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Conflict Weekly
Into the Fifth Week: The Continuing Ground Offensive and Israel’s Search for Hamas’ Command Centre

  IPRI Team

Conflict Weekly #202, 16 November 2023, Vol.4, No.46
An initiative by NIAS-IPRI and the India Office of the KAS

D Suba Chandran


Into the Fifth Week: The Continuing Ground Offensive and Israel’s Search for Hamas’ Command Centre
D Suba Chandran

In the news
On 16 November, Reuters reported on Israel asking civilians in southern Gaza to leave four towns. According to Reuters, “Leaflets dropped overnight from aircraft told civilians to leave the towns of Bani Shuhaila, Khuzaa, Abassan and Qarara, on the eastern edge of Khan Younis, the main southern city. The towns, collectively home to more than 100,000 people in peacetime, are now sheltering tens of thousands more who fled other areas.”

On 16 November, Israel continued its search for Hamas and its command centre at the Al-Shifa Hospital, considered to be the biggest in Gaza. After a prolonged siege, on 15 November, Israel’s Defence Forces (IDF) entered the hospital and took control of the premises. On 15 November, BBC quoted the IDF saying that its troops found “an operational command centre, weapons, and technological assets.”

On 16 November, US President Joe Biden said: “I made it clear to the Israelis I think it’s a big mistake for them to think they’re going to occupy Gaza and maintain Gaza.”

On 15 November, the UN Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution by 12 in favour, none against, and three abstentions. According to the UN News, “The Security Council passed a resolution calling for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas and for urgent and extended humanitarian corridors throughout the enclave to save and protect civilian lives. The affirmative vote came after four unsuccessful efforts to take action last month.”

On 15 November, the UN News quoted the UN relief chief Martin Griffiths who wrote: “Hospitals are not battlegrounds…the protection of newborns, patients, medical staff and all civilians must override all other concerns.”

On 15 November, Reuters reported on Qatar negotiating a deal between Israel and Hamas that would include “the release of around 50 civilian hostages from Gaza in exchange for a three-day ceasefire.”

On 14 November, a US National Security Council spokesperson said: “I can confirm for you that we have information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad use some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Al-Shifa, and tunnels underneath them, to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages…Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad members operate a command and control node from Al-Shifa in Gaza City.” 

Issues at large
First, the siege of the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. For Israel, the hospital hosts a command centre of Hamas, which the latter has denied. For Israel, it was a targeted and precise operation to flush out Hamas from the hospital. For the rest, there is an urgent need to protect the patients inside the hospital. Multiple reports from different sources refer to doctors within the hospital crying for help to restore power and water. There are reports of premature babies needing incubators and related medical care.

Second, the underground tunnels and Israel’s search for Hamas. Israel seems to be convinced that the destruction of the underground tunnels built by Hamas across Gaza is the first war aim. According to Israel, Hamas has built command centres under hospitals and schools and uses civilians as a shield against any attack. The US seem to corroborate the above claim, as could be seen from the recent statement from the National Security Council spokesperson. One of the primary aims of Israel raiding the Al-Shifa hospital is also based on the above belief.

Third, the failure to enforce a ceasefire. Despite the war moving into the fifth week, there seems to be no breakthrough in terms of a ceasefire. Israel has refused to agree to any ceasefire until Hamas returns the Israeli hostages. Despite the rest of the region and the world pressurising through multiple institutions and outside, Israel remains steadfast in not committing to a ceasefire. As a result, there is an effort to make a few humanitarian pauses that will get Israel to agree to allow providing immediate aid to the civilians in Gaza.

Fourth, the mediation. Qatar is engaged in a mediatory process between Israel and Hamas. Though the negotiations are kept under wraps, according to available reports in the public domain, Qatar is trying to get some hostages released by Hamas in return for a short ceasefire. Outside Qatar, other institutions at the international level have limited influence in pressurising both actors – Israel and Hamas. Worse, the efforts stand divided, as the recent debate and voting in the UN Security Council will reveal.

