Mitch Joel WARNING... LONG RANT! It takes a lot for me to both get angry and publish about it. Canada’s…
Israel, Palestine/Gaza/Hamas October-21 November 2023
Abraham Accords: Support for normalisation deals with Israel plummets in Gulf countries
Increasing Israeli hostility in occupied Palestinian territories and limited benefits of the Accords have resulted in declining popular support (31 July 2023)
Matt Gurney: This time, Twitter was real life
Some few of us have watched a livestreamed pogrom. But most have maybe glanced at a headline or two. We live in different information universes. That can’t work. (10 October)
What happens to Gaza the day after the war ends?
Patrick Wintour, Diplomatic editor
A reformed Palestinian Authority or a multinational force have been mooted as solutions for security in the territory, but both proposals have met resistance
The tentative US proposal is for a reformed Palestinian Authority, dominated by the secularist Fatah, which administers the West Bank, to come back to Gaza. But this is rejected by Israel’s right (5 November)
Graphic Truth: The only ways in and out of Gaza
When you hear reports that people in the Gaza Strip are trapped, you may not realize just how literally to take it.
The fact is that even before Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Oct. 7, people in Gaza had only one path into Israel, the Erez Crossing. Prior to the war, about 18,500 Palestinians there held work permits in Israel, a lucrative opportunity considering about half of Gazans are unemployed and the rest earn an average of $13 a day. Many of those workers, having traveled across the border on Oct. 7 to work, now find themselves stuck in Israel, without legal status, their futures uncertain.
The Kerem Shalom crossing – practically on the tripoint of the Israel-Egypt-Gaza border – is usually how Gaza exchanges goods with Israel. All the fuel for Gaza’s lone power plant entered through Kerem Shalom, which Israel has now cut off. The only way into Egypt, the Rafah Crossing, has become the sole lifeline supplying food, water, and medicine for 2.3 million people. When Israel built the complex barrier surrounding Gaza, it included four additional crossings, which it closed one by one between 2005 and 2011.
Fleeing by sea or air is impossible. Israeli warships ensure Gazans with boats stick to the small area designated for fishing, and there are no modern port facilities in the enclave. Gaza briefly had its own international airport, near Kerem Shalom, but Israel bombed it in 2001 and bulldozed the runway in 2002 during the second intifada.
So when you hear broadcasters say Rafah is the only way into or out of Gaza, that’s not an exaggeration — nor are they exaggerating the tremendous deadly toll civilians will suffer if Israel launches a ground invasion.
Distinction between ceasefire, humanitarian pauses explained, amid Israel-Hamas war
The struggle to save scores of lives in Gaza may hinge on both Hamas and Israel’s acceptance of two words: humanitarian pauses.It’s a diplomatic proposal coming from the West, led by the United States, and falls short of demands for a ceasefire put forward by Arab nations, Russia, China and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Humanitarian pauses are a much shorter window of time, usually hours or days in which there is a pause from hostilities, while a ceasefire is open-ended. Humanitarian pauses usually only allow for movement of aid, while a ceasefire can be a foundation for talks for a more lasting peace.
AP Fact Check
Israel-Hamas war misinformation is everywhere. Here are the facts
(AP) Misinformation about the latest Israel-Hamas war is thriving on social media platforms, where misrepresented video footage, mistranslations and outright falsehoods often crowd out real reporting from the conflict.
Here is a closer look at the latest misinformation spreading online — and the facts. …
Ian Bremmer: Israel’s response to Oct. 7 plays straight into Hamas’ hands
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks, Israel had a golden opportunity to build a broad multilateral coalition to combat Hamas, much as the United States built a “coalition of the willing” after 9/11 to go into Afghanistan and eradicate al-Qaida. By leveraging the enormous outpouring of international sympathy it had in the wake of the Oct. 7 assault, Israel could have convinced key allies and partners to join forces in an anti-Hamas alliance. The goodwill was there: The US instantly deployed troops and advisers to the region. French President Emmanuel Macron signaled France’s willingness to combat Hamas alongside Israel. Other European nations like the United Kingdom and Germany likely would have followed suit. Even Arab and Gulf states like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which loathe Hamas and its Iranian backers, could have been brought into the fold. …
As Hamas surely knew on the eve of Oct. 7, the real threat to Israel was always that its response would alienate its allies and partners, push the Palestinians (and the Arab world, the Global South, and parts of the left in advanced industrial democracies) further into Hamas’ corner and away from the two-state solution, and ultimately undermine Israel’s long-term security. No doubt, that’s exactly what Israel’s enemies were counting on. And so far, they appear to be getting their way. (15 November)
Israel and Hamas agree to hostage exchange deal, 4-day pause in fighting
(WaPo) At least 50 women and children hostages will be released over four days, the statement said, during which there will be a pause in fighting. Before the deal was approved, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “the war will continue” even after a deal. Hamas said on Telegram that it had agreed to a “humanitarian truce,” thanking Qatar and Egypt for their efforts in helping to broker the deal. The exchange will involve the release of 150 women and children from Israeli prisons, Hamas said. Qatar later confirmed the deal, saying the starting time of the pause will be announced within the next 24 hours.
The pressure on Netanyahu is starting to tell – this potential truce shows something has changed
A deal to pause hostilities in Gaza and free some hostages is agonisingly close, but both sides are split on what happens next
UN team says 32 babies are among scores of critically ill patients stranded in Gaza’s main hospital
(AP) — A United Nations team said Sunday that 291 patients were left at Gaza’s largest hospital after Israeli troops had others evacuate. Those left included 32 babies in extremely critical condition, trauma patients with severely infected wounds, and others with spinal injuries who are unable to move.
The team was able to tour Shifa Hospital for an hour after about 2,500 displaced people, mobile patients and medical staff left the sprawling compound Saturday morning, said the World Health Organization, which led the mission. It said 25 medical staff remained, along with the patients.
