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


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected what he said were conditions proposed by Hamas for the release of remaining hostages in Gaza, including ending the war and withdrawing Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, according to a statement released by his office. He also reiterated his opposition to a two-state solution, putting him at odds with the Biden administration. “Gaza must be demilitarized, under Israel’s full security control. I will not compromise on full Israeli security control of all territory west of the Jordan River … My insistence is what has prevented – over the years – the establishment of a Palestinian state that would have constituted an existential danger to Israel. As long as I am Prime Minister, I will continue to strongly insist on this,” Netanyahu said. Niha Masih reports for the Washington Post.

“Not a single shekel will go to Gaza. Period,” far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich wrote after Israel’s security cabinet approved a measure giving him power to freeze funds intended for the Palestinian Authority (PA). Since the Oct. 7 attacks, Israel has refused to disburse the full amount of taxes it collects on behalf of the PA, which are primarily used to pay public employees and retirees. Lauren Izso reports for CNN.

More than 25,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war, the Hamas-run health ministry said. In the past 24 hours, 178 people have died, marking one of the deadliest days of the war so far, the ministry added. Mark Lowen reports for BBC News.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released footage yesterday of a tunnel in the city of Khan Younis where it said Hamas held around 20 hostages. The IDF found no hostages inside the tunnel, but it said that based on testimonies and DNA evidence, around 20 hostages were held there at different times. Lauren Izso and Teele Rebane report for CNN.

The IDF said it is reviewing the recent decision to destroy the main building of Gaza’s al-Israa University in what appears to have been a planned explosion by the military. The IDF said in a statement that Hamas “used the compound and its surrounding area for military purposes.” Miriam Berger and Hazem Balousha reports for the Washington Post.

A group of relatives of Israelis held hostage by Hamas stormed a parliamentary committee session in Jerusalem today, demanding that lawmakers do more to try to free them. Reuters reports.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said it received a shipment yesterday from the Egyptian Red Crescent consisting of 80 trucks carrying humanitarian aid that arrived at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza. Another 105 humanitarian aid trucks entered through the nearby Kerem Shalom on the same day, the aid organization said. Kareen Khadder reports for CNN.


Iran accused Israel of launching an airstrike on Damascus on Saturday that killed senior Iranian military figures, raising fears of deeper regional turmoil. Among those killed were the head of intelligence in Syria for the Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, and his deputy, according to Iranian news and an Israeli defense official. Iranian state media reported that President Ebrahim Raisi condemned the strike, saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will not leave the crimes of the Zionist regime unanswered.” Israeli officials neither confirmed nor denied that Israel was behind the attack. Raja Abdulrahim, Hwaida Saad, and Farnaz Fassihi report for the New York Times.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said the kingdom will not normalize relations with Israel or contribute to rebuilding Gaza without a credible path to Palestinian statehood. “As long as we’re able to find a pathway to a solution, a resolution, a pathway that means that we’re not going to be here again in a year or two, then we can talk about anything,” Prince Faisal said. “But if we are just resetting to the status quo before Oct. 7, in a way that sets us up for another round of this, as we have seen in the past, we’re not interested in that conversation.” Melanie Lidman and Wafaa Shurafa report for AP News.

Lebanon’s National News Agency reported that one person was killed and five others were injured in what it says was an Israeli drone strike yesterday in southern Lebanon, approximately 4.9 miles from the Lebanese-Israeli border. Sarah Sirgany, Charbel Mallo and Lauren Izso report for CNN.


Israel’s foreign minister will address his counterparts from the European Union (EU) today as part of a “diplomatic battle” to win support amid criticism over the death toll in Gaza and Netanyahu’s apparent refusal to consider Palestinian statehood. Yisrael Katz’s office said he will meet privately with E.U. foreign ministers in Brussels to discuss defeating Hamas and returning hostages. Peter Baker and Adam Rasgon report for the New York Times.

U.S., British, and European officials are pressuring Israel to allow aid into Gaza through the Israeli Ashdod port, according to six U.S. and European officials. The proposed agreement would see aid shipped from Cyprus to Ashdod and then transported to Kerem Shalom. The White House confirmed on Friday that Israel would permit flour to enter Gaza via Ashdod. Vivian Yee, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, and Adam Rasgon reports for the New York Times

Creating two separate states is the only solution to ending the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, Britain’s defense secretary Grant Shapps said yesterday. Shapps said Netanyahu’s rejection of the idea was “disappointing” but not a “surprise,” adding “we very much distinguish between the views of individuals and our overall support for Israel as a country.” BBC News reports.

The E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said yesterday that Israel’s plan to destroy Hamas is not working and that the European Union must pursue a two-state solution despite Israeli opposition. Borrell added, “What are the other solutions they have in mind. Make all the Palestinians leave? Kill all of them? … The way they are destroying Hamas is not the way to do it. They are sealing the hate for generations.” Andrew Gray reports for Reuters.

