In the Islamic world’s leadership void, concentrated above all on fratricidal struggles and caught off-guard by Donald Trump’s leap forward – or perhaps having allowed itself to be taken by surprise – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan aims to become the leader.
- Vendors in the vicinity of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) supplement the distribution center in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, displaying the same goods Palestinian refugees receive from the UNRWA distribution centers. Many Palestinians receiving aid from UNRWA and other NGOs sell some or all of the aid in exchange for cash. These people have enough food but need money for daily expenses not covered by the aid provided to them. Recent United Nations report says Gaza could be “uninhabitable” in less than five years if current economic trends continue.
- On Tuesday 22 January 2013 Israelis have gone to the polls to elect a new parliament (Knesset) and government. No one is expecting big surprises and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s current Prime Minister from the right-wing Likud party, is widely believed to retain his post. He is expected to form a governing coalition with a grouping of nationalist, religious and orthodox parties much in the same fashion as he did following the 2009 vote. The election campaign, inaugurated on the heels of a bloody eight day escalation of violence against Hamas in mid-November 2012, has not been witness to significant excitements, and other than Israel’s continued shift to the right, little new can be extrapolated from the run up to the vote.
- A growing chorus of Israeli, Palestinian and international voices are questioning whether a two-state framework for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still applicable given the current realities on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Nineteen years since the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993 and notwithstanding a massive international effort towards the creation of an independent Palestinian state, a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still a distant and by no means guaranteed outcome. The two-state framework, based on a partition of the land and the creation of a yet-to-be defined Palestinian state living side by side with Israel is by far the most accepted outcome for the conflict. It is endorsed by the great majority of domestic and international players and according to opinion polls still enjoys a sizable majority among the respective Israeli and Palestinian communities.