Israel-Gaza live updates: IDF says it hit hundreds of Hamas targets and ‘terrorist cells’

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(NEW YORK) — Thousands of people have died and thousands more have been injured since the militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel retaliated with a bombing campaign and total siege of the neighboring Gaza Strip, leaving the region on the verge of all-out war.

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

Oct 29, 3:19 PM EDT
Biden, Netanyahu spoke Sunday, White House says

President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday about “developments in Gaza,” and the president reiterated that Israel needed to defend itself “in a manner consistent with international humanitarian law,” according to the White House.

The two also discussed efforts to locate and free hostages, including U.S. citizens, the White House added.

Biden also spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday, the White House said, and the two “committed to the significant acceleration and increase of assistance flowing into Gaza beginning today and then continuously.”

The two leaders talked about “ensuring that Palestinians in Gaza are not displaced to Egypt or any other nation,” the White House added.

-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow

Oct 29, 3:16 PM EDT
American father trapped in Gaza describes difficulties getting drinking water, bread

Abood Okal, a 36-year-old American father trapped in Gaza with his wife and young son, told ABC News on Sunday about the difficulties getting drinking water and bread.

“And I think it is for many people here in Gaza. We are almost out of drinking water today,” he said. “I think we have enough just to last us through the night and then tomorrow would be basically out.”

Okal described them spending their days not only “trying to figure out our water situation,” but also trying to secure bread, telling ABC News he was part of a group that spent six hours standing in lines in front of bakeries.

“We hit four different bakeries to buy bread and any type of bread, actually, and it was a total mayhem, just like we expected,” he said. “And actually quite heartbreaking to see the amount of people lined up in front of the bakeries, hundreds and hundreds of people in front of each one.”

Okal said they stood in line for hours to get one portion of bread — “which is about 25 to 30 pieces of pita bread, an average sized pita bread,” he said — “which basically would be good enough for a day or two at most.”

“I think Gaza has reached a point where it does not matter where you’re from or how much money you have or who you know,” he said. “Everyone is in the same boat in terms of the dire daily struggle to survive. And certainly our family is no exception to that.”

-ABC News’ Zoe Magee

Oct 29, 10:04 AM EDT
Freeing hostages in Gaza is still a priority amid expanding war, Sullivan says

Securing the release of the hostages being held in Gaza is still a priority as Israel expands its ground assault in the territory in an effort to defeat Hamas, the White House’s national security adviser said Sunday.

“We are continuing to see if there are ways to make that happen. We are prepared to support humanitarian pauses so that hostages can get out safely. And we will keep working at that every day because the president has no higher priority than the safe return of American citizens and wants to support the return of citizens of other countries and Israelis, as well,” Jake Sullivan told ABC “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz.

“Now, how exactly that happens … I cannot predict that. All I can tell you is every effort is being undertaken right now to do that,” Sullivan said.

But he noted “there are ongoing efforts which I can’t get into detail on television, including regional partners, including the Israelis.”

-ABC News’ Tal Axelrod

Oct 29, 10:03 AM EDT
Retired US general says Israel faces ‘nearly impossible’ task

Israel’s expanding ground assault on Gaza will involve months of painstaking and “very fierce fighting” with Hamas extremists amid conditions “unlike anything that we’ve seen in recent years,” retired Army Gen. Robert Abrams predicted on Sunday.

“And simultaneously trying to ensure that the Israelis do not target, unwittingly, the locations on the hostages — this is going to prove to be a very difficult task,” Abrams told ABC “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz. “And we’ll just have to see how their plan plays out here over the coming days.”

Abrams, who commanded U.S. troops during America’s invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, went on to say that he believes Israeli forces face a nigh insurmountable challenge in their stated goal to destroy the militant group that launched a terror attack on Israel earlier this month — while seeking to limit civilian casualties in the Palestinian territory and recover the hundreds of captives Hamas is thought to be holding in Gaza.

“It’s going to be what I would consider nearly impossible to destroy Hamas, to eliminate their capability to do harm to Israel and the Israeli people, while simultaneously protecting what some people have estimated as to be a million Palestinians who are in harm’s way and they can’t get out of harm’s way,” Abrams said.

Israel has faced mounting international outcry at the potential humanitarian disaster in the blockaded territory as it carries out its retaliatory operations on the militants.

Abrams said on “This Week” that he thinks “every effort is being made to follow the laws of armed conflict” but acknowledged the “horrific” images being broadcast of the escalating conflict.

“Fundamentally, at the end of this, Martha … we still have to answer the question: What is the future? Hamas was created as a result of a lack of a separate Palestinian state. A two-state solution, as many people have talked about. That has to be somewhere, when you asked, ‘How does this end?’ That has to be part of the equation,” Abrams said.

-ABC News’ Adam Carlson

Oct 29, 7:54 AM EDT
230 people held hostage by Hamas, IDF says

The number of people believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas during the Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel has risen to 230, according to Israel Defense Forces spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

During a press briefing on Sunday morning, Hagari said bringing the hostages home remains a top priority and that Israeli forces on the ground in the neighboring Gaza Strip are working to achieve this goal.

The IDF expanded its entry of troops into Gaza overnight, joining the forces already fighting on the ground there, according to Hagari.

“We are gradually expanding the ground activity and the scope of our forces in the Gaza Strip,” Hagari said. “The operations on the ground are complex and include risks to our forces.”

Over the past 24 hours, the IDF struck 450 Hamas military targets in Gaza. Ground forces directed IDF aircraft toward the targets and also struck “terrorist cells” that attempted to attack them, according to Hagari.

The IDF also struck Hezbollah military positions in neighboring Lebanon in response to attacks on IDF positions, Hagari said.

The IDF will draft new soldiers in November as was scheduled, even during the war, according to Hagari.

-ABC News’ Anna Burd, Bruno Nota and Morgan Winsor

Oct 29, 6:16 AM EDT
Thousands break into UNRWA warehouses in Gaza, taking food and ‘basic survival items,’ agency says

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency said Sunday that “thousands of people” have broken into several of their warehouses and distribution centers in the middle and southern parts of the Gaza Strip, “taking wheat flour and other basic survival items like hygiene supplies.”

“This is a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down after three weeks of war and a tight siege on Gaza,” Thomas White, director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza, said in a statement. “People are scared, frustrated and desperate. Tensions and fear are made worse by the cuts in the phones and internet communication lines. They feel that they are on their own, cut off from their families inside Gaza and the rest of the world.”

Since Oct. 7, a “massive displacement of people” who were forced to leave the north of Gaza and head southward due to Israeli airstrikes “has placed enormous pressure on those communities,” according to UNRWA.

“Supplies on the market are running out while the humanitarian aid coming into the Gaza Strip on trucks from Egypt is insufficient,” White added. “The needs of the communities are immense, if only for basic survival, while the aid we receive is meager and inconsistent.”

