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Israel-Gaza live updates: Hamas may not have enough hostages for proposed deal, source says


(NEW YORK) — An Israeli attack in Gaza on a convoy of aid workers from World Central Kitchen, the relief organization providing desperately needed food to Palestinians, has generated outrage from the group’s founder, celebrity chef José Andrés and condemnation from around the world.

Israel has apologized for the strikes, which killed seven members of the group late Monday, saying it was an accident in “the fog of war.” They have promised a thorough investigation of the incident, which Andrés said was deliberate.

Nearly six months after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7, the Israeli military continues its bombardment of the neighboring Gaza Strip. About 1,200 people were killed in the initial terrorist attack, according to Israeli officials, while Israel’s bombing of Gaza has killed more than 32,000 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

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

Apr 10, 7:33 PM
US Central Command leader to meet with Israel about Iran threat, building piers

Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, the commander of U.S. Central Command, is set to meet with officials in Israel about Iran and the Joint logistics over-the-shore floating piers which U.S. military officials currently on the ground in Israel have been working to coordinate with Israeli military officials, an Israeli official told ABC News.

The official said there has been a “marathon of calls” between Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and the National Security Council, the State Department and the Pentagon, which the official credits with increasing statements of support by the administration for Israel in case it’s attacked by Iran. Those talks were an extension of the meetings two weeks ago when the White House summoned Israeli officials to Washington to discuss the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid in Gaza.

After months of U.S. calls for Israel to massively increase aid, multiple Israeli security officials tell ABC News that Israel heard the message loud and clear this time.

“We heard what they said about the humanitarian effort,” the official told ABC News, noting Gallant came back from his trip to the U.S. and gave a “directive: ‘We need to make an immediate impact on the scope and speed of the humanitarian aid going into Gaza,’ and that’s what we’ve done.”

Apr 10, 1:43 PM
US skeptical that Hamas has enough hostages to fulfill 1st phase of proposed deal: Source

U.S. officials are skeptical that Hamas is holding enough Israeli hostages to meet the requirements for the first phase of the proposed deal currently on the table, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

The proposal calls for Hamas to hand over 40 hostages who are either: children; women not affiliated with the Israel Defense Forces; sick adults; or adults over 50 years old, according to the officials.

In exchange, Israel would free an undefined number of Palestinian prisoners and implement a cease-fire of at least six weeks.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 10, 1:36 PM
World Central Kitchen worker hurt in separate IDF strike

World Central Kitchen said one of its workers was injured in a separate airstrike in Gaza on the same day that seven WCK workers were killed.

Fifteen minutes before the Israeli attack that killed seven workers on April 1, “One of our brave Palestinian staff members was gravely injured in a reportedly deadly airstrike at al-Bashir Mosque in Deir al-Balah,” World Central Kitchen said in a statement.

The two attacks were within miles of each other, WCK said.

The Palestinian staff member, Amro, suffered “serious head and hand injuries while he was off duty in a home close to the mosque in the area surrounding our warehouse and newly established kitchen in Deir al-Balah,” WCK said.

He was in a coma for some time and is now recovering, the agency said.

“Amro joined the WCK team just after the start of the year,” WCK said. “He was given rare opportunities to leave Gaza for Egypt several times, but he refused. He always says, ‘I am here serving people hot food every day. I will not leave my job and let them suffer."”

Apr 10, 1:21 PM
3 sons of Hamas political chief killed in Israeli strike, Hamas says

Three sons of Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, according to a statement from Hamas.

Three of the brothers’ children were also killed in the strike.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the strike and said the sons were part of Hamas’ military wing.

Apr 10, 10:47 AM
3 sons of Hamas political chief killed in Israeli strike, Hamas says

Three sons of Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, according to a statement from Hamas.

Three of the brothers’ children were also killed in the strike.

Apr 09, 7:06 PM
‘No higher priority’: Harris meets with American hostages’ families

During a meeting at the White House on Tuesday with the families of Americans being held hostage by Hamas, Vice President Kamala Harris said there is “no higher priority than reuniting the hostages with their loved ones,” according to a White House readout.

Harris also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to bringing home the remains of those hostages who have been confirmed dead, according to the readout.

Rachel Goldberg-Polin, whose 23-year-old son Hersh is being held hostage by Hamas, described the meeting with Harris as “very productive.”

