Middle East

  • John Kerry flies to Israel to meet Netanyahu and Abbas
    2014-07-23 16:44:11 UTC

    The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has arrived in Tel Aviv for to push for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as fierce fighting continues in Gaza. The move came as political leaders and diplomats held urgent talks in the region with the United Nations chief, Ban Ki-moon, saying his "hope and belief" was that an end to the two...
  • Expert’s Warning: Israel’s Iron Dome Isn’t Working
    2014-07-22 06:19:11 UTC

    “We’re not trying to bash Iron Dome,” says weapons scientist Richard Lloyd, author of a research paper that calls into question the effectiveness of Israel’s now famous rocket-defense system. “We’re trying to help Iron Dome. The way to help Iron Dome is to identify some of its problems.” Representatives for the Israel Defense Forces...
  • Israeli strike hits Gaza hospital
    2014-07-21 21:06:23 UTC

    At least five people have been killed and 70 injured by an Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza, Palestinians say. The Israeli military said it had targeted a cache of anti-tank missiles in the hospital's "immediate vicinity". Overnight, more than 30 members of two Palestinian families died in Israeli strikes, Gazan health offici...
  • Iran completes process of eliminating enriched uranium
    2014-07-21 06:58:35 UTC

    Iran has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the UN nuclear agency says. The conversion of its stock of 20%-enriched uranium was part of a deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme. The US said last week it would unblock $2.8bn in frozen Iranian funds in return...
  • Gaza: Kerry says 'It's a hell of a pinpoint operation'
    2014-07-20 22:50:34 UTC

    The secretary of state, John Kerry, on Sunday appeared to criticise Israel’s claims about the targeted scope of its attacks on Gaza, as a open microphone caught him talking to an aide ahead of a TV interview. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry, who was appearing on Fox News Sunday as pa...
  • Obama warns Israel amid rising death toll
    2014-07-19 08:19:36 UTC

    US President Barack Obama has backed Israeli's right to self-defence, but warned against escalation in Gaza. Speaking to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, he underlined his support for Israel's right to defend itself against Palestinian militants. But he said he was "deeply concerned" about civilian losses, with the Pa...
  • Iran nuclear talks deadline extended
    2014-07-19 08:19:19 UTC

    Diplomats have agreed a four-month extension to the deadline for an agreement between Iran and world powers on Iran's nuclear programme. The US says it will unblock $2.8bn in frozen Iranian funds, in return for Iran continuing to convert its stocks of 20%-enriched uranium into fuel. The talks have aimed to persuade Iran to limit ...
  • Israel begins ground offensive in Gaza
    2014-07-17 20:17:27 UTC

    JERUSALEM — Israel began a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip Thursday night, saying it would target tunnels that can infiltrate its territory after cease-fire talks failed to de-escalate the air war that has raged for 10 days. The military released a statement at 10:39 p.m. saying the goal of the operation was to “establish a real...
  • Israel seeks agreement that would restore the authority of Abbas, in Gaza
    2014-07-17 19:57:03 UTC

    Israel wants a ceasefire agreement that would restore the authority of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in Gaza, according to a senior government official. Talks in Cairo seeking a way to end the 10-day conflict in Gaza, in which more than 220 Palestinians – mostly civilians – have been killed, continued on Thursday amid a ...
  • Israel declares 'humanitarian truce' in Gaza
    2014-07-17 04:58:02 UTC

    Israel says it will observe a "humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza on Thursday, after days of deadly rocket and missile exchanges with militants. A statement from the Israeli military said it would hold fire from 10:00 to 15:00 (07:00-12:00 GMT), to allow residents to stock up on supplies. Palestinian officials say Israeli raids have...
  • Hunger strikes at US secret prison
    2014-07-17 04:56:59 UTC

    Sometimes they stopped eating to protest unclean drinking water. Other times they stopped eating because their comrades were placed in segregated housing. Still other times they stopped eating out of dissatisfaction with their access to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), their only source of connection to their famili...
  • Israeli killed by mortar shell near Gaza border
    2014-07-15 18:09:36 UTC

    JERUSALEM — Egypt’s proposal for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas collapsed Tuesday only a few hours after the Israelis had accepted it, as Palestinian militants in Gaza launched a barrage of rockets and Israel resumed its airstrikes. The Israeli authorities said a Palestinian attack caused the first Israeli fatality in the eight-...
  • John Kerry: 'Every single ballot cast' will be counted again
    2014-07-15 18:12:15 UTC

