More stories

  • in

    Carnage at Gaza School Compound Adds to Mounting Death Toll at U.N. Buildings

    At least 27 people were killed when an Israeli airstrike exploded as people played soccer at a school turned shelter in southern Gaza.The soccer ball went out of bounds and the goalkeeper was lofting it toward his teammates as dozens of people looked on from the sidelines of the courtyard. It was a moment of respite in the Gaza Strip — but it did not last. Before the ball reached the ground, a large boom shook the yard, sending players and spectators fleeing in frenzied panic.The Gazan authorities say that at least 27 people were killed on Tuesday in that explosion, which was caused by an Israeli airstrike near the entrance to a school turned shelter on the outskirts of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza.Displaced Palestinians had sought shelter at the school in Khan Younis that was hit by the airstrike. The Israeli military said the target was a Hamas member who participated in the Oct. 7 attack.ReutersIyad Qadeh, who was sitting outside his home near the school property, said the day had been calm, without drones buzzing overhead. Then a warplane appeared and fired a missile toward a group of young men sitting at an internet cafe, he said.“After that, it was screams and body parts everywhere,” Mr. Qadeh said.Philippe Lazzarini, head of the U.N. agency that helps Palestinians, UNRWA, said on Wednesday that it was the fourth strike in four days to hit or damage a school building in Gaza. Two-thirds of U.N. school buildings in the enclave have been hit since the start of the war, with more than 500 people killed, UNRWA said.Grieving the dead at a hospital in Khan Younis on Wednesday after an Israeli airstrike.Haitham Imad/EPA, via ShutterstockWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Israeli Leaders to Discuss Hamas Response on Cease-Fire Proposal

    Mediators have renewed discussions about a cease-fire proposal, but wide gaps remain between Israel’s government and Hamas.Israeli ministers were set to meet on Thursday evening to discuss Hamas’s response to a new proposal for a truce in Gaza and the release of hostages, even as an unusually large rocket and drone attack by Hezbollah, the Lebanese armed group, sparked wildfires on the country’s northern border.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel greenlit a new delegation of negotiators to engage in more in-depth talks with mediators following Hamas’s response, said an Israeli official who circulated a written statement to reporters on condition of anonymity. Such meetings have been rare for the past several weeks as negotiations ground to a halt in June. Regional mediators — mostly Qatar and Egypt — have sought to revive dormant talks about a cease-fire in Gaza after nearly nine months of war. The Biden administration hopes that a truce in Gaza will allow Israel and Hezbollah, which has been firing at Israel in solidarity with Hamas, to reach a diplomatic settlement as well.The discussions are based on a three-stage framework deal publicized by President Biden in late May and endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. Last week, Qatari mediators sent Hamas possible amendments in an effort to bridge gaps between the two sides. Hamas had demanded stronger guarantees to limit Israel’s ability to call off the agreement and return to battle before the second stage of the agreement, which would see a permanent cease-fire. On Wednesday, Hamas announced that it had “exchanged some ideas” with the mediators on the cease-fire deal, saying it was “dealing positively” with ongoing talks on the matter. They also submitted a formal response that was ultimately transferred to Israel for examination, the Israeli government said. A second Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said on Wednesday night that wide gaps between the sides remained but that Hamas’s response left potential to move forward in the talks. The official declined to offer further details.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    New Haitian Leader Visits Washington Seeking Additional Support

