The New York Times 2024-03-29 01:22:23

Middle East Crisis: Top U.N. Court Orders Israel to Ensure Aid to Gaza

The court ordered Israel to allow ‘unhindered’ aid crossings into Gaza.

In its strongest language yet, the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Thursday ordered Israel to stop obstructing humanitarian aid to Gaza as starvation there spreads, calling for Israel to increase the number of land crossings for supplies and provide its “full cooperation” with the United Nations.

The ruling is part of a case filed by South Africa at the I.C.J., the United Nations’ highest court, that accused Israel of committing genocide, an allegation that Israel has categorically denied. In an interim ruling on Jan. 26, the court ordered Israel to ensure that more aid would be allowed into Gaza. Since then, the “catastrophic living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated further,” necessitating further measures, the court said on Thursday.

Israel, the court ruled, must ensure that its military doesn’t violate Palestinians’ rights under the Genocide Convention, “including by preventing, through any action, the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance.”

South Africa requested this month that the court issue further emergency orders to lift Israeli restrictions on aid amid warnings from experts that Gazans have been facing a looming famine. The South African government welcomed the new orders on Thursday as a “significant” step by the I.C.J., saying the ruling indicated that the court agreed that Israel’s failure to comply with the previous order had worsened conditions in Gaza.

Israel had urged the court not to issue new orders in response to South Africa’s request. It has denied responsibility for the spiraling humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but maintains tight restrictions on aid.

The Israeli government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

In its new ruling, the I.C.J. unanimously ordered Israel to “take all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full cooperation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services,” including food, water, fuel, shelter, as well as medical and sanitation supplies. Israel must also increase the capacity and number of land crossing points and keep them “open for as long as necessary,” the court said.

The ruling touches on some issues that leading aid organizations have called Israeli impediments contributing to the risk of famine in Gaza. Those groups have cited inspection backlogs at the few open border crossings, problems in the Israeli military’s system for coordinating with aid workers, and outright denials of missions to bring in food, fuel and sanitation supplies. Palestinians, U.N. officials and aid workers have voiced concerns about diseases spreading, hospitals collapsing and children beginning to starve to death.

The court said on Thursday that Palestinians in Gaza were “no longer facing only a risk of famine,” as it noted in its interim ruling, “but that famine is setting in.” Among the evidence the court cited was a report from the global authority on food security that found a full-scale famine was imminent in northern Gaza, and a U.N. report that found acute malnutrition among children under 2 years old in that region had doubled over the course of the past month.

The court also noted that at least 31 people across the enclave, including 27 children, have already died from malnutrition and dehydration, according to reports from the U.N. and local health officials.

The judges have not yet taken up the core question of whether a genocide has been taking place in Gaza, a complex charge that would likely take months or years to decide.

Despite the court’s authority and the weight of the allegations before it, the court does not have any means of forcing Israel to comply with its orders. But it is the highest arbiter of international law, and its decisions carry moral and symbolic weight. “If there is noncompliance, the global community must ensure adherence when it comes to the sanctity of humanity,” the South African government said in its statement on Thursday.

Since finding the dangers of genocide “plausible” in January, the court has ordered a series of measures, which amount to temporary injunctions, aimed at protecting Palestinian civilians. Aharon Barak, the ad hoc judge Israel appointed to the court for the genocide case, argued in a separate opinion on Thursday that the court was, with some of the measures it ordered, “leaving the land of law and entering the land of politics.”

Several judges assessed the war in stark terms in separate opinions, including Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf from Somalia, one of the court’s more senior judges and a former president of the court.

“The alarm has now been sounded by the Court,” he wrote in his opinion. “All the indicators of genocidal activities are flashing red in Gaza.”

The court’s current president, Nawaf Salam, strongly hinted at the risk of genocide in his opinion. The court, he said, was “faced with a situation in which the conditions of existence of the Palestinians in Gaza are such as to bring about the partial or total destruction of that group.”

But judges also wrestled with what influence they could exert in the conflict. “The court cannot order a cease-fire, as the conflicting parties are not all before it,” Hilary Charlesworth, an Australian judge wrote, referring to Hamas and other armed groups.

But, she wrote, the court “can at least mitigate” the risk to Palestinians by directing the parties before it: South Africa and Israel.

Aid organizations voice worry for patients at embattled hospitals.

The Israeli military said on Thursday that it was carrying out raids in and around two hospitals in Gaza, as the United Nations and aid groups expressed alarm for patients and medical workers there and warned of the rapidly deteriorating state of Gaza’s health care system.

Fierce battles have been raging in and around Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in the strip, since an Israeli assault there began 10 days ago.

The renewed fighting around the hospital, which Israel first raided in November, underscores the problems Israel has had in maintaining control of parts of Gaza its forces have supposedly captured. So far, the Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has not agreed on a detailed plan for governing the enclave.

The Israeli military said in a statement that nearly 200 people whom it called “terrorists” had been killed in the area and that its troops had taken fire from militants inside and outside one of the hospital’s buildings. Gazan authorities said that over the course of the raid, more than 200 civilians had been killed and another 1,000 had been detained. Neither claim could be independently verified.

Israel maintains that Hamas, the armed group that led an attack into southern Israel on Oct. 7, is using hospitals in Gaza for military purposes, a claim that Hamas and hospital administrators have denied.

Witnesses have described days of fear as fighting has continued at the Al-Shifa complex, with several patients dying as a result of the assault.

“We are constantly hearing strikes and gunfire day and night and seeing smoke rising from buildings,” said Ezzeldine al-Dali, who lives less than a mile from Al-Shifa. He said that several homes in the area were set on fire by Israeli forces after their occupants evacuated. That claim could not be independently verified.

“The scale of destruction around us is indescribable,” said Mr. al-Dali, 22, in a voice message on Thursday. “The homes that have not been reduced to rubble have been burned,” he added.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the leader of the World Health Organization, said on Thursday that Gaza’s health system was “barely surviving.” He called for “an immediate end to attacks on hospitals” and for the protection of medical staff, patients and civilians.

Israel initially raided Al-Shifa Hospital in November, and struggled to prove its early claim that Hamas maintained a command and control center beneath the site. Evidence examined by The New York Times suggests Hamas has used the hospital for cover, stored weapons inside it and maintained a hardened tunnel beneath the complex.

The fact that the Israeli military’s operation at the hospital and in the neighborhood has lasted longer than its previous raid there in November suggests that Hamas and allied groups have returned and have built up a significant force there, perhaps in recent weeks, military analysts say.

That in turn suggests that Israel’s strategy in north Gaza involves repeated raids in places where Hamas or other groups have reasserted themselves after Israeli forces have tried to clear them, according to military analysts.

But the problems Israel has faced in securing the hospital and its vicinity also raise the question of how easily Israel’s military could eliminate the threat from Hamas without a long term-presence in Gaza or an alternative governing structure in the territory.

Israel has withdrawn most of its forces from the north and its current strategy involves raids, according to Yaakov Amidror, a retired major general who served as national security adviser to Mr. Netanyahu in an earlier government.

He described the operations as “mopping up” and “cleaning up the area” and said they would unfold over months based on information gathered not least through interrogations of detainees.

“In the north, whenever we go into places based on intelligence we fight both on and under the ground,” he said in an interview, referring to a network of tunnels built by Hamas.

At least six Palestinian militias have participated in recent attacks targeting Israeli forces in and around Al-Shifa, and there have been more than 70 such attacks since the raid began on March 18, according to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War, a research group based in Washington.

“This high rate of attack indicates that Palestinian militias retain a significant degree of combat effectiveness in the area, despite continued Israeli clearing efforts around Gaza City,” according to the analysis, which did not elaborate on the nature of each attack.

The Israeli military said that its forces were also continuing to operate around Al-Amal Hospital and the town of Al-Qarara, in the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza, and had killed dozens that it said were terrorists.

Al-Amal went out of service on Monday night after Israeli forces besieged it a day earlier and forced everyone inside to leave before closing off its entrances with earthen barriers, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, which runs the hospital.

“The loss of Al-Amal is another blow to an already collapsing health system,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday. It added that thousands of people in need of medical treatment were not able to receive it.

Cassandra Vinograd contributed reporting from Jerusalem, and Matthew Mpoke Bigg from London.

Maps: Tracking the Attacks in Israel and GazaSee where Israel has bulldozed vast areas of Gaza, as its invasion continues to advance south.

Netanyahu has ‘abandoned’ Israel’s captive soldiers, their relatives say.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday had his first meeting with frustrated relatives of Israeli soldiers held captive in Gaza who say the government has “abandoned” their loved ones.

Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups took more than 240 people captive in an attack on Israel on Oct. 7. About 100 hostages, most of them women and children, were released during a cease-fire in November, and at least 30 others are believed to have died in captivity, according to Israeli officials. That may leave around 100 alive, most of them men who are Israeli citizens. It is unclear how many were members of the military on active duty when they were captured.

Diplomatic efforts to secure another pause in the fighting and the release of more hostages have focused on first freeing women, children and older adults. Male soldiers have largely been treated as their own category.

Mr. Netanyahu had met previously with the families of other captives, and at a news conference on Thursday, before the meeting, family members said it was past time to discuss their relatives, too.

Omer Neutra, a dual American-Israeli citizen, is one of them. His mother, Orna, said that the families of soldiers had “humbly and resignedly” waited for more hostage exchanges. But nearly six months into the war, she said, there is still “no deal.”

“To anyone who thinks there is no place now to discuss the soldiers, we say, There is no other time,” Ms. Neutra said.

Anat Engerst, whose son Matan is held captive, said that soldiers’ families had “remained silent at the request of the country” and questioned why it had taken nearly six months and multiple requests to secure a meeting with Mr. Netanyahu.

“Why does the country agree to put their heroic brothers at the bottom? Are they less important than others?” Ms. Engerst said at the news conference. She said former hostages who have been freed had described how some soldiers were being held in “inhuman conditions.”

“Our sons were abandoned,” she added.

In a statement to the families at the start of the meeting in Jerusalem on Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu expressed his commitment to securing the release of “them all, and not just some of them.”

“I know that every passing day is hell for you,” he told the families, according to a statement from his office. “Your boys are our heroes.”

Mr. Netanyahu added that he was personally working “around the clock” to bring the captives home, saying, “I will not leave anyone behind.”

Johnatan Reiss contributed reporting.

A correction was made on 

March 28, 2024

An earlier version of this article misstated the title of Benjamin Netanyahu. He is the prime minister of Israel, not the president.

When we learn of a mistake, we acknowledge it with a correction. If you spot an error, please let us know at more

Ireland will intervene in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the top U.N. court.

Ireland plans to file an argument in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, according to the Irish government, making the move as the country has strongly condemned Israel’s actions against civilians in Gaza.

South Africa has brought a case against Israel in the I.C.J., the United Nations’ highest court, arguing that Israel is committing genocide, a claim Israel has denied. Ireland did not outline the argument it planned to advance, but the country’s lawmakers have made repeated calls to prioritize the protection of civilians in Gaza.

The United Nations allows countries to “intervene” in proceedings if they are parties to the United Nations’ 1948 Genocide Convention. Micheál Martin, the Republic of Ireland’s foreign minister and deputy leader, said that officials were working on a “declaration of intervention” in the case that, if approved by the Irish government, would be filed with the court, in The Hague.

“It is for the court to determine whether genocide is being committed,” Mr. Martin said on Wednesday. “But I want to be clear in reiterating what I have said many times in the last few months: What we saw on 7 October in Israel, and what we are seeing in Gaza now, represents the blatant violation of international humanitarian law on a mass scale.”

He urged Israel to call a cease-fire, and then listed a number of pressing issues, including “the purposeful withholding of humanitarian assistance to civilians,” “the targeting of civilians and of civilian infrastructure” and “the collective punishment of an entire population.”

“The list goes on,” he said. “It has to stop. The view of the international community is clear. Enough is enough.”

Irish lawmakers were among the first in Europe to call for the protection of people in Gaza last year, a reflection of Ireland’s longstanding support for Palestinian civilians, rooted in part in a shared history of British colonialism. Ireland’s own experience with a seemingly intractable and traumatic sectarian conflict — The Troubles, which came to a close with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement — has also driven that affinity.

The decision to file a declaration of intervention was made in consultation with several partners, including South Africa, Mr. Martin said. The Irish government does not plan to take a side in the dispute, the government told several Irish news outlets.

Germany in January became the first country to announce that it would intervene in the case, saying that there was “no basis whatsoever” to South Africa’s claim that Israel was committing genocide in the war. The United States has called the case meritless, and several European countries have rejected it, too.

Irish politicians have made repeated calls for Israel to prioritize the protection of civilians in Gaza over their military aims. Mr. Martin said that the intention is that its declaration would be filed once South Africa has filed its written arguments, a process that is likely to take months.

The allegation that Israel has carried out genocide in Gaza — one of the most serious crimes a country can be accused of — is particularly significant in Israel, which was founded after millions of Jewish people were murdered during the Holocaust.

The U.N. genocide convention, to which Israel is a signatory, defines the crime as one with a proven intent on the part of perpetrators to physically destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.

The South African government maintains that it is pursuing its case to stop a genocide, but analysts say it is also motivated by longstanding domestic support for the Palestinian cause. Israeli leaders have said that South Africa’s allegations pervert the meaning of genocide and the purpose of the 1948 genocide convention.

The Palestinian Authority has formed a new cabinet, but doubts remain about its independence.

The Palestinian Authority’s new prime minister presented his cabinet on Thursday, amid skepticism over its ability to meet international pressure for reform given the power wielded by the president of nearly two decades, Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr. Abbas, 88, is widely unpopular among Palestinians and has long ruled by decree. His appointment of Muhammad Mustafa as prime minister this month amounted to a rejection of international demands to make the authority more technocratic and less corrupt, in the hopes that it could help govern postwar Gaza. Mr. Mustafa is a longtime insider and has been a senior adviser to the president, posing little threat to his power.

On Thursday, Mr. Abbas approved the cabinet selections of Mr. Mustafa, according to Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency.

Analysts have said that Mr. Mustafa’s choices for ministers of the interior, finance and foreign affairs — all of whom are close to the authority’s president — would be a good indicator of whether his government would signal at least a modicum of change.

The current interior minister will stay in place but the finance ministry will get new leadership, Wafa reported. Mr. Mustafa, an economist who has worked for the World Bank and the Palestine Investment Fund, will serve as foreign minister in addition to prime minister, the agency reported.

“All of the indications are that this government is completely under Abu Mazen’s thumb,” said Ghaith al-Omari, a former adviser to Mr. Abbas, using Mr. Abbas’s nickname. “There’s nothing to show that there will be a change of policy.”

Mr. Mustafa’s government will face significant challenges, not least because it is widely expected to operate in Mr. Abbas’s shadow.

As president, Mr. Abbas remains firmly in charge of the government. There is no functional parliament, and Mr. Abbas exerts wide influence over the judiciary and prosecution system. There has been no presidential election in the Palestinian territories since 2005 and no legislative election since 2006.

The Palestinian Authority has limited governing powers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and is dominated by Mr. Abbas’s faction, Fatah. The group lost control of Gaza when Hamas routed its forces there in a brief civil war in 2007.

Analysts say that the Palestinian Authority’s ability to play an effective role in governing Gaza hinges, in part, on getting the backing of Hamas, whose popularity and influence in the West Bank have grown since the war began.

In a joint statement following Mr. Mustafa’s appointment this month, Hamas and three other Palestinian factions blasted the change, saying it reflected the “gap” between the authority’s leadership and the Palestinian people. The factions contended that forming a new government without a national consensus would “deepen the division.”

The authority will also be in desperate need of cash in order to pay the salaries of public sector employees, and Israel could undermine its ability to operate in Gaza.

In an interview, Sharhabeel al-Zaeem, who is slated to be justice minister, said Thursday that he was aware of the “huge obstacles” before the incoming government and expressed dismay that it didn’t have the backing of Hamas. But he emphasized that it was “essential in order to start a process to help the people in Gaza.”

Mr. al-Zaeem, a prominent lawyer from Gaza City who fled the strip in late December after being displaced and moving to Khan Younis and Rafah, said the public should wait to examine the authority’s performance before judging it.

“I hope we will be able to serve our people,” he said.

The U.S. says Israel has agreed to try to reschedule a canceled trip.

A White House spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the Israeli government had agreed to try to reschedule a visit by a group of officials whose trip to Washington to discuss a possible assault on a key southern city in Gaza was scrapped over the U.S. decision not to veto a U.N. resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire.

President Biden had asked Israel to send a delegation to Washington to discuss alternatives to a ground offensive in Rafah, the southern Gaza city where more than a million people have sought refuge. But Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called off the delegation’s trip at the last minute after being angered by the U.S. decision to abstain from a vote on the resolution at the U.N. Security Council on Monday.

“The prime minister’s office said that they want to reschedule this meeting so that we can talk about the Rafah operations,” the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters on Wednesday. “We welcome that. And we’re going to work with their teams to make sure that happens.”

John F. Kirby, a White House spokesman, added on Thursday that the administration was working with the prime minister’s office and other Israeli officials to finalize a date for the rescheduled meeting. “We’re hoping that this meeting can be scheduled in person here in Washington as was the original plan,” he told reporters.

There was no immediate confirmation of a desire to reschedule from Mr. Netanyahu’s office, which, just hours before Ms. Jean-Pierre’s comments, had issued a statement denying reports that a meeting was back on. “Contrary to reports, the prime minister didn’t approve the departure of the delegation to Washington,” the statement said.

On three prior occasions, the United States had vetoed a cease-fire resolution. But by abstaining on Monday, it allowed the resolution, which was less strongly worded than previous ones and called for a cease-fire for the holy month of Ramadan, to pass.

Mr. Netanyahu denounced the abstention in a statement, calling it “a retreat from the consistent American position since the beginning of the war.” The Biden administration insisted on Monday that the abstention did not signify a change in the United States’ position.

Friction between the two allies has increased over the toll on civilians in Gaza after more than five months of fighting set off by the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack, which, according to Israeli officials, killed about 1,200 people.

Health officials in Gaza say that more than 32,000 people have died during the Israeli military operation, and the fighting has created dire conditions on the ground, with humanitarian groups warning of a looming famine.

Asked about Mr. Netanyahu’s earlier denial of reports that the meeting would be back on, Ms. Jean-Pierre was adamant that his office had agreed to try to reschedule.

“When we have a date, certainly we will share that with you,” she said. “That is what we know from our side.”

The announcement came a few hours after Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, wrote on social media that he had completed a successful visit to the United States. The trip coincided with the U.N. vote and its fallout.

During his visit, Mr. Gallant met with several senior U.S. officials, including Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, who made Rafah a central part of his agenda.

After the meeting, a senior Defense Department official said Mr. Austin had presented the broad outlines of the Biden administration’s alternative approach to a major combat operation in Rafah, including a focus on precision targeting intended to root out Hamas leadership.

The official, who spoke on a call with reporters on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential talks, said that the Israelis were receptive and that there would be additional meetings in the future.

Ms. Jean-Pierre said the United States remained hopeful that it could help broker a temporary cease-fire and a release of hostages held by Hamas.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 aired Wednesday night, Mr. Kirby acknowledged that the talks were stalling.

“We felt like the gaps were closing, and that we were getting closer to having a deal where we can get those hostages out,” he said. “Now it appears that we’re not moving forward, at least not in the way that we all had hoped, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to give up the effort.”

Johnatan Reiss and Katie Rogers contributed reporting.

The United States and Britain impose sanctions on a Gazan news outlet over ties to Hamas.

The United States and Britain imposed sanctions Wednesday on Gaza Now, a news organization based in the enclave that the allies accused of raising money for Hamas and helping to finance its terrorist activities.

The Treasury Department said that Gaza Now started a fund-raising effort in support of Hamas following its attack on Israel in October. The measures also target the founder of Gaza Now and two companies that donated thousands of dollars to the news outlet.

The sanctions are the latest attempt to disrupt the flow of funds to Hamas since the Oct. 7 attack. The United States estimates that Hamas controls $500 million worth of assets that it uses to finance terrorism, and the Biden administration has been working with American allies to crack down on sanctions evasion.

“Treasury remains committed to degrading Hamas’ ability to finance its terrorist activities, including through online fund-raising campaigns that seek to funnel money directly to the group,” Brian E. Nelson, the Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

The sanctions freeze any Gaza Now assets held in the United States or Britain and cut its backers off from much of the global financial system.

Gaza Now operates a website and broadcasts television coverage and commentary over a satellite channel and on social media platforms.

Media organizations are not common targets of U.S. sanctions, but the Treasury Department did in 2022 impose financial restrictions on Russian outlets that were spreading disinformation.

Although the Biden administration has been trying to curtail the finances of Hamas, it has also been using sanctions to curb violence by Israelis accused of attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank.

A majority of Americans disapprove of Israel’s actions in Gaza, a new poll shows.

A majority of Americans disapprove of Israel’s military actions in Gaza, in a pronounced shift from November, according to a new poll released by Gallup on Wednesday.

In a survey conducted from March 1-20, 55 percent of U.S. adults said they disapproved of Israel’s military actions — a jump of 10 percentage points from four months earlier, Gallup found.

Americans’ approval of Israel’s conduct in the war dropped by an even starker margin, from 50 percent in November, a month after the war began, to 36 percent in March, while the proportion of Americans who said they had no opinion on the subject rose slightly to 9 percent from 4 percent.

The findings are the latest evidence of growing American discontent with Israel over the course of the five months in which it has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians in Gaza, including nearly 14,000 children, according to local health officials and the United Nations. Israeli officials say roughly 1,200 people were killed in Israel during the Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7.

The Gallup poll found that American approval of Israel’s military actions dropped across the political spectrum: While a majority of Republicans still said they approved, that figure dropped from 71 percent in November to 64 percent in March. Independents’ approval dropped to 29 percent from 47 percent, and Democrats’ approval dropped to just 18 percent from 36 percent.

An AP-NORC poll conducted in late January found that half of U.S. adults felt Israel’s military response in Gaza had “gone too far,” up from four in 10 in November. That poll also showed a rise in public disapproval across political parties, by some 15 percentage points for Republicans, 13 for independents and five for Democrats.

Another recent survey from the Pew Research Center — which, like Gallup and AP-NORC, is a well-regarded leader in the polling industry — found notable schisms in public opinion along generational and religious lines. Younger adults and Muslim Americans were significantly more likely than older adults and Jewish Americans to say that the way Israel was carrying out its response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack was unacceptable, according to the poll conducted from mid-to-late February.

It oversampled Muslim and Jewish Americans, weighted to reflect their respective proportion of the overall population, to more reliably and separately analyze their views.

Who was Marwan Issa, the Hamas commander killed by Israel?

The Israeli military has confirmed that Marwan Issa, the deputy commander of Hamas’s military wing in Gaza and a presumed mastermind of the Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel, was killed in an Israeli airstrike this month.

A senior U.S. official, Jake Sullivan, had previously told reporters that Mr. Issa, one of the highest-ranking officials in Hamas, had been killed. But before a statement Tuesday, Israel’s military had said only that its warplanes had targeted Mr. Issa and another senior Hamas official in an underground compound in central Gaza.

With his death, Mr. Issa, who had been among Israel’s most wanted men, became the senior-most Hamas leader to be killed in Gaza since the start of the war. Israeli officials have characterized the strike as a breakthrough in their campaign to wipe out the Hamas leadership in Gaza.

But experts cautioned that his death — which Hamas has still not acknowledged — would not have a devastating effect on the armed group’s leadership structure. Israel has killed Hamas’s political and military leaders in the past, only to see them quickly replaced.

Here is a closer look at Mr. Issa and what his death means for Hamas and its leadership.

What was Mr. Issa’s role in Hamas?

Mr. Issa, who was 58 or 59 at the time of his death, had served since 2012 as a deputy to Mohammed Deif, the elusive leader of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing. Mr. Issa assumed the role after the assassination of another top commander, Ahmed al-Jabari.

