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Israel-Gaza live updates: Netanyahu releases 1st public statement since Biden speech

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(NEW YORK) — As the Israel-Hamas war crosses the seven-month mark, negotiations are apparently 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 03, 1:27 PM
White House: Biden outlined Israel’s cease-fire offer accurately

President Joe Biden outlined Israel’s cease-fire proposal accurately in his Friday speech, the White House maintained Monday, pushing back on suggestions he miscommunicated the offer.

“The Israeli foreign minister himself acknowledged that this was the Israeli proposal … and we’re confident that it accurately reflects that proposal, a proposal that we worked with the Israelis on,” White House national security communications adviser John Kirby told reporters.

Kirby also argued that Biden “felt it was important” to reveal details from ongoing cease-fire negotiations for the first time, saying it was meant to apply pressure on Hamas, not to corner Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We don’t typically go through the details of these kinds of proposals,” Kirby said. “But in this case, given where we are, given how much longer the hostages have now been held, given the fact that Hamas has reneged on several past occasions, on proposals that were sent to them, and given the fact that the Israelis really did work hard to come up with this proposal, and did so in good faith, the president felt it was important for the first time to publicly lay that out.”

“This wasn’t about jamming the prime minister or the war cabinet,” Kirby added. “This was about laying bare for the public to see how well and how faithfully and how assertively the Israelis came up with a new proposal, how it shows how much they really want to get this done.”

Kirby said Biden delivered the speech on Friday afternoon because the deal was presented to Hamas the night before.

“We’re awaiting an official response by them now to take the deal,” Kirby said. “This gives them what they’ve been looking for, which is a cease-fire and over time, and through the phases, the potential withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.”

-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow

Jun 03, 12:35 PM
Netanyahu: Israel must work to bring hostages home, dismantle Hamas at same time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has released his first public statement since President Joe Biden’s Friday speech endorsing the original Israeli cease-fire deal.

“We are working in countless ways to return our abductees,” Netanyahu said in Hebrew on Monday. “That’s why we went a long way to bring them back, but in the process of this action we maintained the goals of the war, chief among them the elimination of Hamas.”

“We insist that we complete both this and that. It’s part of the outline, it’s not something I’m adding now, it’s not something I’m adding because I was pressured in the coalition, it’s something we unanimously agreed on in the war cabinet,” Netanyahu added.

-ABC News’ Bruno Nota and Dana Savir

Jun 03, 3:57 AM
1 million have fled Rafah, UNRWA says

More than 1 million people have fled Rafah in the weeks since Israel issued evacuation orders, the local U.N. agency said Monday.

“Thousands of families now shelter in damaged & destroyed facilities in Khan Younis, where UNRWA keeps providing essential services despite increasing challenges,” the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees said in a statement.

The agency added, “Conditions are unspeakable.”

-ABC News’ Kevin Shalvey

Jun 02, 10:52 PM
Sec. Blinken tells Israel onus is on Hamas to accept cease-fire deal

Sec. of State Anthony Blinken spoke to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday about the proposal for a ceasefire-hostage deal.

The deal would secure the release of the hostages and ensure a surge in humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.

“The Secretary commended Israel’s readiness to conclude a deal and affirmed that the onus is on Hamas to accept,” according to a readout of the call.

During the call, Blinken also reaffirmed America’s commitment to Israel’s security.

Jun 01, 4:38 PM
US, Qatar and Egypt urge Israel and Hamas to accept deal

In a joint statement shared by the U.S. State Department on Saturday, mediators from the U.S., Egypt and Qatar said they’re working to secure a cease-fire in Gaza and the release of the hostages, and urged Hamas and Israel “to finalize the agreement” that President Joe Biden outlined on Friday.

“These principles brought the demands of all parties together in a deal that serves multiple interests and will bring immediate relief both to the long-suffering people of Gaza as well as the long-suffering hostages and their families,” the statement said. “This deal offers a roadmap for a permanent ceasefire and ending the crisis.”

Jun 01, 3:54 PM
Right-wing Israeli ministers against deal

Right-wing Israeli Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir spoke out on social media Saturday, both threatening to leave the government if the deal in its current form is accepted.

“I have now spoken with the Prime Minister and made it clear to him that I will not be part of a government that will agree to the proposed outline and end the war without destroying Hamas and returning all the abductees,” Smotrich wrote.

This comes after the Hostage Families group released a statement urging Israel’s parliament to embrace the deal.

Jun 01, 2:43 PM
Israeli government says it wasn’t told Biden would mention permanent cease-fire

An Israeli government official said the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office wasn’t informed that President Joe Biden’s Friday remarks would include a permanent end to the fighting.

