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.

Saeb Erekat: Chief Palestinian negotiator's legacy in 'his own words'

In his demands about how peace should be reached and his acceptance of terrorism as legitimate, Erekat's legacy may be one of preventing a Palestinian Israeli peace rather than fostering it.

Beware of Iran's underground nuclear facility - analysis

Tehran may soon regain the ability to sneak out a weapon.

ISRAEL HAS to examine carefully how much the US wants to sell the F35 to the UAE.
Is Israel's qualitative military edge eroding?

Israel has always opposed the US want to supply sophisticated weapons to other countries across the world.

Israeli soldiers
Gantz: I hear positive voices in Lebanon talking about peace with Israel

The Defense Minister made the comments while on a tour of the IDF's Lethal Arrow drill simulating war with Hezbollah.

Trump: 5 or more countries to make peace with Israel after election

“We’re doing a lot of work right now. I’m involved in all these deals,” he said. “We have peace in the Middle East with no money and no blood.”

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Istanbul, Turkey
Turkish court sentences US consulate employee over aiding terror group

Concerns over their relationship came into the spotlight in recent weeks as Turkey tested the S-400 missile system, prompting a furious response from Washington.

Iran says public too lax over COVID-19 rules, as cases, deaths rise

A record daily death toll of 346 pushed the total toll to 33,299.

Palestinian Hamas supporters kiss a poster of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a Hamas rally
Egypt worried about Hamas-Turkey close ties

Egypt has demanded that Turkey stay away from issues the Egyptians are dealing with, including efforts to end the dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian ruling Fatah faction.

Afghan National Army (ANA) officers take part in a training exercise
Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians killed or wounded in 2020 - UN

The Taliban were responsible for 45% of civilian casualties while government troops caused 23%, it said. US-led international forces were responsible for 2%.

A US military vehicle is pictured behind the Turkish border walls during a joint US-Turkey patrol
Arab survey: US can help solve Israel-Pal conflict, contain Iran

New poll on eve of US election shows Arab support for MidEast peace and US involvement but argues that previous US presidents have left the region worse off.

UAE lawmaker: 'Hamas and the PA are both corrupt and murderers'

"Now the anger towards the UAE, from both the PA and Hamas, has been created because we have stopped paying. We want to pay and we will pay the people. Not Hamas and the PA."

Iran summons French diplomat over alleged insult against Prophet Mohammad

Iran's foreign minister said on Monday that insulting Muslims is an "opportunistic" abuse of free speech in an apparent reference to the remarks by Macron.

Despite pandemic, Palestinian film festival draws in cinema lovers

Ramallah, Jerusalem, Haifa, Bethlehem, Gaza City screenings feature two empty seats between each audience member .

US issues fresh Iran-related sanctions targeting state oil sector

"The regime in Iran uses the petroleum sector to fund the destabilizing activities of the IRGC-QF."

L to R: Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
History will judge UNSC for failing to embrace Abraham Accords, US says

“History will judge how this Council responds to this historic moment – it can either shrink from the challenge or rise to the occasion.”

Waiting for Biden: a newly set Mideast table - analysis

Some elements of Trump's Mideast peace plan, the so-called “Deal of the Century,” are becoming facts on the ground regardless of who wins next week’s US election.

Why Hezbollah, Pakistan now condemn France's 'anti-Muslim' views - analysis

The supposed controversy involves cartoons published long ago in France and which Paris has consistently defended as free speech.

Saddam-era ‘red devil’ leader Douri reported dead – again

After the US invasion al-Douri vanished and became one of the world's most wanted men. His family was detained but he evaded capture.

Turkey, Iran, Russia benefit from Azerbaijan, Armenia conflict - analysis

Today the three countries, along with China, help determine more regional and global affairs as the US has retreated from dealing with foreign conflicts and what many see as “endless wars.”

Is the IRGC pushing Ghalibaf to run for president of Iran?

It is not entirely clear what the agenda is, but in a country where media is linked to the state but where there are competing agendas, the decision by media to highlight one person and not another has a message.

Islamic State warns Saudi Arabia after allies normalize ties with Israel

Chatter about attack in kingdom highlights delicate balance in Saudi rulers’ plans for national reforms.

Saudi business leaders call for boycott of ‘hostile’ Turkey

Trade, tourism suffer as Erdogan’s drive for influence offends fellow Sunnis in anti-Islamist bloc

Ashkenazi heads to Athens, will meet Russian FM Lavrov

Tensions between Greece and Cyprus and Turkey are likely to come up in the meeting.

