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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 rejected calls for a cease-fire yesterday, saying that while the Bible says there is a time for peace, “this is a time for war.” Netanyahu drew parallels to the United States saying “just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or after the terrorist attacks of 9/11…Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7.” When questioned whether he has thought of stepping down, Netanyahu replied the only thing he would resign is Hamas. Kyle Blaine reports for CNN.
Israel has attacked Hamas gunmen inside the tunnel network beneath Gaza as it expands ground operations inside Gaza. The Israel Defence Forces said in a statement that their combat forces struck “approximately 300 targets including anti-tank missile and rocket launch posts below shafts, as well as military compounds inside underground tunnels belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization.” Nidal Al-Mughrabi and Emily Rose report for Reuters.
As Israeli troops focus on northern Gaza, 800,000 Palestinians are estimated to have fled south. The U.N agency for Palestinian refugees known as UNRWA says that approximately 672,000 Palestinians are sheltering in schools and other building facilities, which it says is four times their capacity. The head of the UNRWA accused Israel of “collective punishment” of Palestinians. Wafaa Shurafa and Samy Magdy report for AP News.
The Israeli military confirmed yesterday they have rescued an Israeli soldier who has been held hostage by Hamas since Oct. 7. Ori Megidish, 19, was rescued late Sunday night, according to Israeli military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus. He confirmed Megedish is in good health. Johnathan Reiss and Patrick Kingsley write for the New York Times.
The U.N. announced that Palestinian attacks in the West Bank are increasing, with at least 115 killed, more than 2,000 injured, and nearly 1,000 others forcibly displaced by Israeli forces and settlers. Among the death toll are 33 children, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The West Bank violence has increased significantly over the past three weeks, with rates of violent incidents doubling since the beginning of 2023. Maria Abi-Habib and Rami Nazzal report for the New York Times.
A Reuters reporter in Lebanon was killed by an Israeli “targeted” attack in southern Lebanon on Oct. 13, Reporters Without Borders said on Sunday following an initial investigation. Six other journalists from Al Jazeera, Agence France-Presse and Reuters were also injured in the attack. Euan Ward and Gaya Gupta report for the New York Times.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – REGIONAL RESPONSE
The Lebanese army claimed yesterday it found 21 rocket launchers set up by Iranian-backed militant group Lebanese Hezbollah on the side of its border with Israel. The launchers were all dismantled, although one was fitted with a rocket ready to be fired, the Lebanese army claimed. It comes after Hezbollah said yesterday it attacked two Israeli posts, with Israel’s military confirming they returned fire into Lebanon. No injuries were reported. Summer Said reports for the Wall Street Journal.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
The U.N. yesterday called for the opening of the Israel-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing to allow aid into Gaza. U.N. officials said the crossing is the only one able to “rapidly process a sufficiently large number of trucks” carrying humanitarian supplies into Gaza. Since Oct.21, aid deliveries have been made through the Rafah crossing, which borders Egypt. “More than one entry point into Gaza is indispensable if we are to make a difference,” the U.N. spokesperson said. Kelsey Ables reports for the Washington Post.
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a plan yesterday to provide a standalone $14.3 billion aid to Israel by slashing funding for the Internal Revenue Service, in a move which could create a showdown with the Democrat-controlled Senate. It marks one of the first significant policies under newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson. In response, the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has accused Republicans of “politicizing national security.” Patricia Zengerle reports for Reuters.
Pakistan’s deadline for undocumented migrants to leave the country by tomorrow will see 1.7 million people expelled to Taliban rule. The Taliban government said 60,000 Afghans returned from Pakistan between September to October alone, following the announcement by Pakistan on October 4. Afghans make up the largest proportion of undocumented migrants in Pakistan. The announcement came after the Pakistani government blamed the Afghans – without evidence – for the suicide bombings earlier this year and other militant attacks. Ariba Shahid reports for Reuters.
Spain delivered six drones to Senegal and plans to deploy security personnel to help tackle its migration crisis, according to Spain’s acting Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska. Grande-Marlaska said the drones are created to detect vessels departing the area so they can be intercepted. Both countries acknowledge the voyage between them is one of the deadliest possible, as Spain’s Canary Islands’ migrant population from West Africa reached a record high this year. Joan Faus, Corina Rodriguez and Ngouda Dione report for Reuters.
Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) seized an airport from the army in the state of West Kordofan yesterday. The Belila airport had been used by the army to launch warplanes. Nearby Belila oil oilfield – which produces up to 12,000 barrels of oil per day – saw the evacuation of employees on Sunday. The International Committee of the Red Cross said yesterday it had assisted with the release of 64 army personnel who were detained by the RSF. The Sudanese army declined to comment. Reuters reports.
