Right here’s a round-up of Al Jazeera’s Center East protection this week.
Istanbul reels from a lethal bombing, the Arab world is working out of water, and dying sentences in Iran. Right here’s your round-up, written by Abubakr Al-Shamahi, Al Jazeera Digital’s Center East and North Africa editor.
The grainy video taken by safety cameras exhibits a lady strolling with what seems to be like a bag. She stops to take a seat on a bench alongside Istiklal Avenue, a packed pedestrian walkway in central Istanbul. She then will get up and walks away. The video high quality isn’t nice, however the Turkish authorities say the lady left her bag behind. A couple of minutes later, there’s an explosion that kills six folks, together with a baby.
For many individuals in Istanbul, the bomb assault reminded them of the darker days of 2015 and 2016. Again then, Turkey’s largest metropolis, together with the remainder of the nation, confronted an array of assaults, some by ISIL (ISIS), others by teams affiliated with the Kurdish PKK.
I used to reside in Istanbul, and bear in mind usually strolling previous the Reina nightclub, the positioning of one of many worst assaults. That’s the place an ISIL gunman shot and killed 39 folks celebrating the 2017 New 12 months. I’d say safety in Istanbul has improved loads since then, however the sight of an explosion on Istiklal, within the coronary heart of town, has introduced again concern, and in some circumstances, defiance.
Authorities say the principle suspect within the assault has been arrested, and that she’s confessed to being educated by the PKK throughout the border in Syria. The PKK deny that, and have mentioned they’re not in any means concerned. Whoever did this, don’t rule out Turkey transferring forward with the anti-PKK army operation in Syria that they’ve been threatening for a number of months now.
A water disaster within the Arab world
With the COP27 local weather summit wrapping up in Egypt this week, there’s been quite a lot of consideration on the broader area’s environmental crises. Chief amongst them is the truth that the area’s drying up — and quick. Take Iraq — historic Mesopotamia, actually the “land between the 2 rivers”. Because of diminished rainfall, overuse and dams in Turkey, water ranges within the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers have dropped significantly, resulting in much less fertile lands. Unhealthy for farming, however good for archeology — the reservoir created by the Mosul Dam has dried up a lot that the traditional metropolis of Zakhiku has re-emerged.
In the meantime, on the opposite facet of the Arab world, in Morocco, related issues abound. Dry riverbeds within the Dadès Valley have left locals with solely recollections of the waters that used to circulation by way of their villages. They blame mismanagement of water sources, mining and a close-by solar energy plant.
Dying sentences in Iran
Anti-government protests in Iran have now hit the two-month mark, and present no indicators of letting up. However neither does the federal government crackdown. The primary protest-related dying sentence was handed down on Sunday, adopted by 4 extra since then. However you might need seen one other quantity being unfold on-line — specifically that 15,000 executions have been ordered. That’s unsuitable, and we’ll inform you why.
And Now for One thing Totally different
Iraq has had a tumultuous 40 years, and together with it, Baghdad’s well-known Al Rasheed Resort. Positioned on the banks of the Tigris, the resort was the place to be seen — fairly actually. Underneath Saddam Hussein, the resort was geared up with two-way mirrors and hidden cameras. Aesthetically, the ground within the foyer as soon as featured a mosaic of President George HW Bush, so folks may stroll on his face. After the US invasion that deposed Saddam, the resort was looted and shelled, earlier than turning into a base for the US army. However now, lastly, higher days have returned for the resort, considered one of many most interesting within the metropolis.
Iran accused after oil tanker hit by a “bomb-laden” drone off the coast of Oman – UN company for Palestinians is in need of hundreds of thousands in funding – Azerbaijan arrests 5 folks accused of spying for Iran – Israeli air assault kills two troopers in Syria – FIFA broadcasts Tel Aviv-Doha constitution flights for the World Cup, however Qatar says no to normalisation – Israel’s Netanyahu given mandate to type authorities – Palestinian shot useless after killing three Israelis in West Financial institution settlement – 15-year-old Palestinian lady shot useless by Israeli military – Shireen Abu Akleh’s household welcome information that US plans to analyze her killing by Israel – Two Egyptian women discovered useless at Syria camp internet hosting ISIL households
Quote of the Week
“I haven’t celebrated for a very long time, and wish to rejoice with my cellmates, so deliver a cake.” – Egyptian activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah, in a letter to his mom from jail. Abd el-Fattah had been on a starvation strike, and had stopped ingesting water, to protest in opposition to his imprisonment, attracting consideration at COP27. His household feared the worst after he went silent for a couple of days, however he has now advised them he’ll clarify why he has ended his starvation strike in his weekly assembly together with his mom. Abd el-Fattah is only one of 1000’s of political prisoners in Egypt. Critics have accused the nation of utilizing COP27 to gloss over its poor human rights report, and have additionally warned the convention’s attendees that the COP27 app might be used for surveillance.