The New York Times 2024-04-22 16:15:07


Middle East Crisis: Senior Israeli Military Official Resigns After Oct. 7 Intelligence Failures

Haliva was a symbol of the failure to prevent the deadliest attack in Israel’s history.

The head of intelligence for Israel’s military resigned on Monday following the intelligence failures that preceded the Hamas-led attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, making him the most senior official to offer to step down in the wake of the assault.

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, the director of military intelligence, sent a letter to Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the army’s chief of staff, saying that he would like to leave the military. General Halevi accepted the resignation, a military spokesman said.

General Haliva had become a symbol of the Israeli establishment’s failure to prevent the deadliest attack in Israeli history. His resignation, though long expected, was expected to heighten pressure on other senior figures, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to take greater responsibility for their role in the catastrophe.

And it suggested that a bitter reckoning within Israeli society about the October failure — one that was largely postponed while Israel battled Hamas in Gaza — is gathering momentum now that the pace of the war has ebbed.

Since the Oct. 7 assault, Israelis have learned about a slew of military and intelligence failures that have destabilized their sense of security and shaken confidence in their leaders. One of the most significant was the assessment of many in Israel’s security establishment that Hamas in Gaza was not preparing for a major battle.

Another misstep was that Israel had a copy of Hamas’s battle plan for Oct. 7 more than a year in advance, but had determined that an attack of that scale and ambition was beyond the group’s capacity, according to documents and officials.

In his letter on Monday, General Haliva wrote to the army chief: “At the start of the war, I expressed to you my desire to take responsibility and end my role. Now, after more than six and a half months, and alongside the commencement of investigations, I am asking to finish my job and retire from the Israel Defense Forces.”

General Haliva will remain in his role at least until the appointment of a new military intelligence chief, said the military spokesman, Maj. Nir Dinar. It was unclear how long it would take to appoint a successor. And General Haliva said in his letter that he would like to remain in the post until internal inquiries into the Oct. 7 failures are completed.

Within days of Oct. 7, General Haliva said the military intelligence directorate had failed to warn of the impending assault and declared that he bore “full responsibility” for the failure.

The police arrest two men after a car rammed into pedestrians in Jerusalem.

The Israeli authorities said they had arrested two men in Jerusalem on Monday after a vehicle was used to ram into pedestrians, injuring at least three people, in what the police called a terrorist attack.

Video of the episode broadcast on Israel’s Channel 12 shows a car speeding around a sharp corner and ramming into a group of people, who went flying over the top of the vehicle. Pictures shared on social media by the police show a white sedan that had crashed into another car on a small street.

After hitting the pedestrians, the vehicle appears to crash into a parked car, according to the video. Two young men then run out onto the street, pointing weapons, before fleeing the area.

The police said that the two men were arrested in a nearby store that was closed, and that a weapon used in the attack had been recovered.

It was the latest attack in Jerusalem in recent months, since Israeli forces went to war against Hamas in Gaza. Last month, a 15-year-old boy stabbed two Israelis at a checkpoint at the entrance to Jerusalem. In November, a gunman killed three Israelis at an entrance to the city, and a fourth Israeli who opened fire on the assailant was killed by Israeli soldiers who mistook him for a participant in the attack.

On Monday, video posted online by Channel 12 after the arrest shows men being led away by law enforcement officers as a crowd of ultra-Orthodox Jews, some standing on rooftops, clap and cheer.

A Palestinian baby was delivered after her mother was killed in an Israeli strike.

Doctors in Gaza delivered a baby on Sunday from the womb of a Palestinian woman who had been killed alongside her husband and daughter in an Israeli strike in the city of Rafah, where more than one million people have fled during Israel’s war in Gaza.

The birth of the child was captured on video by a journalist from the Reuters news agency, who filmed doctors providing artificial respiration to her after she emerged pale, limp and seemingly lifeless from her mother, Sabreen al-Sakani.

“Here is the biggest tragedy: Even if this child survives she was born an orphan,” Dr. Mohammed Salama, the head of the neonatal intensive care unit at Al-Emirati Hospital in Rafah told Reuters.

The baby was born 10 weeks premature and weighed three pounds, Dr. Salama told Reuters. Her mother was already dead when she was born, he said. Instead of a name, doctors wrote “the baby of the martyr Sabreen al-Sakani” on a piece of tape across her chest.

Rami al-Sheikh, the baby’s uncle, told a video journalist from Reuters that her older sister, Malak, had wanted to name her Rouh, the Arabic word for soul. Malak also died in the strike.

He said the family was “ordinary civilians.”

“My brother is a barber and used to work with me in the shop,” Mr. al-Sheikh said about the baby’s father. “They were happy people, and the little girl Malak was happy that her sister was coming into the world.”

The baby was in a perilous state after her birth, but now, aside from some respiratory problems, her condition is stable, Dr. Salama said. She will spend three to four weeks in the hospital, and then doctors will figure out whom to send the baby home with.

“Hopefully after her respiratory distress improves, she will need to be breastfed,” Dr. Salama said. “She has been denied everything — denied her mother, denied her milk. Some substitutions can be made, but nothing will ever replace her mother.”

Israelis prepare to mark a somber Passover, with hostages still in Gaza.

Many Israelis were in a somber mood on Monday as they prepared to usher in Passover, the Jewish festival of freedom, saying they would mark the holiday rather than celebrate it, with more than 130 hostages remaining in Gaza.

The number of hostages believed to be alive is unclear, and with negotiations with Hamas captors at an impasse, there is little prospect of their imminent release.

The holiday is to start after sundown on Monday with the traditional Seder meal. By tradition, this is a joyful gathering of family and friends who follow a ritual order of blessings over symbolic foods as they retell the biblical story of the bondage and suffering of the ancient Israelites in Egypt and their exodus and liberation.

Israelis are still jittery after an exchange of fire with Iran this month, the first time Tehran had directly attacked Israel from Iranian territory. And the country continues to mourn the roughly 1,200 people the Israeli authorities say were killed in the Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7, which prompted six months of deadly fighting in Gaza so far. More than 250 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the start of Israel’s ground invasion in late October, the military says. More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war, according to Gaza health officials.

Daily tit-for-tat attacks over the northern border with Lebanon have turned a portion of Israel into a no-go zone. Tens of thousands of residents of northern and southern Israel remain in temporary accommodations, having been evacuated from their homes.

“We will mark the Seder night for the children,” said Irit Feingold, 35, a pedagogic instructor for preschoolers who was attending a rally for the hostages in Jerusalem on Saturday night, and was planning to spend Monday night with about 25 members of her extended family.

“We will talk about leadership, freedom and staying free, and everybody can share what they feel,” she said.

Many families like Ms. Feingold’s have been holding emotionally charged conversations about how to commemorate the holiday, with some saying they preferred not to conduct a Seder at all.

“Every festival is another milestone showing how we aren’t whole,” Ms. Feingold said, adding that it was imperative to resist sliding back into normalcy and routine. Her husband, a soldier in the reserves, is to return to Gaza after the holiday.

The organization representing most of the families of the hostages is urging families to place an empty chair at their table with a portrait of a hostage or a yellow ribbon. Traditionally, Jews leave an empty chair at the Seder for Elijah, the biblical prophet revered as the harbinger of hope and redemption.

“All of the symbolic things we do at the Seder will take on a much more profound and deep meaning this year,” said Rachel Goldberg-Polin, whose son, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, a dual citizen of Israel and the United States, was taken captive into Gaza after his arm was blown off during an assault on a roadside bomb shelter. He had taken refuge there after fleeing the Tribe of Nova music festival.

Mentioning the salt water that is part of the Seder ritual to represent the tears of the Israelites while they were in bondage in Egypt, Ms. Goldberg-Polin told reporters she would be participating in a Seder with close friends and family, “and they have been very clear that if 15 minutes in we just can’t do it, and we need to cry, then we will cry.”

Hundreds of survivors from Kibbutz Be’eri, one of the border villages that was attacked on Oct. 7, were planning to hold a communal Seder in a Tel Aviv square that has become a focal point for the campaign to free the hostages.

A quarter of the residents of another border village, Nir Oz, were either killed or kidnapped. Avner Goren, a son of founders of the communal village, wrote a poem comparing the Israeli people to a fruit salad — some sour, some sweet — to celebrate the country’s multicultural mix for a version of the Haggadah that Nir Oz produced in the late 1990s.

Mr. Goren was killed on Oct. 7. His wife, Maya Goren, was kidnapped and taken to Gaza and has been declared dead. Addressing the rally in Jerusalem on Saturday night, Rabbi Binyamin Lau said he intended to sit at the Seder table with his family, an empty chair with a picture of his friend Alex Dancyg, a Holocaust expert from Nir Oz who remains a hostage, and a fruit salad.

Rabbi Lau, himself the son of a Holocaust survivor, said, “We are a people that tells a story at any time, under any conditions.”

Myra Noveck contributed reporting from Jerusalem, and Gabby Sobelman from Rehovot, Israel.

A U.S. official says the military destroyed a rocket launcher in Iraq after rockets were fired toward a U.S. base.

