Fdd's overnight brief

November 6, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


As Hamas launched its deadly assault on Israel nearly a month ago, the mastermind of the Islamist militant group’s attacks incited Arab citizens of Israel to “kill, burn and destroy” their Jewish neighbors. Instead, Awad Darawshe helped those wounded in Hamas’s violent rampage. “It cost him his life,” said his sister, Raya Darawshe. – Wall Street Journal

Israel has more than doubled the rate at which it makes arrests across the occupied West Bank since it was attacked by Hamas militants from Gaza a month ago, an escalation that analysts say risks triggering wider unrest. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. and Israeli interests in the ongoing Middle East conflict are diverging in both the short and long term, muddying the path to ending Israel’s war against militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. – Wall Street Journal

Now, as Israel steps up a new invasion, it faces a more-potent enemy that has rebuilt its arsenal with help from Iran. Since the operation started on Oct. 27, Hamas has attacked the Israeli army with explosive-laden drones, anti-tank missiles and high-impact rockets—the sorts of weapons that have transformed the battlefield in Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

Israel’s prime minister resisted pressure from the U.S. to pause strikes on Hamas after Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged more actions to protect civilians in Gaza. – Wall Street Journal

The body bags arrive by the dozen in a refrigerated truck first thing every morning. Some contain corpses, some only fragmentary remains, burned almost to ash. Another shipment usually comes before noon. – Wall Street Journal

Relatives of Israelis abducted by Hamas last month traveled to downtown D.C. on Sunday to urge the international community to maintain pressure and demand the release of their family members. – Washington Post

Israeli forces have progressed miles since entering the Gaza Strip overnight on Oct. 27 and appear to have effectively severed Gaza City from the south, new satellite imagery shows. Vehicle tracks made over the past week and visible on Planet Labs images taken Nov. 3 show advances along three main routes, from the northwest, northeast and south. Although Israeli forces along the southern route have advanced all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, they appear not to have made significant progress along other routes in recent days, and videos have showed heavy fighting in some of those locations. – Washington Post

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) accused President Biden of supporting the “genocide” of Palestinians amid Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, saying that Americans will remember his actions when he’s up for reelection in 2024. – Washington Post

An Israeli government request for 24,000 assault rifles from the United States is drawing scrutiny from American lawmakers and some State Department officials who fear the weapons might end up in the hands of settlers and civilian militias trying to force Palestinians from land in the West Bank, where violence has been surging, U.S. officials say. – New York Times

William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, arrived in Israel on Sunday for discussions with leaders and intelligence officials, the first stop in a multicountry trip in the region, according to U.S. officials. – New York Times

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday disciplined a junior member of his cabinet who appeared to voice openness to the idea of Israel carrying out a nuclear strike on Gaza, where the war with Hamas is inflicting a spiralling Palestinian civilian toll. – Reuters

The Israeli military said it would enable Palestinians to travel on a main Gaza Strip highway on Saturday as part of its three-week-old efforts to encourage civilians to evacuate southward away from areas that are the focus of its war with Hamas. – Reuters

Police held back protesters outside the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, amid widespread anger at the failures that led to last month’s deadly attack by Hamas gunmen on communities around the Gaza Strip. – Reuters

Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip will cost as much as 200 billion shekels ($51 billion), the Calcalist financial newspaper reported on Sunday, citing preliminary Finance Ministry figures. – Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to backtrack on a comment he was reported to have made earlier about the need to check if a pre-war protest among army reservists pushed Hamas to carry out its attack last month. – Reuters

The Israeli military on Sunday said it has exposed a network of Hamas tunnels, command centres and rocket launchers beneath and adjacent to hospitals in northern Gaza. – Reuters

Israel’s justice minister said on Sunday that he would convene a committee for selecting judges, after having refused to do so for months as the political opposition charged at his bid to give the governing coalition more clout within the panel. – Reuters

Hours after Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7, the country’s new fortified, subterranean blood bank kicked into action. Staffers moved equipment into the underground bunker and started saving lives. – Associated Press

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) ripped U.S. policy towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday. – The Hill

Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, 22, was arrested Monday morning by the IDF, according to Israeli media citing Palestinian reports. Tamimi has gained prominence in her community for her violent actions against the IDF and has been deemed by many as a national hero for West Bank Palestinians. – Jerusalem Post

Two Border Police officers were seriously wounded in a stabbing terror attack by Herod’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday morning, Israel Police confirmed. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: Hezbollah’s daily attacks are dangerous, but Mr. Nasrallah said nothing to indicate a break from the low-intensity, tit-for-tat pattern of fighting. This is a tentative success for U.S. policy, which seeks to constrain both Hezbollah and Israel from escalating. The aircraft-carrier strike groups that Mr. Biden deployed so far have served their purpose. Pushing for pauses in Gaza, on the other hand, could backfire by keeping Hamas afloat and dragging out the conflict—to the detriment of Israeli and Palestinian civilians. The U.S. interest is in a swift and decisive Israeli victory. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Far over the horizon lies this war’s end, difficult to visualize but necessary to contemplate, if only because no war can be judged except in light of its plausible objectives. Defeat for Hamas is neither guaranteed nor, if achieved, sufficient for lasting peace. That would also require stable governance and security in Gaza, perhaps supervised by an interim Arab and Muslim peacekeeping force. There would have to be an end to both the Hamas tunnel network and the Egyptian-Israeli blockade on Gaza. There could be an enhanced administrative role for the admittedly troubled Palestinian Authority, and elections. Then would come — sooner rather than later — serious diplomacy aimed at Palestinian statehood, side by side with Israel, in peace. – Washington Post

