Ever since its sweeping victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel has been regarded as the dominant military power in the Middle East. No Arab state has risked a full-fledged war in decades, and few question the conventional wisdom that Israel would swiftly defeat any national army in a traditional, head-to-head confrontation.
Yet for the third time in the past decade, Israel's powerful military finds itself in a protracted, messy fight with a small, elusive, Islamist group and has been unable to score a quick and decisive victory.
A dust storm reported to be more than 3,000 feet high hit Phoenix Friday, limiting visibility and threatening to reshape landscapes and leave a coating of grit in its wake. Striking photos show a wall of dust pushing its way across neighborhoods and streets in the Phoenix metro region in the Valley.
The storm is commonly referred to as a haboob, from the Arabic word for an intense summer dust storm. Today's storm hit in time to complicate the Friday afternoon commute.
A humanitarian cease-fire lasting 12 hours could begin in Gaza on Saturday, as Hamas says it has agreed to a temporary peace and Israeli media are reporting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also approved the plan. The truce would allow Palestinian civilians to get food and aid where it's needed, officials say.
"There is a national (Palestinian) agreement on humanitarian ceasefire through the UN on Saturday" for 12 hours, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri posted on his Facebook page, according to NPR's Emily Harris, who's in Gaza.