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Israel-Gaza live updates: Hostage negotiations in ‘critical and final stage,’ Qatar says


Israel-Gaza live updates: Hostage negotiations in ‘critical and final stage,’ Qatar says

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that “we’re now very close” on a deal to release the hostages being held by Hamas, but the president did not discuss more details.

“We could bring some of the hostages home very soon, but I don’t want to get into the details of things because nothing is done until it’s done. And when we have more to say we will, but things are looking good,” Biden said.

-ABC News’ Molly Nagle

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that at least three hospitals in the war-torn Gaza Strip have requested help with evacuating patients.

Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said planning was underway to evacuate Al-Shifa Hospital, Indonesian Hospital and Al-Ahli Hospital in northern Gaza, but that such an event was a last resort.

“It’s robbing the entire population of the north of the means to seek health [care],” Lindmeier told reporters.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky and Morgan Winsor

Two journalists were killed by Israeli bombing near the Lebanon-Israel border on Tuesday, according to Al-Mayadeen, the Beirut-based television channel they worked for.

Al-Mayadeen confirmed that reporter Farah Omar and photojournalist Rabie Al-Maamari were both killed near the southern Lebanese town of Tir-Harfa, about a mile from the Israeli frontier.

“The occupation targeted the Al-Mayadeen team directly and definitely intentionally,” the channel said in a statement on Tuesday. “I tell the Israeli enemy that you will not be able to silence the voices of Al-Mayadeen. We will remain and continue our coverage and our honorable journalistic work, whose priority is covering the crimes of the occupation in Gaza, 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.

Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has voiced support for Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip and has been clashing with Israeli forces along the Lebanon-Israel border in recent weeks, released a statement on Tuesday “strongly condemning” the deaths.

“This aggression and the accompanying martyrdom of other citizens will not pass without a response from the fighters of the Islamic Resistance who are fighting in the field,” the group added.

-ABC News’ Ghazi Balliz, Marcus Moore, Bruno Roeber and Morgan Winsor

Israel’s government will begin voting to approve a hostage deal with Hamas on Tuesday, an Israeli senior political source told ABC News.

Voting will likely be completed on Wednesday, according to the source.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that, “in light of the developments regarding the release of our abductees,” Netanyahu will convene the war cabinet at 6 p.m. local time, the political-security cabinet at 7 p.m. local time and the full government at 8 p.m. local time.

Both cabinets would have to approve a hostage deal before it could be brought to the full government for a final vote.

Earlier Tuesday, while visiting Israeli troops, Netanyahu told reporters that his government was “making progress” on an agreement with Hamas.

“I don’t think it’s worth saying too much, not even at this moment,” he added, “but I hope there will be good news soon.”

-ABC News’ Victoria Beaulé, Jordana Miller and Morgan Winsor

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