Fdd's overnight brief

November 7, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


The Biden administration is planning a $320 million transfer of precision bombs for Israel, arranging a major weapons deal as President Biden and senior officials press Israel to do more to protect civilians in its military campaign in Gaza. – Wall Street Journal 

The U.S. is dialing up pressure on Israel to ease its intense bombardment of the Gaza Strip, deploying a wave of top diplomats to the Middle East in recent days, even without the release of hostages taken by Hamas, which Israel has set as the condition for any pause in its military operations. – Wall Street Journal

Israel pushed further into Gaza City, sending troops into an urban Hamas stronghold that is still packed with civilians after one of the most intense bombing barrages of the monthlong war. – Wall Street Journal

​​On the wall of the border crossing between bombed-out Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai desert there is a list. The names on it have been a source of hope, despair and confusion for the hundreds of foreign families wanting to escape the Palestinian enclave under Israeli fire. – Wall Street Journal

Palestinian militants who attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,400 people, abducted over 200 civilians and soldiers and brought them back to the Gaza Strip. Israel has taken part in negotiations for the release of hostages while carrying out military efforts to crush Hamas, the militant group that is holding most of them. – Wall Street Journal

Most small communities near Gaza have been completely evacuated after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that Israel says killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians. In Ashkelon, the closest major city to the enclave, just 10 minutes by car from the border, many residents have remained – Wall Street Journal

The Gaza Strip’s 2.2 million residents were cut off from internet, cellphone and landline telephone networks over the weekend — the third time this has happened since Israel declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7 and began its subsequent military campaign in the enclave. – Washington Post

The Israeli military said its forces had split the Gaza Strip in two after a night of heavy airstrikes, a move that Israel said would make it more difficult for Hamas to control the enclave. – New York Times

After four weeks of terror and retaliation in Israel and Gaza, and 20 months of war in Ukraine, President Biden is confronting the limits of his leverage in the two international conflicts defining his presidency. – New York Times

In just under a month, Israeli strikes have killed more than 10,000 people in Gaza and injured more than 25,000 others, the Gaza Health Ministry said on Monday. – New York Times

Hundreds of protesters boarded ferries to the Statue of Liberty on Monday, carrying banners calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war that they unfurled from the statue’s pedestal. – New York Times

Democrats in Congress, torn between their support for Israel in its war with Hamas and concern about civilian suffering in Gaza, are struggling with how far to go in calling for measures to mitigate civilian casualties as the left wing of the party escalates pressure for a cease-fire. – New York Times

The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said on Monday that 89 employees of the U.N. agency aiding Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, had been killed in Gaza in the month of war between Israel and Hamas. – New York Times

If Iran had any doubts about American resolve in the Middle East, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, with an assist from the Pentagon, spent the weekend reinforcing the notion that the United States was not going anywhere. – New York Times

For the 360,000 reservists who have been called up as Israel goes to war in Gaza, there are plenty of ways to conjure up nightmares: taking part in a combat operation that accidentally kills an Israeli hostage held by Hamas, confronting Hamas fighters as they pop up from tunnels in a chaotic urban landscape or simply coming upon a Palestinian child who strays within rifle range. – New York Times

What was once Gaza’s busiest thoroughfare has become a terrifying escape route for Palestinian civilians fleeing combat on foot or on donkey carts. On their way south, those running for their lives said they raised their hands and waved white flags to move past Israeli tanks along the four-lane highway. – Associated Press

At a time when world sentiment has begun to sour on Israel’s devastating offensive in Gaza, the vast majority of Israelis, across the political spectrum, are convinced of the justice of the war. – Associated Press

The U.N. Security Council on Monday failed again to agree on a resolution on the monthlong Israel-Hamas war. – Associated Press

South Africa’s government has recalled Monday its ambassador and diplomatic mission to Israel in condemnation of the bombardment of the Gaza Strip, calling it a “genocide.” – Associated Press

A volunteer group which built the Indonesia hospital in Gaza on Monday denied an accusation by the Israeli military that its facility has been used by Hamas to launch an attack. – Reuters

