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


​​Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday said his government will soon approve a plan for evacuating civilians from Rafah and that a planned military offensive into the area would proceed “to complete the victory over Hamas.” In a message to Israeli citizens, Netanyahu said he told President Biden “it is impossible to complete the victory without the IDF entering Rafah” and said that “Israel always did what was essential for our safety, and we will do so this time as well,” but suggested an operation into Rafah was not imminent. “While we are preparing to enter Rafah, which will take some time, we continue to operate with all our might,” he said. CNN reports. 

Israel’s response to Hamas’s latest counterproposal on a ceasefire and hostage release deal “was negative in general” and did not meet the group’s demands, according to Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan. “In fact, they [Israel] backed away from agreements previously made to the mediators,” Hamdan said yesterday at a press conference in Beirut. He added it was a “continuation of their policy of procrastination, which could hamper the negotiations or even lead them to a dead end.” CNN reports. 

Israel’s Supreme Court has temporarily halted a government plan to send a group of Palestinian patients being treated in hospitals in East Jerusalem and Tel Aviv back to Gaza. The decision follows a petition by the Israeli non-profit organization Physicians for Human Rights Israel. Among the patients are five newborn babies and their mothers and cancer patients now in remission. Jeremy Diamond, Kareem Khadder, Mick Krever, and Abeer Salman report for CNN.

Israeli security officials are quietly developing a plan to distribute aid in Gaza that could eventually create a Palestinian-led governing authority there, Israeli and Arab officials said, prompting fierce backlash from Hamas and intensifying divisions in Israel’s war cabinet. According to some of the officials, a top Israeli defense official has held talks with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan to build regional support for an emerging effort to enlist Palestinian leaders and businesspeople who have no links to Hamas in distributing aid. When the war ends, the people in charge of aid would assume authority to govern, bolstered by security forces funded by wealthy Arab governments, the officials said. Summer Said, Dov Lieber, and Benoit Faucon report for the Wall Street Journal.

The Israeli military yesterday said that it had detained a senior Hamas leader in Gaza who it says was involved in the 2014 kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens, a case that shook the nation and set off a wave of violence that led to a 50-day war. Yesterday, the Israeli military said that its forces had arrested Mahmoud Qawasmeh during a raid on the Al-Shifa Hospital, before transferring him to Israel for interrogation. Hamas has not commented at the time of writing. Cassandra Vinograd reports for the New York Times.


Netanyahu spoke virtually with Republican senators yesterday during a closed-door meeting, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) declined a request by Netanyahu to address the Senate Democratic Caucus. A spokesperson for Schumer said that Netanyahu had offered to speak to the Democrats as well, but Schumer declined, saying Schumer “made it clear that he does not think these discussions should happen in a partisan manner. That’s not helpful to Israel.” The split-screen underscores cracks in what was once rock-solid bipartisan support for Israel’s government. Sahil Kapur and Frank Thorp V report for NBC News.

The United States has submitted a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council calling for “an immediate ceasefire tied to the release of hostages” in Gaza, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday in Saudi Arabia. In an interview with Al-Hadath, a Saudi-run news channel, Blinken said he hoped other countries would support the U.S.-proposed resolution, saying, “I think that would send a strong message, a strong signal.” In the interview, Blinken said that negotiations mediated by Egypt and Qatar between Hamas and Israel were “getting closer” to reaching an agreement. “I think the gaps are narrowing, and I think an agreement is very much possible,” he said. Victoria Kim reports for the New York Times.

Blinken met with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after arriving in Egypt today, continuing his sixth swing through the Middle East in a diplomatic push for a temporary Gaza ceasefire that the United States is also seeking through its U.N. resolution. Blinken will later join several Arab foreign ministers to discuss how Gaza could be governed and kept secure after Israel finishes its military campaign there, as well as increasing aid to Gaza and planning for the aftermath of the war. Other attendees will include foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said. Michael Crowley reports for the New York Times.

The State Department has received required written assurances from Israel ahead of Sunday’s deadline, stating that its use of U.S-supplied defense equipment does not violate international humanitarian or U.S. human rights law, according to U.S. and Israeli officials. The department now has until early May to formally assess whether those assurances are “credible and reliable” and report to Congress under a national security memorandum issued by President Biden in February. If Israel’s pledges are found wanting, Biden may suspend further U.S. arms transfers. Karen DeYoung and John Hudson report for the Washington Post.

The United States and the Royal Jordanian Air Force conducted airdrops into Gaza yesterday, providing 6,000 pounds of food “including rice, flour, milk, pasta and canned foods.” 


