Russia plans to increase military spending by 25% in 2024, allocating a record amount to defense as the war in Ukraine continues 

Source: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/putin-signs-russias-largest-national-budget-bolstering-military-spending-in-2024
Source: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/putin-signs-russias-largest-national-budget-bolstering-military-spending-in-2024

Helium Summary: The articles cover various aspects of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, as well as some news related to Russia's war in Ukraine.

Key points include: - Israel and Hamas agreed to a temporary ceasefire deal to exchange hostages/prisoners and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

However, there are concerns over whether the deal will hold and if fighting will resume. [Jerusalem Post, al-monitor.com, CBS, CBS] - There are debates around Israel's military tactics and civilian casualties in Gaza, with some criticism from the international community.

Israel argues it is trying to eliminate the Hamas threat. [Voltairenet, thetimes.co.uk, Common Dreams, IPS] - Hamas and Iran seem emboldened by the deal and believe they have claimed victory, while the palestinian authority has lost popularity in the West Bank. [Breitbart, CNN, Iran Press] - Russia plans a significant increase in military spending going forward, even as it faces economic difficulties due to sanctions over Ukraine. [PBS, Tass, Moscow Times] - There are also reports on new technologies Israel is using militarily against Hamas and on the involvement of Latin American countries in the conflict. [Jerusalem Post, Le Monde]


December 03, 2023




Evidence

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh thanked Iran for its "firm support" against Israel's military operation, indicating the temporary ceasefire is seen as a Hamas victory by its backers. [Breitbart]

Russia's 2024 budget allocates around 39% of all federal spending to defense and law enforcement, showing a priority on sustaining military operations. [PBS]



Perspectives

Israel's Perspective


Israel argues its Gaza operation is necessary to eliminate the threat from Hamas after the group killed over 1,200 Israelis in an attack. It says it takes measures to avoid civilian casualties. [Voltairenet, thetimes.co.uk]

Hamas' Perspective


Hamas and its backers like Iran see the temporary ceasefire deal as a victory and believe Israel failed to achieve its military objectives. The group's popularity is growing among Palestinians. [Breitbart, CNN, Iran Press]

International Perspective


Many in the international community criticize Israel over the scale of destruction and civilian deaths in Gaza. There are calls for Israel to do more to protect civilians if fighting resumes. [al-monitor.com, Common Dreams, IPS]



Q&A

Are the latest ceasefire negotiations likely to lead to a permanent end to violence?

It's unlikely at this stage. Both Israel and Hamas seem intent on achieving further military gains before agreeing to a lasting ceasefire, so there is a high probability of renewed clashes once the temporary truce expires. [Jerusalem Post, Breitbart, al-monitor.com]


How will Russia's increased military spending impact the Ukraine war?

The budget allocation suggests Russia is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine, aiming to mitigate the effects of Western sanctions. Higher defense spending could prolong the war but economic pressures on Russia may still force a settlement. [PBS]




News Media Bias (?)


The sources have varying degrees of bias.

Western outlets like CNN and Fox News are generally sympathetic to Israel's perspective.

Iranian and Russian state media represent Hamas and Russian viewpoints.

Independent analysis from Al Jazeera and academic experts aim for balance but still show some pro-Palestinian leanings on Gaza civilian casualties. [Breitbart, Voltairenet, CNN, Common Dreams, CBS, IPS]



Context


The Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal emerges from almost 2 months of intense fighting sparked by a deadly Hamas attack in Israel on Oct. 7. Over 1,200 Israelis were killed. Meanwhile Russia faces economic challenges sustaining its military campaign in Ukraine.



Takeaway


The Israel-Hamas conflict shows how civilian populations can suffer greatly when militant groups embed themselves in urban areas. At the same time, the Israeli military appears to have used disproportionate force that caused needless loss of civilian life. Going forward, protecting human life and rights should be the priority over political or military objectives on all sides. [Voltairenet, thetimes.co.uk, Common Dreams, IPS]



Potential Outcomes

If fighting resumes after the temporary ceasefire, there could be an even higher civilian death toll in Gaza along with more economic devastation.

Increased Russian military spending could prolong the Ukraine conflict, but sustained economic difficulties may still force Moscow to negotiate a settlement within the next 1-2 years.






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