The U.S. military destroyed a rocket launcher in Iraq in self-defense, an American defense official said late Sunday, after rockets were fired from the area toward a base used by U.S. forces in eastern Syria.

The attack on the base in Rumalyn, Syria, failed and no American personnel were injured, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

It was not immediately clear who had fired the rockets, or how many had been fired, toward the base in Syria. The U.S. military has about 900 troops in Syria to help battle the remnants of the Islamic State, and they have been targeted in dozens of attacks by Iran-backed armed groups based in Iraq since the war in Gaza began last October. The Iran-backed groups in Iraq have said that they view their mission as attacking Israel and its allies.

The rocket fire over the weekend was believed to be the first attack directed at U.S. forces in Iraq, Syria or Jordan since early February, when, at the request of leaders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Iran-backed groups in Iraq reined in their assaults on American personnel in the region.

That request came after an Iran-backed armed group launched a drone strike on Jan. 28 that killed three U.S. service members and wounded 34 others at a military outpost in Jordan near the Syrian border. The United States responded to that strike by targeting bases used by Iran-backed armed groups in Iraq and Syria, killing dozens of people including civilians, according to officials in both countries.

Since then, a few attacks had targeted Syrian Kurdish forces who work closely with the U.S. Special Operations forces in Syria, but there had been no known attacks aimed at American troops.

Ukraine’s Race to Hold the Line


This defensive line in southern Ukraine runs a staggering 27 miles. Two months ago, it didn’t exist.

Russia built something very similar in late 2022 to repel a Ukrainian counteroffensive. But now the tables have turned.

Ditches. Concrete obstacles to funnel enemy tanks into positions where they can be more easily attacked. Trenches for soldiers to fire from.

It all adds up to the Ukrainians’ grim new reality: Russia appears ready to keep advancing despite suffering heavy casualties, and all they can do is try to slow it down.

After the failure of a much-heralded counteroffensive and another winter of fending off Russian attacks, Ukrainian troops are exhausted and facing severe shortages.

The government has signed off on a conscription plan to replenish the ranks, and European countries have promised to send more vehicles and missiles, among other critically needed supplies. Ukraine received a much-needed boost on Saturday, when the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $60 billion military assistance package that will provide more weapons to their war effort.

But what Ukraine really needs is time.

Training those new troops will take months, and the European equipment will arrive gradually, over the course of the year.

Analysts believe that Ukraine is unlikely to start a major counteroffensive this year, choosing instead to spend the time reconstituting its forces. But it will still need to try to stave off Russian attacks and to keep any small enemy gains from becoming full-fledged breakthroughs.

That is where the ambitious defensive lines that are frantically being built come in.

The Ukrainian government has allocated about $800 million to building fortifications along about 600 miles of front line this year, and construction is well underway.

The defenses shown above are just a small part of what Ukraine has been putting in place, much of which can be seen in publicly available satellite imagery from Copernicus, part of the European Union’s space program.

American military analysts in Wiesbaden, Germany, drawing on satellite imagery and other intelligence, have been working closely with Ukrainian liaison officers to identify gaps in Ukraine’s defenses, officials say.

Since the start of the year, Ukraine has built long defensive lines across two regions in the south, Kherson and Zaporizhia.

As well as the new defenses in the south, Pentagon officials and independent analysts also pointed to ones beyond Avdiivka in the east.

The Ukrainian military is eager to prevent a repeat of what happened around Avdiivka in February, after that city was captured by the Russians. Meager Ukrainian defenses allowed the enemy to keep pushing west.

So far, four officials said in interviews, the results have been mixed. A robust, multilayer tiered defense is still weeks away, if not months, they said.

But the top U.S. commander in Europe, Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, expressed optimism.

“I think that their defenses are going to be very strong, and are strong,” General Cavoli said in a brief interview. “And with continued support, they’re going to be in a good position.”

But on the ground, it has not been easy.

On the outskirts of one embattled town, Chasiv Yar, exhausted troops are holding onto terrain around a canal. But their defenses are poorly constructed and should have been fortified with concrete months ago, a Ukrainian commander said.

Now the Russians are close to fighting street to street.

The defenses going up in eastern Ukraine are markedly different from many of those in the south. In place of broad defensive lines are installations meant to fortify urban areas that are in Russia’s sights.

One of them is Kurakhove.

The city lies on a main road 10 miles northeast of Marinka, which Russia began trying to capture in 2014, when it was making incursions into Ukrainian territory.

Marinka finally fell late last year. Satellite imagery now shows Ukraine working to protect Kurakhove.

This effort indicates that the Ukrainians are directing their resources to the most defensible terrain, with the idea of making ground advances as costly as possible for Russia.

The defenses also point to a strategy across much of the front line that involves keeping Russian forces off guard with small attacks and seeking to exploit flaws in their defenses, officials said.

For now, with minefields and fortifications making it difficult to attack and maneuver without big losses, both sides are relying heavily on well-prepared entrenchments.

These can include deep trenches fortified with cement, overhead protection, heating and sleeping areas. They require extensive manpower to build and to defend. With Ukraine’s ranks thinned by casualties, it remains unclear if it is up to the task.

James Rands, a military analyst with Janes, a defense intelligence company in London, said the defenses Ukraine built during earlier conflicts with Russia were exceptional. In Donbas, he said, the bunkers were dry and protected with overhead cover, fire-proofing and ballistic protection. The trenches were reinforced.

With Russia now mounting a full invasion, Ukraine is unlikely to be able to do that again, Mr. Rands said.

“The positions they have fallen back to are not in the same league by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “Ukraine now needs to build a series of defensive positions whilst in contact — which is difficult.”

Modi Calls Muslims ‘Infiltrators’ Who Would Take India’s Wealth

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called Muslims “infiltrators” who would take India’s wealth if his opponents gained power — unusually direct and divisive language from a leader who normally lets others do the dirtiest work of polarizing Hindus against Muslims.

Mr. Modi, addressing voters in the state of Rajasthan, referred to a remark once made by Manmohan Singh, his predecessor from the opposition Indian National Congress Party. Mr. Singh, Mr. Modi claimed, had “said that Muslims have the first right to the wealth of the nation. This means they will distribute this wealth to those who have more children, to infiltrators.”

Mr. Modi aimed his emotional appeal at women, addressing “my mothers and sisters” to say that his Congress opponents would take their gold and give it to Muslims.

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Germany Arrests 3 Suspected of Passing Secrets to China

Three German citizens who are believed to have gathered sensitive naval data and obtained a high-powered laser on behalf of the Chinese security services were arrested on Monday, prosecutors said, underscoring the fragile nature of the relationship between the two countries.

A man identified as Thomas R., in keeping with German privacy rules, acted as an “agent” for the Chinese Ministry of State Security, and engaged two others — a married couple identified as Herwig and Ina F. — who ran an engineering company in Düsseldorf, the authorities said.

The arrests come at an awkward time for the German government: Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently spent three days in China as the countries signed several bilateral trade agreements, but Germany is also vigilant to the threat posed by China.

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‘Discomfort May Increase’: Asia’s Heat Wave Scorches Hundreds of Millions

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Hundreds of millions of people in South and Southeast Asia were suffering on Monday from a punishing heat wave that has forced schools to close, disrupted agriculture, and raised the risk of heat strokes and other health complications.

The weather across the region in April is generally hot, and comes before Asia’s annual summer monsoon, which dumps rain on parched soil. But this April’s temperatures have so far been unusually high.

In Bangladesh, where schools and universities are closed this week, temperatures in some areas have soared above 107 degrees Fahrenheit, or 42 degrees Celsius. Those numbers don’t quite capture how extreme humidity makes the heat feel even worse.

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Everton Is Back on Market as Deal With 777 Partners Falters

Advisors for Everton, one of the oldest teams in English soccer and a founding member of the Premier League, have begun searching for an alternative buyer for the financially stricken club, according to people familiar with the decision who requested anonymity to discuss private talks.

Everton announced in September that it had signed an agreement to sell the club to an American investment firm, 777 Partners. But seven months later, the Premier League has still not granted more than conditional approval of the deal amid questions about 777’s financials.

At the same time, the club continues to struggle on and off the field. Everton has already been handed two points deductions this season for failing to comply with the Premier League’s financial rules, leaving it in danger of its first demotion out of English soccer’s top division since 1951.

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Vote to Resume U.S. Military Aid Is Met With Relief in Ukraine

The Ukrainian lieutenant was at a firing position on the eastern front, commanding an artillery unit relying on American-provided M777 howitzers and other big guns, as U.S. lawmakers gathered in Washington to decide if his cannons would be forced to go silent for lack of ammunition.

But when the lieutenant returned to his base on Saturday night, he got the news that he and millions of Ukrainians had been praying to hear.

“I had just entered the building after a shift change when the guys informed me that the aid package for Ukraine had finally been approved by Congress,” said the lieutenant, who is identified only by his first name, Oleksandr, in line with military protocol. “We hope this aid package will reach us as soon as possible.”

