Senior Hamas Official Says Group is Open to Disarming for a Two-State Solution

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, stated that Hamas is ready to lay down its arms and transform into a political party if a fully sovereign Palestinian state is established along the pre-1967 borders. In an interview, Al-Hayya expressed that the militant group, which still officially aims to eliminate Israel, would agree to a five-year truce and dissolve its military wing under these conditions. He emphasized the group’s desire to join the Palestine Liberation Organization to form a unified Palestinian government, advocating for the rights and statehood of the Palestinian people.

Israel to Proceed with Rafah Operation to Pressure Hamas

According to Israel’s “Yedioth Ahronoth” newspaper, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is advancing a ground operation in Rafah, the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip, to coerce Hamas into resuming prisoner exchange negotiations. The Israeli security cabinet is convening today to discuss this and other matters, with the military pushing for the green light to proceed with the operation aimed at dismantling Hamas’s capabilities in the area.

Hamas Commander Sinwar Emerges from Tunnels to Make Public Appearance in Gaza

Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in Gaza, was seen publicly in Gaza, contradicting Israeli claims of his isolation. According to a Hamas official, Sinwar inspected conflict sites and met with fighters, actively leading from the ground rather than from tunnels. Hamas said this appearance challenges Israel’s narrative of Sinwar’s disconnection from his forces and highlights ongoing operational command within Hamas. 

U.S. Wants Answers from Israel on Reported Mass Graves in Gaza

The United States has called for Israel to provide “answers” regarding reports of mass graves found at two major hospitals in Gaza. According to Gaza’s Civil Defense, approximately 340 bodies were uncovered at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, with Hamas alleging they were killed by Israeli forces. Additionally, about 30 bodies were reported in mass graves at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan emphasized the need for a thorough and transparent investigation into these reports, a sentiment echoed by the United Nations and the European Union.

ICC Considers Arrest Warrants for Senior Israeli Officials–with Apparent U.S. Concurrence

Reports indicate the International Criminal Court (ICC), with apparent U.S. approval, is contemplating arrest warrants against senior Israeli officials. The consideration follows the Palestinian Authority’s acceptance of ICC jurisdiction over alleged crimes by Israel. This development, highlighted by Israeli media, marks a significant tension point in U.S.-Israel relations. ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan, supported by the U.S. since 2021, is also recognized for closing other sensitive cases involving the U.S. This action could potentially affect high-ranking Israelis including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hamas and Fatah Plan Unity Talks in Beijing

In a significant development aimed at Palestinian reconciliation, representatives from Hamas and Fatah are scheduled to meet in Beijing to discuss ending internal divisions. Key figures such as Hamas’s Moussa Abu Marzouk and Fatah’s Azzam al-Ahmad will attend. This meeting follows Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya’s announcement of the group’s readiness to transform into a political party and accept a five-year truce with Israel, provided a sovereign Palestinian state is established based on 1967 borders.

Israel’s war cabinet met yesterday to discuss hostage deal negotiations, according to an Israeli official. The meeting comes ahead of a planned Israeli offensive into Rafah. Following the deliberations, an Egyptian delegation will travel to Israel today to discuss “security coordination,” the official said, adding that discussions included talks for a hostage deal that could avert a planned Israeli offensive in Rafah. Loveday Morris and Lior Soroka report for the Washington Post.

Israel stepped up airstrikes on Rafah overnight after saying it would evacuate civilians from the city and launch a full-scale assault. Medics in Gaza reported five Israeli airstrikes on Rafah early yesterday, killing at least six people. According to a government spokesperson, Israel’s war cabinet also yesterday discussed “how to destroy the last vestiges, the last quarter of Hamas’ battalions, in Rafah and elsewhere,” indicating Israel is continuing to weigh up its Rafah plans. Nidal Al-Mughrabi reports for Reuters


The U.S. military yesterday began construction of a floating pier and causeway for humanitarian aid offshore of Gaza. When completed, the pier could help aid workers deliver as many as two million meals a day to the enclave, Defense Department officials said. Some U.S. military officials have privately expressed concerns about the project, and the Defense Department’s press secretary said the military was looking into a mortar attack on Wednesday that caused minimal damage in the region where some pier work is supposed to be done. Helene Cooper reports for the New York Times

Washington is seeking answers from Israel about reports of mass graves at two hospitals in Gaza. “We have been in touch at multiple levels with the Israeli government. We want answers,” White House national security adviser Sullivan said. Andrew Jeong reports for the Washington Post.

