TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says toll on Gaza civilians from Israeli offensive remains "too high."
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says toll on Gaza civilians from Israeli offensive remains "too high."
US C-130 aircraft dropped more than 38,000 meals into Gaza on Saturday to provide "essential relief to civilians affected by the ongoing conflict."
US Vice President Kamala Harris urged an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, upping the pressure on key ally Israel as heavy fighting raged in the Palestinian territory. Harris's comments on Sunday, the most forceful to date by a US administration official, came as Washington led a push to lock in a truce before Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month that begins in around one week.Envoys from the United States, Qatar and Hamas were in Cairo for the latest round of talks over a proposal to pause the five-month-old war.According to a senior US official, Israel has broadly accepted the terms, which would see stepped-up aid deliveries and the exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.Several sticking points reportedly remain, including Hamas's insistence that Israeli forces entirely withdraw from the devastated territory. "Hamas claims it wants a ceasefire. Well, there is a deal on the table," Harris said. Taking an unusually sharp tone, she demanded Israel "do more to significantly increase the flow of aid" into Gaza, where she said people are starving and the conditions "inhumane"."Given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire."Pressure for a truce has mounted after attempted aid deliveries have descended into scenes of tragedy, and convoys have failed to reach families gripped by food shortages in the north.After UN warnings of famine in Gaza, the United States started airdropping food rations on Saturday, following in the steps of Jordan and some other countries."It is imperative that we expand the flow of aid into Gaza to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on social media platform X on Sunday. - 'Only civilians' -Harris and Blinken are both due to meet with Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz in Washington on Monday.The former Israeli military chief, a centrist and longtime rival of Netanyahu, will also meet White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan.A White House official said the discussions would include the need for a hostage deal, temporary ceasefire and expanding aid flows into Gaza.Despite the latest push to halt the fighting sparked by Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel, there has been no letup to the pummelling of Gaza.Late Sunday, an AFP correspondent reported several air strikes in southern Gaza's Rafah and Khan Yunis.Earlier in the day, two of the latest victims, twin babies Naeem and Wissam Abu Anza, were buried as their mother Rania wept in agony.A relative, Shehda Abu Anza, said "only civilians" were in the house when it was bombed, killing 14 members of one family."All of them were sleeping when suddenly a missile hit and destroyed the whole house," he told AFP as residents searched the rubble with their bare hands -- for bodies but also to salvage scarce food.The infants were among 30,410 fatalities, most of them women and children, reported by the Hamas-run territory's health ministry since Israel launched military operations to eliminate Hamas last October. The war began after the Palestinian militant group's unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of around 1,160 people, according to an AFP tally of official figures.Around 250 people were taken hostage, according to Israeli figures. The Israeli army says 130 hostages remain in Gaza, of whom 31 are believed to be dead.- Aid truck hit? -Palestinian families have told AFP of grinding up animal feed and foraged plants to have something to eat, while the health ministry said at least 16 children died of malnutrition in recent days in Gaza's aid-deprived north.Witnesses told AFP that an Israeli strike hit an aid truck in central Gaza's Deir al-Balah on Sunday, killing several people."We did not know what to do, whether to run away or to rescue the people in the truck. Then they hit it with the second missile," said witness Reyad al-Quraan.Contacted about the incident, the Israeli military told AFP: "It was not an aid truck that was struck," but did not elaborate.On Thursday, more than 100 people were killed in chaotic scenes around a convoy of aid trucks in Gaza City.Gaza health officials said Israeli forces opened fire into the crowd, causing a "massacre", while Israel's army said most victims were trampled or hit by trucks in a crush for food.Numerous world leaders have called for a probe.The UN Security Council has voiced concern over Gaza's "alarming levels of acute food insecurity", and urged "the immediate, rapid, safe, sustained and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale".During Sunday prayers, Pope Francis called for a ceasefire and for Gazan civilians to be given "safe access to urgently needed humanitarian aid".- Truce talks -A Hamas official said that the group wants the ceasefire deal to include "the entry of at least 400 to 500 trucks per day" carrying food, medicine and fuel.Osama Hamdan, a Lebanon-based Hamas official, told Qatar's Al-Araby TV that the group insisted on a complete, rather than "temporary", ceasefire and on "ending the aggression against our people".Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far rejected pulling troops out of Gaza before Hamas is destroyed and all hostages are freed.Netanyahu has faced mounting calls to secure the release of the hostages, from their desperate families and from a resurgent anti-government protest movement.Israel, which has so far announced no plans to join the Egypt talks, has demanded Hamas provide it with a list of all 130 remaining captives, including more than 30 who are feared dead.burs-lb/ser
Russia has suffered its bloodiest month since the war began, British military intelligence has said, as its forces made a series of gains in high risk attacks along the front line.
Secular Jewish groups have historically made up the majority of solidarity and peace groups. But Palestinian citizens and observant Jews are also key.
Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP via GettyIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused a top Israeli cabinet official of effectively undermining him for coming to the U.S. on an unauthorized trip for war talks, widening the rift between Israel and the U.S. over the direction of the war in Gaza.Netanyahu told Benny Gantz, a political rival who joined the cabinet following the Oct. 7 attack, that Israel has “just one prime minister,” a source told the Associated Press. Gantz is scheduled to meet with Vic
Gazans detained by Israeli forces are coming back "completely traumatized" upon release and reporting abuses while in captivity, the head of the UN's Palestinian refugee agency said Monday."We have seen these people coming back from detention, some of them for a couple of weeks, some of them for a couple of months, and most of them coming back (are) completely traumatized by the ordeal they have gone through," Lazzarini said.
‘People in Gaza are starving,’ she said while calling conditions in the enclave ‘inhumane’
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A US envoy said Monday that a diplomatic solution was key to ending nearly five months of intensifying hostilities between Lebanon's Hezbollah and Israel after the eruption of the Israel-Hamas war."A diplomatic solution is the only way to end the current hostilities" and achieve "a lasting fair security arrangement between Lebanon and Israel", Washington's envoy Amos Hochstein told reporters in Beirut, adding that "a temporary ceasefire is not enough".
Vice president says pause in fighting ‘for at least six weeks’ needed to save hostages, ensure aid for besieged civilians
The death of Aaron Bushnell has prompted much debate about the significance and impact of this particular form of protest
Swiss police stepped up security Sunday and protesters marched in Zurich after an Orthodox Jewish man was stabbed in a possible anti-Semitic attack by a teenager.Earlier Sunday, Zurich police said they were increasing security around Jewish institutions in the city following the attack in which the 50-year-old Jewish man was "critically injured".
It's been a long and agonising 150 days for the families of hostages still inside Gaza, and every hour right now must feel like a lifetime as negotiations for a new ceasefire progress slowly. Liran Berman's brothers, Ziv and Gali, were taken from Kfar Aza on 7 October. The twins are being held separately in Gaza, according to testimony from released hostages who saw them.
Five-month-old boy and girl born after 10 years of trying died in blast at home that also killed their father
Agency’s Gaza director says deaths near aid convoy last week were avoidable and north of territory needs to be flooded with aid
Mediators in Cairo made a renewed push for a Gaza ceasefire, but differences remained as fighting raged on in the Palestinian territory gripped by desperate food shortages.US, Qatari and Hamas envoys travelled to Cairo for the latest effort towards a six-week truce, stepped-up aid deliveries and the exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.But sticking points remained, including a Hamas demand that the Israeli armed forces entirely withdraw from the Gaza Strip after almost five months of devastating war.And Israel, which has so far announced no plans to join the Egypt talks, has demanded Hamas provide it with a list of all 130 remaining captives, including more than 30 it fears are dead.Despite the latest push to halt the fighting sparked by Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel, Israeli bombing and urban combat again rocked Gaza, home to 2.4 million people, most of whom have been displaced.Another 90 Palestinians were killed within 24 hours, said Hamas-ruled Gaza's health ministry, which put the war's overall death toll at 30,410, mostly women and children.Two of the latest victims, twin babies Naeem and Wissam Abu Anza, were buried on Sunday as their mother Rania wept in agony, an AFP photographer said.A relative, Shehda Abu Anza, said "only civilians" were in the house when it was bombed, killing 14 members of one family."All of them were sleeping when suddenly a missile hit and destroyed the whole house," he told AFP as residents searched the rubble with their bare hands, for bodies and also to salvage scarce food.- Food airdrops -An Israeli siege on Gaza has sparked dire warnings from the United Nations of famine, leading the United States to start airdropping food rations into Gaza on Saturday.Jordan and some other countries have already done so.Screaming Palestinian children ran toward food parcels that drifted on black parachutes onto the Mediterranean beach.At least 16 children have died of malnutrition in recent days as "famine spreads" in Gaza's north, said health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra. Gaza's desperation was grimly highlighted last Thursday when more than 100 people were killed in chaotic scenes around a convoy of aid trucks.Gaza health officials said Israeli forces opened fire into the crowd, causing a "massacre", while Israel's army said most victims were trampled or hit by trucks in a chaotic crush for food aid.Armed forces spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said an initial review "has indicated that following the warning shots fired to disperse the stampede... several looters approached our forces and posed an immediate threat to them".Troops then fired "towards several individuals", Hagari said, adding that an "independent" army body would launch an investigation.A UN team that visited some of the wounded in Gaza City's Al-Shifa Hospital on Friday saw a "large number of gunshot wounds", said UN chief Antonio Guterres's spokesman Stephane Dujarric.The war broke out on October 7 with an unprecedented Hamas attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official figures, and saw 250 hostages taken.Israel's military on Sunday announced the death of one more soldier in Gaza, bringing to 246 the number killed since ground operations began on October 27.In the worst ever Gaza war, more air strikes hit southern Rafah and Khan Yunis overnight, and the Hamas government media office reported intense tank shelling in northern Gaza.The Israeli military reported hitting about 50 targets including "underground terrorist infrastructure".The UN Security Council on Friday voiced concern over Gaza's "alarming levels of acute food insecurity" and urged "the immediate, rapid, safe, sustained and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale".Pope Francis called for Gaza civilians to be given "safe access to the humanitarian aid they urgently need", telling the faithful at the Vatican that he supports an "immediate ceasefire" and hostage release.- Truce talks -Mediators have been scrambling to lock in a truce before Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month that begins in around one week.Envoys from the United States, Qatar and Hamas have arrived in Cairo, Egyptian state-linked media reported Sunday.Washington regards Hamas as a "terrorist" organisation, and in previous talks Egyptian officials have acted as intermediaries.A US official, speaking to reporters late Saturday, had said "there's a framework deal" for a ceasefire which could start "today if Hamas agrees to release" elderly, women and ill hostages."The Israelis have more or less accepted it," the administration official said. "Right now, the ball is in the camp of Hamas."A Hamas official said that, if Israel were to meet its demands, this would "pave the way for an agreement within the next 24-48 hours".Osama Hamdan, a Lebanon-based Hamas official, told Qatar's Al-Araby TV that the group insisted on a complete, rather than "temporary", ceasefire and on "ending the aggression against our people".Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far rejected pulling troops out of Gaza before Hamas is destroyed and all hostages are freed. The Hamas official also said the group would demand "the entry of at least 400 to 500 trucks per day" carrying food, medicine and fuel as part of a truce deal.Israel had yet to confirm that it has accepted the truce plan or whether it would attend the Cairo talks.Netanyahu has faced mounting calls to secure the release of the hostages, from their desperate families and from a resurgent anti-government protest movement.At one rally, Eyal Kalderon, cousin of hostage Ofer Kalderon, said there may not be "another chance" to bring him home. "It's now or maybe never."burs-ami/fz/it
US Vice President Kamala Harris called Sunday for a proposed six-week ceasefire deal in the Israel-Hamas war to be accepted, while criticizing Israel over insufficient aid deliveries into Gaza.The deal "will get the hostages out and get a significant amount of aid in," Harris said, calling on Hamas to accept the deal.
The Israel Defense Forces say they carried out a “precision” strike on Islamic jihad targets in Rafah on Saturday. But Gaza’s health ministry says 11 people were killed next to a hospital, and many more were wounded
Six alleged members of the Islamic State group were killed in a shootout in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region, in what the country's National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC) described Sunday as a “counterterrorism operation." According to a statement by the NAC, late on Saturday the six men barricaded themselves in a third-floor apartment in Karabulak, a town of about 30,000 in Russia’s semi-autonomous Republic of Ingushetia. A shootout with security services followed, as surrounding streets were blocked off and residents of the apartment block evacuated to a nearby school, according to Russia's Interfax agency.
Joe Biden, the US President, told negotiators holding talks on a Gaza ceasefire to ‘get me a deal’, according to US officials.