FROM Joshua Mitnick
Robert Gates and George Mitchell in the Middle East Special envoy George Mitchell is shuttling around the Middle East this week with visits to Syria, Egypt and Israel. Today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Israel to talk about Iran. Josh Mitnick is a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor in Tel Aviv.
Despite New Violence in Gaza, Bethlehem Is Crowded with Tourists After six months of relative calm, Hamas unleashed new attacks from Gaza into Israel last Friday, and with both sides in the midst of their own domestic struggles, they're exchanging threats. In a protest against the Israeli blockade, the head of Gaza's 300-member Roman Catholic community canceled Midnight Mass this Christmas Eve. But in the city where Christ was born, it's a different story. Joshua Mitnick is based in Tel Aviv for the Christian Science Monitor .
Hamas Takes Over Gaza as Hamas-Fatah Coalition Crumbles There's been more bloody fighting today in the Gaza strip. Hamas fighters have overrun two of the Fatah faction's most important command centers in the Gaza Strip. There are reports that Fatah gunmen were dragged into the street and shot to death execution style. The European Union has suspended humanitarian aid and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed the unity government. Joshua Mitnick has covered the fighting for the Christian Science Monitor .
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.