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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news


Israel and Hamas have reached a deal allowing a four-day pause in the fighting and the release of 50 women and children hostages in Gaza, marking the biggest diplomatic breakthrough since the war broke out on Oct.7. The deal was brokered by Qatar and will also allow the entry of “a larger number of humanitarian convoys and relief aid.” No start time of the fighting pause has been announced yet, but this will be confirmed in the next 24 hours, according to a Qatar government  statement. Qatar’s lead negotiator Minister of State Mohammed Al-Khulaifi said the international community should “seize this brief window of opportunity to generate further momentum for the diplomatic track.” Simone McCarthy, Rob Picheta, and David Shortell report for CNN.

Israel released a statement saying “the release of every additional 10 hostages will result in one additional day in the pause,” adding that “the government of Israel, the IDF and the security services will continue the war in order to return home all of the hostages, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that there will be no new threat to the State of Israel from Gaza.BBC News reports.

One hundred and fifty women and children Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails will be released as part of the hostage deal with Israel. An IDF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said the full list of the relevant prisoners will be released and that these individuals were not involved in the Oct. 7 attacks, unlike previous hostage release details. “What I know is that the Palestinians that are being freed from prisons are not at all that caliber of terrorists that we were talking about before, not serious offenders,” Conricus said. Kareem El Damanhoury reports for CNN.

A senior U.S. official said they expect at least three American citizens – including a three-year old child –  to be released as part of the hostage deal. The official said the child will turn four on Friday and that both her parents were killed in the Oct. 7 attack. Matt Murphy reports for BBC News.

Israeli troops have exposed and destroyed approximately 400 Hamas tunnel shafts since the start of the conflict, many of which were located within civilian hospitals, homes, and schools, according to the IDF. BBC News reports. 

Four people including three doctors were killed when a hospital was struck amid intense fighting yesterday in the Jabalia refugee camp, according to the hospital director of Al-Awda hospital, who blamed the strike on Israel. The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders confirmed that two of the doctors who were killed worked for their group. AP News reports. 

The Palestine Red Crescent Society confirmed in a post on X that 14 ambulances arrived at Al-Shifa hospital today to evacuate patients. 


Egypt’s Prime Minister said yesterday that Egypt will take “all measures” to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Egypt. Mostafa Madbouly said in a speech in Parliament that “Egypt will not hesitate in taking all measures that guarantees the protection of its borders.” Since the conflict began, Egypt has continually dismissed suggestions it would become a host nation for displaced Palestinians. However, the Rafah border crossing has seen thousands of dual nationals and injured Palestinains enter Egypt during the past few weeks. AP News reports. 

Four people including two journalists were reportedly killed in Israeli strikes in Lebanon yesterday. The Israeli military said it “operated against a threat posed from a launching area of the Hezbollah terrorist organization” in the area, and that it was reviewing the incident. The IDF added that presence in the area is “dangerous” where there are “active hostilities.” Lipika Pelham reports for BBC News.

Turkey will not allow the issue of Israel’s nuclear weapons to be dropped from global discussion, President Tayyip Erdogan said this week, adding that the West has a “fraternity of lies” with Israel. Erdogan said that European states were  attempting to “vindicate” Israel’s war crimes. Tuvan Gumrukcu reports for Reuters.

Turkish President Erodgan said today that Ankara “cannot and will not tolerate” Israel’s policies of “depopulating” the Gaza Strip, pledging that Israel “will not commit similar brutality again.” Ruxandra Lordache reports for CNBC News.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman urged countries to stop arms supply to Israel and condemned the “brutal crimes against the destruction of infrastructure, including health facilities and places of worship in Gaza.” Speaking at a BRICS economic coalition, he said all countries should “embark on an effort, in the name of all members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League, to reach an international stance regarding the aggression on Gaza.” Ruxandra Iordache reports for CNBC News.


Almost 1.7 million people have been displaced across the Gaza strip since Oct. 7, and nearly 930,00 internally displaced persons are now sheltering in U.N. facilities across all five governorates of the Gaza Strip, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said today. The organization said “85 incidents have impacted 67 UNRWA installations” since the war broke out, and at least 176 people have been killed who were sheltering in UNRWA premises. 

Twenty three pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested at a port in Sydney, Australian police said in a statement today. The police said around 400 people gathered and blocked a road near Port Botany yesterday for an unauthorized protest, adding that those who failed to comply with an order to disperse were arrested and charged with offenses including damage or disruption to a major facility. The Palestine Justice Movement Sydney organized the protest and said they sought to prevent the unloading of a ship belonging to an Israeli-owned international shipping line, adding that their “peaceful, nonviolent boycott campaigns and protests will continue.” Samra Zulfaqar reports for NBC News.

The E.U. confirmed yesterday that it will continue to send aid to Palestinians after a review by the European Commission “found no indications of EU money having directly or indirectly benefited the terrorist organization Hamas.” Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said funds directed to Gaza projects which are not feasible due to the war will be “relegated to Gaza either as humanitarian aid or development aid,” Dombrovsksi added. The E.U. is the largest international aid donor to the Pleatsinians. Laura Hülsemann reports for POLITICO.


President Biden thanked the leaders of Qatar and Egypt for their “critical leadership and partnership in reaching” the hostage deal, in a statement released yesterday. Biden also said he “appreciate[d] the commitment that Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government have made in supporting an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out and to ensure the provision of additional humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinian families in Gaza.” 

