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COA News 2024

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Latest war news between Israel and Hamas and updates on conflicts in Gaza

Israeli leaders thanked the United States after the House of Representatives on Saturday passed a foreign aid bill that provides $26.4 billion in military aid to Israel and humanitarian aid, including some for Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “much appreciated” step, saying on X that the measure “demonstrates strong bipartisan support for Israel and defends Western civilization.” Israeli President Isaac Herzog thanked members of Congress and President Biden: “When the US is strong, Israel is stronger; when Israel is strong, the US is safer,” he wrote in a statement.

Defense Secretary Yoav Gallant said that at a time when Israel faces threats on several fronts, including from Iran, the United States has shown “unwavering support.”

The package includes, among other things $4 billion to replenish the Iron Dome and David’s Sling defense systems and $1.2 billion to purchase the Iron Beam defense system.

It also includes $9 billion in humanitarian aid, some of which will be allocated to Gaza. However, none of the aid can go to the largest humanitarian group serving Gaza, the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), for which the United States suspended funding after Israel alleged that a handful of its employees participated in the attacks. Hamas on October 7. .

The measure received bipartisan support, winning a 366-58 vote in the chamber closely controlled by the Republican Party. Twenty-one Republicans and 37 Democrats voted against the bill. More than a dozen of these Democrats said in a statement that while they support Israel’s right to self-defense, supplying more offensive weapons to Israel “could result in more killings of civilians” in Gaza. “Most Americans do not want our government to write a blank check to further Prime Minister Netanyahu’s war in Gaza,” they said.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill this week and Biden is expected to sign it.

Here’s what else you need to know

At least fourteen people have been killed in a days-long attack by the Israeli army in the Nur Shams refugee camp. in the occupied West Bank, including a 15-year-old boy, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah said on Saturday. The Israeli army said in a statement that it had killed 10 militants in the attack on the camp and found an “explosives laboratory.” In a separate incident in the West Bank on Saturday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, an ambulance driver was fatally shot near the village of al-Sawiya, south of Nablus, while transporting two people allegedly shot by Israeli settlers.

Thousands of protesters in Tel Aviv called for the resignation of the Israeli government and the release of hostages held by Hamas. They gathered on Saturday ahead of Passover, the Jewish holiday that begins Monday. A video shown during the protest in Tel Aviv said: “Until they return, it is not a holiday, and it is not a Seder.”

At least 34,049 people have been killed and 76,901 injured in Gaza since the war began., according to Gaza’s health ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and fighters but says the majority of those killed are women and children. Israel estimates that around 1,200 people, including more than 300 soldiers, were killed in the Hamas attack on October 7, and says 260 soldiers have been killed since the start of the military operation in Gaza.