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Ceasefire Collapse, Evacuations, and Resurgence of National Socialism

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ISRAEL & PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

  1. Israel Issues Evacuation Map for Gaza, Declares “Dangerous Combat Zone”. As Israel resumes airstrikes on Gaza, the Israeli army releases a map designating evacuation zones for Gaza residents. The military states that areas east of Khan Yunis are considered a “dangerous combat zone.” Despite efforts for a truce, an Israeli official declares no intention to halt the ongoing war on Gaza. 
  1. Israel Resumes Gaza Strikes, Killing 32 Palestinians After Ceasefire. Following the collapse of the ceasefire, Israel resumes airstrikes on Gaza, resulting in the death of 32 Palestinians. Both sides accuse each other of violating the truce, intensifying hostilities in the region. 
  1. Gaza Prisoner Exchange Concludes: 240 Palestinians, 77 Israelis Released. The prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israeli forces concluded with the release of 240 Palestinian and 77 Israeli prisoners. The exchange took place during a week-long humanitarian truce mediated by Qatar. Hamas, led by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, released Israeli detainees, including women, children, and foreign workers, while Israel released Palestinian women and children. The truce was extended several times, facilitating the reciprocal release of prisoners.
  1. Truce in Gaza at Stake as Israel Seeks Hostage Names from Hamas. The IDF published evacuation maps for Gazans, accusing Hamas of violating the truce. Despite efforts for a ceasefire in Qatar, Deputy Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya stated Israel’s insistence on the release of female soldiers. Families of hostages urged the government to prioritize negotiations over renewed fighting, citing deteriorating conditions. Rockets were fired as the IDF resumed combat. The prospect of extending the Gaza truce hinges on Hamas providing the names of 10 female hostages demanded by Israel. 
  1. U.S. Demand from Qatar That Could Eliminate Hamas. Senior Biden administration officials revealed plans to ask Qatar to close Hamas’ political offices in the country after the release of all hostages. Failure to comply could lead to embarrassment for Qatar, a U.S. ally. Qatar played a key role in brokering the ceasefire and hostage exchange between Israel and Hamas.
  1. Netherlands Accused of “Complicity in War Crimes” for Shipping F-35 Parts to Israel. Dutch human rights organizations, including branches of Amnesty International and Oxfam, accuse the Netherlands of complicity in alleged war crimes in Gaza due to exporting F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel. The case will be heard in The Hague, with claims that Amsterdam contributes to Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law.
  1. Hostages Freed by Hamas Branded to Prevent Escape. Relatives reveal disturbing details of abuse, claiming that Hamas terrorists branded kidnapped children with a motorcycle exhaust pipe to mark them in case of escape. Family members report physical and mental hardship during captivity.
  1. Israel Ignored Hamas Attack Plan Despite Intelligence Warning. Israeli officials allegedly dismissed a 40-page document outlining Hamas’s October 7 attack plan, deeming it unrealistic. The New York Times reports the intelligence failure, revealing details of the devastating assault that claimed about 1,200 lives and left 240 people hostage.
  1. Israel Plans Global Operation to Eliminate Hamas Leaders. Israel’s intelligence services are reportedly preparing to target and kill Hamas leaders worldwide after the recent conflict. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant have openly declared their intent. The plan, criticized by some, aims to eliminate Hamas leadership hiding in various Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon, Qatar, and Turkey.
  1. Hamas Downplays Importance of Hostage Survival. In a CBS interview, senior Hamas member Ghazi Hamad downplayed the significance of surviving hostages, stating, “The number is not so important.” Hamad also claimed kidnapping babies aimed to “pressure Israel.” As the ceasefire ended, Hamas failed to release promised hostages and launched rockets into southern Israel.
  1. Echoes of a Dark Past”: The Resurgence of National Socialism in Modern Politics. Catherine Perez-Shakdam warns of the resurgence of national socialism, reminiscent of Nazi ideology, in contemporary global politics. Examining examples like Turkey and Russia, she highlights the blend of nationalism and authoritarianism, suggesting a disturbing adaptation of this historical doctrine in today’s geopolitical landscape.

