Middle East

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No exit? Gaza & Israel between wars- ICG report (26.08.2015)

Both Israel and Hamas recognise that another war is only a matter of time if Gaza’s fundamental problems are not addressed: the economy is a shambles; the acting government lacks the ability to collect or otherwise obtain the revenue necessary to pay salaries and provide services; and most...

Security Council extends UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon for another year (21.08.2015)

Determining that the situation in Lebanon continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security, the Security Council today decided to extend the present mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for one year, until 31 August 2016.

Ban calls for restraint as violations jeopardize ceasefire between Israel and Syria (21.08.2015)

Reportedly, rockets were fired yesterday across the ceasefire line into northern Israel, landing in the vicinity of Qiryat Shmona, in response to which the Israel Defence Forces fired across the ceasefire line, with projectiles impacting in the vicinity of Syrian Arab Armed Forces positions near Al...

Security Council warned that ‘risk of escalation in Israel and Palestine is palpable’ (19.08.2015)

The top United Nations political official today warned the Middle East has recently witnessed “unconscionable” hate crimes, “reprehensible” retaliatory violence, provocations at Jerusalem’s holy sites, and a worrying increase in rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel, as he urged all sides to...

Some U.S. troops may be needed on ground in Iraq - retiring Army chief (12.08.2015)

The fight against Islamic State rebels is at a stalemate and if the U.S. military does not see progress in the coming months it should consider putting support troops on the ground with Iraqi forces, Army General Ray Odierno said on Wednesday.

Iraqi parliament backs PM's anti-corruption plan (11.08.2015)

Iraq's parliament on Tuesday emphatically approved a controversial package of reforms proposed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi aimed at curbing corruption and government waste that includes abolishing the tripartite offices of the country's vice president and deputy prime minister.

Millions left in need after funding shortage forces UN health agency to cut services in Iraq (04.08.2015)

The United Nations health agency was forced to suspend 84 per cent of frontline programmes in 10 governorates in Iraq in July due to insufficient funding, leaving almost three million people without access to urgently-needed healthcare services.

Barzani calls on PKK rebels to leave Iraq's Kurdish region (01.08.2015)

Masud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s Kurdish region, has called on militants in the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to leave northern Iraq in order to prevent Turkish air strikes from causing civilian casualties.

Security Council approves one year renewal of UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (29.07.2015)

The Security Council today extended for another year the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) and expressed its intention to review the operation’s mandate in 12 months or sooner, if requested by the Iraqi Government.

New head of UNTSO appointed (21.07.2015)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Major General Arthur David Gawn, of New Zealand, as Head of Mission and Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO).