Oct. 19, 4:02 a.m.
After a trip to Israel to support Israel's war against Hamas, President Biden returned home to the United States on Wednesday. He announced a new deal that allows humanitarian aid to enter Gaza via Egypt.
While Arabs were outraged by the explosion that claimed hundreds of lives at a Gaza hospital, Biden stood firm in his support for the Israeli government’s claim that the hospital blast was not their fault.
Early evidence, according to American and Israeli intelligence officials, showed
The deadly explosion
A Palestinian fighter fired an unintentional rocket.
In an emotional speech, Biden spoke about the "all-consuming anger" that Israelis must have felt after witnessing 1,400 people being slaughtered in cross-border raids by Hamas terrorists on October 7. He then warned Israelis to not be consumed by anger and make mistakes.
He said, "After 9/11, the United States was enraged." "While we pursued justice and received it, we made mistakes."
The speech of Mr. Biden in Tel Aviv was not expected to dampen the mood.
Over the War and the
Carnage at Ahli Arab on Tuesday
The hospital in Gaza City has sparked widespread anti-Israel protests, from Rabat, Morocco to Tehran. The hospital grounds were a refuge for many civilians who had sought shelter from Israel's bombardment campaign.
Hamas, a Palestinian group which controls Gaza and fights Israel, has blamed an Israeli strike without providing any evidence. This claim was widely accepted throughout the Middle East where many people view Israel as an occupier power supported by the United States.
Mr. Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that based on what he had seen, it appeared as if it was the other team who did it, and not him, as they sat together in a Tel Aviv Hotel before a group journalists. There are a lot people who don't know. We have a lot to do, and we need to overcome many things.
Mr. Biden didn't leave Tel Aviv empty-handed. He had plenty to say to critics who claim that the United States supports a brutal Gaza siege, which will lead to even more civilian deaths. He told reporters that he had obtained agreements from Egypt to allow humanitarian aid to enter the besieged Gaza strip. This was the first sign of relief for the humanitarian crisis, which has left two million Gazans with acute shortages in basic necessities.
The American President said that the Egyptian government agreed to allow 20 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza for a test. These trucks could begin arriving as soon as Friday.
Biden stated that if Hamas militants who control Gaza Strip intercept the aid it will be stopped, but if they don't, Egypt would allow more to enter.
What else should you know?
Israel Defense Forces presented their latest news at a press conference held early on Wednesday
Their version of what caused the hospital explosion
Daniel Hagari (Israeli military spokesperson) said the Islamic Jihad fired 10 rockets around 6:59 pm local time. He said that one of the rockets fell prematurely and hit a parking area outside the hospital. He claimed that Israel did not fire any ordnance at the time in the vicinity of the hospital.
The United States announced $100 million dollars in aid
He said that he was committed to helping civilians in Gaza, the West Bank, and that he had obtained a commitment from Israel’s government to allow food and water to be sent to Gaza by Egypt as part of a humanitarian initiative overseen and coordinated by the United Nations.
The United States
The U.N. Security Council vetoed the resolution
Brazil's statement on the conflict was made on Wednesday. The text demanded that humanitarian aid be allowed to enter Gaza, as well as the protection of civilians. It also condemned the Hamas attacks against Israel on October 7. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that she had vetoed this resolution because it didn't state Israel's right to self-defense and she wanted to give Biden a chance to succeed in his diplomatic efforts.
Gaza City Hospital explosion sparks controversy
Protests across the Middle East
The protests continued into Wednesday morning. Demonstrators gathered in front of embassies, consulates and other government offices in countries they claimed were complicit with the humanitarian crisis that Palestinians are facing in Gaza.
Matthew Rosenberg reported from London, and Farnaz Fassihi contributed from the United Nations.
On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters demanded a ceasefire in the Israel/Hamas conflict inside the Cannon House Office Building.
Al Drago, The New York Times
On Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of protesters converged on a congressional office in Washington to demand a cessation in the Israel-Hamas conflict. This led to an estimated 300 arrests as well as a restriction on access to Capitol Hill.
About 400 members of two Jewish anti-Zionist organizations, Jewish Voice for Peace, and If Not Now, gathered in the Cannon House Office Building rotunda, where 25 rabbis read testimonials of Palestinians living in Gaza, and led prayers. Outside, hundreds of people sang and chanted in Hebrew and English, "Cease-fire Now".
No demonstrations are allowed inside the buildings of Congress. Organizers estimated that about 300 protesters had been arrested. However, the Capitol Police refused to comment on this number, other than to say on social media platform X, that three people were charged for assaulting a police officer. The protesters were tied down with zip ties before being led into police vehicles.
Linda Holtzman is a Philadelphia rabbi who said that she was protesting for her faith, Jewish values, and Jewish history. This theme was echoed by other attendees. Rabbi Holtzman said that she is concerned about the violence increasing against civilians in Gaza. She also said that her grandmother had survived the Holocaust, and she was taught to fight on behalf of all human lives.
She said, 'I have to speak up for justice when there is none.
Capitol Police detaining demonstrators in the Cannon House Office Building, Capitol Hill, on Wednesday.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Yasir barakt, who came to the United States 18 years ago from Gaza, was there on behalf of the family he left behind in Gaza. There, more than 2 million people are starving, without food, water or electricity. Barakt says he's had little contact with his family due to the circumstances, and blames the United States of funding violence against Palestinians.
Jim Best, aged 77, described himself as gay, a'red-blooded patriotic taxpayer' and a grandfather. He visited Gaza in 2016 and said that the trip highlighted the disparity in quality of life between Palestinians in Gaza and Israelis who live in relative wealth nearby. He felt obliged to protest.
Mr. Best stated that he would never be the Same.
