Weekly Snapshot
15-21 July

1. Flare-up in the Gaza Strip

Mediation efforts from countries around the world lead to a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, but the two sides are back at it again.

Hours after the cease-fire, rocket sirens in Israeli communities on the border of the Gaza strip started to sound.

Israel said it struck Gaza after receiving mortar and rocket fire. It is still unclear as to who initiated the conflict.

It is reported that two Palestinians were killed, and four Israelis were wounded. In the southern city of Sderot. Israel is said to have struck more than 40 Hamas targets. Israel itself received 190 rockets and mortars, fired from Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “we will expand our reaction as much as needed. If Hamas doesn’t understand the message today, it will tomorrow”. Just another series of events in the ongoing conflict in the middle east that does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.

2. Violence in Afghanistan continues to grow despite a three-day ceasefire

The United Nations has reported that civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose one percent in the first half of 2018.

The total number of civilian casualties is now at 1,692. This is in large part due to extensive suicide attacks taking place in Kabul and other cities such as Jalalabad.

The Islamic State’s increased presence in Afghanistan is in large part the cause of the increased casualties. They are a big reason that the number of casualties has doubled in Nangarhar province, primarily in Jalalabad.

The good news is, that over Eid al-Fitr (an Islamic holiday) the fighting stopped between the Taliban and Afghan security forces.

3. Turkey is Causing Trouble Within NATO

With tensions heightened all around the world, it is our allies we expect to be in our corner when violence strikes. But Turkey is taking steps to actually jeopardize the safety of allied countries. As the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet makes its way into Europe, Turkey is looking to buy a Russian S-400 missile defense system. Why a NATO ally is so willing to make a military deal with the Russians is another problem altogether.

But the issue is that if Turkey has both the S-400 missile defense system and the F-35, it will allow the S-400 system to collect intelligence on the F-35. It would allow the Russian-built system to collect data about operating tactics and procedures. Once collected it would not be hard to transfer to any other country that has the same S-400 system.

Retired Air Force general, David Deptula said “The Turks have to make a choice. They’re either going to be part of NATO, or they’re going to move into the Russian camp regarding defense”.