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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news
Gaza suffered a blackout of “all telecoms services” yesterday as fuel being used to run generators also ran out. Two major Palestinian mobile networks said that the Gaza Strip was out of service “as all energy sources sustaining the network have been depleted, and fuel was not allowed in.” Hiba Yazbek reports for the New York Times.
No delivery trucks were able to enter Gaza from Egypt for the second consecutive day yesterday due to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) trucks lacking fuel, as future deliveries or humanitarian aid convoys “will be impossible to manage or coordinate” due to the communications shutdown, the UNWRA confirmed today.
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) claimed they found an “operational tunnel shaft” inside the Al-Shifa hospital complex yesterday. In a social media post, the IDF released a video allegedly showing the tunnel shaft – which appears to be reinforced with concrete – located around 30 meters away from one of the hospital’s main buildings, as well as exposed wiring close to the surface. In a televised briefing yesterday, IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said military engineers were working to continue exposing the tunnel network. Andrew Carey reports for CNN.
The Hamas-run media office yesterday denied it was using Al-Shifa hospital as a command center and control center, and labeled Israel’s claims as “baseless lies.” The statement added that the Hamas-run ministry of health “has repeatedly requested dozens of times from all institutions, organizations, international bodies, and relevant parties to form technical teams to visit and inspect all hospitals, in order to refute the false incitement narrative.” Abeer Salman reports for CNN.
A group of U.N. experts said yesterday in a statement there was “evidence of increasing genocidal incitement” against the Palestinian people in what it said were “grave violations” committed by Israel. The statement was made by U.N. experts including several U.N. special rapporteurs. The statement cites the “discernibly genocidal” and “dehumanizing rhetoric” used by senior Israeli government officials, as well as some professional groups and public figures, including calling for the “total destruction,” and “erasure” of Gaza, and the need to “finish them all.” The U.N. experts have previously issued warnings that Palestinian people were at “grave risk of genocide”.
Three people were killed and more than 15 people injured following an Israeli raid at the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Hamas-run health ministry said today. The IDF said in a statement that “an armed terrorist cell” was struck by Israeli aircraft during the raid, and that at least five “terrorists” were killed. The IDF also said they confiscated weapons, military equipment and explosives during the raid, which saw “eight wanted suspects” apprehended. Lawahez Jabari and Lina Dandees report for NBC News.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk called for an independent investigation into Israel’s Al-Shifa hospital claims. “This is precisely where you need an independent international investigation, because we have different narratives,” he said yesterday. “You cannot use … hospitals, for any military purposes. But you also cannot attack a hospital in the absence of clear evidence.” Andrew Carey and David Shortell report for CNN.
Civilians in Gaza face the “immediate possibility of starvation,” according to the World Food Programme Executive Director. Bread production has ceased at all bakeries in the Gaza Strip due to a lack of fuel, and the trucks providing food supplies via Egypt have met only 7% of the daily minimum needs for the 2 million people in Gaza. Frances Vinall reports for the Washington Post.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that Israel had “strong indications” that hostages were being held at Al-Shifa hospital. He said it was “one of the reasons” the Israeli military entered the hospital, and added that “if they were [there], they were taken out.” A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Force said yesterday on social media that they found the body of a hostage in a building near Al-Shifa. Mikhail Klimentov, Adam Taylor, and Sammy Westfall report for the Washington Post.
The body of a second Israeli hostage was recovered near the Al-Shifa hospital, the IDF said today. The statement said the body of 19 year-old Noa Marciano, a corporal in the IDF, was located and transferred to Israeli territory. Hamas previously claimed Marciano was killed in an Israeli airstrike in a video which emerged this week. Lucas Lilieholm and Alex Stambaugh report for CNN.
Benjamin Netanyahu said his forces’ attempts to minimize civilian casualties had been “not successful” in an interview with CBS yesterday. He said the IDF were working to defeat Hamas but the group is using civilians as “human shields,” adding that Hamas “don’t give a hoot about the Palestinians.” BBC News reports.
Israel dropped leaflets across southern Gaza on Wednesday urging civilians to “evacuate immediately” to “known shelters,” indicating a possible expansion in its ground operation. The leaflet read: “Everyone who finds themselves near the terrorists or their buildings expose their lives to danger. Every house used by terrorist organizations will be targeted. Respecting the instructions of the IDF will prevent you, the civilians, being exposed to harm.” Andrew Carey and Christian Edwards reports for CNN.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – REGIONAL RESPONSE
A hostage release deal is rumored to have been negotiated by Qatari, Egyptian, and American officials, and would include a several-day pause in hostilities, two senior anonymous Israeli officials said this week. Under the proposal, Hamas would release 50 women and children abducted during the Oct. 7 attacks, in return for roughly the same amount of Palestinian women and children currently being held in Israeli prisons. The officials said that Hamas has not provided the names of hostages it is willing to release, but both sides have agreed family members would not be separated. Ronen Bergman and Matthew Rosenberg report for the New York Times.
Egypt media says 150,000 liters of fuel will be delivered to the Gaza Strip today, which will be earmarked for Gaza’s hospital and will enter through the Rafah border crossing. The news reported that “Egyptian pressure on all parties have succeeded in increasing the volume of aid” and “restoring the flow of fuel.” Ayat Al-Tawy reports for ABC News.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will arrive for an official visit in Berlin today to meet with Chancellor Olaf Sholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Relations between both countries remain tense, as Erdogan’s statements favoring Hamas and opposing Israel pose difficulty for Germany, whose foreign policy includes historical responsibility for the Holocaust and unwavering support for Israel’s existence. Erdogan is widely admired among Turkey’s population in Germany, home to Turkey’s largest diaspora. James Angelos reports for POLITICO.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – US RESPONSE
State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said yesterday that Hamas has prevented the safe evacuation of patients from Al-Shifa hospital. He said the US was liaising with potential partners to assist evacuations and that “there are third parties that have expressed an interest to do so,” but “the problem has been Hamas.” Shannah Crawford reports for ABC News.
