World News Brief, Wednesday August 6

Egypt brokers brief cease-fire in Gaza; China refuses to suspend development in South China Sea; Armenia and Azerbaijan pledge $200 million to fight ebola; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Seventy-Two Hour Cease-Fire Initiated in Gaza

Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza entered a seventy-two-hour humanitarian cease-fire on Tuesday (al-Jazeera), executing a temporary truce brokered by Egypt as a step toward negotiating a more enduring solution to weeks of heavy fighting. Meanwhile, Spain announced it would temporarily freeze arms exports (Haaretz) to Israel on Monday, following a similar move by Britain, which announced it was reviewing its arms export licenses to Israel. The United Kingdom's foreign office minister Baroness Warsi resigned over the conflict (FT), citing her opposition to the government's policy in Gaza. An Israeli delegation is expected to arrive in Cairo in the next few days to attempt to negotiate a more permanent agreement (AP).


"America's willingness to entangle itself in Middle Eastern conflicts is declining. That means that, long term, Israel's security can only be guaranteed by achieving peace with its neighbours," writes Gideon Rachman for the Financial Times.

"Perhaps the greatest challenge lies in convincing the American and especially Israeli leaders of the need to overcome their resistance to Hamas' involvement in Palestinian politics," writes Khaled Elgindy in Foreign Affairs.

"Here in Israel, as soon as the war is over, we must begin the process of creating a new partnership, an internal alliance that will alter the array of narrow interest groups that controls us," writes David Grossman for The New York Times.



Explore CFR’s Interactive on the Sunni-Shia Divide

Sectarian conflict is becoming entrenched in a growing number of Muslim countries. Tensions between Sunnis and Shias could reshape the future Middle East. Click on the Sunni-Shia Divide to learn more.



Japanese Defense Report Highlights Territorial Disputes

Japan's defense ministry warned in its annual white paper that it is deeply concerned (JapanTimes) about China's rapidly expanding maritime and airspace activities around the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. It also reasserted its claim over Seoul's easternmost islets of Dokdo, a move that South Korea strongly denounced (Yonhap).

CFR's Sheila Smith explores Japan's new politics and what it means for the U.S.-Japan alliance in this new report.

CHINA: China dismissed a suggestion by the United States and the Philippines that it suspend development (SCMP) in the disputed South China Sea ahead of a regional summit this week.


Armenia and Azerbaijan in territory dispute

World Bank pledges up to $200 million to fight ebola

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