Turkey launched airstrikes against Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria, claiming they are extension of Turkish-Kurdish terror group PKK; campaign complicates Syrian civil war, threatens relations with Washington; US, Russia, Syria all condemn Turkey's move; YPG vows retaliation.
Reuters 22:33 , 20.01.18
While Israel blames Hamas for precarious humanitarian situation in Gaza, saying it prefers spending $260 million on rockets rather than water, health, Gaza residents bemoan threatened cuts in US aid, which may affect UNRWA.
Associated Press 00:04 , 16.01.18
Mohamed Hamdan, also known as Abu Hamza, said to be 'slightly wounded' in attack at the Lebanese city of Sidon, according to Hezbollah's al-Manar TV station; blast, which took place in a residential area, destroyed Hamdan's silver BMW; Hamas, Fatah blame Israel.
Reuters, AP 18:59 , 14.01.18
Gaza's Interior Ministry calls on Cairo to investigate the incident, in which 33-year-old Abdullah Zeidan from the Shati refugee camp was shot in the chest by Egyptian forces; Palestinians claim he did not cross naval border.
AFP 15:30 , 13.01.18
Chief prosecutor orders 'urgent' investigation into report by American paper quoting senior Egyptian intelligence official telling TV presenters to downplay President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital to sway public opinion in his favor; Times articles 'undermines Egypt's security, public peace, hurts public's interest,' prosecutor says.
Associated Press 14:41 , 12.01.18
Head of Iran Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi says his country may reconsider cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency if President Trump fails to certify by mid-January it is complying with the nuclear deal; 'Ready for all possible outcomes, all options on the table,' says government spokesman.
Reuters 18:02 , 08.01.18
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini warned that English studies opened the way to Western 'cultural invasion'; teaching of English usually starts in middle school, around ages of 12 to 14, but some primary schools also have English classes; many Iranians mocked the ban on social media.
Reuters 23:00 , 07.01.18
Former Iranian president criticized successor, saying Rouhani's government 'believes they own the land and that society is ignorant to that' and asserting 'What Iran is suffering from today is mismanagement and not lack of economic resources.'
Ynetnews 15:18 , 07.01.18
Iran's Revolutionary Guard is dispatched in effort to curb ongoing anti-government protests that so far left 21 dead and hundreds arrested; Turkey announces support in Iran's battle against the 'rebellion.'
Reuters, Liad Osmo 21:35 , 03.01.18
Ayatollah Khamenei offers first comments on anti-government street protests, says his country's enemies are using money, weapons, intelligence to sow discord; Syria echoes statements, blames Israel, US for destabilizing region; PM Netanyahu denied allegations.
Reuters 13:52 , 02.01.18
Militants, including some associated with al-Qaeda, are bussed away with their families from the area bordering the Israeli Golan Heights in an agreement between Assad and the rebels, returning control of the strategic area to forces supporting the Assad regime.
Associated Press 18:54 , 30.12.17
Thousands of Islamic regime's supporters march in Tehran, Mashhad in annual rally marking quashing of 2009 uprising; additional support rallies planned in 1,200 cities nationwide; anti-regime protests enter third day, with students protesting outside Tehran University; protest rails against economic conditions, costly involvement in Gaza conflict; dozens of protesters—who chanted 'Death to Rouhani'—arrested.
New agencies 14:36 , 30.12.17
Anti-government protests continue for second day, spreading from the northeast to the capital Tehran; protesters bemoan Iran's costly involvement in regional conflicts - providing financial aid to Assad, Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthi rebels - while at home the country suffers from an economic crisis.
Reuters 18:21 , 29.12.17
At least 9 people killed, 8 of them Coptic Christians, when gunman on motorcycle opened fire outside church in Cairo suburb, says Egyptian Health Ministry; separate attack on store in same suburb killed 2 Copts, Coptic Orthodox Church spokesman says; attack latest in wave targeting Christians in Egypt that has left more than 100 people dead.
Associated Press 14:51 , 29.12.17
US-led coalition international coalition fighting hardline Sunni militant group says most of remaining terrorists are being hunted down in desert regions in eastern Syria, Western Iraq; Russia: Main battle with Islamic State in Syria is over.
Reuters 14:44 , 27.12.17
Palestinian reconciliation deal 'falling apart. Only a blind man can't see that,' says Hamas leader in Gaza Sinwar; deal plagued by acrimony recently with Fatah saying Hamas missed milestone to complete Gaza handover, Hamas denying charge; Palestinian PM Hamdallah also said Hamas did not transfer money as agreed, Hamas retorted Hamdallah's government did not pay salaries in Gaza as agreed.
