This section serves as a list of brief and important updates related to the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean. Content is collected via open sources, cross-checked and subsequently re-shared here. All content is handpicked by the EastMed & MidEast Observatory Team.

1Middle East roundup: More violence in Sudan despite ceasefire (25 May 2023)

In Sudan, a ceasefire was signed between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, but like previous truces, it failed to hold. Despite the presence of a US-Saudi team to monitor the ceasefire, ground assaults and air attacks continued in Khartoum and Omdurman. While there was a temporary lull in the fighting, humanitarian aid deliveries remained slow due to logistical and security challenges. The outcome of the conflict has been devastating, with over 860 civilians killed, more than 1 million people displaced, and 25 million in need of aid. Meanwhile, in Turkey, the presidential election campaign is entering its final stretch before the run-off on Sunday. Both candidates, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, have adopted a more overt nationalist tone. Kilicdaroglu has promised to force Syrian refugees out of the country, appealing to the 5 percent of voters who did not support either candidate in the first round. Kilicdaroglu has gained the support of nationalist politician Umit Ozdag, who has expressed anti-immigration views and hinted at a potential role as interior minister if Kilicdaroglu wins. However, Kilicdaroglu faces a significant challenge as he finished almost 5 percentage points behind Erdogan in the initial round. He aims to regain ground by emphasizing his tough stance on refugees and maintaining the belief among his supporters that victory is possible.


2The functioning of Saudi Arabia's diplomatic mission in Syria has resumed (9 May 2023)

Saudi Arabia has announced the reopening of its embassy in Syria, almost a decade after the two countries cut diplomatic ties. The decision comes just days after Syria was readmitted into the Arab League, with several Arab states, including the United Arab Emirates, ending years of isolation and normalising relations with President Bashar al-Assad's regime. While the Saudi foreign ministry did not provide a specific date for the reopening of the embassy, Syria's state news agency confirmed that it will resume its diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia. Reuters sources revealed in March that the two countries had agreed to reopen their embassies, with contacts between them intensifying after a China-brokered deal to re-establish ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is a key ally of Assad. The move has been met with opposition from the United States, which has been critical of moves by regional countries to normalise relations with Assad, citing the regime's brutal suppression of the conflict and the need for progress towards a political solution. However, the Saudi foreign ministry stated that the decision would support regional security and stability.


3Fighting has continued despite an extended ceasefire in Sudan (28 Apr. 2023)

Rival factions in Sudan's military have agreed to extend a three-day ceasefire by another 72 hours, following intense diplomatic efforts by neighbouring countries, the US, UK, and UN. The previous truce allowed thousands of people to flee to safety and dozens of countries to evacuate their citizens. However, there are still reports of heavy fighting in the capital, Khartoum. At least 512 people have been killed, with almost 4,200 injured, and many more expected to die due to outbreaks of disease and a lack of services. Most hospitals in conflict areas are not functioning, and over 60% of health facilities in Khartoum are inactive. The International Rescue Committee warns that the international community is in danger of neglecting the wider crisis in Sudan in the rush to evacuate foreign nationals. The fighting broke out on 15 April as a result of a bitter power struggle between the regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. The factions fear losing power because there are men on both sides who could end up at the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed in Darfur almost 20 years ago. The recent crisis in Sudan poses major threats for the stability of other wider region of Middle East.


4Despite the Iran-Saudi agreement, Lebanon remains in a political deadlock (21 Apr. 2023)

The recent Saudi-Iran deal could improve the geopolitical situation in the Middle East. However, the agreement could exacerbate Lebanon's institutional paralysis as rival parliamentary blocs compete for power. The economic crisis in Lebanon, which began in 2019, has led to the Lebanese pound losing over 90% of its value, causing widespread financial collapse. Moreover, Lebanon has had no president and only a caretaker government since last year. Attempts by foreign powers, including the US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France and Egypt, to end the deadlock, have yet to succeed. Though the Saudi-Iran deal has helped to broker the release of Iran-backed Houthi prisoners in Yemen, the deal appears to have little influence over Lebanon's political situation. The opposition blocs, Hezbollah and its allies, have pushed for Christian politician Sleiman Frangieh to become the next president, but the majority of the country's political blocs have rejected him. As a Hezbollah ally, Frangieh was close to becoming president in 2016 before the group ultimately backed another of its Christian allies, Michel Aoun. The delay in choosing a president has benefited Frangieh's position, which Hezbollah continues to support. Despite the Saudi-Iran deal, experts believe Hezbollah is unlikely to change its position on Frangieh, as conceding to an opposition candidate would compromise the group's regional interests.