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Russian Attacks Crush Factories and Way of Life in Ukrainian Villages

Its towering smokestacks once puffed out clouds of steam. In gigantic machine rooms, turbines whirled around the clock. Furnaces burned trainloads of coal.

In the Soviet era, the Kurakhove Heating and Power Plant gave rise to the town around it in Ukraine’s east, driving the local economy and sustaining the community with wages and heating for homes.

“Our plant is the heart of our city,” said Halyna Liubchenko, a retiree whose husband worked his entire career in nearby coal mines that fed the facility.

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A Country Awash in Violence Backs Its Leader’s Hard-Line Stance

Ecuadoreans voted on Sunday to give their new president more powers to combat the country’s plague of drug-related gang violence, officials said, supporting his hard-line stance on security and offering an early glimpse of how he might fare in his bid for re-election next year.

President Daniel Noboa, the 36-year-old heir to a banana empire, took office in November after an election season focused on the violence, which has surged to levels not seen in decades. In January, he declared an “internal armed conflict” and ordered the military to “neutralize” the country’s gangs. The move allowed soldiers to patrol the streets and Ecuador’s prisons, many of which have come under gang control.

In a referendum on Sunday, Ecuadoreans voted to enshrine the increased military presence into law and to lengthen prison sentences for certain offenses linked to organized crime, among other security measures. With about 20 percent of the votes counted on Sunday night, Ecuador’s electoral authority declared that the trend toward approval of the security measures was “irreversible,” though voters rejected other proposals on the ballot.

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A Friend of Obama Who Could Soon Share the World Stage With Trump

Few British politicians have American ties as deep as those of David Lammy, who is set to become Britain’s foreign secretary if the opposition Labour Party wins the coming election, as the polls suggest it will.

A son of Guyanese immigrants who grew up poor in working-class London, he spent summers with relatives in Brooklyn and Queens, working at Con Edison, before earning a master’s degree at Harvard Law School and befriending Barack Obama, for whom he canvassed in Chicago during his first presidential campaign.

Yet now, on the cusp of becoming Britain’s chief diplomat, Mr. Lammy finds himself facing an uncertain, even potentially hostile, American political landscape. President Biden and the Democrats, with whom Mr. Lammy has cultivated a deep network of contacts, are fighting to hold off a resurgent Donald J. Trump.

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Crackdowns, Attacks and Threat of War Put Iranians on Edge

In the early hours of Friday, Mehrdad, an engineer in Isfahan, Iran, woke to the sound of explosions rattling the windows and shaking the ground. In Tehran, passengers about to board flights were abruptly told the airspace was closed.

Israel, they soon learned, had attacked Iran.

As booms and gunfire went off in the distance, Mehrdad, 43, came to realize that the Israelis’ target was a military base on the outskirts of the city. He and his pregnant wife remained fearful that war would break out, he said in an interview by phone.

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‘Team USA Was Cheated’: Chinese Doping Case Exposes Rift in Swimming

The revelation that 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for a banned drug seven months before the Tokyo Olympics but were secretly cleared and allowed to continue competing has exposed a bitter and at times deeply personal rift inside the sport, and brought new criticism of the global authority that oversees drug-testing.

A New York Times investigation uncovered previously unreported details of the 2021 episode, in which a contingent of Chinese swimmers, including nearly half of the team that China sent to the Tokyo Games, tested positive for a banned prescription heart medicine that can help athletes increase stamina and reduce recovery times.

Within hours, the disclosure of an incident that had been a secret for more than three years had drawn strong reactions from athletes, coaches and others in the fight to keep drugs out of elite sports.

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What’s Happening In Myanmar’s Civil War?


Myanmar’s military staged a coup in 2021, strangling democratic reforms and jailing much of the country’s civilian leadership. Three years on, the Southeast Asian nation is teetering on the brink of failed statehood. Insurgent groups, including pro-democracy forces and ethnic militias, are battling the junta’s soldiers. Tens of thousands of people have been killed, and millions more are displaced.

The fighting, in forests and towns across Myanmar, gets little of the international attention claimed by the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. Yet a decade ago, this nation wedged between India and China was touted as a rare example of a country peacefully transitioning from military dictatorship toward democratic rule. The army putsch ended any illusion of political progress. Myanmar has returned to a military reign of terror and the fractured reality of civil war. The lawlessness that thrives in conflict areas has radiated outward, with transnational crime networks using Myanmar as a base and exporting the products of their illicit activity worldwide.

Why is there a civil war in Myanmar?

The short answer: The military coup was met by widespread peaceful protests. Then the junta, led by Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, quickly reverted to its old playbook: jail, terrorize, kill.

Pro-democracy forces took up arms, joining with militias that for decades had been fighting for the rights of ethnic minorities.

The longer answer: Myanmar has been in turmoil practically since gaining independence from British rule in 1948. Some of the world’s longest-running armed conflicts have simmered in the country’s borderlands, where ethnic militias are seeking autonomy or simply freedom from the Myanmar military’s repression.

A brief period of political reform, with a civilian government led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate, did not make life much better for many ethnic minorities. After her political party trounced the military-linked party in Myanmar’s 2020 elections, a junta grabbed full control of the country again.

A common goal of overthrowing the junta has led to unity between pro-democracy militias and armed ethnic groups. Together, these resistance forces have claimed significant territory from the Myanmar military. On April 11, they captured a key border town from the junta’s forces, their biggest victory yet.

Who exactly is fighting the Myanmar military?

Hundreds of pro-democracy militias, ethnic armies and local defense forces. The sheer diversity of resistance groups battling the junta makes Myanmar the most fractured country on Earth, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, which tracks 50 high-level conflicts worldwide. Complicating matters, some of the rebel groups fight one another, too.

More than 20 militias representing various ethnic minorities have been fighting for autonomy for decades. Some of these insurgent groups control territory in Myanmar’s resource-rich periphery.

When ousted politicians and democracy advocates fled arrest after the coup, they found sanctuary in these ethnic rebel-held areas and formed a shadow authority called the National Unity Government.

Tens of thousands of young people — among them doctors, actors, lawyers, teachers, models, Buddhist monks, D.J.s and engineers — escaped from the junta-held cities and formed more than 200 People’s Defense Forces, pledging allegiance to the shadow government.

Often trained by the ethnic militias, the P.D.F. is now fighting in more than 100 townships across the country.

How successful have the rebels been?

Since an alliance of three ethnic armies, backed by the P.D.F., began an offensive on Oct. 27, the resistance has gained significant ground. Rebels now control much of Myanmar’s border region, including a strategic trading town that was captured on April 11. A few days later, they fired rockets at the nation’s top military academy. Some of the fighting is taking place within striking distance of Naypyidaw, the bunkered capital that the generals built early this century.

This year could be a turning point in Myanmar’s war, military analysts say. With each week, the junta’s forces abandon more outposts. Myanmar’s military is overstretched and underprovisioned. Even at the best of times, its biggest asset has been numbers, not expertise. In February, the military brought in a draft, signaling its desperation for fresh recruits.

How are civilians affected?

The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project says that the war in Myanmar is the most violent of the 50 conflicts it tracks. Since the coup, at least 50,000 people have been killed there, including at least 8,000 civilians, the group says.

More than 26,500 people have been detained for opposing the junta, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), a rights group.

Myanmar’s military has bombarded the country with airstrikes on over 900 days since the coup, according to the Myanmar Peace Monitor, an exile group that tracks the war. Since the rebels’ October offensive, there has been a fivefold increase in aerial bombardment, according to Tom Andrews, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar.

By the end of last year, more than 2.6 million people had been driven from their homes in a country of about 55 million, according to the United Nations human rights office. Nearly 600,000 of those internally displaced people fled after the fighting intensified in October. More than 18 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations, which says that a million had required such aid before the coup.

United Nations investigators say that the junta’s forces should be investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and they cite reports of organized sexual violence, village burnings and the indiscriminate use of landmines. Such abuses predate the coup. In 2017, the military conducted what the United States says was a genocidal campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Who lives in the country?

Myanmar is an extraordinarily diverse nation whose borders were shaped by British imperialism rather than ethnic boundaries. Officially, 135 ethnic groups live in the country, and practically the only thing they agree on is that this figure is wrong.

Some ethnic minorities have more in common with people in China, India and Thailand than with the Bamar, Myanmar’s largest ethnicity. Others come from princely states that were not under the full authority of a central administration until the middle of the last century. Still others, such as over a million Rohingya, have been rendered stateless because the military refuses to recognize them as rightful inhabitants of the country.

What Myanmar’s ethnic minorities, particularly non-Buddhist ones, share is a long record of persecution by the military.

Myanmar’s ethnic diversity is concentrated in the foothills of the Himalayas and the forested border regions that cradle the delta and lowlands through which the Irrawaddy River flows.

Is it Myanmar or Burma?

It’s both.

In 1948, the Union of Burma declared independence from British rule. In the Burmese language, the root of the words Burma and Myanmar are the same. In 1989, a year after the violent crushing of a pro-democracy movement, a junta renamed the country internationally as Myanmar, the name by which it is known locally. The generals argued that Myanmar was a more inclusive name, because it was not so explicitly linked to the nation’s Bamar ethnic majority.

