NEW YORK (WABC) -- Editor's note: For the latest updates on the Israel-Hamas war, check abc7NY.com.
The tense cease-fire between Israel and Hamas appeared to be back on track early Sunday after the release of a second group of militant-held hostages and Palestinians from Israeli prisons, but the swap followed an hourslong delay that underscored the truce's fragility.
In a separate development, Hamas announced Sunday that one of its top commanders had been killed, without saying when or how.
The exchange was delayed Saturday evening after Hamas accused Israel of violating the agreement, which has brought the first significant pause in seven weeks of war marked by the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian violence in decades, vast destruction and displacement across the Gaza Strip, and a hostage crisis that has shaken Israel.
Qatar and Egypt, which mediate with Hamas, announced late Saturday that the obstacles to the exchange had been overcome. The militants released 13 Israelis and four Thais, while Israel freed 39 Palestinian prisoners. The release of a third group of hostages and prisoners is expected later Sunday.
Thousands of people gathered in central Tel Aviv late Saturday to call for the release of those still held by Hamas and other militant groups, which seized some 240 people during the Oct. 7 rampage across southern Israel that ignited the war. Forty-four have been released, one was freed by Israeli forces and two were found dead inside Gaza.
The protesters also accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of not doing enough to bring them back. Pressure from the hostages' families has sharpened the dilemma facing the country's leaders, who seek to eliminate Hamas as a military and governing power while returning all the captives.
The war has already claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians killed by Hamas in the initial attack. More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed, roughly two thirds of them women and minors, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The four-day cease-fire, which began Friday, was brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States. Hamas is to release at least 50 Israeli hostages, and Israel 150 Palestinian prisoners. All are women and minors.
Israel has said the truce can be extended by an extra day for every additional 10 hostages freed, but has vowed to quickly resume its offensive once it ends.
Nearly every person in the Gaza Strip doesn't have enough food, and more than two out of every three people don't have clean drinking water, the U.N. said last week. Residents say bread is scarce and supermarket shelves are bare. Central electricity and running water have been out for weeks.
More than 11,470 Palestinians - two-thirds of them women and minors - have been killed since the war began, according to Palestinian health authorities. About 2,700 people are reported missing.
Some 1,200 people have died in Israel, mostly during the initial attack, and around 240 were taken captive by Hamas.
Israeli forces operating in the occupied West Bank killed at least eight Palestinians, including at least one militant, in a 24-hour period, Palestinian health officials said Sunday, as a fragile pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip entered its third day.
Violence in the West Bank has surged in the weeks since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, setting off a devastating war in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces have killed dozens of Palestinians and arrested hundreds in the West Bank. Jewish West Bank settlers have also stepped up attacks.
Hamas militants on Saturday released 17 hostages, including 13 Israelis, from captivity in the Gaza Strip, while Israel freed 39 Palestinian prisoners in the latest stage of a four-day cease-fire.
The late-night exchange was held up for several hours after Hamas accused Israel of violating the agreement.
Hamas released 13 Israelis and four foreigners late Saturday in the second round of swaps under a cease-fire deal, the Israeli military said, after the militant group initially delayed the exchange for several hours and claimed that Israel had violated the terms of a truce deal.
A hostage agreement between Hamas and Israel may not be so far off, according to Hamas officials. The agreement would ultimately entail Hamas releasing Israeli hostages to get Palestinian prisoners back in return.
Israel, the United States and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas, have been negotiating for weeks over a hostage release that would be paired with a temporary cease-fire in Gaza and the entry of more humanitarian aid.
The Israel Defense Forces said they are carrying out a "precise and targeted operation against Hamas" in an area in the Al-Shifa Hospital.
"The IDF forces include medical teams and Arabic speakers, who have undergone specified training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment, with the intent that no harm is caused to the civilians being used by Hamas as human shields," IDF said in a statement.
IDF called upon Hamas militants in the hospital to surrender.
The operation comes after IDF called for military activities in the hospital to "cease within 12 hours," IDF said, adding: "Unfortunately, it did not."
The United States on Tuesday said it imposed a third round of sanctions on a group of Hamas officials, members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad who work to transfer money from Iran to Gaza, and a Lebanese money exchange service that facilitates the transfers.
The Treasury Department sanctions, coordinated with the United Kingdom, come in response to the surprise Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel that left about 1,200 people dead and about 240 others taken hostage. The sanctions block access to U.S. property and bank accounts and prevent the targeted people and companies from doing business with Americans.
This and two previous rounds of sanctions against Hamas and its affiliates are aimed at protecting the international financial system from abuse by Hamas militants and their enablers, the Treasury Department said.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in an emailed statement that "together with our partners we are decisively moving to degrade Hamas's financial infrastructure, cut them off from outside funding, and block the new funding channels they seek to finance their heinous acts."
Families of hostages held by Hamas since its Oct. 7 attack on Israel have begun a protest march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem demanding that the government do more to secure their release.
The marchers held a moment of silence for a 19-year-old Israeli soldier, among the approximately 240 people seized by Hamas, who was confirmed to have died in captivity. The Israeli military did not give a reason for her death, while Hamas said she was killed in an Israeli strike.
Among the participants in the 65-kilometer (40-mile) march was Shelly Shem Tov, mother of 21-year-old hostage Omer Shem Tov.
"Where are you, where are you, where are you? I am demanding from (Israel Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu and from all the Cabinet to give us answers, to give us answers and deeds," the mother, wearing a T-shirt with a photograph of her son, said at the protest.
"We have no strength anymore. We have no strength. Bring back our children and our families home."
A large group of people, family members of Hamas hostages, made the long trek from Israel to New York City to gather at the gravesite of a well-known rabbi on Monday night.
Countless members of the city's Lubavitch community sang in solidarity, waiting in the cold for those very special guests.
Busloads of Israelis, family members of those held hostage by Hamas, flew 12 hours to the holy site in Queens just to pray.
The pace of Palestinian civilians fleeing the combat zone in northern Gaza has picked up as Israel's air and ground campaign there intensifies.
The pace appeared to be greater Wednesday, after the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said about 15,000 people fled Tuesday, compared to 5,000 on Monday and 2,000 on Sunday.
U.S. President Joe Biden's administration says Israel will allow a 4-hour humanitarian pause each day in combat operations in northern Gaza to allow civilians to flee to the south, starting on Thursday. Biden also told reporters that he had asked the Israelis for a "pause longer than three days" during negotiations over the release of some hostages held by Hamas, although he ruled out the chances of a general cease-fire.
In Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron has opened a Gaza aid conference with an appeal for Israel to protect civilians, saying that "all lives have equal worth" and that fighting terrorism "can never be carried out without rules."
France wants Thursday's aid conference that brings together more than 50 nations to address the besieged Palestinian enclave's growing needs including food, water, health supplies, electricity and fuel.
The U.S. humanitarian envoy for the war described improving aid delivery for central and southern Gaza, but described no such effort in the northern battle zone other than to help civilians flee the intensifying Israeli assault there.
Envoy David Satterfield said Thursday that the international community had been able to get fuel to turn back on water desalination plants in the south, and that aid into the south was averaging 100 trucks a day. Two pipelines supplying clean drinking water to the south from Israel had been turned back on.
"We do see the ability in the coming days we hope to meet the minimum requirements of the population in the south," he said.
Satterfield also said in the online briefing that agreements being worked out would include a way to move wounded from the north.
The U.N. estimated on Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of people were still in northern Gaza, but could not immediately provide an updated figure.
The White House says Israel has agreed to put in place four-hour daily humanitarian pauses in its assault on Hamas in northern Gaza.
The Biden administration says it has secured a second pathway for civilians to flee fighting. President Joe Biden had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to institute the daily pauses during a Monday call.
Police in New York City are tracking an increase in bias crimes targeting Jews in the month since the Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent war.
The total number of bias incidents investigated by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force increased by 124% (101 v. 45) in October, led by a 214% (69 v. 22) spike in anti-Jewish incidents, the NYPD said.
Overall hate crime investigations year to date, however, trended down with a decrease of 9% (485 v. 531).
Customers lined up down the street at a Jewish-owned café in Manhattan after workers walked off the job in protest over the owner's stance on the crisis in the Middle East.
It happened in a heartbeat. Five employees at Caffé Aronne on Lexington Avenue suddenly walked off the job Tuesday.
The workers took issue with the "kidnapped" posters in the café's window and quit in protest, telling the Israeli owner he supported the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.
A dozen Palestinian children in Gaza who have cancer were allowed to cross the Rafah border on Tuesday for treatment in Egypt.
According to Egypt's Health Ministry, the 12 children were transferred to specialized cancer hospitals. Authorities did not say whether the children traveled alone or if any family members or guardians were allowed to accompany them.
Evacuations out of Gaza stalled on Friday following a dispute among Israel, Egypt and Hamas. Hundreds of trucks carrying aid have been allowed to enter Gaza from Egypt since Oct. 21. But humanitarian workers say the aid is far short of mounting needs. Egypt's Rafah Crossing has also opened to allow hundreds of foreign passport holders and medical patients to leave Gaza.
Between tears on Monday, two sisters, Rinat Har Sheleg and Natali Har, told the story of October 7 when their father, his girlfriend and three of her relatives, including a 17-year-old, were kidnapped by Hamas.
Now the sisters are spending a week in New York, sharing their story, appearing at Yismach Moshe Synagogue in Woodmere on Monday.
As intense air strikes continue in the Middle East, thousands rallied on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on Monday night, marking 30 days since the brutal Hamas attack on Israel.
An estimated 10,000 people were in attendance for the 'United for Israel' vigil and rally sponsored by the UJA Federation of New York.
Demonstrators extended from 82nd Street all the way up to 86th Street in the section of Central Park West. Their message: to bring home the more than 200 people held hostage by Hamas.
