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.
Middle East politics
After eight months of negotiations, Saad Hariri finally formed a new Lebanese government. The Prime Minister will head the new 30-member government and will initiate urgent economic and political reforms. In a recent speech, Hariri stated that the economy will be the government’s main challenge moving forward.
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.