Report

Kerry Meets With Netanyahu to Discuss Palestinian U.N. Proposals

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome Monday as Palestinian officials plan to submit a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council.

US-KAZAKHSTAN-KERRY-IDRISOV
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks before a working lunch at the State Department in Washington, DC, December 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome Monday as Palestinian officials plan to submit a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council. Palestinian officials said the Jordanian-backed resolution calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory by November 2016 would be submitted by Wednesday. There is also an alternate resolution being drafted by France. In addition to talks with Israeli officials, Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Sunday, and will meet with European, Palestinian, and Arab League officials on Monday and Tuesday. U.S. officials said the administration has not decided whether it will support or veto any U.N. resolution, though officials noted the United States would prefer to find consensus over a singe resolution.

Syria

Syrian government forces seized an area north of Aleppo Sunday in a battle over the strategic Handarat hill overlooking the main opposition supply line from Turkey into the northwestern Syrian city. Syrian forces have been clashing in the area with fighters from Western-backed opposition groups as well as al-Nusra Front and Islamist brigades. U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura is working to establish local cease-fires in Aleppo to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries and EU ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss ways to help implement the U.N. plan.

Headlines

  • Libya is shutting down its two largest oil ports after airstrikes and days of clashes between forces connected with the two rival governments.
  • Yemeni security forces shot and killed a southern separatist Hirak movement leader, Khaled al-Junaidi, in the southern city of Aden, according to residents.
  • Egypt denied entry to U.S. scholar and former diplomat Michele Dunne, who has published works critical of President Sisi’s government.

Arguments and Analysis

Military trials in Egypt: 2011-2014’ (Heather McRobie, openDemocracy)

“The last four years have been a highly turbulent period for Egypt, including three successive constitutions within three years, and the forcible removal, backed by the military, of the first post-revolutionary President, Mohammad Morsi, in the summer of 2013.  Human rights organisations have documented human rights abuses by all post-revolutionary powers, from SCAF, to the Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime of Morsi, to the current regime of President Sisi, which has involved a clampdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and also on secular activists who were central to the 2011 revolution, and a curtailment of civil liberties such as the right to protest.

The use of military trials on civilians must be contextualized within this post-revolutionary climate of widespread human rights violations from numerous state actors and successive post-revolutionary regimes, and the continued central role of the military in political life.  Military trials for civilians were also enshrined in the latest post-revolutionary constitution, the current constitution of Egypt, which was drafted in 2013 after the downfall of President Mohammad Morsi and came into effect in 2014.  Military trials for civilians, alongside the wider politicised use of the judiciary, hinder Egypt on its path to democracy and a socially just society, and means the hopes of the pro-democracy 2011 revolutionaries who brought down Mubarak’s authoritarian regime are far from being realized.”

New Leaders for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’ (Raphaël Lefèvre, Carnegie Middle East Center)

“After three decades in exile, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has been working in recent years to rebuild its influence within Syria. The Islamist group’s 2014 leadership elections have been seen as a key test of whether the Brotherhood can make the changes needed to strengthen the organization and boost its role in the country.

While the Brotherhood is often described as one of the most effective forces in Syria’s exiled opposition, it has faced divisions within its ranks. The group’s previous leader, Mohammad Riad al-Shaqfa, completed his four-year term in the summer of 2014 amid low levels of popularity with the base, which blamed him for failing to transform the Brotherhood into a coherent political and military player, among other things.”

Mary Casey-Baker

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

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