Daily News Issue Date: 
October 18, 2016

ATFP News Roundup October 18, 2016


Victims of an Israeli raid that killed 10 people in 2010 on an aid flotilla fear a Turkish court is set to halt a case brought by them because of a deal to restore ties between Israel and Turkey, a lawyer representing the victims said on Monday. (Reuters)

A fierce exchange between the government and the human rights group B’Tselem has touched on arguments over patriotism and the character of Israel. (New York Times)

Israeli PM Netanyahu said he will act to amend the country’s national service law so that young Israelis will no longer be able to serve at B’Tselem. (JTA/Ha'aretz)

The governing body of international soccer, FIFA, did not reach a decision on preventing Israeli teams from playing in West Bank settlements. (JTA)

Greece’s ruling left-wing Syriza party called for the Greek government to recognize the state of Palestine at the party’s second congress held in Athens, after months of delay in implementing a Greek parliament decision to recognize Palestine. (Ma'an)

The Supreme Military Court in the Gaza Strip sentenced a 54-year-old man to death by hanging on Monday after he was accused of collaborating with Israel, according to a statement released by the court. (Ma'an)

UNESCO chief Irina Bokova has received “death threats” after expressing reservations about an Arab-backed resolution denying Israel’s history in Jerusalem, Israel’s ambassador to the UN agency said on Monday. (Times of Israel)

The director of operations for UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, Bo Schack, warned on Monday of what he described as increasing desperation, frustration, and the absence of opportunities in the besieged coastal enclave. (Ma'an)

Defying political pressure, Israeli Arab rapper to perform at festival, despite culture minister's opposition. (Ha'aretz)

At least five Palestinian minors have been imprisoned by Israel without being charged in recent months, for Facebook posts that Israeli authorities alleged amounted to “incitement” to commit violence. (Ma'an)

The European Union on Monday condemned Russia's air campaign in Syria, saying it may be guilty of war crimes, and it vowed to impose more sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad's government. (Reuters)

Fourteen members of one family were killed in an air strike in rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Monday, emergency service workers said, as the Syrian government pursued its drive to capture opposition-held areas of the city. (Reuters)

Russian and Syrian forces will pause their offensive on Oct. 20 to allow civilians and rebels to leave the city and to provide humanitarian relief, a Russian military official said. (New York Times)

Iraqi government forces launched a U.S.-backed offensive on Monday to drive Islamic State from the northern city of Mosul, a high-stakes battle to retake the militants' last major stronghold in the country. (Reuters)

Shi'ite irregulars will help storm a smaller city in northern Iraq while government troops launch their upcoming offensive against Islamic State's biggest stronghold Mosul, raising fears among Iraqi officials and aid workers of sectarian retribution. (Reuters)

72-hour ceasefire in Yemen is due to start on Wednesday night, the U.N. envoy for Yemen said on Monday after he received commitments from all of the country's warring factions. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia is prepared to agree to a ceasefire in Yemen if the Iran-allied Houthis agree, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Monday, adding that he was skeptical about efforts for peace after previous ceasefire attempts had failed. (Reuters)

The Pentagon declined to say on Monday whether the USS Mason destroyer was targeted by multiple inbound missiles fired from Yemen on Saturday, as initially thought, saying a review was under way to determine what happened. (Reuters)


Hagai El-Ad explains why he spoke against the occupation at the UN. (Ha'aretz)

Shmuel Rosner says with the United States abdicating its leadership role, Netanyahu has to play along with Russian plans for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. (New York Times)

Uri Savir says both Israelis and Palestinians object to a diplomatic move by US President Barack Obama: the Palestinians object to a presidential speech, while the Israelis object to a UN General Assembly resolution. (Al-Monitor)

Shlomi Eldar says the arrest of a Palestinian government employee critical of President Mahmoud Abbas is indicative of the constraints on freedom of expression that Palestinian journalists face. (Al-Monitor)

Adnan Abu Amer says Jordan is boosting its strategic ties with Israel based on their mutual economic interests, while Palestinians sound the alarm against normalization of relations with their enemy. (Al-Monitor)

Josh Rogin says the Obama administration is debating the wisdom of rushing to retake Raqqa. (Washington Post)

Michael Knights says Mosul is going to embrace the United States as liberator. (Fpreign Policy)

Faisal Al Yafai says taking Mosul back from ISIL will be hard, but winning the peace will be harder still. (The National)

Hassan Hassan explains why the fight against ISIL in Iraq is critical for the region. (The National)


Andrew Bowen says Yemen’s challenges are not purely a problem from the Kingdom, but for both the broader region and the US. The commentary that Washington faces a moral dilemma in Yemen for supporting the GCC intervention is a distraction from the real issues. (Al Arabiya)

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