Israel-Gaza Live Updates: Aid to Gaza resumes, US CENTCOM says


The US Central Command (USCENTCOM) announced on Saturday that it has begun delivering humanitarian aid on shore in Gaza.

“Today, a total of approximately 492 tons (~1.1 million pounds) of much-needed humanitarian assistance was delivered to the people of Gaza,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

According to CENTCOM, no American personnel have landed in Gaza.

The agency said it has so far helped deliver more than 1,573 tons of humanitarian aid to organizations operating on the ground in Gaza.

– Nathan Luna of ABC News

Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement on Saturday following the rescue of four Israeli hostages, welcoming their safe return.

“The United States will not rest until all hostages return home,” he said.

Blinken also pushed for the ceasefire announced by President Joe Biden last week.

He claimed it would “bring aid to both the people of Gaza and the remaining hostages and their families through an immediate ceasefire that could lead to the release of all hostages, a wave of humanitarian aid, reconstruction of Gaza and a lasting end to the war. “

“The only thing standing in the way of achieving this ceasefire is Hamas. It is time for them to accept the deal,” he said.

A US defense official gave ABC News some more details about the operation.

The official said the recently built JLOTS pier, which is used to transport humanitarian supplies, was not used in the operation.

“An area south of the facility was used to safely return the hostages to Israel. Such claims to the contrary are false,” the official said.

– Nathan Luna of ABC News

After meeting with rescued hostages and their families, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the rescue operation “remarkable” and told reporters they will do “whatever it takes” to get the hostages back.

“We are committed to securing the release of all hostages, and we expect Hamas to release them all – but if they don’t, we will do whatever it takes to get them all back home. Hamas commits war crimes every day. Today, including holding these hostages, our soldiers are performing in the most brave and moral way to end this war with a victory over these murderers and over these kidnappers, and we will prevail,” Netanyahu said.

Earlier, the Israeli military said the hostages were being held in civilian-populated areas, with no way to reach them other than through Gaza civilians, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters. Three male hostages were held together in an apartment and a fourth female hostage was held in another apartment just over 200 meters away, Hagari said.

At least 150 Palestinians were killed in Israeli raids on Saturday, the Hamas-led Health Ministry in Gaza said.

A US official provided ABC News with more details about the rescue efforts, noting that the US has been regularly sharing intelligence and expertise on hostage recovery since October 7.

The official emphasized that there were no American boots on the ground in this effort.

-Dana Savir, Bruno Nota and Molly Nagle of ABC News

President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the rescue of the hostages during a news conference on Saturday.

Biden welcomed the safe return of four hostages from Gaza and pledged that the United States will not stop working until all hostages are home.

“I would like to reiterate President Macron’s comments welcoming the safe rescue of four hostages returned to their families in Israel. We will not stop working until all hostages return home and a ceasefire is reached. That is essential to happen,” Biden said. said.

President Macron spoke before President Biden and also celebrated the news.

“In Gaza we want to achieve the immediate liberation of hostages and we can only welcome the liberation of four hostages by the Israeli army. We want to reach an immediate ceasefire and open the prospect of a political solution that is the only one that can achieve a fair and lasting peace and respond to the concerns of both peoples,” Macron said.

“And that is why we support the comprehensive proposal of the United States of America,” he added, calling on Israel to do more to support humanitarian aid to Rafah, calling the situation “unacceptable.”

– Molly Nagle and Michelle Stoddart of ABC News