Israel-Gaza live updates: War between Israel and Hamas reaches the 100th day mark

(NEW YORK) — More than a month after a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas ended, the Israeli military continues its bombardment of the neighboring Gaza Strip.

The end of the cease-fire came after Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs Gaza, freed over 100 of the more than 200 people its militants took hostage during the Oct. 7 surprise attack on southern Israel. In exchange, Israel released more than 200 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

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

Jan 13, 2:44 PM
Israel-Hamas war reaches 100th day

Saturday marked 100 days since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, the deadliest conflict between the two sides in recent history.

The fighting began on Oct. 7 when Hamas launched a surprise attack in southern Israel. Since then, Israel has launched numerous airstrikes and a ground offensive. The Israeli government has previously claimed it is defending itself.

More than 23,300 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. Meanwhile, 1,200 people have been killed in Israel along with 520 Israel Defense Forces officers since Oct. 7.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the U.N’s Palestinian Relief Agency, issued a statement marking 100 days of the war, saying there are now 1.4 million people in U.N. shelters in Gaza and facing a “looming famine.”

Meanwhile, families of the Israeli hostages still held in Gaza are holding a series of events Saturday to mark 100 days since their captivity began.

-ABC News’ Mary Kekatos and Patrick Reevell

Jan 13, 8:22 AM
More than half a million people are starving in Gaza, UN says

About 577,000 people in Gaza, equal to a quarter of the population, are now starving, Arif Husain, chief economist for the U.N.’s World Food program, told ABC News.

Hussain has worked as an expert assessing hunger crises for 20 years and said, in terms of scale of severity and speed, he has never seen what is unfolding in Gaza right now, calling it “unprecedented.”

Even before the war with Israel, Gaza relied on humanitarian assistance to meet around 75% to 80% of its needs. With Israel now allowing very few supplies into Gaza, it has quickly run into massive shortages.

“If things continue as they are, or if things worsen, we are looking at a full fledged famine within the next six months,” he said.

-ABC News’ Patrick Reevell

Jan 12, 12:59 PM
Deal reached to get medicine to hostages, Israel says

A deal has been reached to get medicine to the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza over the next few days, according to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office.

The families of the hostages are insisting that the Israeli war cabinet “demand visual proof that the medications did indeed reach the abductees, as a condition for any return from Israel.”

“After 98 days in the Hamas tunnels, all the abductees are in immediate danger and need life-saving medication,” the families said in a statement.

Jan 12, 9:30 AM
Israel rejects genocide charges at UN’s top court

Israel on Friday called on the United Nations’ top court to dismiss South Africa’s request to halt its offensive in the Gaza Strip amid “grossly distorted” accusations of genocide.

During opening statements to a panel of judges at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Israeli legal adviser Tal Becker said the country is fighting a “war it did not start and did not want.”

“In these circumstances, there can hardly be a charge more false and more malevolent than the allegation against Israel of genocide,” Becker added.

He noted that “Israel is in a war of defense against Hamas, not against the Palestinian people,” and that the suffering of civilians during wartime does not amount to genocide.

“The key component of genocide, the intent to destroy a people in whole or in part, is totally lacking,” he said.

-ABC News’ Edward Szekeres and Morgan Winsor

Jan 11, 12:18 PM
Blinken says he found new willingness to discuss Gaza’s future, denies conflict is escalating

As Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up his trip to the Middle East, he said he encountered a new appetite among Middle Eastern leaders to discuss contributing to what he often refers to as “the day after” in Gaza.

“I have to say what was different about this trip is that on our previous trips here, I think there was a reluctance to talk about some of the day after issues and long-term stability and security on a regional basis, but now we’re finding that our partners are very focused on that and wanting to engage on those questions,” Blinken said.

On his major goal of preventing the Israeli-Hamas war from spreading across the region, Blinken was optimistic.

“I don’t think the conflict is escalating. There are lots of danger points; we’re trying to deal with each of them,” he said.

ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Jan 11, 12:11 PM
Hostage families beg for Israel to ‘take the deal’: ‘This is hell’

The families of hostages held by Hamas came together for a news conference Thursday demanding that the Israeli war cabinet prioritize their loved ones’ return and approve any deal that would lead to their release.

“I demand the cabinet take any deal on the table,” said Shay Wenkert, whose son, Omer Wenkert, was kidnapped from the music festival on Oct. 7.

“My son has colitis,” Wenkert said. “This is hell. I’m begging you — you had opportunities for other deals and didn’t take them. Take action. You have to take the deal. Bring them home now.”

“No one is doing us any favors in Israel. They must do everything to release the hostages, at any price,” said Gilad and Nitza Corngold, parents of Tal Shoham, who was kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri. “I suggest anyone who says ‘It’s not worth it’ to bring a family member of theirs and make a personal exchange with me — to give me their son and take mine out. Their time is running out.”

