World roundup: January 22 2024
Stories from Israel-Palestine, Cameroon, Ukraine, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
January 22, 1517: The Ottomans defeat the remnants of the Mamluk army at the Battle of Ridaniyah, one of the more consequential anticlimaxes in history. The Ottomans had all but ensured their conquest of the Mamluk Sultanate at the Battle of Marj Dabiq the previous August, but Ridaniyah technically marks the end of the sultanate and the point at which Egypt (along with Syria and the Hejaz) became an Ottoman possession.
January 22, 1905: The Russian Imperial Guard’s massacre of dozens of protesters (demanding better treatment for workers) in St. Petersburg, also known as “Bloody Sunday,” marks the start of the 1905 Russian Revolution. As reports of the massacre reached other cities, mass strikes began that sparked more violent reprisals from authorities, and the situation spiraled. The revolution ended in June 1907 with the institution of limited constitutional reforms and the creation of a parliament (the Duma). It also reshaped popular feelings about the Russian monarchy and served as a sort of prelude to the 1917 Russian Revolution.
January 22, 1946: The Republic of Mahabad is born.
There’s new movement on a potential hostage deal. First, family members of Israeli hostages who are still in Gaza burst into the Knesset chamber on Monday. They interrupted a committee meeting to demand that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make a deal to free their loved ones. Then, the Biden administration announced that it is dispatching the White House’s top Middle East adviser, Brett McGurk, to Qatar and Egypt this week in pursuit of just such a deal. And in what may be a major development—it’s impossible to know yet—“two Israeli officials” have told Axios’s Barak Ravid that the Israeli government has offered Hamas (via Qatar and Egypt) a two-month ceasefire and phased prisoner exchange. The offer also includes a proposal to relocate civilians back into northern Gaza during the ceasefire, though I’m unclear on what (if any) measures would be taken to care for them there. An extended ceasefire opens up a number of options for improving Gaza’s humanitarian crisis but Ravid’s reporting doesn’t go into any specifics in that regard.
Assuming the offer is legitimate it is not the full cessation of hostilities or “all for all” prisoner exchange that Hamas has demanded in return for a full hostage release, but it is as close as the Israeli government is likely to get to that. Without knowing all of the terms it sounds like something that would be very difficult for Hamas to justify rejecting.