In perspective
First, looking beyond the Al-Shifa hospital. While the focus of the week was on the Al-Shifa hospital, Israel’s siege, and the subsequent raid, the larger question is, what next? The failure of the international community within the UN and outside to pressurise Israel to yield to a ceasefire, and Hamas to release the hostages, highlight the limits of influence. Though the debate in the UNSC has resulted in a resolution this week, the debates and the voting pattern reveal the larger divide outside Israel and Gaza. 

Second, the endgame for Israel and Gaza. Israel wants to neutralise Hamas and destroy the tunnels built by the latter. Will Israel succeed in it, and even if it does, what next? While Hamas has triggered the war with developments on 7 October, what does it want? It has targeted the recent rapprochement between Israel and the Arab World and has succeeded so far in it. What next for Hamas?


Issues in Peace and Conflict This Week:
Regional Roundups

Rohini Reenum, Rishika Yadav, Anu Maria Joseph, Femy Francis, Padmashree Anandhan, Dhriti Mukherjee, Shamini Velayutham, Vetriselvi Baskaran and Navinan GV
 
East and Southeast Asia
China: APEC summit brings US and Chinese presidents together
On 11 November, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members met in San Francisco where the first in-person meeting was held between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The summit comes in light of high tensions between the two countries. It stands as an opportunity for both countries to mend ties and stabilise relations. During the meeting, they discussed strategic issues related to bilateral cooperation. Xi stated: “We should build more bridges and pave more roads for people-to-people interactions. We must not erect barriers or create a chilling effect.”

China: Joint naval drills conducted with Pakistan
On 13 November, the Chinese Ministry of National Defence announced a joint naval military drill with Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence, aiming to further joint operational capabilities to deal with maritime security issues. The joint drill will culminate on 17 November at the Arabian Sea. The Chinese ministry stated: “The aim… is to share professional experiences on contemporary traditional and non-traditional threats in (the) Indian Ocean region as well as to enhance bilateral cooperation and interoperability between the two navies.”

China: US accusation of aiding North Korea's military capabilities with Russia
On 14 November, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed concerns about UN state members promoting armistice in North Korea; China and Russia countered the comments. Austin accused both countries of aiding Pyongyang’s expansion of military capabilities by helping it evade international sanctions. Austin stated: “We are deeply concerned that the PRC and Russia are helping the DPRK expand its capabilities by enabling it to evade sanctions from the UN Security Council.” The US accused North Korea of supplying arms to Russia and Russia of providing technical support in return. These allegations were denied by both sides.

North Korea: Trials on solid-fuel missile engines held successfully 
On 15 November, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on North Korea conducting successful trials of a “high-thrust solid fuel motor” for Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs). These tests, carried out by the General Missile Bureau, marked a significant step towards developing nuclear missiles capable of swift launches targeting regional adversaries. The agency announced that the first stage of the trial was carried out on 11 November and the second stage on 14 November. 

North Korea: Visit of Russian delegation for broader cooperation talks
On 15 November, a high-level Russian delegation led by the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology, Alexander Kozlov, arrived in North Korea to bolster collaboration across multiple sectors. The delegation commenced inter-sector discussions under a longstanding intergovernmental commission focusing on diverse cooperation areas. Details of the talks were not disclosed. Meanwhile, the Russian Minister of Sports, Oleg Matytsin, joined the discussions. The bilateral commission, established in 1991, is aimed at extensive trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation. 

North Korea: Call for dissolving the UN Command 
On 13 November, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea demanded the dissolution of the UN Command (UNC). The ministry described it as a “US-led multinational war tool” and criticised a scheduled meeting as a potential trigger for aggression. The UNC was set to convene with South Korea’s Ministry of Defence and 17 member states on 14 November. The meeting sought to enhance cooperation to counter North Korean nuclear threats. South Korea’s Ministry of Unification dismissed Pyongyang’s call for disbandment.

South Korea: Joint air and naval drills conducted with the US
On 15 November, the South Korean Ministry of Defence conducted joint air exercises with the US involving two B-52H bombers in the Yellow Sea which is between China and the Korean Peninsula. The drills marked the seventh combined air drill in 2023 with the B-52H and the twelfth involving US strategic bombers. The US Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin, reiterated the US commitment to using its full military capabilities including nuclear weapons to defend South Korea. On 14 November, a three-day joint naval exercise between the US and South Korea commenced in the East Sea. It was aimed to bolster defences against North Korean submarines and sea provocations. The drills focused on anti-submarine warfare and countering other country’s special forces attempting coastal infiltration. 

