Tuesday Briefing: Israeli Forces Advance on Gaza City


The Israeli military advanced deeper into the Gaza Strip yesterday, approaching Gaza City, the enclave’s largest city, from three directions as it battered the territory with airstrikes.

Eyewitness photos and videos verified by The New York Times, as well as satellite imagery, showed troops and armored vehicles closing in on the city from the north, east and south.

At a news conference, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, asked nations to back the country in its fight against Hamas, saying “Israel’s fight is your fight.”

He added: “The future of our civilization is at stake.”

While humanitarian groups and the United Nations General Assembly have backed the idea of a cease-fire, he rejected it, adding that “calls for a cease-fire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism.”

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesman for the Israeli military, said that in the current stage of the operation, a combined force of infantry, tanks and armored units was trying to move toward groups of armed Palestinian operatives inside Gaza.

Here’s the latest.

Analysis: Israel began its ground invasion with such secrecy that it took hours for outside observers to understand what was going on.

The toll: Palestinian health officials say more than 8,000 people, including many children, have been killed in Gaza since Israel began launching retaliatory airstrikes in response to a Hamas attack on Oct. 7 that killed some 1,400 people in Israel.

Hostages: Hamas released a video claiming to show three women who were being held hostage. It was unclear if Hamas had forced the women to make the video. One of the women sharply criticized Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s office called the footage “cruel psychological propaganda.”

A riot in Russia: Authorities in Dagestan, the southern Russia republic, shut down the airport in Makhachkala and dispatched riot police after a mob stormed the tarmac, where a commercial flight from Tel Aviv had arrived.

More than 70,000 Afghans have returned home in recent weeks after the Pakistani government abruptly declared that all foreign citizens without documentation must leave by tomorrow.

The deportation order, which is seen as targeting Afghan migrants, came amid increasing hostility between Pakistan’s government and the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan over militants operating in both countries.

Fearing arrest or prison, families packed up everything: their clothes, their pots, their pans. The wooden beams from their ceiling. Their metal window frames and rusted doors.

“I tried my best in these 40 years to build a life,” said Najmuddin Torjan, 63. “It’s difficult. Now I’m starting again from zero.”

On Oct. 10, thousands of Russian troops began a major new offensive in eastern Ukraine to seize the city of Avdiivka, a long-coveted prize that would extend Russia’s control of the coal mining region of the Donbas.

But nearly three weeks into the battle, the Russian army has failed to make the swift breakthrough it wanted, and the fighting is shaping up to be perhaps the costliest of the war for Moscow. Hundreds of soldiers have died and more than 100 armored vehicles and tanks have been lost, the Institute for the Study of War reported.

Turkish investigators say they’ve found out how the Bubon bronzes — statues from a 2,000-year-old shrine in Asia Minor, built to venerate Roman emperors — ended up in museums and affluent homes around the world. They say one village dug up the bronzes and sold them off, beginning in the 1950s.

Many were then sold to a dealer the villagers knew as “American Bob.” The authorities have now begun to seize the statues, one by one, and return them to Turkey.

Even as he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, the “Friends” star Matthew Perry, who died on Saturday at the age of 54, made it all look easy, my colleague Alexis Soloski writes in an appraisal.

A professional actor since his teens, Perry had appeared in more than a dozen sitcoms before landing on “Friends” in 1994. To say that he never did anything quite as good as the show, before or after, is not to diminish his achievement. Perry stood out from his talented co-stars for a rubbery, heedless way with physical comedy and a split-second timing that most stopwatches would envy. There was a boyishness to him that seemed to excuse his character’s worst behavior, on “Friends” and in subsequent roles.

To watch the show now, Soloski writes, is “to relax into the confidence of its comedy, of Perry’s excitable charm. Onscreen, in that fountain, in some horrible, short-sleeved cardigan, he is there for us, still.”

Here are Perry’s most memorable TV shows and movies to stream now.

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