Israel-Gaza live updates: Hamas releases total of 24 hostages on Friday

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(NEW YORK) — Thousands of people have died and thousands more have been injured since the militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel retaliated with a bombing campaign and total siege of the neighboring Gaza Strip, leaving the region on the verge of all-out war.

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

Nov 24, 11:46 AM EST
Hamas releases total of 24 hostages on Friday as part of truce

A total of 24 hostages were freed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Friday as part of a temporary truce with Israel, ABC News has learned.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is facilitating the release and transfer of the hostages, issued a statement confirming “the safe release of 24 hostages.”

“We have facilitated this release by transporting them from Gaza to the Rafah border, marking the real-life impact of our role as a neutral intermediary between the parties,” the ICRC added.

Qatar, which along with Egypt and the United States mediated the negotiations between Hamas and Israel, also issued a statement from its foreign ministry confirming that the hostages who were released on Friday “include 13 Israeli citizens, some of whom are dual citizens, in addition to 10 Thai citizens and one Filipino citizen.”

“We also confirm the release of 39 women and children detained in Israeli prisons accordance with the terms of the first day of the agreement,” a spokesperson for the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Earlier, Thailand said 12 of its nationals held by Hamas were freed on Friday.

All 24 hostages crossed into Egypt from Gaza via the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing. They will be transported to hospitals in Israel, sources told ABC News.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy, Will Gretsky, Jordana Miller and Morgan Winsor

Nov 24, 11:28 AM EST
1st group of Israeli hostages released by Hamas reach Egyptian soil

The first group of Israeli hostages released by Hamas in the Gaza Strip are now on Egyptian soil and in the custody of Israeli security services, two sources in the Israeli prime minister’s office with direct knowledge of the operation told ABC News on Friday evening.

Israel’s emergency medical service, Magen David Adom, also confirmed with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is facilitating the release and transfer of hostages, that they have crossed into Egypt from Gaza.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy, Will Gretsky, Jordana Miller and Morgan Winsor

Nov 24, 11:18 AM EST
12 Thai hostages released by Hamas enter Israel

Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Friday that 12 of its nationals who were held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip have entered Israel.

The 12 Thai hostages crossed into Egypt from Gaza via the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing before being taken to Israel, according to the Thai foreign ministry.

“They are being transported to the processing point at Hatzerim Air Force Base,” the ministry said in a statement. “At this time, the gender and names of these Thais are not known.”

The Thai nationals will be transferred to Shamir Medical Center southeast of Tel Aviv, where they will be met by Thai embassy officials

“They are required to be under medical supervision for a period of 48 hours, without access to outsiders,” the ministry said, adding that it “will do all possible to expedite their return to Thailand.”

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky and Morgan Winsor

Nov 24, 11:03 AM EST
Red Cross confirms start of prisoner exchange between Hamas, Israel

The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed Friday that its teams have begun “carrying out a multi-day operation to facilitate the release and transfer of hostages held in Gaza and of Palestinian detainees to the West Bank.”

The operation, which is taking place during a four-day cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, will also “include the delivery of additional, much-needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza,” according to the ICRC.

“In its role as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC over several days will transfer hostages held in Gaza to Israeli authorities and ultimately their families, and transfer Palestinian detainees to authorities in the West Bank, to be reunited with their families,” the organization said in a statement. “The ICRC will also bring in additional medical supplies to be delivered to hospitals in Gaza, reinforcing the aid deliveries the ICRC has already carried out.”

The ICRC urged both sides in the war to treat all hostages and detainees “with humanity” and to respect “humanitarian principles … at all times, including during the releases and transfers.”

“The parties to the conflict agreed to the details of the operation, including who would be released and when,” the organization added. “The ICRC was not involved in the negotiations, and its role is to help facilitate the agreement as a neutral intermediary.”

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky and Morgan Winsor

Nov 24, 9:44 AM EST
1st group of Israeli hostages freed by Hamas in Gaza, sources say

The first group of Israeli hostages have been released by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross, two sources briefed on the matter told ABC News.

The sources said the Red Cross has the hostages and that the “operation” to get them home has begun.

It was expected that 13 Israeli hostages would be freed by Hamas near Gaza’s border with Egypt on Friday in a prisoner exchange deal. But it was unclear exactly how many were handed over to the Red Cross.

-ABC News’ Matt Gutman and Morgan Winsor

Nov 24, 9:36 AM EST
Thailand says 12 of its nationals were released in Gaza

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced Friday that 12 Thai hostages have been released in the Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt and will be picked up by Thai embassy officials.

“It has been confirmed by the Security Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that there are 12 Thai hostages already released. Embassy officials are on their way to pick them up in another hour. Their names and details should be known. Please stay tuned,” Thavisin wrote in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Egyptian authorities confirmed earlier that 12 Thai nationals held by Hamas in Gaza would be freed at the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing on Friday, in addition to 13 Israeli hostages.

There was no immediate confirmation from Israel on whether any of its nationals were released alongside the 12 Thai hostages.

-ABC News’ Morgan Winsor

Nov 24, 9:16 AM EST
12 Thai nationals to be freed alongside 13 Israeli hostages on Friday, Egypt says

Twelve Thai nationals held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip will be released on Friday in addition to 13 Israeli hostages, according to Egypt’s State Information Service.

The Israeli hostages will be freed by Hamas at the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, and they will be received by Egyptian authorities before being transferred to Israel, the State Information Service said.

The State Information Service credited “intense Egyptian efforts” for resulting in the agreement with Hamas to release 12 Thai nationals on the sidelines of the prisoner exchange deal between Gaza’s militant rulers and Israel.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Nov 24, 8:07 AM EST
Scores of Palestinians move north in Gaza despite Israel’s warning

Scores of Palestinians who had fled to the southern Gaza Strip amid Israeli bombardment were seen trying to return to the north on Friday, following the start of a four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

This came despite a warning from the Israeli military not to head toward the main combat zone in northern Gaza and there are Israeli checkpoints in place to prevent people from doing so.

“The northern Gaza Strip area is a dangerous war zone and it is forbidden to move around,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement on Friday morning. “For your safety, you must remain in the humanitarian zone in the south of the Strip. It is only possible to move from the north of the Strip to its south via Salah al-Din Road.”

-ABC News’ Nasser Atta, Morgan Winsor and Sami Zayara

Nov 24, 7:24 AM EST
Aid trucks arrive in Gaza via Egypt

Footage from the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing showed aid trucks entering the war-torn Gaza Strip on Friday morning.

Egypt’s State Information Service said earlier Friday that 200 trucks transporting humanitarian aid, four trucks carrying gasoline and 130,000 liters of diesel would be allowed to enter Gaza via the Rafah border crossing during each day of the agreed upon cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.

That would be an increase from an initial average of around 70,000 liters of diesel that Israel agreed to deliver into Gaza over the past week to meet humanitarian needs set by the United Nations, but would still be well below what aid organizations say is required for daily critical needs.

Egypt will also allow hundreds of Palestinians stranded in the country to re-enter Gaza for the first time since the war broke out, according to the State Information Service.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy and Morgan Winsor

Nov 24, 7:06 AM EST
Israel says transfer of Palestinian prisoners has begun

The transfer of 39 Palestinian inmates from Damon and Megiddo prisons to the Ofer camp in the West Bank has begun, a spokesperson for the Israel Prison Service told ABC News on Friday afternoon.

Once in the West Bank, the Palestinian prisoners will be released within two hours after the confirmation that 13 Israeli hostages were freed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and returned home, the spokesperson said.

-ABC News’ Yael Benaya and Morgan Winsor

Nov 24, 5:51 AM EST
Israel details protocol for hostage release in Gaza

Thirteen people are on a list of hostages who are expected to be released by Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Friday amid a temporary cease-fire, but it remains unclear exactly how many the militant group will free, according to Israel’s Government Press Office.

During a press briefing on Friday morning, the Israeli Government Press Office said that the hostages who are released will be received by staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross, who will then take the hostages across the border and hand them over to the Israeli military. It was unknown which of Gaza’s borders the hostages would cross — either into Egypt or Israel.

From there, the Israel Defense Forces will identify each hostage who was released and the individuals will undergo medical examinations. Then they will be allowed to speak with their families via telephone, according to the Israeli Government Press Office.

The hostages will be transferred to one or more of five designated hospitals, depending on their medical needs. They will be physically reunited with their families at the hospitals, the Israeli Government Press Office said.

Among the freed hostages, children will not be debriefed by Israeli authorities but their mothers and other women who are capable will be, according to the Israeli Government Press Office.

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller, Dana Savir and Morgan Winsor

Nov 24, 3:53 AM EST
4-day cease-fire begins Friday morning

The first pause in hostilities between Israel and Hamas in nearly seven weeks came into effect on Friday morning.

The four-day cease-fire started slightly later than the planned 7 a.m. local time, as the Israeli military carried out last-minute airstrikes on the war-torn Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces released a statement announcing the completion of “its operational preparations according to the combat lines of pause.” Amid the early morning hours in the area of Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, Israeli troops destroyed a “route of underground tunnels and a number of tunnel shafts” that the IDF alleged was used by Hamas, which rules the enclave.

“The war is not over yet,” the IDF added. “The suspension of fires for humanitarian purposes is temporary. The northern Gaza Strip area is a dangerous war zone and it is forbidden to move around.”

“For your safety, you must remain in the humanitarian zone in the south of the Strip,” the IDF continued. “It is only possible to move from the north of the Strip to its south via Salah al-Din Road. The movement of residents from the south of the Strip to the north will not be allowed in any way.”

The release of some hostages being held by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza, in exchange for the release of some Palestinian prisoners in Israel, is expected to begin at 4 p.m. local time.

-ABC News’ Bruno Nota, Joe Simonetti and Morgan Winsor

Nov 23, 11:21 AM EST
Gaza to receive medical supplies, fuel during cease-fire

All areas of the Gaza Strip will receive medical supplies and fuel and cooking gas during the cease-fire, according to Hamas.

In a statement, Hamas said Israeli planes will stop flying over the southern Gaza Strip entirely during the cease-fire. Planes will stop flying over the northern Gaza Strip for six hours a day during the cease-fire.

Israel confirmed that it has received a list of hostages who will be released and officials are in contact with the hostages’ families.

Nov 23, 9:36 AM EST
Qatar says cease-fire to start Friday at 7 a.m. local time

The Qatar Foreign Ministry announced that the cease-fire will begin on Friday at 7 a.m. local time and will last for four days.

