Middle East

The region known as the Middle East has been conquered and reconquered by every super power in the West. This has created a region rich in a culture of resistance and thousands of ethnic groups looking for their piece of land. This has created a complicated region and Jpost's Middle East News simplifies it.

A logo is pictured on the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
WHO: Middle East still has chance to scale up coronavirus response

The death rate in the region was similar to that globally and there have been encouraging signs of new cases in Iran flattening off in recent days, though other states were still at risk

Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as
Iran says coronavirus death toll nearing 4,000

The total number of coronavirus cases has reached 62,589, with 2,089 new infections, Jahanpur said.

Basij volunteer sprays disinfectant as he sanitizes bus station, amid coronavirus fears in Iran
Iran has 500,000 people infected with coronavirus

Tehran's regime repeatedly refused to accept humanitarian aid from the US government.

Coronavirus: Iran approves tapping sovereign wealth fund to fight COVID-19

Iran is the Middle Eastern country worst-affected so far by the coronavirus, with 3,739 deaths and 60,500 people infected as of Monday, official data showed.

Iran’s virus deaths soar over 10,000 as regime deceives public - report

The mass deception involved directives to issue fake death certificates. “The cover up by the mullahs is not only a health risk for the Iranians, but also for other countries."

Basij volunteer sprays disinfectant as he sanitizes bus station, amid coronavirus fears in Iran
Iranian official calls for probe into US role in creation of coronavirus

'The US has been always [been] accused of having a role, either intentionally or accidentally, in the biological events, like the (outbreak of) Ebola'

Iraqi security forces re-open BaghdadÕs Sinak bridge, after it was shut down by protesters, in Baghd
Pro-Iran factions in Iraq maneuver to topple another PM-designate

During the last year, US-Iran tensions have risen in the country and Iranian proxies have launched rocket attacks on US forces and the US Embassy.

More than 100,000 coronavirus cases in the Middle East

Coronavirus came to the region in February and rapidly spread to Iran.

Unused Katyusha rockets found by the Iraqi Army are seen in Umm al-Izam
Five missiles fired at ‘American’ oil company in Iraq - Iranian media

The alleged rocket attack fits a pattern of dozens of rocket attacks on bases housing US troops and against the embassy.

Security officers and Red Crescent workers are seen at the site where the Ukraine International Airl
Iran's military did "well" by downing Ukrainian plane, MP says

The MP added that no arrests have been made in relation to the incident, contrary to official claims.

Members of the paramilitary Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) take part in their graduation ceremony
US asks Iraq to negotiate new security agreement as tensions rise

PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi welcomed the opening of a strategic dialogue between Iraq and the US 'in order to achieve their mutual interests and in light of decisions and developments in Iraq and the region'

Libyan revolution premier Jibril dies from coronavirus

Jibril was interim leader until the country held its first free elections in four decades in 2012, following the toppling of Gaddafi the year before.

Iranian women wear protective masks to prevent contracting coronavirus, as they walk in the street i
Iranian dissidents oppose IMF loan to Tehran’s rulers

The clerical regime has sufficient funds to combat coronavirus, says group.

Mossad blamed for assassination of Hezbollah commander - report

Younis was 'responsible for pursuing spies and collaborators.' Sources stated that Younis was on a mission pursuing a target when he was ambushed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu climbs out of the 'Rahav,' the fifth submarine in the navy's fleet
German sub about to be delivered to Egyptian Navy – report

The S43 submarine is the third out of four new submarines ThyssenKrupp sold to Egypt, after getting Netanyahu’s approval.

ranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the cabinet meeting, as the spread of the coronavirus
US expert: HRW report against Iran sanctions not ‘credible’

HRW tells Post it stands by report cited by sympathizers of Iran's regime

Prison jail cell illustrative
Algerian, international NGOs, call for release of jailed reporter

Groups charge authorities are taking advantage of coronavirus pandemic to settle scores with independent journalism.

