Dossier: Middle East

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with his new government of national unity (Photo: Reuters)

Europe and the Gaza conflict

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"The Europeans must conduct a direct dialogue with Hamas"

In light of the inability of those involved in the Gaza conflict to make peace, Europe cannot just stand on the sidelines and watch. If it does, the conflict will come here. The ostracisation of Hamas has proved counter-productive. A commentary by Abdel Mottaleb El HusseiniMore

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President (photo: picture alliance/dpa)

The EU and the Gaza conflict

"Effective diplomacy needs engagement with all sides"

While Europeans are focusing on Ukraine and Iraq, the oldest of the Middle East issues will haunt them for some time. The wider Israel–Palestinian conflict needs the full attention of Europe, writes Mattia ToaldoMore

Amos Oz (photo: picture-alliance/ZB)

Interview with Amos Oz

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"For Israel, it is a lose-lose situation"

Israel's ground offensive against Gaza is justified but excessive, says Amos Oz in this interview with Dennis Stute. However, the Israeli writer is also critical of the Hamas strategy of attacking Israel from within civilian areasMore

A Palestinian boy sweeping up rubble outside a bombed-out building in Gaza (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict in Gaza

Propaganda war

The escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas has been accompanied on both sides by massive propaganda drives. According to Joseph Croitoru, each side is attempting to speak directly to the opposing side through its propagandaMore

Ruined buildings in the Gaza Strip, 19 July 2014 (photo: DW/Shawgy el Farra)

Israeli military offensive in Gaza

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Israel cannot win

All those whose opinions differ from the prevailing view are considered saboteurs. In this guest commentary, the Israeli writer Etgar Keret describes how the thought police are dominating his homeland and explains why the problems Israel faces cannot simply be bombed awayMore

Ruins of a house in Gaza after a rocket attack on 13.07.2014. Photo: Reuters

Escalation in the Middle East

Provocation and violence

What set off the new spiral of violence in the Middle East? Does Palestinian organisation Hamas deserve the blame? Bettina Marx doubts that's the case and takes a look back at developments in recent weeksMore

Members of the Israeli army carrying out a raid in Hebron on 21 June 2014 (photo: Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

The Israeli army in the West Bank

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The punishment of Palestinian citizens

Israel's heavy-handed acts of retaliation against both Hamas and Palestinian civilians are threatening to provoke a new escalation of violence. The Israeli military deployment in the West Bank is the biggest since the end of the second Intifada in 2005. A commentary by René WildangelMore

Pope Francis praying at the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem (photo: Reuters)

Pope Francis in the Middle East

Gestures laden with symbolism

The visit of Pope Francis to the Israeli-occupied West Bank has lifted the spirits of Christians across the region. The Pope expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people through actions rather than words: not only did he fly directly to the West Bank from Jordan instead of stopping in Tel Aviv first, he also prayed at the Israeli separation wall. By Kate ShuttleworthMore

Hamas chief Ismail Hanija (right) and Fatah representative Azzam al-Ahmed in Gaza City on 23 April 2014 (photo: Reuters)

Reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah

No peace without Palestinian unity

The Palestinian organisations Hamas and Fatah plan to seal an alliance with each other – primarily out of necessity. Reconciliation is difficult; the danger of failure is great. It is for precisely this reason that the US and Europe should support the process. A commentary by René WildangelMore

Nahr El-Bared, the first Palestinian refugee camp after 1948 (photo: UNRWA Archive/S. Madver)

UNRWA photo exhibition: "The Long Journey"

The long journey into uncertainty

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) recently opened a photo and video exhibition on the history of Palestinian refugees since 1948 in East Jerusalem. By Joseph CroitoruMore

Pastor Rola Sleiman in her church in Tripoli (photo: DW/A. Williams)

Lebanon's first female pastor

"The fact that I am a woman was never a problem"

In Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, an Evangelical community has decided to break with tradition and elect a woman as their pastor. The small parish has come to appreciate Rola Sleiman in trying times. By Andreane Williams in TripoliMore

A young Egyptian carrying an Egyptian flag and standing in front of some anti-Morsi graffiti in Cairo (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Georges Corm on the conflicts in the Arab world

Forget religion!

In his new book, the Lebanese historian Georges Corm criticises the tendency in the West to see the conflicts in the Arab world almost exclusively in a religious context. In reality, he says, the struggles in the states of the Arab Spring are for the fair distribution of economic power and democratic participation. By Kersten KnippMore

Still from the film "The Physician" in which the Shah (played by Oliver Martinez, right) is treated by Avicenna (played by Ben Kingsley, left) (source: UFA Cinema GmbH)

"The Physician" by Noah Gordon

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The long road from international bestseller to film

The novel "The Physician" was one of the biggest international successes of the last few decades. So it's all the more surprising that it wasn't made into a film years ago. A big-screen version has now finally been released – with a German production team. By Regina RolandMore

Syrian refugees in Jordan: Inam and her daughter Najah (photo: Claudia Mende)

Refugee Crisis in Jordan

At the Breaking Point

Jordan has accepted around 600,000 Syrian refugees to date, and more are on the way. Although Jordan is continuing to show a considerable willingness to help, the fact that there is no foreseeable end to the Syrian civil war has led to growing frustration among Jordanians due to rising rents and increasing competition on the labour market. By Claudia MendeMore

Demonstration in commemoration of the Egyptian activist Gaber Salah, Kairo (photo: dpa)

Protestes in Egypt

Army Opponents Break Their Silence

Egypt's Islamists demonstrated for months against the army. Now, secular activists are out in the streets to protest the co-opting of their revolution. But, the military government has a propaganda machine on its side. By Markus Symank from CairoMore

Protests of the Muslim Brotherhod against the toppling of President Morsi in Alexandria (photo: picture-alliance/AA)

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Limited Options

The world's oldest Islamist organization has apparently failed in its strategy of confrontation with the ruling military. It is now proving difficult for the movement to make a fresh political start. Karim El-Gawhary reports from CairoMore

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