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that a remark by an Israeli junior minister who appeared to express openness to the idea of Israel carrying out a nuclear strike on Gaza had raised a huge number of questions. – Reuters

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that the protection of civilians “must be paramount” in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas, warning that the Gaza Strip was becoming “a graveyard for children.” – Reuters

The health ministry in the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip said on Monday an Israeli air strike hit a building in the Al Shifa hospital complex, killing one Palestinian, but Israel denied it attacked the hospital. – Reuters

Israeli security forces killed four Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank on Monday in the latest in a series of deadly incidents that have spiralled in the wake of the war in Gaza. – Reuters

Israel’s hardline nationalist Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called on Monday for security zones to be set up around Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, keeping Palestinian farmers away during the olive harvest season. – Reuters

The United States on Monday condemned as “wholly unacceptable” comments by a junior member of the Israeli cabinet who appeared to voice openness to the idea of Israel carrying out a nuclear strike on Gaza. – Reuters

More than 60% of jobs have been lost in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas conflict, the International Labour Organization said on Monday, adding to the dire economic situation in the Israeli-besieged enclave. – Reuters

The heads of several major United Nations bodies on Monday made a united call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as Israeli strikes intensify nearly one month into the conflict. – Reuters

Russia on Monday called for an end to the fighting in Gaza and said a resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations was essential to avoid the risk of a broader war and an increase in “terrorist activity”. – Reuters

The Biden administration’s $14 billion aid request for Israel would significantly expand its missile defenses, including new Iron Dome launchers equivalent to more than twice the current deployment, and nearly double the amount of US spending for the systems. – Bloomberg

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be digging in for a “long and difficult war” but former leader Ehud Barak fears Israel has only weeks left to eliminate Hamas, as public opinion — most significantly in the U.S. — rapidly swings against its attacks on Gaza. – Politico

Israeli soldiers who have taken up positions near the Gaza border told AFP they felt proud to protect their country after Hamas’s October 7 massacre  while admitting to being nervous as the war intensified. – Agence France-Presse

The IDF has taken control of a Hamas military stronghold in the northern Gaza Strip. The outpost was found to contain anti-tank missile launchers, weapons and intelligence materials. – Ynet

The Knesset approved Monday a bill giving legal recognition to the families of hostages and missing persons. It includes formal recognition for same-sex partners, following an amendment to the laws specifying the rights of families of fallen soldiers. – Haaretz

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Monday laid out five fundamental principles for the day after the Israel-Gaza war. – Haaretz

A list of 35 Israeli Jewish and Arab peace and human rights groups called on the government to work towards a ceasefire in Gaza, to bring to the release of Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas, and work towards a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict. – Haaretz

The Palestinian Authority must take control of the Gaza Strip following the war, but only under the watch of Israeli security forces, opposition head MK Yair Lapid told KAN Reshet B on Tuesday morning. – Jerusalem Post

Brandeis University on Monday became the first private university to ban the campus chapter of National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Jewish Insider has learned. – Jewish Insider

Israel’s top satirical TV show “Eretz Nehederet” took aim at rising hostility to Israel on American college campuses over the weekend, lampooning pro-Palestinian students as clueless Hamas sympathizers looked upon with contempt by the Gaza-based terrorist group they support. – Haaretz

Walter Russell Mead writes: The real question in the Middle East these days isn’t what Israel or Hamas will do next. It is whether Team Biden has finally awakened from its enchanted sleep. Does the White House understand that the Israeli-Palestinian problem, while real and consequential, pales before Iran’s unappeasable drive for power as the region’s leading cause of war and unrest? Has it learned that every penny that goes to the mullahs feeds their ambitions. – Wall Street Journal

Elliot Kaufman writes: If everyone is responsible for this war, as Mr. Obama says, then Hamas becomes only one guilty party among many, and Oct. 7 a mere link in a long causal chain. Blame shifts to Israel. As the U.N. secretary-general put it, “the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.” But if anyone has been complicit in enabling Hamas’s atrocities, Barack Obama has. – Wall Street Journal

