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Geopolitics

ISIS And Corruption Undermine Hamas Rule In Gaza

Hamas, the Islamist group that governs Gaza, is now facing a challenge from Islamic State insurgents and growing disenchantment with its leadership.

Members of the Palestinian Hamas security forces parading in Gaza on June 16
Members of the Palestinian Hamas security forces parading in Gaza on June 16
Piotr Smolar

GAZA CITY — On May 26, a rocket landed in the middle of a field. On June 3, there were two others. And another on June 6. Each time, Israeli forces retaliated immediately, striking targets in Gaza. Though no victims were reported on either side, these strikes reflect a new period of restlessness in the region after nine months of relative quiet.

And yet Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007, is not behind these attacks, as Israel itself has acknowledged. Such isolated initiatives are not in its interests. They are instead proof of the tensions between the armed Islamist groups and the self-affirmation of a Salafist branch. The latest strike was claimed Sunday by a group of ISIS supporters in Jerusalem.

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 126: Russia Watching NATO, As Path Cleared For Finland And Sweden To Join

As NATO leaders meet in Madrid, Finland and Sweden look much closer to joining the alliance after Turkey dropped its objections to their membership. It's yet another momentous change underway since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

International leaders after having their photograph taken before the start of the NATO 2022

Anna Akage, Shaun Lavelle, and Emma Albright

A high-stakes NATO summit has kicked off in Madrid, as leaders of the world’s largest defense alliance discuss the war in Ukraine and key decisions that will shape the organization’s future direction. NATO Secretary-GeneralJens Stoltenberg said the Russian invasion of its neighbor had prompted a fundamental shift in its approach to defense.

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Finland and Sweden look much closer to joining the alliance after Turkey dropped its objections to their membership. The three countries released a joint memorandum that “extend[ed] their full support against threats to each other's security," FinnishPresident Sauli Niinistö said.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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