Israeli bank Hapoalim has estimated the cost of the current military operation against Hamas at 27 billion shekels (€6.5 billion). This is equivalent to 1.3% of Israel’s GDP in 2022. Other sources consider this amount to be an underestimate: it will have to be at least double that, given the damage caused, reconstruction, compensation and aid for the most vulnerable sections of the population.
In addition to its homemade rockets, Hamas has been receiving Iranian Fajr-5 rockets with a range of 75 kilometres for the past two years. Iran also supplies Hamas with Russian Kornet anti-tank missiles. Some missiles of the same type are also believed to have been acquired in Libya.
The war in Gaza threatens to disrupt natural gas production in the eastern Mediterranean. This would be a huge blow to Israel and Egypt’s ambitions to become a hub for LNG supplies to Europe, at a time when the EU is looking for alternatives to Russian gas.
A former officer in Vladimir Putin’s personal security detail, who has taken refuge in Europe, has revealed to Western intelligence services, including Britain’s MI6, that the Russian president is suffering from an extreme state of paranoia and isolation.
On the instructions of President Emmanuel Macron, the Ministry of the Interior Gérald Darmanin is quietly working on a draft referendum on immigration issues.
According to a French source, who is closely following the diplomatic rapprochement between Algeria and Russia, Moscow will support Algiers’ request to join the BRICS (an alliance comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
According to a US military intelligence report, one of the secret plans of Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, during his rebellion against Moscow, was to seize a Russian tactical nuclear missile base not far from the town of Rostov-on-Don, where Wagner’s forces had set up their headquarters at the start of their march on Moscow.
A recent FBI memo states that, in 2022, the Iranian Pasdaran intelligence service attempted to recruit 7 Iranians with dual US citizenship. According to the memo, clandestine Iranian cells are still being sought in New York, Virginia and California.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is expected in Paris for a state visit which should take place, unless further postponed, before the end of June. But Russia, a great economic and military ally of Algiers, insisted that the Algerian president go to Moscow before his visit to Paris.
In the West, Vladimir Putin is most often described as an isolated, even “paranoid” leader, enjoying absolute power that dispenses him from consulting or listening to advisers. However, if it is obvious that Putin is an autocrat who has freed himself from any counter-power, there are advisors in his “first circle” who are known for their moderation and others who are openly warmongers.