Jan 11, 11:48 AM
Genocide case against Israel begins at UN’s top court

Israel is defending itself in the United Nations’ top court starting Thursday against allegations that its ongoing military campaign in the neighboring Gaza Strip amounts to genocide of the Palestinian people — a claim that Israel vehemently denies.

South Africa, which brought forward the allegations, is initially asking the Netherlands-based International Court of Justice to order an immediate suspension of the Israeli military offensive against Gaza’s militant rulers, Hamas, as part of a landmark case that is likely to take years to resolve.

“Genocides are never declared in advance, but this court has the benefit of the past 13 weeks of evidence that shows incontrovertibly a pattern of conduct and related intention that justifies as a plausible claim of genocidal acts,” South African attorney Adila Hassim told the panel of judges inside a packed courtroom in The Hague during Thursday’s opening statements. “Nothing will stop the suffering except an order from this court.”

South Africa insists Israel is committing genocide by design and that the country’s latest war in Gaza is part of its decadeslong oppression of Palestinians. South Africa’s ruling political party, the African National Congress, has a long history of solidarity with the Palestinian cause and sees parallels with its own struggle against the apartheid regime of white minority rule that ended in 1994.

“The violence and the destruction in Palestine and Israel did not begin on Oct. 7, 2023,” South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said. “The Palestinians have experienced systematic oppression and violence for the last 76 years.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has called South Africa’s allegations “atrocious and preposterous,” while Secretary of State Antony Blinken has dismissed the case as “meritless.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response Thursday called South Africa’s allegations “upside-down.”

“Israel is fighting against murderous terrorists who have committed terrible crimes against humanity: they slaughtered, they raped, they burned, they dismembered, they killed children, women, the elderly, young men, young women. A terrorist organization that committed the most terrible crime against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and now there are those who come to defend it in the name of the Holocaust,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to fight the terrorists, we will continue to repel the lies, we will continue to maintain our right to defend ourselves and secure our future.”

Lawyers for Israel will address the court on Friday.

ABC News’ Joe Simonetti, Edward Szekeres and Morgan Winsor

Jan 11, 11:08 AM
Man who lost entire family sifts through rubble in Gaza

The main highway connecting south and north Gaza, Salah al-Din Road, which Israeli forces used for a civilian corridor, has become impassable in Deir al Balah in central Gaza.

“When we came here, we were surprised — Salah al-Din is a main road connecting the north and the south in four directions, 70 meters wide,” Gaza resident Yahya Deeb Al-Laham told ABC News. Now there’s “no infrastructure, no electricity, no roads, buildings and areas are non-existent … there is nothing here, there are no signs of life. Homes for families have completely disappeared and not a single one of them remains.”

The Israelis have recently left the area.

One of the families who followed Israeli military instructions, evacuating from northern Gaza to Deir al Balah, has been completely wiped out.

The surviving family member, Muhammad Fouad Abu Safi, returned to the site to sift through the rubble and try to find what might be left of his family.

“They left me no family member, no sister, no brother, no cousin, no child,” he told ABC News. “There were about 50 people here. Only three children, girls, came out alive … the rest here were taken out as body parts or decomposing bodies.”

“Humanity has ended, mercy has ended,” he said. “Neither from America nor from any country, there is no humanity or mercy.”

ABC News’ Samy Zayara

Jan 11, 8:32 AM
UN court opens hearings on South Africa’s accusation that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza

Israel is defending itself in the United Nations’ top court starting Thursday against allegations that its ongoing military campaign in the neighboring Gaza Strip amounts to genocide of the Palestinian people — a claim that Israel vehemently denies.

South Africa, which brought forward the allegations, is initially asking the International Criminal Court of Justice to order an immediate suspension of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza as part of a landmark case that is likely to take years to resolve.

“Genocides are never declared in advance, but this court has the benefit of the past 13 weeks of evidence that shows incontrovertibly a pattern of conduct and related intention that justifies as a plausible claim of genocidal acts,” South African attorney Adila Hassim told the panel of judges in a packed courtroom at The Hague during Thursday’s opening statements. “Nothing will stop the suffering except an order from this court.”

South Africa insists Israel is committing genocide by design and that the country’s latest war in Gaza is part of its decadeslong oppression of Palestinians. South Africa’s ruling political party, the African National Congress, has a long history of solidarity with the Palestinian cause and sees parallels with its own struggle against the apartheid regime of white minority rule that ended in 1994.

“The violence and the destruction in Palestine and Israel did not begin on Oct. 7, 2023,” South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said. “The Palestinians have experienced systematic oppression and violence for the last 76 years.”

Lawyers for Israel will address the court on Friday.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has called South Africa’s allegations “atrocious and preposterous,” while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has dismissed the case as “meritless.”

Jan 10, 1:31 PM
Hamas official says hostages won’t return alive if Netanyahu doesn’t accept cease-fire

Hamas leader Osama Hamdan said in a statement that the Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza “will not return alive to their families” unless Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli leaders respond to Hamas’ conditions, “the first of which is a comprehensive and complete cessation of their aggression against the Gaza Strip.”