Nevertheless, the pro-democracy front, led by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, tended to refer to the country as Burma to show opposition to the military regime. Ethnic minority groups often called the country Burma when speaking English. The United States still officially calls the country Burma, but most foreign governments use Myanmar. After the 2021 coup, some exiled politicians and other pro-democracy activists who once called it Myanmar switched to Burma with an international audience.

Most people, however, still refer to Myanmar.

There is no commonly accepted word for the inhabitants of the country. Some refer to the Burmese of Myanmar, which seems a usage at cross-purposes. In Myanmar, the citizens are generally referred to as Myanmar, the word serving as both a nation and a nationality.

Will Myanmar hold together?

Three years after the coup, the center of Myanmar remains mostly under junta control, but the rest of the country is a kaleidoscopic array of competing influences, fiefs, democratic havens and drug-lord hideouts. Ethnic armed groups govern some areas. Administrators aligned with the National Unity Government have set up schools and clinics in others. No one is in charge in still other parts of the country, leaving residents lacking basic services and vulnerable to life in the margins.

The junta forces’ widespread use of landmines has made parts of Myanmar off limits. Within areas under the regime’s control, more than 100,000 civil servants refuse to turn up for work as part of a long-running civil disobedience campaign. Many of Myanmar’s most educated people are in exile or living in the jungles. Others are in prison.

The military is still the country’s largest and most influential institution, and a militarized culture pervades many areas that ethnic minorities control. The question is whether the Myanmar military will jettison Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, its supreme commander, if he is judged to be an impediment to the armed forces’ survival — Myanmar’s history is filled with military men being pushed aside for other military men. With more and more of its soldiers dying, the military is facing an existential threat.

It’s possible that a junta, perhaps not even the current one but a new coterie, will try to negotiate cease-fires with the many armed groups arrayed against it. But given the Myanmar military’s history of turning its guns against its own people, trust will be difficult to find.

The future of Myanmar will likely remain fractured, with no single authority in charge. Such a splintered state is likely to breed more chaos that will not be contained by national borders. Myanmar is again the world’s top opium producer, displacing Afghanistan. Some ethnic armed groups survive by churning out methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs. And the country is at the center of a cyber-scam industry that steals billions of dollars from unsuspecting people and kidnaps others to forcibly work the cons.

War or No War, Ukrainians Aren’t Giving Up Their Coffee

When Russian tanks first rolled into Ukraine more than two years ago, Artem Vradii was sure his business was bound to suffer.

“Who would think about coffee in this situation?” thought Mr. Vradii, the co-founder of a Kyiv coffee roastery named Mad Heads. “Nobody would care.”

But over the next few days after the invasion began, he started receiving messages from Ukrainian soldiers. One asked for bags of ground coffee because he could not stand the energy drinks supplied by the army. Another simply requested beans: He had taken his own grinder to the front.

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5-Star Bird Houses for Picky but Precious Guests: Nesting Swiftlets

With no windows, the gloomy, gray building looming four stories above the rice fields in a remote village in Indonesian Borneo resembles nothing more than a prison.

Hundreds of similar concrete structures, riddled with small holes for ventilation, tower over village shops and homes all along Borneo’s northwestern coast.

But these buildings are not for people. They are for the birds. Specifically, the swiftlet, which builds its nests inside.


Map shows the location of Perapakan in the Sambas Regency on Borneo, Indonesia.

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Israeli Army Withdraws From Major Gaza Hospital, Leaving Behind a Wasteland

The journalists were among a small group of international reporters brought by the Israeli army to Al-Shifa Hospital on Sunday. To join the tour, they agreed to stay with the Israeli forces at all times and not to photograph the faces of certain commandos.

Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, once the fulcrum of Gaza’s health system and now an emblem of its destruction, stood in ruins on Sunday, as if a tsunami had surged through it followed by a tornado.

The emergency department was a tidy, off-white building until Israeli troops returned there in March. Two weeks later, it was missing most of its facade, scorched with soot, and punctured with hundreds of bullets and shells.

The eastern floors of the surgery department were left open to the breeze, the walls blown off and the equipment buried under mounds of debris. The bridge connecting the two buildings was no longer there, and the plaza between them — formerly a circular driveway wrapping around a gazebo — had been churned by Israeli armored vehicles into a wasteland of uprooted trees, upturned cars and a half-crushed ambulance.

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A Stork, a Fisherman and Their Unlikely Bond Enchant Turkey

Ben Hubbard and

Reporting from Eskikaraagac, Turkey

Thirteen years ago, a poor fisherman in a small Turkish village was retrieving his net from a lake when he heard a noise behind him and turned to find a majestic being standing on the bow of his rowboat.

Gleaming white feathers covered its head, neck and chest, yielding to black plumes on its wings. It stood atop skinny orange legs that nearly matched the color of its long, pointy beak.

The fisherman, Adem Yilmaz, recognized it as one of the white storks that had long summered in the village, he recalled, but he had never seen one so close, much less hosted one on his boat.


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The Japanese Sensei Bringing Baseball to Brazil

Reporting from Rio de Janeiro

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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.”

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Forbidden to Watch Films as a Child, He Now Directs Somalia’s Top Shows

At the shout of “action,” two actors, costumed in black blazers and sunglasses, erupted into a spirited shouting match, gesticulating wildly as one demanded that the other convince his daughter to marry him.

A cameraman and a boom operator, sweaty under a scorching sun, moved in to capture the altercation in close-up.

Then the director, Abshir Rageh, seated in a foldable chair, removed his headphones and called: “Cut.”

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Even Before the Olympics, a Victory Lap for a Fast-Moving French Mayor

Europe

Reporting from St.-Ouen, France

The mayor grew up in a building so decrepit — filthy hallways, no private toilets, no showers — that his friends in nearby concrete towers pitied him.

Five decades later, that building — in St.-Ouen, a Paris suburb — is a distant memory, and in its place rises France’s Olympic pride: the athletes’ village, with its architectural-showcase buildings that are outfitted with solar panels, deep-sinking pipes for cooling and heating, and graceful balconies from which to look down on the forest planted below. One-quarter will become public housing after the Games.

“All of a sudden, we have the same feeling of pride as people living in the hypercenter,” said the mayor of St.-Ouen, Karim Bouamrane, 51, using his personal shorthand for the glamorous downtown playgrounds of the elites. “There was Los Angeles, Barcelona, Beijing, London, Sydney and, now, there is St.-Ouen.”

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Documentary Filmmaker Explores Japan’s Rigorous Education Rituals

The defining experience of Ema Ryan Yamazaki’s childhood left her with badly scraped knees and her classmates with broken bones.

During sixth grade in Osaka, Japan, Ms. Yamazaki — now a 34-year-old documentary filmmaker — practiced for weeks with classmates to form a human pyramid seven levels high for an annual school sports day. Despite the blood and tears the children shed as they struggled to make the pyramid work, the accomplishment she felt when the group kept it from toppling became “a beacon of why I feel like I am resilient and hard-working.”

Now, Ms. Yamazaki, who is half-British, half-Japanese, is using her documentary eye to chronicle such moments that she believes form the essence of Japanese character, for better or worse.

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From New England to Notre-Dame, a U.S. Carpenter Tends to a French Icon

Notre-Dame Cathedral sat in the pre-dawn chill like a spaceship docked in the heart of Paris, its exoskeleton of scaffolding lit by bright lights. Pink clouds appeared to the east as machinery hummed to life and workers started clambering around.

One of them, Hank Silver, wearing a yellow hard hat, stood on a platform above the Seine River and attached cables to oak trusses shaped like massive wooden triangles. A crane hoisted them onto the nave of the cathedral, which was devastated by fire in 2019.

Mr. Silver — a 41-year-old American-Canadian carpenter — is something of an unlikely candidate to work on the restoration of an 860-year-old Gothic monument and Catholic landmark in France. Born in New York City into an observant Jewish family, he owns a small timber framing business in rural New England and admits that until recently he didn’t even know what a nave was.

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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.”

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A Soccer Team Stopped Charging for Tickets. Should Others Do the Same?

Neither Paris F.C. nor St.-Étienne will have much reason to remember the game fondly. There was, really, precious little to remember at all: no goals, few shots, little drama — a drab, rain-sodden stalemate between the French capital’s third-most successful soccer team and the country’s sleepiest giant.

That was on the field. Off it, the 17,000 or so fans in attendance can consider themselves part of a philosophical exercise that might play a role in shaping the future of the world’s most popular sport.

Last November, Paris F.C. became home to an unlikely revolution by announcing that it was doing away with ticket prices for the rest of the season. There were a couple of exceptions: a nominal fee for fans supporting the visiting team, and market rates for those using hospitality suites.

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‘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.

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Adidas Stops Customization of Germany Jersey for Fear of Nazi Symbolism

The sports apparel giant Adidas abruptly stopped the sale of German soccer jerseys created with the player number “44” this week because the figure, when depicted in the official lettering of the uniform’s design, too closely resembled a well-known Nazi symbol.

