HomePoliticsBriefingCommemoration that precedes justice

Commemoration that precedes justice

A car drives past a billboard reading in Arabic: "All options are open, but we don't want the option of the past repeating itself" -- #Lebanon doesn't want war -- in downtown Beirut on November 13, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. The frontier between the Lebanon and Israel has seen daily exchanges of fire, mainly between Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and Israel, since October 7 when attacks on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas sparked war. (Photo by JOSEPH EID / AFP)

The failed rule of international law, Nasrallah delivers his second speech on Hezbollah Martyr’s Day, Ongoing attacks strike south Lebanon, The threatened destiny of academic freedom, Opposition deputies fear the vacuum in the Lebanese army chief post, Emergency Arab League summit pressures the US for a ceasefire in Gaza, More than 1,5 million displaced people in Gaza experience the horror of a second Nakba, The occupied territories of East Jerusalem and the West Bank face an increasing “Gaza-ification”, Nuclear threat is warning the region

It is the paradox of this region: that the commemoration, the weeping of martyrs, usually precedes, when not replacing, the pursuit of justice. International law, as the wickedness of crimes committed over the past month has shown, does not seem to apply to the Middle East.

Despite UN Secretary Antonio Guterres finding something disproportionate in Israel’s response to the 7 October Hamas attack, which he stated is turning Gaza into a “graveyard for children,” there still seems to be no sign of any judicial action.

“When one looks at the number of civilians that were killed with the military operations, there is something that is clearly wrong,” Guterres told last Wednesday’s Reuters conference.

Rights groups and UN experts have accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes. “It has been one full month of carnage, of incessant suffering, bloodshed, destruction, outrage and despair,” the UN high commissioner for human rights, Volker Turk, said in a statement. “Human rights violations are at the root of this escalation and human rights play a central role in finding a way out of this vortex of pain,” he continued, as he began a five-day visit to the Middle East on Tuesday.

Although the death toll is steadily rising, topping 11,000[1] of whom more than 4,000 are children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the idea of a ceasefire remains a mirage despite the daily four-hour pauses in fighting announced by the Israeli Forces on Friday. Let alone the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute war crimes committed by both sides: albeit with a clear imbalance on the Zionist one, and a starting point to be set approximately 75 years before 7 October 2023.

Moreover, the well-known, decades-long history of Israeli impunity with respect to continuing violations of international law – from the deliberate attacks to housing and infrastructure in the besieged Strip to the continuous expansion of illegal colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank – leaves little room for the waiting for justice. Thus, the aggrieved party, if armed, tries to take justice into its own hands; if civil, it proceeds to the mournful commemoration of the fallen ones.

For more than one month, we have been witnessing daily testimony of the one and the other, with an increasing involvement of the civil society in mourning, directly proportional to the growing number of victims.


Martyr’s Day: Each November 11, on the anniversary of fighter Ahmad Kassir’s suicide-attack in 1982, Hezbollah commemorates its martyrs. This year, Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah delivered his second speech since the outbreak of the war, which he claimed to be engaging in since October 8.

On the occasion of the commemoration, Nasrallah sent an ornament to all families of those martyred, along with a handwritten note: “Be proud of your martyrs in this world and rejoice in them in the afterlife, for they are your hoard and intercessors with God,” Al-Manar channel, close to Hezbollah, reported.


Taking to the streets: Thursday, November 9, served as a worldwide day of action by activists, in which they called on demonstrators to hold as many rallies and protests as possible.

In Lebanon, the streets of Downtown Beirut were taken by several Lebanese journalist and photographer unions who called for a sit-in in solidarity with Palestine.

Right before that, Hezbollah organized a protest in ESCWA square in “denunciation of the Zionist and American aggression and their commission of massacres against children in Gaza and Lebanon,” the National News Agency reported.

The protests succeeded in delaying the visit of the US Ambassador in Beirut, Dorothy Sea, to the highest Sunni authority in the country, Grand Mufti Abdul Latif Derian. Dar Al-Fatwa media office issued a statement announcing the postponement, without specifying a new date for the visit.


