Weekend long read

1) At the Long War Journal Joe Truzman analyses the renewal of rioting on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

“In recent weeks, Hamas and other Palestinian militant factions resumed a campaign of daily violence at the Gaza border by launching incendiary-laden balloons and rioting at the security fence. The resumption of hostilities is a controlled method by factions to apply pressure on Israel to adhere to an ‘understanding regarding the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the easement of the blockade,’ according to a Popular Resistance Committees spokesperson. […]

There are two types of ‘protests’ that Hamas sponsors: Daytime and night-time riots at the security fence and the launching of incendiary-laden balloons towards southern Israel. Both activities have the goal of making daily life difficult for Israeli citizens living adjacent to the border and keeping the IDF engaged with repeated attacks by militants.”

2) NGO Monitor gives its view of the latest ‘Human Rights Watch’ report on ‘Operation Guardian of the Walls’.

“HRW does not identify how its “witnesses” were selected, nor does it clarify whether or how it investigated possible witness affiliations to Palestinian armed groups. Similarly, HRW does not specify how it verified interviewee claims regarding the presence or lack thereof of combat activity or military infrastructure.

Additionally, HRW continues to erase the reality in Gaza, where Hamas controls information and regularly threatens retaliation against those who implicate the terror group in war crimes. For example, on May 13 Hamas issued a statement prohibiting Gazans from cooperating with individuals or organizations from outside of Gaza, announcing, “It is prohibited under all circumstances to provide details of events or to send messages and videos that discuss locations of bombing and its outcomes or rocket launching sites of the resistance.””

3) At the BESA Center Bahrooz Jaafar discusses ‘The Water Shortage Crisis in Iraq’.

“According to research by the Mediterranean Institute for Regional Studies, Iraq is losing the bulk of its water resources. In 1933, water entering Iraq through the Euphrates River from Turkey and Syria amounted to 30 billion cubic meters. In 2021, they amount to 9.5 billion cubic meters. As a result of the construction by Turkey of the Ilisu Dam, the discharge of the Tigris River into Iraq decreased from 20.5 billion cubic meters to 9.7 billion cubic meters. Iran, meanwhile, drained five Iraqi rivers—the Kanjan Jam, the Kalal Badra, the Jankilat, the Karkh, and the Khobin—all of which are now dried up. The loss of the rivers led to radical changes in the biological and environmental systems in the region, prompting the uprooting and migration of the residents of dozens of Iraqi border villages.”

4) WINEP analyses the growing political uncertainty in Tunisia.  

“On August 24, the official Facebook page of Tunisian president Kais Saied announced that he would be extending “until further notice” the extraordinary measures he implemented last month, when he dismissed the prime minister, suspended parliament, rescinded the legal immunity granted to legislators, and designated himself as the country’s chief prosecutor. The move deepens the uncertainty surrounding Tunisia’s young democracy, which had already been roiled by anti-government protests, economic struggles, and widespread anger at the state’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.”

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