Gerard Baker writes: While we are on the subject of words and the U.N., the world’s premier talking shop of horrors, I’ll end with perhaps the most arresting example of how words can be manipulated by an enemy to convey a basic falsehood that threatens us all: Last week, Ali Bahreini, Iran’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, had the distinct honor of chairing the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Social Forum. – Wall Street Journal

Bobby Ghosh writes: But to expect Gazans to rise up against Hamas is to require them to risk their lives and livelihoods, to face down a terrorist group that has repeatedly demonstrated willingness to slaughter Palestinians as well as Israelis. And while Hamas can rely on a regional power, Iran, to supply it with arms, all Gazans can expect from the wider world is qualified sympathy — and unreasonable expectations. – Bloomberg

Becket Adams writes: Yet, for whatever reason, these same journalists who unflinchingly challenged white supremacism believe that Hamas and its supporters stateside deserve a gentle, understanding approach. “Let’s hear them out — they may have a point!” They would rather play the fool, asking questions they would never ask in any other story involving an extremist group, than contemplate the possibility that Palestinian terrorists are in the wrong, and Israel justified in its response. – The Hill

Mike Echel writes: “There are very few negatives as far as Russia is concerned,” he said. “Now, obviously, if the conflict were to escalate into a broader war in the Middle East, perhaps involving Iran and the United States, that would begin to raise issues that may be problematic even for Russia.” – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Daniel Pomerantz writes: Such accountability must include the immediate release of all Israeli hostages and the unconditional surrender of the entire Hamas terrorist organization to face arrest and prosecution for crimes against humanity. Anything less would constitute a war crime against Israel as well as violating the most fundamental precepts of basic human morality. – Jerusalem Post

Ori Wertman writes: The victory over Hamas and its defeat is mainly necessary for the circle of Abraham agreements to expand to include Saudi Arabia and other countries, which view Israel as the strongest country in the region and the only one capable of deterring Iran. This time, defeating the enemy is not only for security but mainly for peace and the future of the entire Middle East. – Jerusalem Post

Nimrod Goren writes: Regional countries that seek to play a role in shaping this transformation seem to acknowledge that they will have more of an impact after the war ends if their relations with Israel continue. Moreover, Israel and its neighbors have come to appreciate in recent years the benefits of continued diplomatic engagement, even in the face of deep disagreements, for the sake of advancing broader, long-term regional stability. The U.S. should sustain this understanding, help it overcome the challenges of war, and utilize it to advance peace. – Middle East Institute

Bassem Eid writes: Hamas cannot remain in power. The Palestinian people ask one thing of Israel, the United States, and the whole world community. Do not be deceived by the power of anti-Israel thugs to besiege embassies and intimidate dictators. The good people of our nation are with you. Please, remove Hamas from power and defeat these wicked terrorists who hold us captive, just as they hold captive over 224 Israelis and civilians from other nations. Only when you free our people from these evildoers, who have tried to indoctrinate a generation of Palestinian youth, will we have a chance at peace and healing. – Newsweek


Narges Mohammadi, the imprisoned Iranian human rights activist who won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, began a hunger strike on Monday, after she was denied hospital treatment for two blocked coronary arteries, her family said. – New York Times

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will travel to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, the Etemadonline news website reported on Monday, the first visit by an Iranian head of state since Tehran and Riyadh ended years of hostility under a China-brokered deal in March. – Reuters

The Pentagon deployed the nuclear-powered USS Florida attack submarine to the Persian Gulf region as the US makes a show of force to deter Iran, according to US defense officials. – Bloomberg

Unjustly lost amid the din of pro-Palestinian protests around the world, and notably in European capitals such Paris, London, and even Athens, is the noise that a number of Iranians are making in favor of Israel and against Hamas. – New York Sun

Three people have been detained following an altercation at a Tehran subway station that erupted over the enforcement of Iran’s mandatory hijab law, a sign of the deep discontent among many Iranians over the rule. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Danielle Pletka writes: Many of Iran’s proxies would not survive and thrive without their sponsor. Absent this evil regime, the fear of nuclear breakout and missile advancement could disappear, allowing the United States to finally turn to the threat of China and Russia, secure in the knowledge that the Middle East will not be the scene of yet another war. – National Review

