Inside the Middle East
April 27, 2010
Posted: 737 GMT

Three West Bank students will compete in an international science fair in the U.S. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.

Filed under: General •Science & Technology •Video •West Bank

Share this on:
Posted: 734 GMT

CNN's Ben Wedeman reports on an Egyptian-based reality show where performing good deeds are expected.

Filed under: Egypt •General •Video

Share this on:
Posted: 731 GMT

More than 100,000 families in Iraq who were uprooted from their homes live in squalor. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom reports.

Filed under: General •Iraq •Video

Share this on:
April 26, 2010
Posted: 605 GMT

Tehran, Iran (CNN) – Iran said Sunday it fired five new types of locally-made coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles in the last stage of its "Great Prophet 5" military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard practice attacking a naval vessel during military exercises in the Persian Gulf.
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard practice attacking a naval vessel during military exercises in the Persian Gulf.

The missiles were fired simultaneously and struck a single target at the same time - a feat the Revolutionary Guard Corps described to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting as "very important."

The military exercises on Sunday also included high-speed boats waging a "war" against a warship.

The maneuvers fell on the 31st anniversary of the elite force and were designed to demonstrate new weapons systems.

Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy chief of the Revolutionary Guard told Iranian media that the exercises were aimed at demonstrating Iran's "strength, will and national resolve to defend independence and territorial integrity."

The U.S. military official noted there have been several Iranian exercises in the past, but this one received attention because the Revolutionary Guard Corps discussed it publicly in advance.

The U.S. Navy currently is operating several warships in the region, and commanders are often reminded not to let any encounters with Iranians inadvertently escalate.

Iran's missile development is being watched closely by the United States, which is pressing for tougher sanctions against the Islamic republic for its controversial nuclear program.

Filed under: Iran

Share this on:
April 24, 2010
Posted: 1031 GMT
Share this on:
April 23, 2010
Posted: 444 GMT

From Kevin Flower and Elise Labott, CNN

(CNN) - The Obama administration's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, returned to the region Thursday, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized that "there will be no freeze" on construction opposed by Palestinians and the United States.

Benjamin Netanyahu's comments are not likely to ease the rift with the United States.
Benjamin Netanyahu's comments are not likely to ease the rift with the United States.

Mitchell's visit comes in the wake of talks this week that included U.S., Israeli and Palestinian officials.

"At the end of those discussions last night, we thought it was fruitful for George to travel to the region," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. He provided no details.

The talks, conducted in Israel, included Dan Shapiro of the National Security Council and David Hale, one of Mitchell's deputies, Crowley said. It was not clear who represented Israel and the Palestinians.

In an interview Thursday on Israel's Channel 2, Netanyahu said "there will be no freeze in Jerusalem."

The United States and Israel have been at odds over Israeli plans to build residences in East Jerusalem.

"This is what we are arguing about," Netanyahu said. "They are saying we have to stop building, and I say as prime minister of all the Israelis, there are red lines. This is a red line. I won't cross it. This is not a dispute with America."

Asked for a response to Netanyahu's comments, Crowley said, "I don't think that they necessarily are new.

"We understand that the Israelis have a long-standing position," he said. "But as [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] has said repeatedly, the status quo is not sustainable."

Crowley said the United States received "a number of ideas from the Israelis" in response to "specific steps" that the Obama administration asked them to take.

"Some of them address the concerns that we laid out in the initial conversation between Secretary Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu a few weeks ago," Crowley said. "Have they done everything that we'd like to see them do? No. But this is why ... we're continuing this conversation."

Crowley said Mitchell would meet with both Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Senior State Department officials, however, said they didn't expect any major breakthroughs from the talks. They noted that Netanyahu does not see any incentive to take action on settlement activity in East Jerusalem until negotiations start, and Abbas is tentative about holding talks with Israel without any commitments on settlements, especially given Arab League demands that settlement activity stop before negotiations begin.

Netanyahu's comments are not likely to make ending the rift between the United States and Israel over East Jerusalem construction any easier.

In March, the Israeli government announced the construction of 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem as U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden was visiting the Jewish state. The announcement outraged the Obama administration and led to the Palestinian withdrawal from agreed-upon indirect negotiations with Israel.

In a visit later that month to the United States, Netanyahu was presented with a set of concessions the White House wanted to see the Israel make in an effort to restart negotiations with the Palestinians.

Neither government detailed what the exact nature of the concessions were, but sources on both sides said a halt in East Jerusalem construction was among the demands from the Obama administration.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Netanyahu had informed the White House over the weekend that Israel would not stop building in East Jerusalem.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli government, would not comment on the report other than to say that "the talks with the Americans are ongoing."

"We are working hard to find a framework that will allow for the resumption of talks," Regev said of negotiations with thePalestinians.

Israel seized East Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six Day War in 1967 and considers it part of its sovereign capital, a claim not recognized by the international community. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the future capital of their state.

Filed under: Israel •Palestinians •U.S.

Share this on:
April 17, 2010
Posted: 950 GMT

Against popular belief, there are some Arabs serving in Israel's armed forces. CNN's Paula Hancocks asks them

Posted by:
Filed under: General •Israel

Share this on:
April 13, 2010
Posted: 1146 GMT

Posted by:
Filed under: Culture •General •Iraq •Video

Share this on:
Posted: 1142 GMT

Posted by:
Filed under: Culture •Iraq •Video

Share this on:
April 11, 2010
Posted: 1032 GMT

Manchester City teaching soccer in Abu Dhabi. CNN's Tracey Holmes.

Posted by:
Filed under: Abu Dhabi •UAE •Video

Share this on:

subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

This blog has now been archived and commenting has been switched off. Visit the Inside the Middle East site for news, views and video from across the region.

Read more about CNN's special reports policy