“If you listen to what Biden said, you come to the impression that we agree to a permanent cease-fire without, or, without our conditions being met, and that’s not the case,” the official said.

The official said the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was informed 30 minutes before that Biden was giving a speech. The official said Netanyahu was told that the speech would focus on the hostages, with no mention of implementing a permanent cease-fire.

Biden presented on Friday what he said was an Israeli proposal to draw the war in Gaza to a close.

Biden said the deal had been transmitted to Israel and Hamas, through Qatar.

The president said the first phase would last for six weeks and include a “full and complete cease-fire, a withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza [and] release of a number of hostages.” Palestinians would also be able to return to their homes and 600 trucks of humanitarian aid would be delivered to Gaza every day.

The second phase would include a release of all remaining living hostages and the temporary cease-fire would become a permanent cease-fire with Israel withdrawing all forces from Gaza “as long as Hamas lives up to its commitments,” Biden said.

In phase three, there would be a major reconstruction of Gaza.

-ABC News’ Britt Clennett

Jun 01, 2:34 PM
Egypt, Israel to hold talks on Rafah crossing: Egyptian official

Egyptian and Israeli officials will hold talks in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the reopening the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, an Egyptian security official confirmed to ABC News.

The crossing has been closed since Israeli forces took control of the Gaza side during their offensive toward Rafah in May. Egyptian officials have said they will not reopen the crossing as long as Israel controls the Gaza side.

Egypt has, however, agreed to send aid trucks from its side of the border to be processed from the Israeli border checkpoint of Kerem Shalom.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Jun 01, 9:54 AM
Israel says ‘conditions for ending the war have not changed’

Although President Joe Biden on Friday outlined a multi-phase cease-fire proposal he said came from Israel, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement Saturday that “Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed: the destruction of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, the freeing of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.”

“Under the proposal, Israel will continue to insist these conditions are met before a permanent cease-fire is put in place,” the statement said. “The notion that Israel will agree to a permanent cease-fire before these conditions are fulfilled is a non-starter.”

Biden said Friday that Israelis should feel comfortable with a cease-fire because Hamas’s capabilities have deteriorated and can no longer repeat the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks.

Hamas in a statement reiterated its requirements for a deal. Hamas said it “affirms its position of readiness to deal positively and constructively with any proposal based on a permanent cease-fire, complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, reconstruction, the return of the displaced to all their places of residence, and the completion of a serious prisoner exchange deal.”

May 31, 5:15 PM
Congressional leaders formally invite Netanyahu to deliver joint address

The four leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate formally invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deliver a joint address to Congress.

The letter sent on Friday by House Speaker Mike Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not provide a date with the address.

The congressional leaders asked Netanyahu to “share the Israeli government’s vision for defending democracy, combatting terror, and establishing a just and lasting peace in the region.”

“The existential challenges we face, including the growing partnership between Iran, Russia, and China, threaten the security, peace, and prosperity of our countries and of free people around the world,” the letter read.

Netanyahu last addressed Congress in 2015.

May 31, 4:03 PM
Israel ‘united’ in desire to return hostages, Netanyahu responds to Biden

Hours after President Joe Biden outlined a three-phase cease-fire deal to end the Israel-Hamas war and said it is time to bring the hostages home, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded, saying its government is “united in the desire to return abductees.”

“The Israeli government is united in the desire to return our abductees as soon as possible and is working to achieve this goal,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement Friday.

“The Prime Minister authorized the negotiating team to present an outline for achieving this goal, while insisting that the war will not end until all of its goals are achieved, including the return of all our abductees and the elimination of Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities,” Netanyahu’s office added.

May 31, 2:07 PM
Biden pitches three-phase cease-fire deal to end Israel-Hamas war

President Joe Biden gave remarks from the White House on Friday, pitching a new plan to draw the war in Gaza to a close.

Biden said the deal had been transmitted to Israel and Hamas, through Qatar.

The president said the first phase would last for six weeks and include a “full and complete cease-fire, a withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza [and] release of a number of hostages.” Palestinians would also be able to return to their homes and 600 trucks of humanitarian aid would be delivered to Gaza every day.

The second phase would include a release of all remaining living hostages and the temporary cease-fire would become a permanent cease-fire with Israel withdrawing all forces from Gaza “as long as Hamas lives up to its commitments,” Biden said.

In phase three, there would be a major reconstruction of Gaza.

