|Johnson now says that fixing the crisis at the southern border, getting aid to Israel, and cutting federal spending will be his top priorities as speaker. In his acceptance speech, he said he wants to create a bipartisan commission on the debt. Past efforts by others have been mostly doomed, but signaling interest in reining in debt and federal spending—an unsexy but worthy cause—is a good thing. Whether he’ll be effective as speaker remains to be seen.
Gaetz’s weird victory lap: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–Fla.) says that, well actually, he had a plan all along: All his tiresome work toward giving McCarthy the boot was because he had hoped to elevate Johnson. “To everyone who said I didn’t have a plan: This guy has been sitting next to me for seven years on the House Judiciary Committee,” he said Tuesday. “I hope my mentorship has rubbed off.”
Gaza situation grows even more dire: Between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid were slated to make their way through the Rafah crossing, which is on the Egypt-Gaza border. Only eight made it through, due to Israeli officials inspecting the trucks to ensure weapons were not being smuggled in to Hamas.
In the Gaza Strip, many hospitals are in danger of shutting down, and 12 of the region’s 35 have already shuttered. The Palestine Red Crescent Society, a humanitarian aid organization, reports that most hospitals have only half a day’s worth of fuel left to power generators. “Soon we will have nothing,” says a spokeswoman. “People are going to start dying by themselves because of the shutdown of the health care system.”
Health authorities in Gaza say more than 6,500 people have been killed by Israeli strikes (since that office is run by Hamas, one should not necessarily consider its reports credible). Still, the Palestinian death toll is undoubtedly massive. A Gaza bureau chief for Al Jazeera, Wael al-Dahdouh, lost his wife, son, daughter, and granddaughter, finding out about their tragic deaths during a live broadcast, according to his colleague.
Israel update: Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accused Israel of deliberately attacking civilians in a Wednesday address. “Hamas is not a terror organization,” he said yesterday. “It is an organization of liberation, of mujahedeen, who fight to protect their land and citizens.”
On Tuesday night, rockets believed to be launched from Syria targeted the Golan Heights in Israel. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) say they fired back at Syria, which reported 11 dead soldiers as a result. And last night, IDF tanks conducted a “targeted raid” entering the northern part of the Gaza Strip, which the IDF claim readied that area for “the next stages of the war”—a ground invasion, which the U.S. has been urging Israel to hold off on.