Canada has not approved new arms export permits to Israel since Jan. 8 and will continue the freeze until Ottawa can ensure the weapons are used in accordance with Canadian law, the government said yesterday. The export permits that were approved before Jan. 8 remain in effect, the office of Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said, adding, “Canada has one of the most rigorous export permit regimes in the world. There are no open permits for exports of lethal goods to Israel. Reuters reports. 


U.S and coalition forces destroyed one drone and one unmanned surface vessel launched by the Houthis in Yemen yesterday, according to U.S. Central Command. A coalition aircraft destroyed the drone and U.S. forces destroyed the unmanned surface vessel, CENTCOM said in a statement. There were no injuries or damage to U.S. or coalition ships. CNN reports. 


The nearly year-long conflict between Sudan’s military and paramilitary forces has put Sudan on course to become the world’s worst hunger crisis, the U.N. humanitarian office warned yesterday. Edem Wosornu, the director of humanitarian operations, told the Security Council that one-third of Sudan’s population – 18 million people – already face acute food insecurity, and that catastrophic hunger levels could be reached in some areas of western Darfur by May. “A recent assessment revealed that one child is dying every two hours in Zamzam camp in El Fasher, North Darfur,” she said. Edith M. Lederer reports for AP News.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has resigned, citing “personal and political, but mainly political reasons” in a surprise move. Varadkar said he felt he was no longer the “best man” for the job and that he would stay as prime minister until a successor can be elected after parliament returns from recess next month. Niamh Kenndy and Sophie Tanno report for CNN.

Portugal’s president has invited center-right politician Luís Montenegro to form a minority government. The Democratic Alliance won snap elections this month but fell short of winning a majority in parliament after it rejected working with the far-right Chega party, which won a record number of seats. Portugal, which has been governed by the Socialists since 2015, now has its most fragmented parliament since the end of its dictatorship half a century ago. Ido Vock reports for BBC News.

The Vietnamese Communist Party has accepted the resignation of President Vo Van Thuong, the government said yesterday, in a sign of political turmoil. It said that Thuong had violated party rules, adding that those “shortcomings had negatively impacted public opinion, affecting the reputation of the Party, State and him personally.” The president holds a largely ceremonial role but is one of the top four political positions in Vietnam. Khanh Vu, Phuong Nguyen and Francesco Guarascio report for Reuters

Taiwan’s top security official today said he does not currently recommend President Tsai Ing-wen visit the South China Sea given the possible risk to her flight from “interference by relevant countries,” given China’s military presence there. Ben Blanchard reports for Reuters.

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto was announced the winner of the presidential election yesterday, beating two former governors who vow to contest the result in court over alleged irregularities. Niniek Karmini reports for AP News.


Russia launched its largest missile attack in weeks on Kyiv today, injuring at least 10 people and damaging residential buildings and industrial facilities, city officials said. The air force said it downed all inbound missiles. Reuters reports. 

The Netherlands is providing Ukraine with 350 million euros for F-16 fighter jet ammunition and advanced reconnaissance drones, Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced in Kyiv yesterday. “I’m very confident that we will start delivering F-16s this summer … in the second half of the year the Dutch F-16s will be going this way,” Ollongren said. Max Hunder reports for Reuters.


The FBI has resumed some of its efforts to share information with some American tech companies about foreign propagandists using their platforms after it ceased contact for over half a year, multiple people familiar with the matter told NBC News. The program, established during the Trump administration, briefed tech giants on instances when the U.S. intelligence community found evidence of covert influence operations using their products to mislead American citizens. The program was put on hold this summer after a lawsuit accused the U.S. government of improperly pressuring tech companies about how to moderate their sites and an aggressive inquisition from the House Judiciary Committee. The lawsuit awaits a ruling from the Supreme Court. 

The U.S. Air Force has tested a hypersonic cruise missile in the Pacific for the first time, in what analysts say is a signal to China that the United States still competes in a weapons arena where many perceive Beijing to have an advantage. The test of the hypersonic weapon was conducted at the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, almost 1,600 miles to the east of Guam, the statement said. Brad Lendon reports for CNN.


A Georgia judge yesterday approved an effort by former President Trump and his co-defendants to appeal the decision to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to continue to prosecute the 2020 election subversion case there. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who ruled last week against the defendants’ efforts to disqualify Willis, issued a certificate of immediate review, allowing the case to be revealed by a Georgia Appeals Court. The move does not pause the prosecution but allows appeals on the disqualification effort to play out before trial. Jason Morris and Zachary Cohen report for CNN.