Sandwiched between two days this week in which Israel attacked Iranian assets in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met cordially May 9 with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The visit came amid reported Russian efforts to ease tensions between Iran and Israel, and followed less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Israel reportedly delivered strikes May 8 on a Syrian army base at Al-Kiswah, where Iran has significant assets, and launched a blazing attack May 10 on numerous Iranian targets in Syria. Israel said it was retaliating for an Iranian rocket bombardment on the Golan Heights.
The timing of Netanyahu’s visit was notable, given the many other rising tensions around Israel: Hezbollah and its allies emerged victorious in the Lebanese parliamentary elections May 6; the United States will relocate its embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14; the Nakba (“Catastrophe”) — the day Israel was created and the Palestinians were displaced in 1948 — will be commemorated May 15; and on May 16, Guatemala will also open its embassy in Jerusalem, further pushing the trend of foreign recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. [Continue reading…]
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