World View: Israel, Hamas Extend Gaza Truce 24 Hours to Negotiate Deal

World View: Israel, Hamas Extend Gaza Truce 24 Hours to Negotiate Deal

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Islamic ‘halal’ tourism surges in Turkey
  • Israel and Hamas agree to ‘long-term’ truce in Gaza war
  • Egypt denies militarily intervening in Libya

Islamic ‘halal’ tourism surges in Turkey

There are currently 75 hotels in Turkey, up from 5 in 2002,deliberately identifying themselves as “Islamic hotels” for “halalvacations.” Demand for such hotels is soaring, and Muslims fromaround the world are coming to Turkey as the most Islamic-friendlydestination in Europe. 

These hotels strictly forbid alcohol and pork, and serve only halal(Islamic) meals. Families can have meals together, but the hotelsemphasize segregation of men and women. Women have separate beaches,separate pools, and separate prayer rooms. According to one woman,ending up on Facebook or wherever. So you can be completely relaxed.” 

The halal tourism sector was worth 103 billion euros in 2013,representing around 13 percent of global travel expenditures.Zaman (Istanbul) and BBC

Israel and Hamas agree to ‘long-term’ truce in Gaza war

There are massive celebrations on the streets of Gaza on Tuesday,as leaders of Hamas declared “victory” over Israel in the recentwar, claiming that Israel was forced to agree to a ceasefiresince Hamas rockets could strike anywhere in Israel and couldforce Israel’s airport in Tel Aviv to shut down. 

A number of Israeli politicians agreed, in that Hamas has notbeen demilitarized, which was supposedly Israel’s majorobjective in the war. According to MK Eli Yishai: “This will be time for Hamas to resupply itself withweaponry to use against Israel. Not demilitarizing Gaza willbring Israel to another round of fighting that will be evenworse.”

The terms of the cease-fire agreement are as follows: 

  • A lifting of the blockade on Gaza by Israel and Egypt, opening border crossing, and allowing goods and people to pass back and forth. However, the limitations on these border crossing openings were not discussed.
  • Israel will stop targeting Hamas leaders and commanders.
  • Gaza’s fishermen will be able to fish in a larger zone, extending six miles offshore.
  • Discussions of opening Gaza’s airports and seaports to start in a month.

One commentator on BBC pointed out that anyone in Gaza can builda rocket in his basement and launch it towards Israel, bringingretaliation from Israel. 

Something that both sides insisted from the start of the war was thatthere would be no return to the status quo ante, and yet that’spretty much what has happened. Israel’s concessions are largely symbolic and can easily be reversed at any time at the firstsign of a terrorist act in Egypt’s Sinai or in the West Bank. AndGaza can launch a new barrage of rockets at any time. 

From the point of view of international geopolitics, Israel hasbeen the target of an enormous amount of hostility because ofthe thousands of deaths in the Gaza Strip. 

However, Hamas has also suffered internationally because of the riseof the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS) and thecomparison of Hamas to Islamic State. Last week, Hamas publicly beheadedseveral Palestinians who were alleged to be “collaborators” withIsrael, which is exactly the kind of atrocity that Islamic State has beenconducting. Hamas is also committed to wiping out Israel in the sameway that Islamic State is committed to exterminating Yazidis and Christians inIraq. 

Politically, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lostpopularity as it’s become clear that Israel was not meeting itsobjectives in the Gaza war, and may not even have had any clearobjectives in the first place. Hamas was becoming very unpopularbefore the war began, but has become much more popular as a result ofthe war. They may lose those gains as soon as people realize that theGaza war ended, with massive losses to the people and infrastructureof Gaza, but nothing has really changed. 

Generational Dynamics predicts that the Mideast is headed for a majorwar between Arabs and Jews, re-fighting the war between Jewsand Arabs that followed the 1948 partitioning of Palestine and thecreation of the state of Israel. Jerusalem Post and AP and Reuters

Egypt denies militarily intervening in Libya

Egypt is vehemently denying that Egypt intervened militarily in Libya.The denial follows reports Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)were responsible for the mysterious warplanes that bombed Islamistmilitias in Libya last week. According to Egypt’s foreign ministry: “What is being circulated in the media regardingmilitary intervention in Libya are rumors. [Egypt supports]Libyan legitimacy and the needs and training of the Libyan armedforces.”

However, this very carefully worded statement actually does notcontradict the reports, which stated that UAE warplanes bombed Libya,while Egypt provided the airports and landing facilities that made thebombings possible. 

UAE’s aggressive behavior has been a big surprise to many outsidethe region. In fact, the UAE has emerged as the mostassertive of the Arab Gulf monarchies, without the reticenceof Saudi Arabia. 

In some ways, the conflict in Libya is becoming a proxy war betweenUAE and Qatar. In 2011, both UAE and Qatar backed militias thatopposed Muammar Gaddafi, but the two countries backed differentmilitias. The UAE supported the more secular militias, especially theones in Zintan in western Libya. Qatar, on the other hand, supportedthe Islamist brigades, especially in Misrata. These militias were allunited against Gaddafi in 2011, but today they’re fighting each other,and the UAE and Qatar are respectively supporting the same ones theysupported in 2011. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and The Hindu

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, halal tourism,Israel, Hamas, Gaza, Eli Yishai, Egypt, Yazidis, Iraq,Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL,Libya, United Arab Emirates, UAE, Qatar, Zintan, Misrata 

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