Israel-Gaza live updates: State Department ‘disappointed’ by Hamas’ ‘continued haggling and delay’

Written by on June 15, 2024

Tents sheltering displaced Palestinians in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip are pictured on June 4, 2024 amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (Photo by EYAD BABA/AFP via Getty Images)

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

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

Jun 15, 5:03 PM
Netanyahu reacts to death of 8 soldiers, says Israel is ready for additional challenges

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made his first public statement regarding the death of eight Israeli soldiers in southern Gaza, mourning their deaths.

“Citizens of Israel, today we paid a heart-rending price in our just war in defense of our homeland. With deep sorrow, and in heavy mourning, I bow my head together with all citizens of Israel and weep over the fall of our heroic fighters: Deputy company commander in an engineering battalion, Capt. Wassem Mahmoud and additional heroic soldiers whose names have yet to be released,” Netanyahu said in a statement Saturday.

Netanyahu said Iran’s “axis of evil” will continue trying to “destroy us if we do not stop it.”

“Despite the heavy and unsettling price, we must cling to the goals of the war: The destruction of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, the return of all of our hostages, making certain that Gaza will never again constitute a threat to Israel and the return of our residents securely to their homes in both the north and the south,” Netanyahu said.

“We are in the midst of a very difficult war. The war is being conducted on several fronts, including the international front. We are ready for many additional challenges. It is at this time that we must show our people’s strength of spirit, thanks to which we have overcome all of our enemies,” Netanyahu said.

Jun 15, 4:55 PM
50,000 children require malnutrition treatment in Gaza: UN

After repeated warnings from the World Food Programme, UNICEF and the World Health Organization about an imminent famine in Gaza, over 50,000 children in Gaza now require treatment for malnutrition, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East released said in a statement Saturday.

“With continued restrictions to humanitarian access, people in #Gaza continue to face desperate levels of hunger. Over 50,000 children require treatment for acute malnutrition UNRWA teams work tirelessly to reach families with aid but the situation is catastrophic,” the UNRWA said in a statement on X.

Jun 15, 12:38 PM
8 IDF soldiers killed in southern Gaza ‘incident’

Eight Israeli Defense Forces soldiers were killed in an “incident” in southern Gaza, according to the IDF.

Earlier Saturday, Hamas released a statement saying an operation targeting Israeli military vehicles in Rafah killed several IDF soldiers. The IDF has not commented on the nature of the soldiers’ deaths.

-ABC News’ Nasser Atta and Yael Benaya

Jun 14, 1:45 PM
Freed hostage urges Israelis to gather on Saturday

Andrey Kozlov, one of the four Israeli hostages rescued from Gaza on Saturday, is urging Israelis to gather Saturday at “Hostage Square” in Tel Aviv in support of the hostages and their families.

“I’m already in Israel at home. But a lot of hostages are still there in Gaza,” Kozlov, 27, said in a video message. “I saw a lot of rallies on Saturday, and it gave me a lot of hope.”

Kozlov’s girlfriend told ABC News this week that Kozlov was psychologically tortured while in captivity, and she said that he told her the moment he realized the Israeli soldiers were there to save him, he felt he was reborn.

Jun 14, 1:25 PM
At least 50 projectiles launched from Lebanon toward Israel on Friday: IDF

The situation on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon remains tense.

Two women were killed and 20 people were injured in the village of Janata in southern Lebanon after an airstrike on a house late Thursday night, the Lebanese Civil Defense said in a statement.

Since Friday morning, at least 50 projectiles were launched from Lebanon toward Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces said.

“A number of the projectiles were intercepted,” the IDF said.

“As a result of the launches, a fire broke out in the area of Kfar Szold,” the IDF added.