    Haiti’s newly selected prime minister, Garry Conille, met with Democrats on Capitol Hill as well as Biden administration officials, seeking more help to combat the unrest in his country.Top Democrats in Congress met on Tuesday with Haiti’s newly installed prime minister, Garry Conille, and pledged to push for additional American assistance days after a U.S.-backed international police mission arrived on the Caribbean island to restore stability to a country that for months has been under siege by criminal gangs.The Biden administration is planning to release $100 million for the mission, of which the United States is the largest financial backer, doing so over Republican opposition. But Mr. Conille told the Democrats on Tuesday that more money would be needed, and soon.“This is a critical point,” Mr. Conille said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon following meetings with lawmakers and officials at international financial institutions, where he shared appreciation for the support that has already been committed and stressed the dire need for continued investment.“I need to have the funding necessary to quickly implement basic infrastructure, repair basic infrastructure, and make sure that the services are available to people,” he said.“The issues in Haiti are such huge issues and we are making sure that we know what his priorities are and how we can address security and also the economic needs and to make sure the funding is really present,” Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Democrat of Florida and the only Haitian American member of Congress, said in an interview. “We’ve been wrestling here in Congress since October to make sure the funding is available, because we have a short window for success.”Eight months after the United Nations authorized the use of international forces to be deployed to Haiti, the first wave of forces in the Multinational Security Support Mission, led by Kenya, arrived on June 25 to try to stamp out the violence and regain control of the country.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Ukraine Says It Foiled Russian Plot Echoing String of Coup Bids

    While the viability of the plan was not immediately clear, officials said it was a reminder that the Kremlin remained determined to bring down President Volodymyr Zelensky.Ukraine’s security service said on Monday that it had foiled yet another Russian plot to stir public unrest and then use the ensuing turmoil to topple the government, outlining a familiar tactic that Kyiv claims has been employed in string of coup attempts in recent years.The Ukrainian domestic intelligence agency, the S.B.U., said that it had discovered a “group” of conspirators it accused of planning to spark a riot, seize the Parliament building and replace the nation’s military and civilian leadership. Four people have been arrested and charged, according to the authorities.While offering little detail on how such an ambitious plan could have succeeded, officials said it was a reminder that more than two years after launching a full-scale invasion of the country, the Kremlin remained determined to bring down President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government by any means.On the battlefield, Russia continues to send tens of thousands of new soldiers to the front to replace those killed in the hopes of exhausting Ukraine’s military and Kyiv’s Western backers. At the same time, Russia’s relentless bombardment of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure is designed, in part, to throttle the economy and undermine the state’s ability to function.The Kremlin has also long been directing more covert campaigns aimed at destabilizing the government in Kyiv, according to Ukrainian and Western officials, in some cases attempting to stir discontent with disinformation.The plot outlined by Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency and prosecutors on Monday fit squarely in that pattern.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Russian Casualties in Ukraine Mount, in a Brutal Style of Fighting

    More than 1,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine were killed or wounded on average each day in May, according to NATO and Western military officials.May was a particularly deadly month for the Russian army in Ukraine, with an average of more than 1,000 of its soldiers injured or killed each day, according to U.S., British and other Western intelligence agencies.But despite its losses, Russia is recruiting 25,000 to 30,000 new soldiers a month — roughly as many as are exiting the battlefield, U.S. officials said. That has allowed its army to keep sending wave after wave of troops at Ukrainian defenses, hoping to overwhelm them and break through the trench lines.It is a style of warfare that Russian soldiers have likened to being put into a meat grinder, with commanding officers seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are sending infantry soldiers to die.At times, this approach has proved effective, bringing the Russian army victories in Avdiivka and Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. But Ukrainian and Western officials say the tactics were less successful this spring, as Russia tried to take land near the city of Kharkiv.American officials said that Russia achieved a critical objective of President Vladimir V. Putin, creating a buffer zone along the border to make it more difficult for the Ukrainians to strike into the country.But the drive did not threaten Kharkiv and was ultimately stopped by Ukrainian defenses, according to Western officials.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    NATO, at Washington Summit, Will Offer Ukraine a ‘Bridge’ to Membership

