This page is updated regularly, and Sami Hussein will be available to come to your school to enlarge on the summaries below:
11 August 11 2018
Protests have spread across Iran against the repressive regime of Hassan Rouhani, with people chanting 'Death to the Dictator'. Sanctions against Iran are harming the countries surrounding it more than Iran itself, particularly Iraq which relies heavily on Iran.
Last week Israel's parliament, the Knesset, in Jerusalem, enacted the Nationality Law, one of several Basic Laws which its defenders say is set to protect the nature and character of the Jewish state, her heritage and national symbols.
Others have criticised it, claiming that it is not democratic, as it diminishes the human rights of Israel's minorities. The loyal Druze citizens are particularly upset by it. Its defenders say that the Law did not change anything at all; that nothing in the new Law conflicts with democracy or the democratic, social or political rights of all Israel's citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike.
Burning kites and balloons continue to come from Gaza, destroying thousands of acres of farmland, forests and animals. A ceasefire agreed on August 10th appears to be holding.
Russia, which controls large areas in Syria, has been asked by Israel to prevent Iranian soldiers massing on Syria's border with Israel. Russia has promised to comply, but as it wants to remain on good terms with Iran, it is not certain how this can be achieved.
Syrians fleeing bombardment by President Assad's forces were helped by Israel to flee to Jordan.
Donald Trump, President of the USA has cut funding to UNRWA, the organisation set up by the UN in 1948 to help the refugees from Israel.
Unlike the UNHCR which helps refugees all over the world to settle and live normal lives, UNRWA has been accused of perpetuating the plight of the Palestinian refugees by keeping them in refugee camps for decades, and by deeming their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be refugees.
Some people say that UNRWA should be disbanded, and the Palestinian refugees be helped by the UNHCR in the same way as refugees around the world.
The P.A. and Hamas have said that they will never make peace with Israel until all 5.5 million of those who they today call 'refugees' are given the Right of Return to Israel. Only 300,000 of the original refugees are still alive today.
A Saudi Arabian missile hit a bus killing 29 children. The Saudi authorities said that they were targeting Houthi rebel terrorists, funded and supported by Iran. Iran says it supports the Houthis because they are fighting IS/Daesh.
01 July 2018
Prince William completed a successful tour of the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Israel. Although members of the Royal Family have visited Arab countries many times, this was the first time that an official visit to Israel has happened.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has reached an understanding with the Cypriot government on the establishment of a special pier for the Gaza Strip in Cyprus.
Lieberman stressed that the project's implementation requires "Hamas" to hand over Israel's soldiers, who have been held by the Qassam Brigades, the group's military wing. The idea would involve an Israeli monitoring system to ensure that weapons were not smuggled into Gaza.
Israel has approved a plan to build a solar field in Israel to pump power into the Gaza Strip and ease the electricity crisis in the Palestinian enclave.
Israel has at last found a better way of preventing the majority of the hundreds of incendiary kites and balloons which have been blowing into Israel from Gaza, causing hundreds of acres of destruction of agricultural land and produce, trees, and animals. In addition the resultant smoke has been causing health problems to the Israeli civilians living there.
Iran has imposed military rule in order to control the numerous demonstrations by citizens demanding that the government ease the financial situation in the country instead of supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, and other wars in the region. They chanted 'Death to Palestine'.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil is being criticised for saying he has no ideological problems with Israel's existence or against the Jewish state having security.
The 'West Bank'
Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the PA, has refused to talk to the Americans about its proposed peace plan between Israel and the PA. Citizens of the 'West Bank' have told the USA that they want to discuss the peace plan, thereby bypassing their Chairman.
17 June 2018
While the Iranian leadership continues to threaten the destruction of Israel, tens of thousands of Iranian people joined a Twitter campaign under the hashtag WeStandWithIsrael.
Israel's Prime Minister has asserted that Iran has brought 80,000 Shiite fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan into Syria to change the majority in Syria from Sunni to Shia, and to attack Israel.
Houthi rebels, which are supported by Iran and are trying unseat the government, have been trying to take control of the port city of Hadeida. Aid is imported through this city and if they succeed, there could be a humanitarian crisis. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are attacking the Houthis in Hadeida, thereby also endangering the innocent civilians.
