Weekend long read

1) At the BESA Center Anne Herzberg examines the question ‘Should Israel Cooperate with the ICC?’.

“The March 3, 2021 decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open a full investigation of the “Situation in Palestine” has prompted responses advising the Israeli government to take a more cooperative approach toward the Court. Yet there are a number of strong strategic, diplomatic, and legal arguments for not cooperating. This study analyzes the considerations that must be weighed carefully by Israeli policy makers before deciding next steps.”

2) Pinhas Inbari argues that ‘The Planned Palestinian Election Is Really a Battle within Fatah’ at the JCPA.

“When Palestinian elections were first discussed, the spotlight immediately turned to the struggle between Fatah and Hamas and the fear that under cover of the elections, Hamas would infiltrate into the West Bank. But it soon became clear that the story was not Fatah against Hamas, but Fatah against Fatah.

What is at the root of the Fatah problem? Actually, there are two Fatahs, and a state of tension and competition splits them. The “first Fatah” consists of the PLO leadership of the “exile” with its old roots in today’s Israel, for whom their formative event was the 1948 Nakba. What matters to them is the “right of return” to pre-1967 Israel.”

3) At the INSS Samuel Helfont asks ‘Turkish-Egyptian Maritime Negotiations: Hype or Substance?’.

“During the first week of March 2021, the Turkish press highlighted Egypt’s ostensible compliance with disputed Turkish maritime claims in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu quickly welcomed the development, and hinted at negotiations between Cairo and Ankara to establish a maritime boundary, as well as broader rapprochement. These statements represent a strange turn of events, considering the animosity between the two states, and they counter recent trends in the Eastern Mediterranean. Observers of regional geopolitics will need to keep an eye on Egypt, but Turkish reporting probably reveals much more about Turkey’s regional isolation than it does about changes in Cairo. It may also signal a new, more subtle strategy by Ankara to spoil cooperation between Israel, Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt rather than simply to confront them with naval might.”

4) At the MirYam Institute David Hacham proposes that ‘Hamas Elections Expose Intergenerational Power Struggle’.

“…Hamas has completed internal elections for its leadership institutions in the Gaza Strip, while these are ongoing in the West Bank, overseas, and within Israeli jails. Three candidates are running for the supreme political bureau: Ismail Haniyeh, the incumbent; Salah Al-Arouri, Haniyeh’s deputy; and Khaled Mashaal, who previously held the position. These elections are held every four years.

While Hamas Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar managed to retain his position as head of the Gazan political bureau, he was nearly unseated by rival Nizar Awadallah, representing the Hamas old guard, in what would have been a dramatic upset in a vote in which Sinwar had been considered a sure winner.”

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