“The joint exercises were held after continuing threats from Hamas and the other terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip that they would gradually increase the level of their violence because of what they called the “delays” in Israel’s providing measures to ease daily life for the Gazans and in rebuilding the Gaza Strip. The organizations issued a joint statement noting that they had discussed the issue of increasing multilateral coordination in scenarios of escalating the violence against Israel and warning that delays in providing measures to ease the situation in the Gaza Strip and the end of the [so-called] “siege” could cause an “explosion” at any moment.”
2) At the JCPA, Yoni Ben Menachem discusses ‘Bashar Assad’s Dangerous Game’.
“Excitement over a Syrian reorientation is premature, with President Bashar Assad unwilling to surrender Iran’s military and economic aid, which had helped him throughout the country’s civil war beginning in 2011.
The assessment at the top of the Syrian regime is that despite the assistance of the Russian military, President Bashar Assad would not last in power without Iranian assistance. He will not forego it.
The Syrian regime relies on Iranian militias to ensure its control over large parts of Syria that are difficult to access, making Iranian militias the tip of the spear for Bashar Assad’s regime.”
3) Also at the JCPA, Jacques Neriah looks at the situation in Lebanon.
“Hizbullah has created havoc in the relations between Lebanon, and the Gulf States, and Saudi Arabia, which have threatened Lebanese expatriates with expulsion. Significantly, some 350,000 Lebanese dwell in these states, work and annually transfer almost $4.5 billion to their families. […]
President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Najib Miqati have tried to mend the fences with the Arab states but to no avail – yet. The continued smuggling of Captagon pills by Hizbullah agents in exported fruits and vegetables to the Gulf States has provoked the banning of the import of all Lebanese agricultural products, costing a loss of more than $350 million to the Lebanese economy.”
4) At the JISS, Hillel Frisch gives his view of the PA president’s reactions to a recent statement from a member of Israel’s parliament.
“Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), condemned Israeli Arab politician Mansour Abbas last month for saying that Israeli Arabs must accept the Jewish State of Israel as a fact of life. […]
Mahmoud Abbas reacted with vociferous denunciations, expressing the nation’s “refusal and disgust acknowledging the Jewishness of the state.” He said that these “irresponsible remarks fuel the extremist right-wing groups in Israeli society,” which “run contrary to [the Islamic] religion, the legacy of the Palestinian people that extend from the beginning of time,” and which “strengthens the imperialistic Zionist project.””