South Asia
India: Vote in favour of a resolution against Israeli settlements 
On 12 November, the Times of India reported on India voting in favour of the UN resolution that condemned the Israeli settlement in the Palestinian territory. The resolution titled “Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” includes East Jerusalem, a settlement in the occupied Syrian Golan. 145 countries voted in favour of the condemnation; seven countries voted against and 18 abstained. Canada, the US, Israel, and Hungary voted against the resolution. The voting came a few days after India abstained from a resolution that called for an immediate humanitarian truce in the Israel-Gaza conflict.
 
Pakistan: Sewage samples from six districts test positive for poliovirus
On 10 November, Dawn quoted the Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio Eradication (RRLPE) that nine sewage samples collected from six districts of Pakistan tested positive for wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1). The total number of samples that tested positive this year has reached 64. Four confirmed polio cases have been reported this year. The samples collected were from the districts of Karachi South, Karachi East, Chaman, Kohat, Peshawar, and Nowshera. The RRLPE stated: “Samples of sewage water from the area are a basic parameter to determine the success of polio campaigns. Moreover, the presence of virus in sewage also shows that the immunity level of children in the area has fallen and they are at risk of catching the disease.” Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Health Nadeem Jan expressed concern about the presence and detection of the virus in the sewage samples and warned about the risk for children who are under five. In October, he claimed that 90 per cent of cases in Pakistan were carried from Afghanistan.

Pakistan: Legal residence for the Afghans extended 
On 11 November, the Pakistani government extended the legal residence for the 1.4 billion Afghan refugees until 2023. Additionally, the government extended the refugees' Proof of Registration (PoR) certificates to 31 December 2023. The extension applies to the unregistered members of the registered families as well. This move came after the Afghanistan Central Asian Republics Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC) discussed the PoR extension with the Pakistani government. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Pakistan welcomed the decision and expressed concern over the families who had departed earlier.

Afghanistan: Taliban’s commerce minister meets Pakistan’s foreign minister 
On 14 November, Al Jazeera reported that the Taliban’s acting Minister of Commerce Haji Nooruddin Azizi met Pakistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jalil Abbas Jilani in Islamabad. They discussed trade and the matter of the transfer of cash and other assets belonging to thousands of Afghans that Pakistan has forcibly repatriated to their homeland. Afghan citizens returning have claimed that there are restrictions on the transfer of cash and property to Afghanistan from Pakistan. Previously, the Pakistani government stated that the deportation plan was a response to the Taliban government’s inaction against armed organisations that used Afghanistan as a base to carry out attacks in Pakistan. In response, the Taliban government deemed these attacks a domestic matter and urged Pakistan to halt the deportation of refugees.

Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa
Iran: President attends the OIC summit in Saudi Arabia
On 11 November, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh to attend an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the ongoing Israeli-Gaza conflict. Before the summit, Raisi stated that the meeting should not be about declaring individual stances on the conflict but rather lead to concrete actions being taken in Gaza. This is the first visit by an Iranian president in 11 years to Saudi Arabia after the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries in March; a rapprochement that was brokered by China. Following the meeting, on 12 November, the Guardian reported that the Gulf countries had disagreed with Iran’s interventionist approach towards the conflict, and refused a call to arm the Palestinians to keep open the possibility of a diplomatic response.

Iran: Firing between the US and Iran-backed groups 
On 14 November, Al Jazeera reported on the increase in the number of fire exchanges between the US and Iran-backed armed groups in the Middle East since Israel launched its counter-military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Multiple bases of the US in Syria and Iraq have been targeted and attacked more than 50 times since 17 October. The attacks involved drones, rockets and missiles, and inflicted only minor damage. US officials informed last week that at least 56 US personnel have been injured in the attacks. The US has launched retaliatory attacks and warned that these strikes must stop. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), during the latest US counter-attack on 12 November, eight members of Iran-backed militias were killed. 

