Diplomatic efforts continue Thursday to contain the impact of the Israel-Hamas war and speed the access of vital aid to Gaza. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due in Egypt, while UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will begin a two-day trip to Israel and the wider region.
(Bloomberg) — Diplomatic efforts continue Thursday to contain the impact of the Israel-Hamas war and speed the access of vital aid to Gaza. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due in Egypt, while UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will begin a two-day trip to Israel and the wider region.
US President Joe Biden said after speaking to his Egyptian counterpart that many as 20 truckloads of aid will be able to enter Gaza via neighboring Egypt. Israel says it would allow humanitarian assistance into southern Gaza only if it’s sure none will be diverted to Hamas.
Biden said he would ask Congress this week for “unprecedented support” for Israel as it battles Hamas, designated a terrorist group by the US and European Union. He also said he’d been shown evidence by the Pentagon suggesting Israel wasn’t responsible for a deadly blast at a Gaza City hospital on Tuesday night.
Israel Says It Hit Hundreds of Hamas Targets in Past Day (7:37 a.m.)
Israel’s military struck more sites in Gaza, including tunnel shafts, positions for launching anti-tank missiles and intelligence infrastructure, it said in statement. Numerous Hamas operatives were targeted and more than 10 killed in a “precision aerial strike.”
Also killed, according to the Israel Defense Forces, was Rafat Harb Hussein Abu Hilal. He was the head of the military branch of the “Popular Resistance Committees” in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. The PRC is a grouping of armed factions that have similar aims to Hamas.
Sunak Will Be the Latest Foreign Leader to Visit Israel (1:10 a.m.)
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to arrive in Israel on Thursday morning, where he’ll have meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog. He’ll then head to “a number of other regional capitals,” his office said in a statement Wednesday, without specifying what other countries are on his itinerary.
UK’s Sunak Set to Visit Israel Thursday on 2-Day Regional Tour
He is following German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who visited on Tuesday, and US President Joe Biden, who was there on Wednesday. French President Emmanuel Macron is considering a visit “as soon as I consider that we have a useful agenda and very concrete actions to drive forward.”
Biden to Address Nation on Thursday (12:15 a.m.)
Biden will deliver a speech from the Oval Office late Thursday “to discuss our response to Hamas’s terrorist attacks against Israel and Russia’s ongoing brutal war against Ukraine,” the White House said.
Biden returned to Washington after a visit to Israel on Wednesday lasting about eight hours. He is considering a supplemental request to Congress of about $100 billion that would include defense assistance for Israel and Ukraine, along with border security funding and aid to nations in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter.
Boeing Speeds Delivery of GPS Kits for Israel (7: 35 p.m.)
Boeing Co. is speeding delivery to Israel of as many as 1,800 kits that convert unguided bombs into precision munitions, according to congressional aides and a US official.
Boeing Speeds Delivery of GPS-Guided Bomb Kits to Israel
The Joint Attack Direct Munition, or JDAM, kits were pledged under a 2021 deal worth some $735 million. They were due to be delivered over several years, but that timetable has now been accelerated.
Biden’s Israel Envoy Pick to Push On With Saudi Deal (6:44 p.m.)
Jack Lew, Biden’s nominee for ambassador to Israel, told a Senate panel Wednesday he would advance pre-war negotiations to normalize ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia after the conflict ends.
The Biden administration, prior to the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, was pursuing a deal aimed at Saudi recognition of Israel in exchange for American security guarantees for Riyadh. Saudi Arabia paused the discussions amid the violence between Hamas and Israel, Bloomberg News reported.
“It was the mission I thought I was going over to start with,” Lew told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. “I dearly pray we get back to that mission.”
Israel Sets Conditions on Gaza Aid (6:29 p.m.)
The Israeli government said it will allow humanitarian aid into southern Gaza from Egypt as long as it can be sure none will be diverted to Hamas.
Israel Says Gaza Can Get Aid Via Egypt If Hamas Doesn’t Take It
The government said it had agreed to allow deliveries of food, water and medicine for the civilian population in the south. Last week, Israel told residents of northern Gaza to move to the south as it continues airstrikes and prepares a ground offensive.
Israel also demanded that the Red Cross be given access to hostages held in Gaza by Hamas, amid calls for the relief group to be allowed in to help residents there.
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