Editorial: In a new job with such a steep learning curve, Mr. Johnson deserves a minimum of grace and patience — but not an infinite amount. Now that this defund-the-IRS bill has passed the House, with only 12 Democratic votes, Mr. Johnson should allow Congress to pass Mr. Biden’s supplemental funding proposal so that Israel, Ukraine and our own southern border get the help they need. – Washington Post

Yossi Klein Halevi writes: On an unusually warm recent evening in Tel Aviv, a middle-aged woman stood alone before the Defense Ministry, holding a sign comparing the Yom Kippur War to today. It read: “In the 1973 fiasco, I lost my father. In the 2023 fiasco, I lost my son. Put Bibi and his government of destruction on trial.” Everything about this war feels different. Yet nothing has changed. – Wall Street Journal

Fareed Zakaria writes: I realize it is easy to critique from afar. And Israel, of course, is feeling deeply vulnerable, a vulnerability made worse by the appalling rise of antisemitism in so many parts of the world, including the United States. But it is worth reflecting on whether policies forged in anger and retribution yield lasting gains. Israel invaded Lebanon and got Hezbollah. Israel wore down the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which strengthened Hamas. I do not know what this current campaign will produce in the long run. But I fear it will not be good for Israel or the Palestinians. – Washington Post

Jim Geraghty writes: Democratic members of the House should be leading the charge to censure Tlaib. The situation is bad and tense enough without her claiming that the U.S. policy of supporting Israel — unchanged through administrations in both parties — amounts to genocide. The fires of extremism and rage are burning, and Tlaib is grabbing the gasoline. – Washington Post

Israeli President Isaac Herzog writes: In the months and years before the Hamas massacre, we began to see signs of the emergence of a better Middle East, from the Persian Gulf to North Africa — one inspired by progress and partnership, one in which Israel could finally feel at home among our neighbors. Will this be the world that emerges from this crisis? Or will it be the world desired by the murderous fundamentalists of Hamas? These questions will be key among the strategic issues on the agenda in our discussions with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to the region beginning Friday — as they were during the visit to Israel of President Biden a few weeks ago. – New York Times

Matthew Yglesias writes: Israelis aren’t going to arrange their domestic politics for the convenience of US presidents, of course. But the Biden administration is expending a lot of effort on Israel’s behalf right now, even though doing so divides the president’s supporters. Anything Israel can do to make that politically easier for him will benefit Israel itself. And finding a new prime minister who’s less dependent on the far right, and more capable of leading a centrist coalition, would go a long way in that regard. – Bloomberg

Zachary Faria writes: The blame for civilian casualties in Gaza lies squarely on Hamas. The blame for this entire conflict lies with the antisemitic terrorists who have made destroying Israel and killing Jewish civilians their only goal. The humanitarian crisis is the fault of Hamas, which hordes resources for its attacks and leaves Palestinian civilians to suffer. Prominent Democrats should feel ashamed that they can’t bring themselves to offer the same moral clarity that Fetterman has been doing throughout this conflict. – Washington Examiner

Mark Goldfeder writes: From an international law perspective, the IDF is as ethical an army as ever existed or could exist, and as they head into what will likely be a bloody and devastating ground campaign, there are two important truths to bear in mind: every innocent life lost is tragic, and every one of those tragedies is the fault of the terror organization Hamas. A world that wants to see zero civilian deaths should be pushing for Hamas to surrender, not Israel to cease fire. – The Hill

Kenneth M. Pollack writes: We can all hope that, as in October 1973, the October 2023 war will lead ultimately to peace between Palestinians and Israelis. But we must recognize that peace requires the military defeat of the opponents of peace — Hamas and Iran — and not in arbitrarily cutting short this war before it has achieved that crucial destination. An immediate ceasefire might conceivably save lives now, but it will likely cost many more later. – The Hill

Yonah Jeremy Bob writes: Combine Hamas’s tunnel resourcefulness with how little the IDF knows about which and how many Hamas terrorists have faded into the civilian population in the north or the south (with no intention of fighting until some much later guerrilla warfare stage), and IDF intelligence may make serious future misjudgments about how many Hamas forces remain to fight. This could impact not only on how large an insurgency the IDF faces after it “defeats” Hamas in the “main” war, but also how effective any third party will be in controlling Gaza in the face of a Hamas-attempted resurgence further down the road. – Jerusalem Post


Iran said that the United States would “be hit hard” if Washington did not implement a ceasefire in Gaza, the country’s Minister of Defence was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Sunday. – Reuters

