The Middle East was plagued with news of violence this week. In Israel, Palestine, Iraq and Libya, episodes of violence resulted in death and destruction. Iran continued its negotiations with the US and EU this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement over the country’s nuclear program and removing the economic sanctions that have crippled its economy. In Iraq, violence between the militant group ISIS and the Baghdad government reached new heights as 29 people were found massacred in an apartment and Human Rights Watch condemned the government for mass executions carried out earlier this year. The direct physical violence in Iraq was mirrored this week with political turmoil as the government of Nouri al-Maliki erupted into conflict with the semi-autonomous Kurdish government.
This week news from the Middle East was dominated with coverage of the deaths of three Israelis and one Palestinian. All were teenagers; all were murdered by terrorists. The news of these deaths resulted in an outpouring of anger, grief and sympathy among people who mourned the unnecessary loss of life. However, some extremists used the deaths to incite hatred and call for violence. Given the intensity with which Israeli, Palestinian and international communities experienced this episode of violence, this week’s Middle East News Review is dedicated to exploring these deaths in more detail.
Top stories include: 1) more pressure on Iraqi PM al-Maliki; 2) Al Jazeera reporters sentenced to 7 years in prison; 3) Cairo metro bombed; 4) al-Maliki praises Syrian strike on ISIS; and 5) Jordanian cleric acquitted of terrorism charges.
In depth look at the week that was in the Middle East through the “Under the Radar”, “On the Horizon” and “Oddities” sections.
Top stories include: 1) mounting pressure on Iraqi PM al-Maliki; 2) Obama sends 300 military advisors to Iraq; 3) suspect in the Benghazi attacks captured; 4) Israel hammers Hamas as it looks for three abductees; and 5) neocons attempt to rewrite the history of the 2003 Iraq war.
“Under the Radar” includes: 1) Israel approves force-feeding Palestinian prisoners; 2) Egypt releases Al-Jazeera reporter; 3) Egypt confirms death sentence for 184 members of the Muslim Brotherhood and 4) the Presbyterian Church USA approves divestment.
“On the Horizon” includes: 1) Verdict in the Egyptian trial of three Al-Jazeera journalists and 2) Jordan’s mounting refugee problem.
“Oddities” includes: 1) controversy in Israel over an artificial beach in Jerusalem.
June 9th – June 15th, 2014
This week the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria (ISIS) (aka Islamic State in Iraq & the Levant – ISIL) dominated the news cycle in the Middle East as the Sunni militant group shocked many with their capture of several Iraqi cities and advance towards Baghdad. Given the earthshaking nature of ISIS’ actions, this week’s Middle East News Review is dedicated to exploring different aspects of the events to provide more depth to this momentous development in the region.
June 2nd – June 8th, 2014
Top stories include: 1) the Bergdahl release controversy; 2) Assad wins Syrian election; 3) former US Ambassador to Syria blasts the Obama administration; 4) Pope Francis holds a prayer meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders; and 5) Israel announces new settlements.
May 26th – June 1st, 2014
Top stories include: 1) Sisi wins Egyptian election; 2) Palestinian unity government takes shape; 3) US soldier freed in Taliban prisoner swap; 4) Pope Francis visits Israel and Palestine; and 5) Egyptian stock market plunges.
May 12th – May 18th, 2014
Top stories include: 1) Friends of Syria meet in London; 2) Militia attacks in Tripoli and dissolves Parliament; 3) Mine explosion in Soma, Turkey kills hundreds; 4) Syrian air defense chief killed in attack; and 5) Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day.
May 5th – May 11th, 2014
Top stories include: 5) al-Sisi to end the Brotherhood; 4) Saudi blogger is sentenced to 10 years and 1,000 lashes; 3) Homs is evacuated and Aleppo is bombed; 2) Republicans will investigate Benghazi, again; and 1) the Israeli-Palestinian blame game.
April 28th – May 4th, 2014
Top news stories include: 5) Rice backs out of Rutgers address; 4) MERS spreads out of Saudi Arabia; 3) Abbas condemns the Holocaust; 2) Netanyahu advances bill to define Israel as Jewish; and 1) Kerry says apartheid.
April 21st – April 27th, 2014
Top stories include: 5) Tony Blair speaks out against Islamic extremism; 4) new evidence of Syrian chemical weapons use; 3) continued violence in Iraq; 2) Israel suspends talks with Palestinians; and 1) Hamas and Fatah reconcile.