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IRAN

  1. U.S. House Approves Bill to Halt Release of Iranian Prisoner-Swap Funds.  The U.S. House of Representatives passes a bill to permanently freeze $6 billion in Iranian funds exchanged for American prisoners. Concerns about the potential use of the money for malign activities, especially after recent terrorist attacks, lead to bipartisan support for blocking the funds.
  1. Iran Objects to Israel’s Presence at COP28 in UAE. Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian opposes Israel’s participation in COP28, expressing concern about recent Israeli actions in Gaza. Emirati officials assure efforts for a Gaza ceasefire and humanitarian aid.
  1. Iran’s Assembly of Experts Contemplates Deputy Supreme Leader for Aging Khamenei. Iran’s Assembly of Experts is reportedly deliberating the appointment of a deputy supreme leader for 84-year-old Ayatollah Khamenei, raising questions about succession. The committee, shrouded in secrecy, includes President Raisi and others, aiming to address potential instability after Khamenei. Calls for constitutional changes and public discontent add complexity to the decision-making process.
  1. Iran’s Economic Crisis: Mullahs Face Challenges from Within. Iran grapples with economic turmoil as mullahs neglect internal issues and rely on blame-shifting. The growing influence of oligarchs, who exploit privatization and amass wealth, exacerbates inflation and poverty. The mullahs must address economic mismanagement, discrimination, and corruption to secure the benefits of global alliances, as the youth protests reflect dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs.
  1. Iranian Delegates Boycott COP28 Over Israeli Participation. Iranian representatives exit UN climate talks in the UAE, citing opposition to Israel’s presence at COP28. The move reflects Iran’s stance on the inclusion of Israeli representatives, deeming it inconsistent with the conference’s objectives.
  1. IRGC Commander Issues War Threat Amidst Israel-Hamas Truce Extension. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander, Hossein Salami, renews threats of war against the United States and Israel amidst the Israel-Hamas truce extension. The ongoing conflict, marked by proxy attacks and criticism of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Iran policy, remains a volatile geopolitical issue.
  1. Iran Dominates Middle East Merchant Fleet. A CIA economic analysis reveals that Iran boasts the largest maritime trade fleet in the Middle East, owning 942 ships in 2022. This significantly surpasses other regional countries, positioning Iran as a maritime trade powerhouse with over one-third of the total commercial ships in the Middle East.
  1. Iran’s Supreme Leader Calls for ‘De-Americanisation’ of the Middle East. Supreme Leader Khamenei emphasizes the need to counter U.S. influence in the Middle East, citing the Gaza conflict as a catalyst for the “de-Americanisation” of the region. He highlights the failure of U.S. plans in Lebanon and expresses Iran’s commitment to a new political geography, including Palestinian sovereignty and renaming the region “West Asia.”

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IRAQ

  1. ISIS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Attack in Diyala Province. An attack, attributed to the Islamic State (ISIS), involving twin suicide bombings and gunfire on a small bus in Diyala Province, Eastern Iraq, leaves at least 11 dead. Occurring after a political gathering, the assault prompts officials to urge heightened vigilance against ISIS sleeper cells.
  1. Iraq Grapples with Political Fallout Over U.S. Lobbying Scandal. Revelations of Iraqi political figures contracting with U.S. lobbying firms, exposed by ousted Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, spark political and public debates. Calls for legal accountability and financial mismanagement investigations arise, with implications for figures, including former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
  1. Russia Secures Control Over Iraq’s Largest Oil Discovery in Two Decades. Russia’s recent takeover of Iraq’s Erbil oil field, estimated to hold 7 to 10 billion barrels, signifies a major shift in global oil dynamics. Aligned with Moscow and Beijing’s goal to diminish Western influence in the Middle East, the move reflects a strategic geopolitical alliance. With Iraq selling its 40% stake to Lukoil, the region’s energy landscape undergoes significant transformation, challenging Western dominance.