The stylized square font used by Adidas for the jerseys, which will be worn by Germany’s team when it hosts this summer’s European soccer championships, makes the “44” resemble the “SS” emblem used by the Schutzstaffel, the feared Nazi paramilitary group that was instrumental in the murder of six million Jews. The emblem is one of dozens of Nazi symbols, phrases and gestures that are banned in Germany.

The country’s soccer federation, which is responsible for the design, said Monday any similarity to the logo created by the design’s numbering was unintentional.

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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.

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

Reporting from Mexico City and León, Mexico

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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.

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Lo que sabemos del ataque de Israel a Irán

Israel atacó Irán a primera hora del viernes, según funcionarios de ambos países, en lo que pareció ser su primera respuesta militar al ataque iraní contra Israel del pasado fin de semana.

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

El ataque fue el más reciente de un ciclo de represalias entre los dos enemigos que ha alarmado a los líderes mundiales, quienes temen que los ataques de ida y vuelta puedan desembocar en una guerra más amplia.

He aquí lo que sabemos sobre el ataque y sus implicaciones.

Funcionarios iraníes dijeron el viernes que un ataque israelí alcanzó una base aérea militar cerca de Isfahán, una ciudad en el centro de Irán. La magnitud y el método del ataque no estaban claros.

Funcionarios iraníes dijeron que otro ataque israelí fue frustrado en Tabriz, una región a unos 800 kilómetros al norte de Isfahán. Las agencias de noticias iraníes dijeron que se oyeron explosiones cerca de ambas ciudades.

Los medios de comunicación estatales de Siria, un importante aliado de Irán que limita con Israel, dijeron también que misiles israelíes habían alcanzado posiciones de defensa aérea en el sur de Siria el viernes.

El ejército israelí declinó hacer comentarios.

Israel atacó Irán en represalia por un gran ataque iraní en territorio israelí el fin de semana pasado, que incluyó más de 300 misiles y aviones no tripulados.

Ese ataque asustó a los israelíes pero causó pocos daños y pocos heridos porque casi todas las armas de Irán fueron interceptadas por Israel y sus aliados, incluidos Estados Unidos, el Reino Unido y Jordania.

Ese ataque iraní se lanzó en respuesta a un ataque israelí contra un complejo diplomático iraní en Siria el 1 de abril, en el que murieron siete funcionarios iraníes. Las autoridades israelíes no advirtieron a Estados Unidos del ataque de Damasco y algunos han reconocido en privado que se trató de un grave error de cálculo.

No estaba claro si Irán tomaría represalias, pero la reacción inicial en Israel e Irán, donde algunos funcionarios y medios de comunicación estatales trataron de restar importancia a la gravedad del ataque, dio a entender que la respuesta podría ser moderada.

La televisión estatal iraní emitió imágenes de Isfahán con aspecto pacífico e informó que las instalaciones militares y nucleares no habían sufrido daños. Un locutor dijo a los telespectadores que el ataque “no era para tanto”.

Funcionarios israelíes dijeron que el ataque había sido diseñado para evitar una escalada de las tensiones.

Isfahán es una de las ciudades más famosas e históricas de Irán, conocida por sus hermosas mezquitas de azulejos turquesa y púrpura, sus pintorescos puentes arqueados y su Gran Bazar.

La zona alberga también cuatro pequeñas instalaciones de investigación nuclear y es un centro de producción de armamento iraní. Allí se ensamblan muchos de los misiles de medio alcance Shahab, capaces de alcanzar Israel y otros países.

En la provincia de Isfahán también se encuentra la planta de enriquecimiento de uranio de Natanz, así como una base aérea que alberga una flota de cazas F-14 Tomcats de fabricación estadounidense. Según The Associated Press, fueron adquiridos por el gobierno iraní respaldado por EE. UU. antes de la revolución islámica de 1979.

Durante la última semana, el presidente Joe Biden y otros líderes mundiales han instado a Israel a no responder al ataque con misiles iraní del pasado fin de semana. Han dicho que temen que una respuesta israelí pueda desembocar en una guerra total.

Los líderes mundiales han aconsejado a Israel que considere la interceptación de casi todos los misiles y drones iraníes como una victoria estratégica. Esto es especialmente cierto, han dicho, porque fue lograda por una coalición internacional que incluye a países árabes, que históricamente no han sido proclives a salir en defensa de Israel.

Israel también ha estado luchando contra aliados de Irán en otros dos frentes —Hamás en Gaza y Hizbulá en Líbano— durante los últimos seis meses. La dirección de la guerra en Gaza, donde han muerto más de 33.000 personas y ha empezado a cundir la hambruna, ha dejado a Israel cada vez más aislado diplomáticamente.


Liam Stack es un reportero del Times que cubre la guerra entre Israel y Hamás desde Jerusalén. Más de Liam Stack

Atraco histórico en Canadá: 14,5 millones de dólares en oro, armas de contrabando, y nueve detenidos

Fue un atraco descarado: miles de lingotes de oro y millones de dólares en billetes fueron robados hace un año en el aeropuerto internacional de Toronto.

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

El miércoles, las autoridades canadienses anunciaron la detención de nueve personas, entre ellas un empleado de la aerolínea Air Canada, en relación con el robo de más de 20 millones de dólares canadienses, unos 14,5 millones de dólares, en lingotes de oro y también de 2,5 millones de dólares canadienses, o alrededor de 1,8 millones de dólares, en papel moneda que desaparecieron de un almacén del aeropuerto Pearson de Toronto en abril de 2023.

También se han emitido órdenes de detención contra otras tres personas, entre ellas un directivo de la aerolínea.

“Esta historia es sensacional”, dijo Nishan Duraiappah, jefe de la policía regional de Peel, durante una conferencia de prensa el miércoles, frente a un camión que, afirmó, se utilizó en el atraco. Una historia “que decimos en broma que pertenece a una serie de Netflix”. La policía de Peel es responsable de la aplicación de la ley en el aeropuerto de Toronto.

El oro, dijo Duraiappah, se utilizó en parte para comprar armas con destino a Canadá. El hombre que conducía el camión utilizado en el robo del oro fue detenido en Pensilvania en septiembre, después de que un agente de policía parara el vehículo de alquiler por una infracción de tráfico y encontró 65 armas, dos de ellas rifles totalmente automáticos. El hombre ha sido acusado de conspiración para traficar ilegalmente armas de fuego a Canadá.

No está claro si esa detención y una investigación separada de la Agencia de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos de Estados Unidos (ATF, por su sigla en inglés) sobre el contrabando de armas de fuego fueron las que revelaron la trama del robo en general. Eric DeGree, agente especial de la ATF presente en la rueda de prensa, declaró que la agencia se puso en contacto con la policía de Peel tras encontrar el nombre del hombre en una base de datos de información policial.

El robo del oro, que según Duraiappah es el mayor que ha sucedido en Canadá, parece ser extraordinariamente sencillo. El oro y el dinero en efectivo llegaron al aeropuerto de Toronto en un contenedor especial a bordo de un vuelo de Air Canada procedente de Suiza el 17 de abril de 2023, y fueron trasladados a uno de los almacenes de la aerolínea.

El contenedor incluía 6600 lingotes de oro destinados a un banco de Toronto y billetes con destino a una casa de cambio.

Unas dos horas más tarde, un camión conducido por el hombre detenido en Pensilvania se detuvo en el almacén. Según la policía, el hombre llevaba una hoja de ruta (un documento que suele expedir el transportista con información detallada sobre un envío) que le daba acceso al almacén.

En realidad era un duplicado de una hoja de ruta, producida en una impresora de Air Canada, para un envío de mariscos que había sido recogido un día antes.

El contenedor con los lingotes de oro y los billetes se cargó en el camión.

“Necesitaban gente dentro de Air Canada para facilitar este robo”, dijo en la rueda de prensa Mike Mavity, sargento detective de la policía de Peel.

Las grabaciones mostraban al camión circulando por la autopista más transitada de Canadá antes de desaparecer en una zona rural al oeste de la ciudad.

Los agentes de la policía de Peel fueron alertados a primera hora de la mañana siguiente, después de que llegara un camión blindado de Brink’s con la hoja de ruta real para el cargamento de oro y los billetes.

La policía dijo el miércoles que cree que los lingotes de oro, que tenían números de serie, estaban todos fundidos y que se habían incautado unas ollas de fundición. El único oro recuperado, según la policía, fueron seis brazaletes hechos con oro puro que tienen un valor de unos 89.000 dólares canadienses. Entre las personas detenidas se encontraba el propietario de una joyería de Toronto.

Durante la rueda de prensa, la policía mostró dos listas escritas a mano en las que, según dijo, detallaban los pagos a las personas implicadas en el robo.

“Esta es una historia de alquimia inversa”, dijo Nando Iannicca, presidente del gobierno regional. “Se trata de cómo el oro se convierte en armas”.