As of Sunday morning, just over 80 trucks of humanitarian aid had crossed into Gaza from Egypt in one week. There was no aid delivered on Saturday due to a communications blackout in Gaza, according to UNRWA. The agency, which is the main actor for the reception and storage of aid in Gaza, said it was “not able to communicate with the different parties to coordinate the passage of the convoy.”

UNRWA said its teams in Gaza have reported that internet services and connections were restored. The agency said it will reassess the situation with the goal of resuming aid convoys and distribution on Sunday.

“The current system of convoys is geared to fail,” White said. “Very few trucks, slow processes, strict inspections, supplies that do not match the requirements of UNRWA and the other aid organizations, and mostly the ongoing ban on fuel, are all a recipe for a failed system. We call for a regular and steady flow line of humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip to respond to the needs especially as tensions and frustrations grow.”

Meanwhile, UNRWA said 59 staff members have now been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7.

-ABC News’ Guy Davies and Morgan Winsor

Oct 29, 4:52 AM EDT
Gaza internet ‘gradually’ returns

As internet service returned to Gaza on Sunday, several people inside the enclave spoke with ABC News, detailing an increase in aerial bombardments and tank shelling over the last two nights.

“When the internet went out, I felt very afraid and thought we would die and no one would know anything about us,” said one resident, who asked not to be named for safety reasons.

Internet and telecommunications in Gaza, which had been disrupted Friday, were being “gradually” restored, Paltel Group, a local provider, said on social media early Sunday.

“For a moment, we thought it’s the end,” said another Gaza resident, who also asked that they not be identified.

The person added, “No way out. Complete darkness, no communication and the loud sound of missiles and bombardment.”

-ABC News’ Zoe Magee

Oct 28, 5:11 PM EDT
Netanyahu: War will be ‘long and difficult’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the war in Gaza “will be long and difficult” as Israel expands its ground operations in the enclave.

“This is the second stage of the war, the goals of which are clear: Destroying Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, and bringing the captives back home,” Netanyahu said in a statement Saturday.

Netanyahu said the War Cabinet and Security Cabinet both decided to expand ground operations “based on a commitment to ensure both the destiny of the state and the security of our soldiers.”

The prime minister said aerial strikes have intensified in recent days to “assist our forces in making a safer ground incursion.”

“We have eliminated countless terrorists, including arch-terrorists, and we have destroyed many terrorist command posts and infrastructure. We are only just getting started,” he said.

Oct 28, 5:05 PM EDT
Netanyahu meets with families of hostages for 1st time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the families of hostages held in Gaza for the first time on Saturday, on the heels of Israel’s expanded ground operation.

Among those in attendance were the families of abducted children.

“My heart was broken. I reiterated to them: At every stage up to now and at every stage from now, we will exhaust every possibility to bring our brothers and sisters back to their families,” Netanyahu said in a statement following the meeting.

According to Israeli military spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, 229 people captured in Israel are being held hostage in Gaza.

Oct 28, 9:57 AM EDT
Israel pressure on Hamas to ‘continue to rise’ amid ground operation

ABC News’ Ian Pannell speaks to Mark Regev, the advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Nentayahu and a former ambassador, on Israel’s expanded ground operation in Gaza. Regev said the land operation could be long, with many challenges.

“We are continuing to beef up the pressure on Hamas,” said Regev. “It will continue to rise in the coming days and weeks until we achieve our goal which is the total dismantlement of the Hamas military machine and the end of their political structure in Gaza.”

Oct 28, 10:42 AM EDT
Israel says ‘forces are still on the ground and are continuing the war’

In a press briefing on Saturday, Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that “the forces are still on the ground and are continuing the war” and the Israel Defense Forces “will continue to make a concerted effort in order to maintain the security of our forces, using strong fire from the air, this is combat.”

Meanwhile, several Hamas commanders have been killed overnight as part of the expanded offensive as aid trucks make their way into Gaza carrying food and water.

Hagari confirmed there have been 311 Israel Defense Forces fatalities since Oct.7 and added that the IDF have suffered no casualties in the overnight operations.

There are reports that communication networks have been cut in Gaza and WHO Chief Tedros Ghebreyesus who said the communications blackout is making it “impossible to reach the injured” and WHO staff, according to a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Oct 28, 10:40 AM EDT
IDF says more Hamas militants killed in overnight attacks

The Israel Defense Forces said they hit 150 underground targets in the northern Gaza Strip overnight and killed the head of Hamas’ Ariel Array – Asem Abu Rakaba.

In a Saturday morning post, the IDF said that based on intelligence it had and intelligence from the Israel Securities Authority, IDF fighter jets struck and killed Abu Rakaba.

He was responsible for Hamas’ UAVs, drones, paragliders, aerial detection and aerial defense, the IDF and Israel Securities Authority said in a joint release. He took part in planning the massacre in the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, the IDF said. He directed the terrorists who infiltrated Israel on paragliders and was responsible for the drone attacks on IDF posts, according to the military.

The IDF said it also hit tunnels and underground infrastructure. Several Hamas terrorists were killed in the attacks, according to the IDF.

Oct 28, 9:57 AM EDT
Israel pressure on Hamas to ‘continue to rise’ amid ground operation

ABC News’ Ian Pannell speaks to Mark Regev, the advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Nentayahu and a former ambassador, on Israel’s expanded ground operation in Gaza. Regev said the land operation could be long, with many challenges.

“We are continuing to beef up the pressure on Hamas,” said Regev. “It will continue to rise in the coming days and weeks until we achieve our goal which is the total dismantlement of the Hamas military machine and the end of their political structure in Gaza.”

Oct 27, 8:14 PM EDT
Grand Central Terminal closes amid sit-down calling for cease-fire in Gaza

Protesters with a Jewish peace activist group are calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza in a large, ongoing demonstration Friday at Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Metro-North said Grand Central is closed due to the protest.

According to organizer Jewish Voice for Peace-New York City, a far-left Jewish group, thousands of members and allies are taking part in the sit-in, which comes after Israel announced it is expanding its ground activity in Gaza.

Oct 27, 6:44 PM EDT
State Department perspective on Israel’s expanded ground activity in Gaza

The State Department was tracking the potential for a significant escalation in Israel’s military campaign in Gaza throughout the day but did not have confirmation that the Israel Defense Forces would expand its ground operations until around the time it was announced to the public earlier Friday, according to two U.S. officials.

Officials say the U.S. has been pressuring Israel to adopt a narrower scope for its offensive and take a more incremental approach. One source said that while Israeli forces seem likely to stay on the ground in Gaza for a longer duration this time, if this incursion doesn’t spiral, it could be a positive sign that the administration is successfully making its case.

At this hour, there is still no clarity from the U.S. side on whether this is the big ground offensive that’s been expected — or just part of the buildup.

Officials are confident that they can keep up the short windows of calm that have allowed a limited amount of aid to flow into Gaza through the Rafah Gate, but these fall short of the sustained “humanitarian truce” the United Nations is demanding.

