The vote took place as Blinken, America’s top diplomat, was on his sixth mission to the Middle East since October 7, discussing a deal for a ceasefire and hostage release, as well as post-war scenarios.


Palestinian militants killed some 1200 people in the surprise October 7 attack into southern Israel and abducted another 250 people. Hamas is still believed to be holding some 100 people hostage, as well as the remains of 30 others. Israel is also holding an unspecified number of Palestinians as political prisoners.

In Gaza, the Hamas-run Health Ministry raised the death toll in the territory on Thursday to nearly 32,000 Palestinians. It doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count, but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead.

The international community’s authority on determining the severity of hunger crises warned this week that “famine is imminent” in northern Gaza, where 70 per cent of people are experiencing catastrophic hunger.

The report from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification initiative, or IPC, warned that escalation of the war could push half of Gaza’s total population to the brink of starvation.

A child is pictured among the rubble of a house in Rafah, Gaza.

A child is pictured among the rubble of a house in Rafah, Gaza.Credit: Getty Images

Israel faces mounting pressure from even its closest allies to streamline the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip, to open more land crossings and come to a ceasefire agreement. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to move the military offensive to the southern city of Rafah, where some 1.3 million displaced Palestinians have sought safety. Netanyahu claims it’s a Hamas stronghold.


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