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


The Israeli military said it is prepared for any Iranian threat, as tensions between the countries flare after last week’s attack on an Iranian consulate in Damascus. An Iranian official said yesterday that Israel’s embassies are “no longer safe” as Tehran prepares a response. U.S. and Israeli forces in the region have been put on high alert in anticipation of a possible attack, with reports in U.S. media suggesting Iran could retaliate in the coming days. “The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] can handle Iran,” Israel’s Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi said in a televised statement, adding, “We can act forcefully against Iran in places near and far.” Ian Aikman reports for BBC News.


The Israeli military said yesterday it withdrew a division of ground troops from southern Gaza. The army said that the 98th Division had left Khan Younis in order “to recuperate and prepare for future operations,” meaning there were no Israeli troops actively maneuvering in the south, Israeli news media reported. Israel has significantly reduced the number of troops it has on the ground in Gaza over the past several months, with only a fraction of the soldiers it deployed earlier in the war remaining. It was unclear what the latest drawdown meant for a possible Israeli offensive into Rafah. Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said the military was preparing for “follow-up missions” that included Rafah. Adam Rasgon reports for the New York Times.

Negotiations to secure a temporary ceasefire in Gaza and another round of hostage releases resumed in Cairo yesterday. In a statement, Hamas said its delegation had met with the head of Egypt’s intelligence service and reiterated a set of demands that include a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. Officials from the United States, Qatar, and Egypt were also expected to take part in the talks, along with an Israeli delegation. The negotiations achieved “significant progress” and a consensus on many controversial points, according to Egyptian state outlet Al Qahera News, citing a senior Egyptian official. Ephrat Livni and Adam Rasgon report for the New York Times.

Israel’s national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir said today that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abandons plans for an offensive on Rafah, he may lose the support of the coalition that has kept him in power. “If the prime minister decides to end the war without launching an extensive attack on Rafah to defeat Hamas, he will not have a mandate to continue serving as prime minister,” Ben Gvir said. As one of the most far-right members of Netanyahu’s cabinet, Ben Gvir has been convicted for supporting terrorism and inciting anti-Arab racism, and earlier this year advocated for the mass relocation of Palestinians outside of Gaza. CNN reports. 

Initial plans for humanitarian goods to begin flowing into Gaza yesterday through the Erez crossing have been delayed, an Israeli official told CNN


White House National Security Adviser John Kirby said yesterday there is growing frustration within the Biden administration over the way Israel is conducting the Gaza war. In an interview on ABC News, co-anchor Martha Raddatz presented Kirby with a timeline of statements by the administration that indicate a gradually changing view on Israel’s wartime operations in Gaza. “I’m glad you brought that timeline up because it shows… the growing degree of frustration that we’ve had with the way these operations are being prosecuted and the way that Israelis are acting on the ground in terms of civilian casualties,” Kirby said, adding that was a “core message that the president delivered to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu in their phone call” last week. Miranda Nazzaro reports for The Hill.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) was booed at a demonstration in Manhattan yesterday calling for the release of hostages held by Hamas after he encouraged attendees to also push for humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza. “As we remember the heinous crimes committed by Hamas, we must continue to press for lifesaving humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people, too.” While some in the crowd applauded, others were heard heckling and booing, shouting “bring them home” and “shame.” Liset Cruz reports for the New York Times.


Iraq agreed yesterday to send 10 million liters of fuel to Gaza, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said, adding that his country has agreed to receive wounded Palestinians from Gaza and provide them treatment in government and private hospitals. Reuters reports. 


Britain’s support for Israel is “not unconditional” and depends on it abiding by international law, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron wrote yesterday in an op-ed for The Times. “Our backing is not unconditional … We expect such a proud and successful democracy to abide by international humanitarian law, even when challenged,” Cameron wrote. In a statement yesterday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak repeated his call for Hamas to release hostages and for an immediate fighting pause, saying, “We continue to stand by Israel’s right to defeat the threat from Hamas terrorists … but the whole of the UK is shocked by the bloodshed, and appalled by the killing of brave British heroes who were bringing food to those in need.”

Nicaragua asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) today to order Germany to halt arms exports to Israel and reverse its decision to stop funding to the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency, saying there is a serious risk of genocide in Gaza. Nicaragua’s agent ambassador, Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, told the court that Germany had violated the 1948 Genocide Convention by continuing to supply Israel with arms after ICJ judges ruled it was plausible Israel violated some rights guaranteed under the convention during its military campaign in Gaza. German officials have said the ICJ case is not justified; Berlin will present its case in court tomorrow. Stephanie van den Berg reports for Reuters.

The killing of seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike is something José Andrés will “have to live with” for the rest of his life, he said in an interview yesterday with ABC News. “It is unforgivable. I will forever have to live with this,” Andrés said. He added, “This is not anymore about the seven men and women of World Central Kitchen that perished on this unfortunate event. It’s been six months of targeting anything that seems – moves. This doesn’t seem a war against terror. This doesn’t seem anymore a war about defending Israel. This really, at this point, seems it’s a war against humanity itself.” 