5Following demonstrations, Netanyahu changes his mind about firing Israel's defense minister (10 Apr. 2023)

Israel is facing a surge in violence on many fronts, including rocket fire from Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria, a roadside shooting in the West Bank, and a car ramming in Tel Aviv. Amidst this crisis, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reversed his decision to fire Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who had warned that the prime minister's judicial overhaul was harming the military. Netanyahu announced in a televised speech that Gallant would remain in his position, stating that they would continue to work together for the security of the citizens of Israel. Gallant's removal had triggered protests against the unpopular plan to disempower the judiciary, with many Israelis concluding that even their security could be sacrificed for Netanyahu's personal interests. The security crisis has further shaken Netanyahu's popularity, with a poll showing that only 27% of respondents rely on the government to handle the wave of terror. In his speech, Netanyahu tried to dispel doubts about his leadership, stating that the Israeli air force had struck back hard and that troops would "reach and settle accounts with all the terrorists." He also said that he was "restoring deterrence" that had allegedly been weakened by the previous government. According to the poll, only a fifth of the Israeli public approved of the premier's performance. The survey by respected pollster Camil Fuchs for Channel 13 showed that the Likud party-led coalition would be trounced today by the parties that held power before last November's elections by a 64 to 46 margin. The poll pointed to a surge in popularity for former defense minister Benny Gantz and his center-right National Unity party. National Unity would win 29 seats, Yesh Atid would gain 21 seats, and Netanyahu's Likud party would crash from 32 to 20 seats. The current coalition has 64 seats, including 14 held by two right-wing extremist parties, Religious Zionism and Jewish Power. Their popularity is also declining, with the poll giving them a combined 11 seats. The new poll results amounted to an all-out "collapse" for the coalition, according to Israeli analysts.


6Saudi Arabia and Iran decide to reopen embassies, during negotiations in Beijing to resume diplomatic relations (6 Apr. 2023)

Saudi Arabia and Iran have agreed to restore diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies, marking a significant development in the ongoing conflict between the two nations. The decision was made during a meeting between the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran, held on April 6, 2023, in Beijing and facilitated by Chinese officials. The two countries have been at odds for decades, with tensions heightened following the 2016 execution of prominent Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, by Saudi Arabia and the subsequent attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Saudi Arabia and Iran have been engaged in a proxy war in Yemen, and have supported opposing sides in the conflict in Syria. The decision to restore diplomatic relations could have significant implications for the region and global politics. It could lead to increased stability in the Middle East and potentially pave the way for more cooperation between the two nations. The move also reflects China's growing influence in the Middle East, as it seeks to strengthen ties with both Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, there are concerns that the decision could upset other countries in the region, particularly Israel and the United States, who view Iran as a threat to their national security. The restoration of diplomatic relations could also face challenges from hardline factions in both Saudi Arabia and Iran, who are opposed to any rapprochement between the two nations. It remains unclear what the future holds for the Saudi Arabia-Iran relationship, but the decision to restore diplomatic ties is a positive step towards reducing tensions and promoting peace in the region. The restoration of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a significant development that could have far-reaching implications for the region and the world. It is, however, a positive step towards reducing tensions and promoting stability in the Middle East.