Reuters 20:20 , 21.12.17
Sabih al-Masri, Arab Bank chairman and influential businessman whose investments in Jordan are cornerstone of country's economy, was taken for questioning and barred from leaving Riyadh, reportedly as a way to pressure Jordan's King Abdullah not to attend Istanbul Muslim summit on US Jerusalem recognition.
Reuters 20:52 , 16.12.17
Giant rally staged in Gaza City lines streets in green as terror group celebrates 30 years since its founding; buses bring in men, women and children, brandishing green Hamas flags to al-Katiba Square as speedboats carrying green and Palestinian flags skim the coastal enclave's waters.
Associated Press and Ynet 14:27 , 14.12.17
Russian president makes surprise visit to Hmeymim air base in Syria's Latakia Province, meets with Syrian President Assad; 'The task of fighting armed bandits here in Syria has for the most part been solved and solved spectacularly,' Putin tells Russian troops at the base, adding 'if the terrorists again raise their heads, we will deal such blows to them they have never seen.'
Reuters 12:51 , 11.12.17
Thousands march all over Middle East in protest of President Trump's decision to recognize J'lem as Israel's capital; 20,000 march in Amman while 5,000 march near Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon; demonstrations also take place further in Asia, in Malaysia, Indonesia, India's Kashmir region.
Roi Kais 16:06 , 08.12.17
One month after surprise resignation that rocked the country, and generated mass speculation about his motives and his extended sojourn in Saudi Arabia, Saad Hariri makes surprise Cabinet announcement that he intends to retain the top seat.
Associated Press 16:59 , 05.12.17
Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted from power in 2011, was killed by his former allies, the Houthi rebels, who helped Yemeni military units loyal to Saleh overrun the capital Sanaa in 2014; alliance with Houthis frayed amid suspicions Saleh was leaning towards coalition backing rival Hadi.
Associated Press 16:50 , 04.12.17
Terror group accuses PA of making 'no effort to lift the sanctions and ease the sufferings of the people of Gaza' after transfer of civil authority in the strip postponed by 10 days; PA dismisses charges as 'irresponsible.'
AFP 23:52 , 02.12.17
Contrary to Iranian claims support given to Houthi rebels in Yemen was merely moral, consultation, intelligence blog reveals two senior officials of Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force operate smuggling operation delivering munitions from Yemen to Hamas, Islamic Jihad in Gaza through Red Sea.
Roi Kais 11:53 , 02.12.17
After handing over control of the strip's border crossings to the Palestinian Authority on Nov 1, Hamas is due to hand over civil control on Friday; but hopes have given way to doubts: 'I am afraid reconciliation will fail like the last times,' says one Gazan. 'We don't ask for a lot—we just want to live like the rest of the world.'
AFP 16:46 , 28.11.17
In another effort to secure control for its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia's fighter jets reportedly bomb ISIS-held buildings in eastern Syria; last week, following a summit meeting between Russian Pres. Putin, Iranian PRes. Ruohani and Turkish Pres. Erdoğan, Putin announced that 98 percent of Syria has returned to Assad's control.
Roi Kias & AFP 10:03 , 27.11.17
Terrorists opened fire and tossed grenades at about 500 worshipers at the Al Rawdah mosque. A stampede broke out as hundreds rushed to the door. Later, survivors say, the terrorists methodically checked their victims for any sign of life, with those still breathing getting a bullet to the head or chest.
Associated Press 21:04 , 25.11.17
Lebanese prime minister says he would not accept the Iran-backed terror organization's positions that 'affect our Arab brothers or target the security and stability of their countries,' stressing the need to enforce Beirut's 'disassociation' policy to stay out of regional conflicts.
Reuters 18:30 , 25.11.17
Egyptian President el-Sisi reportedly orders widespread military, security operations to capture terrorists who participated in attack on Sinai mosque; at least 305 people killed in attack, including 27 children, with 128 people hospitalized; terrorists were seen carrying Islamic State flags.
Roi Kais and Liad Osmo 14:39 , 25.11.17
Egyptian reports say terrorists detonated charge in Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, before opening fire on worshipers; attack apparently aimed to harm members of security forces who were at mosque; out of 305 reported murdered, 128 wounded, most are civilians.
Reuters, AP, Ynet reporters 17:09 , 24.11.17
Saudi Prince bin Salman lashes out at Iran's Supreme Leader in NYT interview Thursday, escalating war of words between the rivals; while Iran and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly clashed in int. arena, Israeli-Saudi ties have been on the rise, with Saudi officials recently visiting Paris Grand Synagogue.
