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After 6 months, there is no sign of a resolution to the Israel-Hamas war

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

It's been 6 months since Hamas attacked Israel and Israel began its military response in Gaza. And this half a year has seen the deadliest violence in Israeli-Palestinian history.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

On October 7, 1,200 people were killed, according to the Israeli government. Since then, more than 33,000 people have been killed in Gaza, according to health authorities there. And despite increased pressure from the U.S., the on-and-off-again cease-fire negotiations have failed to bring a new pause in fighting and a hostage exchange deal, although those talks are continuing in Cairo. But that pressure from the U.S. may be making other inroads.

MARTÍNEZ: For more on this, we go now to NPR's Carrie Kahn in Tel Aviv. Carrie, over the weekend, Israel withdrew a significant number of troops from Gaza and allowed in a large boost of humanitarian aid. Tell us more about that.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: Yes, they did. Israel did pull out significant forces out of the southern city of Khan Younis, and this is where the most intense fighting has been for the last 4 months. They've left just a fraction of soldiers in Gaza when you compare that to the beginning of the war. And in the past 24 hours, Gaza health officials reported 38 people were killed. That's one of the lowest daily death tolls so far. But, of course, as Leila said, the death toll is staggering. More than 33,000 people have been killed in Gaza in the past 6 months. And as you said, there's also a significant increase in the number of aid trucks allowed into Gaza, to about 300 yesterday, all this after President Biden, you know, publicly called on Israel to do more to lessen the suffering in Gaza. But yesterday, several Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, again stated their goal of this complete elimination of Hamas in all of Gaza and including the southern city of Rafah, where more than half of Gaza's displaced population is now living, just in deplorable conditions with very little food.

MARTÍNEZ: What did Palestinians in Gaza make of this troop drawdown?

KAHN: Well, some people were trying to return to homes in Khan Younis, where the Israeli troops have left, but it's just unclear if there are homes to return to and if there's any infrastructure there and, of course, if it's safe. NPR's producer Anas Baba was out talking with people on the 6-month mark of the war. He met Nidal Mohammed. He's a father of 3, lives in this sprawling tent camp in Rafah. He was trying to negotiate with vegetable vendors on the street for food and had only about the equivalent of $13 to do that.

NIDAL MOHAMMED: (Speaking Arabic).

KAHN: Anas Baba asked him if he was afraid of Israel, Israel's threatened invasion of Rafah, and he said, "No. One gets to a point where death no longer matters and seems more comfortable than this life we are living."

MARTÍNEZ: Wow, that's rough to hear. What about Israelis? I mean, how are they feeling about the 6-month mark of the war?

KAHN: Israelis have become more outspoken and divided about the war, especially after the united response after Hamas' brutal attack on October 7, which Israel says killed 1,200 people. Polls show most Israelis want Netanyahu gone. They blame him for the original security breaches that allowed for the attack, and they're just livid that about 100 hostages remain in Gaza. At a very large protest over the weekend, Avishay Gal-Yam (ph) said he is fed up with Netanyahu, who he says has no plan for Gaza, even if he could eliminate Hamas.

AVISHAY GAL-YAM: This government is not able to even discuss what that replacement is going to be. Any solution has to be led by capable people, by good leaders, which we don't have.

KAHN: Many protesters are just demanding new elections right away, A.

MARTÍNEZ: That's NPR's Carrie Kahn in Tel Aviv. Carrie, thanks.

KAHN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

A Martínez
A Martínez is one of the hosts of Morning Edition and Up First. He came to NPR in 2021 and is based out of NPR West.
Carrie Kahn
Carrie Kahn is NPR's International Correspondent based in Mexico City, Mexico. She covers Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Kahn's reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning news programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and on NPR.org.