The Times of Israel is liveblogging Monday’s events as they happen.

London police arrest 11 pro-Palestinian activists calling on UK to ban arms sales to Israel — report

London police arrested at least 11 pro-Palestinian activists during a protest last night calling for the UK Labor party to impose an arms embargo on Israel, according to a British media reports.

The Daily Mail reports that activists with the Just Stop Oil group sprayed red paint outside the party’s headquarters and in the lobby of the south London building.

“Labour has blood on their hands. They are complicit in the murder of Palestinians, and millions of people around the world, as they continue to drive genocide,” the group writes in a post on X, formerly Twitter.


The UK government has faced calls to suspend arms export licenses to Israel after three Britons and four other aid workers with US-based food charity World Central Kitchen were killed in an Israeli air strike last week.

More than 600 lawyers, including former Supreme Court judges, also warned in a letter last week that London risked breaching international law by continuing to allow the export of weapons to Israel.

Trump says US abortion laws should be decided by states, but doesn’t back national ban

Former US president Donald Trump looks on at the 18th green during day three of the LIV Golf Invitational - Miami at Trump National Doral Miami on April 07, 2024 in Doral, Florida. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images North America/ Getty Images via AFP)
Former US president Donald Trump looks on at the 18th green during day three of the LIV Golf Invitational - Miami at Trump National Doral Miami on April 07, 2024 in Doral, Florida. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images North America/ Getty Images via AFP)

WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says that abortion laws should be determined by US states, stopping short of proposing a national ban that could have imperiled his chances with swing voters in the November election.

Trump previously signaled support for a ban beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy but said political considerations were paramount in the first presidential election since the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, ending a nearly 50-year federal right to the procedure.

“Always go by your heart. But we must win. We have to win,” Trump says in a video posted on his social media platform.

The former president reiterates that he backs exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother, and also that he supports the availability of in-vitro fertilization.

A call for a national ban could have dented Trump’s support in the six or seven US states that swing between Democratic and Republican candidates and are therefore likely to decide the election outcome.

Overall, 57% of Americans think abortion should be legal in most or all cases, according to a March Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Leaders of France, Egypt and Jordan call for ceasefire, hostage release in joint op-ed

French President Emanuel Macron (R) and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi attend a video conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II (on screen) to work on a concrete proposal for a ceasefire and a possible path to discussions between Israel and the Palestinians at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 18, 2021. (SARAH MEYSSONNIER / POOL / AFP)
French President Emanuel Macron (R) and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi attend a video conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II (on screen) to work on a concrete proposal for a ceasefire and a possible path to discussions between Israel and the Palestinians at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 18, 2021. (SARAH MEYSSONNIER / POOL / AFP)

The leaders of France, Egypt, and Jordan call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and a path to a two-state solution in a Monday op-ed in the Washington Post.

Jordan’s King Abdullah, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Egypt’s Abdel Fatah El-Sissi do not condition the ceasefire on the release of hostages and do not mention the military defeat of Hamas.

They do, however, call for “the immediate release of all hostages.”

The leaders warn against an offensive in Rafah, saying it “would only bring more death and suffering, heighten the risks and consequences of mass displacement of the people of Gaza and threaten regional escalation.”

They contend that “famine is already setting in,” and call for a massive increase in humanitarian aid. They argue that Israel has not fulfilled its obligation to ensure the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The three men say the UN Security Council should push for a two-state solution, and “must play a role in decisively reopening this horizon for peace.”

Reflecting persistent Jordanian claims about Israeli violations of the religious status quo in Jerusalem, the leaders “emphasize the necessity of respecting the historical and legal status quo at Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites and the role of the Jordanian Waqf under the Hashemite custodianship.”

In first, IDF says ship-mounted Iron Dome shot down ‘suspicious’ target over Eilat

The IDF says a “suspicious aerial target” that entered Israeli airspace in the Eilat area was downed by the Navy’s ship-mounted Iron Dome system, known as C-Dome.

The IDF says the target was tracked throughout the incident, and there are no damage or injuries.

C-Dome is deployed to the Navy’s Sa’ar 6-class corvettes.

It marks the first time the system has been used operationally.


Footage from Eilat shows interceptor missiles exploding over city after sirens sound

Footage of a missile being intercepted over Eilat on April 8, 2024. (Screen capture/X)
Footage of a missile being intercepted over Eilat on April 8, 2024. (Screen capture/X)

Footage from Eilat shows two interceptor missiles exploding over Israel’s southernmost city.

The missiles are launched as suspected drone infiltration alarms sound.

There is no immediate comment from the military, but the Home Front Command tells residents that the incident is over.


Hostile aircraft sirens sound in southernmost city of Eilat

Hostile aircraft intrusion sirens sound in Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat and the surrounding area.

Throughout the war in Gaza, the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have attempted to fire drones and missiles at Eilat on multiple occasions.


Syrian gang killed an anti-Hezbollah Lebanese politician, Lebanon army says

On Sunday, Syrian kidnappers killed a Lebanese local political official belonging to a party that opposes the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group, Lebanon’s army says, in a case that quickly shook the country.

Pascal Sleiman was a local coordinator in the Jbeil (Byblos) area, north of Beirut, for the Christian Lebanese Forces party that opposes Damascus and its ally Hezbollah — which has been exchanging near-daily cross-border fire with Israel since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas six months ago.

Sleiman’s abduction on Sunday sparked outrage in his Jbeil district, where hundreds of supporters blocked roads after news of his death erupted, according to an AFP photographer in the area.

“Following up on the case of Pascal Sleiman, who was kidnapped, the army intelligence directorate was able to arrest most Syrian gang members involved in the kidnapping,” the Lebanese army says in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

The investigation found that “the kidnapped person was killed by them (the gang) while they were trying to steal his car in the Jbeil area, and they transported his body to Syria,” the army adds.

COGAT: 419 trucks of aid entered Gaza today, highest number since start of war

The Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) says that 419 trucks of humanitarian aid were inspected and transferred to the Gaza Strip today.

The civil-military unit says that this is the highest number of trucks that have entered in any one day since the start of the war, following yesterday’s high of 322 trucks.

Another 29 trucks were coordinated to northern Gaza overnight, COGAT adds.

In addition, it says on X, formerly Twitter, 258 packages carrying “hundreds of thousands of meals” were airdropped over the Palestinian enclave.


Earlier today, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that the over 300 trucks that entered Gaza on Sunday were a good start, but that the US hoped to see more than 350 enter per day starting later this week.

Palestinian media reports at least 5 killed in strike on Hamas interior ministry building

People walk past destroyed buildings in the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on February 1, 2024. (Anas Baba/ AFP)
People walk past destroyed buildings in the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on February 1, 2024. (Anas Baba/ AFP)

Palestinian media report an Israeli airstrike on the Hamas interior ministry building in central Gaza’s Maghazi camp.

According to the reports, at least five people are killed in the strike, including the mayor of Maghazi.

There is no immediate comment from the IDF on the strike.

High Court rejects petition filed by Likud MK Dudi Amsalem demanding Gallant draft Israeli Arabs into the IDF

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, right, talks with Regional Cooperation  Minister David Amsalem, during a plenum session at the Knesset in Jerusalem on July 10, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, right, talks with Regional Cooperation Minister David Amsalem, during a plenum session at the Knesset in Jerusalem on July 10, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The High Court of Justice rejects a highly unusual petition filed by cabinet minister Dudi Amsalem against Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, demanding that they act to draft Israeli Arab citizens into military service.