Jan 10, 11:50 AM
Israelis in Egypt for hostage talks: Egyptian security source

A delegation from Israel is in Egypt on Wednesday for new discussions on swapping Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza for Palestinians in prison in Israel, an Egyptian security source confirmed to ABC News.

Jan 10, 11:18 AM
Israeli minister warns ‘Hamas will regain control’ if combat in Gaza stops

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz warned Wednesday that “Hamas will regain control” of the Gaza Strip if the Israeli military ceases combat operations there.

“We must go on. If we stop now, Hamas will regain control,” Gantz, a retired army general who previously served as Israel’s defense minister and alternate prime minister, said during a press conference in Tel Aviv. “In most areas, we have completed the phase of operational takeover and now, we are deep in the phase of dismantling the terrorist infrastructure, which will lead to the demilitarization of the strip.”

However, Gantz noted that “the most urgent thing is the return of the abductees.” More than 100 Israeli citizens are believed to still be held hostage by militants in Gaza after being taken captive during the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel.

“This has precedence over every move in combat,” he said.

Gantz also warned that the Israeli military “will act in southern Lebanon as we act in northern Gaza” if the neighboring country “continues to serve as an Iranian terrorist outpost.” His remarks came as Israeli forces continue to exchange fire with Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese militant group, amid fears that regional tensions could escalate into a wider war in the Middle East.

“This is not a threat to Lebanon,” Gantz added. “It is a promise to the residents of [northern Israel].”

Israel’s war cabinet is expected to meet on Wednesday evening, followed by a meeting of the wider security cabinet.

ABC News’ Dana Savir and Morgan Winsor

Jan 10, 10:06 AM
IDF claims to have found ‘further evidence of Hamas’ exploitation’

The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday claimed to have found “further evidence of Hamas’ exploitation of the civilian population for terrorist activity across the Gaza Strip.”

The 55th Brigade combat team made the alleged discovery in recent days while “operating to destroy terror infrastructure” in the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, according to the IDF.

“During the operations on the military targets, the soldiers located a UAV launch post, a loaded rifle underneath a child’s bed, along with grenades, cartridges, Hamas uniforms, and many intelligence materials inside the residences of terrorist operatives,” the IDF said in a statement. “During the operation, the soldiers found a tunnel shaft near a school, a rocket launcher near a kindergarten, and a training compound near a mosque.”

Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs Gaza, has denied Israel’s claims that it deliberately shelters behind civilians by hiding its fighters, infrastructure and weapons in hospitals, schools and other areas populated by civilians.

ABC News’ Morgan Winsor

Jan 10, 9:49 AM
At least 40 killed in Israeli strike near Gaza hospital, Hamas says

More than 40 people, including a journalist, were killed Wednesday when Israeli forces bombed an inhabited house across the street from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas Government Media Office.

Hamas claimed the Israeli military had declared the city of Deir al-Balah safe before striking the area.

There was no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces.

Earlier Wednesday, the IDF said its aircraft and ground troops were continuing to operate against Hamas in central Gaza within the area of the Maghazi refugee camp, a couple miles north of Deir al-Balah.

Jan 10, 8:40 AM
What we know about the conflict

The Israel-Hamas war has reached the three-month mark.

In the Gaza Strip, at least 23,357 people have been killed and over 59,410 others have been wounded by Israeli forces since Oct. 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

In Israel, at least 1,200 people have been killed and 6,900 others have been injured by Hamas and other Palestinian militants since Oct. 7, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

There has also been a surge in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israeli forces have killed at least 297 people in the territory since Oct. 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Jan 09, 2:24 PM
Blinken announces UN-led mission in Gaza to pave way for displaced Palestinians to return to north

Speaking from a podium in Tel Aviv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he and Israeli officials had agreed on a plan to carry out a United Nations-led mission in Gaza that will pave the way for displaced Palestinians to return to their homes in the north — a significant step toward restoring a sense of normalcy in the enclave.

“As Israel’s campaign moves to a lower intensity phase in northern Gaza, and as the IDF scales down its forces there, we agreed today on a plan for the U.N. to carry out an assessment mission. It will determine what needs to be done to allow displaced Palestinians to return safely to homes in the north,” he said.

“Now, this is not going to happen overnight. There are serious security, infrastructure and humanitarian challenges,” Blinken cautioned, later describing traps and explosives left by Hamas as a hinderance. “But the mission will start a process that evaluates these obstacles and how they can be overcome.”

Blinken stressed the U.S. focus on humanitarian issues stemming from the conflict, but he also slammed a case brought by South Africa before the U.N.’s highest legal body, the International Court of Justice, which accuses Israel of carrying out genocide in Gaza, declaring that it “distracts the world” from vital efforts.

