift overnight’

U.S. President Joe Biden hosted a Hanukkah reception at the White House on Monday evening, reaffirming his country’s support for Israel as the war in the Gaza Strip continues.

“My commitment to the safety of Jewish people, and the security of Israel and its right to exist, is independent — as an independent Jewish state is unshakable,” Biden said.

But the president cautioned that Israel has to “be careful” because “the whole world’s public opinion can shift overnight.”

“We can’t let that happen,” he said.

Biden also highlighted efforts his administration is taking to secure the release of hostages still being held by militants in Gaza and the continuation of military support for Israel “until they get rid of Hamas.”

“We’ve gotten more than 100 hostages out and we’re not going to stop till we get everyone on the home,” he added.

He also touted U.S. efforts to “lead the world in humanitarian assistance to innocent Palestinian civilians” in Gaza.

Dec 11, 5:17 PM EST
Physician shot inside Gaza Hospital: Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières said one of its surgeons inside the Al-Awda hospital was injured by a shot fired from outside the facility.

“Reports coming out of Al-Awda hospital are harrowing and we are gravely worried for [the] safety of patients and staff inside. Let us be clear: Al Awda is a functioning hospital with medical staff and many patients in vulnerable condition. Targeting medical workers as they care for their patients is utterly reprehensible, utterly inhumane,” Renzo Fricke, MSF’s head of mission, said in a statement.

The international humanitarian group said the attacks on the hospital have killed five staff so far including two of their members.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

Dec 11, 4:28 PM EST
Israel targeting 2 hospitals in northern Gaza: Palestinian Health Ministry

Israeli forces are targeting and operating near two hospitals in northern Gaza, the Kamal Adwan Hospital and the Al-Awda Hospital, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The director of Al-Awda Hospital, Ahmed Muhanna, said Israeli tanks were surrounding the hospital.

Doctors Without Borders said one of its surgeons was injured inside Al-Awda Hospital by a shot fired from outside the facility.

“Reports coming out of Al-Awda hospital are harrowing and we are gravely worried for safety of patients and staff inside,” Doctors Without Borders said.

The Israel Defense Forces said it could not comment on troops’ locations.

-ABC News’ Nasser Atta, Jordana Miller and Cindy Smith

Dec 11, 4:15 PM EST
Israel doesn’t intend to stay permanently in Gaza: Defense minister

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Monday that Israel “will take any measures in order to destroy Hamas, but we have no intention to stay permanently in the Gaza Strip.”

“We only take care of our security and the security of our citizens alongside the border with Gaza and elsewhere,” Gallant said.

Gallant said “a new civil body will be established to try and look after the welfare of the residents.”

“The key condition is that this body will not act with hostility towards the state of Israel,” Gallant said. “All the rest, in my opinion, can be discussed. It certainly will not be Hamas, and also will not be Israel. We will maintain our freedom to act, to operate militarily against any threat.”

Speaking directly to Hamas, Gallant said, “To the terrorists, to their commanders and to the battalion commanders: surrender. If you surrender, you can save your lives. If not, your fate is sealed.”

Dec 11, 3:09 PM EST
‘Cruelty I hadn’t seen before’: Psychiatrist who treated hostages

Dr. Renana Eitan, a psychiatrist who treated people held by Hamas, said some of the now-released hostages experienced “cruelty that I haven’t seen before.”

“I’ve been a psychiatrist for over 20 years,” she said. “We are [a] national center for sexual trauma and for PTSD for the refugees from Africa, so I thought I saw all the worst PTSD patients.”

Some hostages were held “in inhumane sanitary conditions” and “subject to severe physical, sexual and mental abuse,” Eitan said.

“I have never seen anything like that before,” Eitan said.

“One of the patients, she was kept in total darkness for four days. This is inhumane. She became psychotic. She had hallucinations,” Eitan said. “I’ve never seen such things in my life.”

According to the Israel Defense Forces, 137 people are still being held hostage by Hamas.

Dec 11, 2:58 PM EST
Kerem Shalom crossing at Israel-Gaza-Egypt border to open Tuesday

The Kerem Shalom crossing at the Israel-Gaza-Egypt border will open on Tuesday for security checks on aid shipments from Egypt, according to COGAT, the Israeli agency for civilian coordination with the Palestinians.

The simultaneous security checks at the Kerem Shalom crossing and the Israel-Egypt Nitzana crossing will double the volume of aid delivered through the Gaza-Egypt Rafah crossing and admitted into the Gaza Strip, COGAT said.

Dec 11, 2:21 PM EST
Protesters calling for cease-fire chain themselves to White House fence

A group of 18 protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza chained themselves to the White House fence on Monday.

