1) NGO Monitor reports that ‘HRW Leads NGO Campaign against Consensus IHRA Definition of Antisemitism’.
“On April, 3, 2023, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and its NGO allies circulated a letter ostensibly directed to the UN Secretary-General, urging the UN to reject the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The NGOs involved in this campaign include a number of terror-linked groups, NGOs that run campaigns denying Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, those claiming that the country’s existence is a form of apartheid, and pro-BDS lobbyists.”
2) At the JCPA, Yoni Ben Menachem looks at ‘The Battle for Succession in the Palestinian Authority’.
“According to the Palestinian Basic Law, each head of a security organization in the PA serves for four years with the possibility of an extension for another six months by the parliament, but the central council of the PLO dissolved the parliament at the initiative of the chairman of the PA Mahmoud Abbas.
Majed Faraj’s term of office ended about 10 years ago. He has served in the position since 2009 and replaced Fatah senior Tawfik Al-Tirawi. Before that, he served as the head of military intelligence and gained political power due to his connections with the Israeli Shin Bet and the CIA. He is currently considered the most powerful man in the Palestinian Authority, and he sees himself as the successor of Mahmoud Abbas.”
3) At the INSS, Yoel Guzansky and Carmit Valensi analyse ‘Renewed Riyadh-Damascus Relations’.
“The newly ripened contacts between Saudi Arabia and Syria are not surprising, given the reports of meetings and statements on this issue over the past two years. In early 2023, in parallel with contacts between Riyadh and Tehran, contacts between Riyadh and Damascus gained momentum. In January, their economic relations were renewed in practice with the renewed entry of Saudi goods into Syria. Saudi Arabia even confirmed that they had reached agreement regarding the renewal of consular relations as a first stage.”
4) The Times of Israel’s Emanuel Fabian reports from an Israeli navy patrol boat.
“The Israeli Navy’s Ashdod Base — which is tasked with the Gaza area — is overloaded with missions at sea while facing myriad threats from Hamas and other terror groups.
The Ashdod Base has a massive area of operations, from Rafah on the Gaza-Egypt border to an area much further north. Its 916th Patrol Squadron is mainly tasked with the region around Gaza, up to 40 nautical miles out to sea.
While the Navy is largely meant to deal with protecting sailing routes (as Israel has no coast guard) and natural gas rigs, it is increasingly finding itself thwarting attempts by Hamas to smuggle equipment into Gaza, to be used in future wars against Israel.”