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Middle East conflict live updates: Biden to approve $1 billion in arms to Israel; E.U. condemns Rafah operation

1 week ago 24

“Should Israel continue its military operation in Rafah, it would inevitably put a heavy strain on the E.U.’s relationship with Israel,” the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement Wednesday.

Nearly 450,000 people have fled Rafah after Israeli evacuation orders last week, according to an estimate from the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). “People face constant exhaustion, hunger and fear. Nowhere is safe,” the organization said in a social media post.

The United Nations is investigating the killing of a U.N. security worker in Rafah; a U.N. spokesperson said the worker is believed to have been killed by tank fire and that it was safe to assume only Israel operates tanks in the region.

A new U.S.-built pier set to facilitate aid deliveries to Gaza is expected to become operational in the coming days, the Pentagon’s press secretary, Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder, said Tuesday. Some aid groups have criticized the pier as a distraction, given that land routes could provide Gaza with necessary aid if Israeli forces permitted it.

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 35,173, and 79,061 people have been injured in the enclave since the war began, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. It said the majority of the dead are women and children.

Israel estimates that 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, including more than 300 soldiers, and says 273 soldiers have been killed since the launch of its military operation in Gaza.

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