Humanitarian aid began flowing from Israel to Gaza Saturday morning as Israel’s cease-fire with Hamas appeared to hold.
Convoys carrying fuel, food and medicine to the battered region began after 11 days of conflict, the Times of Israel reported. Israel opened both the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings to allow the aid to get through.
An effort to deliver assistance through those crossings earlier in the week, before the cease-fire, was met with rocket fire from Hamas.
The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund released $18.5 million for humanitarian efforts, and several nations also pledged aid, according to the paper.
A CNN spokesperson said Saturday that the network has “parted ways” with Rick Santorum, the former US senator and conservative commentator who was the subject of widespread condemnation for recent remarks he made about Native Americans.
In an April speech to a conservative youth group, Santorum he spoke about the religious values of European settlers in the United States and said “we birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here.”
“I mean, yes, we have Native Americans,” he said. “But candidly, that — there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”
When video of the speech surfaced on YouTube, there were calls for Santorum to be fired from CNN. The Native American Journalists Association also spoke out against CNN as a whole.
By “effectively dismissing the millennia-long presence of Native Americans and the genocide inflicted on them as the Christian settlers transformed and expanded their colonies into the United States of America,” Santorum “angered many within the Native American community, and beyond,” The Guardian reported.
Santorum was long a lightning rod at CNN. As a senior political commentator on the network, he was an outspoken voice in support of the Trump agenda, even while distancing himself from some of the former president’s behavior.
After the speech controversy, he did not appear on CNN for a week. When he was booked in early May, on “Cuomo Prime Time,” anchor Chris Cuomo confronted him on the matter, and Santorum acknowledged that his comments were inaccurate. He said that he misspoke.
“I was talking about, and I misspoke in this respect, I was talking about the founding, and the principles embodied in the founding,” he said.
Santorum added, “I would never, and you know, people have said, ‘Oh, I’m trying to dismiss what we did to the Native Americans.’ Far from it! The way we treated Native Americans was horrific. It goes against every bone and everything I’ve ever fought for, as a leader, in the Congress.”
However, he did not apologize for his remarks in the speech.
HuffPost, which first reported the news, said Santorum’s contract was “terminated,” and quoted a source who said the “Cuomo Prime Time” interview was not well-received inside the network.
“Leadership wasn’t particularly satisfied with that appearance. None of the anchors wanted to book him,” the source, described as a senior executive, told HuffPost. “So he was essentially benched anyway.”
Santorum did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
Santorum is not the first CNN commentator to exit amid controversy. Memorable past cases have involved Jeffrey Lord and Paris Dennard.
In all, CNN has scores of paid contributors who bring point of view and insight in many different fields.
Gaza health officials say at least 240 people were killed after Israeli airstrikes, NPR reported. Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Twelve people died in Israel from more than 4,000 rockets fired by Hamas militants, Israeli officials said.
Palestinians react at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque sparked the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine.
While the military action was on hold, Jerusalem saw some violence on Friday when Israeli police cracked down on protesters at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the more recent round of conflict began two weeks earlier. Protesters who marched through the neighborhood and threw stones and fireworks were met with tear gas and rubber bullets, according to the Jerusalem Post. There were also clashes at that site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, earlier Friday.