The United Nations Human Rights Committee on Friday expressed concern over Iran’s treatment of women and girls and called for the disbandment of the Islamic Republic’s morality police. – Reuters

British foreign minister James Cleverly has urged Iran to use its influence with groups in the Middle East region to prevent an escalation of Israel’s conflict with Hamas. – Reuters

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has met with the leader of Tehran-backed Palestinian group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, in Tehran, Iranian state media reported on Sunday, a day after a Hamas official said they held a meeting in recent days. – Reuters

The U.S. House of Representatives easily passed a bill on Friday to bolster sanctions on Iranian oil in a strong bipartisan vote. – Reuters

Thousands of Iranians gathered on the streets Saturday to mark the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” They condemned Washington’s support of Israel as it strikes the Gaza Strip in its war against Hamas. – Associated Press

An Iranian court has sentenced a woman to death for adultery, state media said. – Associated Press

Hamas’s mass infiltration and massacre of Israelis on October 7 was originally intended to take place during last Passover’s Seder meal, Israeli journalist Ben Caspit reported on Sunday evening. As per the report, Iran decided to delay the organized assault on civilians to Simchat Torah due to reasons that are unclear. – Jerusalem Post

The October 7 invasion and massacre of Israelis by Hamas is “the greatest success of the Islamic world,” Sardar Abolfazl Shekarchi, Iran’s deputy for culture and defense propaganda of the General Staff of the IRGC, said in celebration of the massacre, as per the Iranian state-owned Tasnim news agency. – Jerusalem Post

Israeli leaders, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on down, have pledged to hunt down all Hamas terrorists involved in the October 7 massacre to the ends of the earth. – Jerusalem Post

James Stavridis writes: These targets would not produce significant collateral civilian damage but would have both deep military effect and crippling economic impact. The list above, frankly, is just the beginning in terms of US capability with the force set currently forward deployed. Iran’s leaders are extremist but not irrational. Let’s hope they are paying attention. – Bloomberg

Nicholas Carl writes: Neglecting the imperative to promote stability and secure U.S. interests has led to an eruption of crises—not just in Syria, but civil war in Yemen, gradually expanding Iranian control in Iraq, and an enduring ISIS challenge that is not defeated. Deprioritizing the region has proved to be counterproductive, as the U.S. is inevitably dragged back in. Nothing illustrates that more than the current crisis, which demands attention and resources from U.S. policymakers at a time they are also contending with the war in Ukraine and threats from China. The threat from the Axis of Resistance demonstrates why it’s imperative for the United States to remain engaged in the Middle East in a proactive and sustained fashion. – The Dispatch

Katherine Zimmerman writes: The complex web of relations that stretches across the Middle East ties conflicts together. Iran has carefully woven its Axis of Resistance throughout in an effort to gain advantage over Israel and the United States. Pulling at one thread of the web could change what is happening elsewhere. With all of the interlinkages and potential for missteps, the potential for war in the Middle East is as high as it’s ever been. – The Liberal Patriot

Russia & Ukraine

A Western price cap on Russian oil meant to curb Moscow’s war spending is increasingly losing its punch. – Wall Street Journal

Moscow said a Ukrainian strike had damaged a Russian ship moored in occupied Crimea, the latest sign that Ukraine’s stepped-up attacks are dealing further blows to the Russian Navy. – Wall Street Journal

That’s how people got along in Hroza before the Russians marched in early last year. The invasion split the village into enemy camps. Kozyr enlisted in the Ukrainian military and was killed in action. The Mamon brothers went to work for the Russian forces occupying Hroza. After Ukraine retook the village just over a year ago, residents eyed each other with suspicion, no longer sure which of their neighbors they could trust. – Wall Street Journal

Russia launched a deadly missile strike on a Ukrainian military brigade in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region over the weekend, killing an unspecified number of soldiers, Ukrainian officials said. Unconfirmed Ukrainian media reports and a member of the brigade said that dozens may have been killed and injured. – Washington Post

Russia’s arrest of Igor Girkin, the former security agent who was convicted this year in absentia by a Dutch court in the 2014 downing of a passenger jet over Ukraine, made clear that Moscow’s protection had come to an end. – Washington Post

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said Sunday that criminal proceedings had been initiated over an episode in which Russian missiles struck a group of Ukrainian soldiers at an award ceremony in the south of the country, killing some and leaving others wounded. – New York Times

The office of President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday chastised Ukraine’s top military commander for publicly declaring the war at a stalemate, suggesting the comments would help the Russian invasion. It was a striking public rebuke that signaled an emerging rift between the military and civilian leadership at an already challenging time for Ukraine. – New York Times

Russian forces targeted Ukraine overnight with their biggest drone attack in weeks, part of what Ukrainian officials and military analysts say appears to be a campaign to wear down and probe Ukrainian air defenses ahead of winter. – New York Times

Russia on Friday dismissed new U.S. sanctions over the war in Ukraine, saying that the United States would never defeat Moscow, while the boss of Russia’s fastest growing natural gas company quipped the sanctions were a badge of success. – Reuters

