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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that his country has launched its “second war for independence” against Hamas. Further details of Israel’s military ground assault remain shrouded in secrecy, including their soldier numbers, artillery stock, and how far into Gaza they have reached. The U.N. said that the ground operations coincided with “the most intense Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling” since the war broke out three weeks ago. Shira Rubin, William Booth, and Ilan Ben Zion report for the Washington Post.
Concern rises for patients and staff at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. In a voice note, Dr Marwan Abusada said that 55,000 internally displaced people are “occupying each square metre” of the hospital, with patients “invading” its corridors. Around 100 patients were moved to other hospitals over the weekend, but the situation in the hospital remains “catastrophic,” said Dr. Abusada. Israel’s military has claimed that Hamas’ main base is underneath the Al Shifa hospital, although Hamas rejects that claim. Staff at the hospital have called for it to be protected following reports that Israeli warplanes had carried out strikes near the hospital last night. BBC News reports.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an apology after he blamed Israel’s security establishment for failing to warn of the Oct. 7 attacks or effectively stop it. In a deleted comment made on X, formerly Twitter, Netanyahu placed blame with his country’s security echelon and intelligence forces. The post was met with widespread uproar in Israel. Netanyahu has since issued a new post on the social media platform, admitting he was wrong. Isabel Kershner reports for the New York Times.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas following his promise to do everything possible to return them home safely. He added that returning hostages was an “integral” part of the military’s objectives, and that “pressure is key” in fulfilling this aim. The meeting comes after the Israeli war cabinet discussed exchanging prisoners held in Israel for the hostages, although further details have not yet been provided. David Gritten reports for BBC News.
Thousands of people in Gaza raided a U.N. food warehouse, according to the U.N. yesterday. It claimed that “civil order” was disintegrating in the area. Federica Di Sario reports for POLITICO.
Hostage-release discussions have been stalled after Hamas demanded that Israel permit fuel deliveries to Gaza. A former U.S. official claimed that while talks were going well on Thursday, negotiations broke down on Friday. Public statements by the White House announced support for pauses to allow resources in, as well as to allow people out. “That includes pushing for fuel to get in and for the restoration of electrical power,” John Kirby, the White House National Security Council spokesperson added. Keir Simmons, Ken Dilanian and Josh Lederman report for NBC News.
An anonymous senior U.S. official claimed the United States pressured Israel to restore internet and cellular connectivity in the Gaza Strip. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity, claiming the Biden administration “made it clear [communications] had to be turned back on.” The Washington Post reports.
Israel vowed to fight Elon Musk’s promise to provide Starlink satellite service to Gaza aid organizations as the region continues to suffer internet connectivity disruption. In response, Israeli Minister of Communications Shlomo Karhi claimed in a post on X that Hamas will “use it for terrorist activities.” Communications within and from the Gaza strip remain an issue following an initial two-day blackout of cellular and internet services amid heavy Israeli bombardment. Communication systems were gradually restored yesterday in Gaza. Eyad Kourdi, Zahid Mahmood, and Kyle Blaine report for CNN News.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi yesterday said on X that Israel had “crossed the red lines, which may force everyone to take action,” raising fears of a wider regional war involving Iran and its proxy forces in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Iran warned last week that it could launch a missile at Haifa, northern Israel, if the Israeli defense forces engage in a full ground offensive into Gaza. Sanam Vakil, the director of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House, a London-based think tank, claims “there is a real risk of escalation.” Alexander Smith reports for NBC News.
Chinese internet and state media sees a drastic increase in antisemitism and anti-Israeli sentiments. The issue may jeopardize Beijing’s self-proclaimed neutrality in the Israel-Hamas war, as its envoy travels to the Middle East to discuss the conflict. A Chinese-state-run newspaper published a story declaring the United States was on the “wrong side of history in Gaza” and that they are “blindly backing Israel.” Daisuke Wakabayashi, Tiffany May and Claire Fu report for the New York Times.
The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today to discuss Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza. The U.A.E., who is currently the only Arab country of the Council, will look for a resolution from other members for an “immediate humanitarian pause” in the fighting. The meeting comes after 120 countries voted for a U.N. resolution on Friday, which called for a “sustained humanitarian truce” in Gaza. The United States was one of 14 countries that voted against the resolution, with 45 countries abstaining. Becky Anderson and Richard Roth report for CNN.
Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah claimed yesterday that it shot down an Israeli drone in southern Lebanon, as tensions at the Israeli-Lebanon border increase. The drone was hit around 5km from the border. The Israeli army and Hezbollah have exchanged fire on a daily basis since the start of the Israel-Hamas war three weeks ago. Some 46 Hezbollah fighters have been killed, while Israel’s military says at least seven of its soldiers have died. Laila Bassam, Tom Perry, Nayera Abdallah and Younes el Audi report for Reuters.