Mr. Issa served both on Hamas’s military council and in its Gaza political office, overseen by Yahya Sinwar, the group’s highest-ranking official in the enclave. Mr. Issa was described by Palestinian analysts and former Israeli security officials as an important strategist who played a key role as a liaison between Hamas’s military and political leaders.

Salah al-Din al-Awawdeh, a Palestinian analyst close to Hamas, described Mr. Issa’s position in the group as “part of the front rank of the military wing’s leadership.”

Maj. Gen. Tamir Hayman, the former Israeli military intelligence chief, said Mr. Issa was simultaneously Hamas’s “defense minister,” its deputy military commander and its “strategic mind.”

What does his death mean for the group?

Experts described Mr. Issa as an important associate of Mr. Deif and Mr. Sinwar’s, though they said his death did not represent a threat to the group’s survival.

“There’s always a replacement,” Mr. Awawdeh said. “I don’t think the assassination of any member of the military wing will have an effect on its activities.”

Michael Milshtein, a former Israeli military intelligence officer and an expert on Palestinian affairs, said Mr. Issa’s death was a significant blow to the Qassam Brigades, though he conceded it wasn’t “the end of the world” for Hamas.

“He had a lot of experience,” Mr. Milshtein said. “His death is a big loss for Hamas, but it isn’t a loss that will lead to its collapse and it won’t affect it for a long time. In a week or two, they’ll overcome it.”

Mr. Milshtein added that even though Mr. Issa’s opinion was valued at the highest levels of Hamas, the fact he did not directly command fighters meant that his death did not leave a gaping hole in Hamas’s operations.

How has he been described?

Mr. Issa was a lesser-known member of Hamas’s top brass, maintaining a low profile and rarely appearing in public.

Gerhard Conrad, a former German intelligence officer who met Mr. Issa more than a decade ago, described him as a “decisive and quiet” person lacking charisma. “He was not very eloquent, but he knew what to say, and he was straight to the point,” Mr. Conrad said in an interview.

Mr. Conrad said he met Mr. Issa, Mr. al-Jabari and Mahmoud al-Zahar, another senior Hamas official, about 10 times between 2009 and 2011 in Gaza City. The men met as part of an effort to broker a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.

“He was the master of the data on the prisoners,” Mr. Conrad said of Mr. Issa. “He had all the names to be negotiated on.”

Mr. Conrad, however, said it was apparent at the time that Mr. Issa was a subordinate to Mr. al-Jabari. “He was a kind of chief of staff,” he said.

Mr. Issa’s prominence grew only after Mr. al-Jabari’s assassination, but he still was keen to stay out of view. Few images of Mr. Issa are in the public domain.

Mr. Awawdeh, the analyst, called Mr. Issa a man who liked to “remain in the shadows” and who seldom granted interviews to the media.

In one of those rare interviews, Mr. Issa spoke in 2021 about his role in the indirect talks that resulted in Israel exchanging more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for a single Israeli soldier, Sgt. First Class Gilad Shalit, and his hopes for a future conflict with Israel.

“Even if the resistance in Palestine is monitored by the enemy at all hours, it will surprise the enemy,” he told Al Jazeera at the time.

In a separate interview with a Hamas publication in 2005, Mr. Issa lauded militants who raided Israeli settlements and military bases, calling the actions “heroic” and an “advanced activity.”

What is known about his early life?

Mr. Issa was born in the Bureij area of central Gaza in 1965, but his family hails from what is now the Ashkelon area in Israel.

A Hamas member for decades, he was involved with the militant group’s effort of pursuing Palestinians who were believed to have collaborated with Israel, according to Mr. Awawdeh.

Mr. Issa spent time in prisons operated by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israeli military, has said that Mr. Issa helped plan the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack. Mr. Issa is also thought to have planned operations aimed at infiltrating Israeli settlements during the second intifada in the 2000s, Mr. Milshtein said.

A correction was made on 

March 18, 2024

An earlier version of this article misstated the surname of a former Israeli military intelligence chief. He is Tamir Hayman, not Heyman.

When we learn of a mistake, we acknowledge it with a correction. If you spot an error, please let us know at more

Putin Offers Both Reassurance and Threat on a Wider War

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has warned that if F-16 fighter jets supplied to Ukraine by its Western allies operated from airfields in other countries, the bases would be “legitimate targets” for attack.

In a speech to Russian Air Force pilots late Wednesday, however, Mr. Putin rejected suggestions from some Western leaders that Russia is planning to invade NATO countries as “complete nonsense.”

The threat that Russia might move against other countries has become one of the main arguments used by the Ukrainian government and its supporters to try to persuade the U.S. to dispatch more military aid to the country.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

From Village to Prison to Africa’s Youngest Elected President

The first election that Bassirou Diomaye Faye ever won was the one that just made him the president-elect of Senegal.

Before his victory in the election last Sunday, 10 days after he was released from jail, Mr. Faye had only ever run for mayor of his hometown, Ndiaganiao — a small settlement on a sandy track, crisscrossed by horse carts carrying women and their wares to the market. He lost that election, in 2022, to the ruling party’s candidate.

Few in Senegal know the remarkable journey of the 44-year-old tax inspector who rode a wave of youth discontent to become — once inaugurated — Africa’s youngest elected president. Provisional results officially released on Tuesday showed he won with 54 percent of the vote.

Map shows the location of Ndiaganiao, Senegal, and its capital, Dakar.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

The Japanese Sensei Bringing Baseball to Brazil

Reporting from Rio de Janeiro

Yukihiro Shimura always arrives first. He quietly puts on his baseball uniform. He rakes the dirt field meditatively. He picks up the coconut husks and dog poop. And, finally, when he finishes, he bows to Rio de Janeiro’s only baseball field.

Then his misfit team — including a geologist, graphic designer, English teacher, film student, voice actor and motorcycle delivery man — starts to form. Most are in their 20s and 30s, and some are still learning the basics of throwing, catching and swinging a bat.

It was not what Mr. Shimura envisioned when he signed up for this gig. “In my mind, the age range would be 15 to 18,” he said. “I should have asked.”

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

One Satellite Signal Rules Modern Life. What if Someone Knocks It Out?

Selam GebrekidanJohn Liu and

The United States and China are locked in a new race, in space and on Earth, over a fundamental resource: time itself.

And the United States is losing.

Global positioning satellites serve as clocks in the sky, and their signals have become fundamental to the global economy — as essential for telecommunications, 911 services and financial exchanges as they are for drivers and lost pedestrians.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Why Russia’s Vast Security Services Fell Short on Deadly Attack

A day before the U.S. embassy in Moscow put out a rare public alert this month about a possible extremist attack at a Russian concert venue, the local C.I.A. station delivered a private warning to Russian officials that included at least one additional detail: The plot in question involved an offshoot of the Islamic State known as ISIS-K.

American intelligence had been tracking the group closely and believed the threat credible. Within days, however, President Vladimir V. Putin was disparaging the warnings, calling them “outright blackmail” and attempts to “intimidate and destabilize our society.”

Three days after he spoke, gunmen stormed Crocus City Hall outside Moscow last Friday night and killed at least 143 people in the deadliest attack in Russia in nearly two decades. ISIS quickly claimed responsibility for the massacre with statements, a photo and a propaganda video.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Outcry in France as Principal Steps Down Over Head Scarf Incident

A Paris school principal’s decision to step down after he received online death threats over an incident involving a Muslim student’s head scarf has prompted national outrage this week in France.

Camera crews have descended on the school and the government said it planned to sue the student, accusing her of making false accusations — the latest flashpoint in a debate over French secularism and the treatment of the country’s Muslim minority.

Officials say the incident occurred on Feb. 28 at the Lycée Maurice-Ravel when the school’s principal asked three students to remove their head scarves on school grounds. Two of the students complied, but a third refused, causing an “altercation,” according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

What We Know About Palestinians Detained in Israel

More than 9,000 Palestinians imprisoned under Israel’s military and national security laws are being held in Israeli detention facilities, the highest figure in more than a decade, according to rights groups, who say that many of the detainees are being held without charges and have been abused while in custody.

The number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons has swelled since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s subsequent invasion of Gaza. In Gaza, Israeli troops have arrested hundreds of people in the search for fighters, the Israeli military says, while security forces in the occupied West Bank have conducted an enormous crackdown that they say is intended to root out militants.

But rights groups say that the arrests are often arbitrary, that the conditions in which Palestinians are held can be inhumane and that the spike in the number of reported deaths is concerning. Israel says the imprisoned Palestinians, who include avowed senior militants convicted of brutal attacks, are treated in accordance with international standards.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

South Korea’s Parliament Election 2024: What You Need to Know

  • Why does this election matter?

  • What are the big election issues?

  • How do they select the Assembly?

  • When will we learn the result?

  • Where can I find out more?

South Korea​ns go to the polls on April 10 to select a new 300-member National Assembly. The parliamentary elections are widely seen as a midterm referendum on President Yoon Suk Yeol. They will also serve as a vote of confidence on the opposition Democratic Party, which has held majority control in the Assembly for the past four years.

Mr. Yoon won the presidential election in March 2022 by a razor-thin margin, and three months later, his People Power Party won the most big-city mayor and provincial governor races. But two major handicaps have hobbled his presidency: his party’s lack of control in the single-chamber Assembly and Mr. Yoon’s low approval ratings.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Israel Deploys Expansive Facial Recognition Program in Gaza

Within minutes of walking through an Israeli military checkpoint along Gaza’s central highway on Nov. 19, the Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha was asked to step out of the crowd. He put down his 3-year-old son, whom he was carrying, and sat in front of a military jeep.

Half an hour later, Mr. Abu Toha heard his name called. Then he was blindfolded and led away for interrogation.

“I had no idea what was happening or how they could suddenly know my full legal name,” said the 31-year-old, who added that he had no ties to the militant group Hamas and had been trying to leave Gaza for Egypt.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

A Pivot to China Saved Elon Musk. It Also Binds Him to Beijing.

When Elon Musk unveiled the first Chinese-made Teslas in Shanghai in 2020, he went off script and started dancing. Peeling off his jacket, he flung it across the stage in a partial striptease.

Mr. Musk had reason to celebrate. A few years earlier, with Tesla on the brink of failure, he had bet on China, which offered cheap parts and capable workers — and which needed Tesla as an anchor to jump-start its fledgling electric vehicle industry.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Thailand Lawmakers Bring Same-Sex Marriage a Crucial Step Closer

Thailand’s House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, bringing the measure a significant step closer to becoming law.

The bill passed by 400 votes to 10, with a handful of abstentions, and now the legislation goes to the Senate. If it passes there, and if Thailand’s king approves it, the country will become the first in Southeast Asia to recognize same-sex marriages. In Asia more broadly, only Taiwan and Nepal have done so.

Thailand’s bill describes marriage as a partnership between two individuals, rather than between a woman and a man. It will also give L.G.B.T.Q. couples equal rights to various tax savings, the ability to inherit property and the power to give medical treatment consent for partners who are incapacitated. The draft will also grant adoption rights. Thai law currently allows only heterosexual couples to adopt, although single women can adopt children with special needs.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Inside the Garrick, the Elite Men-Only London Club Rocked by Criticism

On a side street in Covent Garden stands an imposing palazzo-style building, strangely out of place amid the burger joints and neon marquees of London’s theater district. It houses the Garrick Club, one of Britain’s oldest men’s clubs, and on any given weekday, a lunch table in its baronial dining room is one of the hottest tickets in town.

A visitor lucky enough to cadge an invitation from a member might end up in the company of a Supreme Court justice, the master of an Oxford college or the editor of a London newspaper. The odds are that person would be a man. Women are excluded from membership in the Garrick and permitted only as guests, a long-simmering source of tension that has recently erupted into a full-blown furor.

After The Guardian, a London newspaper, put a fresh spotlight on the Garrick’s men-only policy, naming and shaming some of its rarefied members from a leaked membership list, two senior British government officials resigned from the club: Richard Moore, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, and Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, who oversees nearly half a million public employees.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Russian Group Spread Disinformation About Princess of Wales, Experts Say

The whirl of conspiracy theories that enveloped Catherine, Princess of Wales, before she disclosed her cancer diagnosis last week probably didn’t need help from a foreign state. But researchers in Britain said Wednesday that a notorious Russian disinformation operation helped stir the pot.

