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Day 1204

1/ Israeli forces seized the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, shutting down the flow of humanitarian aid. Israel sent tanks into Rafah and took control of the border crossing less than 24 hours after ordering about 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate. The operation followed hours of confusion about a proposed ceasefire deal agreed to by Hamas, but later rejected by Israel. Egypt’s foreign ministry, which repeatedly warned Israel that military action on the border could violate a four-decade-old peace treaty between the two countries, condemned the Rafah operation as a “dangerous escalation [that] threatens the lives of more than a million Palestinians who depend primarily on this crossing, as it is the main lifeline of the Gaza Strip.” The U.N. humanitarian office said the operation had “choked off” the two main points of entry for getting aid into Gaza, calling it “a very effective way of putting the humanitarian operation in its grave.” Israel has now closed two key crossings – the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings – for humanitarian aid into Gaza. Biden, meanwhile, condemned the “ferocious surge of antisemitism” in the U.S. following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack against Israel during an address at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s annual Days of Remembrance. “Too many people denying, downplaying, rationalizing, ignoring the horrors of the Holocaust and Oct. 7… It is absolutely despicable, and it must stop.” (Washington Post / New York Times / NPR / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / CNN / Associated Press)

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