World News

Dubai sees severe flooding after getting 2 years' worth of rain in 24 hours

Christopher Pike/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- Flood conditions continued to impact Dubai on Wednesday, after two years' worth of rain fell in just 24 hours, records show.

Over a half foot -- 6.26 inches -- of rain was recorded in the United Arab Emirates city between 10 p.m. local time Monday and 10 p.m. local time Tuesday, according to the Dubai Meteorological Office.

Dubai receives 3.12 inches of rain per year on average, according to the World Meteorological Organization, meaning two years' worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

The Dubai International Airport, the world's second-busiest airport, said Wednesday it was facing "operational challenges" and advised passengers not to arrive as runways continued to be inundated with water. It said the "recovery process will take some time."

Egyptian and Iraqi national carriers temporarily suspended flights to and from Dubai due to bad weather, EgyptAir and Iraqi Airways said on Wednesday.

Flydubai, UAE's low-cost carrier, resumed partial operations Wednesday afternoon local time after temporarily suspending all of its flights departing from Dubai. There were further flight cancellations, it said.

The Dubai International Airport had temporarily diverted inbound flights that arrived Tuesday evening local time due to "exceptional weather," the airport said in an alert.

All Dubai government entities and private schools were instructed to work remotely on Tuesday due to the weather conditions.

Dubai receives nearly all of its annual rain (over 92%) between the months of November and March. On average, Dubai typically receives just 0.13 inches of rain during the month of April.

United Arab Emirates saw the heaviest rain ever recorded in the country on Tuesday, killing at least one person and damaging homes and businesses, according to the UAE government.

The extreme weather hit other locations in the Gulf Peninsula. In neighboring Oman, at least 19 people died in severe flooding over three consecutive days, according to state media.

Human-amplified climate change is causing extreme rainfall events to become more frequent and more intense, according to the U.S. government's Fifth National Climate Assessment.

More intense extreme rainfall events also increase the frequency and scale of flash flooding as the influx of water is more than the infrastructure was built to handle.

Climate change can increase the intensity, frequency and variability of extreme weather events.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Israel-Gaza live updates: Israel will make 'own decisions' on how to respond to Iran, Netanyahu says

pawel.gaul/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Iran on Saturday night unleashed a retaliatory strike against Israel, sending a volley of more than 300 uncrewed drones and missiles toward targets throughout the country, Israeli military officials said. All but a few were intercepted by Israel and its allies, including the United States, officials said.

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

Here's how the news is developing:

Apr 17, 6:16 PM
Israel not likely to carry out strike until after Passover: US official

Israel is unlikely to carry out a strike on Iran until after Passover, a senior U.S. official told ABC News, although that could always change.

Passover begins on Monday and ends after nightfall on April 30.

The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other leadership are still on a high state of alert, with some in safe houses and underground facilities, the official said.

Apr 17, 5:50 PM
Israel aborted strikes against Iran 2 nights this week: Sources

Israel prepared for and then aborted retaliatory strikes against Iran on at least two nights this past week, three Israeli sources told ABC News.

Iran attacked Israel with more than 300 drones and missiles on Saturday night into Sunday morning local time in Israel. Israel has been weighing how and when to respond to Iran's attack since then, holding war cabinet meetings on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

The members of the Israeli war cabinet are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

A range of responses have been presented to the Israeli war cabinet. The potential responses include options ranging from attacking Iranian proxies in the region but not on Iranian soil to a potential cyber attack, sources told ABC News.

There was no war cabinet meeting on Wednesday, but Netanyahu told his government cabinet that while he appreciates the advice from allies, Israel will "make our own decisions, and the State of Israel will do everything necessary to defend itself."

-ABC News' Matt Gutman and Jordana Miller

Apr 17, 3:02 PM
Iranian president: Israel invasion would be met with 'massive' response

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said at an army parade Wednesday that "the tiniest invasion" from Israel will be met with a "very massive and harsh response."

Apr 17, 2:26 PM
House GOP package totals $14.1 billion for Israel

House Republicans have posted the legislative text for three national security bills, addressing Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific.

For Israel, lawmakers have crafted a package totaling $14.1 billion, including: $4 billion for missile defense; $1.2 billion for Iron Beam; $4 billion replenishment of stocks to the Department of Defense; and $3.5 billion for Israel to purchase U.S. weapons.

"The House must pass the package this week and the Senate should quickly follow," President Joe Biden said in a statement. "I will sign this into law immediately to send a message to the world: We stand with our friends, and we won’t let Iran or Russia succeed."

Apr 17, 1:12 PM
Netanyahu: Israel 'will make our own decisions' on how to respond to Iran

After meeting with U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he appreciates their advice, but added, "We will make our own decisions and the State of Israel will do everything necessary to defend itself."

Cameron told reporters after the meeting in Jerusalem, "It's clear the Israelis are making a decision to act."

"We hope they do so in a way that does as little to escalate this as possible, and in a way that -- as I said yesterday -- is smart as well as tough," Cameron added.

Cameron also reiterated that the "real need is to refocus back on Hamas, back on the hostages, back on getting the aid in, back on getting a pause in the conflict in Gaza."

"That's why I'm here today to talk to the Israeli government, to talk to the Palestinian Authority to try and push those things forward," Cameron said.


-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

Apr 16, 7:04 PM
US says it will impose new sanctions on Iran in coming days

The United States announced Tuesday it will impose new sanctions targeting Iran in the coming days following its "unprecedented air attack against Israel."

The sanctions include targeting Iran's missile and drone program and new sanctions against entities supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran’s Defense Ministry, according to the White House's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan.

"We anticipate that our allies and partners will soon be following with their own sanctions,” Sullivan said in a statement. "We will not hesitate to continue to take action, in coordination with allies and partners around the world, and with Congress, to hold the Iranian government accountable for its malicious and destabilizing actions."

The U.S. is telegraphing its sanction plan in advance to underscore the large international response that the U.S. is coordinating and to signal to Iran there will be diplomatic costs to what they've done, a senior administration official told ABC News. The official said they believe this will have an impact, in part, by bringing other countries on board.

Apr 16, 4:08 PM
IDF's conduct, ethics under scrutiny following soldiers' social media posts

Six months into the Israel-Hamas conflict, the conduct and ethics of some Israel Defense Forces members have increasingly come under the microscope.

Incidents ranging from pranks to potentially criminal acts are being exposed to the world, often by videos soldiers themselves have posted online, according to critics and Israeli officials.

In many pictures and videos that have circulated since the conflict began, and which were reposted by pro-Palestinian activists to millions of followers, IDF soldiers are seen blowing up buildings in Gaza while in combat, waving women’s underwear like flags and rifling through the possessions of Gazans with gleeful expressions.

Younis Tirawi, a Palestinian activist, says he’s seen thousands of videos of IDF soldiers reportedly behaving improperly.

"You can see all the soldiers liking their posts," Tirawi told ABC News.

Apr 16, 3:48 PM
Blinken to Israeli war cabinet: 'We do not want to see further escalation'

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz, during which Blinken "continue[d] to send the same messages in all his conversations -- which is we do not want to see further escalation of the conflict," according to spokesperson Matt Miller.

Miller declined to say whether the U.S. assessed the threat of escalation had fallen, but an administration official said the amount of time that has already elapsed since Iran’s weekend attack had boosted hopes that Israel would exercise constraint.

Miller batted down reports that Iran and the U.S. were communicating through intermediaries in the wake of Tehran’s attack on Israel.

"There have not been such messages delivered. It's been days since we've communicated -- since we've sent messages to the government of Iran," Miller said. "And I say that as a reminder of something we've said before: Oftentimes, the Iranian government has misled the world about either messages they've passed to us or messages that we have passed to them."

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 16, 3:36 PM
UK prime minister 'gravely concerned' about humanitarian situation in Gaza

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. While Netanyahu thanked Sunak for the U.K.'s support to counter Iran's weekend attack on Israel, Sunak also had harsh words for Netanyahu about the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

"On Gaza, the Prime Minister said he remained gravely concerned about the deepening humanitarian crisis," a Downing Street spokesperson said. "The U.K. wanted to see a massive step change in aid access to flood Gaza with vital supplies, including Israel opening up new aid routes as quickly as possible. The Prime Minister said it was deeply disappointing that Hamas blocked a deal at the weekend that would have saved Palestinian lives and secured the safe release of hostages."

Apr 16, 3:23 PM
Israeli war cabinet meeting ends again with no final decision on response: Source

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's war cabinet met for the third day in a row on Tuesday to consider an Israeli response to Iran's weekend attack.

But Tuesday’s meeting ended with no final decision made about an Israeli response, according to an Israeli source with knowledge of the meeting. A variety of options are still being considered, the source said.

Apr 16, 2:13 PM
Iran foreign minister says 'no intention of further escalating the situation'

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on a call that "Iran is willing to exercise restraint and has no intention of further escalating the situation," according to the Chinese foreign ministry’s readout of the conversation.

Apr 16, 1:56 PM
More than 19,000 children orphaned in Gaza

Over 10,000 women have been killed in Gaza during the war, according to a report from UN Women, the United Nations’ entity for gender equality and women's empowerment.

Out of those 10,000 women, 6,000 were mothers, who have left behind 19,000 orphaned children, according to the report.

-ABC News’ Kori Skillman

Apr 16, 11:18 AM
Israel focused too intensely on Iran's nuclear threat at expense of ballistic threat: IDF

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Israel focused too intensely on the Iranian nuclear threat at the expense of its ballistic threat.

A senior U.S. official told ABC News the U.S. also relied too heavily on the misguided conception that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was cautious and would never order a direct attack on Israel, and that this weekend’s attack and the general U.S. assessment of Iran now requires study and reassessment.

Sima Shine, a former head of the Iran desk at Israeli espionage agency Mossad, also said Israel’s assessment was wrong, and said "the rules of the game" have changed. A huge barrage of missiles was considered possible, but highly unlikely, Shine said.

Shine said any Israeli response under the new conception requires the assumption that Iran will follow up with its threat of another salvo of missiles. That said, Shine believes that Iran and the supreme leader do not want a full-scale war because it would be unpopular in Iran and the U.S. could get involved.

-ABC News’ Matt Gutman

Apr 16, 9:18 AM
Yellen to Iran: US 'will not hesitate' to issue new sanctions

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is warning Iran that the U.S. "will not hesitate" to impose new sanctions in response to Iran's "unprecedented attack" on Israel.

"Treasury will not hesitate to work with our allies to use our sanctions authority to continue disrupting the Iranian regime’s malign and destabilizing activity," Yellen is expected to say at a Tuesday press conference. "The attack by Iran and its proxies underscores the importance of Treasury's work to use our economic tools to counter Iran's malign activity."

Yellen's message follows President Joe Biden's Sunday meeting with the G7 nations, during which the leaders discussed a coordinated effort on sanction measures.

Apr 16, 6:31 AM
Israeli war cabinet to consider response again Tuesday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's war cabinet is expected to meet again on Tuesday to consider an Israeli response to Iran's weekend attack.

"We are closely assessing the situation. We remain at our highest level of readiness," Herzi Halevi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, said on Monday. "Iran will face the consequences for its actions."

Halevi added Israel would "choose our response accordingly."

Apr 16, 6:14 AM
UN watchdog calls for de-escalation in Israel-Iran conflict

United Nations officials called on Tuesday for Israel and Iran to de-escalate their conflict, saying the retaliatory military attacks “violate the right to life and must cease immediately.”

“All countries are prohibited from arbitrarily depriving individuals of their right to life in military operations abroad, including when countering terrorism,” the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a press release, quoting U.N. officials described as "experts."

The retaliatory strikes by both countries may constitute the “international crime of aggression by civilian and military leaders responsible,” those officials said, according to the statement.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Biden administration to end sanctions waiver on Venezuelan oil

Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) -- The Biden administration is conceding the reality of the last six months: Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro does not intend to hold free and fair elections.

Six months after lifting U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's key oil and gas sectors, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday it will let those temporary licenses expire -- saying Maduro's government did not uphold its end of the bargain.

That bargain was straightforward – Maduro and the united Venezuelan opposition signed an agreement in Barbados last October to hold free and fair elections, monitored by international observers, and in exchange the U.S. temporarily lifted some of its sanctions on Venezuela's oil, gas, gold, and sovereign debt.