“There is a possibility of holding two truths,” Goldberg-Polin told reporters outside the White House. “You can believe, as we do, that it is horrible that innocent civilians in Gaza are suffering, and at the same time you can also know that it is horrible and against international law for hostages to be held against their will.”

Goldberg-Polin said her son got his arm blown off during Hamas’ attack at the Nova Music festival on Oct. 7. Her husband, Jonathan Polin, said that they “have no choice but to stay hopeful.”

Jonathan Dekel-Chen, the father of American hostage Sagui Dekel-Chen, called on Hamas to reach a deal to release the hostages.

“We are waiting now and the world waits for Hamas to get to yes,” Dekel-Chen told reporters. “It is in their court.”

Apr 09, 6:48 PM
Biden calls for cease-fire ‘now’ to get aid into Gaza in Univision interview

President Joe Biden called for an immediate cease-fire to get food and aid into Gaza in an interview airing Tuesday night on Univision.

“So I what I’m calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a cease-fire, allow for the next six, eight weeks total access to all food and medicine going into the country,” Biden said in the interview with Univision’s Enrique Acevedo. “I’ve spoken with everyone from the Saudis to the Jordanians to the Egyptians. They’re prepared to move in. They’re prepared to move this food in. And I think there’s no excuse to not provide for the medical and the food needs of those people. It should be done now.”

Biden did not mention tying the cease-fire to a hostage deal, according to a transcript of the interview, which would be a shift for the administration. ABC News has reached out to the White House for comment.

Last week, officials pushed back on suggestions that they were separating calls for a cease-fire from hostage negotiations in their readout of Biden’s call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Our conviction remains that we need to see an immediate cease-fire to enable the release of hostages but also to enable a dramatic surge in humanitarian assistance, as well as obviously better protecting civilians,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on April 4.

In the Univision interview, Biden also called Netanyahu’s approach in Gaza “a mistake” when asked if he believed the prime minister was “more concerned about his political survival than he is in the national interest of his people” as calls for Netanyahu’s resignation have increased following the strike that killed seven World Central Kitchen workers.

“Well, I will tell you, I think what he’s doing is a mistake. I don’t agree with his approach. I think it’s outrageous that those four, three vehicles were hit by drones and taken out on a highway where it wasn’t like it was along the shore, it wasn’t like there was a convoy moving there, etc.,” Biden said in the interview.

The hour-long interview, which is airing at 10 p.m. ET, was taped a day before Biden’s call with Netanyahu on April 4.

Apr 09, 4:00 PM
US effort to build humanitarian pier off Gaza expected to top $180M

President Joe Biden’s plan to use the military to build a giant pier off the coast of Gaza to deliver food, water and medicine will cost at least $180 million and could top $200 million, ABC News has learned.

The price tag was described by two people familiar with the initial estimate, which has not been released by U.S. Central Command.

The price tag is expected to fluctuate as U.S. officials scramble to finalize key details on the project, including which humanitarian organizations and foreign governments are willing to help carry the shipments to shore and distribute them.

The floating dock is expected to be nearly the size of a football field — about 97 feet wide and 270 feet long — stationed about 3 miles offshore. Container ships would screen their cargo in Cyprus before taking it to the floating dock and unloading it. From there, the aid would be moved aboard small Army ferries that would transport it to an 1,800-foot “trident” pier that connects to shore.

Officials also continue to discuss how to protect the service members who will be 3 miles offshore, where Hamas is believed to still operate.

The project — which triggered the deployment of six Army and Navy ships and will involve some 1,000 U.S. military troops — is on track to become operational in early May, enabling the delivery of some 2 million meals per day.

Click here to read more.

-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty and Luis Martinez

Apr 09, 2:36 PM
New record number of aid trucks enter Gaza, IDF says

The Israel Defense Forces said 468 aid trucks entered Gaza on Tuesday — the highest number to enter Gaza in one day since the war began.

More than 1,200 aid trucks have entered Gaza over the last three days, according to the IDF and Israeli aid agency COGAT.

Apr 09, 2:02 PM
Blinken gets emotional about Americans directly impacted by Israel-Hamas war

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke emotionally Tuesday about the Americans directly impacted by the Israel-Hamas war, touching on both the hostages still held captive and the aid workers killed in Gaza.

At a news conference with his United Kingdom counterpart, David Cameron, Blinken was asked about Rachel Goldberg, whose 23-year-old son, American-Israeli Hersch Goldberg-Polin, was captured by Hamas. Goldberg is asserting that negotiators have failed.