Ian Austen informa sobre Canadá para el Times, radicado en Ottawa. Cubre la política, la cultura y la gente de Canadá y lleva dos décadas cubriendo el país. Puedes ponerte en contacto con él en austen@nytimes.com. Más de Ian Austen


Un memorable y accidentado viaje por Yucatán con el Tren Maya

Salí al andén de la nueva y reluciente estación de tren de Maxcanú, con muchas ganas de ver la magnífica zona arqueológica maya de Uxmal. Solo tenía que tomar un taxi que me llevara hasta allá, en un viaje de unos 48 kilómetros.

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

No hay taxis, dijo el encargado de las instalaciones, mientras esperábamos en los pisos de piedra caliza pulida de la estación con techo alto, que estaba fresca y recibía viento a pesar del fuerte sol mañanero. Yo era la tercera persona que, en las últimas dos semanas, se bajaba en Maxcanú con la intención de llegar a Uxmal, dijo.

Estaba a mitad de un viaje de cinco días para explorar el nuevo Tren Maya y varios de sus destinos en la península de Yucatán en México. Diseñado para recorrer 1554 kilómetros alrededor de un circuito de 34 estaciones cuando esté listo, el tren trasladará cómodamente a los pasajeros que deseen visitar ciudades coloniales, zonas arqueológicas, ostentosos centros turísticos y bosques tropicales.

Pero me había quedado perpleja. Tomar un taxi nunca ha sido un problema en México. Sin embargo, los conductores reunidos en la plaza principal de Maxcanú solo ofrecían furgonetas destartaladas que recorren pequeños pueblos en los que podría o no conseguir un taxi que me llevara a Uxmal. La siguiente camioneta salía en 45 minutos.

Durante mucho tiempo, las capas de la historia de Yucatán me han fascinado. En viajes anteriores en carro, trepé templos y palacios mayas desiertos, entré en las frescas naves de enormes iglesias del siglo XVI y visité haciendas restauradas, testamentos de la ostentación —y el sufrimiento— de la economía de plantación del siglo XIX de la península. Viajar en tren, pensé, me permitiría sumergirme más en esa historia.

Pero, como bien descubrí en Maxcanú, el tren no te llevará necesariamente adonde quieres ir.

Durante mi viaje de febrero, viajé en la única ruta que estaba disponible en ese momento, un segmento en dirección este-oeste que se inauguró en diciembre y que va de Cancún a Mérida, y que luego va al sur a través de la ciudad portuaria de Campeche hacia la zona arqueológica maya de Palenque (el mes pasado se inauguró una ruta corta entre Cancún y Playa del Carmen, con tres trenes diarios). Me encontré con fallas en la programación, estaciones incompletas y escasez de trenes: solo dos operaban a diario en cada dirección entre Cancún y Campeche, y solo uno hacia Palenque. Trenes nocturnos con camas así como vagones especiales con restaurantes parecen estar a años de distancia de ser una realidad.

El presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador considera al Tren Maya como su proyecto de desarrollo más importante y quiere inaugurar el resto de la ruta antes de dejar la presidencia el 1 de octubre. Basándome en mi experiencia, ese objetivo parece difícil de alcanzar.

Comencé mi viaje en Cancún, donde la estación flotaba como una nave espacial resplandeciente en la oscuridad previa al amanecer. Un funcionario escaneó el boleto que había comprado en línea y media decena más me señalaron el camino hacia mi vagón de clase turista, que estaba lleno en un 25 por ciento. Mi plan era ir a Campeche, a unos 482 kilómetros, haciendo una parada diaria. A 120 kilómetros por hora, el tren completa la ruta en unas 6 horas, al igual que un auto. (Cuando la construcción termine, la velocidad del tren debería aumentar a 160 kilómetros por hora).

Las amplias ventanillas del vagón daban hacia una pared de selva baja. Los asientos azul verdoso eran cómodos y había mucho espacio entre las filas. Me compré un capuchino muy bueno en la cafetería, pero ignoré los sándwiches envueltos en plástico. El resto de la mercancía disponible eran vasos de frutas, cajas de leche y comida chatarra.

Al final, el tren costará mucho más que los 29.000 millones de dólares presupuestados hasta ahora, y no es la primera vez que planificadores ambiciosos se han posado en la región. Cancún solía ser un pequeño pueblo pesquero, y hace medio siglo fue seleccionado para ser un centro turístico. El año pasado, 10 millones de turistas internacionales llegaron a su aeropuerto, una cantidad mayor que los aeropuertos de Ciudad de México, Los Cabos y Puerto Vallarta combinados.

Pero el crecimiento descontrolado ha ejercido presión sobre el frágil medioambiente de la costa caribeña. El Tren Maya, advierten los científicos, fomentará esos problemas desde el sur, amenazando el suministro de agua de la región, su sistema único de cuevas subterráneas de roca caliza y sus vastas reservas naturales.

López Obrador pisó el acelerador, entregándole el tren al ejército, y alegando que propagará la riqueza de Cancún y atraerá nuevos visitantes. México recibió más de 42 millones de turistas extranjeros el año pasado, los cuales gastaron casi 31.000 millones de dólares.

Los gobiernos locales ven una oportunidad. “El tren permitirá a las personas dispersarse por toda la península”, afirmó Michelle Fridman, la secretaria de Turismo del estado de Yucatán, el cual promueve decenas de atracciones más allá de destinos conocidos como Mérida y Chichén Itzá.

Ahora que el tren está operativo, las compañías de transporte comenzarán a conectar estaciones con sitios menos conocidos cercanos, afirmó Fridman.

Es justo preguntarse si el tren es la forma más efectiva de desarrollar el turismo de la península. Las empresas de viajes ya organizan viajes a muchos lugares desde las principales ciudades, las cuales están bien comunicadas por autobuses. Conducir un coche de alquiler por la mayor parte de la zona se considera seguro, según las directrices de viaje del Departamento de Estado de EE. UU.

Me tomó dos horas (y un cambio de huso horario) llegar a Valladolid, una ciudad colonial de hermosas calles y viejas iglesias, donde compré el resto de mis boletos en la estación. Un boleto de clase turista desde Cancún a Valladolid cuesta 472 pesos (alrededor de 28 dólares) a extranjeros y 355 pesos (cerca de 21 dólares) a mexicanos. La clase premier, que tiene asientos más anchos, cuesta respectivamente 755.50 pesos y 566.50 pesos, y hay descuentos disponibles para viajeros mayores y residentes de los cinco estados de la ruta del tren. (Un autobús de primera clase desde el centro de Cancún a Valladolid cuesta entre 222 y 344 pesos, dependiendo de la hora del día, y tarda media hora más).

Fue imposible hacer circular las nuevas vías del Tren Maya por los densos centros urbanos y la estación de Valladolid, como el resto, estaba fuera del núcleo urbano. Un autobús en espera llevaba a los pasajeros que desembarcaban al centro, un viaje de 15 minutos por 35 pesos.

Ese día recorrí Ek Balam, la zona arqueológica de un reino maya del siglo IX en el cual se erige un palacio de 30 metros que se distingue por una fachada de tallados que muestran guerreros alados, rasgos animales estilizados y patrones geométricos bordeados por colmillos gigantes. La entrada al sitio incluye el acceso al cenote X’Canché, una de las miles de sumideros de roca caliza que eran sagradas para los mayas.

Esa misma tarde, deambulaba por el Museo de Ropa Étnica, una colección privada de vestidos, adornos y sombreros tradicionales, cuando recibí un mensaje de WhatsApp de la oficina de boletería. Mi tren programado para el día siguiente había sido cancelado.

Decidí lidiar con el problema por la mañana y disfrutar de la ciudad. Mientras paseaba por las tiendas de antigüedades y los hoteles boutique de la elegante Calzada de los Frailes, me quedó claro que el turismo de Valladolid y la infraestructura para gestionarlo, estaban bien establecidos. El Tren Maya es simplemente una forma alternativa de llegar a una ciudad que los turistas descubrieron hace años.

Por la mañana, descubrí que mi tren no había sido cancelado, sino que la estación para la que tenía boleto, Tixkokob, estaba cerrada. En su lugar me bajé una parada antes en Izamal, conocida por sus calles ocres y el gigantesco convento franciscano de San Antonio de Padua, construido sobre las ruinas de una pirámide.

Durante el recorrido de 90 minutos, percibí un entusiasmo generalizado entre mis compañeros de viaje, quienes expresaron su voluntad de darle tiempo al tren para resolver los problemas. “Ahorita somos experimento”, afirmó Oliva Escobedo Ochoa, de 64 años, quien estaba de vacaciones desde su casa en el centro de México.

Leticia Iliassich, mexicana de 57 años, viajaba con su esposo croata junto con familiares de México y Croacia. Inicialmente estaban programados en un tren anterior a Mérida que había sido cancelado. “Sabíamos que era un proyecto nuevo”, dijo. “No nos molesta”.

El grupo ya había mandado un video a varios amigos en el que afirmaban: “¡Estamos en el Tren Maya!”.

