Fdd's overnight brief

October 19, 2023

In The News


Israel, the U.S. government and independent security experts said Wednesday the preliminary evidence for a deadly explosion at a Gaza hospital compound pointed to a local militant group, casting doubt on Palestinian claims that an Israeli airstrike was responsible. – Wall Street Journal

President Biden received a hero’s welcome in Tel Aviv on Wednesday as he hugged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told the Israeli public he didn’t think a mass casualty blast at a hospital in Gaza was Israel’s fault. – Washington Post

News of the deadly strike on Gaza City’s al-Ahli Hospital rippled through the crowd in Nablus, where Fatah party supporters were marching late Tuesday in solidarity with Gaza. A voice from a loudspeaker called for a “day of rage.” – Washington Post

As Israel prepares for a possible ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, some Israelis whose family members were kidnapped by Hamas gunmen during the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks are split over the idea of sending troops into the enclave. – New York Times

The United Nations Security Council displayed deep divisions on Wednesday when it failed to pass a resolution on the Israel-Hamas war as the humanitarian situation in Gaza deteriorated and the conflict risked spreading to the region. The U.S. veto generated criticism of American double standards and accusations that the United States, which had criticized Russia for paralyzing the Council on the war in Ukraine, was impeding the work of the Council – New York Times

As the Israel-Hamas war rages, regulators and analysts say a wave of online disinformation risks further inflaming passions and escalating the conflict in an electronic fog of war. – Reuters

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak landed in Israel on Thursday, a Reuters witness said, beginning a visit in which he will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog before travelling on to other regional capitals. – Reuters

The United States issued sanctions on Wednesday aimed at disrupting funding for the Hamas militant group after its deadly attack in Israel, singling out people involved in its investment portfolio and a Gaza-based cryptocurrency exchange among other targets. – Reuters 

Three Palestinians, including two teenagers, were killed by Israeli forces in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank early on Thursday, Palestinian official news agency WAFA said. – Reuters

Palestinian security forces in Ramallah fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters throwing rocks and chanting against President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, as popular anger boiled over after a deadly Gaza hospital attack that Palestinians blamed on Israel. – Reuters

Hamas fighters likely fired North Korean weapons during their Oct. 7 assault on Israel, a militant video and weapons seized by Israel show, despite Pyongyang’s denials that it sells arms to the militant group. – Associated Press

Israeli airstrikes pounded locations across the Gaza Strip early Thursday, including parts of the south that Israel had declared safe zones, heightening fears among more than 2 million Palestinians trapped in the territory that nowhere was safe. – Associated Press

Hamas and Israel have both been accused of breaking international law during their latest conflict, and the United Nations says it is collecting evidence of war crimes by all sides. Enforcing the law amid the fog of war is difficult. Holding perpetrators to account once conflicts are over has often proved elusive. – Associated Press

An Israeli man is fighting alongside his military brothers and sisters after surviving the attack on the Tribe of Nova festival in Israel, just over three miles from the Gaza Strip. – Fox News

The bodies of an Israeli father and his 16-year-old disabled daughter were finally found 12 days after they were slaughtered by Hamas terrorists who attacked a music festival, Israel confirmed. – New York Post

An Israeli paramedic who worked around the clock transporting countless victims of Hamas’ terrorist attack likened the atrocities to a “horror movie” that have left him in need of treatment for PTSD. – New York Post

Tomer Eliaz, a 17-year-old boy in the kibbutz of Nahal Oz, was forced to go door-to-door by Hamas and tell neighbors to come out, saying he would be killed if they didn’t. – Politico

The Hamas terror group called on Wednesday for attacks against Israeli forces and urged Arab and Muslim countries to expel Israel’s ambassadors, as Arab fury toward the Jewish state persisted hours after the Israel Defense Forces presented extensive evidence that it wasn’t behind a blast that hit the parking lot of a Gazan hospital the previous evening. – Agence France-Presse

