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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news
Israel said its soldiers found “military equipment” at Al-Shifa hospital during their raid, as the military operation at the hospital is “still underway and will take time,” according to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari. In a statement, the IDF said “in another department in the hospital, the soldiers located an operational command center and technological assets belonging to Hamas,” the statement went on, which indicated, “that the terrorist organization uses the hospital for terrorist purposes.” Earlier yesterday, a senior Israeli defense official said they uncovered “concrete evidence that Hamas terrorists used the Shifa hospital as a terror headquarters.” Andrew Carey and Tamar Michaelis report for CNN. However, the IDF is “still searching for the tunnels beneath the hospital.” Lucy Williamson reports for BBC News.
Israeli authorities are opening a joint investigation into the crimes committed during the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks, including sexual violence allegations, a spokesperson for the Israeli police confirmed today. They said a court order is in place prohibiting the publishing of any identifiable information relating to suspects or testimony. Doha Madani reports for NBC News.
Israel struck the house of a senior Hamas leader in Gaza yesterday using fighter jets; his home was “used as terrorist infrastructure” and a “meeting place for the organization’s senior officials,” Israeli forces say. BBC News reports.
Israel says 50 of its soldiers have now been killed in Gaza since its ground invasion began in late October. BBC News reports.
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign, saying he has “lost the public’s trust.” This is the first time Lapid has urged Netanyahu to quit since the Oct. 7 attacks. “The people who are running things right are the defense establishments. This government is dysfunctional…we need to change the government,” he said. Tamar Michaelis, Andrew Carey and Sugam Pokharel report for CNN.
The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution yesterday calling for an immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to enable, consistent with international humanitarian law, the full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access for United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners.” Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative said the resolution “falls on deaf ears when it comes to Hamas,” while the Permanent Observer state of Palestine said the Security Council should have called for a cease-fire by now.
Three gunmen were attacked at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem this morning, with four others wounded and one in “very serious condition,” Israeli police say. They added that police officers shot and “neutralized” a suspect in the attack. BBC News reports.
The Hamas-run interior ministry says two Palestinians were killed this morning and a number were injured in Rafah from Israeli aircraft. BBC News reports.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – REGIONAL RESPONSE
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan labeled Israel a “terror state” and said its military campaign against Hamas included “the most treacherous attacks in human history” with “unlimited” Western support. Speaking yesterday, Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s stance that Hamas is a political party and not a terrorist organization, and he called for Israeli leaders to be tried for war crimes in The Hague. “We will never shy away from voicing the truth that Hamas members protecting their lands, honour, and lives in the face of occupation policies are resistance fighters, just because some people are uncomfortable with it. The West, namely the United States, is unfortunately still seeing this issue backwards,” he said. Huseyin Hayatsever and Tuvan Gumrukcu report for Reuters.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Canadian police dispersed a crowd of 250 pro-Palestinianian protesters at a Vancouver restaurant on Tuesday where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was dining, police confirmed yesterday. The force said that nearly 100 officers were deployed who “assisted in controlling and dispersing the crowd, while the Prime Minister was escorted out of the restaurant.” It comes after Trudeau condemned Israel’s actions on Tuesday labeling what he said to be the “killing of women, of children, of babies” in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Trudeau in a social media post saying “the forces of civilization must back Israel in defeating Hamas barbarism.” David Ljunggren reports for Reuters.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – US RESPONSE
President Biden endorsed support for Israel’s incursion into Al-Shifa hospital yesterday, saying that Hamas has committed a “war crime’ by “having their headquarters, their military, hidden under a hospital.” Biden reiterated he is confident Hamas has held a command center around and underneath the hospital, but declined to detail any evidence. Citing discussions Biden had with his national security team, he said “Israel did not go in with a large number of troops, did not raid and did not rush anyone down.” Laura Kelly reports for The Hill.
Biden said yesterday that he did not believe the Israel-Hamas war would end “until there’s a two state solution.” The comment came in response to a question about whether there is a deadline for the United States’ support for Israel, with Biden saying, “I made it clear to the Israelis I think it’s a big mistake for them to think they’re going to occupy Gaza.” Zoë Richards and Megan Lebowitz report for NBC News.
A “large group of illegal” pro-Palestinian protestors clashed with police at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington D.C. last night, according to the U.S. Capitol Police statement made on X, formerly Twitter. The Jewish group IfNotNow posted on X claiming police were being “extremely violent,” alongside video footage allegedly showing officers pushing protestors. Rebecca Cohen reports for NBC News.
President Biden labeled Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator” just moments after announcing progress on several fronts in a meeting with Xi on the sidelines of a Pacific states summit yesterday. Biden announced agreements with China on a number of issues, including the establishment of high-level military communications which will help prevent “vital miscalculations on either side,” steps to reduce Chinese chemicals utilized in US fentanyl production, and an agreement to discuss further the impact of cooperation on artificial intelligence. Myah Ward reports for POLITICO.
