Shireen’s Assassination Wrecks Israeli Government

Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, a Knesset member from the left-wing Meretz party, has resigned from the coalition which is supporting the Israeli ‎government. In her resignation letter, she ‎said that the scenes which emerged from Al-Aqsa Mosque showing police violence against worshippers, and during the funeral of Palestinian (Al Jazeera) journalist Sireen Abu Akleh, led her to take this decision. She said that due to this she could no longer “support the existence of an alliance which is harassing in this disgraceful way the society from which I came.” This is a position which she reiterated in a radio interview saying that “the pictures I saw from Shireen’s funeral were the direct reason behind my decision.”

Zoabi’s decision put the Israeli government on the brink of collapse. This prompted Yair Lapid, who is supposed to head the government after Bennett’s term, to make efforts to persuade Ghaida Zoabi to reverse her position.

The Israeli right-wing Likud party, led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saw in Zoabi’s resignation an opportunity to present a resolution to dissolve the Knesset coming Wednesday. It is expected that the Joint List would support the resolution, which would practically lead to new elections and the downfall of the current government.

If the situation goes in this direction, we can say that the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, in addition to the major offences committed by the current government against the Palestinians, is the reason for the crimes to turn against the perpetrators.

[Editorial Al-Quds Al-Arabi]

Limits of Russia’s Relations with Hamas

A Hamas delegation visited Moscow at the beginning of this month. It gained intense spotlight, as it came at a time when there are certain developments taking place in Ukraine, which has ensued tension between Moscow and Tel Aviv. This visit was seen as unexpected and linked to Russia’s agenda in the Middle East and its desire to use the Palestinian cause and Hamas to provoke Israel.

Hussein Al-Sheikh, a member of the Executive Committee of the PLO and the Central Committee of Fatah Movement, visited Moscow on Tuesday. This confirmed this new approach.

In view of the severe pressure which Russian diplomacy is currently facing as a reaction to the ongoing war in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov decided to reopen the Palestinian reconciliation issue and use it to draw attention to what is happening in the battlefield, even if the invitation was extended (to the Palestinian leaders) two months before the beginning of the military operation in Ukraine. But this invitation was not in the priorities of the Russian foreign ministry. However, the current developments and the tension between Moscow and Tel Aviv made it occupy a special place in the agendas of (Vladimir) Putin and the Kremlin. It is being used as part of political messages.

Russia cannot go far in its relations with Hamas at the expense of its economic relations with Israel and the Jewish businessmen loyal to the Hebrew state. The trouble in its diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv is just a summer cloud. The two countries have common interests in the region and have security coordination in Syria and on the Iranian nuclear issue.

[by Fadel Manasfa in Al-Arab, London]

Compiled and Translated by Faizul Haque

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