“I know Rachel well. If I were sitting in her shoes, I’d undoubtably be feeling and saying the same thing,” Blinken said. “Because until the day that Hersch is home, we will not have succeeded in doing what we’re determined to do — which is to bring him and bring all the hostages back.”

Blinken also said he spoke with the family of Jacob Flickinger, a 33-year-old dual U.S.-Canadian citizen who was one of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers killed by an Israeli strike in Gaza last week.

“I spoke over the weekend to Jacob’s father and to his partner. I heard directly from them,” he said. “Separately, Jacob leaves an 18-month-old son. Leaving everything else aside, just on a purely human level, my heart goes out to that family and to that little boy who now has no father.”

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 09, 1:52 PM
Blinken says Israel hasn’t communicated date for Rafah operation, but he doesn’t ‘see anything imminent’

Asked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Israel had set a date for its offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Tuesday that the U.S. was in the dark. But Blinken added that he doesn’t think the operation is imminent.

“No, we do not have a date for any Rafah operation — at least one that’s been communicated to us by the Israelis,” Blinken said at a news conference with his United Kingdom counterpart, David Cameron. “On the contrary, what we have is an ongoing conversation with Israel about any Rafah operation. The president has been very clear about our concerns — our deep concerns about Israel’s ability to move civilians out of harm’s way.”

Blinken said he expected talks between Israeli and American officials on the matter would press on into next week and that he didn’t want to “prejudge” an outcome.

“I don’t anticipate any actions being taken before those talks,” he said. “I don’t see anything imminent.”

As other Biden administration officials have done, Blinken stressed that the administration’s evaluation of Israel’s efforts to meet dire humanitarian needs in Gaza would be ongoing, and that officials would be “looking at a number of critical things that need to happen in the coming days.”

Blinken said that list of items includes: opening a new portal for aid in northern Gaza; using Israel’s Port of Ashdod to bring in supplies on a regular basis; maximizing the flow of assistance from Jordan; repairing water lines throughout Gaza; and “putting in place a much more effective deconfliction mechanism with the humanitarian groups that are providing assistance.”

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 09, 12:23 PM
McConnell criticizes Biden, claims he’s caving to political pressure on Israel

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is claiming President Joe Biden is caving to political pressure on Israel.

McConnell criticized Biden for expressing outrage at the deaths of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, who were killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza last week, after his administration had called it a tragic accident.

“[That] begs the question whether he’s also outraged at the way Israel’s cherished aggressors violate international law by turning hospitals and schools [in Gaza] into fighting positions,” McConnell said Tuesday. “Instead of welcoming Israel’s swift investigation and efforts to hold personnel accountable for their mistakes — accountability that has been sorely lacking during President Biden’s own administration — the president caved further to domestic political pressure. He indulged his radical base.”

-ABC News’ John Parkinson

Apr 09, 11:07 AM
Harris to meet with American hostages’ families on Tuesday

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with the families of American hostages being held by Hamas on Tuesday afternoon, according to the White House.

Harris will “express her continued support for these families and the hostages and will provide an update on our administration’s efforts to broker a deal to secure the release of all hostages and an immediate cease-fire,” a White House official said.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan met with the families on Monday.

The families told Sullivan they were appreciative of the Biden administration’s support, but also disappointed that a deal still hadn’t been reached to bring home the remaining hostages, which include eight American-Israeli citizens, the Hostages Families Forum Headquarters said.

The families said they told Sullivan they’re worried their loved ones will be the next to die if the negotiators don’t reach a deal soon.

-ABC News’ Justin Gomez

Apr 09, 10:54 AM
Israel says IDF killed head of Hamas’ Emergency Bureau

The Israel Defense Forces said its fighter jets struck and killed Hatem Alramery, the head of Hamas’ Emergency Bureau, in Gaza on Monday night.

Hamas said civilians were also killed in the strike.

Apr 09, 10:48 AM
Hamas says Israel is being ‘stubborn’ in negotiations

Hamas officials are accusing the Israelis of being “stubborn” during the latest round of negotiations in Cairo.

“Despite this,” Hamas officials said in a statement, Hamas leaders are “studying the submitted proposal … and will inform the mediators of its response once this is completed.”

