The Latest | Israeli Cabinet member meets US officials as cease-fire talks get underway in Egypt


A top member of Israel’s wartime Cabinet is meeting with U.S. officials in Washington while talks are underway in Egypt to broker a cease-fire in Gaza before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins next week.

Benny Gantz, a centrist political rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, traveled for talks with several senior U.S. administration officials this week.

An official from Netanyahu’s far-right Likud party said Gantz did not have approval from the prime minister for his meetings in Washington and that Netanyahu gave the Cabinet official a “tough talk” — underscoring the widening crack within Israel’s wartime leadership nearly six months into the Israel-Hamas war.

Israel did not send a delegation to cease-fire talks in Cairo because it is waiting for answers from Hamas on two questions, according to an Israeli official. Israeli media reported that the government is waiting to learn which of the hostages seized by Hamas in an Oct. 7 attack are alive and how many Palestinian prisoners Hamas seeks in exchange for each.

The U.N. says a quarter of Gaza’s 2.3 million people face starvation. The number of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip has soared above 30,000 since the war began nearly five months ago when Hamas-led militants stormed across southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking about 250 others hostage.


Harris is to meet with Israeli Cabinet official who is in Washington despite Netanyahu’s rebuke.

A 4-year-old Gaza boy lost his arm – and his family. Half a world away, he’s getting a second chance.

— Find more of AP’s coverage at

Here’s the latest:


RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Health Ministry says Israeli forces killed a 16-year-old in the West Bank, the second Palestinian minor to be killed in the occupied territory in recent days.

The Israeli military said security forces conducting a six-hour operation in Ramallah opened fire after Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at them. It said a female member of Israel’s paramilitary Border Police was lightly wounded.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the deceased as Mustafa Abu Shalbak. On Saturday, Mohammed Zeid, 13, was shot dead by Israeli forces north of Ramallah, according to the ministry. The army said its forces opened fire after someone tried to throw a firebomb at them.

Violence has surged in the Israeli-occupied West Bank since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that sparked the war in Gaza. Israeli forces have carried out near-nightly arrest raids that often set off violent confrontations. The Health Ministry says 420 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the start of the war.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state.


BEIRUT — Hamas is calling on Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank to rise up against Israel during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan, speaking to reporters in Beirut on Monday, said Palestinians should “make every moment of Ramadan a confrontation.”

The U.S., Qatar and Egypt have been trying for weeks to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and to convince the militant group to release some of the scores of hostages it is still holding from the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the war.

The mediators hope to broker a truce before Ramadan, which is expected to begin around March 10.

The month of dawn-to-dusk fasting is a time of heightened prayer, reflection and charity for Muslims around the world, but Israeli-Palestinian tensions often spike over access to a major holy site in Jerusalem.

Hamas has repeatedly called for a broader uprising in the occupied West Bank, where violence has surged since the start of the war, and among Israel’s own Palestinian minority.

Hamdan did not provide any specifics about the ongoing cease-fire negotiations. Addressing his remarks to Israel and its top ally, the United States, he said: “What they have not gained in the battlefield, they will not gain through political machinations.”

The war began when Hamas-led militants broke through Israel’s defenses on Oct. 7 and stormed into several communities near Gaza, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting around 250 hostages. Hamas freed over 100 hostages during a weeklong November cease-fire in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinian prisoners.

Gaza’s Health Ministry says the war has killed over 30,000 Palestinians. Around 80% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have been driven from their homes.


KIRYAT SHMONA, Israel — Israeli rescuers say a foreign worker was killed and several others wounded by an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said Monday it was treating seven people, including two in serious condition. Associated Press reporters saw the Israeli army transporting several Thai workers, some limping and bleeding, to ambulances near the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona.

According to to the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, an Israeli advocacy group, the man who was killed was from India. It said Israel was not doing enough to protect migrant workers hired for agricultural work in border areas under fire.

Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group have traded fire nearly every day since the start of the war in Gaza. Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, says it is trying to pin down Israeli forces in the north to aid the Palestinian group.

Hezbollah did not immediately claim responsibility for Monday’s strike.

The Lebanese group said in statements Monday that it had stopped two attempts by Israeli forces to cross into Lebanese territory overnight and that it had launched an artillery attack on an Israeli barracks.

Also on Monday, U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein arrived in Beirut to meet with Lebanese officials in an attempt to tamp down tensions.

The near daily clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces have killed more than 200 Hezbollah fighters and at least 37 civilians in Lebanon. Around 20 people have been killed on the Israeli side, including civilians and soldiers.

Tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border have been forced to flee their homes because of the ongoing fighting. Israel has vowed to continue attacking Hezbollah, even if there is a cease-fire in Gaza, in order to push its fighters away from the border.

Farm workers from Asian countries have flocked to Israel in recent years, drawn by higher wages. Several foreign workers were among those killed and abducted in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack out of Gaza, which triggered the war.

Source: post

No posts to display