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


Israeli officials say major gaps with Hamas remain as negotiators from both sides continue talks in Cairo today. The main sticking point centers on a phrase that appears in both the Israeli- and Hamas-approved proposals: a path to a “sustainable calm.” Hamas defines that phrase as a permanent end to the war and a full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly opposed any deal calling for a permanent ceasefire, saying Israel would not stop fighting in Gaza until Hamas is destroyed and the remaining hostages are released. Netanyahu said yesterday Hamas’s revised proposal was “very far from Israel’s core demands.” Isabel Kershner reports for the New York Times.

The Kerem Shalom border crossing between southern Gaza and Israel has reopened for the entry of humanitarian aid, Israeli authorities said today. The crossing had been closed since Sunday after a rocket attack nearby killed four Israeli soldiers. In a statement today, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said aid trucks were arriving and would be transferred to the Gazan side after a “thorough security inspection.” Ibrahim Dahman and Lucas Lilieholm report for CNN.

“Israeli security forces have unlawfully used lethal force in fatal shootings of Palestinians in the West Bank,” Human Rights Watch said in a new report. Based on research into eight deaths in four incidents between July 2022 and October 2023, the group concluded “Israeli forces wrongfully fatally shot or deliberately executed Palestinians who posed no apparent security threat.” 


Israel’s current Rafah operation has not crossed President Biden’s “red line,” two U.S. officials say. While Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Netanyahu last week that a “major operation” in Rafah would harm U.S.-Israeli relations, White House spokesperson John Kirby said yesterday that Netanyahu “didn’t describe it as a major ground operation.” Kirby said Netanyahu told Biden this week the Rafah operation is limited in scope and aimed at preventing Hamas from smuggling weapons through the Egyptian border. Two U.S. officials warned that if Israeli forces enter Rafah itself, it would be a “breaking point.” Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

The Biden administration is pausing shipments of two types of Boeing-made precision bombs to send a political message to Israel, according to a U.S. official and six other people with knowledge of the deliberations. Washington reportedly has yet to sign off on a pending sale of Boeing’s Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Small Diameter Bombs. While the Biden administration has not formally denied the sale, it is effectively taking action through inaction to send a message to Israel, one U.S. official said. It appears to be the first time Washington has delayed a potential weapons sale for Israel since the Oct. 7 attacks. Lara Seligman, Lee Hudson, Paul Mcleary, Alexander Ward, and Nahal Toosi report for POLITICO.

The Biden administration’s report on whether Israel has violated U.S. and international humanitarian law during the Gaza war has been delayed, three Senate aides and a House aide told POLITICO. It will no longer be released today as planned. In an email, the Biden Administration notified the Hill that the report is “briefly delayed,” but didn’t provide a specific timeline or a clear reason why. If the report determines Israel has violated international humanitarian law since the war began, the United States would be expected to halt military assistance to Israel. Matt Berg and Joe Gould report. 

The United States believes negotiations over a ceasefire and hostage deal “should be able to close the remaining gaps” between Israel and Hamas, John Kirby said yesterday. “Everybody is coming to the table,” including delegations from both Israel and Hamas, adding, “That’s not insignificant. … We believe that where we see the text right now, we see no reason why they can’t overcome those remaining gaps.” Karen DeYoung reports for the Washington Post

Blinken spoke yesterday with Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi. Blinken “strongly condemned the recent violent attacks on humanitarian aid convoys from Jordan to Gaza by extremists seeking to prevent aid from reaching Palestinian civilians in need” and “reaffirmed the United States’ clear position on Rafah.”

The United States has completed the offshore construction of a temporary humanitarian pier system, known as JLOTS. “As of today, the construction of the two portions of the JLOTS, the floating pier and the Trident pier, are complete and awaiting final movement offshore,” Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh announced at a briefing. Michael Conte and Natasha Bertrand report for CNN.


