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    Aid Groups in Rafah Say Israel’s Advance Is Pushing Them Out

    Israel’s offensive in the southern city of Rafah has strained medical and humanitarian services to the breaking point, aid workers say, with only one hospital still functioning and several aid operations forced to decamp to other parts of the Gaza Strip.The health care crisis in the city has been compounded by the closure of emergency clinics and other services amid continued clashes and strikes that have killed dozens of civilians.On Sunday, a strike that Israel said was aimed at a Hamas compound set ablaze a camp for the displaced in Rafah, killing 45 people, according to the Gazan health ministry. Another strike on Tuesday in Al-Mawasi, on the outskirts of Rafah, killed 21 people and injured dozens, the ministry said.Among the aid operations that have shuttered this week are a field hospital run by the Palestinian Red Crescent, a clinic supported by Doctors Without Borders and kitchens run by World Central Kitchen.“As Israeli attacks intensify on Rafah, the unpredictable trickle of aid into Gaza has created a mirage of improved access, while the humanitarian response is in reality on the verge of collapse,” 19 aid groups said in a joint statement on Tuesday.Some of the operations that were forced to move were in Al-Mawasi, where many civilians and aid workers went because Israel designated part of the area as a humanitarian safe zone. Israel’s military said after the strike on Tuesday that it had not fired on that zone. Videos verified by The New York Times indicate that the strike hit near, but not inside, the zone.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Aid Deliveries From Egypt Into Gaza Are Due to Resume

    Aid trucks from Egypt were expected to enter the devastated Gaza Strip on Sunday under a new U.S.-brokered agreement to reopen a vital conduit for humanitarian relief.Egypt has blocked aid from entering the enclave via its territory since Israel’s seizure of the Rafah crossing — which provides access to southern Gaza — in early May. The two sides have traded blame over the crossing’s closure, even as aid has piled up on the Egyptian side. After U.S. pressure, Egypt announced on Friday that it had agreed to divert trucks through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing, which is roughly two miles from the Rafah crossing, as a temporary measure.Roughly 200 trucks carrying food and other aid from Egypt were set to enter Gaza on Sunday via Kerem Shalom, according to Ahmad Ezzat, an Egyptian Red Crescent official. COGAT, an Israeli military agency that oversees Palestinian civilian affairs, could not be reached for comment.The quantity of food, water and medicines reaching Gazans has plummeted since the war began nearly eight months ago. As a result, the United Nations and aid groups have been warning of widespread hunger in the enclave and urging Israel to open more routes for aid to enter. But in recent weeks, aid shipments into Gaza through the two main land conduits have been interrupted.One of those crossings is Kerem Shalom, which sits at the intersection of Gaza, Israel and Egypt. Israel temporarily closed Kerem Shalom a few weeks ago after a Hamas rocket attack there killed four of its soldiers. Since then Israel has allowed some aid into Gaza though Kerem Shalom, but its distribution has been a point of contention. Israel says that aid agencies must distribute the aid. But the agencies say that the Israeli military’s activity in southern Gaza has made their job nearly impossible.The other major gateway for aid is between Gaza and Egypt, at Rafah. Israeli forces captured the crossing as part of their initial advance toward the city overnight on May 6. Since then, Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian officials have been unable to strike a deal to resume aid shipments there.When the Rafah crossing closed, the Egyptian government also initially held out on sending aid trucks toward Kerem Shalom, in what American and Israeli officials called an attempt to pressure Israel to back down from its operation in Rafah.On Friday, Egypt and the United States announced that Cairo had agreed to temporarily allow food, basic supplies and fuel to move from its territory into Gaza though Kerem Shalom. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Egyptian president, emphasized that the measure was a stopgap until “a new legal mechanism” could be found on the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing.It remains unclear when the Rafah crossing will reopen for aid. U.S. officials are expected to head to Cairo this week to “support efforts to reopen the Rafah crossing,” according to the White House. More

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    Death Toll in Papua New Guinea Landslide Estimated to Be at Least 670

