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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

Top 5 Headlines: 

  • Israel Isolates Gaza City and Northern Areas in Ongoing Ground Incursion.
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Urges Muslim States to Blockade Israel.
  • Egypt Prepares to Receive 7,000 Foreign Nationals Evacuated from Gaza.
  • Iran Suspends Flights to Latakia Airport Amid Aleppo and Damascus Airport Closures.
  • Houthis Enhance Missile Capabilities with Iranian Support.

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ISRAEL & PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

  1. Thai Officials Hold Talks with Hamas in Iran. Thai officials conducted direct talks with Hamas in Iran last week regarding the fate of 22 citizens held captive by the Palestinian movement after their attack on Israel on October 7. They received a commitment to release the Thais at an appropriate time, according to the Thai delegation leader (Almashhad).
  2. Russia Challenges Israel’s Right to Self-Defense at UN. Russia’s UN representative, Vasily Nebenzya, criticized Israel’s right to self-defense, citing its occupation status. However, he emphasized the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on relevant UN resolutions for lasting security and condemned Arab states’ normalization efforts with Israel (Jerusalem Post).
  3. US House Passes Bill to Sanction Hamas Supporters. The US House of Representatives approved the Hamas International Financing Prevention Act, targeting foreign supporters of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The bill requires the president to report those who aid these groups and imposes sanctions on them. Additionally, it targets governments providing material support to these terrorist organizations, restricting US assistance and exports of controlled munitions for a year. AIPAC supported the bill’s passage, and a resolution to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib for her support of Hamas was tabled (Jerusalem Post).
  4. Jordan Recalls Ambassador to Israel Over Gaza Conflict. Jordan has summoned its ambassador to Israel, Ghassan Majali, in response to the ongoing Gaza conflict, demanding his return contingent on a ceasefire in Gaza. In a reciprocal move, Israel asked its ambassador in Jordan, Roy Rachlin, to leave and not return (i24).
  5. 242 Hostages Held by Hamas, Israeli Soldier Killed in West Bank Shooting.  On the 27th day of the Gaza conflict, the Israeli army advances with air, ground, and naval support despite painful losses. President Herzog emphasizes Israeli resilience. An Israeli reserve officer’s death increases the military’s death toll to 17. In the north, the army responds to anti-tank missile fire (i24).
  6. Israel Pledges to “Allow” Return of Gaza Wounded Transferred to Egypt. Israel has committed to allowing any Palestinian who leaves Gaza for medical treatment to return after the conflict ends, following an evacuation agreement announced recently. The move aims to facilitate the evacuation of wounded Palestinians while ensuring their return after the war (Alhurra).
  7. Israel Isolates Gaza City and Northern Areas in Ongoing Ground Incursion. The Israeli military continues its ground incursion into Gaza, isolating Gaza City and its northern areas. Palestinian sources report numerous casualties from airstrikes targeting residential areas. The United Nations warns that this isolation threatens the delivery of humanitarian aid to around 300,000 internally displaced people in the northern Gaza Strip (Sharq Awsat).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

IRAN

  1. Iran’s Supreme Leader Urges Muslim States to Blockade Israel. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has called on Muslim states to halt exports of oil, food, and goods to Israel in response to the ongoing conflict with Gaza. He also condemned Israel’s actions and expressed support for the Palestinian cause. Khamenei’s remarks come amidst escalating tensions between Iran and Israel, with threats of retaliation from Tehran and an increase in attacks against US bases in the region by Iran-backed militias (Iran International).
  2. Iranian Commander Visits Lebanon to Coordinate with Hezbollah. Esmail Qaani, the commander of the IRGC Quds Force, visited Lebanon to coordinate with Hezbollah regarding the conflict with Israel. The Iranian Foreign Minister stated that Iran is not giving direct orders to its proxies in the region. This visit coincides with Hezbollah’s leader’s upcoming public comments. Hamas received training from the Quds Force before the recent conflict (Jerusalem Post).
  3. Global Unity Against US: IRGC Chief’s Message. Major General Hossein Salami, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), emphasized that countries worldwide are more united than ever against the United States due to its perceived malicious policies. He also discussed the US, the UK, and the Zionist regime as integral parts of a global conspiracy, highlighting the changing geopolitics of the Islamic world and the challenges it faces (Tasnim News).
  4. Ayatollah Raeisi: America the Root of Crimes in Gaza. Ayatollah Raeisi, Iran’s president, denounced the tragic events in Gaza, calling them crimes against humanity. He highlighted the resilience of Gaza’s people in their struggle for rights and independence, stating that America is the foundation of these crimes. Raeisi praised the unity between Shia and Sunni communities in Kurdistan and credited the revolution for positive changes in the region. He emphasized the bright future that lies ahead for the Iranian people (Fars News).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