The United Nations chief is again demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza and a halt to the "spiral of escalation" already taking place from the West Bank, Lebanon and Syria to Iraq and Yemen.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters Monday that international humanitarian law, which demands protection of civilians and infrastructure essential for their lives, is clearly being violated and stressed that "no party to an armed conflict is above" these laws.
"Ground operations by the Israel Defense Forces and continued bombardment are hitting civilians, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches and U.N. facilities - including shelters. No one is safe," Guterres said. "At the same time, Hamas and other militants use civilians as human shields and continue to launch rockets indiscriminately towards Israel."
The secretary-general called again for the immediate unconditional release of the hostages taken by Hamas from Israel to Gaza, the speedy delivery of more food, water, fuel and medicine to the territory, and the end of the use of civilians as human shields. He stressed that none of these appeals should be contingent on the others but said freeing the hostages is "central to solving many other challenges."
Guterres launched a $1.2 billion humanitarian appeal to help 2.7 million people - the entire 2.2 million population of the Gaza Strip and 500,000 in the West Bank.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up a grueling Middle East diplomatic tour in Turkey after only limited success in forging a regional consensus on how to ease civilian suffering in Gaza as Israel intensifies its war against Hamas.
Blinken met Monday in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan after a weekend of travel that took him from Israel to Jordan, the West Bank, Cyprus and Iraq to build support for the Biden administration's proposal for "humanitarian pauses" in Israel's relentless military campaign in Gaza.
"All of this is a work in progress," Blinken said before leaving Turkey. "We don't obviously agree on everything, but there are common views on some of the imperatives of the moment that we're working on together."
The Biden administration hopes that pauses in the war would allow for a surge of humanitarian aid to Gaza and the release of hostages captured by Hamas during its Oct. 7 incursion into southern Israel that killed more than 1,400 people, while also preventing the conflict from spreading regionally.
Israel has rejected the pauses proposal outright while Arab and Muslim nations are instead demanding an immediate cease-fire as the Palestinian casualty toll soars from Israeli bombardments of Gaza in response to Hamas' attack.
Israeli military strikes killed multiple civilians Saturday at a U.N. shelter and hospital in the main combat zone in the Gaza Strip as the assault intensified on the besieged enclave's Hamas rulers, amid growing international uproar over the soaring death toll and deepening humanitarian crisis.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to urge protections for civilians in the fighting with Hamas, as Israeli troops tightened their encirclement of Gaza City.
Tensions escalated along the northern border with Lebanon ahead of a speech planned later Friday by Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Hamas ally. It is his first public speech since Hamas attacked Israel last month, stoking fears the conflict could become a regional one.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a temporary cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, saying he will press ahead with a devastating military offensive until hostages held by the Hamas militant group are released.
Netanyahu spoke shortly after meeting Friday with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who pressed Israel for a temporary pause in its offensive to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza. Blinken also urged Israel to do more to protect civilians from its attacks.
In a statement, Netanyahu said Israel is continuing with "all of its power" and "refuses a temporary cease-fire that doesn't include a return of our hostages."
Hamas kidnapped about 240 people in its Oct. 7 cross-border attack that triggered the Israel-Hamas war. The attack killed about 1,400 people, while over 9,200 Palestinians in Gaza have died in Israeli strikes that began the same day, according to Palestinian health officials.
U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday that 74 Americans with dual citizenship have been evacuated from the Gaza Strip.
"We got out today 74 American folks out that are dual citizens," Biden said, calling the update "good news."
His remarks came during a meeting with the president of the Dominican Republic in the Oval Office.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the 74 Americans who left Gaza on Thursday came on top of the five Americans who left on Wednesday.
"I want to stress that these numbers are changing in real time."
He said the White House hopes the flow of evacuations continues "at a similar pace, if not better than what we've seen," and he cautioned that it's "a fluid situation."
Kirby thanked Qatar and Egypt for their assistance with the arrangements.
U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is developing a national strategy to combat Islamophobia as the White House faces skepticism from many Muslim Americans for its staunch support of Israel's military assault on Hamas in Gaza.
Plans for the initiative, which the White House billed as the first of its kind, were announced Wednesday. It is meant to bring together lawmakers, advocacy groups and other community leaders with the administration in order to "counter the scourge of Islamophobia and hate in all its forms," the White House said.
The White House originally was expected to announce its plans to develop the strategy last week when Biden met with Muslim leaders, but that was delayed, according to three people familiar with the matter. Two said the delay was due partly to concerns from Muslim Americans that the administration lacked credibility on the issue given its robust backing of Israel's military, whose strikes against Hamas militants have killed thousands of civilians in Gaza.
The State Department has confirmed that a number of US citizens trapped in Gaza have crossed into Egypt after a deal was reached to allow foreigners to leave the enclave.
"An initial group of foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, departed Gaza through Rafah today, and we expect exits of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to continue over the next several days," department spokesman Matthew Miller said.
He declined to say how many Americans had made it to Egypt on Wednesday but said there were consular officials on hand to assist them.
Roughly 400 American citizens in Gaza have told the State Department they want to leave the territory and, with family members, U.S. officials say they are looking at about 1,000 people who they are seeking to get out, Miller said.
"In the past 24 hours we have informed U.S. citizens and their family and family members with whom we are in contact that they will be assigned specific departure dates. We've asked them to continue to monitor their email regularly over the next 24 to 72 hours for specific instructions about how to exit," Miller said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "is appalled over the escalating violence in Gaza" including the killing of Palestinians by Israeli airstrikes in the Jabaliya refugee camp on Tuesday and Wednesday, his spokesman says.
"He condemns in the strongest terms, any killings of civilians," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Wednesday.
Dujarric said: "The secretary-general reiterates that all parties must abide by international law, international humanitarian law including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution."
The U.N. chief also reiterated his call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages taken from Israel by Hamas during its surprise attacks on Oct. 7, Dujarric said. And he called again "for the entry of vital humanitarian assistance at a scale needed to meet the mounting needs of the Palestinian population."
A pro-Palestinian rally took place outside the Egypt Mission to the United Nations on Manhattan's East Side on Tuesday evening.
Protesters called for more aid to be released across the Egyptian border into Gaza.
A 21-year-old student has been arrested and charged for allegedly sending antisemitic threats against Jewish students at Cornell University.
Patrick Dai, a junior at Cornell who is originally from Pittsford, New York, was arrested on Tuesday on federal criminal complaint charging him with posting threats to "kill or injure another using interstate communications."
In the Jabaliya refugee camp on Gaza City's outskirts, at least six airstrikes Tuesday leveled a number of apartment blocks in a residential area, the Hamas-run Interior Ministry said. It reported a large number of casualties but did not immediately provide details.
Footage of the scene from Al Jazeera TV showed at least four large craters where buildings once stood, amid a large swath of rubble surrounded by partially collapsed structures. Dozens of rescue workers and bystanders dug through the wreckage, searching for survivors beneath the pancaked buildings. A group of young men pulled two children from the upper floors of a damaged apartment block, cradling them as they climbed down.
Israel says a female soldier captured by Hamas militants during their Oct. 7 incursion has been rescued during Israel's ground operations in Gaza. The military provided few details, but she appears to be the first captive to be freed since Israel stepped up its ground war.
The military says Private Ori Megidish "was medically checked, is doing well, and has met with her family."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has no plans to resign, despite a public uproar over the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas raid that killed over 1,400 Israelis and sparked the current Israel-Hamas war.
Netanyahu was asked at a news conference Monday if he has considered stepping down.
"The only thing that I intend to have resigned is Hamas. We're going to resign them to the dustbin of history," he said. "That's my goal. That's my responsibility."
Netanyahu also said he would not agree to a cease-fire, saying it would be tantamount "to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen."
He said Hamas was responsible for the high death toll in Gaza, accusing the group of using civilians as human shields.
The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 8,306, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.
Cornell University administrators dispatched campus police to a Jewish center after threatening statements appeared on a discussion board Sunday.
Cornell President Martha E. Pollack issued a statement explaining there were a series of "horrendous, antisemitic messages" threatening violence against the university's Jewish community, specifically naming the address of the Center for Jewish Living.
The Cornell University Police Department is investigating and has notified the FBI of a potential hate crime, she said.
The content of the online threats appeared to be instigated by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and sent chills through Cornell's Jewish community during the third week of the conflict in the Gaza Strip.
The mother of a German Israeli dual citizen missing after the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7 says she has been told that her daughter is dead.
Ricarda Louk told German news agency dpa on Monday that she was informed by the Israeli military of the death of Shani Louk, who was 22. She said her daughter's body hasn't been found, but a splinter of a skull bone was located and submitted for a DNA test.
Louk believes her daughter died on Oct. 7, when she was at a music festival in southern Israel that was attacked by militants from Gaza. Videos that circulated at the time appeared to show the young woman face-down on a pickup truck.
The German government has said that a "low two-digit number" of German Israeli dual citizens are believed to be held in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says told the nation in a televised news conference Saturday night that Israel has opened a "new phase" in the war - by sending ground forces into Gaza and expanding attacks from the ground, air and sea. He said these activities would only increase as Israel prepares for a broad ground invasion.
The goal, he said, is the complete destruction of Hamas.
"We always said, 'Never again,'" he said. "Never again is now."
The Israeli military says its ground forces will expand their activities in Gaza Friday night. The announcement came hours after Israeli forces conducted a second ground raid as many days and after Israel's defense minister said the country expects to launch a long and difficult ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory.
The development also came after internet service in the Gaza Strip was cut, following a heavy round of Israeli airstrikes that lit up the night sky over the darkened territory.
Over 300 people were arrested after peace activists rallied inside Grand Central Terminal Friday evening calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.
