US imposes More Sanctions On Iran Over Mahsa Amini's Death
Plus: Six Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, British PM Rishi Sunak's views on the Middle East, Israeli elections, Ukraine's Zelenskyy asks Israel to join fight against Russia, and much more.
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Did you know that a call for help costs too much in Lebanon?
Lebanon's three-year financial collapse has come to impact almost every aspect of life, even the act of picking up the phone to call for help.
If you want to know more about this story, read my article on The New Humanitarian.
US imposes more Iranian sanctions over Mahsa Amini's death
The United States on Wednesday, Oct. 26, imposed new sanctions on members of Iran's intelligence agency, leaders of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, prison wardens, and others, acting 40 days since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died while being held by the morality police.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. "will continue to impose costs on individuals and entities in Iran who engage in the brutal repression of the Iranian people."
Six Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in occupied West Bank
At least six Palestinians have been killed and 21 wounded after Israeli forces raided several areas in the occupied West Bank.
Early Tuesday morning, Oct. 25, large numbers of Israeli forces stormed the city of Nablus.
According to a spokesperson for the Palestinian Fatah movement, they were spotted by Palestinian security forces and armed fighters.
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that the Israeli army prevented its medical crews from entering the al-Qaryoun neighborhood to evacuate the injured.
Palestinian sources said Israeli snipers were positioned on the rooftops of houses and buildings overlooking Nablus' city center and used drones to fire missiles.
Israeli election could yield familiar outcome
Israel is holding its fifth national election in under four years.
Once again, the race is shaping up as a referendum on former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's fitness to rule.
In Israel's fragmented political system, neither Netanyahu nor Lapid are expected to win outright majorities in the 120-seat Knesset (Israeli parliament).
That means each will have to turn to smaller allies in hopes of securing the 61 seats required to form a new government.
Opinion polls say the race is too close to predict.
Retired US generals, admirals take top jobs with Saudi Crown Prince
More than 500 retired U.S. military personnel — including scores of generals and admirals — have taken lucrative jobs since 2015 working for foreign governments, mostly in countries known for human rights abuses and political repression, according to a Washington Post investigation.
Most retired U.S. personnel have worked as civilian contractors for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Persian Gulf monarchies, playing critical, though largely invisible, roles in upgrading their militaries.
All the while, the gulf countries' security forces have continued to commit human rights abuses at home and beyond their borders.
With shared intelligence, aerial refueling, and other support from the U.S. government and contractors, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have intervened in Yemen's civil war to disastrous effect, triggering a global humanitarian crisis and killing thousands of civilians, according to United Nations investigators.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's views on Middle East
Rishi Sunak has become the new prime minister of the United Kingdom after Liz Truss's resignation.
Sunak has expressed some notable views on the Middle East.
Like others in the Conservative party, Sunak is a strong supporter of UK-Israel ties, and fellow member of parliament Theresa Villiers wrote he told her that he is concerned about Iran's alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
Sunak also backs the UK's ties with the Gulf states, especially the United Arab Emirates.
In August, he wrote a letter to the Conservative Friends of Cyprus group in parliament criticizing Turkey's "invasion" of the island in 1974 and saying Turkish Cyprus should "refrain from provocative actions."
Ukraine's Zelenskyy asks Israel to join fight against Russia
On Monday, Oct. 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Israel to join the fight against Russia and repeated a request for Israeli air defense systems.
Israel has condemned the Russian invasion. But it has been wary of straining relations with Moscow, a power broker in neighboring Syria where Israeli forces frequently attack pro-Iranian militia, and wants to ensure the wellbeing of Russia's Jews.
Iran: More than a dozen people killed in shrine attack claimed by Islamic State
Several Iranian state outlets have reported that more than a dozen people have been killed in an attack on a Shia religious shrine in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, and the Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for it.
The attack, which took place at the Shah Cheragh Shrine early on Wednesday evening, Oct. 26, was carried out by three armed men who entered the shrine, the reports said.
Shiraz, located in south-central Iran, is a popular tourism and pilgrimage destination.
The last such attack to take place there was in April 2008, when a bomb planted in a mosque killed 14 people.
Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said that the attack would not go unanswered.
Israeli missiles destroy Iran's drones manufacturing equipment in Syria
A manufacturing site that produces Iranian-designed drones in Syria has been struck by Israeli airstrikes, according to the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (SOHR).
The attack struck and destroyed equipment for manufacturing drones in the area of the al-Dimas military airport.
The makeshift military airport near the Syrian city of Al-Dimas, west of Damascus and close to the Lebanon border, was under almost complete control of Iran-backed militias.
In February 2022, SOHR reported that Iran's Revolutionary Guard, together with Hezbollah, started constructing drone factories and other facilities at several spots around Damascus, including Dimas.
Israeli officials did not comment on the allegations.
HRW says Qatar has detained and mistreated LGBT people ahead of World Cup
Security forces in Qatar arbitrarily arrested and abused LGBT Qataris as recently as last month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday, Oct. 24, in the run-up to hosting soccer's World Cup, which has put a spotlight on human rights issues in the Gulf Arab state.
However, a Qatari official said in a statement that HRW's allegations "contain information that is categorically and unequivocally false," without specifying.
But the organization said it had interviewed six LGBT Qataris, including four transgender women, one bisexual woman, and one gay man, who reported being detained between 2019 and 2022 and subjected to verbal and physical abuse, including kicking and punching.
They were detained without charge in an underground prison in Doha, HRW said, and one individual was held for two months in solitary confinement.
That's all for this week. Thanks for reading Inshallah. Share this article and subscribe to be up to date about news from the Middle East every week. It's free.
My name is Dario Sabaghi, a freelance journalist. I am interested in human rights and international news focusing on the MENA region.
Check out my work at dariosabaghi.com.
You can follow me on Twitter: @DarioSabaghi
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Cover photo: OZAN KOSE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES - FOREIGN POLICY