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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
The Israel Defense Forces withdrew from Jenin yesterday, following one of their most extensive military operations in the occupied West Bank. The two-day operation led to the death of 12 Palestinians, at least five of them fighters. One Israeli soldier was also killed. About 100 people have been injured, 20 of them seriously, the Palestinian health ministry said. Israeli forces uncovered underground explosives caches, confiscated 1,000 weapons, and arrested 30 suspects. Ali Sawafta reports for Reuters.
The Israel Defense Forces struck Gaza today after it successfully intercepted five rockets that were fired toward Israeli territory from Gaza, the military said. Shira Rubin, Hazem Balousha, and Niha Masih report for the Washington Post.
A Palestinian man has injured at least seven people in a car-ramming and stabbing attack in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, Israeli police say. Three of the injured were in serious condition, a police spokesperson added. The attacker was shot dead by a civilian and was identified as a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank, a known Hamas activist. David Gritten reports for BBC News.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – EUROPE
French President Emmanuel Macron said he believes the peak of rioting across the country has passed after a week of violence sparked by the fatal shooting of teenager Nahel M at a traffic stop in Paris on Jun. 27. Macron made the comments yesterday at a meeting of more than 200 mayors from areas affected by the unrest. More than 3,400 people were arrested, and the riots are estimated to have caused millions of euros worth of damage to public transport in the Paris region. Kathryn Armstrong reports for BBC News.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will remain in the post until Oct. 1, 2024. “With his steady leadership, experience, and judgment, Secretary General Stoltenberg has brought our Alliance through the most significant challenges in European security since World War II,” U.S. President Biden said. Andrew Gray reports for Reuters.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – ASIA
The International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) yesterday declared that the Japanese government’s plan to release more than one million metric tons of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean met the agency’s safety standards. Rafael Grossi, the agency’s director general, said the I.A.E.A. would open a station in Fukushima to continue reviewing the water’s safety “for decades to come” if Japan proceeds with the plan. The plan still faces opposition within Japan and from its neighbors, who have voiced safety concerns. Motoko Rich and Choe Sang-Hun report for the New York Times.
North Korea’s failed satellite was not advanced enough to perform military reconnaissance, South Korea’s military said today. The conclusions come after South Korea retrieved and studied the wreckage. Hyung-Jin Kim reports for AP News.
OTHER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS
The leaders of Russia, China, and India met on camera during a Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting, but each focused on their discrete issues rather than unity. Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to project strength after the paramilitary organization Wagner group armed action. At the same time, China’s Xi Jinping and India’s Narendra Modi focused on their rivalry with the United States and Pakistan, respectively. David Pierson, Anatoly Kurmanaev, and Sameer Yasir report for the New York Times.
Fierce battles broke out yesterday across the western part of Sudan’s capital Khartoum, as the army attempted to cut off supply routes used by the Rapid Support Forces. According to the latest U.N. figures, almost 2.8 million people have been displaced, including almost 650,000 who have crossed into neighboring countries. Reuters reports.
Ten people are dead and 38 wounded following mass shootings in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Fort Worth during the Fourth of July holiday. President Biden condemned the violence yesterday and reiterated the need for tighter gun laws. More than 340 mass shootings have happened in 2023, according to data collected by the Gun Violence Archive. Kanishka Singh and Raphael Satter report for Reuters.
District Court Judge Terry Doughty in Louisiana yesterday restricted Biden administration officials and agencies from communicating with social media companies on content moderation. The preliminary injunction is part of Republican attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri lawsuits alleging the Biden administration’s efforts to encourage social media companies to reduce disinformation is a “sprawling federal Censorship Enterprise.” The case could have significant First Amendment implications. Cat Zakrzewski reports for the Washington Post.
President Biden is facing mounting pressure from the left flank of the Democratic party and a growing part of his base to embrace far-reaching reforms to the Supreme Court. Until now, Biden has refrained from endorsing reforms, including court expansion, term limits, and mandatory retirements. Tyler Pager reports for the New York Times.
U.S. RELATIONS – CHINA
China’s export controls on raw materials used in chip making are “just a start,” the former Vice Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo has warned. The export controls that will take effect on Aug. 1 were announced just before Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s planned visit to Beijing tomorrow. Analysts said the export controls were timed to send a message to the Biden administration, which has been targeting China’s technology sector. Reuters reports.
China resolutely opposes the United States’ weapons sales to Taiwan and has lodged stern representations to Washington, China’s defense ministry said today. Last week, the State Department approved the potential sale of ammunition and logistics support to Taiwan in two deals valued at up to $440 million. Reuters reports.
OTHER U.S. RELATIONS
The United States handpicks, funds, and often sets missions for police in over a dozen developing countries where the United States believes police agencies are so riddled with corruption that they cannot be trusted. The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs says it has vetted members of 105 police units worldwide for agencies like the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. The police are assigned missions aligned with U.S. interests, ranging from heroin smuggling to passport and visa forgery to human and rare species trafficking and criminal abuse of U.S. citizens. Michael M. Phillips reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Russia is in contact with the United States regarding prisoner swaps, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said yesterday. “There are certain contacts in this regard, but we do not want to make them public in any way,” Peskov said. “They must continue in complete silence,” he added. Georgi Kantchev and Louise Radnofsky report for the Wall Street Journal.
At least 43 people, including 12 children, have been injured after a missile struck the parking lot of a residential building in the town of Pervomaisky in the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian officials said. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said there are no non-residential buildings in the area. Antoinette Radford reports for BBC News.
One person was injured as Russia’s Kursk and Belgorod regions came under fire from Ukrainian forces across the border this morning, the regions’ governors said. Reuters reports.
Russian forces placed “objects resembling explosives” on the roof of some buildings at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed yesterday. Nick Robertson reports for The Hill.
Russian investigative journalist Elena Milashina and lawyer Alexander Nemov were severely beaten by masked men in Chechnya yesterday as they attempted to attend the trial of Zarema Musayeva, the mother of an exiled opposition activist. Milashina suffered brain injuries, her fingers were broken, and she repeatedly lost consciousness, while Nemov was stabbed in the leg. Ramzan Kadyrov, the autocratic leader of Chechnya, previously called Milashina a “terrorist accomplice” for her coverage of government critics. The Russian government has acknowledged the attack and is investigating. Victoria Kim and Anatoly Kurmanaev report for the New York Times.
The potential political upheaval following the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner group’s armed action has raised Western concerns about the stability of Russia’s nuclear weapons. Calls from prominent Russians to use nuclear weapons to avoid defeat in Ukraine have been increasing. Sergei Karaganov, a former Kremlin adviser and influential Russian political scientist, has doubled down on calls for Moscow to use nuclear strikes since the armed action. Robyn Dixon reports for the Washington Post.