The protests forced the MTA to restrict access to Grand Central, but it has since reopened for ticketed customers at the 105 East 42nd Street entrance for the rest of the night.
The rally began at 6 p.m. inside Grand Central Station with hundreds of protestors populating the terminal. Eventually, thousands of demonstrators spilled onto the streets outside Grand Central.
The rally was open to people of all faiths but was organized by the group 'Jewish Voice for Peace.' Many at the rally were the descendants of Holocaust survivors.
The U.N. General Assembly approved a nonbinding resolution Friday calling for a "humanitarian truce" in Gaza leading to a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.
The resolution also demanded aid access to the besieged Gaza Strip and protection of civilians.
The resolution, presented by the Arab Group and led by Jordan, passed with 120 votes in favor. Fourteen - including Israel and the United States - voted against it with 45 abstentions.
Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, is blasting the vote, vowing "Israel will continue to defend itself.
The Israeli military on Friday said its ground forces were "expanding their activity" in the Gaza Strip, as the army moved closer to a full-on ground invasion of the besieged territory.
Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the army's spokesman, said aerial attacks had been targeting Hamas tunnels and other targets.
"In addition to the attacks that we carried out in recent days, ground forces are expanding their activity this evening," he said. "The IDF is acting with great force ... to achieve the objectives of the war."
Israel has amassed hundreds of thousands of troops along the border with Gaza ahead of an expected ground offensive against the Hamas militant group.
Israel has been pounding Gaza with airstrikes since Hamas militants carried out a bloody cross-border incursion on Oct. 7.
The Palestinian telecom provider Paltel says internet service in Gaza Strip has been cut off by Israeli bombardment. Services were cut Friday evening, following a heavy round of Israeli airstrikes that lit up the night sky over the darkened territory.
Rights groups and journalists also say they lost contact with colleagues in the enclave. The Associated Press's attempts to contact people in Gaza did not go through.
The U.S. airstrikes on Syria's eastern province of Deir el-Zour targeted two locations where Iran-backed fighters are based, according to Syrian opposition activists.
Omar Abu Layla, a Europe-based activist who heads the Deir Ezzor 24 media outlet, said the main target was an area known as the farms just outside the town of Mayadeen. The site had been evacuated and no one was hurt, he said.
The second strike early Friday hit an area known as the "green belt" in the Boukamal area that borders Iraq, he said.
"These strikes were expected because of the repeated provocative acts," said Abu Layla referring to attacks that targeted U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria.
Abu Layal said the farms area is an important point where weapons brought from Iran are stored and then shipped to other areas in Lebanon.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, also reported strikes on the farms area near Mayadeen and Ashara near the border with Iraq. The Observatory said ambulances were seen rushing to the area, but it was not clear if there were casualties.
The Pentagon said the airstrikes targeted two locations linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps in retaliation for drone and missile attacks against U.S. bases and personnel in the region.
Hundreds of National Guard Airmen from New Jersey have been deployed to the Middle East. Along with them will be a squadron of F-16 Falcon fighter jets.
The goal is to bolster U.S. forces who are conduction counter-terrorist missions on U.S. military bases.
The Pentagon said Thursday that there was an attempted attack at Irbil air base in Iraq but there were no casualties and only minor damage to the facilities.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, declined to detail which Iranian-backed groups may be responsible for the recent spate of attacks at bases in Iraq and Syria.
He said there have been at least 12 attacks in Iraq and four in Syria, and that 21 U.S. personnel received minor injuries in two separate attacks early last week. Of those, 19 people had some type of traumatic brain injury, and all 21 returned to duty.
There have been no reported injuries since those two attacks on Oct. 17-18.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it discussed the release of hostages in the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of Russian nationals and other foreign citizens with a Hamas representative who visited Moscow Thursday.
The ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that talks with Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas' political bureau, were part of Moscow's efforts to secure the immediate release of foreign hostages held in Gaza. It said that issues related to organizing the evacuation of Russian and other foreign citizens from Gaza were also discussed.
The ministry noted that the Russian side "reaffirmed its unwavering position in favor of implementing the well-known decisions of the international community, including the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly, which envisage the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and coexisting in peace and security with Israel."
Tense moments unfolded at Cooper Union in Manhattan Wednesday night over protests for the crisis in the Middle East.
The school says the library had to be closed down for about 20 minutes when some protesters moved through.
The school says that all of the protesters have left and everything is back to normal on the campus.
As Israel continues its attacks on Gaza from the air, students protested at several colleges in New York City over the crisis in the Middle East, some in support of Palestinians, and others supporting Israel.
At Columbia University, there was a call for the end of Jew hatred as Jewish students say they are frightened by displays of antisemitism and anti-Israeli rhetoric, and that the university isn't doing enough to protect them.
It was an entirely different perspective at CUNY in Midtown a couple hours earlier, where students walked out of class demanding an end to Israel's siege on Gaza. It's part of a larger effort at campuses around the country. Close to a thousand people did the same at NYU.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will be held accountable for the bloody Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas militants, but that will only come after Israel's war against the Islamic militant group.
In a nationally televised address on Wednesday night, Netanyahu said that he was busy plotting a ground invasion of Gaza, though he refused to say when that might happen. He also expressed sorrow for the attack, which killed over 1,400 Israelis and saw over 200 others taken captive in Gaza.
"Oct. 7 is a black day in our history," he said. "We will get to the bottom of what happened on the southern border around Gaza. This debacle will be investigated. Everyone will have to give answers, including me."
Nearly three dozen teddy bears with blindfolds were lined up near a fountain in Tel Aviv to draw attention to the plight of Israeli children being held hostage by Hamas militants.
Each of the brown and white stuffed animals featured a picture of one of the roughly 30 children, some as young as nine months old, who were among the 222 people held hostage in Gaza by Hamas fighters following the militant group's attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
The bears were dabbed with fake blood and some were tied together in an arresting display that left some passersby almost speechless.
"It's just unbelievable. There's like no words. Because, even with the blood on it you can see, and the blindfolds ... it's very symbolic for me of the captivity of innocent children," Hilary Meyerov said. "It's completely heartbreaking."
Off-duty Israeli soldiers carrying rifles were among those who stopped to look and snap photos of the installation.
"Bring them back. Bring them back," said Avigail Ben-Yosef. "I'm sending love to all the families, they are waiting for these children, and to all the other hostages."
The gas-rich nation of Qatar has become a key intermediary over the fate of more than 200 hostages held by Hamas militants after their unprecedented attack on Israel, once again putting the small Arabian Peninsula country in the spotlight.
The negotiations have also thrust Qatar into a delicate international balancing act as it maintains a relationship with those viewed as militant groups by the West while trying to preserve its close security ties with the United States.
A rally was held in the Bronx Tuesday afternoon to show support for Israel.
Jewish students and teachers, hopeful for a better future, sang songs and carried Israeli and American flags on the 20-plus block walk from their schools to Seton Park.
Most of the students attending the afternoon rally were students of SAR in Riverdale. Some of the school's graduates are currently serving in the Israeli military. Not lost on them is the fact that some of the hostages being held in Gaza are children.
Supporters lined the streets to welcome families of hostages who traveled from Israel to address the United Nations Security Council.
Hundreds of people lined First Avenue for at least five blocks across from the UN on Tuesday to support the families inside who had the opportunity to address the high-level U.N. meeting.
Hate crimes are up about 7% since the start of the Israel Hamas war, and more than half of them are anti-Jewish, police said Tuesday.
Of the 51 hate crimes reported in NYC last week, 30 of them were against the Jewish community.
"Hate crime is still down, but since the incident in Gaza there has been an uptick," said Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny.
Eighty-five-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz spoke of a "hell that we never knew before and never thought we would experience" as she described the harrowing Oct. 7 assault on her kibbutz by Hamas militants and the terror of being taken hostage into the Gaza Strip.
Lifshitz was the first of the four hostages released so far to speak of their experience, from the initial attack through the more than two weeks of captivity.
The U.N. health agency on Tuesday called for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza to be able to distribute fuel and essential, life-saving health supplies, including to major hospitals in the strip's northern half.
"For people in the Gaza Strip, the situation is desperate. It will become catastrophic without the safe and continuous passage of fuel and health supplies, and additional humanitarian assistance," the World Health Organization said in a statement.
The organization said some health facilities in northern Gaza, including the territory's largest Shifa hospital, were waiting for WHO's supplies and fuel. Among them is the Indonesian hospital, which suffered a brief power outage and was forced to shutter some critical services due to lack of fuel.
Gaza's only oncology hospital, the Turkish Friendship Hospital, remains partially functional, putting around 2000 cancer patients at risk, the agency added.
Supported by U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, the health agency said it delivered 34000 litres (8981.85 gallons) of fuel Monday to four major hospitals in southern Gaza and the Palestine Red Crescent. Such an amount was only enough to keep ambulances and critical hospital functions running for a little over 24 hours.
It also distributed medicine and other supplies to key hospitals in southern Gaza, as well as the Palestine Red Crescent.
Yocheved Lifshitz, an 85-year-old woman released by Hamas, told reporters Tuesday that the militants beat her with sticks, bruising her ribs and making it hard to breathe, as they kidnapped her during their attack on towns in southern Israel on Oct. 7.
They drove her into Gaza, then forced her to walk several kilometers (miles) on wet ground to reach a network of tunnels that looked like a spider web, she said. Lifshitz is one of only four hostages to be released - and the first to speak publicly - of the more than 220 believed held by Hamas.
She said the people assigned to guard her "told us they are people who believe in the Quran and wouldn't hurt us."
Lifshitz, whose husband remains a hostage, said that after she and four other people were taken into a room, they were treated well, conditions were clean, and they received medical care, including medication. They ate one meal a day of cheese and cucumber, she said, adding that her captors ate the same.
