Thursday, May 23, 2024
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‘It would take until 2040 to rebuild Gaza’

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Jerusalem, May 2: If the Israel-Hamas war stopped today, it would still take until 2040 to rebuild all the homes that have been destroyed in nearly seven months of Israel’s bombardment and ground offensives in the territory, according to United Nations estimates released Thursday. The United States has pressured Israel to increase aid deliveries during the war, and on Wednesday, Israel reopened a border crossing with hard-hit northern Gaza Strip for the first time since it was damaged at the start of the war.
Meanwhile, on his seventh visit since the latest war between Israel and Hamas broke out in October, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pressed for a cease-fire deal. The proposed truce would free hostages held by Hamas in exchange for a halt to the fighting and the delivery of much needed food, medicine and water into Gaza. Palestinian prisoners are also expected to be released as part of the deal.
On October 7, Palestinian militants launched an unprecedented attack into southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people and abducting around 250 hostages. The war has driven around 80 per cent of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million from their homes, caused vast destruction in several towns and cities and pushed northern Gaza to the brink of famine.
Currently:
– Nonstop Mideast coverage of the Israel-Hamas war pauses for protests and police action at US schools.
– Colombia’s president says the country will break diplomatic relations with Israel over the war in Gaza.
– The Biden administration is weighing measures to help Palestinians bring family from the region.
– Blinken presses Hamas to seal cease-fire with Israel, saying “the time is now” for a deal.
– The Gaza Health Ministry said Thursday the bodies of 28 people killed by Israeli strikes were brought to local hospitals over the past 24 hours. Hospitals also received 51 wounded, it said in its daily report. (AP)

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