Friday Briefing: Six Months of the Israel-Hamas War

Israeli soldiers operating near the Israel-Gaza border yesterday.Credit…Hannah Mckay/Reuters

The war in Gaza, six months in

Sunday marks six months since the Oct. 7 attacks that started Israel’s war against Hamas. More than 32,000 Palestinians have died, people are desperate for aid and dozens of Israeli hostages are still being held in Gaza.

I spoke with Patrick Kingsley, our Jerusalem bureau chief, to understand the state of the war.

How close are we to a deal, or a meaningful pause in the fighting?

We are at an impasse.

Ceasefire negotiations are stuck for several reasons, but in large part because Israel wants to limit the ways in which Hamas could regroup during a temporary truce, whereas Hamas wants the kind of truce that would allow it to reorganize on the ground.

While those talks falter, Gaza is in limbo. Israel plans to invade Rafah, Hamas’s last major stronghold, but has delayed doing so while it tries to gather international support for the operation.

Elsewhere in Gaza, Hamas is largely routed. But there is a chaotic power vacuum because Israel has withdrawn from certain areas without transferring power there to other Palestinian groups, amid disagreements in Israel about who should run a postwar Gaza.

The result is that the war has slowed since the start of the year. But it continues to kill, and has left the territory on the verge of what experts say is a looming famine.

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