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


The Israeli military (IDF) said yesterday its ground operation had its “most intense day,” as Israel’s offensive continues into all of Gaza. IDF Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Herzi  Halevi said it was a “third phase” that targeted what he said were Hamas strongholds in southern Gaza. Meanwhile, at a briefing, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the only way to end the war is to use “overwhelming force.” NBC News reports.

Netanyahu called yesterday on the international community to “stand with Israel,” but added that “Gaza must be demilitarized, for Gaza to be demilitarized there is only one force that can take care of this demilitarization and that force is Israel’s steering army. No international power can be responsible for this. I am not ready to close my eyes and accept any other arrangement.” NBC News reports. 

Netanyahu alleged international indifference to the reports of sexual crimes by Hamas and commented that “I say to the women’s rights organizations, to the human rights organizations, you’ve heard of the rape of Israeli women, horrible atrocities, sexual mutilation — where the hell are you?” Israeli police say they are analyzing 60,000 videos seized by body cameras worn by Hamas attackers, as well as going through 1,000 testimonies, to bring the perpetrators to justice. Hamas has rejected allegations that its gunmen committed any sexual crimes. Meanwhile, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Israel has not responded to its request for access to Israel and Palestinian territories which would enable it to collect requisite information. Israel claims the U.N. Office has pre existing biases against Jerusalem, and said it will not cooperate with the body. Sam Mednick reports for AP News.

The IDF said its air force has struck around 250 Hamas targets in Gaza over the past 24 hours. “IDF ground troops directed an IDF fighter jet to strike two rocket launchers from which terrorists fired a barrage of rockets toward central Israel yesterday,” it said today. “During these strikes, terrorists from the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations were eliminated, and a number of terrorist infrastructure were destroyed.” Troops also struck an “armed terrorist cell” operating next to a school in northern Gaza, the IDF said. Amir Tal reports for CNN.

Fifty trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing yesterday, including two trucks specifically carrying fuel, according to an Egyptian official. Meanwhile, seven injured Palestinians entered Egypt to receive medical treatment. Asma Khalil and Eyad Kourdi report for CNN.

The IDF said there are 138 hostages being held in Gaza and called on the international community to “take action” to assist in their release. A total of 110 hostages taken on the Oct. 7 attacks have been released, 78 of which were freed during the six-day ceasefire. BBC News reports. 

The IDF said today its forces were advancing around the southern city of Khan Younis, following a comment yesterday by the head of Israel’s southern command who said that its forces were battling in “the heart” of the city. Hamas said it killed 10 soldiers in the city and injured several more. Liam Stack reports for the New York Times.


The Israeli military (IDF) said in a post on X it is reviewing a strike that harmed Lebanese troops in south Lebanon, following reports that an Israeli shelling killed a Lebanese soldier and wounded three people on Monday. It said IDF soldiers yesterday “operated in self defense to eliminate an imminent threat that had been identified from Lebanon. The threat was identified within a known launch area and observation point of ​​the Hezbollah terrorist organization, near al-Awadi.” “The IDF was notified that soldiers from the Lebanese Armed Forces were harmed during the strike. The Lebanese Armed Forces were not the target of the strike. The IDF expresses regret over the incident. The incident is under review.”


Europe faces a “huge risk of terrorist attacks” over the Christmas vacation period due to the Israel-Hamas war “and the polarization it causes in our society,” the E.U. home affairs commissioner, Ylva Johnansson, warned yesterday. “We saw (it happening) recently in Paris, unfortunately we have seen it earlier as well,” Johnansson said, referencing the attack last weekend in the French capital. Some reports have said the perpetrator in Paris swore allegiance to the self-styled Islamic state militant group. Johnansson said the European Commission will provide an additional $32.5 million to bolster security in vulnerable areas, particularly places of worship. Lorne Cook reports for AP News


The U.S. military airlifted 36,000 pounds of critical supplies to Gaza yesterday, Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder confirmed. “At the request of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the Department of Defense airlifted another 16.3 metric tons, or 36,000 pounds, of vital supplies to the people of Gaza today, providing more vitally needed medical supplies, warm clothing, and food and nutrition,” Ryder said. He added that the previous airlifts “delivered via a U.S. Air Force C-17 to Egypt [were] subsequently transported via ground into Gaza and then distributed by U.N. agencies.” More flights are expected in “the coming days,” he said. Haley Britzky reports for CNN

The current phase of Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza could end by January, with Israel turning to lower-intensity strategies with narrow targets on specific Hamas leaders, according to senior Biden administration officials. One official said the US has warned Israel in “hard” and “direct” conversations that the IDF cannot repeat the tactics it used in northern Gaza and it must do more to limit civilian casualties. The official added they did not feel comfortable using the word “receptive” to describe Israel’s response to the administration’s warnings. Current U.S. assessments show Israel cannot sustain its high-intensity operations indefinitely, and officials hope Israel will move to a targeted approach come early next year, in a mirror pattern of how the US transitioned away from high-intensity combat in Afghanistan and Iraq to a more narrow campaign. Natasha Bertrand, MJ Lee, Alex Marquardt, and Oren Liebermann report for CNN.