The first hostages will be released at 4 p.m. local time, according to Dr. Majid bin Mohammed Al Ansari, the Qatar Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson. Thirteen women and children from the same families will be among the first to be released.

Fifty hostages will be released over four days, Qatar said.

Nov 23, 8:58 AM EST
Palestinian Red Crescent accuses IDF of arresting ambulance service director in Gaza

The Palestine Red Crescent Society has accused Israeli authorities of arresting the head of an ambulance service in the Gaza Strip, among other medical staff, during the evacuation of patients and the injured from Al-Shifa Hospital.

“We are deeply concerned about our colleague Awni Khattab, director of the Khan Yunis Ambulance Center, who was arrested yesterday evening and taken to an unknown destination, while a convoy evacuating the wounded from Al-Shifa Hospital passed through the barrier that separates the northern Gaza Strip from its southern one,” the PRCS said in a statement on Thursday.

“We hold the [Israeli] occupation authorities fully responsible for the safety of our colleague Khattab, and we demand the immediate release of him and all the medical teams who were detained,” the PRCS added. “We call on the international community to provide urgent protection for medical personnel, in accordance with international humanitarian law, as humanitarian and medical personnel must not be a target under any circumstances.”

There was no immediate confirmation or comment from the Israel Defense Forces, which has been conducting a ground raid of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for days. However, the IDF confirmed earlier Thursday that the director of Al-Shifa Hospital, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salamiya, was apprehended for questioning amid accusations that “there was extensive Hamas terrorist activity” at Gaza’s largest medical complex while “under his management” — claims which Hamas denies.

ABC News’ Nasser Atta and Morgan Winsor

Nov 23, 8:07 AM EST
Israel confirms arrest of Al-Shifa Hospital director in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Securities Authority has confirmed the arrest of the director of Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip.

“The director of the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip was apprehended and transferred for ISA questioning following evidence showing that the Shifa Hospital, under his direct management, served as a Hamas command and control center,” the IDF and the ISA said in a joint statement on Thursday. “The Hamas terror tunnel network situated under the hospital also exploited electricity and resources taken from the hospital. In addition, Hamas stored numerous weapons inside the hospital and on the hospital grounds.”

The IDF and the ISA alleged that Hamas militants “sought refuge within the hospital, some of them taking hostages from Israel with them,” in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack. The IDF and the ISA also claimed that a “pathological report” confirms 19-year-old Israeli soldier Noa Marciano, who was taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7, was killed on the premises of Al-Shifa Hospital.

“In the hospital, under his management, there was extensive Hamas terrorist activity,” the IDF and the ISA said of the Al-Shifa Hospital director, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salamiya. “Findings of his involvement in terrorist activity will determine whether he will be subject to further ISA questioning.”

Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, has denied Israel’s allegations that it has placed its command centers under Al-Shifa and other hospitals in the enclave and is deliberately sheltering behind Palestinian civilians.

ABC News’ Dana Savir and Morgan Winsor

Nov 23, 6:41 AM EST
Hamas accuses IDF of arresting Al-Shifa Hospital director, staff in Gaza

Hamas has accused the Israeli military of arresting the director of Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip, along with several other staff members “who remained at the facility to help patients and wounded evacuate.”

“We see this move by Israel as nothing less than despicable, lacking any sense of humanity and morals,” Hamas said in a statement on Thursday morning. “It is also a flagrant violation of international norms and charters, given obligations to ensure that medical personnel are never harmed, including in times of war.”

Hamas noted that Al-Shifa Hospital’s director, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salamiya, was in contact with International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization “to evacuate the remaining patients and wounded.” The militant group, which rules Gaza, called on the ICRC, the WHO and other international bodies “to exert pressure on the Israeli occupation army to secure his release, along with the medical personnel who were arrested simply for continuing to fulfil their humanitarian duty.”

In a separate statement on Thursday, Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health said the arrests occurred Wednesday as the United Nations and its health arm, the WHO, led a convoy of evacuated patients and medical staff from Al-Shifa Hospital. Israeli soldiers “stopped the convoy at a checkpoint separating the northern and southern Gaza Strip for seven hours” before arresting the hospital director and other staff members, according to the health ministry.

“The [Israeli] occupation bears full responsibility for the lives and safety of detained colleagues,” the ministry added. “The United Nations bears full responsibility for what happened, and we await measures on their part to address this. We decided to stop coordination with the World Health Organization until a report on what happened was submitted and all detainees were released.”

There was no immediate confirmation of the event or comment from the U.N. or the WHO.

There was also no immediate confirmation of the arrests or comment from the Israel Defense Forces, which has been conducting a ground raid of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for days.

The IDF alleges that Hamas has placed its command centers under Al-Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza and is deliberately sheltering behind Palestinian civilians — claims that the militant group denies.

ABC News’ Nasser Atta and Morgan Winsor

Nov 23, 6:25 AM EST
IDF says it struck more than 300 Hamas targets in Gaza over past day

The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday morning that it has carried out airstrikes on more than “300 Hamas terror targets” in the Gaza Strip over the past day.

The targets that were struck included Hamas “military command centers, underground terror tunnels, weapon storage facilities, weapon manufacturing sites, and anti-tank missile launch posts,” according to a statement from the IDF.

ABC News’ Jordana Miller and Morgan Winsor

Nov 23, 5:33 AM EST
Start of cease-fire to be ‘announced within the next few hours,’ Qatar says

The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Dr. Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari, announced Thursday morning that the talks between Israel and Hamas on the details of the implementation plan for the humanitarian pause deal in the Gaza Strip “are continuing and progressing positively.”

“Dr. Al Ansari affirmed that the start of the pause agreed upon will be announced within the next few hours,” a statement from the ministry read. “Work continues with both parties, and with our partners in the sisterly Arab Republic of Egypt and the United States in order to ensure rapid start of the pause and provide what is necessary to ensure the parties adherence to the agreement.”

The temporary truce was expected to begin Thursday morning, while a prisoner swap was to start no earlier than Friday. But a senior Israeli official told ABC News late Wednesday that neither will happen before Friday.

The deal between Israel and Hamas, reached Wednesday morning, was mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the U.S.

ABC News’ Zoe Magee and Morgan Winsor

Nov 23, 12:45 AM EST
Doctor in Egypt says some of evacuated Gaza premature babies are in ‘critical’ condition

A doctor at Al-Arish Hospital in Egypt shared an update on the condition of the premature babies evacuated from Gaza earlier this week, saying about 10% of them are in “critical” condition.

“When the babies arrived at our hospital … they were facing a lot of bad conditions during transfer, taking their medical history, not accompanying families for them, so you are dealing with … very critical conditions for them,” Dr. Ahmed Mahdy told ABC News Wednesday.

Sixteen premature babies were brought to Al-Arish Hospital in Egypt near the border after Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza ran out of fuel to run their incubators and came under attack by IDF forces. Dr. Mahdy said they all had low weight when they arrived at Al-Arish, ranging from 1-2.3 kilograms (2.2 lbs – 5 lbs).

Dr. Mahdy said some of the babies “are very critical,” estimating about 10% of them are in that condition. The other infants are “less critical.”

One of the struggles doctors at Al-Arish Hospital have run into is that there aren’t families or mothers with most of the babies to ask about their history or the mother’s history during her pregnancy. Out of 16 babies, only three mothers are accompanying four babies. Still, the doctors persevere to treat the infants.

“They may be at risk, but we are doing our best for them,” Dr. Mahdy said. “We are giving them the medications they need, the feeding. You know, the babies need feeding, feeding assessment and feeding progress.”

Nov 22, 4:57 PM EST
No Israeli hostages will be released before Friday, Israel says

The cease-fire is expected to begin Thursday at 10 a.m., Israeli National Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said.

No Israeli hostages will be released before Friday, Hanegbi said.

Nov 22, 2:57 PM EST
Israeli cabinet has list of hostages expected to be released

The Israeli cabinet now has the list of hostages expected to be released, according to an Israeli official.

Hamas and Israel agreed to a cease-fire lasting for at least four days to allow the release of at least 50 hostages — women and children — captured by Hamas from Israel on Oct. 7, in exchange for at least 150 Palestinians — women and teenagers — currently being held in Israeli prisons.

It is expected that the cease-fire and the prisoner swap will begin Thursday morning.

Families of the hostages held by Hamas will only be notified after the hostages are in Israeli hands, the Israeli official said.

Nov 22, 12:12 PM EST
Israeli Supreme Court rejects appeal against hostage deal

Israel’s Supreme Court rejected the only appeal submitted thus far against the hostage deal, clearing the way for the deal to go through.

Israeli law requires a 24-hour waiting period after the vote before the agreement can be put into action.

It is expected that the cease-fire and the prisoner swap will begin Thursday morning.

Nov 22, 11:44 AM EST
Families of American hostages speak out

The families of American hostages said they are “thrilled” 50 hostages are expected to be released, but added, “We are not going to rest until every single hostage is returned”

The families also said they “request an immediate update on whether our family members are alive and well.”

The families thanked President Joe Biden for his work on the hostage deal, adding, “We call on all world leaders to continue prioritizing this goal.”

The whereabouts of nine U.S. citizens and one U.S. permanent resident are unknown, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan. He said it’s unclear whether they were among the hundreds of people who were taken hostage by Hamas.

“We don’t know for certain that all 10 are still alive and we’ve been honest about that — what we know and what we don’t know,” Sullivan told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” on Wednesday. “We know that among those 10, three are women and children — two women one child. And we believe that those three will be among the 50 who are released.”

“Until we actually see them come out, be in the arms of their loved ones, get home safely, we cannot be fully confident,” he added.

Nov 22, 11:30 AM EST
75 women among Palestinian prisoners in Israel: Advocacy group

Approximately 75 Palestinian women, five teenage girls and 200 boys — mostly teenagers — are detained in Israel, according to a spokesperson for Addameer, a group which monitors the treatment of Palestinian prisoners.

Before the Israel-Hamas war broke out on Oct. 7, about 150 Palestinian boys, as well as 30 women and girls, were in Israeli prisons, the spokesperson said.

According to the newly brokered deal, 150 Palestinian prisoners would be released by Israel in exchange for at least 50 hostages released by Hamas. The deal also includes a four-day pause in hostilities.

Nov 22, 11:00 AM EST
Norwegian Refugee Council: 4-day pause not enough

Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said in a statement that the planned four-day pause in hostilities “is not enough time to address the immense needs after six weeks of fighting, bloodshed, and destruction.”

