News Summary: July 21 – 27
Ahead of Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel as part of his election campaign, President Obama beat him to it by signing an Israeli security bill. The legislation will increase military cooperation and ties between the two countries. Romney arrives in Israel this weekend – to meet with President Peres, PM Netanyahu, as well as the leader of the opposition – Shelly Yechimovich. He will also meet with Palestinian Authority, PM Fayyad.
Aleppo has become the latest theatre in the Syrian conflict as it suffered an overwhelming bombardment by the army allegedly using helicopters and jet fighters, with columns of tanksmoving into the area. As the situation has deteriorated in the last week following the bombing of regime officials in Damascus, commentators and high level actors have been questioning how long Assad can hold on – although it is clear that his removal will no longer bring an end to the state of the civil war that Syria is now in.
The United Nation’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Robert H. Serry told the Security Council this week that the Palestinian Authority “faces an acute challenge in maintaining its solvency”, as it fails to pay government salaries on time as it faces mounting debts. The World Bank has also made public its view that economic growth cannot be sustained as the PA is too reliant on international aid.