7After Netanyahu removes minister who opposed judicial reform, protests in Israel spread widely (27 Mar. 2023)
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu removed his defense minister due to his opposition to a proposed judicial reform, large crowds flooded the streets of Tel Aviv on the 26th March. Demonstrators, waving Israeli flags and yelling "democratia," were observed obstructing roads and bridges, including the Ayalon Highway. On Tel Aviv's main thoroughfare, protesters started a number of fires. Its foul, black smoke billowed into the sky and partially obscured several of the city's famous towers. While Tel Aviv protests had subsided by around 2 a.m. local time, live pictures from the area showed security personnel using water cannons to disperse the remaining crowd. The announcement read, "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has chosen to reassign Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to his post." During a speech Saturday night, when Netanyahu was away from the country on an official trip to the United Kingdom, Gallant urged for a halt to the judicial reforms. In opposition to the proposals, which detractors claim would erode the independence of the judiciary, several military reservists have vowed to resign from their positions. According to Gallant, moving forward with the ideas could put Israel's security in danger. A number of well-known authorities demanded that the judicial reform process be put on hold as a result of his removal and the widespread demonstrations that followed. The eyes of the entire world are on you, said Israel's President Isaac Herzog in a Facebook post on Monday, urging Netanyahu and his administration to immediately halt the preparations. The entire country is filled with deep concern. Everyone is at risk: society, the economy, and security, according to Herzog's statement.


8Iraq: New electoral law triggers demonstrations (27 Mar. 2023)

On March 27th, the Iraqi parliament approved a controversial election law that undid many of the changes made after the 2019 October protest movement. Protests against the law began in late February and intensified in early March, as well as before and after the law was passed. Around half of these protests occurred in Thi Qar province, where the 2019 movement began, and where Iraqi security forces and Iran-backed militias violently suppressed demonstrators, leading to the reported deaths of hundreds of people. Demonstrations also occurred in major cities, including Baghdad. The new law goes against the key demands of the 2019 protest movement by dividing provinces into multiple electoral districts and reintroducing provincial councils. Independent members of parliament criticized the new law for implementing the Sainte-Lague vote-counting method, which they believe will favor larger electoral blocs over smaller parties. The Iran-aligned Shiite Coordination Framework bloc, which lost seats in the 2021 elections, was one of the primary architects of the new law.


9Yemen: Despite regional diplomatic advances, violence has increased in Marib Governorate (16 Mar. 2023)

The number of battles involving Houthi and anti-Houthi troops in Marib tripled in March compared to the previous month, reaching its highest level since May 2022. Since the implementation of the truce mediated by the UN in April 2022, the Houthi and anti-Houthi frontlines in Yemen have not changed much. The uptick in hostilities is probably an effort by the Houthis to gain leverage in on-going political negotiations. Despite efforts to end the crisis, including talks on detainees related to the war between the Houthi de facto government and the Internationally Recognized Government (IRG) in March, the violence continues despite the restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Yemen descended into civil war in 2014 after the Houthis overthrew the country's government.


10Iran and Saudi Arabia sign historic deal on resuming diplomatic relations (10 Mar. 2023)

After years of tensions and proxy conflicts, Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to restore diplomatic relations. The agreement was announced on March 10, 2023, and is considered a significant breakthrough in the long-standing conflict between the two regional powers. The restoration of diplomatic relations could have major implications for the Middle East, particularly in Yemen and Syria, where Iran and Saudi Arabia have been supporting opposing sides. The agreement also reflects a growing trend of countries in the region seeking to reduce tensions and promote stability. The move was facilitated by the governments of Pakistan and Kuwait, who played a key role in brokering the agreement. The two countries have long-standing relationships with both Iran and Saudi Arabia and were able to facilitate communication and negotiations between the two nations. While the agreement marks a positive step towards reducing tensions, it remains to be seen how it will be received by other countries in the region, particularly Israel and the United States, who view Iran as a threat. Hardline factions in both Iran and Saudi Arabia may also oppose the agreement, making its implementation a potential challenge. The restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is a positive development that could lead to greater stability in the Middle East. It is important, however, to monitor how the situation develops and whether the two nations can work towards a more cooperative relationship in the future.


