Speed Reads


Palestinian politician skeptical of Biden envoy's chances of securing cease-fire between Israel, Hamas

Israeli and Hamas officials signaled they may be open to a cease-fire late Friday, The New York Times reports, and Hady Amr, the United States' deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel and Palestinian affairs, is scheduled to meet with senior officials from Israel and Palestine in Jerusalem on Saturday. The talks are aimed at "achieving a sustainable calm," State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter said Friday. There's both hope and skepticism that something will get done.

Martin Indyk, who served as U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration, told BBC he thinks "both sides have limited objectives and they're essentially reaching the point where it doesn't make sense ... to continue this war." But Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian politician, isn't so optimistic, BBC reports. She criticized President Biden's handling of the situation. "Biden waited for a whole week before he sent ... not even a third, fourth-level civil servant and you think the Israelis are going to listen?," she said, adding that "if they really mean business they can, at the highest level, come out and say 'stop the shelling, stop the killing.'"

Violence continued early Saturday when an Israeli air raid in Gaza City killed at least 10 Palestinians, reportedly mostly children, in a refugee camp. It appears to be the deadliest individual strike since the latest phase of the conflict broke out last week, The Associated Press reports. Hamas said it was firing rockets at Tel Aviv in return. More than 130 people have been killed in Gaza, as well as eight people in Israel, since the violence began. Read more at The Associated PressThe New York Times, and BBC.