The F-35 sale to the UAE is a self-imposed saga - analysis

What makes this saga is even more frustrating is that in this particular case the UAE deal could have been all silver lining – with no clouds visible at all.

Hamas officials Husam Badran (C) and Khalil al-Hayya (2nd-R) attend a meeting
Egypt to relay Israeli ‘security messages’ to Hamas - report

Several messages are expected to be related via the Egyptians

Why is Iran suddenly interested in Palestinian Islamic Jihad again?

Interest does not appear to be a coincidence because the group claimed it was “mobilizing” in Gaza over the weekend.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Ramallah, July 20, 2020.
Egypt pushes for progress on Syria talks, inciting Turkish anger

There is little tangible progress in the wake of the talks last week, however Egypt’s position in general is part of a trend among many Arab states to deal with the Syrian regime again.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani casts his vote at a polling station during parliamentary elections
Iran confronts growing criticism of gov't at home

It appears that Rouhani is facing criticism due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in addition to poverty in regions around Iran.

Iran, Turkey and Qatar condemn France over religious 'desecration'

Why would small groups in Gaza, such as Islamic Jihad, suddenly care about a cartoon in France when they have more pressing issues? This is a sort of regional competition over who “defends Muslims.”

IDF denies killing Palestinian teen after claims he was beaten in chase

While the IDF reported that the teen fainted and died without any physical contact from soldiers, Palestinian media claimed he was beaten to death by the IDF.

Muslim demonstrators hold placards during a protest against the publication of cartoons
Protests in Jaffa to denounce Macron's comment on Prophet Muhammad

The Islamist movement Hamas, the governing authority of the Gaza Strip, also denounced Macron's words, as did Islamic Jihad.

GIRLS STAND next to a poster depicting Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (right) and
Mossad head: Saudi normalization ties close; post US election could see progress

US-mediated normalization talks between Israel and Oman are reportedly close to achieving a breakthrough.

WOMEN WALK to the market in Abu Shock IDPs camp in Al Fashir, capital of North Darfur, Sudan.
Sudanese female advocate for Israel relations highlights hope for women

Sudanese women contemplate ties with Israel, country’s future, with peace deal in sight

Afghan forces kill senior al Qaeda leader who was on FBI most wanted list

Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said fewer than 200 al Qaeda operatives remain in Afghanistan.

US, Bahrain sign historic agreement on fighting antisemitism

Bahrain has made itself the first Arab country in the Middle East to have agreed to join the US in combating “the ancient, recurring human sickness that is antisemitism."

Sudanese protesters chant slogans as they gather ahead of a rally to put pressure on the government
Yes! to Israel from Khartoum is only a side plot in Sudan drama - analysis

Israelis need to realize that the situation in Sudan is very different from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

A supporter cheers as U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the RJC on April 6, 2019
RJC: Trump solved world’s most intractable foreign policy problems

Jewish Democratic Council says Sudan deal only serves president’s ‘short-term political interests.’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House senior advisor Jared Kushner applaud as US President
Jewish politicians, organizations laud Israel-Sudan peace deal

“We are thrilled to see yet another country end hostilities with Israel."

Palestinians protest against Israel deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in Rafah in the
What’s behind the PA’s muted response to Israel-Sudan deal?

The Palestinian leadership has toned down its rhetoric on the Sudan deal, in comparison to its response to the deals with Bahrain and the UAE.

TURKISH PRESIDENT Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Ankara, September
Turkey seeks to whitewash Palestinian Islamic Jihad as normal 'group'

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad is an extremist terror group that is widely seen as an Iranian proxy.

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, July 2020
Iran: Sudan-Israel normalization deal was secured by 'ransom'

Iran has denounced every normalization deal Israel has made with Arab governments.

The Gulf-Israel Women's Forum brings children draped in the flags of Bahrain, Israel and the UAE to
The Gulf Israel Women's Forum: forging ties across the gulf

The goal of the Forum is to unite women from the Gulf and Israel in friendship and business.

A car drives past a poster depicting Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in Adaisseh
US sanctions two officials from Lebanon's Hezbollah

The US deems Hezbollah, the heavily armed, Iran-backed group which is also a powerful political presence in Lebanon, to be a terrorist group.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Doha
Qatar, the Gulf Crisis and the realignment of the Middle East

There is no end in sight to the 2017 battle between Doha and it's neighboring states.

Evening over Damascus, Syria
Mufti of Damascus killed in car bombing - Syrian state news

The identify of the perpetrators of the attack was not published.

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag waves alongside an Israeli flag
Things Israel can learn from UAE: Appoint a happiness minister

Israel has what to learn from the UAE, particularly the desirability of integrating people’s happiness into government policy decisions.

