Washington urges Israel to transition military operations

Israeli army: hostage’s body found in Gaza

The body of 28-year-old Elia Toledano, who was taken hostage by Hamas on October 7, is said to have been found in Gaza. The Israeli army reported this on Friday on Xformerly Twitter.

According to Israeli media the man attended the Supernova Festival in Israel on October 7, which turned into a bloodbath by Hamas. His body was reportedly identified and returned to Israel.

In total, there are still more than 130 hostages in Gaza.

Washington urges Israel to transition military operations

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has spoken in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about a transition to a more targeted phase of military operations. Speaking to Israeli television channel Channel 12, Sullivan called the talks “constructive,” Reuters reports.

Sullivan and President Joe Biden have urged Netanyahu to scale back the intensity of Israeli military operations in Gaza. According to The New York Times the US is pushing for a shift before the end of the year.

The focus on such a transition is part of a weeks-long pressure campaign from Washington to do more to protect Gaza’s 2.3 million residents. Nearly 19,000 people have been killed in Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip since Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel, according to Palestinian health officials.

White House Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Sullivan discussed a possible transition to lower-intensity operations, with an emphasis on “precise, surgical military objectives.” That transition should take place in “the near future,” according to Kirby, although he declined to give a specific timeline.

Sullivan travels to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during a White House briefing on December 4. Photo Kevin Lamarque / Reuters