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Executive Summary for July 2nd

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the German coalition being on the brink despite E.U. summit deal, Jordan seeking Syria truce to avert border crisis and rescue ships held in Malta as more people drown.

Published on July 2, 2018 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

German Interior Minister Offers Resignation, Says E.U. Deal Insufficient

Germany’s interior minister has offered his resignation in a row over migration policy.

Germany’s sister conservative parties remain split over whether to turn back migrants at the border. Chancellor Angela Merkel had hoped that actions agreed at last week’s E.U. summit would appease Horst Seehofer, but he said the deal fell short of what his Bavarian conservative party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), could accept.

Merkel has balked at turning away asylum seekers already registered in other E.U. countries at the border, believing the unilateral move will collapse the bloc’s borderless area, Schengen. The three-month-old coalition relies on a partnership between Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the CSU.

Jordan Mediates in Syria, Aiming to Avert Border Crisis

Jordan is being pressured to guarantee the safety of civilians in southwestern Syria after a rebel-held town surrendered. Some 800,000 civilians are at risk and the fall of Bosra al-Sham could send a new wave of refugees into Jordan.

Talks between the rebels and Assad’s main ally, Russia, were held on July 1 with Jordan mediating. The U.N. refugee agency says fighting in the area has already displaced 160,000 civilians. The buildup of desperate Syrians near the border with Jordan and Israel is creating a humanitarian crisis.

A Deeper Look

Jerusalem Post: Syrian Refugees

“Israel will have to carefully gauge the situation as it develops. As Israelis, as Jews and as human beings, we have a moral obligation to help. The question of allowing refugees into the country is not a simple matter; it needs to be considered with great care and sensitivity.”

Rescue Boats Blocked in Malta as More Drown off Libya

Charity rescue boats have been prevented from leaving port in Malta. Currently there are no rescue NGOs in the southern Mediterranean, with some boats detained while others have been unable to resupply.

Dutch-registered Sea-Watch is ready to sail but has not been given permission to leave port in Malta. “The lack of permission to sail from Malta turns out not to be a registration issue, but a political campaign to stop civil rescue at sea,” said a Sea-Watch spokesperson. Meanwhile, 63 people went missing at sea and another 100 drowned over the weekend.

Recommended #MustReads

“You can’t let people die and that’s why we needed that symbolic act of humanity and solidarity from the government. But the Aquarius also showed us what needs to be done in terms of intervention and reception. And that isn’t happening here.”

“There is, they observe, ‘a strong correlation’ between migrant levels in a country and attitudes towards them: ‘Countries with a negligible share of migrants are the most hostile, while countries where migrants’ presence in the society is large are the most tolerant.’”

“The few institutions advocating for child protection have suffered devastating blows. A few weeks prior to the January attack on the Save the Children’s office in Jalalabad, I met children in the city center, many of them who fled attacks in nearby villages, who were collecting scrap metal on a nearby street. Following the deaths of three of its staff, the charity shuttered its programs in the country – yet another symbolic and practical blow to child protection.”

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