1) At the INSS Pnina Sharvit Baruch discusses the recent ICC ruling.
“On February 5, 2021, the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled, in a majority opinion, that “Palestine” can be viewed as a state whose territory comprises all of the “territories occupied since 1967” for the purpose of determining the jurisdiction of the Court. The decision gives a green light for opening an investigation into all activity in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip starting on June 13, 2014, including IDF actions in Operation Protective Edge and against the Palestinian demonstrations along the border with Gaza, as well as activity related to the settlements. The investigation will also apply to the Palestinians’ actions. Because the Court’s Prosecutor is due to be replaced in June, it is likely that she will refrain from immediate operative steps until consulting with her replacement.”
“Although Hamas has yet to present a candidate, it can reasonably be assumed that it will be Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau and of the Hamas government from 2007 to 2014. An analysis of all Palestinian surveys over the past year indicates that in any contest between Haniyeh and Abbas, Haniyeh wins by at least 8%. The only Fatah figure who could defeat a Hamas representative in democratic elections for the PA presidency is Marwan Barghouti, the former head of the Fatah Tanzim who is serving several life sentences in an Israeli prison. In the Legislative Council elections as well, it appears that despite a slight lead for Fatah, Hamas, together with the other terror organizations comprising the PLO, would win most of the seats.”
3) At WINEP Fabrice Balanche analyses the external control of Syria’s borders.
“Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed Shia militias currently control around 20 percent of the country’s borders. Although Syrian customs authorities are officially in charge of the crossings with Iraq (Abu Kamal), Jordan (Nasib), and Lebanon (al-Arida, Jdeidat, al-Jousiyah, and al-Dabousiyah), the reality is that true control lies elsewhere. The Lebanese border is occupied by Hezbollah, which has established bases on the Syrian side (Zabadani, al-Qusayr) from which it dominates the Qalamoun mountainous region. Similarly, Iraqi Shia militias manage both sides of their border from Abu Kamal to al-Tanf. The stranglehold of pro-Iranian forces also extends to several of Syria’s military airports, which often serve as receptacles for Iranian weapons destined for Hezbollah and the Golan Heights frontline with Israel. This situation reveals Syria’s complete integration into the Iranian axis.”
4) The CST has released its annual report on antisemitic incidents in the UK.
“Forty-one incidents in 2020 involved references to the pandemic alongside antisemitic rhetoric. This ranged from conspiracy theories alleging Jewish involvement in creating and spreading Covid-19 (or creating the so-called ‘myth’ of Covid-19), to simply wishing that Jewish people catch the virus and die from it. Overall, 332 incidents, or almost one in five of all antisemitic incidents reported to CST in 2020, involved the expression of antisemitic conspiracy theories (compared to 370 incidents in 2019).”