Israel-Gaza updates: 22, including 18 children, reported dead in Rafah strikes

The IDF says it struck military targets of terrorist organizations in Gaza.

Israel launched a retaliatory strike against Iran early Friday morning local time, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.

The strike followed Iran's attack on Saturday, when Tehran sent a volley of more than 300 drones and missiles toward targets in Israel, according to Israeli military officials. All but a few were intercepted by Israel and its allies, including the United States, officials said.

Iran's weekend attack came more than six months after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7, after which the Israeli military began its bombardment of Gaza.


What to know about Iran's attack on Israel

Israeli officials said the country's Iron Dome defense system endured a big test from Iran's attack on Saturday, intercepting 99% of the 300 "threats of various types" thrown at it.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari, launched 170 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more than 120 ballistic missiles and more than 30 cruise missiles in the attack.

Hagari said "99% of the threats launched towards Israeli territory were intercepted -- a very significant strategic achievement."

Hagari said the attack resulted in only one known Israeli casualty, a 7-year-old girl who was severely injured when she was struck by shrapnel apparently from an intercepted missile.


Partner of killed aid worker calls for answers: 'We need the truth of what happened'

The partner of one of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza this week is pleading for answers into the deadly attack.

"We need some answers," Sandy Leclerc, the partner of Jacob Flickinger, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, told ABC News on Thursday in her first television interview since the attack. "We need the truth of what happened because this situation is so unclear."

"Please Mr. Biden, give us the truth of what happened," she asked of President Joe Biden as she spoke with ABC News correspondent Phil Lipof.


Israel to open another border crossing point after Biden-Netanyahu call: Official

Israel has decided to open another border crossing point -- the Erez checkpoint -- to allow humanitarian aid to cross into Gaza, according to an Israeli official.

The decision comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden spoke by phone earlier Thursday.

"This increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is necessary to ensure the continuation of the fighting and to achieve the goals of the war," the official said in a statement. "In light of this, Israel will allow the temporary delivery of humanitarian aid through Ashdod (port) and the Erez checkpoint and will increase the Jordanian aid coming in through Kerem Shalom."

-ABC News' Dana Savir


WCK airstrike won't affect emergency pier mission: Pentagon

The U.S. military's emergency pier system to get humanitarian aid into Gaza is still en route, Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Thursday.

Ryder said that USAID continues to work with organizations to finalize a distribution plan for the aid once it's transferred by the system -- known as JLOTS -- to shore. He also acknowledged that the deadly Israeli strike that killed seven humanitarian aid workers this week "certainly doesn't make that job easier."

He added that it "has not deterred us from continuing to work with groups and NGOs to come up with solutions."

Ryder confirmed that Israel has committed to providing security on shore for the pier and port system.

"I know Israel's investigating in terms of the strike on World Central Kitchen and we trust that Israel will provide the security that we need on the shore," he said.

Ryder said the system is expected to be operational by the end of April or early May.

"We're not changing the mission. We've been tasked to provide a temporary pier. Everything is on track on schedule at this point," he said.

-ABC News' Luis Martinez



IDF suspends 2 military commanders after deadly airstrike: Israeli media

The Israel Defense Forces have suspended two military commanders after seven World Central Kitchen workers were killed in an IDF airstrike earlier this week, according to Israeli media.

-ABC News' Ellie Kaufman


Britain launches Royal Air Force aircraft to intercept attacks on Israel

Britain's Defense Minister Grant Shapps said early Sunday morning local time that the U.K. is deploying "additional Royal Air Force" aircraft following Iran's attack on Israel.

"I have authorised the deployment of additional Royal Air Force assets. The RAF jets and air refuelling tankers will bolster our existing Operation Shader – the UK’s existing counter-Daesh operation in Iraq and Syria," Shapps' statement read. "In addition, these jets will intercept any airborne attacks within range of our existing missions, as required."

Following the news of the RAF deployment, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement he "condemns in the strongest terms" Iran's attack on Israel.

"Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard," his statement read. "The UK will continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that all of our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq.

"Alongside our allies, we are urgently working to stabilize the situation and prevent further escalation. No one wants to see more bloodshed."

-ABC News' Luis Martinez