The protesters were from Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that defines itself as “Jews organizing toward Palestinian liberation.” They chanted, “Biden, Biden pick a side, cease-fire not genocide,” and, “Cease-fire cannot wait, no Hanukkah to celebrate.”

U.S. Park Police said its officers used bolt cutters to remove the chains from the fencing and cleared the group from the area after roughly 30 minutes.

The demonstration came hours before President Joe Biden holds a Hanukkah reception at the White House.

-ABC News’ Justin Ryan Gomez

Dec 11, 1:58 PM EST
134 UNRWA workers killed since beginning of the war, UN says

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees said 134 of its workers have been killed since the Israel-Hamas war began two months ago.

Although northern Gaza was the first region intensely targeted by Israeli forces, the UNRWA said half of its killed staffers died in middle and southern Gaza.

There are 1.9 million people now displaced in Gaza, where conditions are continuing to deteriorate, the UNRWA said.

Dec 11, 12:21 PM EST
IDF says it recovered explosives, rifles in UNRWA-labeled bags in Gaza home

The Israel Defense Forces said its soldiers found explosives, AK-47 rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade hidden inside UNRWA-labeled bags in a home in Gaza.

The IDF said it also found long-distance rockets inside a truck near a school in Gaza.

The Israeli army has “directed aerial strikes on dozens of terrorists in the Gaza Strip” over the last day, the IDF said, and “in one incident, armed terrorists spotted exiting a medical clinic during operational activity were struck by the IDF.”

Dec 11, 6:43 AM EST
104 Israeli troops killed since fighting began, IDF says

At least 104 Israeli service members have been killed since the country’s war with Hamas began on Oct. 7, Israel Defense Forces officials said Monday.

-ABC News’ Joe Simonetti

Dec 10, 5:29 PM EST
Global health organizations call for immediate cease-fire over dire conditions in Gaza

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and the World Health Organization released updates on a deteriorating situation in Gaza, imploring for an immediate cease-fire to allow aid to enter and civilians to take shelter.

The MSF is seeing a “complete collapse” in the healthcare system in Gaza, the organization said. It has been 10 days since MSF was forced to stop providing support to Martyrs and Beni Suheila clinics due to the Israeli forces’ evacuation orders for the area, according to the statement.

In Rafah, on the southernmost area of the Gaza Strip and where people from Khan Younis and central Gaza have been pushed to, health services are extremely limited, according to MSF.

“The United Nations Security Council must demand an immediate and sustained ceasefire, to lift the siege and ensure unrestricted aid to the entire Gaza Strip,” the MSF statement read.

Meanwhile, according to the WHO, a mission it conducted with partners to deliver essential trauma and surgical supplies to Al-Ahli hospital to cover the needs of 1500 people, and to transfer 19 critical patients, was successful.

The high-risk delivery was managed despite active shelling and artillery fire in the region, according to a statement from the organization.

The hospital itself has been substantially damaged, and in acute need of oxygen and essential medical supplies, water, food and fuel as well as medical personal, the WHO said.

“We cannot wait any longer for a sustained ceasefire and a safe, scaled-up humanitarian response,” WHO officials said in a statement.

-ABC News’ Will Gretzky

Dec 10, 4:49 PM EST
IDF claims it has struck 3,500 targets in Gaza since end of cease-fire

Since the end of the cease-fire on Dec. 1, the Israeli Air Force has struck 3,500 targets in the Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces confirmed to ABC News on Sunday.

Many of the targets hit by the IAF were identified by IDF forces on the ground, IDF officials said in a statement.

Since beginning of the war, more than 22,000 “terror targets” have been struck in the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF.

Among the targets hit by the Israeli forces are ones in Jabalya, Shejaiya, Beit Hanoun and Khan Yunis, the IDF said. Troops are also conducting raids on Hamas terrorist strongholds across the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF.

Numerous terrorists have been killed in the raids and terrorist infrastructure has been destroyed, according to the IDF.

Additionally, IDF naval troops are operating off the coast of the Gaza Strip, striking terror targets from the sea and supporting IDF ground troops, according to the IDF.

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Dec 09, 3:14 PM EST
Biden administration approves emergency tank ammunition sale to Israel

The Biden administration approved the possible sale of tank ammunition to Israel through an emergency order, circumventing Congress.

In a release, the State Department notified Congress about the emergency sale on Friday.

“The Secretary of State determined and provided detailed justification to Congress that an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to the Government of Israel of the above defense articles and services in the national security interests of the United States, thereby waiving the Congressional review requirements under Section 36(b) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended,” the release states.

The sale — of 120mm tank cartridges and related equipment — is estimated to cost $106.5 million.

-ABC News’ Davone Morales and Shannon Crawford

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