IRAQ

  1. Iraq Postpones Macron’s Baghdad Conference Due to Gaza Conflict. Iraq has postponed President Macron’s conference in Baghdad due to the Gaza conflict and France’s stance on Israel. The diplomatic event was aimed at boosting economic cooperation with neighboring Arab and Islamic nations but faced criticism given France’s support for Israel. Public protests, including incidents at French embassies, highlight growing discontent with France’s Middle East policies. The conference, originally slated for November 30, is now indefinitely postponed, reflecting the region’s complex dynamics (Alquds).
  2. Secret Meetings Between US Ambassador and Iraqi Political Leaders on Embassy Closure Calls. US Ambassador to Iraq, Ylenia Romano, held intensive secret meetings with Iraqi political leaders, reflecting American concerns about calls for closing the US embassy. The unexpected calls come from influential figures in Iraq, raising alarm in Washington. These meetings aim to address the potential impact of embassy closure, given various agreements and cooperation in areas such as security and armaments. The Ambassador’s discreet approach seeks to gauge Iraqi government sentiment in light of public discontent over US support for Israel amid the Gaza conflict (Al Iraq News).
  3. Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces Raise Maximum Alert Status. The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have raised their maximum alert status. They commended the success of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation and condemned Israeli actions in Gaza. The PMF emphasized their readiness to defend Iraq’s sovereignty and borders, addressing security challenges and maintaining national stability (Al-Nahar).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

THE GULF REGION & YEMEN

  1. Saudi Arabia Launches Campaign to Aid Gaza with $13.6 Million in the First Hour. Saudi Arabia initiated a public campaign via the “Sahm” platform, part of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, to provide assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed donated a combined 50 million Saudi riyals (approximately $13.6 million) in the campaign’s first hour. Total contributions reached 60 million Saudi riyals (around $16 million) by early afternoon (Alkhaleej Online).
  2. Jewish Delegation in Qatar Seeks Release of Israeli Hostages. The World Jewish Congress (WJC) delegation, including Jewish leaders from the UK, France, and Switzerland, held discussions in Qatar to address the situation of 240 Israeli hostages in Gaza. WJC President Ronald Lauder emphasized the concerns of global Jewry and sought influential Arab leaders’ intervention for their unconditional release. Qatar expressed its commitment to securing their freedom, aiming for humanitarianism and regional peace. Lauder remains hopeful for positive outcomes in these engagements (Jerusalem Post).
  3. Saudi Defense Minister Discusses Regional De-escalation with Blinken. Saudi Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman and his U.S. counterpart, Antony Blinken, held discussions in Washington, addressing efforts to de-escalate regional tensions and enhancing strategic relations. The U.S. reaffirmed the importance of Saudi Arabia in maintaining regional security and stability, particularly during the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and the potential for regional escalation (Alarabiya).
  4. Houthis Enhance Missile Capabilities with Iranian Support. Houthi rebels in Yemen have improved their missile arsenal with Iranian guidance, boasting advanced precision-guided rockets and long-range missiles. They now pose a potential threat to Israel’s airspace, as well as regional stability amid ongoing conflicts, as recently seen with intensified rocket attacks in the Gaza Strip (i24).
  5. Houthis Vow to Continue Rocket and Drone Attacks on Israel. Houthi rebels have announced launching a significant batch of drones and rockets at various targets in Israel in response to ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. The Houthi spokesperson, Yahya Saree, stated they would persist with these attacks until Israel halts its offensive in Gaza, further escalating regional tensions (Alhadath).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