Israeli airstrikes kill 80 in Palestinian refugee camp
Fears mount for Gaza refugees as nowhere is deemed safe for civilians in effort to destroy Hamas
US and EU Back UN Force in Postwar Gaza, Adding Pressure on Israel
Frustration mounts among allies as civilian casualties grow
Israel skeptical about any role for UN after Gaza war
(Bloomberg) The US and its European allies are pushing a plan to deploy an international peacekeeping force in the Gaza Strip after the war, according to people familiar with the matter, raising pressure on Israel to bring its military operation to an end as civilian casualties mount.
The people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations, said US and European officials concede big questions remain about whether such an operation would be workable in Gaza, and recognize that Israel remains highly skeptical of such a plan. But they said even discussing the idea may help push Israel to think more about wrapping up the campaign and consider what might come next.
How the hostage crisis is changing Israel
By Matthew Bell
(The World) Negotiators have reportedly been getting close to reaching a deal to free Israeli hostages taken by Hamas last month. In exchange, Israel would release Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jails. But so far, any agreement between Israel and Hamas has proven to be difficult to reach.
… There’s also a lot of frustration — even anger — toward the Israeli government and security establishment.
The families of the hostages have become a powerful voice calling for accountability.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said freeing the hostages is a top priority. He said it again during his visit to an Israeli army base yesterday.
“There is no place in Gaza that we cannot reach. No shelter or refuge for Hamas murderers. We will eliminate Hamas … and bring back our hostages,” he said.
There’s a lot of skepticism in Israel, though.
Top leaders from the military and intelligence services have said they take responsibility for the failures leading up to Oct. 7, but Netanyahu has not.
Some Israelis are calling on the prime minister to step down, even in the middle of this war.
Medics fear for patients inside main Gaza hospital, Israel says tunnel shaft found
(Reuters) – Palestinian medics said on Thursday they are increasingly afraid for the lives of hundreds of patients and medical staff at Gaza’s biggest hospital, cut off from all links to the outside world for more than a day after Israeli forces entered.
Israel said its commandos were still searching through Al Shifa hospital on Thursday, more than a day after they entered its grounds as part of an offensive Israel says aims to wipe out Hamas militants in the Palestinian enclave.
… Elsewhere, Israel ordered civilians to leave four towns in the southern part of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, raising fears war could spread to areas where it had told people they would be safe.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement Israeli forces had cleared the entire west part of Gaza City and that the “next stage has begun”. The Israeli military’s chief of staff said Israel was close to destroying Hamas’s military system in the northern Gaza Strip.
UN Security Council adopts resolution calling for urgent humanitarian pauses and corridors in Gaza
(AP) — The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution Wednesday calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip” after four failed attempts to respond to the Israel-Hamas war.
The vote was 12-0 with the United States, United Kingdom and Russia abstaining.
The final draft watered down language from a “demand” to a “call” for humanitarian pauses. It also watered down a demand for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups.”
Israeli forces raid Gaza’s largest hospital
(AP) …hundreds of patients, including newborns, have been stranded with dwindling supplies and no electricity, as the army extended its control across Gaza City and the north.
[Al] Shifa Hospital has become a symbol of the widespread suffering of Palestinian civilians during the war between Israel and Hamas.
The hospital is also at the heart of clashing narratives over who is to blame for the thousands of deaths and widespread destruction in the besieged territory. Israel accuses Hamas of using Palestinians as human shields, while Palestinians and rights groups say Israel has recklessly endangered civilians as it seeks to eradicate the group.
Israeli forces enter al-Shifa Hospital amid collapse of Gaza’s medical system
(WaPo) Gaza’s Health Ministry said it received a warning from the Israel Defense Forces shortly before the operation began that troops were preparing to enter the complex. The IDF “informed the Ministry of Health of its intention to storm the Shifa Medical Complex after several days of besieging it,” spokesman Ismail al-Thawabta wrote on WhatsApp.
Al Jazeera reports
Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital forced to bury dead patients in ‘mass grave’
Hospital director says 179 bodies interred together in courtyard as Israeli forces encircle the facility.
Israel’s attacks on hospitals ‘should be investigated as war crimes’: HRW
Health facilities and ambulances have protected status under international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch affirms.
Israeli military forces raid Gaza’s largest hospital in operation against Hamas
(AP) In recent days, the focus of the war has been Shifa Hospital, with hundreds of patients, staff and displaced people trapped inside.
The Gaza hostages: Can Israel really negotiate their release?
(GZERO media) Reports continue to circulate of a possible deal between Israel and Hamas that would see the release of as many as 70 women and children held hostage in Gaza since Hamas abducted them on Oct. 7. In exchange, Israel would grant a five-day cease-fire and possibly liberate a number of Palestinian women and children jailed in Israel on minor charges.
The talks have been mediated by the government of Qatar, which maintains good relations with Hamas — the group’s political leadership lives in Doha, and the emirate has, with Israel’s permission, funded the Hamas-run civil service of the Gaza Strip for years.
The Israeli government has come under growing pressure to secure the release of the hostages, even as it pursues its goal of eradicating Hamas. …
But the Israeli government’s own war aims may complicate prospects for the hostages, says Jerusalem-based activist Gershon Baskin, who has negotiated high-profile hostage releases with Hamas in the past.
Biden says a deal to free hostages held by Hamas is ‘going to happen’ as officials say they are nearing an agreement
The Economist Sunday newsletter: Huge protests [in London] at the weekend, and in other capitals in Europe, point to growing public disquiet in the Western world over the prolonged bombardment of civilians in Gaza. Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, has called for Israel to stop attacks that are killing civilians there. Leaders in America and elsewhere have been pushing Israel to agree to “humanitarian pauses” to better protect civilians caught in the fighting. But there has also been public outrage at the rise in antisemitism that has occurred since the Israel-Gaza war began. On Sunday Paris was the scene of a massive march against abuse of Jewish people.
As Israeli forces move deeper into Gaza city, and target the tunnels and underground headquarters of Hamas, an especially grim period of urban warfare is under way. Hamas, say the Israelis, uses hospitals as cover for its military operations.
Israel says it’s ready to evacuate babies from Gaza hospital as fighting rages
WHO says loses contact with Al Shifa hospital
Palestinians say two babies died in intensive care
Netanyahu declines comment on reports of possible hostage deal
Gaza residents report all-night clashes
Israeli minister calls situation ‘Gaza’s Nakba’
Can the next UN vote stop Israel’s war on Gaza?
