Israel-Gaza updates: New video claims to show American hostage in Gaza


(NEW YORK) — Israel launched a retaliatory strike against Iran on Friday, a senior U.S. official told ABC News. The strike followed Iran’s April 13 attack, when Tehran sent a volley of more than 300 drones and missiles toward targets in Israel, according to Israeli military officials.

Iran’s attack came more than six months after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7, after which the Israeli military began its bombardment of Gaza.

Here’s how the news is developing:

Apr 25, 7:08 PM
US pier in Gaza on track to begin humanitarian assistance in early May

A senior U.S. military official shared an update on the temporary pier intended to help deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza in a briefing for Pentagon reporters Thursday.

“We are on track to begin delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza from the sea in early May,” the military official said.

Once operational, the U.S. expects the pier will be able to handle about 90 trucks a day and then quickly build up to 150 trucks worth of humanitarian aid, the official added.

The official explained how the flow of aid will be transferred via the pier, saying, supplies will be unloaded onto a floating platform located miles off the Gaza shore and then a smaller watercraft carrying five trucks will be offloaded onto the floating pier that will be anchored to the shore.

From there, the trucks will drop off their cargo in a secure area for future distribution and constantly repeat that process, according to the official.

The truck drivers will not be U.S. military personnel but the drivers, from an undisclosed country, will have their own security, according to the official.

Apr 25, 3:16 PM
US begins building pier off coast of Gaza: Pentagon

The U.S. military has begun to build a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza to help deliver humanitarian aid, the Pentagon’s top spokesperson confirmed at a press briefing Thursday.

“We are aware of the significant interest in this important effort and will provide much more information in the very near future as we work alongside the international community to rush aid to the people of Gaza,” Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters.

In the wake of a mortar attack in the general vicinity of where the pier is located near Gaza City earlier Thursday, Ryder said the pier and causeway are being built miles offshore and are “nowhere near mortar range.”

The incident “in no way delays our efforts to establish the maritime corridor,” Ryder said.

The pier should be ready to off-load humanitarian aid from ships by early May, he said.

-ABC News’ Luis Martinez

Apr 25, 9:34 AM
US, 17 other countries call for immediate release of hostages

President Joe Biden and the leaders of 17 other countries — Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and the U.K. — are calling for the release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in a new statement released Thursday.

“The fate of the hostages and the civilian population in Gaza, who are protected under international law, is of international concern,” they said in a statement released Thursday. “We emphasize that the deal on the table to release the hostages would bring an immediate and prolonged cease-fire in Gaza, that would facilitate a surge of additional necessary humanitarian assistance to be delivered throughout Gaza, and lead to the credible end of hostilities.”

“Gazans would be able to return to their homes and their lands with preparations beforehand to ensure shelter and humanitarian provisions. We strongly support the ongoing mediation efforts in order to bring our people home. We reiterate our call on Hamas to release the hostages, and let us end this crisis so that collectively we can focus our efforts on bringing peace and stability to the region,” the statement read.

Apr 25, 7:45 AM
Video of kidnapped son brings ‘total mix’ of emotions, say parents of Hamas hostage

The parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was taken hostage by Hamas more than six months ago, felt a “total mix of emotions” when a new video of their son was released on Wednesday.

“First and foremost, just a huge sense of relief and gratitude to both see him and hear him. Something about that multi-sensory was really overwhelming. He’s alive,” Jon Polin, his father, said in an interview on ABC News’ Good Morning America on Thursday. “Assuming this video is current, which we believe it is, he’s alive.”

A video released on Wednesday on a Hamas-run Telegram channel showed a man who identified himself as Goldberg-Polin, a 24-year-old American who was captured at the Nova Music Festival on Oct. 7.

In the heavily edited video, the Israeli-American hostage asks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to continue working to secure the release of the hostages.

Rachel Goldberg, his mother, she said on Thursday she couldn’t pay attention to the words her son was saying when she first watched the new video.

