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Blinken to push ceasefire proposal in 8th urgent Mideast trip since war in Gaza erupted

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will push for a breakthrough on President Joe Biden's cease-fire proposal when he returns to the Middle East next week on his eighth diplomatic mission to the region since the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza began in October, the State Department said Friday.

Blinken, who is currently in France accompanying Biden on a state visit timed to the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II, will fly from Paris to Cairo on Monday to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and other officials before traveling to Israel, Jordan and Qatar, the department said. Blinken will then go to Italy to join Biden at the summit for the Group of Seven advanced economies.

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Israel bombs Gaza as Gantz poised to quit government

Israel pressed its bombardment of Gaza on Saturday as an Israeli war cabinet minister looked set to carry through on his threat to quit a government under mounting pressure over its conduct of the military campaign.

Strikes rattled various parts of the Gaza Strip and appeared to be focused on central areas of the Palestinian territory, witnesses and AFP journalists reported.

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UN to declare both Israel and Hamas are violating children's rights in armed conflict

The U.N. secretary-general will tell the Security Council next week that both Israel and Hamas are violating children's rights and leaving them exposed to danger in their war to eliminate each other.

The secretary-general annually makes a global list of states and militias that are menacing children and threatening them. Parties on the list have ranged from the Kachin Independence Army in Myanmar to — last year — Russia during its war with Ukraine.

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US circulates Gaza truce resolution at UN, but Israel privately objects

The United States has circulated a revised Security Council draft resolution that says a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza must be agreed to by Israel and Hamas.

It also spells out a three-phase plan to end the eight-month war and start the reconstruction of the devastated Gaza Strip that it says Israel has accepted and calls on Hamas to accept.

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Yemen Houthis detain aid workers, including UN staff

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels have detained more than a dozen aid workers, including United Nations staff, in an apparently coordinated sweep, a diplomatic source and a Yemeni NGO said Friday.

At least 18 Yemeni aid workers were kidnapped in four rebel-held parts of the war-torn country, the Yemeni Mayyun Organization for Human Rights said, listing 10 workers from U.N. agencies.

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Israeli strikes kill at least 18 in central Gaza a day after attack on UN-run school

Palestinian health officials say at least 18 people were killed, including children, in Israeli airstrikes overnight across Central Gaza.

Strikes hit the Nuseirat and Maghazi refugee camps and Deir al-Balah and Zawaiyda towns, they said Friday. The bodies were taken to the al-Aqsa hospital where an Associated Press journalist counted them.

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Hamas says Biden Gaza ceasefire plan 'just words'

A senior Hamas official has said that U.S. President Joe Biden's proposed Gaza ceasefire deal was "just words" and the Palestinian militant group had not received any written commitments related to a truce.

Biden presented last week what he labelled an Israeli three-phase plan that would end the conflict, free all hostages and lead to the reconstruction of the devastated Palestinian territory without Hamas in power.

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Netanyahu to address US Congress on July 24

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to address a joint meeting of Congress on July 24, setting the stage for what is expected to be a contentious speech at a crucial moment for the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Congressional leaders confirmed the date of the address late Thursday after formally inviting Netanyahu to come speak before lawmakers last week. It is the most recent show of wartime support for the longtime ally despite mounting political divisions over Israel's military assault on Hamas in Gaza.

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Attacks on US-linked businesses rattle Baghdad as anger over Gaza war surges

A dozen masked men jump out of two SUVs and a white pickup and storm a KFC in Baghdad, smashing everything in sight before fleeing the scene. A few days earlier, similar violence played out at Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken and Chili House — all American brands popular in the Iraqi capital.

Though no one was seriously hurt, the recent attacks — apparently orchestrated by supporters of Iran-backed, anti-American militias in Iraq — reflect surging anger against the United States, Israel's top ally, over the war in Gaza.

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Egypt says 'positive signs' from Hamas on Gaza truce

Egypt has received "positive signs" from Hamas over a proposed Gaza truce and hostage release deal, state-linked Al-Qahera News said Thursday citing a high-level source.

"Hamas leaders have informed us that they are studying the truce proposal seriously and positively," it quoted the unnamed source as saying, adding that Hamas was expected to provide a response "in the coming days".

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