World News Brief, Wednesday July 23

Israel-Hamas fighting continues despite international pressure for cease-fire; MH17 victims' bodies to be flown to Netherlands; Widodo declared Indonesia's new president; Beijing orders restaurant inspections to avoid using tainted meat; Syrian rebels expel ISIS militants from parts of Damascus; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Israel-Hamas Conflict Continues Despite International Pressure

As the conflict between Israel and Hamas entered its third week, fighting continued unabated despite mounting international pressure for the two sides to arrive at a cease-fire (Reuters). UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is expected to arrive in Jerusalem on Tuesday to meet with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while U.S. secretary of state John Kerry is set to hold meetings in Egypt (Haaretz). Palestinian fatalities have surpassed six hundred (WSJ), according to health officials; Israel reported one of its soldiers missing in action, as its forces continue to target tunnels that could be used in an infiltration (NYT).


"Such tactical achievements should not be minimized. But they do not equal a strategic victory. War, as Clausewitz famously taught, is the continuation of politics by other means. Wars are fought to realign politics in a way that benefits the victor and is detrimental to the loser. But the Israelis have lost sight of this distinction," writes Ariel Ilan Roth in Foreign Affairs.

"For many Gazans, and not just Hamas supporters, it's worth risking more bombardment and now the ground incursion, for a chance to change that unacceptable status quo. A cease-fire that fails to resolve the salary crisis and open Gaza's border with Egypt will not last. It is unsustainable for Gaza to remain cut off from the world and administered by employees working without pay," writes the International Crisis Group's Nathan Thrall in the New York Times.

"Depending on whom one asks, Egypt's failure so far to mediate a cease-fire is either a function of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's perfidy or incompetence, or Egypt's diminished status among Muslim countries. But there's another explanation: The Egyptians seem to believe that a continuation of the fighting—for now—best serves their interests," writes CFR's Steven Cook in Foreign Policy.



Widodo Declared Indonesia's Next President

Jakarta governor Joko Widodo won Indonesia's tightly contested presidential election, the electoral commission announced Tuesday (AP). His opponent, ex-general Prabowo Subianto cited massive fraud as he withdrew from the race, prompting the government to warn against unrest (Jakarta Post).

CHINA: Beijing ordered nationwide inspections on restaurants that source meat from a U.S.-owned supplier implicated in distributing tainted meat (Bloomberg).

MH17 victims' bodies to be flown to Netherlands
Syrian rebels expel ISIS militants from parts of Damascus
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