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Israel-Gaza live updates: Hostage speaks first time since release


(NEW YORK) — As the Israel-Hamas war continues, negotiations have stalled to secure the release of hostages taken by the terrorist organization, and Israeli forces continue to launch incursions in the southern Gazan town of Rafah ahead of a possible large-scale invasion.

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

Jun 29, 3:44 PM
Hostage speaks 1st time since release

Noa Argamani, one of four hostages rescued during a deadly IDF raid on June 8, released a video thanking Israeli forces for rescuing her and calls for the release of the remaining hostages, including her boyfriend, in her first public remarks since she was released.

They were separated during the kidnapping, according to Argamani.

“I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that there are still 120 hostages in Hamas captivity. Among them is Avinatan Or, my partner, from whom I was separated at the moment of abduction. Although I’m home now, we can’t forget about the hostages who are still in Hamas captivity, and we must do everything possible to bring them back home,” Argamani said.

-ABC News’ Victoria Beaule

Jun 28, 2:31 PM
Military pier in Gaza to be taken offline again: US official

The U.S. military pier in Gaza will be taken offline again on Friday and moved to the Israeli port of Ashdod due to high seas, according to a U.S. official.

This is a precautionary move to protect the pier from breaking due to rough waves, the official said.

This is the third time the pier has had to be moved to Ashdod because of weather. The pier has been operational only about half of the time since it opened in mid-May.

“I don’t have a date of when the pier would be reinstalled,” Defense Department deputy spokesperson Sabrina Singh told reporters Friday, noting that Centcom will assess the sea conditions over the weekend.

As the pier was moved away Friday, two U.S. officials told ABC News that officials are considering not re-installing the pier until the humanitarian aid that it brought to Gaza gets distributed. More than 19 million pounds of aid has been delivered to Gaza via the pier but it’s now piling up at the staging point at the edge of the pier, Singh said.

Inspectors General at the Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for International Development announced Thursday that they’re launching reviews of the mission to deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza via the military’s temporary pier system.

-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty and Luis Martinez

Jun 28, 11:31 AM
Israel, US discussing transfer of Patriot air defense batteries to Ukraine

Israel and the U.S. are discussing the transfer of Patriot air defense batteries to Ukraine, a source familiar with the matter told ABC News.

This agreement — not yet finalized, according to the source — would mark a shift in Israel’s public policy following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A key factor behind Israel’s willingness to discuss the transfer of Patriot air defense batteries is the tightening military alliance between Russia and Iran.

In April, Israel announced the decommissioning of U.S.-donated Patriot systems from its aerial defense array. Security sources previously said Patriot has been successfully replaced by the Israeli-made David’s Sling air and missile defense system.

-ABC News’ Dana Savir

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