Weekend long read

1) Researchers at the INSS analyse ‘Deepening Cooperation between Iran and Russia’.

“Economic and political isolation has pushed Russia and Iran to strengthen the cooperation between them. The closer relationship between these countries has both military and economic dimensions and is reflected in their new level of cooperation in the war in Syria, which reached new heights in recent months with Iran’s decision to support Russia in its war in Ukraine. Iran has sold Russia many hundreds of drones – reflecting cooperation of the highest order – and Russia’s use of these weapons have already caused enormous damage to Ukrainian infrastructures. Israel must consider what Russia might give Iran in return – in the conventional military sphere (aircraft and air defense); regarding its status in Syria; and a possible blind eye to the leakage of nuclear knowledge and components to Tehran.”

2) Yoni Ben Menachem looks at the fall-out over a leaked tape.

“Senior officials in Fatah claim that Hussein al-Sheikh lost his status as a possible successor to Abu Mazen following the release of a tape in which he is heard defaming and cursing the chairman of the PA. Israel and the US are very concerned about the entanglement of the succession battle that could lead to violent clashes in the West Bank and for the victory of Hamas in the elections.”

3) The ITIC reports on the ‘Third ISIS attack in 2022 in the vicinity of the Suez Canal’.

“On December 30, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked an Egyptian police checkpoint in the city of Ismailia in Egypt. Three policemen and a civilian were killed and 11 policemen were wounded. One of the attackers was killed, one was captured, and another may have managed to escape. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. This is the third ISIS attack in the past year in the Suez Canal area and the first in three years on the western side of the canal (outside the Sinai Peninsula). The incidents during the past year near the Suez Canal testify to the effort that ISIS is making to expand its activity in Egypt to new areas, including the western side of the canal, to continue trying to develop its operational capabilities, and gain achievements.”

4) MEMRI reports on protests in Jordan.

“In early December 2022, a wave of protests broke out in Jordan, following a government decision to raise the price of fuel, which aggravated the already serious economic crisis in the country. The protests took the form of demonstrations, a truck drivers’ strike, general strikes and riots, especially in the southern parts of the country. This protest wave differed from previous ones by crossing an important line: on December 15, during riots in the city of Ma’an in southern Jordan, shots were fired at the security forces, killing the district’s deputy police chief, ‘Abd Al-Razzaq Al-Dalabih. Several days later, on December 19, three more police officers were killed while arresting suspects in Al-Dalabih’s shooting. The suspects, one of whom was also killed during the raid, were caught with extensive weapons and ammunition. The regime referred to them as “a takfiri terrorist cell,” although their militancy was probably motivated by the economic crisis.”

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