Martin Innes, an expert on digital disinformation at Cardiff University in Wales, said he and his colleagues tracked 45 social media accounts that posted a spurious claim about Catherine to a Kremlin-linked disinformation network, which has previously spread divisive stories about Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as about France’s support for Ukraine.

As in those cases, Professor Innes said, the influence campaign appeared calculated to inflame divisions, deepen a sense of chaos in society, and erode trust in institutions — in this case, the British royal family and the news media.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Snakes in the Grass — and Under the Piano, by the Pool and in the Prison

Natasha Frost spent two days trailing snake catchers on the Sunshine Coast, Australia.

Leer en español

The phone rings. It’s the local prison. There’s a snake in a cell. Within a few hours, snakes have also been spotted at a school, beneath a piano stored in a private garage and near a lagoon-like swimming pool at a retirement home. Customers want them gone.

Business has never been so good for Stuart McKenzie, who runs a snake-catching service in the Sunshine Coast, a verdant enclave along miles of pristine beach in the vast Australian state of Queensland. On the busiest days, he can receive more than 35 calls about troublesome snakes.

Queensland is home to the largest number of snake species in Australia — about 120. Of those, two-thirds are venomous and a handful are deadly. Throughout Australia, fatalities from snake bites remain extremely rare — about two a year — and in Queensland, the reptiles are simply a part of life.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

A Boring Capital for a Young Democracy. Just the Way Residents Like It.

Reporting from Belmopan, Belize

Leer en español

Mention Belmopan, Belize’s capital that sits deep in the country’s interior, and many Belizeans will belittle the city as a bastion of pencil-pushing bureaucrats that’s not just dull, but also devoid of nightlife.

“I was warned, ‘Belmopan is for the newlyweds or the nearly deads,’” said Raquel Rodriguez, 45, owner of an art school, about the reactions when she moved to Belmopan from coastal, bustling Belize City.

Not exactly known as an Eden for young urbanites, Belmopan figures among the smallest capital cities anywhere in the Americas. It has only about 25,000 residents and a cluster of hurricane-proof, heavy-on-the-concrete, Maya-inspired Brutalist buildings.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

For Car Thieves, Toronto Is a ‘Candy Store,’ and Drivers Are Fed Up

Vjosa Isai drove around Toronto in a Volkswagen Passat with 290,000 miles on it, a vehicle not coveted by car thieves, to report this article.

Whenever Dennis Wilson wants to take a drive in his new SUV, he has to set aside an extra 15 minutes. That’s about how long it takes to remove the car’s steering wheel club, undo four tire locks and lower a yellow bollard before backing out of his driveway.

His Honda CR-V is also fitted with two alarm systems, a vehicle tracking device and, for good measure, four Apple AirTags. Its remote-access key fob rests in a Faraday bag, to jam illicit unlocking signals.

As a final touch, he mounted two motion-sensitive floodlights on his house and aimed them at the driveway in his modest neighborhood in Toronto.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Where Hostage Families and Supporters Gather, for Solace and Protest

A week after Hamas-led terrorists stormed his kibbutz and kidnapped his wife and three young children, Avihai Brodutch planted himself on the sidewalk in front of army headquarters in Tel Aviv holding a sign scrawled with the words “My family’s in Gaza,” and said he would not budge until they were brought home.

Passers-by stopped to commiserate with him and to try to lift his spirits. They brought him coffee, platters of food and changes of clothing, and welcomed him to their homes to wash up and get some sleep.

“They were so kind, and they just couldn’t do enough,” said Mr. Brodutch, 42, an agronomist who grew pineapples on Kibbutz Kfar Azza before the attacks on Oct. 7. “It was Israel at its finest,” he said. “There was a feeling of a common destiny.”

The one-man sit-in mushroomed in the weeks after the attacks. But the sidewalks outside the military headquarters could not contain multitudes, and some people were uncomfortable with the location, which was associated with anti-government protests last year.

So the mass moved a block north to the plaza in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, where a long rectangular table set for 234 people and surrounded by empty chairs had been installed to represent the captives. Since some 110 hostages have come home, half of the table has been reset to correspond to the conditions of captivity they described, with half a moldy piece of pita bread on each plate and bottles of dirty water on the table instead of wineglasses.

In the months since the attacks, the plaza has continued to attract a steady stream of Israelis and tourists on volunteer missions who want to support the families. But it has also become a home away from home for the parents, adult children, siblings, cousins and other relatives of hostages.

Although it can get damp and chilly in Tel Aviv in the winter, many have set up tents in the plaza, often sleeping there, keeping company with the only other people in the world who they say can truly understand what they are experiencing — the family members of other hostages.

“If I don’t know what to do, I come here,” said Yarden Gonen, 30, who was wearing a white sweatshirt emblazoned with a picture of her sister Romi Gonen, 23, who was shot and kidnapped at the outdoor Nova music festival near the Gaza border. A friend with her was killed.

“None of us is doing anything remotely related to our previous lives,” Yarden Gonen said. Even having coffee in a cafe would make her feel bad, she said.

Sign up for the Israel-Hamas War Briefing.  The latest news about the conflict.

“To do that would be to normalize the situation,” she said. “It would be like saying, ‘This is OK, and I’m used to it.’ And I’m not willing to do that.”

Ms. Gonen said she found comfort in the constant presence in the square of people who are not related to the hostages, like the peace activists from Women Wage Peace who stand vigil daily from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. so the families are not alone, and a trio of women who bonded over their anger at international organizations they believe have failed the hostages (they carry posters that say, “Red Cross Do Your Job!” or “U.N. Women, Where Are You?”).

“When it’s raining and I see that they’ve come, it is moving, because they could have stayed cozy at home,” Ms. Gonen said. “There is a feeling that they support us, that we haven’t been abandoned.”

Although the Israeli government has stated that one of the primary goals of the war in Gaza is to free the hostages, the army has said it has so far rescued only a small number of individuals. Three others were mistakenly killed by Israeli troops.

Most of the hostages who have returned — including Mr. Brodutch’s wife and children — were released in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, as part of a cease-fire deal negotiated with Hamas in November.

For many of the hostage families, the greatest fear is that despite the stated goal, the government is not prioritizing the extrication of the hostages. They worry it may ultimately chalk up the loss of the remaining captives as just more collateral damage in the bloody conflict.

The Gaza health ministry says that more than 29,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the territory since the war’s start.

Many people who come to the Tel Aviv plaza regularly say that if Israel does not secure the release of the hostages, the country will never be the same. “We will be worth nothing if they don’t come back,” said Jemima Kronfeld, 84, who visits every Thursday. “We will have no value. We will lose what we were, the safe feeling of being at home.”

In the initial chaos after the surprise attacks, many people did not know if their relatives — who had gone missing from kibbutzim and the site of a rave near the Gaza border — had been bound and dragged across the border, or killed, and many complained that the government was unresponsive.

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum, a grass-roots citizens’ group, sprung up to fill the void. The group provides a wide range of services for hostage families, serving them three meals a day, making medical, psychological and legal services available, and acting as an advocacy group, organizing and funding news media appearances and meetings with world leaders, as well as rallies pressing for the hostages’ release.

The forum raises private donations but has received no support from the Israeli government, which still does not provide the families with regular updates, said Liat Bell Sommer, who quit her day job to head the forum’s international media relations team.

Other volunteers pitch in when they can.

“I just felt like I had to do something — I thought I’d go crazy if I didn’t have some part in this,” said Hilla Shtein, 49, of Tel Aviv, a human resources manager who goes to the plaza several times a week to work a stand where visitors can make a donation and pick up hats, sweatshirts and buttons that say “Bring them home NOW.”

The most popular items — ubiquitous throughout Israel now — are dog tags that say “Our hearts are hostage in Gaza,” in Hebrew.

“It’s hard, because it’s really in your face when you’re here,” Ms. Shtein said, adding, “But it’s pulling at your heart all the time anyway.”

After reports last week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told negotiators not to participate further in talks in Cairo about a cease-fire and the return of the hostages, the forum accused the government of abandoning the captives. Thousands protested on Saturday night, despite thunderstorms, calling on the government to secure their immediate return.

Those who visit the plaza regularly say that there is always something new to see.

In January, the artist Roni Levavi installed a giant 30-yard tunnel that people can walk through to experience being in a dark sealed space, like the tunnels in Gaza that some returned hostages have described being held in. Romi Gonen’s dance teachers hold an open lesson on the plaza every Sunday afternoon in her honor, and friends of Carmel “Melly” Gat, 39, a hostage who is an occupational therapist and yoga instructor, teach an open yoga class every Friday morning.

There is a booth where visitors can write letters to hostages, or paint a rock if they prefer, and another booth that offers mental health first aid. Occasionally, someone will sit down and play an Israeli pop song at a piano donated by relatives of Alon Ohel, 22, a musician who was kidnapped from the rave, and the crowd sings along.

When it is a hostage’s birthday, some families commemorate the day in the square, where a symbolic high chair and birthday cake are set up for Kfir Bibas, who would have turned 1 in captivity. The Israeli army said Monday that it feared for the safety of the baby and his family.

In early February, Albert Xhelili, 57, an artist visiting from Santa Fe, N.M., attracted onlookers when he started drawing charcoal portraits of the hostages that he hung on a clothesline in one of the tents on the square.

Ariel Rosenberg, 31, a marketing consultant from New York who came to Israel in January as part of a group to do volunteer work, said she and her fellow travelers had been at the plaza recently to help sort posters with pictures of the hostages, separating out those who had been released and those who were no longer alive, something that was painful for the families to do.

Ms. Rosenberg said the group members find themselves coming back every Saturday night to attend weekly rallies calling for the immediate release of the hostages, and they often stop by on other evenings as well. “I come to bear witness,” Ms. Rosenberg said. “It’s become sacred ground.”

Our best offer. Sale ends soonA$0.50 a week for your first year.

save on all of the times
original price:   A$6.25sale price:   A$0.50/week

Learn more

Insooni Breaks Racial Barrier to Become Beloved Singer in South Korea

When she took the stage to perform at Carnegie Hall in front of 107 Korean War veterans, the singer Kim Insoon was thinking of her father, an American soldier stationed in South Korea during the postwar decades whom she had never met or even seen.

“You are my fathers,” she told the soldiers in the audience before singing “Father,” one of her Korean-language hits.

“To me, the United States has always been my father’s country,” Ms. Kim said in a recent interview, recalling that 2010 performance. “It was also the first place where I wanted to show how successful I had become — without him and in spite of him.”

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

‘Decolonizing’ Ukrainian Art, One Name-and-Shame Post at a Time

Hiding for days in the basement of a kindergarten in Bucha, the Kyiv suburb that became synonymous with Russian war crimes, Oksana Semenik had time to think.

Outside, Russian troops were rampaging through the town, killing civilians who ventured into the streets. Knowing she might not make it out, Ms. Semenik, an art historian, mulled over the Ukrainian artworks she had long wanted to write about — and which were now in danger of disappearing.

That time spent holed up in Bucha was during the early days of Russia’s full-scale invasion, but even then, two years ago, she had already seen reports of destroyed museums. Precious folk paintings by her favorite artist, Maria Primachenko, had gone up in flames. Moscow, she realized, was waging a war on Ukrainian culture.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Murder and Magic Realism: A Rising Literary Star Mines China’s Rust Belt

For a long time during Shuang Xuetao’s early teenage years, he wondered what hidden disaster had befallen his family.

His parents, proud workers at a tractor factory in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, stopped going to work, and the family moved into an empty factory storage room to save money on rent.

But they rarely talked about what had happened, and Mr. Shuang worried that some special shame had struck his family alone.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Can Gabriel Attal Win Over France?

Gabriel Attal, 34, is a new kind of French prime minister, more inclined to Diet Coke than a good Burgundy, at home with social media and revelations about his personal life, a natural communicator who reels off one-liners like “France rhymes with power” to assert his “authority,” a favorite word.

Since taking office in early January, the boyish-looking Mr. Attal has waded into the countryside, far from his familiar haunts in the chic quarters of Paris, muddied his dress shoes, propped his notes on a choreographed bale of hay, and calmed protesting farmers through adroit negotiation leavened by multiple concessions.

