Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

For decades, states have taken foster children's federal benefits. That's starting to change

News

For decades, states have taken foster children's federal benefits. That's starting to change
News

News

For decades, states have taken foster children's federal benefits. That's starting to change

2024-05-18 12:16 Last Updated At:05-19 10:22

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — By the time Jesse Fernandez turned 18, the federal government had paid out thousands of dollars in Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother. But Jesse's bank account was empty.

The money had all been used by Missouri's foster care system or relatives responsible for his care.

More Images
Brenda Keith, right, and her foster daughter, Alexus, pose for a photo on March 21, 2022, in Mansfield, Mo. States have for decades been using foster children's federal Social Security benefits to help cover the costs of state services. The practice has saved states millions of dollars. But that's beginning to change in some states under pressure from child advocates who contend it is immoral and detrimental to kids. (Brenda Keith via AP)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — By the time Jesse Fernandez turned 18, the federal government had paid out thousands of dollars in Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother. But Jesse's bank account was empty.

Maine state Rep. Amy Roeder, left, poses for a photo with her son, Evan, in the Maine House of Representatives on Dec. 7, 2022, in Augusta, Maine. Roeder adopted her son from foster care and has sponsored legislation that would require the state to set aside foster children's Social Security survivor benefits for their unmet needs or future use. (Amy Roeder via AP)

Maine state Rep. Amy Roeder, left, poses for a photo with her son, Evan, in the Maine House of Representatives on Dec. 7, 2022, in Augusta, Maine. Roeder adopted her son from foster care and has sponsored legislation that would require the state to set aside foster children's Social Security survivor benefits for their unmet needs or future use. (Amy Roeder via AP)

Maine state Rep. Amy Roeder, left, poses for a photo with her family, from left to right, son Kurtis, their father Eric Schaefer, and son Evan on March 31, 2024, in Bangor, Maine. Roeder adopted her sons from foster care and has sponsored legislation that would require the state to set aside foster children's Social Security survivor benefits for their unmet needs or future use. (Amy Roeder via AP)

Maine state Rep. Amy Roeder, left, poses for a photo with her family, from left to right, son Kurtis, their father Eric Schaefer, and son Evan on March 31, 2024, in Bangor, Maine. Roeder adopted her sons from foster care and has sponsored legislation that would require the state to set aside foster children's Social Security survivor benefits for their unmet needs or future use. (Amy Roeder via AP)

Jesse Fernandez, center, pets the family cat as he visits his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, pets the family cat as he visits his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, right, pets the family cat as he visits his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, right, pets the family cat as he visits his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, talks with his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, talks with his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, stands with his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, stands with his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

“I was shocked,” said Jason White, a foster parent to Fernandez.

“Those dollars are a big deal," he continued. “Had they been saved, or a chunk of it saved, he’d have money for a car and a first-time apartment."

For decades, states have routinely applied for Social Security survivor and disability benefits on behalf of foster children and then used that money to help cover the costs of foster care services. The tactic has saved states from having to spend millions of their own tax dollars on foster care programs.

But that's beginning to change under pressure from child advocates who contend the practice is both immoral and detrimental to foster children because it exhausts funds that could have helped them transition to adulthood.

More than a dozen states have made at least some sort of revisions to the practice since Maryland became the first to do so in 2018. Colorado became the latest in April when it enacted a law establishing a foster children’s list of rights, which stipulates that any benefits be used for their “individual needs.”

Similar measures have been proposed this year in numerous states as part of an “incredible explosion of reform efforts,” said Amy Harfeld, national policy director for the Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law.

But change doesn't always come easy.

Missouri legislation that advocates touted as a national model failed to receive final approval Friday, despite previously passing both chambers. Supporters pointed to gridlock in the Republican-led Legislature and concerns about an unrelated child-custody amendment attached to the bill.

Both chambers of the Democratic-led Maine Legislature also approved a measure last month that would have prohibited the state from using foster children’s federal survivor benefits to reimburse its costs for foster care services. But the legislation failed to reach the governor’s desk because lawmakers weren't able to allocate the nearly $1.8 million necessary to compensate for the proposed change.

“There is a strong and growing interest to implement reforms,” said Meg Dygert, staff leader of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators.