Amsalem filed his petition against a fellow member of the cabinet in which he himself serves against the background of the ultra-Orthodox enlistment crisis and Gallant’s position insisting on firmer legislation than the key ultra-Orthodox coalition parties will tolerate, threatening the stability of the coalition.

The court upbraids Amsalem for deficiencies in his petition, noting that he has filed a series of similar petitions to the High Court in recent years, including on the issue of Arab enlistment, all of which have been rejected without hearings, since they lacked the necessary evidentiary basis or did not bother to seek a response from the subject of the petition before it was filed.

The court notes that, in this petition too, Amsalem failed to request a response to his concerns from Gallant and the attorney general. In his previous petition on Arab enlistment in 2022, Amsalem did ultimately send a letter to then-defense minister Benny Gantz and appended that letter to his current petition as evidence of his efforts to have his concerns addressed by the relevant minister.

But the three justices assigned the petition, including strong conservative Noam Sohlberg, say this letter does not suffice, since a new Knesset was elected and a new government took office in the meantime, and that two years passed after that petition was filed. They therefore reject Amsalem’s latest petition without requiring responses from the respondents or holding court hearings.

Amsalem, a fierce Netanyahu loyalist and vitriolic critic of the judiciary, denounces the decision, saying on X: “It’s unthinkable that instead of being a country with a High Court we’re a High Court which has a country,” and adding “In the kingdom of hypocrites hatred of Jews overcomes all justice and logic.”

IDF says it struck multiple Hezbollah positions in Lebanon after rockets were fired at Western Galilee

The Israeli border with Lebanon, as seen from the Israeli side, April 8, 2024. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)
The Israeli border with Lebanon, as seen from the Israeli side, April 8, 2024. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

The IDF says it carried out additional strikes on Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon today.

The sites included buildings used by Hezbollah, rocket launchers, and additional infrastructure belonging to the terror group in Kfarchouba, the IDF says.

Another building in Odaisseh, where Hezbollah operatives were gathered, was targeted a short while ago, the IDF adds.

Earlier, the IDF says a “suspicious aerial target” that entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon was intercepted by the Iron Dome over the northern community of Metula.

Several rockets were also fired from Lebanon at the Western Galilee and Mount Dov area a short while ago, some of which fell short in Lebanon. The rest hit open areas in northern Israel, the IDF says.

IDF says rocket fired from Syria at the Golan Heights, troops shelling launch point

One rocket was fired from Syria at the Golan Heights a short while ago, setting off sirens in the community of Yonatan.

According to the IDF, the projectile hit an open area, causing no injuries.

It says troops are shelling the launch site with artillery.

During the war in Gaza, some 35 rockets have been fired at northern Israel from Syria, according to the IDF.

Hamas official claims terror group rejects latest deal, others say group still studying proposal

The Hamas terrorist organization has rejected the latest Israeli ceasefire proposal suggested at talks in Cairo, senior official Ali Baraka tells Reuters on Monday.

A Hamas official had earlier told Reuters that no progress had been made in the negotiations.

A second, unnamed, Hamas official tells AFP however, that the group is still studying the details of the proposal.

The first phase of the proposal would also see the return of displaced Palestinian civilians to the north of the Gaza Strip, and 400 to 500 trucks of food aid a day delivered to its starving people, according to the source, who is close to the negotiations.

US determining if site allegedly struck by Israel in Damascus was Iranian consular facility

Emergency services work at Iran's consulate after it was hit by an alleged Israeli strike in Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki)
Emergency services work at Iran's consulate after it was hit by an alleged Israeli strike in Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki)

The US is still working to determine whether the site allegedly struck by Israel last week in Damascus was an Iranian consular facility, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says.

He declines to say whether the US would condemn the strike if it was determined that a consulate building was indeed targeted, as Tehran claims.

The April 1 airstrike killed seven Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members, including two generals.

Miller flatly denies reports that Iran informed the US that it would agree to hold off on responding to the strike if a ceasefire is reached in Gaza.

US has ongoing probes into IDF’s Gaza conduct but hasn’t yet found it violated int’l law

The US State Department has opened several investigations into IDF conduct crimes in Gaza, but has yet to reach a conclusion that the IDF has violated international humanitarian law in its war against Hamas in the enclave, its spokesperson Matthew Miller says.

“We have a number of different experts from across our bureaus that look at facts, apply them to international law and make assessments. Those assessments are ongoing,” Miller reiterates during a press briefing.

“We have not yet at this time concluded that Israel has violated international humanitarian law, but we have ongoing assessments across a number of different fronts,” he adds.

US State Department: Israel hasn’t briefed us on date it plans to enter Rafah

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller answers questions during a news briefing at the State Department on July 18, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller answers questions during a news briefing at the State Department on July 18, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller says that Israel has not briefed the Biden administration on the date on which it plans to launch a major offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier today that he has decided on a date for Israel to enter Rafah, though the premier has several times in recent weeks announced his approval of operational plans for the city that have gone unimplemented.

Miller reiterates that Washington opposes a major invasion in Rafah, arguing that Israel can achieve its war aims through other means.

US State Department says Erez Crossing could reopen this week to allow aid into north Gaza

View of the Erez Crossing at the Israeli border with Gaza, January 4, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/ Flash90)
View of the Erez Crossing at the Israeli border with Gaza, January 4, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/ Flash90)

Humanitarian aid could begin flowing through Israel’s Erez Crossing into northern Gaza as soon as this week, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says.

Miller reiterates Washington’s satisfaction with the initial moves Israel has agreed to take, including reopening the Erez Crossing, opening the Ashdod Port as another point of entry for relief, the streamlining of the aid route from Jordan and the IDF’s establishment of a new deconfliction unit to more directly engage with humanitarian agencies operating in Gaza.

Over 300 trucks of aid entered Gaza yesterday and the US hopes that 350 trucks will enter the Strip daily later this week, Miller says.

“While we welcome these initial steps, it’s crucial to recognize that much more needs to be done,” he says, noting that 100 percent of Gazans suffer from food insecurity. “We expect Israel to fully implement its commitments quickly, and we will be monitoring that implementation.”

WATCH: With live orchestras and branded merchandise, North America views total solar eclipse

The moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
The moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse in Mazatlan, Mexico, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Millions of people across North America are watching, or getting ready to watch, a total solar eclipse — some gazing anxiously at wayward clouds — as the moon begins creeping across the face of the sun in western Mexico, before it blocks it out completely.

The total eclipse is viewable along a path starting in western Mexico and then crossing through the United States and into Canada, and will last more than four minutes in some places.

The Mexican beachside resort town of Mazatlan was the first major viewing spot in North America. Thousands of people gather along the coastal promenade, setting themselves up in deck chairs with eclipse glasses, as an orchestra plays the “Star Wars” theme.

Eclipse fans are gathering in numerous places along the “path of totality.”

In upstate New York, for instance, the total eclipse will occur shortly after 3 p.m. (1900 GMT). At the Frontier Town campground in North Hudson, New York, children run around wearing eclipse T-shirts, while parents set up tables, chairs and beer coolers.

At up to 4 minutes and 28 seconds, this one will last longer than the total eclipse that streaked across parts of the United States in 2017, which clocked in at up to 2 minutes and 42 seconds. According to NASA, total eclipses can last anywhere from 10 seconds to about 7 and 1/2 minutes.

