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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the weekend. Here’s today’s news
Israeli fighter jets struck 450 Hamas targets in Gaza in the past 24 hours, as troops also seized a militant compound, according to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). The IDF said it struck “tunnels, terrorists, military compounds, observation posts, and anti-tank missile launch posts.” A senior Hamas Commander, Jamal Mussa, who led Hamas’ special security operations, was among those killed, according to the IDF. Nidal Al-Mughrabi reports for Reuters.
The Israeli military has divided the northern and southern parts of Gaza as the region suffers a third outage of communications since the war broke out. Rear-Admiral Daniel Hagari called it a “significant stage’ in the war as Israeli troops are expected to enter Gaza City either today or tomorrow after having completely encircled the region. Meanwhile a U.N. Palestinian refugee agency spokesperson said they have “lost communication with the vast majority of the UNRWA team members” due to the telecoms blackout. Najib Jobain, Wafaa Shurafa And Kareem Cheyeb report for AP News.
The Rafah border crossing has been closed since Saturday following an Israeli strike on Friday on an ambulance in Gaza being used to transport wounded people, Egyptian official sources say. The Israeli military alleged the vehicle was carrying Hamas militants, although no evidence has been provided. The Rafah crossing,the only exit point not controlled by Israel,was opened under an internationally brokered deal last Wednesday. Yusri Mohamed, Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, Simon Lewis,Aidan Lewis, Andrew Mills and Nafisa Eltahir report for Reuters.
Dozens were killed and many more were injured following an Israeli airstrike at the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip late Saturday, according to eyewitnesses. The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza said 47 people were killed, although the director of the local Al-Aqsa hospital Dr Eyad Abu Zaher said 52 people had been killed. Kareem Khadder, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Kathleen Magramo report for CNN.
Israeli airstrikes in the Bureij refugee camp on Thursday killed at least 15 people with many others buried in the rubble, according to Gaza’s Civil Defense. Bureij, which is located in central Gaza – an area home to around 46,000 people – where Israel had urged people to go to stay safe from heavy fighting further north.The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said that airstrikes across Gaza targeted Hamas military command centers hidden amongst civilian areas, although their statement did not reference Bureji specifically. Julia Frankel reports for ABC News.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that he “refuses a temporary cease-fire that does not include the freeing of our hostages” and that “Israel does not allow the entry of fuel into the Gaza strip.” Vivian Salama and Margherita Stancati report for the Wall Street Journal.
The U.N. reports unprecedented levels of Palestinian displacement, with over 1,100 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank having been displaced since 2022 primarily due to a rise in Israeli settler violence, according to a report released last thursday. The report documented approximately three settler-related incidents per day in the West Bank – the highest since the U.N.’s analysis began in 2006. Julia Frankel reports for AP News.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – REGIONAL RESPONSE
Jordan air dropped medical aid to Gaza today as King Abdullah II says it is “our duty to aid our brothers and sisters in the war on Gaza…we will always be there for our Palestinian brethren.” The comments – made via X, formerly twitter – come after Jordan announced it had recalled its ambassador from Israel last week. Summer Said reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah says Israel “will pay the price for its crimes against civilians,” after an Israeli strike on a car in south Lebanon killed three children and their grandmother yesterday, Lebanese authorities said. Hezbollah fired grad rockets at Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel in response, marking the first use of anti-aircraft missiles during the four weeks of clashes. Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli military said it intercepted a drone over Lebanese territory which was flying to Israel, and that an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon hit the Yiftah region in Northern Israel. Reuters reports.
Hundreds of people gathered at a pro-Palestinian demonstration yesterday at the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds. The air base houses U.S troops and the demonstration took place just hours before the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was due in Ankara. It is understood that the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, an Islamist Turkish aid agency, organized the protest. By Dilara Senkaya and Mehmet Emin Caliskan report for Reuters.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
China’s foreign ministry said it “will do its utmost to encourage the Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities, play its role, build consensus and take responsible and meaningful actions as soon as possible to ease the current crisis and safeguard the safety of civilians,” ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a news conference. China’s special envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun, has just finished a tour of the region, as China took over the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council last week. The presidency rotates among the 15 member states each month, with China last holding the presidency in August 2022. Bernard Orr reports for Reuters.