There are reports and much video evidence, that the riots on the Gaza-Israel border by armed Hamas members who, according to Hamas reports, are attempting to break through the border in order to kill Israeli citizens. Recently, fewer civilians are participating.
Hundreds of inflammatory kites and balloons have caused 4,500 acres of damage to crops and grassland in Israel, as well as killing large numbers of animals in a wild life park.
Much environmental damage has also been caused by the burning of tyres, causing enormous amounts of smoke.
On May 14th 2018, 70 years after the establishment of the modern State of Israel, the U.S. The U.S. Embassy was opened in western Jerusalem, thereby recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital city. Guatamala did the same two days later, and four European countries have said that they will follow suite.
The Palestinians, who want the capital of their to-be-established State to be in eastern Jerusalem do not accept this. The Palestinians also remember this date as the 'Nakba' (catastrophe) of the Palestinian people, the day that many Arabs living in what became Israel left their homes, settled around the world, and became refugees in neighbouring Muslim Arab countries, where they and their descendants have been kept in refugee camps ever since, They claim the 'Right of Return' to Israel.
On Fridays for the past 7 weeks, tens of thousands of Gazans have been gathering at the Gaza-Israel border. Hamas leaders claim that they are innocent unarmed civilians marching for the Right of Return to the homes of their grand-parents in Israel, and against the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. The UN and most world leaders believe this to be the case. Injured Gazans questioned by reporters did not mention the US Embassy move. Israel say that among the civilians who have been organised to go to the border fence, breach it, and kill Israeli civilians, 80-90% of those killed by Israel were Hamas members armed with Molotov cocktails, sling shots, mechanical catapults and other weapons, as well as wire cutters.
On May 14th and 15th, incendiary devices were placed along the border, and kites carrying inflammatory objects were flown into Israel, causing destruction of crops and animals in Israeli fields.. Israel reported on May 14th that two Hamas members arrested after infiltrating into Israel, said that their new instructions, in Arabic, were to supply civilians with tyres to burn (the smoke from this would hide the damage being done to the border fence), give them wire cutters with which to cut the fence and instructions on how to do so, show them how to attach incendiary devices to kites and to send them into Israel. and instructions to 'tear down that border' go to the Jewish villages, and to 'tear out their hearts from their bodies'. (Hamas leader Yahyah Sinwar); to avoid being killed themselves. Maps showing the nearest Israeli villages and towns to the border were placed on social media by Hamas. Israel claims that they reported that each injured participant receives $100 and that Iran is funding the whole project.
Israel has been condemned worldwide for using live ammunition, which killed 63 Gazans and injured 2,500 on May 14th. Israel says that its soldiers were ordered to shoot to prevent infiltration into Israel not to kill, but to aim at the legs This could explain the large number of leg injuries. Independent observers stated that Israel warned the people through social media, phone calls and leaflets, that live ammunition would be used against anyone approaching within 100 metres of the fence, and that Hamas members encouraged children to go to the fence and remove security cameras. A 14 year old boy was injured in this way. Hamas leaders continue to claim that the 'unarmed demonstrators' have been peaceful. Israel says that they were armed' rioters'. On May 16th a Hamas leader announced that 50 of the 63 dead were Hamas operatives, and that it was not a peaceful demonstration.
The world including Israel mourns the unnecessary tragic loss of Palestinian life.
The Kurds, who want their own state or autonomous region, and who were the major factor in driving IS out of Iraq and Syria feel that they have been let down by the West.
US president Trump pulled the US out of the deal with Iran, whereby sanctions were lifted on Iran in return for Iran giving up its plans to develop nuclear weapons. The UK, France and Germany do not want to pull out of the deal. They want to continue to trade with Iran.
Iraq has just held elections. Some of those who lost say that there was corruption and rigging of votes.
Lebanon has recently held elections. The result is that Hezbollah, backed and supported by Iran, continues to control Lebanon.
The crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in a meeting with Jewish leaders in the USA said that the Palestinians missed so many chances of peace during the last 40 years, and that they should now come to to peace talks or 'Shut Up'.
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.