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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’s top lawyer yesterday said that her office had discovered unacceptable conduct by Israeli forces in Gaza, including some incidents by troops that “cross the criminal threshold.” In a letter to officers, Maj. Gen. Yifat Tomer Yerushalmi, the military’s general advocate, said her unit had encountered some conduct that “deviates from I.D.F. values and orders,” including “inappropriate statements that encourage unacceptable phenomena; the application of non-operationally justified force, including on detainees; looting, which includes the use or disposal of private property that doesn’t serve an operational use; and the destruction of civilian property against orders.” The letter called on commanders to create a zero tolerance environment so future incidents can be prevented. Adam Sella reports for the New York Times

“Preliminary signs” of progress have emerged on a deal to pause fighting in Gaza in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, Benny Gantz, said yesterday. Without providing details, Gantz said there has been momentum on a new draft of the deal that indicates a “possibility to advance.” A spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to comment yesterday on whether Israel intended to send a delegation to future negotiations talks in Cairo or Paris. Adam Sella reports for the New York Times.

A highway shooting in the occupied West Bank killed at least one person and injured several others, according to Israeli authorities. In a statement, Israeli police said three gunmen opened fire near the A-Zaim checkpoint after they arrived in vehicles from the direction of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement toward Jerusalem. Security forces “neutralized” two of the shooters at the scene and another “who tried to escape,” it added. Amir Tal reports for CNN.

Israeli bombs on Rafah flattened a mosque and destroyed homes in what residents called one of their worst nights yet. Meanwhile, the Hamas-run health ministry said 97 people were killed and 130 wounded in the last 24 hours of Israeli assaults. Ibraheem Abu Mustafa and Nidal Al-Mughrabi report for Reuters

Israeli civilians suffered “brutal sexual assaults” that were carried out “systematically and deliberately” during the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, according to a report published by the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI) yesterday. Lauren Izso reports for CNN.


CIA Director Bill Burns is expected to travel to Paris tomorrow to hold talks with Qatari, Egyptian, and Israeli officials about the efforts to reach a hostage release deal, a source familiar with the issue and an Israeli official said. Biden administration officials said they want to secure a deal before the start of Ramadan in less than three weeks in order to ensure there is a temporary ceasefire in place during the Muslim holy month. The current proposal the Biden administration is pushing would see at least a six-week fighting pause, but the main sticking point centers on differences over the number of Palestinian prisoners to be released and how the list for the first stage would be determined. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) heard statements from 11 countries including France, Russia, and Egypt yesterday about the legality of Israel’s policies in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. France labeled the Israeli settlement policies “illegal” and argued that Israel was obligated to protect the Palestinian population under its occupation. Egypt’s representative also condemned Israel’s “ongoing obstruction” of the Palestinian people’s right to determination, while Russia’s ambassador to the Netherlands said that Israeli settlements have effectively shrunk Palestinian territory. However, Hungary’s delegation said the hearings could inflame tensions rather than defuse them. Bryan Pietsch and Joe Snell report for the Washington Post.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken exchanged opposing views with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva yesterday over Lula’s likening of Israel’s actions in Gaza to the Holocaust. A senior State Department official said Blinken “made clear that we disagree with those comments” and his view that the United States does not support an immediate ceasefire because it would leave Hamas in a place to repeat attacks against Israel. John Hudson reports for the Washington Post.

A debate in Britain’s parliament yesterday on calls for a ceasefire in Gaza descended into chaos after the speaker broke with convention to allow a vote on a Labour motion for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire.” In extraordinary scenes, Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs and some Conservatives walked out of the chamber over the speaker’s handling of the vote, accusing him of allowing it to be “hijacked” by the opposition Labour party. Becky Morton reports for BBC News.


An Israeli sabotage attack on an Iranian natural gas pipeline caused multiple explosions on the line, Iran’s oil minister alleged yesterday, further escalating regional tensions in the backdrop of the war in Gaza. Israel has not acknowledged carrying out the attack, although it rarely claims its espionage missions abroad. Jon Gambrell reports for AP News.


U.S. intelligence agencies have told their European counterparts that if Russia is going to launch a nuclear weapon into orbit, it will likely do so this year, but that it may instead launch a “dummy” warhead to leave the West guessing about its capabilities and nuclear arsenal. The assessment came as U.S. intelligence officials conducted a rushed series of classified briefings for NATO and Asian allies, as details of the United States’ assessment of Russia’s conventions began to leak. U.S. intelligence agencies are sharply divided in their opinion about what Putin is planning. David E. Sanger reports for the New York Times.

The recent firing of a Trident missile from a Royal Navy submarine has failed for the second time in a row. In a written statement to Parliament yesterday, British Defense Secretary Grant Schapps said the failure was an “anomaly” and that the launch had “reaffirmed the effectiveness of the U.K’s nuclear deterrent,” adding, “There are no implications for the reliability of the wider Trident missile systems and stockpiles. Nor are there any implications for our ability to fire our nuclear weapons, should the circumstances arise in which we need to do so.”