CIA Director Bill Burns presented a new hostage/cease-fire proposal in Cairo this weekend, which included an initial release of 40 hostages in exchange for six-week cease-fire, a source familiar with the negotiations told ABC News.

Apr 09, 8:49 AM
Harris to meet with American hostages’ families on Tuesday

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with the families of American hostages being held by Hamas on Tuesday afternoon, according to the White House.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan met with the families on Monday.

Harris will “express her continued support for these families and the hostages and will provide an update on our administration’s efforts to broker a deal to secure the release of all hostages and an immediate cease-fire,” a White House official said.

Apr 08, 8:33 PM
CIA director presented new hostage-release deal: Source

A source tells ABC News that CIA Director William J. Burns presented a new hostage-release/cease-fire proposal in Cairo last weekend to help broker a deal between Israel and Hamas.

The source confirmed the proposal included an initial release of 40 hostages in exchange for a six-week cease-fire.

Officially, the CIA did not provide a comment.

Apr 08, 3:52 PM
Highest number of aid trucks enter Gaza since start of war

A total of 419 humanitarian aid trucks entered Gaza on Monday, marking the highest number of aid trucks to enter Gaza in one day since the start of the war, according to Israeli aid agency COGAT.

This beats the record that was set one day earlier, when 322 trucks entered Gaza.

Apr 08, 1:11 PM
Netanyahu says Israel has set a date to enter Rafah

Israel has set a date for its forces to enter Rafah in southern Gaza, though the date has not been announced, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a brief video message in Hebrew on Monday.

“Today I received a detailed report on the [negotiation] talks in Cairo,” Netanyahu said. “We are working all the time to achieve our goals, primarily the release of all our hostages and achieving a complete victory over Hamas.”

“This victory requires entry into Rafah and the elimination of the terrorist battalions there,” he continued. “It will happen — there is a date.”

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

Apr 08, 12:39 PM
White House still reviewing IDF report on WCK strike, Kirby says

The White House is still reviewing the Israel Defense Force’s investigation of the Israeli strike that killed seven World Central Kitchen workers in Gaza, according to White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

Officials are “still working our way through it,” Kirby told reporters Monday. He didn’t provide any update on when that assessment will be done.

Kirby also said the postponed visit by the Israeli delegation to the White House to discuss the IDF’s presence in Rafah in southern Gaza will likely be delayed again.

“I’m not sure that it’s going to actually happen this week,” he said. “I think folks are really sort of circling around sometime next week.”

-ABC News’ Justin Gomez

Apr 07, 5:00 PM
Egypt to dramatically increase number of aid trucks through Rafah crossing

Egypt has decided to increase the number of aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip through its Rafah border crossing to 300 trucks per day, Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service, said Sunday.

The average number of trucks entering the crossing daily since the beginning of April has been 55, Egyptian officials said.

A total of 322 trucks entered North Gaza via Rafah during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Rashwan said.

Since Oct. 7, 2023, more than 19,000 relief trucks have entered the Gaza Strip through Rafah, Rashwan said.

Rashwan also said 66,759 foreign passport holders and dual nationals exited Gaza into Egypt through Rafah since the war began. Some 3,764 wounded Palestinians and patients, along with 6,191 relatives have also left Gaza into Egypt, according to Rashwan.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Apr 07, 3:48 PM
Talks to resume Sunday in Egypt, Israeli source says

An Israeli delegation has arrived in Cairo, Egypt, for a new round of cease-fire and hostage release talks, an Israeli source confirmed Sunday to ABC News.

-ABC News Jordana Miller

Apr 07, 2:51 PM
Troop withdrawal was to prepare for missions, including in Rafah, Israeli defense minister says

The withdrawal Sunday of Israeli troops from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip was done to prepare forces for future missions, including in Rafah, according to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

“The withdrawal of troops from Khan Younis was carried out once Hamas ceased to exist as a military framework in the city,” Gallant said Sunday. “Our forces left the area in order to prepare for their future missions, including their mission in Rafah.”

Speaking to reporters during a visit to the Israel Defense Forces’ southern command, Gallant said, “We saw examples of such missions in Shifaa, and [will see] such missions in the Rafah area. We will reach a point when Hamas no longer controls the Gaza Strip and does not function as a military framework that poses a threat to the citizens of the State of Israel.”

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi also confirmed Sunday that “the war in Gaza continues” and Israel is “far from stopping.”

Senior Hamas officials are still hiding in the southern Gaza Strip area, Halevi said in a statement.