Blida in mourning: While waiting for the UN Security Council’s answer to the complaint that Lebanon has officially filed regarding the “killing of children and civilians” by Israel in southern Lebanon, as declared by Caretaker Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib, in the southern village of Blida, November 7 was a day of mourning. Hundreds of men and women joined the funerals of Layan, Taleen, and Remas Chour, and their grandmother Samira Abdel Hussein Ayoub, killed by an Israeli drone strike that targeted their vehicle on the road between Aitaroun and Ain Ebel, on Sunday, November 5.


Unprecedented: The Secretary General Guterres also joined the UN family in mourning the members of staff from its agency that assists Palestine refugees – the UNRWA – who have been killed in Gaza, whose number has reached 101, without any precedents in history. In a time where Hamas accuses the UN Agency of being responsible for the forced displacement of thousands Gazans, AFP reports, many of the colleagues – including teachers, nurses, doctors, and support staff, UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini said on X – were killed along with their family members. On Monday, November 13, the Agency flew its flags at half-mast across its offices all over the world.

Unprecedented is also the number of casualties among journalists since the beginning of the conflict. As of November 12, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported, 40 journalists and media workers were confirmed dead: 35 Palestinian, 4 Israeli, and 1 Lebanese. Moreover, 8 journalists were reported injured, 3 missing, and 13 journalists arrested. Multiple assaults, threats, cyberattacks, censorship, and killings of family members were also reported.


In Lebanon

How about academic freedom: In the afternoon of Friday, November 10, American University of Beirut announced the cancellation of a virtual lecture, entitled “The Ethics of War in Gaza,” featuring Alec Whalen, Professor of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and Bashar Haider, Professor of Philosophy, American University of Beirut.

The reason behind the cancellation was the serious threats – defined as intolerable “hateful speech” and  “incitement of violence” – that the institution received by people likely linked to the filo-Iranian party of Hezbollah, that a month ago, in the aftermath of the US-complicit Israeli attack on Gaza, had destroyed some of the University’s properties.

Despite some faculty members arguing the legitimacy of inviting a host, Alec Whalen, accused of promoting Zionist thought, the discussion around his de-contextualized statements risked to be highly misleading, as assistant professor at AUB, Makram Rabah, highlighted.

Most importantly, moreover, the lecture’s main aim was to draw attention to the ethics and the (il)legalities of the brutal Israeli attack on the Palestinian civil population. Therefore, the accusations proved to be illegitimate, along with the violent threats received by the bicentenary institution.

According to Rabah, “both Zionism and the axis of resistance in its current manifestation share the same intellectual DNA”, while refusing intellectual confrontation and preferring, to an open political debate, the usage of hate speech, that the AUB – “committed to maintaining the campus as an open and safe space where academic freedom and freedom of thought and expression are protected” – could not bear.


Nasrallah has spoken: On the 41st anniversary of Hezbollah Martyr’s Day, Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah delivered his second speech since the beginning of the war. The content was expected.

While the official position of the Lebanese government excludes direct military involvement against Israel, claiming that restoring calm to Lebanon’s southern border is of the utmost importance, the para-military Iran-backed party has had no restraint in using the word “war”.

Nasrallah stated that the resistance has introduced new weapons, including a missile with a heavy warhead, adding that they will keep using the tense frontier to pressure Israel. He added that Hezbollah has been sending unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance drones into northern Israel, especially over Haifa, some of which were shot down while others returned to base with information.

Concerning Iran’s position in the resistance, he underlined the military, financial and diplomatic support of the axis’ guide. Though, confirming his previous statement of November 3, he furtherly clarified that the Iranian role is merely of support, and that the Islamic Republic does not decide in place of its proxy allies, who have been carrying out attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria, this latter being under “a global war for 12 years” and therefore not realistically involveable in the war.

After blaming the US for the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, defined as those who are de facto leading the aggression, Nasrallah highlighted the need to pressure the American administration to proceed on the ceasefire.