It was a bold move, a gamble -- and a stark departure from former President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign -- with Biden officials saying they hoped that engaging the strongman Maduro could help find a political solution to end the turmoil in Venezuela that has sent one-fifth of its population fleeing -- more refugees than from the wars in Syria or Ukraine.

But in the months afterwards, Maduro's government harassed and arrested opposition figures and barred the opposition's candidate Maria Corina Machado, who overwhelmingly won the primary, from running for office.

A senior administration official briefing reporters claimed that Maduro had met some "key commitments," but pointed to those actions as the ways his government had "fallen short" - an understatement, to say the least.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress had urged the administration to snap these sanctions back into place, as Maduro has clearly shown no appetite to hold an election in which polls consistently find he'd lose overwhelmingly.

But the administration has waffled here as it also considers domestic priorities -- the price of gas and the crisis at the border. Venezuelans have contributed to the surge at the southern border that has overwhelmed Border Patrol agents and become a political albatross for Biden, while gas prices have risen 14% in the past year, according to AAA data obtained by ABC News.

In March, Venezuela's oil exports rose to their highest level since early 2020 as customers rushed to complete purchases ahead of this move -- one that the Biden administration warned of last March – one final warning that Maduro again ignored. But Venezuelan oil production has been low for years now because of "years of underinvestment and mismanagement," per a report by the U.S. EIA last fall.

While the U.S. is snapping back the biggest piece of leverage they had – these oil and gas sanctions – after a 45-day winddown period, this is not the end. The senior administration official told reporters they will "continue to engage in a constructive and in private, pragmatic way to try to move the election back towards a better course," adding, "We will be watching and monitoring very carefully."

For his part, Maduro told Biden publicly this week that he was willing to negotiate: "I will never close the door to dialogue with anybody. I give the following message to the negotiators and to President Biden," he said during a press conference -- before speaking awkwardly in English: "You want, I want. You don't want, I too don't want."

More important, the opposition is not giving up fighting. Machado has been barred from running, but two opposition parties were able to file their candidacies -- one of whose candidates has said he would let Machado take his spot. He has a long history with the opposition, often seen as two-timing or untrustworthy, but after a meeting today, the two sides agreed to try to work together to present a candidate to run against Maduro.

There are many roadblocks ahead, including the barriers to vote for Venezuelans overseas -- many of whom would likely oppose the president that they fled – and with the U.S. snapping back sanctions, Maduro may put in place even more. But the opposition maintains – they are "united to change Venezuela."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


9 arrests made in $14.8 million gold heist at Toronto airport, only fraction recovered

Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

(TORONTO) -- Nine people have been arrested and search warrants are out for three others in last year's $14.77 million (20 million Canadian dollars) gold heist from the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canadian officials announced Wednesday.

Police have only recovered six pure gold bracelets worth over $65,000 -- a fraction of the gold that was stolen from a holding cargo facility last April. Authorities announced the arrests on the one-year anniversary of the heist.

Police say 6,600 bars of pure gold weighing over 400 kilograms and foreign cash amounting to around $1.8 million were stolen in the heist. They believe that the thieves melted down the gold, sold it and then used the profits to purchase illegal firearms as part of a trafficking operation, Peel Regional Police Detective Sgt. Mike Mavity said at a press conference Wednesday.

Police have seized $312,000 worth of cash, which they believe are some of the profits suspects made after selling the gold. Police also seized smelting pots, casts and molds, which they believe were used to change the composition of the gold bars, according to Mavity.

They also found two lists accounting for $7.21 million and $10.23 million at two separate locations.


"A common term in drug trafficking investigations, we believe these lists actually show where the money was distributed when the gold was sold by the suspects," Mavity said.

In the yearlong investigation, authorities say they have have executed 37 search warrants and interviewed over 50 people. They have brought 19 charges against individuals in this case.


Canadian police worked in cooperation with the Philadelphia Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which arrested one individual in the U.S. who had 65 illegal firearms in his possession.

He was stopped during a routine traffic stop, which resulted in his arrest. He was later identified as the driver of the truck during the heist, police said.

Police are still searching for a former Air Canada employee, who they say helped the thieves, and two others involved.

The gold and foreign currency stolen in the heist were ordered from a refinery in Zurich. They had been transported on an Air Canada flight to Toronto.

Shortly after the plane landed on April 17, 2023, the gold and cargo were transported from the plane to a cargo facility, Mavity said.

A suspect driving a five-ton truck arrived at the facility later that evening, providing a fraudulent airway bill to a cargo warehouse attendant and receiving the shipment. The airway bill was a duplicate of one used the previous day to pick up a shipment of seafood, Mavity said.

The container containing the gold and foreign currency was then loaded onto the truck and the suspect drove away. The container was discovered missing later that night after Brink’s Canada employees arrived to pick up the container, Mavity said.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


US submits assurances to UK over Julian Assange extradition, moving case forward again

A protester stands with a placard in support of Julian Assange during the demonstration. Supporters of Julian Assange gathered outside the Embassy of Ecuador in Knightsbridge on the fifth anniversary of his incarceration in Belmarsh Prison. (Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

(LONDON) -- The United States has reportedly sent assurances to the United Kingdom intended to facilitate the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange -- including that he will not face the death penalty -- signaling, for now, that the U.S. is continuing to move forward with its efforts to prosecute Assange on espionage charges.

Last month, the U.K.’s High Court ordered a delay in Assange’s extradition unless the U.S. could provide assurances on a number of issues, including that he would not face the death penalty and that he will be granted the same first amendment protections as American citizens.

The U.S. embassy in London has now sent a letter to the U.K. Foreign Office, according to multiple news organizations, seeking to address those issues.

The letter referred specifically to Assange having “the ability to raise and seek to rely upon” the first amendment but also said that its applicability “is exclusively within the purview of the U.S. courts,” according to the Guardian. It also states that “a sentence of death will neither be sought nor imposed on Assange.”

It came despite President Joe Biden’s comments last week that he was “considering” an Australian request to end the prosecution of Assange, setting off speculation that the Biden administration may be seeking to avoid a contentious trial that would be fraught with media freedom issues, amid other reports the administration is looking at a plea deal.

The move is the latest development in a years-long legal battle by the U.S. to prosecute Assange over the publishing of classified military and diplomatic materials that were leaked by the former American soldier Chelsea Manning in 2010, including some that showed possible war crimes committed by American forces in Iraq.

Assange has spent five years in London’s Belmarsh prison while he fights the U.S. extradition request, and his imprisonment has been widely condemned by international human rights organizations as well as United Nations human rights officials.

The U.K. High Court in a ruling last month had set a deadline for the U.S. to provide those assurances and scheduled a hearing for May 20 to rule on whether they are sufficient to extradite Assange or if he should be allowed to appeal against it again.

Assange’s wife in a statement confirmed the letter’s existence but denounced it as “weasel words,” saying, in reality, it did not offer any real protections for Assange if he were extradited.

“The United States has issued a non-assurance in relation to the First Amendment, and a standard assurance in relation to the death penalty. It makes no undertaking to withdraw the prosecution's previous assertion that Julian has no First Amendment rights because he is not a US citizen. Instead, the US has limited itself to blatant weasel words claiming that Julian can 'seek to raise' the First Amendment if extradited. The diplomatic note does nothing to relieve our family's extreme distress about his future -- his grim expectation of spending the rest of his life in isolation in US prison for publishing award-winning journalism. The Biden Administration must drop this dangerous prosecution before it is too late,” Stella Assange said in a statement.

Assange was arrested in London in 2019, after he was evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy where he had been sheltering for seven years while facing prosecution in Sweden on sexual assault charges that have since been dropped. After his arrest by British police on charges of breaking his bail conditions related to the Swedish case, U.S. prosecutors unveiled an indictment charging him with hacking offenses related to the Manning files.

But weeks later, the Justice Department under the Trump administration brought a greatly expanded indictment, charging Assange with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act by obtaining and publishing the materials from Manning. Leading media organizations,, including The New York Times, have warned the effort to prosecute Assange using the Espionage Act threatens media freedoms in the U.S. and have urged the Biden administration to drop the charges.

Despite only ever being sentenced to 50 weeks in prison by a U.K. court for violating his bail conditions in the Swedish case -- which has since been closed -- Assange has spent five years imprisoned in Belmarsh Prison in London while he contests extradition.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


IDF's conduct, ethics under scrutiny following soldiers' social media posts

Ronaldo Schemidt/ Getty Images

(JERUSALUM) -- Six months into the Israel-Hamas conflict, the conduct and ethics of some of the Israel Defense Forces members have increasingly come under the microscope.

Incidents ranging from pranks to potentially criminal acts are being exposed to the world, often by videos soldiers themselves have posted online, according to critics and Israeli officials.

In many pictures and videos that have circulated since the conflict began, and which were reposted by pro-Palestinian activists to millions of followers, IDF soldiers are seen blowing up buildings in Gaza while in combat, waving women’s underwear like flags and rifling through the possessions of Gazans with gleeful expressions.

Younis Tirawi, a Palestinian activist, says he’s seen thousands of videos of IDF soldiers reportedly behaving improperly. "You can see all the soldiers liking their posts," Tirawi told ABC News. "

The images and videos have been condemned by activists, and military ethics experts say some of the incidents captured on video and photos show serious violations. Israeli soldiers are prohibited from bringing phones and filming military activities in Gaza.

"The pictures [and] the videos I saw were taken by the soldiers. So it's not fabricated and they are wrong. Their activities there are wrong," said Asa Kasher, a professor at Tel Aviv University and the lead author of the IDF's code of ethics.

Oren Ziv, an Israeli journalist who was the first to report on the videos inside Israel, told ABC News the posts were emblematic of a worrying trend in Israeli society and its military.

“The loss of any moral compass and seeing the Palestinians as human beings in general…it is a long process for dozens of years," he said.

"Of course, after Oct. 7, I think it's very hard to the general Israeli public and for sure the soldiers on the front to see them as human beings and also to make the differentiation between Hamas and the people who committed the massacre on Oct. 7, and then civilians who live in Gaza," Ziv added.

U.S. officials expressed outrage after seven World Central Kitchen aid workers were killed on April 2 by Israeli air strikes.

"This week's horrific attack on the World Central Kitchen was not the first such incident. It must be the last," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said following the attack.

Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the IDF, told ABC News that he was aware of the videos posted by soldiers but maintained the army is committed to adhering to its code of ethics.

"This is the army of the people. And we follow the core, the values and the international law. Those that made the video, [and] not just a video about bragging…will be [met] with a punishment, a severe punishment," he said.

A group of Israeli soldiers is seen kneeling in what was a Gaza neighborhood before setting off explosives in a video filmed by an IDF soldier that was verified by ABC News.

The soldier said he was destroying 21 homes to commemorate the death of 21 Israeli soldiers in a Hamas ambush in January.

When asked about the video, the IDF said in a statement that it “examines events of this kind as well as reports of videos uploaded to social networks and handles them with command and disciplinary measures.”

Acts of vengeance and collective punishment are prohibited under international law, according to Professor Kasher.

Kasher told ABC News that he was disturbed by other alleged incidents by IDF members, including one in the West Bank where a soldier was filmed reciting a Jewish prayer through the speakers of a mosque that the soldiers raided.

The IDF said it removed the soldiers from duty who were seen in that video.

In another video that went viral, IDF reservist Leroi Taljaar was seen jokingly saying "everything is fine" while on duty in Gaza before IDF soldiers detonated an explosive.

Taljaar, a South African citizen, told ABC News that the video was "a joke."

"And, I definitely wouldn't put a video up of where I knew that there was innocent civilians being killed," he said. "Me and my friends went through a very, very difficult time while we were there. And our way of getting over that difficulty was making dark comedy. Maybe it wasn't at the right time, at the right place."

Taljaar said that the IDF has not spoken to him about the incident; however, South Africa has now said it would prosecute dual-national soldiers like him if they tried to return to the country.

Taljaar said he wasn't concerned about the repercussions.

"Let's first sort out the problems inside our country before we look to problems of other countries," he said. " [The South African government is] looking for problems in places where they can't really do anything anyway."

The incidents aren't limited to the rank-and-file members of the IDF.

ABC News verified a video showing a drone missile on an empty Gazan college building. The strike was ordered by a general who wasn't authorized to do so, according to officials.

Video of the strike on the Palestinian Institution of Higher Learning was posted by a soldier -- which is against IDF policy.

Israeli officials allege the building was used by Hamas as a weapons depo and said that the general who ordered the unauthorized strike was reprimanded.