Israel withdraws its diplomats from Turkey after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke out against Israel at a pro-Palestinian rally. Erdogan called for a cease-fire at a demonstration involving hundreds of thousands of supporters, stating, “Israel has been openly committing war crimes for 22 days.” “We will tell the whole world that Israel is a war criminal…we are making preparations for this,” he added. Nick Robertson and Sarah Polus report for The Hill.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – GLOBAL RESPONSE
A large crowd of people stormed the Russian airport of Makhachkala waving Palestinian flags, swarming onto the runway, surrounding aircraft, shouting antisemitic slogans, and hunting for people arriving on a flight from Tel Aviv. Russia’s aviation agency said its security forces managed to control the situation, although the airport will remain closed until tomorrow. Twenty people were injured, including some police officers, and 60 demonstrators were arrested. Oliver Slow and Laurence Peter report for BBC News.
Sudan’s army has detained children who were “forced” to fight alongside the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). State-owned Sudan TV claims there are a number of children being held in northern Khartoum. Fighting between the two groups continues as the RSF claimed on Saturday that 260 Sudanese army soldiers joined its forces. BBC News reports.
Russian air defenses shot down 36 Ukrainian drones over the Crimean peninsula and the Black Sea on Saturday. Local authorities in the southern Krasnodar region, which borders the Black Sea, claimed a fire broke out at an oil refinery early yesterday. “The reasons for the incident are being established,” their statement announced, although there are claims that debris from the drones may have played a role. CNBC reports.
Moscow says it is preparing to confiscate assets of “unfriendly” E.U. nations if the E.U. pushes ahead with seizing profits from frozen Russian holdings. The warning came from Vyacheslav Volodin, head of the lower house of Russia’s parliament, after the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that the E.U. is seeking to sanction Russian state assets to help Ukraine. Volodin claimed that if the E.U. continues with its plan, E.U countries would suffer more economic hardship than Moscow. Federica Di Sario reports for POLITICO.
The United States is producing weapons which combine western-caliber missiles with refitted Soviet-era launchers to help Ukraine with the ongoing war. As another wartime winter looms, Ukrainian officials require more air defenses to protect their power grids from Russian air strikes which could result in total blackouts. Officials confirmed that variants of the weapons have been tested on U.S. military bases over the past few months, with deliveries to Ukraine expected this fall. Lara Jakes reports for the New York Times.
Iranian-backed militants launched drone attacks on U.S. troops in western Iraq just hours after the United States struck Iranian-linked facilities in Syria on Friday, raising fears of escalation. Air defense systems thwarted the attack, with no damage or casualties reported. Pentagon officials also said rockets were fired into northern Syria on Friday, but landed far from American troops. Some U.S. lawmakers and experts have said the U.S. response last week did not go far enough to deter Iran’s actions. Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper report for the New York Times.
A meeting between President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been agreed upon “in principle” following a meeting between Biden and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last week. If it goes ahead, the summit between Biden and Xi will occur in San Francisco next month. The meeting would be a chance to repairties following months of tension. Charles Hutzler reports for the Wall Street Journal.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
Judge Tanya Chutkan, overseeing former President Trump’s federal election interference case, yesterday reinstated a gag order blocking Trump from publicly criticizing prosecutors, potential witnesses, and court staff. The decision comes after Trump was fined again for violating a gag order in his New York civil fraud trial last week. C. Ryan Barber reports for the Wall Street Journal.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – MASS SHOOTINGS
Robert Card, the Lewiston mass shooter, has been found dead following a three-day search. Card is suspected of killing 18 people at a bowling alley and a restaurant. His death appears to have been caused by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Holly Honderich in Maine, and Max Matza reports for BBC News.
Police in Maine received a state-wide alert in September about Robert Card, the Lewiston mass shooter, after he made “veiled threats” to soldiers at his base. However, no further action was taken after patrols at the base were increased and Card’s home was visited. The FBI said it had not received any information about Card before the mass shooting. He was previously committed to a mental health facility after “hearing voices” and threatening to “shoot up” a military base, police said after the shooting. Maine has a “yellow-flag” law, allowing police to ask a judge to take a person’s firearms if that person is deemed to be a threat by a medical practitioner. Bernard Condon and Jim Mustian report for AP News.
At least 11 people have been killed in several mass shootings over the Halloween weekend, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The United States has had over 500 mass shootings in 2023 so far. Shauneen Miranda reports for Axios.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
President Biden will outline the federal government’s first regulations on A.I. in an executive order expected today. The regulations will require A.I. systems to be tested to ensure they cannot produce biological or nuclear weapons. To tackle the rise of “deep fakes,” the regulation will also recommend that A.I.-generated visual content contain a watermark. A.I. regulations regarding national security will be outlined separately by next summer in the National Security Memorandum, a document expected to be partly classified. David E. Sanger and Cecilia Kang report for the New York Times.
Cornell University campus police were guarding the Center for Jewish Living yesterday following online threats against Jewish students. Some of the threats, which were posted on an online discussion forum, included calls to kill Jewish students. Cornell president Martha E. Pollack said, “We will work to ensure that the person or people who posted them are punished to the full extent of the law.” Christopher Maag reports for the New York Times.
Representative George Santos (R-NY) on Friday pleaded not guilty to 10 additional federal charges, including wire fraud and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission. Santos faces a vote in Congress this week that could lead to his expulsion. His criminal trial has been set for Sep. 9, 2024. Kayla Epstein reports for BBC News.