The US is unlikely to stop weapons production to Israel despite the soaring civilian death toll, according to U.S. officials. “You start lessening aid to Israel, you start encouraging other parties to come into the conflict, you weaken the deterrence effect and you encourage Israel’s other enemies,” one official said. U.S. support and advice to Israel has recently focused on limiting civilian deaths, and yesterday, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said, “we are going to continue with our campaign to destroy Hamas, a campaign that the United States sees eye to eye with us about.” Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Monday that Washington expects Israel to not attack areas marked “safe” on the grid-based maps Israel posted urging Palestinians to leave parts of southern Gaza. Humeyra Pamuk, Jonathan Saul, and Maggie Fick report for Reuters.

Israel “is not doing enough” and needs to “allow more humanitarian assistance in,” spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, Matthew Miller, said today. The 100 trucks of aid and 70,000 liters of fuel entering Gaza is insufficient, Miller added. “They need more humanitarian assistance. They need more food and water.” Abigail Williams reports for NBC News.

The State Department announced yesterday it has imposed visa ban sanctions on Israeli settlers believed to be involved in attacks against Palestinians, demonstrating rising concern in the Biden administration about the escalating attacks by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. The travel ban will also apply to several dozen Palestinians believed to be involved in attacks against Israelis. Officials say this is the first time the US is sanctioning extremist settlers since the Clinton administration. President Biden referenced his visa ban plan two weeks ago in a Washington Post op-ed, and today, U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he raised the issue of settler violence with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior IDF Minister Yoav Gallant during his visit to Israel last week. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.


The military governments of Mali and Niger will end their decades-long tax agreements with France in the next three months due to “France’s persistent hostile attitude” and the “unbalanced nature of [the] agreements, which result in a considerable loss of revenue for Mali and Niger.” The deals were originally created to prevent Nigerien and Malian nationals who live in France from paying tax twice; it also prevented French nationals living in the two African countries from paying twice. The move is the latest in a series of actions which sever ties with France since both African countries took power in recent coups. BBC News reports. 

Sudan’s army has intensified airstrikes in the capital city of Khartoum, residents warned today, despite the ongoing Saudi Arabia and U.S.-brokered discussions aiming to pause the fighting. Talks in Jeddah were suspended in June but resumed in October, although the lack of progress has raised concerns over the possibility of resolution of the conflict between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. BBC News reports.

The US and Sweden signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) yesterday that will “empower” both countries to “expand close security partnership, enhance cooperation in multilateral security operations, and strengthen transatlantic security together,” according to a statement by the U.S. Department of State. The announcement comes as Sweden tries to strengthen its military alliances while awaiting approval to join NATO. Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson said he was hopeful the accession would happen “as soon as possible.” Simon Johnson and Dan Whitcomb report for Reuters.

Britain signed a new treaty with Rwanda yesterday which it said would obviate the recent Supreme Court’s decision blocking its plan to deport asylum seekers to the East African country. The Supreme Court recently ruled the Rwanda scheme would violate international human rights laws enshrined in domestic statute. Under the new treaty, signed by British Home Secretary James Cleverly, Britain said Rwanda would not expel asylum seekers to a country where their freedom or life would be threatened, with Cleverly commenting that he expects deportation flights to take place in the coming months. The treaty will also create a monitoring committee where complaints can be lodged, and a new appeal body made up of international judiciary. Philbert Girinema, Andrew Macaskill, and Michael Holden report for Reuters.

Peru’s top court ordered the immediate humanitarian release yesterday of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori, 85, who was serving a 25-year sentence on charges of human rights abuses. He had been accused of overseeing the slayings of 25 Peruvians by a military death squad during his administration from 1990 to 2000. Fujimori’s initial pardon in 2017 was annulled under pressure from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The constitutional court previously ordered a lower court in Ica to release Fujimori, but that court declined it had jurisdiction to do so last Friday. The matter was then returned to Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal. AP News reports. 


Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy canceled a high-profile Senate and House briefing amid an impasse over US funding for Kyiv in the ongoing war. Zelenskyy was due to virtually attend the Senate and the House yesterday. Senate leader Chuck Schumer did not explain why Zelenskyy did not attend the meeting, although the chamber’s top Democrat said Zelenskyy was occupied with a “last-minute” matter. Just hours before Zelesnkyy canceled the meeting, his chief of staff Andriy Yermak said in a speech at the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC that there is a “big risk” of Ukrainian defeat without continued U.S. support. Anthony Zurcher reports for BBC News.

U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, said yesterday that the US would be “responsible for Ukraine’s defeat” if Congress does not approve the latest multi-billion dollar request for Ukrainian support. Yellen labeled the support “utterly essential” — particularly for Ukraine’s government budget support — and added that “Ukraine is just running out of money. “They’re spending more than every penny they’re taking in, in tax revenue, on military salaries and defense, and they wouldn’t have any schools or hospital [sic] or first responders if not for the money we’re sending to them to support them.” David Lawder reports for Reuters.


House Speaker Mike Johnson said yesterday that House Republicans were blurring footage from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack before releasing it publicly because they do not want rioters to be charged with crimes. “We have to blur some faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ,” Johnson said yesterday. Johnson said he is releasing the footage to counter the Committee’s presentation of the riot in their report. We want the American people to draw their own conclusions,” Johnson said. “I don’t think partisan elected officials in Washington should present a narrative and expect that it should be seen as the ultimate truth,” Johnson added. However, a spokesperson for Johnson, Raj Shah, later backtracked on Johnson’s remarks in a post on X, and said that “all faces are to be blurred from public viewing room footage to prevent all forms of retaliation against private citizens from any non-governmental actors. The Department for Justice already has access to raw footage from Jan.6.” Ryan J. Reilly reports for NBC News

A classified briefing for senators on the request for aid for Israel and Ukraine became “heated” yesterday, with several Republicans storming out of the meeting. “People got up and walked out, because this is a waste of time,” Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said, while Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) called it “the most heated briefing in the SCIF [sensitive compartmented information facility] I’ve seen.” The conversation was  “hijacked by Leader McConnell” which turned the conversation toward the border, Schumer said. “The first question instead of asking our panelists — he called on Lankford (James Lankford, R-OK) to give a five-minute talk about the negotiations on the border. And that wasn’t the purpose of the meeting, at all,” Schumer added. The contentious meeting demonstrates ongoing tension in the Senate over Ukraine aid in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. Frank Thorp V, Kate Santaliz, and Lori Rampani report for NBC News.

The Senate confirmed more than 400 military nominees yesterday after Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) announced he had lifted a hold on all military promotions at three-star rank or below, amounting to over 425 promotions. “I’m releasing everybody. I still got a hold on, I think, 11 four-star generals. Everybody else is completely released from me.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) later took to the Senate floor to confirm all of the 425 nominees. Schumer also accused Tuberville of risking national security and putting the military families through a “pointless and gravely damaging ordeal… let this incident be a warning. No one should attempt this in the Senate again. The senior senator has nothing to show for his 10 months of delay.” Kate Santaliz, Frank Thorp V, and Rebecca Shabad report for NBC News.

Steve Bannon and Kash Patel claimed that former President Donald Trump is “dead serious” about exacting revenge on his enemies if he wins the election, and warned the media “we’re going to come after you, whether it’s criminally or civilly. This is why we’re tyrannical, this is why we’re dictators.” The comments were made in an episode of Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, where the two Trump allies vowed to prosecute members of the media who “lied” about the 2020 Presidential election results. “We will go out and find the conspirators — not just in government, but in the media,” Patel told Bannon. Sarah Fortinsky reports for The Hill.


Former President Donald Trump said yesterday that if re-elected, he would not be a dictator “except for Day One.” The comment was made in a town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, and when pressed for a second time on whether he will disavow taking retributive action against his enemies, Trump said, “I want to close the border and I want to drill, drill, drill.”  Giselle Ruhiyyih Ewing reports for POLITICO

Georgia prosecutors added Mike Pence as one of the witnesses who could be called to testify in the election subversion case against Trump, according to sources familiar with the sealed court documents. Pence, who appeared before a federal grand jury as part of special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into Trump, has not been yet considered a significant part of criminal proceedings. The witness lists have not been made public, and sources say they include upward of 150 names. Pence has signaled a willingness to testify, noting the “profound” First Amendment issues that will be litigated in the case. Zachary Cohen, Nick Valencia, and Jason Morris report for CNN.