|“There are thousands—if not tens of thousands—of people who have flocked to the hospital,” Al-Shifa Hospital surgeon Ghassan Abu Sitta told Al Jazeera this past weekend. “Unless there is respite there is going to be a public health catastrophe at the hospital.”
Americans trapped: This Saturday, U.S. diplomats had told American citizens trapped in Gaza—of which there are roughly 500—to make their way to the Rafah border crossing, where Egyptian authorities would allow them safe passage out of Gaza between noon and 5 p.m. local time. That never happened: Negotiations were held up, as Egypt and Israel had agreed to open the border crossing if Egyptian aid was allowed into Gaza. Israel put stipulations in place regarding the screening of the supplies for weapons, to which Egypt would not agree. Media reports ensued yesterday and this morning of an agreement being reached, which has been denied by both Israeli and Egyptian officials.
It is stunning to me that more blame has not been placed on Egypt for its failure to do much of anything to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. “Egypt is apprehensive about the prospect of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees being displaced into Egypt, or of getting drawn deeper into the conflict,” reports The Wall Street Journal. Egypt claims “it has too many evacuation requests to accommodate U.S. nationals and that it can’t grant passage to one country over others.” Authorities there “also cited security concerns related to a lack of screening of individuals.” (Mixed messages are being sent, though, as tents are being put up in Egypt’s Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah seemingly in preparation for an influx from Gaza.)
Meanwhile, the hostage count has been updated. Previously, 150 Israeli hostages were thought to have been taken into Gaza, but the Israeli government now says that number is 199.
NGMI: Meanwhile in Washington, a battle that’s approximately 5 million times more trivial is playing out: after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.) was ousted from leadership by a group of Republicans disgruntled by federal government spending, Republicans have struggled to elect a new speaker. Last week, many toyed with the idea of appointing Rep. Steve Scalise (R–La.), but now it’s looking like Rep. Jim Jordan (R–Ohio) is the tentative favorite. But apparently not enough of a favorite, as it’s looking like he’ll receive something like 40 no votes (possibly more) from fellow Republicans. This, despite the fact that Jordan has been characterized as a “darling of the party’s rabble-rousing base” and a Trump favorite.
In other words, it’s back to the drawing board for the GOP. And, really, I am the greatest victim here because this means more Roundups that must cover petty Republican infighting.