Weekend long read

1) At the FDD Aykan Erdemir looks at the US reaction to ‘Erdogan’s Hosting of Hamas Terrorists’.

‘As the State Department reminded Erdogan yesterday, two of the individuals in the most recent Hamas delegation – senior military leader Saleh al-Arouri and senior political leader Ismail Haniyeh – are Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The United States has also issued a “Rewards for Justice” bounty for information leading to the arrest or capture of Arouri, who was responsible for the June 2014 kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank, sparking a war between Israel and Hamas. Less than two months later, Arouri claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack at a public event in Istanbul that senior Turkish officials attended. […]

Earlier this month, the British daily The Telegraph revealed that Ankara granted citizenship and passports to “senior operatives of a Hamas terrorist cell,” including Zacharia Najib, “the senior Hamas operative who oversaw a plot to assassinate the [then] mayor of Jerusalem, as well as other Israeli public figures.”’

2) Avi Issacharoff explains ‘Why the PA is so angry at the Israel-UAE deal’.

‘There are two main reasons why the Israel-UAE agreement has caused such furious reactions in Ramallah. The first is political and well-known – the loss of prestige for the Israel-Palestinian conflict: Suddenly, the UAE, which is a primary player in the Sunni Arab field, is putting its own interests before those of the Palestinians, and striding, head held high, to normalize relations with Israel. To a large extent, the PA’s reaction is reminiscent of the PLO’s affront at the Israel-Egypt peace agreement. Also, one of the regular carrots dangled before Israel in negotiations with the Palestinians is that if a peace agreement is achieved, then peace with the Sunni Arab states will soon follow. Well, that hasn’t proved to be the case. This means Israel’s already weak motivation to renew negotiations with the Palestinians now all but disappears.’

3) At the JCPA Michael Segall documents Iranian reactions to the announcement of an agreement between Israel and the UAE.

‘A statement issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps made it clear, and not for the first time, that after signing the agreement, “the residents of the Emirates’ Crystal Palace are likely to face many dangers in the future because of signing the agreement with Israel.” It should be emphasized that in recent years, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen launched several cruise missiles toward the airport in Abu Dhabi and toward critical infrastructures in the Emirates. Moreover, the “know-how” regarding the manufacturing of the cruise missiles and ballistic missiles was provided by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. The UAE plays a crucial role in stabilizing the southern region of Yemen, although it has recently reduced its activities in the country.’

4) Gallia Lindenstrauss and Ofir Winter analyse ‘The Maritime Border Demarcation Agreement between Greece and Egypt’ at the INSS.

‘The maritime border demarcation agreement between Greece and Egypt signed on August 6, 2020 represents a direct counter-response to the maritime border demarcation agreement between Turkey and the Government of National Accord in Libya that was signed in November 2019. The Greece-Egypt agreement was described by leaders in Athens and Cairo as a new stage in their bilateral relations. Furthermore, it signifies an important step in solidifying an anti-Turkish axis in the Middle East, which is led by Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel, and supported by France and the United Arab Emirates. The struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean is over development and energy use rights and the competing desires of Egypt and Turkey to serve as regional energy hubs. This struggle also touches on the competition for political leadership in the Middle East and the tension between the pragmatic Arab states and the states supporting political Islam, led by Turkey and Qatar.’


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