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news, hostage release and more

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news, hostage release and more

The devastation in Gaza reinforces the urgency of ongoing ceasefire talks. This is what you should know.

The Biden administration continues to call for more humanitarian aid into Gaza as it faces backlash over its continued military support for the Israeli government in the face of allegations of human rights abuse. Still, the United States reaffirmed Monday that it will continue to provide military assistance to Israel, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

Negotiations continue to reach an agreement on a temporary ceasefire to free Gaza hostages, but Israel is absent from the talks.

Meanwhile, more children have died from dehydration and malnutrition in Gaza as conditions in the enclave deteriorate further, a Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman said.

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz, one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main political rivals, met with high-level US officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris, during a three-day trip to Washington. An Israeli official said Gantz does not represent the government, amid obvious discomfort on the part of the Israeli prime minister and his allies over the trip. The White House defended Gantz’s visit, noting that he is part of Israel’s war cabinet. Harris said the meetings will focus on a ceasefire agreement to free the remaining hostages in Gaza.

Egyptian, Qatari, and American mediators are meeting in Cairo to untangle stalled ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas after Israel said it would not send a delegation. The decision to skip the talks was made by Netanyahu, an Israeli official said.

A growing number of children in Gaza are dying of hunger and dehydration, according to the World Health Organization and Palestinian officials. A WHO team found “severe levels of malnutrition, children dying of hunger, severe shortages of fuel, food and medical supplies, destroyed hospital buildings,” during a recent visit to northern Gaza, the WHO chief said on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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A UN team found evidence that hostages in Gaza were raped, according to Pramila Patten, UN special envoy on sexual violence and women. Patten said there is “clear and convincing information” that some hostages were taken to Gaza and subjected to sexual violence and “reasonable grounds” to believe that sexual violence continues. Israel believes there are 130 hostages left in Gaza, of whom 99 are believed to be alive.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees accused Israel of detaining and torturing some of its employees, forcing them to make false confessions about the agency’s ties to Hamas. Juliette Touma, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), said false confessions were being used to spread misinformation, but did not link those confessions to the allegations against the 12 employees accused of participating in the October 7 attacks.

There is no longer space to bury the dead in one of Gaza’s main cemeteries, its caretaker said. The Gaza Health Ministry said Monday that 124 people died in the last 24 hours. At least eight people were killed and several others injured in an Israeli attack on an aid distribution truck in central Gaza, according to the ministry. The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement Sunday that it “eliminated” a Hamas terrorist in “an airstrike in Gaza.”

The situation in Gaza remains dire as calls for a ceasefire to end the suffering of the people in the conflict continue to be made.

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