World News Brief, Friday October 31

Israeli activist shot and wounded in Jerusalem; Beijing eases restrictions on foreign credit cards; Burmese political and ethnic leaders to meet to discuss cease-fire; ISIS releases Kurdish children; NATO raises concerns over 'unusual' Russian flights; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Tensions Flare in Jerusalem

Far-right Israeli activist Yehuda Glick was shot and seriously wounded (Al Arabiya) as he left Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, in Jerusalem on Wednesday night. Police later shot and killed the Palestinian suspect at his home after he opened fire. Israeli forces closed off the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on Thursday, a move Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned (BBC) as a "declaration of war." Meanwhile, Sweden officially recognized Palestine (Al Jazeera) as a state on Thursday.


"Israel is quick to point out efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Yet what truly undermines Israel's international standing is not its critics, but Israel's abysmal treatment of its own citizens who are Palestinian. It is little different than other countries that have systematically discriminated against and segregated a whole class of its people based on race, religion and ethnicity," writes Rula Jebreal in the New York Times.

"It's ironic that all those groups, especially in Europe, who consider themselves champions of Palestinian rights wish only to condemn Israel—while they continue to ignore the threat to Palestinians that emerges from their own officials and government bodies," writes CFR's Elliott Abrams.

"The solution for Jerusalem's problems is not in the mayor's hands, it's in the prime minister's. But Benjamin Netanyahu, during his long years in office, has chosen to do nothing to advance a stable solution for the city, something that requires dialogue with the Arab residents," writes Haaretz.



Beijing Eases Credit Card Restrictions

Beijing announced it will ease restrictions (AP) on foreign credit cards, allowing companies like Visa and MasterCard to apply to operate on the mainland. The decision is seen as a move to open China's financial sector.

BURMA: President Thein Sein will meet with (Radio Free Asia) opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's military chief, and other political and ethnic leaders Friday to discuss a cease-fire between the government and armed ethnic groups as well as ending the military's veto power in parliament. This comes two weeks before U.S. President Barack Obama's scheduled visit to Burma for this year's East Asian Summit.

U.S.-Burma rapprochement should increasingly depend on continued political reform in Burma, writes CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick.


ISIS releases Kurdish children

NATO raises concerns over 'unusual' Russian flights

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