Hezbollah issued statements taking responsibility for nine attacks on Israeli sites Friday.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman, Nasser Atta and Jordana Miller

Jun 13, 6:53 PM
IDF counter-terror operation leaves 3 dead, 2 detained, officials say

Israeli forces returned to Jenin, in the West Bank, on Thursday to conduct what they called a “13-hour counter-terror operation” that left three killed, two detained and multiple injured, according to the local Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

The youngest person killed was 19 and the oldest 70, according to the PRCS report.

Bulldozers were filmed in central Jenin, where UNRWA said there was heavy damage, as well as in the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin, where the Israeli forces say they conducted a “pressure cooker” procedure on a house where they say two senior terrorists were staying.

Two suspects were killed, according to the IDF statement. The PRCS reports three killed and multiple people injured by shrapnel and beating.

The IDF reported two died in the operation.

-ABC News’ Camilla Alcini

Jun 13, 2:59 PM
State Department ‘disappointed’ by Hamas’ ‘continued haggling and delay’

State Department spokesperson Matt Miller on Thursday shed little light on the next steps for negotiations toward a cease-fire deal, but dismissed the idea that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s and other Israeli officials’ lack of public enthusiasm for the proposal soured the chances that Hamas would accept it.

“I personally doubt that comments, or lack of comments, from the Israeli government had anything to do with the Hamas response,” he said. “We were disappointed both that it took so long to get a response and that the response had a number of changes that could drag the negotiations out further.”

Miller was also reticent to discuss remaining sticking points, but on multiple occasions, he dismissed the idea that Hamas should need assurances for a lasting peace, emphasizing that if the proposal were enacted, the cease-fire prescribed under phase one of the deal would last as long as negotiations did.

“At least we would have had a cease-fire. We would have had a halt to the suffering,” Miller said. “Hamas didn’t do that. Instead, they dragged it out for 12 days, and now there will be continued haggling and delay.”

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Jun 13, 2:08 PM
Biden says ‘I haven’t lost hope’ on reaching cease-fire deal

President Joe Biden said the G7 leaders discussed the Gaza cease-fire and hostage proposal on Thursday.

When asked if he was confident a deal would be reached soon, Biden said, “No.” He added, “I haven’t lost hope — but it’s going to be tough.”

“Hamas has to move,” Biden said.

-ABC News’ Justin Gomez

Jun 13, 1:39 PM
Israel won’t send delegation for further talks on deal: Israeli source

Israel will not send a delegation for further talks on a cease-fire deal, an Israeli source confirms to ABC News.

The U.S., Egypt and Qatar are still trying to pressure Hamas to return to the outline of a cease-fire deal presented by President Joe Biden.

Hamas in a statement Thursday said they have “demonstrated, in all stages of negotiations to stop the aggression, the required positivity to reach a comprehensive and satisfactory agreement, based on the fair demands of our people for a definitive cessation of aggression, a complete withdrawal [of IDF forces] from the Gaza Strip, the return of the displaced, the reconstruction and a serious prisoner exchange deal.”

Jun 13, 1:19 PM
WHO, UN warn of ‘famine-like conditions’ amid rising malnutrition in Gaza

A “significant portion” of people living in the Gaza Strip are “now facing catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions,” the head of the World Health Organization said, as neighboring Israel continues to restrict supplies of food and other basic necessities to the war-torn enclave.

“Despite reports of increased delivery of food, there is currently no evidence that those who need it most are receiving sufficient quantity and quality of food,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing Wednesday.

More than 8,000 children under the age of 5 in Gaza have been diagnosed and treated for acute malnutrition, including 1,600 with severe acute malnutrition. But only two stabilization centers for severely malnourished patients can currently operate in Gaza due to insecurity and lack of access, according to Tedros.

At least 32 deaths in Gaza since the war with Israel began on Oct. 7 have been attributed to malnutrition, including 28 among children under 5 years old, Tedros said.

More than 1 million people in Gaza — half of the territory’s population — are “expected to face death and starvation by the middle of July,” according to the most senior official dedicated to humanitarian affairs at the United Nations.

