Israel strikes densely populated area in Gaza
An Israeli strike aimed at Hamas militants, including a commander who helped plan the Oct. 7 massacre, hit a densely populated neighborhood in Gaza, leaving behind a massive crater and widespread damage.
Photographs taken yesterday showed the extent of the damage to the Jabaliya neighborhood, the largest of the Gaza Strip’s eight refugee camps. The medical director of the Indonesian Hospital, which is near Jabaliya, said his facility was receiving hundreds of injured people, and that dozens more were dead.
The Israeli military said that fighter jets had struck at Ibrahim Biari, who it has said was a key plotter of the Hamas-led massacres in Israel on Oct. 7, and “a large number of terrorists.” A Hamas spokesman denied that a Hamas commander had been in the area.
Israeli ground troops and tanks were edging closer to Gaza City, a development made plain by satellite images, as humanitarian officials warned that two million Palestinian civilians faced a growing catastrophe. The Gazan Interior Ministry said Israeli forces were seeking to “separate the northern Gaza Strip from its south.”
Medical care: The W.H.O. said that services had been “severely reduced” at the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, Gaza’s only cancer center, after “extremely concerning reports of airstrikes” in its vicinity over the last two days.
Rising threats: Christopher Wray, the F.B.I. director, warned U.S. lawmakers yesterday that the violence between Israel and Hamas has raised the potential for an attack against Americans to “a whole other level.” Threats to Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities in the U.S. have been on the rise since the war began on Oct. 7.
Water: Gazans and international aid groups say that Israel’s decision to cut off water and its insistence that no fuel can enter the territory have created a man-made drought.
Famed Iranian rights lawyer reportedly arrested and beaten
A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was arrested and severely beaten, her husband said on Monday.
She was one of several activists taken into custody in Tehran at the funeral of Armita Geravand, a 16-year-old who died last week after what many people believe was a confrontation over not covering her hair on Tehran’s subway, in defiance of the law imposed by the Shiite Islamic government.
Sotoudeh, 60, is renowned for representing women who have not worn a hijab, the traditional head scarf, while in public and for refusing to wear one herself. She has been imprisoned several times, and most recently had been convicted at a secret trial in 2019 of security-related crimes. She was released in 2021 because of her health.
The Bank of Japan steps away from easy money
The Bank of Japan yesterday announced a policy that aims to nudge government bond yields higher to combat rising inflation.
The country’s central bank is in a bind: Low interest rates, which have long been used to goose growth, are now well out of step with other big economies. That’s partly why the yen is the weakest it has been against the U.S. dollar for more than 30 years, threatening to inflict prolonged inflation.
By relaxing its bond purchases to allow yields to rise beyond a cap it had strictly enforced, the Bank of Japan is fighting inflation, improving the appeal of domestic debt and trying to shore up the yen.
THE LATEST NEWS
The Irish artisan Patrick Brennan discovered knife making after a 2010 motorbike accident left him in bed for two years. At a rehabilitation program, he learned to work with leather, which eventually led him to an award-winning career.
One of his specialties is making knives out of Damascus steel — blending darker high-carbon steel with brighter high-nickel varieties to form a pattern — which he describes as “magical.”
ARTS AND IDEAS
The power of music at a volatile time
The Barenboim-Said Academy, a music conservatory in Berlin, was founded by the renowned Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim with the intention of bringing together students from across the Middle East.
The academy, like other peace projects, has long had to deal with the volatility of the Middle East. But in an environment where Israelis, Palestinians, Iranians, Syrians, Egyptians, Lebanese and others study and live together, the Israel-Hamas war has really tested the program. Some students questioned whether they should even play music with one another right now. Others say it has brought them closer.
“We will not bring peace, and we will not solve the world’s problems, as much as we might want to,” said Katia Abdel Kader, 23, a Palestinian violinist. “But we create a space, and that’s what is missing in the world, not only in the Middle East. Places for people to be accepted by the other.”
That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Justin
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