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US Navy faces its most intense combat since World War II against Houthis

The U.S. Navy prepared for decades to potentially fight the Soviet Union, then later Russia and China, on the world's waterways. But instead of a global power, the Navy finds itself locked in combat with a shadowy, Iran-backed rebel group based in Yemen.

The U.S.-led campaign against the Houthi rebels, overshadowed by the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, has turned into the most intense running sea battle the Navy has faced since World War II, its leaders and experts told The Associated Press.

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US-built pier in Gaza faces its latest challenge — whether UN will keep delivering aid

The U.S.-built pier to bring food to Gaza is facing one of its most serious challenges yet — its humanitarian partner is deciding if it can safely and ethically keep delivering supplies arriving by the U.S. sea route to starving Palestinians.

The United Nations, the player with the widest reach delivering aid within Gaza, has paused its work with the pier after a June 8 operation by Israeli security forces that rescued four Israeli hostages and killed more than 270 Palestinians.

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Colombia plans to provide medical treatment to war-injured Palestinian children

A Colombian military hospital would provide medical treatment to children injured in the Israel-Hamas war under a plan announced by the country's Foreign Ministry.

Colombia's Deputy Minister of Multilateral Affairs Elizabeth Taylor Jay told reporters Thursday the children would travel with their families to Colombia for rehabilitation. She did not provide further details, including the number of children who would receive treatment, when they would arrive in Colombia or how long they would remain in the country.

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Israelis and Palestinians are hopeful but cautious over the latest cease-fire proposal

A proposed cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas is raising hopes that eight months of fighting could soon come to an end. Displaced Palestinians are desperate to return home and rebuild, while Israelis yearn for dozens of captives taken by Hamas to be freed.

The U.S.-backed proposal is the latest serious attempt to wind down the war in Gaza, and while it still faces significant hurdles, negotiations meant to bring it to fruition are ongoing.

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Biden says no Gaza cease-fire deal soon, as mediators work to bridge gaps

U.S. President Joe Biden said he doesn’t expect to seal a Gaza cease-fire deal in the near future, as an American-backed proposal with global support has not been fully embraced by Israel or Hamas.

Biden said Thursday that international leaders had discussed the cease-fire at the Group of Seven summit in Italy, but when asked by reporters if a truce deal wound be reached soon, Biden replied simply, “No,” adding, “I haven’t lost hope.”

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Suspected Houthi missile strikes ship in Gulf of Aden

A suspected attack Thursday by Yemen's Houthi rebels saw a missile strike a ship in the Gulf of Aden, authorities said, the latest such assault in their campaign over the Israel-Hamas war.

The attack happened in the Gulf of Aden off Yemen, the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said, without elaborating.

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US national security adviser says Israel stands behind cease-fire proposal

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Thursday pushed back against assertions that Israel isn't fully committed to the cease-fire proposal with Hamas that President Joe Biden outlined in late May at the White House.

"Israel has supplied this proposal. It has been sitting on the table for some time. Israel has not contradicted or walked that back," Sullivan said Thursday in Italy, where Biden was set to attend the annual Group of Seven leaders' summit. "To this day they stand behind the proposal."

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What are the main sticking points in Israel-Hamas cease-fire talks?

The latest proposal for a cease-fire in Gaza has the support of the United States and most of the international community, but Hamas has not fully embraced it, and neither, it seems, has Israel.

Hamas this week accepted the broad outline but requested "amendments." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly disputed aspects of the plan, raising questions about Israel's commitment to what the U.S. says is an Israeli proposal.

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More than 1.5 million foreign pilgrims arrive in Mecca for annual Hajj pilgrimage

Muslim pilgrims have been streaming into Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca ahead of the start of the Hajj later this week, as the annual pilgrimage returns to its monumental scale.

Saudi officials say more than 1.5 million foreign pilgrims have arrived in the country by Tuesday, the vast majority by air, from across the world. More are expected, and hundreds of thousands of Saudis and others living in Saudi Arabia will also join them when the pilgrimage officially begins on Friday.

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Yemen Houthis attack Greek-owned ship in Red Sea

Yemen's Houthi rebels have launched a boat-borne bomb attack against a commercial ship in the Red Sea, authorities said, the latest escalation despite a U.S.-led campaign trying to protect the vital waterway.

The use of a boat loaded with explosives raised the specter of 2000's USS Cole attack, a suicide assault by al-Qaida on the warship when it was at port in Aden, killing 17 on board. Associated Press journalists saw the Cole in the Red Sea on Wednesday, now taking part in the U.S. campaign while visiting one of her sister ships, the USS Laboon.

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