“Moreover, the charge of genocide is meritless,” Blinken asserted. “It’s particularly galling given that those who are attacking Israel — Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, as well as their supporter, Iran — continue to openly call for the annihilation of Israel and the mass murder of Jews.”

-ABC News’ Shannon K. Crawford

Jan 09, 8:28 AM EST
UNICEF: All children under 5 in Gaza at ‘high risk of severe malnutrition’

All children under the age of 5 in the Gaza Strip — approximately 335,000 — are at “high risk of severe malnutrition and preventable death as the risk of famine conditions continues to increase,” according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.

“To get children the life-saving support they desperately need, we need a humanitarian ceasefire. Now,” UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa office wrote Tuesday in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Jan 09, 7:43 AM EST
Blinken meets with Herzog, Netanyahu in Israel

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with top officials in Israel on Tuesday during his fourth visit to the Middle East since the Oct. 7 terror attack.

Blinken met first with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and then with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv. He was also expected to sit in on an Israeli war cabinet meeting.

Speaking to reporters alongside the Israeli president on Tuesday morning, Blinken said he valued Herzog’s leadership during these “incredibly challenging times” for Israel and other nations in the Middle East. The U.S. secretary said he would be sharing with Israeli officials what he had heard from leaders in regional countries.

Blinken’s latest weeklong trip is aimed at calming tensions across the Middle East amid the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the neighboring Gaza Strip. The current conflict was sparked by the Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Jan 08, 3:05 PM EST
Blinken says he will press Israel on protecting civilians in Gaza

Just before he departed Saudi Arabia for Israel, Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined what he hoped to accomplish during his time in the country.

Blinken said that while he was on the ground, he would have an opportunity to relate what he had heard in meetings during his several previous stops in the Arab world, as well as “talk to them about the future direction of their military campaign in Gaza.”

“I will press on the absolute imperative to do more to protect civilians and to do more to make sure that humanitarian assistance is getting into the hands of those who need it,” he said.

Summarizing his trip so far, he said that he found a united front among leaders in Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

“Everywhere I went, I found leaders who are determined to prevent the conflict that we’re facing now from spreading, doing everything possible to deter escalation — to prevent a widening of the conflict,” he said, adding they also agreed on the importance of Israel’s security, and that the West Bank and Gaza should be united as one state led by Palestinian governance.

-ABC News’ Shannon K. Crawford

Jan 08, 2:38 PM EST
Hezbollah responds to Netanyahu visit to Lebanon border

A Hezbollah leader issued a threat to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after his visit to the Lebanon border on Monday.

“If you want a large-scale war in which you attack our country, we will go to the end and we are not afraid of your threats, your bombing, or your aggression, and we have prepared for you what you never imagined,” Muhammad Raad, head of the Hezbollah bloc of Lebanese parliament, said.

Israel said it hit military targets in southern Lebanon on Monday amid skirmishes that have been ongoing since October.

Netanyahu visited Kiryat Shmona, a city in northern Israel near the Lebanon border, on Monday, where he said Hezbollah got Israelis wrong in 2006 — a reference to the 34-day war between the two countries. He also added that he hopes to return Israeli evacuees to the region.

“We will do everything to restore security to the north and allow your families, because many of you are local, to return home safely and know that we cannot be messed with,” Netanyahu said. “We will do whatever it takes. Of course, we prefer that this be done without a wide campaign, but that will not stop us.”

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller and Nasser Atta

Jan 08, 1:12 PM EST
Biden says he’s working with Israel ‘to get them to reduce and significantly get out of Gaza’

President Joe Biden’s speech at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina on Monday was interrupted by a handful of protesters who shouted, “Cease-fire now!”

Biden responded to the interruption by saying, “I understand their passion. And I’ve been quietly working … with [the] Israeli government to get them to reduce and significantly get out of Gaza, using all I can to do.”

ABC News’ Gabriella Abdul-Hakim, Libby Cathey and Fritz Farrow

Jan 07, 8:38 PM EST
Blinken expresses concern about a wider conflict during Middle East visit

The Israel-Hamas war “could easily metastasize” beyond the Palestinian territory as “profound tension” in the region raises the prospect of a wider conflict, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday during an ongoing trip to the Middle East.

Such fighting would “cause even more insecurity and suffering,” Blinken told reporters in Doha, Qatar, alongside Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Blinken is roughly halfway through a nine-stop tour around the Middle East, his fourth diplomatic mission since the war began after Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel killed 1,200.

Looking ahead to his meetings with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv and the West Bank set for early this week, Blinken said Sunday, “I will also raise the imperative of doing more to prevent civilian casualties. Far too many Palestinians, innocent Palestinians, have already been killed.”

The secretary of state, like other U.S. officials including President Joe Biden, have sought to stress their support for Israel’s retaliatory operations against Hamas while calling for Israel to do as much as possible to curb civilian casualties in light of the ongoing onslaught in Gaza and high death toll.

