CIA chief in Egypt as Rafah attacks intensify

  • CIA chief William Burns is in Cairo for the latest round of discussions on a truce that would temporarily halt fighting in exchange for the release of captives and Palestinian prisoners.
  • Jordan’s King Abdullah II tells US President Joe Biden the world “cannot afford” Israel’s planned ground invasion on Rafah, where more than 1.4 million people are sheltering.

    US Senate voting on final passage of Israel aid bill

    The Democratic-led US Senate has started voting on the passing of a $95.34bn aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

    The lawmakers need to reach a 60-vote threshold to send the legislation on to the House.

    President Biden has been urging Congress to hurry the new aid to, among others, Israel as it bombards Gaza for the fourth consecutive month.

    The legislation includes $14bn for Israel, $61bn for Ukraine, and $4.83bn to support partners in Asia Pacific, including Taiwan.

    It would also provide $9.15bn in humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, Ukraine and other conflict zones around the globe.

    • In response to Borrell, Katz says Israel complying to laws of war

      Responding to a call by European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell for the US to stop sending them weapons, Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, says his country “adheres strictly to international laws of war”.

      Borrell on Monday had urged allies of Israel, primarily the United States, to stop sending it weapons as “too many people” were being killed in Gaza.

      In a social media post on X, Katz argued that Israel was “ensuring the safe movement of civilians in Gaza”.

      “In stark contrast, Hamas prevents their safe passage. Our commitment to the lives of Gazan civilians is greater than Hamas’s,” he said.

      “Calls to limit Israel’s defense only strengthen Hamas. Rest assured, Israel is resolute in its mission to dismantle Hamas.”

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