Hamas has recently further raised taxes after a drop in financial support from allies, such as Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the collapse of its tunnel trade with people in Egypt ... Consumers and businesses in Gaza are hit three times by tax. Israel collect taxes on imports into Gaza and the West Bank on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and transfers the money to the PA after deducting a small administrative fee.

Wider internet access and use could contribute to a more dynamic Turkish economy ... But the efforts to reap these rewards are hindered by wide disparities in internet access and online literacy, as well as... customs that divide men and women, the old and the young, and urban and rural... The question is whether the nation can achieve this transformation ... despite the likelihood that this process would loosen the governing authorities’ control over online information that it wants to suppress

Annual inflation hit 12.23 percent in May — the highest level in seven years ... Egypt's imports are more than double its exports and include essential basic goods like wheat, which must be bought in dollars ... Electricity and water bills are also rising, fuel is more expensive, and pharmacies are running out of some medications, fueling anger on social media. The government has severely cracked down on protests over the past two years, making it virtually impossible to air grievances in public

science diplomacy—whereby experts collaborate scientifically to address common problems and build constructive international partnerships—has more potential than is often recognized. Science diplomacy can of course help countries solve on-the-ground challenges and improve standards of living for their citizens. But it can also lay groundwork for improving relations in a region often defined by tension (if not outright conflict) through functional, scientific cooperation that is less politicized.

Putting Egypt’s top auditor on trial sends a clear message: the Egyptian government is waging a war. Not against corruption but against those who fight against it ... After Hisham Geneina ... publicly stated that the government’s corruption has cost Egypt around $67.6 billion over four years, he was fiercely attacked by pro-government political and media circles ... Geneina’s estimate may even have been on the low side

Climate change may render parts of the Middle East -- now home to over 500 million people -- too hot for humans ... even if global temperature rise is capped at two degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era, “the temperature in summer in these regions will increase two times faster" than elsewhere in the world. That means by mid-century, during the hottest part of summer, “temperatures will not fall below 30 degrees at night, and during daytime they could rise to 46 degrees Celsius.”

Despite regional authoritarian backsliding as some of the former ruling elite regain power, women’s social organization and political mobilization continue to have an impact in the region... new forms of activism and large-scale expansion of satellite media have begun to change the public discourse concerning sexual violence in Egypt... the Truth and Dignity Commission in Tunisia... has given women the opportunity to tell their stories of systematic state sexual violence under the Ben Ali regime

According to a 2015 report ... Iran probably started providing small amounts of weapons to the Houthis in 2009 — five years after the first round of fighting between the Houthis and government forces ... The Houthi’s takeover of Sanaa, Yemen's capital, in September 2014 prompted Iran to increase its support ... This assistance, however, remains limited and far from sufficient to make more than a marginal difference to the balance of forces in Yemen, a country awash with weapons

Hundreds of Arab citizens graduate from colleges every year with qualifications for high-tech work, but few have found jobs in their field. Of about 284,500 technology workers in Israel in 2013, only 1.3 percent were Arab, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Hoping to address the imbalance, the Ministry of Economy introduced a three-year program in 2015 with the goal of placing 1,000 Arab graduates in the high-tech work force.

Tunisian military has begun to see its position improve after the revolution ... Faced with severe security threats, Tunisia’s post-revolution leaders have been forced to strengthen the armed forces. The Defense Ministry’s budget has increased... an average of 21 percent each year... since 2011... This rebalancing may have important implications for Tunisia’s capacity to confront... security threats, for the prospects for security sector reform, and for the likelihood of democratic consolidation