Russia is moving to expand its military presence in eastern Libya, a plan that could lead to a naval base, giving it a significant foothold on Europe’s southern doorstep. – Bloomberg

The Biden administration announced a $425 million package Friday for Ukraine, planning to deliver to Kyiv a shipment of artillery rounds, small arms ammunition, air defense munitions and cold weather gear ahead of winter. – The Hill

Russia’s military successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from its new strategic nuclear submarine, the Imperator Alexander III, the country’s defense ministry said Sunday. – Axios

Josh Rogin writes: Meanwhile, the United States’ adversaries in Moscow, Tehran and Beijing must be crowing over their luck. U.S. dysfunction aids their aggression. Nervous European partners are getting a grim preview of what foreign policy in a second Trump administration could look like. And America’s allies in Israel and Ukraine are paying the deadly price. – Washington Post


Hezbollah’s leader warned that a regional war with Israel was a realistic possibility, as fears grew that the conflict in Gaza could spill into a second battlefront with the Lebanese militant group. – Wall Street Journal

Hasan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militant group with widespread political influence in Lebanon, gave his first address Friday since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. – Washington Post

An Israeli strike on a car in south Lebanon killed three children and their grandmother on Sunday, Lebanese authorities said, as the Israeli army said a Hezbollah attack from Lebanon killed an Israeli citizen in northern Israel. – Reuters

Israeli warplanes conducted airstrikes along the border with Lebanon Saturday as the militant Hezbollah group attacked several Israeli army posts, including one that was struck with two large rockets. – Associated Press

Hassan Nasrallah will seal Lebanon’s fate if he decides to launch a larger offensive on Israel, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned Saturday in a visit to the IDF’s 146th Division, operating in the North. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: Nevertheless, it is clear that Nasrallah is worried about any potential escalation. His speech was perceived in the region as a climb-down. It illustrates that Hezbollah may be weakening in terms of its calculations that war with Israel will be a success. It appears to want to distance itself from the Hamas massacre of 1,400 Israelis. Hamas’s brutality and genocidal evil have now been revealed. Hezbollah sought to emphasize that the Hamas attack was planned by Hamas without Nasrallah or other parts of the Iranian proxy-octopus knowing about the attack in advance. This is messaging by Hezbollah to portray Hamas as being responsible for the war it has brought on Gaza. – Jerusalem Post

Hanin Ghaddar writes: Either way, the United States and its partners must continue signaling Hezbollah and Iran that they are willing to strike back if the group miscalculates its current level of attacks or changes its tactics. They should also start formulating a new Iran policy—one that addresses all of Iran’s militias and destabilizing activities in the region. Otherwise, they risk leaving themselves vulnerable to a repeat of October 7 on another frontier. – Washington Institute


The national flag they play under no longer exists officially. The anthem they stand for at the beginning of every game belongs to a republic that was toppled two years ago. Yet Afghanistan’s athletes have become the unlikely — and widely celebrated — heroes of the Cricket World Cup that is underway in India. – New York Times

Opium poppy production in Afghanistan, previously the world’s top supplier, has plummeted since the Taliban administration banned the cultivation of narcotics last year, a United Nations report said on Sunday. – Reuters

Afghans fleeing Pakistan to avoid arrest and deportation are sleeping in the open, without proper shelter, food, drinking water and toilets once they cross the border to their homeland, aid agencies said Sunday. – Associated Press

The Taliban on Saturday appealed to Afghanistan’s private sector to help people fleeing Pakistan’s mass deportation drive. – Associated Press


Russian military forces carried out air strikes on a drone warehouse in Syria’s Idlib governorate, the Russian Interfax news agency reported, citing Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, deputy head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, on Sunday. – Reuters

Syrian refugees became a hot-button issue during this year’s presidential election, held amid an economic crisis that fanned anti-migrant flames. But with the European Union’s help, Turkey is quietly setting up integration-through-work programmes — even if few officials publicly admit that many Syrians are probably here to stay. – Agence France-Presse

Andrew Tabler and Anna Borshchevskaya write: To clearly demonstrate such costs, the United States and Israel need to hold Russia’s patron Assad accountable publicly and militarily. The introduction of Pantsir S-1s, one should note, is not a game changer so much as a prominent symbol of Russian support for Hezbollah and Iran vis-à-vis Israel. It can be fairly easily managed at this early stage of the Gaza conflict. – Washington Institute


The U.S. is rushing to support Middle East leaders facing domestic turmoil over the Israel-Hamas conflict, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken making two surprise visits Sunday to the West Bank and Iraq, as the Biden administration comes under pressure to secure a pause in fighting and ease regional tensions. – Wall Street Journal

When a drone laden with explosives was found late last month lodged in the upper floors of U.S. barracks in Iraq, Pentagon officials quickly realized how close the suspected militia-launched weapon came to killing American personnel. – Wall Street Journal

Turkey’s military conducted air strikes in northern Iraq on Saturday evening and destroyed 15 Kurdish militant targets, the Turkish Defence Ministry said, adding many militants had been “neutralised” in the attack. – Reuters

The Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah threatened on Saturday night to spark an “unprecedented escalation” if US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Baghdad during his meetings in the Middle East. – Jerusalem Post


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he would try to facilitate the parliamentary ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership as much as possible, but added that Stockhom had still not taken sufficient action on Kurdish militants. – Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Gaza must be part of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state once the Israel-Hamas war is over, and Ankara will not support any plans “gradually erasing Palestinians” from history. – Reuters

Turkey’s main opposition party picked a new leader months after it suffered another defeat at the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and as the country heads toward local elections in March. – Bloomberg

Turkish police on Sunday fired tear gas to disperse a pro-Palestinian rally staged outside a military base housing US forces just hours before the arrival in Ankara of Washington’s top diplomat. – Agence France-Presse


Israel has quietly tried to build international support in recent weeks for the transfer of several hundred thousand civilians from Gaza to Egypt for the duration of its war in the territory, according to six senior foreign diplomats. – New York Times

A Biden administration official said on Friday that efforts to get Americans and other foreign nationals out of Gaza, a process that began on Wednesday, had been held up by a Hamas attempt to get its own wounded fighters included among those to be escorted into Egypt through the Rafah gate. – New York Times

Turkey and Egypt have agreed for some 1,000 cancer patients and other injured civilians needing urgent care in Gaza to be sent to Turkey for treatment, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Sunday, adding work was underway to plan the move. – Reuters

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan discussed the situation in Gaza and the need for an urgent ceasefire there with his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts in separate calls on Sunday, a Turkish diplomatic source said. – Reuters

Amr Salah Mohamed writes: China’s growing presence in Egypt’s strategic ports and the Suez Canal brings both opportunities and complexities. While Beijing has promised economic growth and improved connectivity, Egypt must also weigh the potential downsides. Egypt’s financial vulnerability, relatively weak bargaining position with China, and the risk of domination all require attention. So too do issues of transparency and public oversight, and making a well-informed decision will necessitate careful domestic deliberation. Reliance on Chinese technology and the interplay between commerce and military concerns add further complexity. Ultimately, Egypt should balance gains and risks through transparent agreements, diverse partnerships, and strategic negotiations. This approach supports economic benefits while preserving sovereignty. Striving for equilibrium should be crucial for Egypt’s ambition to become a maritime hub amid changing global dynamics. – Middle East Institute

Arabian Peninsula

Top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia confirmed on Sunday they would continue with their additional voluntary oil output cuts until the end of the year as concerns over demand and economic growth continue to weigh on crude markets. – Reuters

The United Arab Emirates warned on Friday that there was a risk of a regional spillover from the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, adding that it was working “relentlessly” to secure a humanitarian ceasefire. – Reuters

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and the Palestinian Authority on Sunday reacted angrily to remarks by Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu indicating that one of Israel’s options for tackling Hamas in Gaza might be dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza, condemning the government for not immediately firing him. – Agence France-Presse

Meir Ben Shabbat and Asher Fredman write: Of course, Qatar is not the only country that supports Hamas. Similar steps should be taken against all nations that have provided financial or logistical support to Hamas, including Turkey, Algeria, Malaysia and Iran. The U.S. can no longer look away when supposed allies support a terrorist organization that proudly murders, burns, decapitates and kidnaps innocent civilians. – The Hill

Middle East & North Africa

More than 100 Britons have been evacuated from Gaza and the government hopes more will be able to leave, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said on Sunday, as he urged the reopening of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt. – Reuters

The United Nations aid chief said on Friday that there had been “some progress” in ongoing negotiations to allow fuel into the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip for the first time since hostilities began on Oct. 7. – Reuters

Britain’s Foreign Office said on Monday it was temporarily withdrawing some British embassy staff from Lebanon. – Reuters

U.S. Special Envoy David Satterfield said on Saturday that U.S. officials had not been told that Hamas is blocking or diverting humanitarian aid flowing into the Gaza Strip amid shortages of food, medicine and fuel. – Reuters

Jordan’s air force air-dropped vital medical supplies to a field hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip, King Abdullah II said early Monday. – Agence France-Presse

The top political and diplomatic brass of the terror organization Hamas all live and operate outside of the Gaza Strip, the Military Intelligence Directorate said on Monday. – Jerusalem Post

Robert D. Kaplan writes: Israel has only ever made peace with Arab autocrats: Egypt’s Sadat, King Hussein of Jordan, and the signatories to the Abraham Accords. Any new Middle Eastern democracy is likely to be a weak, multiparty bouillabaisse with extremists who hold veto power. An autocrat can simply fire those who don’t go along with his policies. Dark days lie immediately ahead for Israel and the U.S. in the Middle East. Now is the time to cut Arab allies some democratic slack. This also includes Mohamed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, the architect of the Abraham Accords, another dictator under populist pressures. Democracy around the world is America’s spiritual grand strategy. Like all grand strategies, it requires constant bending and adjustment, which is what the present circumstances demand. – Wall Street Journal