“We will get to them sooner or later,” Halevi said, adding that the IDF “will know how to return to fighting in the event of a truce as part of a hostage deal and that returning the hostages is a more urgent matter than other goals.”

Halevi also said Israel is preparing to defend itself from a possible strike from Iran, which has vowed to retaliate against an airstrike allegedly carried out by Israel in Syria last week that killed a top Iranian commander.

Halevi said the IDF is fully prepared to deal with Tehran “in attack and defense.”

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Apr 07, 11:31 AM
Israeli reforms after strike on aid workers must be verified: White House

John Kirby, the White House National Security Council spokesperson, said Sunday that any reforms by Israel after its deadly strike on the World Central Kitchen humanitarian aid convoy in Gaza last week have to be verified to restore “confidence.”

Seven WCK workers were killed in the attack, which Israel has described as a “terrible mistake.” The Israeli government and military have taken some steps in response, including allowing more aid into Gaza and disciplining some officers involved in the WCK drone strike.

“We need to see change over time,” Kirby told ABC News “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz. “So, these announcements, Martha, they’re very welcomed, and they’re good. And they are some of the things that the president asked specifically for Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu to do in terms of opening up additional crossings, allowing more trucks in, getting the deconfliction process in place.”

Kirby added, “But now we have to judge it over time, we have to see past the announcements and see if they actually meet these commitments over time, in a sustained and verifiable way, so that confidence can be restored not just between aid workers and [Israel’s forces], but between the people of Gaza and Israel.”

-ABC News’ Tal Axelrod

Apr 07, 10:31 AM
Israel withdraws ground troops from southern Gaza Strip: IDF

Israel has withdrawn all ground troops from the southern Gaza Strip, after four straight months of fighting in the Khan Younis area, according to Israel Defense Forces sources.

A significant force led by Israel’s 162nd division and the Nahal Brigade continues to operate in the Gaza Strip, preserving the IDF’s freedom of action and its ability to conduct precise intelligence-based operations, according to the IDF sources.

-ABC News’ Dana Savir and Jordana Miller

Apr 07, 9:52 AM
‘War against humanity,’ WCK founder Jose Andres tells ABC News

Chef José Andrés claimed Israel is committing a “war against humanity itself” during an exclusive sit-down interview with “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz, following the Israeli drone strike attack that killed seven of his World Central Kitchen workers.

Andrés, who founded the humanitarian organization in 2010, pushed back against the Israel Defense Forces’ findings on the WCK convoy strike, telling Raddatz, “Every time something happens, we cannot just be bringing Hamas into the equation.”

EXCLUSIVE: @chefjoseandres to @MarthaRaddatz after Israeli airstrikes killed 7 @WCKitchen aid workers: “This doesn’t seem anymore a war about defending Israel. This really, at this point, seems it’s a war against humanity itself.”
Sunday on @ThisWeekABC

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 6, 2024

“This is not anymore about the seven men and women of World Central Kitchen that perished on this unfortunate event. This is happening for way too long. It’s been six months of targeting anything that seems moves,” Andrés said. “This doesn’t seem a war against terror. This doesn’t seem anymore a war about defending Israel. This really, at this point, seems it’s a war against humanity itself.”

The IDF findings released on Friday said there were three strikes on the convoy. It also said WCK workers hit in the first vehicle were hit again while moving to another vehicle in the convoy. The IDF confirmed that the aid group had coordinated their movements correctly with them in advance, but conceded that Israeli officials failed to update its brigade on the coordinated humanitarian operation.

Asked by Raddatz if he was satisfied with the report’s findings, Andrés thanked the IDF for conducting “such a quick investigation” though called for a more thorough, independent one.

“I will say something so complicated, the investigation should be much more deeper,” he said. “And I would say that the perpetrator cannot be investigating himself.”

Watch the full interview with Andrés on “This Week” Sunday morning on ABC.

-ABC News’ Meredith Deliso

Apr 07, 5:42 AM
Israel ‘still unhealed’ 6 months into war, UK prime minister says

Six months into Israel’s war with Hamas, Israel’s “wounds” caused by the terror attack on Oct. 7 remain “unhealed,” U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.

And Palestinians, including children, in the Gaza Strip need a humanitarian pause “immediately,” as well as a sustainable long-term cease-fire, Sunak said in a statement on Saturday.