He has told rail workers threatening a strike that “working is a duty,” not an everyday French admonition. He has shown off his new dog on Instagram and explained that he called the high-energy Chow Chow “Volta” after the inventor of the electric battery. He has told the National Assembly that he is the living proof of a changing France as “a prime minister who assumes his homosexuality.”

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

‘Get Ready to Scream’: How to Be a Baseball Fan in South Korea

In the United States, many Major League Baseball games feature long periods of calm, punctuated by cheering when there’s action on the field or the stadium organ plays a catchy tune.

But in South Korea, a baseball game is a sustained sensory overload. Each player has a fight song, and cheering squads — including drummers and dancers who stand on platforms near the dugouts facing the spectators — ensure that there is near-constant chanting. Imagine being at a ballpark where every player, even a rookie, gets the star treatment.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Canadian Skaters Demand Bronze Medals in Olympics Dispute

Nearly a month after international figure skating’s governing body revised the results of a marquee competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, stripping Russia of the gold medal and giving the United States team a long-delayed victory, a new fight about the outcome erupted on Monday.

Eight members of the Canadian squad that competed in the team competition in Beijing have filed a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport demanding that they be awarded bronze medals in the team event. The court announced the filing but revealed no details.

The Canadians, whose case was joined by their country’s skating federation and national Olympic committee, are expected to argue that figure skating’s global governing body erred when it revised the results of the competition in January after a Russian skater who had taken part, the teenage prodigy Kamila Valieva, was given a four-year ban for doping.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

In Latin America, a New Frontier for Women: Professional Softball in Mexico

Reporting from Mexico City and León, Mexico

Leer en español

In many parts of Latin America, baseball is a popular and well-established sport with men’s professional leagues in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, among others. But women wanting to play baseball’s cousin — softball — professionally had only one option: to leave. They had to go to the United States or Japan.

Until now.

In what is believed to be a first in Latin America — a region where men often have more opportunities than women, particularly in sports — a professional women’s softball league has started in Mexico. On Jan. 25, when the inaugural season began, 120 women on six teams got to call themselves professional softball players, many for the first time.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Why the Cost of Success in English Soccer’s Lower Leagues Keeps Going Up

Geoff Thompson knows there are plenty of people who want to buy what he has to sell. The phone calls and emails over the last few weeks have left no doubt. And really, that is no surprise. Few industries are quite as appealing or as prestigious as English soccer, and Mr. Thompson has a piece of it.

It is, admittedly, a comparatively small piece: South Shields F.C., the team he has owned for almost a decade, operates in English soccer’s sixth tier, several levels below, and a number of worlds away, from the dazzling light and international allure of the Premier League. But while his team might be small, Mr. Thompson is of the view that it is, at least, as perfectly poised for profitability as any minor-league English soccer club could hope to be.

South Shields has earned four promotions to higher leagues in his nine years as chairman. The team owns its stadium. Mr. Thompson has spent considerable sums of money modernizing the bathrooms, the club shop and the private boxes. There is a thriving youth academy and an active charitable foundation. “We have done most of the hard yards,” Mr. Thompson said.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Playing Soccer in $1.50 Sandals That Even Gucci Wants to Copy

The wealthy pros of Ivory Coast’s national soccer team were resting in their luxury hotel last week, preparing for a match in Africa’s biggest tournament, when Yaya Camara sprinted onto a dusty lot and began fizzing one pass after another to his friends.

Over and over, he corralled the game’s underinflated ball and then sent it away again with his favorite soccer shoes: worn plastic sandals long derided as the sneaker of the poor, but which he and his friends wear as a badge of honor.

Shiny soccer cleats like his idols’? No thanks, said Mr. Camara, a lean 18-year-old midfielder, as he wiped sweat from his brow.

Subscribe to The Times to read as many articles as you like.

Edmundo González, la apuesta de la oposición venezolana para participar en las elecciones

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

Primero fue María Corina Machado, una popular exlegisladora. Luego, se suponía que sería Corina Yoris, una profesora de filosofía poco conocida. Ahora, una coalición opositora ha presentado a un antiguo diplomático, Edmundo González, como su tercer candidato para enfrentarse al presidente Nicolás Maduro en las elecciones previstas para julio.

Al menos, esa es la situación por ahora.

La coalición de partidos políticos de la oposición, llamada la Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, lleva meses esperando para poder unirse en torno a un candidato único que pueda ser un rival viable para Maduro.

Pero, como deja claro la rápida sucesión de posibles candidatos, el gobierno de Maduro ha puesto una serie de obstáculos para impedir ese objetivo.

El lunes, una comisión electoral nacional controlada por aliados de Maduro utilizó una maniobra técnica para impedir que la coalición incluyera a Yoris en la papeleta. Era el último día para que los candidatos presidenciales se inscribieran a fin de participar en las elecciones de julio, y parecía que el esfuerzo por presentar un candidato unificado había sido derrotado.

Entonces, el martes por la tarde, la coalición anunció en la plataforma de redes sociales X que la autoridad electoral le concedió una prórroga y que había “decidido inscribir provisionalmente” a González, a quien identificó como presidente de la junta directiva de la Mesa de la Unidad Democrática.

Los voceros de la oposición dijeron en su publicación de X que la inscripción de González en la papeleta electoral permitiría a la coalición seguir “en su lucha sin descanso” en pro de la democracia, ya que busca desafiar la presidencia de Maduro, cuyo gobierno represivo ha dejado a Venezuela en la ruina financiera y ha ayudado a expulsar a, aproximadamente, una cuarta parte de su población.

“Esto abre la puerta a un punto de partida más fuerte para que el resto de la oposición negocie lo que sucederá”, dijo Tamara Taraciuk Broner, que investiga a Venezuela para el Diálogo Interamericano, una organización con sede en Washington. “En general, son buenas noticias”.

La candidatura provisional de González —que podría servir como un suplente, mientras los partidos negocian alternativas durante las próximas semanas— fue el último de una serie de acontecimientos repentinos suscitados en torno a quién se postularía contra Maduro en la votación de julio.

La Mesa de la Unidad Democrática anunció la semana pasada que había acordado presentar a Yoris, de 80 años, como candidata contra Maduro en una muestra de unidad después de que el tribunal supremo del país impidió en enero la participación de Machado en las elecciones.

El nombramiento de Yoris suscitó brevemente la esperanza de que pudieran celebrarse unas elecciones libres y justas. Pero, a medida que avanzaba la semana, Yoris dijo que no pudo acceder a la plataforma digital creada por la autoridad electoral del país para inscribirse como candidata.

Todas las organizaciones políticas autorizadas en Venezuela reciben un código para acceder a la plataforma electoral. Pero tanto el partido de Yoris, Un Nuevo Tiempo, como la coalición Mesa de Unidad Democrática, dijeron que sus códigos no funcionaban, lo que les impedía inscribir a Yoris.

“Hemos agotado todas las vías”, dijo Yoris en una rueda de prensa el lunes por la mañana. “Se queda todo el país sin opción si no me puedo inscribir”.

A medida que avanzaba el día, la confusión aumentaba en medio de señales de que, tras bambalinas, el gobierno estaba tratando de influir para lograr un campo electoral que le diera a Maduro una mejor oportunidad de ganar.

Pocos minutos antes de que finalizara el plazo de inscripción, y de manera inexplicable, el partido Un Nuevo Tiempo fue autorizado para inscribir a un candidato diferente: Manuel Rosales, fundador del partido y gobernador del populoso estado Zulia. Para varios analistas políticos, la inscripción de Rosales muestra que su candidatura cuenta con la aprobación de Maduro.

Rosales, en un discurso pronunciado el martes antes de que se anunciara la inscripción de González, dijo que se proponía llevar a cabo una campaña rigurosa, prometiendo “voy a encabezar la rebelión de votos más grande que ha existido”.

Otros dos candidatos se inscribieron el lunes, elevando a 13 el número total de los que se postulan a las elecciones, incluido Maduro. La mayoría son considerados cercanos al presidente, y ninguno es visto como un contendiente serio.

“No hay duda de que Maduro quiere elegir contra quién competir y tiene miedo de competir contra cualquiera que le represente una amenaza”, dijo Taraciuk Broner.

No estaba claro el martes por qué el gobierno había permitido que González se inscribiera ni lo que podría significar para la candidatura de Rosales.

Según Rafael Uzcátegui, sociólogo y director del Laboratorio de Paz, una organización de derechos humanos con sede en Caracas, la continua confusión sobre quién puede y quién no puede presentarse es una táctica deliberada del gobierno de Maduro para sembrar la desconfianza entre el electorado y dividir el voto.

En octubre, Maduro firmó un acuerdo con la oposición del país y aceptó trabajar para lograr una votación presidencial libre y justa. El mandatario dijo que celebraría elecciones antes de finales de año y, a cambio, Estados Unidos, en señal de buena voluntad, retiró algunas sanciones económicas.

Días después, Machado obtuvo más del 90 por ciento de los votos en la elección del candidato opositor, en unas votaciones primarias organizadas sin la participación del gobierno. Los decisivos resultados subrayaron su popularidad y aumentaron la posibilidad de que pudiera derrotar a Maduro en unas elecciones generales.

Tres meses después, el máximo tribunal del país, lleno de funcionarios leales al gobierno, inhabilitó a Machado por lo que los jueces consideraron irregularidades financieras ocurridas cuando era diputada nacional.

Seis colaboradores de la campaña de Machado han sido detenidos en las últimas semanas, y otros seis tienen órdenes de detención en su contra y están escondidos. Hombres en moto han atacado a simpatizantes en sus actos.

El gobierno no ha hecho comentarios sobre las dificultades de la oposición para inscribirse.

La vicepresidenta del país, Delcy Rodríguez, anunció el domingo en X la creación de una comisión estatal contra el fascismo para enfrentar las amenazas de “centros de poder al servicio del norte global”.

En febrero, un informe no clasificado de la inteligencia de Estados Unidos afirmó que era probable que Maduro ganara las elecciones y se mantuviera en el poder “debido a su control de las instituciones estatales que influyen en el proceso electoral y su voluntad de ejercer su poder”.

Aunque el gobierno de Maduro nombró a sus aliados en el consejo electoral, el informe de inteligencia dijo que también estaba “tratando de evitar el fraude electoral flagrante”.

Después de registrarse para votar el lunes, Maduro afirmó, sin aportar pruebas, que dos miembros del partido de Machado habían intentado matarlo esa tarde durante una marcha para celebrar su registro. El partido, Vente Venezuela, niega esas acusaciones.

En sus declaraciones, criticó a los miembros de la oposición, llamándolos “lacayos de la derecha”.

“Se dedicaron a pedir sanciones contra la sociedad y la economía, a pedir el bloqueo y la invasión de su propio país”, dijo. “No piensan por sí mismos; no actúan por sí mismos. Son piezas en el juego del imperio estadounidense para apoderarse de Venezuela.“

“El 28 de julio”, añadió, dirigiéndose a la oposición, “habrá elecciones con ustedes o sin ustedes”.

Rusia envía el mensaje de que la tortura ya no es un tabú para el país, según analistas

Los cuatro hombres acusados de llevar a cabo el atentado terrorista más mortífero de Rusia en décadas comparecieron el domingo por la noche en un tribunal de Moscú con vendajes y con heridas. Uno de ellos entró con un vendaje en la oreja, parcialmente rebanada. Otro iba en una silla de ruedas naranja, con el ojo izquierdo hinchado, la bata de hospital abierta y un catéter en el regazo.

Muchas personas de todo el mundo, incluidos los rusos, ya sabían lo que les había ocurrido. Desde el sábado, videos de los hombres siendo torturados durante el interrogatorio circularon de manera extendida por las redes sociales, una aparente represalia, de acuerdo con analistas, por el atentado en una sala de conciertos que se les acusa de haber cometido el viernes de la semana pasada, en el que murieron al menos 139 personas y otras 180 resultaron heridas.

Uno de los videos más perturbadores mostraba a uno de los acusados, identificado como Saidakrami Rajabalizoda, con parte de la oreja cortada y metida en la boca. Una fotografía que circuló por internet mostraba una batería conectada a los genitales de otro de los hombres, Shamsidin Fariduni, mientras estaba detenido.