But several other delicate negotiations directly involving the U.S. — including efforts to free the hostages, allow foreign nationals to exit Gaza and create safe spaces inside the enclave — could be sidelined by a more comprehensive ground assault. Talks with all parties involved press on. Officials acknowledge that the U.S. would have liked to resolve these issues before any escalation, but that Hamas was likely to use its leverage to push off additional military action as long as possible.

Oct 28, 10:45 AM EDT
Doctors Without Borders said it has lost contact with Gaza staff

Doctors Without Borders made an urgent plea for protection of medical centers in Gaza, after the organization said it has lost contact with its members in the region.

In a video post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Avril Benoit, the organization’s executive director, said she was very concerned about the patients, staff and civilians who are taking shelter at al-Shifa Hospital.

The Israel Defense Force said Hamas was using the hospital as a shield for its tunnels and ops centers.

“We call for the unequivocal protection of all medical facilities, staff and civilians across the Gaza Strip,” she said. “We need an immediate cease-fire now.”

UNICEF said it has also lost contact with its employees in Gaza and is “extremely concerned about their safety.”

Oct 27, 4:40 PM EDT
IDF on current ground operations

When asked whether troops had launched a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip on Friday night, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Peter Lerner told ABC News, “We are conducting our sweep and clear activities in order to create better conditions for optimal operational conditions on the ground.”

“So we are seeking out anti-tank capabilities, we are destroying observation posts and we are engaging the terrorists where we find them on the front lines or in the peripheral of the Gaza Strip,” he continued, noting that troops have been “conducting these activities” for “several days” but he can’t detail specifics due to “operational concerns.”

“We intend on dismantling their capabilities, destroying their government, and making sure they can never use the Gaza Strip as a staging ground against our people again,” Lerner added.

Oct 27, 4:19 PM EDT
UN General Assembly adopts Gaza resolution calling for immediate humanitarian truce

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israel and Hamas.

The resolution also demands the “continuous, sufficient and unhindered” provision of supplies and services for civilians in Gaza, as Israel says it is expanding its ground operations in the territory.

Oct 27, 3:56 PM EDT
US ‘not drawing red lines for Israel’: Kirby

The U.S. is “not drawing red lines for Israel” and is still in “active negotiations” to release hostages, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said during a virtual briefing Friday.

Asked whether the U.S. was given advance warning of the expanding ground incursion happening today, Kirby would not give any detail on conversations with the Israelis, but said President Joe Biden has been getting daily briefings from his national security team.

Pressed on whether the U.S. is confident that Israel has thought through what happens after the ground incursion, Kirby said it’s up to the Israelis to answer questions about the “soundness of their planning and the effectiveness of the execution.”

Kirby said Israel should support a humanitarian pause if it can allow for the release of hostages.

Oct 27, 2:29 PM EDT
IDF says it is expanding ground operations in Gaza Friday night

The Israel Defense Forces are expanding ground activity in Gaza Friday night, a military spokesperson told reporters.

This is Israel’s biggest ground operation in Gaza since the Oct. 7 attack.

“In recent hours we have increased the attacks in Gaza,” the IDF said in a statement. “The Air Force widely attacks underground targets and terrorist infrastructure, very significantly. In continuation of the offensive activity we carried out in the last few days, the ground forces are expanding the ground activity this evening.”

Oct 27, 1:26 PM EDT
Internet, cell service cut off in Gaza after barrage of strikes, telecom provider says

All internet and communications services have been cut off in Gaza following a barrage of strikes, according to the Palestinian Telecommunications Company.

“The intense bombing in the last hour destroyed all remaining international routes linking Gaza to the world,” the company said in a statement. “The severe bombing led to the interruption of all communications services in the Gaza Strip.”

Jawal, a Palestinian mobile company, also said all communications and internet services have been interrupted due to the “intense bombing.”

Palestinian Red Crescent, a humanitarian organization, said it is unable to reach its teams due to the disruption in landline, cell and internet services.

“We are deeply concerned about the ability of our teams to continue providing their emergency medical services,” the group said in a statement.

The World Health Organization said it has also lost touch with its staff in Gaza, with Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus adding, “This siege makes me gravely concerned for their safety and the immediate health risks of vulnerable patients. We urge immediate protection of all civilians and full humanitarian access.”

Oct 27, 1:20 PM EDT
Harris, Emhoff meet with families of missing Americans

Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff met with families of Americans who are unaccounted for following the Oct. 7 attack in Israel and heard of their “agonizing” experiences, Harris’ office said.

During the meeting at the State Department Friday morning, Harris told the families that “securing the hostages remains front and center in our diplomatic conversations,” a readout from her office stated.

She also said they are working with partners in the Middle East “to ensure that any country with influence over Hamas brings that influence to bear to help secure the release of hostages,” the readout stated.

Her office did not specify how many families attended the meeting.

The Biden administration said Tuesday that 10 Americans remained accounted for.

Oct 27, 11:15 AM EDT
Blasts hit 2 Egyptian Red Sea towns near border with Israel

Blasts hit two Egyptian Red Sea towns on Friday, injuring at least six people, according to the Egyptian military and state media, with Israel blaming the incidents on an “aerial threat” in the region.

Egyptian army spokesman Col. Gharib Abdel-Hafez said an “unidentified drone” crashed Friday morning into a building near a hospital in the resort town of Taba, near the border with Israel, injuring six people.

Earlier on Friday, Egyptian state-linked TV channel Al-Qahera News said a missile fired as part of the escalation in the neighboring Gaza Strip had struck a medical facility in Taba.

The channel later reported that an “unidentified body” crashed near a power station in the South Sinai resort town of Nuweiba, some 45 miles to the south.

The Israeli military said the incidents were a result of an “aerial threat” in the Red Sea region and that there were no Israeli casualties from the strike near its border.

“An aerial threat was detected in the Red Sea region, and fighterjets were called in to deal with it,” the Israeli military’s Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee said in a statement. “We estimate that the harm to Egypt was caused by this threat,” he said, adding that Israel will work with Egypt and the United States to “tighten defense in the region” against such threats.

Egyptian witnesses said fighter jets have roared above the two towns since dawn.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the two incidents.

Earlier this week, a number of Egyptian border guards were injured after being hit by fragments of a shell that Israel’s army said was accidentally fired from one of its tanks. The Israel Defense Forces quickly apologized for the incident.

The recent incidents highlight the risk Egypt faces from a possible regional spillover of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza.

ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Oct 27, 9:22 AM EDT
At least 4 injured after rocket his Israeli apartment building, authorities say

At least four people were injured on Friday when a rocket struck an apartment building in Tel Aviv, according to Israeli authorities.

Hamas allegedly fired a barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip toward Tel Aviv on Friday afternoon and most were intercepted by Israel’s air defense system, but one hit a five-story apartment building.

The injured victims ranged in age from 20 to 78. Two were hospitalised in moderate condition while the others were in minor condition, according to Israel’s rescue service MDA.

