More stories

  • in

    Israeli Leaders to Discuss Hamas Response on Cease-Fire Proposal

    Mediators have renewed discussions about a cease-fire proposal, but wide gaps remain between Israel’s government and Hamas.Israeli ministers were set to meet on Thursday evening to discuss Hamas’s response to a new proposal for a truce in Gaza and the release of hostages, even as an unusually large rocket and drone attack by Hezbollah, the Lebanese armed group, sparked wildfires on the country’s northern border.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel greenlit a new delegation of negotiators to engage in more in-depth talks with mediators following Hamas’s response, said an Israeli official who circulated a written statement to reporters on condition of anonymity. Such meetings have been rare for the past several weeks as negotiations ground to a halt in June. Regional mediators — mostly Qatar and Egypt — have sought to revive dormant talks about a cease-fire in Gaza after nearly nine months of war. The Biden administration hopes that a truce in Gaza will allow Israel and Hezbollah, which has been firing at Israel in solidarity with Hamas, to reach a diplomatic settlement as well.The discussions are based on a three-stage framework deal publicized by President Biden in late May and endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. Last week, Qatari mediators sent Hamas possible amendments in an effort to bridge gaps between the two sides. Hamas had demanded stronger guarantees to limit Israel’s ability to call off the agreement and return to battle before the second stage of the agreement, which would see a permanent cease-fire. On Wednesday, Hamas announced that it had “exchanged some ideas” with the mediators on the cease-fire deal, saying it was “dealing positively” with ongoing talks on the matter. They also submitted a formal response that was ultimately transferred to Israel for examination, the Israeli government said. A second Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said on Wednesday night that wide gaps between the sides remained but that Hamas’s response left potential to move forward in the talks. The official declined to offer further details.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

  • in

    Bowman Falls to Latimer in House Primary in New York

    Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York, one of Congress’s most outspoken progressives, suffered a stinging primary defeat on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, unable to overcome a record-shattering campaign from pro-Israel groups and a slate of self-inflicted blunders.Mr. Bowman was defeated by George Latimer, the Westchester County executive, in a race that became the year’s ugliest intraparty brawl and the most expensive House primary in history.It began last fall when Mr. Bowman stepped forward as one of the leading critics of how Israelis carrying out their war with Hamas. But the contest grew into a broader proxy fight around the future of the Democratic Party, exposing painful fractures over race, class and ideology in a diverse district that includes parts of Westchester County and the Bronx.Mr. Bowman, the district’s first Black congressman and a committed democratic socialist, never wavered from his calls for a cease-fire in Gaza or left-wing economic priorities. Down in the polls, he repeatedly accused his white opponent of racism and used expletives in denouncing the pro-Israel groups as a “Zionist regime” trying to buy the election.His positions on the war and economic issues electrified the national progressives, who undertook an 11th-hour rescue mission led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. But they ultimately did little to win over skeptical voters and only emboldened his adversaries.A super PAC affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby, dumped $15 million into defeating him, more than any outside group has ever spent on a House race.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

  • in

    Why Bragg Dropped Charges Against Most Columbia Student Protesters

    The Manhattan district attorney’s office cited a lack of evidence in deciding not to prosecute 31 of the 46 people charged in the takeover of Hamilton Hall.Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, last week dropped most of the 46 cases against pro-Palestinian demonstrators charged in the April 30 siege of Hamilton Hall at Columbia University because prosecutors had little proof that the cases would stand up at trial.There was limited video footage of what took place inside the campus building, Doug Cohen, a spokesman for the district attorney, said in a statement. The protesters wore masks and covered security cameras, preventing prosecutors from identifying those who had barricaded the doors and smashed chairs, desks and windows during the 17-hour occupation.The district attorney announced the decision to drop 31 of the 46 cases during a court hearing on Thursday. Apart from trespassing, a misdemeanor, proving any other criminal charges would be “extremely difficult,” Mr. Cohen said. For similar reasons, prosecutors also dismissed charges against nine of the 22 students and staff members at City College who were arrested inside a campus building and charged with burglary during a protest that took place on the same night as the arrests at Hamilton Hall. Six other people who were arrested outside the building still face criminal charges: Five were charged with second-degree assault, a felony, and another was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor. The protests on April 30 grew out of a weekslong encampment on Columbia’s South Lawn that ignited similar demonstrations at college campuses across the country and resulted in hundreds of arrests. As the academic year drew to a close, protesters called on Columbia to divest from Israel, among other demands, sometimes clashing with counterprotesters or with the police.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