No está claro cómo empezaron a circular los videos, pero se difundieron a través de canales de Telegram nacionalistas y favorables a la guerra, considerados cercanos a los servicios de seguridad de Rusia.

Aunque los videoclips más sangrientos no se emitieron en la televisión estatal, quedó claro el trato brutal que recibieron los acusados. Y la decisión de las autoridades rusas de mostrarlo tan públicamente en el tribunal, como casi nunca lo habían hecho antes, pretendía ser una señal de venganza y una advertencia a posibles terroristas, según los analistas.

En la historia reciente de Rusia, los videos de torturas no se mostraban en la televisión estatal, dijo Olga Sadovskaya, del Comité contra la Tortura, una organización rusa de derechos humanos.

“Había dos intenciones” en la difusión de los videos, dijo Sadovskaya. “En primer lugar, mostrar a la gente que podría planear otro atentado terrorista lo que podría ocurrirles, y en segundo lugar, mostrar a la sociedad que hay venganza por todo lo que la gente sufrió en este atentado terrorista”.

Ella y otros analistas dijeron que la flagrante exhibición de los torturados demostraba algo más: hasta qué punto la sociedad rusa se ha militarizado, y se ha vuelto tolerante a la violencia, desde que comenzó la guerra en Ucrania.

“Es una señal de hasta qué punto hemos aceptado los nuevos métodos de llevar a cabo una guerra”, dijo Andrei Soldatov, experto en los servicios de seguridad rusos.

Las encuestas internacionales han demostrado que las sociedades toleran la violencia contra las personas que perciben como los peores delincuentes, incluidos terroristas, asesinos en serie y autores de delitos violentos contra niños.

No obstante, Sadovskaya afirmó que los videos emitidos por televisión representan un nuevo nivel bajo para el Estado ruso.

“Esto demuestra que el Estado y las autoridades evidencian que la violencia es aceptable, que normalizan la tortura de un determinado sujeto”, afirmó.

El portavoz del Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov, declinó hacer comentarios sobre las acusaciones de tortura el lunes, durante una reunión informativa con periodistas. Pero el expresidente Dmitri Medvédev, quien actualmente ocupa el cargo de vicepresidente del Consejo de Seguridad de Rusia, dijo: “Bien hecho a quienes los atraparon”.

“¿Deberíamos matarlos? Deberíamos. Y lo haremos”, escribió en Telegram el lunes. “Pero es más importante matar a todos los implicados” en el atentado. “A todos: a los que pagaron, a los que simpatizaron, a los que ayudaron”.

Ivan Pavlov, un abogado que solía defender casos difíciles de seguridad nacional antes de verse obligado a huir de Rusia, dijo que la tortura se había utilizado durante mucho tiempo en casos de terrorismo y asesinato, casi siempre fuera de la vista. Una vez que las noticias sobre torturas se filtran por las cárceles, dijo, permite que “otras personas sepan que si te acusan de terrorismo, las fuerzas especiales te torturarán. Así que funciona como prevención”.

Las audiencias judiciales del domingo fueron inusuales porque la tortura se expuso de forma tan abierta, dijo Pavlov.

“Antes lo ocultaban al público en general, pero ahora ya no, porque el público en general está preparado para la violencia”, dijo. “Ya no es algo extremadamente desagradable para el público en general debido a la guerra”.

Rusia ya no forma parte del Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos, pero la Constitución rusa prohíbe la tortura. También forma parte de la Convención contra la Tortura de las Naciones Unidas.

Dado que la tortura es un delito tanto según el derecho internacional como en muchos países, los abogados defensores normalmente intentarían que se desestimara cualquier testimonio extraído bajo tortura porque es muy poco confiable, dijo Scott Roehm, director de política global y defensa del Centro para las Víctimas de la Tortura, con sede en Minnesota, que trabaja en todo el mundo.

La afirmación legal de que la tortura es un delito, un aspecto fundamental de la legislación internacional sobre derechos humanos, se vio sometida a presión en Estados Unidos tras los atentados terroristas del 11 de septiembre, señaló Roehm. Por ello, las comisiones militares que se ocuparon de los casos de Guantánamo tuvieron que tener en cuenta que algunas de las pruebas estaban contaminadas por la tortura.

“Los torturadores no dedican mucho tiempo a pensar en las consecuencias de sus actos”, dijo Roehm, sobre todo después de un atentado como el de Moscú. “Creo que la mentalidad de un torturador suele ser una mezcla de un buen grado de venganza y una suposición totalmente equivocada e ignorante de que se puede conseguir que alguien ‘confiese’ bajo tortura, y que esa confesión puede utilizarse para condenarlo”.

Los juicios a extremistas en Rusia suelen celebrarse a puerta cerrada, como la mayoría de las audiencias del domingo, por lo que es imposible saber hasta qué punto los abogados defensores se han opuesto a esta práctica. La mayoría de los jueces rusos probablemente la ignorarían en cualquier caso, dijo Pavlov, porque saben de antemano lo que se espera de ellos en cuanto a la condena de los acusados.

De hecho, el juez del caso de Muhammadsobir Fayzov, de 19 años, quien por momentos parecía apenas consciente, ignoró casi por completo el hecho de que el acusado estaba en una silla de ruedas con una bata de hospital abierta y una bolsa de recolección de orina con un catéter en el regazo. La única vez que el juez lo reconoció fue al ordenar que dos médicos que acompañaban a Fayzov fueran expulsados de la sala con el resto del público cuando clausuró la audiencia, según el informe de Mediazona, un medio de noticias independiente ruso.

La flagrante exhibición el domingo de los sospechosos con señales de maltrato fue especialmente atroz, señaló Pavlov. “Son circunstancias tristes, por supuesto”, dijo, “pero convirtieron el juicio en un circo”.

Soldatov, experto de los servicios de seguridad, dijo que la tortura y la respuesta oficial a la misma fueron una señal para los militares de que la violencia espantosa era ahora aceptable y alentada.

Al hacer públicos los videos de las torturas, las autoridades están “enviando un mensaje de intimidación a todos los que no están del lado del Kremlin, y enviando un mensaje muy alentador a los militares y a los servicios de seguridad de que están en la misma página”.

Ruslan Shaveddinov, activista y periodista de investigación afiliado al Fondo Anticorrupción de Alexéi Navalny, el opositor que murió en una cárcel rusa el mes pasado, pidió a los rusos que condenaran tanto a los terroristas como las torturas empleadas contra ellos.

“Es importante decirlo: la tortura no es normal”, tuiteó el domingo. “La tortura como fenómeno no debería existir. La policía y el Estado torturan hoy a un terrorista, ven con buenos ojos este método, y mañana torturarán a un activista, a un periodista, a cualquier otra persona. No conocen otro método”.

Aric Toler colaboró con reportería.

Valerie Hopkins cubre la guerra en Ucrania y cómo el conflicto está cambiando a Rusia, Ucrania, Europa y Estados Unidos. Radica en Moscú. Más de Valerie Hopkins

Neil MacFarquhar es reportero del Times desde 1995, y ha escrito sobre una amplia gama de temas, desde la guerra a la política, pasando por las artes, tanto a escala internacional como en Estados Unidos. Más de Neil MacFarquhar

¿Quién podría influir en el resultado de las elecciones de EE. UU.? El presidente de México

Natalie KitroeffZolan Kanno-Youngs y

Natalie Kitroeff reportó desde Ciudad de México, Zolan Kanno-Youngs desde Washington y Paulina Villegas desde Tijuana.

Read in English

Las personas cruzaban la frontera sur de Estados Unidos en cantidades históricas, los puentes ferroviarios internacionales fueron clausurados de manera abrupta y los puertos de entrada oficiales se cerraron.

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

En diciembre, desesperado por conseguir ayuda, el presidente de Estados Unidos, Joe Biden, llamó a su homólogo mexicano, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, quien le dijo que enviara con rapidez a una delegación a la capital mexicana, según varios funcionarios estadounidenses.

La Casa Blanca así lo hizo. Poco después, México reforzó la vigilancia. Ya para enero, los cruces fronterizos no autorizados hacia Estados Unidos se habían desplomado.

Mientras el tema migratorio se pone al centro de la campaña presidencial estadounidense, México ha surgido como un actor indispensable en un tema que tiene el potencial de influir en las elecciones de EE. UU., y la Casa Blanca ha trabajado duro para mantener la cooperación de López Obrador.

El gobierno estadounidense afirma públicamente que su diplomacia ha sido un éxito.

Pero en privado, algunos altos funcionarios de Biden han comenzado a ver a López Obrador como un socio impredecible, quien, en sus palabras, no ha hecho lo suficiente para controlar de forma consistente su propia frontera sur o vigilar las rutas que utilizan los traficantes para ingresar millones de migrantes a Estados Unidos, según varios funcionarios mexicanos y estadounidenses. Todos solicitaron hablar bajo condición de anonimato, para poder discutir relaciones diplomáticas delicadas.

“No estamos obteniendo la cooperación que deberíamos tener”, dijo John Feeley, exsubdirector de una misión en México de 2009 a 2012. Feeley dijo que los dos países realizaron más patrullajes e investigaciones conjuntas para asegurar la frontera durante el gobierno de Barack Obama.

“Sé cómo se ve cuando existe una cooperación genuina”, dijo Feeley, “a diferencia de lo que tenemos actualmente, que se promociona como una gran cooperación, pero que en realidad creo es una minucia”.

Mientras estuvo en el cargo, Donald Trump utilizó la amenaza de aranceles para forzar a López Obrador a implementar sus medidas duras contra la migración.

Biden necesita a México de la misma forma, pero ha adoptado una estrategia distinta, enfocándose en evitar un conflicto con el poderoso y en ocasiones volátil líder mexicano, con la esperanza de que eso conservará su cooperación.

“AMLO ha determinado correctamente su ventaja y ha reconocido que estamos usando la nuestra”, dijo Juan Gonzalez, quien fue el principal asesor de Biden en asuntos latinoamericanos, utilizando el apodo de López Obrador.

Liz Sherwood-Randall, asesora de seguridad nacional de Estados Unidos, dijo que la Casa Blanca trabaja “en colaboración al más alto nivel con el gobierno de México”, y agregó: “El presidente López Obrador ha sido un socio de importancia crítica para el presidente Biden”.

Desde 2022, México ha añadido cientos de puntos de control migratorios y ha incrementado por una decena de veces el personal de las fuerzas del orden, según cifras proporcionadas por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos. México también está arrestando más migrantes que en cualquier otro momento de la historia reciente.

Sin embargo, la cantidad de migrantes que llegan a la frontera sur sigue siendo persistentemente alta. Hubo más de dos millones de cruces migratorios ilegales en cada uno de los últimos dos años fiscales, el doble de los que hubo en 2019, el año con mayor cantidad de detenciones del gobierno de Trump.

El declive a principios de este año siguió siendo uno de los meses de enero con mayor número de cruces ilegales registrados, según datos federales de Estados Unidos. Las detenciones volvieron a aumentar en febrero.

En México, las autoridades afirmaron que habían llegado al límite de lo que eran capaces de lograr frente un flujo extraordinario de migrantes que también ha abrumado a su país.

López Obrador ha presionado a la Casa Blanca para que se comprometa a una mayor ayuda para el desarrollo de los países latinoamericanos, y así abordar los problemas que causan que los migrantes huyan de sus naciones en un principio.

“Queremos que se atiendan las causas raíz”, le dijo a 60 Minutes, de CBS, durante una entrevista que salió al aire el domingo. Cuando se le preguntó si continuaría asegurando la frontera incluso si Estados Unidos no hiciera lo que le solicitó, López Obrador respondió que sí.

La migración ha aumentado debido a factores que son complicados de controlar para cualquier gobierno: pobreza persistente, auge de la violencia, los efectos del cambio climático y el impacto duradero de la pandemia de coronavirus que han dejado a las personas desesperadas por cualquier posibilidad de supervivencia.

