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


Israel had planned a bigger attack on Iran, but after intense pressure from allies, agreed to scale it down. According to three senior Israeli officials, Israel abandoned plans for an extensive counterstrike on Iran after concerted diplomatic pressure from the United States and other foreign allies and because Iran’s assault on Israeli soil had been mostly foiled. The officials said Israeli leaders initially discussed bombarding several military targets across Iran, including near Tehran, in response to Iran’s strikes on April 13. Israel’s intention was to allow Iran to move on without responding in kind, while signaling that Israel had developed the ability to strike Iran without entering its airspace, the officials added. Ronen Bergman and Patrick Kingsley report for the New York Times.

Nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s nuclear doctrine, the country’s foreign ministry said today. It comes days after an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander warned that Tehran might alter its nuclear policy if pressured by Israeli threats. Reuters reports. 


The Israeli military’s intelligence chief has resigned, saying he took responsibility for the failures before Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Maj. Gen.Aharon Haliva will officially leave the role once his successor is selected. “The military intelligence directorate under my command did not live up to our mission,” Haliva wrote in a letter. According to Israeli media, Haliva is the first IDF staff to step down because of failures that led to the attacks. David Gritten reports for BBC News; Jeniffer Hassan reports for the Washington Post.

Israel has yet to provide evidence that the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has terrorist links, according to an independent review led by the former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna. The report, which was commissioned by the U.N. in the wake of the Israeli allegations, found that UNRWA had regularly supplied Israel with a list of its employees for vetting, but that “the Israeli government has not informed Unrwa of any concerns relating to any Unrwa staff based on these staff lists since 2011.” The review makes clear that Israel has yet to substantiate any of its broader claims about the involvement of UNRWA staff in Hamas or Islamic Jihad. It notes that in March, “Israel made public claims that a significant number of Unrwa employees are members of terrorist organisation.” “However, Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of this,” the report says. Julian Borger reports for The Guardian.

The Israeli military has ended one of its largest offensives in the occupied West Bank since Oct. 7, saying it killed 10 “terrorists” in the Nur al-Shams refugee camp. At least 14 people, including a child, were killed in the raid, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry and the official Palestinian news agency Wafa. The raid was the latest operation in a sweeping clampdown on the West Bank since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. Since then, hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and detained in raids in the territory, which Israeli officials describe as counterterrorism operations against Hamas and other armed groups. CNN reports; Vivek Shanker and Isabel Kershner report for the New York Times.

Palestinians in the West Bank went on a general strike yesterday to protest the Israeli military raid at a refugee camp yesterday in which at least 10 people were killed. Yesterday’s strike “paralyzed all aspects of life” in the West Bank, according to Wafa news agency, with shops, schools, universities, banks, and public transportation all closed. Vivek Shanker and Isabel Kershner report for the New York Times.

The Israel military killed several Palestinians over the weekend elsewhere in the West Bank. Yesterday, Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians near Hebron in what the military said was an attempted attack on soldiers. An ambulance driver was also killed on Saturday when his vehicle was hit by gunfire while transporting Palestinians wounded in an attack by Israeli settlers. The Israeli military announced yesterday it is launching an investigation into the driver’s death. CNN reports. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that Israel would soon land “additional and painful blows” and it would increase “military and political pressure” on Hamas to free Israeli hostages held in Gaza. CNN reports. 

Israeli strikes on Rafah overnight killed 22 people, including 18 children, health officials said yesterday. NPR reports for the Associated Press.

One third of those killed in Gaza so far have been women, according to a new U.N. report. “The war in Gaza is no doubt a war on women, who are paying a heavy price for a war not of their making,” the regional director of U.N. Women in the Arab States said at a media briefing in Geneva. According to the report, over 10,000 women have been killed since the start of the war, 6,000 of whom are mothers. The report did not specify whether its measure of women killed included female children, whom the U.N. classifies as females younger than 19. Cate Brown and Lousia Loveluck report for the Washington Post.