Egeland said the pause “must pave the way for a lasting cease-fire.”

“Small shelters have housed scores of people, with little food and water and mounting health hazards. Children are traumatized, and many face a future without their parents and siblings,” Egeland said. “They need urgent, long-term help. This can only happen through a sustained cease-fire.”

Nov 22, 10:39 AM EST
Israeli Hostage Center: ‘No victory until every last hostage returns home’

In the wake of the approved hostage deal, in which Hamas would release 50 of the approximately 236 people taken hostage from Israel, the Israeli Hostage Center said in a statement, “There is no victory until every last hostage returns home.”

The release of the at least 50 hostages would come over the course of a four-day pause in hostilities, Israel’s prime minister said, and as a part of this deal, 150 Palestinian prisoners will also be released by Israel.

The hostage center said it demands “the current cease-fire terms ensure both security and welfare for remaining hostages held by Hamas, including the promised Red Cross visits.”

Nov 22, 7:54 AM EST
IDF continues to bombard Gaza despite reaching deal on truce, hostages

Despite reaching an agreement with Hamas on a temporary cease-fire in exchange for the release of dozens of hostages, the Israeli military continued to bombard the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed in a statement that it “is continuing to operate in the Gaza Strip, including striking terrorist infrastructure, killing terrorists, and locating weapons.”

“This morning, IDF troops neutralized a terror tunnel shaft from which a Hamas terrorist exited and fired at the soldiers,” the IDF said. “Moreover, IDF troops identified terrorists and located weapons in a structure used by the Hamas terrorist organization. The troops killed the terrorists and destroyed the structure.”

Nov 22, 7:45 AM EST
White House official talks ‘key’ moment that led to ‘breakthrough’ in hostage deal

The “key” to securing the hostage deal between Israel and Hamas “was bearing down on both sides” to “get specific” on the details, according to U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

The agreement that was reached on Wednesday was mediated by the United States, Qatar and Egypt.

“The big move happened late last week when [U.S.] President [Joe] Biden spoke first with [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and then with the emir of Qatar to say, how many hostages, for how any days in return for how many Palestinian prisoners,” Sullivan told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview Wednesday on Good Morning America.

“And it was really the work to refine those details that finally produced the breakthrough that we now see resulting in the announcement of a pause of hostilities and the first return of prisoners, of hostages,” he added.

Nov 22, 7:37 AM EST
US ‘very hopeful’ but ‘cannot be fully confident’ in hostage deal, official says

The United States is “very hopeful” in the hostage deal between Israel and Hamas but “cannot be fully confident” until the abductees return home safely, according to White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

“You can never have full confidence until you actually see hostages back in the arms of their families,” Sullivan told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview Wednesday on Good Morning America.

“But I am very hopeful that there will be a pause, these hostages will begin to be released,” he continued, “and then I am hopeful that we can build on the release of this initial 50 to get more hostages home so that every last person currently being held by the terrorist group Hamas gets home safely to their family.”

The whereabouts of nine U.S. citizens and one U.S. permanent resident, or green card-holder, remains unknown in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, according to Sullivan, who said it’s unclear whether they were among the hundreds of people who were taken hostage and brought back to the neighboring Gaza Strip.

“We don’t know for certain that all 10 are still alive and we’ve been honest about that — what we know and what we don’t know,” he added. “We know that among those 10, three are women and children — two women one child. And we believe that those three will be among the 50 who are released.”

But Sullivan cautioned: “Until we actually see them come out, be in the arms of their loved ones, get home safely, we cannot be fully confident. So we are going to wait as the families are waiting with bated breath until they come but and then until every last American comes out.”

Nov 21, 11:42 PM EST
Biden confirms four-day pause ‘should bring home additional American hostages’

President Joe Biden released a statement Tuesday night thanking Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt for their “critical leadership and partnership” in helping to broker a deal between Hamas and Israel over the release of hostages.

Biden also thanked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his commitment to the temporary pause ensuring the deal can be carried out and “bring home additional American hostages.” Biden said he “will not stop until they are all released.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was “pleased and relieved” over being “close” to seeing the release of the first 50 out of 240 hostages.

Schumer said he will continue working for the release of the remaining hostages, and called it a “positive development” that the pause in fighting will allow aid to flow to Palestinians in Gaza.

Biden said as president he has “no higher priority than ensuring the safety of Americans held hostage around the world.”

Nov 21, 9:50 PM EST
Three Americans expected to be part of initial group of released hostages: US official

Three Americans are expected to be part of the initial group of hostages that will be released as part of a deal negotiated between Hamas, Israel, Qatar and the United States, according to a senior administration official.

They include 3-year-old Abigail Mor Idan, who was orphaned by the Oct. 7 attack and whose birthday is on Friday, the official said.

The deal will see the release of 50 hostages — women and children — over the course of several days.

Officials would not get into specifics about the number of additional Americans believed to be held hostage — only reiterating that there are 10 unaccounted-for Americans.

Nov 21, 9:55 PM EST
Israel’s Cabinet votes to approve deal for hostage release

Israel’s Cabinet has approved a deal that would allow for the release of at least 50 hostages over the course of a four-day pause in hostilities, Israel’s Prime Minister said early Wednesday morning. As a part of this deal, 150 Palestinian prisoners will also be released by Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a release the “Israeli government has approved the outline to the first phase” of bringing hostages home, with at least 50 being released over the course of the four-day pause in fighting.

The Government of Israel, the IDF and the Israeli security forces will continue to fight the war for the return of all hostages, the elimination of Hamas and to ensure that Gaza will not pose a threat to Israel, according to Netanyahu.

Earlier, sources told ABC News 42 hostages would be released.

A short while later, Hamas released its own statement early Wednesday morning local time, which had some of the same terms announced by Netanyahu.

Hamas confirmed via Telegram a temporary cease-fire of four days, with the release of 50 women and children who’ve been held hostage.

In exchange, Hamas said Israel agreed to release 150 Palestinian women and children. Hamas said the juveniles released would be under 19 years old.

Nov 21, 4:04 PM EST
3-year-old Israeli-American may be among hostages freed: US official

The U.S. expects that Abigail Edan, an orphaned 3-year-old Israeli-American who was kidnapped by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, would be among the hostages released as part of any initial deal between Israel and Hamas, according to a U.S. official familiar with negotiations. However, the Biden administration hasn’t received any reliable guarantee that she or any of the missing Americans will be freed in the arrangement, the official said.

The official said there are many significant concerns surrounding the hostages’ passage out of Gaza, and that moving the hostages out of the enclave as quickly as possible would be necessary for their protection and to facilitate ongoing talks.

While American negotiators are currently zeroed-in on securing an initial deal — rather than focusing on subsequent swaps that might happen in exchange for a longer pause — Hamas is expected to provide information about the conditions of hostages that will remain in custody, which could be critical in shaping the strategy going forward, the official said.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Nov 21, 3:30 PM EST
Netanyahu: War against Hamas will not stop after cease-fire

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking ahead of Tuesday’s cabinet meeting and vote on a potential hostage deal, said Israel’s war against Hamas will not stop after a cease-fire.

He said the war will continue until Hamas is destroyed and all hostages are brought home.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant added that without the continuation of Israel’s operations in Gaza, there’d be no chance of bringing home more hostages.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

Nov 21, 1:38 PM EST
Kirby: ‘Could take hours, if not days’ for hostage release to be complete

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby remained tightlipped on the possible hostage deal, telling reporters Tuesday, “We’re all hopeful, but we won’t say and do not want to say, anything in these delicate hours that could put a deal at greater risk.”

If a deal is reached, Kirby said the first step would be to secure safe passage for the hostages into Israel, where many would likely need immediate medical attention before they return to their home countries.

Pressed by ABC News about how long it could take for the safe passage to be secured and hostages released after a deal is reached, Kirby said, “Depending on if we get a deal, depending on how many hostages are arranged for, depending on where they are, depending on their physical condition and their mobility, I think we all need to be humble in terms of the appropriate amount of time it could take to physically move them to safety.”

“Some of these people could be in pretty rough shape. I think we all need to be prepared for the fact that it could take hours, if not days, to complete their release,” he said.

ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Nov 21, 1:33 PM EST
3 doctors killed in strike at Al-Awda Hospital

Three doctors were killed in a strike at northern Gaza’s Al-Awda Hospital, according to Doctors Without Borders.

The hospital said only medical personnel, patients and the injured were inside the facility at the time.

Hospital officials called on the international community to provide a safe corridor for the evacuation of patients and medical staff.

“We mourn the loss of our colleagues,” Doctors Without Borders said in a statement. “We condemn this strike in the strongest terms, and call yet again for the respect and protection of medical facilities, staff and patients. We reiterate our call for an immediate cease-fire to prevent more deaths in Gaza.”

Nov 21, 12:23 PM EST
Israel hopes 50 hostages will be released within 4 days: Senior official

Israel hopes to secure the release of at least 50 hostages within four days, according to a senior Israeli official with knowledge of the negotiations.

The official told ABC News on Tuesday that all Israeli security forces and agencies are in favor of the proposed deal with Hamas, which was brokered by Qatar.

For two weeks, Israel was against accepting Qatar’s original offer, the official said. Among other things, the government did not want to allow people to return to northern Gaza during the cease-fire period, the official said. Israel also wanted to limit the entry of fuel into Gaza to only the days of the cease-fire, according to the official.

ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Nov 21, 12:09 PM EST
Hostage deal would involve pause in fighting lasting 4 or 5 days: US official

A U.S. official told ABC News the hostage deal would involve Hamas releasing 50 women and children in exchange for a pause in fighting that would last four or five days. The deal would also involve the release of three Palestinian prisoners for each Israeli hostage, the official said.

The official cautioned that the deal is not done. President Joe Biden has been personally involved in the negotiations, urging the emir of Qatar to press Hamas to accept the deal and urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the deal, according to the official.

ABC News’ Selina Wang

Nov 21, 11:24 AM EST
‘We’re now very close’ on hostage deal, Biden says

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that “we’re now very close” on a deal to release the hostages being held by Hamas, but the president did not discuss more details.

“We could bring some of the hostages home very soon, but I don’t want to get into the details of things because nothing is done until it’s done. And when we have more to say we will, but things are looking good,” Biden said.

ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Nov 21, 10:57 AM EST
WHO says it’s planning to evacuate 3 hospitals in Gaza

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that at least three hospitals in the war-torn Gaza Strip have requested help with evacuating patients.

Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said planning was underway to evacuate Al-Shifa Hospital, Indonesian Hospital and Al-Ahli Hospital in northern Gaza, but that such an event was a last resort.

“It’s robbing the entire population of the north of the means to seek health [care],” Lindmeier told reporters.

ABC News’ Will Gretsky and Morgan Winsor

Nov 21, 10:49 AM EST
Israeli strikes reportedly kill 2 journalists, 1 civilian in southern Lebanon

Two journalists were killed by Israeli bombing near the Lebanon-Israel border on Tuesday, according to Al-Mayadeen, the Beirut-based television channel they worked for.

Al-Mayadeen confirmed that reporter Farah Omar and photojournalist Rabie Al-Maamari were both killed near the southern Lebanese town of Tir-Harfa, about a mile from the Israeli frontier.

“The occupation targeted the Al-Mayadeen team directly and definitely intentionally,” the channel said in a statement on Tuesday. “I tell the Israeli enemy that you will not be able to silence the voices of Al-Mayadeen. We will remain and continue our coverage and our honorable journalistic work, whose priority is covering the crimes of the occupation in Gaza, the West Bank, Palestine and Lebanon.”

The Lebanese National News Agency reported that a civilian — an 80-year-old woman — was also killed by an Israeli airstrike in the southern Lebanese village of Kafr Kila, about 35 miles northwest of Tir-Harfa.

Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has voiced support for Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip and has been clashing with Israeli forces along the Lebanon-Israel border in recent weeks, released a statement on Tuesday “strongly condemning” the deaths.

“This aggression and the accompanying martyrdom of other citizens will not pass without a response from the fighters of the Islamic Resistance who are fighting in the field,” the group added.

ABC News’ Ghazi Balliz, Marcus Moore, Bruno Roeber and Morgan Winsor

Nov 21, 9:17 AM EST
Israeli government to vote on hostage deal on Tuesday night, source says

Israel’s government will begin voting to approve a hostage deal with Hamas on Tuesday, an Israeli senior political source told ABC News.

Voting will likely be completed on Wednesday, according to the source.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that, “in light of the developments regarding the release of our abductees,” Netanyahu will convene the war cabinet at 6 p.m. local time, the political-security cabinet at 7 p.m. local time and the full government at 8 p.m. local time.

Both cabinets would have to approve a hostage deal before it could be brought to the full government for a final vote.

Earlier Tuesday, while visiting Israeli troops, Netanyahu told reporters that his government was “making progress” on an agreement with Hamas.

“I don’t think it’s worth saying too much, not even at this moment,” he added, “but I hope there will be good news soon.”

Nov 21, 9:04 AM EST
Hostage negotiations in ‘critical and final stage,’ Qatar says

Negotiations to free some of the people who were taken hostage by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel are closer than they have ever been before, according to Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari.

“Mediation has reached a critical and final stage and has gone past key issues. What remains are limited issues and therefore we are the closest we have come to reaching an agreement since the beginning of this crisis,” Al-Ansari said during a press briefing in Doha on Tuesday, adding that “we hope and seek to make this happen soon.”

Al-Ansari noted that it is very important to “choose the right time to announce the details” of Qatar’s mediation efforts in the latest outbreak of war between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s militant rulers, Hamas.

A Hamas leader in Beirut, Osama Hamdan, told ABC News on Tuesday morning that they are “waiting for the Israeli side to accept the deal.” However, he added a caveat: “Many times in the past, we were close to a deal and Netanyahu undermined the deal. By the end of the day things will clear and we will see what the results of it.”

Hamdan would not expand on details of the deal, including how many hostages would be released, telling ABC News: “No specifics on the numbers but it’s around what the media is talking about, which is around 50. But nothing is final.”

Meanwhile, there will likely be three separate steps of approval for an agreement to go through on the Israeli side. The Israeli government will announce that a deal has been reached that needs to be voted on. Then, Israel’s security cabinet will vote to approve said agreement. Finally, Israeli law requires a 24-hour waiting period during which time the Supreme Court of Israel may need to be involved, to defend the deal from anyone who attempts to contest it.

Sources have told ABC News that a potential deal would involve the release of around 50 hostages, all women and children, in exchange for a five-day cease-fire, the release of dozens of Palestinian women and children from Israeli prison and a large influx of humanitarian aid into Gaza, including fuel. It may take multiple days for hostages to be released because they are not all being held together and some are held by splinter groups, according to sources.

Nov 21, 7:56 AM EST
Hundreds trapped in Gaza’s Indonesian Hospital amid fierce fighting

Hundreds of patients are trapped inside another major hospital in the Gaza Strip amid fierce fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants, as fears grow that the situation could turn into a repeat of what happened at Al-Shifa Hospital.

The Indonesian Hospital is located in the northern edge of north Gaza, right on the frontline of Israel’s advance. Al Jazeera reported that there are 700 people currently stuck inside the besieged hospital, including medical staff and wounded civilians.

At least 12 people, including patients and their companions, were reportedly killed on Monday when the Indonesian Hospital came under fire, according to the World Health Organization, which said it was “appalled by the attack.” Doctors in the hospital told Al Jazeera that the facility was hit by artillery shells, while others suggested an Israeli tank may have fired at it.

“Health workers and civilians should never have to be exposed to such horror, and especially while inside a hospital,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Dr. Marwan Al-Sultan, director of the Indonesian Hospital, told BBC News that Israeli troops were only about 20 meters (66 feet) away. The Israeli military said its forces targeted “terrorists” who had opened fire at them from within the hospital, according to BBC News.

ABC News has not confirmed that Israeli troops were responsible for strikes on the Indonesian Hospital. The Israel Defense Forces said it was operating in specific areas outside the hospital due to enemy fire and that no shells were launched toward the facility.

Gaza’s Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health said 200 patients were evacuated from the Indonesian Hospital by bus to southern Gaza and that the International Committee of the Red Cross was trying to coordinate the evacuation of the remaining 400 patients, according to BBC News.

Video purportedly taken inside the Indonesian Hospital shows injured people and others sheltering on the floor. Additional footage appears to show damage to the hospital and heavy bombardments landing close to the facility in recent days.

Nov 20, 3:45 PM EST
Over 1,200 Americans and relatives trying to leave Gaza: State Department

A little more than 1,200 Americans and their eligible family members are waiting to leave Gaza, according to State Department spokesperson Matt Miller.

About 800 Americans and eligible family members have already left Gaza, Miller said.

Since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on Oct. 7, another six Americans have died: one was an Israeli national police border officer and five were members of the Israel Defense Forces, Miller said. At least 33 Americans were killed in Israel on Oct. 7 during Hamas’ attack, according to American officials.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Nov 20, 2:43 PM EST
Biden says he believes hostage deal is near

President Joe Biden said Monday he thinks negotiators are close to reaching a deal to release hostages from Gaza.

When asked at the White House turkey pardon if a deal is near, Biden responded, “I believe so, but I’m not prepared to talk to …”

“You believe so?” reporters followed up, cutting off Biden’s initial comment. Biden replied, “Yes,” before holding up crossed fingers.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Monday, “We believe we’re closer than we’ve ever been, so we’re hopeful. But there’s still work to be done, and nothing is done until it’s all done, so we’re gonna keep working on this.”

Kirby wouldn’t say if the deal was focused on securing the release of women and children and wouldn’t discuss a potential timeframe the administration was looking at for a deal to be announced.

“I think the less said the better as we get into … what we hope is the end game here on negotiations. It’s probably safer if I don’t go into much speculating,” Kirby said.

-ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Nov 20, 11:44 AM EST
Israeli forces will be operating in southern Gaza soon: Source

While southern Gaza is deemed safer than northern Gaza, Israel will be operating in southern Gaza soon, according to an Israeli official.

The official said operations in southern Gaza will be more “targeted.”

The official said the actual “safe” zone would be in the sparsely populated Muwassi area in southwest Gaza.

But the official said Israeli forces would still strike there if need be.

Nov 20, 11:36 AM EST
Al-Qaida calls for attacks against US, Israeli targets

Al-Qaida, citing Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, 9/11 and Benghazi, released a new statement calling for its followers to attack U.S. and Israeli targets, especially embassies, and to attack where they are without warning.

Nov 20, 11:11 AM EST
More aid passes through Rafah crossing

About 40 trucks carrying equipment for a Jordanian field hospital crossed from Egypt into Gaza via the Rafah border crossing on Monday, a border official told ABC News.

The convoy included 180 medics and nurses.

Health officials said the hospital will be set up in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

Nov 20, 6:17 AM EST
28 premature babies to be transported from Gaza to Egypt

Dozens of premature babies are expected to be transported from the war-torn Gaza Strip into neighboring Egypt on Monday to receive emergency medical treatment.

The babies arrived on Gaza’s side of the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing on Monday afternoon. Egyptian television footage showed Egyptian doctors moving the babies from Palestinian ambulances into mobile incubators. The infants will then be taken via Egyptian ambulances to nearby hospitals in the North Sinai province of northeastern Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society confirmed that its ambulance teams had transferred 28 premature babies to Egyptian medics at the Rafah border crossing on Monday afternoon. The process was done in coordination with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

At least 12 of the babies who are said to be in deteriorating condition will be airlifted to Egypt’s capital, Cairo, according to Egyptian media.

Earlier Monday, Egyptian TV footage showed medics with incubators at the Rafah border crossing as they prepared to receive the tiny patients. Egypt’s heath minister was also seen on site inspecting the preparations.

The babies were evacuated on Sunday from Gaza’s largest medical complex, Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and brought to Emirati Hospital in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza close to the border with Egypt.

Like many hospitals in Gaza, Al-Shifa has been struggling to function with a lack of electricity as well as limited fuel and medical supplies amid Israel’s continued bombardment of the territory. In recent days, Israeli ground troops have been carrying out a raid at Al-Shifa Hospital, searching for evidence that Gaza’s militant rulers, Hamas, were using the complex as a command center. The WHO described Al-Shifa Hospital as a “death zone” and urged a full evacuation after leading an assessment mission there on Sunday.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy, Guy Davies and Morgan Winsor

Nov 20, 5:27 AM EST
Israel claims to have killed 3 more Hamas commanders

The Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Securities Authority announced in a joint statement Monday that their troops have killed three more Hamas commanders while continuing ground operations in the Gaza Strip.