The Biden administration has been providing Israel with data on the location of humanitarian aid groups in Gaza in attempts to prevent strikes against their facilities, according to three people familiar with the communications. They said that information including GPS coordinates of medical facilities and information of aid group movements has been supplied to the Israeli government for at least one month. Erin Banco and Nahal Toosi report for POLITICO.

A senior U.S. official said they expect at least three American citizens – including a three-year old child –  to be released as part of the hostage deal. The official said the child will turn four on Friday and that both her parents were killed in the Oct. 7 attack. Matt Murphy reports for BBC News.


The Russian mercenary organization Wagner group is preparing to provide air defenses “to either Hezbollah or Iran,” according to National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby. Speaking yesterday on the recently declassified intelligence, Kirby said the Russian government directed Wagner to provide the equipment , adding that “we are prepared to use our counterterrorism sanctions authorities against Russian individuals or entities making these destabilizing transfers.” He added the US is concerned that Iran is providing Russia with ballistic missiles, following Iran’s showcase of such weaponry during the Russian Defense Minister’s visit to Tehran in September. Natasha Bertrand reports for CNN.

The U.S conducted discrete, precision” strikes today against two facilities in Iraq used by “Iran and Iran-backed militant groups” in response to continuing militant attacks against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, according to the U.S. Central Command. Yesterday, Iran-backed militias attacked U.S. and coalition forces at the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq with a close-range ballistic missile, resulting in 8 injuries and minor damage to infrastructure.  “The strikes were in direct response to the attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups, including the one in Iraq on November 21, which involved use of close-range ballistic missiles,” the Command Center statement on X said. Miranda Nazzaro reports for The Hill. 

The US is reviewing “potential terrorist designations” for Yemen’s Houthi rebel group following its seizure of an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the southern Red Sea on Sunday.  National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said yesterday that the seizure was a “flagrant violation of international law” in which “Iran is complicit.” Iran denied involvement. Jonathan Landay and Steve Holland reports for Reuters


South Africa voted yesterday to suspend diplomatic ties with Israel and close down the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria. The vote comes after the Israeli ambassador was recalled to Tel Aviv on Monday, following South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s comments that Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu should be investigated for potential war crimes. Wendell Roelf reports for Reuters.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa accused Israel of war crimes “tantamount to genocide” in Gaza during a virtual meeting yesterday of world leaders including Russia’s Vladmir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. “The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime,” he said. Ramphosa also condemned Hamas for its attack on Oct.7, and said both sides violated international humanitarian law. Gerald Imray reports for AP News.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court accepted today a bail application from detained former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who hopes to secure a release from jail to lead his party in February’s general election campaign. Khan is fighting several legal battles and was jailed in August on a three-year sentence for unlawfully selling state gifts while serving as Prime Minister from 2018 to 2022. Yesterday, the Islamabad High Court declared Khan’s trial illegal on charges relating to his alleged release of a classified embassy cable sent to Islamabad by Pakistan’s ambassador in the US last year. Asif Shahzad reports for Reuters.

South Korea suspended parts of its 2018 military agreement with North Korea today, alleging that Pyongang’s claim to have launched a spy satellite into space threatened South Korea’s security. North Korea reportedly fired a rocket late yesterday after two failed attempts earlier this year; South Korea believes Russia helped Pyongang with its space program. Seoul said it would resume surveillance flights along the North Korea border, in breach of the no-fly zone agreement under the pact. A spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council said North Korea’s launch risked “destabilizing the security situation in the region and beyond.” Jean Mackenzie reports for BBC News.

China has “decommissioned, closed down, demolished, and converted mosques for secular use” as “part of systematic effort to curb the practice of Islam in China,” according to a report  published today by the Human Rights Watch. Chinese law permits people to practice only in officially-approved places of worship of government–approved religions. The strategy of “mosque consolidation” is referred to in multiple government documents, according to Human Rights Watch, which claims  Chinese officials “conflate the influence of Islam with terrorism and backwardness.” 


Russia is sending fewer troops and less equipment into Avdiivka, according to Ukrainian officials. “Russian occupying forces have reduced the number of ground and air attacks, though they still violate the rules of war by shooting at medical teams and evacuation vehicles,” said a Ukrainian military spokesperson. They added, “the invaders are not abandoning their plans to surround Avdiivka. Eight attacks were repelled today.” The head of Avdiivka’s military administration said Ukrainian forces were holding their positions in the region. Ron Popeski and Oleksandr Kozhukhar report for Reuters


Former Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney admitted he overvalued Trump’s penthouse by over $100 million because he relied on an incorrect representation by a Trump Organization broker. McConney said he felt “proud” of what he did and that “numbers don’t fully represent what these assets are worth.” McConney said he “felt comfortable” with his contributions to Trump’s statements of financial conditions, which are the center of the case. The trial continues. Peter Charalambous, Aaron Katersky, Olivia Rubin, and Lucien Bruggerman report for ABC News

Former President Donald Trump was understood to have the “final review of every net-worth statement” until he left for the White House in 2017, according to key defense witness McConney. McConney’s handwriting is on several financial statement drafts, showing he added cautionary notes and revised language prior to what one handwritten note said up top, “DJT TO GET FINAL REVIEW.”Trump had denied involvement in preparing these annual net-worth statements, and before cross-examination, McConney had testified the statements were reviewed by himself and then-CFO Allen Weisselberg, failing to mention Trump. The notes and McConney’s testimony provide serious doubts over Trump’s primary defense which places blame with his accountants. Laura Italiono reports for Business Insider