-ABC News’ Dani Tene and Morgan Winsor

Oct 27, 8:59 AM EDT
Hamas has taken 229 hostages, IDF says

The number of people believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas in Israel on Oct. 7 is now 229, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

As of Friday morning, the IDF said 229 hostage families have been notified.

-ABC News’ Morgan Winsor

Oct 27, 6:58 AM EDT
Israeli troops enter Gaza for 2nd straight night

A column of Israeli military tanks crossed into the northern Gaza Strip late Thursday for the second straight night to conduct a series of targeted raids.

The mission lasted several hours and included airstrikes from above. The Israel Defense Forces said Friday morning that 250 targets were struck in Gaza in the past 24 hours.

-ABC News’ Morgan Winsor

Oct 27, 12:58 AM EDT
Missile of undetermined origin strikes medical facility in Egyptian Red Sea

A missile struck a medical facility in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Taba, near the border with Israel early on Friday, injuring six people, Egyptian state-linked Al-Qahera News TV channel reported Friday morning local time.

The missile was fired as part of the ongoing violence in Gaza, it said, citing sources.

The blast, which hit a Taba ambulance facility and a residential building for the staff of the Taba Hospital, damaged a residential building, the station reported. The channel aired footage showing a charred car and big holes in the facade of a building.

“Once the side that launched the missile is identified, all options are available to address and Egypt reserves the right to respond [to the incident] at the right time,” a security source from the Egyptian government told the channel.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Earlier this week, a number of Egyptian border guards were injured after being hit by fragments of a shell that Israel said was accidentally fired from an Israeli tank. Israeli Defense Forces quickly apologized for the incident.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Oct 27, 6:58 AM EDT
Israeli troops enter Gaza for 2nd straight night

A column of Israeli military tanks crossed into the northern Gaza Strip late Thursday for the second straight night to conduct a series of targeted raids.

The mission lasted several hours and included airstrikes from above. The Israel Defense Forces said Friday morning that 250 targets were struck in Gaza in the past 24 hours.

-ABC News’ Morgan Winsor

Oct 27, 12:58 AM EDT
Missile of undetermined origin strikes medical facility in Egyptian Red Sea

A missile struck a medical facility in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Taba, near the border with Israel early on Friday, injuring six people, Egyptian state-linked Al-Qahera News TV channel reported Friday morning local time.

The missile was fired as part of the ongoing violence in Gaza, it said, citing sources.

The blast, which hit a Taba ambulance facility and a residential building for the staff of the Taba Hospital, damaged a residential building, the station reported. The channel aired footage showing a charred car and big holes in the facade of a building.

“Once the side that launched the missile is identified, all options are available to address and Egypt reserves the right to respond [to the incident] at the right time,” a security source from the Egyptian government told the channel.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Earlier this week, a number of Egyptian border guards were injured after being hit by fragments of a shell that Israel said was accidentally fired from an Israeli tank. Israeli Defense Forces quickly apologized for the incident.

-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy

Oct 26, 6:37 PM EDT
What the US is requesting before Israel launches Gaza invasion

A senior U.S. official said Thursday the administration has requested that Israel allow the U.S. to get forces in place before Israel launches an expected ground invasion in Gaza.

The U.S. has also requested that Israel get a better handle on the hostage and humanitarian situation in Gaza, where cases of dysentery from people drinking contaminated water are being reported, the official said.

Additionally, the U.S. told the Israelis that it is still not convinced they have a good plan for what they want to do in Gaza, the official said.

Oct 26, 4:23 PM EDT
US explains wanting a ‘temporary pause’ for humanitarian reasons

White House national security council spokesman John Kirby explained during a briefing what the U.S. meant by wanting a “temporary pause” in the action.

“As Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken said, we do think that there should be consideration made right now for humanitarian pauses,” Kirby said. “These are localized, temporary, specific pauses on the battlefield so that humanitarian assistance can get in to people that need it or the people can get out of that area in relative safety. That’s what a humanitarian pause is, and we think it’s an idea worth exploring.”

“Now, it could also be more than one spot, right?” he added. “So, I mean, it depends, but we think it’s a valuable idea that’s worth looking at to help alleviate the humanitarian suffering in Gaza.”

Kirby said 74 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have entered Gaza since the Rafah border crossing was opened on Oct. 21, but added it was “not enough.” Twelve trucks have crossed with supplies in the last 24 hours, he said.

-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson

Oct 26, 3:59 PM EDT
US to send 2 Iron Dome systems to Israel

The U.S. will be sending its two Israeli-made Iron Dome air defense systems to Israel, the Pentagon said Thursday.

“We’re also planning to provide the two U.S. Iron Dome systems currently in our inventory to Israel to help further bolster their air defense capabilities and protect citizens from rocket attacks,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters today at his briefing.

Ryder said he would not provide delivery timelines due to operational security and would only say that all of the air-defense systems being sent by the U.S. would be “online soon.”

Ryder also told reporters that 900 U.S. troops have been deployed or will be deploying to the Middle East, making care to say they will not be going to Israel itself. This includes the THAAD air defense unit, the Patriot missile systems and an air-defense headquarters — some of which were part of the original 2,200 placed on Prepare to Deploy Orders a few weeks ago.

-ABC News’ Luis Martinez

Oct 26, 3:37 PM EDT
US making progress toward escape route for Americans in Gaza: State Dept.

State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said the U.S. was continuing “close consultations with both the Israeli government and the Egyptian government as well as the United Nations” on opening the Rafah border crossing to American citizens, but that those still talks hadn’t crossed the finish line yet.

“We have been making progress. I can’t get into the details of that progress because they are very sensitive negotiations, but it’s something that we are focused on and hope to have American citizens and other foreign nationals able to move through in the coming days,” Miller said.

Miller said the State Department sent a message to American citizens Wednesday telling them that they were continuing “to work out a solution.” And while the administration still hasn’t given an estimate on how many Americans it is in contact with in Gaza, for the first time Miller said the State Department was speaking with “several hundred.”

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Oct 26, 3:22 PM EDT
IDF claim to have killed terror attack co-architect

The Israel Defense Forces claim to have killed the co-architect of the Oct. 7 terror attack in an aerial strike.

IDF fighter jets struck Shadi Barud, the head of intelligence relations for Hamas, the Israeli military said in a statement Thursday. The statement did not specify when the attack occurred.

IDF accused Barud of planning the attack with Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza.

Oct 26, 2:31 PM EDT
There’s ‘significant evidence’ Israel committed war crimes: Amnesty International

Paul O’Brien, the executive director of Amnesty International USA, told ABC News Live that “there is significant evidence” that Israel is “committing war crimes” in its targeting of the Gaza Strip.

“Israel is not taking the measures that it needs to take in order to protect civilians now,” O’Brien told ABC News’ James Longman. “Dropping leaflets into a densely populated area and forcing people to move or threatening them if they don’t is a war crime.”

O’Brien pointed not just to the issue of collective punishment, but also to the “indiscriminate targeting of civilians,” and demanded an immediate investigation and accountability. The executive director also said that Amnesty has denounced Hamas’ actions on Oct. 7 as a war crime, but that “the answer to that is not the further commission of war crimes by the state of Israel.”

