The international community's focus is now on Rafah, while Israel gets ready for a ground assault. For Jordanian scholar Amer Al Sabaileh, the Palestinian cause has given way to global jihad. Hamas is politically divided while Shia groups are beholden to Iran. Saudis could play the role of mediators, transcending the Abraham Accords.
The ground operation in the south risks dragging Cairo into the conflict. The Camp David Accords at risk. After 130 days of conflict and a number of dead and wounded exceeding 100,000, the spectre of a new Nakba. Custody of the Holy Land: land operation "final drama" for the Strip. Fr. Romanelli: Rafah "only contact" with foreign countries, Gaza is "a cage".
The situation is still critical and Antioch a "ghost town". Caritas' contribution in guaranteeing food, accommodation, psychological support, education and schooling. Bishop Bizzeti: "It will take at least 10 years to understand whether the region will be able to recover, but I am optimistic".
The attack on Tower 22 and casualties among US troops have put Jordan back at the centre of regional events. A Lebanese source told AsiaNews that "a red line has been crossed". A Jordanian priest sees a "complicated" situation, but unity of people and leadership is a factor of stability. Peace in the Holy Land and a Palestinian state are the only way to put out the blaze of conflict.
Israel loses 21 soldiers in one day, calls for a two-month truce. The hostage issue remains unresolved. Increasingly, Israelis want a deal with Palestinians, with 51.3 per cent backing a demilitarised Palestinian state in exchange for the release of the hostages. Research by an Israeli NGO, Yesh Din, shows that Jewish settlers enjoy impunity; about 94 per cent of investigations into anti-Palestinian violence ended without an indictment.
Without a president for 14 months, the country of the cedars is undergoing a socio-political process of implosion. According to one (alarming) study, Syrian refugees who entered in 2012 could, within 15 years, account for half the population. And at the southern gate, a front has opened up between Hezbollah, a state within a state, and Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu's political and personal fate hangs in the balance in the Gaza war. The US fears a spillover into Lebanon (and Iran). For the expert in Jewish-Christian dialogue in Israel, Israeli reality is "complex”. After an early mobilisation, rifts are now emerging. Getting the hostages home is a priority, but peace remains the goal, “Even in these dark days.”
For Iran, 2024 will be the year of the choice of the 88 members of one of the Islamic Republic's most important bodies, scheduled for 1 March. It will be up to them to appoint the supreme guide, in the event of the death (or resignation) of 84-year-old Ali Khamenei. The possible return to the scene of former President Rouhani and the challenge with Raisi. The rise of Mojtaba Khamenei, the ayatollah's son and long-time active behind the scenes.
Speaking to AsiaNews the Latin Patriarch reviews the dramatic events of the last period, the war, the killing of the two Christian women. A "preventable" death, impossible to mistake them for Hamas militiamen. Conflict causes pain that divides, everyone "locked in their own." Jerusalem and Bethlehem's silence, failure to visit Gaza. Starting over with people, "to rebuild."
In this interview with AsiaNews, Avi Dabush, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, looks back at the tragic hours when terrorists attacked Kibbutz Nirim. Despite the fear and the violence, he considers the release of the hostages to be paramount and has launched a new outreach programme in the West Bank. For him, it is time to work for rights and justice. In Gaza, the parish of the Holy Family was also hit; a water tank and solar panels were destroyed.
The French Dominican is in charge of restoration work at the Our Lady of the Hour Church one of the symbolic monuments of the former stronghold of the Islamic State. A reconstruction that not only concerns the buildings, but also involves the social fabric and relations with Muslims. A message for the Holy Land suffering from the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Msgr. Imad Khoshaba Gargees received episcopal ordination in early November from the Chaldean Patriarch. In his mission he intends to look at the 'needs and expectations' of a community that has long been without a guide, basing his work on 'love and humility'. The wait is on for the date when he will be able to enter the country and the diocese. The 'many challenges' to which he will have to respond.
Msgr. Martinelli on the appointment that in a fortnight in Dubai will also see the presence of Pope Francis. Ecology and climate become "an element of catechesis" today, especially in the land of Arabia. A document of religious leaders has already been drawn up in Abu Dhabi. Faiths can "converge on ecological issues", finding "fertile ground for encounter, confrontation, dialogue and knowledge" that also embraces "spiritual and doctrinal heritage".
As in the days of Isis, the conflict threatens to inflame the squares of Muslim-majority nations. With the exception of Thailand, the countries in the region close to the Palestinians and Gaza; thousands of people in the streets shouting 'Allah Akhbar'. The war in the Strip fought on Tik Tok with fake news and fake profiles.
Added to concerns over the civilian victims of the conflict in the Strip are fears for regional economies. Oil prices and repercussions in the energy sector are being watched. A sharp drop in GDP is expected for the entire MENA region. World Bank: the impact on employment in an area where 300 million young people will be knocking on the door of the labour market by 2050.
