This page will be updated regularly, and Sami Hussein will be available to come to your school to enlarge on the summary below:
Organised events have been occurring on the Gaza-Israel border on Fridays for several weeks and Hamas has announced that they will continue until May 7th.
Hamas has said that these are spontaneous peaceful demonstrations by the people of Gaza, demanding their 'right of return' to Israel, which their grandfathers left after the war of 1948-9.
Some Arab journalists report that these events are, in fact, riots, as among the picnicking families are many Hamas members, whose aim is to destroy the border fence, invade Israel and kill Israelis.
There are many photos and videos showing young men throwing Molotov cocktails, burning missiles, and rocks, rolling burning tyres towards the border fence, cutting it and putting explosives next to it. Israel announced that it would use live ammunition against anyone going within a specified distance of the fence. It has killed 32 Palestinians of whom 26 were Hamas fighters and supporters. Hamas claims that they were all unarmed civilians. Fatah (West Bank) has urged Hamas to stop using its civilians as human shields.
The war in Syria has been going on for over seven years and thousands of civilians have died. Russia and Iran have been helping Syrian President Assad to rid the country of terrorists, and to stay in power against the will of his people. Extremists (IS, Muslim Brotherhood, al-Nusra), and democrats, human rights groups are againstagainst the regime.
The Syrian city of Dhouma was recently attacked by what the West claims were chemical weapons. Over 70 civilians died as a result. The Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad denies that chemical weapons were used in its successful efforts to remove IS and other 'rebels' from the area. International inspectors were not allowed in for several weeks.
Iran, which has declared many times its intention to destroy Israel, has built military installations in Syria. An Iranian drone was recently brought down over Israeli territory. It later was announced that it was carrying weapons and that, had its mission been successful, it would have caused much damage and loss of life in Israel. Israel then sent missiles and damaged an Iranian military installation.
Iranian troops have entered the No Man's Land adjoining Israel, and have launched a drone carry weapons into Israeli territory.
The USA, UK and France sent missiles and damaged three chemical weapons installations in order to send the message that use of chemical weapons is against international law, is immoral and will not be tolerated by the West. It is not known how much damage was actually inflicted. Although international inspectors were later allowed to enter the area, the Syrian regime still continued to deny that they were involved.
The Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman has recently declared his intention of modernising the country, and improving its financial situation. He is taking control even though his father is still alive and is making many changes. He has lifted the ban on women driving, going out without a male escort, or going to football matches. Cinemas are now being built for the first time in the country.. He has made contact with some Western Church leaders, leading to hopes that freedom of religion will now be tolerated in Saudi Arabia.
The Yemeni people are suffering terribly from a war which has gone on for several years. Ever since the 'Arab Spring' the Yemenis revolted against their dictator Abdullah Saleh, who was supported by the Saudis, while Iran took the opportunity to advance their own agenda by supporting the Houthi tribes against the replacement of Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis are supported and well trained by the Iranians, fighting the Saudis in Yemen. The Saudis put together a coalition of 31 Muslim countries to fight the Iranian influence in Yemen. (This is actually a fight between Sunni and Shia as both sides use religion to justify their fight).
While the international community know about the abuse of human rights on both sides, the Saudis continue to use western weapons.
USA President Trump visited Saudi Arabia.
Millions of its citizens demonstrated in the streets against their leaders. It was violently put down.
During the last few years, a proxy war is being fought in Yemen between Iran which supports the Houthi tribe, and Saudi Arabia, which employs Pakistani mercenaries.
President Assad continues his war against ISIS (DAESH) who are controlling civilian areas. His attacks kill vast numbers of his own people, destroy their homes and infrastructure, and prevents humanitarian aid for the suffering people from going in.
Turkish soldiers are in Syria, fighting against the Kurds who have been the West's main ally in fighting ISIS. Turkey wants to control the Muslim world. It says it is fighting ISIS.
Iranian leaders have repeatedly expressed their intention of destroying Israel, and Iranian troops are building military bases in Syria, and are moving near the border with Israel to help facilitate their attacks on Israel.
Extremist militia are fighting for power and control. Each side considers that the other are mercenaries.
The USA's recognition that Jerusalem is Israel's capital is considered by the Palestinians as the end of the peace process. Israel and the USA consider it a big step towards peace.