The End of Erdogan Might Not Be Good News for Jerusalem

With national elections coming in less than two weeks, Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces perhaps the most serious electoral threat of his career as Turkey’s president. Although Erdogan’s hostility toward Israel has contributed to the decline in relations between the two countries, there is little reason to believe his successor will be any better. A new government might even set back the tenuous reconciliation between the two countries. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak writes:

The leader of the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has managed to coalesce the six opposition parties and form the National Alliance. The various elements of the bloc have deep ideological divisions. . . . This is perhaps the “Anyone but Erdogan” coalition.

You could be forgiven for thinking Erdogan’s potential downfall would be good for Israel. But with the National Alliance including figures like former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Temel Karamollaoğlu, the head of the . . . main Islamic opposition party, it would be premature to say that the president’s departure would usher in improved ties between Jerusalem and Ankara. Davutoğlu has been fiercely opposed to the normalization with Israel and Karamollaoğlu wants to sever bilateral relations altogether.

In any event, a new Turkish leadership will not create a golden age for Turkey-Israel relations in the near term. In fact, the opposite may be true: Kılıçdaroğlu could try to rally his fragile coalition by burnishing his anti-Israel credentials. There are signs this is already happening. . . . Israel must be extra careful in its handling of the unpredictable new-old political players.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas