Why did Hamas stay out of the latest Gaza conflict?

A ceasefire between Israel and the PIJ over Gaza that went into effect at 11:30 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. ET) on Sunday appeared to hold nearly 24 hours later. The conflict led to death of at least 44 militants and civilians in Gaza, according to information from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Fifteen of the dead were children. Israel insists that most of the dead were militants and that several civilians were killed by failed militant rocket fire.
Hamas, the militant group running Gaza, expressed his support for the actions of the PIJ. But he kept his much larger and more powerful rocket arsenal out of the equation, while the IDF made it clear from the start that they were focusing solely on PIJ targets.

That prevented the conflict from becoming a larger, more dangerous and closer confrontation to what happened during the 11-day war in May 2021.

So why not get involved? According to Israeli analysts and officials, one of the reasons is the fact that only 15 months have passed since the conflict 2021 which caused considerable damage and deaths in Gaza. The Palestinians are still rebuilding their homes and Hamas is rebuilding its arsenal.

The Israeli government also believes that its economic incentive campaign, increasing the number of permits given to Gazans to cross into Israel for work, is succeeding.

Israel and Egypt have imposed a closure on Gaza since 2007, limiting access to the territory by land, air and sea, including strict restrictions on the movement of residents and the flow of goods.

If rockets are fired, Israel closes the border and the thousands of Gazans with permits cannot work in Israel or get paid.

On Monday, a senior Israeli diplomatic official said Hamas was “an enemy, not a partner…but we can cooperate, primarily through Egypt, to improve the situation in Gaza.”

For showing restraint, Hamas will expect to be rewarded.

Lapid’s first big security test

The weekend conflict was also the first major military test for caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Unlike his predecessor Naftali Bennett, Lapid is not known for his military combat experience. But like US President Joe Biden’s visit last month, it was another moment for Lapid to look like a true prime minister — images that Lapid probably hopes Israelis will remember as they did at the polls in November.

The conflict also represented another advance, although on a smaller scale: the former prime minister, now leader of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu met with Lapid on Sunday to receive a security briefing on the operation. It was his first security briefing since he left power, though by law it’s supposed to be standard practice. Until this weekend, Netanyahu had boycotted the meetings.

After the meeting, Netanyahu said he supported the operation and gave his “full backing to the government, the IDF and the security forces.”

Parts of Gaza once again lie in rubble and mourning for the lives lost continues, but for Israelis and Gazans, the conflict has not led to a substantive change in the political situation on the ground.

the summary

Russia’s envoy to Iran nuclear talks says they are ‘moving in the right direction’

Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s chief negotiator in Vienna for talks aimed at reviving the nuclear deal with Iran, told the media on Sunday: “I cannot guarantee [anything]but the impression is that we are moving in the right direction.” He said there were “minimal” unresolved issues, “only 3 [or] 4”.

  • Background: Tehran increased uranium enrichment at a rate not seen since the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal. Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from that deal in 2018. In June, Iran turned off surveillance cameras used by the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor activity at the country’s key nuclear facilities. Sunday marked the fourth day of this latest round, the ninth, of nuclear talks with Iran.
  • why does it matter: Talks broke down earlier this year due to Tehran’s insistence that the US remove the Revolutionary Guards from its list of terrorist organizations, which the US has refused to do. However, the US sent special envoy for Iran Rob Malley to Vienna for the new round of talks, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last Monday that the US is “prepared to move forward on the basis of what has been agreed”, but it is not clear if Iran is prepared to do the same.

Putin and Erdogan agree to start partial payment in rubles for Russian gas

Bilateral talks in Sochi between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan included an agreement to pay Russia in rubles for partial gas supplies. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said the two presidents have reached agreements to establish a financial banking bloc “to allow commercial companies, Russian citizens, to pay during tourist trips and exchange money.”

  • Background: Russia has been trying to force its customers to pay for energy in rubles. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in March requiring natural gas buyers from “hostile countries” to have accounts with Gazprombank, Russia’s third-largest bank, and settle contracts in rubles.
  • why does it matter: Russia is on a mission to show that it is not as isolated as the United States would like it to be. Closer relations between Putin and Erdogan may provide Russia with avenues to ease the pressure of Western sanctions on the country. The ruble slumped to a record low in the wake of the invasion but is the world’s best performing currency this year, according to Reuters. The central bank has implemented policies to prevent investors and companies from selling the currency and other measures that force them to buy it.

Iran city hits 53 degrees Celsius, the world’s hottest temperature this year

Abadan, Iran, had a high temperature of 53.0°C (127.4°F) on Friday, the highest temperature recorded anywhere in the world in 2022, according to meteorological historian Maximiliano Herrera.

  • Background: Numerous places in Iran, Iraq and Kuwait exceeded 50 degrees Celsius on Friday. Temperatures were expected to return to near average after the weekend, with highs in the mid-40s to 40s. The highest temperature ever recorded in the world is 56.7 °C (134.1 °F) in Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913.
  • why does it matter: Heat of this caliber raises serious concerns about heat-related illness, especially for those without access to water and adequate shelter, and is likely to strengthen the case for action on climate change.

what is trend

Kuwait: #Wage_rise_is_a_public_demand

The citizens of one of the richest Arab countries are demanding an increase in wages.

Kuwaitis took to Twitter to express their frustration with the country’s economic situation, blaming official corruption and greed for alleged wage inequality.

Kuwaiti citizens are a minority in the country of 4.2 million, making up just 30% of the population, according to World Population Review. Most depend on government jobs to make a living.

“It is inconceivable that a rich country like Kuwait, which has a small number of inhabitants and the strongest currency in the world [wouldn’t raise wages]Mohammed Al Huwaishel tweeted. “The demands of the people must be met without conditions.”

Many Kuwaitis take government jobs, where pay can be as high as 28% higher than the private sector — because they lack the necessary skills to work in the private sector or because some of those jobs are considered menial, according to the Middle East Institute.
Because of the benefits that government jobs offer, it is difficult for the private sector to attract Kuwaitis. According to the International Monetary Fund, public salaries and benefits represent a third of the government budget. The government neglected $72 billion in spending for your latest quote.

The World Bank warned in December that the government’s wage bill is unsustainable and said that if the situation continues, the country’s financial reserves will be depleted. The nation has made the least progress among oil-rich Gulf Arab countries in reforming its wage bill and has even increased hiring, he said.

Another hashtag on Twitter urged the government to write off citizens’ debt, which is not without precedent. After the end of the 1991 Gulf War, the government wrote off almost all consumer debt.

By Mohammed Abdelbary

Photo of the day

Iraqi Shi'ite Muslims take part in a mourning ritual in Sadr City, eastern Baghdad, late on August 7 to mark Ashura, a 10-day period commemorating the assassination of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Imam Hussein in the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD.

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