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Israel-Gaza live updates: Netanyahu ‘surprised’ by Biden’s remarks, source says

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(NEW YORK) — More than four months since Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7, the Israeli military continues its bombardment of the neighboring Gaza Strip.

The conflict, now the deadliest between the warring sides since Israel’s founding in 1948, shows no signs of letting up soon and the brief cease-fire that allowed for over 100 hostages to be freed from Gaza remains a distant memory.

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

Feb 27, 7:13 AM
UNRWA ‘needs to be dissolved,’ Israeli official says

An Israeli official told ABC News on Tuesday that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is “intertwined with terror and needs to be dissolved.”

“Their sole goal was to perpetuate the Palestinian refugee problem,” the official said. “Their compliance with Hamas terrorism and incitement was exposed. Any prospect for peace depends on dissolving UNRWA.”

The Israeli official said humanitarian aid in the war-torn Gaza Strip should be provided by people “who are not associated with Hamas or UNRWA.”

ABC News has reached out to UNRWA for comment.

In a dossier released in late January, the Israeli military alleged that 13 UNRWA employees participated in the Hamas-led Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel.

UNRWA has said it is investigating the allegations and took swift action against those accused of being involved in the attack. However, the United States and other top donors have suspended their funding to the agency, which is the biggest humanitarian aid provider in Gaza.

Feb 27, 5:54 AM
Netanyahu ‘surprised’ by Biden’s remarks on potential cease-fire deal, source says

A senior Israeli political source told ABC News on Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “surprised” by U.S. President Joe Biden’s remarks that he was hopeful a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas could be in place “by next Monday.”

Feb 27, 5:42 AM
Qatar says no breakthrough in talks between Israel, Hamas

A spokesperson for the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday that there is no breakthrough to announce concerning a potential deal between Israel and Hamas on a cease-fire and hostage release.

“Many developments have occurred. Nothing to announce today, but we feel optimistic,” the spokesperson told reporters.

The spokesperson said the talks remain “ongoing” and they cannot comment on U.S. President Joe Biden’s remarks that a deal is expected by next Monday.

Qatar, along with Egypt and the United States, has been mediating talks between the warring sides.

Feb 27, 5:30 AM
Hamas’ demands in negotiations ‘are still delusional,’ Israeli official says

An Israeli official told ABC News on Tuesday that Hamas’ demands in ongoing negotiations “are still delusional.”

“Military pressure and determined negotiation have helped free 112 hostages to date. Israel will get the remaining hostages home,” the official said. “A deal was done in November and another deal can be made once Hamas comes to reality. Hamas demands are still delusional.”

Feb 26, 6:28 PM
Biden ‘hopes’ for cease-fire in Gaza by next Monday

President Biden said he “hopes” to have a cease-fire in Gaza by March 4.

“I hope by the end of the weekend,” the president told reporters Monday. “My national security advisor tells me that we’re close, it’s not done yet. My hope is by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire.”

The comments came during a stop at Van Leeuwen’s ice cream shop in New York City as the president visited NBC Late Night host Seth Meyers.

Feb 26, 4:03 PM
State Department says there’s been ‘progress’ in hostage talks

State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said Monday that there’s been “progress” in hostage talks over the last few days, but he said it’s unclear whether Hamas would accept the latest proposal.

“We’ve had progress with the conversations we’ve had between Egypt, Israel, the United States and Qatar,” Miller said.

He was then asked if they might reach a deal before Ramadan, which begins on March 10.

“I can’t make that assessment because it depends on Hamas. We believe a deal is possible and we hope Hamas will agree to one,” he said.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Feb 26, 12:16 PM
Aid to Gaza has dropped by half since January, UNRWA says

Humanitarian aid to Gaza dropped by 50% from January to February, according to Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

“Aid was supposed to increase not decrease to address the huge needs of 2 million Palestinians in desperate living conditions,” Lazzarini said on social media Monday. “Among the obstacles: lack of political will, regular closing of the crossing points & lack of security due to military operations + collapse of civil order.”

Lazzarini stressed the need for a cease-fire.