-ABC News’ Morgan Winsor

Jun 13, 1:12 PM
Over 40 projectiles launched from Lebanon toward Israel’s northern border: Israeli military

Over 40 projectiles have been launched from Lebanon across Israel’s northern border toward the Galilee and Golan Heights area since Thursday morning, Israeli military officials told ABC News.

Two people were hit by shrapnel and wounded in the Golan Heights, according to Israeli Emergency Services.

The Israel Defense Forces said military exercises are continuing in the north to increase readiness.

-ABC News’ Dana Savir, Jordana Miller, Tom Soufi Burridge and Hugo Leenhardt

Jun 12, 4:20 PM
Inside Hamas’ new demands

Hamas’ new demands in response to the latest cease-fire proposal include an insistence that the timetable be moved up for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all Gazan territory, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the negotiations.

The official also said that Hamas communicated additional demands for assurances that a lasting cease-fire would be achieved that were not included in the previous version of the agreement.

In the first days of May, Hamas seemingly accepted a hostage deal presented by Qatar and Egypt, only for Israel to say it had not signed off on that draft, sparking mass confusion. Later, Israel did say it would return to the negotiating table, which eventually led to the formation of the proposal on the table.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Jun 12, 3:07 PM
Northern Israel resident recounts barrage of rockets that shook house

When Hezbollah fired a massive barrage of rockets into northern Israel on Wednesday morning, Meron Bareket said his whole house shook.

“It was kind of a showstopper,” Bareket told ABC News. “You just jumped out of your seat.”

He lives in Kibbutz Amiad, about 10 miles from the Lebanon border.

Bareket said he quickly ran with his two daughters, ages 2 and 5, to their shelter.

He said he’s fearful the situation on Israel’s northern border “will become a real war.”

Bareket said he struggles to explain the situation to his young daughters who have become so accustomed to the sounds and sights of war that they now can differentiate between an F-15 and an F-16 fighter jet when an aircraft flies overhead.

“They point to the sky and ask me if it’s safe to go out, and I don’t know,” he said. “Is it?”

-ABC News’ Tom Soufi Burridge, Dana Savir, Tomer Slutzky and Hugo Leenhardt

Jun 12, 1:44 PM
Over 210 rockets fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel: IDF

More than 210 rockets have been fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel since Wednesday morning, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is conducting a security situation assessment Wednesday evening, the prime minister’s office said.

-ABC News’ Dana Savir, Bruno Nota and Yael Benaya

Jun 12, 1:09 PM
US, Egypt, Qatar will work to ‘bridge final gaps,’ national security adviser says

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the U.S. will work with Egypt and Qatar to “bridge final gaps” on cease-fire negotiations that are consistent with President Joe Biden’s May 31 speech and consistent with the U.N. Security Council Resolution.

“Many of the proposed changes are minor and not unanticipated, others differ more substantively from what was outlined in the U.N. Security Council resolution,” Sullivan told reporters.

Sullivan said their goal is “to bring this process to a conclusion.”

“Our view is that the time for haggling is over, it’s time for a cease-fire to begin and for the hostages to come home,” he said.

-ABC News’ Justin Ryan Gomez

Jun 12, 9:50 AM
Blinken expresses frustration with Hamas response to deal, says negotiations will go on

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday weighed in on Hamas’ official response to the cease-fire proposal, stressing that a deal is the “single, most effective way” to alleviate civilian suffering and avoid escalation in the region.

“Hamas has proposed numerous changes to the proposal that is on the table,” Blinken said at a news conference in Qatar with Qatari officials. “We discussed those changes with Egyptian colleagues, and today with the prime minister [of Qatar]. Some of the changes are workable, some are not.”

“Here, in a nutshell is where we stand,” Blinken said. “Hamas could have answered with a single word: yes. Instead, Hamas waited nearly two weeks and then proposed more changes, a number of which go beyond positions it had previously taken and accepted.”