Although tensions are high because of the violence of the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack, which was also filmed and shared on social media, Israeli forces must adhere to their code of conduct, Amos Yadlin, former head of intelligence for the IDF told ABC News.

"It's against the rules of engagement and against the ethics of the IDF, and the IDF commanders have a duty to make it not happen and to make the discipline," he said.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Fire rips through Old Stock Exchange building in Copenhagen as people try to rescue artwork

slobo/Getty Images

(LONDON) -- One of the oldest buildings in Copenhagen, Denmark, that was built in the 17th century has become engulfed in flames as rescue efforts are underway to salvage artwork and other valuable assets from the building.

The Old Stock Exchange, located in the heart of downtown Copenhagen next to the Danish Parliament building, became engulfed by fire early Tuesday morning as the building's iconic spire collapsed due to the flames.

People could be seen rushing into and out of the burning building attempting to salvage art work that is housed within the Old Stock Exchange.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown and no injuries have been reported as crews work furiously to extinguish the flames.

Denmark's Minister for Culture Jakob Engel-Schmidt put out a message on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying there were "terrible pictures from the Stock Exchange this morning" and that "400 years of Danish cultural heritage" had gone up in flames.

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Attack on religious leader in Sydney to be investigated as terror related, police say

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb, Premier of NSW Chris Minns, NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Peter Thurtell and Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan hold a press conference on April 16, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

(SYDNEY) -- An attack on a religious leader during a sermon in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, on Monday has been deemed a terror-related incident, police said.

"Anyone with information about extremist activity or possible threats to the community should come forward, no matter how small or insignificant you may think the information may be," the New South Wales Police Force said in a statement on Tuesday.

The government's Joint Counter Terrorism Team has begun an investigation into the stabbing, which was first reported to police at about 7 p.m. on Monday.

A 16-year-old suspect was arrested at the scene after being restrained by members of the congregation, police said. He was hospitalized, underwent surgery for injuries sustained during the alleged attack and remained under police guard, they said.

"There is no place for violence in our community," Anthony Albanese, the prime minister said. "There is no place for violence extremism. We are a peace-loving nation."

Albanese identified the church as Christ the Good Shepherd, in Wakeley, where an Assyrian Orthodox congregation worships.

A video of the incident, which was viewed by ABC News, appears to show a man approaching the religious leader as he speaks to his congregation. The man appears to interrupt the sermon and to begin violently attacking the man.

Officers who responded to the church on Welcome Road attended to a 53-year-old man "with lacerations to his head," police said. The man's name has not been released.

"A 39-year-old man also sustained lacerations and a shoulder wound when he attempted to intervene," a law enforcement statement said.

Both of the injured were treated by paramedics at the scene and were later taken to Liverpool Hospital, police said, adding that their injuries were not life-threatening.

Police Commissioner Karen Webb deemed the incident terror related, according to the force. It will be investigated by the NSW Police Force, Australian Federal Police, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the NSW Crime Commission, police said.

The church identified the attacked leader as Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel and asked for privacy during his recovery.

"We strongly condemn this senseless act of violence that took place during his sermon," the church said in a media release.

The church added, "Such actions not only bring distress bust also contradict the cherished values of compassion and unity that are integral to our Australian identity."

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Global coral reef bleaching event underway as oceans continue to warm: NOAA

Lillian Suwanrumpha/ Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) -- As the world's oceans experience unprecedented rising temperatures, significant coral bleaching has been reported across the globe, according to experts.

On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported the fourth global bleaching event on record and the second in the last 10 years.

"From February 2023 to April 2024, significant coral bleaching has been documented in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of each major ocean basin," Derek Manzello, Ph.D., NOAA CRW coordinator, said in a press release Monday.

According to the National Ocean Service, warmer ocean temperatures can result in expulsion of algae that live in the coral tissue. This leaves the coral completely white, known as coral bleaching. Coral bleaching does not necessarily mean corals will die, according to NOAA, which noted that corals can recuperate if the strain on their ecosystems is reduced.

At a local level, storms, disease, sediments and changes in salinity can cause corals to bleach, however, mass bleaching, when several varieties of coral reefs are bleached, is largely caused by increased sea temperatures, according to the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Last month, the average global sea surface temperature reached a record 69.93 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Since early 2023, mass bleaching of coral reefs has been confirmed in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, basins including parts of Florida and the U.S. Coastline, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Australia, the South Pacific, the Persian Gulf, coasts of East Africa, as well as Indonesia, according to the NOAA report.

"As the world's oceans continue to warm, coral bleaching is becoming more frequent and severe," Manzello said. "When these events are sufficiently severe or prolonged, they can cause coral mortality, which hurts the people who depend on the coral reefs for their livelihoods."

Coral bleaching does not necessarily mean corals will die, according to NOAA, which noted that corals can recuperate if the strain on their ecosystems is reduced.

In 2019, NOAA and the National Academies of Sciences published the study Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs, which provided "resilience-based management practices" and heightened the importance of coral restoration.

"We are on the frontlines of coral reef research, management and restoration, and are actively and aggressively implementing the recommendations of the 2019 Interventions Report," Jennifer Koss, director of NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), said in the release.

In 2023, a heatwave in Florida spurred an "unprecedented" coral bleaching event in the region that "started earlier, lasted longer and was more severe than any previous event in that region," according to NOAA.

A buoy in Manatee Bay, Florida, reported an ocean temperature of 101.1 degrees in July 2023, according to meteorologists at the time.

In response, NOAA enacted the Iconic Reefs program to attempt to offset the effects of global climate change on the local coral reefs by moving coral nurseries to deeper, cooler waters and deploying sunshades to protect corals in other areas, according to NOAA.

This year's global coral bleaching event follows previous confirmed events in 1998, 2010 and 2014-2017, according to NOAA.

ABC News' Dan Peck contributed to this report

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


US to Israel: If you strike back at Iran, you'll do it alone

Israeli Government Press Office / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Image

(WASHINGTON) -- As Israel on Monday weighed its response to Iran's stunning attacks this weekend, the U.S. is privately telling officials there: If Israel strikes back militarily, it will do so alone.

It's an unusual message for a close ally that's spent decades receiving more US military aid than any other country in the world and whose relationship with America is often described as "ironclad."

But after months of Israel acting on its own in Gaza -- and facing tough criticism from the U.S. and other allies that its military operations have gone too far – the Biden administration made clear the U.S. wouldn't participate in offensive military operations against Iran, fearing a broader war in the Middle East.

"We believe Israel has freedom of action to protect itself and defend itself," a senior administration official told reporters shortly after Iran's attack ended. "That's a long-standing policy, and that remains."

When asked by a reporter if the U.S. would help Israel counter with offensive military operations, the official said no.

"We would not envision ourselves participating in such a thing," this person said.

According to a second U.S. official, that message was also delivered directly to Israel's top officials in a private phone call Sunday between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

In addition to expressing support for Israel's defense, the official said Austin made clear in a very "direct" manner that the U.S. was not planning to join a potential counteroffensive on Israel's behalf.

Iran's attack on Israel late Saturday had deeply rattled world leaders, including U.S. officials who initially thought the Islamic Republic had readied only a dozen or so ballistic missiles. One senior U.S. official described their hand "trembling" while taking notes in a meeting upon learning that U.S. intelligence believed more than 100 ballistic missiles being prepared for launch.

The attack was considered retaliation for a military strike on what Iran called its consulate in Damascus, Syria, widely believed to be Israel's doing.

In the end, U.S. officials estimate that Iran launched some 300 missiles and drones, including more than 100 ballistic missiles and 30 cruise missiles.

Two U.S. officials confirm to ABC News that about half of those missiles either failed to launch, failed in flight or crashed before reaching their targets in Israel.

Israeli's air defense systems were successful in defeating the majority of the remaining air threats, with U.S., U.K. and Jordanian forces coming to their aid.

According to U.S. Central Command, American forces in the region – including two U.S. Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea -- shot down some 80 drones and up to six ballistic missiles. One missile was shot down near Erbil, Iraq, by U.S. forces who suspected it was headed toward Israel.

The senior administration official told reporters afterward the defensive effort was a "spectacular" success, even if Iran's intent "clearly was to cause significant damage and deaths in Israel."

Israel's response wasn't immediately clear. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his war cabinet on Sunday, and top officials said a decision could be made as early as Monday.

President Joe Biden had already spoken privately with Netanyahu within hours of the attack. Biden later joined G7 leaders on Sunday in a statement expressing "full solidarity and support to Israel."

"I think coming together in such a very, very strong way under the umbrella of the United States Central Command, together with the British, together with the French and the regional players, sent a very, very clear message to Iran that you can't get away with it," said Israel's Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Force.

That global support for Israel was a notable shift for Israel after months of criticism its destructive military operations against Hamas following the Oct. 7 attacks. Israel has defended the offensive operation as necessary to defend itself against future attacks.

US officials said that they believe Iran's attack late Saturday was mostly a failure, and the goal now should be a carefully calibrated response with broad international support.

"I think Israel has to think through carefully what it does next," the senior administration official said.

ABC News' Martha Raddatz, Luis Martinez and Britt Clennett contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Priest stabbed during livestream, suspect arrested in Australia, police say

Bernard Van Berg / EyeEm/Getty Images

(LONDON) -- A suspect was arrested after a priest was stabbed during a livestream in Wakeley, a city in New South Wales, Australia, police said on Monday.

A "number" of other people were also stabbed, law enforcement said.

A video of the incident, which was viewed by ABC News, appears to show a man approaching the priest as he speaks to his congregation. The man appears to interrupt the sermon and to begin violently attacking the priest.

"Officers arrested a male and he is assisting police with inquiries," the New South Wales Police Force said in a statement. "The injured people suffered non-life threatening injuries and are being treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics."

Officers were dispatched to a church on Welcome Street after a call about multiple injuries came in at about 7:10 p.m. on Monday, police said.

"A large police response is underway and the public is urged to avoid the area," police said in a statement.

ABC News' Joe Simonetti contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


US identifies ISIS-K suicide bomber who killed American troops and Afghans in chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal

Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marine Corps via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) -- In a significant revelation, the U.S. military has for the first time publicly named the suicide bomber behind the catastrophic attack at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport during the chaotic final days of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

The identification was part of findings from a supplemental review ordered by U.S. Central Command to build on the military's initial investigation by taking into account information and claims that have since surfaced. The review also found that members of a Marine scout sniper platoon at the airport who believed they had the bomber in their crosshairs were mistaken, and they would not have been able to prevent the attack.

In a recent briefing with reporters about the review, U.S. officials identified Abdul Rahman al-Logari as the terrorist responsible for killing 13 American service members and some 170 Afghans when on Aug. 26 he detonated a suicide vest laden with 20 pounds of military-grade explosives. The blast sent a mass of 5-millimeter ball bearings ripping through the densely-packed crowd near the airport's Abbey Gate.

Al-Logari was a member of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province group, or ISIS-K, since 2016, according to a member of the review team from the Army.

At one point he was detained by coalition forces and held in custody, according to the review official. But al-Logari was one of the many prisoners released by the Taliban as its fighters swept to take control of the country from Afghan security forces — mostly without a fight — in the days just before the bombing, a second review team member said.

ISIS-K took credit for the carnage at Abbey Gate shortly after the attack, praising al-Logari for committing the atrocity.

U.S. intelligence compared a photo of the alleged bomber posted by ISIS-K and photos of al-Logari taken during his time in coalition custody, using facial analysis to determine it was the same person, according to the official.

The U.S. intelligence community went on to conclude al-Logari was indeed the suicide bomber, according to the first Army review team member.

"Over the last two years following the bombing, multiple intelligence agencies have also assessed the bomber identity as al-Logari," the Army official said.

Though the bomber had been released from prison by the Taliban shorty before the attack, ISIS-K would have been able to carry out the bombing either way, the second Army official said.

"They had multiple bombers that were available," the official said. "And this supports the conclusion that the attack at Abbey Gate was not preventable at the tactical level."

GOP congress members have repeatedly raised the possibility the bombing could have been prevented in their attacks on the Biden administration's handling of the withdrawal, largely based on testimony from former Marine Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, a member of one of the sniper teams providing overwatch near Abbey Gate.

In a March 2023 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Vargas-Andrews claimed his team had a suspicious man matching a description of the suspected Abbey Gate suicide bomber in his sights before the deadly explosion on Aug. 26. He said they were denied permission to fire and prevent the blast, which claimed two of his own limbs.