April 14th – April 20th, 2014
Top stories include: 5) Algeria’s Bouteflika wins a fourth term; 4) 75% of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile is destroyed; 3) US drone strike kills 13 in Yemen; 2) rising tensions in the Jerusalem’s Old City; and 1) Syrian rebel stronghold of Homs under threat.
April 7th – April 13th, 2014
Top news stories include: 5) US denies visa to Iran’s UN rep; 4) the collapsing Israeli-Palestinian talks; 3) Israel levels sanctions against the Palestinians; 2) Palestinians join the Geneva Conventions; and 1) Kerry says “poof”.
March 31st – April 6th, 2014
Top news stories include: 5) tribal violence in Egypt; 4) an end to Libya’s oil crisis; 3) Erdogan’s electoral victory; 2) the possible release of Jonathan Pollard; and 1) the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian talks.
March 24th – March 30th, 2014
Top news stories include: 5) new evidence in Israel’s weapons seizure; 4) Turkey blocks YouTube; 3) al-Sisi declares himself a presidential candidate; 2) hundreds sentenced to death in Egypt; and 1) the teetering Israeli-Palestinian talks.
March 10th – March 16th, 2014
Top news stories include: 5) a Jordanian judge killed by Israeli border guards; 4) Shafik declares upcoming Egyptian elections a farce; 3) ouster of the Libyan PM; 2) rising tensions between Israel and Gaza; and 1) the third anniversary of the Syrian civil war.
March 3rd – March 9th, 2014
Top news stories include: 5) the GCC dispute; 4) the Israeli weapons seizure; 3) Saudi Arabia listing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization ; 2) Arab League rejecting Israel as a Jewish State; and 1) UN criticism of Egypt’s crackdown.
February 17th – February 24th, 2014
Top news stories include a mortar attack in Iraq, the bombing of a tourist bus in Egypt, the Iranian nuclear negotiations, the trial of journalists in Egypt and the sacking of FSA General Salim Idriss.
February 10th – February 16th, 2014
Top news stories include Putin’s endorsement of Sisi, Israeli MKs heckling of an EU official, the 35th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, the formation of a Lebanese cabinet and the deadlock in Syrian talks.
February 3rd – February 9th, 2014
Top news stories include Rouhani’s donation to a Jewish hospital, AIPAC’s Iran sanctions blunder, Sisi’s announcement and retraction of a presidential run, the Human Rights Watch report on abuse in Iraqi prisons and the evacuation of Homs.
January 27th – February 2nd, 2014
Top news stories include the hostage crisis in Iraq, Scarlett Johannson’s fallout with Oxfam, Sisi’s maneuvering towards the Egyptian presidency, HRW’s report on home demolitions in Syria, and the Syrian peace talks.
January 20th – January 26th, 2014
Top news stories included the purported al-Qaeda plot foiled in Israel, Middle East leaders at the World Economic Forum, the bombing attack on police in Cairo, the release of photos depicting war crimes in Syria, and the Syrian peace talks.
January 12th – January 19th, 2014
Top news stories include the funeral of former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon; the Hariri assassination trial in The Hague; the Israeli Defense Minister’s outburst against the Kerry peace initiatives; the state of flux in the Syrian civil war; and the Egyptian constitutional vote.
December 9th – December 15th, 2013
Top stories include a disruptive winter storm; revelations about a missing ex-FBI agent in Iran; cracks in the Iran nuclear deal; fresh protests in Egypt; and a rapidly changing landscape in the Syrian civil war.
December 2nd – December 8th, 2013
Top five stories include the escalating sectarian violence in Iraq; the assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander; increasing violence in Yemen; a Day of Rage against Bedouin resettlement in Israel; and reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela.
November 25th – December 1st, 2013
This week’s top five stories include the approval of new housing units in Israel’s West Bank settlements; escalating violence in Iraq; the Syrian opposition’s refusal to join peace talks; US plans to destroy Syrian chemical weapons at sea; and reaction to the Iranian nuclear deal.
November 18th – November 24th, 2013
This week’s top five stories include #5) the election of a new chair of Israel’s Labor party; #4) the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut; #3) OPCW’s plan for destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile; #2) diplomatic tensions between Egypt and Turkey; and #1) the agreement reached between Iran and Western powers over the Iranian nuclear program.