“IDF fighter jets, directed by IDF and ISA intelligence, killed three additional Hamas company commanders,” the statement read in part. “In addition, IDF troops identified a terrorist cell as they entered a nearby building. As a result of the strike carried out by an IDF aircraft, the terrorists were killed and a weapons depot in which they hid was struck.”

There was no immediate confirmation or comment from Hamas.

-ABC News’ Dorit Long and Morgan Winsor

Nov 19, 2:37 PM EST
IDF says it exposed tunnel under Shifa Hospital

Israel Defense Forces troops exposed a 180-foot tunnel 32 feet deep underneath the Shifa Hospital, the IDF and Israel Securities Authority (ISA) said in a joint statement Sunday.

“A deep staircase leads to the entrance of the tunnel shaft, which consists of various defense means including a blast-proof door and a firing hole,” the statement continues. “This type of door is used by the Hamas terrorist organization to block Israeli forces from entering the command centers and the underground assets belonging to Hamas. The tunnel shaft was uncovered in the area of the hospital underneath a shed alongside a vehicle containing numerous weapons including RPGs, explosives and Kalashnikov rifles.

“IDF and ISA forces are continuing to uncover the route of the tunnel,” the statement adds.

The IDF said it expects to find more tunnels and underground facilities, and that the operation is ongoing and will take some time. About 300 people remain in the hospital, according to the IDF.

-ABC News’ Yael Benaya

Nov 19, 12:13 PM EST
31 premature babies evacuated from Al-Shifa Hospital: WHO

The World Health Organization confirmed earlier claims by the Palestinian Health Ministry that 31 “very sick” babies were safely transported from Al-Shifa Hospital to another hospital in southern Gaza on Sunday.

The premature infants were evacuated to the Emirates Hospital in Rafah, WHO officials said.

The babies were “clinging to life,” the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement, and their “condition was rapidly deteriorating.”

The babies are expected to be transferred to another hospital in Egypt, said Dr. Ashraf al Qwadwa, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Health Ministry. He said nine premature babies have died since the start of a fuel crisis in Gaza prompted by the ongoing conflict.

Six health workers at the Al Shifa Hospital and 10 family members of staff there were also evacuated on Sunday along with the babies, according to the WHO statement, adding that further missions are planned to “urgently transport” the remaining patients and health staff out of the hospital.

-ABC News’ Nasser Atta

Nov 18, 10:18 AM EST
IDF denies it ordered evacuation of Al-Shifa hospital amid exodus of patients

The IDF denied Saturday that it ordered an evacuation of Al-Shifa’s patients, claiming the hospital’s director requested to allow people in the hospital to leave and that the IDF agreed and offered to assist.

The director of the Gaza Health Ministry — who said he is leading the exodus of patients — said in an interview with Al Jazeera that Israel issued the order and that Israel refused to allow ambulances to assist in the evacuation.

The IDF said Saturday it “acceded to the request of the director of the Shifa Hospital to enable additional Gazans who were in the hospital, and would like to evacuate, to do so via the secure route. At no point, did the IDF order the evacuation of patients or medical teams and in fact proposed that any request for medical evacuation will be facilitated by the IDF. Medical personnel will remain in the hospital to support patients who are unable to evacuate.”

However, another spokesman, Lt. Col Elad Goren, in his evening briefing Friday night said the IDF was urging anyone left in Al-Shifa to leave and that it hoped it would take place in the “next few hours.”

Officials and doctors at Al-Shifa hospital say almost all patients and civilians there have been forced to leave the hospital this morning, after Israeli forces gave them one hour to get out.

Dr. Munir Al Barsh, director general from the Gaza Health Ministry, told Al Jazeera, he and hundreds of patients, many seriously injured, were now on the road on foot, making their way south.

He said around 450 patients and wounded had left following the Israeli order. He painted a harrowing picture, saying many patients have open wounds, are missing limbs, some are still in beds and wheelchairs.

According to Al Barsh, around 120 patients who are unable to move are still in the hospital, including the nearly three dozen premature babies. Five medical staff have remained to care for them.

He said the column of hundreds of patients are now trying to make their way to the first hospital they can find on route.

-ABC News’ Patrick Reevell

Nov 17, 4:32 PM EST
Telecom services partially restored in Gaza

Telecommunications services have been partially restored in Gaza thanks to fuel reaching the region, the Palestinian Authority Communications Ministry said.

About 17,000 liters of diesel entered Gaza on Friday via the Egypt-Gaza Rafah border crossing, according to border crossing spokesman Wael Abu Omar.

Two fuel trucks are expected to enter Gaza daily beginning on Saturday, according to Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

Nov 17, 1:45 PM EST
What we know about the conflict

The war, which has now moved into its second stage, according to Israel, has passed the one-month mark.

In Israel, at least 1,200 people have been killed and 6,900 others have been injured since Oct. 7, according to Israeli officials. In the neighboring Gaza Strip, at least 12,000 people have been killed and over 30,000 have been injured, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

Aid workers and officials fear that Israel’s call for an evacuation of the northern part of Gaza is precipitating a humanitarian disaster as electricity and other supplies have been cut off in preparation for what appears to be an imminent ground offensive.

Humanitarian groups have urged Israel to call off the evacuation and agree to a cease-fire, even as the country has asserted a right to defend itself — a right the United States endorses.

Nov 17, 1:13 PM EST
Fuel ‘used as a weapon of war,’ UN Gaza relief agency says

The Israeli government said Friday that it will allow two fuel trucks per day to enter Gaza. But no fuel was delivered Friday due to the latest communications blackout, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said.

Juliette Touma, spokeswoman for UNRWA, told ABC News that fuel has been “used as a weapon of war” since the Israel-Hamas conflict began.

“Seventy percent of people do not have clean drinking water because there is no fuel. … Sewage is starting to overflow in some parts of Gaza. It’s a disaster,” she said. “[We] should not be forced to beg for fuel just to be able to do our work. It’s unacceptable.”

UNRWA’s shelters are currently housing 800,000 people, which Touma said is “way over the capacity.”

“We planned for less than one quarter of what we have,” she said. “And with the restrictions that we have on fuel and the little aid that has been coming in that we are not able to even collect or pick up, the situation is becoming tragic by the hour.”

ABC News’ Patrick Reevell

Nov 17, 8:44 AM EST
UNRWA says no fuel delivered to Gaza on Friday due to blackout

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) confirmed that no fuel was delivered to the Gaza Strip on Friday due to the latest communications blackout.

The agency said it was forced to suspend its operations there after telecommunications companies ran out of generator fuel, plunging the war-torn territory into another blackout on Thursday afternoon.

“We are unable to operate due to the lack of communications,” an UNRWA spokesperson told ABC News in a statement on Friday afternoon. “We have no communications with Gaza. Transport of aid trucks, water desalination and pumping and sewage treatment activities have been halted.”

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy and Zoe Magee

Nov 17, 8:26 AM EST
Israel says it will allow 2 fuel trucks per day to enter Gaza

The Israeli government announced Friday that it will allow two fuel trucks per day to enter the war-torn Gaza Strip.

The Israeli War Cabinet said in a statement that it has “unanimously approved a joint recommendation” of the Israel Defense Force and Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency “to comply with the U.S. request and allow the entry of two diesel tankers a day for the needs of the U.N. to support water and sewer infrastructure.”

The trucks will pass through the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing with the help of the United Nations, delivering the fuel to civilians in southern Gaza, “provided that it does not reach Hamas,” according to the Israeli War Cabinet.

“This action allows Israel the continued international maneuvering space necessary to eliminate Hamas,” the cabinet said. “This action is intended, among other things, to minimally support water, sewage and sanitation systems, in order to prevent the outbreak of epidemics that could spread throughout the entire area, harm both the residents of the Strip and our forces, and spread even into Israel.”

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Nov 17, 8:44 AM EST
UNRWA says no fuel delivered to Gaza on Friday due to blackout

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) confirmed that no fuel was delivered to the Gaza Strip on Friday due to the latest communications blackout.

The agency said it was forced to suspend its operations there after telecommunications companies ran out of generator fuel, plunging the war-torn territory into another blackout on Thursday afternoon.

“We are unable to operate due to the lack of communications,” an UNRWA spokesperson told ABC News in a statement on Friday afternoon. “We have no communications with Gaza. Transport of aid trucks, water desalination and pumping and sewage treatment activities have been halted.”

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy and Zoe Magee

Nov 17, 8:26 AM EST
Israel says it will allow 2 fuel trucks per day to enter Gaza

The Israeli government announced Friday that it will allow two fuel trucks per day to enter the war-torn Gaza Strip.

The Israeli War Cabinet said in a statement that it has “unanimously approved a joint recommendation” of the Israel Defense Force and Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency “to comply with the U.S. request and allow the entry of two diesel tankers a day for the needs of the U.N. to support water and sewer infrastructure.”

The trucks will pass through the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing with the help of the United Nations, delivering the fuel to civilians in southern Gaza, “provided that it does not reach Hamas,” according to the Israeli War Cabinet.

“This action allows Israel the continued international maneuvering space necessary to eliminate Hamas,” the cabinet said. “This action is intended, among other things, to minimally support water, sewage and sanitation systems, in order to prevent the outbreak of epidemics that could spread throughout the entire area, harm both the residents of the Strip and our forces, and spread even into Israel.”

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Nov 17, 7:33 AM EST
Hostage negotiations are ongoing and fluid, sources say

Negotiations for a hostage deal with Hamas are still ongoing, Israeli and U.S. sources told ABC News on Friday.

The potential agreement would involve Hamas releasing a certain number of hostages in exchange for a pause in fighting of some length of time in the Gaza Strip. But many of the details are still up in the air, according to U.S. sources.

The discussions are intense and remain fluid, according to an Israeli source. A disagreement has unfolded inside Israel’s defense cabinet with some ministers wanting to accept a deal to free about 50 women and children, while other ministers want all of the women and children as well as their family members released — about 80 hostages in total, ABC News has learned.

Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, took more than 200 people hostage — including Americans — while carrying out an unprecedented attack on neighboring Israel on Oct. 7, according to Israeli and U.S. authorities.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford and Matt Gutman

Nov 17, 5:46 AM EST
150,000 liters of fuel for hospitals reportedly entering Gaza

An additional 150,000 liters (40,000 gallons) of fuel will be delivered to the Gaza Strip on Friday, according to Egyptian media.

The fuel, which is earmarked for Gaza’s hospitals, will enter the war-torn enclave from neighboring Egypt through the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing, according to Egyptian state-allied television channel Al-Qahers News.