Prison cell block
UN worried about Iran prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak

Iran is one of the countries worst-hit by the global coronavirus outbreak.

Iraqi security forces gather in a street, during a curfew imposed to fight the coronavirus
Reuters banned in Iraq for 90 days following a coronavirus report

The news agency was banned from the country after it reported the number of coronavirus patients was larger than officially reported.

World Bank to give $5.8 million to help Palestinians fight coronavirus

This funding will cover top priorities, including equipment and materials for infection and prevention control, laboratory diagnostics, isolation and case management.

Voices from the Arab press

A weekly selection of opinions and analyses from the Arab media around the world.

Rouhani: US sanctions not impeding fight against coronavirus

Iran’s president statements contradict Zarif.

US Army soldiers keep watch on the US embassy compound in Baghdad, Iraq January 1, 2020
Assessing the US strategy in Iraq

Only an integrated political, military and economic strategy targeting the Iranian system in all its aspects, with a long-term commitment to local allies and the mission, can succeed

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah, April 15, 2019
Coronavirus crisis boosts Shtayyeh’s chances of becoming next PA president

One year after he was appointed as prime minister, the 62-year-old Shtayyeh has now significantly improved his chances of becoming the next PA president.

A Palestinian man reads the Al-Quds newspaper depicting images newly elected U.S. President Donald T
Palestinian agreement favors journalists amid coronavirus crisis

Government source: Agreement will hurt media outlets, should be withdrawn

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, March 4, 2020
US believes Iran 'directly involved' in killing dissident in Turkey

The United States had not previously disclosed its assessment on who might have been behind the incident.

An entrance of the Church of the Nativity is seen locked amid coronavirus precautions, in Bethlehem
Palestinian university produces model for inexpensive respirator

Abbas congratulates university on ‘great scientific achievement’

German health minister stops flights from Iran due to lack of transparency

The "Post" reported in March that German airports and authorities defied an announcement from Transportation Minister Andreas Scheuer to bar flights from Iran.

A general view of the Bushehr main nuclear reactor, Iran
If US eases sanctions on Iran, how much quicker could it produce a nuke?

The coronavirus crisis could be an opportunity for Trump to cite unique and changed circumstances to show flexibility and claim that he did not blink in the two-year game of chicken with Iran.

Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards march during a military parade to commemorate the 1980-88 Ira
Iran is ramping up threats to US in Iraq - analysis

What appears to be going on in Iraq is some jockeying for position before the war. This is like the so-called Phoney War that preceded the invasion of France in April 1940.

Saint Sarkis Cathedral and a building with a mural of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
Iran's death toll from coronavirus climbs to 2,898

At a meeting broadcast live, Rouhani called on Iranians to avoid public places.

Turkey may release criminals during pandemic, jails journalists

A journalist named Nurcan Baysal became the latest to face Turkey’s investigations this week for her coverage of the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the minority Kurdish region.

Iranian people wear protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus, in Tehran, Iran February
Here’s what coronavirus-hit Iran might do to wreak havoc in the region

The confluence of hard-hitting sanctions on the country and Iran’s floundering theocracy frustrated an adequate response to the pandemic.

plane crash at the Boryspil… REUTERS 19/01/2020 12:16 IRAN-NUCLEAR/IAEA FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag
US renews sanctions waivers allowing Iran nonproliferation work

The United States has allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to continue their work at Iranian nuclear sites to make it harder for Tehran to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran could activate proxies, up nuclear activities amid coronavirus crisis

President Trump’s hands may be tied due to upcoming November election and given scope of outbreak in US.

Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as
Iran's health minister says no shortage of special drugs

"Although it is hard to fight the coronavirus under sanctions, since the beginning [of the outbreak] we have not faced a shortage of special drugs," Iran's health minister said.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz poses for a photo during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mi
Saudi king will cover treatment for citizens with coronavirus

The kingdom has taken drastic steps to contain the disease, halting international flights, closing most public places and imposing a partial curfew.

