During the month of August, the MENA region has witnessed some political unrest and instability; In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees have been holding protests in for over six weeks following the Lebanese Ministry of Labor’s crackdown on undocumented foreign labor. Lebanese waste problem deepens amidst establishment of landfills around residential areas. In Syria, battles between the Syrian Army along with its allies and the opposition forces intensified and led to the Syrian Army advance on opposition strongholds and took over control of a number of towns in Idlib and Hama.
Israel’s general election is coming up on April 9th and it could possibly facilitate a new era of politics in the region. Despite the fact that popular opinion still generally favors Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ruling center-right coalition, an opportunity for center-left challenger Benny Gantz rises in the midst of growing discontent. Whoever wins, however, will need to deal with brewing threats from Iran, Hezbollah and Palestine that could escalate to a major conflict as well as increasing criticism from U.S. Politicians regarding Israel’s ties with China.
In March, for the third time since the 2011 revolution, Egyptians went back to the ballot boxes for a presidential election. With a 40% turnout and 97% of the vote, Egyptians overwhelmingly re-elected Egyptian President and Former Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. However, questions remain about the legitimacy of the election, with a lack of competition and reports that some voters were offered incentives, such as food and money, to cast their votes in Sisi’s favor
In the 2 months that followed the announcement by US President Donald Trump regarding the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, tensions have escalated in the region to its highest since August. The following is a breakdown of what has transpired, and where it has transpired to.