U.N. Human Rights Chief Volker Türk said yesterday he is “alarmed” by reports that the “arbitrary expulsion of Afghan nationals from Pakistan has been accompanied by abuse, including ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detention, destruction of property and personal belongings, and extortion.” He called on Pakistani authorities to suspend the programme “until individual assessment procedures and other safeguards by international law are in place.” The U.N. says more than 327,000 refugees have been expelled to Afghanistan from Pakistan so far, with reports of night raids, asset confiscation, arbitrary detentions, and arrests. Akanksha Sharma reports for CNN.
France has issued an arrest warrant for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the alleged use of prohibited chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, according to a judicial source. The source says two investigative judges issued four warrants against Assad and his brother Maher al-Assad on Tuesday, as well as two other senior officials for complicity in “crimes against humanity.” This is the first time a country has issued an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity against a sitting head of state. An Interpol “Red Notice” is expected to follow, which would request that worldwide law enforcement assist in locating and provisionally arresting Assad and his brother pending surrender, extradition, or similar legal action. Chris Liakos, Claudia Colliva and Dalal Mawad report for CNN.
Senior defense officials from South Korea, the United States and other nations warned North Korea over its “unlawful” nuclear missile programs, which they say violate multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. The joint statement comes after U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik for annual defense talks where both parties revised the bilateral Tailored Deterrence Strategy agreement in an effort to counter North Korea’s nuclear threats. In the statement, member states said “they will be united upon any renewal of hostilities or armed attack on the Korean Peninsula challenging the principles of the United Nations and the security of (South Korea).” Kim Tong-Hyung reports for AP News.
Russian Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov is visiting North Korea to develop “substantial cooperation” and conduct talks on the economy, as well as science and technology, North Korean state media said yesterday. Kozlov arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday and told a reception that North Korea has given “full support” for Russia on regional and international issues. Hyunsu Yim and Josh Smith report for Reuters.
Venezuela told the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that it will proceed to a referendum on Dec. 3 over its rights to the potentially oil-rich Esequiba, which is in a border dispute with Guyana. The referendum will ask Venezualans if they agree to reject the ICJ’s jurisdiction, as well as if they agree to create a state called Guyana Esequiba, whose population would be granted Venezuelan citizenship. Guyana asked the ICJ on Tuesday to issue emergency intervention and stop the vote. The ICJ is due to issue a ruling over the coming weeks, although no date has been set. Stephanie van den Berg reports for Reuters.
Paraguay and Venezuela are reestablishing diplomatic ties after relations were formally severed in January 2019, the Paraguayan Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday. The relations broke off after Paraguay supported opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. “Both parties have committed to restart bilateral relations with complete respect to the fundamental principles of equal rights, the self-determination of peoples, non-intervention in internal affairs of other states and of solidarity,” the statement said. Daniela Desnatis reports for Reuters.
Ukrainian police and prosecutors accused two politicians and a former prosecutor of treason, alleging they were members of a Russian intelligence agency which tried to link the Biden family to corruption in Ukraine several years ago. Among those accused are former Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor general Kostyantyn Kulyk, who drafted a memo suggesting Ukraine should investigate President Biden’s son in 2019 for serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. Current member of Ukrainian’s parliament Oleksandr Dubinksy and former member Andriy Derkach are also implicated The charges refer to “information-subversive activities” and do not say if or when the alleged activities ended. Andrew E. Kramer reports for the New York Times.
The E.U. Commission said yesterday it proposed a new package of sanctions to its member states, targeting Russia and its associates for its war on Ukraine. “The proposals for listings include actors from the Russian military, defense and IT sectors, as well as other important economic operators,” the E.U. Commission statement said. It would target over 120 individuals and entities, although no further details were provided. AP News reports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff said that Ukrainian forces have gained a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro river. Russia admitted there are “small groups” of Ukrainian forces present, but claims they will soon be taken over. If Ukraine remains in control it would be a significant breakthrough for Ukraine as it may allow forces to transfer weaponry and air defense systems across the river, putting them closer to Crimea. Ido Vock and Oleh Chernysh report for BBC News.
The Czech government said yesterday it has frozen Russian state-owned properties located in the Czech Republic whose “income from operations serves directly for financing of the Putin regime.” The government said it has widened its national sanctions list to include the unnamed Russian company which manages Russian assets abroad, in retaliation for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Jan Lopatka reports for Reuters.
U.S. DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
The Senate passed a bill yesterday to keep the government open, as fighting over funding for the new year continues. The Bill creates two new shutdown deadlines in January and February, in an unusual two-step funding approach, and would extend funding until January for military construction, transportation, housing, the Energy Department, and veterans’ affairs. The Bill does not contain any additional aid for Ukraine or Israel. Lawmakers still face pressure to negotiate full-year spending bills in just over two months due to the new Bill, which will be passed to President Biden to become law. Clare Foran, Morgan Rimmer, Ted Barrett and Kristin Wilson report for CNN.