The top U.S. general in the Middle East during the withdrawal, now-retired Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, told lawmakers of the same committee last month that he was not aware of any intelligence alerts given to U.S. forces at the time matching the description given by Vargas-Andrews.

Florida Republican Rep. Cory Mills accused McKenzie of calling the Marine's integrity into question, asking, "Do you want to face him and tell him that before him now?"

"I don't want to face him and tell him that. I want to say that the battlefield is a very complex place. There were a lot of threats that were floating around out there that day. I honor his service. I regret he was injured," McKenzie responded.

The supplemental review team likewise found that the man spotted by the sniper teams did not match descriptions given by any intelligence reports, adding that no specific individual was identified as the bomber by intelligence before the attack. The reviewers concluded the Marines were errantly going off of a description that conflated some pieces of an intelligence report on one man with elements of an informal "spot report" describing a different suspicious individual seen by other troops near the airport perimeter.

They honed in on a "bald man in black" who didn't precisely match any actual be-on-the-lookout reports at the time, according to the review. Even authentic description reports of suspicious individuals were often vague enough to have matched any number of people in the crowd, according to the review.

Furthermore, the review team compared a photo taken by the sniper team of the man they believed could have been the bomber with photos of al-Logari, and determined with great confidence that they were not the same person.

The first Army review official said that al-Logari did not linger in the crowd, but detonated his vest just after arriving at Abbey Gate. This makes it very unlikely even the trained observers of the Marine sniper teams could have picked him out of the masses in time, especially since there was no description of the terrorist before the attack, according to the official.

"I must reiterate by saying that service members were vigilant in their duties," the official said. "Yet, the intelligence available lacked targetable data to gain positive identification of the bomber prior to the attack. The suspicious person identified by a sniper team was not the Abbey Gate bomber."

The military plans to release a redacted version of the full 1,200-page supplemental report to the public at an unspecified date, an Army official said.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Israel-Gaza updates: We 'defeated' Iran, Biden says

Omar El Qattaa/Anadolu via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Iran on Saturday night unleashed a retaliatory strike against Israel, sending a volley of more than 300 uncrewed drones and missiles toward targets throughout the country, Israeli military officials said. All but a few were intercepted by Israel and its allies, including the United States, officials said.

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

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

Apr 15, 4:18 PM
Iran will respond in 'seconds' if Israel strikes back: Iranian official

If Israel strikes back, the response speed from Iran "will be less than a few seconds," said Ali Bagheri Kani, the deputy foreign minister of Iran for political affairs.

Apr 15, 3:58 PM
Iran did not give US heads up on Israel attack: Pentagon

Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said Monday that Iran did not give the U.S. an advanced notice of its attack on Israel.

"I think what you're asking was did Iran give us a heads up? No, they did not," Ryder said, without indicating whether the U.S. learned of Iran's plans through allies.

Ryder said U.S. forces in the Middle East intercepted dozens of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles when Iran and its proxies launched attacks in retaliation for Israel's strike earlier this month on the Iranian Consulate in Damascus, Syria, that killed an Iranian military leader.

Ryder repeated assessments that 99% of incoming Iranian fire was intercepted by Israel and its partners, but he wouldn't confirm reports that half of the launches failed to get off the ground.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ryder said, has spoken with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant three times since the attack.

"During their most recent call yesterday, the two leaders reviewed the successful combined operation by the United States, Israel and their partners to defend Israel from these unprecedented attacks by Iran and its proxies and emphasize that while the United States does not seek escalation, we will continue to take all necessary action to defend Israel and U.S. personnel," Ryder said.

Asked whether the response to Iran's attack depleted the air defense resources of Israel and its partners, Ryder declined to answer.

"As we demonstrated this weekend, we have the capability and the capacity to defend Israel and to defend our forces in the region," he said.

-ABC News' Chris Boccia and Matt Seyler

Apr 15, 2:55 PM
Iranian attack 'will be met with a response': Israeli military chief

As Israel's Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi met with troops at the Nevatim Airbase, where Iranian missiles struck over the weekend, he said Israel is weighing possible response actions.

"As we look forward, we weigh our steps, and this launch of so many missiles, cruise missiles, UAVs to the territory of the State of Israel will be met with a response," Halevi said.

-ABC News’ Jordana Miller

Apr 15, 1:54 PM
US to Israel: If you strike back at Iran, you'll do it alone

As Israel on Monday weighed its response to Iran’s weekend attack, the U.S. is privately telling officials there: If Israel strikes back militarily, it will do so alone.

It's an unusual message for a close ally that's spent decades receiving more U.S. military aid than any other country in the world and whose relationship with America is often described as "ironclad."

But after months of Israel acting on its own in Gaza -- and facing tough criticism from the U.S. and other allies that its military operations have gone too far – the Biden administration made clear the U.S. wouldn't participate in offensive military operations against Iran, fearing a broader war in the Middle East.

"We believe Israel has freedom of action to protect itself and defend itself," a senior administration official told reporters shortly after Iran's attack ended. "That's a long-standing policy, and that remains."

When asked by a reporter if the U.S. would help Israel counter with offensive military operations, the official said no.

-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty

Apr 15, 1:14 PM
Biden: We 'defeated' Iran

President Joe Biden on Monday touted the "unprecedented military effort to defend Israel" against Iran, declaring "together with our partners we defeated that attack."

In his first on-camera remarks since this weekend's Iranian strike, the president stressed that "the United States is committed to Israel's security."

"We're committed to a cease-fire that will bring the hostages home and preventing the conflict from spreading beyond what it already has" the president told reporters in the Oval Office ahead of his meeting with the Iraqi prime minister. "We are also committed to the security of our personnel and our partners in the region, including Iraq."

Apr 15, 11:07 AM
'Majority' of intel came from coalition partners ahead of attack: Israeli Air Force official

A senior Israeli Air Force official said that the normalization of relations with Middle Eastern countries "served us during this crucial time" this weekend.

"It has to be clear that real assets" provided Israel with "information" and an "early warning," and the "majority" of that intelligence came from the coalition, the senior Israeli Air Force official said at a Monday briefing.

In terms of the types of drones and missiles used by Iran in the Saturday night attack, the official said Israel did not face any types of missiles that it had not shot down during attacks in recent months by Iranian proxies.

The official confirmed that only "a handful" of ballistic missiles fired by Iran were not intercepted.

"Five, more or less, managed to penetrate," the official said.

He said Israel's "strategic investment" in air defense capabilities, made years ago, had paid off, and called Israel shooting down nearly all missiles a "historic success."

The official was asked if Israel would be able to withstand a similar level of attack from Iran, without the support of allies such as the U.S.

"It would be more challenging,” the official conceded, but added that Israel has capabilities "to face this kind of challenge."

-ABC News’ Tom Soufi Burridge

Apr 15, 7:26 AM
Iran 'not the power it purports to be,' White House adviser says

Israel on Saturday demonstrated its "military superiority" against Iran while also showcasing its partnership with military allies, including the United States, John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said Monday.

Israel said Sunday about 99% of the missiles and drones launched by Iran were intercepted by Israel and its allies, a defense that Kirby called a "tremendous success."

"I think it did show, did demonstrate that Iran is not the power that it purports to be, that it doesn't have that same military superiority," Kirby said on "Good Morning America."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected on Monday to reconvene his war cabinet, a body that met on Sunday without deciding on a response to Iran's attack. And President Joe Biden and his G7 counterparts on Sunday released a statement urging Iran to cease its attacks.

"With its actions, Iran has further stepped toward the destabilization of the region and risks provoking an uncontrollable regional escalation," the G7 leaders' statement said. "This must be avoided."

The United States would not participate in an Israeli response, if the country decides to strike back against Iran, U.S. defense and security officials said on Sunday.

But the final decision on whether Israel strikes back will fall to Netanyahu, Kirby said Monday.

"The president was also clear, as he has been throughout, that we do not seek a wider war in the region and we don't seek conflict with Iran," he said.

-ABC News' Kevin Shalvey

Apr 15, 5:13 AM
Israeli war cabinet to reconvene Monday to consider response

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected on Monday to meet with his war cabinet to discuss potential responses to Iran’s attack.

The cabinet had convened on Sunday, but ended their meeting without making a final decision about a response to Iran’s attack, a person with knowledge of the meeting told ABC News.

The cabinet members include Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz, a former minister of defense.

-ABC News’ Joe Simonetti, Jordana Miller and Kevin Shalvey

Apr 14, 11:12 PM
Half of ballistic missiles launched at Israel failed: Officials

Two U.S. officials confirm to ABC News that at least half of the ballistic missiles launched by Iran at Israel either failed to launch, failed in flight, or crashed before reaching their targets in Israel.

A senior U.S. official previously told ABC News that among the more than 300 drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, there were between 115 and 135 ballistic missiles that targeted Israel.

That would mean that only half of the ballistic missiles launched by Iran needed to be shot down by Israel and other countries.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report this info.

-ABC News' Luis Martinez

Apr 14, 7:54 PM
US forces destroy 80 drones, at least 6 ballistic missiles

U.S. military forces destroyed 80 drones and at least six ballistic missiles out of the more than 300 launched from Iran, according to CENTCOM Sunday.

The drone number is an update from Saturday evening, when the U.S. said it had intercepted 70 drones.

CENTCOM said the total included a ballistic missile that was on its launcher vehicle and seven drones before they left the ground.

-ABC News' Anne Flaherty

Apr 14, 7:34 PM
Israeli military submitted a 'spectrum of response options' to the government

Israeli military officials have submitted "a wide range of options" to respond to Iran’s missile strike Saturday, Israeli Defense Federation (IDF) spokesperson Peter Lerner told reporters early Monday morning in Tel Aviv.

The IDF’s response could be "strike or no strike," according to Lerner, who noted, there are "a lot of different scenarios in between those two."

The Israeli government will "decide on the steps forward" as early as Monday or within the coming days, Lerner said.

When asked about Iran’s "substantial" missile strike being intercepted with minimal damage, Lerner said, "Just because we were successful in intercepting, we shouldn't underestimate what Iran did."

"We can't take that lightly," Lerner said.

Apr 13, 5:27 PM
Israel says Iran only targeted military sites

An Israeli military source told ABC News that Iran has targeted military sites only -- civilian sites were not targeted.

The Israel Defense Forces also moved up its arrival estimate: The first drones will close in on Israel an hour earlier than expected, at 1 a.m. local time, 6 p.m. ET.

Apr 13, 5:11 PM
US officials think there will be 400 to 500 drones, missiles launched

A senior U.S. official told ABC News they now think there will be anywhere from 400 to 500 drones and missiles launched at Israel from Iraq, Syria, southern Lebanon and the Houthis but that the bulk will be launched form Iran.

The drones are the same kind used in Ukraine.

Apr 13, 5:11 PM
Israeli airspace to close at 12:30 a.m. local time

Israeli aviation authorities say they are closing the country's airspace to all flights at 12:30 a.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. ET.

Flights would be affected and advised travelers to check with their airlines for changes.

Iranian state television also announced that Tehran had launched an attack toward Israel. Iraq's state news agency quoted Transportation Minister Raqqa Saadawi as saying the country's airspace was closed.

Before the attack was announced, a FlyDubai flight from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Tel Aviv, Israel, turned around as it was over Saudi Arabia, flight-tracking data showed. United Airlines also canceled a Saturday flight from Newark to Tel Aviv and the return flight.

Apr 13, 5:04 PM
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps says extensive missiles, drones launched

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced that it has launched extensive missile and drone operations against targets in the occupied territories, according to Tasnim, the Iranian news-agency affiliated with the branch of Iran's armed forces.

An Israeli source also confirmed to ABC News that Iran fired cruise missiles from Iraq as well.

In a post on X, the Iranian Foreign Minister said "necessary warning has been given to America."

Apr 13, 4:56 PM
What US officials expect in the coming hours

The U.S. will try to help Israel intercept everything possible -- not just those that pass over U.S. ships -- despite Iran informing the U.S. that they should stay out of it, a senior U.S. official confirmed to ABC News.

In the coming hours the U.S. expects missile launches from Iran and southern Lebanon -- and maybe even the Houthis -- as well as drones, which take longer to reach target. The Iranians are trying to overwhelm the Israeli air defenses with drones and missiles coming in at different altitudes, speeds and directions -- but hitting targets at the same time, according to the official.