Blinken said that as a result “the war Hamas started will go on,” but that “in the days ahead, we’re going to continue to push on an urgent basis” to “try to close this deal.”

Blinken noted that almost everyone he’s spoken with during his eight trips to the Middle East since Oct. 7 made clear they wanted to see a negotiated solution to the conflict.

“I cannot speak for Hamas or answer for Hamas and ultimately, it may not be the path Hamas wants to pursue. But Hamas cannot and will not be allowed to decide the future for this region and its people,” he said.

Blinken was pressed on whether the deal was salvageable and whether more pressure needed to be applied to Israel. The secretary declined to characterize Hamas’ response as a rejection, as Israeli officials have, but expressed significant skepticism.

“At some point in a negotiation, and this has gone back and forth for a long time, you get to a point where if one side continues to change its demands, including making demands and insisting on changes for things that it already accepted, you have to question whether they’re proceeding in good faith or not,” he said.

Blinken went on to say he believes the gaps are bridgeable, but “it doesn’t mean they will be bridged” because it depends “on people saying yes.”

“Hamas had this for 12 days. … People were suffering throughout those 12 days. The longer this goes on, the more people will suffer,” he asserted. “It’s time for the haggling to stop.”

Blinken was also adamant that Israel was not the problem.

“Look, Israel accepted the proposal as it was and as it is. Hamas didn’t. So I think it’s pretty clear what needs to happen,” he said.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Jun 12, 5:36 AM
Hezbollah fires more than 160 rockets into Israel, IDF says

Hezbollah militants in Lebanon fired more than 160 rockets toward Israel in about 2 hours on Wednesday, the most intense barrage since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, Israeli officials said.

Many of the projectiles launched into northern Israel were intercepted, the Israel Defense Forces told ABC News. Others fell in open areas, including a number of locations in northern Israel, officials said.

The barrage was in response to an Israeli strike in Lebanon on Tuesday night that killed a top Hezbollah commander, the militants said, adding that it was also “in support of our steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.”

No injuries or damage were reported, the IDF said.

Jun 11, 6:09 PM
Israeli forces kill 6 in West Bank raid: Palestinian health officials

Israeli troops shot and killed six Palestinians during a raid on a small village near the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday amid escalating violence there, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian Ministry of Health.

The Israel Defense Forces said its soldiers killed “four armed terrorists” and injured “additional ones” amid “exchanges of fire” while conducting “counterterror activity” in the Kafr Dan area.

-ABC News’ Nasser Atta and Dana Savir

Jun 11, 4:51 PM
Hamas submits its response to cease-fire proposal

Qatar and Egypt have received a response from Hamas and the Palestinian factions regarding the truce proposal, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad said in a statement, “The response prioritizes the interest of our Palestinian people. The need to completely stop the ongoing aggression against Gaza. The Palestinian delegation expressed its readiness to deal positively to reach an agreement to end this war against our people, based on a sense of national responsibility.”

A U.S. official familiar with negotiations describes Hamas’ response as not an outright yes or no, but a counter with questions about provisions included in the proposal and some additional demands.

Another official said that while the U.S. is still analyzing Hamas’ response, mediators see the potential to bridge remaining gaps at this point and will coordinate with all parties involved on the next steps — which will likely include another round of talks.

Israel received the Hamas response from the mediators Tuesday evening, according to a senior Israeli official. In its response, Hamas rejected the outline of the deal for the release of the abductees presented by President Joe Biden, the official said.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford and Dana Savir

Jun 11, 1:02 PM
4 hostages rescued from Gaza released from hospitals

All four hostages rescued from Gaza this weekend have been discharged from hospitals, local officials told ABC News.

The three male hostages — Almog Meir Jan, 22; Andrei Kozlov,27; and Shlomi Ziv, 41 — were discharged from Sheba Medical Center on Tuesday, according to the medical center.

