Weekly Regional News Brief
Stampede in Israel
- On April 30, approximately 100,000 people, mostly orthodox Jews, gathered for the celebrations of Lag BaOmer at Mount Meron, signifying the first large, legal gathering since COVID restrictions have subsided. At least 45 individuals, including American citizens, were killed in a stampede that ensued at the event.
- The cause of the stampede is being investigated; nevertheless, this extreme human catastrophe will influence laws regarding gatherings, despite the discontinuation of many COVID-specific restrictions.
- The UK and Iran are currently participating in talks regarding an incomplete trade deal from the 1970s in which the UK failed to deliver Iran tanks. As a result, the UK, to this day, owes Iran £400 million.
- Skeptics have accused Iran of extending the imprisonment of British-Iranian national Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe in an effort to leverage this debt, although Iran claims that the two issues are unrelated.
Upcoming: Tunisia-IMF Talks
- Tunisia will soon engage in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi has expressed the country’s desire for a $4 billion loan to serve as a “last opportunity” to enhance the Tunisian economy.
- The talks are anticipated to last two months.
Upcoming: Palestinian Elections Postponed
- On Thursday, April 29, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that next month’s Palestinian elections – which would be the first national elections in 15 years – will be postponed indefinitely. This decision was made over concerns over voting laws in Jerusalem and the Israeli occupied West Bank and Gaza.
- Additionally, Abbas’ Fatah party, which is currently undergoing splits, is threatened by potential election successes for Hamas.