Morocco normalizes relations with Israel

Subscribe to be up to date about news from the Middle East and Near Africa every week. It’s free. 

Welcome to Inshallah, the weekly newsletter that picks the most important news from the Middle East.

  • Israel and Morocco have agreed to normalize relations as President Donald Trump, in his final weeks in office, announced the fourth Arab-Israeli agreement in four months on Thursday.

  • Rome prosecutors said Thursday they had completed their probe into the 2016 abduction, torture and murder in Cairo of Italian student Giulio Regeni and were ready to file charges against four out of five Egyptian intelligence service members involved in the case.

  • The Syrian news website Mutaharirah has published a shocking report detailing instances of sexual harassment and exploitation allegedly carried out by a male Syrian aid worker and activist. The report was made by Zaina Erhaim and Nidal Ayoub.

  • Turkey has selected a new ambassador to Israel in line with efforts to normalize relations with the Jewish state. The new ambassador is Ufuk Ulutas, 40, the chairman of the Center for Strategic Research at the Turkish Foreign Ministry and a political appointee who studied Hebrew and Middle Eastern politics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Read the full article by Amberin Zaman on Al-Monitor.

  • Last month, the first ID cards for children with Iranian mothers and foreign fathers were issued in Iran, paving the way for the long-overdue implementation of equal rights for such children. About 75,000 people have applied for the ID cards since the passage of the new citizenship law in May, which came into force only recently. Read the full story by Rohollah Faghihi on Middle East Eye.

  • Schooling children under COVID is hard enough. It's even worse when they're refugees. Read the stories of refugees struggling with the right to education amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Israeli policies, including attacks on Gaza’s sole power plant, restrictions on the entry of parts to repair the plant, and limits on the amount of electricity it sells for Gaza; as well as squabbles between Palestinian authorities overpayment for the plant’s fuel, leave Gaza residents on most days with between five and 15 hours of electricity. These restrictions affect the entire population but have particularly severe consequences for people with disabilities. . Read the report from Human Rights Watch.

  • Iraq is poised to sign a multibillion-dollar contract with China ZhenHua Oil Co., a bailout from Beijing for the cash-strapped government which will receive money upfront in exchange for long-term oil supplies. Under the terms of a letter SOMO sent last month, the winning bidder will buy 4 million barrels a month, or about 130,000 a day. They will pay upfront for one year of supply, which at current prices would bring in more than $2 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations. Read the full article here.

  • If the Biden administration makes Saudi Arabia a pariah state, it’s unlikely that the kingdom’s behavior would improve—even if it doesn’t immediately acquire a nuclear bomb. What could ease Saudi insecurities is encouraging Riyadh to join a new league of Western and Middle Eastern states. Continue to read this analysis by John Spacapan for Foreign Policy.

  • An anti-terrorism court in Cairo on Sunday extended by 45 days the pre-trial custody of Patrick Zaki, according to a tweet published by the NGO EIPR of which the Egyptian researcher is a member. Zaki is a student at the University of Bologna. He has been detained since February on charges of subversive propaganda and instigation to terrorism.

Thank you for reading Inshallah. Subscribe to be up to date about news from the Middle East and Near Africa every week. It’s free. 

Follow me on Twitter: @DarioSabaghi.