Noa Argamani, 26, was transferred to Ichilov Medical Center on Saturday to be with her mother, who is in the hospital, officials said. Argamani was discharged on Tuesday morning, a hospital spokeswoman told ABC News.

-ABC News Jordana Miller and Dana Savir

Jun 11, 10:38 AM
US announces $404M in aid for Gaza

The U.S. announced $404 million in aid for Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the region, bringing the total amount of aid from the U.S. to over $674 million since the wore broke out, the State Department announced Tuesday.

“This new funding will provide essential support to vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and the region, including food, safe drinking water, health care, protection, education, shelter, and psychosocial support,” the State Department said. “We urge other donors to contribute to the humanitarian response in Gaza and the region, increase support to those affected by the conflict, and work together to find lasting solutions to the crisis.”

Jun 11, 6:23 AM
Israel’s actions during hostage rescue may amount to war crimes, UN agency says

United Nation human rights officials said they were “profoundly shocked” by the Israeli operation that freed four hostages in central Gaza over the weekend, adding that actions by both Israel and Hamas “may amount to war crimes.”

“The manner in which the raid was conducted in such a densely populated area seriously calls into question whether the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution — as set out under the laws of war — were respected by the Israeli forces,” the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, or OHCHR, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The rescue operation in a refugee camp in Nuseirat killed as many as 274 people, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said Monday. Hundreds of others were injured, the ministry said. Many of those injured and killed Palestinians were civilians, OHCHR said on Tuesday.

But OHCHR also said it was “deeply distressed” about the way the militant groups continue to hold hostages, “most of them civilians, which is prohibited by international law.”

By holding those hostages in densely populated areas, Hamas militants are putting civilians and the hostages at risk, the agency said.

“All these actions, by both parties, may amount to war crimes,” OHCHR said.

Jun 10, 4:11 PM
More than 200 killed during hostage rescue raid: Gaza Ministry of Health

At least 274 people were killed and another 698 were injured during Saturday’s Israeli rescue operation that saved four hostages from Hamas custody in Gaza, according to Gaza’s Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health.

Israeli special forces were disguised as Palestinian refugees looking for a place to live when they entered the buildings where hostages were being held in the rescue operation, two Israeli security sources told ABC News.

The hostages were rescued from two locations in Nuseirat, a camp that has become home to thousands of refugees who’ve fled fighting throughout Gaza.

-ABC News’ Morgan Winsor

Jun 10, 4:09 PM
UN Security Council adopts US draft resolution supporting Gaza cease-fire deal

The United Nations Security Council on Monday adopted a U.S. draft resolution urging Hamas to accept the latest cease-fire and hostage release deal.

Nate Evans, spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said in a statement ahead of the vote that the deal would enable a pause in fighting, the freeing of a number of hostages and an immediate surge in humanitarian assistance, among other things.

“Israel has accepted this proposal and the Security Council has an opportunity to speak with one voice and call on Hamas to do the same,” Evans said. “Doing so would help save lives and the suffering of civilians in Gaza as well as the hostages and their families. Council Members should not let this opportunity pass by and must speak with one voice in support of this deal.”

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield made a similar case just before the vote, saying every day the war goes on “needless suffering continues.”

“Colleagues, after eight months of devastation and pain and trauma, what is needed now more than ever is for the fighting to end in a sustainable way,” she said. “The United States and every single country in this chamber wants to see an immediate cease-fire with the release of hostages. We’ve heard those calls time and time again since Oct. 7. Now the opportunity is here. We must seize it.”

Hamas said in a statement they “welcome” what was included in the U.N. Security Council resolution “regarding a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.”

Jun 10, 3:16 PM
Israeli special forces dressed as Palestinian refugees to go undercover before hostage rescue operation: Sources

Israeli special forces were disguised as Palestinian refugees looking for a place to live when they entered the buildings where hostages were being held in the Israeli rescue operation this weekend, two Israeli security sources told ABC News.