“At this point Hamas no longer is capable of carrying out another Oct. 7, which was one of the Israelis’ main objectives in this war, and, quite frankly, a righteous one,” Biden said.

Biden continued, “We can’t lose this moment. Indefinite war in pursuit of an unidentified notion of total victory … will only bog down Israel in Gaza — draining the economic, military and human resources and furthering Israel’s isolation in the world. That will not bring hostages home.”

May 31, 1:22 PM
Hamas releases audio from Israeli hostage Noa Argamani

Hamas has released a video containing audio from hostage Noa Argamani with images of her drawings over the audio.

Alongside her voice, in which she pleads to be saved, drawings are shown, which the family believes to be scribbles that Argamani has drawn.

Agramani was seen in a widely shared video being abducted from the Nova music festival on a motorbike.

The 26-year-old was last heard from in a video released by Hamas in January.

The Hostage Families Forum, which said the family approved release of the video, said in a statement, “125 men and women have been held hostage by Hamas for 238 days. The Israeli government must hear the call and act decisively, without the need for any propaganda video from Hamas, to swiftly reach a deal to bring the hostages home!”

-ABC News’ Anna Burd

May 31, 1:10 PM
Israeli forces operating in central Rafah, IDF says

The Israeli army is now operating in central Rafah, the IDF said Friday.

“The operation continues to gradually evolve, with forces focusing on uprooting Hamas terror infrastructure on the Philadelphi route as well as special forces that are conducted intelligence-based targeted-raids from the outskirts of Central Rafah,” the IDF said in a statement.

The IDF said it found dozens of Hamas tunnels and rocket launchers. Israel also said it “eliminated hundreds of terrorists along the Philadelphi route and the outskirts of the Urban areas of Rafah.”

May 30, 3:39 PM
Benny Gantz’s party proposes vote to dissolve Israeli parliament

Israeli war cabinet Minister Benny Gantz’s centrist party has proposed holding a parliamentary vote on dissolving the Knesset, but it is unclear whether he has enough support to bring about early elections.

The chairman of the Israel Beytenu party, Avigdor Lieberman (from the opposition), is holding a political dialogue with former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, aiming to create a political union that could serve as a “governing alternative” to the Likud and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

May 30, 2:44 PM
Hamas says they will agree to cease-fire deal when Israel agrees to stop war in Gaza

Hamas released a new statement about the proposed cease-fire deal, saying if Israel agreed to “stop its war and aggression” in Gaza, they would “reach a complete agreement that includes a comprehensive exchange deal,” Hamas said in the statement.

“Today, we informed the mediators of our clear position that if the occupation stops its war and aggression against our people in Gaza, our readiness to reach a complete agreement that includes a comprehensive exchange deal,” Hamas added.

Israel had said it submitted a cease-fire proposal to Hamas earlier this week and was awaiting the group’s review of the deal. Israel officials then said that they expect the war in Gaza to last until the end of this year.

-ABC News’ Diaa Ostaz

May 30, 2:44 PM
Egyptian source denies Israeli claim of tunnels in the Philadelphi corridor

A high-level Egyptian source denied Israeli reports about the existence of tunnels on the Egyptian border with Gaza, Egyptian state-run Al-Qahera News said.

The source dismissed the reports as “lies” promoted by Israel to “cover up its military failure.” It added that there were “no communications with the Israeli side” regarding the allegations.

There has been no official comment from Cairo since the announcement.

Egypt has over the past decade destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels along its eastern border with Gaza as part of its fight against Islamist militants in its border Sinai region.

Egyptian officials have said a potential Israeli takeover of Philadelphi, a largely demilitarized buffer zone along the Gaza-Egypt border, could violate the 1979 peace deal between Egypt and Israel.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

May 30, 12:24 PM
Gaza pier built by US Army expected to be working again within a week

The damaged components of the U.S. pier built to funnel aid into Gaza are back at the Port of Ashdod undergoing repairs, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News.

The system is expected to be back in operation on Gaza’s coast within a week, the official said.

-ABC News’ Matt Seyler

May 29, 4:25 PM
Evidence indicates weapons used in deadly Rafah strike are US-made: Experts

Evidence indicates a weapon used by Israel in the Rafah strike — that killed 50 people and injured 249 others — on May 26 appears to be made by a U.S.-owned company, two weapons experts who reviewed photos and video of fragments at the site told ABC News.

Weapon fragments seen in video are consistent with a U.S.-made “small diameter bomb,” which includes the GBU-39/B, or B/B. These types of SDB/GBU-39 weapons can carry a 37 pound warhead, consistent with statements from the IDF about what weapons were used in the strike, Trevor Ball, a former U.S. Army explosive ordinance disposal specialist, said.