The patriarchal vicar for Israel expressed his shock at the attack in the heart of the country. The massacre struck the innocents, women and children, young people who wanted to have fun. Such violence is rooted in the denial of the rights of the Palestinians people. Only "their respective extremisms" have won. The Church in the Holy Land is not a "political power" but a "voice of peace", which remains "the necessary goal".
Turkish security forces arrested 90 people in 18 provinces suspected of links with the PKK, responsible for last Sunday’s attack in Ankara. For the Kurdish group, it was a way to show the flag, but Turkey’s harsh response risks generating an escalation that will involve Syria and Iraq. In the first half of 2023, Turkey carried out more than 665 air strikes against Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq.
A debate has opened in the country between those in favor and skeptics in the use of technology, in particular for the "speeding up" of the publications of sentences on religious matters. Beyond the dichotomy between tradition and modernity, Khamenei himself asks religious people to explore and support this process. Iranian government investments in the sector.
The cardinal relects on the the tumultuous weeks since the withdrawal of the presidential decree under pressure from self-styled leaders (in the pay of Tehran). A "more subtle" threat hangs over the community, but with the same logic as Isis: drive out Christians. The bitterness at the Pope's meeting (at the end of a general audience) with Rayan the Chaldean, who has been proclaimin in Iraq that Sako is no longer the patriarch. Forced to give up his presence at the meeting of the Mediterranean bishops in Marseilles because of the complaints in the courts, part of this campaign against him.
Tensions are running high in Iran at the approach of the first anniversary of the death by the regime’s morality police of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman. Last weekend, authorities in the southwest of the country jailed six people for "organising" riots to remember her. An uncle of the young victim has also targeted. The Islamic Republic’s reign of terror and repression continues; more than 500 people have died during the unrest. At present, Iran’s economic woes risk overshadowing the fight for rights.
In As-Suwayda, hundreds of Druze, including women, protest against the economic crisis, corruption, drug trafficking, and subsidy cuts. The rallies are the most significant since the 2011 Arab Spring, but a lack of leadership undermines their prospects. Meanwhile, Syrian President Assad scraps military field courts, notorious for abuses and violations.
Academic delves into the crisis between the cardinal and the president of the Republic following the withdrawal of the patriarchal decree. The cardinal claims the struggle for "freedom and independence." The roots of the current crisis in the phase of the fight against Isis, when armed militias (including Christian ones) develop. Criticism of baseless "politicization" defends homeland and citizens.
Saudi Arabia has called on its citizens to leave Lebanon “as soon as possible”, followed by other Gulf states. Fighting between Palestinian factions in Ain al-Hilweh have renewed concerns in the Arab world, as fears of violence grow. This mirrors a cooling in Saudi-Iranian rapprochement.
For young Turks, the meeting offers an opportunity to "build a local Church" by meeting fellow Christians from other Turkish dioceses and vicariates. A young man from Yemen will arrive with the Gulf delegation. The Lebanese will mark the third anniversary of the tragic explosion of 4 August 2020 with adoration and prayers. The auxiliary bishop of Baghdad hopes that the Mideast might host WDY one day.
Card Raphael Louis Sako, Patrairch of the Chaldean Church, issued his first statements from Erbil after he was compelled to leave Baghdad. In it he describes a situation in which too many political divisions are driving the country apart and undermining the Iraqi state. Experts note that ethnic militias are the result of repeated exclusions of various ethnic and religious groups by those in power over the years.
Almost three years after the Abraham Accords, Israel takes a step to boost ties with Morocco, the most lukewarm of its new allies. Meanwhile, the Netanyahu government confirms work on a land bridge to UAE through Saudi Arabia.
A report by international NGOs shows the critical situation of those who leave the Islamic Republic, especially converts, to escape persecution. Abuse by employers, high rents, lack of education for children among the critical issues. The serious slowdown in the outplacement system in third countries (United States, Canada, Australia).
Israel's military operation continues in the north of the West Bank with at least 10 Palestinians killed, 100 wounded, and 3,000 displaced. Speaking to AsiaNews, the founder of the Israel/Palestine: Creative Regional Initiatives notes that the conflict is now at a "dead end”. He slams the expansionism of the Netanyahu government, hostage to extremists, while criticising the Palestinian Authority’s old and corrupt leadership, the United States’ inaction and China’s shallow “show”.
Riyadh, which has received French support, is running to host Expo 2030 against Rome and Busan. The ambitious project is part of the economic and social reform plans of the country’s crown prince. While promoting its environmental credentials, the multibillion-dollar project has very little room for human freedoms.
Behind the trafficking of dozens of children and young teenagers was the Süleymancılar sect, which, according to some reports, benefited from government and Akp cover. At least six youngsters from remote forest areas ended up in Manaus, then transported overseas to the association's Turkish headquarters. Child abuse increased by 700 percent under "sultan" Erdogan