Jan 07, 2:52 PM EST
International Rescue Committee withdraws from Gaza’s Al Aqsa hospital

The International Rescue Committee and Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP) said Sunday they were “forced to withdraw and cease activities” at Gaza’s Al Aqsa hospital “as a result of increasing Israeli military activity” around the medical facility.

The Israeli military has dropped leaflets designating areas surrounding the hospital as a “red zone,” the relief organizations said in a statement.

“Given the recent history of attacks on medical staff and facilities in Gaza, the team is unable to return,” the statement said. “Many local health workers have also been unable to access the hospital to care for the hundreds of patients that remain due to the conflict.”

A MAP staff member is currently a patient at the hospital after she was injured and her three sisters were killed in an Israeli bombing of a house they were staying in, according to the statement.

ABC News reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment.

Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also said Sunday it was evacuating its staff and families from the neighborhoods around the Al Aqsa hospital.

-ABC News’ Zoe Magee

Jan 07, 1:43 PM EST
IDF says it has completed the ‘dismantling of Hamas’ military framework’

The Israel Defense Forces claimed on Sunday that it has “completed the dismantling of Hamas’ military framework” in the northern Gaza Strip, hitting hundreds of targets and taking out key leaders of the terrorist group.

In an assessment of the first three months of the war between Israel and Hamas, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesperson, said Israeli forces have met their goals through airstrikes, ground operations and intelligence gathering in the primary objective of eliminating Hamas.

He said the IDF’s efforts in northern Gaza have included a relentless barrage of missile strikes, most of them targeting Jabaliya, the onetime stronghold of Hamas. In Jabaliya alone, Hagari said IDF airstrikes had hit 670 targets before ground forces entered the area and another 300 targets after ground troops moved in and helped direct precision airstrikes.

“In these strikes in the Jabaliya area, we eliminated the battalion commander, the deputy brigade commanders, and 11 company commanders leading the terrorists in the field,” Hagari said during a news conference.

Among the Hamas commanders eliminated was Ahmad Randor, Hagari said, showing what he said was a photograph of Randor sitting with his command echelon in a bunker 40 meters, or about 131 feet, underground.

“We have completed the dismantling of Hamas’ military framework in the northern Gaza Strip and will continue to deepen the achievement, strengthening the barrier and the defense components along the security fence,” Hagari said.

Since the war started, IDF forces have located and destroyed 40,000 weapons across the Gaza Strip, some of which were found in schools, hospitals, mosques, and even under the beds of children, Hagari said. In Jabaliya, IDF troops also infiltrated about 5 miles of tunnels and more than 40 tunnel shafts leading to Hamas’ northern headquarters and retrieved the bodies of five hostages, according to Hagari.

“Hamas no longer operates in an organized manner in this area. We have deprived it of its main terror capabilities in the region,” Hagari said.

He noted that while there are still terrorists in the Jabaliya area, “they now operate without a framework and without commanders.”

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Jan 06, 3:17 PM EST
Blinken voices ‘real concern’ over Israel-Lebanon tensions

While taking questions on the tarmac in Greece before heading to Jordan in his latest round of Middle East shuttle diplomacy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken wouldn’t reveal diplomatic conversations on the latest flareup in northern Israel, where Hezbollah missiles struck early Saturday, but said the U.S. is “actively working” on the issue.

“One of the areas of real concern is the border between Israel and Lebanon,” he said, pointing to the “tens of thousands forced from their homes in northern Israel.”

“We are looking at ways diplomatically to try to defuse that challenge, that tension, so that people can return to their homes, that they can live in peace and security,” Blinken said.

Blinken said the broad priorities of his trip include “preventing this conflict from spreading,” to “maximize the protection for civilians, maximize humanitarian assistance, getting it to them, and also to get hostages out of Gaza,” and paving the way for a postwar, “Palestinian-led” Gaza.

He also praised U.S.-Greek cooperation, pointing to the Greeks’ help in Operation Prosperity Guardian to keep the Red Sea safe amid increasing Houthi attacks on commercial vessels.

“I can’t think of a time when the partnership, the friendship between our countries has been stronger,” he said.

-ABC News’ Chris Boccia

Jan 05, 2:00 PM EST
Refugee camp resident on conditions in Gaza: ‘Poverty, hunger and diseases’

Al Nuseirat Camp, a Palestinian refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, was home to about 100,000 people before the war. Now, only a few hundred remain.

Umm Ahmed, a mother of three, told ABC News she has evacuated three times but has returned to Al Nuseirat Camp.

“I see people sitting and sleeping in the streets,” Ahmed said. “The situation doesn’t allow movement from here to there. It is financially expensive.”

Ahmed said the situation in Gaza is “very, very, very bad.”

“The situation, in all honesty, is no food, no drinking, no water, not even drinkable water, poverty, hunger and diseases,” she said. “Skin diseases are also difficult for children.”

Abu Muhammad, another resident of the camp, told ABC News he did not sleep last night due to bombing. But he does not want to leave.