EGYPT & NORTH AFRICA

  1. Russia Cooperates with Egypt and Israel to Evacuate Nationals from Gaza via Rafah. Russia, in collaboration with Egypt and Israel, is working on evacuating its citizens from Gaza through the Rafah border crossing. The Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, expressed optimism about the possibility of this evacuation, while over 900 individuals, including 500 Russians, are on the evacuation list (youm7).
  2. Egypt Prepares to Receive 7,000 Foreign Nationals Evacuated from Gaza. Egypt is readying to welcome approximately 7,000 foreign nationals to be evacuated from Gaza through the Rafah border crossing. Diplomatic efforts led by Qatar have already facilitated the departure of over 320 foreigners from the besieged enclave, with Australia among the nations actively involved in the evacuation process (Alquds).
  3. “Rapid Support” Forces Announce Move to Control All Sudan States. The deputy commander of the “Rapid Support” forces, Abdel Rahim Daglo, declared their intention to take control of all Sudan’s states and military sites. The development follows their recent seizure of key military facilities, raising concerns about stability in the region (Sharq Awsat).
  4. “Renaissance Dam”… Will Ethiopia take advantage of Egypt’s preoccupation with the Gaza war? Recent reports of Ethiopia’s preparations for the “fifth filling” of the Renaissance Dam raise questions in Egypt about Addis Ababa’s continued “unilateral actions” regarding the dam while Egypt is preoccupied with the Israeli war on Gaza. This comes weeks before upcoming negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia on the dam in Addis Ababa. Some experts in Egypt view Ethiopia’s recent actions as an exploitation of Egypt’s preoccupation with the Gaza war, pushing ahead with dam-related developments unilaterally (Sharq Awsat).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

SYRIA

  1. Alarming Civilian Casualties in Syria during October 2023. The Syrian Network for Human Rights documented 161 civilian deaths in Syria in October 2023, with 49% being children and women. The report highlights civilian deaths at the hands of various parties, with particular emphasis on the use of remote detonations targeting densely populated areas, constituting clear violations of international law and the Geneva Convention (Zaman Alwsl).
  2. Iran Suspends Flights to Latakia Airport Amid Aleppo and Damascus Airport Closures. Iran has suspended flights to Latakia International Airport due to the repeated Israeli airstrikes and the ongoing closure of Aleppo and Damascus international airports. Security forces in Syria are yet to allow airlines to operate flights to the country. The issue with these busy airports is not expected to be resolved in the coming ten days, according to Iranian media. Unauthorized caravans are announcing and registering trips to religious sites in Damascus. The Iranian Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization previously suspended Iranian visitors’ trips to Syria due to regional conflicts (Shaam).
  3. Russian Patrols Return to Syria’s Golan Heights Border. Russian patrols have returned to southern Syria near the Golan Heights after an absence of over a year. They conducted a patrol near the border with the occupied territories, visiting military positions in the region. Russian patrols had been absent from the area since mid-2021. Their return coincides with ongoing military movements by militias believed to be affiliated with Iran and Hezbollah (Enab Baladi).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

TURKIYE

  1. Turkish FM Urges Equitable Approach to Ukraine and Palestine Conflicts. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan called for a fair and consistent approach to conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine, emphasizing the need for lasting peace in the region. He criticized the EU’s stance on the Palestine-Israel conflict and highlighted Türkiye’s efforts to prevent the Gaza situation from escalating into a wider war. Fidan also mentioned ongoing negotiations for evacuating Turkish citizens from Gaza (TRT world).
  2. Turkey and Iran Issue Joint Warning on Gaza Conflict, Differ on Oil Boycott. Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers jointly warn of the Israel-Hamas conflict’s expansion but differ on boycotting Israel’s oil. Turkey seeks a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and offers to facilitate a peace agreement. Iran calls for cutting ties with Israel and stopping oil exports to the nation (Al monitor).
  3. UAE Shows Interest in Turkish Defense Industry, Eyeing SİHAs. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has expressed interest in Turkey’s defense industry, particularly in acquiring Turkish-made drones (SİHAs). The two countries have established a working group to expand their defense industry cooperation, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding strategic collaboration in the defense sector. The group aims to develop a common roadmap and explore various areas of cooperation, including research and development projects and joint defense initiatives. This move demonstrates the growing partnership between Turkey and the UAE in the field of defense (Yeniakit).
  4. Turkish Official Seeks Cooperation with Egyptian Defense Production Companies. The President of Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries expressed Turkey’s interest in collaborating with Egyptian defense production companies. The meeting took place in the new administrative capital of Egypt and aimed to explore opportunities for mutual cooperation in the defense industry. The Turkish government is focused on enhancing domestic military manufacturing and increasing exports in advanced technological military industries (Turk Press).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

LEBANON

  1. Lebanese PM Urges Swift Action to Prevent Spread of War. Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati stressed the urgency of preventing the Hamas-Israel war from escalating and affecting Lebanon and the wider region. He called for a humanitarian cease-fire, international talks for prisoner swaps, and a permanent truce. Mikati condemned both Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon and attacks in Gaza and expressed concern about the consequences of a full-fledged war amid Lebanon’s political and economic crisis (Nahar Net).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 2, 2023

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