Nuseir Yassin in his Nas Daily T-shirt.
Nas Daily retaliates to Al Jazeera accusations of working with Israel

Nas shows a clip of an Al Jazeera news segment where he is accused of "using all his tools that the Israeli government provides him," one analyst says.

Students learn to recite the Koran at Mohammed VI Institute for training imams in Rabat, Morocco, in
Voices from the Arab Press: Winds of peace with Israel felt in Iraqi skies

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

Iran’s ‘Quick Sand’ cyberattack on Israel by ‘MuddyWater’ revealed

This is part of a cycle of reports about cyberwarfare in the Middle East that escalated in April.

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum meets with UAE businessman Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
Jerusalem Dep. Mayor calls on gov't to welcome Gulf Muslims

While visiting Dubai, she realized that there is a tremendous interest from some of the UAE’s largest companies and institutions to do business in Israel.

Iran says it tested radar and Bavar-373 air defense

The air defense drill is a message against adversaries and a potential sales pitch as it wants to sell its systems.

Hariri named as Lebanon's new prime minister

Any new government will have to contend with a financial meltdown worsening by the day, a COVID-19 outbreak and the fallout of the massive explosion at Beirut port.

Hezbollah’s role near Golan in spotlight after reported airstrike

Multiple incidents appear to point to a rising tempo of tensions. Foreign media reports indicate that the Hezbollah and pro-Iranian presence has grown.

Lebanon's President vows to see through PM nomination, face anyone blocking reforms

Fractious political leaders, in power for decades, have traded blamed for hindering progress as Lebanon sinks into its worst crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war.

Will Cyprus be back in Turkey’s crosshairs soon?

Ankara has tried to cement its military role and occupation of northern Cyprus by calling itself a “guarantor” of the area.

UAE, Israel sign agreements to bolster cooperation via $3 billion fund

The UAE and Bahrain are only the third and fourth Arab states to make peace with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Ayoub Kara: Israeli treatment of Bahraini princess opened door to deal

“I believed in 2010 that we had an opportunity to [have] good relations with the Gulf states,” Kara said.

Afraid to reveal I was Jewish in Bahrain. There, I realized my privilege

In Bahrain, the fear was different. In my wildest nightmares I imagined being called out loudly as a Jew and all heads turning in my direction.

Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during joint press conference with German Foreign Ministe
Don’t expect UAE-style warmth when ties established with Sudan - analysis

In 2013, Sudan’s now-deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir vowed that his country would never normalize relations with the “Zionist enemy.”

Palestinian security forces and trucks seen at the Kerem Shalom crossing, the main passage point for
Knesset committee discusses rights and welfare of Gazan children

Does Israel really block 40% of parents of Gazan children from crossing border for medical treatment?

Israel has unique opportunity to change perceptions of Hezbollah - report

The Beirut explosion and maritime deal struck between Israel and Lebanon are shifting views of Hezbollah within the country.

A missile is launched during the annual military drill, dubbed “Zolphaghar 99”, in the Gulf of Oman
Iran's massive air defense drill to cover 'half the country'

Iran's Tasnim News reported that the operation will take place as if it were a "real battle."

UAE submits official request to open embassy in Tel Aviv

The Emirati foreign minister said he appreciated Israel's efforts to support cooperation, and had every faith in support for the diplomatic mission.

A Turkish flag, with the New and the Suleymaniye mosques in the background
Palestinian-Jordanian allegedly spied for UAE for years in Turkey

Astal was allegedly tasked with gathering intelligence on Muslim Brotherhood members and Arab and Emirati dissidents in Turkey.

UAE delegation arrives in Israel

The agreement will be the first one of its kind between Israel and an Arab state.

Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire under severe strain after new fighting

Several hundred people have been killed in the fighting, which each side blames on the other, and there are fears of a humanitarian crisis.

A UN guard post along the buffer zone of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus as a Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot
Hardliner’s win in North Cyprus vote may increase regional tensions

Ersin Tatar is seen as closely aligned to the Turkish president amid conflicts over gas rights

Israeli Chamber of Commerce signs deal with Bahraini equivalent

Representatives also claimed that Bahrain is a potential gateway to the Saudi market.

Jordan cracks down on criminals after men chop off teen’s hands

Up to 100 people have been detained for various crimes, most not connected to the particular incident that sparked this.

A missile is launched during the annual military drill, dubbed “Zolphaghar 99”, in the Gulf of Oman
Iran expects weapons exports as arms embargo ends

The message the defense minister has is that Iran is ready to offer “cooperation for production” to foreign states. Iran wants cash and it can sell weapons or cooperation.

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag waves alongside an Israeli flag
UAE cabinet ratifies accord to Israel ahead of official visit

Israel ratified the deal in a cabinet vote and a parliamentary vote last week.

How the end of the arms embargo disastrously splits Iranian terror, nukes

There is no debate that after the nuclear deal, Iran promoted terrorism as much or more in the Middle East and globally as before.

Could Assad’s regime make a ‘deal’ with the Trump administration?

It would be a major reversal for the Trump administration to make any kind of arrangement with Damascus.

Ethnic Armenian soldiers stand in a trench at their position near Nagorno-Karabakh's town of Martuni
Reports of shelling, missile fire jeopardize Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

The ceasefire was agreed on Saturday after a deal brokered by Russia a week earlier failed to halt the worst fighting in the South Caucasus since the 1990s.

Hadassah hospital consulting with US medics on COVID treatment for Erekat

Earlier, Erekat said he was experiencing "difficult symptoms resulting from my lack of immunity as a result of lung transplantation."

Prison cell block
White House official held secret talks in Syria to free US citizens

The United States suspended operations at the US embassy in Damascus in February 2012.

UN arms embargo on Iran ends

US instituted sanctions as other JCPOA signatories rejected extending embargo.

Pro-Iranian militias accused of attack on Kurdish party, civilians in Iraq

The militias are actually part of an official government paramilitary force, but they have so many brigades and units that they behave like a shadow state.

Lebanon 'heavily relies' on US to mediate maritime border talks

President Aoun said Lebanon relies on the US after he met with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker.

Iran Kurds
Iran sentences men accused of being involved in robbery to amputation

These extreme punishments were rarely applied in the past and their use today is the source of controversy wherever they are carried out.

The Dome of the Rock mosque is seen during the sunset at the al-Aqsa mosque compound
Palestinians accuse Gulf visitors of ‘desecrating’ Al-Aqsa Mosque

Visitors of the Al-Aqsa Mosque were accused of promoting normalization with Israel and “desecrating” the holy site.

Palestinian refugees displaced in Syria to finally return home to Yarmouk

Khaled Abdul Majid, the Syria-based leader of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, told Al-Monitor that 100,000 people are expected to return to their houses that suffered minimal damage.

Saudi Arabia’s failed UNHRC bid not just about human rights - analysis

Observers of United Nations affairs cite need for major reforms regarding way countries are elected to rights council.

For Iraq's persecuted Yazidis, return plan is fraught with risk

The Yazidis have suffered since IS marauded into Sinjar in 2014, one of the Sunni extremist group's conquests that shocked the West into military action to stop it.

UAE visit to Israel may be held at airport due to coronavirus

The delegation may hold meetings at the airport before flying home.

A Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla looks at a fire rising from a burning object in a Beirut suburb, Leba
Bill introduced to Congress aims to stop Hezbollah money laundering

The bill, if passed, would instruct the president to designate areas under Hezbollah control as "primary money laundering concerns."

Turkish-Israel trade on the rise as diplomatic relations hit bottom

Despite pandemic, Turkish food and beverage exports to Israel up so far in 2020.

Egyptian women protest against sexual harassment and assault in Cairo, November 2015
Egyptian public outcry stops concert by singer accused of rape

"When you platform men like this, you tell every woman in your cast, crew, and audience that her life and safety don't matter," said one Twitter user, Rosaline Elbay.

Dilemmas and opportunities in the cyber winter

NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS: Ex-deputy NSC chief Chuck Freilich previews his upcoming book on the future of cyberwarfare

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag waves alongside an Israeli flag
UAE anti-terror chief: We must pool resources with Israel to fight terror

Since 9/11, the UAE has developed a comprehensive strategy to target terrorism in the region, symbolized by its sending troops to Afghanistan alongside the US.

Iranian wrestler executed by regime exonerated again by new witness

“My sources also name Moslem Rahimi, a supermarket owner, who witnessed the murder, who has stated Afkari was not the killer.”

PIJ militants storm mosque, kidnap other PIJ members - report

The family of those kidnapped claimed that "'Rambo' Khaled Mansour," a commander in the PIJ's Al-Quds Brigades, is responsible for the incident • "I felt my bones breaking in my right arm."

A man wears a protective face mask as he walks along the main market in downtown Amman
Pandemic kicks some Middle Eastern economies when they’re already down

As COVID-19 cases surge, health restrictions exacerbate financial troubles.

GIRLS STAND next to a poster depicting Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (right) and
Israelis most want ties with Saudi Arabia next - poll

The UAE is the country most Israelis want to visit.

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