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

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LA Post: The Latest | Israeli Cabinet member meets US officials as cease-fire talks get underway in Egypt
AP
The Associated Press
March 04, 2024

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.

Currently:

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 https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.

Here's the latest:

A FOREIGN WORKER IS KILLED IN MISSILE FIRE FROM LEBANON

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.

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 Thailand and other 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.

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