  • in

    Stanford Reports on Antisemitism and Anti-Muslim Bias Show Extent of Divide

    One report documented antisemitic threats. The other, anti-Muslim threats. Both signaled that there may be little room for agreement.Stanford released on Thursday dueling reports on campus culture — one on antisemitism and the other on anti-Muslim bias — that revealed mirroring images of campus life in recent months that may be impossible to reconcile.One report found that antisemitism has been pervasive at the university in both overt and subtle ways, while the other stated that the school had stifled free speech among pro-Palestinian students and faculty. They were emblematic of the rift between Jewish and Muslim groups on campus, and showed that any kind of accord between the two groups and the university were distant.The reports are among the first outcomes of universities’s reckonings with their handling of the flurry of protests against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, and pro-Israel counterprotests, over the past academic year. As students across the nation marched on campus, set up encampments and, in some cases, got arrested, universities were met with the difficult challenge of balancing students’ right to free speech and campus safety. At Stanford, 13 pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested a few weeks ago after barricading themselves in the president’s office. The report on antisemitism — by a university subcommittee on antisemitism and anti-Israeli bias, consisting of faculty, students and an alumnus — found that acts of antisemitism have ranged from an anonymous threat on social media against a student journalist who had written about antisemitism to what students said was intimidation in the classroom and residence halls.“Antisemitism exists today on the Stanford campus in ways that are widespread and pernicious,” the group wrote in the report. “We learned of instances where antisemitism and anti-Israeli bias reached a level of social injury that deeply affected people’s lives.”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

  • in

    Hezbollah Says Commander Was Killed in an Israeli Strike in Southern Lebanon

    Smoke billowing during an Israeli bombardment on the southern Lebanese border village of Khiam on June 8.Rabih Daher/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesAn Israeli firefighter extinguishing a fire ignited after rockets that were launched from southern Lebanon landed in the Golan Heights, in northern Israel, on Sunday.Jalaa Marey/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesHezbollah said on Tuesday that Israeli forces killed one of its commanders in a strike in southern Lebanon, stoking concerns about escalating the conflict on another Israeli front.The commander, Taleb Abdallah, also known as Abu Taleb, was among the highest-ranking Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon to have been killed by Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel set off war in the Gaza Strip and inflamed tensions along Israel’s northern border.Mr. Abdallah’s role in Hezbollah was not immediately clear. But the group has not referred to a dead fighter as a “commander” since January, when Wissam Hassan al-Tawil, a commander in the group’s Radwan unit, was killed in a strike. In an apparent indication of Mr. Abdallah’s seniority, Hezbollah on Tuesday released a photo of him alongside Mr. al-Tawil.The Israeli military did not immediately comment on the strike.Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese militia and political movement backed by Iran, and Israel have bombarded each other across the border for much of the past eight months, with more than 150,000 people on both sides of the boundary forced to flee their homes. But the intensity of the attacks has increased this month amid threats by Israeli officials at the highest levels to pursue further military action.Israel has been targeting Hezbollah commanders with the aim of pushing the group north of the Litani River in Lebanon, hoping to prevent cross-border attacks and to eventually allow Israeli civilians displaced by the fighting to return to their homes. Some experts have expressed skepticism about whether the targeted killings can accomplish this aim.Last week, during a visit to northern Israel after a barrage of Hezbollah rockets set off wildfires that blazed for days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a threat of “very intense action” to “restore security to the north.”In a sign of the heightening conflict, Israel this week struck deeper into northeast Lebanon than it had since the war in Gaza began. On Tuesday, the Israeli military said that Hezbollah had fired about 50 rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon.In recent weeks, Hezbollah for the first time has begun targeting Israel’s vaunted Iron Dome missile-defense system.Answering calls by Hamas to open a second front a day after its deadly assault on Israel, Hezbollah launched attacks into Israel on Oct. 8. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has said that his group is trying to pin Israel’s troops along the border and limit its capacity to attack Hamas in Gaza.Hezbollah says that more than 300 fighters have been killed in the most recent round of fighting with Israel. The United Nations says that about 80 Lebanese civilians have died. In Israel, the authorities say that 19 security personnel and at least eight civilians have been killed.Euan Ward More