Banafsheh Keynoush writes: With no end in sight to the fighting in Gaza and the risk of wider escalation growing by the day, coordination between Iran and other members of the Axis of Resistance, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and PIJ, is only likely to increase going forward. This will have a significant impact first and foremost within the Middle East, but the ripple effects may well extend far beyond the region. – Middle East Institute

Russia & Ukraine

The number of Ukrainians being killed by Russian invaders has stretched resources at Morgue No. 4 in this eastern city. All but two of a dozen body bags lay on the floor at the rear entrance one recent morning because there weren’t enough gurneys. – Wall Street Journal

A top aide to the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces was killed Monday when a birthday gift exploded, the military leader announced. – Washington Post

A day after Ukraine damaged a Russian naval vessel in an airstrike on Crimea, Russia hit the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa with missiles and drones, injuring five people and damaging an art museum founded in the 19th century, local and military authorities said Monday. – New York Times

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy dismissed as irresponsible any notion of holding an election in wartime as talks have heated up recently whether Kyiv should be voting when under Russia’s assault. – Reuters

Russia on Tuesday formally withdrew from a landmark security treaty which limited key categories of conventional armed forces, blaming the United States for undermining post-Cold War security with the enlargement of the NATO military alliance. – Reuters

Russia’s air defence systems destroyed and intercepted a total of 17 Ukraine-launched drones early on Tuesday over the Black Sea and the Crimean Peninsula territory, the Russian defence ministry said. – Reuters

G7 support for Ukraine in its war with Russia will not be affected by the intensifying Middle East conflict, Japan said on Tuesday as the group’s foreign ministers prepared to hold virtual talks with Kyiv during a meeting in Tokyo. – Reuters

Polish truckers blocked roads to three border crossings with Ukraine on Monday, authorities said, to protest against what they see as government inaction over a loss of business to foreign competitors during Russia’s war on Ukraine. – Reuters

Sasha Dovzhyk writes: The failure to convincingly punish Russia for its initial invasion of Ukraine almost a decade ago led to the escalation in 2022 and inspired others’ disregard for international law, including those now active in the Middle East. The alternative to punishment is an increasingly post-democratic and fragmented world where those who fight to preserve freedom are left to their own devices. – New York Times

Diane Francis writes: America’s southern border is a sieve and Europe is inundated with refugee claimants arriving by boat from the Middle East, or countries in Africa where Russian influence is powerful. Russia has been conducting war for years and is winning. Only a global alliance, with hybrid war capability, can eradicate its network and end this world war. – The Hill

Anna Borshchevskaya writes: As Russia aligns closer with the global south to push for its alternative vision of a world order, it is going to seek to benefit, at a low cost to itself, from distraction from Ukraine in the West, the rise of anti-American sentiment in the Middle East, and empowering anti-American forces. In other words, it will seek to escalate with the West, either directly or through proxies. – Al Majalla

Peter Schroeder writes: The sharp U.S. response to Putin’s spring 2021 troop buildup appears to have been the last piece of evidence that convinced him that he could never use diplomacy to satisfy his goals when it came to Ukraine. In the future, Putin may determine that U.S. shows of strength meant to deter Russia are threats that require a direct Russian military response, bringing the two sides to the edge of direct conflict. – Foreign Affairs


The military wing of Palestinian group Hamas said Monday it fired rockets from Lebanon into northern Israel, triggering Israeli airstrikes on the Lebanese side of the border. – Associated Press

Lebanon’s top Christian cleric urged state officials on Monday to shield Lebanon from the war between Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Israel, as the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah clashes with Israeli forces at the border. – Reuters

Israel’s military said on Monday it was striking targets belonging to the Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon in response to a large barrage of rockets fired at northern Israeli cities. – Reuters 

France will send dozens of armoured vehicles to the Lebanese army so it can properly carry out patrol missions in the country, France’s defence minister said in remarks published on Monday. – Reuters

