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Palestinian children walk past buildings destroyed during fighting between Hamas militants and Israel in the Al-Shaas neighbourhood, in the north of the Gaza Strip, on August 16, 2014. AFP/Roberto Schmidt.

No Exit? Gaza & Israel Between Wars

Middle East Report N°162, 26 August 2015

Both Israel and Hamas recognise that another war is only a matter of time if Gaza’s fundamental problems are not addressed: the economy is a shambles; the acting government lacks the ability to collect or otherwise obtain the revenue necessary to pay salaries and provide services; and most residents cannot access the outside world.

Lebanon’s Un-collected Problems
Lebanese protesters are sprayed with water during a protest against corruption and against the government’s failure to resolve a crisis over rubbish disposal, near the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon on 23 August 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir.

27 August 2015: Protests over corruption and political dysfunction are growing in Lebanon. Clashes between protesters and security forces have left dozens wounded over the last few days, increasing instability in a country highly polarised along politico-sectarian fault lines, threatened not long ago by sectarian clashes and violence, and already overwhelmed by nearly 1.2 million Syrian refugees, ongoing border tensions as well as kidnappings by Sunni Islamist militants. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Lebanon Senior Analyst Sahar Atrache examines the underlying causes of the crisis and the possible scenarios that Lebanon faces.

Iraq: Conflict Alert
REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed 

24 August 2015: A wave of protests has brought Iraq to the edge of yet more serious conflict. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has introduced sweeping reforms to halt the deterioration but in a manner that may make things worse. An important course correction is needed if he is to survive politically and Iraq is to avoid what could become in effect a military takeover.

Can SADC Facilitate a Sustainable Solution to Lesotho’s Crisis?
SADC Facilitator, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa during a meeting with Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and other leaders of the Coalition government at the Lesotho State House, 31 July 2015. CGIS.  

14 August 2015: How the 17-18 August summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) handles the complex situation in Lesotho will matter well beyond the borders of that small enclave state of less than two million inhabitants entirely surrounded by South Africa, because it will say much about the regional organisation’s ability not just to manage explosive crises but to resolve them.

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