Live: Palestinian death toll in Gaza nears 26,000
Good morning readers of Middle East Eye,
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Hello MEE readers. Reports have been circulating in Israeli and western media outlets of a potential deal between Hamas and Israel.
At the same time, one report from the Financial Times today stated that the Israeli government was asking diplomatic missions in the country if it was equipped to handle an escalation in the war.
The report highlights the fears inside and outside Israel that the war in Gaza could spiral to a full-scale regional conflict.
Here's what you need to know about today's developments:
The ICJ is expected to give its first decision in South Africa's genocide case against Israel tomorrow.
Another case to keep an eye on is the lawsuit against Biden, which accuses him of failing to stop an unfolding genocide in Gaza. There's going to be a hearing for that case tomorrow in Oakland, California.
Hamas said that if the International Court of Justice issues a ruling that calls for a ceasefire, it will abide by it as long as Israel reciprocates.
Hamas also said it will release all hostages if Israel releases all Palestinian prisoners.
CIA director William Burns is reportedly set to meet with Israeli, Egyptian and Qatari officials in Europe in the coming days for discussions on a potential hostage deal with Hamas.
MEE's correspondent in Gaza said Israeli forces have been attacking Palestinian civilians in key points where emergency aid is being delivered for over a week.
A group of White House staffers is calling on others to boycott a party being hosted by chief of staff Jeff Zients to send a message to the Biden administration that it needs to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
The call highlights the internal divisions inside the Biden administration over the US president's approach to Israel's war in Gaza, which has killed nearly 26,000 Palestinians.
"If you are an administration staffer and agree that both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live with equal rights, safety, peace, and human dignity, stay home and do not attend this party," the staffers wrote in an email shared with Middle East Eye.
"If you cannot stay home, we ask you to wear green in solidarity with this movement to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. Peace and safety for all across the Middle East is essential."
To read the full story, click here.
The US created a channel with Israel to discuss its concerns over the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza by the Israeli military, Reuters has reported citing two officials.
The channel was set up after a meeting earlier this month between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israel's war cabinet.
In the meeting, Blinken said the US needs to know "what the answers are" when it comes to reports of Israeli strikes.
Through the channel, the Biden administration raises "every specific incident of concern" related to Israel's military campaign in Gaza, one US official told Reuters.
In some instances, Israel conveyed additional information on an incident while in others, they admitted they "made a mistake," the officials said.
On Friday, a federal court in Oakland, California, will hold a hearing for a case in which a group of Palestinians inside and outside the US are accusing the Biden administration of failing to prevent an unfolding genocide in Gaza at the hands of Israel's military.
With the plaintiffs being given a chance to publicly argue their case, the group of Palestinians has received a boost in morale and hope they can achieve some semblance of justice for themselves and their families in Gaza.
"It signifies that you cannot dismiss genocide - or complicity in genocide - so easily. We consider this a huge victory and a sign that our efforts are making a difference," Laila el-Haddad, a Palestinian American and plaintiff in the case, told Middle East Eye.
To read the full story, click here.
In a nine-to-three vote on Thursday afternoon, the city council for the US city of Minneapolis passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and for an end to American military aid to Israel.
The vote, which received a veto-proof majority by the council, moves Minneapolis towards joining the fellow American cities of Detroit, Seattle and Atlanta, which have passed similar measures.
United Auto Workers Local 551, the auto worker's union representing the Chicago assembly plant for the Ford motor company, has endorsed a call from Palestinian trade unions to "refuse to build weapons destined for Israel".
In a statement issued by UAW Local 551, the labour union also issued a call to refuse to transport weapons bound for Israel.
The move comes after the UAW called for a ceasefire in Gaza. However, the union's endorsement of Biden has led to some internal dissent, with some members calling for the organisation to endorse political candidates who don't support Israel's war in Gaza.
The statement from the Chicago chapter on Tuesday is a significant development, particularly as some Ford vehicles have been used as the foundation of light armoured vehicles used by Israel's military.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society said one of its medical teams at al-Amal Hospital conducted a successful operation on an elderly man injured by Israeli fire in Khan Younis.
In the procedure, the doctors removed a piece of shrapnel weighing one kilogram from the man's shoulder.
"The success of the operation is notable, given the limited resources and challenging conditions imposed by the Israeli siege on the hospital," the organisation said.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib took to X, formerly Twitter, to urge Secretary of State Antony Blinken to launch an investigation into the death of 17-year-old Tawfiq Hafez Ajjaq.
Ajjaq, from New Orleans, Louisiana, was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank, according to local Palestinian news reports and his family.
“Tawfiq deserved to grow old,” Tlaib said.
The Biden administration said it was seriously concerned about the report and previously called on Israel to investigate the incident.
Multiple US citizens have been killed by Israeli forces since Biden took office in 2021, including Omar Assad and Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to deliver on Friday its ruling on the provisional measures requested by South Africa in its genocide case against Israel.
The court is not expected to provide a final ruling on whether Israel is guilty of committing genocide in its war on the Gaza but instead will be ruling on the nine provisional measures requested by South Africa in its case.
Among the measures called for by South Africa are for Israel to:
Immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza.
Ensure its armed units take no steps in furtherance of military operations.
Take all reasonable measures within its power to prevent genocide.
Prevent its armed forces from engaging in direct and public incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, or complicity in genocide.
Take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
For more information on what you can expect tomorrow, click below.
Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesperson for Gaza's health ministry, said the death toll of Palestinians in the enclave since the war began is now at least 25,900, while 64,110 have been injured.
At least 200 Palestinians have been killed in the past 24 hours, Qudra added.
The Palestinian group said that if the International Court of Justice issues a ruling that calls for a ceasefire, it will abide by it as long as Israel reciprocates.
Ceasefire discussions have been taking place in recent weeks, with Axios reporting this week about a potential deal for a pause in fighting that could last up to two months.
Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official based in Beirut, made the comments during a news conference.
More than 130 hostages currently remain held in Gaza, while more than 8,000 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli detention facilities.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has dismissed concerns about the increasing cost of living and food prices in the country, using the dire situation of Palestinians in Gaza as a contrast.
“God gives us a living example of people” that have had to survive on basic food, he said, referring to Palestinians in Gaza.
CIA director William Burns is expected to meet with Israeli, Egyptian and Qatari officials in Europe in the coming days for discussions on a potential hostage deal with Hamas, according to a report by The Washington Post, citing officials familiar with the issue.