While the U.S. expects that most of these will be intercepted -- upwards of 85% -- the fear is that if any Israeli lives are lost, the Israeli response will be much bigger.

The target is believed to be three military bases, especially one where F-35s are kept. While these bases are relatively remote, there are towns nearby and these Iranian weapons are not completely accurate.

The U.S. has no doubt Israel will respond whether lives are lost or not. And that Iran itself will be targeted.

-ABC News' Martha Raddatz

Apr 13, 4:48 PM
Wide concern in the White House that Iran's retaliatory attack will cause widespread war

Sources at the White House say there’s deep concern that an Iranian retaliatory strike against Israel -- and the possible Israeli response -- will widen this war.

President Joe Biden cut his weekend vacation short to consult with his national security team in preparation for this. They’ve been on high alert and knew this attack was imminent.

U.S. officials the military is prepared to provide assistance to defend Israel against attacks if needed.

The U.S. is already moving military assets to the region to deter Iran and help protect U.S. forces. Officials say they have been urging Iran against further escalation or attacks on U.S. forces. They’ve been stressing that the U.S. was not involved in the Damascus, Syria, strike earlier this month.

-ABC News' Selina Wang

Apr 13, 4:39 PM
Iran's leader confirms attack on Israel, says 'evil regime will be punished'

Iran's leader has confirmed that a retaliatory attack on Israel has begun.

"The evil regime will be punished", Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement on X.

Iranian state TV also confirmed the attack in a banner.

"The extensive drone operation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps against targets in the occupied territories has started a few minutes ago," the banner said.

Apr 13, 4:37 PM
US official confirms Iran's retaliatory strike has begun

A U.S. official has confirmed Israel's announcement that Iran’s retaliatory strike has begun.

President Joe Biden will meet with principals of the National Security Council to discuss events in the Middle East Saturday afternoon. The meeting will take place in the White House Situation Room, the White House confirmed.

"Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel. President Biden is being regularly updated on the situation by his national security team," the White House said in a statement.

"This attack is likely to unfold over a number of hours. President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel's security is ironclad. The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran," it added.

-ABC News' Luis Martinez and Mary Bruce

Apr 13, 4:18 PM
Israel says Iran fired dozens of drones

Iran has launched dozens of drones toward Israel, but it could take hours for them to reach, according to Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari.

Israel is closing down its airspace after midnight local time and Israel's defense systems are deployed, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"We are prepared for any scenario, both in defense and attack," Netanyahu said in a video statement.

Apr 13, 3:34 PM
Jordan temporarily closes its airspace to all incoming, departing, transiting aircrafts

Starting Saturday night, the Jordanian airspace will be temporarily closed to all incoming, departing and transiting aircraft, Jordan's Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority said in a statement.

Apr 13, 2:48 PM
Hamas ready for 'serious and real' swap deal, group says in response to Israeli proposal

Hamas says it has handed Egyptian and Qatari mediators its response to an Israeli proposal it received at talks in Cairo last week, while reiterating its key demands of a permanent cease-fire, a withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the return of displaced people to their areas and places of residence and intensifying the entry of relief and aid.

"We also confirm our readiness to enter a serious and real prisoner exchange deal between the two parties," Hamas said in a statement.

-ABC News' Edward Szekeres

Apr 13, 2:29 PM
Hezbollah says it hit Iron Dome after Israel says it struck military compounds

Hezbollah says it attacked Iron Dome platforms "with drones" hitting "the targets accurately."

Earlier Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces said a number of anti-tank missiles crossed from Lebanon, as well as Hezbollah unmanned aerial vehicles.

The IDF also said it struck a series of Hezbollah military compounds on Saturday.

Apr 13, 2:28 PM
Israel closes schools, limits gatherings ahead of anticipated Iranian attack

The Israel Defense Forces announced changes to the "Home Front Command's defensive guidelines" as of 11 p.m. Israel time Saturday ahead of an anticipated Iranian attack that could be imminent.

As part of the changes, schools and educational institutions will remain closed across Israel, "prohibiting educational activities," -- not only because the Passover vacation is starting. Gatherings will be limited to 1,000 people in green areas.

-ABC News' Edward Szekeres

Apr 13, 10:50 AM
Ship seized by Iran in 'pirate operation' is Portuguese, Israel says

In a statement in response to Iran's seizure of a cargo ship it said was Israeli, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz claimed it was a Portuguese civilian cargo ship, belonging to an EU member.

Katz called Iran's seizing of the cargo ship "a pirate operation in violation of international law". He also called Iran's "Ayatollah regime" a "criminal regime".

"The Ayatollah regime of @khameneiir is a criminal regime that supports Hamas' crimes and is now conducting a pirate operation in violation of international law. I call on the European Union and the free world to immediately declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guards corps as a terrorist organization and to sanction Iran now," Katz said in a statement.

-ABC News' Dana Savir

Apr 13, 9:14 AM
Palestinian man killed after Israeli boy goes missing, found dead in West Bank

A Palestinian man has been killed in the occupied West Bank and 25 are reported hurt after dozens of Jewish settlers stormed a village during an Israeli search for a missing teenager. Israeli troops intervened after dozens of settlers stormed al-Mughayyir armed with guns and stones.

It is not yet clear whether the man who died, Jehad Abu Alia, 26, was shot by an armed settler or Israeli soldier. The Palestinian Red Crescent said live fire hit at least eight people.

The missing boy, identified as Benjamin Ahimeir, 14, was found dead. He had gone missing Friday morning before Israeli officials say he was killed in a "terror attack."

"Security forces are continuing the pursuit after those suspected of carrying out the attack," the Israel Defense Forces said Saturday.

-ABC News' Edward Szekeres

Apr 13, 7:16 AM
Iran seizes Israeli-linked ship in Strait of Hormuz

In a report posted on X, the Iranian Tasnim state news agency affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC) said paramilitary Revolutionary Guard commandos seized a cargo ship near the Strait of Hormuz.

The detained ship, named "MSC Aries," operates under the flag of Portugal and is connected to the London-based company called Zodiac Maritime which is partially owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

“MSC is the manager and commercial operator of the container vessel MSC Aries. MSC is responsible for all vessel activities including cargo operations and maintenance," Zodiac Maritime said in a statement to ABC News on Saturday. "Title to the vessel is held by Gortal Shipping Inc. as financier and she has been leased to MSC on a long term basis. Gortal Shipping Inc. is affiliated with Zodiac Maritime. MSC is also responsible for the vessel’s itinerary, schedule and crew onboard and any queries about the vessel should be directed to MSC”.

Further details regarding the seized vessel are expected to be released shortly.

"We regret to confirm that MSC Aries owned by Zodiac Maritime and chartered to MSC has been boarded by Iranian authorities via helicopter as she passed the Strait of Hormuz," MSC said in a statement. "She has since been diverted from her itinerary towards Iran. She has 25 crew onboard, and we are working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure their wellbeing, and safe return of the vessel."

- ABC News' Dana Savir

Apr 12, 3:23 PM
Biden's message to Iran on possible strike on Israel: 'Don't'

President Joe Biden told reporters he expects an Iranian strike on Israel to occur "sooner than later."

Asked for his message to Iran in this moment, Biden was blunt, saying simply: "Don't."

Asked by ABC News if the U.S. would respond, he said, "We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed."

-ABC News' Mary Bruce

Apr 12, 1:51 PM
Iran has readied over 100 cruise missiles for possible strike on Israel: US officials

U.S. officials continue to see indicators that Iran could be ready to attack Israel with missile and drone strikes.

Iran has readied a large number of missiles for a possible strike, according to three U.S. officials. Two of the officials said that Iran has readied more than 100 cruise missiles for a possible strike. Iran has also readied a sizeable number of drones that could be used in an attack on Israel, according to one official.

The officials said that Iran has been readying the missiles and drones over the last week.

-ABC News' Luis Martinez

Apr 12, 1:32 PM
1 dead after settlers storm West Bank village: Palestinian Health Ministry

At least one person is dead and 18 others injured after Israeli settlers allegedly stormed the village of Al-Mughayir in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Some 1,500 settlers burned more than 40 homes and vehicles in the village, according to Marzouq Abu Naim, the deputy mayor of the Al-Mughir Village Council.

The Israel Defense Forces said that "violent riots" erupted in the area while forces searched for a missing 14-year-old boy.

"During the incident, rocks were hurled at IDF soldiers, who responded with fire. Hits were identified," the IDF said in a statement. "Furthermore, IDF and Israel Border Police forces operated to withdraw Israeli civilians who entered the town of Al Mughayyir."

The crowds have since dispersed and there are no longer any Israeli civilians present within the town, the IDF said.

Apr 12, 12:54 PM
EU countries sanction 3 terrorist group wings over Oct. 7 sexual and gender-based violence

The European Union has sanctioned three terrorist group wings for "widespread sexual and gender-based violence" that occurred in Israel on Oct. 7, the EU Council said.

The sanctioned entities are the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad; Nukhba Force, a Hamas special forces unit; and the Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas are designated as terrorist organizations by the EU.

"Those listed under the sanctions regime are subject to an asset freeze, and the provision of funds or economic resources, directly or indirectly, to them or for their benefit, is prohibited," the EU Council said.

Apr 12, 11:49 AM
WHO details the destruction of medical facilities in Khan Younis

The World Health Organization described the destruction in Khan Younis as "disproportionate to anything one can imagine."

Nasser Medical Complex -- once the "backbone" of the health system in southern Gaza -- Al-Amal and Al-Khair hospitals are "non-functional," according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"These facilities have no oxygen supply, water, electricity or sewage system," he said Thursday on X, a day after WHO team members and partners went to Khan Younis to assess health facilities following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the city.

Jordanian Field Hospital was found to be "minimally operational," he said.

"The once robust health system in Gaza is broken," Ghebreyesus said. "WHO and partners stand ready to support reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts, but we need a ceasefire. Nothing else can bring a lasting and humane outcome."

Apr 11, 5:36 PM
Erez crossing to remain closed as Israeli builds new road into Gaza

Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told reporters Thursday that Israel is constructing a new land crossing from Israel into northern Gaza to facilitate more aid deliveries.

The Erez crossing, a key pedestrian crossing that was destroyed by Hamas on Oct. 7, will remain closed.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would reopen the crossing for aid after speaking with President Joe Biden following the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen workers by an Israeli airstrike.

Although the timetable for the opening of the new land crossing wasn't revealed, Hagari said it would be located near the Erez crossing but not in the exact same spot.

Hagari said he expected 58 trucks would pass through the new crossing daily.

-ABC News' Will Gretsky

Apr 11, 3:47 PM
White House pressed on whether famine in Gaza was preventable

Following USAID Administrator Samantha Power acknowledging that famine is happening in northern Gaza, the White House was pressed Thursday on whether this could have been prevented if they had pressured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sooner to increase deliveries of humanitarian aid.

The U.S. has often called on Israel to open more crossings and allow for more aid to reach Gaza, but it wasn't until last week when President Joe Biden told Netanyahu that U.S. policy on Gaza hinges on Israel announcing and implementing measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering and the safety of aid workers.

"Every time the president has spoken to the prime minister there's -- part of that conversation has been to do more humanitarian aid," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said when asked if it was a mistake not to push Netanyahu to open the Ashdod port and Erez crossing sooner to help prevent famine.

She was asked specifically who is to blame for famine in Gaza, but she didn't attribute it to anyone, instead saying the focus is going to be on getting aid in.

"The humanitarian situation in Gaza, obviously, is dire. And that is why the president is doing everything that he can to get more humanitarian aid in," she said. "And that's what our focus is going to be."

-ABC News' Justin R. Gomez

Apr 11, 3:41 PM
US enacts new travel restrictions for personnel in Israel

The State Department revealed that U.S. government employees and their family members are now prohibited from undertaking any personal travel in Israel outside of the greater Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva areas "until further notice."

The alert says the restrictions were imposed "out of an abundance of caution" and shared to help other Americans in Israel make their own security plans.

"In response to security incidents and without advance notice, the U.S. Embassy may further restrict or prohibit U.S. government employees and their family members from traveling to certain areas of Israel (including the Old City of Jerusalem) and the West Bank," the alert adds.

Asked whether the limitations were directly connected to Iran’s threats, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller declined to speak to the specific assessments motivating the policy but acknowledged the public warnings from Iran and said Israel is in "a very tough neighborhood."

"Clearly we are monitoring the threat environment in the Middle East and specifically in Israel, and that's what led us to give that warning to our employees and their family members and to make it public so all U.S. citizens who either live in Israel or traveling there are aware of it," he said.