In a letter released Thursday, Amnesty International Senior Crisis Response Adviser Donatella Rovera said, in part, “Amnesty International reiterates its call on the Israeli authorities to immediately rescind the forced ‘evacuation’ orders and to put an end to threats designed to sow fear and panic among Gaza’s civilian population. All conditions on the distribution of humanitarian aid must be urgently lifted and aid, including fuel, must be allowed into Gaza in sufficient quantities to meet the dire needs of the civilian population.”

Israel has allowed in limited resources through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt and says Hamas is stockpiling fuel that could be used for humanitarian needs in the region. Israel has also asserted it has a right to defend itself in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attack.

-ABC News’ Luis Rodriguez

Oct 26, 1:53 PM EDT
What a potentially wider Israel-Hamas war could mean for the US economy

A potential escalation of the Israel-Hamas war and the possibility that it could widen into a regional conflict could send gas prices above $5 a gallon, trigger an overall surge of inflation and plunge the U.S. economy into a recession, economists and oil industry analysts told ABC News.

A conflict that ensnares the Middle East could send oil prices soaring, which in turn would hike costs not only for gasoline but also for many consumer products that depend on diesel and jet fuel for transport, the experts said.

Click here to read more.

-ABC News’ Max Zahn

Oct 26, 12:27 PM EDT
Iran issues warning to United States

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the minister of foreign affairs for Iran, chastised the United States and issued a warning in a speech at the United Nations during an emergency session to discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Amir-Abdollahian said that America was “managing the genocide” of Palestinians and “that we do not welcome the expansion of war in the region, but I warn if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire.”

The U.S. has cautioned against Iran becoming directly involved in the conflict and sent two aircraft carriers to the region to serve as a deterrent.

There have, however, been smaller skirmishes between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and the U.S. shot down cruise missiles fired by the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Both groups are backed by Iran.

Oct 26, 6:24 AM EDT
Israeli military briefly enters northern Gaza, IDF says

Israeli tanks and infantry personnel briefly entered northern Gaza in “preparation for the next stages of combat,” the Israel Defense Forces said early Thursday.

“IDF tanks & infantry struck numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts,” the military said in a post on social media.

The post included a video that appeared to show bulldozers breaking through a barricade-like structure, followed by footage of a military convoy traveling along dirt roads and then several explosions.

“The soldiers have since exited the area and returned to Israeli territory,” IDF said.

The video could not be independently verified.

Oct 25, 5:46 PM EDT
House passes resolution defending Israel

The House of Representatives passed a resolution defending Israel and condemning Hamas after the group’s attack earlier this month and the escalating war in the Gaza Strip.

The resolution passed in a 412-10 vote. Six members voted present. Nine of the 10 “no” votes came from progressive Democrats, while Rep. Thomas Massie, Ky., was the only Republican to vote against the resolution.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller and Tal Axelrod

Oct 25, 5:31 PM EDT
Dueling Russia, US resolutions on conflict fail to advance at UN Security Council

The dueling resolutions on the Israel-Hamas war put forth to the United Nations Security Council by Russia and the U.S. have both failed.

Russia’s version called for a humanitarian ceasefire and avoided condemning Hamas. Russia, China, the UAE and Gabon voted in favor of the draft, while nine members abstained, and both the U.S. and the U.K. voted against it.

While the U.S. emphasized in its resolution Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas, officials worked to find a middle ground that would placate a majority of members, urging a pause to military action in Gaza. The U.S. measure secured the votes it needed to advance out of the council but was ultimately vetoed by Russia and China.

“The United States is deeply disappointed that Russia and China vetoed this resolution. A resolution that, as I’ve said, was strong and it was balanced. That was the product of consultations with members of this Council. We did listen to all of you. We incorporated feedback. And we worked to forge consensus around a resolution that would send a clear message to the world – and most importantly, to Israelis and Palestinians – that this Council is determined to meet this moment,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Oct 25, 4:40 PM EDT
WHO calls for release of hostages, proof of life, proof of medical care

The World Health Organization said there’s “an urgent need” for Hamas to “provide signs of life, proof of provision of health care and the immediate release” of the hostages.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he met with families of some hostages on Wednesday.

“Many of the hostages, including children, women and the elderly, have pre-existing health conditions requiring urgent and sustained care and treatment,” he said in a statement. “The mental health trauma that the abducted, and the families, are facing is acute and psychosocial support is of great importance.”

Oct 25, 4:36 PM EDT
Israeli official: ‘Definitions of defeating Hamas’ must be more ‘realistic’

Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, the former head of the Israel National Security Council, told ABC News the “definitions of defeating Hamas … have to be a little more measurable and realistic.”

Eiland, who has been working inside Israel’s military headquarters, said there’s no way to completely destroy Hamas, but he said what Israel can do “is destroy the military capabilities and other governmental functions of Hamas.”

“But even to achieve this limited goal we will have to maintain the military effort,” he said.

Eiland said Israel cannot allow Hamas “the ability now or in the future to rebuild their rocket arsenal.”

-ABC News’ Matt Gutman

Oct 25, 3:44 PM EDT
House to vote on resolution defending Israel

The House on Wednesday is debating a resolution to show support for Israel and condemn Hamas.

The resolution introduced by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Mike McCaul is entitled “Standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”

It’s expected to pass with large bipartisan support.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Oct 25, 3:39 PM EDT
Israeli forces said they’ve hit underground tunnels

Missiles fired by Israeli forces have struck underground tunnels in Gaza, targeting Hamas terrorists, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said. It’s unclear what the result of the hit was.

Hamas has previously claimed to have built 500 kilometers — more than 300 miles — of tunnels under Gaza. The tunnel system is designed to conceal and cover Hamas militants and allow them to execute surprise attacks, according to experts.

The IDF spokesman said Israel’s current attacks in Gaza are improving their situation for the next stage of the long war ahead.

Oct 25, 2:35 PM EDT
Biden says Israel has right to defend itself while urging country to follow ‘laws of war’

President Joe Biden on Wednesday emphasized U.S. support for Israel’s right to defend itself, while also urging the country to do “everything in its power” to protect innocent people in Gaza.

“We will ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself,” Biden said during a press conference at the White House with Australia’s prime minister.

Biden said Hamas is using Palestinian civilians as human shields, putting an “added burden on Israel while they go after Hamas,” but Israel should still do everything it can to follow the “laws of war.”

“Israel has to do everything in its power, as difficult as it is, to protect innocent civilians,” he said.

Biden also said the flow of aid to Gaza needs to increase and that he was working “around the clock” to secure the release of hostages.

He reiterated his support for a two-state solution, saying that the status quo will never return after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“I’m convinced one of the reasons Hamas attacked when they did — I have no proof of this, my instinct tells me — is because of the progress we were making toward regional integration for Israel and regional integration overall. And we can’t leave that work behind,” Biden said, repeating a claim he’s made before about his efforts to broker a broader deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia that would lead to Saudi Arabia recognizing Israel.

-ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett

Oct 25, 2:23 PM EDT
Israel readying for ground operation, won’t reveal date: Netanyahu

Israeli forces are getting ready for the ground operation into Gaza, but will not tell anyone when it will be, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.

When soldiers enter Gaza, they’ll “exact the full price from these murderers,” Netanyahu said in Hebrew.

“I once again call on the uninvolved population in Gaza to evacuate to the southern strip,” he said.

Netanyahu also said Israel will “do everything possible to bring hostages home.”

“We are gathering the support of world leaders,” he added. “Our fight against Hamas is also their fight.”

Oct 25, 12:52 PM EDT
Gaza shelters 4 times over their capacities: UNRWA

Shelters in Gaza are four times over their capacities, forcing many people to sleep in the streets, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

Nearly 600,000 displaced Gaza residents are sheltering at 150 UNRWA facilities, the agency said.

Oct 25, 12:41 PM EDT
Tuesday marks deadliest day in Gaza since conflict began

Tuesday marked the deadliest day in Gaza since the Hamas-Israel conflict began on Oct. 7, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

At least 700 people died on Tuesday, OCHA said.

Over 6,500 people have died in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.

Oct 25, 11:40 AM EDT
Gaza to run out of fuel Wednesday night: UNRWA

Gaza is set to run out of fuel Wednesday night, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

“If we do not get fuel urgently, we will be forced to halt our operations in the Gaza Strip” Wednesday night, UNRWA said.

Oct 25, 11:29 AM EDT
UN secretary-general responds to Israeli ambassador’s criticism

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is responding to the Israeli ambassador’s call for him to resign, saying it’s false to accuse him of “justifying” Hamas’ attacks.

At the U.N. Security Council meeting on Tuesday, Guterres asserted that “the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” sparking immediate backlash from Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan.

“The Secretary-General is completely disconnected from the reality in our region and that he views the massacre committed by Nazi Hamas terrorists in a distorted and immoral manner,” Erdan said. “His statement that, ‘The attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,’ expressed an understanding for terrorism and murder.”

Experts breakdown Israel-Hamas conflict

“It’s truly sad that the head of an organization that arose after the Holocaust holds such horrible views,” Erdan said.

Guterres said at the U.N. Wednesday, “I am shocked by the misinterpretations by some of my statement yesterday in the Security Council, as if I was justifying acts of terror by Hamas. This is false. It was the opposite. In the beginning of my intervention yesterday, I clearly stated — and I quote: ‘I have condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel. Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians, or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.'”

“Indeed, I spoke of the grievances of the Palestinian people,” Guterres continued. “And in doing so, I also clearly stated, and I quote: ‘But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas.'”

Oct 25, 11:10 AM EDT
Gaza hospital ‘will turn into a big morgue,’ doctor warns

In Gaza, where the “health system is collapsing,” doctors “cannot offer much” to their hundreds of severely wounded patients, Dr. Mohammed Ghandil from Gaza’s Nasser Hospital told ABC News.

“The hospital door is open, but the health care is not provided,” Ghandil said.

“We are just giving some peaceful words for them to die,” he said.

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that one-third of hospitals in Gaza and two-thirds of clinics were not functioning.

More than 17,000 people in Gaza have been wounded since Oct. 7.

“Even the medical patient [who] was not wounded, who came with heart attack, with stroke, with sepsis, we’re just sending them home because there is no bed in the hospital,” he said. “The hospital corridors, the hospital backyards, the hospital balcony are fully, fully packed with the severely wounded.”

Gaza is set to run out of fuel Wednesday night, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

“If the fuel is zero,” Ghandil said, “the doctors and the nurses will go home and the hospital will turn to a big morgue.”

ABC News’ Somayeh Malekian

Oct 25, 10:31 AM EDT
‘Some progress’ in hostage negations, Qatar says

“Some progress” has been made as Qatar continues its hostage negotiations with Hamas, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said at a news conference.

“If we compare where we started and where we are right now, there is some progress and some breakthrough and we will remain hopeful,” he said. “The negotiations are still ongoing and at any moment of time, I think that if we will be able to get along between the two parties, I think we will see some breakthroughs hopefully soon.”

Israel reported that 222 hostages were taken by Hamas. Four hostages have been released in the last week: two American women and two Israeli women.

Oct 25, 10:01 AM EDT
UN meeting Thursday to debate Israel-Hamas war

The United Nations General Assembly will be called back into an emergency special session in New York on Thursday morning to debate the Israel-Hamas war.

The general assembly could vote on moves, including a humanitarian pause in Gaza and the establishment of an international protective presence in Gaza.

Oct 25, 5:35 AM EDT
IDF says it targeted Hamas, Hezbollah, Syrian military in ‘wide-scale strikes’

The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday morning that it has carried out “wide-scale strikes” in the neighboring Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours.

The Israeli airstrikes hit Hamas infrastructure, including tunnels, military headquarters and weapons warehouses, as well as “several terrorists,” including a Hamas commander, according to the IDF.

The IDF said it also killed five Hezbollah militants in neighboring Lebanon who tried to launch missiles and rockets against Israeli forces in the last day.

Two rockets were fired into Israel from neighboring Syria and the IDF said it responded by attacking infrastructure and positions of the Syrian military.

Oct 24, 7:28 PM EDT
US intelligence assess ‘with high confidence’ that Israel was not responsible for Gaza hospital explosion

An official with the U.S. Office of the Director of Intelligence told reporters Tuesday that the office has updated its assessment of last week’s explosion of al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, which killed hundreds, and stated “with high confidence that Israel was not responsible for the explosion.”

The official added, “We assess with low confidence that Palestine Islamic Jihad, PIJ, was responsible for launching the rocket that landed on the hospital,” the official added, noting that they suspect based on their analysis that the rocket responsible likely suffered a “catastrophic motor failure.”

The intelligence official said they were drawing on “intelligence, missile activity, open-source video and images of the incident,” including an examination of the blast effects.

“If an Israeli munition was responsible for this blast, we would expect that Palestinian militants would be very directly and clearly showing what they thought was an Israeli munition,” the official said. “We’ve looked at all of the images and in none of them do we assess that there are remnants, Israeli munitions.”

Oct 24, 5:45 PM EDT
US engaging in ongoing talks to release a number of hostages: Source

Talks are ongoing between the U.S. and regional partners, including Israel, Egypt, and Qatar to secure the release of a large number of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, a source with knowledge told ABC News.

The U.S. is still advising for a delay to have more time for the hostages to be released and for aid to get out, but does not want to appear to be dictating what to do to the Israelis, according to the source.

-ABC News’ Selina Wang

Oct 24, 4:12 PM EDT
Blinken updates number of Americans killed

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that 33 Americans were confirmed dead after the Hamas terror attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Oct 24, 3:39 PM EDT
How the ‘law of war’ could apply to an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza

With Israel appearing to be on the cusp of a ground invasion into Gaza, President Joe Biden and other world leaders this week said the Jewish state has the right to defend itself against the recent brutal attacks by Hamas.

