Hamas releases hostages, sparks hope, but aid to Gaza halted

Hamas releases hostages, sparks hope, but aid to Gaza halted

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Omar Ashour, a retired general in Gaza, said, “I fear that the current destruction is part of a clear plan for people to have no place to live.”

“This will lead to a second Nakba,” he said, referring to the 760,000 Palestinians who were driven from their homes or fled when Israel was created.

Israel has received strong international support from allies including the United States, Britain, and the European Union.

On Friday, Biden requested $14 billion in emergency military aid for Israel as part of a massive security spending package that will face a tough fight in the dysfunctional US Congress.

He argued that the funding would help secure US interests in the region, where fears that the Israel-Hamas conflict could flare up are widespread.

The United States has sent two aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean to prevent Iran or Lebanon’s Hezbollah, both Hamas allies, from engaging.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday Paris had also sent a message to Hezbollah warning it against intervening.

Israel on Friday ordered 25,000 residents of the northern city of Kiryat Shmona to leave out of fear after repeated cross-border fire.

The conflict has heightened tensions across the region, with demonstrations across the Middle East and the leaders of Egypt and Jordan condemning Israel’s “collective punishment” of Palestinians.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will host a peace summit on Saturday attended by regional and some Western leaders.

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