IDF forces killed Jamila Abdallah Taha al-Shanti, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the first woman in the political bureau of Hamas, according to Hamas radio, Israeli media reported Wednesday. – Jerusalem Post

US President Joe Biden pledged to give Israel “whatever it needed” in its battle against Hamas and warned the country’s enemies against regionalizing the war, during a one-day solidarity visit to the Jewish State. – Jerusalem Post

National Unity Party MK Ze’ev Elkin claimed that he thinks some of the weapons used by Hamas on the October 7 massacre came from Russia in a Wednesday interview with 103FM. – Jerusalem Post

The Biden administration has privately been urging Israel not to launch a military campaign against Hezbollah, as Washington works to keep the current war from spreading beyond Gaza, two officials familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel on Wednesday. – Times of Israel

Some family members of Israelis being held captive by the Hamas terror group in Gaza Strip fumed on Wednesday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would allow humanitarian aid to be transferred into the territory via Egypt without any concessions for their loved ones. – Times of Israel

Minister Benny Gantz said during a funeral on Wednesday that the ongoing Israel-Hamas war is likely to take months, and could potentially including a northern front as well. – Times of Israel

Not too long ago, social media was the future of news. Millions of people could log on to their platform of choice during big events and get a curated stream of reports from organizations focused on checking if information is true. […]The Israel-Hamas war is the first major event where social media’s new fact-light approach is on show, and there’s been a wave of false information on the platforms – Business Insider

Palestinian militias continued indirect fire into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Palestinian militias targeted 21 IDF military positions with mortars and rockets in Southern Israel. The rate of clashes between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces in the West Bank expanded by 470 percent. – Institute for Science and International Security

Editorial: Yet the Western left has been moving to a standard that any civilian casualties in war are too many. If that is the law of war, then Israel would be denied the right of self-defense to destroy an enemy embedded in schools, mosques or dense urban neighborhoods. Under that standard, no Western nation, including the U.S., would be able to strike back against terrorists if civilians might be killed. Those aren’t the laws of war; they’re the laws of Western unilateral disarmament. Israel deserves U.S. support for its much-lied-about way of war, in addition to its just cause. – Wall Street Journal

Elliot Kaufman writes: The Arab street has been given a new blood libel: that Jews slaughter Palestinians in their hospitals. That we can be confident it is false, like the 2002 “Jenin massacre,” doesn’t mean they will ever know that. No matter how this war ends, Islamic Jihad’s strike and Hamas’s propaganda are likely to feed violence against Jews and Israel—with an assist from the Western press. – Wall Street Journal

Galit Atlas writes: The nightmares of my childhood became the reality of our lives. Those images that for years I tried to convince myself belonged to the past turned into the most devastating truth. Past, present and future all blend together, many generations of trauma, violence and suffering. None of the hiding places I imagined had helped. We were only left with two deflated silver balloons shaped into the number 50, intolerable pain and endless tears. – Wall Street Journal 

Max Book writes: In sum, I am not suggesting that anyone should uncritically accept whatever Israel says. But that same skepticism should certainly extend to Hamas, a terrorist organization that is not noted for its devotion to either honesty or human decency. The “battle of the narrative” is more important than ever. That makes it all the more imperative that the world — journalists especially — not echo the claims of either side without first checking them out. – Washington Post

Matt Viser writes: Biden cast the news as a capstone to the trip, recounting that there had been a lengthy debate about whether he should make the visit in the first place, with fears of potential failure. “Not many people thought we could get this done. And not many people want to be associated with failure,” he said. “Had we gone and this failed — then, you know, the United States failed, the Biden presidency fails, et cetera. Which would be a legitimate criticism. – Washington Post

Charles M. Blow writes: In our country, many people are simply trying their best to make sense of a complex situation and coming to a conclusion that the context of the conflict, both historical and present, muddies the moral waters. All infliction of human suffering is wrong, and we should all be willing and able to object to and resist it whenever we see it, no matter who imposes it or who endures it.  – New York Times