The U.S. is issuing a new warning to ships traveling through the Red Sea after a drone and missile attack launched from Yemen during the Israel-Hamas war.
The U.S. Maritime Administration warning on Tuesday urged vessels to "exercise caution when transiting this region."
The U.S. Navy says it shot down missiles and drones believed to have been launched by Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in recent days amid wider tensions across the Middle East over the war.
The Israeli Hostage Center said two more hostages were released by Hamas.
The hostages are described as two elderly Israeli women and they are with the Red Cross.
The released hostages are 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz and 79-year-old Nurit Cooper, both from the Nir Oz kibbutz, the center said.
As New York City tries to stay ahead of any threats, the NYPD's Counterterrorism commissioner got an update from an NYPD detective stationed in Israel.
Detective Charlie Benaim has been working in Israel for the past 16 years. On Monday he updated Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterorrism Rebecca Weiner on the situation on the ground.
Benaim also helped Governor Hochul coordinate her visit to Israel last week. He says Israelis-- like New Yorkers-- want life to return to normal.
A hospital in Gaza City was overrun with patients from airstrikes Monday with people lying on a blood-covered floor and two children at a time being treated on exam tables.
While a girl stared up at the ceiling from a table at Shifa Hospital, a boy who appeared to be unconscious lay at her feet with an IV drip in his arm and gauze wrapped around his head.
An older child and a man wearing oxygen masks lay on their backs on the floor below as a fifth person in a bright striped top was spread out on the floor nearby.
Medics also worked on a boy covered in gray soot whose legs were splinted and who lay at the foot of another child covered partly with a sheet.
Several other children and adults lay on a tile floor in another area of waiting for care.
A third small aid convoy from Egypt has entered Gaza, where the population of 2.3 million has been running out of food, water and medicine under Israel's two-week seal.
Juliette Touma, director of communications for the U.N.'s Palestinian refugee agency, confirmed the arrival of the convoy "with 20 trucks" in Gaza on Monday to The Associated Press, but provided no other details.
The head of the neonatal unit in Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis said it will run out of fuel within 48 hours.
Dr. Hatem Edhair said there are eight babies in the intensive care unit and 10 others in the neonatal department.
"Half of these children are on CPAP (pressurized air) machines and oxygen machines," he said Monday. "If the hospital runs out of fuel, half of these babies will die in less than 24 hours."
Doctors treating premature babies across Gaza have warned that at least 130 are at "grave risk" across six neonatal units because of worsening fuel shortages.
The fuel shortages are caused by the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which started - along with airstrikes - after Hamas militants attacked Israeli towns on Oct. 7.
"We are working around the clock," Edair said. "We need to save these babies."
Ayelet and Or Sella both pause for a few seconds as they recall the moment they were finally able to embrace their cousins Judith and Natalie Raanan at home in Israel a day after the mother and teenage daughter were released by their militant captors in the neighboring Gaza Strip.
But the nightmare is far from over as eight of their family members are still being held hostage by the Hamas militant group in Gaza. Three other relatives were killed. Ayelet and Or, who are siblings, are calling on the Israeli government to secure the release of the remaining hostages before launching a ground invasion into Gaza.
There is active fighting on the northern border of Israel with increasing concern that Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon will open up a front once the ground invasion in Gaza begins.
Galilee Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center, in Nahariyya, Israel has moved its facilities into the basement of their building.The 700-bed hospital is completely vacant and now features some 400 beds underground.
They have converted their basement into a fully functioning hospital with an ER, operating room and an internal medicine department.
Iraq's army spokesperson says the state will go after militants who have carried out attacks against army bases housing U.S. troops in the country.
Maj. Gen. Yahya Rasoul said in a statement Monday that military advisers from the U.S.-led coalition are in the country "at the invitation of the government" and their mission is to train Iraqi forces.
Rasoul said the prime minister has ordered the country's security agencies to go after those who carried out attacks and prevent any attempt to harm Iraq's national security.
Over the past week, several bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq came under rocket and drone attacks that were believed to have been carried out by Iran-backed groups.
There are about 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq, whose main mission to train Iraqi forces and prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State group.
Ireland is calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza so that civilians can get access to desperately needed aid and supplies.
Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said "this is a matter of the utmost urgency. The loss of life is enormous, is at a scale that has to be stopped."
Speaking Monday in Luxembourg at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers, Martin called for food, water and medical supplies to be allowed into Gaza at an "accelerated and comprehensive scale."
"We understand Israel's need to deal with Hamas, because it was an appalling attack. But the degree of suffering now -- the innocent civilians in Gaza suffering -- is just not acceptable at all," he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited troops stationed near the border with Lebanon, where the Israeli army and Iran-backed Hezbollah militants also have traded fire during the Hamas-Israel war.
A top official with Iran Hezbollah vowed Saturday that Israel would pay a high price whenever it starts a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip and said Saturday that his militant group based in Lebanon already is "in the heart of the battle."
Speaking to troops in the north on Sunday, Netanyahu said Israel would react more fiercely than it did during its short 2006 war with Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon.
"If Hezbollah decides to enter the war, it will miss the Second Lebanon War. It will make the mistake of its life. We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state are devastating," the Israeli leader said.
The Biden administration is asking Israel to delay the looming ground incursion into Gaza to allow time for the release of more hostages and for humanitarian aid to get to civilians in Gaza, an administration official told ABC News Sunday.
The administration continues to impress upon the Israelis their concerns and the full array of consequences for a speedy ground incursion.
Two American hostages, 59-year-old Judith Raanan, and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan, were released by Hamas on Friday.
President Joe Biden received a briefing from his national security team Sunday morning on the Israel-Hamas conflict and the president later spoke to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The leaders discussed ongoing efforts to release all the remaining hostages and to provide a way out for U.S. citizens and others in Gaza, White House officials said.
The Israel Defense Forces said Sunday that 212 hostages remain in captivity in Gaza.
-ABC News' Selina Wang
President Joe Biden convened a call Sunday afternoon with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas, according to the White House.
The Western leaders "reiterated their support" for Israel and its "right to defend itself" and "called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians," according to a readout from the White House.
"The leaders committed to continue close diplomatic coordination, including with key partners in the region, to prevent the conflict from spreading, preserve stability in the Middle East, and work toward a political solution and durable peace," the readout also said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is calling for an international peace summit to bring about the end of the Israel-Hamas war.
Speaking at a conference in Cairo on Saturday, Abbas reiterated his "complete rejection of the killing of civilians on both sides." He also urged the "release of all civilians, prisoners, and detainees," likely alluding to some 210 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
The border crossing between Egypt and Gaza has opened to let a trickle of desperately needed aid into the besieged Palestinian territory for the first time since Israel sealed it off in the wake of Hamas' bloody rampage.
More than 200 trucks carrying roughly 3,000 tons of aid are positioned at the Rafah crossing.
The border closed again after 20 trucks carrying much-needed supplies -- mostly medicine -- crossed into Gaza from the Egyptian side, according to an aid worker there and Egyptian state media.
Uri Raanan, the father of Natalie Raanan, 17, who was released by Hamas along with her mother, Judith Raanan, spoke to the media Friday evening, giving an update on their conditions.
"I spoke with my daughter earlier today, she sounds very good, she looks very good, she was very happy and she's waiting to come home. Her mother has a little scratch on her hand but she told me it's nothing, she's okay," Uri Raanan said.
"Hopefully I'm going to see them next week, next week is Natalie's birthday," Uri Raanan added.
While the fighting rages on in the Middle East, peaceful protests took place in Manhattan, including one on Friday night that brought together groups from different faiths and organizations all calling for the same thing: a cease-fire in the conflict overseas.
The rally started around 5 p.m. on the steps of the New York Public Library and then spilled out onto 5th Avenue.
The demonstrators eventually hit the streets in the drenching rain. As they marched through Midtown, the crowd larger, snarling traffic before shutting it down.
They sat down in the middle of 3rd Avenue daring police to make arrests, which police eventually did. The cause of peace, they say, is well worth going to jail for.
Two hostages have been released by Hamas, the Israeli Hostage Center confirmed. Their conditions were not immediately clear.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed to ABC News that the hostages, a mother and daughter from Illinois, are currently with the Red Cross.
Hamas said in a statement that the hostages, a mother and daughter who are both Americans, were released "for humanitarian reasons, and to prove to the American people and the world that the claims made by Biden and his fascist administration are false and baseless."
Judith and Natalie Ranaan had been on a trip to southern Israel from their home in suburban Chicago to celebrate a Jewish holiday, family said. They had been staying at the kibbutz of Nahal Oz, near Gaza, when Hamas fighters took them and more than 200 others hostage.
The scope of devastation in Nir Oz, Israel, near the Gaza border, is hard to take in. Eyewitness News Reporter Josh Einiger traveled to a kibbutz that had been destroyed by Hamas in the attack nearly two weeks ago.
An ex-British special forces commando accompanied Einiger through the region as his security expert. He told him that in all of his years, he'd never seen anything like this.
Josh is speaking with survivors to hear their stories after the attack.
Egypt's Foreign Ministry has accused Western media of unfairly holding it responsible for closing the Rafah border crossing.
In a brief statement on X, formerly Twitter, the ministry's spokesperson accused Israel of attacking the crossing at Rafah and refusing to allow aid to enter Gaza.
Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid also denied Israeli claims that Egypt has stopped foreign nationals from leaving Gaza.
"Rafah crossing is open and Egypt is not responsible for obstructing third-country nationals' exit," he said.
Egypt has repeatedly said it did not close the crossing at Rafah, saying instead that it is not functioning because of damage inflicted by Israeli airstrikes.
President Joe Biden is urging support for additional U.S. aid for Ukraine and Israel, saying in a televised address from the Oval Office that "American leadership is what holds the world together."