“I wasn’t even listening to the content, I was just hearing my only son’s voice. Seeing him move and try to look into his eyes,” she said. “Any parent, anyone, anyone who has parents, can imagine after 201 days, more than half a year of doubt and fear and angst and trauma to have that, it was very bittersweet. And it was truly overwhelming.”

Goldberg-Polin’s parents in a GMA interview in October described their son as a “curious” and a “laid-back person.”

Goldberg said at the time that her mantra had become, “Stay strong, survive. Stay strong, survive.”

She repeated that mantra on Thursday.

“We love you, stay strong, survive,” she said. “And I definitely, you know, more than ever, after seeing him and seeing that he is clearly medically compromised, medically fragile, that is my continued plea to him, to his soul.”

Apr 24, 6:25 PM
New video claims to show American hostage in Gaza

A video showing a man who identifies himself as Hersh Goldberg-Polin, a 24-year-old American who was captured at the Nova Music Festival on Oct. 7, and made under duress, was released Wednesday on a Hamas-run Telegram channel.

According to the video, his left arm has been amputated at the forearm. Goldberg-Polin suffered a serious injury to that arm before being captured, his parents told ABC News in an interview in Israel just days after the attack. His family said Wednesday they wanted the video and its message published.

In the heavily edited video made under duress, he denounces Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for failing to secure the release of the hostages.

It is unclear when the video was filmed. In the video, he makes reference to a holiday and says he has been held for nearly 200 days.

“Hirsch’s cry is the cry of all the abductees – their time is up! The State of Israel has no more time to waste, the abductees must be put first, without them the State of Israel will have no resurrection and no victory. All must be brought home – the living for rehabilitation, the murdered for a dignified burial,” a spokesperson for the Hostage Release Center said in a statement Wednesday.

Apr 24, 12:06 PM
Gaza could surpass famine thresholds in six weeks, WFP official says

The World Food Programme warns that famine in the Gaza Strip is getting closer by the day and it could surpass famine thresholds of food insecurity, malnutrition and mortality in six weeks, according to an official.

“We estimate 30% of children below age of two is now acutely malnourished or wasted, and 70% of the population in the north is facing catastrophic hunger. There is reasonable evidence that all three famine thresholds — food insecurity, malnutrition, mortality — will be passed in the next six weeks,” said Gian Carlo Cirri, the director of the World Food Programme’s Geneva office.

“The conflict makes it so difficult and sometimes impossible to reach affected people that as humanitarians we usually don’t — for humanitarian principles, to abide to those principles — we don’t call for ceasefire. On these two contexts, we have no other choice than asking for a ceasefire. This is the only way for us as humanitarians, as World Food Programme, to access these people that are in acute needs,” he said.

Apr 23, 5:29 PM
Highest number of trucks since Oct. 7 entered Gaza Tuesday: UNRWA

More than 310 aid trucks entered Gaza Tuesday, the highest number of aid vehicles that have entered Gaza since the Israel-Hamas conflict began, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

“It needs now to be sustained & further increased,” the agency said in a statement.

The UNRWA, which has been critical of the aid effort in Gaza, reiterated its calls for increased access for humanitarian groups to prevent famine in the region.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

Apr 23, 3:22 PM
State Department: Time to move past ‘counting trucks’ in Gaza

Israel has dramatically increased the flow of humanitarian supplies into Gaza, allowing on average 200 aid trucks a day, with some days as many as 400 trucks getting through, according to a top U.S. official.

Now, the focus needs to move beyond “counting trucks” and instead look to ensure the right supplies are being distributed throughout Gaza, according to David Satterfield, the State Department’s special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues.

“Our first priority was — because it had to be — averting famine,” Satterfield told reporters on Tuesday. “But we now need to move on beyond that goal to addressing the true needs: sanitation, availability of medicines, availability of potable water, the specialized care required for these vulnerable populations.”

The United Nations this week is conducting a more detailed assessment on the needs for the civilian population, Satterfield said.

He said the U.N. needs more trucks that are cleared by the Israeli military to operate inside Gaza. He also said the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel and an additional northern crossing must become accessible.

