Main headlines

November 18, 2013

Lebanon's Arsal lies on the border with Syria and has received a significant influx of refugees from its war-torn neighbor in recent weeks (Courtesy of the Daily Star)
12:08 GMT

A Syrian helicopter raided the Lebanese border town of Arsal Monday, killing two of the mayor's relatives.

President Hollande's visit represents the first time the French leader has officially visited the Palestinian Territories (Abbas Momani/AFP)
11:57 GMT

French President Francois Hollande called for a "a complete halt" to Israeli settlement activity following his meetings Sunday and Monday with Israeli and Palestinian leadership.

Israel's "administrative detention" policy allows the state to imprison suspects without trial under a military court order which can be renewed indefinitely (Courtesy of International Middle East Media Center)
10:59 GMT

Legal documents released Monday show that Israel has been secretly holding a suspected al-Qaeda activist without trial for more than three years.

Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told reporters Monday that the Hashemite Kingdom has "officially" requested UNSC seat (AFP/Getty Images)
10:04 GMT

Jordan officially requested a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council Monday, following Saudi Arabia's decision to decline the seat in October.

Libyan rebel groups have established checkpoints nationwide as they compete for power and territory control with other militias as well as the central government (Mahmud Turkia/AFP)
08:37 GMT

Escalating violence in Libya, including late Sunday's death and kidnap of two intelligence officers, is becoming a point of worry for Libya's neighbors and the international community. Militia forces from Misrata have been ordered to leave the country's capital and US military forces are proposing to train Libyan government security forces in order to maintain security and promote counterterrorism in the fragile north African country.

Egypt is notorious for its poorly-kept railway system that has resulted in a growing number of fatal accidents (Reuters)
07:41 GMT

At least 24 people have been killed and 28 wounded from a train wreck that occurred early Monday south of Cairo following the late Sunday killing of a police officer in the capital.

Members of the Islamist al-Tawhid Brigade were attacked by regime forces in Aleppo Thursday during their meeting in Aleppo (Courtesy of Your Middle East)
06:52 GMT

Syrian rebel leader Abdelqader Saleh died Monday after he was wounded from regime force attacks as Bashar al-Assad's fighters gain ground nationwide.

For the first time Sunday, the Brotherhood did not ask for reinstatement of ousted president Mohammed Morsi (Courtesy of World Bulletin)
06:20 GMT

As government statements indicate that a proposed dialogue will not commence with the country's Muslim Brotherhood, an insider of the Islamist group shared with reporters that the decision to endorse a "national dialogue" was a result of interests and pressures from outside groups.

Jordan earlier this month expressed publicly that it hoped to assume the vacant UN council seat (Courtesy of UN)
06:00 GMT

Kuwait announced that it will support Jordan's bid to take up the UN Security Council seat vacancy that was previously declined by Saudi Arabia earlier this year in protest to US policy in the Middle East, particularly in the context of Syria.

Mahmoud Abbas has called for  "an international inquiry to determine who was responsible" for the death of Yasser Arafat to coincide with the Palestinians' decision to continue peace negotiations with Israel (File Archive/AFP)
05:48 GMT

Mahmoud Abbas told Agence France-Presse Sunday that peace talks with Israel will continue for the full nine months "regardless of what happens on the ground," and called for "an international inquiry to determine who was responsible" for the death of Yasser Arafat after reports released earlier this month indicate that the former Palestinian leader was indeed poisoned.

Syrian opposition National Coalition leader Ahmad Jarba told Moscow that he could not meet due to "prior commitments," but was "very interested" in speaking with the Russian delegation (File Archive/AFP)
05:24 GMT

Syrian opposition National Coalition leader Ahmad Jarba declined an invitation to Moscow to talk with Russian officials in a move that might undermine the momentum of the tentative Geneva II talks that are already on shaky grounds.

Israeli riot police walk at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators following Friday prayers on March 8, 2013. [Ahmad Gharbali/Getty Images]
04:00 GMT

140 Israelis accompanied by police enter Al-Aqsa compound and on Sunday afternoon.

November 17, 2013

French president Francois Hollande (L) and Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) deliver joint statements to the media at the Israeli president's residence on November 17, 2013 in Tel Aviv, Israel. [Abir Sultan/Getty Images]
16:30 GMT

French President Francois Hollande assured Israel on Sunday that France will never tolerate nuclear proliferation

Israeli security guard peering through a hole of Israel's  separation barrier by Palestinian youth in the Abu Dis neighrbood, bordering Jerusalem on July 9, 2013. [Abbas Momani/Getty Images]
15:50 GMT

Israeli forces raid Abu Dis village and attacks al-Quds University students with rubber-coated steel bullets on Sunday afternoon.

Cars drive through a flooded street in northern Riyadh, on November 17, 2013, after heavy rains fell overnight in the Saudi capital, caused floods and traffic jams. [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images]
15:25 GMT

Heavy rains lashed the streets of Riyadh late Saturday causing rare floods.