The United States, Egypt, and Qatar are pushing Israel and Hamas to join a phased diplomatic process that would begin with releasing hostages and lead to the withdrawal of Israeli forces in Gaza and an end to the war, according to diplomats involved in mediating the talks. The two parties’ “willingness to discuss the framework was a positive step [and] mediators are now working to bridge the gap,” one person briefed on the talks said. “The mediators have proposed a 90-day plan that would first pause fighting for an unspecified number of days for Hamas to first release all Israeli civilian hostages, while Israel would release hundreds of Palestinians that Israel has imprisoned, withdraw forces from Gaza’s towns and cities, allow freedom of movement in the Gaza Strip, end drone surveillance and double the amount of aid going into the enclave, according to the plan.” Summer Said reports for the Wall Street Journal.


Pakistan said today that Iran’s foreign minister will visit the country next week, signaling efforts to rebuild relations after the two countries exchanged missile strikes last week. Pakistan’s foreign ministry also said ambassadors of both countries have been asked to return to their posts by Jan. 26 after their initial recall. Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam reports for Reuters.


Iran-backed militants attacked an air base housing U.S. and Iraqi troops in western Iraq on Saturday, U.S. Central Command said, in the latest incident targeting U.S. forces amid rising regional tensions. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the strike was a part of a broad resistance to the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq, as well as a response to Israel’s operations in Gaza. Justine McDaniel, Annabelle Timsit, Louisa Loveluck, and Mustafa Salim report for the Washington Post.


White House deputy national security adviser Jon Finer defended the U.S.-led coalition strikes against the Houthis saying, “the purposes here go well beyond deterrence.” “We are also seeking to degrade the Houthis’ ability to continue launching these attacks.” Ayesha Ali reports for ABC News.

The U.S. military said yesterday it had declared two Navy SEALs dead after they went missing 10 days ago during a maritime operation to intercept weapons from Iran heading to Houthi fighters. The SEALS were among the first known U.S. fatalities in the United States’ campaign against the Houthis. Yan Zhuang reports for the New York Times.


North Korean officials said yesterday that Russian President Vladimir Putin may visit Pyongyang at an “early date.” The statement followed North Korean foreign minister Choe Son Hui meeting with Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow last week. Russian and North Korean officials expressed “their strong will to further strengthen strategic and tactical cooperation in defending the core interests of the two countries,” according to the North Korean statement. Lauren Sforza reports for The Hill.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said it detected six more Chinese balloons flying over the Taiwan Strait yesterday, one of which crossed the Island, in the latest spate of such balloons the ministry said it has seen over the past month-and-a-half. Reuters reports.

A caravan of about 500 migrants traveling from northern Honduras in hopes of reaching the United States dissolved yesterday after crossing the border into Guatemala, the Guatemalan Migration Institute reported. According to the immigration agency, those with documentation were able to continue, while those without the necessary documents returned to Honduras. AP News reports.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said the deal granting Ethiopia maritime access through Somaliland “is acceptable to no one.” Sisi added, “We are unwavering in our support for our brothers, and if they call upon us, we will not hesitate to act.” Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s national security adviser Redwan Hussien said yesterday the deal with Somaliland was meant to further cooperation and partnership and is not an “assumption of sovereignty over the territory of any state.” BBC News reports. 

A protest against Germany’s far right in Munich yesterday drew approximately 100,000 people, according to German police. The demonstrations followed a report that right-wing extremists met to discuss deporting millions of immigrants, including those with German citizenship, with members of the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) in attendance. AP News reports.


An explosion at a major Russian gas export terminal near the city of St. Petersburg was carried out by Ukrainian drones, according to BBC News. The blast caused no injuries but started a large fire, according to Russian officials. A source in Kyiv also said the “special operation” of the SBU security service was behind the attack, using drones that worked “on target.” Ukraine said the fuel processed at the plant was used to supply Russian troops but it has not claimed responsibility for the attack. Sarah Rainsford and Oliver Slow reports for BBC News.

At least 27 people were killed in a shelling attack in the Russian-held city of Donetsk, according to the Moscow-installed leader of the region. A Ukrainian army group operating in the region said it did not carry out the attack. Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry called it “a barbaric terrorist act against the peaceful people of Russia” by Ukrainian forces who “used weapons supplied by the West.” Oliver Slow reports for BBC News.

Poland’s new Prime Minister Donald Tusk arrived in Ukraine today to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, aiming to strengthen relations between the two wartime allies. The meeting comes as Tusk’s government explores how to increase military equipment and ammunition supplies as part of a new aid package to Kyiv. Reuters reports. 


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ended his 2024 presidential campaign yesterday and endorsed former President Trump. DeSantis was widely viewed as Trump’s most formidable opponent, and his announcement will give Trump a boost ahead of the New Hampshire contest. Erin Doherty and Alex Thompson report for Axios.