But “addressing this issue is not without its complexities,” she said. “To shift practices, child welfare agencies must work through significant financial, operational, technical, and legal challenges.”

An estimated 40,000 to 80,000 children in foster care either receive or are eligible for Social Security benefits, typically because of the death of a parent or their own disability, according to a report released last month by the Children’s Advocacy Institute. Those benefits typically pay hundreds of dollars a month per child, which adds up to millions of dollars annually for states.

In Missouri, the Children’s Division spent more than $9.3 million last year on foster care services from the accounts of about 1,400 foster children who received Social Security benefits, according to legislative research staff.

Those federal disability payments would have amounted to an estimated $123,000 over 13 years for Alexus Brandon, her foster mother Brenda Keith said. But Brandon, 21, received none of that when she aged out of Missouri's foster care system because the state had used it all, Keith said.

Brandon now receives monthly disability checks, but she has fallen behind on rent payments and can’t afford a car, making it harder to get a job.

Had the state set aside some of her childhood disability benefits for future use, “it would have helped me start out my life,” Brandon said.

The Missouri legislation would have required the Children's Division to apply for Social Security benefits on behalf of eligible foster children but prohibited the agency from using that money for required foster care expenses. Instead, the benefits would have been set aside for children when they age out of foster care or spent on “unmet needs” such as school, transportation or other items.

A similar measure passed the Republican-led Arizona Legislature last year and was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs. At the time, the state Department of Child Safety said it was collecting about $6.2 million annually in Social Security and veterans' survivor benefits on behalf of foster children and spending around $4 million of that on foster care services.

“We shouldn’t be funding government off the backs of abused children,” said Kendall Seal, vice president of policy at the Center for the Rights of Abused Children, which backed the Arizona and Missouri measures.

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek, a Democrat, also signed a law last year barring the state from using children's benefits to cover the state's costs of food, clothing, housing and daily supervision of foster children. It instead directs those funds to savings accounts for children's personal needs, including education and future housing expenses.

New Mexico's children's department announced last year it would no longer tap into foster children's Social Security benefits and instead place that money in a trust for children. Massachusetts' children's agency said earlier this year it also was ending the use of foster children’s Social Security benefits to cover its costs.

Lawmakers in Missouri and Maine said they would try again next year to pass legislation limiting the state's use of foster children's federal benefits.

The Maine measure was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Amy Roeder, who adopted two sons from foster care, including one who receives Social Security survivor's benefits because his biological father died. While he was in the foster care system, her son didn't receive any of those monthly benefit payments. But Roeder said she is now saving the funds until he is an adult to help pay for higher education or housing.

“Money is a cold comfort when you lose somebody, but it’s something," Roeder said, "even if it’s just a little bit of a boost to get you started.

Brenda Keith, right, and her foster daughter, Alexus, pose for a photo on March 21, 2022, in Mansfield, Mo. States have for decades been using foster children's federal Social Security benefits to help cover the costs of state services. The practice has saved states millions of dollars. But that's beginning to change in some states under pressure from child advocates who contend it is immoral and detrimental to kids. (Brenda Keith via AP)

Brenda Keith, right, and her foster daughter, Alexus, pose for a photo on March 21, 2022, in Mansfield, Mo. States have for decades been using foster children's federal Social Security benefits to help cover the costs of state services. The practice has saved states millions of dollars. But that's beginning to change in some states under pressure from child advocates who contend it is immoral and detrimental to kids. (Brenda Keith via AP)

Maine state Rep. Amy Roeder, left, poses for a photo with her son, Evan, in the Maine House of Representatives on Dec. 7, 2022, in Augusta, Maine. Roeder adopted her son from foster care and has sponsored legislation that would require the state to set aside foster children's Social Security survivor benefits for their unmet needs or future use. (Amy Roeder via AP)

Maine state Rep. Amy Roeder, left, poses for a photo with her son, Evan, in the Maine House of Representatives on Dec. 7, 2022, in Augusta, Maine. Roeder adopted her son from foster care and has sponsored legislation that would require the state to set aside foster children's Social Security survivor benefits for their unmet needs or future use. (Amy Roeder via AP)

