News, hostage release and more

It is morning in the Middle East. This is what you need to know

A ship belonging to the aid group Open Arms arrived off the coast of Gaza this Friday, March 15, carrying a barge with 200 tons of humanitarian aid. (Credit: Mohammad Hajjar/AP)

Israel will review Hamas’ latest response to negotiations for a ceasefire and the release of hostages, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday, and a delegation is likely to travel to Qatar early next week for further talks. Conversation.

A diplomat familiar with the discussions told CNN that “it will not be easy to convince the Israelis” to accept Hamas’s terms in the latest proposal, while another diplomatic source said mediation efforts are moving in a positive direction “but “He hasn’t done that. Haven’t reached that point yet.”

Relatives of the hostages protested outside Israeli military headquarters on Friday and called on the government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “take a decision that will save our loved ones.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Israel approves Rafah plan: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “approved the action plans in Rafah,” his office said in a statement on Friday, adding that the Israel Defense Forces are preparing for the same. This came after Israel said it intended to relocate Palestinians displaced from Rafah to “humanitarian enclaves” in Gaza before any Israeli military attack, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters on Wednesday. . The White House says it has not seen any plans from Israel related to Rafah.

Aid ship reaches Gaza: A Spanish aid ship arrived off the central coast of Gaza and the first pallet of aid was successfully offloaded this Friday, according to the NGO World Central Kitchen, which helped organize the mission that left Cyprus on Tuesday. The non-profit organization said the 200 tons of food aid on board were being moved to smaller vessels off the coast of the Sheikh Ajleen neighborhood of Gaza City.

Acute malnutrition doubles in a month in northern Gaza: The UN children’s agency reported this Friday an increase in the rate of acute malnutrition among children in northern Gaza, with the figures doubling in just one month. At least 23 children have died from malnutrition and dehydration in northern Gaza in recent weeks, according to UNICEF.

Israel denies responsibility for Kuwait Square violence: The Israel Defense Forces said an initial review found that Israeli forces “did not fire on the aid convoy in Kuwait Square” in northern Gaza on Thursday, when more than 20 people waiting for food aid were reported killed. Was. On Friday, the IDF released a video it claimed showed Palestinian gunmen “firing among Gaza civilians”. CNN cannot independently verify the video content, location or time.

Biden praised Schumer’s comments: US President Joe Biden described Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech criticizing Netanyahu as “good” and said the New York Democrat “expressed grave concerns” that many share. American. Biden said Schumer had already contacted his senior staff to inform the White House that he would be giving the speech. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Schumer’s speech was a direct contradiction to US policy and called on the White House not to go down that path.

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