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Day 1017

1/ Biden called for a humanitarian “pause” in the Israel-Hamas war to allow for the release of hostages held in Gaza, but stopped short of calling for full cease-fire. Israeli officials say Hamas seized more than 240 hostages and killed about 1,400 people during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack. Since then, four hostages have been released and negotiations have continued. The Biden administration said humanitarian pauses would “facilitate aid getting in and hostages getting out” of Gaza. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also noted that “Palestinian civilians [are] continuing to bear the brunt of this action.” The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry reports that at least 9,061 people have been killed and more than 23,000 have been injured in the Gaza Strip. An estimated 1.4 million people – more than half of the enclave’s population – are currently displaced. The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees reported that more than 690,000 displaced Palestinians were currently taking refuge in 149 shelters, describing the situation as “desperate.” UNICEF, the U.N. agency for children, reported that an average of 400 children had been killed or injured each day in Gaza over the past 25 days. UNICEF also described the repeated Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalya refugee camp as “horrific and appalling,” saying “this cannot become the new normal.” And, the U.N. Human Rights Office said it had “serious concerns” about Israel’s military operations, saying “these are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes.” Israeli soldiers, meanwhile, have encircled Gaza City and are “conducting close combat battles with Hamas terrorists and expanding the fighting.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a video message to troops in the field, saying “Nothing will stop us […] We will move forward. We will advance and win, and we will do it with God’s help.” (New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / ABC News / NBC News / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

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