    Officials say Kyiv won’t get membership negotiations at the coming NATO summit, but the alliance will announce a structure to coordinate aid over the longer term.NATO will offer Ukraine a new headquarters to manage its military assistance at its upcoming 75th anniversary summit in Washington, officials said, an assurance of the alliance’s long-term commitment to the country’s security that has been heralded as a “bridge” to Kyiv’s eventual membership.President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine — along with some Central European nations — had fervently hoped his country would be offered membership negotiations by NATO at the summit, which runs from July 9 to 11.Instead, the alliance will announce that it has agreed to set up a mission in Germany to coordinate aid of all kinds to Ukraine over the longer term, American and NATO officials said. The move is intended to send a strong signal of allied commitment, both to Kyiv and to Moscow, which hopes the West will grow tired of supporting the war.Because the mission will be under NATO’s auspices, it is designed to function even if Donald J. Trump, a sharp critic of the alliance and of aid to Ukraine, wins the U.S. presidency in November.The Biden administration and NATO officials came up with the idea as a way to give something solid to Kyiv at the summit even as they maintain the time is not right for Ukraine to join. It is not just that the country is still at war, which could make NATO an active participant in the fighting. President Biden and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany have said that Ukraine must make important reforms to reduce corruption and improve its democracy and rule of law.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Zelensky Removes Gen. Yurii Sodol Amid Criticism of Excessive Casualties

    The announcement by Ukraine’s president on Monday came hours after a scathing social media post implicitly accused the general of “killing more Ukrainian soldiers than any Russian general.”President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine removed one of his top generals from his post on Monday amid public criticism that the commander’s decisions had led to excessive casualties.The dismissal of the general, Yurii Sodol, as commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces, was a clear indication that the discord that had rankled the army since Mr. Zelensky replaced his commanding general, Valery Zaluzhny, with Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky in February, continued to threaten military cohesion.Mr. Zelensky announced that he was replacing General Sodol with Brig. Gen. Andrii Hnatov.General Sodol was appointed by General Syrsky as part of a broader shake-up in February, and Mr. Zelensky did not say why he had dismissed the commander or what position he would now hold.But the president’s announcement came after Bohdan Krotevych, chief of staff of the Azov brigade — a regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard — wrote a letter to the State Bureau of Investigation calling for an investigation into the general’s conduct.Then, just hours before the general’s dismissal. Mr. Krotevych posted an unusually blunt and scathing open letter on social media, implicitly accusing the general of, through his poor leadership, “killing more Ukrainian soldiers than any Russian general.”While Mr. Krotevych did not name General Sodol directly in the public letter, he suggested that all of Ukraine’s forces knew to whom he was referring. “Everyone in the military understands because 99 percent of the military hate him for what he does,” he wrote.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Record Number of NATO Allies Hit Military Spending Targets

    President Biden and the NATO secretary general sought to present a robust and united front against Russia as the alliance prepares for its annual meeting next month.President Biden and the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, announced on Monday that a record number of allies were meeting their military spending commitments as the two leaders sought to present a robust and unwavering response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.Mr. Biden and Mr. Stoltenberg met ahead of the annual NATO summit next month in Washington, where member countries are expected to discuss additional measures to help secure long-term security, funding and eventual membership for Ukraine. Mr. Stoltenberg announced on Monday that NATO was prepared to take on a larger role in Ukraine’s security in the meantime.“I expect that when we meet next month, we will agree to have a NATO role in providing security assistance and training,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. “This will reduce the burden on the United States and strengthen our support to Ukraine.”That is possible in part because the number of allies meeting their informal commitments to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their militaries has soared. When NATO allies made the pledge in 2014, only three members — including the United States — met that mark, Mr. Stoltenberg said. About five years ago, roughly 10 did, he said, and this year more than 20 of the alliance’s 32 members will.Mr. Stoltenberg also said allies have increased military spending this year by 18 percent — the biggest jump in decades.The reassurances from the two leaders come as questions have arisen anew about the alliance and the commitment to Ukraine. Russia has recently made advances on the front lines after a temporary delay in military aid to Ukraine caused by congressional gridlock. And Mr. Biden’s main rival in the November election, former President Donald J. Trump, has expressed skepticism toward assistance for Ukraine and the value of NATO itself.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More