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


Israel attacked an underground space in central Gaza used by Marwan Issa, the deputy commander of Hamas’s military wing, an Israeli military spokesperson said yesterday, adding that investigators were still analyzing the outcome of the strike. A spokesperson for the Israeli military emphasized that Israel had not finished verifying the results of the attack by Israeli warplanes, which occurred overnight between Saturday and Sunday, and said the strike hit a location previously used by Issa and another senior Hamas military official responsible for the group’s weapons. Hamas has not commented at the time of writing, although if Issa were killed in the strike, he would be the highest-ranking Hamas commander to have been killed since the war erupted. Adam Rasgon reports for the New York Times.

An Israeli offensive into Rafah is not imminent, multiple Israeli officials said yesterday. The officials added that the Israeli military has yet to build up the forces needed to proceed with a Rafah offensive, and plans are yet to be finalized for a civilian evacuation of the city. Jeremy Diamond and Richard Allen Greene report for CNN.

Palestinian medical staff in Gaza have told the BBC they were blindfolded, detained, forced to strip and repeatedly beaten by Israeli troops after a raid at Nasser hospital last month. One doctor recalled having muzzled dogs set upon him and having his hand broken by an Israeli soldier, and another two medics said they were doused with cold water and forced to kneel in uncomfortable positions for hours. In response to the allegations, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) denied that medical staff were harmed during their operation, although the IDF did not deny specific claims of mistreatment. 

Famine is imminent in northern Gaza if the size of aid entering the enclave does not increase “exponentially,” Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme Cindy McCain said yesterday. Meanwhile, a World Health Organization team and its partners has reached Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday in a post on X. The team delivered food, 24,050 liters of fuel, and medical supplies for 42,000 patients, which included anesthetic drugs, surgical materials and medicine, Ghebreyesus said.


President Biden said he has no immediate plans to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as tensions rose over Israel’s plans for a Rafah invasion and the humanitarian situation in Gaza. “We’ll see what happens,” the president said yesterday, when asked by reporters whether he plans to schedule a meeting. Meanwhile, CIA Director William Burns told lawmakers yesterday, “The reality is that there are children who are starving … they’re malnourished, as a result of the fact that humanitarian assistance can’t get to them. It’s very difficult to distribute humanitarian assistance effectively, unless you have a ceasefire.” Rachel Pannett reports for the Washington Post.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. yesterday urged U.N. Security Council members to avoid “drawing false equivalency” between allegations of sexual assaults by Hamas on Oct. 7 and claims of sexual violence against Palestinians detained by Israel. “Let me be clear, these two things are not the same,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. All parties to “this conflict must uphold their obligations under international law” regarding the treatment of detainees, the ambassador added. 

A new American intelligence assessment released yesterday raised doubts over whether Netanyahu could stay in power, claiming that “distrust of Netanyahu’s ability to rule has deepened and broadened across the public from its already high levels before the war, and we expect large protests demanding his resignation and new elections.” The report predicted that Israel would struggle to achieve its goal of “destroying Hamas,” adding that “Israel probably will face lingering armed resistance from Hamas for years to come, and the military will struggle to neutralize Hamas’s underground infrastructure, which allows insurgents to hide, regain strength and surprise Israeli forces.” Julian E. Barnes reports for the New York Times.

The U.S. military conducted another airdrop into northern Gaza yesterday afternoon, U.S. Central Command announced. CENTCOM added that the Department of Defense humanitarian drops “are part of a sustained effort, and we continue to plan follow-on aerial deliveries.”


The U.N. Security Council held an emergency session yesterday — initiated jointly by the United States, Britain, and France — to discuss accusations of sexual violence against Israeli women during the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks and against hostages held in captive in Gaza. Special envoy on sexual violence and conflict, Pramila Patten, led the report and called for a full-fledged human rights investigation by U.N. bodies into what she described as “unspeakable violence perpetrated with shocking brutality.” Israel’s foreign minister also spoke at the session, asking for Hamas to be declared a terrorist organization and called on the Council to press for the immediate release of hostages in Gaza. Farnaz Fassihi reports for the New York Times.

A senior British lawyer has been appointed to oversee the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories, according to the Guardian. Andrew Cayley is expected to take responsibility for the running of the case and will work alongside American lawyer, Brenda Hollis. Cayley previously worked as the U.K.’s chief military prosecutor, and in that time, played a key part in a process that resulted in the former ICC prosecutor deciding in 2020 to abandon an investigation into allegations that U.K. military personnel committed war crimes in Iraq.

An aid ship has departed Cyprus for the Gaza Strip carrying nearly 200 tons of food, the World Central Kitchen said this morning. The maritime assistance pilot program had initially been set to begin last Friday, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Kendra Nichols and Cate Brown reports for the Washington Post.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said today that Netanyahu was undermining Israel with his approach to the war in Gaza and urged the country to change course or lose further international support. “October 7th was a terrorist attack and the world was rightly very sympathetic to and in solidarity with Israel at that time,” Wang said, adding “I think the world is horrified with the current situation … and I would say that unless Israel changes its course it will continue to lose support.” Lewis Jackson reports for Reuters


Yemen’s Houthis fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles at a Liberian-flagged container ship in the Red Sea but did not hit the vessel or cause injuries, U.S. Central Command said yesterday. Afterwards, the United States conducted “six self-defense strikes destroying an unmanned underwater vessel and 18 anti-ship missiles” at weapons presenting “an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region,” it added. 