Feb 25, 7:06 PM
Netanyahu’s office presents war cabinet with plan to evacuate Gazans from ‘areas of fighting’

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office has presented Israel’s war cabinet with a “plan for evacuating the population from the areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip,” a release from the office said early Monday local time.

“In addition, the plan for providing humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip in a manner that will prevent the looting that has occurred in the northern Strip and other areas was approved,” the statement added.

-ABC News’ Dana Savir

Feb 24, 4:34 PM
Israel agrees to updated framework in cease-fire, hostage deal

Israel has agreed to an updated framework that would establish a six-week cease-fire in Gaza in exchange for the release of 40 hostages, an Israeli source told ABC News. The development follows talks in Paris, which includes officials from the U.S., Israel, Qatar and Egypt.

While Israel says it’s waiting to hear back from Hamas on whether it will accept the updated language from this weekend’s talks, Israel is pushing forward with plans to enter Rafah. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on X that operational plans and evacuation plans in Rafah are ready to be approved by his cabinet.

As part of the proposed deal, Israel has agreed to release jailed Palestinians at a higher ratio than the previous deal, which was 3 to 1. Up to 400 Palestinian prisoners could be released in this new deal.

The Israel Defense Forces will redeploy but not withdraw from Gaza.

-ABC News’ Marcus Moore

Feb 23, 1:23 PM
Blinken calls Israeli settlement expansion ‘inconsistent with international law’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is signaling a possible shift back to a long-standing U.S. policy rejecting Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, calling it “inconsistent with international law.”

Asked at a press availability in Argentina for his response to Israel’s purported plans to build thousands of new settlement homes in the area, Blinken responded, “We’ve seen the reports, and I have to say we’re disappointed in the announcement.”

“It’s been long-standing U.S. policy under Republican and Democratic administration alike that new settlements are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace. They’re also inconsistent with international law,” Blinken said. “Our administration maintains firm opposition to settlement expansion, and in our judgment, this only weakens — doesn’t strengthen — Israel security.”

The Biden administration has condemned Israeli expansion in the West Bank for years, but the State Department had not yet gone so far as to say they ran afoul of international law after Blinken’s predecessor, Mike Pompeo, said in 2019 that the U.S. would no longer view Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem as violations.

But before delivering his rebuke, Blinken made note of what he called a “horrific terrorist attack” on a Jewish settlement in the West Bank this week and said the U.S. would continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself and its people.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Feb 22, 2:57 PM
Over 85,000 people in Gaza could die in next 6 months if war escalates, report finds

More than 85,000 people in Gaza could die over the next six months if the war between Israel and Hamas escalates, epidemiologists from Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found.

The epidemiologists presented findings about death tolls in three potential scenarios: if a cease-fire is reached, if the war remains as it is, and if the war escalates.

If a cease-fire is reached, more than 11,000 people will die over the next six months, the findings estimate, based on current conditions inside Gaza.

If the status quo of the war is maintained, more than 66,000 people will die during the same period, the findings show.

And in the worst-case scenario, if the war escalates, more than 85,000 people could die, the report found.

These numbers are in addition to the more than 29,000 people who have already died in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to Gaza’s Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

Feb 22, 2:18 PM
Israeli war cabinet approves sending negotiators to Paris talks

The Israeli war cabinet on Friday approved sending Israeli negotiators to hostage and cease-fire talks in Paris. The war cabinet’s decision will be brought to the Israeli security cabinet for approval later on Friday night.

Qatari, Egyptian and U.S. officials are also expected to be at Friday’s talks in Paris, according to reports.

Feb 22, 12:18 PM
Israel concludes 1-week operation inside Nasser Hospital in Gaza

The Israeli Defense Forces said Thursday that its soldiers have concluded their one-week operation inside Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, where the IDF said it arrested at least 200 suspected Hamas members.

The World Health Organization said earlier this week that it helped evacuate some of the critically ill patients from the hospital.

On Wednesday, the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health said eight patients who died because of a lack of electricity at Nasser Hospital were still in their beds inside of the hospital among living patients. The IDF denied these claims.