Ross Douthat writes: We struggled in Iraq and failed in Afghanistan because we couldn’t easily stand up a legitimate successor regime. Conversely, we were able to demolish the Islamic State because at that point we had regional allies willing and able to govern Mosul and Raqqa. Someone has to rule, period: We’ll let that stand as a final post-9/11 lesson and the dilemma for which Israel’s Gaza policy has no clear answer yet. – New York Times 

Jessica Karl writes: A shield, according to Oxford’s English Dictionary, is “a broad piece of metal or another suitable material, held by straps or a handle attached on one side, used as a protection against blows or missiles.” Humans, of course, are not made of metal. They are made of flesh and bone, and when you use them as “shields” they cannot protect against blows or missiles. We can’t afford to lose more to the war. – Bloomberg

Eden Farber writes: We are the people of Israel. This week we have cried together, held each other, called out in justified anger and looked for an answer. I do not know what the answer is.However, the rules of humanitarian law offer us a framework – when war comes your way, fight. Defend yourselves and your land. Your civilians’ lives matter. But do so with a just hand. Do not use cruelty for the sake of cruelty. Consider the families on the other side – those who are innocent and deserving of respect, just as we are.Let’s not allow the government to take us where humanity should never go. – Jerusalem Post

Avigdor Liberman writes: The State of Israel should not, under any circumstances, allow the introduction of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip until the representatives of the International Red Cross are allowed to visit and check on the condition of the abductees and provide them with humanitarian aid. This is the cause that the international community should be fighting for with all its might. – Jerusalem Post

Douglas Feith writes: It’s time to place the blame rightly and stop incentivizing Hamas’ crimes against the Palestinians (let alone against the Israelis). For the sake of both Palestinians and Israelis, and to honor basic decency and law, it is the least we can do. – Algemeiner 

Shay Shabtai writes: The collapse of Israel’s security doctrine and the number of casualties and abductees means Israel has transitioned to a decisive decision to end the Hamas organization’s physical existence in Gaza. What remains is for Israel to carry out the military strike required to achieve this decision. And that’s what we should all focus on in the coming weeks. – Algemeiner

Danielle Pletka writes: Now is the time for the Palestinians’ most loyal supporters to ante up for their friends, and for Hamas’ underwriters to pay for the damage their proxies are inflicting. The only confusing thing here is why anyone thinks this should come off the backs of the American taxpayer. – American Enterprise Institute


Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, called for Islamic countries to boycott Israel, including stopping oil shipments, according to Iranian media. He was speaking at a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. – New York Times

Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah – who had previously been held in prison in Iran – has returned to France from Iran, said Paris’ Sciences-Po university on Wednesday. – Reuters

The war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas has already spilled into the wider region and risks expanding further, with Tehran backing an array of heavily armed groups. – Reuters

The United States issued new sanctions Wednesday on people and companies based in Iran, Hong Kong, China and Venezuela for enabling Iran’s ballistic missile and drone programs, the Treasury Department said. – Reuters

A global ban on Iran exporting its ballistic missile technology and other weapons has expired, despite the fact that Tehran continues to arm the likes of Russia and Hamas. – Washington Examiner

Michael Barone writes: Iran’s regime has been revisionist from the start, violently opposed to decent governance, determined to eradicate human rights, and is the enemy of every value Americans hold dear. Recognizing this is essential to navigate the storm that is gathering in Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. – Washington Examiner

Seth J. Frantzman writes: Pro-Iranian media Al-Mayadeen also continued to have manipulative coverage on the hospital incident on Thursday. Clearly the media axis that links Iran to Hamas and Lebanon, Iraq and also other countries, planned to exploit this incident. The continued coverage, which has messaging that is linked to language used by Iran’s leaders, shows an attempt to skew the regional reporting on the story.  – Jerusalem Post

Kim Ghattas writes: If the current outbreak of violence leads to an opening for a wider settlement, Iran seems unlikely to get a seat at the table. But stranger things have happened in the Middle East—and Iran’s proxies will have made sure that Tehran has been heard and its price has been set. – The Atlantic

