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Monday Briefing: Fears of Anarchy Grow in Gaza

WorldAsiaMonday Briefing: Fears of Anarchy Grow in Gaza

Last week, more than 100 people were killed in northern Gaza, health officials there said, after thousands of Gazans rushed at aid trucks. The crush on Thursday led to a stampede and prompted Israeli soldiers to fire at the crowd.

The immediate causes were extreme hunger and desperation: The U.N. has warned that famine is looming in northern Gaza, where roughly 300,000 civilians are still stranded and aid deliveries are rare — and can be fraught.

But there is a deeper problem: Even though fighting has ebbed in the north, Israel has been reluctant to fill the current leadership vacuum there. In trying to prevent Hamas from rebuilding, Israel stopped police officers from the Hamas-led government from escorting the trucks — and has delayed the creation of any alternative Palestinian law enforcement.

That means that there is no centralized body to coordinate the provision of services, enforce law and order, and protect the aid trucks. Video has emerged of armed groups attacking convoys, and diplomats say criminal gangs are beginning to fill the void left by Hamas.

Pakistan’s Parliament approved Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister yesterday. He began his second term after weeks of upheaval and is set to face years of questions about his legitimacy.

Analysts say that public confidence in Sharif’s government is low. His party did not win the most seats in elections a month ago — that honor went to allies of Imran Khan, the imprisoned former prime minister. Accusations are growing that the military tampered with dozens of races to tilt the vote in favor of Sharif’s party.

What’s next: A top analyst said that the longevity of Sharif’s coalition will likely depend on military support. Khan’s allies are preparing to put up a strong fight in Parliament.

Blasphemy: Mobs are going after people who are accused of disrespect toward Islam.

A majority of voters who supported President Biden in 2020 now say that he is “just too old” to lead the country effectively, according to a new poll by The Times and Siena College. Seventy-three percent of all registered voters said he was too old to be effective, and 45 percent expressed a belief that he could not do the job.

Their fears pose a deepening threat to his re-election bid and does not seem to extend to Donald Trump — who, at 77, is just four years younger. Their likely rematch this fall would make them the oldest presidential nominees in history.

Supreme Court: The justices may rule today on Trump’s eligibility to hold office, one day before the primaries on Super Tuesday.

Alderney, a small island in the English Channel, feels like a windswept remote haven. But it hides dark secrets: During World War II, untold numbers of people died in its Nazi camps.

Now, the island is at the center of a debate about how to remember the atrocities — and how to reckon with the fact that Britain has never held anyone responsible for running an SS concentration camp on its soil.

Lives lived: Iris Apfel, a self-described “geriatric starlet,” rose to fame in her 80s, and her wildly eclectic closet formed a hit exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She died at 102.

Dongbei, a region in northeastern China, was long the country’s industrial heartland: Some even called it China’s Rust Belt. But in the 1990s, waves of mass layoffs left millions there unemployed, as China shifted from a planned economy toward a market-based one.

Decades later, the region is at the center of an artistic wave, sometimes called the “Dongbei Renaissance.” A television drama about a faded factory town was China’s top-rated show last year, and songs by Dongbei musicians have gone viral. Shuang Xuetao, who grew up there, published a new collection last month, and a star-studded film adaptation of one of his novellas is due this year.

“I said, OK, I want to help others better understand this place of ours,” Shuang, 40, said. “I want to leave a record of these people.”

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