While this is likely to be the role of international diplomacy, both Western and Arab-Islamic, though, that of the resistance seems stuck to be one of low-intensity military action. Liberating the region from the American occupation will come after the immediate goal to “secure a halt to the aggression against Gaza” will be achieved, Nasrallah stated, referring to the recent attacks carried out from the other support fronts of Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

To those who are skeptical about the quality of the party’s attacks against Israel’s front, Nasrallah highlighted the improvement of last week’s operations on the Lebanese southern border, both quantitatively and qualitatively, notably through the usage of one Burkan rocket against an Israeli military post along the border. He said the rocket can carry a warhead the weights between 300 and 500 kilograms. “You can imagine (what happens) when half a ton of explosives fall on the enemy’s head,” he added.

The warning reaction of the Israeli military minister Yoav Gallant did not wait to arrive. “Hezbollah is dragging Lebanon into a war that might happen,” Gallant told troops in a video aired by Israeli television channels. “It is making mistakes and those who will pay the price are first and foremost Lebanon’s citizens. What we are doing in Gaza we can do in Beirut,” he threatened, followed by Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari, who on Sunday evening told Israeli television that the army had “a plan to change the security situation in the north,” adding that “the Lebanese will pay the price.”


Warforce from Syria: The Iranian-aligned party, which claims to have some 100,000 fighters, seems to be reinforcing its troops in Lebanon. According to the Turkish news agency Andalou, Hezbollah reportedly called back 1,500 fighters from Syria, withdrawn from the Syrian Army’s 46th brigade in Aleppo’s western suburbs, and various localities in the Idlib province.

Despite being a “support front” and having maintained until now a degree of constraint which has prevented a regional war – following what Lebanese Caretaker Prime Minister Mikati has defined as “showing a lot of patriotism” – Hezbollah militias’ reinforcement might prelude a broader escalation.


Tense Sunday: After more than a month of cross-border tension between Israel and Hezbollah, while the rest of the country is preparing for a possible war scenario, south Lebanon has been already impacted on several levels.

Multiple rounds of shelling have been reported in several sites across the south, including Zahrani, which is 40km from Lebanon’s southern border with Israel.

On Sunday, November 12, the outskirts of the town of Mays al-Jabal were subjected to artillery shelling, including both phosphorus shells and regular shells, according to the mayor of the town, Abdel Moneim Shuqair. Al-Manar’s correspondents also reported Israel’s bombing on the outskirts of Blida and Mays al-Jabal with phosphorus weapons.

Rockets were fired from the western sector of southern Lebanon towards Israel, whose artillery’s response targeted the town of Labouneh in Sour, as reported by the state-run National News Agency.

Shortly after midnight on the same day, November 12, peacekeepers in a UNIFIL position near Al Qawzah reported that one peacekeeper was hit during a gunfire and underwent surgery. Despite the origin of the fire being currently unknown, UNIFIL members declared they have launched an investigation, denouncing on their Telegram channel that “any targeting near UNIFIL positions and any use of our positions to launch attacks across the Blue Line, for any reason, is unacceptable” and that “attacks against civilians or UN personnel are violations of international law that may amount to war crimes,” at a time where the number of civilian victims in south Lebanon has already reached 14.

Also on Sunday, an Israeli drone strike killed one militant and wounded two others members of the Shiite Amal, according to a statement from the Hezbollah-aligned group. Ali Daoud was the first Amal fighter killed in combat since the fighting began, while Hezbollah has lost nearly 73 fighters in the past five weeks.

Since October 8, more than 25,000 people have been internally displaced, with thousands having fled their homes, according to the UN, to 11 designated emergency shelters in Saida, Sour and Nabatieh. Moreover, fires caused by the launch of white-phosphorus bombs have destroyed 4,6 million square meters of woodland, as well as 200,000 square meters of centuries-old olive groves.


Getting ready: Lebanon’s Caretaker Cabinet approved an $11 million loan to the Health Ministry “to cover the costs of care for the wounded in case of war,” Caretaker Health Minister Firas Abiad said, after touring hospitals in southern Lebanon, where health-care personnel are mobilized as part of a series of war-preparedness measures. Lebanese hospitals are stockpiling supplies, as well as preparing evacuation plans and intensive care beds in their basements, supported by the Health Ministry emergency plan. An emergency number for the needs of displaced people has been established (1787), as 300 primary care centers have been opened in the country, according to Abiad.

