President Joe Biden said Tuesday that “we are now very close” to an agreement to free hostages held by Hamas, but the president did not discuss further details.
“We may repatriate some hostages very soon, but I don’t want to go into details because nothing is done until it’s done. And when we have more to say, we will, but things arise good,” he added. » Biden said.
-Molly Nagle of ABC News
The World Health Organization said Tuesday that at least three hospitals in the war-torn Gaza Strip had requested help to evacuate patients.
Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said plans were underway to evacuate Al-Shifa Hospital, the Indonesian Hospital and the Al-Ahli in northern Gaza, but that such an event was a last resort.
“This deprives the entire northern population of the means to seek health care,” Lindmeier told reporters.
-Will Gretsky and Morgan Winsor of ABC News
Two journalists were killed by Israeli shelling near the Lebanese-Israeli border on Tuesday, according to Al-Mayadeen, the Beirut-based television channel for which they worked.
Al-Mayadeen confirmed that journalist Farah Omar and photojournalist Rabie Al-Maamari were both killed near the southern Lebanese town of Tir-Harfa, about a mile from the Israeli border.
“The occupation targeted the Al-Mayadeen team directly and definitely intentionally,” the channel said in a statement on Tuesday. “I say to the Israeli enemy that you will not be able to silence the voices of Al-Mayadeen. We will stay and continue our coverage and our honorable journalistic work, the priority of which is to cover the crimes of the occupation in Gaza, in the West Bank, Palestine and Lebanon.”
The Lebanese National News Agency reported that a civilian – an 80-year-old woman – was also killed by an Israeli airstrike in the southern Lebanese village of Kafr Kila, about 35 miles northwest of Tir-Harfa.
The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has expressed support for Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip and has clashed with Israeli forces along the Lebanese-Israeli border in recent weeks, issued a statement Tuesday “strongly condemning” the deaths.
“This aggression and the accompanying martyrdom of other citizens will not pass without a response from the Islamic Resistance fighters fighting on the ground,” the group added.
– ABC News’ Ghazi Balliz, Marcus Moore, Bruno Roeber and Morgan Winsor
The Israeli government will begin voting on Tuesday to approve a hostage deal with Hamas, a senior Israeli political source told ABC News.
Voting will likely be completed on Wednesday, according to the source.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Tuesday that, “in light of developments regarding the release of our kidnapped people,” Netanyahu will convene the war cabinet at 6 p.m. local time, the political and security cabinet at 7 p.m. local time, and full government at 8 p.m. local time.
Both cabinets would need to approve a hostage deal before it can be submitted to the full government for a final vote.
Earlier Tuesday, while visiting Israeli troops, Netanyahu told reporters that his government was “making progress” on a deal with Hamas.
“I don’t think it’s worth saying too much, not even at the moment,” he added, “but I hope there will be some good news soon.”
-Victoria Beaulé, Jordana Miller and Morgan Winsor of ABC News
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