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Middle East


US President Joe Biden speaks during the state dinner with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Washington.

Australia and US must defend freedom and security, says Biden

US President Joe Biden has toasted the close relationship between the US and Australia at a state dinner in Washington; Another mass shooting in US, at least 16 dead. Follow updates here.

  • 33 mins ago
  • Trudy Harris and Mark Ludlow
Israel is continuing to strike targets in Gaza, but reports say it has agreed to delay a ground invasion.

Israel agrees to US request to pause Gaza invasion: report

Washington is reportedly scrambling air defence systems to protect its troops from any regional fallout that might follow Israel’s ground assault on Gaza.

  • Hans van Leeuwen
Israeli society is demonstrating both shock and resilience.

All of Israeli society has mobilised in the face of terror

Israel’s social and economic resilience is critical once more as the country faces an unpredictable new crisis

  • Jillian Segal and Michelle Blum


Palestinian children injured in Israeli air raids arrive at Nasser Medical Hospital in Gaza.

World leaders urge pause to deadly Gaza strikes

The US and Russia are leading international calls for a pause in fighting, while a UN agency said it was halting operations in Gaza after running out of fuel.

  • Nidal al-Mughrabi and Emily Rose
Yocheved Lifshitz speaks to the media outside Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv after being released by Hamas.

Watch: Hamas release hostage who was held in a ‘spiderweb’ tunnel

Yocheved Lifshitz, speaking from Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, described the “unimaginable hell” of her kidnapping ordeal.

  • Updated
  • Kevin Sieff, Noga Tarnopolsky and Karla Adam
Palestinians carry the body of a child found under the rubble of a destroyed house in Gaza City. Since Israel retaliated with air strikes, at least 5791 people have been killed in Gaza.

Fears grow that Israel has ‘no plan’ agreed for postwar Gaza

Washington has raised concerns about Tel Aviv’s lack of post-invasion exit strategy, say people familiar with discussions.

  • Neri Zilber and Felicia Schwartz
Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Beijing.

West’s enemies may be evil, but there’s no ‘axis’

Democracies should tease out the contradictions between Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, instead of dangerously lumping them together as a bloc.

  • Janan Ganesh
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard said they will appeal the decision.

Microsoft sales jump in AI arms race against Google

The technology company has invested in ChatGPT developer OpenAI and launched a series of AI-powered tools for its Office and Word products recently.

  • Matthew Field
Israel continued to bombard Gaza as Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah warned not to launch its own war against Israel.

Israel warns Hezbollah against ‘unimaginable devastation’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Lebanon-based Hezbollah against launching its own war, as the two adversaries ratchet higher their rhetoric.

  • Hans van Leeuwen

This Month

Civilian casualties must be avoided at all costs: wounded Palestinians after the explosion at al-Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip.

Breaking Hamas must also broker peace

The huge risks of an Israeli invasion of Gaza can only be justified if there is a plan for a durable settlement for the whole region at the end of it.

  • The AFR View
An Israeli military strike on buildings in Gaza City. The US is building its support in the region.

Pentagon rushes military advisers to Middle East

One of the officers leading the assistance is a Marine Corps general who helped lead special operations forces against Islamic State.

  • Tara Copp and Aamer Madhani
Pro-Palestinian protesters burn an effigy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Istanbul.

US readies plans for mass Middle East evacuations

Officials said more than 600,000 Americans living in Israel and Lebanon were of concern, but that removing them was a worst-case scenario.

  • Yasmeen Abutaleb, Dan Lamothe, John Hudson and Michael Birnbaum
Mourners attend the funeral of a security chief of a kibbutz in central Israel.

Paralysis, chaos as Israel delays invasion

So pervasive is the infighting in the government that top officials have tried to assure a traumatised public they are “working in close and full co-operation”.

  • Isabel Kershner

Iran’s ayatollahs play the Middle East’s most dangerous game

Iran’s autocratic rulers hold one of the matches that could set the region alight: an “axis of resistance”, or network of violent proxies across the region.

  • The Economist
People hold banners reading “Let Gaza Live” and “Forgive Gaza”.

Why are Western Five Eye nations blind to Israeli occupation?

When it comes to Palestinian rights, where are the enlightened values and respect for human rights and international laws that these countries claim to hold?

  • Ali Kazak
Israel is continuing to prepare for the ground war in Gaza.

This Israeli-Hamas war has smashed four big assumptions

An attack that was never imagined and thus achieved major strategic surprise has blown away old ideas about Hamas, Israel, the Arab world and America’s role in the region.

  • Steven Erlanger
Life goes on in Tel Aviv, but economic activity has dropped dramatically.

‘There is no work’: war with Hamas hits Israel’s economy

As the country reels from the deadliest attack on its territory on October 7, companies’ trade on half-empty streets has collapsed.

  • James Shotter and Ivan Levingston
Financial markets have mostly been subdued in reaction to the conflagration brewing in Gaza.

Why markets are relatively calm in the geopolitical storm

Investors as a group don’t act like individuals — their collective mind recognises risk as a historical constant.

  • Ruchir Sharma
An Israeli soldier stands near a car that was hit from a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip.

Israel would do well to remember US failures in Afghanistan

For an enduring peace where Hamas no longer exists or is no longer supported by the public, even with coercion, the Jewish state needs time, patience and courage.

  • Updated
  • Dominic Nicholls
A Palestinian boy mourns relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment.

Israel launches tank raids into Gaza, two hostages released

Israel added tactical ground incursions to its aerial bombardment in Gaza, air strikes in Lebanon and raids in the West Bank, as Hamas set free captives.

  • Hans van Leeuwen