Malta has circulated a new draft resolution focusing on Gaza’s children, Al Jazeera has learned. Will the US veto it?
Letter to the Children of Gaza
By Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times.
We have failed you. This is the awful guilt we carry. We tried. But we did not try hard enough. We will go to Rafah. Many of us. Reporters. We will stand outside the border with Gaza in protest. We will write and film. This is what we do. It is not much. But it is something. We will tell your story again.
Maybe it will be enough to earn the right to ask for your forgiveness.
Fights in bread lines, despair in shelters: War threatens to unravel Gaza’s close-knit society
For the people of the Gaza Strip, each day has become a mind-numbing cycle of despair. With the Israel-Hamas war in its second month, trapped civilians are struggling to survive without electricity or running water.
(AP) — Fistfights break out in bread lines. Residents wait hours for a gallon of brackish water that makes them sick. Scabies, diarrhea and respiratory infections rip through overcrowded shelters. And some families have to choose who eats.
With the Israel-Hamas war in its second month and more than 10,000 people killed in Gaza, trapped civilians are struggling to survive without electricity or running water. Palestinians who managed to flee Israel’s ground invasion in northern Gaza now encounter scarcity of food and medicine in the south, and there is no end in sight to the war sparked by Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 attack.
Evacuations from Gaza Strip resume through Egypt’s Rafah crossing
(Reuters) – Evacuations from the Gaza Strip into Egypt for foreign passport holders and Palestinians needing medical treatment resumed through the Rafah crossing on Thursday after being suspended for a day, Egyptian security and medical sources said.
US says Israel agrees to daily pauses in Gaza attacks but fighting rages on
Israeli prime minister says pauses here or there may last a few hours
Fighting rages with no sign of lull
Israel says it breached Hamas ‘security quarter’
(Reuters) – The White House said on Thursday that Israel agreed to pause military operations in parts of north Gaza for four hours a day, but there was no sign of a let-up in the fighting that has killed thousands and laid waste to the seaside enclave. The pauses, which would allow people to flee along two humanitarian corridors and could be used for the release of hostages, were significant first steps, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said.
Settler violence is erasing Palestinian communities in the West Bank
(WaPo) Violence by Israeli settlers, long aimed at depopulating rural Palestinian parts of the occupied West Bank, had grown common in the months since Prime Minister President Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power in late December — at the head of a coalition that included far-right settler activists who have been convicted of anti-Arab incitement and have advocated for the annexation of the West Bank.
Since Hamas militants killed more than 1,400 people and plunged Israel into war on Oct. 7, the pace of the assaults has more than doubled, as the radical settler movement exploits the crisis to hasten demographic change across the territory. At least 11 Palestinian communities have been completely abandoned since the beginning of the year, including six since Oct. 7, according to the West Bank Protection Consortium, a group of nongovernmental organizations funded by the European Union.
Thousands flee Israeli attacks in northern Gaza
By Ted Regencia and Lyndal Rowlands
Dozens of Palestinians killed in intense Israeli bombardments overnight in Jabalia refugee camp in the north and Sabra in western Gaza.
(Al Jazeera) Thousands of Palestinians are walking miles to flee the fighting and Israeli bombardment in northern Gaza, as Israel says it is tightening its “stranglehold” around Hamas. The group says it has been successfully confronting Israel’s military, and destroyed tanks and vehicles.
Israel continues bombing raids in Gaza and claims to be advancing against Hamas in Gaza City.
A drone attack has targeted US forces at al-Harir airbase in northern Iraq.
Nine pro-Iran fighters killed in Israeli air attacks in Syria, AFP news agency reported, quoting the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
CIA director William Burns expected to travel to Qatar on Thursday to discuss deal to release captives held in Gaza.
Abu Obaida, spokesperson of Hamas’s Qassam Brigades, says the only way to free captives is through a complete or gradual swap of prisoners with Israel.
US secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs suggests Palestinian Authority could rule Gaza after the war.
Ahed Tamimi, the young Palestinian activist from the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, held at Israel’s Damon prison and has been beaten, according to her mother.
NATO allies support “humanitarian pauses” in the fighting, says Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Why Israel Shouldn’t Release the Film Showing Hamas’ Atrocities
There is no shortage of visual evidence of the Hamas massacre. But there are endless historical, political and psychological reasons for people to watch it and see something completely different than what Israelis expect them to see in it
(Haaretz) … The scene is part of the now-famous 43-minute compilation of footage taken from Hamas terrorists’ body cameras, smartphones, Israeli public and private security cameras, dash-cams and video taken by first responders at the locations of Hamas’ atrocities in Israeli communities on the morning of October 7. I will never forget watching it, but I don’t think it should be used in the current war over global public opinion.
The Israeli military assembled the footage in the days after the attack, and has since screened it to hundreds of journalists, politicians and diplomats. This week, it is being shown to celebrities and influencers in Los Angeles and New York, at the initiative of Israeli actress Gal Gadot.
Israeli officials have not yet decided if it should be released to the public. Leading trauma specialists and psychologists in the country have warned against making the disturbing video available for everyone to watch. But the authorities, worrying more and more about conspiracy theories and denialism surrounding the Hamas massacre, may eventually put it out into the world.
If the Israeli government thinks everyone accusing it of faking the footage and using it as propaganda will suddenly switch sides if they gain access to it – they couldn’t be more wrong.
By releasing the video montage, Israel would only be playing into the hands of Hamas – the same organization that sent thousands of heavily armed men into quiet Israeli communities with body cameras and instructed them to film themselves killing whole families and hundreds of peaceful partygoers, taking civilian hostages to Gaza, burning and dismembering bodies.
UN rights chief warns of ‘living nightmare’ in Gaza
UN human rights chief Volker Turk says Palestinians in the Gaza Strip face a “living nightmare”, urges ceasefire.
Israel’s Netanyahu again rejects prospect of ceasefire without release of captives in Gaza as Israeli military claims Hamas “losing control” of enclave’s north.
