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


Iran has signaled it will limit its response to Israel’s attack on an Iranian consulate building in Syria to avoid escalation. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian yesterday told his German counterpart that Iran is determined to respond to Israel’s attack, but will do so in an “appropriate” and limited way, a source with direct knowledge of the call told Axios. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had initiated the call at the request of the Biden administration. In a statement afterward, Baerbock said, “We urge all actors in the region to act responsibly and exercise maximum restraint.” Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the foreign ministers of China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia and asked them to urge Iran not to escalate, also asking European allies to send that message, State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller said in a briefing yesterday. Barak Ravid reports.

Iran said its imperative to “punish” Israel could have been avoided had the U.N. Security Council condemned the Damascus consulate attack. In a post on X, Iran’s Mission to the U.N. said, “Had the UN Security Council condemned the Zionist regime’s reprehensible act of aggression on our diplomatic premises in Damascus and subsequently brought to justice its perpetrators, the imperative for Iran to punish this rogue regime might have been obviated.” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the attack on April 1, according to a U.N. spokesperson. A Security Council meeting was held the day after, but differences among members prevented any formal action or condemnation from taking place. Natalie Barr and Adam Pourahmadi report for CNN.

The top U.S. military commander for the Middle East arrived in Israel yesterday amid fears of an imminent Iranian reprisal for Israel’s strike in Syria. Gen. Michael Kurilla went to coordinate with Israel on expected retaliatory action by Iran as well as to discuss the war in Gaza, Defense Department officials said. A spokesperson for the Israeli military said General Kurilla had carried out a situational assessment and reviewed “regional security challenges” with the Israeli military’s chief of staff. Cassandra Vinograd and Eric Schmitt report for the New York Times.

British Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron spoke with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Cameron “made clear… that Iran must not draw the Middle East into a wider conflict” and said he was “deeply concerned about the potential for miscalculation leading to further violence.” Christy Cooney reports for BBC News.


A member of Hamas’ political bureau said a prisoner-hostage exchange is being discussed as part of larger ceasefire negotiations. “Part of negotiations is to reach a ceasefire agreement to have enough time and safety to collect final and more precise data” on the hostages held in Gaza, Basem Naim said in a statement yesterday. “Because they (hostages) are in different palaces, (being held) by different groups, some of them are under the rubble killed with our own people, and we negotiate to get heavy equipment for this purpose,” he added. Naim’s statement was in response to questions from media outlets about whether Hamas has rejected the latest proposal made over the weekend because it cannot release 40 hostages in the first phase of a three-stage ceasefire deal. Abeer Salman and Mohammed Tawfeeq report for CNN.

The Israeli military yesterday announced what it called a precise operation to kill Hamas members in Gaza, a day after a strike killed three sons of the group’s political leader Ismael Haniyeh. The military said it had carried out “precise, intelligence-based operation” in central Gaza overnight with fighter jets and ground troops to “eliminate terrorist operatives and strike terrorist infrastructure.” It is not clear whether the operation announced was linked to yesterday’s deadly strike against Haniyeh’s sons, who the Israeli military said had been “on their way to carry out terrorist activities in central Gaza.” Cassandra Vinograd reports for the New York Times.

UNICEF said yesterday that one of its vehicles had been “hit by live ammunition” this week while it was waiting to enter northern Gaza. UNICEF spokesperson Tess Ingram said she had been traveling with a convoy that came under fire on Tuesday and that no one in the convoy was harmed. After the shooting, the convoy had planned to continue with its mission to deliver aid but eventually turned back because Israeli forces kept their vehicles waiting at the checkpoint for so long that “our mission wasn’t feasible anymore,” Ingram said. UNICEF said they raised the incident with “relevant Israeli authorities.” Liam Stack reports for the New York Times.

The Israeli military is constructing a new land crossing from Israel to northern Gaza, according to a statement released yesterday. It said the new northern crossing will “enable more aid to flow directly to civilians in the areas that have been challenging for trucks to access.” Lauren Izso and Caitlin Danaher report for CNN.

A specialized U.N. Committee failed to reach a consensus yesterday on Palestinian membership in the U.N., according to the president of the U.N. Security Council. Two thirds of the committee members were in favor of progressing with membership, with many countries arguing that “Palestine fulfills all the criteria that are required” to be granted full state member status, Malta’s Ambassador and Security Council President Vanessa Frazier said. Frazier added that no one explicitly objected to the membership qualifications, and that she would circulate a draft report on deliberations soon as today. Richard Roth and Michael Rios report for CNN.


Senior Pentagon officials were frustrated that Israel did not notify the United States before the Damascus consulate strike, U.S. officials said. They said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other senior defense officials believed Israel should have informed them in advance because of the strike’s implications for U.S. troops and interests in the region. Austin complained directly to his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, during a call on April 3, according to one of the officials. A Pentagon readout of the conversation did not reference that detail, saying only that Austin “reiterated U.S. support for Israel’s defense against a range of regional threats.” Missy Ryan and Dan Lamothe report for the Washington Post.