Amir al-Kaabi, Hamdi Malik, and Michael Knights write: Many signs indicate that Iraq’s “resistance” militias are in fact preparing for a regional war in which they will support Hamas and Iran. The unified nature of the latest muqawama statements and actions strongly suggests that they have received an orchestrating directive from the IRGC-QF, which may be assigning various roles to its proxies and allies in the region. – Washington Institute

Russia & Ukraine

The bakery’s expansion is part of a wider, albeit modest, economic recovery in Ukraine. Although Ukraine’s economic output is still considerably smaller than before the war — the economy shrank by one-third after Russia’s full-scale invasion last year — it will grow by an estimated 3.5 percent this year, the World Bank predicts. The expansion is driven by a pickup in domestic spending and underpinned by a steady flow of foreign financial aid. – New York Times

One day after Ukraine used newly acquired, American-made missiles to launch a damaging attack on Russian air bases in occupied territories, President Vladimir V. Putin sought to play down the impact the weapons will have on the battlefield. – New York Times

A Russian missile attack killed two civilians in an apartment building in southern Ukraine on Wednesday, local authorities said, as President Vladimir Putin dismissed the importance of a new U.S.-supplied weapon that Kyiv used to execute one of the most damaging attacks on the Kremlin’s air assets since the start of the war. – Associated Press

French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed his country’s support for Ukraine during a phone call on Wednesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the French presidency said. – Reuters

Maxim Starchak writes: It’s likely Putin is influenced by his Cold War generals, who do understand nuclear weapons policy and believe there is no such thing as limited nuclear war. It will always result in global catastrophe with mutual destruction. A nuclear strike is an extreme measure, not a means of victory. The safest conclusion is that Russia is not ready to leap across the steps of the escalation ladder, whatever it would like the West to believe. – Centre For European Policy Analysis


Turkey is in talks with the Palestinian militant group Hamas to secure the release of hostages it seized in Israel and took to Gaza, but there “is nothing concrete” for now, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan was cited as saying on Wednesday. – Reuters

Turkish protesters staged fresh anti-Israel demonstrations on Wednesday as Turkey was set to declare three days of mourning following a blast that killed large numbers of Palestinians at a Gaza hospital. – Reuters

Krzysztof Strachota writes: Nevertheless, Prigozhin’s coup was arguably the most serious — and perhaps the final — warning sign that should prompt Turkey to cool ties with Russia and, instead, rebuild its relationship with the West. A similarly sobering realization vis-à-vis Turkey should take place in the West. While the political risks of reengagement are high for both sides, the potential rewards are well worth the effort needed to overcome them. In turn, the costs of inaction could prove catastrophic. – Middle East Institute


Lebanon’s Hezbollah warned its adversaries on Wednesday it was “thousands of times stronger” than before, as its fighters exchanged fire at the border with Israeli forces in violence fuelled by the war between Hamas and Israel. – Reuters

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius travelled to Lebanon on Thursday to visit German soldiers serving in a U.N. peacekeeping force in the region in the wake of a major escalation between neighbouring Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. – Reuters

Hundreds of protesters clashed Wednesday with Lebanese security forces in a Beirut suburb near the U.S. Embassy during demonstrations in support of both Gaza’s civilian residents and the militant group Hamas in its war with Israel. – Associated Press

Anchal Vohra writes: The last war with Israel definitely hurt Lebanon, but it catapulted Hezbollah from a rookie militia to a “savior.” Hezbollah built a huge museum in the mountains to celebrate its performance. Tales of how it emerged from under the ground, via tunnels, and fought Israelis are the stuff of legend in villages on the border. These villages are now tense, and so are Lebanese elsewhere in the country. So far, the exchange of fire between Hezbollah and the Israel Defense Forces has been frequent but calibrated so as not to escalate. But that’s no comfort for people who are far too acquainted with how quickly skirmishes can turn into full-blown conflicts. – Foreign Policy


Israel said Wednesday it would not block aid to Gaza from Egypt, and there were already long lines of trucks parked in Egypt, at the Rafah border crossing, waiting to carry food, water and fuel to the enclave. – New York Times

Machinery to repair roads has been sent through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt into the Gaza Strip in preparation for the delivery of some of the aid stockpiled in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, two security sources said on Thursday. – Reuters 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed in a phone call to bring humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip “in a sustainable manner”, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement late on Wednesday. –Reuters

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday that Egyptians in their millions would reject the forced displacement of Palestinians into Sinai, adding that any such move would turn the Egyptian peninsula into a base for attacks against Israel. – Reuters

Neville Turner writes: Word has it that the US might waive a chunk of debt repayment in exchange for Egypt agreeing to allow a certain number of Gazan refugees in, by way of the Rafah crossing. Given his grip on power, Sisi will certainly win his third term in office, but he knows that a long, hard, uphill struggle lies ahead. – Jerusalem Post

Middle East & North Africa

The explosion at a Gaza hospital Tuesday night set off a wave of protests across much of the Middle East and the broader Muslim world, some of them calling for death to Israel. – Wall Street Journal

OPEC is not planning to hold an extraordinary meeting or take any immediate action after Iran’s foreign minister called on members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to impose an oil embargo and other sanctions on Israel, four sources from the producer group told Reuters. – Reuters

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed in a call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday to work together to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza and help ease tensions in the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Japanese government said. – Reuters

President Joe Biden’s 7.5-hour trip to Tel Aviv signaled full US backing for Israel but fell short on another key goal: winning over Arab leaders. – Bloomberg

Korean Peninsula

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will make state visits to Saudi Arabia and Qatar on Oct. 21-26 and discuss business cooperation and security conditions related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Yoon’s office announced on Thursday. – Reuters

The foreign ministers of Russia and North Korea met Thursday in Pyongyang for talks expected to focus on how to boost their military ties, days after the United States accused the North of sending fresh shipments of munitions to Russia to support its war efforts in Ukraine. – Associated Press

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov thanked North Korea for its support for Russia’s war on Ukraine as he arrived in Pyongyang, days after the United States said the North had transferred munitions to Russia to boost its warfighting capabilities. – Associated Press

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will make state visits to Saudi Arabia and Qatar on Oct. 21-26 and discuss business cooperation and security conditions related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Yoon’s office announced on Thursday. – Reuters


The leaders of China and Russia hailed each other as “old” and “dear” friends. They took swipes at the United States and depicted themselves as building a “fairer, multipolar world.” And they marveled at their countries’ “deepening” trust. – New York Times

China wants the Israel-Hamas war to be stopped as soon as possible, President Xi Jingping was quoted by Chinese state media as saying on Thursday, adding Beijing was willing to work with Arab governments for a lasting solution to the conflict. – Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against decoupling from China as he addressed the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Wednesday, criticizing Western efforts to reduce dependence on the Chinese economy. – Reuters

The rollback of American sanctions on Venezuelan oil could rob Chinese buyers of one of their cheapest sources of crude. – Bloomberg

Tom Rogan writes: The U.S. cannot yield to those ambitions. Beijing must know that it will be held accountable for any Americans who are injured or otherwise due to its aggression. Beijing must know that the U.S. will continue to bear the cost of containing China’s aggression. And Beijing must know that the U.S. confidence to continue these activities finds rare bipartisan support. – Washington Examiner

South Asia

The militaries in Sudan and Myanmar pulled the plug when they carried out armed coups in 2021. Iran flipped the switch when protesters flooded the streets following the death a year ago of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody. But the country that most frequently deploys the tactic is not an authoritarian state such as Russia or China, digital rights groups say. It is India. – Washington Post

Nawaz Sharif, whose three terms as prime minister of Pakistan were marred by corruption allegations and standoffs with the powerful military, is expected to return home on Saturday from self-imposed exile. – Reuters

India and the UK are still in tough negotiations over a free trade deal and as positions harden, talks are likely to slip into November, two people familiar with the discussions said. – Bloomberg

Shanthie Mariet D’Souza writes: A new policy for Afghanistan is long overdue and must place Afghans at the center of the debate. The Taliban regime can be engaged, without being recognized, by employing a well thought out policy of carrots and sticks that are issue based and incremental in approach. International isolation may have repeatedly exposed the Taliban’s incapacity to govern the country, but at the same time it has placed millions of Afghans at the mercy of persistent governance failures and brutality. Only through constant engagement and the conditional provision of aid and assistance can the international community hope to gain some degree of leverage over the Taliban regime. – Middle East Institute


Japan is urging Saudi Arabia and other oil producing nations to increase supplies to stabilize the global oil market, the chief cabinet secretary said on Thursday, as rising fuel prices amid the Israel-Hamas conflict threaten to impact the global economy. – Reuters

Taiwan’s defence ministry said that it had detected 13 Chinese air force planes entering Taiwan’s air defence zone on Thursday morning, including fighter jets and drones, accompanying Chinese warships carrying out “combat patrols” and drills. – Reuters

The Philippines has no military engagements with Taiwan and it does not see future engagements with the democratically-governed island, Manila’s armed forces chief Romeo Brawner told foreign correspondents on Thursday. – Reuters

Australia’s failed referendum on the Indigenous Voice has set back the government’s plans to cut the nation’s constitutional ties to Britain’s King Charles III, a minister said Thursday. – Associated Press

The Philippines is pushing to bolster defense ties with the US and Japan amid the Southeast Asian nation’s lingering territorial dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea. – Bloomberg

The United States and the Philippines have wrapped up joint naval drills near the Asian nation that focused on replenishment at sea, naval warfare, and human assistance and disaster response. – Defense News

Mehmet Fatih Oztarsu writes: However, sustained presidential-level talks with the group are essential to increase US influence, since this is the way this region does politics. Russia, China, Turkey, and even South Korea have succeeded so far with this format. We will see how the US approaches this in the coming years. – Center For European Policy Analysis


The leaders of Belgium and Sweden and the European Union’s chief executive promised on Wednesday to tighten border security and step up repatriations after a failed asylum seeker from Tunisia shot dead two Swedish football fans in Brussels. – Reuters

The European Union’s migration ministers meet on Thursday to discuss improving security in the bloc after deadly attacks in France and Belgium, as well as worries whether the war between Israel and Hamas would force mass displacement of people. – Reuters

Aleks Eror writes: Civil society effectively needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up after being eroded over the last decade, and the country’s independent media needs help fighting off the threat posed by Telekom Serbia if the free press is to survive. In many ways, what is required amounts to a total state-building project of the sort undertaken in Kosovo. Brussels has shown that it is incapable of doing this, so it might be time for Washington to slam its fist on the table if anything is to change. – Foreign Policy

Otto Lanzavecchia writes: A narrow transatlantic steel and aluminum deal will not, in a single swoop, overcome these diverging trajectories. But it could at least provide a building block to find a common front to push back against China and fight climate change. – Center For European Policy Analysis


Liberia’s closest election in two decades is heading to a runoff, according to official provisional results announced by the West African nation’s electoral commission, after neither the country’s president nor his main opponent secured a majority. – New York Times

The U.S. is deeply concerned by reports that the Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have intensified shelling in South Darfur and Omdurman, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Power returned to Guinea-Bissau’s capital on Wednesday afternoon after the West African country’s government resumed payments to Turkish company Karpowership, which had plunged the city into darkness due to an unpaid debt of $17 million. – Reuters

The Americas

The Biden administration late Wednesday announced the removal of a broad array of sanctions against Venezuela’s oil and gas sector in response to a deal between President Nicolás Maduro’s authoritarian government and his political opponents that could lead to a presidential election next year. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. immigration authorities Wednesday returned nearly 130 migrants to Venezuela, starting deportation flights Biden administration officials view as a crucial step toward reducing the record number of illegal crossings at the U.S. southern border. – Washington Post