Maine state Rep. Amy Roeder, left, poses for a photo with her family, from left to right, son Kurtis, their father Eric Schaefer, and son Evan on March 31, 2024, in Bangor, Maine. Roeder adopted her sons from foster care and has sponsored legislation that would require the state to set aside foster children's Social Security survivor benefits for their unmet needs or future use. (Amy Roeder via AP)

Maine state Rep. Amy Roeder, left, poses for a photo with her family, from left to right, son Kurtis, their father Eric Schaefer, and son Evan on March 31, 2024, in Bangor, Maine. Roeder adopted her sons from foster care and has sponsored legislation that would require the state to set aside foster children's Social Security survivor benefits for their unmet needs or future use. (Amy Roeder via AP)

Jesse Fernandez, center, pets the family cat as he visits his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, pets the family cat as he visits his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, right, pets the family cat as he visits his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, right, pets the family cat as he visits his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, talks with his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, talks with his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, stands with his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Jesse Fernandez, center, stands with his former foster parents Jason and Joyce White Friday, May 17, 2024, in Independence, Mo. Fernandez was paid thousands of dollars of Social Security survivor's benefits because of the death of his mother, but by the time he turned 18, the money had all been used by the state of Missouri and Fernandez's relatives to pay for his foster care. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The U.S. military-built pier in Gaza was unloading humanitarian aid again Thursday after being removed for a second time last week because of rough seas, a U.S. defense official said. The pier was reattached to Gaza’s shoreline on Wednesday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss U.S. military operations.

The pier, which cost the U.S. at least $230 million, was meant to deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza via the U.N.’s World Food Program. It has faced a number of setbacks.

Aid groups have decried the pier as a distraction that took pressure off Israel to open more border crossings, which are far more productive at bringing aid into Gaza as Palestinians are facing widespread hunger. The United Nations has suspended its cooperation with the pier project since June 9 and is conducting a security review.

With Israel’s war against Hamas now in its ninth month, international criticism is growing over the U.S.-backed campaign of systematic destruction in Gaza, at a huge cost in civilian lives.

Israeli ground offensives and bombardments have killed more than 37,100 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count. The war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and basic goods to Gaza, which is now totally dependent on aid groups.

Israel launched the war after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

Currently:

— The fate of the latest cease-fire proposal hinges on Netanyahu and Hamas’ leader in Gaza.

— A rare public rift appears between Israel’s political and military leadership over how the war in Gaza is being conducted.

— The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group warns archenemy Israel against wider war.

— Hundreds died during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia amid intense heat, officials say.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here's the latest:

JERUSALEM – Israel remains opposed to allowing the International Committee of the Red Cross access to detention facilities accused of harshly treating Palestinians from Gaza and is working on creating an internal inspection system, state lawyers said Wednesday.

The Red Cross had access to Israeli detention facilities holding Palestinians until Oct. 7, when Israel sealed them off from external observation. Since then, testimonies have mounted from released Palestinians of brutal treatment at the detention centers, where they are held incommunicado and without trial.

The government lawyers wrote that Israeli lawmakers are examining a proposal to form an internal body that would visit the detention facilities, hear prisoners’ complaints and communicate the information to Israeli authorities.

The body is “expected to fulfill the purpose that the Red Cross has fulfilled until now,” the lawyers wrote. They were responding to a coalition of rights groups asking Israel’s highest court to grant the Red Cross access to the detention facilities.

In response, the main rights group petitioning the court said internal Israeli examiners could not substitute for international observers.

“Mounting testimonies reveal Israel has turned its detention facilities into a black hole for Palestinian prisoners enduring appalling conditions,” said the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, adding that the government was “investing a far-fetched mechanism in order to replace the accepted arrangement by the world.”

Since the Hamas attack Oct. 7, Israel has taken at least 4,000 Palestinians from Gaza into custody in Israel, interrogating them for potential ties to the militant group. Over 1,500 have been released, according to state figures.

Hamas has rejected Red Cross appeals to visit some 120 hostages it is believed to be holding. Israel has already pronounced 43 of the hostages dead.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military-built pier in Gaza was unloading humanitarian aid again Thursday after being removed for a second time last week because of rough seas, a U.S. defense official said. The pier was reattached to Gaza’s shoreline on Wednesday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss U.S. military operations.

