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


Iran reiterated its vow to punish Israel at a funeral held today for the seven officers killed in a suspected Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy compound in Syria this week. Iranian state media showed demonstrators carrying pictures of those killed and banners branded with “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” It follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying yesterday that Israel would harm “whoever harms us or plans to harm us.” Reuters reports. 

Israel told Washington that if Iran launched an attack in retaliation for the deadly strike in Syria it would escalate the conflict to another level, according to Israeli officials. Netanyahu said yesterday at a security cabinet meeting that Iran has been operating against Israel for years “both directly and via its proxies, and therefore Israel is operating against Iran and its proxies, both defensively and offensively.” Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said yesterday it was pausing all military leave. In a statement, the IDF said it is “at war and the deployment of forces is under continuous assessment according to requirements.” It comes as Israel is on high alert after the alleged Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate building in Syria this week. The Hill reports. 


Israel says it will open or expand three crossings into Gaza to increase humanitarian aid after President Biden told Israel it must take steps to protect civilians to keep U.S. support. The Erez Gate in northern Gaza will be temporarily re-opened, in a particularly significant move after Israel’s foreign minister Eli Cohen told Israeli media in November that there would be “no more contact between Israel and Gaza.” The other two crossings impacted by Israel’s new policy include the Ashdod Port, which will be opened for aid deliveries, and the Kerem Shalom crossing, which will allow more aid to enter from Jordan. BBC News reports.

The Israeli military dismissed two officers and reprimanded three others for their role in the strikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers, saying they had mishandled critical information and breached the army’s rules of engagement. “It’s a tragedy,” the military’s spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, told reporters. “It’s a serious event that we are responsible for and it shouldn’t have happened and we will make sure that it won’t happen again.” Julia Frankel reports for AP News.

The U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution today calling for a halt to arms supplies to Israel and placing scrutiny on its allies for possible international law violations. The resolution calls on all states to cease supplying arms and munitions to Israel “in order to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights.” It also calls on the U.N. independent commission of inquiry, which is investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Palestinian territories and Israel, to report on the direct and indirect supply of arms to Israel and to analyze their legal consequences. The New York Times reports. 

Evacuation warnings issued by Israel to Gazan civilians ahead of attacks have contained significant errors, according to a BBC analysis. The warnings contained contradictory information and sometimes misnamed districts, making it difficult for civilians to seek safety. The Israeli military has rejected claims that the warnings were confusing or contradictory, saying the alerts analyzed by the BBC were only one aspect of its “extensive efforts to encourage the evacuation [of] civilians out of harm’s way.”


The United States told Israel yesterday that U.S. support for the Gaza war is contingent on “specific, concrete steps” to increase aid and protect civilians. In a phone call with Netanyahu, Biden “made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers,” according to a White House readout. It also said Biden “emphasized that the strikes on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation are unacceptable,” referencing the killing of seven WCK workers by an Israeli airstrike this week. Graeme Baker and Tom Bateman report for BBC News.

Vice President Kamala Harris said Biden “made clear” that Washington will ensure “Israel isn’t left without the ability to defend itself” during his phone call with Netanyahu yesterday. “At the same time if there are no changes to their [Israel’s] approach we are likely to change our approach,” Harris said. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

White House National Security Adviser John Kirby said yesterday the United States will wait and see what Israel does in the coming hours and days after announcing that U.S. support is contingent on the protection of aid workers. Speaking yesterday after Biden and Netanyahu’s phone call, Kirby said, “What we need to see is more aid getting in, we need to see more effort applied to keeping humanitarian aid workers safe, and any change to our policy will be sort of hung on our assessment of the degree to which Israel complies with all of that.” Lauren Irwin reports for The Hill

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that the measures Israel has announced to increase the flow of aid into Gaza are welcome but may not be enough to satisfy the Biden administration’s demands for drastic improvements in humanitarian conditions there. Matthew Lee reports for AP News.

C.I.A. director William Burns is expected to travel to Cairo tomorrow for further hostage release talks. U.S. officials believe negotiating a pause in the fighting and the exchange of Israeli hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel is the only way to secure a temporary cease-fire and increase humanitarian aid. Burns is expected to be joined by David Barnea, the head of Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, and negotiators from Egypt and Qatar. Julian E. Barnes reports for the New York Times.


Turkish authorities have arrested two people suspected of spying for Israel, interior minister Ali Yerlikaya said today. A Turkish security official said raids carried out in Istanbul since January targeted a Turkish private detective and his wife, who were believed to have been involved with Mossad from 2011-2020. The Guardian reports. 


Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister said today that Israel’s ambassador to Poland apologized after the Israeli airstrike killed a Polish WCK aid worker this week and that he would not be expelled. It follows Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk saying yesterday that Israel should pay compensation for the killing. The Guardian reports. 