David Aaronson writes: A victorious Israel means a stronger, safer, and more stable environment for Abraham Accords countries. This is not only the formula for maintaining the Abraham Accords, but for expanding them to new countries. As was the case in May 2021, I am confident that the Abraham Accords will survive this war too. And when Israel eliminates Hamas to win this war, the Abraham Accords will emerge stronger than ever before. – Jerusalem Post

Korean Peninsula

South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol on Friday said he hoped for a significant increase in trade and investment with Ireland as the two countries work to strengthen cooperation in bio-technology and education. – Reuters

The United States, South Korea and Japan have agreed to launch a high-level consultative group on countering North Korean cyber activities that they say finance its unlawful weapons programs, South Korea’s presidential office said on Monday. – Reuters

South Korea said Monday it plans to launch its first domestically built spy satellite at the end of this month to better monitor rival North Korea, which is expanding its arsenal of nuclear weapons. – Associated Press

The gallery’s existence and conspicuous sales tactics, experts say, highlight China’s lax enforcement of U.N. sanctions targeting North Korea to stymie Pyongyang’s nuclear program. A. The U.N. has sanctioned a long list of North Korean goods, including arms, coal and art. The U.N. has also sought to block North Koreans from working overseas in the hopes of preventing North Korea from garnishing the wages of such laborers to fund its nuclear program. U.N. report in March singled out Arirang for selling North Korean art and hosting North Korean artists in apparent violation of sanctions. – Associated Press


For years, foreign companies plowed the profits they made in China back into China, using the cash to finance new hiring and investment as its giant economy expanded rapidly. Now, as growth slows and tensions between Beijing and Washington rise, they are pulling those profits out. – Wall Street Journal

China will do its utmost to restore peace in the Palestinian territories as it takes over the presidency of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), its foreign ministry said on Monday, as tensions intensify in the Middle East. – Reuters

China’s anti-graft agency warned the country’s diplomats to guard against complacency while carrying out duties, saying they face a high risk of being instigated into wrongdoing and may abuse their power. – Bloomberg

China accused the US of encouraging provocations by other countries in the South China Sea as the superpowers met for “candid” talks on maritime issues on Friday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. – Bloomberg

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee condemned a bill proposed by US lawmakers to sanction officials, judges and prosecutors in the city. – Bloomberg

Editorial: Expectations for the low-level talks are modest. But any dialogue between nuclear armed powers is welcome and, if history is a guide, progress often begets progress when managing the world’s most destructive weapons. It is far easier to head off an arms race before it starts than to do so after it has spun out of control. – New York Times

South Asia

The Pakistani military said it had successfully repelled an attack by militants on an air base in central Pakistan on Saturday. But the episode, which came just after another brazen assault on the military, has renewed concerns about the precarious security situation in the country. – New York Times

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday agreed with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the importance of securing an “ambitious” trade deal, as talks continue over a deal which could be finalised this year. – Reuters

Mending frayed diplomatic relations between India and Canada will be a long process after each side adopted maximalist positions, despite New Delhi’s surprise move to ease some visa curbs on Canadians, officials and experts say. – Reuters

Canada’s police probe into the June murder of a Sikh separatist in British Columbia has been damaged by a high-level Canadian official’s public statements, India’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, told the Globe and Mail in an interview published on Saturday. – Reuters

Pakistan’s military said it foiled an attack by militants on a training air base in eastern Punjab province early Saturday, killing all nine assailants. – Associated Press

Militants ambushed two moving vehicles carrying soldiers while heading to Gwadar port district in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, killing 14 troops. – BloombergThe talks between India and Canada for a free trade agreement are on a pause as the latter stopped discussions due to some misconceptions, India’s trade minister Piyush Goyal said. – Bloomberg


When China reopened its ports to Australian steelmaking coal in January, it soon ran up against a legacy of its two-year standoff with one of its biggest trading partners: The ships mostly weren’t coming back. – Wall Street Journal

When Anthony Albanese sits down with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday, the meeting will mark an achievement for the Australian prime minister, who has managed to mend once-fractured relations with his nation’s biggest trading partner without making concessions. – Washington Post

She does not know why they are fighting in the Holy Land halfway across the world, or even exactly who is fighting. All she wants is her son to come home. – New York Times

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan said on Friday that his country would start formal talks with the Philippines to allow the deployment of Japanese troops to the Southeast Asian country, further strengthening ties between two countries that have embraced each other as bulwarks against China. – New York Times

Japan, South Korea and India have offered to finance three Philippine railway projects worth nearly $5 billion, the country’s transport chief said on Monday, after Manila dropped China as a funding source last year. – Reuters

The leader of Myanmar ’s army-installed government said the military will carry out counterattacks against a powerful alliance of ethnic armed groups that has seized towns near the Chinese border in the country’s northeastern and northern regions, state-run media reported Friday. – Associated Press

Malaysia and Japan will explore more collaboration in the defense and maritime sectors to preserve regional peace and security, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said during his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida’s two-day visit to Kuala Lumpur. – Bloomberg

Singapore’s parliament has introduced an amendment to the constitution that if approved, would allow the president and government ministers to accept appointments in foreign and international organizations, according to a statement from the prime ministers office. – Bloomberg