En la estación de Izamal, un hombre que me había pedido que le tomara una foto junto a su padre frente al tren, me dio un aventón de 15 minutos hacia el centro del pueblo. Allí, negocié un taxi a la Hacienda San Lorenzo de Aké, una hacienda en funcionamiento que convierte la fibra de una planta de agave llamada henequén en rollos de cuerda. La demanda mundial de henequén, conocido como el “oro verde” de Yucatán, trajo una riqueza fantástica a la región a mediados del siglo XIX, salpicando la península con más de 1000 haciendas. (Muchas son actualmente hoteles lujosos).

Fue durante mi tercer día que me quedé varada en Maxcanú, tras un recorrido en tren de 90 minutos desde Izamal. El encargado de la estación, un capitán del ejército, me ofreció llevarme a Uxmal, tal como lo había hecho antes con varios turistas varados.

Sabiendo que a las 4:00 p. m. cerraban la venta de boletos para Uxmal, acepté.

Mi situación dejaba en claro cuán lejanas están las promesas del Tren Maya para los turistas que buscan explorar más zonas de Yucatán. Con el tiempo eso cambiará, dijo Fridman, la secretaria de Turismo del estado. “La idea es tener más hoteles a lo largo de la línea del tren”, afirmó. “Eso sucederá poco a poco”.

Pero Uxmal, una de las zonas arqueológicas mayas más impresionantes, compensó el inconveniente. Sus grandes edificaciones tienen máscaras decorativas intrincadas y frisos en los que se fusionan la geometría, la naturaleza y lo divino. Placas nuevas en cada estructura ofrecen información detallada en inglés y español, y forman parte de la inversión gubernamental para mejorar las exhibiciones en las zonas arqueológicas mayas para el proyecto del tren.

La mayoría de los turistas realizan excursiones de un día por coche o autobus desde Mérida o se hospedan en uno de los tres hoteles cercanos. Mientras terminaba de cenar en mi hotel, el comedor comenzó a llenarse: habían llegado 47 turistas polacos.

Mi plan para el día era llegar en taxi a Bécal, una ciudad donde se tejen sombreros panameños en cuevas de roca caliza para mantener las fibras suaves, y luego tomar el tren de la tarde en la cercana Calkiní hacia la ciudad portuaria de Campeche.

Pero pasé demasiado tiempo viendo la demostración de fabricación de sombreros y luego probándome mi nuevo sombrero y comprando regalos que salimos de allí con poco tiempo para llegar a la estación. Para mi desgracia, perdí el tren, el último del día.

En la plaza central de Calkiní, encontré una furgoneta que estaba saliendo rumbo a Campeche. ¿El costo? 65 pesos. ¿Duración del viaje? Alrededor de 1 hora y 20 minutos, muy similar a lo que habría durado en el tren. Por supuesto, estuve atrapada en un asiento estrecho y tuve que escuchar las baladas sentimentales elegidas por el conductor, pero me dejaron en el centro de Campeche, cerca de mi hotel.

Al día siguiente, recorrí el Museo de Arqueología Maya, una colección expertamente curada que incluye inquietantes máscaras funerarias de jade, glifos y delicadas figuras de cerámica.

José Madrigal, un ingeniero de 45 años de Fremont, California, intentaba lograr que sus hijos gemelos se interesaran por la cerámica maya. Los chicos acababan de cumplir 5 años y su regalo de cumpleaños había sido un viaje en el Tren Maya. “Aman los trenes”, dijo Madrigal. Acto seguido, la familia siguió su recorrido, manteniendo un ritmo rápido por el museo. Tenían otro tren que tomar.

Sí, si viajas entre las estaciones más grandes. El tren también ofrece una manera de llegar a Palenque, que es más difícil de acceder y tiene carreteras con problemas de seguridad. Los viajeros pueden guardar bicicletas a bordo.

Para ver los horarios de los trenes, revisa los destinos en la página web. No puedes comprar boletos en línea con más de una semana de antelación. Pero cuando finalmente abordas, el viaje es tranquilo y el café es excelente.

Sigue a New York Times Travel en Instagram y suscríbete a nuestro boletín semanal Travel Dispatch para obtener consejos de expertos sobre cómo viajar de manera más inteligente e inspiración para tus próximas vacaciones. ¿Sueñas con una futura escapada o simplemente quieres viajar desde tu sillón? Consulta nuestros 52 lugares a los que ir en 2024.

¿Fue misoginia? Australia se cuestiona tras el ataque masivo

Mary Aravanopoulos estaba abrazada a su hija, acurrucada para ponerse a salvo con otras 15 mujeres en la tienda de vestidos de organza etéreos. Habían visto pasar a un hombre por el pasillo del centro comercial, sin prisa, balanceando en la mano un gran cuchillo.

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Pronto oyeron que apuñalaban a una mujer y luego a otra.

En medio de la confusión de aquellos momentos de pánico, Aravanopoulos dijo que pensó inmediatamente: “Dios mío, es contra las mujeres”.

El lunes, muchos otros australianos habían llegado a la misma conclusión sobre el espeluznante ataque con arma blanca del fin de semana en un centro comercial de Sídney, en el que murieron seis personas, cinco de ellas mujeres. De la decena de personas que resultaron heridas por lo que al parecer fue un acto aleatorio de violencia masiva —uno de los más mortíferos ocurridos en el país en las últimas décadas—, todas menos dos eran mujeres, entre ellas una bebé de apenas 9 meses.

Es posible que nunca se aclaren los motivos del agresor, del que se sabía que padecía una enfermedad mental y que fue abatido a tiros por una inspectora de policía, Amy Scott.

Pero para muchas personas, fue un recordatorio más de la misoginia y las amenazas de violencia que pueden sufrir las mujeres en la sociedad australiana. Menos de 24 horas antes de los apuñalamientos, cientos de personas habían salido a la calle para protestar por la reciente cadena de asesinatos de tres mujeres. Y el lunes, la sentencia de un caso civil parecía dar validez a una denuncia de violación que se remontaba a años atrás y que obligaba a replantearse cómo la clase dirigente australiana, dominada por hombres, había victimizado a las mujeres durante décadas.

“La ideología del agresor estaba muy clara: odio a las mujeres”, escribió el lunes Josh Burns, miembro del Parlamento, en la red social X. “Debemos denunciarlo por lo que es”.

Para Maria Lewis, escritora y guionista, las acciones del agresor, por inexplicables que fueran, tenían ecos de una idea australiana de lo que significa ser hombre.

“La cultura de ‘hermanos que apoyan a hermanos’ está tan profunda e intrínsecamente ligada a la idea australiana de masculinidad”, afirma. “Esa idea cargada de testosterona de lo que representa la masculinidad se refuerza constantemente en la cultura pop”.

El lunes fue un día de luto nacional en Australia, con las banderas ondeando a media asta en todo el país. El atacante fue identificado por las autoridades como Joel Cauchi, de 40 años, un hombre conocido por las autoridades que nunca había sido detenido.

“El desglose por sexos es, por supuesto, preocupante”, dijo el primer ministro Anthony Albanese en una entrevista radiofónica el lunes por la mañana, afirmando que la policía estaba investigando si el atacante había atacado deliberadamente a mujeres.

Cauchi se había mudado recientemente miles de kilómetros desde Queensland, en el noreste del país, a la zona de Sídney.

En Toowoomba, Queensland, los periodistas congregados frente a su casa le preguntaron al padre de Cauchi, Andrew Cauchi, por qué su hijo, que no había estado en contacto regular con su familia, podía haber atacado a mujeres.

Cauchi padre dijo que podía deberse a la frustración que le producía su incapacidad para salir con mujeres.

“Quería una novia, no tenía habilidades sociales y se sentía frustrado hasta el tuétano”, declaró Cauchi a los medios de comunicación locales.

Tessa Boyd-Caine, directora ejecutiva de la Organización Nacional de Investigación para la Seguridad de las Mujeres de Australia, dijo que era comprensible que la gente buscara una explicación basada en el género inmediatamente después del ataque. Al mismo tiempo, advirtió que la inmensa mayoría de los casos de violencia contra las mujeres se producen en el hogar y a manos de personas conocidas, y no de forma indiscriminada, como en el ataque del sábado.

“¿Cómo entender un acto aleatorio de violencia tan brutal y mortal, perpetrado por un hombre que la policía considera que podría haber atacado a mujeres?”, dijo. “Es una fase tan temprana de la investigación, pero la gente va a querer respuestas a preguntas difíciles”.

El lunes ya habían sido identificadas las seis víctimas mortales de los apuñalamientos del sábado. Las mujeres eran Ashlee Good, de 38 años y madre primeriza; Jade Young, de 47 años y madre de dos hijas; Dawn Singleton, de 25 años y empleada del sector de la moda; Pikria Darchia, de 55 años, artista y diseñadora; y Yixuan Cheng, de nacionalidad china y estudiante en Sídney. El único hombre era Faraz Tahir, de 30 años, guardia de seguridad y recién llegado de Pakistán.

Las autoridades policiales declararon el lunes que habían concluido la investigación de la extensa escena del crimen y devuelto el control del complejo comercial a sus operadores.