Matt Miller said yesterday that the US has not assessed if Israel has “violated international humanitarian law” but that in Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s “judgment, far too many Palestinian civilians have been killed as a result of this conflict.” He added that the US “is constantly monitoring facts as they develop,” and that he has urged all parties to “take feasible precautions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians.” Jennifer Hansler reports for CNN.
The United States will not share any Israeli intelligence or detail its own intelligence, which they say shows that Hamas used Al-Shifa hospital as a command center, White House spokesperson John Kirby said yesterday. Kirby made clear that the US is confident of its assessment “about how Hamas was using that hospital.” An anonymous source said the sources remain classified “because some of those same channels are being used to monitor the status of hostages.” Doina Chiacu, Nandita Bose, and Jonathan Landay report for Reuters.
Demonstrators calling for a ceasefire blocked bridges on both sides of the US yesterday, as police arrested 80 protestors on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and towed away 29 vehicles that blocked all lanes on the upper deck. In Boston, around 100 protestors stopped traffic for over two hours during rush hour. Janie Har reports for AP News.
President Joe Biden said yesterday he would continue working to advance a Pacific trade pact which will “better facilitate high-standard trade that advances workers’ rights through strong enforcement of labor standards.” Biden said the “work is not yet done,” speaking at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. The Deputy U.S. Trade Representative also said the US and its Indo-Pacific partners need to “recalibrate” to discuss trade pillar negotiations, which were formed by the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework group of 14 nations. Trevor Hunnicutt, David Brunnstrom, Nandita Bose, Ann Saphir, Katharine Jackson, Andrea Shalal, and Doina Chiacu report for Reuters.
Finland will tonight close four crossing points in the south which border with Russia, Finland’s Prime Minister Petteri Orpo announced, following an increase in illegal crossings from third-country citizens. Orpo accuses Russia of deliberately engineering people to get to the border without the necessary documents, stating, “it is clear that these people are helped and they are also being escorted or transported to the border by border guards.” Three out of the four crossings to close have also seen a surge in citizens of other countries including Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. Two border crossings in north Finland will remain open for asylum applications. Idvo Vock reports for BBC News.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said they will pursue a “strategic relationship of mutual benefit” and “focus on common interests” following their first face-to-face talks in a year. Sakura Kurakami and Ethan Wong report for Reuters.
Kenya’s parliament approved a plan to deploy around 1,000 police officers to Haiti to help stop gang violence, despite a court order preventing deployment currently being in place, pending the outcome of a legal challenge. Haiti has called on international help to assist its unprecedented lawlessness, as its 300 gangs are active in around 80% of the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince. A hospital at the capital was evacuated, which saw more than 100 patients, over half of which were children, removed. U.N. figures estimate that more than 2,400 people have been killed in the capital since the start of 2023, with thousands having fled the region. Ian Wafula reports for BBC News.
Nearly 20,000 men have fled Ukraine since the war broke out to avoid being drafted, and another 21,113 men attempting to flee conscription have been caught by Ukrainian authorities. The majority of men who were caught, some 14,313, were attempting to walk or swim across the border, while 6,800 used fraudulent paperwork to claim exemptions such as illnesses, according to Ukrainian authorities. Ukraine allows those with medical conditions, fathers of three or more children, and men with caring responsibilities to be excluded from conscription. Ukrainian President’s parliamentary representative Fedir Venislavskyi said “the government realizes that this phenomenon is not isolated and that it is widespread,” but he is “convinced that the resilience and readiness of Ukrainians to defend their independence, sovereignty and freedom is 95-99%.” Oana Marocico and Kelvin Brown report for BBC News.
U.S. DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
The Special counsel investigating President Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified material is not expected to bring charges, according to two sources. Hur and his legal team are compiling a report into the investigation which is expected to criticize Biden and his administration for how they handled the sensitive documents. Hur’s team previously said he hopes the report will be complete by the end of this year. A White House spokesperson declined to comment. Paula Reid reports for CNN.
A suspect has been arrested following the death of Jewish protester Paul Kessler who hit his head at a confrontation at dueling demonstrations in California on Nov. 5. Loay Alnaji, 50, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and battery causing serious bodily injury, officials confirmed. Online records show Alnaji was being held on $1million bail last night. A conference with the district attorney and the sheriff is expected today. Marlene Lenthang reports for NBC News.
Special counsel prosecutors are using a grand jury to seek documents and potential testimony from witnesses as part of the ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings, a person familiar with the investigation has claimed. The investigation centers on Hunter Biden’s alleged failure to pay taxes by payment deadlines, an issue which was expected to be resolved by a plea deal earlier this year that fell apart. The use of the grand jury could indicate special counsel may be seeking new charges. Hunter Biden’s legal team has said all tax debts have now been “fully paid.” Paula Reid, Evan Perez, Katelyn Polantz, and Hannah Rabinowitz report for CNN.
Representative George Santos will not seek re-election after the House Ethics Committee found “substantial evidence” that he violated federal law. The House published a scathing report yesterday saying Santos “sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” and that his campaign was sustained “through a constant series of lies to his constituents, donors, and staff about his background and experience.” The committee chairman separately announced there will be a new motion to remove Santos from office as soon as today. Santos continues to face a 23-count federal indictment including charges of stealing from donors and falsifying campaign documents. Grace Ashford reports for the New York Times.
President Biden signed a temporary bill yesterday to avert a government shutdown, providing more time to resolve ongoing congressional debates over funding and foreign aid. Colleen Long reports for AP News.