11Israeli forces raided Nablus, killing eleven Palestinians (22 Feb. 2023)

At least 11 Palestinians were killed and more than 80 wounded during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. Israeli forces entered the old city of Nablus, sparking clashes with Palestinian gunmen, and killed three militants holed up inside a house who refused to surrender. Among those killed outside were civilians, including two elderly men. The number of dead was one more than that of an Israeli military raid last month in Jenin, which was the deadliest in the West Bank since 2005. Palestinian health officials described the incident as a “massacre” and a dangerous escalation that was pushing the region towards tension and an explosion. The militant group Hamas warned that it was “running out of patience”. The raid lasted four hours and took place in the middle of the morning, when the narrow streets of the old city are often packed with families and people shopping. The raid came after an apparent understanding was reached between the Israeli and Palestinian authorities that Israel would lower the intensity of its raids into Palestinian cities.


12Analysis: Arrests in Tunisia increase opposition worries for a larger crackdown (15 Feb. 2023)

A new chapter in Tunisian President Kais Saied's battle with a dispersed but emboldened opposition has emerged with the coordinated arrests of political and media personalities, raising concerns about a broader effort to stifle dissent. Security forces have only occasionally intervened against Saied's critics since he shut down parliament 18 months ago, attempting to rule by decree before revising the constitution. His detractors accuse him of staging an undemocratic coup.

Saied has denied leading a coup, claiming that his actions were legitimate and essential to keeping Tunisia out of anarchy. He pledged to protect the liberties and rights gained during the 2011 uprising that delivered democracy. The surge of arrests that have taken place since Saturday, 11 February, however, signify a strong new move against his detractors and an intensification of the pressure campaign that has been building over previous months with travel bans and investigations. Two judges, a representative of the prominent labor union, a powerful businessman, the head of Tunisia's most significant independent news outlet, and opposition politicians have all been held by police. Attorneys for some of those imprisoned claim they were accused of conspiring against state security, despite the fact that the authorities have not yet commented on the arrests. The chief of Tunisia's leading independent news organization, Mosaique FM, Noureddine Boutar, was questioned about his radio station's funding and editorial guidelines, including how it selected guests, according to his lawyer. "What transpired is risky. The message from the government to journalists who refuse to join a state of servitude is that you will suffer this destiny, "said the leader of the Tunisian journalists' syndicate, Mahdi Jlassi.


13The search for survivors after the devasting earthquakes in Turkey and Syria continues (7 Feb. 2023)

Rescuers rushed to find survivors from the earthquake wreckage on Wednesday, 7 February, as the dead toll in war-torn northern Syria and southern Turkey reached 11,000. 11,236 deaths have been reported overall, with 8,574 in Turkey and 2,662 in Syria, according to officials and medical personnel. But if the worst worries of experts come to pass, that may still rise sharply.

As more time passes after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey early on Monday, 6 February, the deadliest since 1939 and which left around 33,000 people dead in the eastern province of Erzincan, the prospect of finding additional survivors trapped beneath the rubble is diminishing. More than 100 aftershocks have struck the area since, including a second earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6.

In Syria, according to the volunteer first responders known as the White Helmets, at least 2,662 people have been killed and more than 2,300 have been injured in opposition-held northwest Syria. An additional 1,250 fatalities have been recorded by the Syrian government. The rescue team, also known as the Syria Civil Defence, stated on Twitter that it was anticipated that there would be a major increase in casualties "due to the existence of hundreds of families under the wreckage, more than 50 hours after the earthquake."

Time is running out for the thousands of injured people and others who are still believed to be trapped, according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization. More than 24,000 Turkish emergency workers joined search teams from more than 20 other nations, and donations flooded in. Help has, however, been arriving far too slowly for many whose relatives were still buried under the debris. An emergency state has been proclaimed in 10 provinces, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who claimed 13 million of the 85 million citizens were impacted. Desperation was rising among those still waiting for assistance in Syria, where a battle that started in 2011 is still ongoing. The ongoing conflict and the isolation of the opposition-held border region, which is ringed by government forces with support from Russia, have made aid attempts difficult. The lone border, known as Bab al-Hawa, in southern Turkey has been damaged, making it impossible for aid to reach northern Syria. The future appears bleak, even for those who survive. Many people have sought safety from the constant earthquakes, the icy rain and snow, and even the burning debris in mosques, schools, and even bus shelters. Shops are closed, there is no heat because gas lines were shut down to prevent explosions, and obtaining petrol is difficult in Gaziantep where the strong aftershocks continue. Only bakeries are still open, and they are very busy. In the province named after Gaziantep, some of the heaviest destruction occurred in the most distant areas, where hundreds of structures have collapsed.


