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


Israel has withdrawn thousands of troops from Gaza following pressure from the United States to transition to a more surgical phase in the war, a decision that has left some Israeli officials concerned that the country will be vulnerable to renewed militant activity. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that “this war is continuing and will continue until the end, until we have hit all our goals.” Thomas Grove and Carrie Keller-Lynn report for the Wall Street Journal.

The Gaza Strip experienced a sixth consecutive day of a near-total communications blackout yesterday, leaving civilians unable to call for help and aid workers struggling to reach them as Israeli air strikes continued in the south. The territory’s largest telecommunications company, Paltel, said the blackout is the longest of several Gaza has experienced since the war broke out, this time arising due to damaged infrastructure in the city of Khan Younis. Anushka Patil and Adam Rasgon report for the New York Times.

Medicines and aid for Palestinians and Israeli hostages have entered the Gaza Strip, a spokesperson for the Qatari foreign ministry confirmed in a post on X.  Two Qatari military aircraft carried 61 tons of aid, provided by France and Qatar, into Egypt on Wednesday. Jennifer Hauser reports for CNN

Witnesses in the West Bank have accused Israel of targeting Palestinian civilians with no links to armed groups and who posed no threat to Israeli forces. Seven men, four of them brothers, were killed on Jan. 7 in an airstrike in Jenin. Witnesses provided strong evidence that the men were not members of militant groups and that Israeli forces were not clashing in the location at the time. Lucy Williamson reports for BBC News.

Israel said 235 people were taken hostage on Oct. 7, marking the first time a firm number has been announced. 

An Israeli airstrike on a home killed 16 people, half of them children, in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, medics said today. Najib Jobain and Bassem Mroue report for AP News.

The chairman of the Palestinian Investment Fund, a state-owned corporation overseen by the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank, estimated at the World Economic Forum yesterday that it would cost at least $15 billion to rebuild destroyed housing units in the Gaza Strip. Jordyn Holman and Gaya Gupta report for the New York Times.


Iran’s foreign minister yesterday blamed the United States and Israel for escalating regional tensions, saying that if Israel ended its war in Gaza, tensions on the border with Lebanon and in the Red Sea would fall. Matthew Mpoke Bigg reports for the New York Times.

The U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos that he is “extremely worried about Lebanon,” saying “we cannot have in Lebanon another Gaza.” Chris Liakos reports for CNN.


France rejected yesterday accusations that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, with Stéphane Séjourné, France’s newly appointed foreign minister, saying, “To accuse the Jewish state of genocide is to cross a moral threshold. The notion of genocide cannot be exploited for political ends.”  Aurelien Breeden reports for the New York Times.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov pushed for “the creation of a Palestinian state” while speaking during his annual press conference today. Lavrov added, “Without this, whatever happens, we will see relapses of the violence that is now seen in Gaza.” Lavrov said he “hopes[sic] the Israeli state will come to this conclusion eventually” but recognized that was “unacceptable for Israel at the moment.” Anna Chernova and Jessie Gretener report for CNN.


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday that the civilian suffering in Gaza is “gut-wrenching” and that U.S. officials have spoken with Israeli officials about their duty to minimize casualties and facilitate humanitarian aid. Blinken added, “The suffering we’re seeing among innocent men, women and children breaks my heart. The question is, what is to be done?” Matthew Mpoke Bigg reports for the New York Times.

The Israeli government did not link the return of Palestinian civilians to northern Gaza to the release of hostages held by Hamas during meetings with Blinken last week, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said yesterday. Before the meeting, the Israeli Defense Minister proposed that Palestinians should not be allowed to return home until all remaining hostages are free.  Jennifer Hansler reports for CNN.


Pakistan carried out airstrikes in Iran’s bordering province of Sistan-Baluchistan this morning in response to an Iranian airstrike in Pakistan on Tuesday aimed at Iranian insurgents, Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs said. Both states were careful to say they only targeted their own nationals in the strikes, indicating that neither wants the situation to worsen. Saeed Shah reports for the Wall Street Journal

The Pakistani army is in a “perpetual state of readiness” after it carried out retaliatory strikes in Iran, its army said. The statement said they were targeting “terrorist organizations,” specifically the Balochistan Liberation Army and the Balochistan Liberation Front. BBC News reports.

Iran has admitted to carrying out a missile and drone strike on western Pakistan on Tuesday. Iran’s foreign minister said the attack targeted the militant group Jaish al-Adli, which he described as an “Iranian terrorist group” operating in Pakistan. Paul Adams and Caroline Davies report for BBC News.


