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


Nearly 360,000 Palestinians have fled Rafah in the week since Israel ordered civilians in the city to evacuate, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said today. Israel has said the evacuations will protect civilians, but UNRWA says there is nowhere safe for them to go, calling the evacuation orders as “the forced and inhumane displacement of Palestinians.” 

Israeli forces continued to advance on Rafah yesterday and launched another operation against Hamas in northern Gaza. IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari described the Rafah operation as “precise” and “limited in scope,” saying the military was avoiding the city’s “densely populated areas.” The Israel military claimed yesterday it had killed 10 Hamas militants in Rafah and dismantled a series of tunnel shafts. The military also said its troops had operated overnight in Jabalia refugee camp after airstrikes on around 30 Hamas targets. Residents and medics said several people were killed and wounded. Miriam Berger, Niha Masih, Leo Sands, and Claire Parker report for the Washington Post; Nidal Al-Mughrabi reports for Reuters.

Israel is observing Memorial Day, an annual commemoration for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to attend a ceremony today in Jerusalem, and will later appear at a commemoration for Israeli victims of terrorism. While Memorial Day is a traditional annual commemoration, this year’s ceremony is widely viewed as taking on greater significance in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. Aaron Boxerman reports for the New York Times.


Israeli forces should “get out of Gaza,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS Face the Nation yesterday. Delivering some of the Biden administration’s strongest criticism of Israel’s conduct in the Gaza war, Blinken said that while Washington has worked with Arab countries to develop “credible plans for security, for governance, for rebuilding” Gaza, “We haven’t seen that come from Israel.” Blinken’s comments follow the State Department issuing a report to Congress on Friday raising “substantial questions” regarding Israel’s efforts to protect civilians in Gaza. Readers may be interested in John Ramming Chappell’s analysis of the report for Just Security. Josh Boak reports for AP News; Barak Ravid reports for Axios


Halting arms exports to Israel is “not a wise path” and would only help Hamas, British foreign secretary David Cameron said yesterday. Asked whether the United Kingdom would follow the United States in threatening to cut weapons supply to Israel if it launched a major attack on Rafah, Cameron said the countries cannot be compared because unlike Washington, Britain supplies a small amount of Israel’s weapons. AP News reports; Sam Francis reports for BBC News.


Thousands more civilians have fled Russia’s renewed ground offensive in Ukraine’s northeast, Ukrainian officials said yesterday. The intense fighting has forced at least one Ukrainian unit to withdraw from the Kharkiv region, capitulating more land to Moscow in the contested “gray zone” along the Russian border. NBC News reports. 

The Russian defense ministry said today its air defense systems destroyed 16 missiles and 31 drones Ukraine launched overnight. Five houses were damaged in the city of Belgorod, but preliminary information suggests there were no injuries, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram. Reuters reports. 


Russian President Vladimir Putin has replaced his defense minister and close ally Sergei Shoigu with a civilian economist. Andrey Belousov served as former first deputy prime minister and was appointed to the top defense post, a Kremlin spokesperson said yesterday. Shoigu was “relieved” of his position by presidential decree, the spokesperson said, adding he will remain an influential part of Putin’s administration as the new Secretary of Russia’s Security Council. Anna Chernova and Helen Regan report for CNN; Robert Plummer reports for BBC News

Two children were killed and others were injured after a bomb fell near a pediatric hospital yesterday in the western Sudanese city of El Fasher. Clashes have intensified in the battle for control of the city, the last major urban center in Darfur that remains under army control, raising fears for more than 2.5 million civilians trapped there. BBC News reports; Katherine Houreld and Hafiz Haroun report for the Washington Post.

A German high court ruled today that domestic security services could continue to treat the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) as a potentially extremist party. The ruling means German authorities can continue to keep the AfD under surveillance. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, charged with protecting Germany’s democratic order from extremist threats, has classified the AfD as potentially extreme since 2021. Elke Ahlswede reports for Reuters

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Georgia’s capital over the weekend to protest a contentious draft law to crack down on “foreign agents.” The law, viewed by critics and rights groups as a threat to democracy, is expected to be approved by Georgia’s Parliament on Friday. In a televised briefing yesterday, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze threatened to prosecute any protestors who engage in violence and pledged to press ahead with passing the bill. Annabelle Timsit reports for the Washington Post; Reuters reports. 

A Chinese citizen journalist who was sentenced to four years in prison for reporting on the initial Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan is due to be released today, according to supporters and a court verdict. China’s foreign ministry declined to confirm the news of Zhang Zhan’s release, saying instead, “China is a country governed by the rule of law. Anyone who violates the law should be punished by law.” Nectar Gan reports for CNN.

Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit Turkey today for talks with President Tayyip Erdogan aimed at maintaining the positive momentum achieved in bilateral relations in recent months. The countries have long been at odds over issues including maritime boundaries, energy resources, flights over the Aegean Sea, and ethnically split Cyprus. Tuvan Gumrukcu and Renee Maltezou report for Reuters

Three men in Britain have been charged today under the National Security Act with assisting the Hong Kong intelligence service and foreign interference. Ruth Comerford reports for BBC News.

The Socialists of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez won Catalonia’s regional election as pro-independence parties lost ground. Guy Hedgecoe reports for BBC News.


The Department of Justice is asking that the man convicted of kidnapping and assaulting Paul Pelosi, the husband of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), be sentenced to 40 years. In a sentencing memo filed Friday, the DoJ said David DePape’s sentencing should be used to discourage others from undertaking political violence. Lauren Floyd reports for Axios.


Former President Trump’s criminal hush money trial enters its 16th day today, with star prosecution witness Michael Cohen expected to take the stand. Cohen is core to the case against Trump, accused of arranging payment of $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 election, in return for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump a decade earlier. Victoria Bekiempis reports for The Guardian