“My message to the world is that we are here, and this is our land and we will not abandon it,” he said.

ABC News’ Sami Zayara

Jan 05, 11:14 AM EST
Israeli kibbutz announces death of hostage initially believed to be alive

An Israeli man who was believed to be alive and held hostage by militants in the Gaza Strip has been confirmed dead, his community announced Friday.

Tamir Adar, 38, was killed during the Hamas-led assault on the kibbutz of Nir Oz in southern Israel on Oct. 7 before militants took his body back to neighboring Gaza, according to a statement from the kibbutz. His grandmother, Yaffa Adar, was abducted alive and later released during a weeklong cease-fire in November.

Tamir was “born and raised in the kibbutz and lived there with his family,” the statement from Nir Oz said. He is survived by his wife and two young children.

“Tamir was a family man, he loved people and nature,” the statement added.

ABC News’ Anna Brund, Jordana Miller and Morgan Winsor

Jan 05, 7:37 AM EST
Israeli kibbutz announces death of hostage initially believed to be alive

An Israeli man who was believed to be alive and held hostage by militants in the Gaza Strip has been confirmed dead, his community announced Friday.

Tamir Adar, 38, was killed during the Hamas-led assault on the kibbutz of Nir Oz in southern Israel on Oct. 7 before militants took his body back to neighboring Gaza, according to a statement from the kibbutz. His grandmother, Yaffa Adar, was abducted alive and later released during a weeklong cease-fire in November.

Tamir was “born and raised in the kibbutz and lived there with his family,” the statement from Nir Oz said. He is survived by his wife and two young children.

“Tamir was a family man, he loved people and nature,” the statement added.

-ABC News’ Anna Brund, Jordana Miller and Morgan Winsor

Jan 04, 6:10 PM EST
Mother, uncle of US service member rescued from Gaza

The mother and uncle of an American servicemember were rescued from Gaza in an operation involving Israel and Egypt — the first known mission of its kind to take place since the war broke out — U.S. officials confirmed on Thursday.

Zahra Sckak and her brother-in-law, Farid (a U.S. citizen), were shepherded out of Gaza days ago, though the details of the operation were kept quiet due to security concerns surrounding the operation.

The U.S. played a “liaison role” in the case, according to State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

“There wasn’t an operational presence by any U.S. forces or U.S. personnel there to help these family members escape, but we were glad to see them make their way safely out of Gaza and we’ll continue to work to do what we can to facilitate the departure of others,” Miller told reporters Thursday.

Fadi Sckak, a brother of the U.S. servicemember, told ABC News Live last month that his mother was on the list of individuals approved to leave Gaza through the Rafah gate, but that she couldn’t get to the border crossing because of the heavy fighting surrounding the area where she was sheltering.

-ABC News’ Shannon K. Crawford

Jan 04, 4:48 PM EST
3 missing Israeli citizens recognized as hostages: IDF

Three Israeli citizens previously considered missing are now recognized as hostages, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Thursday.

“This decision was made following the completion of search and investigation operations in Israel and after examining all plausible scenarios and the information we have,” he said during a briefing.

That brings the total number of Israeli hostages held in Gaza to 136, including 23 believed to be dead, officials said.

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Jan 04, 2:13 PM EST
Secretary Blinken to make another trip to Middle East

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be making a marathon trip to the Middle East — his fourth visit to the region since the Oct. 7 attack, the State Department announced Thursday.

The trip, running from Jan. 4 to 11, will technically be his fifth visit to Israel since the war began; he stopped there twice on his trip in October.

“Throughout his trip, the Secretary will underscore the importance of protecting civilian lives in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza; securing the release of all remaining hostages; our shared commitment to facilitating the increased, sustained delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and the resumption of essential services; and ensuring that Palestinians are not forcibly displaced from Gaza,” State Department Spokesperson Matt Miller said in a statement.

The last part of the agenda Miller lays out — “ensuring that Palestinians are not forcibly displaced from Gaza” — runs counter to the rhetoric put forth in recent days by Israeli Minister of National Security Ben Gvir and other far-right politicians, comments the Biden administration have already denounced.

As of now, Blinken is scheduled to spend time in eight countries: Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt. He will also be stopping in the West Bank.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Jan 04, 12:15 PM EST
Houthi leader calls for protests against Israel’s war in Gaza

The leader of Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebel group has called for mass protests to take place on Friday against Israel’s ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

“Let the dear Yemeni people make their voice and word heard to the whole world, in their steadfastness in their faith, moral and humanitarian stance in supporting the oppressed Palestinian people, against whom the Jewish Zionists are committing crimes of genocide, completely destroying their cities and homes in Gaza, and are creative in practicing the most heinous crimes against them, such as burying the living and crushing them,” Houthi leader Abdul Malik Badr al-Din al-Houthi said in a statement on Thursday.