People prepare to photograph a total solar eclipse in Mazatlan, Mexico, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/ Fernando Llano)

Some other cities along the path of totality include: San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cleveland, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; both Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, site of the famed waterfall, and Montreal, Quebec.

It will be 20 years before the next eclipse with totality to touch any part of the mainland US — on August 22, 2044.

A partial eclipse will be visible in North America outside the path of totality.

Israel’s hostage envoy Gal Hirsch meets with US counterpart to discuss efforts to free Gaza hostages

Israel hostage envoy Gal Hirsch meets with his US counterpart Roger Carstens and his deputy Steven Gillen in Tel Aviv to discuss US efforts to reach a deal to free hostages held in Gaza.

Hirsch will meet tonight with the British and German hostage envoys, and tomorrow with his Austrian counterpart.

Lapid says he spoke to Blinken about urgent need for solution in Gaza, hostage deal

File - Opposition leader Yair Lapid speaks to reporters after meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the US State Department on April 8, 2024, in Washington, DC. (Olivier Douliery/AFP)
File - Opposition leader Yair Lapid speaks to reporters after meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the US State Department on April 8, 2024, in Washington, DC. (Olivier Douliery/AFP)

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid says he discussed the need for a solution in Gaza, most importantly the release of hostages from Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, in his talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier today.

Lapid, speaking to reporters following the discussion, says a hostage deal is difficult but doable. Israel is also worried about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the need to avoid hurting people in the Palestinian territory, he adds.

Current proposal, if approved, would mean release of many hostages who are alive, official says

The US proposal under discussion in Cairo would see the release of many hostages who are alive, a senior Israeli official tells Channel 13.

However, Israel would have to show “significant flexibility” on the return of Gazans to the north, including allowing many to return without passing thorough any inspection sites.

The official says the US is leading the talks, and that they are applying significant pressure on Qatar and Egypt.

Despite optimistic reports about hostage talks, Israeli official says significant gaps remain

Despite optimistic reports about the hostage talks in Cairo, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel that there are still significant gaps.

Hamas still has not issued a list of the prisoners it wants released, and Israel has not sent a list of who it is willing to let go, in a potential deal.

The current discussions are focused on resolving disagreements over the return of civilians to northern Gaza.

The official says it is clear that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar feels like he is in a strong position.

WATCH: During interrogation, Islamic Jihad spokesman admits group’s rocket struck Al-Ahli Hospital at start of war

Still image from footage released by the IDF on April 8, 2024, of the interrogation of the spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's military wing Tarek Abu Shaluf. (Screenshot)
Still image from footage released by the IDF on April 8, 2024, of the interrogation of the spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's military wing Tarek Abu Shaluf. (Screenshot)

The IDF releases footage from the interrogation of the spokesman for the political wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, in which he admits that the terror group tried to hide the fact that one of its rockets struck Al-Ahli Arab Hospital at the beginning of the war, as well as saying that terror operatives use “all hospitals in the Gaza Strip.”

Tarek Abu Shaluf was among 500 terror operatives captured by the IDF at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital last month, the military says.

The IDF says Abu Shaluf “advanced acts of incitement and propaganda from within the Shifa Hospital, and testified to the use of the compound and medical equipment for terror purposes.”

In the video, Abu Shaluf tells an interrogator of the Military Intelligence Directorate’s Unit 504 that the blast at Al-Ahli hospital (which he refers to by the local name of “Mamadani Hospital”) was “a local rocket. We said it was Israeli.”

Israel accused Islamic Jihad of firing the rocket which fell short and hit the hospital in late October, reportedly killing dozens of people, hours after Hamas officials falsely blamed an Israeli strike, a claim that was widely reported by international media outlets.

“To erase this story, the movement (Islamic Jihad) made some moves, it made up a story that the rocket belonged to the occupation (Israel) and that the target was the [hospital] building,” Abu Shalaf says.

Asked by the interrogator which hospitals Islamic Jihad and Hamas use in Gaza, Abu Shalaf says “All of the hospitals.”

“Because there is internet there 24 hours, there is electricity 24 hours,” he says, explaining that when terror groups use the hospitals, they occupy a room or two in each ward, without needing to close an entire department.

Abu Shaluf in his interrogation also details the use of ambulances by terror operatives at the hospitals.

Netanyahu: ‘There is a date’ for IDF to enter Rafah, no victory unless we operate there

Still from a video statement on the war in Gaza by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, April 8, 2024. (Screenshot, GPO)
Still from a video statement on the war in Gaza by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, April 8, 2024. (Screenshot, GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that “there is a date” for IDF troops to go into Rafah, and repeats in a video statement that there is no victory without an operation in the southern city.

He also says that he received a detailed update on the talks in Cairo.

“We are working to achieve our goals all the time,” Netanyahu says, “primarily releasing all our hostages and achieving total victory over Hamas.

Miri Regev: Independence Day torches to be lit at Gaza border communities instead of Mount Herzl

Fireworks at the 75th anniversary Independence Day ceremony, held at Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, on April 25, 2023.(Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)
Fireworks at the 75th anniversary Independence Day ceremony, held at Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, on April 25, 2023.(Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

Transportation Minister Miri Regev, who is responsible for planning Israel’s Independence Day events, announces that, for the first time, the Independence Day Ceremony that marks the end of Memorial Day each year will take place without a live audience, and not on Mount Herzl.

Instead, the ceremony will take place in an adapted format to honor those who fell in the Hamas massacre of October 7. The traditional torches which are usually lit at the ceremony on Mount Herzl will instead be lit inside the Gaza border communities attacked on October 7, as well as on the targeted IDF bases which suffered heavy losses.

Because of the adapted format, the lighting of the torches will be done without an audience and will instead be broadcast across the country.

IDF: 15 rockets fired at northern Israel from Lebanon, no injuries reported

A barrage of 15 rockets were fired from Lebanon at the Hanita area in northern Israel a short while ago, according to the IDF.

The rockets all hit open areas, the IDF says.

There are no reports of damage or injuries.

UN Security Council refers Palestinian application to become full member to committee

The United Nations Security Council refers the Palestinian Authority’s application to become a full member of the world body to the committee on the admission of new members.

Malta’s UN Ambassador Vanessa Frazier proposed that the committee meet on Monday at 3 p.m. to consider the application. Malta is president of the Security Council for April.

US says 300 aid trucks that entered Gaza yesterday are a ‘good start,’ but need more

Armed and masked Palestinians seen on trucks loaded with International Humanitarian Aid entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, in the southern Gaza Strip, April 3, 2024. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)
Armed and masked Palestinians seen on trucks loaded with International Humanitarian Aid entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, in the southern Gaza Strip, April 3, 2024. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says Israel’s facilitation of over 300 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza yesterday is “progress” and a “good start,” but that the US wants to see the number pass 350 in the coming days and then increase further.

Some 500 trucks entered Gaza each day before October 7, when the humanitarian need was much less significant.

Kirby reiterates during a press briefing that the US welcomes the steps Israel has taken to expand aid into Gaza, including plans to open the Erez Crossing and Ashdod Port, but says these moves need to be implemented and the uptick in aid must be sustained for long periods of time.

Israel says there has never been a limit on the amount of aid the distribution of which into Gaza it is prepared to facilitate, but the fact that the day that saw the largest number of trucks enter Gaza came days after international uproar over the IDF’s deadly strike on a World Central Kitchen convoy suggests otherwise.

The White House is still reviewing Israel’s initial probe into the strike last week that killed seven WCK staffers, Kirby says.