The Capitol rally came two days after the Jewish Voice for Peace executive Director, Stefanie, estimated that at least 5,000 people attended a Monday rally near the White House. The activists at the Wednesday rally called for demonstrators to join another protest near the Israeli Embassy in Washington later that evening. The organization will be participating in a rally on Friday with other activist groups on the National Mall.
Eva Borgwardt is the national spokesperson for If Not Now. She believes that violence protests are a way of honoring fallen Israelis and Palestinians. She said that'so many of us grieve', and added, 'The horrifying bombing cannot be the solution.'
Robert Jimison contributed reporting.
On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers gathered around a mortar that was fired from Be'eri in Israel toward Gaza.
Sergey Ponomarev, The New York Times
According to people familiar with the plan, President Biden will ask Congress to approve emergency funds of about $100 billion to arm Israel and Ukraine, fortify the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and to arm Taiwan.
The funding request that lawmakers are expecting to receive on Friday morning would cover the entire year. It is intended to protect the security funding against the partisan battles over spending which have hindered recent efforts to provide Ukraine with weapons and assistance to fight back a Russian invasion.
According to sources familiar with the talks, the package will include around $10 billion, mostly in military assistance, for Israel and about $60 billion, for Ukraine. The details of the package are still being worked out, so they spoke on condition of anonymity. The remaining $100 billion will be used to improve border security, and to strengthen the defenses in Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific Region to counter the threats of China.
Biden will deliver remarks from the Oval Office Thursday night on the American response towards the wars in Israel, Ukraine and Syria.
In the past week, White House officials as well as Senate leaders have signaled that they intend to tie aid to multiple national security goals. The strategy reflects a growing urgency around the war in Ukraine, and the sudden outbreak between Israel and Hamas.
The majority of G.O.P. members in the House are opposed to the aid package. Members enthusiastically support arming Israel to fight Hamas, but are hesitant to continue sending military aid to Ukraine to help it fight Russian aggression.
The majority of House Republicans voted last month against the continuation of a $300-million program to train and outfit Ukrainian fighters. The measure was ultimately approved by the Democratic Party, but the Republican Party's support for Ukraine has waned. Some G.O.P. Some G.O.P.
Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives have repeatedly stated that Democrats must make concessions to them in order for them to support additional funding for Ukraine. This includes strict immigration restrictions, border security funding and other concessions. In recent days, it became easier to achieve this. After the Biden administration declared that it would restart construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Some Republicans on Wednesday expressed cautious support for a combined package of national security.
According to Kevin Cramer of North Dakota Republican, he said: 'From my general knowledge, I would be inclined, assuming that the border-security piece is real border-security'.
It is unclear how quickly Congress will be able pass such a law. The House of Representatives has been in a state of standstill since more than two weeks as Republican legislators struggle to elect a Speaker.
Leaders in the Senate promise to act quickly on this measure.
I asked Secretary Austin, when he needed funding for our ongoing initiatives. After a classified briefing with Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, and other top intelligence, diplomatic, and defense officials at the Capitol, Senator Chuck Schumer (the majority leader) told reporters that his answer was clear: Yesterday.
Schumer said that the Senate would not delay in acting on such requests. Mr. Schumer, a New York Democrat, has said he will put a national security emergency spending package before the Senate within 1-2 weeks.
On Tuesday, children collected water in a neighbourhood in the heart of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza Strip.
Samar Abu Elouf, The New York Times
Water is one of the most basic needs for human survival. Palestinians in Gaza struggled to get a variety of basic necessities when Israel bombarded their territory as a retaliation to terror attacks committed by Hamas Oct. 7.
Gaza has had a long-standing water crisis. It shares a small, salty aquifer with Israel, which provides less water to its 2.3m people than the West Bank.
This problem has gotten worse with every new conflict in the Gaza Strip, the scene of many conflicts since Hamas came to power in 2007. The United Nations warned over the weekend that the Gaza Strip could run out of water.
It's not only a problem of lack of water. The strip's water treatment plants cannot be operated due to a lack in fuel and electricity.
Philippe Lazzarini said that it was a matter of "life and death" for the Palestinians. He is the UNRWA commissioner general. It is essential that fuel be sent to Gaza immediately to provide water for 2 million people.
Gaza has seen a drastic reduction in the availability of electricity, water and all other essential supplies.
Samar Abu Elouf, The New York Times
Israel has prevented fuel from reaching Gaza, as part of its so-called 'complete siege,' in response to the Hamas terror attack that killed over 1,400 Israelis. Israel has also cut off electricity in much of the Gaza Strip.
Three water desalination plant in Gaza before the war
Produced 21 million liters per day of clean drinking water
For the strip, the brackish water has been polluted with salt from the Mediterranean Sea. Israel provided water to Gaza prior to the war but stopped this supply on October 9, according the U.N.
Lack of clean drinking water increases the risk of waterborne illnesses, which can be found in many war zones. Many Gazans are drinking polluted or dirty water because they're desperate and thirsty.
In an interview with Tuesday
Abeer Barakat is a college professor who was hiding with 20 others in an apartment in Gaza. She described how she and the other people tied plastic bags underneath their tap to save the dirty water trickling out.
Barakat stated that 'we don't have time to worry about the pollution.' "We just drink it."
Martin Griffiths said that water was being rationed at certain U.N. sites to one liter per person, per day, for Palestinians who were displaced in Gaza.
He said that the minimum international standard is 15 liters. Griffiths said that people are increasingly being forced to drink from unreliable sources.
Israel announced Wednesday that it will allow food, water, and medicines to enter Gaza through Egypt after President Biden visited Israel. Fuel or other supplies which could power Hamas' military equipment are unlikely to be included.
The office of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a warning in a press release.