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THE GULF REGION & YEMEN

  1. U.S. Orders Saudi Aramco Fund to Sell Stake in Silicon Valley Tech Firm. The Biden administration reportedly forced a Saudi Aramco investment fund to sell its shares in a Silicon Valley AI chip startup, affecting the kingdom’s growing investments in U.S. technology. The move was based on a review by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, reflecting broader concerns over AI technology access in the Middle East.
  1. Hamas Condemns UAE for Hosting “Criminal” Israeli President. Palestinian resistance movement Hamas criticizes the UAE for hosting Israeli President Isaac Herzog, accusing him of war crimes amid renewed hostilities in Gaza. The move draws international condemnation, raising questions about the Emirati stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  1. Israeli President Urges UAE’s Political Weight for Hostage Release. During a meeting in Dubai, Israeli President Isaac Herzog requests Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed to use his “political weight” to help release Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. The appeal underscores regional dynamics and mediation efforts between Israel and Hamas.
  1. Qatar-Israel Amity: Emir Meets Israeli President in Dubai. In a surprising move, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani engage in talks and a handshake during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai. Despite lacking official diplomatic ties, Qatar played a role in mediating the recently concluded ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
  1. Houthis Threaten Red Sea Shipping, Linking Safety to Gaza Conflict. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels intensify threats against Red Sea shipping, asserting the waterway’s safety is contingent on resolving the Gaza conflict. Recent incidents include drone threats against a US Navy destroyer and an aircraft carrier. The group emphasizes the need for international reconsideration of Israel’s actions in Gaza as a violation of law and human values.
  1. Israeli Strike Targets Houthi Weapons Depot in Yemen. Reports indicate that an Israeli strike was responsible for an explosion at a Houthi-controlled weapons depot in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. The incident follows a series of Houthi attacks on Israel, including the seizure of an Israeli-linked cargo vessel. The UK and the US have increased naval presence in the region in response.

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SYRIA

  1. Ongoing Protests in Syria’s Sweida Demand Political Change. Thousands gather in Sweida’s central square for the 100th consecutive week, demanding political change in Syria. Despite media focus on other events, protesters stand firm, raising banners and emphasizing adherence to UN resolutions. The movement remains resilient, symbolized by the persistent presence at “Al-Karama Square.”
  1. Iran Recovers Bodies of Militants Killed in Aleppo’s Khan Tuman. Iran retrieves the remains of 8 militia members identified as defenders of holy shrines, killed in Khan Tuman, Aleppo. The bodies, transported to Mashhad, will undergo rituals before burial. The development follows Iran’s earlier discovery of 5 militants’ remains in the same region.
  1. Global Chemical Weapons Body Votes to Restrict Syria’s Access to Raw Materials. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) approves a resolution limiting chemical exports to Syria, citing Damascus’s alleged violations of the chemical weapons treaty. The move follows Syria’s suspension from OPCW voting in 2021 over accusations of toxic gas attacks on civilians.
  1. Suspected U.S. Drone Targets Iran-Backed Militias in Eastern Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports a suspected U.S. drone strike targeting Iran-backed militias in eastern Syria. The strike occurred in Al-Bukamal, causing a powerful explosion at an Iranian militia facility. No human casualties have been reported. This marks the ninth U.S. drone strike on Iranian militia sites in Deir ez-Zor, resulting in 17 military deaths and 10 injuries since the Gaza-Israel conflict.

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TURKIYE

  1. Escalation and Human Losses in the “Putin-Erdogan” Zone in November. Despite the Putin-Erdogan agreement for de-escalation, the region witnesses intense violence with daily shelling, causing significant human and material losses. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented 62 casualties, including civilians, militia members, and regime forces. The situation exacerbates amid international indifference, impacting citizens’ lives in the challenging humanitarian conditions.
  1. Erdogan Attends COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Dubai for the COP28 Global Climate Action Summit. He is expected to engage in bilateral meetings with world leaders. The summit, focusing on climate policies, encompasses discussions on energy, food, health, and environmental challenges, emphasizing climate change mitigation.

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Incase you missed it, 

The Early Phoenix November 30, 2023

The Region November 27, 2023

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