Biden spoke hours after returning to Washington from an urgent visit to Israel to show U.S. support in the wake of a deadly attack by Hamas on Oct. 7. Some 1,400 civilians were killed and roughly 200 others, including Americans, were taken to Gaza as hostages. Israel has responded with airstrikes, and 3,785 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
The U.S. president argued that Israel needs help to defend itself from Hamas. He also said the U.S. must help Ukraine stop the advances of Russian President Vladimir Putin to keep other "would-be aggressors" from trying to take over other countries.
Biden said he will send lawmakers an "urgent budget request" Friday to fund U.S. national security needs. He called the request, said to carry a price tag of about $100 billion, a "smart investment" that will pay dividends for decades to come.
A group of Jewish organizations rallied in Times Square on Thursday, demanding the release of the 203 hostages held by Hamas.
Thousands of pro-Israel demonstrators were horrified, drained and stunned at the savagery of the brazen attack that left 1,400 Israelis dead, 13 days ago.
They carried pictures of the 200 hostages, some of them just babies, seized by Hamas gunmen that day. The hostages are still being held in Gaza by Hamas, with no word about where or in what condition.
Among them are some Americans, victims who are undergoing unimaginable horror along with their families.
"Families that are suffering unimaginable agony, wondering what is being done to their loved ones," said Elan Carr, CEO of the Israeli American Council.
Thirty-two Americans have been confirmed dead in Israel and another 11 U.S. citizens are unaccounted for, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said Thursday.
The Department of State issued a Worldwide Caution Security Alert advising U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution due to the potential for violence and increased tensions at various locations around the world.
The brief notice said Americans should be particularly alert in areas frequented by foreign tourists.
There are families from the New York area that are holding out hope for their family members who are believed to be being held hostage by Hamas.
Itay Chen, 19, an American-Israeli dual citizen is believed to be among them. He is a soldier with the Israel Defense Forces and was believed to have been taken hostage right when the attack by Hamas began, as he was guarding a post.
Itay's father Ruby is from Flatbush, Brooklyn. He says he is holding out hope for his son and hoping their happy memories will get him through this tough time.
An emotional Governor Kathy Hochul mourned her 87-year-old father, who died suddenly overnight, with a message she put in the Western Wall at the start of her second day in Israel.
John Courtney died from a brain hemorrhage in Florida Wednesday night. Courtney, who is Irish Catholic, had previously visited Israel and encouraged his daughter to make this trip.
Dressed in all black in mourning, Hochul wrote a note referencing both Israel and his passing to place in a crack in the wall, as is tradition.
Gaza's second-largest hospital has switched off the lights in the majority of the facility as staff try to conserve energy amid fuel shortages.
Lights are still on in Nasser Hospital's intensive care unit, but in many other departments, doctors are using cellphones and flashlights to illuminate procedures.
Meanwhile, funerals were held for the victims of an earlier strike in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. A mother wept, clutching the small body of her child cocooned in white cloth.
Gaza's government press office says the commander of the Hamas-led National Security Forces, Maj. Gen. Jihad Muheisen, was killed in an Israeli strike on his home in Gaza City along with some of his relatives.
It wasn't immediately clear how many of his relatives were killed in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in northern Gaza City. The National Security Forces is a paramilitary organization in Gaza taken over by Hamas after its 2007 seizure of the strip.
Separately, Hamas officials told The Associated Press that Hamas legislative council member Jamila al-Shanti was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Thursday. She was known as the first woman to be elected to political office within the Hamas group and the widow of one of the founders of the Islamist movement.
Hamas' spokesman for the Rafah crossing, Wael Abu Omar, said that no aid or road repairing equipment have entered Gaza from Egypt as of Thursday afternoon.
Egypt and Israel reached a deal Wednesday evening that would allow aid to enter the Palestinian territory through the Rafah crossing.
Later that day, U.S. President Joe Biden said that aid could begin rolling into the region by Friday, but that the roads near the crossing would first need hours of repairs. The crossing has been hit by four Israeli airstrikes since Oct. 7, Egyptian authorities say.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators spilled onto Steinway Street, and nearly swallowed up Astoria, Queens, as thousands marched on Wednesday night.
The rally is one of the largest pro-Palestinian protests the city has seen so far.
Demonstrators expressed frustration at the U.S. media, President Joe Biden and Governor Kathy Hochul, and they say they will be out on the streets until they get what they want.
The White House announced that President Joe Biden will "address the nation to discuss our response to Hamas' terrorist attacks against Israel and Russia's ongoing brutal war against Ukraine," in a televised address from the Oval Office at Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Egypt's president has agreed to open a border crossing into Gaza to allow in 20 trucks with humanitarian aid.
Biden said he spoke with Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi after his visit to Israel, where leaders there agreed to allow the aid in. Biden was speaking to reporters on Air Force One during a refueling stop in Germany on his way back to the U.S. from Tel Aviv.
Israel sealed off the Gaza Strip, stopping all entry of food, water, medicine and fuel to its 2.3 million people following the Hamas attack on Oct. 7.
White House officials said the aid would flow in the coming days. Biden said if Hamas confiscates the aid, "it will end."
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul arrived in Israel Wednesday to show support for the country during its war with Hamas.
The Democrat was met at Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv by Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Michael Herzog.
After a security briefing, Hochul met with families near the airport and was scheduled to head to a food pantry to help pack and drop off boxes for people displaced by the conflict. Hochul is expected to stay in Jerusalem overnight.
She said her trip is meant as a gesture of solidarity and support for Israel. New York is home to the largest Jewish population of any U.S. city, according to the American Jewish Population Project at Brandeis University.
"There is a deep, direct connection between New York state and Israel that has always been there, a bond steeled over decades," Hochul said.
The United States is promising $100 million in humanitarian assistance to help Palestinian people who have been displaced or otherwise affected by conflict in Gaza and the West Bank.
Biden announced in a news release Wednesday that the assistance would be provided through trusted partners, including U.N. agencies and international NGOs.
Biden was in Tel Aviv to show support for Israel following the Hamas attacks more than a week ago that killed some 1,400 people. His announcement came after Israel agreed to allow limited aid into Gaza from Egypt.
"Civilians are not to blame and should not suffer for Hamas's horrific terrorism," Biden said. "Civilian lives must be protected and assistance must urgently reach those in need."
Israel says it will allow Egypt to deliver limited quantities of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the decision was approved Wednesday in light of a request from visiting President Joe Biden.
In a statement, it said it "will not thwart" deliveries of food, water and medicine, as long as the supplies do not reach Hamas. The statement made no mention of badly needed fuel.
It was not clear when the aid would start flowing. Egypt's Rafah crossing has only a limited capacity, and Egypt says it has been damaged by Israeli airstrikes.
Israel, which controls most crossings into Gaza, says it will not allow deliveries from its territory. It also demanded that international Red Cross be allowed to visit kidnapped Israelis held captive in Gaza.
The NYPD is increasing security across the city Wednesday amid demonstrations over the Israel-Hamas war.
All officers were ordered to report for duty in uniform. The planned rallies come a day after an explosion at a hospital in Gaza left hundreds dead.
Wednesday morning, the UJA-Federation of New York joined local politicians at Dag Hammarskjld Plaza near the United Nations Headquarters, demanding the safe release of those held captive by Hamas. Families of hostages were welcome to speak at that event.
The White House said Tuesday evening that the death toll resulting from Hamas' initial attack had risen to 31 Americans killed, with 13 Americans still unaccounted for.
The update came from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and spokesman John Kirby, during an audio-only briefing aboard Air Force One while en route to Israel.
Violence in the Middle East sparked more protests in Manhattan on Tuesday evening.
Hundreds of protestors supporting Palestinians and dozens supporting Israel were both at Washington Square Park.
The pro-Palestinian rally met on the east side of the park around 4 p.m. and slowly moved towards the arch. That protest was met with a counter rally comprised of Israeli students in support of Israel.
While there were heated emotions on both sides, the dueling protests have been peaceful so far.
President Joe Biden departed via Air Force One at Tuesday night for his trip to Israel.
The president is expected to arrive early Wednesday morning and meet with Israeli leaders about the ongoing conflict.
A planned meeting in Jordan with King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been canceled, according to a U.S. official, who added it was a "mutual decision."
"The president sent his deepest condolences for the innocent lives lost in the hospital explosion in Gaza, and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded. He looks forward to consulting in person with these leaders soon, and agreed to remain regularly and directly engaged with each of them over the coming days," a White House official said.
The Israeli military says it had no involvement in an explosion that killed hundreds of people at a Gaza City hospital and that the blast was caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza says an Israeli airstrike caused the blast, which killed some 500 people, many of whom had sought shelter from an ongoing Israeli offensive.
The Israeli military, however, said Palestinian militants fired a barrage of rockets near the hospital.
A senior Palestinian official says President Mahmoud Abbas has canceled his participation in a meeting scheduled Wednesday with President Joe Biden and other Mideast leaders.
Abbas was scheduled to join Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi at Wednesday's summit in Amman, Jordan, where they are to discuss the Israel-Hamas war with Biden.
But the senior official said Abbas was withdrawing to protest an alleged Israeli airstrike on a hospital in Gaza that health officials say has killed over 500 people.
"The president is very angry after the news of the Israeli massacre at the hospital in Gaza, and he decided to immediately return to Ramallah," the official said.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the cancelation has not been formally announced.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip says at least 500 people have been killed in an explosion that it says was caused by an Israeli airstrike.
If confirmed, the attack on the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City it would be by far the deadliest Israeli airstrike in five wars fought since 2008.
The Israeli military says it is looking into the report.
Hamas' military wing, the Qassam Brigades, said Tuesday that an Israeli airstrike in the central Gaza Strip killed top militant commander, Ayman Nofal.
