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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 struck a last-minute agreement to extend the fighting pause for another day. “In light of the mediators’ efforts to continue the process of releasing the hostages and subject to the terms of the framework, the operational pause will continue,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said yesterday, just minutes before the existing deal was due to expire. Hamas also confirmed the pause would continue for a seventh day. Nidal Al-Mughrabi, Mohammed Salem, and Humeyra Pamuk report for Reuters.
Two Hamas attackers opened fire at a bus stop at the entrance to Jerusalem this morning, killing three people and wounding eight others, Israeli police have confirmed. “The terrorists arrived at the scene by car in the morning, armed with an M-16 rifle and a handgun…the terrorists began shooting at civilians before subsequently being killed at the scene,” the police said. Commenting on the attack shortly after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he told Blinken, “We swore, I swore, to eradicate Hamas. Nothing will stop us.” Dan Williams reports for Reuters.
The IDF said yesterday it was investigating a Hamas claim that the youngest Israeli hostage aged just 10 months old has died. Baby Kfir Bibas, his four-year-old brother Ariel, and his mother Shiri, were allegedly killed in an Israeli airstrike, according to the armed wing of Hamas. The IDF said it was “assessing the accuracy of the information.” Eyad Kourdi, Jeremy Diamond, and Tamar Michaelis report for CNN.
Twenty-two-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi was among one of those freed last night by Israel. Tamimi is known for slapping IDF soldiers during a raid of her village in the occupied West Bank in 2017, which saw her imprisoned for eight months. She was also charged this month with inciting terror for social media posts she allegedly made, although Tamimi’s mother said these posts were fake. NBC News reports.
Four Palestinians, including two children, were killed by Israeli forces during a raid in the city of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian officials. The IDF said suspects “hurled explosive devices toward IDF soldiers,” and troops “responded with live fire toward the suspects and hits were identified,” which also saw “two high-ranking terrorists” killed and 17 wanted individuals arrested. Video footage shows a small figure running before falling to the ground; his eight-year-old body is then dragged from the road by a friend. Nearby, 14-year-old Basel Abu al-Wafa was shot in his chest; both boys were declared dead at Jenin Hospital. The hospital’s director said, “there’s no safe place in Jenin now,” and that the location of the gunshots on the boys showed they were intentionally killed. Palestinian Islamic Jihad confirmed that two of its commanders were killed in the raid. Lucy Williamson and David Gritten report for BBC News.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
A group of 17 Thai nationals who were held hostage by Hamas arrived in Bangkok today, following their release during the pause in fighting. Mithil Aggarwarl reports for NBC News.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said yesterday that the U.N. Security Council should “revitalize the political prospects of the two-state solution with stronger determination,” and that the lack of a Palestinian state is “the crux of the repeated turbulence in the Palestinian-Isareli situation.” Wang added that “the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to existence and their right of return, has long been ignored.” Wang made clear that the Security Council should “shoulder its responsibility on major issues of war and peace,” although he did not specify what specific action he wanted the Council to take. Michael Weissenstien reports for AP News.
A group tracking antisemitism in Germany has documented a 320 percent increase in incidents against Jews in Germany since the Israel-Hamas war broke out, compared to the same period in 2022. Among the reported 994 incidents were three cases of extreme violence, 29 attacks, four mass mailings, 854 cases of offensive behavior, and targeted damage to 72 properties. There has also been a rise in antisemitic and anti-Israeli propaganda at German universities, with a total of 37 incidents reported since the war began. Kirsten Grieshaber reports for AP News.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR — US RESPONSE
The Biden administration confirmed it does not “support southern [Israeli] operations unless or until the Israelis can show that they have accounted for all the internally displaced people of Gaza.” Speaking Tuesday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Israel has been “receptive of that message,” in what appears to be the latest call by the United States for Israel to minimize civilian deaths. A senior administration official added that, “our advice to Israel has been: be surgical, be targeted, be precise, try to minimize and prevent civilian casualties wherever possible.” Alexander Ward and Matt Berg report for POLITICO.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken today met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Israel and said during remarks that the fighting pause has “enabled an increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza who need it desperately. So this process is producing results. It’s important, and we hope that it can continue.”