Al-Qahers News reported that “Egyptian pressure on all parties have succeeded in increasing the volume of aid” and “restoring the flow of fuel” to Gaza.

World Health Organization spokesperson Tarik Jašarević had said last month that 150,000 liters of fuel are required to offer basic services in Gaza’s five main hospitals.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Nov 16, 7:58 PM EST
Discussions over release of hostages remain fluid, source says

Many details remain up in the air regarding a deal to release the Hamas-held hostages in exchange for a pause in fighting in Gaza, according to U.S. officials.

One of the biggest sticking points is the number of hostages that will be released, according to an Israeli source.

Israel wants all the children, their mothers and all of their family members released, the source said. If you count just women and young children, that’s about 50 hostages; if you add the family members, you get up to about 80 hostages, according to the source.

The discussions remain fluid, the source said.

It’s too soon to tell if a deal will come together, but people participating in negotiations have yet to throw in the towel, the U.S. officials said.

Asked about the deal by “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. is focused “intensely” on bringing hostages home.

“But having said that, honestly the less that I say the better at this moment because we don’t want to jeopardize anything that we’re doing to try to bring people home,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we can bring people home.”

-ABC News’ Shannon K. Crawford and Matt Gutman

Nov 16, 6:32 PM EST
Discussions over release of hostages remain fluid, source says

Many details remain up in the air regarding a deal to release the Hamas-held hostages in exchange for a pause in fighting in Gaza, according to U.S. officials.

One of the biggest sticking points is the number of hostages that will be released, according to an Israeli source.

Israel wants all the children, their mothers and all of their family members released, the source said. If you count just women and young children, that’s about 50 hostages; if you add the family members, you get up to about 80 hostages, according to the source.

The discussions remain fluid, the source said.

It’s too soon to tell if a deal will come together, but people participating in negotiations have yet to throw in the towel, the U.S. officials said.

-ABC News’ Shannon K. Crawford and Matt Gutman

Nov 16, 4:29 PM EST
State Department: ‘Impossible’ to safely evacuate patients from Al-Shifa Hospital

State Department spokesperson Matt Miller, who said earlier that the U.S. supported evacuating patients from Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital and was liaising with partners who could potentially carry that out, said Thursday the conditions in Gaza wouldn’t allow for it.

“There are third parties that have expressed an interest to do so,” he said, however, “it’s been impossible to ensure that they could move safely to conduct these evacuations.”

He later specified that “the problem has been Hamas.”

Miller again expressed confidence in U.S. intelligence supporting the assertion that Hamas was using Al-Shifa Hospital as cover for a command-and-control center.

Miller disagreed with the assertion that the evidence supplied by the Israel Defense Forces — like weapons recovered from the hospital — was not compelling.

“I saw a host of assault rifles,” Miller said. “I’m not aware that there’s a sort of acceptable threshold level for assault rifles held in hospitals — that’s not general humanitarian practice.”

Miller later added, “It is an ongoing operation. I think people should wait until the operation is finished to draw their own conclusions.”

About 300 American citizens as well as approximately 600 legal, permanent U.S. residents and their eligible family members remain in Gaza, Miller said.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Nov 16, 2:07 PM EST
Body of 65-year-old hostage found near Al-Shifa Hospital, IDF says

The body of Yehudit Weiss, a 65-year-old woman who was abducted by Hamas on Oct. 7, was found at a “structure adjacent” to Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, the Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement Thursday.

Her body was “extracted” and “transferred to Israeli territory,” the IDF said.

“In the structure in which Yehudit was located, military equipment including Kalashnikov rifles and [rocket-propelled grenades] were also found,” the IDF said.

“For us, it is too late,” Weiss’ daughter-in-law told The Times of Israel. “But it is important for us to support all the families of the hostages, and to tell the world — bring them home now.”

Nov 16, 1:19 PM EST
IDF says it found Hamas intelligence material, information on hostages at Al-Shifa Hospital

The Israel Defense Forces said it’s still operating at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, searching the hospital floor-by-floor as doctors and patients remain sheltered inside.

The IDF said during its searches at the hospital forces have found Hamas intelligence material, weapons and information about the hostages.

Nov 16, 12:21 PM EST
Kirby says US ‘still convinced of the soundness’ of intelligence on Al-Shifa Hospital

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby reiterated that the U.S. is “still convinced of the soundness” of its intelligence that Hamas is using Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital as a command center.

“We have our own intelligence that convinces us that Hamas was using Al-Shifa as a command-and-control node, and most likely as well as a storage facility,” Kirby said. “And they were sheltering themselves in a hospital, using the hospital as a shield against military action and placing the patients and medical staff at a greater risk. We are still convinced of the soundness of that intelligence.”

ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Nov 16, 12:11 PM EST
70% of people in southern Gaza have no clean water

Seventy percent of the population in southern Gaza had no access to clean water as of Wednesday, Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, told Al Jazeera.

He said raw sewage is “starting to flow in the streets,” and if fuel isn’t brought into Gaza soon, he warned, “We run the risk to have to suspend the entire humanitarian operation.”

Nov 16, 11:54 AM EST
What we know about the conflict

The war, which has now moved into its second stage, according to Israel, has passed the one-month mark.

In Israel, at least 1,200 people have been killed and 6,900 others have been injured since Oct. 7, according to Israeli officials. In the neighboring Gaza Strip, at least 11,320 people have been killed and another 29,200 have been injured, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

Aid workers and officials fear that Israel’s call for an evacuation of the northern part of Gaza is precipitating a humanitarian disaster as electricity and other supplies have been cut off in preparation for what appears to be an imminent ground offensive.

Humanitarian groups have urged Israel to call off the evacuation and agree to a cease-fire, even as the country has asserted a right to defend itself — a right the United States endorses.

Nov 16, 10:53 AM EST
Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital ‘a disaster,’ doctor says

Dr. Sara Al Saqqa, a surgeon at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, fled the hospital complex several days ago “because everything was pretty horrific and terrifying,” she told ABC News.

She said most of her colleagues and patients evacuated the hospital, where Israeli troops are carrying out a dayslong raid, but she said nearly 100 doctors remain there, along with more than 700 patients and thousands of people seeking refuge.

“The situation now is a disaster at Al-Shifa,” she said. “Israeli occupational forces have invaded Shifa Hospital with their tanks and destroyed most of the medical equipment there. … They shot a lot of people and they arrested more.”

The Israeli army alleges that Hamas has placed its command centers under Al-Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza and is deliberately sheltering behind Palestinian civilians — claims that the militant group denies.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the U.S. has intelligence that Hamas has used Gaza’s hospitals, including Al-Shifa, to support its military operations and hold hostages.

Progress being made on deal to free at least 50 Hamas hostages: officials

The IDF’s operations at the hospital are ongoing Thursday.

The Israelis said that they found explosives inside the medical complex, but Al Saqqa said the Israelis “didn’t find the things that they are looking for because there is no military activity inside the hospital. And this is something that’s obvious to all of us, the ones working there for several years.”

Nov 16, 9:41 AM EST
Clashes intensify along Israel-Lebanon border amid fears of wider war

The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday that its “soldiers struck a terrorist cell in Lebanon that attempted to launch anti-tank missiles toward Israeli territory.”

“In addition, terrorists attempted to carry out a number of launches toward the area of ​​Misgav Am in northern Israel, as well as IDF posts in the areas of Metula and Yiftah,” the IDF said in a statement. “No injuries were reported.”

“In response, IDF soldiers are striking with artillery fire toward the sources of the launches,” the IDF added.

In recent weeks, there have been continued exchanges between Israeli forces and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah along the Israel-Lebanon border. Although the clashes remain within the notional 10-kilometer corridor along the shared border, they are now a daily occurrence and have intensified in recent days, which raises the potential for escalation as each side responds to the other’s strikes.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has been walking a delicate line with regard to the group’s response to the latest outbreak of war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas. In remarks made a couple weeks ago, Nasrallah effectively distanced himself from Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, saying it was wholly a Palestinian conceived, planned and undertaken operation. At the same time, he has pledged support to the Palestinians in their struggle amid Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip. He also said that Hezbollah had joined the fight against Israeli forces from Oct. 8 with strikes across the border, but ruled out a full-scale war at this time.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah has been scrupulously issuing regular statements taking responsibility for strikes on northern Israel and providing precise details.

The types of ordinance used in these cross-border strikes are also ramping up. The Lebanese Armed Forces recently posted on their official Facebook page “general guidelines for avoiding the dangers of phosphorus munitions.” Lebanon has repeatedly accused Israel of using incendiary and phosphorus munitions in their attacks.

But Hezbollah’s leader made clear in his speech last Saturday that the group does not want a war with Israel right now. Acting Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has indicated the same and has praised the patriotism and restraint of Hezbollah.

For now, there appears to be a slow-burn battle between Israel and Hezbollah but within the 10-kilometer corridor of the border and therefore contained. It’s unclear how long that will last.

Nov 16, 8:52 AM EST
US ‘hopeful’ in securing release of remaining hostages, Kirby says

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told ABC News on Thursday that “there’s still working going on, literally by the hour,” to secure the release of the remaining hostages being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“We’ve got folks on the ground. We’ve been talking to them, our negotiators are talking to their negotiators and we’re working on this really, really hard,” Kirby said during an interview on ABC News’ Good Morning America.

“I don’t have an announcement to make today,” he added. “But, as the president said yesterday, we’re hopeful that we can actually get a good result here.”

Nov 16, 8:48 AM EST
US maintains Hamas is using Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital

During an interview Thursday on ABC News’ Good Morning America, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby was asked whether Israel’s raid on the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip was justified.

“Well, the raid, they’re going in on the ground here. They’re not bombing it,” Kirby said. “They’re going after the Hamas leadership that is there. This presents a real dilemma for them.”

“Hamas is using that hospital as a command and control mode and as a way to store weapons, and even house their fighters. Israel has to do something about that threat,” he continued. “But they also have an added burden of protecting the civilians, the medical staff, the doctors and the patients that are at that hospital. And they are trying hard to strike that balance.”

The IDF alleges that Hamas has placed its command centers under Al-Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza and is deliberately sheltering behind Palestinian civilians — claims that the militant group denies.

Kirby told a press gaggle on Tuesday that the U.S. has intelligence that Hamas has used Gaza’s hospitals, including Al-Shifa, to support its military operations and hold hostages.