The State Department’s Arabic-language spokesperson has resigned, citing her opposition to U.S. policy on Israel’s war in Gaza. Hala Rharrit’s departure marks at least the third resignation in the department since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. Kanishka Singh reports for Reuters.

More arrests were made as pro-Palestinian protests spread yesterday to colleges across the United States, bringing the total number of people detained to more than 500. Dozens of arrests late Wednesday pushed the University of Southern California to cancel its main commencement ceremony on May 10, citing security concerns. Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, Jennifer Hassan, Richard Morgan, and Karin Brulliard report for the Washington Post

The Gaza War Still Can Decide the American Presidential Election.Gregory Aftandilian analyzes the factors influencing the upcoming American presidential election, including the declared reluctance of Arab- and Muslim-Americans to vote for President Biden because of his position on the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza. Aftandilian writes that although these constituencies will not vote for former President Trump, their refrain from supporting Biden in battleground states may very well result in his defeat in the election.


A joint statement released yesterday by the United States and seventeen other countries called for the release of hostages held in Gaza. “We strongly support the ongoing mediation efforts in order to bring our people home. We reiterate our call on Hamas to release the hostages, and let us end this crisis so that collectively we can focus our efforts on bringing peace and stability to the region,” the statement reads. The countries include Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. 

A Belgian aid worker in Gaza was killed in an Israeli strike, the Belgian government said yesterday. In a statement, Belgium’s development minister said Abdallah Nabhan, 33, and his son, 7, were killed after a bombardment by the Israeli army in the eastern part of Rafah. In a post on X, Belgian foreign minister Hadja Lahbib said, “I will summon the Israeli ambassador to condemn this unacceptable act & demand an explanation.”

Gulf Arab States Avoid Iran-Israel Tensions
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen evaluates the impact of ongoing tensions and military strikes between Iran and Israel on the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council that have called for dialogue and diplomacy to prevent a regional war. Ulrichsen argues that while their position may be difficult, the Gulf Arab states do not lack agency and can engage intermediaries to reduce the risk of miscalculations and mistuned. Saudi Arabia to host top Arab, EU diplomats for Gaza talks.Top Arab and European diplomats are expected to begin arriving in the Saudi capital this weekend for an economic summit and meetings on the war in Gaza, diplomatic officials said.The two-day World Economic Forum special meeting, scheduled to begin in Riyadh on Sunday, includes in its official programme appearances by the Saudi, Jordanian, Egyptian and Turkish foreign ministers.A Gaza-focused session on Monday is set to feature newly appointed Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Mustafa, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Sigrid Kaag, the United Nations aid coordinator for the Gaza Strip.French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne is among European officials travelling to Riyadh during the summit for talks on the war. “Discussions with European, American and regional counterparts on Gaza and the regional situation are planned in Riyadh,” a diplomatic source said on Friday. 


Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah today struck an Israeli military convoy in a disputed area along the border, killing an Israeli civilian, the group and the Israeli military said. Hezbollah said its fighters ambushed the convoy shortly before midnight yesterday, destroying two vehicles. The Israeli military said the ambush injured an Israeli civilian doing infrastructure work, and that he later died of his wounds. AP News reports. 

Pressure on Biden Over Israeli West Bank Settlements 
Advocates of further Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank are again risking U.S. ire, as President Joe Biden faces mounting domestic pressure over his administration’s “ironclad” backing of the country’s war in the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday, Vedant Patel—the State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson—told journalists that Smotrich’s new reported plans are “dangerous and reckless.” “Our policy, U.S. policy, remains that settlements are counterproductive to the cause of peace, and the government of Israel’s program is inconsistent with international law,” Patel said. “And we’ll continue to urge Israeli officials to refrain from taking actions to fund outposts that have long been illegal under Israeli law.” 
White House Responds to Hamas Support for Pro-Palestinian College Protests

The White House has issued a direct response to Hamas after the Palestinian movement expressed to Newsweek its support for growing protests erupting across U.S. universities in solidarity with Gaza amid the ongoing war with Israel.

With demonstrations and police crackdowns spreading across campuses nationwide, Hamas senior official and spokesperson Bassem Naim told Newsweek on Wednesday that his group believed “any popular movement demanding an end to the aggression and genocide against our people are useful and supportive activities for our cause.”