Frente al lugar, que permanecía cerrado, un flujo constante de dolientes seguía dejando flores el lunes, que se sumaban a una gran pila que había crecido hasta extenderse por varios escaparates. Muchos de los visitantes eran grupos de mujeres: madres e hijas cogidas de la mano, amigas que se secaban las lágrimas unas a otras, mujeres que parecían aferrarse un poco más a sus hijas.

Aravanopoulos y su hija, Alexia Costa, estaban entre los que dejaban flores. Habían vuelto para recuperar su automóvil, que desde el sábado había quedado inaccesible en el centro comercial acordonado.

Aravanopoulos, de 55 años, dijo que se sentía especialmente culpable por el roce con el peligro del sábado, porque había insistido en ir de compras esa tarde a fin de elegir un vestido para el próximo cumpleaños, 21 años, de su hija. Como mujer que trabaja en el sector de la construcción, dominado por los hombres, ha educado a sus hijas para que nunca se echen atrás y siempre se defiendan.

“Creen que las mujeres no nos vamos a defender”, dijo.

Al creer que el atacante estaba escogiendo a mujeres, dijo que le estremecía pensar qué habría pasado si las jóvenes encargadas de la tienda no hubieran actuado con rapidez y bajado la puerta enrrollable.

“Era una tienda llena de mujeres, y las encargadas fueron las heroínas para nosotras”, relató.

Simone Scoppa, de 42 años, que también estuvo en el lugar de homenaje el lunes, dijo que la oleada de apuñalamientos era solo el más reciente incidente dirigido contra mujeres que le hace mirar por encima del hombro mientras pasea a su perro por la noche, incluso en su barrio de las afueras, y llevar las llaves en la mano como arma defensiva, por si acaso.

El hecho de que el lugar del atentado sea un centro comercial también hace que las mujeres se sientan vulnerables.

“¿Dónde van a estar muchas mujeres un sábado por la tarde?”, dijo Scoppa. “Ves a los padres y a los maridos en los asientos cuidando las bolsas, y a las madres amamantando”.

Yan Zhuang colaboró con reportería.


Victoria Kim es corresponsal en Seúl, y se centra en la cobertura de noticias en directo. Más de Victoria Kim

La ofensiva iraní dejó en evidencia un error de cálculo de Israel

Los ataques sin precedentes de Irán contra Israel del fin de semana pasado han sacudido las suposiciones de Israel sobre su enemigo, afectando sus estimaciones de que la mejor forma de disuadir a Irán era con una mayor agresión israelí.

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Durante años, los funcionarios israelíes han alegado, tanto en público como en privado, que cuanto más fuerte sea el golpe contra Irán, más cauteloso será su gobierno a la hora de contratacar. El bombardeo iraní realizado con más de 300 aviones no tripulados y misiles el sábado —el primer ataque directo de Irán contra Israel— ha revocado esa lógica.

La ofensiva fue una respuesta al ataque de Israel realizado este mes en Siria que mató a siete oficiales militares iraníes. Los analistas afirmaron que la respuesta demostraba que los líderes de Teherán ya no se conforman con luchar contra Israel a través de sus diversas fuerzas aliadas, como Hizbulá en el Líbano o los hutíes en Yemen, sino que están preparados para enfrentarse a Israel de forma directa.

“Creo que calculamos mal”, dijo Sima Shine, exjefa de investigación del Mosad, la agencia de inteligencia exterior de Israel.

“La experiencia acumulada de Israel es que Irán no tiene buenos medios para tomar represalias”, añadió Shine. “Había una fuerte percepción de que no querían involucrarse en la guerra”.

En cambio, Irán ha creado “un paradigma completamente nuevo”, afirmó Shine.

Al final, la respuesta de Irán causó pocos daños en Israel, en gran parte porque Irán había telegrafiado sus intenciones con mucha antelación, dando a Israel y a sus aliados varios días para preparar una defensa fuerte. Irán también emitió una declaración, incluso antes de que terminara la ofensiva, de que no tenía más planes de atacar a Israel.

Sin embargo, los ataques de Irán han convertido una guerra que durante años se había librado en la sombra entre Israel e Irán en una confrontación directa, aunque aún podría contenerse, dependiendo de cómo responda Israel. Irán ha demostrado que tiene una capacidad armamentística considerable que solo puede contrarrestarse con un apoyo intensivo de los aliados de Israel, incluido Estados Unidos, lo que subraya cuánto daño podría infligir sin esa protección.

Irán e Israel solían tener una relación más ambigua, e Israel incluso le vendió armas a Irán durante la guerra entre Irán e Irak en la década de 1980. Pero sus vínculos se desgastaron después de que terminó la guerra. Los líderes iraníes se volvieron cada vez más críticos del enfoque de Israel hacia los palestinos e Israel se volvió cauteloso ante los esfuerzos de Irán por construir un programa nuclear y su mayor apoyo a Hizbulá.

Durante más de una década, ambos países han atacado de manera silenciosa los intereses del otro en toda la región, pero rara vez anunciaron alguna acción individual.

Irán ha apoyado a Hamás, además de financiar y armar a otras milicias regionales hostiles a Israel, varias de las cuales han estado involucradas en un conflicto de bajo nivel con Israel desde los ataques mortales que Hamás ejecutó el 7 de octubre. De manera similar, Israel ha atacado regularmente a esas fuerzas aliadas, así como a funcionarios iraníes a los cuales ha neutralizado, incluso en suelo iraní, asesinatos por los que ha evitado asumir responsabilidad formal.

Ambos países han atacado buques mercantes vinculados a sus oponentes y también han llevado a cabo ataques cibernéticos entre sí. Además, Israel ha saboteado repetidas veces el programa nuclear de Irán.

Ahora, esa guerra se está librando abiertamente. Y, en gran parte, se debe a lo que algunos analistas ven como un error de cálculo israelí del 1 de abril, cuando los ataques israelíes destruyeron parte del complejo de la embajada iraní en Damasco, Siria, uno de los aliados y representantes más cercanos de Irán, y mataron a los siete oficiales militares iraníes, incluidos tres altos comandantes.

El ataque se realizó tras repetidas insinuaciones de los líderes israelíes de que una mayor presión sobre Irán forzaría a Teherán a reducir sus ambiciones en todo Medio Oriente. “Un aumento de la presión ejercida sobre Irán es fundamental”, dijo en enero Yoav Galant, ministro de Defensa de Israel, “y podría evitar una escalada regional en ámbitos adicionales”.

En cambio, el ataque a Damasco desencadenó el primer ataque iraní contra territorio soberano israelí. Es posible que Israel haya malinterpretado la posición de Irán debido a la falta de respuesta iraní a anteriores asesinatos de altos funcionarios iraníes perpetrados por Israel, según dijeron los analistas.

Aunque durante mucho tiempo los líderes israelíes han temido que algún día Irán construya y dispare misiles nucleares contra Israel, se habían acostumbrado a atacar a funcionarios iraníes sin obtener represalias directas de Teherán.

En uno de los ataques más descarados, Israel asesinó al principal científico nuclear de Irán, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, en 2020, en suelo iraní. Incluso hace poco, en diciembre, Israel fue acusado de asesinar a un alto general iraní, Sayyed Razi Mousavi, en un ataque en Siria, donde funcionarios militares iraníes asesoran y apoyan al gobierno sirio. Esos y varios otros asesinatos no provocaron ataques iraníes de represalia contra Israel.

La decisión de Irán de responder esta vez fue motivada en parte por la indignación en algunos círculos de la sociedad iraní por la pasividad previa de Irán, según Ali Vaez, un analista sobre Irán.

“Nunca antes había visto el grado de presión que recibió el régimen desde la base en los últimos 10 días”, dijo Vaez, analista del International Crisis Group, un grupo de investigación con sede en Bruselas.

Irán también necesitaba demostrarles a sus fuerzas aliadas como Hizbulá que podía defenderse por sí mismo, añadió Vaez. “Demostrar que Irán tiene demasiado miedo para tomar represalias contra un ataque tan descarado a sus propias instalaciones diplomáticas en Damasco habría sido muy perjudicial para las relaciones de Irán y la credibilidad de los iraníes ante los ojos de sus socios regionales”, explicó.

Para algunos analistas, el ataque de Israel contra Damasco todavía podría resultar ser un error de cálculo menor de lo que parecía en un principio. El ataque aéreo de Irán ha distraído la atención de la tambaleante guerra de Israel contra Hamás y ha reafirmado los vínculos de Israel con los aliados occidentales y árabes que se habían vuelto cada vez más críticos de la conducta de Israel en la Franja de Gaza.

El hecho de que Irán le haya dado a Israel tanto tiempo para prepararse para el ataque podría indicar que Teherán sigue relativamente disuadido y que solo buscaba proyectar la imagen de una respuesta importante y, al mismo tiempo, evitar una escalada significativa, afirmó Michael Koplow, analista de Israel en Israel Policy Forum, un grupo de investigación con sede en Nueva York.

“Creo que todavía no hay certeza”, dijo Koplow.

Gabby Sobelman colaboró con este reportaje.

Patrick Kingsley es el jefe de la corresponsalía en Jerusalén, y lidera la cobertura de Israel, Gaza y Cisjordania. Más de Patrick Kingsley