Roi Kais & Reuters 09:50 , 24.11.17
Deputy Hamas chief al-Arouri, tasked with creating, administering organization's civilian, military infrastructure appointed West Bank 'shadow gov't' that oversees area from countries such as Lebanon, Jordan without fear of arrest by Israeli, PA forces; Hamas uses charitable organizations, youth clubs as front for operations.
Elior Levy 21:33 , 23.11.17
Russia's Putin meets Iran's Rouhani, Turkey's Erdoğan in Sochi to discuss Syria's postwar prospects; 'We've reached new phase,' says Putin, while underlining need for compromises, including on Assad's part; Putin and PM Netanyahu spoke about Syria on Tuesday, with Netanyahu reiterting the dangers of having Iran gain a foothold in Syria.
Associated Press 20:10 , 22.11.17
The Lebanese prime minister, who announced his resignation from Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, returns home for the first time since; he's expected to join President Aoun and Parliament Speaker Berri at the army's Independence Day parade and later declare his 'political stance.'
Associated Press 08:47 , 22.11.17
Syrian president leaves his country for first time in 2 years to meet with Russian patron; Putin congratulates Assad on 'accomplishments' in war on terror, says Syria nearing completion of mission; Assad says now is time to move forward to reach political settlement.
Roi Kais 10:04 , 21.11.17
Talks revolve around confronting Iran and Shi'ite ally Hezbollah who the Arab allies claim are interfering in their internal affairs; 'What Iran is doing against some Arab countries calls for taking more than one measure to stop these violations, interferences and threats,' says Arab League official.'
Reuters 16:59 , 19.11.17
A source close to the Saudi king told the British Daily Mail in an exclusive interview that King Salman plans to step down and name his son, Mohammad bin Salman, as his heir; Bin Salman recently arrest more than 40 princes and senior ministers for alleged corruption—a move that shook the kingdom to its core.
Ynet 22:58 , 16.11.17
Holding back tears, Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanon’s prime minister about a week ago while in Saudi Arabia, says he would return to his country within days; adds he will return to his post only if Hezbollah agrees to remain neutral on regional conflicts.
Associated Press, Reuters, Roi Kais 22:37 , 12.11.17
More Mideast News
Hamas allows Fatah to hold rally in Gaza Strip commemorating 13th anniversary of death of former leader Yasser Arafat, tens of thousands attend; in speech via satellite, Abbas reiterates future state must include Gaza, Fatah monopoly on security forces; Abbas warns abandonment of two-state solution will lead to one-state over entire 'historic Palestine' territory.
Elior Levy 17:46 , 11.11.17
Speaking in an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper, a Gulf state official accuses Lebanese prime minister and president of closing ranks with Hezbollah-Iranian axis, acquiescing with all their demands under the guise of 'domestic harmony'; 'Hezbollah cannot be allowed to operate in the shadows.'
Roi Kais 12:28 , 10.11.17
Saudi Press Agency calls on all Saudis living in or visiting Lebanon to depart, and warns against travel to the country; statement comes on heels of Lebanon PM's shock resignation and following disappearance, with Lebanese officials convinced that Saudi Arabia is behind both; Kuwait follows suit and calls on its citizens to leave Lebanon shortly after Saudi statement.
Associated Press 22:19 , 09.11.17
Top Lebanese official slams preventing Saad al-Hariri from leaving Saudi Arabia after he recently announced his unexpected retirement, citing Iranian threats; 'Keeping al-Hariri with restricted freedom in Riyadh is an attack on Lebanese sovereignty,' says official, pledging to work with foreign governments to bring about his return to Beirut.
Reuters 15:37 , 09.11.17
'Another nail in the coffin for sexual rights in Egypt' as draft law seeks to imprison for up to ten years people promoting same-sex relations as part of wider crackdown against homosexuality that began in September.
Reuters 14:01 , 09.11.17
Following speech by Lebanese PM who blamed Iran and Hezbollah terrorists for his resignation, Riyadh points finger at Hezbollah for rocket launched Monday from Yemen at Saudi capital, insisting aggression tantamount to declaration of war; warns Lebanese government will 'be dealt with as a government declaring war on Saudi Arabia.'
Reuters 08:44 , 07.11.17
Despite recent reconciliation agreement and several good will gestures by Hamas, Fatah seems hesitant to fully commit to deal; Fatah continues arresting Hamas operatives in West Bank, preventing any foothold for rival, hoisted by concerted Israeli efforts to do same; President Abbas yet to remove sanctions levied against Gaza.