Feb 22, 3:35 AM
One dead, several injured in shooting near Jerusalem, Israeli authorities say

At least one person was killed and several others were injured Thursday in a shooting on a main road just outside Jerusalem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, according to Israeli authorities.

Highway 1 was packed with cars when gunfire erupted Thursday morning near a checkpoint between Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Three “terrorists” armed with automatic weapons pulled up in a vehicle, got out and opened fire at cars that were standing still in the traffic jam, according to the Israel Police.

Israeli security forces who were already on scene “neutralized” two of the suspects, police said. A third suspect who had tried to escape was later found and also “neutralized,” according to police.

Medics arrived and “ran from vehicle to vehicle” searching for victims, according to Israel’s rescue service MDA. A man in his 20s was pronounced dead at the scene while several others were transported to area hospitals, including four people who were moderately injured with gunshot wounds, MDA said.

Feb 21, 2:59 PM
Israeli Minister Gantz expresses cautious optimism about new hostage deal

Israeli Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday expressed cautious optimism that a new outline for a possible hostage deal could move forward.

Gantz, a member of the Israeli war cabinet, said at Israel’s Defense Headquarters Wednesday that there are “attempts” to “promote a new outline” for a hostage deal, and there are “initial signs that indicate the possibility of moving forward.”

“We will not stop looking for the way, and we will not miss any opportunity to bring the girls and boys home,” Gantz said.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman and Dana Savir

Feb 21, 1:02 PM
8 bodies remain in Nasser Medical Complex among living patients, Gaza Ministry of Health says

Eight patients who died because of a lack of electricity at Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza are still in their beds inside of the hospital among living patients, the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Health said the bodies are still in the hospital because Israeli forces refuse to remove them.

The bodies “have begun to swell and show signs of decomposition, posing a danger to other patients,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Israeli authorities denied these claims and said no bodies are still inside Nasser Hospital.

The Israel Defense Forces has been operating inside of Nasser Hospital for the last week. On Monday, the IDF announced its soldiers had arrested 200 suspected Hamas members at Nasser Hospital.

ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman and Camilla Alcini

Feb 21, 8:28 AM
Israel considering sending delegation to Egypt for new round of talks, source says

Israel is weighing the possibility of sending a delegation back to Egypt for continued negotiations over a potential cease-fire or hostage deal with Hamas, an Israeli political source told ABC News on Wednesday.

There is some cautious optimism over the latest round of talks in Cairo, the source said.

Egypt, along with Qatar and the United States, has been mediating talks between the warring sides.

Feb 21, 8:14 AM
Israel preparing to reopen Karni border crossing to facilitate aid to northern Gaza, source says

Israel is preparing to reopen the Karni border crossing to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into the northern Gaza Strip, an Israeli political source told ABC News on Wednesday.

Israel shuttered the Karni crossing, located on the border between southwestern Israel and northeastern Gaza, when Palestinian militant group Hamas came to power in the enclave in 2007 before permanently closing the crossing in 2011.

Northern Gaza has been isolated by the Israeli military and almost completely cut off from aid for weeks, according to the United Nations.

Feb 21, 7:56 AM
UN food agency pauses deliveries to northern Gaza

The World Food Program, the food assistance arm of the United Nations, announced Tuesday that it is pausing deliveries of food aid to the northern Gaza Strip “until conditions are in place that allow for safe distribution.”

The decision came after a WFP convoy heading north from Gaza City was “surrounded by crowds of hungry people close to the Wadi Gaza checkpoint” on Sunday, the agency said. The same convoy faced “complete chaos and violence due to the collapse of civil order” when it tried to resume its journey north on Monday, according to the WFP.

“Several trucks were looted between Khan Yunis and Deir al-Balah and a truck driver was beaten. The remaining flour was spontaneously distributed off the trucks in Gaza City, amidst high tension and explosive anger,” the WFP said in a statement Tuesday. “The decision to pause deliveries to the north of the Gaza Strip has not been taken lightly, as we know it means the situation there will deteriorate further and more people risk dying of hunger.”

