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


The Israeli military confirmed for the first time today it is operating in the center of Rafah, calling the offensive there “precise” and “intelligence-based.” The IDF said Israeli troops in central Rafah have located Hamas weaponry, and that a member of Hamas’s elite Nukhba force was killed in a drone strike. Gaza medics said that Israeli forces killed at least 12 Palestinians yesterday in Rafah. Separately, the military said today its forces have wrapped up a nearly three-week long operation in Jabalia, northern Gaza. Emanuel Fabian reports for The Times of Israel; Dan Williams reports for Reuters.

An Israeli journalist said security officials threatened action against him if he reported on attempts by Mossad’s former chief to intimidate an International Criminal Court prosecutor. In an article published yesterday, Gur Mediggo, an investigative reporter for Haaretz, described how security officials blocked an attempt by the paper two years ago to report efforts by Yossi Cohen to threaten then ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Peter Beaumont reports for The Guardian.


The State Department falsified a report absolving Israel of responsibility for blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza, according to a former U.S. official who resigned this week. Stacy Gilbert left her post on Tuesday. She had been one of the department’s subject matter experts who drafted the report under the National Security Memorandum published on May 10. Gilbert said the report went against the advice of its own experts. Julian Borger reports for The Guardian.

 The White House is set to hold a trilateral meeting in Cairo next week between Egyptian, Israeli, and U.S. officials. The discussions will focus on reopening the Rafah crossing, and a plan for securing the Egypt-Gaza border, three U.S. and Israeli officials said. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he’s “surprised and disappointed” the Biden administration won’t support sanctions on the ICC. The White House on Tuesday said it would reject the Republican-led congressional effort to sanction the court after its chief prosecutor filed arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant. Alexander Ward reports for POLITICO.

Conditions in Gaza are “worse now than ever before,” USAID chief Samatha Power said yesterday. Citing humanitarian groups working in Gaza, Power said Israel’s military offensive and the closure of border crossings “are making it extremely difficult to distribute aid.” Annabelle Timsit, Lousia Loveluck, and Adela Suliman report for the Washington Post.


Slovenia said yesterday it would recognize a Palestinian state, joining Ireland, Norway and Spain who made the move earlier this week. In a post on X, Slovenia’s foreign minister said it is the “only way for the two countries to coexist in peace.” The New York Times reports. 


U.S. and British forces struck Houthi targets in Yemen yesterday for the first time in more than three months, CENTCOM and the U.K. government have said. The Houthis said today the strikes killed at least 16 people and wounded 35 others, the highest publicly acknowledged death toll from strikes on the group. Three U.S. officials described the strikes as hitting underground facilities, missile launchers, command and control sites, a Houthi vessel, and other facilities. Oren Liebermann reports for CNN; Jon Gambrell and Lolita Baldor report for AP News.


 The Biden administration has given Ukraine permission to strike inside Russia — solely for counter-fire purposes in Kharkiv — using U.S.-provided weapons, three U.S. officials and two other people familiar with the move said yesterday. The policy of prohibiting long-range strikes inside Russia “has not changed,” one of the officials added. Erin Banco, Alexander Ward, and Lara Seligman report for POLITICO; Gordon Lubold and Michael R. Gordon report for the Wall Street Journal

A Russian missile attack killed four people in an apartment block in Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials said today. Illia Novikov reports for AP News.


U.S. and Chinese defense chiefs met today for the first time since 2022. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met his Chinese counterpart Dong Jun in Singapore, as Washington and Beijing seek to stabilize relations and avert a crisis over Taiwan. While both officials emphasized the need to keep military-to-military communications open, Dong warned Austin that Washington should not interfere with China’s affairs in Taiwan. Christian Shepherd, Abigail Hauslohner, and Rebecca Tan report for the Washington Post; Idree Ali and Xinghui Kok report for Reuters.

Preliminary results of South Africa’s vote indicate the ruling African National Congress party may lose its majority. With more than 60% of votes counted, the ANC currently has 42%, scoring less than 50% for the first time since 1994. As things stand, some form of coalition will need to be agreed in order for a president to be elected. BBC News reports.

Slovakia’s prime minister was released from the hospital yesterday, two weeks after being shot and seriously wounded in an assassination attempt. Robert Fico underwent several rounds of surgery, and is now recovering at home. Sara Cincurova and Andrew Higgins report for the New York Times.

Spain’s parliament approved 177-172 a controversial amnesty law for Catalan separatists. The Socialist Party of prime minister Pedro Sánchez introduced the law last year to help secure the support of Catalan separatist parties, angering Spain’s right. The law would benefit 309 people facing prosecution for their roles in Catalonia’s failed independence bid in 2017. Al Goodman reports for CNN; Guy Hedgecoe reports for BBC News.

Zambia’s former First Lady Esther Lungu and her daughter were arrested yesterday on fraud charges. The charges relate to Lungu allegedly possessing properties suspected to be proceeds of crime. Wycliffe Muia reports for BBC News.

The U.N. Security Council yesterday voted to extend an arms embargo on South Sudan. The U.S.-sponsored resolution received 9 votes in favor, with six countries abstaining – Russia, China, Mozambique, Algeria, Sierra Leone, and Guyana. Edith M. Lederer reports for ABC News

Mexicans are likely to elect their first woman president on Sunday in a historic election that has centered around surging violence. The two leading presidential candidates are Claudia Sheinbaum from the ruling Morena coalition, who is leading in the polls, and Xóchitl Gálvez, a former senator from the opposition coalition. Mark Stevenson and María Verza report for AP News; Marina E. Franco reports for Axios

Voters in Serbia will head to the polls this weekend for a municipal vote in dozens of cities and towns. The voting will include a rerun of a December election in Belgrade, the capital, to address allegations of fraud against politicians of the ruling party. Jovana Gec reports for AP News.


The White House is finalizing plans for a U.S.-Mexico border clampdown, according to four people familiar with the matter. The plan would shut off asylum requests and automatically block migrants’ entrance once the number of people encountered by U.S. officials exceeded a new daily threshold. The sources said Biden is expected to sign an executive order as early as Tuesday. POLITICO reports; Colleen Long and Sueng Min Kim report for AP News.

A Queens man pleaded guilty yesterday to threatening to kill a congressional aide and making more than 12,000 harassing phone calls to members of Congress between 2022-2023. Ade Salim Lilly, 35, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 28. Spencer S. Hsu reports for the Washington Post


Former President Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in his New York hush money trial. It is the first time a former or serving U.S. president has been convicted of a crime. Trump’s attorney said yesterday the defense team would “vigorously fight” by filing motions before Judge Merchan in a couple of weeks. “If that is not successful, then as soon as we can appeal we will,” Todd Blanche said. Trump is due to be sentenced on July 11. BBC News reports; Rebecca Falconer reports for Axios. Readers may also be interested in Adam Klasfeld and Norman Eisen’s analysis of the jury’s verdict for Just Security