Hostage deal negotiators waiting for Hamas response to latest proposal, US says

Hostage deal negotiators are currently waiting for Hamas to respond to the latest proposal brokered over the weekend in Cairo, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says.

Kirby confirms that CIA chief William Burns was in Cairo leading the US negotiating team in the talks, which are also being brokered by Qatar and Egypt.

Lapid to meet with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan at the White House

File: Then-foreign minister Yair Lapid meets with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Washington, DC, on October 12, 2021. (Shlomi Amsalem/Courtesy)
File: Then-foreign minister Yair Lapid meets with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Washington, DC, on October 12, 2021. (Shlomi Amsalem/Courtesy)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will meet at the White House with visiting Opposition Leader Yair Lapid later today in addition to a separate meeting with the families of some of the American hostages being held in Gaza, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby tells reporters during a briefing.

An in-person follow-up to last week’s virtual gathering of top Israeli and US officials to discuss a potential IDF offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah will likely not take place in Washington until next week, Kirby says.

The White House spokesman says that Israel has assured the US that it will not launch a major ground operation in Rafah before it holds this in-person meeting in Washington, Kirby says.

“We don’t see any signs that such a major ground operation is imminent or that these troops [being withdrawn from Khan Younis] are being repositioned for that kind of ground operation,” he says.

State witness agreement with key Netanyahu trial witness Shlomo Filber to be annulled

Shlomo Filber, former director general of the Communications Ministry, at a court hearing in the trial against Benjamin Netanyahu, at the District Court in Jerusalem on June 1, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Shlomo Filber, former director general of the Communications Ministry, at a court hearing in the trial against Benjamin Netanyahu, at the District Court in Jerusalem on June 1, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The State Attorney’s Office announces that the state witness agreement with Shlomo Filber, a key witness in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial and former Communications Ministry director, is to be annulled.

In a brief statement to the press, the State Attorney’s Office says that Filber was informed of the decision, made in accordance with the position of Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, “after an evidentiary basis indicating that he violated the state witness agreement was placed in front of them.”

Filber responds on X: “I’m ready!”


During a police investigation, Filber turned state witness and gave testimony in which he incriminated himself and Netanyahu in Case 4000 in which Netanyahu is charged with bribery and breach of trust over allegations he helped the Bezeq telecommunications company obtain regulatory benefits in return for favorable media coverage from the Walla news site whose owner, Shaul Elovitch, also owned Bezeq.

Having initially told prosecutors that Netanyahu encouraged him to provide the regulatory benefits to Bezeq, during testimony in court Filber changed this version of events and said the prime minister had indicated that he should do whatever he thought would best promote competition in the telecommunications market.

Potential hostage deal proposes initial truce over Eid al-Fitr followed by release of 40 hostages over six weeks – report

Speaking to the Qatari-owned Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news outlet, Egyptian sources reveal details about the US-drafted proposal for a temporary truce and hostage release deal currently being examined by Israel and Hamas.

According to the report, the proposal discusses a six-week temporary pause in fighting, the release of 40 hostages held by Hamas since October 7, and the partial return of displaced civilians to northern Gaza.

However, the source says the proposal does not include a commitment to a permanent ceasefire, which Hamas has insisted is a nonnegotiable item, and which Israel has dismissed, along with other demands from the terror group, as “delusional.”

The negotiations are also reviewing the option of observing an initial three-day truce, with no other obligations, over the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday which marks the end of Ramadan later this week.

Iranian foreign minister inaugurates new Damascus consulate after last week’s strike

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (CL) walks alongside his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad (CR) and Iran's Ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari (C) during a visit to the site of a consular annex to the Iranian embassy destroyed in strikes, before inaugurating a new consular building nearby in Damascus on April 8, 2024. (Louai Beshara/AFP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (CL) walks alongside his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad (CR) and Iran's Ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari (C) during a visit to the site of a consular annex to the Iranian embassy destroyed in strikes, before inaugurating a new consular building nearby in Damascus on April 8, 2024. (Louai Beshara/AFP)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian inaugurates the country’s new consulate in Damascus on Monday, a week after a deadly strike blamed on Israel destroyed the former premises, sending regional tensions skyrocketing.

Tehran, a key ally of the Syrian government, has vowed to avenge last Monday’s airstrike on the Iranian embassy’s consular section that killed seven Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members, including two generals.

Both Damascus and Tehran blame Israel for last Monday’s raid, but Israel has not commented on the matter.

Amir-Abdollahian inaugurated the new consular section in a Damascus building in the presence of his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad, whom he also met with earlier today, state news agency SANA says/

An AFP correspondent at the inauguration says the new consulate is not far from the premises destroyed by the strike in the upscale Mazzeh area, which also houses other foreign embassies and UN offices.

Abdollahian is also set to meet President Bashar Assad, and Syria’s pro-government newspaper Al-Watan says his talks in Damascus will be “mainly focused” on repercussions of last week’s strike.

Ben Gvir names Deputy Commissioner Avshalom Peled as next head of the Israel Police

Police Deputy Commissioner Avshalom Peled. (Courtesy)
Police Deputy Commissioner Avshalom Peled. (Courtesy)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir selects Deputy Commissioner Avshalom Peled for Israel’s next police commissioner, replacing outgoing commissioner Kobi Shabtai, whose tenure will end on July 17.

Peled has served in the police force for 40 years, starting in the Border Police during his mandatory IDF service, Ben Gvir says in a statement released by his office.

“Deputy Commissioner Avshalom Peled is the right man to lead the Israel Police,” Ben Gvir says. “Peled is an officer with rich experience, he’s professional and sharp.”

Ben Gvir thanks Shabtai — with whom he has had several public disagreements — for his years of work leading the police force.

The appointment will need to approved by the Senior Appointments Advisory Committee, the panel that vets the appointments to some of the country’s key civil service positions.

Qatar growing ‘more optimistic’ about Cairo negotiations resulting in truce, hostage release deal

Demonstrators call for the release of hostages held in Gaza since Hamas's October 7 massacre, during a rally in front of the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 7, 2024. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)
Demonstrators call for the release of hostages held in Gaza since Hamas's October 7 massacre, during a rally in front of the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 7, 2024. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)

While the temporary truce and hostage deal negotiations in Cairo are still ongoing, Qatar is “more optimistic” that a deal will come to fruition than it has been in recent days, the spokesman for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Majed Mohammed al-Ansari tells the BBC.

“If you ask me if I’m more optimistic today than I was a couple of days ago, I would say, yes,” al-Ansari says.

According to al-Ansari, several new proposals are being closely examined by both Israel and Hamas, including one drafted by a US delegation to the talks.

He does not offer any details about the content of the various proposals being examined, but says he hopes the first phase of a three-part ceasefire plan could enter into effect “soon.”

IDF says it struck Hezbollah site in Lebanon as rocket sirens sound in northern Israel

The IDF says its fighter jets carried out a strike against a Hezbollah site in southern Lebanon’s Khiam a short while ago, where an operative was spotted.

The IDF also says that an interceptor missile was fired at a target that entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon earlier today, in the Upper Galilee, but it was later revealed to be a false identification, the IDF says.

Renewed suspected drone infiltration and rocket sirens are currently sounding in Kiryat Shmona and nearby communities.


Security cabinet to meet tomorrow evening

The security cabinet will meet tomorrow evening at 7 p.m., Hebrew media reports.

