During His Long Reign, Sultan Qaboos of Oman Fostered Ties with Israel

Jan. 14 2020

When he died last Friday, Qaboos bin Said al-Said was the longest-ruling head of state in the Arab world, having seized power in Oman from his father in 1970. Omanis are overwhelmingly Ibadi Muslims, neither Shiite nor Sunni, which positioned Qaboos to act frequently as an intermediary between Iran and its Sunni rivals. But he was also the among the first Arab leaders to make peaceful overtures to the Jewish state, as Yoel Guzansky and Efraim Halevy write—although full diplomatic relations do not yet exist between the two countries:

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Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Israel diplomacy, Oman, Yitzhak Rabin

Hizballah Bears Responsibility for the Beirut Blast

According to the Lebanese government, the explosion in its capital city on Tuesday that left over 100 dead and many more injured or homeless was caused by the accidental detonation of some 2,750 of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer often used for making bombs. (Less than one-thousandth of that amount was used by Timothy McVeigh to destroy the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.) Previously, police have discovered Hizballah warehouses in London and Germany storing many tons of the same explosive. Hussein Ibish comments:

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Read more at Bloomberg

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon