36m ago / 11:40 PM EDT
How the U.S.- Israel agreement on aid came together
In every stop he made after his trip to Israel last week, Arab leaders told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the U.S. must do something to solve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, a senior State Department official said.
When Blinken called Biden after his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to relay their message, Biden asked his top diplomat to go back to Tel Aviv to work out a plan, the official said.
What followed was nine hours of negotiations between the U.S. and Israel, the senior State Department official said, as the two sides hashed out the details of the plan.
Today Blinken announced that the U.S. and Israel “have agreed to develop a plan that will enable humanitarian aid from donor nations and multilateral organizations to reach civilians in Gaza — and them alone.” The plan could also include creating areas to keep civilians safe, he said.
During the discussions about the agreement, Blinken and the U.S. delegation set up next to the Israel prime minister’s Cabinet meeting. Every so often Netanyahu would go over, and the two sides would exchange papers, the senior State Department official said.
Blinken also reiterated to Israel’s president today that every Arab leader he met with in the region expressed the importance of dealing with the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the official said.
2h ago / 10:40 PM EDT
Breaking down Israel’s political and economic relationship with its neighbors
The war highlights Israel’s fragile relationships in a region that was once nearly unified in its rejection of it as a sovereign state but that today has seen some neighbors embrace it as a key economic engine.
Israel has a reliable working relationship with Jordan to its east, while its interactions with Syria and Lebanon, northern foes in past wars, are icy at best. Iran remains a mortal enemy, and the question of its involvement in the Hamas attack, or lack thereof, could be the difference between expanded warfare or quelling it.
The Abraham Accords under President Donald Trump have increased Israel’s trade while sparking hope of normal relations with Saudi Arabia, a goal that could also depend on the war’s path and outcome.
1h ago / 10:47 PM EDT
IDF official doubts Biden visit will affect military timing
ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER — A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said tonight that he does not know whether President Biden’s visit to Israel will affect its military actions in Gaza.
“I don’t think so, but we will have to see, and we probably will have more information tomorrow morning,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in response to a question in a briefing on X.
“But I don’t think that the aim of that visit is to hinder at all,” he said.
Issues Conricus mentioned include the need to prevent a regional escalation and a U.S. show of support and commitment to Israel.
2h ago / 9:49 PM EDT
FBI warns of growing threats in the U.S.
The FBI is seeing an increase in reported threats against both Jewish and Muslim Americans. Local law enforcement is working to keep these communities safe.
2h ago / 10:05 PM EDT
U.S., Israel agree to develop plan to get humanitarian aid to Gazans
The U.S. and Israel “have agreed to develop a plan that will enable humanitarian aid” from donor nations and groups to reach civilians in Gaza, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today.
The U.N. and the World Health Organization have warned of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which Israel is blockading and striking by air after Hamas launched unprecedented terrorist attacks on the country.
Biden is traveling to Israel on Wednesday and “will hear from Israel how it will conduct its operations in a way that minimizes civilian casualties and enables humanitarian assistance to flow to civilians in Gaza, in a way that does not benefit Hamas,” Blinken said.
Biden will also be briefed about Israel’s war aims, Blinken said. Netanyahu has vowed to crush Hamas.
3h ago / 9:14 PM EDT
Biden will also travel to Jordan
Biden will stop in Jordan during his trip to Israel this week, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
The president will stop in Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Kirby said.
Biden will reiterate that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination, and he will discuss the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza, Kirby said.
3h ago / 9:00 PM EDT
The haunting stories from those living in the war zone
Students, doctors, mothers and residents describe what life is like in Gaza and Israel as the attacks continue.
4h ago / 8:44 PM EDT
New York’s governor headed to Israel
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she’s headed to Israel tomorrow to support the country, meet with diplomatic leaders and survey suffering communities.
Her announcement came the same day Biden’s plan to visit Israel was announced.
“During these difficult times, it’s more important than ever for New York to show up in support of Israel,” Hochul, a Democrat, said in a statement.
“New York will show the world that we stand with Israel — today, tomorrow and forever,” Hochul said.
4h ago / 8:45 PM EDT
Russia’s U.N. resolution on Israel and Gaza isn’t adopted
A Russian-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution on the conflict between Israel and Hamas fell short today after several countries, including the U.S., said it failed to condemn Hamas.
Russia claimed its draft was purely humanitarian and called for a humanitarian cease-fire.
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., said, “We agree that this council should take action, but we have to get it right.”
“Russia’s resolution, put forward without any consultation, makes no mention of Hamas. None. By failing to condemn Hamas, Russia’s given cover to a terrorist group that brutalizes innocent civilians. It is outrageous. It is hypocritical, and it is indefensible,” she said.
The vote was 5-4, with six abstentions, which was insufficient.
The United Kingdom also voted against it. “We cannot support a resolution which fails to condemn Hamas terror attacks,” said the U.K.’s permanent representative to the U.N., Ambassador Barbara Woodward.
Russia’s representative to the U.N., Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, criticized the “selfish intentions of the Western bloc of countries.”
There is also a Brazilian-drafted resolution, which Russia wants to amend.
3h ago / 8:46 PM EDT
Father and son were found in embrace after execution, relative says
OFAKIM, Israel — Among the dead in the attack on Israel last week are a father and his adult son who tried to stop Hamas militants from killing innocent people as they invaded this city in the south, a relative said.
The father, an Israel Defense Forces reservist, grabbed his gun and rushed toward the sound of gunfire Oct. 7 as enemy militants moved into his neighborhood, the relative said in an interview.
The full names of the deceased and the sister are being withheld out of concern for their safety.
The father and son were hosting about 50 special needs children for a social gathering, something they were known for doing, the relative said, when gunfire rang out. The duo rushed children to a shelter and then tried to fend off the militants, she said.
They were successful at first — two militants were killed and others were initially cornered — but the pair were eventually overwhelmed and executed, the sister said. Their bodies were found in an embrace, she said.
A boy, the son and brother of the two men, said he was memorializing their lives. “I am collecting bullets,” he said.
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