The cabinet routinely meets on Thursday, and according to reports, the meeting was brought forward to discuss the ongoing hostage negotiations in Cairo.

Hostile aircraft intrusion sirens activate in communities near the Lebanon border

Hostile aircraft intrusion alerts sound in northern Israel close to the Lebanon border.

The sirens are heard in multiple locations, including Kiryat Shmona, Metula, and Margaliot.


Iranian Quds Force general killed in Damascus strike was also member of Hezbollah’s Shura Council – report

File - A billboard displays a portrait of slain Iranian general Mohammad Reza Zahedi, with a slogan in Hebrew saying 'You will be punished,' April 3, 2024, at Palestine Square in Tehran. (Atta Kenare/AFP)
File - A billboard displays a portrait of slain Iranian general Mohammad Reza Zahedi, with a slogan in Hebrew saying 'You will be punished,' April 3, 2024, at Palestine Square in Tehran. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

The Iranian general killed in last week’s strike in Syria’s capital was a member of Hezbollah’s Shura Council, the Iran-backed terror group’s decision-making body, a source close to the organization says.

The April 1 airstrike leveled the Iranian embassy’s consular annex in Damascus, killing seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including two generals.

One of them was Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in the Quds Force, the Guards’ foreign operations arm which is classified as a terror organization by the US.

Zahedi was the only non-Lebanese on Hezbollah’s eight-member Shura Council, the equivalent of the powerful Shiite Muslim movement’s political bureau, led by Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, the source says, requesting anonymity because the matter is sensitive.

In a previous speech, Nasrallah said his group “owed a lot” to the senior Iranian official.

Bank of Israel holds interest rates at 4.5% amid ongoing war, weaker shekel

The Bank of Israel leaves interest rates steady amid the ongoing war with the Hamas terror group in Gaza, growing geopolitical uncertainty and a weaker shekel.

The central bank decides to hold interest rates for a second consecutive time at 4.5 percent after it cut the base lending rate on January 1, for the first time in almost four years, by 25 basis points to support households and businesses as the economy was getting battered, due to the Hamas war, and as the inflation environment was easing.

“In view of the war, the Monetary Committee’s policy is focusing on stabilizing the markets and reducing uncertainty, alongside price stability and supporting economic activity,” the central bank says in a statement. “Geopolitical uncertainty has increased and is reflected in the economy’s relatively high-risk premium.”

Ahead of the decision, economists were split on whether interest rates would come down further or remain steady as the shekel weakened amid heightened tensions and threats by Iran to respond to the alleged assassination by Israel of the top Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer in Syria.

Since the previous interest rate decision, the shekel weakened by about 2.7% against the dollar and by about 2.6% against the euro, the central bank says.

Transportation Ministry given green light to extend high-speed rail line, build 2 new Jerusalem stations

Commuters at the then-newly built Yitzhak Navon train station in Jerusalem, September 25, 2018. (Aharon Krohn/FLASH90)
Commuters at the then-newly built Yitzhak Navon train station in Jerusalem, September 25, 2018. (Aharon Krohn/FLASH90)

The Committee for National Infrastructure approves a Transportation Ministry plan to establish two new train stations in Jerusalem and extend the high-speed rail line that currently ends at Yitzhak Navon Train Station at the entrance to the city.

According to Ynet, one of the stations will be established in the center of Jerusalem and the other will be close to Liberty Bell Park in the German Colony.

Suspect arrested for online incitement to assassinate Prime Minister Netanyahu

A resident of central Israel has been arrested on suspicion of incitement to assassinate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israel Police force says.

The suspect was arrested for publishing incitement to terrorism on Telegram, including incitement against Netanyahu.

He was arrested at the end of an investigation by the Shin Bet and the cyber branch of the Israel Police’s Lahav 433.

Police did not elaborate on the specific content that the suspect posted.

Netanyahu and other senior lawmakers have been the target of numerous threats in recent years amid an increasingly tense political climate.

In February, a man was arrested in Beersheba on suspicion of “serious incitement to murder” the prime minister, as well.

Nicaragua at UN court: Germany not differentiating between self-defense and genocide

Nicaragua's Ambassador Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, right, and Alain Pellet, lef, a lawyer representing Nicaragua, wait for the start of a two days hearing at the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, April 8, 2024 (AP Photo/Patrick Post)
Nicaragua's Ambassador Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, right, and Alain Pellet, lef, a lawyer representing Nicaragua, wait for the start of a two days hearing at the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, April 8, 2024 (AP Photo/Patrick Post)

At the International Court of Justice, Nicaragua urges judges to halt German military and other aid to Israel.

Opening Nicaragua’s case, the country’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Carlos José Argüello Gómez, tells the 16-judge panel that “Germany is failing to honor its own obligation to prevent genocide or to ensure respect of international humanitarian law.”

Israel strongly denies that its assault amounts to genocidal acts, saying it is acting in self defense. Israeli legal adviser Tal Becker told judges at the court earlier this year that the country is fighting a “war it did not start and did not want.”

But Nicaragua rejects that defense, in a reference to Germany’s support for Israel.

“Surprisingly, Germany seems not to be able to differentiate between self-defense and genocide,” Argüello Gómez says.

The court will likely take weeks to deliver its preliminary decision, and Nicaragua’s case will probably drag on for years.

Gallant: We’re at an opportune moment for hostage deal, face difficult decisions; fighting would resume afterward

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visits the IDF Northern Command HQ in Safed, March 29, 2024. (Shachar Yurman/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visits the IDF Northern Command HQ in Safed, March 29, 2024. (Shachar Yurman/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says he believes Israel is “at an opportune moment” to bring about the release of hostages in Gaza, but that this will require “difficult decisions.”

Speaking to new soldiers being drafted to the Armored and Combat Engineering Corps, Gallant says, “We have the utmost obligation to bring our captives back home.”

The months of war in Gaza and Israeli achievements, he says, “enable us to be flexible, to act freely and to make difficult decisions in order to bring back the abductees. I believe we are at an opportune moment, but there’s another side that must agree to it.”

He adds: “Afterwards will return to the fighting, and do everything we must.”

UN officials in Lebanon urge Israel border de-escalation

An armored personnel carrier belonging to UNIFIL drives past a poster of slain Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, as it patrols  in the Marjayoun area of southern Lebanon, on October 26, 2023. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)
An armored personnel carrier belonging to UNIFIL drives past a poster of slain Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, as it patrols in the Marjayoun area of southern Lebanon, on October 26, 2023. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

United Nations officials say six months of violence on the Israel-Lebanon border “must stop,” urging de-escalation “while there is still space for diplomacy.”

“It is six months since the exchanges of fire across the Blue Line began, and continue unabated, taking a heavy toll on both sides,” says a joint statement from UN special coordinator for Lebanon, Joanna Wronecka, and Aroldo Lazaro, head of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

“The violence and suffering has gone on too long. It must stop,” the officials say.

They urge all sides to “avail of all avenues to avoid further escalation while there is still space for diplomacy.”

“The gradual expansion in the scope and scale of the confrontations… significantly raises the risk of miscalculation and further deterioration of an already alarming situation,” the UN officials warn.

Amid war, fiscal deficit rose to 6.2% in March year on year

Israel’s fiscal deficit grew to 6.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), or NIS 15 billion ($4 billion), in March over the prior 12 months, as the government pours billions of shekels into funding the ongoing war with the Hamas terror group, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry today.

The deficit rose from 5.6% in February and 4.8% in January amid increased military and civilian spending.