IDF says Hamas has lost control of northern Gaza; UN rights chief accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes
Israel cannot reoccupy Gaza at end of conflict, says Antony Blinken
US secretary of state echoes White House line, while UK favours rule by ‘peace-loving Palestinian leadership’
The comments, made at the end of a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Japan, echoed White House remarks on Tuesday suggesting opposition to a long-term occupation of Gaza.
The G7 called for humanitarian pauses in the conflict, and urged Israel to comply with humanitarian law, but did not say in its joint statement whether Israel was currently doing so.
A broken Netanyahu is miscalculating over Gaza, former Israeli PM says
Ehud Olmert says current leader is now a danger to Israel and argues the goal should be resuming talks leading to a Palestinian state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been “destroyed emotionally” by his massive failure on national security and is now miscalculating by preparing to take overall control of Gaza’s security for an “indefinite period” after Hamas has been crushed, according to former leader Ehud Olmert.
In an interview with POLITICO, Olmert argued Netanyahu was in a state of “nervous breakdown,” as he sought to avoid being thrown out of office for failing to safeguard national security in the murderous Hamas attacks of October 7. This meant Israel was now steering off course strategically, Olmert went on, insisting the priority should be to negotiate an endgame with the international community — involving a return to talks on the formation of a Palestinian state, rather than turning back the clock to full military oversight over Gaza.
‘Reoccupation by Israeli forces is not the right thing to do,’
(NYT) The White House cautioned Israel on Tuesday against reoccupying Gaza after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that his country could hold a security role there “for an indefinite period” once the war is over.
“We’re having active discussions with our Israeli counterparts about what post-conflict Gaza looks like,” John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman, told reporters. “The president maintains his position that reoccupation by Israeli forces is not the right thing to do.”
The words of caution came after Mr. Netanyahu said Israel would need to oversee the security of the Gaza Strip once the fighting is over to prevent future attacks.
Netanyahu says Israel to manage Gaza’s security indefinitely after the war
Israeli leader rules out ceasefire but suggests openness to ‘tactical little pauses’ in conflict.
(Al Jazeera) … While Biden has strongly backed Netanyahu’s war against Hamas, the two leaders have differed on tactics, including efforts to prevent civilian casualties and the need for pauses in fighting to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.
In the midst of Israel’s assault, people of Gaza still don’t want the PA
On the streets of the besieged Strip, there appears to be little appetite for a Palestinian Authority government, despite Abbas’s suggestion that the PA might be open to returning to Gaza.
The world is turning against Israel’s war in Gaza – and many Israelis don’t understand why
(CNN) As global leaders continue to pile pressure on Israel over the mounting civilian death toll from its bombardment of Gaza and huge crowds gather for pro-Palestinian protests in cities like London, Washington DC, Berlin, Paris, Amman and Cairo – almost all in support of civilians in Gaza, rather than Hamas – many Israelis are getting frustrated with what they see as unequal treatment.
It’s a feeling that cuts across the deep divisions within Israeli society: the world does not understand us.
Sabrina Maddeaux: I watched Hamas hack innocents to death. The worst part was their glee
Screened footage showed literal streams of blood, hacked off arms and legs, and an infant missing part of its skull, brain leaking out
(National Post) Over the span of 43 minutes, I watched 138 humans be murdered or witnessed their corpses, many brutalized beyond recognition and others clearly tortured, in the direct aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on Israel.
That’s 3.2 bodies per minute— and less than 10 per cent of the more than 1,400 people killed that day.
The Consulate of Israel in Toronto screened the footage, taken from a mix of body cameras, dashboard cams, CCTV tapes, and victims’ cell phones, some used by Hamas to record and livestream their sadism, for a small group of media on Monday. Not everyone made it through the full 43 minutes, with others moved to tears and outbursts of emotion.
… But none of what I’ve detailed so far was the worst part of those 43 minutes. The worst part was the glee. The pure jubilation of Hamas terrorists as they filmed themselves killing and torturing; their excited voices bragging about their atrocities. The videos of them playing with victims’ heads with their feet, and excitedly shooting out the tires of a kibbutz’s ambulance before massacring its residents.
I’ll never forget the gore, but it’s the look of euphoria and pride in the terrorists’ eyes, cheering for the cameras as if they were the ones partying at a music festival that day, that will haunt me.
I don’t know if the full footage will ever be made public, but if it ever is, every single Canadian should watch it to understand how far beyond any conceivable rules of engagement Hamas went, why this time was different, and why it must never, ever happen again.
Israeli forces cut off north Gaza to isolate Hamas as advance on urban center looms
(AP) — The Israeli army severed northern Gaza from the rest of the besieged territory and pounded it with airstrikes Monday, preparing for expected ground battles with Hamas militants in Gaza’s largest city and an even bloodier phase of the month-old war.
The average Palestinian in Gaza is living on 2 pieces of bread a day, UN official says
Netanyahu Appears to Rebuff Blinken’s Request for ‘Humanitarian Pauses’
Shortly after the American secretary of state visited Israel and asked the country to pause fighting to allow aid into Gaza, the Israeli prime minister said that a cease-fire would be contingent on the release of Israeli hostages, a tough stance that seemed to be a rebuff to Washington.
(NYT) Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Friday and called for a series of “humanitarian pauses” to allow more deliveries of badly needed food, water, medicine, and other supplies into Gaza, and also to facilitate the release of more than 200 hostages abducted in the deadly Oct. 7 terrorist attacks Hamas launched from the enclave, which it controls.
UN Secretary-General ‘horrified’ by Israel’s deadly attack on ambulances
(Al Jazeera) Dozens of Palestinians killed in attacks on Friday, despite presence of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Israel.
Israel launches deadly strike on ambulance outside hospital in Gaza
(WaPo) The dead and wounded visible in the videos reviewed by The Post included women and children and no weapons or individuals wearing military clothing could be seen. One graphic video, filmed by Gazan content creator Ahmed Hijazee, showed the inside of the ambulance targeted in the strike, including a single female patient lying on a stretcher.
