The Middle East Channel

Israeli Police Kill Palestinian Suspected of Shooting Activist Amid Rising Tensions

Israeli police killed a Palestinian man suspected of shooting a far-right activist, sparking clashes in East Jerusalem and increasing already heightened tensions. Israeli police shot 32-year-old Palestinian Moataz Hejazi in East Jerusalem Thursday, reportedly as they were trying to arrest him. He was suspected of shooting and wounding Yehuda Glick, a religious activist and U.S. ...

Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images
Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

Israeli police killed a Palestinian man suspected of shooting a far-right activist, sparking clashes in East Jerusalem and increasing already heightened tensions. Israeli police shot 32-year-old Palestinian Moataz Hejazi in East Jerusalem Thursday, reportedly as they were trying to arrest him. He was suspected of shooting and wounding Yehuda Glick, a religious activist and U.S. born setter, as Glick was leaving a conference in Jerusalem late Wednesday. Glick has been leading a campaign for Jewish access to the contested holy site al-Aqsa mosque compound, or the Temple Mount. Jerusalem was put on high alert and hundreds of police have been deployed to the city. Authorities closed access to al-Aqsa mosque Thursday morning for the first time since former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the site in 2000. Clashes broke out Thursday between residents and police in the Abu Tor neighborhood where Hejazi was killed.

Syria-Iraq

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the first Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces have arrived in the Syrian town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab), where Kurdish forces have been battling Islamic State fighters for over a month. The arrival has been delayed by welcoming crowds lining the street as the convoy traveled through Turkey, as well as Islamic State shelling of the Mursitpinar border crossing near Kobani. Officials in the town praised the arrival of the pershmerga forces as well as Free Syrian Army fighters, saying they hoped it would lead to a more cooperative international effort to combat the Islamic State fighters. On Thursday, a senior U.S. official said the United States is working with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government to stop Islamic State oil smuggling in order to cut off a primary source of funding. Meanwhile, residents of a displaced persons camp in Syria's northern Idlib province reported government forces dropped two barrel bombs in the area on Wednesday. The Observatory said 10 people were killed in the attack, however U.S. officials have not yet been able to verify the details of the bombing.

Israeli police killed a Palestinian man suspected of shooting a far-right activist, sparking clashes in East Jerusalem and increasing already heightened tensions. Israeli police shot 32-year-old Palestinian Moataz Hejazi in East Jerusalem Thursday, reportedly as they were trying to arrest him. He was suspected of shooting and wounding Yehuda Glick, a religious activist and U.S. born setter, as Glick was leaving a conference in Jerusalem late Wednesday. Glick has been leading a campaign for Jewish access to the contested holy site al-Aqsa mosque compound, or the Temple Mount. Jerusalem was put on high alert and hundreds of police have been deployed to the city. Authorities closed access to al-Aqsa mosque Thursday morning for the first time since former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the site in 2000. Clashes broke out Thursday between residents and police in the Abu Tor neighborhood where Hejazi was killed.

Syria-Iraq

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the first Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces have arrived in the Syrian town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab), where Kurdish forces have been battling Islamic State fighters for over a month. The arrival has been delayed by welcoming crowds lining the street as the convoy traveled through Turkey, as well as Islamic State shelling of the Mursitpinar border crossing near Kobani. Officials in the town praised the arrival of the pershmerga forces as well as Free Syrian Army fighters, saying they hoped it would lead to a more cooperative international effort to combat the Islamic State fighters. On Thursday, a senior U.S. official said the United States is working with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government to stop Islamic State oil smuggling in order to cut off a primary source of funding. Meanwhile, residents of a displaced persons camp in Syria’s northern Idlib province reported government forces dropped two barrel bombs in the area on Wednesday. The Observatory said 10 people were killed in the attack, however U.S. officials have not yet been able to verify the details of the bombing.

Headlines

  • Tunisia has released official parliamentary election results with the main secular party Nidaa Tounes taking 85 seats and the Islamist Ennahda party winning 69 seats in the 217-member parliament.
  • Sweden officially recognized the Palestinian state Thursday becoming the first European Union member to do so, but joining 134 other countries.
  • Egypt on Thursday issued a decree dissolving the pro-Morsi group the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy and Reject the Coup, and the group’s political wing, the Independence Party.

Arguments and Analysis

The Tunisian election result isn’t simply a victory for secularism over Islamism‘ (Monica Marks, The Guardian)

"Indeed, in a region wracked by extremism and civil war, the secularists’ victory will strike many as further proof that Tunisia is moving forward and is the sole bright spot in a gloomy region. Some may prematurely celebrate, yet again, the death of political Islam, arguing that Tunisians achieved through the ballot box what Egyptians achieved through a popular coup, rejecting the Brotherhood and its cousin-like movements once and for all. We should exercise caution, however, in labelling Nidaa Tounes’s victory part of a seamless sweep of democratic achievements, or seeing Sunday’s vote as a clear referendum against all varieties of political Islam.

Despite feeling kinship with the party because of its secular label, westerners understand surprisingly little about Nidaa Tounes, mainly because they’ve tended to hold the magnifying glass of critical inquiry up to Islamists but not secularists over the past three years. Counter-intuitively, Nidaa Tounes’s internal structure is noticeably more authoritarian than Ennahda, which boasts representative decision-making structures from its grassroots to national leadership."

Alawites find their voice against Assad‘ (Al Monitor)

"The pro-regime citizens in Tartus also seem angry. Everyone in the city is talking about the fuel price hike and the subsequent increase in the prices of products, while the minimum wage is still the same. People are saying, ‘We can’t take it anymore,’ ‘We are going to starve if things continue this way’ and ‘Our fellow citizens are dying at war in vain.’ The poverty and ongoing war have started a wave of rage, but might this lead to rebellion against Assad’s regime?’

Arab views on governance after the uprisings‘ (Michael Robbins and Mark Tessler, The Washington Post)

"Comparing results from three waves of survey data over the past decade, the Arab Barometer finds that support for democracy remains high but support for political Islam has decreased. Interacting these two trends, a key finding is that Islamic democrats – those who support both democracy and political Islam – are becoming scarcer across the region."

Mary Casey

<p>Mary Casey-Baker is the editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily Brief, as well as the assistant director of public affairs at the Project on Middle East Political Science and assistant editor of The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. </p> Twitter: @casey_mary

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