Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.
A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the weekend. Here’s today’s news
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said yesterday that it has “completed the dismantling of Hamas’ military framework” in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF spokesperson added that while there may be Hamas members operating in the region, “they now operate without a framework and without commanders.” Jordana Miller reports for ABC News.
Israel vows to use different tactics in central and southern Gaza based on lessons “learned from the fighting so far,” the chief spokesperson for the IDF has said. He did not provide details on what specifically would change. Isabel Kershner, Vivian Yee, and Ameera Harouda report for the New York Times.
Israeli forces have killed at least 10 fighters in Khan Younis, the IDF said today in a statement. The IDF added that it struck 30 targets in the city, including underground targets, and located a tunnel shaft and weaponry in an agricultural area of the central Gaza Strip. Mithil Aggarwal reports for NBC News.
The World Health Organization (WHO) canceled its plans yesterday to deliver aid supplies to Gaza after failing to receive security guarantees. “Heavy bombardment, movement restrictions, and interrupted communications are making it nearly impossible to deliver medical supplies regularly and safely across Gaza,” the WHO said. The delivery planned for yesterday was designed to sustain five hospitals in the northern part of the enclave. Reuters reports.
The International Rescue Committee and Medical Aid for Palestine said yesterday that they were “forced to withdraw and cease activities” at Gaza’s Al Aqsa hospital “as a result of increasing Israeli military activity” around the hospital. The IDF has dropped leaflets designating areas around the hospital as a “red zone,” the organizations added. Zoe Magee reports for ABC News.
Israel named its former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak as its addition to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) panel due to hear the genocide case filed against it, an Israeli official said yesterday. Under ICJ rules, a state without a judge of its nationality on the bench can choose an ad hoc judge to sit in their case. Reuters reports.
Reports have emerged that dozens were killed in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza yesterday. Footage shows bodies lying in the rubble of a destroyed building, many of whom were women and children. When asked, the IDF said it “acted against a military target” and is “not aware of the number of casualties mentioned.” BBC News reports.
At least nine Palestinianswere killed yesterday as violence surges in the occupied West Bank. An Israeli drone strike killed seven Palestinian men at Jenin, and an eighth man was killed by Israeli soldiers in central West Bank. The young child was killed by errant fire as officers “neutralized” occupants of a car at a border checkpoint on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israeli police said in a statement. Isabel Kershner reports for the New York Times.
More than 10 children on average have lost one or both of their legs every day in Gaza since Oct. 7, the Save the Children charity said yesterday, referencing previous comments from a UNICEF spokesperson. Jessie Yeung, Radina Gigova, and Mohammed Tawfeeq report for CNN.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR — U.S. RESPONSE
Palestinians must not be pressured into leaving Gaza and must be allowed to return to their homes once conditions permit, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday during an ongoing trip in the Middle East. The statement follows comments by some Israeli ministers and lawmakers calling for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza. Blinken also told reporters in Qatar that the Israel-Hamas war “could easily metastasize” beyond Gaza due to rising regional tensions. George Wright reports for BBC News.
A new U.S. intelligence assessment found that it would be difficult for Israel to succeed in a war against the Hezbollah group in Lebanon due to the war in Gaza. The assessment, by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, follows comments by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who said, “We prefer the path of an agreed-upon diplomatic settlement … but we are getting close to that point where the hourglass will turn over.” Biden administration officials added that the President has dispatched top aides to the Middle East in attempts to prevent the war widening. John Hudson, Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Shane Harris report for the Washington Post.
Hundreds of trucks have been waiting for weeks to enter Gaza at Egypt’s Rafah border crossing, where a warehouse is holding rejected supplies including water, oxygen, and medical testing kits, two U.S. senators said on Saturday after visiting the border. The reasons for rejection by Israeli officials are “very vague … sometimes they were very unreasonable,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) added, and the warehouse is a “testament to the arbitrariness” of the process, said Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD). Both senators sit on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and are drawing up recommendations for changes. Lee Keath reports for AP News.
The Iran-backed Hezbollah group struck an air traffic control base in northern Israel, the IDF said yesterday. No damage or injuries were reported. Julia Frankel, Samy Magdy, and Najib Jobain report for AP News.
Lebanon’s Beirut airport was hacked yesterday by domestic anti-Hezbollah groups who replaced the departure and arrival board with a message accusing Hezbollah of risking war with Israel. “Hassan Nasrallah, you will no longer have supporters if you curse Lebanon with a war for which you will bear responsibility and consequences,” the message read. AP News reports.
A senior Hezbollah commander was killed by an Israeli airstrike today in southern Lebanon. BBC News reports.
