Israel-Gaza live updates: Israeli war cabinet disbanded, official says

SHARE NOW

(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 17, 2:58 PM
End of Rafah operation weeks away: IDF

The Israeli military is “weeks” away from wrapping up the main part of its controversial ground invasion in and around Rafah in southern Gaza, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told ABC News.

“We are there to dismantle the military framework of the [Hamas’] Rafah Brigade,” Hagari said on Monday.

“We are weeks now just from achieving this goal,” he said.

The Israeli military now controls over 60% of the Rafah area, Israeli defense officials told ABC News on Monday.

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

Jun 17, 1:49 PM
Israeli forces kill ‘key’ Hezbollah operative in southern Lebanon

The Israel Defense Forces said Monday that its soldiers have killed Muhammad Mustafa Ayoub, describing him as a “key operative” in Hezbollah’s rocket and missile department in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah confirmed Ayoub’s death in a brief statement.

Jun 17, 8:54 AM
Israeli war cabinet disbanded, official says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has disbanded his war cabinet, the small group of government officials who had been tasked with overseeing decisions about the war against Hamas, a spokesperson said.

The prime minister said there was “no more need for an extra branch of government,” the spokesperson said.

-ABC News’ Joe Simonetti

Jun 17, 6:37 AM
Netanyahu’s security cabinet to handle war decisions, Israeli official says

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government’s security cabinet will now make decisions about the war against Hamas, an Israel official told ABC News.

Netanyahu is now expected to make critical decisions on the war during small ad hoc meetings while seeking final approval from the wider security cabinet.

The decision came about a week after one of three core members of Netanyahu’s war cabinet’s said he would resign from the influential body.

Israeli minister Benny Gantz on Sunday, June 9, said he would resign from both the coalition government led by Netanyahu and the prime minister’s war cabinet.

The war cabinet had been formed on Oct. 11, in the days following the Oct. 7 surprise terrorist attack by Hamas militants.

-ABC News’ Joe Simonetti and Kevin Shalvey

Jun 16, 6:41 PM
Israeli security cabinet discusses steps to ‘strengthen’ West Bank settlements

The Israeli political security cabinet “discussed steps to strengthen settlements in the West Bank, among other things, in response to countries that unilaterally recognized a Palestinian state after October 7,” in a meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

Spain, Ireland and Norway recognized Palestine as a state at the end of May. Separately, 143 of the 193 members in the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution stating that Palestinians qualify for full-member status at the United Nations at the beginning of May, according to the New York Times.

The cabinet also discussed “a series of reactions against the Palestinian Authority following its actions against Israel in international bodies,” the statement added.

The Israeli minister of defense and the deputy prime minister “requested an additional period of time to make their comments,” the statement says, and then the prime minister will “bring all the proposals to a vote at the next cabinet meeting.”

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Jun 16, 4:35 PM
Biden cites pain of Muslims in Gaza in Eid al-Adha holiday statement

President Joe Biden issued a statement Sunday commemorating the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha in which he acknowledged the pain and suffering of innocent civilians in Gaza.

“In Gaza, innocent civilians are suffering the horrors of the war between Hamas and Israel.,” Biden said. “Too many innocent people have been killed, including thousands of children. Families have fled their homes and seen their communities destroyed. Their pain is immense.”

Biden added that his administration is working to end the war and make progress toward a two-state solution.

“And I strongly believe that the three-phase ceasefire proposal Israel has made to Hamas and that the U.N. Security Council has endorsed is the best way to end the violence in Gaza and ultimately end the war,” Biden said.

Biden also cited the conflict in Sudan as well as the targeting of Muslim communities in Burma and China.

He used the holiday to celebrate the contributions of the Muslim community in America and also to say that he is committed to fighting Islamophobia in the United States.

“Hate has no place in America, whether it is targeted at American Muslims, Arab Americans including Palestinians, or anyone else,” Biden said.

He added, “In the spirit of Eid al-Adha, let us all renew our commitment to values that unite us — compassion, empathy, and mutual respect — which are both American and Islamic.”

ABC News’ Michelle Stoddart

Jun 16, 5:49 AM
Netanyahu not briefed before ‘tactical pause’ announcement, Israeli official tells ABC News

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heard the reports on Sunday about a daily “tactical pause” along an aid route, he contacted his military secretary and made it clear that this was unacceptable to him, an Israeli official told ABC News.

After an inquiry, the prime minister was informed that there was no change in Isreal Defense Forces policy and that the fighting in Rafah would continue as planned, the official said.

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari released a statement in Hebrew shortly after announcement saying the pause will affect a single aid route.

“There is no cessation of fighting in the southern Gaza Strip, and the fighting in Rafah continues,” Hagari said. “Also, there is no change in the introduction of goods into the Gaza Strip.”

-ABC News Jordana Miller, Victoria Beaule and Kevin Shalvey

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.