Blinken Plans Israel Visit Next Week

A senior Biden administration official who briefed reporters on Thursday on the condition of anonymity under official ground rules blamed Hamas solely for blocking the deal. The official said that while Israel had signaled it would accept those terms, the response from Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader hiding underground in Gaza, had been “totally nonconstructive.”

Hamas has since signaled that it was not completely rejecting the deal and was willing to return to talks again, the official said, adding that the United States and its partners would test that signaling in coming days.

With more than 34,000 people killed in Gaza amid Israeli strikes, according to the Gazan Health Ministry, Palestinians in the territory were contending with yet another misery this week — a blast of extreme heat that pushed temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday.

The heat, combined with a lack of clean water, has made life unbearable in the tents that many Gazans are using for shelter and has intensified worries about the spread of diseases.

“My children were stung by insects and mosquitoes because there is no sanitation around, and sewage is leaking almost everywhere,” said Mohammed Abu Hatab, a father of four, including a 7-month-old child, who added that it was so hot that he had to dress his children only in their underwear.

“The tent, the heat wave and the horror of this war are all a nightmare,” Mr. Abu Hatab, 33, said. “How can my children live healthily and safely?”

In an effort to bring more food, water and medicine into Gaza, U.S. Army engineers on Thursday began constructing a floating pier and causeway off the territory’s coast, Defense Department officials said. The maritime project is expected to be completed early next month.

But aid workers say, and defense officials have acknowledged, that shipments by sea are not an adequate substitute for land convoys, which are much more efficient. Such convoys fell sharply when the war began and have only partly recovered. The World Food Program said this week that a famine in Gaza could begin in six weeks.

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