Houthi rebels, who have been at war with Yemen’s internationally recognized government since 2014 and currently control a large part of the country, have carried out attacks on ships in the Red Sea in recent weeks in response to Israel’s offensive in Gaza, a territory ruled by Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas.

ABC News’ Will Gretsky and Morgan Winsor

Jan 04, 11:05 AM EST
Israeli defense minister warns of ‘short window’ for diplomacy with Hezbollah

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned Thursday that diplomatic solutions with Hezbollah are running out.

Gallant made the remark at the Israeli Ministry of Defense heaquarters in Tel Aviv during a meeting with Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden. The two discussed the situation in northern Israel and along the border with Lebanon, where Israeli forces have been exchanging fire with Hezbollah. The Lebanese militant group has voiced support for Palestinians amid Israel”s ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

“There is only one possible result — a new reality in the northern arena, which will enable the secure return of our citizens,” Gallant said. “Yet we find ourselves at a junction — there is a short window of time for diplomatic understandings, which we prefer. We will not tolerate the threats posed by the Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, and we will ensure the security of our citizens.”

ABC News’ Will Gretsky and Morgan Winsor

Jan 04, 8:22 AM EST
IDF says it struck Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon

The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday morning that one of its fighter jets struck an “observation post and terrorist infrastructure” belonging to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

An “anti-tank missile terrorist cell in the same area” was also identified and struck, according to the IDF.

The IDF said its soldiers fired mortar shells overnight “in order to remove a threat” in another area of southern Lebanon, which shares a border with Israel.

There was no immediate comment from Hezbollah on the Israeli strikes.

Jan 03, 3:21 PM EST
‘Hamas still has a significant force posture inside Gaza,’ White House says

The White House was pressed on Wednesday about how close Israel may be to its stated goal of eradicating Hamas, as the death count in Gaza surpasses 22,000.

Notably, White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby declined to give specific stats on damage done to Hamas but said, “Hamas still has a significant force posture inside Gaza.”

“We have estimates. I’m loath to put the numbers out there now because they are just estimates but Hamas still has a significant force posture inside Gaza,” he said in response to a question about how many more Hamas fighters are left.

He added that Israel has said they’ve been successful “against a range of leadership” and have “without question” had an effect on “Hamas’ ability to command and control itself, to resource itself, and quite frankly to lead their troops.”

But he wouldn’t give specifics on how many members of Hamas have been killed or any measures of progress that Israel has made.

“I’ve been trying real hard not to give them a report card here and I think that is a wise thing for us to do, is to refrain from analyzing and armchair-quarterbacking their military operations,” Kirby said.

Still, on multiple occasions, he was asked if Israel can still eradicate Hamas, which has been the country’s stated goal.

“It can be done militarily. Are you going to eliminate the ideology? No. And are you likely going to erase the group from existence? Probably not. But can you eliminate the threat that Hamas poses to the Israeli people? Absolutely,” Kirby said.

Jan 03, 1:38 PM EST
Hezbollah leader warns of response for killing of top Hamas official

The head of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassam Nasrallah, said in a speech Wednesday that the killing of deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri was a “serious and heinous crime that will not remain without response and punishment.”

“Whoever thinks about war with us will regret it and it will be costly,” al-Arouri said in Arabic.

Nasrallah said they did receive messages that the assassination of al-Arouri was “not targeting Lebanon and the southern suburbs.”

The speech Wednesday was the first time the leader of the Lebanese group has spoken since Nov. 3. It followed the death Tuesday of al-Arouri in a bombing.

Israel has not claimed responsibility, but Hamas and Hezbollah have pointed the blame.

ABC News’ Ghazi Balkiz and Ellie Kaufman

Jan 03, 1:01 PM EST
Israel says it dismantled tunnels under Al-Shifa Hospital

The Israeli army said in a release Wednesday it had destroyed Hamas’ tunnels underneath the Al-Shifa Hospital without causing damage to the hospital complex.

Israel said the tunnels under the hospital spanned over 250 meters and “led to a number of significant terrorist centers and was used for carrying out terrorist operations.” It added that humanitarian operations continued at the hospital.

Hamas, as well as doctors at the hospital, has denied that terrorists were operating from the hospital complex.

ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Jan 02, 3:42 PM EST
US denounces Israeli officials’ remarks on emigration from Gaza

The U.S. State Department is denouncing recent comments from Israel’s far right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich calling for the emigration of Palestinians from Gaza, calling the officials’ statements “inflammatory and irresponsible.”

“The United States rejects recent statements from Israeli Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza,” State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. “We have been told repeatedly and consistently by the Government of Israel, including by the Prime Minister, that such statements do not reflect the policy of the Israeli government. They should stop immediately.”

ABC News’ Shannon K. Crawford

Jan 02, 2:11 PM EST
Top Hamas leader killed in Beirut strike, official says

A top Hamas leader and at least five others were killed in a strike in Beirut on Tuesday, a Hamas official said.