“Our work is focused every day, every hour, on seeing continuous progress made,” he said.

Apr 23, 11:36 AM
Israel responds to report released on UNRWA

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, is claiming that more than 2,135 workers at UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, are members of Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“Hamas has infiltrated UNRWA so deeply that it is no longer possible to determine where UNRWA ends and where Hamas begins,” Erdan said. “Israel calls on the donor countries to refrain from transferring their taxpayers’ money to UNRWA-Gaza, as these funds will go to the Hamas terrorist organization, and that violates legislation in the donor countries themselves.”

This comes after an independent review of UNRWA released on Monday found the agency had policies in place to back up its principle of neutrality, but also found UNRWA had “serious gaps in implementation,” The Associated Press reported. The report made recommendations to improve the agency’s neutrality.

The report also found that Israel hadn’t provided evidence to back up its claim that a significant number of UNRWA employees were members of Hamas or PIJ, the AP said.

Apr 23, 11:33 AM
IDF denies mass grave claims

The Israel Defense Forces has denied accusations from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry that they buried at least 283 bodies in a mass grave near Nasser Hospital in Gaza.

“The claim that the IDF buried Palestinian bodies is baseless and unfounded,” the IDF said in a statement. “During the IDF’s operation in the area of Nasser Hospital, in accordance to the effort to locate hostages and missing persons, corpses buried by Palestinians in the area of Nasser Hospital were examined.”

“The examination was conducted in a careful manner and exclusively in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages,” the IDF said. “Bodies examined, which did not belong to Israeli hostages, were returned to their place.”

Apr 22, 3:11 PM
Iran calls Israel’s attack ‘harassment’ that ’caused no damage whatsoever’

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani called Israel’s retaliatory strike against Iran last week “harassment” that has “caused no damage whatsoever.”

“In our opinion, this issue is not worthy of addressing,” Kanaani said Monday.

Apr 22, 2:58 PM
State Department considers Gaza a ‘severe humanitarian crisis’

The State Department has released its annual assessment of human rights across the globe.

The U.S. assessed that Israelis have killed or injured nearly 80,000 Palestinians in Gaza — accounting for 3% of the population.

The State Department stressed that Israel “must conduct military operations in accordance with international law and take every feasible precaution to protect civilians.”

“We continue to urgently raise concerns surrounding the deaths of and injuries to tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including women, children, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable persons,” the U.S. said. “We repeatedly have pressed concerns about Palestinian civilians’ access to humanitarian assistance, displacement of the majority of the population of Gaza, and the unprecedented number of journalists killed.”

The U.S. continues to review allegations that Israel violated international laws of war in Gaza and the West Bank, and part of that review will look into whether U.S. weapons were involved, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a news conference Monday.

Blinken said the process will be fair, whether a country is “an adversary or competitor, a friend or an ally.”

-ABC News’ Chris Boccia

Apr 22, 5:36 AM
Israeli intelligence chief resigns over Oct. 7

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, the head of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate, has submitted his resignation in the wake of the Oct. 7 surprise terror attack, the Israel Defense Forces said on Monday.

“The Chief of the General Staff thanked Major General Aharon Haliva for his 38 years of service in the IDF, during which he made significant contributions to the security of the State of Israel as both a combat soldier and commander,” IDF officials said in a post on social media.

Apr 22, 5:19 AM
US drops 50,000 meals over Northern Gaza

The U.S. military on Sunday dropped 50,688 ready-to-eat meals into northern Gaza, Central Command said.

The humanitarian aid, which was dropped from four Air Force aircraft, brings the total U.S. assistance supplied by air to about 1,001 tons, CENTCOM said.

“The DoD humanitarian airdrops contribute to ongoing U.S. and partner-nation government efforts to alleviate human suffering,” CENTCOM said on social media. “These airdrops are part of a sustained effort, and we continue to plan follow-on aerial deliveries.”