France is in discussion with Egypt to open a medical facility which would include surgical units for those seriously wounded in the Gaza strip, France’s defense minister said today. Paris is due to host an international humanitarian conference later this week as it seeks to coordinate aid efforts. Egypt has prepared its own field hospital around nine miles from the Rafah crossing, with France having sent a Tonnerre helicopter to Gaza with the aim of aiding Gaza hospitals. Military sources say the helicopter is ill-equipped to offer medical assistance, although the French military is due to send a helicopter with advanced medical facilities in the next ten days. John Irish reports for Reuters.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – U.S. RESPONSE
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit last Friday about “concrete steps” Israel could and should take to reduce civilian deaths. Blinken said Israel can follow his guidance “while still achieving its objectives of finding and finishing Hamas terrorists.” Anonymous U.S. officials said the steps included gathering more intelligence on Hamas, using smaller bombs to collapse the tunnel network, and deploying ground forces to separate the civilians from the militant-known locations. Adam Entous, Eric Schmitt and Julian E.Barnes report for the New York Times.
Blinken made an unannounced visit to Iraq yesterday during his visit through the Middle East. Blinken met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, and also received a security briefing at a U.S. embassy visit. Blinken said the meeting was “productive” and that both countries have a “shared purpose and commitment” in preventing Iranian-backed militia attacks. Al-Sudani is “working with his own security forces and others to take necessary action” to prevent any further attacks, Blinken said. Jennifer Hansler reports for CNN.
Blinken also met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah yesterday amid rising violence in the West Bank. It marks Blinken’s first visit to Ramallah, although Abbas and Blinken met twice last month in Jordan. A senior State Department official said that Blinken told Abbas how he “pressed Israel to minimize civilian harm” and gave updates on the work undertaken to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza and get “essential services restored.” The official confirmed that future governance of Gaza “was very much not the focus of the conversation.” Jennifer Hansler reports for CNN.
The U.S. military said an Ohio-class guided missile submarine (SSGN) has arrived in the Middle East, in a rare announcement likely viewed as a message of deterrence directed at Iran and its proxies amid escalating tensions. The SSGN, of which the U.S. Navy only has four, are former ballistic missile submarines that can carry almost four times the load of the newest Navy’s attack submarines. It joins other U.S. Navy assets in the region, including two carrier strike groups. Oren Liebermann and Brad Lendon report for CNN.
The C.I.A. Director William J. Burns arrived in Israel yesterday for intelligence-sharing discussions, marking the first stop in his trip to the Middle East. Discussions are expected to include hostage negotiations, intelligence cooperation, and the importance of preventing a regional escalation of the war. Julian E. Barnes reports for the New York Times.
Over 300 Americans and their family members have evacuated Gaza, although U.S. citizens remain trapped in the enclave as hostage negotiations continue, a White House official confirmed yesterday. Doina Chiacu and Jarrett Renshaw report for Reuters.
Armed jailbreak in Guinea kills at least nine, as former military ruler Moussa Dadis Camara and three other officials escape out of Conakry’s Central House prison, prompting a nationwide manhunt. It is understood that Camara was located and returned to the prison by the end of the day. Camara and others have been on trial since last year, accused of mass rape and orchestrating a stadium massacre which resulted in 150 people killed in a pro-democracy rally in 2009. Saliou Samb and Sofia Christensen report for Reuters.
The Philippines hopes to sign a troops pact with Japan at “the soonest possible time,” as negotiations on a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) – which would allow both countries to deploy forces on each other’s soil – are due to begin, Manila’s Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro said today. “We look forward to this reciprocal access agreement between both our countries given the commitment of the Japanese government and the Philippine government to preserve the rules-based international order and international law,” Teodoro confirmed in a press briefing. The agreement will need to be submitted to the Japanese legislature and the Philippines Senate for ratification once it is sealed. Mikhail Flores and Karen Lema report for Reuters.
