White House Says it Does Not Support Attacks inside Russia

Russian law enforcement officers stand guard near a damaged multi-storey apartment block following a reported drone attack in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2023. (Reuters)
Russian law enforcement officers stand guard near a damaged multi-storey apartment block following a reported drone attack in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2023. (Reuters)
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White House Says it Does Not Support Attacks inside Russia

Russian law enforcement officers stand guard near a damaged multi-storey apartment block following a reported drone attack in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2023. (Reuters)
Russian law enforcement officers stand guard near a damaged multi-storey apartment block following a reported drone attack in Moscow, Russia, May 30, 2023. (Reuters)

The United States is still gathering information on reports of drones striking in Moscow, the White House said on Tuesday, reiterating that Washington does not support attacks inside Russia and is focused on helping Ukraine retake its territory.

"We saw the news and are still gathering information about what happened. As general matter, we do not support attacks inside of Russia," a White House spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson said Washington was "focused on providing Ukraine with the equipment and training they need to retake their own sovereign territory," and pointed to Russian attacks on Kyiv, which has been hit by drones or missiles 17 times in May.

Russia said Ukrainian drones struck wealthy districts of Moscow on Tuesday, targeting areas where President Vladimir Putin and other Russian elite have residences. Two people were injured in the incidents, according to Moscow's mayor.

Putin said Tuesday's attack was an attempt to scare and provoke Russia, and that air defenses around the capital would be strengthened.



Israeli Polls Show Netanyahu Party Narrowing Gap Behind Gantz 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz attends a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (AP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz attends a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (AP)
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Israeli Polls Show Netanyahu Party Narrowing Gap Behind Gantz 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz attends a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (AP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz attends a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right wing Likud party has reduced the gap behind the centrist party of former minister Benny Gantz, who quit the wartime unity government on Sunday, two polls showed on Friday.

The polls, for the left wing Ma'ariv daily and the right-wing Israel Hayom newspaper, showed Likud winning 21 seats behind the National Unity Party on 24. The Ma'ariv poll last week showed Gantz's party on 27 seats, while at the start of the year, it was regularly polling in the high 30s.

The Ma'ariv poll shows the current ruling coalition winning 52 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, against 58 for the main opposition parties, with the balance of 10 seats held by the United Arab List and the left-wing Hadash-Ta'al alliance.

The Israel Hayom poll put the coalition on 50 seats against 61 for the opposition parties and 9 for the UAL and Hadash-Ta'al.

Both polls showed a majority of voters would prefer Gantz as prime minister in a head-to-head choice with Netanyahu. However, the Israel Hayom poll showed that if former prime minister Naftali Bennett were to join forces with Avigdor Liberman and Gideon Saar, two other center right politicians from outside the Likud camp, their alliance could beat both Likud and Gantz's National Unity Party.

Gantz, a former army general and defense minister in the last government, joined Netanyahu's coalition last year as a gesture of national unity following the devastating attack by Hamas on Oct 7.

However, he clashed repeatedly with other ministers and quit the government after demanding Netanyahu articulate a clear strategic plan for the war in Gaza, now in its ninth month.

Netanyahu, who was widely blamed for the security failures that allowed the Oct. 7 attack to take place, has refused to call early elections and would not normally face voters until 2026 if his coalition with a clutch of religious and right-wing pro-settler parties holds.