The pier, which cost the U.S. at least $230 million, was meant to deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza via the U.N.’s World Food Program. It has faced a number of setbacks, operating for only about a week before getting blown apart by high winds in May. The U.S. military detached the floating causeway and moved it to an Israeli port last week so it wouldn't break apart again.

Aid groups have decried the pier as a distraction that took pressure off Israel to open more border crossings, which are far more productive at bringing aid into Gaza. Israel's war against Hamas has caused widespread devastation and made domestic food production nearly impossible, leaving Gaza totally dependent on aid groups for food, medicine and basic goods. Palestinians are facing widespread hunger.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has suspended its cooperation with the U.S.-led pier project since June 9. U.N. officials say they want to evaluate whether the Israeli military used the area around the pier in a June 8 hostage rescue that left more than 270 Palestinians dead, and whether any such use — or even a perception of it by fighters and ordinary people in Gaza — makes their continued role in the project untenable.

The U.S. and Israeli militaries say no part of the pier was used in the raid.

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus’ Foreign Ministry said Thursday the U.S. military-built pier in Gaza is up and running again after being detached for a second time last week because of rough seas.

Cyprus plays a key role in the pier because a security and inspection station it built screens the international aid destined for Gaza. There was no immediate confirmation from the U.S.

Theodoris Gotsis, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, said the pier and the causeway in Gaza were both functioning. He said over the past 40 days, Cyprus has screened and loaded onto boats some 10,000 tons of aid for Gaza.

The U.S. military detached the causeway last week to prevent it from breaking apart again, as it did late last month when it was hit by bad weather.

The pier, used to deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, has faced a number of setbacks since it was erected. It was operational for only about a week when it was blown apart by high winds in May and then removed again earlier this month.

The U.N.’s World Food Program, one of the main aid agencies to make use of the pier, had paused its distribution of aid coming from it earlier this month over security concerns. WFP could not immediately be reached for comment on whether it was resuming distribution.

NICOSIA, Cyprus — A spokesman for the European Union’s executive arm says any threat against Cyprus is a threat against the bloc’s 26 other member nations.

Peter Stano made the remark Thursday in response to a question regarding Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s threat that Cyprus could be implicated in a wider conflict if the island nation allows Israel to use its ports and airports to target Lebanon.

Stano said the EU fully supports Cyprus and that the trade bloc is in contact with “a number of partners in the region," including Lebanon and Hezbollah, in order to de-escalate tension.

Cyprus has enjoyed increasingly tight relations with Israel in recent years, spawned by the discovery of undersea natural gas deposits in waters between the two neighbors. Cyprus has hosted joint Israeli-Cypriot military exercises, but has not ben involved in any military operations.

Cyprus government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis repeated that any suggestion that Cyprus – either through its infrastructure or territory - would be involved in any military operation in Lebanon is “totally groundless.”

Letymbiotis reiterated that the island nation “is not part of the problem” but “part of the solution” thanks to its regional diplomatic footprint.

The Hezbollah militant group said at least three of its fighters were killed in Israeli strikes on Wednesday.

Lebanese state media reported multiple Israeli strikes along the border and in an area north of the coastal city of Tyre, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the frontier. The Israeli military said two Hezbollah launches damaged several vehicles in northern Israel.

The fighting came as Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden, returned to Israel after meeting with officials in Lebanon on Tuesday. There has been no word on whether he has made progress in his efforts to avoid a devastating regional war.

Kamel Mohanna, the head of the Amel Association, an NGO providing health services in Lebanon, said the group’s primary health center in the town of Khiam was hit and damaged by Israeli shelling.

Hezbollah began attacking Israel almost immediately after the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. There have been near daily exchanges of fire, though most of the strikes are confined to an area within a few mostly confined to the area around the border.

But the fighting has escalated in recent weeks, raising fears that the clashes could boil over into a full-blown war. Israel’s army announced late Tuesday that it has “approved and validated” plans for an offensive in Lebanon.