Nofal is most high-profile militant to be killed so far in Israeli bombardment on the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military says it is targeting Hamas hideouts, infrastructure and command centers.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based watchdog, says it has confirmed the deaths of at least 13 Palestinian journalists in Gaza and three journalists in Israel since the war erupted. Several Palestinian journalists were killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza Tuesday, said the group, which was still working to investigate the latest deaths.
Over the past week, some Palestinian journalists were killed when Israeli airstrikes struck their homes across the Gaza Strip or the area housing their offices in the Rimal neighborhood, in central Gaza City. Others were killed while reporting on the evacuations of Palestinian houses under Israeli bombardment. Some were freelancers and others worked for a range of little-known local outlets. One of them worked for the Hamas-linked Al Aqsa Radio.
Three Israeli journalists, meanwhile, were killed during the brutal Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, including an editor for Israeli public broadcaster Kan, an editor for Hebrew-language daily Ma'ariv and a photographer for the Hebrew-language Israel Hayom newspaper.
The CPJ count did not include the death of Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah, who was killed on Friday in south Lebanon when an Israeli shell landed in a gathering of international journalists covering clashes on the border. Six other journalists were injured.
In addition to dire water shortages, Gaza is running out of food stocks with only a few days worth of supplies remaining in shops, the World Food Program says.
Shops only have four or five days' worth of essential food stocks available, said spokeswoman Abeer Etefa. There is enough food in warehouses to last about two weeks, but these are difficult to access because they are located in Gaza City, where Israel has ordered residents to evacuate.
Out of five mills in Gaza, only one is operating due to security concerns and the unavailability of fuel and electricity. Etefa said the primary challenge for WFP is being able to get food to shops amid the constant bombardment. Long lines have formed outside the few bakeries that are still able to operate.
President Biden and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul are set to travel to Israel Tuesday as the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip grows more dire.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Biden's travel plans as Israel prepares for a possible ground attack on the 141-square-mile (365-square-kilometer) territory to root out Hamas militants responsible for what U.S. and Israeli officials say was the most lethal assault against Jews since the Holocaust.
Biden is looking to send the strongest message yet that the U.S. is behind Israel. His Democratic administration has pledged military support, sending U.S. carriers and aid to the region. Officials have said they would ask Congress for upward of $2 billion in additional aid for both Israel and Ukraine, which is fighting Russia's invasion.
It is unclear whether Biden and Hochul will cross paths during their trips.
"During these difficult times, it's more important than ever for New York to show up in support of Israel," Hochul said in a statement. "Tomorrow I'll be traveling to Israel for a solidarity mission where I plan to meet with diplomatic leaders and communities who have been devastated by the horrific Hamas attacks."
As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, Palestinians in the Tri-State area are standing up and addressing the rise in anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim bigotry since the war started.
They want people to know the terrorist views of Hamas do not represent the views of all Palestinians and they want the hate to end.
The community says it is being targeted both at home and abroad.
Hundreds of people fleeing Israel landed at Newark Airport on Monday, and while it was an emotional homecoming for some, for others it was a heartbreaking escape.
The state department and major air carriers are working to get U.S. citizens stranded in Israel home again - but it's not easy.
While there are flights out of Israel, they are tough to get. And once they land, some are already wondering when they can return and what they will return to.
Across besieged Gaza, food shortages are causing desperation. With trucks full of humanitarian goods idling at the Rafah border, unable to get through, many in Gaza not only have no running water but also don't have enough food.
Residents said they ate whatever morsels they could find in their fridge from before the war and were scared about the coming days. The worsening shortages were most visible in U.N. shelters, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have taken refuge after fleeing intensifying bombardment, and in houses where dozens of family members were sheltering.
Hourslong lines snaked from bakeries, where Palestinians waited anxiously to get whatever basic food they could to distribute among their relatives.
"I have been waiting for 10 hours to get bread ... and of course this amount is not enough," said Ahmad Salah in Deir al-Balah, where he said he had to feed 20-30 family members. "This is a painful suffering for us."
The U.N. Security Council is set to vote Monday evening on dueling proposed resolutions on the Israel-Hamas war. A Russian proposal calls for a cease-fire while a Brazilian draft seeks "humanitarian pauses" to let aid flow and urges Israel to rescind its order for the evacuation of northern Gaza.
Either draft, if adopted, would mark the first collective statement on the war from the U.N.'s most powerful organ.
Both draft resolutions, obtained by The Associated Press, call for releasing all hostages. In somewhat different language, both also condemn violence toward civilians, express concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and seek the provision of food, fuel and other aid.
But the differences are significant. Ahead of an expected Israeli ground offensive in response to Hamas' attack earlier this month, Russia's proposed resolution calls for a "humanitarian cease-fire." The Brazilian draft instead calls for "humanitarian pauses" and encourages establishing aid corridors and a notification mechanism to protect U.N. facilities and humanitarian sites and aid convoys.
Brazil's draft presses Israel to call off its evacuation order - which the U.N. and aid groups have said would cause immeasurable human suffering - while Russia's proposal speaks of "creating conditions for the safe evacuation of civilians in need."
The council has become increasingly divided amid Russia's war in Ukraine. Russia is a veto-wielding member. Brazil, a two-year member without a veto, currently holds the rotating presidency.
Oil tankers bearing United Nations flags have crossed into Egypt from Gaza to pick up fuel supplies for the besieged enclave.
The trucks were led across the Rafah border by a U.N. escort vehicle as people stood in line in hopes of crossing.
Hospitals in Gaza are expected to run out of generator fuel in the next 24 hours, endangering the lives of thousands of patients, according to the U.N. Gaza's sole power plant shut down for lack of fuel after Israel completely sealed off the 40-kilometer (25-mile) long territory following the Hamas attack.
France says Gaza residents must be allowed to leave, accusing Hamas of preventing them from doing so, and wants the blockade of Gaza eased to allow in humanitarian aid.
The message was delivered Monday by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on a visit to Egypt, following talks the previous day with officials in Israel. "The blockade doesn't respect humanitarian law," she said. "Humanitarian aid must be permitted to enter Gaza, because it's unacceptable to leave women, men, children who aren't responsible for Hamas' crimes suffering like this."
Senator Chuck Schumer met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials to discuss how the U.S. can further support Israel.
On Sunday, the U.S. Senate Majority Leader reaffirmed that support during a press conference alongside Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in Tel Aviv.
"In the face of this horrific attack, we're here to share a message of resolute solidarity," said. Schumer. "We have a lot of partisan divisions in America, but this isn't one of them."
Schumer, who was rushed to a shelter in Tel Aviv amid rocket attacks, also noted that the presser had also been delayed due for the same reason.
"We also experienced what Israelis experience almost every day," he said. "We're having a lunch up in the hotel, and the sirens went off. We heard them and we were all rushed into a shelter and had to stay there until the coast was clear. And then a few minutes ago, this press conference was delayed for the same reason."
Schumer noted that the plan now is to provide Israel "the support required to full defend itself."
President Joe Biden on Saturday spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging the leaders to allow humanitarian aid to the region and affirmed his support for efforts to protect civilians.
"A week ago we saw hate manifest another way in the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust," Biden said, citing the 1,300 lives lost in Israel as well as "children, grandparents alike kidnapped, held hostage by Hamas."
"The humanitarian crisis in Gaza - innocent Palestinian families and the vast majority that have nothing to do with Hamas - they're being used as human shields," he said. "We have to reject hate in every form."
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Saturday for protecting civilians in the Gaza Strip and Israel as he intensified his diplomatic outreach across the Middle East and beyond to rally an international response to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from expanding.
Blinken met with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Riyadh before stopping in the United Arab Emirates as he sought ways to help civilians trapped in between the fighting and to address the growing humanitarian crisis.
He also called his Chinese counterpart as Palestinians struggled to flee from areas of Gaza targeted by the Israeli military before an expected land offensive.
On Saturday night, a rabbi told horror stories to the congregation - so many directly impacted by the conflict in Israel.
David Aronov just found out Friday that his cousins Zhenya Nisenboym, 32, and Ilan Moshy Akov, 29, were both shot to death, he says, as they tried to escape the music festival in Israel when Hamas attacked.
Palestinians struggled Saturday to flee from areas of Gaza targeted by the Israeli military while grappling with a growing water crisis after Israel stopped the flow of resources to the region ahead of an expected land offensive a week after Hamas' bloody, wide-ranging attack into Israel.
This comes after Israel's military ordered hundreds of thousands of civilians living in Gaza City to evacuate ahead of a feared ground offensive. The directive came on the heels of what the United Nations said was a warning they received from Israel to evacuate 1.1 million people living in northern Gaza within 24 hours.
An estimated 35,000 displaced civilians crammed into the grounds of Gaza City's main hospital, sitting under trees in the empty grounds, as well as inside the building's lobby and corridors, hoping they will be protected from the fighting, medical officials said.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker attended Shabbat services on Friday at a temple in Short Hills.
Booker spoke about being in Israel at the time of the attack and condemned Hamas in no uncertain terms.
"In their charter is to kill Jews. They are against the Jewish people. This is not militance. These are not resistance fighters. This is pure hate. There can be no moral equivocation," Booker said.
Booker said he wanted to remain in Israel after the attack but was instructed to leave because he is considered a high-value target.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Lt. Gov. Anthony Delgado attended Shabbat services at Temple Emanu-El Friday night.
Together, they brought the message that during a time of global unrest, the city is focused on security at home.
"Something is wrong with that in the city of New York, where we have the largest Jewish population outside of Israel," said Mayor Adams. "If you don't feel safe here, where else can you feel safe? We have to change that course."
On Friday night, Jewish New Yorkers and allies made their way to Senator Chuck Schumer's home in Brooklyn as he prepared to travel with a delegation of lawmakers to Israel -- demanding he take action for a ceasefire.