At the same time, they warned, Israel must abide by the “law of war” in protecting innocent Palestinians living in Gaza.

But with the prospect of hundreds, if not thousands more Palestinian civilians killed, can Israel do both? And could either Israel or Hamas be prosecuted for war crimes?

Click here to read what you need to know about international humanitarian laws and how they apply in the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty

Oct 24, 3:28 PM EDT
Kirby: Israel needs to ‘consider possibility of humanitarian pause’

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Tuesday a “ceasefire right now really only benefits Hamas.”

When asked if the U.S. has set or discussed any red lines with the Israelis, he said simply, “No.”

But when pressed to elaborate on Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s comments that “humanitarian pauses must be considered,” he said, “pauses in operation is a tool and a tactic” that can protect civilians for temporary periods of time.

Later when asked, Kirby said Blinken talked about the need to “consider the possibility of a humanitarian pause, to allow aid to get in — and get in unfettered — and to allow for the safe movement of people out.”

-ABC News’ Selina Wang

Oct 24, 2:12 PM EDT
Gaza to run out of fuel Wednesday night: UNRWA

Gaza is set to run out of fuel Wednesday night, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

“If we do not get fuel urgently, we will be forced to halt our operations in the Gaza Strip as of tomorrow night,” the agency said.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said, “We know for sure that there’s plenty of fuel in Gaza. Hamas has stored fuel in advance, and is stealing fuel from both civilians and the U.N. to power its war machine against Israel.”

Oct 24, 1:45 PM EDT
20 more aid trucks cross Rafah: Egyptian officials

Twenty more aid trucks crossed the Egypt-Gaza Rafah border on Tuesday and are now headed to the Israel-Egypt Nitzana Border Crossing for inspection, according to Egyptian officials.

It is not clear if the trucks have reached Gaza yet, where humanitarian conditions are worsening by the day, but these new trucks will bring the total to 74 aid trucks crossing through over the last four days.

The Rafah border crossing was shut on Oct. 10 after it was hit by Israeli warplanes on the Palestinian side three times on Oct. 9 and 10.

The crossing has briefly opened each day since Saturday, permitting a small amount of aid to enter Gaza.

Asked by a reporter if humanitarian aid is getting to Gaza fast enough, President Joe Biden said Tuesday, “Not fast enough.”

Oct 24, 1:26 PM EDT
Israeli, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers speak out at UN Security Council meeting

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki, gave long, impassioned speeches at the United Nations Security Council meeting about the suffering their people are experiencing.

Cohen began by holding up photographs of the Israeli children kidnapped by Hamas, reading out their names and ages.

“They are just a few the many children and babies that have not seen evil. They have not caused evil. But they are victims of evil,” he said.

Cohen described Hamas as “the new Nazis” and said Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel should serve as “a wakeup call against extremism.”

Al-Maliki purported that Israel’s retaliation had equated to “ongoing massacres being deliberately, systematically, and savagely” perpetrated against Palestinians civilians.

“The Security Council has a duty to stop them,” he said. “It is our collective human duty to stop them now.”

He suggested that Israel’s campaign would ultimately lead to more conflict, saying “more injustice and more killing will not make Israel safer.”

The foreign minister argued that everyone on the council should be united behind one goal.

“We should be on the same side — all of us who believe in justice and peace,” he said. “We should stand shoulder to shoulder in these moments. But that is only possible if everyone recognizes the value of Palestinian life — the need to uphold Palestinian rights.”

ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Oct 24, 1:17 PM EDT
Blinken backs Israel but says ‘humanitarian pauses must be considered’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a forceful defense of Israel’s military actions at the United Nations Security Council, but Blinken said “humanitarian pauses must be considered” to protect civilians in Gaza — the administration’s strongest statement of a support for any type of halt in Israel’s efforts to vanquish Hamas.

“We must affirm the right of any nation to defend itself and to prevent such heart from repeating itself. No member of this council, no nation in this entire body. could or would tolerate the slaughter of its people,” Blinken said.

The secretary said every member of the U.N. has a “responsibility to denounce the member states that arm, fund and train Hamas or any other terrorist group that carries out such horrific acts,” reminding them that many other foreign nationals were also killed and kidnapped in its attacks.”

Blinken then turned to ongoing efforts to protect civilian lives, first emphasizing that Hamas is responsible for putting the innocent in harm’s way, before shifting to Israel’s responsibilities.

“Hamas must cease using them as human shields,” he said. “Israel must take all possible precautions to avoid harm to civilians. It means means food, medicine and water and other assistance must flow into Gaza and to the areas people need them. It means civilians must be able to get out of harm’s way. It means humanitarian pauses must be considered for these purposes.”

Previously, the State Department and other U.S. officials flatly rejected calls for any kind of ceasefir, arguing, as State Department spokesperson Matt Miller did Monday, that it would “give Hamas the ability to rest, to refit and to get ready to continue watching terrorist attacks against Israel.”

In his remarks, Blinken also detailed the administration’s efforts to prevent the conflict from spreading in the Middle East, but emphasized the threat posed by Iran and promised the U.S. would not allow attacks on Americans to go unanswered.

“We do not want this war to widen, but if Iran or its proxies attack U.S. personnel anywhere, make no mistake — we will defend our people, we will defend our security–swiftly and decisively,” he vowed.

ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Oct 24, 11:54 AM EDT
784 slain in Israel identified, Israeli police say

The Israeli police said they’ve identified at least 784 people killed by Hamas.

Police said some bodies were in such bad condition that they have not yet been identified.

At least 1,400 people have died and 4,629 others have been injured in Israel since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, according to Israeli authorities.

Oct 24, 11:35 AM EDT
US sends 3-star Marine general to advise Israel

The Biden administration has sent Lt. Gen. James Glynn, a three-star Marine general who is currently serving as the head of Marine personnel, to Israel to advise the country on its military operations, according to a U.S. official.

The news was first reported by Axios on Monday.

Glynn is “not directing operations” but rather is “purely there to provide military advice and pose hard questions to help [the Israel Defense Forces] think through various scenarios,” the U.S. official told ABC News.

The official said Glynn was in Israel “temporarily” and was not expected to still be there when a ground operation starts.

ABC News’ Ben Gittleson

Oct 24, 11:30 AM EDT
Fuel ‘most vital commodity’ in Gaza, WHO says

Fuel is now the “most vital commodity” in Gaza, according to the World Health Organization.

The limited aid trucks trickling into Gaza have not included any fuel, the organization said. Before Oct. 7, hundreds of trucks entered Gaza every day, including about 45 trucks bringing fuel, said Tamara Alrifai, spokesperson for the U.N. agency for Palestine refugees.

Without fuel, “trucks can’t move and generators can’t produce electricity for hospitals, bakeries and water desalination plants,” said Alrifai.

