Live blog: Palestinian Authority works with US on Gaza’s postwar plan

 The Palestinian Authority is working with US officials on a plan to run besieged Gaza after the war is over, Bloomberg News reported, citing Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

The preferred outcome of the conflict would be for Hamas which controls Gaza to become a junior partner under the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), helping to build a new independent state that includes the occupied West Bank, besieged Gaza and East Jerusalem, Ramallah-based Shtayyeh said in an interview to Bloomberg News.

“If they (Hamas) are ready to come to an agreement and accept the political platform of the PLO, then there will be room for talk. Palestinians should not be divided,” Shtayyeh said, adding that Israel’s aim to fully defeat Hamas is unrealistic.

The United Nations humanitarian chief has said that efforts to provide food, water and other supplies to millions in Gaza are in tatters.

Martin Griffiths said no place in the territory is safe because the pace of the Israeli military onslaught in southern Gaza is similar to the assault in the north.

“What’s happening in Gaza is forcing the people of Gaza to choose where to be and to choose on the basis of violence — and pressure,” Griffiths said.

He said trucks with aid are still coming into Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt, but that the UN and its partners are trying to find roads that haven’t been mined or destroyed.

Griffiths said the UN has been negotiating for weeks to open the Karem Abu Salem crossing from Israel to allow trucks to go directly to northern Gaza as well as through Rafah and into the south.

“There are some promising signs now that that may be able to open soon,” he said.

2300 GMT — US says Israel needs to do more to protect Palestinian civilians

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said there is “a gap” between what Israel pledged to do to protect Palestinian civilians and the results so far since it began intensive bombardment and land invasion of Gaza.

Blinken said that it remains “imperative” that Israel do more to ensure civilians are not killed or wounded. He recalled that Israeli officials had assured him on a visit to Israel last week that “they would take extra precautions to protect civilian life.” He said he raised the issue again on Thursday.

“As we stand here almost a week into this campaign in the south and after the end of the humanitarian pause, it is imperative, it remains imperative, that Israel put a premium on civilian protection,” Blinken told reporters at a joint news conference in Washington with visiting British Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

“And there does remain a gap between exactly what I said when I was there between the intent to protect civilians and the actual results that we’re seeing on the ground,” he said.

2256 GMT — Israel agrees to open Karem Abu Salem fence crossing with Gaza

Israel has agreed, at US request, to open Karem Abu Salem fence crossing for only screening and inspection of humanitarian aid delivered into Gaza via Rafah crossing, a senior US official said.

Washington has been discussing with the Israelis for weeks the possible opening of the crossing to speed up the inspection process of the aid trucks. The US official did not give a timeframe on when the crossing would open.



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