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Blinken Arrives In Israel For Talks As UN Prepares To Vote On A Ceasefire Resolution

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken disembarks from an aircraft as he arrives in Tel Aviv. Source: Evelyn Hockstein/Pool Photo via AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived Friday in Tel Aviv, Israel, on the final stop in his sixth urgent trip to the region since the start of the war. Blinken said he would share alternatives to Israel’s planned ground assault into the southern Gaza town of Rafah during talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his War Cabinet.

The United Nations Security Council will vote Friday on a U.S.-sponsored resolution declaring “the imperative of an immediate and sustained cease-fire” in the Israel-Hamas war. In a statement overnight, European Union leaders called “for an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages and the provision of humanitarian assistance.”

So little food has been allowed into Gaza that up to 60% of children under 5 are now malnourished, compared with fewer than 1% before the war began, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

The Health Ministry in Gaza raised the territory’s death toll Thursday to nearly 32,000 Palestinians. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead.

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Palestinian militants killed some 1,200 people in the surprise Oct. 7 attack out of Gaza that triggered the war and abducted another 250 people. Hamas is still believed to be holding some 100 people hostage, as well as the remains of 30 others.

Source: AP