    Afghanistan will audit every vote cast in the recent presidential election, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, announced on Saturday, marking a breakthrough in a dangerous standoff between the leading candidates. “Every single ballot that was cast will be audited,” he said. “A hundred per cent of all eight million.” The agree...
  • Afghanistan car bomb leaves at least 89 civilians dead
    2014-07-15 17:45:38 UTC

    A suicide attacker killed 89 people when he detonated a car filled with explosives in a crowded bazaar in eastern Afghanistan, the bloodiest insurgent attack on civilians for several years. Dozens more were injured in a blast so big that it brought down the roofs of shops lining the roads, trapping shopkeepers and their customers in...
  • Israel says it has shot down drone launched from Gaza
    2014-07-14 07:49:59 UTC

    Israel claims to have downed a drone from the skies above its southern coastline. The unmanned aircraft, which Israel says was launched from Gaza and shot down with a Patriot missile near the city of Ashdod, is the first weapon of its kind Israel has encountered in this conflict. Rockets were also fired into Israel from Lebanon earl...
  • Palestinians unable to escape Israeli air strike on home
    2014-07-12 16:27:40 UTC

    Who knows who lived in the two first-floor apartments above a home for eight disabled adults in a neighbourhood of eastern Gaza. Perhaps, as a neighbour suggests, one of them was a militant with Islamic Jihad who lived there with his family. But the neighbour says he isn't sure. What is certain is that the occupant was absent in the...
  • US prepared to broker Gaza ceasefire, says Obama
    2014-07-11 06:59:28 UTC

    The US is prepared to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, President Barack Obama has said. His comments came in a phone call with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr Netanyahu earlier said Israel's operation was progressing as planned with "more stages expected". The air strikes on Gaza, and militan...
  • Kerry says Afghanistan is at a "critical moment"
    2014-07-11 06:55:51 UTC

    US Secretary of State John Kerry says Afghanistan is at a "critical moment" as he tries to resolve tensions over the disputed presidential poll. Mr Kerry said that "election legitimacy hangs in the balance" as he arrived in Kabul to meet both the candidates claiming victory in June's run-off. During a hastily arranged visit, he i...
  • Israel Calls for Independent Kurdistan
    2014-07-10 18:14:44 UTC

    Seizing on the mayhem in Iraq, Israel's prime minister on Sunday called for the establishment of an independent Kurdistan as part of a broader alliance with moderate forces across the region, and asserted that Israel would have to maintain a long-term military presence in the West Bank to keep a jihadi juggernaut from powering its way ...
  • Gaza air strikes are a necessary show of force for Israel
    2014-07-10 18:04:43 UTC

    It may sound like the refrain of a sad, familiar song. But, faced with Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza firing hundreds of rockets at it, Israel had no other choice than to launch a military operation. The immediate trigger was the abduction of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, for which Israel blames Hamas, whose leaders h...
  • Isis seizes former chemical weapons plant in Iraq
    2014-07-09 17:40:27 UTC

    The Islamic State extremist group (Isis) has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility north-west of Baghdad, where 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with deadly nerve agent sarin or their remnants were stored along with other chemical warfare agents, Iraq has said in a letter circulated at the United Na...
  • Israel pounds Gaza with air and naval strikes
    2014-07-09 06:15:24 UTC

    Israeli jets and naval gunfire pounded the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing more than 20 people and injuring dozens more, as the government of Binyamin Netanyahu launched a large-scale military operation against the Islamist militant group Hamas in the coastal enclave. Israel announced it had authorised the call-up of up to 40,000 res...
  • Iran's Khamenei says we needs greater uranium enrichment capacity
    2014-07-09 06:05:51 UTC

    Iran's supreme leader said on Tuesday that his country would need to significantly increase its capacity to enrich uranium if it was to meet its long-term energy needs, in an unusually detailed speech highlighting the obstacles to a deal on its nuclear programme. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei conceded that Iran would not need to immediatel...
  • Israelis 'confess' to killing teenager
    2014-07-07 18:57:16 UTC

    Three Israelis accused of kidnapping and burning to death a Palestinian teenager have reportedly confessed and re-enacted the murder for the authorities. The three are among six people arrested for the killing last week of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, which investigators believe was revenge for the death of three Israeli teenagers. The moth...
  • Palestinian boy was 'burned alive'
    2014-07-06 00:16:54 UTC

    Mohamed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian teenager who was kidnapped and murdered on Wednesday in a suspected revenge killing by Israeli extremists, was burned alive after suffering a head injury, the Palestinian attorney general has claimed The allegation is said to be based on initial postmortem findings that discovered soot deposits in...