Several protesters ages 20-85 were arrested, including Assembly Members Zohran Mamdani and Marcela Mitaynes, along with rabbis, and descendants of Holocaust survivors, holding a banner reading 'Jews Say Stop the Genocide of Palestinians' and blocking the entryway to Schumer's street.
An Israeli shell has landed in a gathering of international journalists covering clashes on the border in south Lebanon, killing one and leaving six injured.
An Associated Press photographer at the scene saw the body of the dead journalist and the six who were wounded. Some of them were rushed to hospitals in ambulances. One nearby car was charred.
Al-Jazeera identified two of its employees among the wounded. The Lebanon-Israel border has been witnessing sporadic acts of violence since Saturday's attack by the militant Palestinian group Hamas on southern Israel.
Sen Schumer is leading a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel this weekend. He is meeting with rabbis today to hear their questions and concerns ahead of the trip
The delegation will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of Israel's unity government, as well as other officials.
Schumer will discuss with them how the U.S. can support further Israel. No request for aid from has been denied, he said.
As many Americans in Israel try to get home, they're faced with more than just the challenge of how and when they can get a flight.
The Department of State said in a statement Thursday that starting Friday, the U.S. government will arrange charter flights to assist U.S. citizens trying to leave Israel.
Click here to read one man's account he described as a "living nightmare."
The Norwegian foreign minister, Anniken Huitfeldt, said Friday that Norway was donating 70 million kroner ($6.4 million) in humanitarian support to Gaza, citing the "terrible images and tragic stories."
"The suffering and scale of destruction is enormous. The U.N. reports that almost 500 children were killed. This is completely unacceptable," Huitfeldt said in a statement.
The situation "gets worse hour by hour. It is extremely important that the civilian population receives food, medicine, water."
The money, which she said will be paid out as quickly as possible, will go to the United Nation's emergency aid agencies and Norwegian humanitarian organizations.
The World Health Organization says the forced evacuation of severely ill or badly injured people from hospitals in northern Gaza would amount to a "death sentence" for some.
WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told a U.N. briefing in Geneva on Friday that the two major hospitals in northern Gaza have already exceeded their combined 760-bed capacity, and warned of a shortage of blood in hospital blood banks across Gaza. Furthermore, several medications are in short supply, including for diabetes, seizures and asthma, as well as painkillers and dialysis solution.
In general, "hospital corridors are overflowing. Dead bodies are piling up as there is no more space in morgues," he said.
Jasarevic said some patients - many of whom are children - were on life support systems like mechanical ventilators, "so moving those people is a death sentence. Asking health workers to do so is beyond cruel."
At a solidarity vigil for Israel in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, there were more candles than anyone wanted to see. Click here for more.
A young man who was at a music festival in Israel when Hamas militants launched their attack arrived safely in Los Angeles Wednesday and reunited with his family.
Roei Burshtein was at the festival having a good time with his cousins, when things suddenly changed. Click here for more on his story.
An Israeli-American teenager says both of his parents were killed in front of him when Hamas militants broke into the family's kibbutz and sprayed bullets through the windows.
Rotem Mathias, 16, says his mother tried shielding him from the bullets with her body before she died.
"The terrorists shot open the door," Mathias recalled during an interview with ABC News. "They throw a grenade or something that exploded. The last thing my dad said is he lost his arm and then my mom died on top of me."
Delta Airlines said its partnering with the U.S. government and setting up flights to get U.S. citizens home from Israel.
Delta said it will start adding flights from Athens to the U.S. in the coming days to aid in the efforts.
As the war between Israel and Hamas intensifies, several rallies for Palestine are taking place locally on Thursday. A rally at Brooklyn College in Midwood was supposed to take place on campus but was moved to the sidewalk of Bedford Avenue.
The National Students for Justice in Palestine has called for students everywhere to mobilize for a National Day of Resistance.
Colleges across the city and beyond are taking part all day Thursday in support they say of Palestinian liberation.
A family is in mourning after an IDF soldier originally from New Jersey was killed in Israel over the weekend.
Itay Glisko, 20, was killed on base in Israel when it came under attack on Saturday.
It was a day he wasn't scheduled to be there. His family said he was so helpful and never said no if anyone needed anything.
At least 1,417 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip and over 6,200 have been injured since the Israel-Hamas war began, Palestinian health officials said Thursday.
Of the dead, nearly 450 are children and 250 are women.
The war has claimed at least 2,600 lives on both sides since Hamas launched its attack on Israel last Saturday.
As the Israel-Hamas conflict continues, stories of devastation have emerged including injuries, disablement, destruction of buildings and loss of life.
However, experts say war is not just an international relations crisis but also a public health crisis that can result in long-term consequences.
Israelis and Palestinians -- as well as residents in other conflict zones -- may be cut off from food and water, and be under severe mental health stress. Those who flee may suffer from health risks because of being displaced.
As the conflict in Israel continues to escalate, several Jewish schools and community groups in the United States are advising parents and caregivers to limit kids' social media use.
Click here for more tips on how to talk to children.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Blinken offered a statement with Herzog that touched on the same themes as his earlier statement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"There really are two paths before countries in this region and in many ways, countries in this world. But here in the Middle East, there's the path of integration, cooperation, normalization and equal measures of justice, opportunity, dignity for all peoples, including the Palestinians," Blinken said.
He added: "Or there's the path that Hamas has shown to the world these last few days - terror, destruction, nihilism, a path that leads to nowhere for anyone except to the darkest places in our souls."
The Federal Aviation Administration said its statement over the weekend urging U.S. airlines and pilots to "use caution" when flying in Israeli airspace still stands.
The agency issued a NOTAM, or Notice to Air Missions, to pilots on Saturday following the unrest that reads, in part, "potentially hazardous situation" and "operators are advised to exercise extreme caution."
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB) for the airspace of Israel on Sunday, recommending air operators "ensure that a robust risk assessment is in place together with a high level of contingency planning for their operations and to be ready for short notice instructions from the Israeli authorities."
Click here to see which airlines have canceled flights and which are still flying to and from Israel.
The IDF announced Thursday morning that it has launched an "extensive attack" on "many centers" of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
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Safety is something many often take for granted, but there was comfort inside the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on the Upper West Side Wednesday night.
"We lost more Jews in one day this week than in any other time since the holocaust," said Senior Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch.
They filled up the balcony and sat on the floor, packing out the synagogue in search for the answer to the question: what do we do now?
U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed on Wednesday about ensuring humanitarian assistance reaches those in need as the war between Israel and Hamas extends into a fifth day, the White House said.
The UAE was the first Gulf country to normalize relations with Israel in 2020 under the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords, which saw Bahrain and Morocco also establish diplomatic ties with Israel.
New Jersey is home to the biggest Palestinian population in the country, and that includes one artist who predicted the latest conflict in his work.
Said Elatab has been painting pictures filled with anxiety and fear displaying the landscape of war.
He says this escalation of violence has been brewing for years and he has been predicting this latest conflict in his work for two decades.
Amid the war between Israel and the militant group Hamas, a humanitarian crisis is developing and many people are wondering how they can help.
There is a short-term immediate need as well as long-term welfare to consider with the sheer numbers of victims, and families affected.
Hundreds of ways to purportedly help have popped up online, from realtors claiming to donate a percentage of their home sales to GoFundMe campaigns filled with heartwrenching stories, but which are legitimate?
7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda says one way to ensure your support is actually going to the people who need it is to use a site like Charity Navigator which vets and rates charities.
A man who grew up in a kibbutz along the border of Gaza is searching for nearly a dozen family members after one of the worst attacks by Hamas last weekend.
Ten family members kidnapped from Be'eri kibbutz in southern Israel are all relatives of human rights worker Yotam Kipnis.
"It's like a limbo I don't know where they are, if they are alive or dead and if they are alive, they're probably held hostage in Gaza" Kipnis said.
Kipnis grew up on the kibbutz where his parents still live -- they are among the missing.
The U.S. is in active conversations to allow for safe passage out of Gaza for civilians, White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday.
Kirby noted that Israel and Egypt are the two most significant players in the efforts.
"We are having active conversations about trying to allow for that safe passage," Kirby said. "It's the civilians who did nothing wrong so we want to make sure they have a way out."
Kirby did not release any other details, such as whether aid groups would be able to use the safe corridors to bring in supplies.
Rachel and David are a couple in their 60s who were held hostage for 20 hours in their own home in Ofakim, some 25km from Gaza, by Hamas militants following the deadly incursion where at least 900 people have died, and 2,600 others have been injured in Israel, according to Israeli officials.
Rachel and David said they survived their 20-hour ordeal using their wits. Rachel said she cooked for her captors, keeping them occupied with coffee and cookies while hell raged all around them.
President Joe Biden has announced that the United States is "surging" additional military assistance to Israel, including missile interceptors "to replenish Iron Dome" as the air defense system struggles to fend off thousands of Hamas rockets.
Here's what to know about Israel's Iron Dome.
Mayor Eric Adams met with Ronen and Orna Neutra of Plainview, whose Israeli solider son Omer Neutra is still missing, at Tuesday's East Side rally.
Neutra is one of several people with Long Island ties still missing, including another Israeli soldier, a recent graduate of the Solomon Schechter School of Long Island in Williston Park.
He is not being identified by the school for security reasons.
A man from the Upper East Side is now in Israel to report for duty with the Israeli Defense Forces.
The 32-year-old reservist flew to Israel as soon as he heard about the attacks on Saturday.
Staff Sgt. Noy Leyb says even though he has undergone military training, he wasn't expecting to ever have to fight in a war like what has broken out.
A top opposition Israeli politician says he has reached an agreement to enter a wartime unity government with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Benny Gantz, a former defense minister and military chief of staff, released what he said was a joint statement with Netanyahu.