Attacks by Iran-backed groups in the Middle East will not stop until Israel’s war with Hamas ends, Iran’s foreign minister said yesterday. “If the genocide in Gaza stops, then it will lead to the end of other crises and attacks in the region,” he said. Tamara Qiblawi reports for CNN.

Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah rejected Washington’s idea for de-escalating tensions with Israel, such as pulling its fighters from the border, but the group remains open to U.S. diplomacy to avoid a full-scale war, Lebanese officials said. Laila Bassam and Maya Gebeily report for Reuters.


The United States struck Houthi military sites in Yemen for the fourth time in a week, the Pentagon’s Central Command said, in the latest exchange of fire between Washington and the Iran-backed militia. The strikes destroyed 14 missiles and their launches as the Houthis were preparing to fire them. Eric Schmitt reports for the New York Times.

The Houthis confirmed the latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Yemen yesterday, saying, “The American-British aggression renewed its targeting of a number of Yemeni governorates.” The group also asserted that the “operations” of its “naval forces in the Red and Arabian Seas will continue to target Israeli ships linked to the enemy entity.” The remarks  follow the United States redesignating the Houthis as a specially designated global terrorist entity yesterday. Jonny Hallam reports for CNN.


Chinese researchers isolated and mapped the virus that causes Covid-19 in late December 2019, at least two weeks before Beijing revealed details of the fatal virus to the world, congressional investigators said. Documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by a House committee show that a nearly complete sequence of the virus’ structure was uploaded to a U.S. government-run database in late December 2019, when Chinese officials were publicly describing the disease as a viral pneumonia “of unknown cause.” Warren P. Strobel reports for the Wall Street Journal.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani said the U.S.-led coalition that has assisted his country fight the self-styled Islamic State militant group is no longer needed, adding, “We believe the justifications for the international coalition have ended.” The Pentagon declined to comment,adding that the Iraqi government has not made any official requests for U.S. forces to vacate. Michael R. Gordon, David S. Cloud, and Elena Cherney report for the Wall Street Journal.

A prosecutor investigating an attack on a TV studio in Ecuador last week was killed yesterday, officials said. César Suárez was killed in the port city of Guayaquil, the attorney general said. It is unclear whether his death is linked to his investigation into the attack, when masked men burst into a live broadcast and threatened staff at gunpoint last week. Alys Davies reports for BBC News.

Suspected Jordanian air strikes on southern Syria killed 10 people including children this morning, according to local Syrian media and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Reuters reports.

Somalia’s foreign ministry said there is “no room for mediation” with Ethiopia unless it retracts its “illegal” deal with the self-declared Republic of Somaliland that allows for the lease of part of its coastline. BBC News reports.

Singapore’s transport minister S. Iswaran has resigned after being charged with corruption today, the Prime Minister’s office said. Iswaran is the country’s first sitting minister to be charged with a criminal offense, facing 27 charges spanning his 30-year career. Heather Chen reports for CNN.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for some of the frozen Russian assets seized by global banks to be sent to rebuild Ukraine. Speaking at the World Economic Forum yesterday, Zelenksyy said, “They destroyed Ukraine…if we have $300bn of Russia assets we have to use them directly to rebuild what has been destroyed by Russian missiles.” The G7 group is considering seizing only the rise in value and interest due since the assets were frozen in 2020. Faisal Islam reports for BBC News.

Russia launched 33 drones and two missiles at Ukraine overnight, with Kyiv’s air defenses destroying 22 drones, the Ukrainian military said today. Reuters reports.


The United States has barred entry to Guatemala’s former president Alejandro Giammettei, who left office on Sunday. The U.S. State Department said there was “credible information” indicating he was involved in corruption during his tenure. José de Córdoba reports for the Wall Street Journal.

Texas is refusing to comply with a cease-and-desist letter from the Biden administration over actions by the state that have hampered U.S. Border Patrol access to parts of the border with Mexico. In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “Because the facts and law side with Texas, the State will continue utilizing its constitutional authority to defend her territory, and I will continue defending those lawful efforts in court.” Julia Ainsley and Zoë Richards report for NBC News.


A judge threatened former President Trump to be kicked out of court after he was overheard criticizing E. Jean Caroll’s testimony within earshot of the jury. The second day of the civil defamation trial featured multiple tense exchanges between Trump and Judge Kaplan. Kayla Epstein and Sam Cabral report for BBC News.