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Behind the News - October 2016

Behind the News - October 2016 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Russia, Syria    

The explosion of a SpaceX rocket in Florida destroyed an advanced communications satellite developed in Israel, throwing the Israeli satellite industry into crisis. Worth between US $200-300 million, the Amos-6 satellite was the most sophisticated built in Israel's history and had been leased by Fa

Behind the News - September 2016

Behind the News - September 2016 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Russia, Terrorism    

In the wake of the charges laid on August 4 by Israel against Muhammad el-Halabi, the head of the charity World Vision in Gaza, for allegedly diverting large amounts of aid to Hamas, Israel announced on August 9 that it had also arrested and charged a UN Development Program (UNDP) contractor, Waheed

Bibi's travels

Bibi's travels Categories: Africa, Israel, Russia, Syria, Updates    

Today's Update looks at Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's historic trip to Africa, which is about to conclude. Whilst there, he visited, and met with the leaders of, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda. His first stop was Uganda, where he commemorated the famous 1976 Israeli rescue of the h

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Russia's Retreat?

Russia's Retreat? Categories: Israel, Russia, Syria     Author: Amotz Asa-El

He did it again. After having caught the world off guard last fall by diving head-on into the Syrian civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin has now stunned everyone, even his Syrian clients, by announcing a springtime retreat. The Kremlin's statement, made as the five-year-old war's protagonis

Russia pulling out of Syria?

Russia pulling out of Syria? Categories: Russia, Syria, Updates    

Russian President Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia is pulling out the “main part” of Russia'’s expeditionary force in Syria - but are keeping a key airbase and naval base. This Update is about the significance of the announced withdrawal, especially for Syria, and what was li

The Forces within the Syrian Maelstrom

The Forces within the Syrian Maelstrom Categories: Iran, Middle East, Russia, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

Over the ruined landscape of northern Syria, a number of core factors which today define the strategic reality of the Middle East are colliding. Close observation of that blighted area therefore offers clues as to the current state of play more broadly in the region - who is on the way up, who on th

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Behind the News - December 2015

Behind the News - December 2015 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Russia    

Israel's Shin Bet internal security agency reported on Nov. 16 that October had been the worst month for terrorism in Israel in over nine years. In all, the month saw 602 terrorist attacks committed, with 11 Israelis killed and 80 suffering moderate to serious injuries.

A Grave Moment in the Middle East

A Grave Moment in the Middle East Categories: Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Russia, Syria     Author: Ehud Yaari

The context of the recent violence in Israel is that there has been a frightening loss of control by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its security organs over the refugee camps of the West Bank. In the refugee camps, new gangs have emerged who do not feel any respect towards Mahmoud Abbas and his

The Russians are Coming

The Russians are Coming Categories: Israel, Russia, Syria     Author: Nadav Pollak

On Sept. 21, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, a meeting that focused on staying out of each other's way in Syria. According to statements by both leaders, it seems the meeting went well. Netanyahu emphasised Israel's main concerns in Syria, namely

Russia’s S-300 delivery to Iran - is it a game changer, as Iran steps up support for Hamas and Hezbollah?

Russia’s S-300 delivery to Iran - is it a game changer, as Iran steps up support for Hamas and Hezbollah? Categories: Iran, Israel, Russia, Updates     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

Russia's decision to transfer the advanced S-300 air-defence system to Iran could be a "game changer". The S-300 would significantly bolster Iran's military capability, as one of the most powerful air-defence systems in the world, which would make it much more difficult for Israel or the US to strik

Essay: Crimea and the West Bank

Essay: Crimea and the West Bank Categories: Europe, Israel, Palestinians, Russia     Author: Eugene Kontorovich

US Secretary of State John Kerry spent the past few months shuttling between his two major foreign-policy concerns - Russia's control over Crimea and Israel's control over the West Bank - entirely unaware that he was engaged in a world-historical irony. Both these situations turn on identical intern

As Good as it Gets?

As Good as it Gets? Categories: International Security, Russia, Syria     Author: Chuck Freilich

On paper, the Russian proposal to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons looks like the optimal outcome. A military attack to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons was never the objective, but a means to an end, which was to firmly establish the principle that the use of chemical weapons will not

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Russia, China and the Middle East

Russia, China and the Middle East Categories: China, Israel, Russia     Author: Amotz Asa-El

The era of bad feeling that once governed Israel's relations with the eastern superpowers has been over for nearly a quarter-of-a-century. Having exchanged ambassadors in the aftermath of the Cold War with both Moscow and Beijing, the Jewish State's trade with the two has since grown exponentially,

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