-ABC News' Shannon Crawford

Apr 10, 7:33 PM
US Central Command leader to meet with Israel about Iran threat, building piers

Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, the commander of U.S. Central Command, is set to meet with officials in Israel about Iran and the Joint logistics over-the-shore floating piers which U.S. military officials currently on the ground in Israel have been working to coordinate with Israeli military officials, an Israeli official told ABC News.

The official said there has been a "marathon of calls" between Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and the National Security Council, the State Department and the Pentagon, which the official credits with increasing statements of support by the administration for Israel in case it’s attacked by Iran. Those talks were an extension of the meetings two weeks ago when the White House summoned Israeli officials to Washington to discuss the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid in Gaza.

After months of U.S. calls for Israel to massively increase aid, multiple Israeli security officials tell ABC News that Israel heard the message loud and clear this time.

"We heard what they said about the humanitarian effort," the official told ABC News, noting Gallant came back from his trip to the U.S. and gave a "directive: 'We need to make an immediate impact on the scope and speed of the humanitarian aid going into Gaza,' and that's what we've done."

Apr 10, 1:43 PM
US skeptical that Hamas has enough hostages to fulfill 1st phase of proposed deal: Source

U.S. officials are skeptical that Hamas is holding enough Israeli hostages to meet the requirements for the first phase of the proposed deal currently on the table, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

The proposal calls for Hamas to hand over 40 hostages who are either: children; women not affiliated with the Israel Defense Forces; sick adults; or adults over 50 years old, according to the officials.

In exchange, Israel would free an undefined number of Palestinian prisoners and implement a cease-fire of at least six weeks.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 10, 1:36 PM
World Central Kitchen worker hurt in separate IDF strike

World Central Kitchen said one of its workers was injured in a separate airstrike in Gaza on the same day that seven WCK workers were killed.

Fifteen minutes before the Israeli attack that killed seven workers on April 1, "One of our brave Palestinian staff members was gravely injured in a reportedly deadly airstrike at al-Bashir Mosque in Deir al-Balah," World Central Kitchen said in a statement.

The two attacks were within miles of each other, WCK said.

The Palestinian staff member, Amro, suffered "serious head and hand injuries while he was off duty in a home close to the mosque in the area surrounding our warehouse and newly established kitchen in Deir al-Balah," WCK said.

He was in a coma for some time and is now recovering, the agency said.

"Amro joined the WCK team just after the start of the year," WCK said. "He was given rare opportunities to leave Gaza for Egypt several times, but he refused. He always says, 'I am here serving people hot food every day. I will not leave my job and let them suffer.'"

Apr 10, 1:21 PM
3 sons of Hamas political chief killed in Israeli strike, Hamas says

Three sons of Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, according to a statement from Hamas.

Three of the brothers’ children were also killed in the strike.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the strike and said the sons were part of Hamas' military wing.

Apr 10, 10:47 AM
3 sons of Hamas political chief killed in Israeli strike, Hamas says

Three sons of Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, according to a statement from Hamas.

Three of the brothers’ children were also killed in the strike.

Apr 09, 7:06 PM
'No higher priority': Harris meets with American hostages' families

During a meeting at the White House on Tuesday with the families of Americans being held hostage by Hamas, Vice President Kamala Harris said there is "no higher priority than reuniting the hostages with their loved ones," according to a White House readout.

Harris also reaffirmed the United States' commitment to bringing home the remains of those hostages who have been confirmed dead, according to the readout.

Rachel Goldberg-Polin, whose 23-year-old son Hersh is being held hostage by Hamas, described the meeting with Harris as "very productive."

“There is a possibility of holding two truths,” Goldberg-Polin told reporters outside the White House. “You can believe, as we do, that it is horrible that innocent civilians in Gaza are suffering, and at the same time you can also know that it is horrible and against international law for hostages to be held against their will."

Goldberg-Polin said her son got his arm blown off during Hamas' attack at the Nova Music festival on Oct. 7. Her husband, Jonathan Polin, said that they "have no choice but to stay hopeful."

Jonathan Dekel-Chen, the father of American hostage Sagui Dekel-Chen, called on Hamas to reach a deal to release the hostages.

"We are waiting now and the world waits for Hamas to get to yes," Dekel-Chen told reporters. "It is in their court."

Apr 09, 6:48 PM
Biden calls for cease-fire 'now' to get aid into Gaza in Univision interview

President Joe Biden called for an immediate cease-fire to get food and aid into Gaza in an interview airing Tuesday night on Univision.

"So I what I'm calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a cease-fire, allow for the next six, eight weeks total access to all food and medicine going into the country," Biden said in the interview with Univision's Enrique Acevedo. "I've spoken with everyone from the Saudis to the Jordanians to the Egyptians. They're prepared to move in. They're prepared to move this food in. And I think there's no excuse to not provide for the medical and the food needs of those people. It should be done now."

Biden did not mention tying the cease-fire to a hostage deal, according to a transcript of the interview, which would be a shift for the administration. ABC News has reached out to the White House for comment.

Last week, officials pushed back on suggestions that they were separating calls for a cease-fire from hostage negotiations in their readout of Biden's call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Our conviction remains that we need to see an immediate cease-fire to enable the release of hostages but also to enable a dramatic surge in humanitarian assistance, as well as obviously better protecting civilians," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on April 4.

In the Univision interview, Biden also called Netanyahu's approach in Gaza "a mistake" when asked if he believed the prime minister was "more concerned about his political survival than he is in the national interest of his people" as calls for Netanyahu's resignation have increased following the strike that killed seven World Central Kitchen workers.

"Well, I will tell you, I think what he's doing is a mistake. I don't agree with his approach. I think it's outrageous that those four, three vehicles were hit by drones and taken out on a highway where it wasn't like it was along the shore, it wasn't like there was a convoy moving there, etc.," Biden said in the interview.

The hour-long interview, which is airing at 10 p.m. ET, was taped a day before Biden's call with Netanyahu on April 4.

Apr 09, 4:00 PM
US effort to build humanitarian pier off Gaza expected to top $180M

President Joe Biden's plan to use the military to build a giant pier off the coast of Gaza to deliver food, water and medicine will cost at least $180 million and could top $200 million, ABC News has learned.

The price tag was described by two people familiar with the initial estimate, which has not been released by U.S. Central Command.

The price tag is expected to fluctuate as U.S. officials scramble to finalize key details on the project, including which humanitarian organizations and foreign governments are willing to help carry the shipments to shore and distribute them.

The floating dock is expected to be nearly the size of a football field -- about 97 feet wide and 270 feet long -- stationed about 3 miles offshore. Container ships would screen their cargo in Cyprus before taking it to the floating dock and unloading it. From there, the aid would be moved aboard small Army ferries that would transport it to an 1,800-foot "trident" pier that connects to shore.

Officials also continue to discuss how to protect the service members who will be 3 miles offshore, where Hamas is believed to still operate.

The project -- which triggered the deployment of six Army and Navy ships and will involve some 1,000 U.S. military troops -- is on track to become operational in early May, enabling the delivery of some 2 million meals per day.

Click here to read more.

-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty and Luis Martinez

Apr 09, 2:36 PM
New record number of aid trucks enter Gaza, IDF says

The Israel Defense Forces said 468 aid trucks entered Gaza on Tuesday -- the highest number to enter Gaza in one day since the war began.

More than 1,200 aid trucks have entered Gaza over the last three days, according to the IDF and Israeli aid agency COGAT.

Apr 09, 2:02 PM
Blinken gets emotional about Americans directly impacted by Israel-Hamas war

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke emotionally Tuesday about the Americans directly impacted by the Israel-Hamas war, touching on both the hostages still held captive and the aid workers killed in Gaza.

At a news conference with his United Kingdom counterpart, David Cameron, Blinken was asked about Rachel Goldberg, whose 23-year-old son, American-Israeli Hersch Goldberg-Polin, was captured by Hamas. Goldberg is asserting that negotiators have failed.

"I know Rachel well. If I were sitting in her shoes, I'd undoubtably be feeling and saying the same thing," Blinken said. "Because until the day that Hersch is home, we will not have succeeded in doing what we're determined to do -- which is to bring him and bring all the hostages back."

Blinken also said he spoke with the family of Jacob Flickinger, a 33-year-old dual U.S.-Canadian citizen who was one of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers killed by an Israeli strike in Gaza last week.

"I spoke over the weekend to Jacob's father and to his partner. I heard directly from them," he said. "Separately, Jacob leaves an 18-month-old son. Leaving everything else aside, just on a purely human level, my heart goes out to that family and to that little boy who now has no father."

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 09, 1:52 PM
Blinken says Israel hasn't communicated date for Rafah operation, but he doesn't 'see anything imminent'

Asked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Israel had set a date for its offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Tuesday that the U.S. was in the dark. But Blinken added that he doesn't think the operation is imminent.

"No, we do not have a date for any Rafah operation -- at least one that's been communicated to us by the Israelis," Blinken said at a news conference with his United Kingdom counterpart, David Cameron. "On the contrary, what we have is an ongoing conversation with Israel about any Rafah operation. The president has been very clear about our concerns -- our deep concerns about Israel's ability to move civilians out of harm’s way."

Blinken said he expected talks between Israeli and American officials on the matter would press on into next week and that he didn’t want to "prejudge" an outcome.

"I don't anticipate any actions being taken before those talks," he said. "I don't see anything imminent."

As other Biden administration officials have done, Blinken stressed that the administration’s evaluation of Israel’s efforts to meet dire humanitarian needs in Gaza would be ongoing, and that officials would be "looking at a number of critical things that need to happen in the coming days."

Blinken said that list of items includes: opening a new portal for aid in northern Gaza; using Israel’s Port of Ashdod to bring in supplies on a regular basis; maximizing the flow of assistance from Jordan; repairing water lines throughout Gaza; and "putting in place a much more effective deconfliction mechanism with the humanitarian groups that are providing assistance."

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 09, 12:23 PM
McConnell criticizes Biden, claims he's caving to political pressure on Israel

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is claiming President Joe Biden is caving to political pressure on Israel.

McConnell criticized Biden for expressing outrage at the deaths of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, who were killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza last week, after his administration had called it a tragic accident.

"[That] begs the question whether he's also outraged at the way Israel's cherished aggressors violate international law by turning hospitals and schools [in Gaza] into fighting positions," McConnell said Tuesday. "Instead of welcoming Israel's swift investigation and efforts to hold personnel accountable for their mistakes -- accountability that has been sorely lacking during President Biden's own administration -- the president caved further to domestic political pressure. He indulged his radical base."

-ABC News’ John Parkinson

Apr 09, 11:07 AM
Harris to meet with American hostages' families on Tuesday

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with the families of American hostages being held by Hamas on Tuesday afternoon, according to the White House.

Harris will "express her continued support for these families and the hostages and will provide an update on our administration’s efforts to broker a deal to secure the release of all hostages and an immediate cease-fire," a White House official said.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan met with the families on Monday.

The families told Sullivan they were appreciative of the Biden administration’s support, but also disappointed that a deal still hadn’t been reached to bring home the remaining hostages, which include eight American-Israeli citizens, the Hostages Families Forum Headquarters said.

The families said they told Sullivan they’re worried their loved ones will be the next to die if the negotiators don’t reach a deal soon.

-ABC News’ Justin Gomez

Apr 09, 10:54 AM
Israel says IDF killed head of Hamas' Emergency Bureau

The Israel Defense Forces said its fighter jets struck and killed Hatem Alramery, the head of Hamas' Emergency Bureau, in Gaza on Monday night.

Hamas said civilians were also killed in the strike.

Apr 09, 10:48 AM
Hamas says Israel is being 'stubborn' in negotiations

Hamas officials are accusing the Israelis of being "stubborn" during the latest round of negotiations in Cairo.

"Despite this," Hamas officials said in a statement, Hamas leaders are "studying the submitted proposal … and will inform the mediators of its response once this is completed."

CIA Director Bill Burns presented a new hostage/cease-fire proposal in Cairo this weekend, which included an initial release of 40 hostages in exchange for six-week cease-fire, a source familiar with the negotiations told ABC News.

Apr 09, 8:49 AM
Harris to meet with American hostages' families on Tuesday

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with the families of American hostages being held by Hamas on Tuesday afternoon, according to the White House.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan met with the families on Monday.