“After six months of war in Gaza, the toll on civilians continues to grow — hunger, desperation, loss of life on an awful scale,” he said.

The U.K. continues to stand by Israel’s right to defend itself and defeat Hamas, he said, but he also called for the “terrible” conflict to end. The hostages must be released and aid must “be flooded in” to Gaza, he said.

“But the whole of the U.K. is shocked by the bloodshed, and appalled by the killing of brave British heroes who were bringing food to those in need,” Sunak said, referring to World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in Israeli military strikes.

Apr 06, 3:22 PM
UN issues report on Al-Shifa Hospital, calling for cease-fire

The United Nations said it finally gained access to Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, following a days-long Israeli raid and found what the head of the World Health Organization called “an empty shell,” with most buildings destroyed.

“The scale of devastation has left the facility completely non-functional, further reducing access to life-saving health care in Gaza. Restoring even minimal functionality in the short term seems implausible and will require substantial efforts to assess and clear the grounds for unexploded ordnance to ensure safety and accessibility for partners to bring in equipment and supplies,” WHO said in a statement.

The WHO said its efforts to reach the hospital “to medically evacuate patients and staff and conduct an assessment were denied, delayed or impeded 6 times between 25 March and 1 April.” According to the WHO at least 20 patients died due to lack of access to care.

The WHO said numerous shallow graves, and many partially buried bodies, were found just outside the emergency department after the Israeli siege.

“During the visit, WHO staff witnessed at least five bodies lying partially covered on the ground, exposed to the heat. The team reported a pungent smell of decomposing bodies engulfing the hospital compound. Safeguarding dignity, even in death, is an indispensable act of humanity,” according to the WHO.

The destruction of Shifa and the main hospital in southern Gaza – Nasser – “has broken the backbone of the already ailing health system,” the WHO said.

Apr 06, 3:15 PM
UN marks ‘terrible milestone’ as Gaza faces ‘man-made famine’

The people of Gaza are facing the “immediate prospect of a shameful manmade famine,” United Nations Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths said, as he called for an end to the war.

“We have arrived at a terrible milestone,” Griffiths said in a statement marking six months of the Israel-Hamas war. He called the prospect of further escalation in Gaza “unconscionable.”

“Rarely has there been such global outrage at the toll of conflict, with seemingly so little done to end it and instead so much impunity,” Griffiths said.

-ABC News’ Nadine Shubailat

Apr 05, 4:21 PM
Sullivan to meet with hostage families on Monday

National security adviser Jake Sullivan will meet families of hostages at the White House on Monday, which is one day after the war reaches the six-month mark, a senior administration official said.

President Joe Biden on Friday wrote letters to the president of Egypt and the emir of Qatar on the state of the talks, and he urged them to secure commitments from Hamas to agree to and abide by a deal, the official added.

“The president made clear that everything must be done to secure the release of hostages, including American citizens, now held by Hamas terrorists for nearly six months,” the senior administration official said.

“They discussed the importance of fully empowering Israeli negotiators to reach a deal, which in its first phase would secure the release of women, elderly, sick and wounded hostages,” the official said.

A new round of talks will take place this weekend in Cairo.

-ABC News’ Selina Wang

Apr 05, 3:49 PM
Strike on World Central Kitchen workers was ‘a terrible chain of errors,’ IDF says

The Israeli Defense Forces issued a new statement in English calling the Israeli military’s strikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers on Monday a “tragedy.”

“It was a terrible chain of errors and it should never have happened,” the IDF said. “The IDF takes full responsibility for this regrettable loss of life.”

The IDF said earlier that the airstrike came after Israeli forces misidentified a WCK worker in the convoy as a Hamas gunman.

The IDF said WCK correctly coordinated its movements with the IDF prior to the night the workers were killed and that there was a “comprehensive plan” in place for the WCK workers’ movements on Monday.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

Apr 05, 10:05 AM
US ‘carefully’ reviewing Israel’s report on WCK attack, Blinken says

U.S. officials are reviewing Israel’s report on the Israel military’s attack on World Central Kitchen aid workers “very carefully” and “will be discussing its conclusions with Israeli officials and with humanitarian organizations in the days to come,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters.

The Israel Defense Forces said its airstrike in Gaza that killed seven WCK aid workers on Monday came after Israeli forces misidentified a WCK worker in the convoy as a Hamas gunman.

