During a speech in Selma, Alabama, US Vice President Kamala Harris called for an immediate six-week-long ceasefire in Gaza. Kamala Harris attracted cheers from the crowd for her statement. However, critics argue that the speech falls short of signalling a substantive shift in US policy towards Israel’s actions in the region. Beth Miller, the political director for Jewish Voice for Peace Action, criticised the Biden administration for advocating only for a temporary pause in the conflict without leveraging US influence to bring about an end to Israel’s offensive. Miller explained such a move is essential to prevent what she referred to as an unfolding genocide and to secure the release of hostages.

Israel’s Prime Minister has repeated his intention to launch ground attacks on Rafah, a move which he claims is aimed at annihilating Hamas, the resistance group governing the Gaza Strip. However, his plan has raised alarm among Israel’s backers, including the United States, who say that there exists no credible strategy to safeguard the more than one million civilians currently seeking shelter in Rafah.

Eight US senators, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to present Israel with an ultimatum: either increase aid to Gaza or risk losing US military assistance. Invoking Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act, which prohibits aid to countries that block access to humanitarian assistance, the senators alleged that the Netanyahu government violates this law. They cited public reports and statements made by President Biden himself to support their assertions.

The senators urged Biden to convey to the Netanyahu government that failure to promptly and significantly improve humanitarian access and facilitate safe aid deliveries in Gaza will result in severe consequences under existing US law.

The UK Foreign Office has called for a thorough investigation into reports of violent and degrading treatment faced by medical personnel during an Israeli raid on Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza. The incident, which occurred on 15 February, has sparked international concern over Israel’s treatment of healthcare workers and civilians.

The Israeli raid targeted Nasser Hospital, the largest functioning medical facility in the Palestinian territory at the time. According to accounts from doctors, Israeli forces, including ground troops, launched the raid after blocking access roads and shelling the hospital’s facilities. The attack forced patients, medical staff, and displaced civilians seeking shelter to flee the premises, resulting in the deaths of at least 13 patients due to a lack of electricity for medical equipment like ventilators.

The IDF claimed that the raid on Nasser Hospital as “precise and limited” to target Hamas fighters believed to be operating from the complex. Approximately 200 people, including dozens of medical personnel from Nasser Hospital, were apprehended and tortured during the operation, according to a BBC investigation.

Multiple sources, including Dr Ahmed Abu Sabha, aged 26, reported being blindfolded, forced to strip to their underwear, and subjected to beatings and other forms of cruel and humiliating treatment by Israeli soldiers. Dr Abu Sabha recounted being held for a week, enduring attacks by muzzled dogs, and having his hand broken by an interrogator.

Responding to inquiries from Labour MP Bethan Winter, Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell stated in the Commons that the British government is pushing for a full explanation and investigation into the incident.

Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Amnesty International UK, has criticised Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell’s remarks, saying that pressing Israeli authorities to investigate allegations is not sufficient. Deshmukh highlighted the lack of accountability in Israeli military investigations into abuses in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. He emphasised the need for the UK to support efforts by international bodies such as the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice to thoroughly examine atrocities in Gaza and ensure accountability for all parties involved.

Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte is set to visit Israel and Egypt to address the urgent humanitarian situation and seek avenues for de-escalation. Rutte’s first stop will be Jerusalem, where he is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Discussions with Netanyahu are expected to centre on the pressing need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the release of all hostages.

Meanwhile, the World Food Program (WFP) has successfully delivered food for 25,000 people to Gaza City, marking the first successful delivery to northern Gaza since 20 February. In a joint operation with Jordan, the US airdropped aid boxes containing essential food items over north Gaza. Morocco has initiated sending 40 tonnes of aid supplies to Gaza via an Israeli airport.

In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces have shot and killed three Palestinian civilians, including a teenage boy.

In its intense attacks on Gaza since 7 October, Israel has killed over 31,000 Palestinians and injured more than 72,000 others.