North Korea will launch an “immediate military strike” in response to “even a slight provocation,” the sister of Kim Jong Un said yesterday, as it fired artillery shells near the South Korea border for a third day in a row. Reuters reports.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a roadside bomb that killed six police officers guarding an anti-polio immunization campaign in northwestern Pakistan. Anti-polio campaigns in Pakistan are often targeted by Islamic militants, who falsely claim that vaccination programs are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children. Anwarullah Khan reports for ABC News.
China’s top spy agency says the British Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, used a foreigner in China to collect information in an espionage case. China’s Ministry of State Security said on social media today that MI6 developed an “intelligence cooperative relationship” with the person. The news follows accusations by the British government that Chinese spies are targeting officials in the UK. China has repeatedly dismissed the assertions, with a foreign ministry spokesperson adding, “we urge the UK to stop spreading disinformation and stop political manipulation and malicious slander against China.” Reuters reports.
China will sanction five U.S. military manufacturers in response to the latest U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Saturday. The spokesperson added that China will freeze the assets of the companies and ban people and organizations in China from engaging with the companies. Reuters reports.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said it detected three more Chinese balloons flying over the Taiwan Strait yesterday, one of which crossed the island. The ministry accused China of threatening aviation safety and creating psychological warfare on the island, just days before key Taiwanese elections. Reuters reports.
A former interior minister of Gambia, Ousman Sonko, is on trial today in Switzerland on charges including crimes against humanity for his alleged role in years of repression by Gambia’s security forces against regime opponents. The Swiss attorney general’s office said the indictment against Sonko covers alleged crimes during the 16-year rule of then-President Yahya Jammeh, which was marked by sexual abuse, extrajudicial killings, and arbitrary detention. The trial is set to run through to Jan. 30. ABC News reports via AP News.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina secured a fourth straight term in power, with her party winning almost 75% of the seats in the general election The election was boycotted by Hasina’s main opposition group and drew a low turnout. Sudipto Ganguly and Ruma Paul report for Reuters.
The stalemate over Ukraine aid continues as the Pentagon says it is “out of money.” Senate Republicans are demanding border policy changes in return for backing the White House proposals of $45 billion to fund Ukraine’s security assistance, and defense officials added there are no imminent plans to announce further aid packages to Kyiv. The announcement comes as Russia intensifies its ground assault and drone attacks in Ukraine. Lindsay Wise, Ian Lovett, Doug Cameraon, and Nancy A. Youssef report for the Wall Street Journal.
Russian missiles fired across Ukraine this morning killed at least four civilians, according to Ukrainian authorities. The air strikes follow a Russian strike that killed 11 people including five children in eastern Ukraine over the weekend. Dan Peleschuk and Pavel Polityuk report for Reuters.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s failure to inform his senior advisers, congressional leaders, and President Biden of his hospitalization last week, has left senior Pentagon and White House officials infuriated, according to officials. The White House learned of Austin’s hospitalization three days after it occurred, and top Pentagon leaders found out only two hours before the public reveal. Pressure is now growing within the administration and on Capital Hill for someone to lose their job, with some Republicans even calling for Austin to be disciplined or fired over the lack of transparency. “Austin’s job appears safe — at least for the moment,” Lara Seligman, Alexander Ward, and Connor O’Brien report for POLITICO.
U.S. Congressional leaders have reached a bipartisan deal over the total spending amount for the rest of 2024, a key step to avoiding a government shutdown this month. The agreed figure includes $886 billion for defense and more than $704 billion for non-defense spending, according to Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), although the non-defense spending amount is disputed by Democrats Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Juliegrace Brufke and Andrew Solender report for Axios.
The first lunar landing mission to launch from the United States since 1972 took place today. The landing by the commercial company is scheduled for February 23, if all goes according to plan. Jackie Wattles reports for CNN.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s use of illegal drugs risks billions of dollars in government contracts for his SpaceX program, some executives and board members at his company worry. Such drug use would likely be a violation of federal law policies. Emily Glazer and Kirsten Grind report for the Wall Street Journal.
Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team has obtained previously undisclosed information detailing former President Trump’s refusal to help stop the Jan. 6 Capitol riots as events unfolded. Trump’s former deputy chief of staff, Dan Scavino told investigators Trump “was just not interested” in doing more to stop the violence and instead was “very angry” that the election was allegedly stolen from him that day. Trump was also reportedly unbothered that Vice-President Mike Pence had to be moved to a secure location, and delayed posting a twitter message to his supporters that day to calm the situation. Katherine Faulders, Mike Levine, Alexander Mallin, and Will Steakin report for ABC News.