 He also specifically criticized President Joe Biden‘s handling of the matter, stating that “the American administration’s attempts to suppress these activities will not change the reality of the situation, whether regarding the justice of the Palestinian cause or the brutality and racism of the Israeli occupation.”

The following day, White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates hit back at Naim’s remarks, discrediting the group and considering its criticism a badge of honor for the Biden administration.

“Hamas is a vicious terrorist organization that has spent decades murdering innocents,” Bates told Newsweek. “Hamas perpetrated the deadliest massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust, which makes them the least credible voice that exists on this subject.”

“Hamas’ disapproval, after their acts of ‘unadulterated evil’—which they’ve pledged to repeat “again and again”—is a testament to President Biden’s moral clarity,” he added. “President Biden has stood against Antisemitism his entire life. And he will never stop. That’s why he is carrying out the first-ever national strategy to combat Antisemitism.”

Youtube’s Impact on Palestinian Digital Rights  during the War on Gaza

The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media issued a position paper titled “Youtube’s Impact on Palestinian Digital Rights during the War on Gaza”. The paper addressed YouTube’s policies and discriminatory practices, its compliance with international law, adherence to human rights due diligence, and its impact on Palestinian digital rights following the 7th of October.

The paper provided an assessment of YouTube’s advertising standards and practices and their compatibility with international human rights. This was done through an analysis of war propaganda dissemination, particularly advertisements from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs which urged viewers to stand by Israel’s actions in its war on Gaza. The paper also analyzed YouTube’s content moderation policies, highlighting discriminatory practices such as demonetization or restrictions on  content creators due to their criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The paper concluded that YouTube’s policies allowed for the dissemination of problematic content in the form of advertising material that increased incitement to hatred and violence against Palestinians. Furthermore, the paper saw that the platform’s discriminatory practices of demonetizing and restricting content critical of Israel’s actions in Gaza indicated that YouTube’s community guidelines do not protect freedom of expression and hinder the sharing of information about the lives of Palestinians.

The paper presented a set of recommendations directed at YouTube, such as a call to uphold the terms of service in a non-discriminatory manner, further transparency on countries targeted by advertisements such as the ones sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a call to maintain deleted advertisements in Youtube’s Transparency Center. Additionally, it called for detailed transparency reports on cases of guideline violations, content deletions, and additional information on why content is demonetized. Last but not least, it called on YouTube to allow Palestinian content creators to monetize their content on YouTube.

To view the full position paper, click here

Revolt in The Universities, Pro-Palestinians Protests Continues.

In the article below, Chris Hedges considers one example, at Princeton University, of the inspirational courage of anti-genocide students and the moral bankruptcy of pro-genocide university administrators and politicians which are being manifested in the protests currently sweeping the country.

Achinthya Sivalingam, a graduate student in Public Affairs at Princeton University did not know when she woke up this morning that shortly after 7 a.m. she would join hundreds of students across the country who have been arrested, evicted and banned from campus for protesting the genocide in Gaza.

She wears a blue sweatshirt, sometimes fighting back tears, when I speak to her. We are seated at a small table in the Small World Coffee shop on Witherspoon Street, half a block away from the university she can no longer enter, from the apartment she can no longer live in and from the campus where in a few weeks she was scheduled to graduate.

She wonders where she will spend the night.

The police gave her five minutes to collect items from her apartment.

“I grabbed really random things,” she says. “I grabbed oatmeal for whatever reason. I was really confused.”

Student protesters across the country exhibit a moral and physical courage — many are facing suspension and expulsion — that shames every major institution in the country. They are dangerous not because they disrupt campus life or engage in attacks on Jewish students —  many of those protesting are Jewish — but because they expose the abject failure by the ruling elites and their institutions to halt genocide, the crime of crimes. These students watch, like most of us, Israel’s live-streamed slaughter of the Palestinian people. But unlike most of us, they act. Their voices and protests are a potent counterpoint to the moral bankruptcy that surrounds them.

Not one university president has denounced Israel’s destruction of every university in Gaza. Not one university president has called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. Not one university president has used the words “apartheid” or “genocide.” Not one university president has called for sanctions and divestment from Israel.  Read the full text HERE 

This was published by Chris Hedge Report