“We used two small rockets, 17 kg warhead, that were fired from aircraft to hit, precisely. We’ve used this kind of ammunition before,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Nadav Shoshani told ABC News when asked about what weapons were used in the strike.

Ball identified a series of numbers beginning with “81873″ marked on one fragment seen in video reviewed by ABC News. This is the Commercial and Government Entity Code, or CAGE Code, assigned by the U.S. government to aerospace manufacturing company Woodward, based in Colorado, according to U.S. government records.

A second former U.S. military explosive ordinance disposal specialist confirmed the fragments were consistent with the GBU-39, but asked to not be named by ABC News.

All sales of GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs to foreign entities require the State Department’s approval, but a U.S. official says Israel may have also procured the munitions through direct commercial sales that don’t meet the value threshold — $25 million in Israel’s case — for congressional review and public notification.

In the days following the Oct. 7 attack, Israel rushed to back up its stockpiles, including its supply of the small diameter bombs by any available means, the official said. ABC News has not confirmed if the weapons Israel received after Oct. 7 were used in the May 26 Rafah strike.

When asked if the bombs used in the strike were provided by the U.S., deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said reporters needed to ask the Israelis during a briefing on May 28.

-ABC News’ Chris Looft, Helena Skinner, Britt Clennett, Sohel Uddin, Luis Martinez, Matt Seyler, Shannon Crawford, Ellie Kaufman and Camilla Alcini

May 29, 3:50 PM
World Central Kitchen suspends operations in Rafah over safety

World Central Kitchen has suspended its humanitarian efforts in Rafah due to safety concerns. Jose Andre’s aid group had restarted their relief efforts in Gaza after seven aid workers were killed by an Israeli strike, sparking international outrage over the protection of civilians in Gaza.

The group will continue to operate elsewhere in Gaza.

“In the face of Israeli operations in Rafah, countless families are being forced to flee once again. Ongoing attacks have forced us to pause work at our main kitchen in Rafah and relocate many of our community kitchens further north. The situation is dire but WCK’s Palestinian team—all directly impacted by the war—is showing up every day to support neighbors in need,” WCK said in a statement Wednesday.

“Yesterday we provided almost 100,000 meals and will increase capacity this week as 58 of our aid trucks have entered Gaza since Sunday,” WCK said.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

May 29, 3:48 PM
War expected to last through end of year, Israeli official says

Israel expects that the war in Gaza will likely be long, lasting for at least seven more months of fighting against Hamas, a senior Israeli official said Wednesday.

“We expect another seven months of combat in order to shore up our achievement and realize what we define as the destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s military and governing capabilities,” Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of the Israeli national security council, said in a radio interview to Kann News.

-ABC News’ Dana Savir

May 29, 2:21 PM
Israel has ‘tactical control’ over Philadelphi corridor in Gaza: IDF

Israeli Defense Forces have “tactical control over the Philadelphi corridor” in Gaza, an IDF official told reporters Wednesday.

“IDF has tactical control over the Philadelphi corridor, which does mean it doesn’t mean that we have boots on the ground across all of the corridor, but it means that we can control and we have the ability to cut off the oxygen line that Hamas has used for replenishing and movement in and around that area,” the IDF official said.

-ABC News’ Bruno Nota

May 29, 2:18 PM
Kirby says he hopes for end to war ‘as soon as possible’

After comments from Israeli officials predicted the war in Gaza would last through the end of the year, White House national security communications adviser John Kirby expressed a desire to reach an end much sooner than that — “as soon as possible,” he said.

“I’ll let the defense minister speak for his own views and opinions. Our view, in our opinion, is we gotta get this hostage deal now. The time is now to do it — to get that temporary cease-fire and to end this conflict as soon as possible,” Kirby said.

“I can tell you that President Biden is committed to seeing that we find a way to end this conflict. And to end as soon as practicable.”

Kirby confirmed that there is a “fresh” proposal on the table that the Israels are “fully supportive of,” but it is too “fresh” to provide details on. He emphasized that the Biden administration still believes there is a path for a cease-fire deal that could “lead to something more sustainable” and a “potential end of the conflict.”

Kirby also said the fighting “could end tomorrow if Mr. Sinwar did the right thing and agreed to this deal,” referring to the Hamas leader.

-ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett

May 29, 1:30 PM
Blinken reacts to ‘horrific’ Rafah strike, questions whether Israeli gains are worth consequences

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about the catastrophic strike over the weekend in Rafah — becoming the first top-level U.S. official to publicly respond to the attack in detail.

