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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 made a proposal to Hamas through Qatari and Egyptian mediators that includes up to a two-month pause in the fighting as part of a multi-phase deal that would include the release of all remaining hostages in Gaza, according to two Israeli officials. Israeli officials said the proposal includes redeploying Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) so some would leave main population centers to allow for a gradual return of Palestinian civilians to Gaza city and the northern Gaza Strip. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.
Israel has proposed that Hamas senior leaders could leave Gaza as part of a broader ceasefire agreement, two officials familiar with the discussions told CNN. Senior Hamas officials are known to live in Qatar, Doha, and Beirut, among other places outside the Palestinian territories. Israel has yet to capture or kill any of Hamas’s most senior leaders in Gaza during the war, although an Israeli airstrike killed a top commander in Beirut.
Twenty one Israeli soldiers were killed in southern Gaza yesterday, the IDF said, marking the biggest single loss of life for Israeli troops since the Oct. 7 attacks. IDF spokesperson rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said a tank protecting Israeli troops was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Simultaneously, two two-story buildings collapsed on Israeli soldiers following an explosion. “The buildings probably exploded because of the mines that our forces laid there, in preparation to demolish them and the infrastructure around,” Hagari said. Amir Tal and Richard Allen Greene report for CNN.
The IDF said today it has encircled the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, a major step in its effort to defeat Hamas. Matthew Mpoke Bigg reports for the New York Times.
Fighting intensified in southern Gaza yesterday, with reports of heavy gunfire and a surge of Israeli tanks and troops into areas around hospitals. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the Hamas-run health ministry said many people had been killed and wounded in the city of Khan Younis, without providing specific numbers. In a statement, the Red Crescent said ambulances are unable to reach the injured, as anyone attempting to move around the area was coming under fire, adding that “the whole district of Khan Younis is essentially besieged.” Israeli officials have described the city as a Hamas stronghold and said the campaign was targeting Hamas leadership.e Hiba Yazbek and Adam Rasgon report for the New York Times.
U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Michael Fakhri, said yesterday Israel is destroying Gaza’s food system. “Israel is intentionally imposing a high rate of disease, prolonged malnutrition, dehydration + starvation by destroying civilian infrastructure,” Fakhri said in a post on X. More than 1.9 million Palestinians have been forcibly displaced since the start of the war, according to the U.N.’s agency for Palestinian refugees. Meanwhile, Gaza is facing its 10th near-total internet blackout, according to Paltel, the territory’s main telecommunications provider. Ruba Alhenawi reports for CNN.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR — REGIONAL RESPONSE
Egypt has rejected accusations that it has not maintained security of its border with the Gaza Strip, leading to arms smuggling in the enclave. The head of Egypt’s State Information Service, the government’s media outlet, blamed “extremist Israeli leaders who seek to drag the region into a state of conflict and instability.” Mitchell McCluskey, Housam Ahmed, and Sarah El Sirgany report for CNN.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR — INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Arab countries are working on a proposal for postwar Gaza that would create a pathway for Palestinian statehood in exchange for Saudi Arabia’s recognition and normalized relations with Israel, according to Arab officials. The proposal has been submitted to Israel via the U.S. and is still being finalized but has so far been rejected by Israel’s government, with the establishment of a Palestinian state appearing to be the main sticking point. Summer Said, Margherita Stancati, and Laurence Norman report for the Wall Street Journal.
European Union foreign ministers pressured Israel’s foreign minister Yisrael Katz to reduce civilian suffering in Gaza and move toward establishing an independent Palestinian state in a closed-door meeting in Brussels yesterday. Appearing to sidestep the discussions, Katz showed ministers a video of a non-official project that would create an artificial island off Gaza as a logistics base and to screen passengers and cargo entering the territory by sea, E.U. chief Josep Borrell said. The proposal did not include explicit plans to relocate Palestinians to the island, but an Israeli official traveling with Katz said the plan could include housing for Palestinians. Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Monika Pronczuk, and Adam Rasgon report for the New York Times.
The U.S. Treasury said yesterday it would sanction an Iraqi budget airline, Fly Baghdad, for transporting weapons, fighters, and cash on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and allied armed groups. “Iran and its proxies have sought to abuse regional economies and use seemingly legitimate businesses as cover for funding and facilitating their attacks,” said Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Fly Baghdad denied the allegations and said the company “operated for years under the direct supervision of the Iraqi government represented by the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Transportation.” The U.S. Treasury said the illegal transport of Iranian-made weapons to regional proxies was also a factor in the recent deaths of two Navy SEAL team members who were declared dead yesterday after a 10-day search. Alissa J. Rubin reports for the New York Times.
