What we’re watching: July 17 to July 23, 2017

♦ The July 14 killings in the Old City of Jerusalem could be the spark for a new wave of violence. The incident had several distinguishing dimensions. It was the first attack in decades launched from the Temple Mount, which Jordan administers along with the Muslim Waqf religious authority but with Israel responsible for security. Israel has closed part of the compound to investigate how the three gunmen came to have sub-machine guns there. The gunmen themselves were Israeli Arabs not Palestinians and killed two Druze not Jewish police officers. The Palestinian Authority has condemned the attack, but Hamas is urging a war on the Israeli army.
♦ The nuclear “deal” with Iran will be back in he news this week. Iranians will attend a UN meeting on the agreement in New York July 17, where there is a possibility of bilateral talks with the Americans. Later in the week, they will be in Vienna for the next quarterly meeting of the 5 + 1 powers to assess the “progress” of the agreement. The Trump administration is under domestic pressure to declare Iran in breach.
♦ Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov will be in Washington July 17 for talks with his US counterpart, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon. Both sides have grievances they want to discuss.


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