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Palestinians flee the area after an Israeli attack on July 13, 2024 in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip.

Habboub Ramez/ABACA

Hamas says Mohammed Deif lives and denies halting truce talks

Hamas claimed it had not withdrawn from Gaza truce talks on Sunday, despite earlier reports to the contrary, after Saturday’s Israeli offensive targeted Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif. Hamas says Deif survived, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Deif’s fate remains unclear. The strike killed 92 other Palestinians, including women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

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FILE PHOTO: Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (not pictured) at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., March 26, 2024.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

Israeli leaders visit Washington amid rising tensions

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant traveled to Washington, DC, this weekend to discuss the final phase of Israel’s offensive in Gaza — and to address growing concern over hostilities with the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah.

Since Hamas’ attacks of Oct. 7, Hezbollah has ramped up its rocket and drone attacks on Israel, forcing the evacuation of northern border towns. Now, as Israel targets the last Hamas strongholds in Gaza, the concern is that the conflict could shift north to Lebanon.Last Wednesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah posted a video threatening to destroy key Israeli infrastructure with missiles if they are attacked.

The London Sunday Telegraph reported a significant increase in Iranian shipments of rockets to the group via Beirut's Rafic Al Hariri International Airport. “We are prepared for any action in Gaza, Lebanon, and more areas,” Gallant said before meeting US officials this week.

Netanyahu’s DC drama. Meanwhile, the politics are becoming increasingly perilous on Capitol Hill. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to address the US Congress on July 24, and many Democrats are conflicted about whether to attend. After Bibi released a video last week chastising Washington for withholding military aid – the US has only withheld one shipment while providing $12 billion in aid since Oct. 7 – some fear furthernegativity about US support for Israel from Bibi could complicate Biden’s reelection campaign.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem on June 5, 2024.

Gil Cohen-Magen/Reuters

Bibi bites the hand that feeds him

The White House is scratching its head after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a video published Tuesday, accused the Biden administration of “withholding weapons and ammunitions” from the Jewish state over “the past few months.”

“We genuinely do not know what he is talking about. We just don't,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierresaid in response to Netanyahu’s comments.

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Apulia [Italy], Jun 15 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi departs from Italy to New Delhi, on Friday.

ANI via Reuters Connect

Will Modi try to mediate the Gaza conflict?

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa has urged India to assist with mediating a cease-fire in Gaza. In a letter congratulating Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his reelection last week, Mustafa emphasized the need for a truce to alleviate the growing humanitarian crisis in the region. Mustafa’s predecessor had previously praised Modi for delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza and appealed earlier this year for greater assistance based on the countries’ shared experience with “colonialism.”
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WWW
Reuters

Hamas lobs cease-fire ball into Israel’s court

Hamas responded Tuesday to the US cease-fire proposal for Gaza, reportedly requesting a change to the timeline for a permanent cease-fire and “complete halt” to the war, not just a six-week or phased truce. “The ball is now in the Israeli courtyard,” a Hamas official said. At least one Israeli official said that Hamas’s response effectively amounted to a rejection of the deal laid out by President Joe Biden.

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Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (R) receives US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Reuters

Can Biden salvage Gaza cease-fire plan?

The US is looking to bolster support for President Joe Biden’s Gaza cease-fire proposal and hostage deal. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the Middle East this week for negotiations, and the Biden administration successfully convinced the UN Security Council to back the proposal on Monday.

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Israel hostage rescue and the worsening human toll
Israel hostage rescue & the worsening human toll | Ian Bremmer | Quick Take

Israel hostage rescue and the worsening human toll

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here and a Quick Take to kick off your week.

Lots of things going on right now, but perhaps, the issue that's gotten most of the news around the Middle East conflict and the issue of the hostages being rescued. Four hostages, some eight months now, being held. Over 100 still that we know of by Hamas in Gaza.

But four of them were rescued by an Israeli Defense Forces operation over the weekend. Not released, as some including, in a chyron, an interview I was in over the weekend, were saying released. No, rescued. Hamas has not released anyone, and there is no agreement going forward, and unlikely in the near term, despite lots of efforts from everyone around the world to get an agreement.

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FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a Blue and White party election campaign banner depicting its leader, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the March 23 ballot, in Tel Aviv, Israel March 14, 2021.

REUTERS/Corinna Kern/File Photo

Israel rescues hostages, Gantz resigns

In a daytime raid on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza on Saturday, Israeli special forces rescued four hostages abducted by Hamas at the Nova Music Festival on Oct. 7. The group included Noa Argamani, 26, one of the most widely recognized hostages, whose mother Liora is suffering from late-stage brain cancer.

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