Israel, which posted a budget deficit of 4.2% in 2023, has set a deficit target of 6.6% of national output for 2024.

In March, government expenditure amounted to NIS 56.5 billion, taking spending since the start of the year to NIS 147 billion, an increase of 38% compared with the same period in 2023. War costs since the outbreak of the fighting with Hamas have ballooned to NIS 52.5 billion.

State tax revenues last month rose for the first time since November, increasing 0.6% to NIS 36.6 billion year-on-year, according to Israel Tax Authority data. Direct taxes fell by about 1% in March versus the same month in 2023, while income from indirect taxes grew 3% during the same comparative period.

Net income from real estate taxation dropped 23% to NIS 1.2 billion in March versus the same month in 2023. Income from purchase taxes fell 27% in March year-on-year and income from capital gains taxes declined 18% year-on-year.

Kamikaze drone from Lebanon hits area near Rosh Hanikra, no casualties

An apparent explosive-laden drone launched from Lebanon struck an area near Rosh Hanikra a short while ago, according to the IDF.

The strike caused a small fire, and there are no reports of injuries.

Drone infiltration sirens had sounded in several communities in the Western Galilee amid the incident.

EU’s Red Sea mission has repelled 11 attacks on ships, Borrell says

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell speaks during a press conference in Brussels, on April 8, 2024. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell speaks during a press conference in Brussels, on April 8, 2024. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

The European Union’s naval mission in the Red Sea has repelled attacks on 11 civilian ships since it was launched in late February, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says.

The Iran-backed Houthis, who control much of war-torn Yemen, have been targeting the vital shipping lane since November in a campaign they say is in solidarity with Palestinians during the Gaza war.

“In less than two months since the operation was launched, the operation has escorted 68 vessels and has repelled 11 attacks,” Borrell tells journalists.

Greek commander Vasileios Gryparis says that included shooting down nine aerial drones, one seaborne drone and four anti-ship ballistic missiles.

The EU mission — which currently consists of four frigates — has an exclusively defensive mandate and is not allowed to attack the Houthis on Yemeni soil. The United States is spearheading its own naval coalition in the area and has, along with Britain, conducted strikes on the Houthis in Yemen.

Top US banker: Inflation, political polarization, wars create risks not seen since WWII

File: Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase, speaks during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill, Dec. 6, 2023 in Washington (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
File: Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase, speaks during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill, Dec. 6, 2023 in Washington (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The US’s most influential banker, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, tells investors that he continues to expect the US economy to be resilient and grow this year. But he worries geopolitical events including the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war, as well as US political polarization, might be creating an environment that “may very well be creating risks that could eclipse anything since World War II.”

The comments come in an annual shareholder letter from Dimon, who often uses the letter to weigh in broad topics like politics, regulation and global events and what it might mean to JPMorgan Chase, as well as the broader economy.

“America’s global leadership role is being challenged outside by other nations and inside by our polarized electorate,” Dimon said. “We need to find ways to put aside our differences and work in partnership with other Western nations in the name of democracy. During this time of great crises, uniting to protect our essential freedoms, including free enterprise, is paramount.”

Dimon has particular concerns with continued large amounts of deficit spending by the US government and other countries, as well as the need for countries such as the US to remilitarize and continue to build out green infrastructure, all of which will likely keep inflation higher than investors expect.

Because of these issues, Dimon says he is less optimistic that the US economy will achieve a “soft landing,” which he defines as modest growth along with declining inflation and interest rates, compared to the broader market. While he says the investors are pricing in a “70% to 80%” chance of a soft landing, Dimon thinks the chances of such an ideal outcome are “a lot less” than that. “These significant and somewhat unprecedented forces cause us to remain cautious,” he says.

Lebanese Parliament speaker: We won’t allow conflict with Israel to escalate

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri opens the 4th session to elect a new president in Beirut on October 24, 2022. (JOSEPH EID / AFP)
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri opens the 4th session to elect a new president in Beirut on October 24, 2022. (JOSEPH EID / AFP)

Nabih Berri, the speaker of Lebanon’s parliament and a Hezbollah ally, claims Lebanon will “continue to exercise self-restraint” when it comes to the border skirmishes with Israel, and will not allow them to escalate into an all-out war.

In an interview with the Saudi-owned London-based Asharq Al-Awsat, Berri accuses Israel of deliberately attempting to drag Lebanon into a war, and lambasts Jerusalem for the “systematic destruction of dozens of towns in the south [of Lebanon],” turning them into “uninhabitable areas.”

Israel has been responding since October 7 to attacks by the Hezbollah terror group that have driven tens of thousands of civilians from the border area.

Berri has been coordinating with US envoy Amos Hochstein to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict by implementing UN Resolution 1701, according to sources close to Berri’s Amal movement and Hezbollah quoted by Asharq Al-Awsat. The resolution, which ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006, called for a permanent ceasefire between Hezbollah, and Israel, and established a demilitarized zone between Israel’s northern border and the Litani River in Lebanon. Israel says Hezbollah has never abided by the resolution.

Berri has received Hezbollah’s “unconditional” support in his negotiations with Hochstein, the paper reports.

Another prominent Lebanese politician, Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil, a Maronite Christian and former Hezbollah ally until 2022, took a swipe at the Shiite terror movement yesterday, saying that “those who think they can defeat Israel and at the same time control other citizens are delusional,” according to a report in the Lebanese news site Naharnet.

“We are not obliged to remain entangled in a war in Gaza that we don’t know when it will end nor its impact and consequences for Lebanon,” Bassil said.

Air Force announces formation of new ‘Battering Ram’ drone squadron

Israeli Air Force members attend a ceremony for the formation of the 147th Squadron for drones at Palmachim Airbase in central Israel, April 7, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli Air Force members attend a ceremony for the formation of the 147th Squadron for drones at Palmachim Airbase in central Israel, April 7, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli Air Force announces the formation of a new drone squadron that will operate the Elbit Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle.

The 147th Squadron, known as “The Battering Ram,” was inaugurated at Palmachim Airbase yesterday.

The military says the squadron was established as part of plans in the IAF to double its Hermes 900 operations amid the war, and other changes to the UAV array.

Palmachim houses the only other Hermes 900 squadron, the 166th.

The Hermes 900 drone is used by the IDF for attack and surveillance missions in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Lebanon, and other areas.

Speaking at the ceremony yesterday, IAF chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar said the new squadron was a “tremendous addition.”

“In this justified war, the entire UAV array demonstrates operational competence and extremely high operational effectiveness. Thousands of Hamas operatives killed, a variety of [surveillance] and intelligence missions, availability and flexibility 24/7, over a period of six months,” Bar says.

Israel, Greece sign 5-year deal for medical cooperation

Israel's Health Minister Uriel Busso (R) and his Greek counterpart Adonis Georgiadis sign a medical cooperation deal in Jerusalem, April 8, 2024 (Miri Shimonovitz/GPO)
Israel's Health Minister Uriel Busso (R) and his Greek counterpart Adonis Georgiadis sign a medical cooperation deal in Jerusalem, April 8, 2024 (Miri Shimonovitz/GPO)

The health ministers of Israel and Greece sign an agreement of cooperation in Jerusalem that outlines healthcare areas that will be jointly advanced for the benefit of the citizens of both countries.

The bilateral accord will be in effect for five years, with an option for an automatic five-year extension.

Among the fields to be advanced are emergency preparedness; mental health; future planning for hospitals and healthcare delivery; stem cell and genetic research; new technologies for nursing; health insurance; infectious and non-infectious diseases; organ transplantation; medical cannabis; nutrition security; and environmental health.

The agreement, signed by Israel’s Health Minister Uriel Buso and his Greek counterpart Adonis Georgiadis, also calls for medical experts from the two countries to visit and consult with one another and to hold joint conferences.

The signing ceremony at Busso’s office today marks the first time Georgiadis visited Israel since October 7.

“My nation, and I personally, stand with Israel and the efforts to free the hostages who have been held by Hamas since October 7. Unfortunately, not everyone understands what Israel is dealing with and how it is acting to protect the lives of the innocent,” he says.

PM picks officer seriously hurt fighting Hamas on Oct. 7 as his next military secretary

Brig. Gen. Roman Gofman in an undated photo (Israel Defense Forces)
Brig. Gen. Roman Gofman in an undated photo (Israel Defense Forces)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has selected Brig. Gen. Roman Gofman to be his next military secretary.

The military says the nomination was made following consultations with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi.

Gofman, who most recently served as the commander of the Tzeelim training base, will be promoted to the rank of major general upon entering the role, at a date yet to be determined.

He will replace Maj. Gen. Avi Gil, who has served in the position for nearly three years.

Gofman was seriously wounded during clashes with Hamas terrorists near Sderot during the October 7 onslaught. He later recovered.

Second Hamas official plays down Cairo talks, says ‘nothing new’ there

After similar reports in Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen, a Hamas official tells Reuters no progress was made at a new round of Gaza ceasefire talks in Cairo, shortly after Egyptian sources said headway had been made on the agenda.

“There is no change in the position of the occupation and therefore, there is nothing new in the Cairo talks,” the Hamas official, who asked not to be named, tells Reuters. “There is no progress yet.”

In Jerusalem over the weekend, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz described the Cairo talks as the closest the sides have come to a deal since a November truce under which Hamas freed dozens of hostages.

“We have reached a critical point in the negotiations. If it works out, then a large number of hostages will come home,” he told Israel’s Army Radio.

Ben Gvir: If war ends without Rafah assault, Netanyahu can’t remain PM

National Security Itamar Ben Gvir leads a faction meeting of his Otzma Yehudit party at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, on February 19, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
National Security Itamar Ben Gvir leads a faction meeting of his Otzma Yehudit party at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, on February 19, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir issues a threat against Prime Minister Netanyahu not to halt the war in Gaza.

“If the prime minister decides to end the war without a large-scale offensive in Rafah to defeat Hamas, he will not have a mandate to continue serving as prime minister,” Ben Gvir writes on X.

Smotrich says PM must convene security cabinet to discuss state of war

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich issues a statement calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately convene the security cabinet to discuss the state of the war in Gaza, after the army pulled forces out of the southern Strip.

“The only forum authorized to make significant decisions in war is the full [security] cabinet, but unfortunately this is not how things are happening, and we are seeing decisions being made in the smaller [war] cabinet without approval, without updating the full cabinet, under international pressure that is harming the war’s momentum and our security interests,” he says.

Rocket fired at Israel from Gaza’s Khan Younis, hits open area

A rocket was fired from the Khan Younis area in southern Gaza at the southern community of Re’im a short while ago.

According to the IDF, the rocket struck an open area, causing no damage or injuries.

UN court opens hearings in case accusing Germany of facilitating Gaza ‘genocide’

The United Nations flag flutters in the wind next to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands, on August 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)
The United Nations flag flutters in the wind next to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands, on August 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)

Preliminary hearings open today at the United Nations’ top court in a case that seeks an end to German military and other aid to Israel, based on claims that Berlin is enabling acts of genocide and breaches of international humanitarian law in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Nicaragua argues that by giving Israel political, financial and military support and by defunding the United Nations aid agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, “Germany is facilitating the commission of genocide and, in any case has failed in its obligation to do everything possible to prevent the commission of genocide.”

While the case brought by Nicaragua centers on Germany, it indirectly takes aim at Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. Israel strongly denies that its assault amounts to genocidal acts, saying it is acting in self defense. Israeli legal adviser Tal Becker told judges at the court earlier this year that the country is fighting a “war it did not start and did not want.”

Germany rejects the case brought by Nicaragua.

“Germany has breached neither the Genocide Convention nor international humanitarian law, and we will set this out in detail before the International Court of Justice,” German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sebastian Fischer told reporters in Berlin on Friday.

Australia says former defense chief to probe deaths of Gaza aid workers

File: Then-chief of the Australian Defense Force air chief marshal Mark Binskin at the Royal Military College, Duntroon Canberra, Australia, Monday, April 6, 2015 (AP Photo/Peter Parks, Pool)
File: Then-chief of the Australian Defense Force air chief marshal Mark Binskin at the Royal Military College, Duntroon Canberra, Australia, Monday, April 6, 2015 (AP Photo/Peter Parks, Pool)

Australia has appointed retired national defense chief Mark Binskin to look into how the Israel Defense Forces came to kill seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, including Australian Zomi Frankcom, in Gaza last week.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he expects Israel will fully cooperate with Binskin as Australia’s special adviser on Israel’s response to the missile strikes on three aid vehicles.

“We would expect that someone of Mr. Binskin’s stature, frankly, will be given every cooperation from the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli government,” Albanese tells Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“We don’t find the explanations to be satisfactory to this point,” Albanese adds.

The seven aid workers’ deaths have “shaken the world,” Albanese says, adding it is “unacceptable” that almost 200 aid workers have died since the conflict began in October last year.

Binskin, who served as Australian Defense Force chief from 2014 to 2018, will advise the government on the “sufficiency and appropriateness of steps taken by the Israeli government” in response to the fatal attack, which the Israeli military has described as a tragic error, a government statement says.

Palestinian woman tries to stab soldiers at Jordan Valley checkpoint

The IDF says a Palestinian woman attempted to stab soldiers at a checkpoint in the Jordan Valley a short while ago.

The woman arrived at the Tayasir Checkpoint, near the West Bank town of the same name, and “after she refused to identify herself, she tried to stab the IDF soldiers who were at the post,” the military says.

No troops were wounded in the incident.

The suspect’s condition is not immediately known.

Iran’s FM heads to Damascus a week after strike killed 7 Revolutionary Guard commanders there

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bouhabib, in Beirut, Lebanon, October 13, 2023. (Hussein Malla/AP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bouhabib, in Beirut, Lebanon, October 13, 2023. (Hussein Malla/AP)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian is on his way to visit Syria’s capital Damascus, state media reports, a week after a strike blamed on Israel killed seven of its Revolutionary Guards commanders in a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy.

Iran has vowed to avenge the deaths, with a senior adviser to the supreme leader saying on Sunday that Israeli embassies were no longer safe.

Amirabdollahian started a regional tour yesterday in Muscat, where he met Omani officials and a representative of Yemen’s Houthis Mohamed Abdelsalam, who said the Iranian-backed militant group would continue to target Israel-bound ships until a ceasefire is reached in Gaza.

“The attack on Iran’s embassy building in Damascus is a new step in Israel’s warmongering and its attempt to expand war regionally,” Amirabdollahian said while in Oman.

