Egypt – more death sentences – action against Muslim Brotherhood – agreements with Russia, UK and EU.
Khashoggi – murder evidence accumulates, but Saudi Arabia still in denial. Cautious reaction in the Middle East. Trump ambiguous, but strong reaction from Congress and from international finance.
The State of Palestine has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order the US to remove its embassy from Jerusalem. The case will require the Court first to decide whether Palestine is legally a state.
Algeria – numerous dismissals and arrests in police, army and security, linked by some to the presidential election next year.
Syria – military action reduced, some practical normalisation. Idlib quiet but remains a massive unsolved problem.
War in Gaza looks likely but may yet be averted. PA President Abbas appears to be resolved to thwart Egyptian mediation between Israel and Hamas.
BDS missing its tricks, but Israel self-harms.
Khashoggi murdered or renditioned to Saudi Arabia. Will international concern be enough to change policy towards the kingdom? There is now convincing evidence, short of absolute proof, that the prominent Saudi journalist and commentator Jamal Khashoggi (our posting of 3 October) was detained in the Saudi consulate general in Istanbul on 2 October and taken either dead or alive to Saudi Arabia. There is no evidence to support the Saudi claim that he left the building freely. In what follows we assume, like virtually all other commentators, that the Saudi …
Jordan troubled but still getting by on handouts. A hard line on Palestine.
Iraq – elections of speaker and president start the process of forming a government. Protests in Basra. Corruption.