Spotlight on Iran (January 7- January 21, 2018)

The intention of the United States to establish a military force, comprised of its allies the Syrian Democratic Forces. The fissures between Iran, Turkey and Russia over the settlement of the war in Syria are increasingly apparent. Iran is showing greater interest in Iraq, as the Iraqi political arena shifts gears ahead of the upcoming general elections, set to be held in May 2018.

Ahed Tamimi: Serial provocateur since childhood in the village of Nabi Saleh

On December 15, 2017, Palestinians in the village of Nabi Saleh (northwest of Ramallah) held their "weekly riot." During the riot local Palestinians documented two girls aggressively taunting and provoking IDF soldiers. In the video one of the girls is seen kicking and punching two soldiers. The soldiers exercised restraint and did not respond to the provocation.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (December 13-19, 2017)

It is approximately two weeks since the Trump recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and demonstrations of rage continue in the Palestinian arena, although with less intensity than what some of the Palestinians hoped for. Demonstrations and protest meetings continue in the Arab and Muslim states, especially Jordan and Turkey (where last week a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was held).

The Collapse of the Islamic State: What Comes Next?

On the ground, the Islamic State no longer exists as a functioning territorial entity. It has lost almost all of its territories, including its "capital cities" of Mosul and Raqqa, as well as its core territories along the Euphrates in Iraq and Syria. Apparently, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's vision of an Islamic Caliphate has come to an end, at least for the time being, although ISIS still maintains a presence in Syria and Iraq, and will continue to exist.

Spotlight on Iran (October 1-15, 2017)

Turkish-Iranian coordination is increasingly invigorated following the independence referendum in the Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Senior Iranian officials rebuked the reports about the intension of the U.S. administration to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. Iran continues to be involved in the campaign against the last pockets of ISIS resistance in Iraq. Bolstering of the economic cooperation between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon continues apace.

A Hamas-affiliated Palestinian in Britain admitted the flotilla project to the Gaza Strip was not intended to “break the siege” and bring humanitarian aid, but rather to promote the battle for hearts and minds against Israel.

Zaher Birawi is a Palestinian activist who lives in Britain affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. He has extensive experience in dispatching flotillas from Europe to the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of "breaking the siege" of the Gaza Strip.

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