  • in

    In Israeli Hostage Rescue, Minutes Made the Difference

    When a truck carrying three of the four rescued hostages broke down and came under fire, Israel says it called in an airstrike. Scores of Palestinians, including children, were killed during the operation, according to Gazan officials.When the four Israelis woke up in Gaza on Saturday, they had been held hostage by Hamas for 245 days. The buildings in which they were being kept, two low-rise, concrete apartment blocks, looked much like the other nearby residences in a civilian neighborhood full of Palestinian families.Within a few hours, the captives, three men and one woman, would be reunited with their own families, the result of a risky, long-planned rescue operation in which the full might of the Israeli military would be used to devastating effect.“I’m so emotional,” one hostage, Noa Argamani, 26, told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in a phone call after her release. “It’s been so long since I heard Hebrew.”The rescue effort in Nuseirat involved hundreds of intelligence officers and two teams of commandos who simultaneously stormed the homes in which the hostages were being held, the Israeli military said.In one apartment, where the male hostages were imprisoned, a firefight broke out between the soldiers and the Hamas guards, according to the military and video footage it released of the encounter. Later, and under a hail of gunfire, the truck in which three hostages and a wounded Israeli officer were being evacuated broke down and was surrounded by militants, Israeli officials said.In an effort to give the rescuers enough time and ample cover to get the captives to freedom, the military said, the air force began striking dozens of nearby targets. Many Palestinians became aware of the fighting only when they heard bombs exploding. 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

  • in

    Israel’s Euphoria Over Hostage Rescue May Be Fleeting

    The operation conducted by Israel’s military to free four hostages resulted in a high death toll among Palestinians and has not resolved the challenges facing the Israeli government.For months, Israelis had heard only about hostages being killed or declared dead in Gaza. The “lucky” families were those whose loved ones’ remains were retrieved by soldiers, at great risk, and brought home to Israel for burial.So the audacious rescue on Saturday of four living hostages instantly raised morale in Israel and offered at least a momentary victory for the country’s embattled prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.But by Sunday, euphoria was already giving way to a harsher reality. The heavy air and ground assault that accompanied the rescue killed scores of Palestinians, including civilians, according to Gaza health officials, puncturing Israel’s claims that the operation was a resounding success, at least internationally. And the operation failed to resolve any of the deep dilemmas and challenges vexing the Israeli government, according to analysts.Eight months into its grinding war in Gaza, Israel still appears to be far from achieving its stated objectives of dismantling Hamas’s military and governing capabilities. And Israelis fear that time is running out for many of the hostages in Gaza. About a third of the 120 that remain have already been declared dead by Israeli authorities.Andrey Kozlov, center, and Almog Meir Jan, second from the right, two of four hostages who were rescued in Gaza, arriving in Ramat Gan, Israel, on Saturday.Tomer Appelbaum/Associated PressAt the same time, Israel’s leadership is grappling with an escalation of hostilities across the northern border with Lebanon and battling increasing international isolation and opprobrium over the war in Gaza, including allegations of genocide that are being heard by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.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

  • in

    Protest Against Gaza War Draws Thousands to the White House

    The demonstration included ringing the White House grounds with a red banner showing the names of the more than 36,000 Palestinians killed during the war.Demonstrators marched around the White House, calling for President Biden to halt military aid to Israel and demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via ShutterstockThousands of pro-Palestinian protesters in Washington converged around the White House on Saturday, urging President Biden to stop all military aid to Israel and calling for an immediate cease-fire in Israel’s war in Gaza.Holding signs calling Mr. Biden a liar, the protesters, mostly clad in red and bearing Palestinian flags, marched around the block of parkland where the White House sits. They spilled across two six-lane boulevards, pushing out tourists, whose faces showed variations of confusion, anger or intrigue. The police presence was heavy, and the U.S. Park Police used pepper spray against a protester at least once.Mr. Biden was not at the White House, but in France, where he joined President Emmanuel Macron for a state dinner in Paris on Saturday night. But the dissenting voices in the American capital highlighted the challenges he faces domestically as he tries to carve out a narrow position that both supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas and calls for a quick cessation of hostilities.The pro-Palestinian activists outside the White House, who were highly critical of the Biden administration’s response to the war, encouraged a key portion of Mr. Biden’s base — young and nonwhite voters — to reconsider their support for the president ahead of the election this fall.“There is no world in which I can confidently vote for” Mr. Biden, said Nas Issa, a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Youth Movement, one of the left-leaning groups that organized Saturday’s protest. If Mr. Biden “doesn’t change course and hold Netanyahu and the Israeli government at large to account, under what circumstances would it be acceptable to any person of conscience to vote for him?” she added, referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.On Saturday afternoon, some protesters created a ring along the mile-long White House perimeter, unspooling consecutive lengths of red paper on which names of the more than 36,000 Palestinians who had been killed during the war were written. The others marched along the perimeter. The format was intended to evoke a red line that, if crossed by the Israeli military in Gaza, would cause Mr. Biden to withhold weapons shipments to Israel. 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