The Global Consequences of the Israel-Hamas War
The impact of the Israel-Hamas war will reverberate around the world, with consequences for the Middle East, Europe, China, and the United States. While the specific challenges vary, none has an interest in drawing out or widening the conflict.
(Project Syndicate) The most immediate consequences will be felt in the Middle East. For years, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu operated under illusions that have now been shattered. The biggest was the expectation that Israel could normalize ties with the Arab world without addressing the Palestinian question, which he apparently believed could simply be wished away.
Blinken warns Israel that humanitarian conditions in Gaza must improve to have ‘partners for peace’
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is warning Israel that it risks destroying an eventual possibility for peace unless it acts swiftly to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza for Palestinian civilians as it intensifies its war against Hamas.
(AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Israel on Friday that it risks destroying an eventual possibility for peace unless it acts swiftly to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza for Palestinian civilians as it intensifies its war against Hamas.
In a blunt call for Israel to pause military operations in the territory to allow for the immediate and increased delivery of assistance, Blinken said the current situation would drive Palestinians toward further radicalism and effectively end prospects for any eventual resumption of peace talks to end the conflict.
In a Worldwide War of Words, Russia, China and Iran Back Hamas
Officials and researchers say the deluge of online propaganda and disinformation is larger than anything seen before.
Hundreds of Dual Nationals and Injured Palestinians Cross From Gaza to Egypt
The southern Gaza border opened for the first such crossings since the war began, after a deal negotiated late Tuesday among Israel, Egypt, Hamas, the United States and Qatar.
(NYT) After weeks of waiting, hundreds of people were allowed to leave the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the first of thousands of foreigners, aid workers and critically wounded patients who were expected to exit in the coming days.
By Wednesday night, buses had ferried 361 foreign nationals over the border to Egypt, and ambulances had carried 45 severely injured Palestinians, along with some of their family members, to Egyptian hospitals, according to Al Qahera, an Egyptian state-owned television channel. They left behind the destruction and the most immediate suffering wrought by the war between Israel and Hamas, the group that controls Gaza.
Israel-Hamas war live: ‘scale of tragedy is unprecedented’, says chief of UN agency in Gaza after ‘heart wrenching’ visit
Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general for UNRWA, added ‘people were asking for a ceasefire. They want this tragedy to end’
The ICC is Investigating War Crimes in Israel and Gaza. Indictments are Coming
(Global Dispatches) ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan became the top prosecutor at the International Criminal Court following a stint heading a UN team investigating crimes committed by the Islamic State, leading to a landmark conclusion in 2021 that ISIS committed genocide against the Yazidi religious community. …
The key question going forward is whether or not his political acumen and his legal strategy for Israel and Gaza can blunt a coming diplomatic firestorm. Because make no mistake: indictments are coming for senior Hamas leaders and Israeli military and government officials. It is only a matter of when.
Israeli attacks on Jabalia ‘could amount to war crimes’: UN rights office
UN Human Rights Office raises concern after Israeli attacks target Gaza’s largest refugee camp on two consecutive days.
Netanyahu may not last, Biden and aides increasingly believe
The Israeli prime minister’s political obituary has been written before. But U.S. officials are already gauging potential successors.
(Politico) Biden administration thinks Netanyahu may not last politically: Joe Biden and top aides have discussed the likelihood that Benjamin Netanyahu’s political days are numbered — and the president has conveyed that sentiment to the Israeli prime minister in a recent conversation. The topic of Netanyahu’s short political shelf life has come up in recent White House meetings involving Biden, according to two senior administration officials. That has included discussions that have taken place since Biden’s trip to Israel, where he met with Netanyahu. Biden has gone so far as to suggest to Netanyahu that he should think about lessons he would share with his eventual successor, the two administration officials added.
US, others exploring options for future of Gaza after Hamas – Blinken
By Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis
(Reuters) Washington has been speaking with Israel, as well as other countries in the region, on how to govern the Palestinian enclave if Israel triumphed on the battlefield, but a clear plan was yet to emerge.
Among the options that are being explored by the United States and Israel was the possibility of a multinational force that may involve U.S. troops, or Gaza be placed under United Nations oversight temporarily, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
In response to the report, the White House said sending U.S. troops to Gaza as part of a peacekeeping force is not something being considered or under discussion.
Some of U.S. President Joe Biden’s aides are concerned that while Israel may craft an effective plan to inflict lasting damage to Hamas, it has yet to formulate an exit strategy.
Blinken speaks with Herzog ahead of Israel trip
Earlier, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller announced that Blinken will travel to Israel on Friday “for meetings with members of the Israeli government”. The top US diplomat “then will make other stops in the region”, Miller said.
‘Wake-up call’: Anger grows over Israeli attack on Gaza’s Jabalia camp
Aid groups denounce Israel’s bombing of Jabalia refugee camp as health ministry warns two hospitals nearly out of fuel.
Dozens killed in Israeli air attack on Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza
Health ministry in Gaza says more than 50 people were killed in the attack on Tuesday and 150 others were wounded.
The Price for Netanyahu of Misjudging Hamas
By Henry Meyer
(Bloomberg Balance of Power) Benjamin Netanyahu, long known as the great survivor of Israeli politics, may be finally losing his grip.
The 74-year-old’s failure to prevent the savage Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that killed 1,400 Israelis and led to the kidnapping of 240 others is putting the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history under rising pressure to quit.
Critics accuse Netanyahu and the security establishment of ignoring the Palestinian militant group’s ambitions after it became clear that preparations for the cross-border assault took place over a period of years.
Why Netanyahu Must Go
After the War, Israel Will Need a Two-State Solution He Cannot Deliver
(Foreign Affairs) Israel’s war is not a war of choice against the Palestinians but an inevitable campaign to free ourselves, as well as the people of the Gaza Strip, from the cruel grip of Hamas. Israel’s military campaign must succeed. But organizing and sustaining it will require establishing political objectives for its aftermath. And a victory over Hamas alone will be insufficient to heal the horrific wounds Israel has suffered in this act of terror. The country that Israel becomes in ten years will depend on the political choices it makes now, not only the military decisions: its security and prosperity will turn on whether it creates a new political horizon for its region and makes serious advances toward an eventual two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians.