Special forces were already in position near the buildings where the hostages were being held before they were given the “go” command by Israeli forces, the sources added.

The “go” command was given at 11 a.m. local time, sources said.

The helicopters carrying the hostages and wounded police officers landed at Sheba Medical Center in Israel starting at 12:15 p.m. local time and the last helicopter landed at 12:45 p.m. local time.

The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security forces, Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli SWAT team members participated in the rescue operation, now called “Operation Arnon” by the Israeli military. The name of the operation was given to honor the one security officer who was killed during the operation.

– ABC News’ Dana Savir

Jun 10, 11:06 AM
US calls for Security Council vote on Gaza cease-fire, hostage deal resolution

The U.S. is calling for the United Nations Security Council to vote on a draft resolution urging Hamas to accept the ceasefire-hostage release deal on the table, according to a statement from the spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the UN.

“Israel has accepted this proposal and the Security Council has an opportunity to speak with one voice and call on Hamas to do the same,” the statement read. “Doing so would help save lives and the suffering of civilians in Gaza as well as the hostages and their families. Council Members should not let this opportunity to pass by and must speak with one voice in support of this deal.”

The Security Council vote has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Jun 10, 9:19 AM
Blinken urges Middle East to ‘press Hamas to say yes’ to proposal

On a tarmac in Egypt, Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out his objectives for his tour through the Middle East this week, calling on countries with connections to Hamas to push them to take the cease-fire deal on the table, while also emphasizing the need to develop a “day after” plan for Gaza, calling it “a critical moment.”

“My message to governments throughout the region, to people throughout the region: If you want a cease-fire, press Hamas to say yes,” Blinken said. “If you want to alleviate the terrible suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, press Hamas to say yes. If you want to get all the hostages home, press Hamas to say yes. If you want to put present Palestinians and Israelis alike on the path to more durable peace and security, if you want to prevent this conflict from spreading, press Hamas to say yes.”

He said a cease-fire would open a path to “more durable security, calm, peace in Gaza.”

“For that, it’s critical that we continue to work on plans for the day after to make sure that when it comes to security in Gaza, when it comes to governance, when it comes to reconstruction, we have the plans in place to come forward,” he said. “That’s going to be a critical part of my conversations here in the region as we go on to Israel and then to Jordan and then to Qatar.”

Blinken didn’t say when he expected Hamas to give its formal response to the proposal but said “there’s a sense of urgency among all concerned.”

“Our Egyptian counterparts were in communication with Hamas as early — as recently as a few hours ago,” he said. “Ultimately, I can’t put myself, none of us can put ourselves, in the minds of a Hamas or its leaders, so we don’t know what the answer will be.”

Blinken was adamant that Israel stood behind the proposal, stressing it was only Hamas preventing it from being implemented.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Jun 10, 8:56 AM
4 rescued hostages ‘in less severe condition’ physically than expected

The four hostages rescued from Gaza this weekend are physically “in less severe condition than we kind of prepared for,” said Itai Pessach, head of the medical team at the Sheba Medical Center, where the hostages are being treated.

But the worry is mainly on the long-term psychological impact, as “they underwent continuous, psychological abuse,” Pessach told ABC News.

The rescued hostages — Noa Argamani, 25; Almog Meir Jan, 21; Andrey Kozlov, 27; and Shlomi Ziv, 40 — were kidnapped by Hamas from the Nova music festival on Oct. 7, according to the Israel Defense Forces. They were all rescued in good condition, the IDF said.

Argamani has been discharged while the three men remain at the hospital. But Argamani will still be receiving medical treatment from the Sheba team for an indefinite period, Pessach said.

“It’s a very, very long process of rehabilitation. And we received captives that came back six months ago, and we’re just now starting to see the initial post-traumatic response coming up,” Pessach said. “They have seen a lot of war-related things that happened and all of that is part of their trauma, and we will need to care for that.”