A Palestinian worker makes a protective suit at a factory amid concerns over the spread of the coron
Six more Palestinians have tested positive for coronavirus

With 115 confirmed coronavirus cases, Palestinian health officials express optimism

Afghan National Army forces go towards the site of an airplane crash in Deh Yak district of Ghazni p
At least 27 Afghan security personnel killed in Taliban assaults

The Taliban and the United States struck a deal last month allowing the United States and its allies to withdraw their forces in exchange for Taliban promises on preventing terrorism.

Medical equipment that will be used to repair the defective CT machine in the European Gaza Hospital
COGAT coordinates restoration of CT machine in Gaza

The hospital provides medical treatment for dozens of patients daily.

Syria: ISIS prisoners try to break out during coronavirus crisis

The SDF's region receives no support against the pandemic – and not enough support to secure thousands of the world’s most dangerous ISIS terrorists.

A worker fills a vehicle with petrol at a gas station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, February 16, 2020.
The consequences of the Saudi oil price war

Experts weigh in on the kingdom’s slashing of prices while demand plummets

Islamic State prisoners seize control in Syrian prison

"The situation is tense inside the prison currently and we sent anti-terror forces and additional troops to control the situation."

An internally displaced Syrian girl wears a face mask as members of the Syrian Civil defence sanitiz
Syria reports first coronavirus death as fears grow of major outbreak

Syria also said its confirmed cases rose to nine from an earlier five cases, but medics and witnesses say there are many more.

UN official: Coronavirus spike could cause collapse of Gaza health system

It ‘is in poor shape because of years of under-resourcing’

Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as
Iran has nearly 67,000 people with coronavirus symptoms – report

Islamic Republic is epicenter of the virus outbreak in the Middle East

A woman wears a protective face mask as she walks in Tunis, Tunisia March 4, 2020
Tunisian workers self-isolate to produce 50,000 protective masks daily

‘If we don’t work, our doctors will not be protected against the virus’

More than 50,000 cases of coronavirus in Middle East

While the wealthy Gulf states will be fine, the other countries have a major challenge ahead of them.

Palestinian health workers wearing protective masks walk in a quarantine zone installed by the minis
Hamas official suspended for allowing TV crew inside quarantine center

The Palestinians called the incident a “scandal” and demanded that those who authorized the filming inside the center be punished.

Protesters and militia fighters throw stones towards the U.S. Embassy during a protest to condemn ai
Pro-Iranian militias in Iraq debate best way to defeat US

While these groups say they are ready to fight the Americans, leaders are reticent to show their faces in public, fearing US drone strikes.

Yemeni scholar: Jews, Israel and US made coronavirus to shut down Mecca

In a video released by MEMRI, Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ubeidi argues that Jewish people have plotted for centuries to take over the Islamic holy sites of Mecca and Medina.

Houthi troops ride on the back of a police patrol truck after participating in a Houthi gathering in
Houthis offer Saudi Arabia POW swap for jailed Palestinians

The movement reportedly chose the Palestinian detainees over Houthi militants as they are expected to be released in a separate prisoner swap.

"Qiam" ballistic missile manufactured in Iran and that the Pentagon says was fired by Houthi rebels
Saudi Arabia intercepts two missiles fired by Yemen's Houthis

Two civilians were slightly injured due to the falling of the intercepted missile's debris as it exploded in mid-air over residential districts.

Quartet worried about coronavirus impact on Gaza

Qatar to send $2.7 million to Hamas for impoverished Palestinians.

 A demonstrator holds a poster with a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi
Another Khashoggi? Iran murdered dissident in Istanbul, why the cover-up?

Vardanjani was a critic of Tehran’s regime and spoke out on social media. “I will root out the corrupt mafia commanders – pray they don’t kill me before I do this,” he wrote.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo on January 31
Palestinian officials deny rumors about Abbas’s health

Palestinian officials on Saturday denied that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus.