Lebanon: Israeli missile strike targets hospital
On 10 November, Al Jazeera reported that the Mays Al-Jabal Governmental Hospital was damaged and a doctor was injured following an Israeli shelling. It was the first to reach the southern Lebanese front. The hospital's director, Hussein Yassin, stated that although the missile did not explode, it damaged the emergency room and a doctor was injured. The attack was denounced by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health which called it a "flagrant defiance of all the international laws and treaties." It further stated: "Israeli authorities are fully responsible for this unjustifiable act, which would have led to catastrophic results had the artillery shell targeting the hospital exploded."

Yemen: Houthi rebels launched ballistic missiles
On 14 November, Al Jazeera reported that the Houthi rebels in Yemen fired ballistic missiles against several Israeli sites including the Red Sea city of Eilat. The Houthi officials stated that the launch followed “24 hours of another military operation by drones on the same Israeli targets.” Meanwhile, the Israeli military stated that it shot down a missile close to the Red Sea. Israel claimed to have shot down a missile using its "Arrow" aerial defence system. The head of the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, stated: "Our eyes are open to constantly monitor and search for any Israeli ship in the Red Sea, especially in Bab al-Mandab, and near Yemeni regional waters."

Sudan: UNHCR express concern on increasing violence in Darfur
On 10 November, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed concern about the escalating fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan. It stated that at least 800 people were killed in the recent wave of clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The Roots of Organisation for Human Rights, a local civil society group, claimed that nearly 1,300 people have been killed since 3 November in the city of El Geneina in the state of West Darfur. RSF and its allied Arab militias have been accused of the killings. According to the UNHCR, more than 8,000 people have fled to the neighbouring country Chad; many of them are subjected to sexual violence and torture.

Ethiopia: Fresh wave of fighting in Amhara
On 14 November, BBC Africa reported that thousands of farmers fled the town of Bure in the Amhara region to Oromia following a fresh wave of fighting with the Amhara regional militia, Fano. The farmers who fled the region told BBC that they were demanded to join the Fano militia and were attacked after they refused to do so. The fighting between Amhara regional forces and the Ethiopian federal forces began in August after the Ethiopian government asked to disarm regional forces and incorporate them into the federal forces. The regional forces refused, citing their defence to other regional militias. 

Somalia: Floods in East Africa “once-in-a-century-event,” says UN
On 14 November, the UN described the floods in Somalia and the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia and Kenya as a “once-in-a-century-event.” At least 32 people were killed in the floods across the country. The UN warned that nearly 1.6 million people in Somalia are affected by the heavy rains and floods. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that the devastating flooding is caused by the El Niño effect that is changing the weather patterns across the world. Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud stated: “The people have been displaced, homes and properties destroyed, the people are hungry, and that is our problem right now, that is what we are focusing on. ”

Gabon: Military government announces elections in 2025
On 14 November, the Gabon military leaders announced their plan to hold the election in August 2025 after a two-year transition. General Brice Oligui Nguema carried out a coup in August citing “several institutional crises” under the 55-year-long rule under the Bongo family. The coup faced several regional and international criticism along with pressure to return a civilian rule. The announcement of the transition and the election aim at rebuilding the trust of the international community and the public. 
 
Mali: Army recaptures rebel stronghold Kidal
On 15 November, BBC Africa reported on Mali’s army seizing Kidal, a town in northern Mali which has been under the control of the Tuareg rebels for a decade. The junta stated that the recapturing of the town did not mean the mission was complete. The Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP), an alliance of Tuareg armed groups, stated that they left Kidal “for strategic reasons” and that the “fight continues.” In 2015, an agreement was signed between the Tuareg rebels and the Malian government where many of the rebels were incorporated into the army. However, recently the rebels started remerging after French troops withdrew their troops amid a failure in addressing insurgency and the junta turned to the Russian paramilitary group, Wagner, for assistance. 

Europe 
France: Protests against rising antisemitism in Paris
On 12 November, thousands of people gathered in Paris joined by the leader of the right-wing party, National Rally, Marine Le Pen against rising antisemitism. The protest began after Hamas attacked Israel killing 1200 people on 7 October. In response, the government has deployed 3,000 police with approval from the Senate and the National Assembly. More than 40 French citizens have been killed in the Hamas attack. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for the rally. Meanwhile, the leader of the far-left party, La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Melenchon, denied being a part of the protest. In Europe, France houses close to 500,000 Jewish people.

