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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) conducted its latest “targeted raid” into Gaza yesterday. While the IDF has framed this raid as “part of preparations for the next stages of combat,” it is unclear if this raid differs from previous ones since the war broke out. BBC News reports.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday said that Israel was “preparing for a ground incursion” into Gaza but did not give a specific timeline. He added the public does not have details of the incursion, “and that’s the way it is supposed to be.” In a televised statement, the Israeli prime minister said his war cabinet was “working around the clock” to reach victory. He added the public does not have details of the incursion, “and that’s the way it is supposed to be.” Bryan Pietsch reports for the Washington Post.
U.N. fuel supplies are expected to run out in Gaza today, U.N. spokesperson Tamara Alrifai said. A lack of fuel will have severe knock-on effects, such as making water desalination impossible and limiting wheat deliveries to bakeries. “Equally important is the fuel for the generators for the electricity in hospitals for life-support machines to continue to function,” she added. Ian Sherwood reports for NBC News.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – U.S. RESPONSE
Israel has agreed for now to delay its ground invasion of Gaza in order to give the U.S. military more time to install air defenses to protect its troops in the Middle East, according to U.S. officials and people familiar with Israeli planning. The United States aims to have the air defenses in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the U.A.E as early as later this week. The United States requested the delay after its troops had already come under rocket and drone attacks from Iranian-backed militia groups. Dion Nissenbaum, Gordon Lubold, Dov Lieber, and Omar Abdel-Baqui report for the Wall Street Journal.
The House of Representatives yesterday voted 412 to 10 to pass a resolution pledging to give Israel whatever security assistance necessary to win the war with Hamas. “It condemns in the strongest possible terms the atrocities of Hamas and reiterates Israel’s right to defend herself along with America’s unwavering support for the state of Israel,” co-sponsor Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) said. The House will now decide whether funds bound for Israel are to be tied to a broader funding package including Ukraine, as President Biden hopes, or as a standalone package, as some Republicans favor. Karoun Demirjian reports for the New York Times.
President Biden reaffirmed his support for Israel yesterday, yet added that it “should be incredibly careful” to focus on those “propagating this war against Israel.” Biden also expressed alarm over the “extremist settlers” attacking Palestinians in the West Bank, whom he accused of “pouring gasoline on fire.” Biden reiterated his support for a two-state solution once the Israel-Hamas war is over. Katie Rogers reports for the New York Times.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Around 500 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants received specialized combat training in Iran as recently as September, U.S. officials and others familiar with the intelligence said. No intelligence reporting indicates Iran conducted training specifically to prepare for Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7, according to the same sources. Summer Said, Dov Lieber, and Benoit Faucon report for the Wall Street Journal.
E.U. leaders will meet in Brussels today in a bid to find a common position on a humanitarian pause in the Israel-Hamas War following weeks of apparent disunity. Member states are divided on whether to call for a ceasefire, a single humanitarian pause, or several pauses. Some countries fear calling for a ceasefire would limit Israel’s right to self-defense. Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic staunchly support Israel. Spain and Ireland have expressed concern for the Palestinians. Sofia Bettiza reports for BBC News.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel is not engaged in self-defense “but savagery,” accusing Israel of deliberately attacking civilians in Gaza. Erdogan also criticized Israel’s western supporters for branding Hamas as a terrorist organization. “It is an organization of liberation,” he said. Erdogan also canceled his planned visit to Israel. His criticism appears to end what was hoped to be a period of rapprochement. Israel’s Foreign Ministry yesterday “wholeheartedly rejected” Ergodan’s comments. Ben Hubbard and Safak Timur report for the New York Times.
Sudan’s army accepted an invitation yesterday to resume negotiations with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Jeddah, although they added they will not stop fighting. Eyewitnesses say the fighting has slowed down over the past week despite General Shams el-Din Kabbashi confirming the army “will not let bygones be bygones.” France24 reports.
Retired Taiwan Air Force colonel Liu Sheng-shu has been jailed for 20 years for running a military spy ring of informants for China. Sheng-shu was also convicted of recruiting other officers to share military secrets with Beijing, and five other Air Force and Navy officers were also jailed for six months. Prosecutors claimed he was paid for transmitting military intelligence, and in addition to his jail sentence, authorities confiscated $514,000 in illicit earnings. BBC News reports.
Robert Fico was appointed Slovakia’s prime minister yesterday after winning elections in September. His election campaign included vows to end military support for Ukraine and make foreign policy independent of E.U. partners and the United States. Fico has publicly declared his opposition to increasing the rights of transgender people, as well as his stance against political liberalism and non-governmental organizational activities. He has also outwardly praised Hungary’s right-wing leader, Viktor Oban, for defending his country’s interests. Jan Lopatka reports for Reuters.