As it works to defeat Hamas militarily, Israel must also work to define its long-term strategy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unfit to direct any part of this process—neither the war to defeat Hamas nor efforts to secure a more lasting peace. Israel must prioritize a larger political vision, not just for the sake of reducing tensions with nearby countries and avoiding engulfing its region in violence but for its own sake: to secure its future as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people and to preserve its core values of freedom and justice—values it shares with the United States.
Netanyahu’s political future looks shakier in midst of Israel-Hamas war
Already declining support for prime minister falls further as calls grow for his resignation and public anger rises
(The Guardian) For more than a decade, there have been calls for Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to resign – and for no shortage of reasons: growing levels of inequality, Israel’s housing crisis, his penchant for ugly populism, multiple corruption scandals for which he is still on trial, and most recently, attempts at a judicial overhaul.
But after the 7 October attack on the country by Hamas, the future of Israel’s ultimate political survivor looks especially shaky, even in the midst of a new war in Gaza.
‘A new Nakba’: settler violence forces Palestinians out of West Bank villages
Communities who have clung on for decades are leaving their homes in the face of rising attrition by Israelis
In the Gaza Strip, where Israel has launched a campaign to destroy Hamas, the militant group that killed 1,400 people on its rampage through southern Israel, trapped civilians cannot leave; in the West Bank, they are being forced from their homes.
Under Shroud of Secrecy, Israel Invasion of Gaza Has Begun
(NYT) After an air campaign that killed thousands of Palestinians, Israel has begun a ground assault, but it took hours for outside observers to understand what was happening. The ambiguity was intentional.
The Spreading Risks of the Gaza Ground Invasion
(Bloomberg Balance of Power) Israel has deepened a war with Hamas with a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip that has no end in sight.
Nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) away, Qatar has spent weeks trying to negotiate the release of hostages held by Hamas in the besieged Palestinian enclave, placing itself at the center of uncomfortable diplomacy.
Both moves carry huge risks.
Israel has vowed to wipe out Hamas in a battle that will lead to even heavier casualties on both sides. Already the bombardment of Gaza has killed thousands of Palestinians, displaced 1.4 million and stoked ire across the Middle East and beyond. The US and its allies worry the violence will ignite a regional conflict. …
Back in Israel, some officials saw Hamas using the negotiations to buy time, aiming to release just a couple of people a week while demanding an extensive cease-fire and prisoner exchange. That assessment meant the focus shifted to a long-expected ground incursion in a campaign that could last anywhere from six weeks to six months.
At the same time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under growing internal pressure to resign because of the security failure and his unwillingness to accept personal responsibility. But there’s little evidence so far he will. — Sylvia Westall
Israel’s Gaza offensive stirs a wave of global protest
Analysis by Ishaan Tharoor
As Israel escalated its campaign against Hamas, a terrifying silence fell over Gaza: An expanded Israeli ground assault that commenced Friday saw phone and WiFi access in the besieged territory largely shut off and hundreds of thousands of Gaza’s Palestinian residents, already coping with adversity, plunged into telecommunications darkness.
By Sunday morning, it seemed that connectivity had been somewhat restored, though the miserable toll of the ongoing war grew larger. The Health Ministry in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas but has been a reliable source of data on casualties in the past, said 8,005 people had been killed so far, including 3,324 children. More than 20,000 people have been injured. A paltry flow of humanitarian aid has trickled into Gaza, which the Palestinian Red Crescent said only meets 3 percent of the requirements of the territory’s beleaguered, failing medical sector.
What Palestinians Really Think of Hamas
Before the War, Gaza’s Leaders Were Deeply Unpopular—but an Israeli Crackdown Could Change That
(Foreign Affairs) Continued violence will not bring the future most Gazans hope for any closer. Instead of stamping out sympathy for terrorism, past Israeli crackdowns that make life more difficult for ordinary Gazans have increased support for Hamas. If the current military campaign in Gaza has a similar effect on Palestinian public opinion, it will further set back the cause of long-term peace.
Israeli PM Netanyahu says Gaza war entered second stage with ground operation
(Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday the ground operation launched by Israeli troops in Gaza was the second stage in a war against the Islamist group Hamas that would be long and difficult.
Speaking at a news conference, he said every effort would be made to rescue the more than 200 hostages held by Hamas.
Gaza under blackout as Israel attacks Hamas ‘everywhere’
“The region will becoming a ticking time bomb that impacts us all,” warns Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators march around the world. “This is not about Hamas. This is about protecting Palestinian lives”
Elon Musk offers possible help of Starlink for aid agencies
(Reuters) – Gaza’s besieged people had barely any communications with the outside world on Saturday as Israeli jets dropped more bombs and suggested a long-threatened ground offensive against Hamas militants running the Palestinian enclave was starting.
Israel said troops sent in on Friday night were still in the field whereas previously it had made only brief sorties during three weeks of bombing to destroy Hamas whom it said killed 1,400 Israelis in an Oct. 7 assault.
• Blackout: Gaza was under an almost complete blackout, with internet and phone services cut. Telecoms firms and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said it was the result of Israeli bombardments. Israel said it would allow trucks carrying food, water and medicine to enter, indicating that bombing might pause, at least in the area of its border with Egypt. It also rebuffed allies’ pleas to pause the assault on humanitarian grounds, and told Reuters and Agence France Presse that it cannot guarantee the safety of their journalists operating in Gaza.
• Underground: Israeli troops on the ground likely will encounter Hamas’ tunnel network, hundreds of miles long and up to 260 feet deep, which one freed hostage called a “spider’s web” and one expert described as “Viet Cong times 10.”
Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a UNGA Emergency Special Session Before the Vote on a Resolution on the Situation in the Middle East
… As President Biden said yesterday, there is no going back to the status quo as it stood on October 6th. We must not go back to the status quo where Hamas terrorizes Israel and uses Palestinian civilians as human shields. And we must not go back to the status quo where extremist settlers can attack and terrorize Palestinians in the West Bank. The status quo is untenable and it is unacceptable.