Harris will "express her continued support for these families and the hostages and will provide an update on our administration’s efforts to broker a deal to secure the release of all hostages and an immediate cease-fire," a White House official said.

Apr 08, 8:33 PM
CIA director presented new hostage-release deal: Source

A source tells ABC News that CIA Director William J. Burns presented a new hostage-release/cease-fire proposal in Cairo last weekend to help broker a deal between Israel and Hamas.

The source confirmed the proposal included an initial release of 40 hostages in exchange for a six-week cease-fire.

Officially, the CIA did not provide a comment.

Apr 08, 3:52 PM
Highest number of aid trucks enter Gaza since start of war

A total of 419 humanitarian aid trucks entered Gaza on Monday, marking the highest number of aid trucks to enter Gaza in one day since the start of the war, according to Israeli aid agency COGAT.

This beats the record that was set one day earlier, when 322 trucks entered Gaza.

Apr 08, 1:11 PM
Netanyahu says Israel has set a date to enter Rafah

Israel has set a date for its forces to enter Rafah in southern Gaza, though the date has not been announced, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a brief video message in Hebrew on Monday.

"Today I received a detailed report on the [negotiation] talks in Cairo,” Netanyahu said. “We are working all the time to achieve our goals, primarily the release of all our hostages and achieving a complete victory over Hamas.”

“This victory requires entry into Rafah and the elimination of the terrorist battalions there,” he continued. “It will happen -- there is a date.”

-ABC News' Will Gretsky

Apr 08, 12:39 PM
White House still reviewing IDF report on WCK strike, Kirby says

The White House is still reviewing the Israel Defense Force’s investigation of the Israeli strike that killed seven World Central Kitchen workers in Gaza, according to White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

Officials are "still working our way through it," Kirby told reporters Monday. He didn’t provide any update on when that assessment will be done.

Kirby also said the postponed visit by the Israeli delegation to the White House to discuss the IDF’s presence in Rafah in southern Gaza will likely be delayed again.

"I'm not sure that it's going to actually happen this week," he said. "I think folks are really sort of circling around sometime next week."

-ABC News’ Justin Gomez

Apr 07, 5:00 PM
Egypt to dramatically increase number of aid trucks through Rafah crossing

Egypt has decided to increase the number of aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip through its Rafah border crossing to 300 trucks per day, Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt's State Information Service, said Sunday.

The average number of trucks entering the crossing daily since the beginning of April has been 55, Egyptian officials said.

A total of 322 trucks entered North Gaza via Rafah during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Rashwan said.

Since Oct. 7, 2023, more than 19,000 relief trucks have entered the Gaza Strip through Rafah, Rashwan said.

Rashwan also said 66,759 foreign passport holders and dual nationals exited Gaza into Egypt through Rafah since the war began. Some 3,764 wounded Palestinians and patients, along with 6,191 relatives have also left Gaza into Egypt, according to Rashwan.

-ABC News' Ayat Al-Tawy

Apr 07, 3:48 PM
Talks to resume Sunday in Egypt, Israeli source says

An Israeli delegation has arrived in Cairo, Egypt, for a new round of cease-fire and hostage release talks, an Israeli source confirmed Sunday to ABC News.

-ABC News Jordana Miller

Apr 07, 2:51 PM
Troop withdrawal was to prepare for missions, including in Rafah, Israeli defense minister says

The withdrawal Sunday of Israeli troops from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip was done to prepare forces for future missions, including in Rafah, according to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

“The withdrawal of troops from Khan Younis was carried out once Hamas ceased to exist as a military framework in the city," Gallant said Sunday. "Our forces left the area in order to prepare for their future missions, including their mission in Rafah.”

Speaking to reporters during a visit to the Israel Defense Forces' southern command, Gallant said, "We saw examples of such missions in Shifaa, and [will see] such missions in the Rafah area. We will reach a point when Hamas no longer controls the Gaza Strip and does not function as a military framework that poses a threat to the citizens of the State of Israel."

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi also confirmed Sunday that "the war in Gaza continues" and Israel is "far from stopping."

Senior Hamas officials are still hiding in the southern Gaza Strip area, Halevi said in a statement.

"We will get to them sooner or later," Halevi said, adding that the IDF "will know how to return to fighting in the event of a truce as part of a hostage deal and that returning the hostages is a more urgent matter than other goals."

Halevi also said Israel is preparing to defend itself from a possible strike from Iran, which has vowed to retaliate against an airstrike allegedly carried out by Israel in Syria last week that killed a top Iranian commander.

Halevi said the IDF is fully prepared to deal with Tehran "in attack and defense."

-ABC News' Jordana Miller

Apr 07, 11:31 AM
Israeli reforms after strike on aid workers must be verified: White House

John Kirby, the White House National Security Council spokesperson, said Sunday that any reforms by Israel after its deadly strike on the World Central Kitchen humanitarian aid convoy in Gaza last week have to be verified to restore "confidence."

Seven WCK workers were killed in the attack, which Israel has described as a "terrible mistake." The Israeli government and military have taken some steps in response, including allowing more aid into Gaza and disciplining some officers involved in the WCK drone strike.

"We need to see change over time," Kirby told ABC News "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz. "So, these announcements, Martha, they're very welcomed, and they're good. And they are some of the things that the president asked specifically for Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu to do in terms of opening up additional crossings, allowing more trucks in, getting the deconfliction process in place."

Kirby added, "But now we have to judge it over time, we have to see past the announcements and see if they actually meet these commitments over time, in a sustained and verifiable way, so that confidence can be restored not just between aid workers and [Israel's forces], but between the people of Gaza and Israel."

-ABC News' Tal Axelrod

Apr 07, 10:31 AM
Israel withdraws ground troops from southern Gaza Strip: IDF

Israel has withdrawn all ground troops from the southern Gaza Strip, after four straight months of fighting in the Khan Younis area, according to Israel Defense Forces sources.

A significant force led by Israel's 162nd division and the Nahal Brigade continues to operate in the Gaza Strip, preserving the IDF’s freedom of action and its ability to conduct precise intelligence-based operations, according to the IDF sources.

-ABC News' Dana Savir and Jordana Miller

Apr 07, 9:52 AM
'War against humanity,' WCK founder Jose Andres tells ABC News

Chef José Andrés claimed Israel is committing a "war against humanity itself" during an exclusive sit-down interview with "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz, following the Israeli drone strike attack that killed seven of his World Central Kitchen workers.

Andrés, who founded the humanitarian organization in 2010, pushed back against the Israel Defense Forces' findings on the WCK convoy strike, telling Raddatz, "Every time something happens, we cannot just be bringing Hamas into the equation."

"This is not anymore about the seven men and women of World Central Kitchen that perished on this unfortunate event. This is happening for way too long. It's been six months of targeting anything that seems moves," Andrés said. "This doesn't seem a war against terror. This doesn't seem anymore a war about defending Israel. This really, at this point, seems it's a war against humanity itself."

The IDF findings released on Friday said there were three strikes on the convoy. It also said WCK workers hit in the first vehicle were hit again while moving to another vehicle in the convoy. The IDF confirmed that the aid group had coordinated their movements correctly with them in advance, but conceded that Israeli officials failed to update its brigade on the coordinated humanitarian operation.

Asked by Raddatz if he was satisfied with the report's findings, Andrés thanked the IDF for conducting "such a quick investigation" though called for a more thorough, independent one.

"I will say something so complicated, the investigation should be much more deeper," he said. "And I would say that the perpetrator cannot be investigating himself."

Watch the full interview with Andrés on "This Week" Sunday morning on ABC.

-ABC News' Meredith Deliso

Apr 07, 5:42 AM
Israel 'still unhealed' 6 months into war, UK prime minister says

Six months into Israel’s war with Hamas, Israel’s “wounds” caused by the terror attack on Oct. 7 remain “unhealed,” U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.

And Palestinians, including children, in the Gaza Strip need a humanitarian pause “immediately,” as well as a sustainable long-term cease-fire, Sunak said in a statement on Saturday.

“After six months of war in Gaza, the toll on civilians continues to grow — hunger, desperation, loss of life on an awful scale,” he said.

The U.K. continues to stand by Israel’s right to defend itself and defeat Hamas, he said, but he also called for the “terrible” conflict to end. The hostages must be released and aid must “be flooded in” to Gaza, he said.

“But the whole of the U.K. is shocked by the bloodshed, and appalled by the killing of brave British heroes who were bringing food to those in need,” Sunak said, referring to World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in Israeli military strikes.

Apr 06, 3:22 PM
UN issues report on Al-Shifa Hospital, calling for cease-fire

The United Nations said it finally gained access to Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, following a days-long Israeli raid and found what the head of the World Health Organization called "an empty shell," with most buildings destroyed.

"The scale of devastation has left the facility completely non-functional, further reducing access to life-saving health care in Gaza. Restoring even minimal functionality in the short term seems implausible and will require substantial efforts to assess and clear the grounds for unexploded ordnance to ensure safety and accessibility for partners to bring in equipment and supplies," WHO said in a statement.

The WHO said its efforts to reach the hospital "to medically evacuate patients and staff and conduct an assessment were denied, delayed or impeded 6 times between 25 March and 1 April." According to the WHO at least 20 patients died due to lack of access to care.

The WHO said numerous shallow graves, and many partially buried bodies, were found just outside the emergency department after the Israeli siege.

"During the visit, WHO staff witnessed at least five bodies lying partially covered on the ground, exposed to the heat. The team reported a pungent smell of decomposing bodies engulfing the hospital compound. Safeguarding dignity, even in death, is an indispensable act of humanity," according to the WHO.

The destruction of Shifa and the main hospital in southern Gaza - Nasser - "has broken the backbone of the already ailing health system," the WHO said.

Apr 06, 3:15 PM
UN marks 'terrible milestone' as Gaza faces 'man-made famine'

The people of Gaza are facing the "immediate prospect of a shameful manmade famine," United Nations Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths said, as he called for an end to the war.

"We have arrived at a terrible milestone," Griffiths said in a statement marking six months of the Israel-Hamas war. He called the prospect of further escalation in Gaza "unconscionable."

"Rarely has there been such global outrage at the toll of conflict, with seemingly so little done to end it and instead so much impunity," Griffiths said.

-ABC News' Nadine Shubailat

Apr 05, 4:21 PM
Sullivan to meet with hostage families on Monday

National security adviser Jake Sullivan will meet families of hostages at the White House on Monday, which is one day after the war reaches the six-month mark, a senior administration official said.

President Joe Biden on Friday wrote letters to the president of Egypt and the emir of Qatar on the state of the talks, and he urged them to secure commitments from Hamas to agree to and abide by a deal, the official added.

"The president made clear that everything must be done to secure the release of hostages, including American citizens, now held by Hamas terrorists for nearly six months," the senior administration official said.

"They discussed the importance of fully empowering Israeli negotiators to reach a deal, which in its first phase would secure the release of women, elderly, sick and wounded hostages," the official said.

A new round of talks will take place this weekend in Cairo.

-ABC News’ Selina Wang

Apr 05, 3:49 PM
Strike on World Central Kitchen workers was 'a terrible chain of errors,' IDF says

The Israeli Defense Forces issued a new statement in English calling the Israeli military’s strikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers on Monday a "tragedy."

"It was a terrible chain of errors and it should never have happened," the IDF said. "The IDF takes full responsibility for this regrettable loss of life."

The IDF said earlier that the airstrike came after Israeli forces misidentified a WCK worker in the convoy as a Hamas gunman.

The IDF said WCK correctly coordinated its movements with the IDF prior to the night the workers were killed and that there was a "comprehensive plan" in place for the WCK workers’ movements on Monday.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman

Apr 05, 10:05 AM
US 'carefully' reviewing Israel's report on WCK attack, Blinken says

U.S. officials are reviewing Israel's report on the Israel military’s attack on World Central Kitchen aid workers "very carefully" and "will be discussing its conclusions with Israeli officials and with humanitarian organizations in the days to come," Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters.

The Israel Defense Forces said its airstrike in Gaza that killed seven WCK aid workers on Monday came after Israeli forces misidentified a WCK worker in the convoy as a Hamas gunman.

Blinken said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "indicated" to President Joe Biden in their Thursday call "that Israel would be making further changes to its procedures to make sure that those who are providing assistance to people who so desperately need it in Gaza are protected."

"It's very important that Israel is taking full responsibility for this incident. It's also important that it appears to be taking steps to hold those responsible accountable," Blinken said. "Even more important is making sure that steps are taken going forward to ensure that something like this can never happen again."