Israeli leaders thanked the United States after the House passed a foreign aid bill on Saturday that provides $26.4 billion in military aid to Israel and humanitarian assistance, including some for Gaza. Netanyahu said on X that the measure “demonstrates strong bipartisan support for Israel and defends Western civilization.” The package includes $4 billion for replenishing the Iron Dome and David’s Sling defense systems, $1.2 billion for procuring the Iron Beam defense system, and $9 billion for humanitarian assistance, some of which will be provided to Gaza. None of the assistance, however, can go toward UNRWA, the largest aid group serving Gaza, to which U.S. funding remains suspended. Niha Masih, Annabelle Timsit, Hajar Harb, and Sarah Dadouch report for the Washington Post.

The United States is set to sanction an IDF unit for human rights violations in the West Bank. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to within days announce sanctions against the IDF “Netzah Yehuda” battalion, an all-male special unit for ultra orthodox soldiers, three U.S. sources told Axios. According to the sources, the sanctions will ban the battalion from receiving any kind of U.S. military assistance or training. It would mark the first time Washington has sanctioned an Israeli military unit, and follows ProPublic reporting on Thursday that Blinken was sitting on staff recommendations to sanction Israeli military units that have been credibly accused of human rights abuses. When asked about the recommendations at a press conference on Friday, Blinken said he had made determinations based on the panel investigation, adding, “You can expect to see them in the days ahead.” Barak Ravid reports.

Netanyahu called the possibility of the Biden administration sanctioning the Israeli military “the peak of absurdity and a moral low.” In a post on X, he said the Israeli government would “act by all means” against any such move. Netanyahu also said yesterday he “will fight with all [his] strength” against the measure. In a statement today, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, “I call on the U.S. administration to withdraw its intention to impose sanctions on the Netzach Yehuda battalion.” Isabel Kershner, Julian E. Barnes, and Adam Rasgon report for the New York Times; Tom Bateman reports for BBC News.

Israel’s president yesterday said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) should stay out of internal Israeli politics. “Whilst I respect Charles Schumer for his steadfast support of Israel. I would recommend to American political leaders not to intervene as such in Israeli politics, but leave it to the Israeli public and the body politic to take its own decision,” Isaac Herzog said. It follows Schumer calling for new elections in Israel last month, saying part of the solution to the war in Gaza would be for Netanyahu to be replaced. David Cohen and Paul Rozenheimer report for POLITICO.

The United States conducted another round of aid airdrops in northern Gaza yesterday, U.S. Central Command said. The operation included four U.S. Air Force aircrafts, airdropping 50,688 meals, with one bundle landing in the sea. 


E.U. leaders today called for sanctions against Iran as well as Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. Speaking ahead of an E.U. Foreign Affairs Council meeting, E.U. foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said ministers would discuss sanctions on Iran, adding that sanctions against “violent settlers” in the West Bank should also be considered. Belgium’s foreign affairs minister also said the ministers would review new sanctions against Iran and that sanctions against West Bank settlers should be considered “in order not to suffer from double standards.” Sweden’s foreign minister said the meeting provides “an opportunity to show our support for Israel, because of the Iranian attack against Israel, which we condemn.” Louis Mian, James Frater, and Stephanie Halasz report for CNN.


At least five rockets were launched from Iraq’s town of Zummar towards a U.S. military base in northeastern Syria yesterday. The attack against U.S. forces is the first since early February, when Iran-backed groups in Iraq stopped their attacks against U.S. troops. A post on a Telegram group affiliated with Kataib Hezbollah said armed factions in Iraq had decided to resume attacks after a near three-month pause following stalled progress on talks to end the U.S.-military led coalition in the country, but another Telegram group close to the faction later said there had been no official statement. A U.S. official confirmed no personnel were injured. Reuters reports.

Israeli strikes hit four sites in southern Lebanon over the weekend, Lebanese state-owned National News Agency reports. The strikes hit the villages of Khiam, Tayr Harfa, Kfarkella, and an area between Ramieh and Beit Leif. The Israeli military confirmed it struck three of four locations, hitting what it said were Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah targets. CNN reports. 


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy yesterday thanked U.S. political leaders for approving foreign aid package that includes $60.8 billion of aid to Kyiv. “I think this support will really strengthen the armed forces, I pray, and we will have a chance at victory if Ukraine really gets the weapons system,” Zelenskyy told a news conference. Alexandra Marquez reports for NBC News.


