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Israel

Israel Intercepts Rocket From Al-Qaeda-Linked Islamists In Sinai

HAARETZ (Israel), AL JAZEERA (Qatar), AFP

Worldcrunch

EILAT Israel says it intercepted a rocket fired from Sinai, Egypt over the southern city of Eilat early Tuesday. The attack, first reported by Israeli public radio, was later confirmed by an army spokesman.

The Mujahideen Shura Council, an Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group, claimed responsibility for the attack, Al Jazeera reports. The group of fighters said the rocket was fired as “a quick response to the last crime by the Jews after one of their drones bombed the Sinai peninsula killing four mujahideen” on Friday.

The rocket was intercepted and destroyed by an Iron Dome battery near Eilat. Meir Yitzhak-Halevy, the resort city’s mayor, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that there had been no panic among the tourists and inhabitants. He tried to reassure his citizens by declaring that he felt “secure.”

Meanwhile, Jerusalem has approved a construction plan for 942 new homes in the Eastern part of the city. The announcement comes as the U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Israel and Palestine are due to resume Wednesday in Jerusalem. These new settlements are in addition to the 1,200 approved by the Israeli government on Sunday.

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Iron Dome system intercepting and destroying a rocket - Photo: Israel Defense Forces (Flickr)

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Geopolitics

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. But as he approaches his highly contested reelection bid at home, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to use the issue to his advantage.

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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