Israeli strikes already have killed more than 400 people in Lebanon, most of them Hezbollah fighters,

Buildings are seen in Kiryat Shmona, a city next to border with Lebanon, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Hezbollah began attacking Israel almost immediately after the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. There have been near daily exchanges of fire, though most of the strikes are confined to an area within a few mostly confined to the area around the border. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Buildings are seen in Kiryat Shmona, a city next to border with Lebanon, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Hezbollah began attacking Israel almost immediately after the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. There have been near daily exchanges of fire, though most of the strikes are confined to an area within a few mostly confined to the area around the border. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Hussein, son of senior Hezbollah commander Taleb Sami Abdullah, 55, who was killed last week by an Israeli strike in south Lebanon, speaks during a ceremony to commemorate the death of his father, in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Hussein, son of senior Hezbollah commander Taleb Sami Abdullah, 55, who was killed last week by an Israeli strike in south Lebanon, speaks during a ceremony to commemorate the death of his father, in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

An Israel flag hangs on an area backdropped by buildings in Kiryat Shmona, a city next to border with Lebanon, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Hezbollah began attacking Israel almost immediately after the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. There have been near daily exchanges of fire, though most of the strikes are confined to an area within a few mostly confined to the area around the border. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

An Israel flag hangs on an area backdropped by buildings in Kiryat Shmona, a city next to border with Lebanon, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Hezbollah began attacking Israel almost immediately after the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. There have been near daily exchanges of fire, though most of the strikes are confined to an area within a few mostly confined to the area around the border. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Hezbollah supporters raise their fists and cheer as they watch a speech given by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on a screen during a ceremony to commemorate the death of senior Hezbollah commander Taleb Sami Abdullah, 55, who was killed last week by an Israeli strike in south Lebanon, in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Hezbollah supporters raise their fists and cheer as they watch a speech given by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on a screen during a ceremony to commemorate the death of senior Hezbollah commander Taleb Sami Abdullah, 55, who was killed last week by an Israeli strike in south Lebanon, in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

A damaged building, from previous shelling attacks from Lebanon, is seen in Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Hezbollah began attacking Israel almost immediately after the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. There have been near daily exchanges of fire, though most of the strikes are confined to an area within a few mostly confined to the area around the border. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A damaged building, from previous shelling attacks from Lebanon, is seen in Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Hezbollah began attacking Israel almost immediately after the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. There have been near daily exchanges of fire, though most of the strikes are confined to an area within a few mostly confined to the area around the border. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Palestinians mourn their relative Tamer Mohsen killed in the Israeli bombardment of Nuseirat refugee camp, at the morgue of al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

Palestinians mourn their relative Tamer Mohsen killed in the Israeli bombardment of Nuseirat refugee camp, at the morgue of al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

In this combination image, Hamas' leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, speaks on April 13, 2022, in Gaza City, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks on June 18, 2024, in Tel Aviv. The fate of the proposed cease-fire deal for Gaza hinges in many ways on Sinwar and Netanyahu. Each faces significant political and personal pressures that may be influencing their decision-making and neither seems in a rush to make concessions to end the war. (AP Photo)

In this combination image, Hamas' leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, speaks on April 13, 2022, in Gaza City, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks on June 18, 2024, in Tel Aviv. The fate of the proposed cease-fire deal for Gaza hinges in many ways on Sinwar and Netanyahu. Each faces significant political and personal pressures that may be influencing their decision-making and neither seems in a rush to make concessions to end the war. (AP Photo)

A man drives his motorcycle past a damaged building, from previous shelling attacks from Lebanon, in Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Hezbollah began attacking Israel almost immediately after the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. There have been near daily exchanges of fire, though most of the strikes are confined to an area within a few mostly confined to the area around the border. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A man drives his motorcycle past a damaged building, from previous shelling attacks from Lebanon, in Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Hezbollah began attacking Israel almost immediately after the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. There have been near daily exchanges of fire, though most of the strikes are confined to an area within a few mostly confined to the area around the border. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Palestinians mourn their relative Tamer Mohsen killed in the Israeli bombardment of Nuseirat refugee camp, at the morgue of al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

Palestinians mourn their relative Tamer Mohsen killed in the Israeli bombardment of Nuseirat refugee camp, at the morgue of al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

Palestinians mourn their relative Tamer Mohsen killed in the Israeli bombardment of Nuseirat refugee camp, at the morgue of al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

Palestinians mourn their relative Tamer Mohsen killed in the Israeli bombardment of Nuseirat refugee camp, at the morgue of al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Saher Alghorra)

Recommended Articles