60 days of desperation in Gaza
In the tiny Gaza Strip, where more than two million people are trapped, death can feel imminent. Israeli airstrikes, which have resumed after a brief truce, can come at any time and to any place, and food and water remain scarce. Already, more than 16,000 people have been killed in the Hamas-run territory, according to the health ministry.
Israel says civilian casualties are inevitable because Hamas embeds within Gaza’s population. The country’s military is now entering its next phase of its offensive against Hamas, more closely focused on the south, where most of Gaza’s population has fled.
Israel has told many civilians there to move again. But it is not obvious where they should go, and conditions are desperate. Parents skip meals so their children can eat. Taps have run dry. U.N. shelters are so crowded that there is a single toilet for every 160 people, and none of Gaza’s hospitals are functional enough to perform surgery, according to the W.H.O.
Blockade: Before the war, some 500 trucks with essential supplies came into Gaza every day, many from Egypt via the Rafah crossing. Far fewer have made it across since the bombardment began, even during the cease-fire. The trucks slowed to a trickle once the fighting resumed.
In other news from the war:
Republicans block aid for Ukraine
Republicans blocked an emergency spending bill to provide about $50 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, demanding strict new restrictions at the U.S. border in exchange and severely jeopardizing President Biden’s push to replenish the war chests of American allies before the end of the year.
While the bill faltered over an unrelated immigration policy dispute, the resistance it has met in Congress reflects a dwindling appetite among Republicans for backing Ukraine, as polls show that Americans are losing interest in providing financial assistance. Before the vote, Biden said he was willing to compromise, calling the southern border “broken.”
By the numbers: In the Senate, the vote to move forward on the bill was 49 to 51, short of the 60-vote threshold needed to advance.
The end of fossil fuels?
John Kerry, President Biden’s special envoy for climate change, said that the U.S. supported “largely” ending the burning of coal, gas and oil to limit average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The planet has already warmed by 1.2 degrees Celsius.
Nations would also need to deploy technology to capture and store carbon emissions from industries for which there are no low-carbon or zero-carbon alternatives, like steel and cement manufacturing, he said.
Quotable: “We’ve got to do what the science tells us to do, and the science has been clear,” Kerry said at the U.N. climate talks in Dubai.
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