Blinken said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “indicated” to President Joe Biden in their Thursday call “that Israel would be making further changes to its procedures to make sure that those who are providing assistance to people who so desperately need it in Gaza are protected.”

“It’s very important that Israel is taking full responsibility for this incident. It’s also important that it appears to be taking steps to hold those responsible accountable,” Blinken said. “Even more important is making sure that steps are taken going forward to ensure that something like this can never happen again.”

Blinken said the U.S. would be “looking to see not just what steps are being taken, but the results that follow” from potential changes to Israeli military operations.

-ABC News’ Chris Boccia

Apr 05, 9:43 AM
Kirby: US must ‘start seeing meaningful changes’ from Israel

White House national security communications adviser John Kirby warned Friday that if the U.S. doesn’t “start seeing meaningful changes in the way Israel is prosecuting these [military] operations [in Gaza] and allowing for humanitarian assistance [in Gaza], and working toward a hostage deal and cease-fire, then we’re going to have to make changes in our Gaza policy.”

In his interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America, Kirby would not say if those changes in Gaza policy would mean conditioning U.S. aid.

But Kirby said President Joe Biden was very clear on his call Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. must “see some changes.”

“We’ve got to see the humanitarian situation improve in Gaza, or otherwise we will have to try to take a look at our own policy and make decisions, and change the way that we’re supporting Israel,” Kirby said.

The U.S. still wants an immediate cease-fire in exchange for the release of the Israeli hostages and for getting more aid into Gaza, Kirby stressed. U.S. officials will be among the negotiators meeting this weekend in Cairo, he said.

Apr 05, 7:09 AM
IDF says there were 3 strikes on WCK convoy, misidentified worker as Hamas gunman: ‘Misjudgment’

Israel Defense Forces released a statement Friday about the deadly airstrike in Gaza that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers on April 1.

The IDF said it misidentified a WCK worker in the convoy as a Hamas gunman.

“After the vehicles left the warehouse where the aid had been unloaded, one of the commanders mistakenly assumed that the gunmen were located inside the accompanying vehicles and that these were Hamas terrorists. The forces did not identify the vehicles in question as being associated with WCK,” the IDF said in a statement Friday.

“Following a misidentification by the forces, the forces targeted the three WCK vehicles based on the misclassification of the event and misidentification of the vehicles as having Hamas operatives inside them, with the resulting strike leading to the deaths of seven innocent humanitarian aid workers,” the statement continued.

The report said there were three strikes on the convoy. It also said WCK workers hit in the first vehicle were hit again while moving to another vehicle in the convoy.

“The investigation’s findings indicate that the incident should not have occurred. Those who approved the strike were convinced that they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees,” the IDF said. “The strike on the aid vehicles is a grave mistake stemming from a serious failure due to a mistaken identification, errors in decision-making, and an attack contrary to the Standard Operating Procedures.”

It said WCK correctly coordinated its movements with the IDF prior to the night the workers were killed and that there was a “comprehensive plan” in place for the WCK movement on April 1.

Apr 05, 5:16 AM
‘The real test is results’: Blinken reacts to Israel border crossing announcements

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about the announcement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office’s announcement overnight that additional crossings into Gaza would be opened up for aid to enter.

He said the U.S. “welcomed” the development but that “the real test is results, and that’s what we’re looking to see in the coming days, the coming weeks.”

“Is the aid effectively reaching the people who need it throughout Gaza?” he said. “Do we have a much better system for deconfliction and coordination so that the humanitarian workers, the folks who are delivering the aid, can do it safely and securely? All of these things are critical.”

Blinken said these aims would be measured by clear metrics “like the number of trucks that are actually getting in on a sustained basis,” and the aid making it to those in need through the enclave — “including critically northern Gaza.”

He said the administration would be closely watching to see if other measurements were reversed, including “the fact that almost 100% of the population is acutely food insecure” as well as indicators of potential famine.

“So really, the proof is in the results,” he said.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 04, 10:18 PM
Partner of killed aid worker calls for answers: ‘We need the truth of what happened’

The partner of one of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza this week is pleading for answers into the deadly attack.

“We need some answers,” Sandy Leclerc, the partner of Jacob Flickinger, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, told ABC News on Thursday, in her first television interview since the attack. “We need the truth of what happened because this situation is so unclear.”

“Please Mr. Biden, give us the truth of what happened,” she asked of President Joe Biden as she spoke with ABC News correspondent Phil Lipof.