This means that when this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next. In our view, that vision must be centered around a two-state solution. Getting there will require concerted efforts by all of us – Israelis, Palestinians, regional partners, and global leaders – to put us on a path for peace. To integrate Israel with the region, while insisting that the aspirations of the Palestinian people be part of a more hopeful future.
We deeply regret that the resolution now under consideration is detrimental to this vision. But while this resolution is deeply flawed and does not meet this moment, the United States will continue to work with all Member States to chart a future where Israelis and Palestinians have equal measures of security, freedom, justice, opportunity, and dignity. And a future where Palestinians realize their legitimate right to self-determination and a state of their own.
The Decolonization Narrative Is Dangerous and False
It does not accurately describe either the foundation of Israel or the tragedy of the Palestinians.
By Simon Sebag Montefiore
(The Atlantic) So the war unfolds tragically. As I write this, the pounding of Gaza is killing Palestinian children every day, and that is unbearable. As Israel still grieves its losses and buries its children, we deplore the killing of Israeli civilians just as we deplore the killing of Palestinian civilians. We reject Hamas, evil and unfit to govern, but we do not mistake Hamas for the Palestinian people, whose losses we mourn as we mourn the death of all innocents.
Why the Israel-Gaza conflict is so hard to talk about
With the intensification of war in the Middle East comes an intense polarization within our institutions. A historian whose family was taken hostage by Hamas, and a geographer with family in the West Bank, get together to discuss a way forward.
(The Conversation) Natalie Rothman is a professor of historical and cultural studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She grew up in Israel. She has friends and relatives in the region, including family members who have been taken hostage by Hamas.
Norma Rantisi is a professor of geography and urban planning at Concordia University who has done work in the region. She has family in the West Bank and is a member of the Academics for Palestine Concordia, and the Palestinian-Canadian Academics and Artists Network.
Is Israel ready for the nightmare waiting in Gaza?
(GZERO) But how can one prepare to take Gaza? Just ask veterans of Fallujah or Huế what urban combat is like, then add in 2.3 million civilians with nowhere to run and a network of underground tunnels the enemy has been gearing up to defend for years, and you’ll get a taste. There is no way to avoid intense, chaotic fighting and massive bloodshed.
Rising Civilian Toll in Gaza Puts Pressure on Israel
Ethan Bronner, Israel bureau chief and a senior editor for the Middle East, Bloomberg News
(Bloomberg Balance of Power) Western leaders are sending mixed messages to Israel: While they feel its pain over Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, they advise it’s best to hold off on a ground invasion while negotiations continue to free the more than 200 hostages.
Israelis argue that their very existence is at stake with violent militant groups on the nation’s borders, and the world should support the plan to eliminate the leaders of Hamas and its infrastructure in Gaza even if that means civilian casualties.
But Israel’s daily airstrikes on Gaza have killed thousands already and are causing fury and unrest across the Muslim world, and increasingly beyond.
“Are we being told it is wrong to kill an entire family at gunpoint but it’s OK to shell them to death?” Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah, who is of Palestinian descent, asked in a widely viewed TV interview, referring to what she and others view as a double standard.
Israeli officials say if they don’t respond forcefully to Hamas, labeled a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union, their country’s enemies will view it as weak. They view the Hamas slaughter of 1,400 people is of a piece with anti-Semitic attacks over centuries.
Its neighbors maintain that Israel’s response has been inhumane, and that the Hamas attack sprang from years of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
When United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres echoed that idea, Israel demanded he resign. No other governments, even those that have stood by Israel, agreed.
As tens of thousands of Israeli troops armed to the teeth await orders on Gaza’s border and hostage negotiations intensify, the gap between the two narratives is widening.
Israel Is Losing Support as Fury Grows Over Its Strikes on Gaza
Where Israel sees a fight against terror others see occupation
Brutality of October 7 reminds Israelis of Nazi slaughter
Parsing disinformation in the Israel-Hamas conflict (podcast; transcript available))
Valerie Wirtschafter, fellow in Foreign Policy and the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative, and Fred Dews
(Brookings) The war between Israel and Hamas militants operating out of Gaza has produced horrific images, but also misinformation and disinformation about actions on both sides. This mis- and disinformation spreads through social media like X, the former Twitter, and confuses our understanding of what’s happening. On this episode of The Current, Valerie Wirtschafter, a fellow in Foreign Policy and the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative at Brookings, discusses how disinformation spreads, how we can spot it, and how we can better consume information coming out of conflicts like the one in the Middle East.
West Bank is heating up
While much of the world’s attention remains on Gaza, the situation is deteriorating fast in the occupied West Bank, where security operations by Israel and violent attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinians have increased over the past two weeks.
(GZERO) The (very simplified) background: Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. The 2.5 million Palestinians living there are governed locally by the Palestinian Authority, which is led by the Fatah party, the main secular rival to Hamas. Fatah renounced violence in the 1990s as part of negotiations meant to reach a two-state solution with Israel. Since then, Jewish settlements, which are illegal under international law and often displace Palestinian homes, have expanded significantly — there are now more than 700,000 West Bank settlers. Israel maintains tight security control over the West Bank, in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.
Even before the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre and Israel’s retaliation in Gaza, 2023 was already the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since at least 2008. Over the past two weeks, things have gotten worse: Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed as many as 100 Palestinians, according to Palestinian sources, while some 1,400 people have been detained.
… As casualties in Gaza mount, while Israeli operations intensify in a West Bank increasingly saturated with weapons, Palestinians’ frustrations there risk boiling over in ways that Abbas may not be able to control. If so, a second front of the current conflict could open up in the east, even as Lebanon-based Hezbollah weighs opening its own front in the north.
Israel’s prime minister and its army are damagingly divided
Netanyahu and the generals disagree about how to fight Hamas
(The Economist) … While the polls show broad backing among Israelis for the ground offensive in Gaza, they also show support for Mr Netanyahu has plummeted. Calls are growing for a national commission of enquiry to be held once the conflict has ended.