“The incident a couple days ago was horrific,” he said. “I don’t think anyone who has seen the images cannot be deeply affected by them, just on a basic human level.”

Blinken was also asked about reports indicating that the U.S. supplied the weapons used in the strike; he said he couldn’t yet say where they came from, but if Israel’s claims that it used small diameter munitions were true, the incident illustrated how even precision attacks could cause immense damage to civilians in Rafah.

“I think we also see that even limited, focused, targeted attacks, designed to deal with terrorists who’ve killed innocent civilians that are plotting to kill more — even those kinds of operations can have terrible, horrific, unintended consequences,” he said.

Blinken then said it was “very important in this moment after Israel has had real success in helping to destroy Hamas’ capacity to repeat October 7th” that Israel “has to ask whether, and especially in the absence of a plan for the day after in Gaza, further incremental gains against Hamas, but gains that may not be durable in terms of Hamas’ defeat in the absence of a plan–how that stacks up against some of the, again, unintended, but horrific consequences of military action in a place where the people you’re going after are so closely embedded with civilians.”

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

May 28, 5:15 PM
Newly released video shows Israeli hostage in captivity

A video showing Israeli hostage Alexsander Trufanov, who was captured by Hamas on Oct. 7, was publicly released by the Hostage Families Forum on Tuesday.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team, which will be able to lead to a deal for the return of all the hostages – the living to rehabilitation and the murdered to burial,” the Hostage Families Forum said in the release with the video.

Israel submitted a new cease-fire proposal to negotiators in Egypt on Monday. They are now awaiting a response from Hamas, according to an Egyptian security source who spoke with ABC News.

-ABC News’ Dorit Long and Marwa Mouaki

May 28, 5:07 PM
21 killed as explosions continue in Rafah following Sunday’s deadly strike

At least 21 people were killed in an attack near the International Medical Corps American hospital as explosions continue in Rafah on Monday night and Tuesday, according to Palestinians on the ground and local authorities.

Of the 21 people killed, 14 of them were female, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health said Tuesday. Their ages have not yet been released.

These bombings were not in the exact same location as the strike on May 26 that killed 50 people and injured at least 249 others.

-ABC News’ Diaa Ostaz

May 28, 4:42 PM
Nikki Haley signs artillery shells in Israel: ‘Finish them! America loves Israel!’

Former U.S. presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley visited the northern Israeli border on Tuesday, meeting with Israeli soldiers and Israelis.

During her visit, Haley visited an Israel Defense Forces post with soldiers serving on the northern border.

Haley stopped and signed artillery shells, writing, “Finish them! America loves Israel!” on some of them.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

May 28, 3:51 PM
1 million Palestinians have now fled Rafah: UNRWA

One million Palestinians have been forced to flee Rafah over the last three weeks in search of safety, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

Heavy bombardment continued in Gaza overnight, including in Tal Al Sultan, where the U.N. main offices in Gaza are located, according to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

Most of the UNRWA staff could not make it to work as they are packing up and moving. The UNRWA is also running out of medical supplies and basic human medicines, according to Lazzarini.

Just over 200 trucks with humanitarian supplies were picked up in southern Gaza in the last three weeks as needs continue to increase exponentially, Lazzarini said.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

May 28, 3:46 PM
UN secretary-general condemns Rafah strike, says ICJ ruling is ‘binding’

The United Nations secretary-general has condemned the deadly strike on Rafah “in the strongest terms,” saying Antonio Guterres is “heartbroken by the images of the killed and injured,” his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement Tuesday.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his demand for an immediate ceasefire and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. He recalls the recent orders of the International Court of Justice, which are binding and must be complied with,” Dujarric said.

“The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is now compounded by the unconscionable prospect of a man-made famine,” Dujarric said.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

May 28, 3:45 PM
Sunday’s Rafah strike ‘shouldn’t have happened,’ IDF says

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Nadav Shoshani admitted to a “mishap” in Sunday’s Rafah strike that killed 50 Palestinians and injured at least 249 others, saying it was a “tragic incident that shouldn’t have happened.”

“The outcome is not the outcome we had in mind when this operation started. That’s why we’re investigating it. It’s a tragic event and it’s not the way we operate. We are fighting with Hamas terrorists. We are trying to kill them specifically in a very precise way, intelligence based. And that’s why we look at this as a tragic incident that shouldn’t have happened,” Shoshani said.

Over 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the strike a “tragic mishap” on Monday.

