President Biden landed in Israel this morning as the world waited for evidence of whether a Hamas-linked group or Israel caused a devastating explosion yesterday at a hospital in Gaza City.

The explosion, evidently from a missile, killed hundreds of people and injured hundreds more. (This video, verified by Times journalists, shows the moment the blast destroyed the hospital.)

Both Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed the other side for the carnage. Gazan health authorities said it was an Israeli airstrike. Israeli officials said it was a failed rocket attack by Islamic Jihad, an armed group aligned with Hamas.

After Biden landed, he seemed to endorse Israel’s denial of responsibility. “Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” he said. “But there’s a lot of people out there not sure.”

The explosion added even more uncertainty to an already unusual trip by a U.S. president to a war zone. In response to the explosion, Arab leaders canceled meetings with Biden as protests spread across the region. In Jordan, a crowd lit fires outside the Israeli Embassy. In Lebanon, large demonstrations shook Beirut.

In the rest of this newsletter, we will walk through Biden’s visit as well as what we know — and don’t know — about the explosion.

  • Parking lots around the country have become home to Americans who live in their cars, too poor to rent but not poor enough for government aid.

  • The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force have struggled to attract recruits. But with a marketing strategy based on swagger, the Marines have plenty.

  • In a plan to speed up boarding, United Airlines will allow economy passengers in window seats to board before those in middle and aisle seats.

  • A man was wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years. After being exonerated, an officer in Georgia shot him to death during a traffic stop.

It’s OK to withhold your opinions on the Israel-Hamas war, Elizabeth Spiers writes.

Here are columns by Pamela Paul on a Palestinian author and Jamelle Bouie on Jim Jordan.

Oprah before Oprah: Alice Travis became the first Black woman to host her own national talk show in 1977, with Toni Morrison among her guests.

Reopening: Rains and flooding devastated Vermont this summer. A tourism campaign called “Very Much Open” seeks to reassure visitors.

Runaways victory: Joan Jett was an early fan of the New York Liberty. This week she attended her first game in 10 years.

Lives Lived: Roland Griffiths helped pioneer a new era of research on psychedelics, which he saw as a way to alleviate suffering and even reach a mystical state. He died at 77.

An anniversary: “The Exorcist,” the classic horror film about a girl possessed by a demon, turns 50 this year. Times culture writers explored the movie’s legacy — and how it touches on faith, queerness and womanhood.

“It’s fitting that the biggest, most contested film to open in 1973 is about a life-or-death struggle over a female body,” writes the Times film critic Manohla Dargis, “a fight that was also at the center of the Supreme Court’s biggest, most contested decision that year: Roe v. Wade.”

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