Russia today demanded that Israel comply with international humanitarian law after the seizure of the Rafah crossing. At a briefing, a foreign ministry spokesperson said Russia views the Rafah incursion as “an additional destabilizing factor” in an area with more than a million civilians, adding, “We demand strict observance of the provisions of international humanitarian law.” The Times of Israel reports. 

Australian foreign minister Penny Wong reiterated objections to a major ground offensive into Rafah. In a post on X, Wong said Australia had “been clear” about its objections and relayed “this to Israel again today.” 


The Israeli military said its fighter jets struck a compound used by Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah in southern Lebanon overnight. It follows a Hezbollah-claimed drone attack against an Israeli army position in northern Israel on Monday that killed two reserve soldiers. Emmanuel Fabian reports for The Times of Israel; The Guardian reports. 


The U.S. military said today that Yemen’s Houthis on Tuesday launched “three uncrewed aerial systems over the Gulf of Aden from Houthi controlled areas of Yemen.” A coalition ship intercepted one UAS, CENTCOM intercepted the second UAS, and the final UAS crashed in the Gulf of Aden. No damage or injuries were reported. The Houthis also launched an anti-ship ballistic missile yesterday, causing no damage or injuries. 


Ukraine has arrested two colonels in an assassination plot to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The two suspects were colonels in Ukraine’s State Protection Department, the agency responsible for protecting senior government leaders, and were recruited by Russia’s Federal Security Service, according to Ukraine’s State Security Service. Ukrainian authorities said Russia planned to kill Zelenskyy and top Ukrainian security officials as a “gift” for Vladimir Putin for his inauguration. The Kremlin today said it had no comment on the allegations. David L. Stern and Serhiy Morgunov report for the Washington Post.

Russian missiles and drones struck nearly a dozen Ukrainian critical infrastructure facilities in a major attack early today. Serious damage was caused to three Soviet-era thermal power plants, Kyiv officials said, adding that its air force shot down 39 out of 55 missiles and 20 out of 21 drones. Gleb Garanich and Anastasiia Malenko report for Reuters


President Biden hosted Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis at the White House yesterday. The leaders celebrated their joint cooperation on issues including international security, the economy, and support for Ukraine. The White House said the meeting was meant to mark Romania’s two decades as a NATO member. AP News reports. 

The Taliban defense ministry today rejected Pakistan’s allegations that Afghans were involved in an attack on Chinese engineers. It comes after Pakistan’s military said at a press conference yesterday that the suicide bomb attack in March in Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which killed five Chinese engineers was planned in neighboring Afghanistan, and carried out by an Afghan national. Reuters reports. 

Australia has accused a Chinese fighter jet of firing flares into a naval helicopter path last weekend over Yellow Sea international waters, an action Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called “completely unacceptable.” No damage or injuries were reported, but the incident is the latest in a growing list of confrontations in international waters between China’s military and other states. Brad Lendon reports for CNN.

Togo’s president has signed a new constitution eliminating presidential elections, a measure opponents say will allow him to extend his family’s six-decade rule. Civil society groups in the country have called for protests. Erick Kaglan reports for AP News.


The United States repatriated 11 Americans, six Canadians, four Dutch citizens, and one Finnish citizen from northeast Syria yesterday, according to a statement from Blinken. Blinken said it marks the “largest single repatriation of U.S. citizens from northeast Syria to date.” Tara Suter reports for The Hill.


The judge in former President Trump’s ongoing hush money criminal trial yesterday rejected his request for a mistrial. The request came the same day adult film actress and key witness Stormy Daniels testified in the case, with Trump’s legal team claiming Daniels changed her story on the stand from what she said in 2016. Judge Juan Merchan said, “I don’t think we’re at the point where a mistrial is warranted.” Sareen Habeshian reports for Axios.

Judge Aileen Cannon yesterday indefinitely postponed Trump’s classified documents trial date in Florida, citing a number of outstanding pre-trial motions. The ruling, which makes it unlikely the trial will conclude before the 2024 presidential election, is a win for Trump, who has successfully pushed for delays in multiple criminal trials ahead of November’s election. Erin Doherty and April Rubin report for Axios.