Britain will deploy its HMS Diamond warship to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to take over from HMS Richmond in defending shipping in the region, the government said today.


Israeli fighter jets struck two Hezbollah compounds in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley in response to aircraft attacks launched toward the Golan Heights in recent days, the IDF said yesterday. “The sites belong to Hezbollah’s aerial forces that planned and carried out various attacks against the State of Israel,” the IDF said. Mitchell McCluskey and Charbel Mallo report for CNN.


Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry has agreed to resign following weeks of mounting pressure and a surge of gang violence in the country. Henry said his government would dissolve once a transitional presidential council had been established, following a week of “systematic looting and destruction of public buildings and private buildings.” His resignation follows talks yesterday which lasted over seven hours involving U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 40 representatives from Haiti, as well as regional heads of state, according to a senior administration official. Phil Helsel and Marissa Parra report for NBC News.

China’s government used social media site TikTok to influence recent U.S. elections, the American intelligence community warned in its annual threat assessment yesterday. The report said that TikTok accounts run by Chinese propaganda “reportedly targeted candidates from both political parties during the U.S. midterm election cycle in 2022,” adding that China’s government may “attempt to influence the U.S. elections in 2024 at some level because of its desire to sideline critics of China and magnify U.S. societal divisions.” China is specifically increasing efforts to shape American discourse around its sovereignty issues as well as territorial and other claims in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, according to the report. Jacob Knutson reports for Axios.

Talks between the United States and Iraq on ending the U.S.-led military coalition in the country may not be concluded until after the U.S. presidential elections in November, a senior Iraqi government official told Reuters. Meanwhile last week, former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and moderate member of Iraq’s ruling Shi’ite Coordination Framework told journalists, “I don’t think the Americans want a full withdrawal. That is clear.” 

The European Union is “prepared to respond swiftly” with “new and significant measures against Iran” amid reports that Tehran may transfer ballistic missiles to Russia for use against Ukraine, according to draft text seen by Reuters. The draft conclusions also said the European leaders would call on High Representative Josep Borrell and the Commission to prepare further sanctions against Belarus and North Korea, as well as Iran.

India has announced rules that would allow it to implement a controversial citizenship bill that excludes Muslims. The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs announced the rules Monday, ahead of India’s general election in the spring, with the bill providing fast-track citizenship for immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan on the caveat that they are not Muslim. The law would also allow citizenship to religious minorities persecuted on religious grounds, including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians. Heather Law, Vedika Sud, and Tara John report for CNN; Nikhila Henry in Delhi and Kathryn Armstron report for BBC News.


Russia is producing nearly three times more artillery shells than the United States and Europe for Ukraine, according to NATO intelligence estimates of Russian defense production shared with CNN, as well as sources familiar with Western efforts to arm Ukraine. “What we are in now is a production war,” a senior NATO official said, adding that Russia is running artillery factories “24/7.” 

Former President Trump will not fund Ukraine’s fight against Russia if he is reelected as U.S. president, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. “He will not give a penny in the Ukraine-Russia war. That is why the war will end,” Orban, a long-term ally of Trump, said after meeting with him in Florida last week. Orban added that Trump had “pretty detailed plans” on how to end the Russia-Ukraine war, but did not elaborate. Trump has previously pledged to end the war “within 24 hours” if elected. Jaroslav Lukiv reports for BBC News.

Ukraine has summoned the Vatican’s envoy after the Pope said the country should “have the courage to raise the white flag” against Russia. In a statement about the summoning of Archbishop Kulbokas, Ukraine’s foreign ministry “noted that instead of appeals that legalize the right of the strong and encourage them [Russia] to further disregard the norms of international law, the head of the Holy See would be expected to send signals to the world community about the need to immediately join forces to ensure the victory of good over evil, as well as appeals to the attacker, not to the victim.” Kathryn Armstrong reports for BBC News.


Special counsel Robert Hur is testifying today in Congress over his report into President Biden’s handling of classified documents. Hur is no longer with the Justice Department, according to a department spokesperson. He will be testifying about his investigation as a private citizen. Hannah Rabinowitz, Holmes Lybrand and Paula Reid report for CNN.

Trump vowed yesterday to “free” Jan. 6 rioters as one of his first acts if he is elected for a second term in November. Making the comments on his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote, “My first acts as your next President will be to Close the Border, DRILL, BABY, DRILL, and Free the January 6 Hostages being wrongfully imprisoned!” The comments appear to mark the first time Trump has indicated that releasing those imprisoned would be an early priority of his presidency. Rebecca Falconer reports for Axios.


Trump’s legal team yesterday asked the judge overseeing his New York hush money case to postpone the trial until after the Supreme Court decides on whether he has presidential immunity. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in late April over whether Trump is immune from prosecution for any crimes he committed during his presidency. If New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan agrees with Trump’s request, his trial would be delayed beyond its current start date of March 25. Erin Doherty reports for Axios

Trump once again denied allegations by writer E. Jean Carroll that he raped her, despite facing nearly $90 million in civil penalties for previously making similar statements. Carroll’s attorney responded that the writer’s legal team is closely monitoring Trump’s latest remarks, and suggested a third defamation lawsuit could be in store for Trump. Speaking in an interview on CNBC, Trump said, “I got charged, I was given a false accusation and had to post a $91 million bond on a false accusation.” Kevin Breuninger reports for CNBC.