World Food Programme (WFP) revealed that an essential aid convoy, with life-saving supplies, was abruptly denied entry to the northern region of Gaza by the Israeli military. The convoy was to bring crucial humanitarian assistance to those in need. The WFP emphasised that road access to Gaza’s north is imperative to avert famine and prevent a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

Hamas has reiterated its willingness to engage in a ceasefire to halt Israeli aggression. However, Israel’s reluctance to address ceasefire demands, including the call for a permanent cessation of hostilities, the return of displaced Palestinians to Gaza, and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip, remains a significant obstacle to progress.

Central to Hamas’ demands is the urgent entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, a lifeline for thousands grappling with the ravages of war. With mediation efforts underway, Hamas remains steadfast in its pursuit of a comprehensive and fulfilling agreement through diplomatic channels.

Israeli forces are reported to have launched a deadly attack on a home in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza, resulting in the deaths of three civilians and injuring many others. Meanwhile, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has been striving to provide aid to those in need, with flour distributed to approximately 370,000 families in southern Gaza. However, efforts to deliver essential supplies have been blocked as Israeli forces turned back a 14-truck food aid convoy bound for northern Gaza.

In a bid to address the worsening crisis, the United States has put forward a revised draft of a proposed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution, calling for “an immediate ceasefire of roughly six weeks in Gaza together with the release of all hostages.” However, achieving consensus on the resolution remains uncertain despite ongoing diplomatic efforts.

While ceasefire talks are underway in Cairo, the lack of visible progress underscores the daunting challenges ahead in resolving one of the most protracted conflicts in modern history.

The visit of Israel’s opposition leader and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz to the United Kingdom has stirred controversy in Tel Aviv. His visit follows a similar trip to the US. Gantz’s unauthorised trip, which included meetings with senior officials of the Biden administration in Washington, DC, has drawn ire from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has emphasised Israel’s singular leadership under his stewardship.

Gantz’s visit has only worsened the already strained relationship between Washington and Netanyahu. Reports suggests that Gantz’s trip may be interpreted as a slight by the Biden administration.

Meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has reiterated his call for the US government to halt arms shipments to Israel, condemning what he terms the “Netanyahu war machine.” Sanders’ vocal opposition to US military support for Israel has garnered increasing attention in recent months, culminating in his introduction of a resolution in January proposing that US security aid to Israel be contingent upon the country’s conduct regarding human rights abuses in the Gaza conflict.

President Joe Biden is facing mounting pressure from key allies within the US Senate to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza, according to global media reports. As the conflict continues to escalate, certain senators are advocating for a shift in US policy towards Israel, with calls for the reduction of military aid if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not alter his approach.

Chris Coons, a close confidant of Biden in Congress, has been at the forefront of this push, urging for the cutting of military aid if Netanyahu proceeds with an offensive on Rafah without ensuring the protection of civilians in the area.

Senator Jack Reed, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has similarly called on Biden to take decisive action, proposing the deployment of the US Navy to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Meanwhile, Senator Tim Kaine, another ally of the president, has criticised US strikes on the Houthis, suggesting that they are ineffective in halting attacks in the Red Sea. Kaine’s remarks highlight broader concerns about the efficacy of US military intervention in the region and the need for a reassessment of strategic priorities. Patty Murray, the most senior Democrat in the Senate, pointed out the harm inflicted on Gaza’s people and the lack of alignment with American interests or Israel’s safety.