There's movement, slight, to restart the stalled Israel-Palestinian peace process. But Israel wants to introduce a new element to the discussion. They're seeking compensation for Middle Eastern Jews forced from their homelands, in exchange for compensation for Palestinian refugees.
Former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon has died after spending nearly eight years in a coma that followed a stroke. Sharon was highly controversial — both loved and hated. And few individuals in recent memory have had as much of an influence on the recent history of the Middle East.
The Lebanese border town of Arsal has borne the brunt of the Syrian civil war with thousands of refugees and occasional cross-border strikes. But a major battle between Islamist rebels — including ISIS — and the Lebanese army last week was a major new development.