Friday Briefing: U.N. Prepares to Vote on Gaza Aid

After a week of delays, the U.S. held high-level negotiations with Egypt yesterday to find a compromise on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would allow for scaled-up, safe delivery of aid to Gaza, an American official said.

Here’s the latest.

The U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the U.N., Robert Wood, told reporters earlier in the day that the U.S. was still in talks but was not yet ready to sign off on the resolution, which also called for pauses in fighting.

Egypt, which controls the Rafah border crossing into Gaza, wants the U.N. to take over the delivery of aid to the enclave. The U.S., under pressure from Israel, has said that Israel must be involved in checking aid deliveries and disputes that U.N. inspections will speed them up.

A vote, which the Council has delayed three times this week at the request of the U.S., could come later in the day.

In Israel, the military said it learned that its forces had come close to finding three hostages before they were mistakenly killed by Israeli troops last week. Footage from a combat dog’s Go-Pro camera captured the voices of the young hostages.

Grim milestone: The death toll in Gaza has reached roughly 20,000, according to officials there. It’s the heaviest loss on the Arab side in any war with Israel in 40 years.

Where are Hamas’s leaders? Israel’s stated goal in the war is to destroy Hamas. But Israel has yet to locate Hamas officials who are considered key planners of the Oct. 7 attack.

The suspect, who had a gun license, was a 24-year-old student in world history at the university. He first shot his father in a town outside Prague and then continued his rampage at the school before killing himself, officials said. The chief of the national police said that the assailant was “inspired by a similar terrible event abroad,” but he didn’t specify where.

Context: Mass shootings are rare in the Central European country. In 2019, a gunman killed six people in a hospital in the city of Ostrava. That had been the deadliest shooting since 2015, when a gunman killed eight people at a restaurant southeast of Prague.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet is expected to meet today to discuss changes to restrictions on weapons exports, which would allow Japan to sell U.S.-designed Patriot missiles made in Japan back to the U.S.

The step represents a significant shift in Japan’s post World War II policies. It could also help Washington support Ukraine in its fight against Russia. Japan’s government is also discussing the possibility of sending artillery shells to the U.S. and policy changes that would allow it to export a fighter jet that it is developing with Britain and Italy.

Context: The change is another sign that Japan, a pacifist nation since the end of World War II, is taking on a larger global security role.

For years, fans of the 1990 holiday classic “Home Alone” have been debating the wealth of the McCallister family. For answers, The Times turned to economists and people involved with the film.

Perhaps the best clue to the family’s wealth is their spacious suburban home. The real-life home is in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the U.S. In 1990, the house would have been affordable only for residents in the top 1 percent of Chicago household incomes, and that would still be the case today.