    More than 48 hours after the disaster, its full extent remains unclear, with aid slow to reach survivors and conditions on the ground still dangerous.At least 670 people are assumed to have died after a landslide in Papua New Guinea, according to a local United Nations official. The landslide hit a rural region of the island nation early Friday, but search-and-rescue efforts have been hampered by difficulty in reaching the disaster site and by the hazard that the shifting ground continues to pose.This danger has prompted many survivors to abandon their homes, according to Serhan Aktoprak, the chief of mission at the International Organization for Migration’s office in Papua New Guinea, who estimated that over 250 houses were abandoned and that roughly 1,250 people were displaced.The region, in Enga Province, is densely populated, according to local officials, and has a young population. The authorities fear that many of the fatalities will be children under 15.The local government secured food and water for around 600 people, Mr. Aktoprak said, and a humanitarian convoy of local officials and members of the International Organization for Migration headed to the region on Sunday. An aid convoy had gotten through on Saturday afternoon to deliver tarps and water, but no food.Conditions have made distribution difficult. As of Sunday afternoon, land was still sliding, rocks were falling and the soil was cracking from increased pressure and running groundwater. No earth-moving equipment had arrived, and people were searching for bodies using tools like spades and pitchforks, Mr. Aktoprak said.The region has seen tribal clashes over the past few months. On Saturday morning, a quarrel flared between two clans, raising safety fears for those traveling on the only road available. Eight died in the clash and dozens of houses were burned down, Mr. Aktoprak said.The landslide struck the village about 3 a.m. Friday, hitting homes when many residents were asleep. Some of the boulders that buried houses and cut off a major highway were larger than shipping containers. More

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    ICJ Orders Israel to Halt Its Military Incursion Into Rafah

    The International Court of Justice has no means to enforce its order in the Gazan city, but the ruling added pressure on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.The International Court of Justice on Friday ordered Israel to “immediately” halt its military offensive in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, dealing another blow to the country as it faces increasing international isolation and a drumbeat of criticism over its conduct in the war.The court has few effective means of enforcing its order, and it stopped short of ordering a cease-fire in Gaza, with some of the court’s judges arguing that Israel could still conduct some military operations in Rafah under the terms of their decision.But the order added more pressure on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has faced domestic and external calls to reach a cease-fire deal with Hamas that would lead to the release of hostages held in Gaza.“The court considers that, in conformity with obligations under the Genocide Convention, Israel must immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” the court’s president, Nawaf Salam, said in reading the 13-2 ruling.The court, based at The Hague, also specified the need for open land crossings, in particular the Rafah crossing, as part of its request for “the unhindered provision” of humanitarian assistance and services. Israel has controlled the Rafah crossing for more than two weeks, and very few aid trucks have entered the enclave since, according to United Nations data.The Israeli government said in a statement that its military “has not and will not” take actions that would lead to the partial or complete destruction of the Palestinian population of Rafah. In effect, it said that the court’s decision has no bearing on Israel’s offensive because the prohibited acts are not occurring. We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    No Gaza Aid Delivered Through U.S.-Built Pier Has Been Distributed, Pentagon Says

    None of the food and supplies that has entered the Gaza Strip through a U.S.-built temporary pier in its first five days of operation has been distributed to Palestinians by aid organizations, Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, the Pentagon spokesman, said at a news briefing on Tuesday.General Ryder said that 569 metric tons of aid had made it onto Gaza’s shore but that those supplies had yet to be parceled out by humanitarian organizations.On Saturday, hungry crowds looted several World Food Program trucks transporting aid that had been delivered through the pier, prompting the agency to suspend deliveries of aid arriving at the pier on Sunday and Monday.General Ryder also said that after discussions with Israel and the United Nations, alternative routes for the safe movement of staff and cargo had been established. The aid is now being taken to warehouses for further distribution, he said.“We do anticipate that assistance will be distributed in the coming days, of course, conditions permitting,” he said.The temporary pier is one of few remaining entry points for aid shipments after Israel’s incursion into Rafah, in southern Gaza, earlier this month in response to a Hamas rocket attack that killed four soldiers on May 5. Israel not only seized the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt but also closed the Kerem Shalom crossing into Israel. Those were the two main entry points for truck convoys carrying aid overland.Though Israel has since reopened Kerem Shalom, only 69 trucks have entered Gaza through it in the past two weeks, according to U.N. data. That is far fewer than the number of aid trucks that were entering through the two southern border crossings before Israeli troops went into Rafah. That number peaked at 340 trucks a day.The 569 metric tons that have arrived at the pier so far are a fraction of the amount of aid that was entering Gaza through land routes before Israel seized the Rafah crossing. The United Nations estimates that trucks carrying food to Gaza have been loaded with roughly 15 to 30 metric tons each.The pier system, which cost an estimated $300 million, became operational on Thursday, after it was connected to the Mediterranean shore in central Gaza. On Friday, the first trucks of aid began moving ashore. So far, however, the operation has fallen short of its goal of bringing in 90 trucks a day and eventually ramping up to 150 trucks.General Ryder said that more aid was on the way but that the U.S. military was taking a “crawl, walk, run” approach, working out the logistical hurdles and taking into account security conditions. “So I think you’re going to see as we work together the amount of aid increase, and the ability to get it distributed increase,” he said. More

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    Israel’s Wartime Government Frays as Frustration with Netanyahu Grows