“The mishap was the fire that carried out after the targeted attack, and we are looking into why this fire caught on,” Shoshani said. “The attack, per se, was according to procedure, with surveillance before the attack, a very precise attack based on intelligence.”

-ABC News’ Britt Clennett

May 28, 3:27 PM
Barely any medical facilities functioning, Palestinian Ministry of Health says

There are barely any functioning medical facilities in Rafah as the Israel Defense Forces continue its operations, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said Tuesday.

“Both the Indonesian field hospital and the Tal Al-Sultan Clinic in Rafah Governorate have ceased service, leaving only the Tal Al-Sultan Maternity Hospital struggling to survive and continue providing service to patients in Rafah,” according to the ministry.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

May 28, 3:18 PM
Israel makes new cease-fire proposal, now awaiting Hamas response

Israel put forward a new cease-fire proposal and hostage release deal on Monday, which has now been passed on to Hamas, an Egyptian security source told ABC News.

Mediators are awaiting a response from Hamas within 24 hours, the source said.

This is the first time Israel has taken the first move to submit a draft proposal since the war began, according to the source. Previous proposals have been initiated by Egyptian and Qatari mediators.

The source said talks could resume soon, without providing an exact timeline.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

May 28, 3:12 PM
‘Tragic doesn’t even begin to describe it,’ Harris says of IDF strike in Rafah

Vice President Kamala Harris weighed in on the IDF strike in Rafah that killed 50 civilians and injured 249 more, saying, “The word ‘tragic’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.”

She did not comment when asked if this crosses a red line for the administration. President Joe Biden has yet to weigh in.

May 28, 10:31 AM
‘No justice in the world’: Palestinian man’s wife killed in Rafah strike

Days after a deadly strike on Rafah killed 50 Palestinians and injured at least 249 others, a father of five who lost his wife told ABC News his family fled from Beit Lahia to Deir al-Balah — in the south of Gaza — before heading to Rafah for safety.

“One of my disabled sons had his leg amputated and my wife was killed. What injustice is this?” Murid Saadi Agha told ABC News. “There is no justice in the world. Israel is above all the law.”

“I hold America and Israel responsible. We are innocent,” he said.

Three of Agha’s children have already lost limbs in the war.

“After sunset, my wife and I were sitting here outside the shelter with our neighbors, and my disabled son was feeding his other disabled brother, who is older than him. Even the Indomie that he was eating was still here,” he said, describing the aftermath of the deadly Rafah strike.

“There was a very intense explosion. My wife declared once that the shrapnel entered her chest and killed her. I went to my sons and found that one of them had an amputated foot, as the shrapnel entered from the top and from the side. There were many martyrs here. It was a massacre,” he said.

May 28, 9:21 AM
Israel continues Rafah strikes as Palestinian death toll surpasses 36,000

Strikes on Rafah have continued, barely 48 hours since an Israeli airstrike near a camp of displaced people killed 50 and injured 249 others. The continued offensive comes as at least 36,050 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7 and 81,026 others have been injured.

The Israel Defense Forces said their ongoing Rafah operation is “precise.”

The Israeli military’s deadly airstrike in Rafah on Sunday night hit an area about 650 feet away from the boundary of an IDF-designated “humanitarian area,” according to an ABC News analysis of geolocated images and the IDF’s statements and maps.

The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting later Tuesday to discuss Sunday’s strike on Rafah.

At least one million people have fled Rafah in the past three weeks, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

May 27, 4:30 PM
Kuwait Specialized hospital in Rafah out of service

The Kuwait Specialized Hospital in Rafah, one of its largest, announced that the hospital had been out of service due to the expansion of the Israeli military operation on the city and the repeated and deliberate targeting of the hospital’s vicinity, hospital’s director Suhaib Al-Hams said Sunday.

The Israeli occupation repeatedly targeted the hospital, the most recent of which was targeting the hospital gate, which led to the death of two of the staff working there, as well as the injury of five members of the medical staff in a previous targeting, Al-Hams said in a press statement received by Sanad News Agency.

“We announce that the Kuwait Specialized Hospital has been out of service and the working medical teams have been transferred to the field hospital that is being prepared in the Al-Mawasi area,” Al-Hams said.

May 27, 3:39 PM
Israel strike hits fuel tank, causing large fire: US official

The U.S. received information from the Israelis overnight that they believe shrapnel or something else from the strike ignited a fuel tank 100 meters away, which engulfed a tent, creating a massive fire, according to a U.S. official.

The U.S. does not have information to confirm or dispute that information. The U.S. is in the process of understanding what has happened, waiting for Israel to conduct its own investigation and determining what action to take next, according to the official.