Sin embargo, las autoridades mexicanas también culpan a las políticas estadounidenses, y afirmaron que los migrantes tenían un incentivo para ir a Estados Unidos ya que el sistema de asilo tenía tantos retrasos que los migrantes tenían una buena probabilidad de permanecer en el país por años hasta que sus casos obtuvieran una resolución.

En una entrevista, Enrique Lucero, director municipal de atención al migrante del ayuntamiento de Tijuana, dijo que esta situación era responsabilidad de Estados Unidos, “no nuestra”, refiriéndose a la crisis migratoria.

Afirmó que el gobierno estadounidense debería cambiar su sistema migratorio y de asilo, así como el marco legal. De lo contrario, dijo, México terminaría “haciendo el trabajo sucio”.

En meses recientes, las autoridades en Tijuana han allanado hoteles y refugios, incrementado la seguridad en cruces fronterizos oficiales e instalado nuevos puntos de control a lo largo de una sección de la frontera que solía estar desierta cerca de la ciudad, donde los migrantes pasaban por un hueco en el muro.

Nada de esto funcionó por mucho tiempo.

Según las organizaciones de ayuda, la medidas severas de las autoridades solo han puesto a los migrantes en un mayor peligro, pues ha llevado a los traficantes a guiar a las personas por rutas más peligrosas en el vasto desierto, donde muchas veces se pierden y son encontrados con síntomas de deshidratación.

Una noche de febrero, un contrabandista dejó a un grupo de 18 personas a kilómetros de la frontera, y les dijo que encontrarían con rapidez un hueco en el muro. En medio de la oscuridad, el grupo se perdió y caminó por horas hasta que finalmente cruzó a California y llegó a un campamento improvisado donde los migrantes a menudo se apretujan en baños portátiles para refugiarse.

Denver Gonzalez, de 2 años, no paraba de llorar.

“Tengo frío, quiero dormir”, gritó el niño varias veces, mientras su padre envolvía su pequeño cuerpo en mantas donadas por un voluntario local.

David Pérez Tejada, titular de la oficina del Instituto Nacional de Migración en Baja California, refiriéndose a los contrabandistas, dijo que si presionas un punto fronterizo, encontrarán otro sitio.

La Casa Blanca ha presionado al gobierno mexicano para que aumente las deportaciones, implemente restricciones de visa a más países para dificultar que entren a México y refuerce las fuerzas de seguridad en la frontera sur.

Desde 2022, el gobierno mexicano ha añadido cientos de puestos de control migratorios, ha reforzado la seguridad a lo largo de las rutas ferroviarias utilizadas por los migrantes para viajar hacia el norte y ha incrementado diez veces el personal de las fuerzas del orden, según cifras proporcionadas por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos. México también está deteniendo más migrantes que en cualquier otro momento de la historia reciente.

Sin embargo, camiones llenos de migrantes continúan atravesando el país, en parte porque los contrabandistas suelen sobornar a las autoridades de los puestos de control, afirmaron funcionarios estadounidenses.

El gobierno de Biden quiere que México aumente la cantidad de deportaciones. La Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México declaró la semana pasada que había llegado a un acuerdo con Venezuela para deportar migrantes y ayudarlos a conseguir empleos.

Pero los vuelos de repatriación son costosos, y México tiene obstáculos legales para deportar personas de forma masiva. El año pasado, la Suprema Corte de Justicia de México determinó que los migrantes solo podían ser detenidos por 36 horas.

Muchos países piden un aviso de al menos 72 horas antes de aceptar vuelos con sus ciudadanos, afirmó un alto funcionario mexicano que no estaba autorizado a hablar públicamente del tema. Eso significa que el gobierno a menudo tiene que liberar a los migrantes antes de poder negociar su regreso. Las deportaciones desde México se redujeron a más de la mitad el año pasado, según mostraron datos del gobierno mexicano.

La Casa Blanca también ha presionado a México para que haga más de lo que algunos funcionarios llaman “descompresión”, que implica transportar personas lejos de la frontera a algún lugar más al centro del país.

“Las autoridades mexicanas están deteniendo a personas y enviándolas a ciudades aleatorias en el sur”, dijo Erika Pinheiro, directora ejecutiva de Al Otro Lado, una organización humanitaria. “Obligarlos a que hagan de nuevo el viaje al norte, paguen sobornos a las autoridades y corran todos esos riesgos otra vez es inhumano”.

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega colaboró con este reportaje desde Ciudad de México y Aline Corpus desde Tijuana.

Natalie Kitroeff es la jefa de la corresponsalía del Times para México, Centroamérica y el Caribe. Más de Natalie Kitroeff

Zolan Kanno-Youngs es corresponsal de la Casa Blanca, y cubre la gestión de Biden. Más de Zolan Kanno-Youngs

Bolsonaro se escondió temporalmente en la embajada de Hungría

Jack NicasChristoph KoettlLeonardo Coelho y

Jack Nicas y Leonardo Coelho informaron desde Río de Janeiro, Christoph Koettl desde Nueva York y Paulo Motoryn desde Brasilia.

Read in English

El 8 de febrero, la policía federal de Brasil confiscó el pasaporte del expresidente Jair Bolsonaro y arrestó a dos de sus exasesores principales bajo acusaciones de que habían planeado un golpe de Estado tras la derrota de Bolsonaro en las elecciones presidenciales de 2022.

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

Cuatro días después, Bolsonaro estaba en la entrada de la embajada de Hungría en Brasil, esperando a que lo dejaran entrar, según imágenes de las cámaras de seguridad de la embajada, obtenidas por The New York Times.

El expresidente aparentemente permaneció en la embajada durante los dos días siguientes, según mostraron las imágenes, acompañado por dos guardias de seguridad y atendido por el embajador húngaro y miembros del personal. Bolsonaro, quien es objeto de varias investigaciones penales, no puede ser arrestado en una embajada extranjera que lo acoja, ya que están legalmente fuera de la jurisdicción de las autoridades nacionales.

Su estancia en la embajada sugiere que el exmandatario estaba tratando de aprovechar su amistad con un líder de extrema derecha, el primer ministro de Hungría, Viktor Orbán, en un intento de evadir el sistema de justicia brasileño porque se enfrenta a investigaciones penales en su país.

El Times analizó tres días de grabaciones de cuatro cámaras de la embajada húngara que muestran que Bolsonaro llegó tarde el lunes 12 de febrero y se marchó en la tarde del miércoles 14 de febrero. En el intervalo, se mantuvo casi siempre oculto.

El Times verificó la grabación comparándola con imágenes de la embajada, incluidas imágenes por satélite que mostraban el coche en el que llegó Bolsonaro estacionado en la entrada el 13 de febrero.

Un funcionario de la embajada húngara, que habló bajo condición de anonimato para poder discutir asuntos internos, confirmó el plan de recibir a Bolsonaro.

Tras la publicación de este artículo, Bolsonaro confirmó su estancia en la embajada. “No voy a negar que estuve en la embajada”, dijo a Metrópoles, un medio de noticias brasileño, el lunes. “Tengo un círculo de amigos con algunos líderes mundiales. Ellos están preocupados”.

El abogado de Bolsonaro, Paulo Cunha Bueno, dijo en un comunicado el lunes que el expresidente se quedó en la embajada para discutir de política con diplomáticos húngaros. “Cualquier otra interpretación”, dijo, “son claramente obras de ficción. En la práctica, otra noticia falsa”.

La embajada húngara no respondió a una solicitud de comentarios.

Bolsonaro y Orbán han tenido una estrecha relación durante años, ya que tienen en común ser dos de los líderes de más extrema derecha en las naciones democráticas.

Bolsonaro llamó a Orbán su “hermano” durante una visita a Hungría en 2022. Más tarde ese año, el ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Hungría le preguntó a un funcionario del gobierno de Bolsonaro si Hungría podría hacer algo para ayudar a reelegir al Bolsonaro, según el resumen del gobierno brasileño de sus comentarios.

En diciembre, Bolsonaro y Orbán se reunieron en Buenos Aires en la toma de posesión del nuevo presidente de Argentina, Javier Milei, de derecha. Allí, Orbán calificó a Bolsonaro de “héroe”.

Bolsonaro se enfrenta a investigaciones penales cada vez más profundas en Brasil. En los 15 meses que han transcurrido desde que dejó el cargo, su casa ha sido registrada, su teléfono móvil y pasaporte han sido confiscados, y varios de sus aliados y exayudantes han sido detenidos.

Los casos que enfrenta Bolsonaro involucran una variedad de acusaciones, incluyendo que participó en planes para vender joyas que recibió como regalos del Estado mientras era presidente y falsificó sus registros de vacunación contra la COVID-19 con el fin de poder viajar a Estados Unidos. La policía federal brasileña recomendó la semana pasada la presentación de cargos penales contra el expresidente en el caso de las cartillas falsas de vacunación contra la COVID-19, pero la fiscalía aún no se ha pronunciado.

En las acusaciones más graves, la policía ha dicho que Bolsonaro conspiró con varios de sus principales ministros y ayudantes para tratar de aferrarse al poder después de haber sido derrotado en las elecciones. La policía arrestó a algunos de sus principales aliados el 8 de febrero y allanó los domicilios de otros.

Horas después, Orbán publicó un mensaje de ánimo para Bolsonaro, llamándole “patriota honesto” y pidiéndole que “siguiera luchando”.

El 12 de febrero, cuatro días después, Bolsonaro publicó un video en línea llamando a sus partidarios a un mitin en São Paulo ese mes. “Quiero defenderme de todas estas acusaciones”, dijo en el video. “Hasta entonces, si Dios quiere”.

Más tarde, ese mismo día, acudió a la embajada de Hungría. En los momentos previos a su llegada, las imágenes de seguridad muestran a Miklós Halmai, embajador del país en Brasil, paseándose y usando su teléfono. La pequeña embajada estaba casi vacía, salvo por el grupo de diplomáticos húngaros que viven allí. El personal local estaba de vacaciones, porque la estancia de Bolsonaro se produjo en medio de las celebraciones nacionales de los carnavales de Brasil.

A las 9:34 p. m. , un auto negro apareció en la puerta de la embajada. Un hombre se bajó y poco después aplaudió para llamar la atención de alguien en el interior. Tres minutos más tarde, Halmai abrió la puerta e indicó dónde estacionar.

Bolsonaro y dos hombres que parecían guardias de seguridad salieron del vehículo. Halmai los condujo al interior. Tras charlar brevemente, los cuatro hombres subieron a un ascensor.

Durante las siguientes dos horas, el personal de la embajada hizo varios viajes hacia una zona del edificio donde había dos apartamentos para invitados, según las imágenes y el funcionario de la embajada. Llevaban ropa de cama, agua y otros artículos, hasta que la actividad cesó sobre las 11:40 p. m.

A la mañana siguiente, a las 7:26 a. m., Halmai salió de la zona residencial y escribió algo en su teléfono. Media hora más tarde, el embajador y otro hombre llevaron una cafetera a la zona residencial.

Durante el resto del día, el personal húngaro paseó por los alrededores de la embajada, incluidos unos padres con un niño.

A primera hora de la tarde, Bolsonaro paseó por el estacionamiento de la embajada con uno de sus guardias de seguridad.

En dos ocasiones, los guardias de seguridad de Bolsonaro se marcharon. Alrededor de la hora del almuerzo, un guardia regresó con lo que parecía ser una pizza.

A las 8:38 p. m. , un guardia regresó al estacionamiento de la embajada con otro hombre en el asiento trasero. El hombre cargaba una bolsa y entró en la zona residencial donde parecía que Bolsonaro estaba alojado. El hombre se marchó 38 minutos después.

Mientras el coche se alejaba, un hombre que parecía ser Bolsonaro salió de la zona residencial para observar.

El 14 de febrero, los diplomáticos húngaros se pusieron en contacto con los miembros del personal local brasileño, que tenían previsto volver al trabajo al día siguiente, para decirles que se quedaran en sus casas el resto de la semana, según el funcionario de la embajada. No explicaron por qué, dijo el funcionario.

Ese día, Bolsonaro apareció por primera vez en las imágenes de las cámaras de seguridad a las 4:14 p. m., cuando él y sus dos guardias salieron de la zona residencial con dos mochilas y se dirigieron directamente a su auto. Halmai les siguió. El embajador vio salir el auto y se despidió con la mano.

