Weekend long read

1) At the INSS, Yoel Guzansky and Kobi Michael discuss Palestinian Authority overtures to Gulf states.

“Underlying the PA’s efforts to repair its relations with the UAE is its strategic weakness and the strengthening of Hamas; the ongoing erosion in the PA’s public support; its loss of effective governance in the outlying areas of the West Bank (particularly in the Jenin area); budget difficulties caused by cuts in international and Arab support; the political stalemate with Israel; a substantial decline in the interest in and solidarity with the Palestinian cause within the Arab world; and a lowering of the PA’s expectations that the US administration will exert pressure on Israel in the Palestinian context.”

2) The Institute for Science and International Security provides analysis of the IAEA’s May 2022 Iran Verification and Monitoring Report.

“Due to the growth of Iran’s 60 percent enriched uranium stocks, Iran has crossed a dangerous new threshold: its breakout timeline is now at zero. It has enough 60 percent enriched uranium, or highly enriched uranium (HEU) in the form of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) to be assured it could fashion directly a nuclear explosive. If Iran wanted to further enrich its 60 percent HEU up to 90 percent HEU, typically called weapon-grade uranium (WGU), used in Iran’s known nuclear weapons designs, it could do so within weeks utilizing only a few advanced centrifuge cascades. In parallel, within a month, including a setup period, Iran could produce enough WGU for a second nuclear explosive from its existing stock of near 20 percent enriched uranium. Whether or not Iran enriches its HEU up to 90 percent, it can have enough HEU for two nuclear weapons within one month after starting breakout.”

3) At the Alma Center, Tal Beeri looks at possible scenarios related to a new offshore drilling rig.

“Over the past few days, negotiations regarding the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon have returned to the forefront after being at a standstill. This comes against the background of the arrival of the Energean Power drilling rig (FPSO – Floating Production Storage Offloading). The rig, which operates based on an agreement and franchise with Israel, was positioned on June 5, about 90 km off the coast, with the intent of starting to extract gas from the Karish gas field. The gas extraction is expected to commence at the beginning of September 2022. During the election period in Lebanon in recent months, the issue regarding the maritime border negotiations did not drop from the Lebanese internal discourse. In the run-up to the rig’s arrival, the Lebanese narrative campaign regarding the issue has even intensified over the past month.”

4) The Fathom Journal presents a podcast with Michael Milshtein titled “Understanding decision-making in the Palestinian arenas”.

“BICOM Director Richard Pater speaks to Dr Michael Milshtein, a colonel (res.) in the Israel Defense Forces and former head of the Department for Palestinians Affairs in the IDF Intelligence Unit. They discuss the latest threats posed by Hamas. Michael talks about the recent appointment of Hussein al-Sheikh as secretary-General of the PLO and whether recent threats by the Palestinian Authority to end recognition of Israel are genuine or not. They also reflect upon internal Israeli-Arab affairs and the successes and failures of Ra’am as the coalition approaches one year in power.”

5) The publication of a report from the UNHRC’s Commission of Inquiry which is scheduled for debate next week has prompted statements from the USA and UK governments. Resources on that topic are available at:

CAMERA (also here)

NGO Monitor

JCPA

UN Watch

The International Legal Forum

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