The U.S. maintains that while they’ve warned about a major ground offensive in Rafah, that’s not what’s happening, according to the official.

May 27, 3:37 PM
Hamas leader says Rafah strike shows Israel is defying international law

Commenting on the Rafah strike that killed 50 people, Hamas released a statement saying Israel’s attack on Rafah is like “the announcement of Netanyahu’s government’s defiance of international justice decisions,” referring to the International Court of Justice’s decision last week ordering Israel to stop its operation in Rafah.

“The massacre committed in the areas where its considered safe area,” Hamas leader Osama Hamdan said. “The timing of these murders during the last two days is like the announcement of Netanyahu’s government’s defiance of international justice decisions.”

May 27, 6:17 PM
Netanyahu calls strike on Rafah a ‘tragic mishap’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the strike on Rafah which killed at least 50 Palestinians Sunday, a “tragic mishap,” in a speech to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, Monday.

“We are fighting with force in the north of the Gaza Strip, in its center, its south and in Rafah. In Rafah we have already evacuated about a million uninvolved residents and despite our best efforts not to harm the un-involved, unfortunately a tragic mishap happened last night. We are investigating the case and will draw the conclusions because this is our policy,” Netanyahu said.

May 27, 2:45 PM
Death toll from Israeli strike rises to 50

At least 50 people have been confirmed dead in Israel’s strike on Rafah, with a number of victims still under the rubble, the Gaza Health Ministry said in a statement Monday. Ambulance and civil defense crews cannot reach them the victims, the statement noted.

Since Oct. 7, 36,050 people have been killed in Gaza and 81,026 others have been injured.

“Never before in history has such a large number of mass killing tools been amassed and employed together in front of the world as is happening now in Gaza, where the population is deprived of water, food, medicine, electricity, and fuel, crushing the infrastructure, destroying all institutions, disrupting sanitation, spreading epidemics, crushing the health system, implementing the siege, closing crossings, and preventing the entry of medical supplies and delegations,” the Gaza Health Ministry said.

May 27, 2:15 PM
Egyptian border guard killed in shooting at Rafah border

An Egyptian border guard was killed in a shooting in the Rafah border area with Gaza, Egypt’s military spokesman said in a statement on Monday.

“The Egyptian armed forces, through the competent authorities, are investigating a shooting incident in the Rafah border area which led to the martyrdom of one of the security personnel on duty,” the statement said.

The Israeli military had earlier reported an exchange of fire on the Egyptian border and said it was discussing the incident with Egypt.

“A few hours ago (Monday), a shooting incident occurred on the Egyptian border. The incident is under review and discussions are being held with the Egyptians,” the IDF said.

Initial investigations into an incident that killed an Egyptian border guard indicate the incident occurred while there was an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and “the Palestinian resistance,” an Egyptian security source told Egypt’s state-affiliated Al Qahera News TV on Monday.

In October 2023, weeks after the war started, Israel said one of its military tanks mistakenly fired at an Egyptian position near the border with Gaza. Egypt said at the time that several army personnel were slightly injured.

Tensions between Egypt and Israel have escalated after Israeli forces earlier this month seized control of the Rafah border crossing, a key entry point for humanitarian aid. Egypt said it would not reopen its side of the crossing unless it is operated by Palestinians and accused Israel of preventing aid deliveries.

May 27, 1:52 PM
UNRWA commissioner general calls scenes of Rafah after strike ‘hell on earth’

The images that have emerged after the Israeli strike on Rafah are a “testament to how Rafah has turned into hell on earth,” Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, said in a post on X.

“Children and women living in tented plastic makeshift shelters are among the killed. Many were injured. Others were reportedly burnt to death. The images from last night are testament to how Rafah has turned into hell on earth,” Lazzarini said went on.

Some UNRWA staff are unaccounted for and it’s very hard to establish contact with UNRWA teams in Rafah, Lazzarini said, adding that the UNRWA is doing its best to bring aid to people in need in Gaza.

“UNRWA is doing everything possible not to interrupt the delivery of humanitarian assistance. But with every day passing, providing assistance & protection becomes nearly impossible,” he said.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

May 27, 1:02 PM
White House says images out of Rafah are ‘heartbreaking’ but maintains Israel has ‘a right’ to go after Hamas

The “devastating images” coming out of Rafah are “heartbreaking,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement Monday, adding that even though Israel “has a right to go after” Hamas, the country also has to protect civilians.

“Israel has a right to go after Hamas, and we understand this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists who are responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians,” the spokesperson said. “But as we’ve been clear, Israel must take every precaution possible to protect civilians.”