Reports: Smotrich to hold ‘urgent’ party consultation on Gaza war

Finance Bezalel Smotrich holds a press conference at the Knesset, Jerusalem, March 13, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Finance Bezalel Smotrich holds a press conference at the Knesset, Jerusalem, March 13, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism party, has summoned members of his faction for an “urgent” consultation, Hebrew media reports.

The meeting is said to focus on the state of the war, as troops pull out of Khan Younis and negotiations for a ceasefire continue.

Smotrich has been a strong opponent of lifting the military pressure on Gaza.

IDF confirms eliminating senior commander in Hezbollah’s elite Radwan force

The IDF says it eliminated a senior field commander in Hezbollah’s elite Radwan force in an airstrike in southern Lebanon overnight.

Ali Ahmed Hassin, according to the IDF, held a rank equivalent to a brigade commander, and was charged with attacks on northern Israel’s Ramim Ridge, an area that has come under repeated rocket, missile, and drone attacks amid the war.

“As part of his role, he was responsible for the planning and execution of terror attacks in the Ramim Ridge area against the Israeli home front,” the IDF says.

Hassin was struck in the southern Lebanon town of as-Sultaniyah. According to the IDF, another two Hezbollah operatives under his command were killed in the strike.


IDF says it hit Gaza rocket launchers near humanitarian shelters, after moving civilians

A photo provided by the IDF shows a rocket launcher placed by a humanitarian shelter, after the launcher was struck by the army, April 8, 2024 (IDF)
A photo provided by the IDF shows a rocket launcher placed by a humanitarian shelter, after the launcher was struck by the army, April 8, 2024 (IDF)

The IDF says it struck three Hamas rocket launchers that were placed adjacent to humanitarian shelters in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis, and were used in attacks on southern Israel.

Before carrying out the strikes, the IDF says it ensured that civilians were evacuated from the area.

“This is another example of Hamas’s exploitation of humanitarian compounds and areas for its terrorist activities and its use of the civilian population as a human shield,” the IDF says.

The IDF says it also hit a separate rocket launcher in Khan Younis yesterday, after it was used to launch three rockets at southern Israel. Additional infrastructure was also targeted in the area, the IDF adds.

Southern mayor detained on suspicion of corruption

A mayor in southern Israel is being investigated for corruption, police say.

Following a clandestine investigation, authorities have detained the official and several other suspects and conducted searches related to the probe.

The identity of the suspect has not been released, nor have further details been revealed on the alleged offenses.

Israeli official downplays ceasefire prospects: ‘We don’t see a deal on the horizon’

Senior Israeli officials cited by Channel 12 and Ynet pour more cold water on the prospect of an imminent hostage release deal.

“We still don’t see a deal on the horizon,” an official tells Ynet. “The distance [between the sides] is still great and there has been nothing dramatic so far.”

Gaza official denies progress in ceasefire negotiations

Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen cites an unidentified senior Palestinian official in Gaza as denying there is substantial progress in ceasefire negotiations.

The official complains of “obstinance” by Israel and insists that “so far there is no progress.”

Palestinians report bomb attack on IDF bulldozer near Nablus

Video being shared online shows a large plume of smoke rising above the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, amid reported raids by Israeli soldiers in the area.

According to unverified reports, the smoke is from an explosion detonated against an Israeli bulldozer that had been operating in the West Bank camp.


Other footage purports to show an Israeli military vehicle on fire following the attack.

There is no comment from the Israel Defense Forces.

Two reported arrested in Toronto as pro-Palestinian group heckles rally for hostages

Two people have been arrested in Toronto as tensions flared between a crowd holding a rally calling for the release of hostages held in Gaza and a small group of pro-Palestinian activists who apparently oppose the release of hostages.

The arrests are reported by the Toronto Star, though the nature of the arrests or possible charges remain unclear.

In a video shared online, a man wearing a Palestinian flag a short distance away from the pro-Israel rally, yells into a speaker threatening that “your happy days are over,” and calls participants “prophet killers” who killed Jesus, to cheers from those next to him.


Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre attends the rally, calling for a two-state solution, but only after Hamas is completely destroyed.

Elite Hezbollah commander killed in southern Lebanon strike — sources

A field commander in Lebanon’s Hezbollah elite Al Radwan unit was killed along with two others in an Israeli strike on Al Sultanya village in Southern Lebanon, two security sources tell Reuters.

Hezbollah said late Sunday that a member of the group from Kafr Kila, a town on the border with Israel, had been killed “while carrying out his jihadist duty.”

The announcement came after the Israel Defense Forces said it had struck Hezbollah positions in Kafr Kila, as well as a rocket launcher in Yaroun, publishing a video of the strike.


Hezbollah has named 272 members who have been killed by Israel during skirmishes which began on October 8, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 53 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 60 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.

Progress reported in hostage talks

Progress has been made in discussions in Cairo on a truce in the Gaza conflict and there is agreement on the basic points between all parties involved, Egypt’s Al-Qahera News state-affiliated TV channel says, citing a senior Egyptian source.

There is no immediate comment from Hamas and none of the parties to the Cairo talks confirm the Al-Qahera news report.

According to Al-Qahera, Hamas and Qatar’s delegations left Cairo and will return within two days to agree on the terms of the final agreement, while the Israeli and the US delegations will leave the Egyptian capital within a few hours.

It adds that consultations were to continue over the next 48 hours.

Man arrested after door of Bernie Sanders’s office set on fire

A man has been arrested for allegedly starting a fire outside the office of Senator Bernie Sanders in Burlington, Vermont, the US attorney’s office for the state says.

Shant Soghomonian, 35, entered the building in downtown Burlington on Friday and headed to Sanders’ office on the third floor. He was recorded by security cameras spraying a liquid near the door and setting it alight, the US attorney’s office says.

Sprinklers went off on multiple floors as Soghomonian departed via a staircase. There were several people inside the office but no one was injured, although the door and surrounding areas were damaged by the fire, the US attorney’s office says.

No motive is given.

Sanders is a long-serving independent in the US Senate representing the northeastern state of Vermont, although in 2016 and 2020 he unsuccessfully sought to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

Iran-backed group in Iraq claims fresh drone attacks on Israel

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq says it carried out two attacks against Israeli military positions on Sunday morning.

The Shiite umbrella group of Iran-backed militias says it fired drones at a base in the Golan Heights and another base inside Israel.

There were no reports of drone strikes Sunday morning, though rocket sirens did sound in the Golan Heights at 11 a.m., where one of the bases was located.

The claimed attacks come a week after the group took responsibility for a drone strike on an Eilat naval base. Israel said that drone was “made in Iran” and the attack was “directed by Iran.”

Israel has been bracing for Iranian retaliation after it allegedly struck a consular building in Damascus last week, killing senior members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Hamas: Team arrived in Cairo, met with Egyptian official, reiterated demands

The Hamas delegation has arrived in Cairo for the latest rounds of talks to secure a truce and hostage release deal in Gaza, according to a statement released by the terror group.

The statement says that the Hamas team met with Egypt’s General Intelligence Directorate Abbas Kamel, and “affirmed its adherence” to its previous demands that any hostage release be conditioned on a full ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, along with the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes and an increase in humanitarian aid.

Israel has repeatedly called these demands “delusional,” and insists it will continue the war after a temporary ceasefire until it has achieved its goals of destroying Hamas’s military and governance capabilities and returning over 100 hostages held in Gaza since October 7.

“Hamas also stressed its insistence with all Palestinian forces and factions on achieving our national goals and establishing our fully sovereign Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital, and the right of return and self-determination,” the Iran-backed group adds.

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