A key Hamas commander. Israel said the strike killed the commander, describing him as one of the leaders of the October 7th attack. Israel also reportedly said Hamas had been using the area as a command center, adding that dozens of militants were killed. But officials in Gaza said the attack in Jabaliya — the territory's largest refugee camp — killed more than 50 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, and injured hundreds more. Israel accused Hamas of hiding behind civilians and reiterated calls for Palestinians to evacuate south — even as Israeli airstrikes continue there. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza escalated.
What’s the latest?
Last night, Gaza's telecommunications officials said that the territory's internet and communications services have been cut off again. It comes as the UN said more than 3,500 children have been killed, but the Gaza Health Ministry said the death toll is at more than 8,500. Save the Children called it the deadliest conflict of any year for children since 2019. There’s growing concern about the spread of infectious diseasesdue to the crowded, unclean conditions and a lack of clean water. Doctors are also reportedly doing surgeries in corridors with limited supplies and electricity amidIsraeliairstrikes. Meanwhile, aid is still slow to trickle in through the Rafah crossing, with the Biden admin saying it's trying to get 100 trucks of aid in a day this week. This morning, in a deal brokered by Qatar, Egypt agreed to allow dozens of foreign passport holders through the Rafah crossing, and a small group of injured Palestinians for treatment.
Israel says it is focused on targeting Hamas, accusing it of embedding its command centers in civilian areas. Now, as the Palestinian death toll mounts, the international community is increasingly pressuring Israel to limit its response to the October 7th attack.
Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Jack Lew to be the next US ambassador to Israel in a 53-43 vote. The vote was largely along party lines, with Republicans concerned over Lew’s role in the former Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal.
A junior at Cornell University has been arrested over the antisemitic threats made to Jewish students at the school. It comes as the FBI director testified yesterday that antisemitic threats in the US have reached “historic levels.”
Yesterday, Bolivia cut diplomatic ties with Israel over the war with Hamas — among the first countries to do so. It comes as Chile and Colombia recalled their ambassadors after alleging human rights abuses in Gaza.
There appears to be a discrepancy between US polling and the scale of protests. A new poll found that about half of Americans sympathize with Israel, while only 10% sympathize with Palestinians. About 26% said their sympathy for each side was “about equal.” It mimics other polls since the October 7th attack consistently showing broad support for Israel in the US (see: this, this, and this) — though that changes across age groups. Those polled tended to think Israel’s military response to the attacks was justified. Meanwhile, support for President Biden among Arab Americans has plummeted, one year out from Election Day.
What’s closer to getting a new treatment…
Sickle cell disease. Yesterday, an FDA panel recommended a gene editing therapy to treat the rare blood disorder that disproportionately affects Black Americans. Exa-cel uses CRISPR technology to change specific parts of a patient’s DNA. In this case, health experts say exa-cel could free the 20,000 Americans with severe sickle cell disease of excruciating pain. The FDA wants to learn more about the treatment’s potential long-term effects before deciding whether to approve exa-cel — a decision that's expected in December. If approved, it’s unclear how much exa-cel would cost. However, it would be the first therapy to treat an illness using the CRISPR gene-editing tech.
What’s stressing out millions of Americans…
Student loan debt. Earlier this week, the Biden administration released a new narrower proposal for student loan relief. The new proposal would offer debt relief to some borrowers, like those who’ve been paying their loans for 25 years or more or attended career-training programs that led to “unreasonable debt loads.” It doesn’t detail how many people could benefit. The revamped approach comes after the Supreme Court tossed out the administration’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loans for about 40 million people. However, the new proposal could take months to finalize and isn’t safe from court challenges.
Who’s the last player standing…
Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, FIFA confirmed the country became the sole bidder to host the 2034 World Cup. Saudi Arabia has been pushing to enter global sports: recruiting big names like Cristiano Ronaldo and funding LIV Golf. Critics have accused the country of “sportswashing” — using sports to distract from its human rights record and reputation. FIFA said it will confirm the host in 2024. It could face questions over its decision, just as it did after letting Qatar host in 2022. Saudi Arabia will then begin the very expensive process of playing host.
Here are today’s recs to help you live a smarter life…
1. Sporty winter styles for the whole family.
Old Navy has puffer coats and vests in all the colors, matching Fair Isle sweaters, and classic winter accessories like beanies, gloves, and scarves. Aka everything you need to keep everyone cute and cozy all season.*