Moreover, while schools in the south have been either closed or turned into emergency shelters, educational institutions across Lebanon are getting ready for a potential war scenario, teachers being trained for first-aid and parents briefed on emergency measures.


With or without commander: As reported by the National News Agency, on Sunday evening, Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati received at his residence a delegation of opposition members of parliament, including MPs Sami Gemayel, Ghassan Hasbani, Bilal Hosheimi, Ashraf Rifi, Mark Daou, Wadah Sadiq and Michel Moawad.

The message delivered by the opposition deputies aimed to prevent the looming vacuum in the army chief post through a technical extension in the Cabinet of General Joseph Aoun’s tenure. Aoun’s term would expire on December 10, leaving the Lebanese army in a dangerous situation, PM Gemayel stated.

“We are keen for this matter to end as quickly as possible, and that is why we came here to suggest to the Prime Minister that a quick decision be taken in the government to postpone the step down of the Army Commander for a year, in order to preserve the status of the army and its leadership, this institution that has the consensus of the Lebanese,” he continued, as reported by NNA.

In the absence of a President of the Republic, in fact, there is no ability to appoint a new Army Commander. Therefore, according to the opposition deputies, the responsibility in this matter falls on the government, and in particular on the Caretaker Minister of Defense, whose duty to guarantee a strong and cohesive army is even more imminent in the current critical situation.

“It is our duty to protect the army and preserve this institution, which remains the guarantor and unifying institution and the symbol of this country, its unity, survival and continuity,” Gemayel affirmed.


In The Region

A second Nakba: The testimonies of tens of thousands of displaced people walking to the south of the besieged Gaza Strip bring to mind faded images of the great exodus of 1948. Walking for several hours, with the elderly in wheelchairs, some people were holding white flags. Only on Friday, around 30,000 Palestinians fled southwards using the previously bombarded Salah al-Din route, leaving the “hell on earth” that the North of the Strip has been turned into, UN official said, while according to Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari the number of displaced Palestinians exceeded 100,000 in two days.

The mass displacement is occurring as the Israeli military advances into densely populated urban areas and targets hospitals and UNRWA schools, where many residents have sought refuge.


Dying of thirst: Meanwhile, civilians are at risk of thirst and starvation. If Israel’s war on Gaza continues for a second month, poverty among Palestinians will soar by 34%, sending nearly half a million additional people into poverty, warns the UN.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Saturday that an additional 53 aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, which was re-opened on Sunday, after being closed for two days, to let approximately 500 foreigners and dual nationals, as well as seven wounded Palestinians, evacuate from Gaza, according to information from both sides of the border, reported AFP. The suspensions of crossings had been due to Israeli bombardments that hit or targeted medical convoys.

Another 80 aid trucks had moved from Egypt into Gaza by Sunday afternoon, as local sources reported, despite the severity of the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza would require many more.


Massacre of the innocents: 50,000 pregnant Palestinian women in Gaza, of whom 5,000 will be giving birth in the next four weeks, are at serious risk, explained Laila Baker, Regional Director of UNFPA for Arab States.

As Israel continues to strike hospitals in Northern Gaza, in Al-Shifa Hospital babies on incubators have begun to die, Palestinian officials reported. According to the Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights, at least two premature babies have died due to Israel cutting off all electricity for Gaza since October 9, while Palestinian sources reported the number of five. They warned that there is a real risk for the lives of the 37 other premature babies in the neonatal intensive care ward at Al-Shifa Hospital. Al-Shifa is the largest medical complex in the besieged enclave, where thousands of Palestinians have been seeking refuge from Israel’s assault. On Saturday, the director of the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, Munir al-Bashr, announced that a mass grave will be dug at Al-Shifa to bury people who were killed there, “because we cannot go out to bury them,” al-Bashr said.

Intense Israeli shelling was reported also in the vicinity of other hospitals in Gaza City and northern Gaza, namely the Indonesian and Al-Quds Hospital, the spokesperson of the Palestinian Health Ministry Ashraf al-Qudra said. He added that ambulances aren’t able to leave the hospital due to heavy bombardment.