Neville Teller writes: Nasrallah, clearly with Iran’s concurrence, has wisely decided to hold back on any full-scale conflict with Israel, since he would need support from a people mired in economic, social, and political unrest and struggling with a cost of living crisis. The last thing they need is to be dragged into a war on top of their other woes. If Nasrallah tried to involve them, he might find himself facing a popular revolt. – Jerusalem Post


Dozens of foreign passport holders and some medical evacuees passed through the Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt on Monday after evacuations resumed following a two-day suspension, three Egyptian security sources said. – Reuters

France is in talks with Egypt to establish a military medical facility on the ground, which would include surgical capacities for people seriously wounded in the neighbouring Gaza Strip, France’s defence minister said in remarks published on Monday. – Reuters

Egypt is offering incentives to shore up its tourism industry in southern Sinai on the Red Sea, with fallout from the conflict in the Gaza Strip so far contained to under 10% of bookings in the country, the Egyptian tourism minister said on Monday. – Hindustan Times

Arabian Peninsula

Yemen’s Houthis launched a new batch of drones against sensitive targets inside Israel on Monday, according to a statement from their armed forces broadcast by TV channel Al Masirah. – Reuters

The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas has placed the country for the first time in a direct confrontation with the Houthi regime in Yemen – the de facto government in a considerable portion of the western part of the country, which lies on the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. – Haaretz

F. Gregory Gause III writes:  If and when the United States can refocus on Israeli-Saudi diplomacy, it will be important for it to consider whether the prize of Israeli-Saudi normalization is worth the cost of new U.S. military commitments and a greater risk of nuclear weapons proliferation in the region. For now, however, Washington can put off such concerns: as long as the conflict in Gaza persists, the Israeli-Saudi deal will remain on ice. – Foreign Affairs

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan said on Monday it was leaving “all options” open in its response to what it called Israel’s failure to discriminate between military and civilian targets in its intensifying bombardment and invasion of the Gaza Strip. – Reuters

Judging from the outward results of the US secretary of state’s second marathon trip through the region in the less than a month since Israel’s latest war with Hamas began, there was more labor than payoff. – Bloomberg

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that Washington was working “very aggressively” to dramatically expand the amount of aid reaching trapped civilians in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war. – Agence France-Presse

Attacks on U.S. bases in the Middle East spiked over the weekend as the Pentagon moved ships into the area and revealed more about the level of support it’s providing to Israel. – Military.com

Armin Rosen writes: On Oct. 7, the Qatari Foreign Ministry, whose chief spokesman continues to serve as president of QIASS, according to two Qatari government biographies, proclaimed that Israel alone was responsible for the atrocities perpetrated against its citizens. The attempt to transform Qatar into a force for good for the U.S. and American Jews clearly hasn’t worked. But it has at least worked out for Soufan and Masters. – Tablet


Having charged up in their massive home market, Chinese electric-vehicle-battery firms are becoming major export players, too. The West’s efforts to protect its own markets might prove too little, too late. – Wall Street Journal

After lending $1.3 trillion to developing countries, mainly for big-ticket infrastructure projects, China has shifted its focus to bailing out many of those same countries from piles of debt. – New York Times

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Beijing on Tuesday, restarting an annual leaders’ dialogue that Albanese said will continue as relations between the trading partners stabilised. – Reuters

Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Sunday pledged to continue deepening reforms, expand free trade zones and relax market access for foreign investment while seeking to generate excitement around a largely lackluster economy. – Associated Press

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin wants to meet his Chinese counterpart this month, a request that comes amid a series of tense encounters between the two militaries in the South China Sea. – Bloomberg

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her Chinese counterpart will hold two days of talks in San Francisco this week, a step toward more-normal ties ahead of a long-anticipated meeting between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies. – Bloomberg

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Shandong Carrier Strike Group sailed into the South China Sea Monday, passing through the waters between the Philippines and Taiwan, according to a Japanese Joint Staff Office release. – USNI News

Harlan Ullman writes: Perhaps the only area in which Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree is that China is the enemy and a “pacing threat.” China’s growing military power is a further indication that it, along with other autocratic powers, is challenging America’s imposed rules-based order. – The Hill