“When you see the eyes and you see, you know, they get silent for a second and you understand that there’s a trigger, there’s something in their minds, and you see a tear, or they ask to be left alone for a moment or something like that. This is when you really feel, under the surface there’s so much that’s waiting for us,” Pessach said.

-ABC News’ Tom Soufi Burridge, Dana Savir, Omer Manor and Hugo Leenhardt

Jun 09, 11:34 PM
US calls for Security Council vote on Gaza cease-fire, hostage deal resolution

The U.S. is calling for the United Nations Security Council to vote on a draft resolution urging Hamas to accept the ceasefire-hostage release deal on the table, according to a statement from the spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the UN.

“Israel has accepted this proposal and the Security Council has an opportunity to speak with one voice and call on Hamas to do the same,” the statement read. “Doing so would help save lives and the suffering of civilians in Gaza as well as the hostages and their families. Council Members should not let this opportunity to pass by and must speak with one voice in support of this deal.”

The State Department said it was consulting with Israel on the draft resolution last week, even though Israel is not a member of the Security Council. A specific vote time has not yet been set, but State Department officials anticipate it will happen in the coming days.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Jun 09, 6:23 PM
United States doubling down on efforts for Israel to reach a cease-fire

The United States is doubling down efforts to reach a cease-fire deal as pressure mounts on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Qatar this week to discuss a cease-fire agreement that secures the release of all hostages, according to the State Department’s announcement Friday.

While Blinken traveling to the region should not be seen as a marker of further progress in reaching a deal, he will be putting pressure on the respective countries’ officials when he’s there.

A U.S. official told ABC News the intelligence that the U.S. provided to Israel in the latest hostage rescue operation was related to “support with locating individuals.”

Currently, there are five American hostages the U.S. believes are still living and three that the U.S. has confirmed are deceased.

The White House is not commenting on the resignation of Centrist Israeli minister Benny Gantz on Sunday, as they don’t comment on domestic Israeli politics.

-ABC News’ Selina Weng

Jun 09, 3:39 PM
Gantz resigns from emergency government in blow to Netanyahu

Centrist Israeli minister Benny Gantz announced Sunday that he was resigning from the emergency government because of what he has described as a lack of a plan from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the “day after” in Gaza.

During a televised news conference, Gantz announced he was resigning from the coalition government, taking with him his State Party and the seats it held in the Knesset. Netanyahu’s coalition government will still retain a majority, but the move by Gantz is considered a major blow to the prime minister.

“Netanyahu is preventing us from progressing towards a true victory,” Gantz said. “For this reason, we are leaving the emergency government today, with a heavy heart, yet wholeheartedly.”

He also called on Netanyahu to set a date for elections.

Gantz was set to make the announcement on Saturday but called it off amid the news of an Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza that led to the rescue of four Israeli hostages.

Gantz is a member of Israel’s three-member war Cabinet, which includes Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

On Saturday, Netanyahu appealed to Gantz on X, saying, “This is the time for unity and not for division. We must remain united within ourselves in the face of the great tasks before us. I call on Benny Gantz — do not leave the emergency government. Don’t give up on unity.”

Following Gantz’s resignation, Netanyahu released a statement on X, saying, “Israel is in an existential war on several fronts.”

“Benny, this is not the time to abandon the campaign — this is the time to join forces,” Netanyahu said. “Citizens of Israel, we will continue until victory and the achievement of all the goals of the war, primarily the release of all our hostages and the elimination of Hamas.”

Netanyahu added, “My door will remain open to any Zionist party that is ready to get under the stretcher and assist in bringing victory over our enemies and ensuring the safety of our citizens.”

In May, Gantz issued an ultimatum to Netanyahu, saying he would resign if the prime minister did not approve a post-war plan by June 8, saying at the time, “While the Israeli soldiers show supreme bravery on the front, some of the men who sent them into battle behave with cowardice and irresponsibility.”

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

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