The statement said they would form a five-member "war-management" Cabinet. It will consist of Netanyahu, Gantz, current Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and two other top officials serving as "observer" members.
King Charles III has condemned the "barbaric acts of terrorism in Israel," and has asked officials to keep him updated on developments in the Middle East, a palace official said Wednesday.
In a briefing at Buckingham Palace on the king's upcoming visit to Kenya, a spokesman said the king was extremely concerned about the situation.
''His thoughts and prayers are with all of those suffering, particularly those who have lost loved ones, but also those actively involved as we speak,'' the spokesman said. "His Majesty is appalled by and condemns the barbaric acts of terrorism in Israel.''
The spokesman made his comments on condition of anonymity in keeping with palace rules.
Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group on Wednesday blasted the United States for its support of Israel, saying that sending an aircraft carrier to the region "will not scare our people or the resistance movements that are ready for the confrontation."
Hezbollah said that the U.S. "is a full partner of the Zionist aggression and is responsible for the killings, crimes, siege, the destruction of homes and horrifying crimes against innocent civilians."
The group added in a statement that sending an aircraft carrier to the region reveals the weakness of Israel's military and its need for continuous foreign support.
Hezbollah criticized President Joe Biden's "flagrant" support to Israel "killing machine."
It called on Arab and Muslim nations to condemn the American intervention in the region.
Gaza's only power plant ran out of fuel Wednesday afternoon, forcing it to shut down after Israel cut off supplies, the Energy Ministry said.
That leaves only generators to power the territory - but they also run on fuel that is in short supply.
Thousands of people flocked to Manhattan's East Side near the United Nations on Tuesday evening to show their support for Israel as the war rages on overseas.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James all spoke at the 'New York Stands with Israel' vigil at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.
A few miles away, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy spoke at a waterfront vigil in Hoboken, where people gathered and lit candles together.
In other areas of the Tri-State, like Nassau County, another rally, hosted by Executive Bruce Blakeman, was held at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, where thousands gathered.
A woman in Paterson, New Jersey says her father, who lives in Gaza, left her a voicemail message saying it might be the last time that she would hear from him.
Fares Abufares has been in Gaza for a month and finds himself facing the fear of death every moment.
He took video of a mosque and other buildings hit by a bomb just a few doors from his home. He is there with his large family and left a message that his daughter listened to this afternoon.
"They're targeting hospitals. They're targeting towers, targeting entire families," he said.
Twenty or more U.S. citizens are unaccounted for as U.S. President Joe Biden's administration continues to determine how many were killed in the Hamas attacks or are being held hostage, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday.
Sullivan said the U.S. does not know precisely how many citizens are being held hostage, or their conditions.
Biden confirmed earlier Tuesday that 14 Americans have been killed in the bloody Hamas incursion.
U.S. citizens whose families members are still missing in Israel following this weekend's surprise attack are making an emotional plea for help.
In Tel Aviv on Tuesday, the families of Americans being held hostage by Hamas implored both the U.S. and Israeli governments to step up rescue efforts.
They said it has been three days since the attacks on Saturday and they think they should have heard something by now from the U.S. or Israeli governments.
A New York college student is back home safe after visiting Israel with his family. Zach Golberg landed in the U.S. early Tuesday morning at Newark International Airport. He is originally from White Plains and attends Yeshiva University in Washington Heights.
"While I am happy to now be in a safer environment, I'd rather be back in Israel. Part of me feels like I've abandoned my brothers and sisters. Also, I feel useless being in the states," Goldberg said. "My friends are all putting their lives on the line, and I'm watching on the sidelines, leaving the country."
An official at the International Committee of the Red Cross says his organization has been in touch with both Hamas and Israeli officials about accessing prisoners, but so far have had no access to them.
Fabrizio Carboni, the regional director for the Near and Middle East for the ICRC, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that included the Israelis taken hostage by Hamas during their unprecedented incursion into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
"The level of violence is still very high but we've asked for access," Carboni said from Geneva. "We ask also for the civilians who have been captured to have an opportunity to communicate with their family, to tell them that they are safe and well. We also ask that some people who have nothing to do in prison or shouldn't be captured to be released"
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that Moscow has been talking to both Israel and the Palestinians to help search for a settlement.
Asked about a claim by the Palestinian ambassador to Moscow that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will visit Moscow soon, Peskov said that the visit had been planned before the war. He added that Moscow will announce the date after it's finally determined.
Peskov rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's claim that Moscow was interested in fueling the war as "totally baseless."
The United Nations health agency says the medical supplies that it had pre-positioned in seven hospitals in Gaza have already been used up, as needs balloon in the wake of Israel's military strike against the militant group Hamas.
Spokesperson Tarik Jazarevic of the World Health Organization told a briefing Tuesday that affiliate hospitals had triggered emergency plans to better manage the surge of casualties, "but with the number of casualties currently coming in, these hospitals are now running beyond their capacity." He said WHO was reprogramming $1 million of its funds to allow for purchases of medical supplies from the local market to fill gaps in need.
The health agency has already called for a humanitarian corridor to be opened to allow new supplies to be ferried into Gaza.
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, says the building housing its headquarters in Gaza City suffered significant damage because of an airstrike nearby. No casualties among staff were recorded.
UNRWA said Tuesday that all U.N. international staff present in Gaza are taking shelter in another building within the same compound.
Since October 7, UNRWA recorded both collateral and direct damage to at least 18 of its facilities including schools sheltering displaced civilians. It said that until Tuesday, the U.N. estimates that over 187,500 people have been displaced within Gaza, and more than 137,000 people are sheltering in over 80 UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip.
The Government Media Office in Gaza announced Tuesday that seven journalists have been killed since the beginning of the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza: Ibrahim Lafi, photographer at Ain Media Company; Muhammad Jarghoun, photographer at Smart Media Office; Muhammad Al-Salhi, freelancer; Asaad Shamlikh, freelancer; Saeed Al-Taweel, editor at Alkhamisa News Network; and Muhammad Subh Abu Rizq and Hisham Al-Nawajaha, photographers at Khbr press.
More than 10 journalists have sustained various injuries, and contact was lost with journalists Nidal Al-Wahidi and Haitham Abdel-Wahed.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected allegations Tuesday about his country's role in Hamas attacks against Israel, but said Iran will continue supporting Palestinians, media reported. It was the first reaction to the war by Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters in the country.
However, Khamenei said, "We defend Palestine, we defend the fights." He praised Palestinian "capable, smart and courageous" young Palestinians. He said the disaster for Israel came because mistakes by Israel against Palestinians.
As retaliatory Israeli airstrikes continue, more than 187,500 people have been displaced in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict, according to a report from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, is hosting more than 137,000 people in schools across the territory. The report says airstrikes have razed 790 housing units and severely damaged 5,330 in the territory of 2.3 million people.
OCHA said damage to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in Gaza has disrupted service for more than 400,000 people.
Joseph and Sandra Greenberg flew to Israel to visit family and to celebrate the Jewish holiday. That celebration quickly turned to devastation.
"It's a very unsettling situation," said Joseph Greenberg who spoke to Eyewitness News via Zoom from Jerusalem.
They were scheduled to fly home Tuesday but their flight has been cancelled. They're now scheduled to be on a flight next week.
A pro-Palestinian group is calling for an end to the violence between Israel and Hamas.
There is fear on both sides and it is having a direct impact on communities in North Jersey. There is also a lot of blame to go around, but everyone is worried about the impact the bombs are having on the civilian populations.
The war on the ground and in the air has forced Israelis into bomb shelters and folks on the Gaza Strip to shelter anywhere they can. The death toll is rising and far too many civilians are the victims.
Two men from the Tri-State got home Monday but were in Israel for a security seminar when the Hamas assault began.
Priem is just back from Israel. When the nation came under attack, he was leading a delegation of law enforcement officers from the New York area through a series of security seminars.
Mitchell Silber was among the delegation. He says that Israelis he spoke with are increasingly concerned about the nation's northern border and the possibility that Hezbollah militants may open a second front from Southern Lebanon.
Eric Goldstein, CEO of the UJA Federation of New York, was in Israel when the war started over the weekend.
He spoke with Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger about what he experienced.
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters held vocal but peaceful gatherings outside Israeli embassies in London and Athens, Greece, on Monday.
In London, hundreds chanted "Israel is a terrorist state" and "Free Palestine" and some waved signs calling for Israel to "end the occupation."
Boards of wood were placed around the entrance to the embassy, and large numbers of police officers were present.
The demonstration came as Britain's home secretary said she is writing to police chiefs across the U.K. to urge them to step up patrols to prevent any antisemitic disorder.
"There can be zero tolerance for antisemitism," Suella Braverman said Monday. "Sadly, we have seen in recent years how events in the Middle East are used as an excuse to stir up hatred against British Jewish communities."
In Athens, an estimated 250 people, mostly Palestinian expatriates and members of Greek left-wing groups, held a peaceful protest outside the Israeli embassy to show solidarity with Palestinians. Protesters waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans, while a strong police contingent blocked off access to the embassy building.
The armed wing of the Palestinian militant group Hamas has warned that it will kill an Israeli hostage every time Israel's military bombs civilian targets in the Gaza Strip without warning.
Abu Obeida, the spokesman of the Qassam Brigades, said in an audio released Monday night that the threat was a response to intense air strikes by Israel on civilian areas.
"We have decided to put an end to this and as of now, we declare that any targeting of our people in their homes without prior warning will be regrettably faced with the execution of one the hostages of civilians we are holding," he said.
In a video statement Monday, Israel's foreign minister warned Hamas against harming any of the hostages who were taken from Israel and being held in Gaza. Eli Cohen said Israel was committed to bringing the hostages home "in the spirit of mutual responsibility."
"We demand Hamas not to harm any of the hostages, Cohen said. "This war crime will not be forgiven," he added.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)