Alrifai said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency would be responsible for delivering the fuel to hospitals and water desalination plants and keeping it out of Hamas’ hands.

The WHO said one in three hospitals in Gaza and two in three clinics are not functioning, with the health system overwhelmed by more than 16,000 injured people.

Dr. Rick Brennan, WHO emergencies director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, said he’s begging “all those in a situation to make a decision or influence decision makers, to give us the humanitarian space to address this human catastrophe.”

Oct 24, 11:03 AM EDT
Underground hospital prepares to treat wounded IDF soldiers

In just two weeks, the space below Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital has been converted into an underground hospital, bracing for an influx of war casualties.

Rows of hospital beds and medical equipment have been set up in what was meant to be used as a parking garage.

“We have up to 130 beds here, including intensive care beds,” Dr. Tamar Elram, director of the Hadassha Mount Scopus Hospital, told ABC News. “Everything that we do here is in total cooperation and agreement with the army and with police and all the other security forces.”

The hospital has also been treating civilian victims, like Michal Alon, who was shot in the hand and chest by Hamas militants on Oct. 7 and is now embarking on the long road to recovery, both physically and emotionally.

Israeli hospital prepares for war casualties

“We’ve already got soldiers and civilians who are turning to our ERs, two and a half weeks after the terror attack, starting to suffer from acute post-traumatic syndrome,” Elram said.

Elram says one of the biggest challenges they’ve faced in preparing for what’s to come includes manpower. Some staffers are leaving the hospital to go serve in the Israeli military.

ABC News’ Guy Davies and Ines De La Cuetara

Oct 24, 9:07 AM EDT
Hostages influencing Israeli military’s operational plans, spokesperson says

Israeli military spokesperson Lt. Col Peter Lerner confirmed that hostages are influencing the plans of Israel’s forces.

“Of course the presence of the hostages is at the top of our priority list,” Lerner told ABC News. “It is obviously influencing our operational capabilities, operational plans.”

Lerner said that while the military has been given the “green light” to go into Gaza, they have not officially been given the command to “go” from the government.

Asked if the window for an operation into Gaza will close, Lerner responded, “There is no choice for Israel.”

Learner also said Israeli forces are actively trying to assassinate Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahye Sinwar, but they haven’t found him yet.

As the humanitarians conditions in Gaza become more dire by the day, Lerner said fuel will not be among the aid trickling into Gaza.

“Hamas has over a million liters of fuel in their stockpiles in Gaza — they are actually not far away from Rafah. All they need to do is give some to the hospitals,” he said.

Oct 24, 8:29 AM EDT
Parents describe watching video of Hamas taking son hostage

The father of 23-year-old Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was taken hostage by Hamas at the Supernova music festival, said he has gained some “strength” from seeing a video of his son on the day of the attack.

“No parent should ever be subjected to this sight,” Jon Polin said on ABC News’ Good Morning America on Tuesday.

Polin and Rachel Goldberg’s son was wounded in the Oct. 7 attack. He had been hiding with a group in a bomb shelter and witnesses saw him being loaded into the back of a Hamas pickup truck, his parents told ABC News earlier this month.

Goldberg-Polin’s parents said on Tuesday they have since seen a video in which their son leaves the bomb shelter.

“Knowing he spent an hour to an hour and a half being subjected to this massacre and he then gets up with an arm freshly blown off and walks on his own two feet, under his own strength, towards this truck and uses his weak hand, his only hand now, to pull himself onto the truck while bloodied, but looking sort of composed,” Polin said. “It gives me a sense of, he’s got a perseverance and fortitude that we hope carries him through this.”

Oct 24, 8:25 AM EDT
Gaza hospitals as ‘dire as it can be’

Hospitals in Gaza are “horrific scenes,” filled with killed and injured children and “medical staff working 24/7 with almost nothing in terms of resources and equipment,” said Dr. Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Seventy-percent of the victims are children, women and the elderly, according to the health ministry.

The ministry said 12 hospitals and 32 health centers are out of service, with those numbers expected to rise as airstrikes continue and Gaza runs out of fuel.

“It’s dire as it can be. The scenes inside the hospital are almost indescribable — one of our doctors recently had to do an operation on the floor, in the corridor of the hospital, because there was nowhere to do it. The situation is untenable, absolutely horrific,” al-Qudra said.

Oct 24, 6:52 AM EDT
‘Through hell,’ released Hamas hostage says of days in captivity

After Yocheved Lifschitz, 85, was taken hostage by Hamas militants, she was brought into a “huge network” of underground tunnels, which she described on Tuesday as being “like a spider’s web.”

“I’ve been through hell,” Lifschitz told gathered reporters in the lobby of the Tel Aviv hospital where she’s being treated.

As Lifschitz spoke in Hebrew, her daughter translated her words into English.

The 85-year-old had been taken by motorcycle on Oct. 7, carried away through fields while her captors struck her with sticks and removed her watch and jewellery, she said. She was made to walk a few kilometers to the entrance of one of the many tunnels Hamas has built under Gaza.

She said she was kept during her captivity in a “clean” location, where doctors visited every few days. Medicine was available, she said.

She slept on a mattress on one of the tunnel’s floors. She ate white cheese, cucumbers and pita bread, she said.

Oct 24, 1:06 AM EDT
Three Hamas deputy commanders killed: IDF

The Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday morning that three Hamas deputy commanders were killed Monday night.

“During the night, IDF aircraft also attacked operational headquarters used by operatives of the terrorist organization Hamas and assembly points of the terrorist organization located inside mosques,” the IDF said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

The deputy commander of the Nusirat battalion, the deputy commander of the Shati battalion and the deputy commander of the Alfurkan battalion of Hamas were killed, the IDF said in the post.

Oct 23, 10:27 PM EDT
Biden speaks with Netanyahu about hostages’ release, humanitarian assistance for Gaza

President Joe Biden spoke with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday afternoon, once again addressing his commitment to efforts to “secure the release of all remaining hostages taken by Hamas – including Americans – and to provide for safe passage for U.S. citizens and other civilians in Gaza,” according to a White House readout of the call. Biden welcomed the news of the two hostages who were released earlier on Monday, per the readout.

During the call, Biden also “underscored the need to sustain a continuous flow of urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza,” according to the readout.

Biden also spoke with Netanyahu about U.S. support for Israel and what the White House said was “ongoing efforts at regional deterrence, to include new U.S. military deployments.”

Oct 23, 6:06 PM EDT
Kirby warns of uptick in Iran-linked attacks

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday that in recent days there had been “an uptick in rocket and drone attacks by Iranian-backed proxy groups against military bases housing U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria.”

“We know Iran continues to support Hamas and Hezbollah, and we know Iran is closely monitoring these events and in some cases, actively facilitating attacks and spurring on others who may want to exploit for their own good, or for that of Iran,” Kirby said.

Kirby said Iran tries to “maintain some level of deniability here, but we’re not going to allow them to do that.”

He added that there is still no direct evidence that Iran was involved in Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

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