The United States has restricted travel for its embassy staff in Israel. Warnings are issued for travel outside the greater Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or Beersheba “out of an abundance of caution,” the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem said


China supports full U.N. membership for Palestine, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said yesterday. “The only way to end the vicious cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflicts is to fully implement the two-State solution, establish an independent state of Palestine and redress the historical injustice long suffered by the Palestinians,” Mao said

Indonesia has “no plan to establish diplomatic relations with Israel,” state media agency Antara reported, citing the foreign ministry. “I emphasize that until now, we have no plan to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, particularly as Israel has yet to cease its atrocities in Gaza until now,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement yesterday, according to the report. It follows two Israeli officials saying yesterday that Israel and Indonesia had been holding discussions to normalize bilateral relations over the past three months. Sandi Sidhu reports for CNN.

The French foreign ministry today warned French citizens against traveling to Iran, Lebanon, Israel, and the Palestinian territories amid Iran’s threats against Israel. In a statement on X, the foreign ministry said that relatives of Iran-based diplomats will return to France and that French civil servants are now prohibited from conducting any missions in Iran, Lebanon, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories. Reuters reports. 


The European Parliament delayed approval of a European Council budget to press for military aid to Ukraine. The Parliament yesterday refused to authorize an audit of the European Council and Council of Ministers’ 2022 budget in an attempt to pressure E.U. leaders to support Ukraine with additional Patriot air defense systems. The move is largely symbolic, but indicates growing frustration at the unwillingness of Ukraine’s allies to send it air defenses. Eddy Wax and Jacopo Barigazzi report for POLITICO.

Russian strikes yesterday completely destroyed a major power plant near Kyiv, energy company Centrenergo said. Trypillya power plant was the largest electricity provider for three regions, including Kyiv, officials said. Sarah Rainsford and Laura Ghozzi report for BBC News.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is negotiating with the White House as he prepares to advance wartime funding for Ukraine and Israel through the House, a top House Republican said yesterday. Stephen Groves reports for ABC News.


President Biden has vowed that the United States will defend the Philippines from any attack in the South China Sea, calling its support for Manila “ironclad.” Speaking at the start of a trilateral meeting in Washington with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Biden said that “any attack on Philippine aircraft, vessels or armed forces in the South China Sea would invoke our mutual defense treaty.” Meanwhile, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said yesterday, “No one should violate China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and China remains steadfast in safeguarding our lawful rights.” China today summoned Japanese and Philippine diplomats to express dissatisfaction over negative comments about it aired during the summit. Samantha Waldenberg and Michael Williams report for CNN; Bernd Debusmann Jr. reports for BBC News.

A top Chinese official arrived in North Korea yesterday and held talks on strengthening bilateral cooperation, North Korea’s state media KCNA reported today. It marks the countries’ highest-level meeting in about five years. Zhao Leji, who is chairman of China’s National People’s Congress and considered the third official in the ruling Communist Party, arrived in North Korea yesterday, where he is expected to stay until Saturday. KCNA reported Leji and his North Korean counterpart Choe Ryong Hae exchanged views on unspecified regional and international issues of mutual concern. AP News reports. 

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo today announced an investigation into suspected Russian interference in June’s Europe-wide elections, saying his country’s intelligence service has confirmed the existence of a network attempting to undermine support for Ukraine. “According to our intelligence service, the objectives of Moscow are very clear. The objective is to help elect more pro-Russian candidates to the European Parliament and to reinforce a certain pro-Russian narrative in that institution,” De Croo told reporters. AP News reports. 

A U.S. carrier strike group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt held a two-day joint exercise with Japan and South Korea this week. Rear Adm. Christopher Alexander, commander of Carrier Strike Group Nine, said the three nations conducted maritime exercises, with the drills helping “better prepare us for a crisis in the region.” Mari Yamaguchi reports for AP News.

Lord Cameron is traveling to Brussels today for negotiations over Gibraltar and its post-Brexit relationship with the European Union. Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, and European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič will also attend the talks. Kate Whannel reports for BBC News.

A Portuguese man has become the first E.U. citizen jailed under the China-imposed National Security Law in Hong Kong. Joseph John, 41, was convicted for “secession” after posting pro-independence and anti-China content on social media, and was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison. Frances Mao reports for BBC News.

Thailand has asked Myanmar’s junta to reduce violence, its foreign minister said today, adding that preparations were underway for a surge of people crossing into the country after the fall of a border town to rebels. Panu Wongcha-um reports for Reuters.


Former President Trump said yesterday that Biden and others were “working overtime to try to illegally intimidate and harass” Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing his classified documents case. “They want her to act like the dishonest, politically biased and conflicted judges in New York, and not like the fair and impartial judge that she is,” Trump wrote on Truth Social yesterday. Trump also attacked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Special Counsel Jack Smith, saying they are part of a “corrupt ploy to ‘play the ref.” Critics have called for Trump-appointed Cannon to be removed from the case, questioning her competence and impartiality. April Rubin reports for Axios.