The Australian Prime Minister Antony Albanese met with Chinese President Xi Jinping marking the first Australian leader visit to China since 2016. The visit comes after a history of security and trade disputes, as Albanese calls for the removal of Chinese tariffs on Australian goods. “What I’ve said is that we need to co-operate with China where we can, disagree where we must and engage in our national interest,” Albanese told reporters in China today ahead of the meeting. Hannah Ritchie reports for BBC News.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense released a video yesterday appearing to show a nuclear-capable ballistic missile being test-fired from its newest nuclear submarine. The video was posted alongside a statement by the ministry saying “as part of the final stage of the state testing programme, the new nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine…successfully launched a sea-based intercontinental ballistic missile Bulava from the White Sea.” The launch comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin withdrew last week from the global treaty banning the live testing of nuclear weapons. Holly Ellyatt reports for CNBC.
Ukraine has begun a criminal investigation after 19 soldiers attending an “awards ceremony” near the Zaporizhzia region were killed in a Russian missile attack on Friday. “Our best fighters have been killed,” the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade said in a statement, as Ukrainian President Voloydmyr Zelenskyy claims the incident “could have been avoided.” There is widespread disbelief that the ceremony was allowed to go ahead so close to the front line, as military experts claim Ukrainian soldiers should have known that Russian drones constantly monitor frontline activity. Jaroslav Lukiv reports for BBC News.
Russia attacked the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa last night, wounding at least eight people according to officials, damaging a 124 year old art museum and setting ablaze trucks carrying grain. Odessa Governor Oleh Kiper said 15 drones targeted the port infrastructure, and that the drones were launched from the Crimean peninsula. The head of the president’s office, Andriy Yermak, suggested the attack was a response to Ukrainian strikes on Crimea, adding that “this is their despicable answer to the reality – the Ukrainian Crimea will be demilitarized, without the Black Sea fleet and military bases of the Russians.” The damaged museum was home to 10,000 pieces of art before the war. Olena Harmash and Lidia Kelly report for Reuters.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
A gag order which prohibited former President Donald Trump from making statements about potential witnesses or hostile comments about prosecutors involved in the federal election case against him has been temporarily paused by a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit. The gag order will be stayed until the court hears Trump’s arguments for his request for it to be permanently removed, currently scheduled for Nov. 20. Trump’s attorneys argued the gag order violated his First Amendment rights. Daniel Barnes and Zoë Richards report for NBC News.
Former President Donald Trump is set to take the stand today to testify in his civil fraud trial. Trump’s testimony is the first opportunity to see his responses and reactions to being cross-examined. Trump’s sons, who are co defendants, testified last week. Judge Arthur Engoron already ruled before the trial that Trump and his sons were liable for “persistent and repeated” fraud, but the attorney general’s office is looking to prove six other claims relating to falsifying business records, insurance fraud and issuing false financial statements, amongst other charges. Jeremy Herb reports for CNN.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
A Stanford University student who was struck in a hit-and-run which authorities are investigating as a hate crime has called for people to “collectively denounce hatred, bigotry, and violence.” Abdulwaha Omira, an Arab Muslim, was struck by a white man who he said shouted a comment aimed at Omira “and his people” while accelerating towards him. The incident marks the second potential hate incident at a university since the war broke out on Oct.7, with the earlier incident relating to a Cornell student, who has since been federally charged with making antisemitic threats. Rebecca Cohen reports for NBC News.
The U.S Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) accused President Joe Biden of supporting a “genocide” against Palestinians. In a video clip shared on X, formerly Twitter, Tlaib showed images of the dead and wounded from the Gaza bombings, as well as clips of Biden declaring support for Israel. The White House did not comment but said they “support humanitarian pauses in the fighting in order to get life-saving humanitarian aid [into] Gaza…what we do not support are calls for Israel to stop defending itself from Hamas terrorists.” Lucia Mutikani and Jarrett Renshaw report for Reuters.