Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.
A curated weekday guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
ISRAEL-PALESTINE – JENIN RAID
Israel yesterday launched its largest military operation in the West Bank in two decades. The military activity has focused on a refugee camp in the city of Jenin, which Israel’s far-right government says is harboring fighters that have carried out or are planning attacks inside Israel. Around 1,000 Israeli soldiers stormed the city. Drone strikes were also used. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least eight people were killed and 80 injured. Ruby Mellen, Joe Snell, and Eve Sampson report for the Washington Post.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended contact and security coordination with Israel yesterday following the launch of a major raid against militants in Jenin, his office said in a statement. Abbas has temporarily suspended coordination with Israel several times during previous rounds of violence. Reuters reports.
The Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministries have condemned the Israeli raid on Jenin, which began yesterday. Turkey and Iran have also spoken out against the raid. The Council on Islamic-American Relations, a prominent Muslim advocacy organization, called for the U.S. to respond to the military activity. U.S. officials have yet to make a statement. Brad Dress reports for The Hill.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – EUROPE
Riots in France appeared to abate recently after almost a week of violent protests in response to the shooting of teenager Nahel M during a police traffic stop in Paris. Mayors yesterday called for rallies outside town halls to protest the violence and looting. The riots have reportedly caused millions of euros worth of damage to public transport in the Paris region and led to the attack on several mayors. One such attack is being treated as an attempted murder. Laura Gozzi reports for BBC News.
Turkey will not greenlight Sweden’s NATO bid unless it stops sheltering groups Ankara considers to be terrorists, President Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday. Turkey has criticized what it sees as Sweden harboring supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and members of a network Ankara holds responsible for a 2016 coup attempt. Reuters reports.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – ASIA
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said that eight pro-democracy activists who now live in the West would be pursued for life for alleged national security offenses. Lee has said anyone who offered information leading to their arrests would be eligible for the bounties offered by the police. The move quickly drew anger from the U.S. and British governments, which took issue with the extraterritorial application of the security law. Kanis Leung reports for AP News.
Eight Chinese fighter jets again crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait today. The moves come as Taiwan deputy foreign minister Roy Lee spoke out against “annoying disinformation” that frames Taiwan as dangerous. “We are confident that when [allies] are here, they will see Taiwan is very calm; we are not provoking or making any dangerous movements. On the other hand, we are demonstrating a very high level of resilience against China’s intimidation and threats,” Lee said. Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard report for Reuters.
China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, yesterday urged Japan and South Korea to foster a sense of “strategic autonomy” from the West and cooperate with Beijing to “revitalize Asia.” Wang’s comments come as tensions have risen with China’s two neighbors as both forge closer relations with each other and the United States. In a thinly veiled criticism of the United States, Wang accused “certain major powers outside the region” of “exaggerating ideological differences” in a bid to sow confrontation and division. Nectar Gan reports for CNN.
Three Chinese military ships are in Nigeria on a rare visit which officials say is aimed at improving maritime security. The fleet arrives six months after a new billion-dollar Chinese-built deep sea port was opened in Lagos. Nigeria is a significant oil supplier to China. The Nigerian navy has expressed a “willingness to work with China to tackle maritime security threats and maintain stability in the Gulf of Guinea.” The United States last year expressed concern that its national security could be undermined if China established a military base in West Africa. Will Ross reports for BBC News.
China’s commerce ministry said yesterday that it would control exports of eight gallium products and six germanium products – used in microchips – from Aug. 1 to protect national security. Analysts see the measure as a response to escalating efforts by the United States to curb China’s technological advances. China produces most of the world’s gallium and germanium. Amy Lv and Brenda Goh report for Reuters.
The U.S. ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, yesterday met with detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in Moscow for only the second time, the State Department said. “Gershkovich is in good health and remains strong, despite his circumstances,” the State Department said. Sri Ravipati reports for Axios.
President Biden yesterday announced his intention to appoint Elliott Abrams, an ex-appointee under former President Trump, to the bipartisan United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Abrams has served in three Republican administrations. Abrams is a controversial nominee whose respect for human rights has been questioned following his support for soldiers accused of mass killings in Latin America in the 1980s. In 1991 he pleaded guilty to withholding information about the Iran-Contra affair. He was sentenced to two years probation and 100 hours of community service. However, Abrams’ crimes were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. Jack Forrest reports for CNN.
Four people were shot dead in the city of Philadelphia late yesterday. Two children aged two and 13 were also injured in the attack. The suspected gunman is now in custody, and a rifle and handgun have been recovered. BBC News reports.
Section 702, which allows the government to collect domestic communications of targeted foreigners abroad without a warrant, may not be reauthorized in December as Republicans step up their attacks on the FBI. Democrats, who have long resisted the program, may now be joined by traditionally-supportive Republicans. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who is leading a special House investigation into the “weaponization” of government against conservatives, has said he would not reauthorize the program in its current form. Karoun Demirjian reports for the New York Times.
Former President Trump’s lawyers have become the focus of special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, people familiar with the matter said. Subpoenas have been issued and questions asked of key figures, including Sidney Powell, a pro-Trump lawyer who spread baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. The subpoenas have also requested communications with Emily Newman and Mike Roman. Roman headed Election Day operations for the Trump campaign and dispatched lawyers to swing states before November 2020. C. Ryan Barber and Sadie Gurman report for the Wall Street Journal.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will address a global summit for the first time since the paramilitary organization Wagner group launched its armed action in Russia. Putin will join leaders from China, India, Pakistan, and four Central Asian countries virtually for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit today. The summit will be an opportunity for Putin to show that he is still a credible figure on the global stage despite the Ukraine war and the armed action. Vikas Pandey reports for BBC News.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia yesterday of using Georgia’s government to kill the former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. Saakashvili sought to distance his country from Russia and later became a Ukrainian citizen. He has been serving a six-year sentence in Georgia on charges related to abuse of power that he says are politically motivated. Saakashvili appeared frail during a remote court appearance aired on Georgian television yesterday, renewing concerns raised by human rights groups and European leaders about his treatment in prison. Anushka Patil reports for the New York Times.
Yevgeny Prigozhin’s failed armed action in Russia reversed a steady rise in opinion polls that had made him one of Russia’s most popular wartime leaders, two surveys conducted by Russian Field, a nonpartisan Moscow-based research company, show. However, nearly 30 percent of Russians continue to view him positively. Anatoly Kurmanaev reports for the New York Times.
The paramilitary organization Wagner group will stop hiring for a month as its forces move to Belarus. A Telegram channel the company uses for hiring said its forces would not fight in Ukraine as they shift operations from Russia. Bryan Pietsch, Leo Sands, Shera Avi-Yonah, Ben Brasch, and Kyle Rempfer report for the Washington Post.
Russia today said that Ukraine had attacked Moscow with at least five drones that were all either shot down or jammed. Flights had to be rerouted at one of Moscow’s main airports for several hours due to the attack. Guy Faulconbridge and Lidia Kelly report for Reuters.