An analysis released Monday by the Global Nutrition Cluster, a humanitarian aid partnership led by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), found that 15.6% of children under the age of 2 are acutely malnourished in northern Gaza, which has been isolated by the Israeli military and almost completely cut off from aid for weeks, compared to 5% in southern Gaza, where most aid enters the war-torn enclave. The acute malnutrition rate across Gaza was less than 1% before the war began last October, according to the report.

Feb 20, 2:21 PM
Hostages held in Gaza have received medicine, Qatar says

Qatari officials said hostages held by Hamas in Gaza have received the medication that was part of a deal brokered last month.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said it has asked Qatar for evidence that the medicine was delivered.

“Israel will examine the credibility of the report and will continue to work for the peace of our abductees,” the office said in a statement.

Feb 20, 12:21 PM
US draft resolution calls for temporary cease-fire

The U.S. voted against a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire at Wednesday’s United Nations Security Council meeting, The Associated Press reported.

The U.S. was the only nation of the 15 permanent Security Council members to vote against the measure, according to the AP.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said “an unconditional cease-fire without any obligation for Hamas to release hostages” was irresponsible.

“While we cannot support a resolution that would put sensitive negotiations in jeopardy, we look forward to engaging on a text that we believe will address so many of the concerns we all share — a text that can and should be adopted by the council, so that we can have a temporary cease-fire as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released,” she said.

The U.S. has been circulating its own draft resolution on Gaza that calls for a temporary cease-fire conditioned on the release of all hostages, while also condemning Hamas for the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the war, according to senior administration officials familiar with the matter.

If the proposal were to be adopted by the U.N. Security Council, it would mark the first time the body has formally condemned Hamas’ actions.

The officials say the draft also makes clear “that under current circumstances a major ground offensive into Rafah should not proceed” and that there can be no reduction in territory in the Gaza Strip or any forced displacement of Palestinians, while also calling on Israel “to lift all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance, open additional humanitarian routes, and to keep current crossings open.”

The senior officials signaled that American diplomats wouldn’t rush the text to a vote and that they intended on “allowing time for negotiations.”

While hostage talks have sputtered over the past couple of weeks, senior administration officials said they were making some progress.

“The differences between the parties, they have been narrowed. They haven’t been sufficiently narrowed to get us to a deal, but we are still hopeful and we are confident that there is the basis for an agreement between the parties,” one official said.

ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Feb 20, 11:34 AM
US votes against immediate cease-fire

The U.S. voted against a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire at Wednesday’s United Nations Security Council meeting, The Associated Press reported.

The U.S. was the only nation of the 15 permanent Security Council members to vote against the measure, according to the AP.

The U.S. has said an immediate cease-fire could impede the negotiations looking to free hostages and agree to a pause in fighting, the AP said.

Feb 20, 11:07 AM
IDF operating inside Al-Amal Hospital

Israeli forces, which already entered Gaza’s Nasser Hospital, are also now operating inside the nearby Al-Amal Hospital, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed to ABC News.

“Al-Amal Hospital is currently under multiple attacks, as Israeli forces have directly targeted the third floor of the hospital, resulting in the burning of two rooms,” and “the hospital’s water lines were targeted,” the Palestine Red Crescent Society said.

Over 8,000 patients were evacuated from the hospital earlier this month, but almost 100 patients still remain inside, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said.

Feb 20, 7:13 AM
WHO helps transfer 32 critical patients out of Gaza’s besieged Nasser Hospital

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that it has helped to successfully transfer 32 critically ill patients, including two children, from besieged Nasser Hospital in the southern Gaza Strip.

The WHO said its staff led two “life-saving,” “high-risk” missions at the medical complex in Khan Younis on Sunday and Monday, in close partnership with the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “amid ongoing hostilities and access restrictions.” Staff at Nasser Hospital had requested the transfer of patients after the facility became “non-functional” following an Israeli military raid on Feb. 14 after a weeklong siege, according to the WHO.

“Weak and frail patients were transferred amidst active conflict near the aid convoy,” the WHO said in a statement. “Road conditions hindered the swift movement of ambulances, placing the health of patients at further risk.”