Apr 04, 6:17 PM
Israel to open another border crossing point after Biden-Netanyahu call: Official

Israel has decided to open another border crossing point — the Erez checkpoint — to allow humanitarian aid to cross into Gaza, according to an Israeli official.

The decision comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden spoke by phone earlier Thursday.

“This increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is necessary to ensure the continuation of the fighting and to achieve the goals of the war,” the official said in a statement. “In light of this, Israel will allow the temporary delivery of humanitarian aid through Ashdod (port) and the Erez checkpoint and will increase the Jordanian aid coming in through Kerem Shalom.”

-ABC News’ Dana Savir

Apr 04, 6:07 PM
WCK airstrike won’t affect emergency pier mission: Pentagon

The U.S. military’s emergency pier system to get humanitarian aid into Gaza is still en route, Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Thursday.

Ryder said that USAID continues to work with organizations to finalize a distribution plan for the aid once it’s transferred by the system — known as JLOTS — to shore. He also acknowledged that the deadly Israeli strike that killed seven humanitarian aid workers this week “certainly doesn’t make that job easier.”

He added that it “has not deterred us from continuing to work with groups and NGOs to come up with solutions.”

Ryder confirmed that Israel has committed to providing security on shore for the pier and port system.

“I know Israel’s investigating in terms of the strike on World Central Kitchen and we trust that Israel will provide the security that we need on the shore,” he said.

Ryder said the system is expected to be operational by the end of April or early May.

“We’re not changing the mission. We’ve been tasked to provide a temporary pier. Everything is on track on schedule at this point,” he said.

-ABC News’ Luis Martinez

Apr 04, 5:17 PM
Child in Gaza ate grass to survive, UNICEF spokesperson says

A UNICEF spokesperson on the ground in Gaza told ABC News Live she is “shocked” by the conditions she has seen in hospitals, including malnourished children.

The spokesperson, Tess Ingram, said she recently visited Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza and met a 7-year-old boy who was “eating grass.”

“He was so sick and in so much pain,” Ingram told ABC’s Terry Moran Thursday. “Thankfully, the doctors there think he will make a full recovery, but he is one of hundreds of children they said that they’re treating for malnutrition at the moment.”

“This has to be unacceptable, particularly when the aid is just a few kilometers away, as is the nutrition treatments that we have that can save children’s lives,” she added.

Asked how to protect those providing humanitarian resources in Gaza, following the Israeli airstrike on an aid convoy that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers earlier this week, Ingram said “it’s called international humanitarian law.”

“That is what we are calling on the parties to the conflict to respect,” she said.

-ABC News’ Luis Rodriguez, Isabella Meneses, Kiara Brantley-Jones and Robinson Perez

Apr 04, 4:15 PM
World Central Kitchen attack is part of pattern, NGOs operating in Gaza say

Officials from humanitarian organizations operating in the Gaza Strip stressed to reporters Thursday that they believe the Israeli airstrikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers on Monday is part of a pattern.

They said other humanitarian workers were targeted and killed before, including doctors, nurses and journalists, but they were Palestinians.

“The condemnation for the World Central Kitchen incident is right and just, but where is it for every other humanitarian worker, for every other hospital that is destroyed, for every attempt to manipulate the media?” said Christopher Lockyear, secretary general of Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières. “What happened to [World Central Kitchen] is part of a pattern. … This is about impunity and total disregard of rules of war.”

Asked if the World Central Kitchen attack will significantly decrease humanitarian work in Gaza, Lockyear responded, “We remain present in Gaza, but we are assessing the risks on a daily basis.”

-ABC News’ Camilla Alcini and Ellie Kaufman

Apr 04, 4:11 PM
US warns of policy changes if Israel doesn’t take action to better protect civilians

President Joe Biden spoke Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, their first conversation since seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen were killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

Biden had strongly condemned the incident, which Israel’s said was unintentional, saying he was “outraged.”

Biden further expressed to Netanyahu that the strikes on the food relief workers and the overall humanitarian crisis in Gaza are “unacceptable,” according to a White House readout of the call.

For the first time, the White House hinted the president may consider a change in U.S. policy with respect to Gaza if Israel doesn’t take action to better protect civilians and aid workers.

“He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers,” the readout read. “He made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.”

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-ABC News’ Molly Nagle and Alexandra Hutzler

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