France will host an international humanitarian conference for the civilian population in Gaza on Nov. 9 as it looks to coordinate aid for the besieged Palestinian enclave, four diplomatic sources said. – Reuters

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Friday described Israel’s actions in Gaza as “something approaching revenge”, in some of the strongest criticism of Israel by a leader of a European Union member state. – Reuters

The Group of Seven (G7) bloc of wealthy democracies risks eroding its relevance as a force to tackle major geopolitical crises over an apparent struggle between its member nations to agree on a firm, united approach to Israel’s war in Gaza. – Reuters

Moldovans cast ballots in nationwide local elections on Sunday as authorities say that Russia has been conducting “hybrid warfare” to undermine the vote in the European Union candidate country. – Associated Press

The hostage situation at Hamburg Airport ended Sunday afternoon, around 18 hours after a man drove his vehicle through the gates of the airport with his 4-year-old daughter as a passenger, authorities said. The man was arrested and the girl is safe. – Associated Press

Belarusian authorities on Friday convicted the chief editor of a prominent independent regional newspaper of “discrediting the Republic of Belarus” and sentenced him to four years in prison, as the country continues its crackdown on dissent. – Associated Press

Serbia’s intelligence chief, who has fostered closer ties with Russia and is under sanctions by the United States, resigned Friday after less than a year in the post, saying he wanted to avoid possible further embargos against the Balkan nation. – Associated Press

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen lauded “excellent progress” on critical reforms after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, amid expectations that the European Union’s executive arm will soon recommend a start to membership talks. – Bloomberg


As the United States seeks to deepen its relationships with African nations and counter the influence of rivals like Russia and China, it confronts a tricky question: How does it respond when countries do things that run afoul of Washington’s stated commitment to democracy and human rights? – New York Times

President Joe Biden’s administration wants to work with Congress to improve the United States’ flagship trade programme with Africa, not just renew it without changes, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday. – Reuters

The United States is looking for a “more useful and effective” trade programme with Africa, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Saturday, as talks are underway to update a two decade-old duty free initiative. – Reuters

Fifteen U.N. peacekeepers in a convoy withdrawing from a rebel stronghold in northern Mali were injured when vehicles hit improvised explosive devices on two occasions this week, the United Nations said Friday. – Associated Press

President Yoweri Museveni derided the US over its withdrawal of Uganda’s preferential trade access and said the East African nation can achieve its development targets without American support. – Bloomberg

Latin America

Brazil’s ruling Workers Party criticized the Israeli government on Friday for not allowing 34 Brazilians to leave Gaza, saying Israel is playing favorites when deciding who should be allowed to evacuate the besieged Palestinian territory. – Reuters

Nicaragua has pardoned 21 Honduran prisoners and returned them to its northern neighbor, including a leader of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) criminal gang who was detained immediately upon crossing the border, Honduran police said on Sunday. – Reuters

Honduras on Friday became the latest Latin American country to recall its ambassador to Israel for consultations as it condemned what it called genocide and other serious violations of international law in the Gaza Strip. – Associated Press

Japanese Princess Kako on Friday arrived in Peru on an official visit to commemorate 150 years of diplomatic relations between both countries. – Associated Press

A US State Department envoy is heading to Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay to discuss mineral supplies and energy after President Joe Biden pledged to mobilize billions of dollars for a new investment platform to counter China’s influence in the region. – Bloomberg

President Joe Biden pledged billions in support to help build up infrastructure throughout the Western Hemisphere as he hosted leaders from the region, part of an administration push to offer an alternative to China’s efforts to expand its economic influence. – Bloomberg

United States

Conditioned by decades of trials and legal disputes, Trump is now poised to reprise his role as witness under extraordinary circumstances: as a former Republican president fighting to save the real estate empire that vaulted him to stardom and the White House. – Associated Press

Eric Trump, who helps run the former president’s real estate business, testified that financial documents sent by his father’s company to Deutsche Bank AG to obtain loans for the Trump Organization were “accurate,” even though a judge has already determined they were fraudulent. – Bloomberg

An appeals court Friday ordered an administrative stay of a gag order barring former President Trump from targeting witnesses and the prosecutors in his federal election interference case, temporarily pausing its implementation ahead of further legal battles. – The Hill

Quin Hillyer writes: So, everyone should stop the political foofaraw. Vote on border security. Vote on aid for Israel. Vote on aid to Ukraine. Do it one by one, but within one week. And then vote separately on ideas for savings to “pay for” each. That’s what decent people do when confronted with true moral imperatives: Meet the imperative first, and then go back to cover the costs. Stop playing politics. Dammit, get it done. – Washington Examiner

Brian Darling writes: The average voter’s position on this issue is not especially complicated. People want to see Washington stop inching us closer to a new war while also spending hundreds of billions we don’t have. This debate has exposed some serious dysfunction in Congress emanating from both parties. – The Hill