Nov 16, 6:39 AM EST
IDF raid on Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital continues for second day

Israeli ground troops continued to carry out a raid on the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip for a second day.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces told ABC News that, as of 1 p.m. local time on Thursday, soldiers were still inside Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, some 34 hours after launching the raid.

The IDF spokesperson also confirmed that they found explosives inside the medical complex.

The IDF alleges that Hamas has placed its command centers under Al-Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza and is deliberately sheltering behind Palestinian civilians — claims that the militant group denies.

Nov 15, 5:46 PM EST
Negotiations progressing in hostage release deal, officials say

Negotiations are progressing towards a U.S. and Qatari-brokered hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas, according to multiple officials in the U.S. and Israel.

The potential deal could see Hamas free dozens of Israeli hostages taken on Oct. 7 in exchange for Israel’s release of jailed Palestinians and occur during a multi-day cease-fire in Gaza, the officials said.

The contours of that deal are still being worked out, including how many Israeli hostages would be released and how long a cease-fire would last.

Multiple officials in the U.S. and Israel told ABC News that the current figure is at least 50 Israeli hostages — women, children and the elderly — would be released, though the exact number is not yet final. This would likely take place in batches, with hostages released in exchange for a yet unspecified number of Palestinian women and minors held in Israeli jails, the officials said.

The cease-fire could last between three and seven days though the length is being negotiated and remains a sticking point, the officials said.

There would be other Israeli concessions as well, potentially including the delivery of fuel into Gaza, according to the officials.

Two U.S. officials told ABC News that an agreement seems to be within reach, but that multiple similar proposals have fallen apart just before reaching the finish line in recent weeks.

-ABC News’ Matt Gutman, Jordana Miller and Shannon K. Crawford

Nov 15, 5:03 PM EST
1st fuel truck enters Gaza

A fuel truck crossed the Rafah border crossing from Egypt into Gaza on Wednesday, marking the first time fuel entered Gaza since Oct. 7, a spokesman for the Palestinian Crossings Authority said, according to The Associated Press.

Fuel has been drying up in Gaza as the war continued.

Smoke from shelling rises above the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Nov. 15, 2023.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine said their trucks — which deliver aid from Egypt to Gaza — ran out of fuel Tuesday.

In hospitals, a lack of fuel has prevented doctors for running incubators for babies.

And without fuel, many residents of Gaza have been trapped, unable to drive south toward the Egyptian border.

Nov 15, 3:39 PM EST
43 patients died in Al-Shifa Hospital as ICU oxygen ran out, doctor says

At Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, 43 out of the 63 intensive care patients have died as oxygen in the intensive care unit runs out, according to Dr. Ahmed Mokhallalati, head of the hospital’s plastic surgery department.

Mokhallalati told ABC News the mission of burying bodies is ongoing as more people die inside and outside the hospital.

Mokhallalati said he could still hear the Israeli tanks at the hospital gates Wednesday night.

Nov 15, 2:42 PM EST
Over half of Gaza’s hospitals are non-functional: WHO

Twenty-two of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are now “non-functional,” the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

The “14 hospitals remaining open have barely enough supplies to sustain critical and lifesaving surgeries and provide inpatient care,” the WHO warned.

The organization in a statement reiterated its calls for a cease-fire, protection of civilians and “respect for international humanitarian law.”

Nov 15, 2:01 PM EST
Operation at Al-Shifa hospital complex ongoing, IDF says

The Israel Defense Forces said its operation at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital complex is ongoing.

The IDF said its forces “engaged with” and killed “a number of terrorists” when entering the hospital complex.

Following searches in the hospital, the IDF said its troops “located a room with technological assets, along with military and combat equipment used by the Hamas terrorist organization.”

Palestinian journalist Khadr al Zanoon, who is at the hospital, told ABC News no fighting has taken place inside, but he can hear tanks outside.

He said Hamas fighters are not in the hospital but are in the area around it and are fighting with Israeli forces.

He said Israeli forces have detained some Palestinians who were inside the hospital.

The raid on Al-Shifa Hospital began early Wednesday around 3 a.m. local time, after Israeli forces had moved closer to the medical complex for several days.

Thousands of civilians, along with hundreds of patients — most of whom are seriously ill — have been sheltering at Al-Shifa, according to hospital staff and Gaza health officials.

The IDF alleges that Hamas has placed its command centers under Al-Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza and is deliberately sheltering behind Palestinian civilians — claims that the militant group denies.

Nov 15, 12:46 PM EST
Kirby says US did not give ‘OK’ on Israel’s hospital operation

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Wednesday denied that the U.S. gave any “OK” for the Israeli operation at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital.

“These are Israeli military operations that they plan and they execute on, you know, in accordance with their own established procedures, that the United States is not, was not, involved in,” Kirby said.

He also denied that the U.S. confirming intelligence that Hamas uses the hospital as a control center had anything to do with the timing of the Israeli military operation at the hospital, which began only hours after Kirby’s announcement.

Kirby also said Israel’s hospital operation was “not a focus” of President Joe Biden’s Tuesday night conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and would not say if the U.S. got a heads up about the operation.

“Again, we don’t expect the Israelis to advise us or inform us when they are going to conduct operations,” Kirby said. “We talked to them routinely every day, and certainly we talked to them about our continued concerns over civilian casualties and sharing our perspectives on the best way to minimize, but these are their operations.”

ABC News’ Sarah Kolinovsky

Nov 15, 12:12 PM EST
Israeli forces have left Al-Shifa hospital complex, hospital director says

The director of Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital said Israeli forces have now left the hospital complex following an hourslong raid, but said “tanks and forces are completely stationed in its surroundings.”

The raid on Al-Shifa Hospital began early Wednesday around 3 a.m. local time, after Israeli forces had moved closer to the medical complex for several days.

Thousands of civilians, along with hundreds of patients — most of whom are seriously ill — have been sheltering at Al-Shifa, according to hospital staff and Gaza health officials.

The IDF alleges that Hamas has placed its command centers under Al-Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza and is deliberately sheltering behind Palestinian civilians — claims that the militant group denies.

Nov 15, 10:01 AM EST

Al-Shifa Hospital doctor describes Israeli raid: ‘They told us no one should look through the windows’

As Israeli ground forces continue to carry out an hour-long raid on the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, staff there told ABC News that none of the patients have been moved out.

There are about 600 patients admitted to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, many of whom are seriously ill or wounded. Thousands of other people have been sheltering in the vast medical complex amid Israel’s bombardment of the area.

Speaking to ABC News via telephone from inside the hospital, Dr. Ahmed Mokhallalati described the moment Israeli troops arrived at the complex before dawn on Wednesday.

“They told us no one should look through the windows,” said Mokhallalati, who is the head of the hospital’s plastic surgery department.

“The whole situation is really horrible,” he added. “They are just scaring everyone here.”

ABC News’ Dragana Jovanovic

Nov 15, 8:06 AM EST
IDF suggests it has not yet encountered Hamas fighters inside Al-Shifa Hospital

A senior Israeli defense official said Wednesday that so far Israeli troops have not engaged in combat inside Al-Shifa Hospital itself and suggested they have not yet encountered Hamas fighters within the vast medical complex, the largest in the Gaza Strip.

However, the Israel Defense Forces’ ground operation at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is ongoing and they have allegedly found evidence — specifically weapons — that Hamas, the militant group that rules the strip, is operating inside there, according to the official. More details will be revealed later Wednesday, the official said.

Hamas has since released a statement calling Israel’s claim that it found weapons inside Al-Shifa Hospital “a blatant lie.”

The senior Israeli defense official told reporters that Israeli soldiers went into Al-Shifa Hospital to destroy Hamas infrastructure, not to go after Hamas leaders.

The official noted that four Hamas fighters were killed near the medical complex as Israeli troops approached, but said they are still investigating if they came from inside the hospital.

The official said Israeli forces are currently operating only in “one area” of the hospital but warned that they will enter other areas as needed. The IDF has “no intention” of sending its soldiers to fight “among the patients or the active personnel of the hospital,” according to the official.

The official told reporters that the hospital’s youngest patients — dozens of premature babies — are in a building of the complex not where Israeli troops are currently operating. Israeli soldiers delivered incubators and baby food at the front gate of the hospital in hopes that the staff there would take them, according to the official.

The official declined to say where exactly Israeli forces were operating within the complex, citing operational security.

Al-Shifa Hospital was designed by Israeli architects decades ago and the IDF knows its layout well.

Nov 15, 5:50 AM EST
UN official ‘appalled’ by Israeli raid on Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital

The head of the United Nations’ humanitarian relief operations condemned on Wednesday the Israeli military’s ongoing raid on the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital, saying he is “appalled” by the reports of the operations.

“I’m appalled by reports of military raids in Al Shifa hospital in #Gaza. The protection of newborns, patients, medical staff and all civilians must override all other concerns. Hospitals are not battlegrounds,” U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths wrote in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Nov 15, 5:23 AM EST
IDF continues hourslong raid on Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital

The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday morning that its ground troops are continuing to carry out “a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area” of the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip.

“The activity in this specified area is based on operational necessities, as well as intelligence information that indicates Hamas terrorist activity is being directed from the area,” the IDF said in a statement. “Prior to their entry, the IDF troops encountered explosive devices and terrorist cells, and an engagement began in which terrorists were killed.”

The raid on Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City began after midnight local time, after Israeli forces had moved closer to the medical complex for several days. Gaza’s Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health said gunfire was heard on the hospital grounds and Israeli troops entered through the main building and the emergency department.

Thousands of civilians, along with hundreds of patients — most of whom are seriously ill — have been sheltering at Al-Shifa, according to hospital staff and Gaza health officials.

The IDF alleges that Hamas has placed its command centers under Al-Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza and is deliberately sheltering behind Palestinian civilians — claims which the militant group denies.

The IDF said Wednesday that its troops “are conducting searches for Hamas terror infrastructure and weapons” at Al-Shifa Hospital. They also “delivered humanitarian aid to the entrance of the hospital,” according to the IDF.

Doctors at Al-Shifa Hospital have been warning of its imminent collapse due to a lack of electricity as well as limited fuel and medical supplies.

Nov 14, 7:19 PM EST
IDF says it’s carrying out ‘targeted operation’ in Al-Shifa Hospital

The Israel Defense Forces said they are carrying out a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas” in an area in the Al-Shifa Hospital.

“The IDF forces include medical teams and Arabic speakers, who have undergone specified training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment, with the intent that no harm is caused to the civilians being used by Hamas as human shields,” IDF said in a statement.

