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Latest war news between Israel and Hamas and updates on conflicts in Gaza

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Saudi Arabia this week to meet with regional partners, including Palestinian, Egyptian and Qatari leaders, to discuss efforts to secure the release of hostages and a ceasefire in Gaza , the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. . Blinken, who will participate in a meeting of the World Economic Forum during his visit, will discuss with regional partners the recent uptick in the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, it added.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Britain, Germany and France are expected at the WEF meeting, along with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud, WEF President Borge Brende said at a news conference. “There is now new momentum in the talks around the hostages and also on a possible way out of the impasse we are facing in Gaza,” he said.

Blinken traveled to the country in March to discuss a plan to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel as a path to a two-state solution embraced by the United States.

Concerns are growing in Israel over the possibility that the International Criminal Court will issue arrest warrants against officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Israeli media report.

On Friday, Netanyahu appeared to address the reports, writing on social media that “Israel will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right to self-defense.” He said that while ICC decisions would not deter Israel, “it would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the soldiers and officials of all democracies fighting savage terrorism.” Israel and the United States do not accept the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Citing the reports, said Mike Johnson, Speaker of the US House of Representatives also convicted the possible arrest warrants and says the court “should immediately abandon this.” He said the real criminals “are with Hamas and in Iran.”

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Blinken’s visit comes amid a renewed push for a deal with Hamas, which last week published videos of three hostages, including a dual U.S. citizen. The latest video, released on Saturday, shows US-born Keith Siegel, 64, and Omri Miran, 47, who were taken hostage on October 7. The images have increased pressure on Israel to negotiate a deal for their release.

Egyptian officials who visited Israel on Friday for talks on a proposed ceasefire are optimistic on the prospects of reaching a ceasefire, according to a former Egyptian official with knowledge of the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic. The former official said Israeli cabinet officials accepted “for the first time” the idea of ​​a long-term cessation of fighting and expressed their willingness to postpone the attack on Rafah, in southern Gaza, if an agreement could be reached. The proposal is now with Hamas, he said.

Pro-Palestinian protests took place outside the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, with protesters posing as slain Gaza journalists outside the Washington Hilton. They laid out press vests to mark those killed in the enclave and unfurled a Palestinian flag from a window at the site.

More than 600 people have been arrested on campuses across the United States for demonstrations over the war between Israel and Gaza, while university leaders struggle to balance protesters’ freedom of speech with the need to keep campuses safe and welcoming. Jill Stein, a presidential candidate for the Green Party, said late Saturday on X that she, her campaign manager and deputy campaign manager were arrested at Washington University in St. Louis.

At least 34,454 people have been killed and 77,575 injured in Gaza since the start of the war, according to Gaza’s health ministry, which makes no distinction between civilians and fighters but says the majority of those killed are women and children. Israel estimates that around 1,200 people were killed in the October 7 Hamas attack, including more than 300 soldiers, and says 261 soldiers have been killed since the military operation in Gaza.

Claire Parker contributed to this report.