Australia has appointed an advisor to monitor Israel’s investigation of its strikes that killed an Australian citizen and six other WCK workers. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said today that retired Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin, who previously served as chief of the Defense Force, will serve in the role, where he “will engage with Israel and the Israel Defense Forces on the response to the attack.” CNN reports. 


An Israeli strike on southern Lebanon early today killed a field commander in Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah. Israeli fighter jets hit the village of al-Sultaniyah and killed a field commander in Hezbollah’s elite Radwan units and two other people, the Israeli military and two Lebanese security sources said. Reuters reports.

The Israeli military said yesterday it is “preparing to move from defense to attack” regarding operations on the northern border with Lebanon. “During the last days, another phase of the Northern Command’s preparations for the war was completed, which revolved around raising the capabilities of emergency operational depots for the purpose of large-scale recruitment of IDF forces when necessary … and their arrival to the front line within a short period with all the necessary equipment for combat,” the army said in a statement. CNN reports. 


Russia said Ukraine struck the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station controlled by Russian forces three times yesterday and demanded that the West respond. Kyiv has denied allegations it was behind the attack. The International Atomic Energy Agency said it was the first time the nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, was directly targeted since Nov. 2022, and that the attack had endangered nuclear safety. Reuters reports. 


Four days of top-level economic meetings between the United States and China concluded today with no major breakthroughs, but the countries agreed to hold further discussions to address increasing friction over trade, investment, and national security. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said at a news conference today, “There is much more work to do. And it remains unclear what this relationship will endure in the months and years ahead,” but added she believed China was engaging in the discussions in good faith and that progress was being made. Alan Rappeport reports for the New York Times.

Mexico’s government has severed diplomatic ties with Ecuador after police broke into the Mexican Embassy to arrest a former Ecuadorian vice president on Friday. Police arrested Jorge Glas, who had been residing at the embassy since December seeking political asylum after being indicted on corruption charges. The extraordinary use of force prompted Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to announce severance of diplomatic relations with Ecuador, while his government’s foreign relations secretary said the move will be challenged at the World Court in The Hague. Regina Garcia Cano and Gabriela Molina report for AP News.

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has opened an inquiry into Elon Musk after he said he would reactivate accounts on the social media platform X that the judge had ordered to be blocked. Musk posted on X that such court orders were unconstitutional and called for Justice Alexandre de Moraes to “resign or be impeached.” The profiles of those blocked have been linked to far-right movements that posted content related to Brazil’s Jan. 8 riots in 2023, when thousands of supporters of former President Jair Bolsendaor stormed government buildings following his election loss. If X fails to comply with the court order, it will be fined 100,000 reais ($19,774) a day. Mariko Oi reports for BBC News.

More than 90 people have died after a ferry sank off the north coast of Mozambique, local authorities say. According to Nampula Secretary of State Jaime Neto, they were fleeing a cholera outbreak. Officials said five people had been rescued of the around 130 believed to have been on board. Ido Vock reports for BBC News.

The prominent Chadian opposition leader who was killed in February by government troops appears to have been shot in the side of the head at close range, five forensic experts told Reuters. The findings call into question statements by Chadian officials that Yaya Dillo was shot dead in an exchange of fire when security forces tried to arrest him at his party’s headquarters in the capital.

Slovak nationalist-left government candidate Peter Pellegrini won the country’s presidential election on Saturday, solidifying the power of pro-Russian Prime Minister Robert Fico over the country. Radovan Stoklasa and Jan Lopatka report for Reuters.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. today called on China to partake in talks on preventing further incidents in the South China Sea, including ramming vessels and the use of water cannons. Marcos said the Philippines is continuing to talk with China, and is exhausting all options to speak to Chinese leadership so as not to escalate tensions in the waterway. Reuters reports.


House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner (R-OH) said yesterday it is “absolutely true” that Russian propaganda has made its way into Congress. “[W]e see, directly coming from Russia, attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor,” Turner said on CNN’s State of the Union. Turner said there are “members of Congress today who still incorrectly say that this conflict between Russia and Ukraine is over NATO, which of course it is not,” adding, “To the extent that this propaganda takes hold, it makes it more difficult for us to really see this as an authoritarian versus democracy battle, which is what it is.” Avery Lotz reports for CNN.

A suspect was arrested yesterday in connection with a fire at the office of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that is being investigated as arson, according to the Department of Justice. In a press release, the DOJ said Shant Soghomonian, 35, also known as Michael Soghomonian, had been arrested after entering the building on Friday morning. Summer Concepcion reports for NBC News.


Former President Trump said on Saturday that going to jail for violating his gag order in his New York hush money trial would be his “great honor.” Trump said in a post on his social media platform Truth Social, “If this Partisan Hack wants to put me in the ‘clink’ for speaking the open and obvious TRUTH, I will gladly become a Modern Day Nelson Mandela.” Trump’s comments follow Judge Juan Merchan expanding his gag order to stop the former president attacking family members of those involved in his case. Shauneen Miranda reports for Axios.