Australia has experienced a flurry of incidents targeting Muslims and Jews, making it one of many countries reporting a rise in such cases since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. – New York Times

Like thousands of others in eastern Myanmar, her family had come to the Daw Noe Ku displacement camp, which hugged the border of Thailand, because it was one of the few places the military had left alone since it ousted the country’s elected government and seized power in 2021, sparking a civil war. – Washington Post

Tokyo residents dashed for cover inside a train station on Monday as part of the first missile evacuation drill in the capital for years as Japan frets over the growing threat from nearby North Korea. – Reuters

Malaysia said on Tuesday it will not recognise unilateral sanctions in response to a proposed U.S. law to level sanctions against foreign supporters of Hamas and other militant groups operating in Palestine. – Reuters

The Biden administration is sending a high level delegation to Australia for a series of meetings this week to review the progress of the trilateral AUKUS defense technology partnership, a U.S. official said on Monday. – Reuters

Armed resistance groups fighting Myanmar ‘s military government seized a district capital in the north Monday after taking state offices and a police station in a four-day offensive, according to residents, the country’s major opposition coalition and media reports. – Associated Press

Pakistani authorities have stepped up security at military and other sensitive installations following the weekend attack by militants on an air base that damaged three grounded aircraft and destroyed a fuel tanker, security officials said Monday. – Associated Press

U.S. and Philippine defense officials marked the completion of their Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement site project at Basa Air Base in a ceremony unveiling a refurbished runway on Monday. – USNI News

Indo-Pacific naval and industry leaders meet in Sydney this week for the Indo-Pacific Exposition, amid growing concerns that AUKUS, the region’s signature defense initiative, is running out of steam. Despite substantial investment over the last decade, the US submarine industrial base is generating as much backlog as boats, leading US lawmakers to question the wisdom of selling a tenth of the operational US submarine fleet to Australia.  – Breaking Defense


Moldova’s ruling pro-European party has lost a bid for the mayorship of the country’s capital and other key cities despite victories in many areas in local elections that were overshadowed by accusations that Russia was meddling to undermine the vote, according to preliminary results. – Associated Press

The European Union’s envoy for the western Balkans began a surprise two-day visit to Kosovo on Monday to talk with its leaders on further steps in normalization talks with Serbia. – Associated Press

Poland’s president on Monday tapped outgoing Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to try to form a new government even though his Law and Justice party lost its parliamentary majority in a national election three weeks ago. – Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday he was convinced that there would be progress on Sweden’s NATO membership bid after talks with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara. – Reuters

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said on Monday Oslo was exploring ways to revive a diplomatic channel between Israel and the Palestinians to find a political solution to the decades-long conflict. – Reuters

The UK will mandate annual North Sea oil-and-gas licensing rounds under plans to be announced this week, as part of efforts by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government to give certainty to investors and reduce reliance on “hostile foreign regimes.” – Bloomberg

Germany, France and Italy signed a deal on space policy covering the financing of launchers and boosting innovation and competition in the sector in Europe as the continent tries to catch up with rivals from China and the US SpaceX. – Bloomberg


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday spoke separately with Democratic Republic of Congo President Félix Tshisekedi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame and urged both to de-escalate tensions, the State Department said. – Reuters

Canada is investigating an explosion at its embassy in Nigeria that killed two people, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said on Monday, as Ottawa joined Washington and London in issuing a warning against nonessential travel to the West African nation. – Reuters

Islamic rebels killed 11 farmers and abducted several others in Nigeria’s northeast, locals and authorities said Monday, the latest of several such attacks that analysts say threaten food supplies in the hard-hit region. – Associated Press

Twenty-two U.N. peacekeepers in a convoy withdrawing from a rebel stronghold in northern Mali were injured when their vehicles hit improvised explosive devices on two occasions on Saturday, the United Nations said Monday. – Associated Press

Ethiopia’s federal government says the future of contested land in its northern Tigray region will be settled by a referendum, and hundreds of thousands of forcibly displaced people will be returned. Monday’s announcement came one year after a cease-fire ended a devastating civil war there. – Associated Press