    Benny Gantz, a centrist member of leadership, presented the prime minister with an ultimatum that demanded a plan for the future of Israel’s war.Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel’s war cabinet, presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with an ultimatum on Saturday, saying he would leave the government if it did not soon develop a plan for the future of the war in Gaza.While Mr. Gantz’s departure would not topple the country’s emergency wartime government, the move would further strain a fragile coalition that has provided Mr. Netanyahu’s far-right government with a boost of international legitimacy, and it would make the prime minister even more reliant on his hard-line partners.“If you choose the path of zealots, dragging the country into the abyss, we will be forced to leave the government,” Mr. Gantz said in a televised news conference. “We will turn to the people and build a government that will earn the people’s trust.”Mr. Gantz, who leads the National Unity party, said he would give Mr. Netanyahu until June 8 — three weeks’ time — to develop a plan that would aim to secure the release of hostages taken to Gaza by Hamas-led militants on Oct. 7, address the future governance of the territory, return displaced Israelis to their homes and advance normalization with Saudi Arabia, among other issues.Mr. Gantz’s ultimatum was the latest sign of pressure building on Mr. Netanyahu to develop a postwar plan. The prime minister is increasingly being squeezed — externally from Israel’s closest ally, the United States, and from within his own War Cabinet — to clarify a strategy for Gaza. Just days earlier, Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defense minister, said the government was charting “a dangerous course” and demanded that Mr. Netanyahu immediately pledge not to establish an Israeli military government in Gaza.In a response to Mr. Gantz’s ultimatum, Mr. Netanyahu accused the former military chief of staff and a longtime political rival of calling for “Israeli defeat” by effectively allowing Hamas to remain in power.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    About 300,000 Gazans Have Fled Rafah, U.N. Says

    The main United Nations agency aiding Palestinians in Gaza said early Sunday that about 300,000 people had fled over the past week from Rafah, the city in the enclave’s southernmost tip where more than a million displaced Gazans had sought shelter from Israeli bombardments elsewhere over the past seven months.The U.N. agency, known as UNRWA, made the announcement on social media hours after the Israeli government issued new evacuation orders in Rafah and elsewhere in Gaza, deepening fears that the Israeli military was preparing to invade the city despite international warnings.The World Food Program echoed those warnings on Sunday, expressing concern about displacement of civilians and saying that a full-scale invasion of Rafah would be “catastrophic.”“Families are once again on the move, searching for shelter, food, water — but with fewer resources,” it wrote on social media.Paltel, the Gaza Strip’s largest telecommunications company, said on Sunday that internet service was down in parts of southern Gaza because of Israeli military operations and that crews were working to restore services “as quickly as possible.”Doctors Without Borders, an aid group whose staff members have been working in Gaza during the war, also said on social media that it had started to refer the last 22 patients at one hospital, the Rafah Indonesian Field Hospital, to other facilities because it could “no longer guarantee their safety.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    The Long, Tortured Road to Biden’s Clash With Netanyahu Over Gaza War

    The president offered strong support to Israel after Oct. 7 but has grown increasingly frustrated over the conduct of the war. “He has just gotten to a point where enough is enough,” a friend says.President Biden laid it out for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel long before letting the public know. In a conversation bristling with tension on Feb. 11, the president warned the prime minister against a major assault on the Gaza city of Rafah — and suggested that continued U.S. support would depend on how Israel proceeded.It was an extraordinary moment. For the first time, the president who had so strongly backed Israel’s war against Hamas was essentially threatening to change course. The White House, however, kept the threat secret, making no mention of it in the official statement it released about the call. And indeed, the private warning, perhaps too subtle, fell on deaf ears.Six days later, on Feb. 17, Mr. Biden heard from Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. The president’s chief diplomat was calling from his blue-and-white government plane as he was flying home from a security conference in Munich. Despite the president’s warning, Mr. Blinken reported that momentum for an invasion of Rafah was building. It could result in a humanitarian catastrophe, he feared. They had to draw a line.At that point, the president headed down a road that would lead to the most serious collision between the United States and Israel in a generation. Three months later, the president has decided to follow through on his warning, leaving the two sides in a dramatic standoff. Mr. Biden has paused a shipment of 3,500 bombs and vowed to block the delivery of other offensive arms if Israel mounts a full-scale ground invasion of Rafah over his objections. Mr. Netanyahu responded defiantly, vowing to act even “if we need to stand alone.”Mr. Biden’s journey to this moment of confrontation has been a long and tortured one, the culmination of a seven-month evolution — from a president who was so appalled by the Hamas-led terrorist attack on Oct. 7 that he pledged “rock solid and unwavering” support for Israel to an angry and exasperated president who has finally had it with an Israeli leadership that he believes is not listening to him.“He has just gotten to a point where enough is enough,” said former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a onetime Republican senator from Nebraska and a friend of Mr. Biden’s from their days together in Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration. “I think he felt he had to say something. He had to do something. He had to show some sign that he wasn’t going to continue this.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More