On October 25th Israeli officials said they had agreed to delay the invasion of Gaza to allow America to shore up its air defences in the region. But Mr Netanyahu is under increasing pressure from his hard-right base to prove his readiness to destroy Hamas. The prime minister’s proxies have been briefing journalists that the IDF is not fully prepared for the ground campaign and that, instead of jeopardising the lives of Israeli soldiers with a rapid invasion, as Israel’s generals suggest, even more devastating air-strikes are needed to destroy Hamas’s network of tunnels. This has led to angry responses from the IDF that it is, in fact, ready. It has also prompted ugly—and accurate—headlines in the Israeli media about the discord in the war cabinet between Mr Netanyahu and his defence minister, Yoav Gallant.
… Mr Netanyahu’s relationship with Israel’s generals has long been tense. That tension has been heightened by their responses to Hamas’s attack on October 7th. “The IDF and the intelligence community were severely hit by their failure to detect and prevent the Hamas attack,” says a senior defence official. “But they’ve got back on their feet and are now just waiting for a clear idea from the government [about] what to do.” By contrast Israel’s politicians, and its prime minister in particular, still seem to be floundering.
… All the talk is of the next stage of the fighting in Gaza, not what follows it. Israel’s security establishment would prefer to see the Palestinian Authority, which was ousted from Gaza by Hamas in a bloody coup in 2007, return and take control of the area. But one senior official admits that no planning is being done on that front. For over a decade Mr Netanyahu has isolated and neglected Gaza, believing it could safely be left to fester. The attack on October 7th demonstrated how tragically that policy has failed. His politicising of the war now, and his reluctance to plan for the future, could cost Israel even more.
UN warns Gaza aid operation will soon stop if fuel not let in
Crisis worsening by the hour, says UN agency, with Israel blocking supplies on grounds Hamas would use them
UN chief ‘shocked’ by ‘misrepresentation’ of comments in row with Israel
António Guterres had said Hamas attacks had been in context of ‘years of suffocating occupation’ but denied ‘justifying acts of terror’
US and Russia Offer Competing Security Council Resolutions on Gaza Crisis | Updates from a Dramatic Week at the UN
What’s even the difference between a “humanitarian pause” vs “ceasefire?”
I Don’t See a Better Way Out
I see no way out of the nightmare so long as Hamas continues to rule the Gaza Strip, and no viable way to remove it from power without an Israeli ground offensive.
By Ned Lazarus, international affairs professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School
(The Atlantic) There are those who see a nonviolent way forward in Gaza right now: A cease-fire, an exchange of prisoners for hostages, a UN protectorate. I envy them, whatever clear answer they might have to how Israel should respond to the massacre of more than 1,400 Israelis and the kidnapping of more than 200 others by a fundamentalist terrorist organization that rules over and hides among an impoverished civilian population of 2 million people. I envy those who know exactly how Hamas can be stopped without any more killing, any more suffering, for any more people in Israel and Gaza.
… I don’t see how the cycle of hatred, killing, and suffering ends while there is a fundamentalist terrorist organization explicitly dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews—read its 1988 founding charter; the message is not subtle—equipped with legions of fighters ready to kill and die to achieve its goals, an arsenal of missiles, and a powerful state sponsor, Iran, that enables its violence and shares its explicitly genocidal agenda.
US compared to Russia after tanking UN resolution on Gaza
The United Nations Security Council — whose one job is to respond during times of international conflict — failed to pass a nearly unanimous resolution on the Israel-Hamas war because of a US veto.
The resolution condemned Hamas’ attack and called for humanitarian access, protection of civilians in Gaza, and the release of Israeli hostages. On Wednesday, the US was the lone no vote, but because it is one of five nations on the council with veto power, the resolution failed.
The US vetoed it because it did not mention Israel’s right to self-defense. The stance drew accusations of hypocrisy and comparisons to Russia, which has used its veto power to paralyze the council on the war in Ukraine.
Canada, U.S. and UN call for ‘humanitarian pauses’ in Israel-Hamas war
Hamas-run Health Ministry says overnight Israeli strikes killed more than 700
Israel vows again to destroy Hamas, rejecting calls for a cease-fire in Gaza at a major UN meeting
(AP) — Israel vowed again to destroy Hamas, rejecting calls from the U.N. chief, the Palestinians and many countries at a high-level U.N. meeting on Tuesday for a cease-fire and declaring that the war in Gaza is not only its war but “the war of the free world.”
Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen also dismissed calls for “proportionality” in the country’s response to Hamas’ surprise attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 that killed 1,400 people and has since led to more than 5,700 Palestinian deaths in Gaza according to its Health Ministry.
Lessons from Gaza: Think before you Tweet
(GZERO) Hours before US President Joe Biden set off for his trip to Israel late Tuesday, social media erupted with videos purporting to show an aerial strike on the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City. The virtual battlelines formed immediately, with Hamas saying Israel had deliberately bombed the facility and killed 500 people.
Major media outlets published stories repeating the claims before Israel came out with its own version of events: A misfired terrorist rocket hit the hospital. Then came the rush to adjust those headlines and news alerts, but events had already moved well beyond their control.
Yuval Noah Harari backs critique of leftist ‘indifference’ to Hamas atrocities
Sapiens author among 90 signatories to statement of dismay at ‘extreme moral insensitivity’
Israel-Palestine conflict: How sharing the waters of the Jordan River could be a pathway to peace
Zafar Adeel, Executive Director, Pacific Water Research Centre, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Simon Fraser University
What is clear is that active dialogue, and co-operation on water management, must be made part of the gradual progress towards peace.
(The Conversation) The Jordan River Basin is, by any reasonable metric, one of the most parched areas of the world. All countries in the region have water availability per person that’s well below the global threshold to be labelled as “water scarce.”
… This basin drains into the Dead Sea and its water resources are shared by Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.
Effective sharing of Jordan River’s waters can be a pathway to lasting peace in the region.
…water-sharing across international borders can be used to foster co-operation. Importantly, these technical discussions also open the door for conducting indirect dialogue on other political matters. Such “Track-II diplomacy” has been widely used elsewhere, and the picnic-table conversations were a prime example in the Jordan River Basin.