The leader, identified by the official as Saleh Arouri, was second in command in Hamas and the head of Hamas in the West Bank.

Lebanese Security Services said six people were killed in the strike, which Hamas blamed on Israel.

An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson declined to comment on the incident, but told ABC News that Israel “is on high alert and prepared for any scenario.”

“I want to be clear we are focused on the fight against Hamas,” the spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, added.

Jan 02, 12:38 PM EST
Top Hamas leader killed in Beirut strike, official says

A top Hamas leader and at least five others were killed in a strike in Beirut on Tuesday, a Hamas official said.

The leader, identified by the official as Saleh Arouri, was second in command in Hamas and the head of Hamas in the West Bank.

Lebanese Security Services said six people were killed in the strike, which Hamas blamed on Israel.

ABC News did not immediately receive a response from Israeli officials on the incident.

The head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said Tuesday the militant group has sent its conditions for a truce to Egypt and Qatar.

In a statement, Haniyeh said the position “is based on a comprehensive cessation of aggression against our people.”

Jan 02, 11:53 AM EST
Maersk halts all transit through Red Sea

Maersk, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, has decided to pause all transit through the Red Sea “until further notice,” the company said Tuesday morning.

The company made the announcement in the wake of an attack on its vessel Maersk Hangzhou by small boats carrying Houthi militants on Sunday.

U.S. Navy helicopters returned fire and sank three of the four small boats, killing the crews, U.S. officials said. The fourth boat fled the area.

Sunday’s incident was the second time in 24 hours that the Hangzhou had issued a distress call, U.S. Navy officials said.

Houthi leaders have said they will not stop the Red Sea attacks until Israel ceases its assault in Gaza.

Jan 02, 10:46 AM EST
What we know about the conflict

The Israel-Hamas war is nearing the three-month mark.

In the Gaza Strip, at least 22,185 people have been killed and over 57,000 others have been wounded by Israeli forces since Oct. 7, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry and the Government Media Office.

In Israel, at least 1,200 people have been killed and 6,900 others have been injured by Hamas and other Palestinian militants since Oct. 7, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

There has also been a surge in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israeli forces have killed at least 297 people in the territory since Oct. 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Jan 01, 8:31 PM EST
What we know about the conflict

The Israel-Hamas war is nearing the three-month mark.

In the Gaza Strip, at least 21,978 people have been killed and 57,697 others have been wounded by Israeli forces since Oct. 7, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry and the Government Media Office.

In Israel, at least 1,200 people have been killed and 6,900 others have been injured by Hamas and other Palestinian militants since Oct. 7, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

There has also been a surge in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israeli forces have killed at least 297 people in the territory since Oct. 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Jan 01, 1:30 PM EST
Some Israeli communities near Gaza can return soon: Defense minister

Some communities in southern Israel near the Gaza border will be able to return soon, Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said Monday.

“In accordance with the recommendations given by the IDF and the defense establishment, we will soon be able to return [displaced] communities home, in areas within a range of four to seven kilometers north of the Gaza Strip,” Gallant said during an operational situation assessment held in Kibbutz Dorot.

Gallant said the “gradual return” will start with communities within seven kilometers, before moving on to the remaining communities.

Earlier Monday, Gallant toured the kibbutz and discussed the security measures required for the return of its residents.

Jan 01, 10:29 AM EST
Israel to move some troops out of Gaza, IDF announces

The IDF announced Monday it is adjusting deployment plans for forces in Gaza and the reserve system.

Some reservists will return to their families and employment, while others will return to scheduled training. The IDF says this is expected “to significantly alleviate economic burdens and enable them to gather strength for upcoming activities in the next year, as the fighting will persist, and their services will still be needed.”

“These adaptations aim to ensure effective planning and preparation for the continuation of operations in 2024” in anticipation of further warfare into the year, according to the IDF statement.

Dec 31, 4:47 PM EST
IDF says it expects war to last all of 2024

The war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group is expected to last all of 2024, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said Sunday.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a statement that the Israeli military is making adjustments to its deployment of troops in the Gaza Strip as it anticipates the war lasting for the entirety of 2024.

“We are adjusting the fighting methods to each area in Gaza, as well as the necessary forces to carry out the mission in the best way possible,” Hagari said. “Each area has different characteristics and different operational needs.”

Hagari added that as 2024 begins, “The goal of the war requires lengthy fighting, and we are prepared accordingly.”

The Israeli military, according to Hagari, will be carrying out “smart” management of its forces in Gaza, allowing reservists to return home to help boost the economy, and allowing standing army troops to train to become commanders.

“It will result in considerable relief for the economy, and will allow them to gain strength for operations next year, and the fighting will continue and we will need them,” Hagari said.

He said the adjustments are necessary for the IDF to endure the long road ahead.

“The IDF needs to plan ahead, out of the understanding that we will be needed for additional missions and continued fighting during the entire coming year,” Hagari said.

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