April 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Live updates between Israel and Hamas: UN says report finds evidence of sexual assault on October 7

Live updates between Israel and Hamas: UN says report finds evidence of sexual assault on October 7

Vice President Kamala Harris, who has emerged as one of the leading voices for Palestinians in closed-door meetings at the White House, is expected to push for a halt to the fighting in Gaza with Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz at the summit. The White House on Monday afternoon.

The vice president is also expected to stress the urgency of securing the hostage deal and curbing the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded alongside Israel's war against Hamas in response to the October 7 attacks, according to a White House official who shared details of her plans on condition of anonymity.

The official said Ms. Harris would discuss post-war plans for Gaza that include the Palestinian Authority, reiterate US goals to increase aid to the region through airdrops of food that began on Saturday, and express concern about the more than 1 million displaced Palestinians in Rafah, in 2018. Southern Gaza Strip, while Israel is preparing to deploy ground forces there.

Although Ms. Harris did not stray too far from Mr. Biden's war message, in a speech on Sunday she took a tougher tone in demanding an “immediate ceasefire.” However, she directed her remarks at Hamas, not the Israeli leadership, and reiterated that she and the president remain “steadfast in our commitment to Israel’s security.”

But she has been forceful in her meetings at the White House in urging the administration not to ignore the anger of Palestinian Americans and others in the United States, who say Biden has not done enough to prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. In Gaza, according to four people familiar with the matter.

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Her remarks represent a shift in the administration's overall position on Gaza, and are intended in part to address the growing political responsibility Mr. Biden bears as he campaigns for re-election this year. In Michigan last week, about 150,000 voters in the Democratic primary cast ballots for the “uncommitted,” many of them expressing anger at the president’s unwavering support for Israel.

Ms. Harris's focus on Israel could also help boost her foreign policy credentials at a time when many in her party are questioning whether she is ready to take over for Mr. Biden if something happens to him.

The sources familiar with the matter said that Ms. Harris had on several occasions advised Mr. Biden and senior White House officials that the administration should show more compassion for Palestinian civilians by speaking out about the rising death toll in Gaza and the plight of survivors. The Vice President said this should be done in addition to continuing to condemn the October 7 Hamas attacks that killed 1,200 people in Israel.

The Vice President's public statements come as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens. After 100 Palestinians were killed in a chaotic scene on a food convoy last week, she issued a statement that went beyond the cautious comments of other US national security officials.

“Just a few days ago, we saw hungry and desperate people approaching aid trucks, simply trying to secure food for their families after weeks of almost no aid reaching northern Gaza,” she said. “They were met with gunfire and chaos.”

“People in Gaza are starving,” she said on Sunday. The conditions are inhumane. “Our common humanity compels us to act.”

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She later added that “the Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid.” no excuses.”

Mr. Gantz, the former Israeli army chief of staff who visited Washington last year, is scheduled to meet separately with Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, as well as with members of Congress and supporters, his office said in a statement. – Israeli pressure groups.

US officials told reporters over the weekend that negotiations were continuing and that Israel had “more or less accepted” the framework of the hostage deal, but also that Hamas had not yet accepted it. Hamas has rejected the proposal to release more than 100 Israeli hostages because it does not include a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza – concessions that Israel said would prevent it from destroying Hamas.

Mr. Gantz informed Mr. Netanyahu on Friday of his intention to travel to the United States in order to coordinate the messages he will convey in his meetings with American officials, Mr. Gantz’s office said in a statement on Saturday.

Mr. Netanyahu was upset by Mr. Gantz’s plans, telling him he thought they were “counterproductive,” according to an Israeli official close to Mr. Gantz, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the call between the two leaders. The official said that Mr. Netanyahu refused to coordinate with Mr. Gantz.

Mr. Netanyahu's office said in a statement that he did not approve of Mr. Gantz's travel to Washington. An official in Netanyahu's office, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mr. Gantz did not represent the government on his trip to Washington and insisted that the prime minister continues to enjoy open communication with President Biden.

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Ms. Harris's aides have long felt that foreign policy represented an opportunity for her to forge her own path and carve out a powerful role as vice president. The White House has also previously sent Ms. Harris to speak about issues that motivate young voters and voters of color. Ms. Harris is now trying to do both at the same time — using a pressing foreign policy issue to speak to a disillusioned bloc of voters and forge her distinct political identity.

But some groups calling for a permanent ceasefire said Ms Harris had not gone further. They said her statements merely invoked the rhetoric of those who protested the war, without actually calling for a radical shift in policy that might change the situation.

Leila Al-Abd, campaign director for Listen Michigan, a group that mobilized more than 100,000 voters to vote “non-committal” against Mr. Biden in the Michigan primary, said in a statement that it was clear the administration was responding to pressure.

“But let us be clear: This is a temporary ceasefire, or what they called a humanitarian pause,” Ms. Al-Abd said in a statement. “Our movement’s demands were clear: a permanent ceasefire and an end to US funding of the Israeli war and occupation against the Palestinian people.”

Adam Rasgon And Aaron Puckerman He contributed reporting from Jerusalem.