Elior Levy 17:59 , 05.11.17
In a power move, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who heads anti-corruption committee, orders arrests of some of the country's most powerful businessmen, including contender to the throne Prince Miteb bin Abdullah and billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
Associated Press 08:56 , 05.11.17
Saad Hariri resigns from his post during a trip to Saudi Arabia in a surprise move that plunges the country into uncertainty amid heightened regional tensions; Al Arabiya reports attempt of Hariri's life was thwarted several days ago, but security forces in Lebanon deny.
Associated Press, Reuters 15:14 , 04.11.17
Hassan Nasrallah and Saleh al-Arouri meet in Beirut to discuss 'the Zionist aggression against Gaza and its ramifications' following the tunnel explosion; this was likely Nasrallah's first meeting with a Hamas official since ties were cut in 2011 over the Syrian civil war.
Roi Kais, Elior Levy 14:12 , 01.11.17
Just under a month after PA and Hamas sign reconciliation deal, employees from Abbas's faction move into Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings on Israeli border and Rafah crossing on Egyptian border; Hamas’s departure as it relinquishes control replaced by large murals of Abbas and Egypt's president pinned up at entrances.
Reuters 13:16 , 01.11.17
In what appears to be an attempted assassination, Tawfiq Abu Naim rushed hospital having sustained light injuries after masked men shoot him as he leaves Friday prayers in a Gaza mosque; not immediately clear whether culprits escaped.
Elior Levy 22:35 , 27.10.17
After relinquishing control of 2 islands in Straits of Tiran to Saudi Arabia, Egypt agrees to plan bridge spanning straits that connects Egypt with Saudi kingdom; for project to go forward, Israel would have to cooperate with Saudi Arabia, with which it has no official relations.
Ilana Curiel 19:02 , 26.10.17
After the Iraqi government transforms balance of power, seizing territories from the Kurds in the north, Kurdistan Regional Government gives in to pressure, offering to put the independence referendum on hold and engage in talks with Baghdad.
Reuters 08:36 , 25.10.17
As Riyadh and Baghdad work to renew ties after decades of estrangement, Secretary of State Tillerson urges Saudi, Iraqi leaders 'to expand vital relationship for the stability of the region' as part of bigger effort to combat growing Iranian influence in the Middle East.
Associated Press 16:15 , 22.10.17
Iranian Chief of Staff Bagheri signs memorandum of understanding with Syrian counterpart Ayyoub delineating cooperation, coordination on intelligence, training, technology and combating terrorism and 'Zio-American schemes.'
Roi Kais 16:04 , 21.10.17
Iraqi central gov't forces complete takeover of Kurdish-held Kirkuk province by taking Altun Kupri, last Peshmerga-held quarter; before retreating, Kurdish forces fight advancing Iraqi army; 'This is beginning of war between Kurds and Iraq," says Peshmerga commander; US calls to resolve conflict politically rather than militarily.
Reuters 11:04 , 21.10.17
IRG announces country's ballistic missiles program will proceed as planned despite mounting US, EU pressure, threats of reinstating sanctions; 'Hostile approach of rogue and brute (US) president shows failure of America, Zionist regime's wicked policies in region,' Guards' statement says.
Reuters 15:53 , 19.10.17
Iranian Supreme Leader says Iran will 'shred' nuclear deal should US withdraw from it; Ayatollah welcomes support of other Western nations, but cautions it does not suffice: 'It is unacceptable for Europeans to join America in its bullying.'
Reuters 16:04 , 18.10.17
3 years after the Islamic State captured Syrian city of Raqqa and made it its capital, Kurdish forces announce its liberation is close at hand; thousands of civilians living under brutal Sharia reign of terror since 2014 flee front lines and collapse before their rescuers.
The Associated Press 15:10 , 14.10.17
Saeb Erekat undergoes successful lung transplant surgery at the Inova Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia; he has been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, lung disease characterized by scars in lung tissue, which makes it difficult for them to function properly.
Elior Levy 09:23 , 13.10.17
Official within the US State Department reveals estimation that two Hezbollah operatives are planning to carry out a terrorist attack within the US; State Department offering $ 7M for one's capture and $ 5M for the other's.
News Agencies 23:14 , 10.10.17
German intelligence agencies report Iran made 32 procurement attempts relating to technology used in ballistic missile programs during '16 after nuclear deal was already in place, and 141 attempts in '15; attempts very likely 'undertaken for benefit of (nuclear) proliferation programs.'
Ynet 17:05 , 10.10.17
In rare and risky display, dozens of renowned Shiite public figures, including professors, writers, journalists and businessmen, meet in Beirut to voice their opposition to Hezbollah and call for a transfer of power, claiming oppression and drawing the ire of the terror group's supporters.