The “unprecedented” conflict between Sudan’s army and rival paramilitary force now in its seventh month is getting closer to South Sudan and the disputed Abyei region, the U.N. special envoy for the Horn of Africa warned Monday. – Associated Press

The Americas

As Argentines prepare to choose a new president later this month, the once-prosperous nation known for its baroque architecture and robust cattle is grappling with its most debilitating economic crisis in a generation. And it is only getting worse. – Wall Street Journal

Cuba hosted a business fair with over 800 companies from more than 60 countries on Monday as it lobbied for new investments, thumbing its nose at U.S. sanctions that have long spooked foreign companies from engaging with the communist-run island. – Reuters

Chile’s government said Monday that it has received no requests for asylum from six Cuban athletes who reportedly abandoned their visiting national team after participating in the Pan American Games that ended over the weekend. – Associated Press

United States

The congressman was more sympathetic, more supportive of Israel than either lobbyist had expected. He affirmed every point they made: that Hamas is the personification of evil; that the release of hostages must be prioritized; and that the United States must not be distracted by rising Palestinian civilian casualties. – Washington Post

As authorities announced they had opened a hate-crime investigation into a report of a hit-and-run that injured an Arab Muslim student at Stanford University, the student called on people on Sunday to “collectively denounce hatred, bigotry, and violence” amid rising reports of hate crimes against Arabs, Jews and Muslims in the United States. – Washington Post

Senate Republicans predicted Monday that Democrats would be unable to pass fresh Ukraine aid without addressing their demands over the US border and immigration policies — increasing the odds of an impasse that could delay such assistance indefinitely – Bloomberg

State Department staffers offered a blistering critique of the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war in a dissent memo obtained by POLITICO, arguing that, among other things, the U.S. should be willing to publicly criticize the Israelis. – Politico

Nadia Schadlow writes: The U.S. can’t be passive in its support for allies. It isn’t enough to be the arsenal of democracy. America has unique military and intelligence capabilities that can help Israel and Ukraine defeat existential threats to their sovereignty. American diplomats must convince the Arab world—particularly the Gulf states—that a region dominated by Iran and roiled in conflict will doom their growing economies. If the U.S. succeeds, it will send a clear message to China about the perils of messing with America’s friends. – Wall Street Journal


Konstantinos Komaitis writes: Europe is at a point where it must seriously rethink how it wants to participate in the internet ecosystem overall and to address more narrow cybersecurity concerns. There are ways for Europe to be digitally independent, but this will not come about from imposing unnecessary and protectionist rules. – CyberScoop

Hackers suspected of being tied to Iran’s government have been deploying new destructive malware against Israeli organizations, according to recent research. – The Record

The United States, South Korea and Japan have decided to establish a high-level consultative body on cyber issues, primarily to tackle North Korea’s cyber activities, the office of South Korea’s president announced on Monday. – The Record

Data brokers are collecting and selling service member data — including health, family, geographic and military service information — for pennies and dimes, according to a recent study from Duke University. – Military.com

Editorial: Biden is demanding that the House deliver on his full request, which included money for Ukraine’s fight to repel a Russian invasion, money for Taiwan, money for humanitarian aid to Gaza, money for cities dealing with the migrant crisis, and security assistance for the Indo-Pacific region. – Washington Examiner

Théophane Hartmann writes: The economic stakes are enormous. A new study from the Brussels-based think tank ECIPE projects that driving out US cloud leaders could cost the EU up to €610 billion within two years of implementation. EU companies would be blocked from using the world’s most advanced cloud services and forced to pay high prices to second-tier European cloud providers, warns author Matthias Bauer. – Center for European Policy Analysis



Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., became chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party in January, framing Sino-U.S. competition as a new Cold War. – Defense News

Lockheed Martin will upgrade 36 operational F-16 fighter jets with the Chilean Air Force under a $177 million contract, the Pentagon announced. – Defense News

The Navy wants information from industry for its Large Unmanned Surface Vessel, as the service finishes requirements before buying the first ship in the next fiscal year. – USNI News