Ed: 43: June/2018
Israel is working hard to prevent the economy of Gaza from collapsing, but Hamas is doing just the opposite; recklessly harming the economic situation of the very people it rules over.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the US from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the West... There are many ways to assess the significance of this decision.
This is how the firing zone looks: on the Gaza side of the fence, at a distance of 20-30 metres is a roll of barbed wire. The area is strewn with charred tyres dotted with bags and torn pieces of cloth, and everywhere you see large stones, marbles used in slingshots, and tear gas canisters.
The world owes a debt of gratitude to a young man named Adam Armush. In mid-April, the 21-year-old Israeli Arab resident of Berlin inadvertently exposed an ugly and shameful reality that the world has been largely ignoring for years.
I was in Surabaya as part of a speaking and meeting tour, with each city, town and village providing opportunities for constructive dialogue and mutual learning.
My final destination before taking a flight to Jakarta was the beautiful Al-Akbar National Great Mosque and as my travelling companions prayed, I walked around the interior enjoying the architecture and atmosphere.
When Australia woke on May 15 to various news reports that dozens of Palestinians had been killed when the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) "opened fire" on "protesters", the natural reaction by most was to feel shock, and perhaps even to reflexively blame "those with the guns" for the tragic outcome.
Ever since US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in early May, the commentariat has been aghast at the lack of a new plan. Critics said that the Administration was all instinct and no insight, and that coercion without purpose was its only strategy.
Syria's skies had not seen such flocks of Israel Air Force (IAF) jets in nearly half a century.
Having detected, in early May, Iranian preparations for a missile attack on IDF outposts in the Golan Heights, Israel ordered bomb shelters in the area cleared and prepared the population to use them.
What did Hamas think would happen? And did it accomplish what it wanted? Many questions remain about the weeks of riots in which thousands were shot with live ammunition. The fallout from the clashes will likely continue to be felt through criticism from the international community, ramifications in the region, and lessons learned by both Hamas and the Israeli authorities.