Biden administration officials are in talks with Israel on how to protect civilians who fled to southern Gaza should the IDF target the region once the pause in fighting ceases, according to U.S. officials. Among the options being deliberated is the possibility of moving civilians back up north, where Israel’s military operations have ended, a senior anonymous official said. Another official added that the reason Israel is looking to target southern Gaza is because intelligence suggests Hamas leadership has relocated to the area, but did not confirm whether it was Israeli or U.S. intelligence. “There is an understanding that a different type of campaign has to be conducted in the south than was conducted in the north,” another senior official added. MJ Lee, Jennifer Hansler, and Kati Bo Lillis report for CNN.
A dual U.S.-Israeli citizen was among one of the hostages released yesterday by Hamas. Liat Beinin Atzili was taken from her home in southern Israel on Oct. 7. President Biden said Atzili “will be home soon with her three children” and confirmed he has spoken with her family. Eight other U.S. citizens are still believed to be in captivity. Bernd Debusmann Jr reports for BBC News.
IRAN AND PROXIES
The U.K. will send a second warship to the Gulf to “bolster [its] presence in the region, and keep Britain and [its] interests safe from a more volatile and contested world,” Defense Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed. Shapps signaled the move came in response to rising tension in the region and the country’s intent to send a clear message of deterrence to Iran and its proxies. The Ministry of Defense added that the addition of the warship, HMS Diamond, will allow freedom of navigation and the safe flow of trade. BBC News reports.
The IDF today “intercepted a suspicious aerial target that crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory,” it confirmed in a statement , marking the first instance of cross-border violence since the fighting pause began. The IDF said that its Aerial Defense Array successfully intercepted the aerial target following sirens in the areas of Dovev, Mattat, and Sasa in northern Israel.”There were no immediate claims of responsibility from Lebanon. Leila Sackur reports for NBC News.
The Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said yesterday in an interview with the New York Times that China is unlikely to invade as its government is “overwhelmed by internal challenges.” She referenced China’s “financial as well as political challenges,” and said, “the international community has made it loud and clear that war is not an option, and peace and stability serves everybody’s interests.”
Japan said it has asked the United States to suspend all non-emergency V-22 Osprey flights over its region after one of the U.S. Air Force aircraft crashed into the sea in western Japan on Wednesday during a routine training mission. The cause of the crash remains unknown, and search and rescue crews continue to work in the area. “The occurrence of such an accident causes great anxiety to the people of the region… and we are requesting the U.S. side to conduct flights of Ospreys deployed in Japan after these flights are confirmed to be safe,” Japan’s Minister of Defense said today. Japan will also suspend flights of the aircraft until circumstances of the incident are investigated and confirmed. Chang-Ran Kim, Kantaro Komiya, and Tim Kelly report for Reuters.
Brazil has “intensified defensive actions” along the northern border as a dispute with neighbors Venezuela and Guyana continues to cause tensions, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. The region in dispute is known as “the Esequiba,” an oil-rich territory that constitutes over two-thirds of Guyana’s land mass. Venezuela has long-claimed the Esequiba, and on Dec. 3, Venezuelans will vote in a referendum on “the rights” to the region. The International Court of Justice is scheduled to rule tomorrow on whether the referendum should be called off, following a request by Guyana. Richardo Brito and Peter Frontini report for Reuters.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba yesterday in Brussels on the sidelines of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting. Both officials discussed recent battlefield developments and the Dec. 6-7 Defense Industrial Base Conference in Washington, which the State Department said is aimed at promoting joint efforts between U.S. and Ukrainian companies to produce military supplies for Ukraine. Blinken congratulated Ukraine on its recent anti-corruption reforms and “underscored the United States’ enduring support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Blinken confirmed that NATO allies are “unwavering” in their support for Ukraine and urged top Western diplomats to continue “ensuring Russia’s war of aggression remains a strategic failure.” The comments were made at yesterday’s NATO ministerial meeting, with Blinken adding that he expected President Biden’s request for $61.4 billion in additional Ukraine aid would receive congressional approval. “What I continue to see, what I continue to hear, is strong bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress for Ukraine,” he said. Lara Jakes and Michael Crowley report for the New York Times.