Apr 22, 3:29 AM
Three injured in ‘ramming terror attack’ in Jerusalem, police say

Three people were “lightly” injured after being struck by a vehicle in a “ramming terror attack,” Israeli police said on Monday morning. The two suspects allegedly fled the scene.

The pedestrians were struck at about 8 a.m. on Mordechai Tekhelet Street, police said.

“Immediately afterward, two terrorists emerged from the vehicle armed with ‘Carlo’ type weapon, and attempted to open fire, unsuccessfully,” police said.

Investigators recovered a weapon from the area following the incident, police said.

Apr 21, 6:09 PM
Israeli Defense Minister responds to potential US sanctions on IDF battalion

Israel’s Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant held a discussion with IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi regarding the developing report on U.S. intentions to impose sanctions against the IDF’s Netzach Yehuda battalion, an Israeli military unit operating in the West Bank.

“Any attempt to criticize an entire unit casts a heavy shadow on the actions of the IDF, which operates to protect the citizens of Israel,” Gallant said in a statement. “Damage to one battalion, affects the entire defense establishment – this is not the right path for partners and friends.”

Gallant urged the U.S. not to impose sanctions on the unit.

“Our friends and our enemies are closely watching the ties between Israel and the United States, now more than ever,” Gallant said. “I call on the U.S. Administration to withdraw its intention to impose sanctions on the Netzach Yehuda battalion.”

Amid reports of possible sanctions, Gallant recently completed a call with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Earlier today, Minister Gallant also held a discussion with the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew.

Apr 21, 1:38 PM
22 reported dead in strikes on Rafah: Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry

Two strikes were launched on the southern Gaza town of Rafah, killing 22 people, including 18 children, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

At least one blast occurred at the Al-Shabora refugee camp in Rafah, a spokesperson for the Kuwait Hospital in Rafah told ABC News.

The hospital spokesperson told ABC News doctors were able to rescue an unborn baby whose mother was killed in the blast at Al-Shabora camp. Officials identified the mother as Sabreen Mohamed Al-Sakani.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the strikes, telling ABC News, “At the given times, the IDF struck several military targets of the terrorist organizations in Gaza including military compounds, launch posts and armed terrorists.”

Apr 21, 11:23 AM
14 ‘terrorists’ killed in dayslong West Bank raid: IDF

Israeli forces have withdrawn after a dayslong raid in the Nur Shams area of the Tulkarm camp in the West Bank left 14 “terrorists” dead, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Israel Border Police forces “completed extensive counterterrorism activity based on IDF and ISA (Israel Security Authority) intelligence in the area of Nur Shams,” the IDF said in a statement.

During the raid, which began Friday, “the forces eliminated 14 terrorists in close-quarters combat, apprehended 15 wanted suspects, seized numerous weapons, and destroyed dozens of explosive devices as well as two terror explosives laboratories,” according to the IDF statement.

The IDF said all of the terrorists were killed during fire exchanges with Israeli forces.

Since the raid started, nine IDF soldiers and an Israel Border Police officer were “lightly to moderately” injured in the fighting, according to the IDF.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society, the first responder service in the West Bank, also said 14 people were killed as a result of the raid.

Apr 20, 6:05 PM
Netanyahu responds after Blinken says US may impose sanctions on IDF

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the department will be announcing his determinations regarding the Israel Defense Forces under the Leahy Law — which empowers the secretary of state to withhold funding from units of a foreign military accused of human rights violations — “in the coming days.”

The State Department could announce sanctions against the IDF and withhold aid to the military.

“I think it’s fair to say that you’ll see results very soon. I’ve made determinations, you can expect to see them in the days ahead,” he told press gathered for G7 meetings.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a statement on X saying sanctions must not be imposed on the IDF.

“In recent weeks, I have been working against the imposition of sanctions on Israeli citizens, including in my conversations with senior American government officials. At a time when our soldiers are fighting the monsters of terror, the intention to impose a sanction on a unit in the IDF is the height of absurdity and a moral low,” Netanyahu said Saturday.

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