Israel-Hamas war live updates: Pressure grows in Israel for another deal to release remaining hostages

Israeli minister vows to back IDF soldier suspended for beating a photojournalist

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the National Security Minister, promised to back an IDF soldier suspended for assaulting a Turkish photojournalist in East Jerusalem on Friday.

Footage uploaded to X by CNN on Friday showed a group of IDF soldiers harassing Mustafa Haruf, a photojournalist for Andalou, the Turkish state news agency. In the video, the soldier was seen shoving and punching Haruf, before hitting him on the head with a gun and threatening to shoot. They kicked him repeatedly as he lay on the ground.

Ben-Gvir said on X that he had spoken to a soldier involved in the assault, who he described as an “outstanding officer” operating “under laboratory conditions,” echoing language frequently used by far-right politicians to justify military attacks on civilians and journalists.

Ambulance crews blocked by a tank from treating injured, Red Crescent says

One person died at Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm, in the occupied West Bank, after an Israeli tank blocked a convoy of ambulance from entering the camp, according to a video posted by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society on X this morning.

The IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hamas demands Israel cease ‘aggression’ before more hostage release deals

Hamas said it would not conduct more negotiations around hostage exchanges unless Israel stopped its offensive in Gaza.

The group issued the statement on Telegram, saying its stance has been conveyed to all mediators.

“Hamas reaffirms its stance not to conduct any negotiations to exchange prisoners” until Israel stopped its assault on Palestinians, “once and for all,” the group said.

The statement comes after the mistaken killings of three Israeli hostages by the Israeli military promted renewed calls in Israel for the release of the roughly 100 hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza.

TEL AVIV — Thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv today to call for the release of the remaining hostages being held by Hamas militants.

Some of the rallygoers included family members of hostages, who demanded that the Israeli government do more to bring their loved ones home.

“The Israeli families believe that the Israeli government needs to put an offer on the table today and not wait for an offer to come from Hamas, from Qatar or even from the United States,” said Ruby Chen, the father of 19-year-old Itay Chen, who was taken hostage by Hamas. “The Israeli needs to take the initiative and put an offer on the table.”

Hamas says Israel is ‘gambling with the lives of its soldiers’

Hamas released a statement following the death of three hostages mistakenly killed by the Israel Defense Forces, saying Israel is “gambling with the lives of its soldiers captured by the resistance.”

Hamas compared the killing to the “blatant criminal behavior” that Israel “continues to practice against its captives in Gaza.”

Brother of American Israeli held captive says hostage deal must be priority

TEL AVIV — Lee Siegel, 71, normally likes to keep to himself, but in the weeks since his brother was taken hostage by Hamas, he has become an activist, joining thousands of people tonight in calling on the Israeli government to do more to see those still held captive released.

Keith Siegel, 64, and his wife, Aviva Siegel, 62, were taken hostage from their home on the Kibbutz Kfar Aza together on Oct. 7. Aviva Siegel was released several weeks ago, but Keith Siegel, who is an American Israeli dual national, remains held captive.

Lee Siegel stands in 'Hostage Square' in Tel Aviv holding up a sign with his brother's photo.
Lee Siegel stands in ‘Hostage Square’ in Tel Aviv holding up a sign with his brother’s photo.Chantal Da Silva

Siegel said his sister-in-law had described harrowing conditions during her time in captivity. Held both above and below ground, she said there were times when it was “very, very difficult to breathe” while underground. Food, mainly pitas and rice, and water were at times scarce, and she lost about 22 pounds, he said. She also described hostages being “physically intimidated and hurt,” but Siegel said she didn’t elaborate.

Siegel said he wanted the Israeli government to make negotiating a hostage deal a priority. He said he believes hostages, including his brother, will only be released “when there is not violence.”  

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