The spokesperson also said that the U.S. is engaging with the Israeli authorities to figure out “what happened” in addition to the IDF investigation.

-ABC News’ Michelle Stoddart

May 27, 12:18 PM
‘Outraged’: Macron calls for immediate cease-fire after Rafah attack

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Israel’s attack on Rafah that left at least 45 people dead, saying he was “outraged” and called for “respect for international law” and an “immediate cease-fire.”

“Outraged by the Israeli strikes which caused numerous victims among the displaced in Rafah. These operations must stop. There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians. I call for full respect for international law and an immediate ceasefire,” Macron said in a post on X.

The Israel Defense Forces claimed it took several measures to protect civilians. The strike is now under investigation.

“The General Staff’s Fact-Finding and Assessment Mechanism is investigating the circumstances of the deaths of civilians in the area of the strike. The IDF regrets any harm to uninvolved civilians during combat,” the IDF said in a statement.

The White House has not commented on the attack yet, and the Israeli prime minister’s office has not released a statement.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

May 27, 7:58 AM
Dozens killed, hundreds injured in Sunday Rafah strike, Gaza ministry says

Forty-five people were killed and 249 were injured in an IDF strike on Rafah on Sunday, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said Monday.

Action Aid UK had on Sunday placed the death toll higher, saying at least 50 people were killed.

IDF officials said the strike had targeted “significant Hamas terrorists” who were operating in a Hamas compound.

“The IDF is aware of reports indicating that as a result of the strike and fire that was ignited several civilians in the area were harmed,” IDF officials said on social media. “The incident is under review.”

-ABC News’ Joe Simonetti and Kevin Shalvey

May 26, 6:44 PM
IDF claims 2 top Hamas officials killed in Rafah airstrike

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed two top Hamas officials were killed in the deadly airstrike in western Rafah Sunday night.

The IDF said Hamas’ Chief of Staff in the Judea and Samaria wing, Yassin Rabia, and an additional senior Hamas official, Khaled Nagar, were both killed.

“Hamas’ Judea and Samaria wing is responsible for the planning, funding, and carrying out of terror attacks throughout Judea and Samaria and within Israel,” the IDF said in a statement Sunday.

The IDF claimed Rabia was responsible for “numerous murderous terror attacks, including in 2001 and 2002, in which IDF soldiers were killed.”

The IDF also claimed Nagar “directed shooting attacks and other terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria, and transferred funds intended for Hamas’ terrorist activities in the Gaza Strip.”

“Previously, Khaled Nagar carried out several deadly terror attacks between 2001-2003 which led to the deaths of several Israeli civilians and the injury and death of several Israeli soldiers,” the IDF claimed.

The airstrike in Rafah on Sunday also resulted in the deaths of at least 50 individuals, including civilians, according to Action Aid UK.

May 26, 6:18 PM
Death toll in Rafah airstrike rises to 50: Action Aid UK

The death toll in the IDF airstrike that hit western Rafah Sunday night has risen to at least 50 individuals, including civilians, according to Action Aid UK.

The organization said Israeli fighter jets launched eight missiles at makeshift shelters housing internally displaced persons next to UNRWA warehouses stocking vital aid.

“We are outraged and heartbroken by the recent attacks in West Rafah,” Action Aid UK said in a statement Sunday.

“These shelters were supposed to be safe havens for innocent civilians, yet they became targets of brutal violence,” the organization continued. “Children, women, and men are being burned alive under their tents and shelters.”

Action Aid UK expects the number of casualties to rise.

-ABC News’ Victoria Beaule

May 26, 5:49 PM
At least 35 killed, including civilians, in airstrike on Rafah: Gaza Ministry of Health

A deadly airstrike has killed at least 35 people inside western Rafah, near the UNRWA logistics base in Tal Al-Sultan, according to officials at the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health.

Numerous individuals remain stuck in a fire that resulted from the airstrike and in the tents destroyed by the bombardment.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the airstrike to ABC News in a statement on Sunday and acknowledged that civilians were harmed as a result of the strike.

“A short while ago, an IDF aircraft struck a Hamas compound in Rafah in which significant Hamas terrorists were operating. The strike was carried out against legitimate targets under international law, using through the use of precise munitions and on the basis of precise intelligence that indicated Hamas’ use of the area,” the IDF said.

“The IDF is aware of reports indicating that as a result of the strike and fire that was ignited several civilians in the area were harmed,” the IDF continued, adding, “The incident is under review.”

-ABC News’ William Gretsky

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