Dozens have been killed by drone strikes and house searches in Amhara, Ethiopia, according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The fighting erupted in July between local militia and state forces, as the government is accused of marginalizing the region. While 183 people were killed in the first month, connection with the region has been unstable, which has prevented updates on the situation. The EHRC report accuses the government of committing extrajudicial killings against ordinary civilians arrested from house searches or taken from the streets, who are later accused of assisting the militiamen. Dawit Endeshaw reports for Reuters.
World leaders are gathering in the U.K. for the global AI Safety Summit which begins tomorrow. Attendees include U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Sunak has previously warned that “humanity could lose control of AI completely,” as he placed his country as the world’s third leading AI power, behind the United States and China. The summit comes after the White House issued a new executive order on AI yesterday. Cat Zakrzewski, Anthony Faiola and Gerrit De Vynck report for the Washington Post.
Nine people including two young children were shot dead in their house in the eastern Ukrainian town of Volnovakha, as both Russia and Ukraine begin separate investigations into the attack. Ukrainian officials believe Russian troops killed the entire Kapnkanets family on 27 Oct. for refusing to vacate their home. Ukrainian ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets added that “Russians’ bloodied hands were involved,” while Russia’s official Investigations Committee said in a statement that “the motive for the crime was a domestic conflict.” Two male suspects have been held by Russian investigators on suspicion of being Russian soldiers from the Far East. Vitaly Shevchenko and Jaroslav Lukiv report for BBC News.
The United States has rejected Russia’s claim that an anti-Israel demonstration at a Dagestan airport on Sunday was organized by Ukraine and the West. Russian President Vladmir Putin announced yesterday that the incident was carried out to spread “chaos” in Russia, adding that “the events…were instigated through social networks, not least from Ukraine, by the hands of agents of Western special services.” In response, John Kirby, the spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, described Putin’s comments as “classic Russian rhetoric.” Christy Cooney reports for BBC News.
Russian and Chinese military officials criticized the United States at a Beijing military forum yesterday for “deliberately creat[ing] turbulence and interfer[ing] in other countries’ internal affairs.” The comment was made by Zhang Youxia, the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, who added that his country “will deepen strategic cooperation with Russia, and…on the basis of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and winning cooperation, develop military ties with the U.S.”Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu also said that “the Western policy of steady escalation of the conflict with Russia carries the threat of a direct military clash between nuclear powers.” Meaghan Tobin reports for the Washington Post.
U.S. President Joe Biden said yesterday that he intends on terminating the involvement of Gabon, Niger, Uganda and the Central African Republic in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade program. The AGOA permits export duty-free access to the U.S. market for qualifying countries. Biden said the move is as a result of “gross violations” of internationally recognized human rights by Uganda and the Central African Republic. He also referenced Gabon and Niger’s failure to make progress on protecting the rule of law and political pluralism. The termination of the designation of these countries as sub-Saharan African beneficiaries under AGOA will become effective on Jan. 1, 2024. Jasper Ward reports for Reuters.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
Colorado lawyers argued yesterday that former President Donald Trump’s role in the U.S. Capitol January 2021 assault was contrary to the Constitution’s insurrection clause, opening a hearing which could pave new grounds in constitutional law. Attorney Eric Olson argued that Trump “summoned and organized the mob.” Trump’s legal team labeled the move as Democrat efforts to prevent him reclaiming the presidency, with Trump currently in the lead of the Republican presidential primary. His lawyers argued that the case is far from simple as the Constitutional provision relied upon has not been used in 150 years. Nicholas Riccardi reports for AP News.
A man who threatened a prosecutor and sheriff for their involvement in the Georgia investigation of former President Donald Trump was indicted in a federal court yesterday. Arthur Ray Hanson II left multiple threatening messages including warnings for the Sheriff that she would “get hurt real bad” if she took a mugshot of Trump. He faces charges of transmitting interstate threats to injure. Ryan K. Buchanan, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said in a statement yesterday that the actions were “intended to interfere with the administration of justice and intimidate individuals.” Jesus Jiménez reports for the New York Times.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
A man has been charged with threatening to kill Nevada senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who he accused of being complicit in Palestinian deaths. John Anthony Miller from Las Vegas is charged with threatening a public official, after sending Rosen, who is Jewish, several antisemitic messages. One included a threat to “finish what Hitler started,” as well as promises to carry out violent retribution for the Palestinian deaths which he believes Rosen’s relatives have caused. Prosecutors say Miller also tried to see Rosen at her district office which resulted in him becoming agitated and shouting “let’s kill” Israelis when security turned him away. Glenn Thrush reports for the New York Times.