Palestinian representatives Monday rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to hold direct talks in Paris next month. "Direct negotiations with Mr. Netanyahu in the past have proven to be fruitless; why repeat the same mistakes?" Jamal Dajani, the director of communications for Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, said ahead of a meeting between Hamdallah and visiting French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in Ramallah Tuesday. "Actions speak louder than words," Dajani said. Netanyahu's actions have shown that he's more interested in building illegal settlements than in reaching peace."
Fifty hours after a video showing the victims, including many children, of a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held Syrian town was broadcast, the United States' army fired dozens of cruise missiles against a government-held airbase in Syria. The US strike came 77 days into Donald Trump's presidency - two and a half months marked by unprecedented hostility between the US media and a new administration. But nothing changes the narrative quite like pictures of a few Tomahawk missiles being launched into the night sky. Nothing draws public opinion behind a President than ordering a strike. Journalists praised Trump's "decisiveness", his "morality" and the might of the US military.
PETRA, Jordan – In ancient times, Arab tribesmen dug diversion tunnels to protect their low-lying trading post of Petra against desert flash floods. More than two millennia later, an alarm system warns visitors if flood water rushes toward what has become Jordan's main tourist attraction. Earlier this month, the alarms were activated for the first time, said Hussein al-Hasanat of the Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority. Sirens blared minutes before a torrent fed by heavy rains approached the UNESCO World Heritage site carved into rose-hued rock face. Hundreds of tourists were able to seek higher ground and were later evacuated, he said.
Gaza City - Prompted by Arab states normalising relations with Israel, fractured Palestinian political factions are working diligently in multilateral talks to restore unity and mend the division between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in negotiations far more promising than previous efforts. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain's foreign ministers will sign on Tuesday an agreement with Israel at the White House establishing full ties in violation of the Arab Peace Initiative. The move is a threat to long-standing Arab demands that Israel ends its decades-long occupation and agree on a two-state solution with the Palestinians. On Saturday, Palestinian groups led by Hamas and Fatah agreed on a "unified field leadership" comprising all factions that will lead "comprehensive popular resistance" against the Israeli occupation, a statement said. It called for Tuesday - when the signing ceremony takes place in Washington, DC - to be a day of "popular rejection".
Talking us through the story are: Dmitry Babich, journalist, Sputnik International; Howard Amos, independent journalist, Russia; Lina Khatib, head of the MENA programme, Chatham House; and Kim Sengupta, defence editor, The Independent (UK). Talking us through the story are: Karma Khayat, vice chairwoman, Al Jadeed TV; Nabil Dajani, professor of communication and media studies, American University Beirut; Jad Melki, associate professor of journalism and media studies, Lebanese American University; and Habib Battah, editor, BeirutReport.com