14Blinken requests peace on his visit to Jerusalem despite recent Israeli-Palestinian violence (30 Jan. 2023)

After days of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged restraint while in Jerusalem to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As the rioting in the area grew increasingly violent, a Palestinian man died on 30 January during an argument with Israeli soldiers. Blinken reiterated pleas for restraint and restated that the US considers the stalled peace process aimed at a two-state solution to be the "only road forward" in a press conference following his meeting with Netanyahu.

He added that "anything that pulls us away from a two-state solution is damaging to Israel's long-term security," stressing how crucial it is for the Israeli people to understand that America's commitment to their security is unwavering. He stated that the United States "continues to support sustaining the status quo at Jerusalem's holy places." Blinken also encouraged Israel's new far-right administration to ensure it has widespread popular support for its ambitious agenda, which includes reforming the nation's court system, a move that has been met with significant protests in Israeli cities.

Blinken reaffirmed his support for the "fundamental democratic ideals," adding that "creating consensus around new initiatives is the most effective approach to guarantee they are welcomed and that they endure." He also backed Netanyahu's resolve to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The secretary of state's long-planned three-day journey to the Middle East, however, has been dominated by efforts to defuse the current security situation. Blinken landed in Cairo early on Monday to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who is still an important US ally despite a dismal track record on human rights. The state department reported that developments in Egypt's neighbors, Libya, Sudan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, were discussed.


15Israeli government first advances far-right agenda (18 Jan. 2023)

After only three weeks in office, the new Israeli administration intends to further oppress Palestinians and plans to reform the legal system. After taking office on December 29, the new Israeli administration, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has already started to push through its far-right objectives. The suggested changes would have a significant impact on Israeli internal politics as well as Israeli policy toward Palestinians living in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

After Netanyahu's Likud and affiliated far-right parties won the most seats in the parliamentary elections on November 1, a nationalist-religious administration that is thought to be the most right-wing in Israel's history took office. Israelis are divided on a number of issues high on the agenda of the new government, with thousands protesting a proposal to overhaul the legal system and undermine the Supreme Court. Annexing the occupied West Bank, where things are already heated, is one of the other ambitions. Early in January, the controversial far-right minister of national security Itamar Ben-Gvir entered the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in a provocative manner, raising fears that violence at the occupied East Jerusalem holy site would erupt. Despite Palestinian resentment, the incident ended without any further escalation.

The principal changes that have occurred since the new Israeli government assumed office include, plans to reform the judicial system, the prohibition of Palestinian flags in public places, pledging to absorb the West Bank under occupation and the Palestinian Authority being constrained.


16Russia, Syria, Turkey: Renewed defence relations (29 Dec. 2022)
In an unexpected twist, the Defence Ministers of Russia, Syria, and Turkey met in Moscow on Wednesday, 28 December, vowing to carry on with many more future meetings and talks as such for the benefit of peace in Syria and in the region.

On Turkey's end, the meeting was attended by Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and the head of its National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), Hakan Fidan. On Syria's side, Defence Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas and Syrian Intelligence Chief Ali Mamlouk attended. Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu represented Russia on his end. Various other unnamed officials were also present in Moscow.

This was the first ministerial meeting taking place since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. The meeting was particularly important for the three counterparts, as it enabled discussion on disputes, such as the presence of Turkish troops within Syrian territory and the Syrian refugee crisis.

Addressing these issues could lead to further normalisation of relations and ease of tension in the region. This is further hinted by Erdogan's proposal to Russia's Vladimir Putin to engage in trilateral ministerial meetings among Russian, Syrian and Turkish officials, which could culminate in a summit with the three countries’ leaders. Such a move would also help Erdogan regain additional publicity, seeing a potential rise in opinion polls on the lead up to the June 2023 elections.


