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Apr 1, 2014

Abbas signs international conventions; Kerry cancels visit

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed more than a dozen international conventions on Tuesday, citing anger at Israel’s delay of a prisoner release in a decision that jeopardized U.S. efforts to salvage fragile peace talks.

His unexpected move was aimed at solidifying the standing of Palestinians in global bodies, defying both Israel and the United States that have long opposed such unilateral action.

Mar 26, 2014

Israeli troops kill three Palestinian militants in West Bank raid

JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces shot three Palestinian militants dead on Saturday in a raid on a home in the occupied West Bank to capture a wanted Hamas Islamist militant, Israeli military and Palestinian officials said.

The Palestinian Authority denounced the violence that it said threatened U.S.-brokered peace talks ahead of a looming April deadline set by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mar 22, 2014

Israel kills four Palestinian militants in West Bank raid

JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces shot and killed four Palestinians on Saturday during a raid on a home in the occupied West Bank to capture a wanted Hamas Islamist militant, the Israeli military said.

Hamas supporters carried three bodies through the streets of the West Bank city of Jenin, shouting slogans against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, involved in U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel.

Mar 17, 2014

Cheers and criticism mark Abbas’s visit to Washington

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets on Monday to show their support for President Mahmoud Abbas, who is under heavy pressure as he prepares to meet U.S. President Barack Obama.

Abbas, scheduled to see Obama later in the day in Washington, complained last week that he had come under great duress during U.S.-brokered peace talks with the Israelis, which are due to expire next month in the absence of any accord.

Mar 13, 2014

Palestinian leader lashes out at rival, political tensions flare

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused one of his main rivals, Mohammed Dahlan, of involvement in six murders, hinting that he might also be behind the death of former leader Yasser Arafat.

Dahlan, who lives in exile in the Gulf, denied the allegations of his arch foe Abbas, their bitter row now playing out publicly across the Palestinian media and on social media.

Feb 11, 2014

Abbas aide calls Kerry peace formula a recipe for failure

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – A top Palestinian official said on Tuesday a framework agreement being crafted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to buttress troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may be doomed to fail.

Nabil Abu Rdeineh, spokesman to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said the deal due to be submitted to the two sides in the coming weeks would be “useless” if it allowed them to nominally accept its principles but to express reservations.

Jan 12, 2014

Palestinian police, refugee camp residents clash over U.N. strike

JALAZOUN, West Bank (Reuters) – At least 50 people were hurt on Sunday in a clash between Palestinian police and residents of a refugee camp protesting against a strike in a U.N. aid agency that has paralyzed services, police and an ambulance service said.

The demonstration, in Jalazoun camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was the most violent in a series of protests over the past week stemming from a more than month-old strike for higher pay by local employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Jan 4, 2014

Kerry sees progress on Israeli-Palestinian framework deal

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Israel and the Palestinians are making progress towards a “framework agreement” to guide their talks on a formal peace deal but still have some way to go, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.

Speaking after extensive, separate talks with Palestinian and Israeli leaders, Kerry sounded somewhat hopeful about the chances of ending the conflict, despite misgivings voiced recently by both sides and a lack of tangible signs of movement.

Dec 31, 2013

Israel frees Palestinian prisoners before Kerry visit

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Israel freed 26 Palestinian prisoners on Tuesday, days before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was due back in the Middle East to press the two sides to reach a framework peace deal.

Israel agreed to release a total of 104 Palestinian prisoners as part of a U.S.-brokered package that in July revived peace talks after a three-year break. Tuesday’s release was the third of four groups to go free.

Dec 23, 2013

Israel frees Palestinian prisoner after hunger-strike deal

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Israel freed a Palestinian prisoner from jail on Monday, completing a deal agreed earlier this year in exchange for him halting a lengthy hunger strike that almost killed him.

Samer al-Issawi stopped his eight-month, on-off fast last April. His confinement had stoked weeks of protests in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.