MILITARY CONFLICT WITH HOUTHIS
The U.S.-led coalition launched “proportionate and necessary strikes” against eight Houthi targets in Yemen last night, the Pentagon said in a joint statement with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. “These precision strikes are intended to disrupt and degrade the capabilities that the Houthis use to threaten global trade and the lives of innocent mariners … Today’s strike specifically targeted a Houthi underground storage site and locations associated with the Houthis’ missile and air surveillance capabilities.”
The Houthis’ military spokesperson Yahya Sarea has issued a statement saying the United States and the United Kingdom carried out 18 strikes in Yemen in total, warning “these attacks will not go unanswered.” He did not say whether the strikes caused any damage or casualties. BBC News reports.
Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said his country has given a “serious message and warning” to the United States that their strikes in Yemen are a “strategic mistake.” Amir-Abdollahian said the actions threaten “peace and security in the region and it is the intensification of the scope of the war.” BBC News reports.
U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps described the new wave of strikes in Yemen against the Houthis as “self-defense,” while British foreign secretary David Cameron said he is confident the strikes are degrading the Houthis’ ability to launch attacks. Cameron added “we should not accept” Houthi claims that the attacks are linked to their support for Palestinians.
The U.S. military denied claims made by the Houthis yesterday that it had successfully attacked an American cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden. “The Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists’ report of an alleged successful attack on M/V Ocean Jazz is patently false,” the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said. Earlier in the day, the Houthis said they launched a missile attack on the ship, but it did not say when or where the attack took place. Reuters reports.
New Zealand will deploy a six-member defense team to the Middle East as part of the U.S.-led coalition to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said yesterday. “Houthi attacks against commercial and naval shipping are illegal, unacceptable and profoundly destabilizing,” Luxon said during a media briefing. “This deployment … is a continuation of New Zealand’s long history of defending freedom of navigation both in the Middle East and closer to home.” New Zealand’s foreign minister added that its actions should not be conflated with its view on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Reuters reports.
Western states used a regular U.N.-backed review of China’s human rights record yesterday to press China over its repressive policies in Hong Kong, Tibet, and the Xinjiang region. A total of 160 countries registered to partake in discussions, an extraordinarily high number. AP News reports.
The Turkish parliament’s general assembly will debate Sweden’s NATO membership bid today, according to three sources from parliament. After a likely full parliamentary approval, President Tayyip Erdogan is expected to sign the measure into law, concluding a lengthy process that began after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Huseyin Hatatsever reports for Reuters.
The leader of Moldova’s pro-Russian separatist Transdniestria region called on its intelligence and defense institutions yesterday to uphold a “high level of military preparedness” and conduct regular military drills. Alexander Tanas reports for Reuters.
Russian missile strikes targeted the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv this morning, killing at least six people, wounding dozens, and damaging residential buildings, officials said. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s air force said it destroyed 21 of 41 missiles launched by Russia overnight. Illia Novikov reports for AP News.
For the first time since Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin established the international group to support Ukraine in 2022, the White House will host a meeting today of about 50 countries without money to send weapons to Ukraine, as a budget that will potentially approve more money for Ukraine awaits congressional approval. Today’s meeting will focus on longer-term needs, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said yesterday. “Even though we aren’t able to provide our security assistance right now, our partners are continuing to do that,” she added. Tara Copp and Lolita C. Baldor report for AP News.
NATO signed a $1.2 billion contract for hundreds of thousands of 155m artillery rounds today, some of which will be supplied to Ukraine after Kyiv said it faces ammunition shortages. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after the signing ceremony that “the war in Ukraine has become a battle of ammunition.” Reuters reports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Ukrainians abroad for their support during Russia’s invasion and proposed changing the constitution to allow for dual citizenship, except for citizens of Russia. Ukraine’s constitution does not currently give citizens the right to dual citizenship, so millions of ethnic Ukrainians who live abroad are unable to hold Ukrainian passports. Reuters reports.
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday in a 5-4 vote that Border Patrol agents can resume cutting the razor wire Texas installed along part of the U.S.-Mexico border that has been at the center of a recent standoff between the Biden administration and the state over immigration enforcement. Mark Sherman and Paul J. Weber report for AP News.
A federal appeals panel in Boston ruled yesterday that a $10 billion lawsuit filed by Mexico against U.S. gun manufacturers whose weapons are used by drug cartels can proceed, reversing a lower court that had dismissed the case. The ruling is a significant setback for gunmakers who have been protected for nearly two decades by a federal law that provides immunity from some lawsuits brought by the families of people killed or injured by their weapons. The gun industry’s main trade association said it is reviewing legal options following the ruling. Glenn Thrush reports for the New York Times.