Roi Kais 15:04 , 09.10.17
2 guards are killed and 3 injured in shooting attack on Saudi royal palace Saturday; attacker is shot and killed, after which a rifle and explosives are found in his possession; Saudi King Salman was visiting Russia during attack.
Roi Kais 23:37 , 07.10.17
While President Trump may yet decertify nuclear deal with Iran, achieved two years ago and often maligned by him as a 'bad deal,' Iranian President Rouhani says, 'We have achieved benefits that are irreversible. Nobody can roll them back, neither Trump, nor 10 other Trumps.'
The Associated Press 15:04 , 07.10.17
Al-Arouri, in charge of Hamas' military wing in W. Bank, is appointed dep. head of Hamas' political bureau; last June, al-Arouri and other Hamas officials were forced to leave Qatar as part of Gulf states diplomatic crisis, after US exerted pressure on Qatar to oust them.
Elior Levy 14:34 , 05.10.17
In rare interview, exiled senior PA official Dahlan says PM Netanyahu 'does not want peace, imposed reality of 700,000 settlers in West Bank and Jerusalem that made it impossible'; Palestinian unity now 'more important and more useful than so-called negotiation,' Dahlan says.
Reuters 22:25 , 04.10.17
Abu Mohammad al-Julani, leader of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, was reportedly hurt while 50 other militant commanders were killed in Russian strike targeting a high-level meeting at an undisclosed location in Syria.
Associated Press 13:40 , 04.10.17
Egypt steps up crackdown on people suspected of homosexuality after rainbow flag is raised at concert, arresting at least 33 in little more than a week and charging most with 'promoting sexual deviancy'; those arrested are subjected to anal examinations, supposedly to determine whether they have had gay sex, which rights groups say amounts to torture.
Reuters, AP 19:41 , 03.10.17
Egypt deepens involvement in Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, as Pres. al-Sisi warns both parties: 'History will pay its debt to anyone who misses opportunity for peace'; PA Pres. Abbas talks careful hope for future: 'I don't want to run for president, but if the people demand it, I will. I'm optimistic the day will come when we'll achieve a Palestinian state, but it won't happen soon.'
Elior Levy and Moran Azulay 19:35 , 03.10.17
PA delegation headed by PM Hamdallah visits Gaza and holds cabinet meeting, signaling beginning of rapprochement between Palestinian factions; Gazans hope sanctions will be lifted, but Abbas insists Hamas must first disarm.
Elior Levy 14:47 , 03.10.17
While the date of the 46-minute recording is unclear, the ISIS leader makes reference to North Korean threats against Japan and United States. This is the first communication from the elusive jihadist leader in almost a year.
Reuters, Roi Kais 19:26 , 28.09.17
Women, who hitherto faced detention for defying ban, will be able to drive from next summer but will not be able to obtain licenses immediately; opponents argued lifting ban it would corrupt society and lead to sin; US hails change as 'step in right direction.'
Associated Press 23:29 , 26.09.17
Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah to arrive in the strip with his ministers next Monday 'to begin assuming the responsibilities of the government' following Hamas announcement it was disbanding its administrative committee.
Reuters 16:45 , 25.09.17
Despite threats from Iraq, Iran and Turkey and international pressure from other countries, vote goes ahead and expected to result in a 'yes' majority for independence; 'We have been waiting 100 years for this day,' says one voter.
Reuters 09:56 , 25.09.17
Ankara continues exerting pressure on the Kurds in hope of cancelling referendum in northern Iraq in two days; Turkish military conducts large-scale drill on Iraqi border, while parliament extended mandate to send Turkish troops to Iraq; Turkish PM says not ruling out military operation in Iraq.
Reuters 23:12 , 23.09.17
Syrian foreign minister says his country is 'marching steadily' toward goal of rooting out terrorism; and while noting the Assad regime was encouraged by talks on de-escalation zones, 'Syria reserves the right to respond to any violation by the other party.'
Associated Press 22:47 , 23.09.17
Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami says the new Khorramshahr missile, allegedly able to carry multiple warheads, can 'evade the enemy's air defense line and be guided from the moment of launch until the target is hit.'
Reuters, Ynetnews 19:16 , 23.09.17
Mohammad Bakri, an Israeli-Arab actor and director, arrives in Beirut to take part in Palestinian Days festival, despite law against on travel from Israel to Lebanon; newspaper Al Akhbar prominently features Bakri, who says his 'presence in Lebanon is a victory over racist laws.'
Roi Kais 18:05 , 23.09.17