Blinken said the U.S. would be "looking to see not just what steps are being taken, but the results that follow" from potential changes to Israeli military operations.

-ABC News’ Chris Boccia

Apr 05, 9:43 AM
Kirby: US must 'start seeing meaningful changes' from Israel

White House national security communications adviser John Kirby warned Friday that if the U.S. doesn’t "start seeing meaningful changes in the way Israel is prosecuting these [military] operations [in Gaza] and allowing for humanitarian assistance [in Gaza], and working toward a hostage deal and cease-fire, then we’re going to have to make changes in our Gaza policy."

In his interview with ABC News' Good Morning America, Kirby would not say if those changes in Gaza policy would mean conditioning U.S. aid.

But Kirby said President Joe Biden was very clear on his call Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. must "see some changes."

"We’ve got to see the humanitarian situation improve in Gaza, or otherwise we will have to try to take a look at our own policy and make decisions, and change the way that we’re supporting Israel," Kirby said.

The U.S. still wants an immediate cease-fire in exchange for the release of the Israeli hostages and for getting more aid into Gaza, Kirby stressed. U.S. officials will be among the negotiators meeting this weekend in Cairo, he said.

Apr 05, 7:09 AM
IDF says there were 3 strikes on WCK convoy, misidentified worker as Hamas gunman: 'Misjudgment'

Israel Defense Forces released a statement Friday about the deadly airstrike in Gaza that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers on April 1.

The IDF said it misidentified a WCK worker in the convoy as a Hamas gunman.

"After the vehicles left the warehouse where the aid had been unloaded, one of the commanders mistakenly assumed that the gunmen were located inside the accompanying vehicles and that these were Hamas terrorists. The forces did not identify the vehicles in question as being associated with WCK," the IDF said in a statement Friday.

"Following a misidentification by the forces, the forces targeted the three WCK vehicles based on the misclassification of the event and misidentification of the vehicles as having Hamas operatives inside them, with the resulting strike leading to the deaths of seven innocent humanitarian aid workers," the statement continued.

The report said there were three strikes on the convoy. It also said WCK workers hit in the first vehicle were hit again while moving to another vehicle in the convoy.

"The investigation's findings indicate that the incident should not have occurred. Those who approved the strike were convinced that they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees," the IDF said. "The strike on the aid vehicles is a grave mistake stemming from a serious failure due to a mistaken identification, errors in decision-making, and an attack contrary to the Standard Operating Procedures."

It said WCK correctly coordinated its movements with the IDF prior to the night the workers were killed and that there was a "comprehensive plan" in place for the WCK movement on April 1.

Apr 05, 5:16 AM
'The real test is results': Blinken reacts to Israel border crossing announcements

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about the announcement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office's announcement overnight that additional crossings into Gaza would be opened up for aid to enter.

He said the U.S. "welcomed" the development but that "the real test is results, and that's what we're looking to see in the coming days, the coming weeks."

"Is the aid effectively reaching the people who need it throughout Gaza?" he said. "Do we have a much better system for deconfliction and coordination so that the humanitarian workers, the folks who are delivering the aid, can do it safely and securely? All of these things are critical."

Blinken said these aims would be measured by clear metrics "like the number of trucks that are actually getting in on a sustained basis," and the aid making it to those in need through the enclave — "including critically northern Gaza."

He said the administration would be closely watching to see if other measurements were reversed, including "the fact that almost 100% of the population is acutely food insecure" as well as indicators of potential famine.

"So really, the proof is in the results," he said.

-ABC News' Shannon Crawford

Apr 04, 10:18 PM
Partner of killed aid worker calls for answers: 'We need the truth of what happened'

The partner of one of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza this week is pleading for answers into the deadly attack.

"We need some answers," Sandy Leclerc, the partner of Jacob Flickinger, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, told ABC News on Thursday, in her first television interview since the attack. "We need the truth of what happened because this situation is so unclear."

"Please Mr. Biden, give us the truth of what happened," she asked of President Joe Biden as she spoke with ABC News correspondent Phil Lipof.

Apr 04, 6:17 PM
Israel to open another border crossing point after Biden-Netanyahu call: Official

Israel has decided to open another border crossing point -- the Erez checkpoint -- to allow humanitarian aid to cross into Gaza, according to an Israeli official.

The decision comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden spoke by phone earlier Thursday.

"This increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is necessary to ensure the continuation of the fighting and to achieve the goals of the war," the official said in a statement. "In light of this, Israel will allow the temporary delivery of humanitarian aid through Ashdod (port) and the Erez checkpoint and will increase the Jordanian aid coming in through Kerem Shalom."

-ABC News' Dana Savir

Apr 04, 6:07 PM
WCK airstrike won't affect emergency pier mission: Pentagon

The U.S. military's emergency pier system to get humanitarian aid into Gaza is still en route, Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Thursday.

Ryder said that USAID continues to work with organizations to finalize a distribution plan for the aid once it's transferred by the system -- known as JLOTS -- to shore. He also acknowledged that the deadly Israeli strike that killed seven humanitarian aid workers this week "certainly doesn't make that job easier."

He added that it "has not deterred us from continuing to work with groups and NGOs to come up with solutions."

Ryder confirmed that Israel has committed to providing security on shore for the pier and port system.

"I know Israel's investigating in terms of the strike on World Central Kitchen and we trust that Israel will provide the security that we need on the shore," he said.

Ryder said the system is expected to be operational by the end of April or early May.

"We're not changing the mission. We've been tasked to provide a temporary pier. Everything is on track on schedule at this point," he said.

-ABC News' Luis Martinez

Apr 04, 5:17 PM
Child in Gaza ate grass to survive, UNICEF spokesperson says

A UNICEF spokesperson on the ground in Gaza told ABC News Live she is "shocked" by the conditions she has seen in hospitals, including malnourished children.

The spokesperson, Tess Ingram, said she recently visited Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza and met a 7-year-old boy who was "eating grass."

"He was so sick and in so much pain," Ingram told ABC's Terry Moran Thursday. "Thankfully, the doctors there think he will make a full recovery, but he is one of hundreds of children they said that they're treating for malnutrition at the moment."

"This has to be unacceptable, particularly when the aid is just a few kilometers away, as is the nutrition treatments that we have that can save children's lives," she added.

Asked how to protect those providing humanitarian resources in Gaza, following the Israeli airstrike on an aid convoy that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers earlier this week, Ingram said "it's called international humanitarian law."

"That is what we are calling on the parties to the conflict to respect," she said.

-ABC News' Luis Rodriguez, Isabella Meneses, Kiara Brantley-Jones and Robinson Perez

Apr 04, 4:15 PM
World Central Kitchen attack is part of pattern, NGOs operating in Gaza say

Officials from humanitarian organizations operating in the Gaza Strip stressed to reporters Thursday that they believe the Israeli airstrikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers on Monday is part of a pattern.

They said other humanitarian workers were targeted and killed before, including doctors, nurses and journalists, but they were Palestinians.

"The condemnation for the World Central Kitchen incident is right and just, but where is it for every other humanitarian worker, for every other hospital that is destroyed, for every attempt to manipulate the media?" said Christopher Lockyear, secretary general of Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières. "What happened to [World Central Kitchen] is part of a pattern. ... This is about impunity and total disregard of rules of war."

Asked if the World Central Kitchen attack will significantly decrease humanitarian work in Gaza, Lockyear responded, "We remain present in Gaza, but we are assessing the risks on a daily basis."

-ABC News’ Camilla Alcini and Ellie Kaufman

Apr 04, 4:11 PM
US warns of policy changes if Israel doesn't take action to better protect civilians

President Joe Biden spoke Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, their first conversation since seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen were killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

Biden had strongly condemned the incident, which Israel's said was unintentional, saying he was "outraged."

Biden further expressed to Netanyahu that the strikes on the food relief workers and the overall humanitarian crisis in Gaza are "unacceptable," according to a White House readout of the call.

For the first time, the White House hinted the president may consider a change in U.S. policy with respect to Gaza if Israel doesn't take action to better protect civilians and aid workers.

"He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers," the readout read. "He made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps."

Click here to read more.

-ABC News' Molly Nagle and Alexandra Hutzler

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Iran launches attack on Israel: What is the Iron Dome?

ABC News

Iran unleashed an attack on Israel Saturday night, sending more than 300 uncrewed drones and missiles toward targets throughout the country, Israeli military officials said.

All but a few were intercepted by Israel and its allies, including the United States, officials said.

The Pentagon said April 2 that Israel was behind an airstrike in Damascus, Syria, that killed seven people, including a top Iranian commander, even though Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Saturday attack on Israel came more than six months after Hamas terrorists invaded the country on Oct. 7, 2023, after which the Israeli military began its bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

The Iranian attack resulted in only one known Israeli casualty, a 10-year-old girl who was severely injured when she was struck by shrapnel apparently from an intercepted missile, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari said Sunday.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi claimed Sunday that Iran had taught Israel a lesson and warned of a "heavier" response to "any new adventures against the interests of the Iranian nation." The Iranian envoy to the United Nations said Sunday that "the issue can be considered closed."

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told ABC's "Good Morning America" Sunday that any response to Iran's attack is up to Israeli forces. But he stressed that President Joe Biden does not want the situation to escalate or have the U.S. drawn further into any conflict.

Israeli officials said the country's Iron Dome defense system endured a big test from Iran's attack on Saturday, intercepting 99% of the 300 "threats of various types" thrown at it.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched 170 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more than 120 ballistic missiles and more than 30 cruise missiles in the attack, according to Hagari.

Hagari said "99% of the threats launched towards Israeli territory were intercepted -- a very significant strategic achievement."

What is the Iron Dome and how does it work?
Like many modern air defense systems, an Iron Dome battery uses a sophisticated radar system to track inbound missiles that are then intercepted by Tamir missiles fired from multiple launchers attached to the radar system.

Each Iron Dome battery consists of three to four launchers that can each carry up to 20 Tamir interceptor missiles.

The system can bring down rockets fired from a range of 2 to 40 miles away.

The mobile air defense system first became operational in 2011 and since then has had a very high success rate in intercepting rockets targeting Israel.

The IDF has disclosed that in May 2023, when Islamic Jihad launched a barrage of rockets toward Israel, 95.6% of the Iron Dome interceptors launched by the system successfully destroyed incoming rockets.

The IDF's information highlights the reality that an interceptor missile is not fired at every rocket that makes it into Israeli territory. Instead, based on tracking data, the system fires interceptors only if an incoming rocket poses a threat to a populated area. If not deemed to pose a threat, then the incoming rocket will land in an unpopulated area.

The Iron Dome is typically located around cities or smaller populated areas that have been targeted in the past by incoming rockets.

ABC News' Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sydney stabbing: 6 dead, suspect killed in attack at major shopping mall

David Gray/AFP via Getty Images

(LONDON) -- At least six people were killed in a knife attack on Saturday at a shopping mall near Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, police confirmed. The attacker was shot dead by a responding officer.

Police said a nine-month-old baby is among the eight others who were injured in the stabbing attack.

The Sydney knifeman was identified as a 40-year-old male and his attack is not thought to be terror-related, New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb said during a press conference on Saturday.

The police "don't have fears for that person holding an ideation, in other words, that it's not a terrorism incident," Webb said.

Five women and one man were identified as the victims of the attack.

"A critical incident has commenced following the shooting of male at Bondi Junction. Just before 4pm (Saturday 13 April 2024), emergency services were called to Westfield Bondi Junction following reports of multiple people stabbed," said New South Wales (NSW) Police in a statement following the incident. "People are urged to avoid the area. Inquiries are continuing in relation to the incident and there are no further details."

"There's no suggestion there was anyone targeted, that could change. We will only know that in time," Webb said.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's released a statement shortly after the attack.

"I have been briefed by the AFP on the devastating events at Bondi Junction. Tragically, multiple casualties have been reported and the first thoughts of all Australians are with those affected and their loved ones," said Albanese. "Our hearts go out to those injured and we offer our thanks to those caring for them as well as our brave police and first responders."

White House National Security Spokesperson Adrienne Watson commented on the attack in Sydney, saying that the White House stands "with the people of Australia during this difficult time" and wishing a "speedy recovery" to those who were injured.

"Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in the horrible attack in Sydney, Australia, & we wish a speedy recovery to those who suffered injuries," Watson said in a social media post.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.