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May 10, 2021, 6:50 a.m.
Here is today's foreign policy report: Israeli Police Action Against Palestinians in Jerusalem further, hackers take a key US fuel line offline and a school bombing in Afghanistan kills at least 68.
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The violence in Jerusalem continues
Israeli security forces entered Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque in the early hours of Monday and fired rubber bullets and tranquilizers at hundreds of Palestinians who had fought with the police all night.
The crackdown comes as Israeli nationalists prepare to hold an annual march through Jerusalem's Old City to commemorate the capture by Israeli forces in 1967.
Fuel in the fire? The Israeli security services have asked the police to change the planned route in order to minimize the possibility of confrontations between protesters and Muslim residents of the old city.
According to the Times of Israel, "Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet Security, and Israel's military connection with the Palestinians believe that the current route by which thousands of Jewish Israelis would pass through the Damascus Gate and Muslim Quarter is likely to result in violence to lead. Defense Secretary Benny Gantz reportedly accepted this assessment and supported the route change.
Eviction decision threatens. Tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian communities in Jerusalem have been particularly high in recent weeks. Almost every night there were clashes between Palestinians and right-wing Israeli groups or the police. The violence peaked on Friday when Israeli police and Al-Aqsa worshipers clashed. As on Monday, the police again fired rubber-coated bullets and stunned grenades at Palestinians who were throwing stones. Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured in the past few days, along with dozens of Israeli police officers.
The situation has deteriorated ahead of an expected Supreme Court decision on whether to allow the evictions of dozens of Palestinians from their homes in the mostly Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated that the evictions would violate Israel's obligations under international law as an occupying power.
The court decided to postpone its decision for a month after families at risk of eviction asked the Israeli attorney general to intervene on the case.
International criticism. The confrontation on Monday took place a few hours after US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's conversation with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat. Sullivan expressed "serious concerns" about the situation in Jerusalem and the possible evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and encouraged the Israeli government to "take appropriate measures to ensure calm during the Jerusalem Day commemoration".
Sullivan's words follow international condemnation, including from Arab countries, some of which have recently normalized relations with Israel. The United Arab Emirates "condemned" both the violence and the evictions on Friday, while Jordan described the Israeli actions in Al-Aqsa as "barbaric".
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Israel as a "terrorist state" because he "attacks Muslims in Jerusalem mercilessly and unethically".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who may have time to borrow after his failure to form a government last week, has largely ignored international criticism, saying that the violence was fueled by extremists. Netanyahu seemed to shake off pressure to stop the evictions of Sheikh Jarrah: "Jerusalem is our capital and we will continue to build there," he said.
On Tuesday May 11thThe Brazilian Senate investigation into Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the country's COVID-19 epidemic resumes with appearances by former Communications Minister Fabio Wajngarten and Pfizer's Brazilian President Marta Dias.
On Thursday May 13thSouth African President Cyril Ramaphosa testifies in the country's high-level corruption investigation.
On Friday May 14thNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron are jointly hosting a virtual Christchurch Call meeting set up after the Christchurch Mosque attacks in 2019.
The Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (DUP) elects a new leader following the resignation of First Minister Arlene Foster.
On Saturday 15th and 16th MayChile votes in regional and local elections and decides on the 155 people who will be part of a constitutional convention to draft a new constitution.
What we are following today
Slaughter in Afghanistan. At least 68 people were killed in a bomb attack on a school in Kabul on Saturday. The attack was directed against the Afghan Hazara community, and most of the dead were schoolgirls between the ages of 13 and 18. The Taliban have denied carrying out the bombing, while President Ashraf Ghani said the group was responsible. The Islamic State has previously taken responsibility for other attacks in West Kabul, but no one has come forward so far.
Scotland's independence boost. According to official results, the parties have won a majority for a second independence referendum in the Scottish Parliament. Although Nicola Sturgeon's Scottish National Party had one seat less than an absolute majority, the Independence Green Party had eight seats. Sturgeon has suggested that a referendum on independence would take place in 2023, a vote the UK government is likely to challenge in court in Westminster.
In England, the Labor Party reflected brutal losses in local council elections when the Conservative and Green parties made gains. Labor Party leader Keir Starmer, who has been called to resign from his left wing, has carried out a reshuffle in his shadow cabinet.
Infrastructure insecurity. The White House is expected to announce an ordinance to protect critical infrastructure this week, days after a private pipeline transporting 2.5 million barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Houston to New Jersey was shut down due to an apparent cyber incident Attack. The ransomware operation was reportedly carried out by a criminal group rather than a state-level adversary, and Colonial Pipeline, the company that operates the fuel line, has not said whether it plans to pay the ransom demanded by the hackers.
Chad's rebel battle. The Chad military junta has defeated the rebel group it has fought against in recent months. The military held a parade through the capital N & # 39; Djamena on Sunday to underscore their control, but their triumph has been questioned by their enemies. A spokesman for the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) said the rebel group was unaware that the fighting was over and told Reuters it would "comment if it has reliable and credible information". The Chad military only declared FACT "destroyed" on April 24th simply because it was struggling to flare up again.
EU vaccine deals. The European Union will not renew an order for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after June, Commissioner Thierry Breton told French broadcaster, and appeared to be drawing a line between the bloc and the pharmaceutical company. Breton said he was "absolutely certain" that previous problems with vaccine supplies had subsided and that EU factories could produce 3 billion vaccines a year by the end of 2021. On Saturday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen approved a contract for 900 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine, with an option for a further 900 million doses by 2023.
Romanian Bran Castle in Transylvania, believed to be the inspiration for the home of Bram Stoker's Dracula, is trading bites for bumps as it struggles to attract tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic. The castle now offers walk-in vaccinations. As part of the contract, you have free entry to his exhibition on torture devices. "The idea … was to show how people were pushed 500 to 600 years ago in Europe," said the castle's marketing director, Alexandru Priscu.