Netherland: Largest climate action protests stagged in Amsterdam
On 12 November, thousands of protestors gathered in Amsterdam demanding climate action. The protest came ten days ahead of the general elections. According to the police, nearly 70,000 people, mostly young people, were part of the rally. Climate activist Greta Thunberg and EU climate chief Frans Timmermans were part of the protest. The protests were headed by Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, Oxfam and Greenpeace environmental groups. Thunberg stated: “As a climate justice movement, we have to listen to the voices of those who are being oppressed and those who are fighting for freedom and for justice.” 

Switzerland: ICBL reports second highest casualties in Ukraine due to Russian landmines
On 14 November, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) released a report on the increase in casualties due to Russian landmines. According to the report, there were 11 Russian landmines across 27 districts of Ukraine and 608 casualties were recorded; out of which 85 per cent were civilians. Ukraine is part of the Ottawa Treaty 1997 which bans the use of landmines. However, Russia, China and the US are not parties to the treaty. According to ICBL, Ukraine will be investigating the conditions of its forces using antipersonnel mines.

Latin America and the US
Argentina: Boost in hydropower slashed power sector emissions
On 15 November, Reuters reported that Argentina's hydropower generation surged to a five-year high fueled by heavy rains over the southern hemisphere. In September, hydropower output reached its highest monthly total in over five years, contributing to a record 59 per cent share of clean power in Argentina's electricity generation. This represents a significant increase from 45 per cent in September 2022. The surge in hydropower has also led to a substantial reduction in coal-fired power generation. Coal usage has dropped by 42 per cent compared to last year, resulting in an estimated 800,000-ton decrease in coal emissions. Overall, Argentina's total power sector emissions have declined by more than two million tonnes in the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. This positive development highlights the country's commitment to transitioning to cleaner energy.

Brazil: Fire in Pantanal wetlands
On 14 November, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported that the number of fires in Brazil's Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland, surged to a record high in November. The agency detected 2,387 fires in the Pantanal in early November which is more than double the number of fires recorded in the same month last year. Previously, the hotspots in Pantanal in November were 442 on average. The El Nino phenomenon, aggravated by climate change, has caused an increase in fires. The Pantanal is experiencing its driest year on record with rainfall lower by more than 50 per cent in some regions. The dry conditions have made the vegetation in the wetland highly susceptible to fire.

Mexico: Authorities find 123 migrants in locked trailer box
On 9 November, Mexico's immigration agency found 123 Central and South American migrants including 34 children trapped in a trailer in the central Mexican city of Matehuala. The migrants were mainly from Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It is still unknown how the trailer was locked. This development is amid the rising border crossings from Mexico to the US this year. 

Brazil: Red alerts around the country amid intense heatwave
On 12 November, Rio de Janeiro recorded a temperature of 42.5, a record high in November, as red alerts were issued in 3,000 towns and cities in the country due to an unexpected heatwave. The temperature rise has been linked to the El Niño phenomenon and climate change with the heat expected to last until 17 November. Thousands have been affected by the temperatures with Brazilians describing it as “unbearable.” Heatwaves are generally becoming longer and more intense. 

Mexico: Conflicting reactions from Mexican officials regarding the death of nonbinary magistrate 
On 14 November, Mexican authorities issued conflicting statements over the death of Jesús Ociel Baena, Mexico’s first openly nonbinary magistrate who was found dead with his partner on 13 November. Thousands have been protesting since then demanding an investigation into the death of Baena who was an LGBTQ+ rights activist. His supporters have described his death as a “hate crime” as Baena had been receiving hate messages and death threats before his death. State prosecutor Jesús Figueroa Ortega’s office termed the incident as a murder-suicide with Ortega stating that though this “may seem like a not very credible hypothesis to many,” they were being “very careful” to “preserve all evidence.” LGBTQ+ rights groups have described the investigation to be “loaded with prejudices,” expressing little hope for the case being solved as officials allegedly tend to “disqualify or belittle” in “these types of cases.” 