IDF called upon Hamas militants in the hospital to surrender.

The operation comes after IDF called for military activities in the hospital to “cease within 12 hours,” IDF said, adding: “Unfortunately, it did not.”

Nov 14, 6:35 PM EST
IDF says it will storm Al-Shifa Hospital soon, Gaza Health Ministry says

The Israel Defense Forces have informed the Gaza Health Ministry that they will storm the Al-Shifa Hospital in several minutes, Dr. Ashraf al Qadra, spokesman of the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, said on Al-Jazeera TV.

-ABC News’ Nasser Atta

Nov 14, 5:53 PM EST
State Department grappling with dissent over US handling of conflict: Sources

State Department employees have sent multiple internal communications in recent days expressing concerns over the administration’s approach to the Israel-Hamas war, including at least one dissent cable, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The dissent channel is a system that allows diplomats to confidentially register their opposition to specific policies with department leadership, but employees can also formally express their disagreement to high-level officials through other avenues.

State Department spokesperson Matt Miller confirmed Tuesday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent a department-wide email on Monday where he noted the tensions and different views among employees.

“He did address in that email…all the issues underlying our policy and made clear people understood what our policy is, just as he has done in meetings he’s had with a number of employees in the department,” Miller told reporters.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Nov 14, 4:29 PM EST
Nearly 1,000 Americans and family members still possibly waiting to leave Gaza: State Department

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Tuesday that just under 1,000 Americans and their family members may be waiting to leave Gaza, as hundreds have left so far through the Rafah border crossing.

“There are now over 600 American citizens and lawful permanent residents and their family members who have departed Gaza through Rafah gate,” Miller said during a briefing. “There are a little under 1,000 that we know of that are left now whose departure we hope to facilitate over the coming days should they wish to depart.”

The number of eligible individuals who may be looking to leave the enclave is higher than previously anticipated, based on previous State Department figures. Before the Rafah gate opened to outbound traffic, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said some 400 Americans and roughly 600 of their eligible family members were in contact with the department about leaving Gaza.

-ABC News’ Shannon K. Crawford

Nov 14, 4:11 PM EST
Israel claims Hamas has ‘lost control of Northern Gaza’

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said during a briefing Tuesday that “Hamas has lost control of Northern Gaza.”

“We control Northern Gaza, especially Gaza City,” Gallant said.

Gallant said the Israel Defense Forces have uncovered 500 tunnels, including in schools, mosques and hospitals, as it seeks to remove Hamas’ leadership and military from Gaza.

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Nov 14, 2:56 PM EST
Breakthrough in hostage deal could come in next 48-72 hours: Israeli source

A senior Israeli political source said Tuesday that progress has been made on a hostage deal and a breakthrough could come in the next 48-72 hours.

The Israeli War Cabinet is meeting Tuesday night to discuss the deal, the source said.

Israeli officials have said as many as 239 Israelis are being held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Nov 14, 2:55 PM EST
US intelligence shows Hamas using hospitals to support military operations, hold hostages: Kirby

The U.S. has intelligence that shows Hamas has used hospitals in Gaza to support its military operations and hold hostages, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby confirmed Tuesday.

“I can confirm for you that we have information that Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, used some hospitals in the Gaza Strip — including Al-Shifa — and tunnels underneath them to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages,” Kirby said during a gaggle on Air Force One.

Kirby said Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad operate a command and control node from Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City where “they have stored weapons there, and they’re prepared to respond to an Israeli military operation against that facility.”

Kirby said the information comes from a “variety” of intelligence sourcing.

He cautioned again that these actions by Hamas “do not lessen Israel’s responsibilities to protect civilians in Gaza.”

“This is something that we obviously are going to continue to have an active conversation with our counterparts about,” he said.

During a Pentagon briefing Tuesday, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh described the information as an independent U.S. intelligence assessment and “newly downgraded information that we felt was important to get out today because there have been a lot of questions about the hospital and how Hamas operates.”

Singh did not go into specifics on the intel but said “we feel very confident in our sourcing and what the intelligence community has gathered on this topic.”

-ABC News’ Justin Gomez and Luis Martinez

Nov 14, 2:42 PM EST
Fuel shortage stalls aid deliveries from Egypt into Gaza Strip, official says

A fuel shortage has stalled aid deliveries from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, a Rafah border crossing official told ABC News on Tuesday.

“No aid got in today because [the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees] trucks have no fuel,” Wael Abu Omar, the Palestinian spokesman for the Rafah border crossing, said.

The UNRWA, which is responsible for receiving and distributing humanitarian aid coming from Egypt in Gaza, said Monday its trucks ran out of fuel and it would not be able to to receive aid coming through Rafah on Tuesday.

Tuesday marks the first day no aid trucks crossed into Gaza through Egypt since Oct. 21 amid the war.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said it received the last convoy of trucks from Egypt on Monday, including 155 trucks, following the UNRWA’s announcement.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Nov 14, 12:28 PM EST
Mass grave dug inside Al-Shifa Hospital, official says

A mass grave has been dug inside Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza to bury dozens of corpses after Israeli forces banned the Red Cross from collecting the bodies, according to Dr. Munir Al-Bursh, the director general of the Palestinian Health Ministry.

“There are approximately 100 corpses lying on the hospital courtyard that have rotted and decomposed,” Al-Bursh told Al-Hadath TV on Tuesday, speaking from inside the hospital, the largest in Gaza. “We are walking on worms and we fear there will be an epidemic.”

Medical staff and people sheltering inside the medical complex have dug a “large hole” to bury the dead bodies, he said. Dozens of other bodies stored in refrigerators at the facility will also be buried in the mass grave, he said.

“Israel tanks are at the gates of the hospital and we are burying bodies under gunfire and with tanks around,” Al-Bursh said.

The hospital ceased to function on Saturday after it ran out of fuel, and staff and health ministry officials inside say the facility has been under siege by Israeli forces for five days, with drones and snipers firing into it.

“We are trying to dig a mass grave to bury the martyrs inside Al-Shifa Hospital. Our efforts to remove the bodies of the martyrs from Al-Shifa complex have failed,” said Dr. Youssef Abu Al-Rish, undersecretary of the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health.

Israeli officials have said Hamas is operating a command center from under the hospital, something denied by Hamas.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy and Morgan Winsor

Nov 14, 11:31 AM EST
Humanitarian corridor in Gaza is less than 1.5 miles long, Israeli officer says

One of two humanitarian corridors that the Israeli military has temporarily opened in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday is less than 1.5 miles long, according to an executive officer of an Israeli battalion in charge of the route.

The officer told ABC News that the corridor is a 2-kilometer stretch of Salah al-Din, the main highway connecting the north and south of Gaza. He said his troops have come under sniper fire and that “there were casualties.”

The Israeli military has distributed leaflets directing civilians in the north to routes that take them to the corridors, offering safe passage to evacuate to the south of the war-torn enclave within a designated window of time on Tuesday.

ABC News’ Matt Gutman, Becky Perlow and Juan Rentaria

Nov 14, 7:53 AM EST
IDF says it’s offered to transfer incubators to Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces announced Tuesday morning that it “is in the process of coordinating the transfer of incubators from a hospital in Israel to Gaza.”

“We are doing everything we can to minimize harm to civilians, assist in evacuation, and facilitate the transfer of medical supplies and food,” the IDF wrote in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “Our war is not with the people of Gaza.”

It was unknown whether the process to transfer incubators was underway and there was no confirmation of Israel’s offer from health officials or medical staff in the Gaza Strip. It was also unclear how the incubators would be powered at Gaza’s hospitals with little to no electricity and fuel.

The announcement came amid worldwide calls to save dozens of premature newborn babies at Gaza’s second-largest hospital.

Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City had been struggling to run with limited fuel for days as doctors warn of its imminent collapse. On Friday, fighting in the area intensified and a strike hit the courtyard outside the hospital.

Three of the 39 babies that were being cared for in Al-Shifa’s neonatal unit have died since their incubators stopped working on Saturday, according to the hospital’s head of plastic surgery, Dr. Ahmed Mokhallalati. The hospital staff has been trying their best to look after them, swaddling them and using what power is left to heat the room they are in.

In recent days, several hospitals across Gaza said they have been under attack as heavy fighting occurs between Israeli troops and the militant group that rules the enclave, Hamas. The IDF alleges that Hamas has placed its command centers in tunnels under hospitals in Gaza and is deliberately sheltering behind Palestinian civilians — claims which the group denies.

Nov 14, 5:11 AM EST
IDF announces two evacuation corridors open in Gaza on Tuesday

The Israel Defense Forces announced Tuesday the temporary opening of evacuation corridors in the war-torn Gaza Strip to allow more people in the north of the Hamas-run enclave to move south.

A “safe passage” will be open “for humanitarian purposes” via the Salah al-Din highway toward the area south of Wadi Gaza on Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time, according to the IDF.

The IDF said it will also temporarily suspend military activities “for humanitarian purposes” in the neighborhoods of Al-Daraj and Al-Tuffah on Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time.

“Please, for your safety, join the hundreds of thousands of residents who have moved south in recent days,” the IDF said in a statement. “We encourage you to seize the time and move south!”

The IDF also urged Gaza residents to “not surrender to Hamas,” alleging that the militant group “has lost control over the northern Gaza Strip area and is trying to do everything it can to prevent you from moving south and protect yourselves.”

Nov 13, 8:36 PM EST
Israel claims to have evidence of Hamas headquarters at hospital

Israeli military officials brought several journalists, including ABC’s Matt Gutman, into the Al-Rantisi Hospital inside Gaza, which had been hit with artillery.

The hospital, Gaza’s sole children’s hospital, was allegedly a Hamas command center, Israel’s chief military spokesperson Daniel Hagari, who led the tour, claimed.

The hospital was surrounded by Israeli tanks from Thursday into Friday, the director of Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital said on Friday.

Inside the basement of the hospital, which officials said has been evacuated, were abandoned AK-47s, grenades and what Hagari said were suicide vests. In another room of the basement was a chair where Hagari claims a hostage was kept.

The spokesperson said the Israeli military was set to detonate the grenades and vests they claim they found inside and a forensic team was going to probe the hospital for more evidence.

The tour came after the hospital’s resources deteriorated due to nearby attacks, according to UNICEF.

The hospital’s operations almost ceased between Thursday and Friday, according to UNICEF.

By Friday, Al-Rantisi Hospital had only a small generator powering the intensive care and neonatal intensive care units, UNICEF said.

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