Russia has rehearsed a “massive nuclear strike by strategic offensive forces” in a military exercise, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed. The announcement comes after Russia’s parliament yesterday de-ratified an international test ban on nuclear warheads. President Putin has previously said nuclear weapons would only be used if Russian territory was compromised or threatened. The U.S. government says there is no indication the Kremlin will use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. George Wright reports for BBC News.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claims a Russian drone attack yesterday is likely to have targeted a nuclear power station in the Khmelnytskyi region, as 20 people sustained injuries and the nuclear plant’s windows were shattered. Power lines were also damaged to off-site radiation monitoring stations. The International Atomic Energy Agency said the drone attack did not affect the plant’s connection or operation to the grid. Reuters reports.
Russian forces are continuing attempts to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka despite suffering heavy losses. The Russian military has suffered fatalities and injuries of 2,500 troops in the area over the past six days. The head of Avdiivka’s military administration, Vitaliy Barabash, dismissed claims that Russia had secured control of a large slag heap in the town, adding that “they put up flags there and tried to make some kind of spectacle.” Reuters reports.
Russian prison population plummets as up to 100,000 inmates have been sent to fight the war in Ukraine. Deputy Justice Minister Vsevolod Vukolov confirmed there are around 266,000 people in prison currently, a decrease from an estimated 420,000 inmates before the Ukraine war. Mary Ilyshina reports for the Washington Post.
Ukraine hopes to increase drone output by the end of the year, in a long-term goal to boost its defense industry in the face of the Russian war. Oleksandr Kamyshin, the defense industry minister, said at a NATO forum that he hopes Ukraine will produce “dozens of thousands [of drones] a month,” which will “grow even faster than conventional warfare ammunition and warfare weapons.” The announcement follows Ukraine entering into a joint venture with German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall, following “a new wave of interest” by the West, Kamyshin added. Yuliia Dysa reports for Reuters.
In a warning to China, President Biden yesterday reiterated the United State’s “ironclad” defense commitment to the Philippines in case of any attack in the disputed South China Sea. Biden’s comments come days after further collisions between Chinese and Philippine vessels. China responded that the United States has “no right to get involved in a problem between China and the Philippines.” Joel Guinto reports for BBC News.
President Biden yesterday said he warned Iran that if it continues to “move against” United States, “we will respond,” after U.S. troops in the Middle East came under attack by Iranian-backed militant groups. While Biden faces mounting pressure to authorize strikes on these militants, he fears such strikes could lead to a region-wide conflict. Dan Lamothe reports for the Washington Post.
President Biden met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the White House yesterday to discuss national security, climate change, and technology. The meeting projected unity on several fronts, including on Russia and Hamas. However, there was some divergence regarding China, with Biden taking a hard stance, while Albanese said Australia aims “to cooperate where we can, disagree where we must, but engage in our national interest.” Phil McCausland reports for BBC News.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
Former President Trump was fined $10,000 for breaching a gag order in his New York civil fraud case. Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed the second fine after he understood Trump’s comment, accusing the person “sitting alongside” the judge of being partisan, to be aimed at the judge’s law clerk. Engoron expressed concern that Trump’s comments could spark violence. “I don’t want anyone killed,” he added. Meanwhile, the ACLU argued that the gag order imposed on Trump in the federal election interference case is “impermissibly broad.” Jacob Gershman and C. Ryan Barber report for the Wall Street Journal.
Prosecutors in the Georgia election interference case have discussed possible plea deals with at least six additional co-defendants, multiple sources asserted. Misty Hampton, a former Coffee County elections supervisor, and ex-Trump campaign official Mike Roman have reportedly discussed plea deals. Pro-Trump lawyer Robert Cheeley turned down a plea deal, his lawyer said. Zachary Cohen, Nick Valencia, and Jason Morris report for CNN.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
Robert Card, the suspected mass shooter in Lewiston, Maine, is being hunted by police after he killed at least 16 people at a bowling alley. The death toll ranges from 16 to 22, with dozens more wounded. Card had reportedly been committed to a mental health facility over the summer. He is a trained firearms instructor and member of the U.S. Army Reserve. Daniel Trotta and Julia Harte report for Reuters.
Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) was elected speaker, securing 220 votes yesterday. Johnson is an ally of former President Trump and was a key congressional figure in Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election result. He faces several pressing issues, including whether and how to support Israel and Ukraine, as well as averting a government shutdown. Government funding expires on Nov. 17. Nicholas Riccardi reports for AP News.
Antisemitism and Islamophobia appear to be rising in the United States since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas War. Antisemitic incidents increased by 388% since the war began, compared to the same period last year, according to a new Anti-Defamation League report. The Council on American Islamic Relations has received 774 complaints in the same period. Russell Contreras reports for Axios.