World roundup: November 15 2023
Stories from Israel-Palestine, Myanmar, South Sudan, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
November 15, 1884: The Berlin Conference begins, with the goal of regulating European colonization of Africa. Its declaration obliged European powers to establish political control over their spheres of influence in Africa in order to claim possession of them. This is sometimes identified as the beginning of the “Scramble for Africa,” though in actuality African colonization was already well underway and only sped up in the wake of the conference.
November 15, 1889: A republican military coup ousts Brazilian Emperor Pedro II, ending the Brazilian monarchy.
November 15, 1983: The “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” declares its independence, some eight years after the “Turkish Federated State of Cyprus” broke away from the Cypriot government after a pro-Greek military coup and the invasion of northern Cyprus by Turkish forces. Turkey is the only country that has diplomatically recognized the separatist state.
Although the Israeli military (IDF) described its overnight attack on Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital as “a precise and targeted operation,” by Wednesday evening it was still unclear what the target was (aside from the hospital in general) and thus there was little indication of any precision. I haven’t seen any confirmed mention yet of casualties inside the hospital but the IDF says its forces did confront a group of “militants” outside the facility prior to entering and killed at least some of them. Neither have I seen much reporting on damage to the hospital though Al Jazeera says the IDF destroyed “a warehouse of medicine and medical devices.” Israeli officials say their soldiers have found weapons and unspecified “terror infrastructure” inside the hospital, but that’s vague and unverifiable. If the goal was to unveil the Hamas command and control facility allegedly buried underneath the hospital (the one that, apparently, the Israeli military itself built in the 1980s), then I guess they feel they’ve found (and/or planted) enough evidence to claim success.
I should say that I don’t know the current status of the Shifa operation as I’m writing this. AFP reported on Wednesday that Israeli soldiers had left the hospital itself but were still positioned outside, but according to Reuters they reentered the facility in the evening and resumed their searching. Certainly I have no idea where things will be by the time you read this.
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