Who wants Gaza: Netanyahu declared that when the war is over Israel will be in full control of the Strip, a statement that left his government’s senior officials baffled, who had ruled out the option of a re-occupation of the Strip. Israel’s foreign minister has said “we don’t want to govern Gaza,” as post-Hamas future is discussed, although they have suggested that a military presence in the Strip will be necessary as a buffer to protect its civilians.

Though, the position of Israel’s Prime Minister seems non-negotiable, “because we have seen what happens when we do not have it,” Netanyahu told ABC news. Indeed, his comments appear to run contrary to assessments in the US and elsewhere that Israel – which militarily controlled Gaza from 1967 to 2005 – planned to reoccupy Gaza in any fashion and in any case would be opposed by Washington.

An important question is precisely how Israel would manage to separate any security arrangement on the ground from the broader legal obligations involved in a possible agreement. When Israel withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2005, it said it had ended military rule and occupation, while others, including the 2022 report of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said Gaza remained occupied. This includes Israeli control of airspace, land crossings, and government functions such as managing the Palestinian population register, as the UN and other world bodies, including the EU, denounced.


Gaza-ification of the West Bank: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority is ready to take responsibility for Gaza if it includes a political solution that includes the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, despite Netanyahu firmly opposing a post-war scenario in which the PA would govern Gaza.

The reality on the ground in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where millions of Palestinians currently live, has also seen increased violence since October 7, with 176 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers, detentions topping 2,300, and several forced displacement of entire families,  the UN agency Ocha reported.

At least 14 Palestinians were killed in a raid in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, only on Friday, November 10. During the massive raid on the refugee camp of Jenin, the Israeli Army announced via loudspeaker that people were allowed a two hour window to flee. Before that, the Israeli army had been levelling the streets with armored bulldozers for several days – during daylight hours and through the night – wounding thousands of Palestinians and making the work of doctors and paramedics extremely riskful, MSF team on the ground reported.

Furthermore, the lack of territorial continuity in the West Bank, caused by the continuous expansion of illegal colonial settlements and the construction of road infrastructures where Palestinians are prohibited from passing, makes internal mobility within the occupied territories practically impossible for internally displaced persons.


Faltering diplomacy: The G7 group of countries says it recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself “in accordance with international law,” AFP reports. The group added that it supports “humanitarian pauses and corridors” in Gaza, while also urging Iran not to support Hamas and Hezbollah and not to do anything that could “destabilize the Middle East.” At the same time, though, US President Biden is being warned by US diplomats abroad that anger is growing, calling for an immediate pressure on the Israeli ally.

In the meantime, Qatar and Egypt have been increasingly involved in the “relentless quest to secure release of hostages,” US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, Barbara Leaf, stated on Thursday.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia held a joint summit with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League, where Muslim and Arab leaders discussed the situation in Gaza, calling for an immediate end to the Israeli aggression on the Strip, which has been defined “barbaric and inhumane”, as reported in a final joint statement, and for a urgent end to the siege, allowing humanitarian aid into the enclave.

Lebanon’s Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, has stressed the centrality of peace and the rule of “justice, laws, and international resolutions” for the insurance of a better future for the region, mentioning the Arab peace initiative launched during the 2002 Beirut summit, in the same moment while Nasrallah was stressing southern Lebanon’s engagement in the war since October 8.

Right before Nasrallah’s speech, in Riyad Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called on Islamic countries to impose oil and goods sanctions on Israel, Reuters reported, praising Hamas and its efforts, saying that “there is no other way but to resist Israel, we kiss the hands of Hamas for its resistance against Israel.” And he added: “Had it not been for resistance confrontations in Gaza and Lebanon, the conflict would have inevitably spilled over into other Arab and Islamic nations.”

It was the first time since the Saudi-Iran reconciliation that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Iranian President Raisi met.

The Arab and Muslim leaders agreed that the most detrimental aspect in the Gaza conflict is the role played by the United States, “allowing the Israeli enemy to perpetuate further acts of violence and bloodshed”, President Raisi stated, while Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani blamed the international community for not bearing its responsibilities on the Palestinian cause and continuing ensuring impunity to Israel.

Though, according to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, what is needed in Gaza “is not pauses for a couple of hours,” he said during his speech, “rather a permanent ceasefire,” calling for an international peace conference to be held that would finally find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Reuters reported.


Nuclear threat: What seems to have been largely unnoticed was the Israeli nuclear threat. After Heritage Minister, Amihai Eliyahu, said during a radio interview that the nuclear option would be “one way” to deal with Gaza, Israel’s reaction was of firm condemnation of the statement of the Minister, who was suspended from Cabinet meetings “until further notice.”

Before that, Israeli author and political activist Yuval Noah Harari said on October 19th, in an interview on the Japanese TV channel Asahi, that “Israel could defend itself with all the weapons it has, including nuclear capabilities.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki has filed a formal complaint with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the official news agency Wafa reported, stating that the nuclear threat is “completely consistent with the prevailing discourse in Israel” against Palestinians. Al-Maliki added that the threat entails “an official recognition that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.”

Moscow’s reaction came on Tuesday, when Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said that the main issue was that Israel appeared to have admitted that it had nuclear weapons, confirming al-Maliki’s concerns.

“Question number one – it turns out that we are hearing official statements about the presence of nuclear weapons?” Zakharova was quoted as saying by state RIA news agency. If so, she said, “then where are the International Atomic Energy Agency and international nuclear inspectors?”

Most[2] estimates posit that Israel possesses about 90 plutonium-based nuclear warheads and has produced enough plutonium for 100-200 weapons. These estimates have been fairly consistent for decades, despite Israel having maintained a policy of deliberate ambiguity on the issue, never officially denying or admitting it has a nuclear arsenal.

“The UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency must take immediate and uninterrupted action to disarm this barbaric and apartheid regime,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on social media on Monday. “Tomorrow is late,” he posted on X.

Indeed, it is already late. In fact, the atomic bomb has already been dropped.

The bombings of the last month in Gaza are equivalent to that of two atomic bombs, while those of the first week alone equal the US bombings of one year in Afghanistan, experts said.

Already after the first week since the beginning of the war, the Washington Post, citing Marc Garlasco, a military adviser at the Dutch organization PAX for Peace, reported that Israel is “dropping in less than a week what the US was dropping in Afghanistan in a year, in a much smaller, much more densely populated area, where mistakes are going to be magnified.”

Given the actors in the field, the concrete risks, the failure of diplomacy and the paralysis of international law, therefore, it seems clear that there is little left to do but dig deeper graves and mourn the dead.


What We’re Reading

Guns for hire: Interviewed by NOW’s Valeria Rando, Dr. Samir Al-Taqi draws possible scenarios for the two million Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon, in case of a nation-scaled intervention in the escalating conflict against Israel. As they are expected to be used as war’s human resources for all sides of the Lebanese game, especially Hezbollah, we analyzed the role that the “Party of God” represented in the Syrian conflict.


War of uncertainty: As the conflict escalates, economies in the MENA region are defying gravity and triggering spillovers. NOW’s Maan Barazy explores the impacts on energy prices, food costs, international trade and diplomatic ties, with a particular concern for the tourism sector, a major catalyst of the ailing economies and a sure inflow of fresh dollars in the country.


Who thinks of olive trees: With the ongoing attacks at the southern border, farmers residing in the towns of south Lebanon are facing the challenge of a precarious harvesting season. NOW’s Rodanya Raydan tackled the practical risks faced by an area depopulated of thousands of people fleeing the conflict, whose ancient olive trees have been burnt by Israel-dropped phosphorus bombs.


Zero Fear: Assistant Professor at AUB, Makram Rabah, denounced for NOW Lebanon the cancellation of the virtual lecture that the American University would have hosted on Friday, November 10, under the title “The Ethics of War in Gaza, “succumbing to security threats.


Lebanon +

In their weekly podcast Sarde After Dinner, Médéa Azouri and Mouin Jaber interviewed political researcher Dr. Ziad Majed about the geopolitical implications of the war on Gaza in the region.



[1] The Ministry of Health in Gaza has not updated figures on deaths and injuries for two consecutive days after communications and services collapsed at Gaza’s besieged hospitals, the UN has said.

[2] The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, and the Federation of American Scientists.