Scorching take: Blinken, Sisi compensate for regional points … and human rights
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Wednesday for practically two hours with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, referring to him afterward as a “actual and efficient associate” in brokering a cease-fire within the Israel-Hamas Gaza conflict. Sisi, he stated, helps “construct one thing constructive.”
Past Gaza: The Blinken-Sisi dialog went effectively past the Gaza cease-fire:
-In addition they mentioned the so-far stalled diplomacy over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Ethiopia is dedicated to the second filling of the dam, which Egypt claims will disrupt the circulate of its water from the Nile. The potential disaster includes three key US companions — Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. Ayah Aman has the newest on the Nile dam disaster right here.
-Blinken praised Egyptian “management” in backing the UN political course of resulting in Libyan elections in December and stated overseas forces (learn Turkish and Russian irregulars and proxies) should go away Libya. Towards that finish, Cairo has sought to reconnect with Ankara, as Hagar Hosny and Fehim Tastekin report, though a rapprochement is a piece in progress, given the variations over Libya and naturally the Muslim Brotherhood,.
Underscoring human rights: Blinken stated that he “underscored the significance that President [Joe] Biden locations on human rights” in his assembly with Sisi, and that human rights can be a part of an ongoing “constructive dialogue” with Egypt, as Elizabeth Hagedorn explains.
Our take: A lot for Sisi, as soon as maligned as US President Donald Trump’s “favourite dictator,” being on Biden’s “don’t name” record. When the Israel-Hamas conflict escalated, the decision was inevitable and pressing; the ice was damaged, as Muhammed Magdy studies. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas additionally obtained on Biden’s name record, and a gathering with a Blinken this week, however solely as a result of america can’t name or deal immediately with Hamas, which it has designated a terrorist group. Whereas Abbas is getting a lifeline from the US resolution to work by way of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, coping with Sisi isn’t any act of US diplomatic charity — it’s important, not just for diplomacy and battle decision between Israeli and Palestinians, but additionally in conserving Libya on its fragile path to elections and in serving to guarantee that the Nile dam disaster reaches a diplomatic settlement.
5 takes: Israel, Palestine, Russia and Saudi Arabia
1. Stop-fire holds, however battle looms
As Israel celebrates the operational success of its battle with Hamas, the countdown to the subsequent stage of battle could have already begun. The Israeli Protection Forces have warned the Gaza-based militant group pays a value ought to it launch a lot as “a drizzle of rockets” towards Israel.
However as Ben Caspit writes, Israelis are in no temper for an additional spherical of combating with Hamas. “The exhaustion on each side will generate one other interval of calm with occasional bloody skirmishes alongside the border,” Caspit says. “The previous is destined to repeat itself.”
2. PLO, Hamas widespread floor stays elusive
Simply earlier than the newest flare-up of violence, Hamas and the PLO had been discussing find out how to type a nationwide unity authorities. However after its 11-day battle with Israel, “Hamas is now in a victory mode, and no matter they could have been keen to simply accept earlier than might be off the desk now,” Daoud Kuttab studies.
Hamas’ want for legitimacy on the world phases might open the door for cooperation with the PLO, which is predicated in Ramallah. For now, Hamas is ignoring Abbas’ name for unity, as Adnan Abu Amer writes.
Plus, Entsar Abu Jahal examines the Gaza-based group’s ties with Iran. Hamas denies Tehran was calling the photographs in its newest operation, regardless of reportedly naming certainly one of its rockets after slain Iranian normal, Qasem Soleimani.
3. Choosing up the items in Gaza
With the cease-fire holding, consideration has turned to rebuilding the Gaza Strip, the place survivors are nonetheless reeling from Israel’s relentless bombing of Hamas targets in densely populated neighborhoods.
Mervat Ouf speaks with Palestinians who spent hours trapped beneath the rubble of their properties. Israeli airstrikes wreaked havoc on the Palestinian enclave’s well being infrastructure, as Rasha Abou Jalal studies, and Hanady Salah covers the harm dealt to Gaza’s artwork and cultural facilities.
4. Russia steps up regional diplomacy
Regional aspirations and diasporic hyperlinks to Israel assist clarify Russia’s latest efforts to de-escalate the Israel and Hamas combating, which included consultations with the opponents, regional companions and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Russia’s response to the latest occasions in Gaza displays its want to broaden its diplomatic function within the Israeli-Palestinian peace course of” and the Center East extra broadly, Samuel Ramani writes. Moscow has supplied to host Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, however officers on both facet are skeptical of Russia’s ambitions.
5. Saudi Arabia’s tree-planting push
Sebastian Castelier takes a take a look at certainly one of Saudi Arabia’s newest megaprojects: planting 10 billion timber throughout the dominion over the approaching many years. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman goals to extend by twelvefold the nation’s land space lined by forest, however his plan is thus far brief on specifics. Questions stay over the feasibility of planting billions of timber in a rustic that data the third-lowest precipitation worldwide.
ICYMI: Israel-Hamas conflict, by the numbers
Take a look at this breakdown of the destruction brought on by the 11-day battle between Israel and Hamas, which broken 17 hospitals and clinics and 53 faculties within the Gaza Strip, displaced tens of 1000’s of Palestinians and brought about tens of millions in misplaced income to Israeli companies.
What we’re studying: Syria’s misplaced era
A latest UN Safety Council report paperwork “widespread and systematic” recruitment of kids in Syria between 2018 and 2020. Kids had been utilized in fight by terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Turkey-backed insurgent teams and parts of the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. The report additionally takes a take a look at youngster casualties, sexual violence in opposition to Yazidis and assaults on faculties.
What we’re listening to: A “transformation” in US attitudes on Israel?
What explains shifting Democratic opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian battle? Shibley Telhami, a polling professional and the Anwar Sadat professor for peace and improvement on the College of Maryland, says the latest concentrate on racial justice and civil rights in america is a driving issue. Hearken to Telhami’s full interview with Andrew Parasiliti right here.
Remember to take a look at Ben Caspit’s podcast with Orit Perlov, who displays social media traits within the Arab world. Perlov says Hamas’ escalation with Israel caught Gazan residents by full shock. “The writing was not on the wall,” Perlov stated. “It was an enormous shock.”