LGBTQ flag
Pro-Iran cleric in Iraq says same-sex marriage caused coronavirus

The fanatical Shi’ite cleric Sadr was harbored by Iran’s regime from 2007 until 2011, and studied in the religious city of Qom to advance his clerical resume.

Iran and US preparing for new round of conflict in Iraq

The US-led Coalition has been repositioning forces in the last weeks, handing over several key posts, and training of Iraqi forces is temporarily wrapping up.

Iranian people wear protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus, in Tehran, Iran February
Amnesty International urges Iran to release all political prisoners

Release of hundreds of prisoners will stop the spread of coronavirus.

Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as
40,000 coronavirus cases in Middle East

The rising number of cases continue to concern Turkey and the Gulf as Israel tops 3,000 and there are more than 500,000 worldwide.

A medical team sprays disinfectant to sanitize Imam Reza's holy shrine in Iran
Organizer of Holocaust-denying cartoon comp has new theme: coronavirus

Iranian propagandist Masoud Shojaei-Tabatabaei, who has previously organized two competitions mocking the Holocaust, has launched another peddling coronavirus conspiracy theories.

A health worker with a face mask walks inside a hospital in Syria
Despite coronavirus, mideast wars continue unabated

After a decade of carnage, Syrians face a new scourge

Quartet worried about coronavirus impact on Gaza

There have been only nine confirmed cases in Gaza, but the fear is that the Hamas-controlled coastal region does not have enough resources to contain an outbreak and care for those who will be sick.

Danon: Iran must halt nuke program for coronavirus-related sanction-relief

Tehran’s ability to treat coronavirus victims is hampered by US sanctions.

How are Palestinians coping with coronavirus?

For the first time in many years, Palestinian officials are not afraid to openly talk about cooperation with Israel.

SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES and US troops are seen during a patrol near Turkish border in Hasakah.
Turkish-occupied Syria cuts off water to 400,000 during pandemic

Turkish-backed far-right militants cut off the water to 400,000 Syrians, including tens of thousands of children, during the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports in eastern Syria.

Most Palestinians support cooperation with Israel to combat coronavirus

The poll also found that a majority of Palestinians are satisfied with the performance of the PA health authorities and security forces to combat the spread of the virus.

Alexandria, Egypt
Voices from the Arab Press: Boycott Egyptian money

Make no mistake: This is not a call to boycott our country’s financial system.

Houthi troops ride on the back of a police patrol truck after participating in a Houthi gathering in
Pro-Iranian regime Houthi leader releases persecuted Baha'is in Yemen

In a statement on al-Masirah TV, the Houthi leader declared the release of members of the persecuted religious minority group.

Iraqi security forces gather in a street, during a curfew imposed to fight the coronavirus
Across Middle East, militants hang up guns to fight coronavirus

Armed groups, many of them unable to test for the virus and lacking medical support, pick up the disinfectant alongside the rifle.

Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, head of the Hezbollah Executive Council, pays his condolences to Ali Badre
Hezbollah deploys medics, hospitals against coronavirus in Lebanon

"It is a real war that we must confront with the mindset of a warrior," Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, head of the Shi'ite group's executive council, said.

Robert Levinson
American Robert Levinson, held by Iran, believed to be dead

His family vowed to make sure that the Iranian regime and those who abandoned him know they will not be going away.

COGAT coordinates WHO delivery of coronavirus detection kits and protective masks to PA
COGAT delivers 3,000 coronavirus test kits, 50,000 masks to PA

The medical gear was donated by the World Health Organization for the use of medical teams working in the PA's territories in the West Bank.

Palestinians report first coronavirus fatality

Abbas praises China's 'big victory' over pandemic

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) 40th Su
Saudi Arabia tightens curfew to contain coronavirus

Across the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council the tally rose to over 2,250 with six deaths, as Oman registered 15 new infections and Kuwait four.

Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as
Iran to impose tough measures as coronavirus death toll rises

"This plan is strict and it will create difficulties and restrictions for travel, and prompt people who have already traveled to return home faster," Rouhani said in a remarks carried by state television.

Tourists wearing protective face masks, due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns, stroll at Su
Turkey rounds up hundreds for social media posts about coronavirus

Soylu noted that since the restrictions were put in place, the number of passengers on inter-city buses had fallen 83% and traffic intensity within 15 major cities had fallen 65%.

Saint Sarkis Cathedral and a building with a mural of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
Iran refuses to release Christian prisoners despite coronavirus outbreak

"According to Islamic law, it is a crime to turn from Islam. The regime has always made an example of its Christian convert detainees to serve as a warning to others."

HUMAN RIGHTS activists hold pictures of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest outside th
Saudi suspects indicted for Khashoggi killing by Turkish prosecutors

The prosecutor's office accused the two men of instigating Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and named 18 suspects it said actually carried out the killing.

Fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces inspect weapons and munitions recovered at the former positions
Islamic State claims Mozambique attack close to gas projects

Government spokesman Filimao Suaze said the retreating attackers had left a "trail of destruction and dead bodies", and that security had been beefed up in the area.

Afghan National Army (ANA) officers take part in a training exercise
Gunmen, suicide bombers attack Sikh religious complex in Afghan capital

It was not immediately clear how many attackers there were or who they were. It was not know if there were any casualties.

PA asks Palestinian workers in Israel to return amid coronavirus outbreak

All workers returning from Israel will have to stay at home in quarantine for 14 days. Those who show symptoms should contact their nearest health center immediately.

Is Turkey planning a new invasion of eastern Syria? – analysis

Turkey is now turning to this oil policy during the coronavirus crisis as a possible new way to distract local media and create a new nationalist cause.

Alexandria, Egypt
Egypt declares two-week curfew to counter coronavirus

A closure of schools and universities, which were shut on March 14 for two weeks, will be extended for a further two weeks, Prime Minster Mostafa Madbouly said.

Workers locked into Qatar labor camps while coronavirus spreads within

The workers are some of the thousands slaving away on the FIFA World Cup infrastructure projects.

Members of firefighters wear protective face masks, amid fear of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as
Iran incites against Doctors Without Borders amid coronavirus crisis

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) sent a team and temporary hospital unit to Iran on March 22, only to have the regime spread claims that it was spying and try to expel the aid from the country.

In health crisis, virtual world saves Palestinian education, business

With coronavirus lockdown, public, private sectors turn to remote communication

Jordan blows sirens for the start of a nationwide curfew to combat coronavirus
Will coronavirus bring more peace in Middle East this year? – analysis

Authoritarian regimes appear to want to downplay the spread of the virus. Terrorist groups could exploit the weakness of states amid the pandemic.

Members of the medical team spray disinfectant to sanitize indoor place of Imam Reza's holy shrine,
How Iran is responding to the coronavirus outbreak

Fars News recommends people change their diets and focus on traditional herbs and medicine.

A medical staff member in protective gear checks the temperature of a cleric man amid concerns over
Middle East countries prepare drastic measures against coronavirus

The countries faced several hurdles. Some are poor or in conflict, some are divided and some lack tests, but the Gulf was better prepared than others.

First Arab LGBTQ organization wins legal recognition in Tunisia

The LGBTQ group's president favors diplomatic relations with Israel

Israeli car hit by stones thrown by Palestinians, March 23, 2020
Palestinian killed by IDF fire after throwing stones

Coronavirus crisis sees drop in attacks and unprecedented cooperation between IDF and Palestinian Authority forces.

Jordan blows sirens for the start of a nationwide curfew to combat coronavirus
Concerns over water shortages jump in Jordan amid coronavirus lockdown

Climate change, water theft and groundwater used twice as quickly as it's replenished, make water security challenging in Jordan.

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