A Japan-based U.S. Navy sailor has been charged with espionage for allegedly sharing classified information with a foreign government. Bryce Pedicini, a chief petty officer fire controlman assigned to a Japan-based guided missile destroyer, purportedly gave documents to foreign agents at least seven times in 2022 and 2023. Pedicini also faces accusations by the U.S. Navy of transferring photographs displaying a military computer screen in May 2023. Bernd Dabusmann Jr reports for BBC News.

U.S. Prosecutors have charged an alleged member of the Japanese mafia with conspiring to traffic nuclear materials. Takeshi Ebisawa, 60, is currently imprisoned in a Brooklyn jail after allegedly attempting to sell uranium and plutonium on the belief it would be transferred to Iran to build a nuclear bomb. Ebisawa, along with a Thai co-defendant, had previously faced charges related to weapons and drugs in April 2022. He faces life imprisonment if convicted of the latest charges. Bernd Debusmann Jr reports for BBC News.

Canada said it holds “the Kremlin entirely accountable” for the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and has summoned the Russian ambassador in protest. Mariya Knight reports for CNN

The United Kingdom is sanctioning six individuals who were in charge of the “Polar Wolf” colony where Nevalny died last week. The six individuals will be banned from entry to the United Kingdom and have any of their assets frozen, the U.K. Foreign Office confirmed

Iran has provided Russia with a large number of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, six sources told Reuters, indicating deepening military ties between the two U.S.-sanctioned countries. Iran’s provision of around 400 missiles includes many from the Fateh-110 family of short-range ballistic weapons, such as the Zolfaghar, three Iranian sources said, which experts say are capable of striking targets at a distance of between 186 and 435 miles. Parisa Hafezi, John Irish, Tom Balmforth and Jonathan Landay report for Reuters.

Albania’s parliament today ratified a migration deal with Italy allowing it to process centers for migrants in the Balkan country. One camp would screen migrants and a second would detain them while asylum applications are processed, after which migrants would either be allowed entry to Italy or face repatriation. Reuters reports.

Armed groups that have been controlling Tripoli for more than a decade have agreed to vacate Libya’s capital. Libya’s interior minister Imad Trabelsi said the deal was struck after lengthy negotiations for regular forces to police Tripoli, adding that the militia would be used “only in exceptional circumstances for specific missions” going forward. Libya is currently divided between the internationally recognized government in the west, led by interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah in Tripoli, and an administration in the east led by military strongman Khalifa Haftar. Adam Durbin reports for BBC News.

Turkey will provide maritime security support to Somalia to help it defend its territorial waters, an official from the Turkish defense ministry said today. It follows Turkey and Somalia signing a defense and economic cooperation agreement earlier this month during the Somali defense minister’s visit to Ankara. Reuters reports.


A pro-war Russian military blogger died yesterday, his lawyer said, after he wrote that Russia’s military pressured him to remove a post exposing the scale of its recent losses in Ukraine. Andrei Morozov claimed in his post that Russia had lost 16,000 men and 300 armored vehicles in its assault in the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, which Russia captured last week. He deleted the post on Tuesday after what he said was a campaign of intimidation against him by the military and Kremlin propagandists. The following morning, Morozov published a series of Telegram posts outlining the complaints he had received and threatening to end his life. The cause of his death has not been reported at the time of writing. Anatoly Kurmanaev reports for the New York Times.

Russia’s claim that it has captured the key village of Krynky in Kherson region is a “manipulation and falsification of facts,” Ukraine’s Operational Command said. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday had claimed that Krynky was “completely” under Russian control.

Russia is facing “extreme challenges” to provide ammunition and weapons for its war in Ukraine, according to Western officials. “Sanctions are hitting the Russian military industrial complex hard, causing severe delays and increasing costs. An inability to access Western components is severely undermining Russia’s production of new systems and repairs of old systems, with long-term consequences for the quality of weapons produced,” they said. It comes amid growing concerns over the provision of Western weapons to Ukraine. Gordon Corera reports for BBC News.

Italy is set to sign a bilateral security agreement with Ukraine to help Kyiv strengthen its defense industry and fight hybrid threats such as cyber attacks, Italian foreign minister Antonio Tajani said today. 


President Biden’s brother, James Biden, testified yesterday in a closed-door interview with the House Oversight and Judiciary committees as a part of their impeachment probe into the president. James Biden is the first member of the Biden family to testify, with the president’s son set to testify on Feb. 28. He denied that the president “ever had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest” in his businesses, according to his opening statement obtained by Axios.

The White House is considering using federal immigration law provisions tapped by former President Trump to enact a crackdown at the southern border, according to three people familiar with the deliberations. The Biden administration has been exploring how border policies could be deployed without further congressional approval after Republican lawmakers rejected a border bill earlier this month, multiple officials and others familiar with the discussions said. Seung Min Kim and Colleen Long report for AP News.


Former President Trump’s attorneys requested a 30-day extension yesterday on the time limit to pay a $355 million civil fraud trial verdict levied against him last week. The attorneys argued that New York Attorney General Letitia James is in an “unseemly rush to memorialize” the judgment, and that a stay would “allow for an orderly post-Judgment process, particularly given the magnitude of the Judgment.” It follows James saying she could seize some of Trump’s assets if he could not come up with the funds. Nick Robertson reports for The Hill