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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
Israel yesterday ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza. Israel mobilized 300,000 military reservists, as a major ground operation is expected. The mobilization comes after over 900 people were killed and 2,600 wounded in Israel since Saturday. Hamas is believed to be holding about 150 hostages. At least 687 Palestinians have been killed and 3,726 injured, the authorities in Gaza said. Isabel Kershner, Aaron Boxerman, and Hiba Yazbek report for the New York Times.
Israel says it regained control of the border with Gaza. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, a spokesperson for the Israeli military, said there had been no border incursions from Gaza yesterday. Owen Amos reports for BBC News.
Israel was underprepared for Hamas’ surprise attack because its focus on high-tech surveillance was blind to the rudimentary tactics used by Hamas militants in their ground assault, according to military analysts. Additionally, the Israeli Defense Forces were focused on the West Bank, not Gaza, while Israeli intelligence warned of a threat from Hezbollah, Hamas’ ally in Lebanon, military analysts said. Rory Jones and Dion Nissenbaum report for the Wall Street Journal.
Pro-Hamas hackers have launched cyber-attacks on Israel. Some attacks put websites offline. Other cyber attacks targeted an Israeli app that warns residents of incoming rocket strikes, sending fake warnings. Earlier this year, Microsoft said a hacking group in Gaza sent malware to energy, defense, and telecommunications companies inside Israel. Joseph Menn reports for the Washington Post.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militant group in Lebanon, fired more rockets and artillery at Israel after three of its fighters were killed in a cross-border exchange. Israeli forces struck targets yesterday in Lebanon after an Islamic Jihad raid killed one Israeli soldier and injured six others. The deaths have sparked fears that Hezbollah might open another front against Israel in this conflict. Brad Dress reports for The Hill.
The U.A.E. has warned the Syrian regime not to intervene in the Hamas-Israel war, according to two sources. The U.A.E. has the closest ties with Syria among Arab states. The U.A.E. also has close relations with Israel following the Abraham Accords. News of the diplomatic effort came as leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., and the United States said, “[T]his is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage.” Barak Ravid reports for Axios.
The E.U. backtracked its announcement that transfers of development aid for Palestinians, totaling $729 million, had been suspended in response to Hamas’ surprise attack. The move drew criticism from member states who warned against cutting off aid needed by Palestinian civilians. Questions were also raised about whether the E.U. executive branch had the authority to suspend transfers. The E.U. executive then stated, “As there were no payments foreseen, there will be no suspension of payments.” Josep Borrell, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, sowed further confusion when he said the E.U. would not suspend “due payments,” indicating that some payments are expected. While the discrepancy has not been explained, the E.U. confirmed that separate humanitarian aid would continue. Barbara Moens and Suzanne Lynch report for POLITICO.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – U.S. RESPONSE
At least 11 U.S. nationals have been killed in Israel following the surprise attack by Hamas, President Biden said yesterday. Biden added, “We believe it is likely that American citizens may be among those being held by Hamas.” The Pentagon has offered Israel the assistance of its Special Operations forces in planning and surveillance for hostage recovery efforts. The FBI, among other agencies, is also monitoring for any domestic threats inside the United States following the attack on Israel. Zach Montague reports for the New York Times.
General Charles Q. Brown, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Iran not to get involved in the crisis in Israel. “We do not want this to broaden, and the idea is for Iran to get that message loud and clear,” Brown told reporters. Idrees Ali reports for Reuters.
Twenty-nine people have been killed in a displaced persons camp following artillery strikes in Myanmar yesterday night. The camp is located near the base of an insurgent group fighting the military junta. BBC News reports.
Kenya’s high court has blocked the government’s planned deployment of police officers to Haiti. A petition to the court claims the deployment would be unconstitutional. One of the petitioners, former presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot, said the 1,000 officers should not be deployed until domestic unrest was resolved. Seven people died in ethnic clashes in Kenya last week. Ian Wafula reports for BBC News.
The Biden administration may attach Ukraine funding to a request for urgent aid to Israel, according to several sources. The pairing could increase the chance that Congress approves aid to Ukraine amid growing Republican opposition. No final decision has yet been made about whether to link both requests. Analysts have warned that the Biden administration needs to be cautious of appearing to play political games at a time when Israel needs help. Yasmeen Abutaleb, John Hudson, Jeff Stein, and Leigh Ann Caldwell report for the Washington Post.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) expressed hopes of “peaceful coexistence” between China and the United States during his visit to Beijing yesterday. “We have 1,000 reasons to make China-U.S. relations work well and not a single reason to make China-U.S. relations bad,” Chinese Premier Xi Jinping said. The warm exchange increases expectations that President Biden and Xi will meet in November. Schumer earlier expressed concern about China’s lack of sympathy for Israel following Hamas’ surprise attack. China and Israel maintain trade and investment ties. However, their relationship is restrained by Israel’s U.S. alignment and China’s ties to Iran. David Pierson and Vivian Wang report for the New York Times.
The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is expected to reach the port of Busan in South Korea on Thursday, as Seoul says North Korea poses a more significant threat. Hyunsu Yim reports for Reuters.
Vietnam-backed hackers attempted to install spyware on the phones of high-profile targets, including U.S. lawmakers and U.N. officials, Amnesty International said in a report yesterday.
President Biden was interviewed by Robert Hur, the special counsel investigating how classified documents improperly ended up at Biden’s home and office. The voluntary interview suggests Hur is nearing the end of his investigation. While the investigation has proceeded relatively quietly, Hur appears to have exhaustively interviewed everyone with knowledge of the documents. Charlie Savage reports for the New York Times.
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has not ruled out the possibility that he might be open to resuming his speakership. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) are vying for the speakership. Republicans are set to choose someone to fill the leadership role at a time of immense turmoil in the Middle East. Luke Broadwater reports for the New York Times.
The man who crashed his car into the Chinese consulate in San Francisco yesterday was shot dead by police. No injuries have been reported from inside the consulate. Police have opened an investigation, but little is yet known. Kelly Ng reports for BBC News.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the anti-vaccine activist, launched his presidential bid as an independent, drawing Republican criticism yesterday. The Republican backlash reflects the party’s concerns that the former Democrat could take votes from former President Trump in 2024. Democrats have been dismissive of Kennedy’s primary campaign, with President Biden’s allies viewing it as unserious. Ali Swenson reports for AP News.