July 4th – 8th

Monday, 4th July 2016

ISRAEL – Israeli authorities have approved plans for the construction of 800 new housing units for Jews in illegal housing settlements across occupied East Jerusalem. (Al Jazeera)

GAZA STRIP – Trucks of Turkish aid have begun arriving in the Gaza Strip via Israel as part of a reconciliation accord reached between Israel and Turkey last month. (The Washington Post)

TURKEY – Turkey has proposed cooperating with Moscow to combat ISIS in Syria, suggesting it could open its Incirlik Air Base to Russia – comments that highlight a revival in ties strained by Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian warplane last year. (The Daily Star)

WAR ON TERROR – Syrian militias backed by US-led air strikes have repelled a second ISIS counter attack in 24 hours near a city being targeted in a major offensive against the militant group, an official and a monitoring group said on Monday. (Al-Arabiya)


Tuesday, 5th July 2016

ISRAEL – Israel sounded the all-clear on Tuesday after a bomb threat led France, Switzerland and Bulgaria to scramble warplanes to escort an El Al Boeing 747 as it overflew their territory from New York to Tel Aviv. (Reuters)

EGYPT – A program that will provide electronic “smart cards” to Egypt’s farmers aims to eliminate administrative corruption within the Ministry of Agriculture, prevent its employees from tampering with paper documents and ensure that subsidies reach the proper recipients. (Al Monitor)

TURKEY – Along the border near the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, a wall of giant concrete blocks is going up as Turkey tries to seal off a region that for years was a jihadi highway through which thousands of extremist fighters flowed to join the Islamic State group in neighboring Syria. (The New York Times)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday ruled out a reconciliation with Egypt, despite a diplomatic blitz that has seen Ankara mend fences with Russia and Israel. (Al-Arabiya)

WAR ON TERROR – Three suicide attacks in 24 hours — that’s how Saudis will remember the end of Ramadan, a month that has seen the wider region plunged into a wave of terror-related violence.  The attacks — including one in Medina, one of the holiest sites in Islam — follow massive jihadi assaults from Turkey to Iraq that have been tied to ISIS. (CNN)


Wednesday, 6th July 2016

ISRAEL – The European Union joined Washington and the United Nations on Wednesday in condemning recently announced Israeli plans for new building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying the move “threatens the viability of the two-state solution.” (Times of Israel)

TURKEY – Turkey is dangling the possibility of citizenship before Syrians who did not join the hundreds of thousands who have left its shores for Europe. There is a catch, though: a test to ensure that only those with the skills to contribute to Turkey’s economy are given the chance to graduate from legally precarious guest status to something more permanent. (Financial Times)

SYRIA – The Free Syrian Army rebel alliance said on Wednesday it would respect an Eid holiday ceasefire, but only if government forces also abided by it, accusing the government of having already violated the truce. (Reuters)

WAR ON TERROR – Three apparently coordinated attacks in different cities on Monday were a shocking reminder that years after it clamped down on a domestic terrorism campaign by Al Qaeda, Saudi Arabia is again facing a jihadist threat — this time from the Islamic State. (The New York Times)


Thursday, 7th July 2016

ITALY – An Italian man who the authorities say hurled racist abuse at a Nigerian couple and beat the husband when he came to his wife’s defense was charged on Thursday with manslaughter, after the husband died from his injuries. The victims are believed to have fled Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group that has conducted a murderous rampage across West Africa, and to have reached Italy by boat. (The New York Times)

ISRAEL – Israel has ramped up security in the occupied West Bank since a Palestinian killed a 13-year-old Jewish girl in a settlement last week, deploying more troops and setting up checkpoints near the city of Hebron. (Reuters)

Airplane parts that were discovered on a beach in the central city of Netanya on Thursday are very likely debris from the Egyptian plane that crashed into the sea in May, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. (Haaretz)

LIBYA – Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam has been released from custody after his death sentence was quashed, his British lawyer has claimed. Karim Khan QC said he was now petitioning the international criminal court to drop its charges against Saif, which would allow him to travel abroad without facing arrest. (The Guardian)

WAR ON TERROR – The Islamic State claimed a triple suicide attack on Thursday evening near a Shiite mausoleum north of Baghdad. It killed at least 35 people and wounded 60 others, according to Iraqi security sources. (The Washington Post)


Friday, 8th July 2016

ITALY – Italy’s largest company focuses on oil exploration and production but may be too exposed to risk. On June 4, Claudio Descalzi, the chief executive of Eni, Italy’s largest oil and gas company, took a short drive in an armoured, escorted 4×4 from Tripoli’s main airport to the temporary offices of Fayez al-Sarraj, Libya’s UN-backed prime minister, at Abusita naval base. (Financial Times)

IRAQ – The IMF announced a $5.34 billion program for Iraq on Thursday to help strengthen the country’s finances, hit by the crash in oil prices and the fight against the Islamic State group. (Al Monitor)

EGYPT – Egypt has announced there will be countermeasures in response to Italy’s decision to stop supplying Egyptian F16s with spare parts following the torture and murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

LIBYA – Libya’s oil guard brigades, which control Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, two major export terminals closed since 2014, are working with the unity government’s state oil company, NOC, and preparing to reopen fields to pump crude again, a spokesman said on Thursday. (Reuters)



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