29 December 2022
17Istanbul protests, tensions in Lebanon (15 Dec. 2022)
On Wednesday, 14 December, a criminal court in Istanbul sentenced the city's mayor Ekrem Imamoglu to 29 months in prison. Mayor Imamoglu, a sizeable rival of President Erdogan, will still serve in his post while his appeal to the court's decision is underway.

The decision also includes a 29-month ban from politics, due to "insulting a public official" back in 2019, during a speech following his election victory. While Imamoglu is allowed to retain his status, the timing is unfortunate due to the upcoming presidential elections of June 2023, where he was a likely candidate to challenge and potentially defeat Erdogan.

The announcement of the court's decision sparked protests around Istanbul. Thousands took it to the streets on Thursday, 15 December, demonstrating against what appears to have been a "political" attempt by Erdogan to silence a popular candidate. Growing political disputes are becoming more common as the election period draws closer, with Erdogan targeting rivals more systematically amidst uncertainty due to his previously low scores on opinion polls.

The United States, French, and German governments were quick to criticise the decision, calling for a more just and fairer ruling in respect of democracy.

In neighbouring Lebanon, an Irish UN peacekeeper was killed, following an ambush to a UN convoy at the Al-Aqbieh village near the Israeli border. A mob of villagers stopped UNIFIL's convoy that was patrolling around the area. Small arms fire shot down two UNIFIL peacekeepers, out of which one was later pronounced dead and the other was in critical condition.

The UN convoy appeared to take a somewhat different route than what it usually takes, which prompted villagers to react. Hezbollah, which remains highly influential in the south due to the Israeli border, called the incident "unintentional" and that a proper investigation should take place to determine why the UNIFIL convoy followed an "unusual route".

Recent changes to UNIFIL's mandate by the UN Security Council allow the mission to "conduct its operations independently", something which provoked an angry response by Hezbollah's leadership, seeing the changes in the mandate as an act that undermines Lebanese sovereignty. Hezbollah also denied any involvement in the convoy attack.


15 December 2022
18Amidst shelling, SDF CT-Ops resume (7 Dec. 2022)
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) resumed its joint counter-terrorism (CT) operations with the United States on 5th December, following a period of limited activity due to shelling and air bombardment raids on SDF territory in Northern Syria by Turkey. The SDF had assisted the US-led coalition in the fight against the rise of the caliphate of the Islamic State.

Turkey's persistent targeting of the SDF dates back to its initial portrayal as an ally and aide of the Kurdistan's Workers' Party (PKK), a Washington and Ankara terrorist-designated entity. The SDF leadership has denied any involvement with the PKK.

The continuation of the Turkish air raids in Syria also falls in line with the current aggressive narrative in Turkey amidst the election campaign season, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made several provoking and bellicist statements to raise support and legitimise hostile action taken on foreign lands.

While initially avoiding to comment on the continuation of the joint CT front, the US has already begun preparations for "full ground operations" alongside extended patrols. A White House official also stated that while Turkey's security concerns are legitimate, air strikes and destablising violence does not resolve the matter. The US has also expressed concerns over its own troops getting caught in the bombardments.


7 December 2022
19General Assembly: Israel to Cease Actions at Occupied Palestinian Territory (30 Nov. 2022)
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted 5 separate resolutions addressing the matter of altering demographics in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in light of constant violation of international law and in breaching of all UN-approved resolutions on the matter.

The focus of the official UN documentation has been the "peaceful settlement" and resolution of the question of Palestine. Similarly, other resolutions addressed Israeli claims and occupation of other lands such as in the Golan, where Israel has imposed law and jurisdiction. The respective resolution emphasises that Israel should rescind its such impositions.

The resolutions come at a time following the early November elections in Israel that have led to the formation of a more conservative and far-right government. Former US diplomats, including a former US Ambassador to Israel, have also called upon the Biden administration to cease the selling of weapons to Israel, in light of of the constant violations and territorial issues in West Bank.

More specifically, however, Ambassador Kurtzer and former State Department negotiator Miller both stressed that the US should still uphold and support the State of Israel's "legitimate security needs" in the volatile region of the Eastern Mediterranean.

The rise of a more far-right regime is particularly alarming, as it is likely to radically change policy on the issue of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories in the West Bank.


30 November 2022