Safety and Security in the Post-Hiroshima World

Security Brief: November 22, 2012

Israel/Gaza

After eight days of fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to a US and Egypt brokered ceasefire late Wednesday night. The terms of the ceasefire call for Israel to cease all all assault from land, sea, and air. For Hamas, the ceasefire demands an end to all rocket attacks on Israel. By Thursday night, Israel is also required to open all border crossings and lessen restrictions on the movement of goods and people out of and into the Gaza Strip.

The final death toll for the conflict: 161 Palestinians and six Israelis.

Syria

In the last week Syrian rebels have made a number of gains in their fight against Assad’s forces. Most recently, rebels captured an army base in the eastern region of Deir al-Zor on Thursday. Other recently captured areas include a military airport captured last week on the Iraqi border. Though these advances illustrate the “increasing potency” of these fighters, rebel groups have yet to capture a major city in the country.

Recent international reactions have centered around discussions between Turkey and its NATO allies about the possibility of deploying Patriot missiles on Turkey’s border with Syria. While many NATO countries consider this request natural in light of the recent shelling on the Turkish-Syria border, Russia has pushed back against what Foreign Ministry spoksman Alexander Lukashevich has called the “militarisation of the Syrian-Turkish border.”

Pakistan

Since the beginning of the month of Muharram, the Pakistani government, military, and police have all been bracing for the increased violence that has come to mar the holy month in recent years. It would seem no suggestion–from banning motorbikes to jamming cellular signals–is too nuanced or small. Regardless, Pakistan woke up today to headlines of multiple suicide attacks that rippled across the nation Wednesday. In Rawalpindi, a bomb blast targeting a religious procession killed at least 23 people and wounded some 47 others. In Karachi, two blasts killed at least three and wounded 17 others. And in Quetta, a bomb exploded near a security vehicle escorting schoolchildren. Three soldiers and two pedestrians were killed. On Thursday, seven suspected militants were arrested in Lahore and Sargodha, cities in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

The recent spate of attacks comes as heads of state gather in Islamabad for the Developing-8 (D8) summit.

Pakistanis are not the only targets of potential violence in coming days. The Pakistani Taliban has vowed to avenge the death of Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the last survivor of the 2008 attacks on Mumbai. Kasab was executed by hanging in India on Wednesday. The Pakistani Taliban have said that in return for Kasab’s execution, they will attack and kill Indians.

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Categorised in: Middle East, News Briefs, Security News, South Asia

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