La expectativa de que Bolsonaro vaya a la cárcel ha suscitado numerosas especulaciones sobre la posibilidad de que intente huir de la justicia. Dos de sus hijos han solicitado pasaportes italianos, lo que hizo que el ministro de Asuntos Exteriores del país tuviera que negar públicamente que Bolsonaro, quien tiene ascendencia italiana, también hubiera solicitado la ciudadanía.

La noche antes de dejar el cargo, Bolsonaro voló a Florida y estuvo allí durante tres meses. Uno de sus partidarios más prominentes, un analista de extrema derecha llamado Allan dos Santos, ha podido evitar el arresto en Brasil por acusaciones de haber amenazado a jueces federales, ya que ha solicitado asilo político en Estados Unidos.

Dos semanas después de la salida de Bolsonaro de la embajada —no está claro por qué se fue— celebró el mitin previsto en São Paulo. Observadores independientes estimaron que asistieron 185.000 simpatizantes. En el evento, Bolsonaro repitió su defensa de que era víctima de una persecución política.

Él y sus abogados han argumentado que el Supremo Tribunal Federal de Brasil abusó de su poder, se entrometió en las elecciones de 2022 y ahora está tratando de encarcelarlo a él y a sus aliados. Recientemente han señalado las grabaciones de un exayudante de Bolsonaro, cuyas confesiones han sido importantes para las investigaciones, alegando que los investigadores tienen una narrativa predeterminada de que Bolsonaro es culpable.

En las semanas que han transcurrido desde entonces, los problemas legales de Bolsonaro han empeorado. El Supremo Tribunal Federal del país publicó documentos que mostraban que los líderes del ejército y la fuerza aérea de Brasil le habían dicho a la policía que, tras perder las elecciones de 2022, Bolsonaro le presentó a los líderes militares un plan para anular los resultados. Los líderes militares dijeron a la policía que se negaron y advirtieron al expresidente que podrían arrestarlo si intentaba ejecutarlo.

Bolsonaro afirmó este mes que no le preocupaba ser arrestado.

“Podría perfectamente estar en otro país, pero decidí volver aquí a toda costa”, dijo en un acto político. “No tengo miedo”.

Natalie Reneau realizó la producción de video.

Jack Nicas es el jefe de la corresponsalía en Brasil, con sede en Río de Janeiro, desde donde lidera la cobertura de gran parte de América del Sur. Más de Jack Nicas

Christoph Koettl es periodista del departamento de Investigaciones Visuales del equipo de video del Times y se especializa en el análisis de imágenes de satélite, videos y otras pruebas visuales. Ha compartido dos premios Pulitzer por la cobertura del costo civil de los ataques aéreos y con drones estadounidenses y las atrocidades rusas en Ucrania. Más de Christoph Koettl

La filial del EI vinculada al atentado de Moscú tiene ambiciones globales

Este mes se cumplen cinco años desde que una milicia kurda y árabe respaldada por Estados Unidos expulsó a los combatientes del Estado Islámico de un pueblo del este de Siria, el último reducto territorial del grupo.

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

Desde entonces, la organización que en su día se autoproclamó califato en Irak y Siria se ha convertido en un grupo terrorista más tradicional: una red clandestina de células que, desde África Occidental hasta el Sudeste Asiático, se dedican a cometer atentados de guerrilla, ataques con bomba y asesinatos selectivos.

Ninguna de las filiales del grupo ha sido tan implacable como el Estado Islámico de Jorasán, que tiene operaciones en Afganistán, Pakistán e Irán y ha puesto la mira en atacar Europa y más allá. Las autoridades estadounidenses afirman que el grupo realizó el atentado cerca de Moscú del viernes que mató a decenas de personas e hirió a muchas otras.

En enero, el Estado Islámico de Jorasán, o ISIS-K, por su sigla en inglés, llevó a cabo dos atentados en Irán que causaron decenas de muertos y centenares de heridos en un servicio en memoria del exgeneral iraní Qasem Suleimani, quien cuatro años antes fue blanco de un ataque estadounidense con drones.

“La amenaza del EI”, dijo Avril Haines, directora de inteligencia nacional, ante un panel del Senado este mes, “sigue siendo una preocupación significativa contra el terrorismo”. La mayoría de los atentados “realizados globalmente por el EI se han producido en realidad por partes del EI que están fuera de Afganistán”, dijo refiriéndose al Estado Islámico, conocido en inglés como ISIS.

Michael Kurilla, general jefe del Mando Central del ejército, declaró el jueves ante una comisión de la Cámara de Representantes que el ISIS-K “conserva la capacidad y la voluntad de atacar intereses estadounidenses y occidentales en el extranjero en un plazo de tan solo seis meses sin apenas previo aviso”.

Especialistas estadounidenses en antiterrorismo rechazaron el domingo la insinuación del Kremlin de que Ucrania estuviera detrás del ataque del viernes cerca de Moscú. “El modus operandi era clásico del EI”, dijo Bruce Hoffman, un estudioso del terrorismo en el Consejo de Relaciones Exteriores.

El asalto fue el tercer lugar de conciertos en el hemisferio norte que el Estado Islámico ha atacado en la última década, dijo Hoffman, después de un ataque contra el teatro Bataclan en París en noviembre de 2015 (como parte de una operación más amplia contra otros objetivos en la ciudad) y un atentado suicida en un concierto de Ariana Grande en el Manchester Arena, Inglaterra, en mayo de 2017.

El Estado Islámico de Jorasán, fundado en 2015 por integrantes insatisfechos de los talibanes paquistaníes, irrumpió en la escena yihadista internacional después de que los talibanes derrocaron al gobierno afgano en 2021. Durante la retirada militar estadounidense del país, ISIS-K, llevó a cabo un atentado suicida en el aeropuerto internacional de Kabul en agosto de 2021 en el que murieron 13 efectivos militares estadounidenses y hasta 170 civiles.

Desde entonces, los talibanes luchan contra el ISIS-K en Afganistán. Hasta ahora, los servicios de seguridad de los talibanes han impedido que el grupo se apodere de territorio o reclute a un gran número de antiguos combatientes talibanes, según funcionarios estadounidenses de antiterrorismo.

Pero la trayectoria ascendente y el alcance de los atentados del ISIS-K han aumentado en los últimos años, con ataques transfronterizos en Pakistán y un número creciente de complots en Europa. La mayoría de esos complots europeos fueron frustrados, lo que llevó a los servicios de inteligencia occidentales a considerar que el grupo podría haber alcanzado el límite de sus capacidades letales.

El pasado mes de julio, Alemania y los Países Bajos coordinaron las detenciones de siete individuos tayikos, turcomanos y kirguizos vinculados a una red del ISIS-K sospechosos de planear atentados en Alemania.

Tres hombres fueron detenidos en el estado alemán de Renania del Norte-Westfalia por presuntos planes para atentar contra la catedral de Colonia el último día de 2023. Las redadas estaban relacionadas con otras tres detenciones en Austria y una en Alemania el 24 de diciembre. Al parecer, las cuatro personas actuaban en apoyo del ISIS-K.

Funcionarios antiterroristas estadounidenses y de otros países occidentales afirman que estos complots fueron organizados por operativos de bajo nivel que fueron detectados y desbaratados con relativa rapidez.

“Hasta ahora, el EI de Jorasán ha recurrido principalmente a agentes sin experiencia en Europa para intentar cometer atentados en su nombre”, dijo Christine Abizaid, directora del Centro Nacional Antiterrorista, ante una comisión de la Cámara de Representantes en noviembre.

Pero hay indicios preocupantes de que el ISIS-K está aprendiendo de sus errores. En enero, asaltantes enmascarados atacaron una iglesia católica en Estambul, matando a una persona. Poco después, el Estado Islámico, a través de Amaq, su agencia oficial de noticias, reivindicó el atentado. Las fuerzas del orden turcas detuvieron a 47 personas, en su mayoría ciudadanos de países de Asia Central.

Desde entonces, las fuerzas de seguridad turcas han lanzado operaciones masivas dirigidas a sospechosos de pertenecer al EI en Turquía, Siria e Irak. Varias investigaciones europeas arrojaron luz sobre la naturaleza global e interconectada de las finanzas del EI, según un informe de Naciones Unidas de enero, que identificaba a Turquía como centro logístico de las operaciones del ISIS-K en Europa.

Los atentados en Moscú e Irán demostraron una mayor sofisticación, según funcionarios de la lucha antiterrorista, lo que sugiere un mayor nivel de planificación y la capacidad de valerse de las redes extremistas locales.

“El ISIS-K ha estado obsesionado con Rusia durante los dos últimos años”, criticando con frecuencia al presidente Vladimir Putin en su propaganda, dijo Colin Clarke, analista antiterrorista del Soufan Group, una consultora de seguridad con sede en Nueva York. “ISIS-K acusa al Kremlin de tener sangre musulmana en sus manos, haciendo referencia a las intervenciones de Moscú en Afganistán, Chechenia y Siria”.

Una parte significativa de los integrantes de ISIS-K son de origen centroasiático, y hay un gran contingente de cetroasiáticos que viven y trabajan en Rusia. Algunos de estos individuos pueden haberse radicalizado y estar en condiciones de desempeñar una función logística, almacenando armas, dijo Clarke.

Daniel Byman, especialista en antiterrorismo de la Universidad de Georgetown, dijo que “ISIS-K ha reunido a combatientes de Asia Central y el Cáucaso bajo su ala, y pueden ser responsables del atentado de Moscú, directamente o a través de sus propias redes”.

Al parecer, las autoridades rusas e iraníes no se tomaron suficientemente en serio las advertencias públicas y privadas más detalladas de Estados Unidos sobre la inminente trama de atentados del ISIS-K, o se distrajeron con otros problemas de seguridad.

“A principios de marzo, el gobierno de Estados Unidos compartió información con Rusia sobre un ataque terrorista planeado en Moscú”, dijo el sábado Adrienne Watson, portavoz del Consejo de Seguridad Nacional. “También emitimos un aviso público a los estadounidenses en Rusia el 7 de marzo. El EI es el único responsable de este ataque. No hubo participación ucraniana en absoluto”.

Las autoridades rusas anunciaron el sábado la detención de varios sospechosos del atentado del viernes. Pero altos funcionarios estadounidenses dijeron el domingo que seguían investigando los antecedentes de los atacantes y tratando de determinar si habían sido desplegados desde el sur o el centro de Asia para este ataque en particular o si ya estaban en el país como parte de la red de simpatizantes que el ISIS-K luego contrató e incitó.

Especialistas en antiterrorismo expresaron el domingo su preocupación por la posibilidad de que los atentados de Moscú e Irán envalentonen al ISIS-K para redoblar sus esfuerzos por atentar en Europa, especialmente en Francia, Bélgica, Gran Bretaña y otros países que han sufrido ataques intermitentes durante la última década.

El informe de la ONU, que utiliza un nombre diferente para Estado Islámico de Jorasán, afirma que “algunos individuos de origen norcaucásico y centroasiático que viajan desde Afganistán o Ucrania hacia Europa representan una oportunidad para ISIL-K, que busca proyectar ataques violentos en Occidente”. El informe concluía que había pruebas de “complots operativos actuales e inacabados en suelo europeo dirigidos por ISIL-K”.

Un alto funcionario de los servicios de inteligencia occidentales identificó tres factores principales que podrían inspirar a los operativos del ISIS-K a llevar a cabo atentados: la existencia de células latentes en Europa, las imágenes de la guerra en Gaza y el apoyo de personas de habla rusa que viven en Europa.

Un acontecimiento importante de este verano tiene en vilo a muchos responsables de la lucha antiterrorista.

“Me preocupan los Juegos Olímpicos de París”, dijo Edmund Fitton-Brown, ex alto funcionario de la ONU en materia antiterrorista y ahora asesor principal del Counter Extremism Project. “Serían un objetivo terrorista de primer orden”.

Eric Schmitt es corresponsal de seguridad nacional para el Times y se centra en asuntos militares estadounidenses y antiterrorismo en el extranjero, temas sobre los que ha informado durante más de tres décadas. Más de Eric Schmitt