Iranian security forces yesterday battled simultaneous terrorist attacks by a militant separatist group in a southeast province. The fighting, which lasted for 17 hours, resulted in the deaths of 10 security officers and 18 militants, the Ministry of Interior said yesterday. According to Iranian news media, the gunmen tried to take over military bases owned by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Jaish al-Adl, a separatist militant group designated by the United States as a terrorist organization, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Farnaz Fassihi and Leily Nikounazar report for the New York Times.


Ukrainian officials claimed today they used a barrage of drones to destroy at least six military aircraft and damage eight others at an airfield in Russia’s Rostov region. Russian defense officials claimed they intercepted 44 drones, and that only a power substation was damaged. The assault appears to be one of Kyiv’s biggest attacks yet in the war. ABC News reports.


Europe and the United States need each other and are “stronger together,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday at a ceremony marking the alliance’s 75th anniversary. “I don’t believe in America alone just as I don’t believe in Europe alone,” Stoltenberg said, adding that while the United States has provided Europe with security, it also needs the militaries, intelligence, and diplomatic leverage of its European allies. Laura Gozzi reports for BBC News.

Somalia yesterday expelled the Ethiopian ambassador from the country and ordered the closure of two consulates after accusing Ethiopia of infringing on its “sovereignty and internal affairs.” Somalia also recalled its ambassador from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, for “comprehensive consultations.” The move comes amid an ongoing dispute over Ethiopia’s plan to build a naval base in the breakaway region of Somaliland. Reuters reports.

An upcoming trilateral summit between the leaders of the United States, Japan, and the Philippines will include a discussion of the South China Sea, Manila’s foreign ministry said today. President Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. next week for a summit on economic relations and the Indo-Pacific. The Philippines has said the summit is not directed at any countries, although the three countries have expressed concern about China’s growing threats in the region. Reuters reports. 

Kishida said today he wanted to cooperate with South Korea and the Philippines and even engage with North Korea to promote regional security. “The current security environment is tough and complex, and we are at a turning point in history,” Kishida said, adding, “Cooperation between Japan and the United States and like-minded countries is a very important issue.” Reuters reports. 

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will meet the Saudi crown prince on his two-day visit to Riyadh starting tomorrow, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said today, marking Sharif’s first foreign trip since forming a coalition government in February. Reuters reports. 

Denmark yesterday halted traffic in a busy shipping lane and closed the airspace above it, warning of a possible accidental missile launch and falling debris. In a statement, the Danish military said that during a test of a Harpoon anti-ship missile, its booster, the rocket engine that launches the missile, was “activated” but not ignited, and then it could not be deactivated. The New York Times reports.

Norway plans to increase its military spending by an accumulated 600 billion crowns ($56 billion) through 2036 to strengthen its defense at a time of rising security challenges in Europe and beyond, the government said today. Reuters reports. 


Engineers are aiming to restore Port of Baltimore access to normal capacity by the end of May following the deadly Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District statement last night noted a “limited access channel” would open first by the end of April, ahead of a full reopening of the permanent channel. Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scot said yesterday the Army Corps’ “ambitious” timeline is “dependent on a number of factors.” Rebecca Falconer reports for Axios.


New York Attorney General Letitia James requested yesterday that former President Trump’s attorneys or the company issuing his $175 million bond “file a motion to justify the surety” within 10 days. It follows the state’s Supreme Court on Wednesday sending the bond paperwork back to Trump’s legal team for correction without providing any details on the errors. A spokesperson for the Trump Organization said this was “pure harassment,” adding that “the bond is fully collateralized and backed by 100% cash.” A hearing has been set for April 22. Shauneen Miranda reports for Axios.

A federal judge yesterday refused to throw out Trump’s classified documents case, turning aside defense arguments that the Presidential Records Act permitted the former president to retain sensitive records after he left office. The ruling marks the second time in three weeks that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has rebuffed defense efforts to derail the case. Cannon’s order, however, kept open the possibility that Trump could still use that argument to defend himself at trial. Eric Tucker reports for AP News; Hannah Rabinowitz, Tierney Sneed, Sara Murray, Jason Morris, and Zachary Cohen report for CNN

The judge overseeing Trump’s Georgia election interference case yesterday rejected his attempt to toss the charges under the First Amendment. Trump and some of his co-defendants argued their charges must be tossed because their efforts to contest the 2020 election comprised constitutionally protected “core political speech.” In a 14-page ruling, Judge Scott McAfee wrote, “Even core political speech addressing matters of public concern is not impenetrable from prosecution if allegedly used to further criminal activity.” McAfee added that only a jury can decide whether the speech at issue was carried out with criminal intent. Ella Lee and Zach Schonfeld report for The Hill.

The D.C. Bar’s three-member board of responsibility panel found yesterday that former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark likely breached at least one ethics rule in his efforts to help Trump stay in office after losing the 2020 presidential election. The ruling, which is preliminary and can be changed, found that the “disciplinary counsel has proven at least one violation of any of the charged disciplinary rules.” Sarah Fortinsky reports for The Hill