The US and Israeli embassies in Argentina’s capital received bomb threats via email on Wednesday, including one that read “Jews we are going to kill you all.” – Times of Israel

Editorial: The Venezuelan oil industry has collapsed under more than two decades of criminal government, and oil analysts doubt that easing sanctions will mean lower U.S. gasoline prices any time soon. Venezuela may have agreed to let the U.S. return illegal migrants—another carrot dangled in front of the Biden Administration. But if democracy is the U.S. goal, counting on Mr. Maduro is a waste of time. – Wall Street Journal

United States

A State Department official who worked on arms transfers to foreign powers resigned Wednesday over the Biden administration’s handling of the conflict in Israel and Gaza, declaring he could not support further U.S. military assistance to Israel and calling the administration’s response “an impulsive reaction” based on “intellectual bankruptcy.” – Washington Post

Jack Lew, President Biden’s nominee to become the next U.S. ambassador to Israel, faced strident opposition from Republican senators during a Wednesday hearing to vet his nomination, as Democrats insisted that the urgent need to contain the deadly violence engulfing Israel and the Gaza Strip demands a speedy confirmation. – Washington Post

President Joe Biden has spent the last week in frenzied diplomacy to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from spiraling into a broader conflict. But if those efforts fail, the US response may depend on the blunt force of its military. – Bloomberg

President Joe Biden will deliver a primetime address from the Oval Office on Thursday to outline the US response to the attacks on Israel by Hamas as well as Russia’s war on Ukraine. – Bloomberg

Jim Geraghty writes: DeSantis might or might not turn out to be the best GOP alternative to Trump, but his recent conduct, in contrast with Trump’s bellyaching about Israel, underlined what’s at stake if Republicans continue on their current course: Trump is a fundamentally unserious person running for the presidency in a deadly serious world. – Washington Post


The United States said on Wednesday it has seized 17 website domains used by North Korean information technology workers in a scheme to allegedly defraud businesses, evade sanctions and fund the development of North Korea’s weapons program. – Reuters

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is urging the Biden administration to swiftly crack down on the use of cryptocurrencies by Hamas and its affiliates following the Palestinian militant group’s deadly attack in Israel earlier this month. – Reuters

On a Wednesday afternoon in late September, the head of the cyber division of Ukraine’s intelligence service, Illia Vitiuk, sat down to discuss something that Ukraine had previously kept close to the vest — specifically how much a joint hunt forward operation with the U.S. military helped hobble Russian cyberattacks at the outset of the war. – The Record

Hackers connected to the governments of Russia and China are allegedly using a vulnerability in a popular Windows tool to attack targets around the world, including in Ukraine and Papua New Guinea. – The Record

Elizabeth Warren and Roger Marshall write: We have introduced a common-sense bipartisan bill, the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, to ensure that the same rules to protect traditional payment systems from abuse are extended to crypto. Cutting off Hamas and other terrorist groups from vital financing requires that Congress pass this legislation. – Wall Street Journal

Lionel Laurent writes: But it’s a fight worth waging. There are as many sources of terrorist funding as there are letters in the alphabet, from art to gold to zakat taxes. Crypto may not be as prevalent as cash, but it’s up there. Following terrorism’s money will necessarily mean more tracing of the virtual kind. – Bloomberg


Boeing Co. is speeding delivery to Israel of as many as 1,800 kits that convert unguided bombs into precision munitions, according to congressional aides and a US official. – Bloomberg

The use of commercial drones in the Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel is the latest example of how relatively low-tech warfare can catch sophisticated armies flat-footed, according to analysts. – Defense News

The Navy’s fleet commander in Europe and the command-and-control ship USS Mount Whitney are deploying to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea amid a U.S. military buildup in the region to support Israel as it wages a bloody war against Hamas, the service announced Wednesday. – Military.com