Main headlines

October 31, 2013

Hamas controls the Gaza strip, but many members of its leadership reside in the West Bank (Courtesy of the Telegraph)
11:14 GMT

Israel arrested three senior leaders of Hamas in the West Bank last night, representing the second time that Israel has carried out this operation targeting Hamas members this week. A total of eighteen high-profile members of the Palestinian party have now been arrested in this week alone.

After inspecting 21 out of the 23 chemical production facilities, OPCW announced in a statement that it "is satisfied [it] has verified, and seen destroyed, all declared critical production/mixing/filling equipment [in Syria]" (EPA)
10:48 GMT

The UN chemical watchdog, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) told reporters Thursday that is "satisfied" that is has verified and destroyed all chemical arm production equipment and facilities in Syria.

ISIL's Abu Abdulrahman told reporters that Al-Qaeda recruits must first prove they are "a good Muslim" and "not a spy" before they are allowed to enter the Turkish safe houses (Courtesy of World Crunch)
08:30 GMT

Al-Qaeda affiliated ISIL representative Abu Abdulrahman told reporters about how al-Qaeda recruits are arriving in Turkish bordertown safehouses before entering Syria to fight the Free Syrian Army.

Geneva I, the meeting that led to potential Geneva II peace talks for Syria between Russia and the US.  [telegraph]
08:17 GMT

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warns of the crucial need for Syria to participate in peace talks in what is being called Geneva II.

Ahmad Tazazaa, 22, was killed by Israeli troops while they were making arrests in Kabatya near the West Bank city of Jenin (Courtesy of the Electronic Intifada)
07:56 GMT

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian near West Bank's Jenin Thursday, and US senior officials denounced Israel's construction plans to build 1,500 new settler homes in east Jerusalem with peace negotiations underway.

Lebanese Army patrolling borders in the region. [newstribe]
06:39 GMT

Three people were arrested after a a van from Syria was seized at an East Lebanon checkpoint.

Algerian President Bouteflika called for a mechanism to protect Sahrawi rights and monitor human rights violations in the Moroccan-controlled territory Wednesday (Courtesy of Defence Web)
06:01 GMT

Morocco recalled its ambassador to Algeria Wednesday following Algerian president Bouteflika's comments that human rights violations in the Morocco annexed territory of Western Sahara need to be monitored "now more than ever."

Two injured men are transported on a fruit barrow in the Syria, following a shelling. (Image credit: AFP)
04:52 GMT

Six people were killed as the Syrian army shelled a neighborhood in Damascus.

October 30, 2013

Iraqis look at the remains of a vehicle following an explosion at a small bus station . (Image credit: AFP)
18:35 GMT

Iraqi medical and security officials have said that attacks in Sunni-majority areas of Baghdad and outside the capital left nine people dead and more than 20 others wounded.

Egyptian policemen in plain clothes detain students of al-Azhar University in Cairo on October 30, 2013. (Image credit: AFP)
17:54 GMT

Egyptian security forces stormed al-Azhar University campus on Wednesday to quell student protests against the military-backed government.

 An F-16 I fighter jet lands during an event staged for the media. (Image credit: AFP)
17:37 GMT

The United States is aiming to help the Iraqi government battle an increasing threat from Al-Qaeda linked terror groups with military sales and intelligence sharing, a US official said Wednesday.

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on October 21, 2013, shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad giving an interview. (Image credit: AFP)
17:22 GMT

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who met with United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Wednesday, said the success of peace talks was tied to “stopping support for terrorist groups.”

A picture released by the Egyptian interior ministry shows senior Muslim Brotherhood figure Essam al-Erian following his arrest at an apartment in east Cairo where he had been in hiding on October 30, 2013 in Cairo. (AFP)
13:00 GMT

Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam Erian, who has been on the run since the state crackdown on the Islamist group, was arrested in Cairo on Wednesday morning.

In darkness, Syrian refugees stream across country borders. [Reuters]
12:20 GMT

Fifty Syrian refugees are dead from malnutrition after being stuck at Jordanian border due to ongoing shelling in the area.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt at a busy Tunisian beach resort on Wednesday. (AFP/File)
10:27 GMT

A suicide bomber targeted a popular Tunisian beach resort in the city of Sousse on Wednesday. There were no casualties in the blast, according to local officials.