Wednesday briefing: Gaza death toll rises | ET REALITY

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The Israeli army said yesterday that it had intensified its bombing of Gaza, where Palestinian officials said hundreds of people had been killed. Diplomatic pressure grew for Israel to delay its ground invasion of the enclave.

Israel said it had struck more than 400 targets in the past 24 hours – on top of more than 320 the previous day – in some of the most intense airstrikes on Gaza in recent days. The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry said it had recorded the highest single-day death toll of the war: at least 704 people, killed in dozens of attacks on homes, a refugee camp and elsewhere. It was not possible to independently verify the number of victims.

Whats Next: Israeli military officials say they are well prepared for a ground attack on Gaza, but it is still unclear when and if such an invasion will occur. U.S. officials have said Israel’s military is not ready yet.

Analysis: Israel has set itself a tough challenge in trying to destroy Hamas. But an even bigger question arises: Who will govern Gaza if Hamas disappears? A ground war in Gaza could lead to fierce street-to-street fighting. This is what urban warfare could look like.

Aid: Six hospitals across the Gaza Strip had to close because they ran out of fuel, the WHO said. While some aid convoys have arrived in Gaza, humanitarian groups have asked for fuel to be supplied along with the food, water and medicine being sent.

Hostages: One of the two hostages freed on Monday, Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, told reporters in Tel Aviv that she had “been through hell.” The other freed hostage was identified as Nurit Cooper, 79 years old. According to the Israeli military, about 20 hostages among the approximately 220 people Israel believes were taken prisoner are under 18 years old.


General Li Shangfu, who had been appointed China’s defense minister in March, was fired from his position after being out of public view for almost two months. He is the second senior official ousted from the government this year without explanation and under a cloud of suspicion.

China’s announcement yesterday leaves open questions about whether Li is being investigated for any crime. US officials said last month that Beijing had placed him under investigation for corruption.

Whats Next: It is not known who could replace Li as defense minister, but whoever does will likely play an important role in talks with the United States if the two sides restart high-level military contacts.


Tom Emmer abandoned his bid to become speaker of the US House of Representatives yesterday after narrowly securing a nomination for the top job among his fellow Republicans. The lawmaker sparked a backlash from the right, including Donald Trump, that left his candidacy in ruins.

Emmer’s abrupt departure signaled that Republicans were further away than ever from breaking a deadlock that has left Congress leaderless and paralyzed for three weeks. He was the third Republican this month elected to be president, but his bid failed.

Investors and media companies are trying to capitalize on a relatively small but loyal and growing American audience for cricket. Investors have poured more than $1 billion into expanding the sport in the United States and have spent more than $100 million building cricket stadiums for a new league.

But while companies see sports as an opportunity, many of the five million Americans of South Asian descent see the game as a link to a life they have left behind.

Park Seo-Bo, who died this month in Seoul at age 91, was known for his elegant monochromatic paintings and tireless drive that made him a pillar of the Korean art world.

Park used her work to transmute the intense emotions of South Korea’s civil war, postwar poverty, and military dictatorship, as well as her own difficult personality, into a kind of everyday serenity. He was typical of what came to be called the Dansaekhwa group, a loose term for artists who used minimal color and process-based work to break with Korea’s official art establishment of the 1960s and 1970s. He also promoted others whose work he admired, making him a vital link between Korean artists and the world.

“Without Park Seo-Bo,” said Joan Kee, a professor of art history, “there would be no modern history of Korean art as we know it.” Read more about his art.

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