Russia warned of a direct clash with the West over Ukraine. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, today said that U.S., British, and French military support for Ukraine has pushed the world to the brink of a direct conflict between the world’s biggest nuclear powers. “The Westerners are teetering dangerously on the brink of a direct military clash between nuclear powers, which is fraught with catastrophic consequences,” Lavrov said. Separately, a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson said yesterday, “Washington’s deeper and deeper immersion in the hybrid war against Russia will turn into a loud and humiliating fiasco for United States such as Vietnam and Afghanistan.” Guy Faulconbridge reports for Reuters

North Korea fired “several” short-range ballistic missiles today toward the sea off its east coast, South Korea’s military said. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missiles flew about 186 miles and landed in the sea. The reports of the launch came as South Korea said its top military officer today hosted the commander of U.S. Space Command, General Stephen Whiting, to discuss the North’s reconnaissance satellite development and growing military cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow. Hyunsu Yim reports for Reuters.

Niger has formally ordered the United States to withdraw its counterterrorism and aerial drones from the country. During meetings in Washington last week, Niger’s prime minister Ali Lamine Zeine told Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell that nearly all of the 1,000 U.S. commandos and other personnel will have to leave, including those at a $110 million U.S.-built drone base in Agadez. A senior U.S. military officer said on Saturday the “loss of basing in Niger complicates the Pentagon’s ability to achieve U.S. security objectives in the region.” A U.S. delegation is set to visit Niger’s capital in the coming days to arrange an orderly withdrawal.  Michael M. Phillips reports for the Wall Street Journal; Natasha Booty reports for BBC News.

Violence has flared in Sudan’s Darfur in recent days, raising fears of more mass killings in the region. Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and other allied militias have attacked and torched villages around El Fahser, the capital of North Darfur, prompting a U.N. Security Council meeting on Friday. The U.S. deputy ambassador to the U.N. warned during the meeting that an RSF attack against El Fasher risks “triggering more ethnically based atrocities and an expansion of conflict across all of Darfur.” Gabriele Steinheauser and Nicholas Bariyo report for the Wall Street Journal

Three German citizens have been arrested on suspicion of working with the Chinese secret service to provide technology that could be used for military purposes, potentially helping fortify China’s navy, German officials said today. Andrew Sychev and Rachel More report for Reuters

Nearly 17,000 Filipino and U.S. troops today began an annual three-week joint combat training exercise in the Philippines. The maritime exercise includes maritime drills in the South China Sea, where Manila and Beijing have disputed territorial claims. The drills will run from today to May 10. Reuters reports. 

Maldives president Mohamed Muizzu’s party won a landslide victory in a parliamentary election, cementing his grip on power. Provisional results show Muizzu’s People’s National Congress has won 66 seats in the 93-member house. Muizzu, who is widely seen as pro-China, is seeking to reduce India’s long-standing influence in his country. Anbarasan Ethirajan reports for BBC News.


President Biden on Saturday signed legislation reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a key U.S. surveillance law. The bill passed 60-34 hours before the midnight deadline, and comes after divisions over whether the FBI should be restricted from using the program to search for U.S. citizens’ data. U.S. officials say the law is crucial in disrupting terrorist attacks, cyber intrusions, and foreign espionage, and has produced intelligence that Washington has relied on for specific operations, including the 2022 killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. CBS News reports. 

The House intelligence committee has found that the CIA failed to properly deal with sexual assault among employees in its ranks. According to a copy of the investigation’s final report obtained by POLITICO, the report found there was “little to no accountability or punishment for confirmed perpetrators” and that there was “confusion and disorder” in the reporting process of such assaults. The Intelligence Committee started its inquiry in January 2023, and interviewed more than 20 CIA whistleblowers as part of its investigation. Daniel Lippman reports. 

At least 10 men wearing the uniform of the violent extremist group Proud Boys appeared outside the entrance of a Trump rally on Saturday in Wilmington, N.C. One of the men held a sign saying “Free All of the J6 Prisoners,” a reference to those charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots. A senior Trump campaign advisor said, “We don’t comment on stupid,” while a spokesperson for the Biden campaign condemned Trump for emboldening violent extremists. Isaac Arnsdorf reports for the Washington Post.


Former President Trump’s hush money trial is continuing today, with opening arguments set to be heard by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and Trump’s lawyers. Join Just Security Journalism Fellow, Adam Klasfeld’s Daily Dispatches from the Trump Trial Courtroom in New York for updates from inside the courtroom.