A Texas man was sentenced yesterday to two years in prison for posting an online election-related threat toward Georgia public officials, with part of his post reading: “Georgia Patriots…it’s time to put a bullet in the treasonous Chinese [Official A]. Then we work our day down to [Official B] the local and federal corrupt judges…militia up Georgia it’s time to spill blood…death to you and all you communist friends.” In a Department of Justice statement, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the man, Chad Christopher Stark, has “threatened the lives of multiple election workers in an attempt to prevent them from doing their job. Today’s sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s resolute commitment to securing American elections from any attempts to undermine their integrity.”
Henry Kissinger, a leading diplomat and foreign policy figure described as “the leading scholar-practitioner of the post-World War II era,” died yesterday at the age of 100. Kissinger played a prominent role in advancing diplomatic relations with China, the Soviet Union, and major Arab nations during his time as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Some of Kissinger’s foreign policies were controversial, such as his endorsement of intensive bombing campaigns in Southeast Asia and repeatedly ignoring human rights abuses by governments viewed as supportive of U.S. interests. Having come to America as a Jewish refugee fleeing Nazi Germany, Kissinger said there “was nothing he was more proud of doing” than liberating Jewish prisoners at a concentration camp at Ahlem, during his time serving in the U.S. military. Tom Gjelten reports for NPR.
Federal prosecutors charged an Indian national in an attempted murder-for-hire plot intended to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a prominent Sikh political activist in New York City, according to an indictment unsealed yesterday. Fifty-two-year-old Nikhil Gupta allegedly worked with an Indian official to set up a meeting with an undercover officer he thought was a hitman, and the Indian official agreed to pay a price of $100,000 for the murder, according to prosecutors. Pannun has been labeled a terrorist in India, accused of inciting separatism, and prosecutors say he was an associate of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh activist who was murdered in Canada in June in a killing that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said appeared to be linked to the Indian government. India has denied the allegation. According to the U.S. indictment, the Indian government official involved in the plot to murder Pannun ordered Gupta to “orchestrate” the assassination. Gupta has been charged with attempted murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-fire and was arrested in June in the Czech Republic, in accordance with a bilateral extradition treaty. Hannah Rabinowitz, Yong Xiong, and Evan Perez report for CNN.
An attorney for former President Donald Trump told special counsel Jack Smith’s team that she “very clearly” warned Trump it would be a “crime” if he failed to comply with the subpoena for classified documents, and that she explained to Trump that a subpoena from the Justice Department was “different from” the preceding demand to return documents Trump took from the White House. Attorney Jennifer Little told investigators Trump “absolutely” understood her warning and her advice that a subpoena from the Department was “different from” the preceding demand to return documents Trump took from the White House, all of which was explained to Trump at a meeting with Trump and another attorney at Mar-a-Lago. The indictment filed against Trump in Florida claims he did not comply with the subpoena and “caused a false certification to be submitted to the FBI,” which claimed Trump filed all classified documents. Trump and his co-defendants have pleaded not guilty in the case. Katherine Faulders, Mike Levine, and Alexander Mallin report for ABC News.
Deutsche Bank viewed Donald Trump as a “whale” of a client and was keen to strengthen their relationship that grew their revenue from $13,000 to $6 million in two years, according to documents provided yesterday at Trump’s ongoing civil fraud trial that he deceived and tricked lenders and insurers with grossly exaggerated financial statements. Trump’s legal team has claimed the bank felt elated, and not tricked, by Trump and his statements. Trump personally guaranteed the loans, which was standard practice for lending by Deutsche Bank, although the Bank’s executives have testified that while client financial statements are expected to be accurate, the bankers often “make some adjustments.” Documents also show the bank cut Trump’s $4.2 billion net worth estimate to $2.4 billion when considering one loan. The trial continues. Jennifer Peltz reports for AP News.