Guyana: Officials call on the ICJ to halt parts of Venezuelan referendum posing an “existential threat”
On 14 November, Guyana called on judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to halt parts of a Venezuelan referendum regarding a territorial dispute. Guyana’s representatives regard this referendum as an “existential threat” and a way for Venezuela to annex a large part of Guyana. The dispute has been ongoing since 1899 and centres around a forest rich in gold, diamonds and other resources. During the two days of deliberation, Guyana’s representatives described the case as a “textbook example of annexation” claiming that it is “not an exaggeration to describe the current threat to Guyana as existential and the need for provisional measures as urgent.” The Venezuelan referendum seeks to “create a new Venezuelan state that purports to annex and incorporate into its territory Guyana’s entire Essequibo region” while granting “Venezuelan citizenship to the population.” It was proposed by Venezuela’s National Assembly and cleared by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice which is controlled by supporters of Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro. Guyana criticised the referendum after Maduro urged voters to answer “yes” to all questions calling for the creation of a state in the territory. The court has ruled the case admissible and a decision on Guyana’s request to halt parts of the referendum is expected to come in a few weeks. 

The US: October sees 14 per cent decrease following three months of increased illegal border crossings
On 14 November, US authorities stated that after three months of increased illegal border crossings into the US from Mexico, the numbers fell by 14 per cent in October. They have credited the resumption of deportation flights to Venezuela as the reason. The arrests of Venezuelan migrants fell by 74 per cent in the second half of October. The acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner, Troy Miller, stated that they would “continue to enhance” their “border security posture and remain vigilant.” 

The US: Hamas claims Biden is “wholly responsible” for Israeli bombing of Gaza hospital
On 15 November, Hamas blamed the US for giving the “green light” to Israel to bomb the al-Shifa medical complex through its “false claim” that the area was being used by Hamas for “military” purposes. Hamas claimed that Israel’s “precise and targeted operation” against the al-Shifa hospital which it believed was above a Hamas command centre resulted in the death of many civilians. Hamas stated that this assault resulted in the “massacre” of more “civilians” with Israel describing the attack as an “operational necessity.” An unnamed National Security Council spokesperson from the US highlighted that they did “not support striking a hospital from the air and we don’t want to see a firefight in a hospital.” Regardless, Hamas emphasised that it holds Israel and “President Biden wholly responsible for the assault.” 

The US: Third round of sanctions on Hamas and PIJ imposed with the UK
On 14 November, the US Department of Treasury announced its imposition of a third set of sanctions on Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) targeting its leadership and mechanisms through which it receives support from Iran. These sanctions are coordinated as the UK Foreign Office jointly added sanctions on six Hamas officials. The US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, stated that the US with their “partners” were “decisively moving to degrade Hamas’s financial infrastructure, cut them off from outside funding, and block the new funding channels they seek to finance their heinous acts.” Additionally, the sanctions were imposed on the Lebanon company, Nabil Chouman & Co, which the US alleges is used by Hamas to transfer money from Iran to Gaza. 

The US: CCR sues Biden and two US officials for furthering “Israeli genocidal rhetoric”
On 13 November, the New York civil liberties group the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sued US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin for “complicity” in the “genocide” in Israel. The CCR explained that statements made by Israeli leaders have expressed “clear genocidal intentions” leading to the “mass killing” of Palestinians. It added that Biden’s “unwavering support” for Israel, and his administration's “military, financial and political support” despite the “civilian casualties” aligns with the “Israeli genocidal rhetoric.” Since the US is Israel’s closest ally, its actions have a “deterrent effect on Israeli officials” who “helped advance” the “crime” instead of preventing it. 


About the authors
D Suba Chandran is the Professor and Dean of the School of Conflict and Security Studies, NIAS. Rohini Reenum is a PhD Scholar at NIAS. Padmashree Anandhan is a Research Associate at NIAS. Anu Maria Joseph, Femy Francis, Rishika Yadav, Dhriti Mukherjee and Shamini Velayutham are Research Assistants at NIAS. Vetriselvi Baskaran and Navinan GV are Postgraduate Scholars at the University of Madras.

(The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any institutions or organisations.)

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