“Nasser Hospital has no electricity or running water, and medical waste and garbage are creating a breeding ground for disease,” the organization added. “WHO staff said the destruction around the hospital was ‘indescribable.’ The area was surrounded by burnt and destroyed buildings, heavy layers of debris, with no stretch of intact road.”

The WHO estimates that 130 sick and injured patients and at least 15 doctors and nurses remain inside Nasser Hospital. As the facility’s intensive care unit was no longer functioning, the only remaining ICU patient was transferred to a different part of the complex where other patients are receiving basic care, according to the WHO.

“WHO fears for the safety and well-being of the patients and health workers remaining in the hospital and warns that further disruption to lifesaving care for the sick and injured would lead to more deaths,” the organization said. “Efforts to facilitate further patient referrals amidst the ongoing hostilities are in process.”

Prior to the missions on Sunday and Monday, the WHO said it “received two consecutive denials to access the hospital for medical assessment, causing delays in urgently needed patient referral.” At least five patients reportedly died in Nasser Hospital’s ICU before any missions or transfers were possible, according to the WHO.

Nasser Hospital is the main medical center serving southern Gaza. Ground troops from the Israel Defense Forces stormed the facility last week, looking for members of Hamas who the IDF alleges have been conducting military operations out of the hospital. Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs Gaza and is at war with neighboring Israel, denies the claims.

“The dismantling and degradation of the Nasser Medical Complex is a massive blow to Gaza’s health system,” the WHO said. “Facilities in the south are already operating well beyond maximum capacity and are barely able to receive more patients.”

Feb 20, 5:26 AM
Aid groups warn of potential ‘explosion in preventable child deaths’ in Gaza

A new analysis by the Global Nutrition Cluster, a humanitarian aid partnership led by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, found that 90% of children under the age of 2 in the war-torn Gaza Strip face severe food poverty, meaning they eat two or fewer food groups a day.

The same was true for 95% of pregnant and breastfeeding women in Gaza, according to the report released Monday. And at least 90% of children under 5 are affected by one or more infectious disease, with 70% experiencing diarrhea in the past two weeks, the report said.

In Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, where most humanitarian aid enters, 5% of children under 2 are acutely malnourished, compared to more than 15% in northern Gaza, which has been isolated by the Israeli military and almost completely cut off from aid for weeks, the report said. Before war broke out last October between Israel and Gaza’s militant rulers, Hamas, the acute malnutrition rate across the coastal enclave was less than 1%, according to the report.

The report also found that more than 80% of homes in Gaza lack clean and safe water, with the average household having one liter per person per day.

“The Gaza Strip is poised to witness an explosion in preventable child deaths which would compound the already unbearable level of child deaths in Gaza,” Ted Chaiban, deputy executive director for humanitarian action and supply operations at UNICEF, said in a statement. “We’ve been warning for weeks that the Gaza Strip is on the brink of a nutrition crisis. If the conflict doesn’t end now, children’s nutrition will continue to plummet, leading to preventable deaths or health issues which will affect the children of Gaza for the rest of their lives and have potential intergenerational consequences.”

Feb 19, 12:31 PM
Gaza’s health ministry accuses IDF of turning Nasser Hospital into ‘military barracks’

Israeli troops have turned Nasser Hospital, the main medical center serving the southern Gaza Strip, into a “military barracks” and are “endangering the lives of patients and medical staff,” according to Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health.

The health ministry said Monday that patients and medical staff inside Nasser Hospital are now without electricity, water, food, oxygen and treatment capabilities for difficult cases since Israeli ground troops raided the facility in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis last week.

The World Health Organization, which warned on Sunday that Nasser Hospital “is not functional anymore,” said more than 180 patients and 15 doctors and nurses remain inside the hospital.

The WHO said it has evacuated 14 critical patients from the hospital to receive treatment elsewhere.

The Israel Defense Forces alleges that Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs Gaza, has been conducting military operations out of Nasser Hospital and other medical centers in the war-torn enclave — claims which Hamas denies.

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