Still No Breakthrough on Gaza Cease-fire Talks in Qatar

  • Comments made by regional officials this week have indicated that talks between Israel and Hamas in Qatar have again stalled, with Israeli officials saying that Hamas was not interested in reaching a deal. The official called Hamas' response — which included the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza — "ridiculous." The Times of Israel (a)
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that a recent UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza had caused "damage," implying that Hamas' response was at least partially motivated by the resolution on which the US abstained. The Times of Israel (a)
  • Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas' political bureau, said while in Iran on Tuesday that Israel was facing "unprecedented political isolation" and had failed to achieve any of its military objectives in Gaza. Al Jazeera (LR: 2 CP: 1)
  • In contrast to comments made by both Israeli and Hamas officials, Qatar's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the UNSC resolution did not have much of an impact on negotiations, adding that talks would continue in Doha nonetheless. Reuters (LR: 3 CP: 5)
  • Netanyahu, who earlier this week had canceled a scheduled trip by an Israeli delegation to Washington to discuss alternatives to a Rafah operation, has reportedly reached out to the US to reschedule the trip. Tensions between the US and Israel have grown over humanitarian aid delivery and how to handle Rafah (in which around 1.5M displaced Palestinians have taken refuge). The Times of Israel (b)
  • Meanwhile, authorities in Gaza said on Tuesday that 12 people drowned while trying to reach aid packages that had been dropped into the Mediterranean Sea and called for more aid to enter Gaza by land. Aid delivery has become a contentious issue, with Israel arguing that the main issue has been agencies' ability to deliver the aid and not Israel's security checks. New York Times (LR: 2 CP: 5)

Pro-establishment narrative:

  • Israel must be able to defend itself from terrorist attacks from Gaza or elsewhere, and the US is committed to preventing malicious actors from threatening Israel's legitimate concerns. However, the Biden admin. is losing its patience with Netanyahu's intransigence. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is rapidly getting out of hand, and the situation must be remedied. The Biden admin. is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of Palestinian civilians and is now taking its own steps to alleviate this dreadful situation.
    NBC (LR: 2 CP: 4)

Pro-Israel narrative:

  • Allowing the UNSC to pass such an outrageous resolution demonstrates that the Biden admin. no longer believes that supporting Israel is worth the political capital. Caving to pro-Hamas fanatics, Biden is willing to throw Israelis under the bus to try and salvage his political career. The world has forgotten the atrocities Hamas committed on Oct. 7 and Israel's moral duty to protect its citizens.

Pro-Palestine narrative:

  • The Biden admin., increasingly anxious over the upcoming election, has resorted to cheap tactics to deny its support for Israel's brutal war on Gaza. Regardless of the spin, Biden has armed Israel, given it diplomatic cover, and refused to call for a permanent cease-fire — all of which incentivizes continued bloodshed. Palestinians are literally starving to death, and Biden would rather wax about ill-conceived plans for new aid delivery mechanisms like building a port instead of taking concrete action to deter Israel's criminal behavior — which would be unsustainable without US support.

Nerd narrative:

  • There's a 56% chance that an independent review will find UNRWA staff involvement in the October 7, 2023 Hamas attacks, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
    METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)
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