Al-Aqsa Mosque The third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Al-Medina. The mosque is located in the Old City of Jerusalem on the Temple Mount Compound / Har Ha Bayit / Al-Haram al-Sharif. The original structure was built in 705 but has been rebuilt several times.

Al-Quds The name in Arabic for Jerusalem. The word is taken from the Hebrew word for holy, which is kadosh.

Bab El Mandeb Strait “The Gate of Lamentation (or) Tears.” The southern entrance to the Red Sea. Eighteen miles wide at its narrowest point, it is located on Yemen’s southwestern tip, flanked from the east by Yemen and from the west by Djibouti and Eritrea. The connection between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, the link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and the chokepoint between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. The shortest route between the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and East Asia—the Bab el Mandeb Strait physically connects the east and the west.

East Jerusalem East Jerusalem currently governed by Israel, that was part of the Jordanian District of Jerusalem that Jordan ruled from 1948 to 1967.

The Gaza Barrier A forty-mile-long land obstacle (wall) that circles the Gaza Strip. Israel is building the barrier to confront the terror tunnels’ challenge that Hamas and Islamic Jihad dig from Gaza into Israel. The wall is also known as the ICW— an acronym for the “Indicative Concrete Wall.” It is six meters above the ground and tens of meters below the ground. It has advanced technological detectors and sensors—both above and under the ground that can detect if a tunnel is being dug. The wall is in Israeli territory, east of the perimeter fence around the Gaza Strip, and is in addition to the existing border fence between Israel and Gaza. When completed, the barrier will completely encircle the entire Gaza Strip on its border with Israel. On the Gaza Strip’s northern border with Israel, the barrier will extend into the sea.

Gaza Strip An eight-by-twenty-mile strip located on the Mediterranean Sea between Israel and Egypt, Gaza’s population is about 1.9 million people. Gaza was under Egyptian military rule until 1967 and under Israel’s military governance from 1967–2005. In 2005 Israel withdrew from Gaza and handed control to the Palestinian National Authority. In 2007 Gaza-born Hamas Islamic organization violently terminated the rule of the P.A. in Gaza in a bloody coup. Since 2007 Hamas rules Gaza.

Hormuz Strait A strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It provides the only sea passage from the Persian (Arab) Gulf to the open ocean. It is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points.

Mecca City in Saudi Arabia. Birthplace of prophet Muhammad. One of the three sacred places for Islam

Otef Aza (Hebrew) Meaning the ‘Gaza’s Envelope.’ It refers to the Israeli communities (mostly agricultural communities—kibbutzim and moshavim, etc., and a couple of Israeli towns like Sderot, Netivot, and Ofaqim) around the Gaza Strip. Some of the communities are half a mile from the Israeli-Gaza border.

Temple Mount/Al-Haram al-Sharif/Har Habayit In the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem is the Temple Mount Compound. It is called in Hebrew Har Ha-Bayit (the mountain of the two Jewish Temples). And, in Arabic, it is called Al-Haram al-Sharif (The Noble Sacred Compound). Two important symbols of Islam built during the Islamic conquests of the late seventh and early eighth centuries AD are located in Al-Haram al-Sharif. One is the Dome of the Rock, and the other is the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamed
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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