Nearly a year after the launch of ChatGPT, teachers and professors across the U.S. are realizing they can’t ban or ignore a tool that many of their students are eagerly using. For many, ChatGPT is changing how they teach and evaluate their students. Yes, they’re worried about students using ChatGPT to cheat or cut corners. But that is tempered by hopes that it can help them learn faster. And many teachers say that students should be encouraged to use bots because employers will expect them to have learned that skill. – Wall Street Journal

The U.K. competition regulator said Meta META Platforms has pledged to allow its Facebook Marketplace customers to opt out of having their data used by the company, and for it to limit how it uses advertising data for its own product development. – Wall Street Journal

Earlier this year, an image of the Pope in a chic white puffer coat went viral, in a striking example of how an AI-generated image can fool the internet. With a flood of this content predicted, we’ll need new ways to tell what’s real and what’s not. – Wall Street Journal

When Gabi Belle learned there was a naked photo of her circulating on the internet, her body turned cold. The YouTube influencer had never posed for the image, which showed her standing in a field without clothes. She knew it must be fake. – Washington Post

On Saturday, the library was hit by what it is calling a “cyber incident.” Ever since, its website has been down and scholars have been unable to access its online catalog. The library’s Wi-Fi has also stopped working, and staff members haven’t been allowed to turn on their computers. Its gift shop is open for business, but only for anyone with cash to buy trinkets such as British Library-branded pencils. – New York Times

Indian IT service provider Infosys (INFY.NS) said on Friday its U.S. unit, Infosys McCamish Systems, was impacted by a cyber security event, resulting in the non-availability of certain applications and systems. – Reuters

Andy Kessler writes: AI that can do more with less will win. But imagine the venture capitalist who turned down investing in Amazon because it was simply a low-margin bookseller, albeit online—a modest painkiller. Then the company killed its own pain by digitizing the entire ordering and shipping process with expensive servers and robots. Amazon then thought: Why not rent these servers out to others to offset some of our own costs? and created a super-vitamin, Amazon Web Services. One company’s painkiller can become a platform and vitamin for many others. […]Applying old-fashioned fundamental analysis to AI isn’t an impossible mission. Try to categorize each new use of AI as a painkiller or vitamin and avoid the trippy stuff. – Wall Street Journal

Kent Walker writes: None of the developments of the past week will be a panacea. But they are a sign that the global AI ecosystem gets what’s at stake and stakeholders are ready to do the work needed to unlock the benefits of artificial intelligence — not in a vacuum, but collaboratively, together. – The Hill

Daniel Lyons writes: The broadband privacy saga also highlights the risk that the net neutrality proceeding will ultimately become a stalking horse for greater broadband regulation. When the FCC identified the privacy gap in 2016, it responded not merely by restoring the status quo through FTC-like rules, but by adopting a more aggressive regulatory approach. Many supporters of this approach saw the broadband privacy proceeding as a means by which the FCC could nudge lawmakers to adopt EU-like rules for other companies as well. Overall, the anecdote reminds us that regulation can often have unintended consequences and that regulators often embrace Rahm Emanuel’s maxim to never let a serious crisis go to waste. – American Enterprise Institute


Senate Republicans who favor a strong US military have begun to directly challenge party populists over national security, raising the odds for more Ukraine aid and an end to a months-long blockade on Pentagon promotions. – Bloomberg

Tensions are erupting within the Senate GOP ranks as members with backgrounds in the armed forces take on Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) over his hold on military promotions. – The Hill

Myra Adams writes: But everyone knows that reinstating the draft will spark a fierce domestic battle, detracting from the war effort. After 50 years, a 21st-century draft would be a national nightmare. But could reinstating a draft be worse than potentially losing a major war? Let’s hope Americans don’t have to answer that question. – The Hill

Mackenzie Eaglen writes: Actions like these will equip our shipbuilders with the tools they need to staff up and open the yards, as well as send a strong signal to adversaries that we’re serious about size of our future fleet. Also, to ensure AUKUS is a win for all parties, Congress should approve additional funds immediately for the sub industrial base. – Breaking Defense

Long War

Two women have been charged with terrorism offences after allegedly displaying pro-Hamas imagery at a London demonstration, police said on Friday, as they warned about possible radicalisation as a result of the Israel-Gaza conflict. – Reuters

The families of nine Israeli victims of the October 7 Hamas massacre have lodged a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for suspected war crimes. – Agence France-Presse

Asher Stern writes: But Hamas’s intentions are highlighted in its charter: destroy Israel. The world may see them as “freedom fighters” but their actions in fact hurt the Palestinian people far more than they help them. Hamas’s attack was not that of a legitimate resistance movement. It was an act of terror against Israel, it was an incitement against its own people, and it was a clear violation of international laws of war. – The Hill

Brian Michael Jenkins writes: That we devote so much of our attention to the fate of hostages reflects a profound shift in attitudes. In earlier centuries when slavery was widespread, when captive soldiers were ransomed or enslaved, when human beings were bought and sold as chattel, holding hostages was less of an aberration. Today’s attitudes are a victory of empathy — a public affirmation of the importance of individual life, although we remain deeply divided on whose. – The Hill