JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) – A new Israeli air
defense system being developed in partnership with the United
States met all its objectives in a series of recent live
interception tests, U.S. and Israeli officials said Wednesday,
putting it on course for deployment by next year.
The system, David’s Sling, shot down targets simulating
longer-range missiles like Scuds that could be fired at Israel
from Syria and by Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A new Israeli air defense system being developed in partnership with the United States has passed advanced tests, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on Wednesday, putting it on course for possible deployment by next year.
Defense sources said tests for David’s Sling took place last week and on Tuesday, the last day before a deadline for international negotiations on Iran’s disputed nuclear program.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel could suffer hundreds of civilian dead and damage to its vital infrastructure from Hezbollah rockets if it fights another war with the Iranian-backed Lebanese guerrilla group, according to Israeli military assessments.
The scenario, published by Israeli media on Wednesday, reflected concern among security planners that since the last Lebanon war, in 2006, Hezbollah has expanded its rocket arsenal and gained battle experience helping Damascus fight the insurgency in Syria.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Sunday the framework Iranian nuclear agreement being sought by international negotiators, saying it was even worse than his country had feared.
Israel has mounted what it terms an “uphill battle” against an agreement that might ease sanctions on the Iranians while leaving them with a nuclear infrastructure with bomb-making potential. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful.
JERUSALEM/PARIS (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has begun to signal that Israel could resign itself to an Iranian nuclear deal that would leave its enemy with some uranium enrichment capability, a compromise he has long opposed.
The shift seems surprising given Netanyahu’s contentious speech to the U.S. Congress earlier this month in which he argued against world powers letting Tehran keep thousands of uranium centrifuges and remain on possible course to a bomb.
JERUSALEM/PARIS (Reuters) – Top Israeli envoys were sent to confer with French officials on Sunday about preventing what Israel considers an unfavorable nuclear deal with Iran after tensions surfaced between France and the United States over negotiation strategy.
Though France has demanded more stringent restrictions than other Western delegations during talks with Iran, one French diplomat played down Israel’s sway in Paris, saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had overplayed his hand in a March 3 speech to the U.S. Congress.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Embarrassed at failing to predict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election victory, Israeli pollsters said on Wednesday they were blindsided by reticent rightist voters and may have unwittingly prodded waverers to back the incumbent.
Netanyahu’s Likud won 30 of parliament’s 120 seats in Tuesday’s ballot, against 24 for the center-left Zionist Union – upsetting opinion surveys that as recently as Friday gave the challenger a four-seat lead.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory in Israel’s election after exit polls showed he had erased his center-left rivals’ lead with a hard rightward shift in which he abandoned a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state.
Difficult coalition talks still lie ahead. Isaac Herzog, Netanyahu’s chief opponent and head of the center-left Zionist Union, said “everything is still open” and that he already had spoken to party leaders about forming a government.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s march towards becoming the longest-serving leader of Israel could be halted on Tuesday in an election that has exposed public fatigue with his stress on national security rather than socio-economic problems.
Surging rhetoric against Iran and the Palestinians has apparently done little to close Netanyahu’s lag behind center-left opponent Isaac Herzog in opinion polls. Should Herzog narrowly win the ballot as predicted, he would be the likely first pick to form the next government.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Flagging in opinion polls before Tuesday’s election in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to rally rightists by casting his centre-left challengers as tools of a global campaign to usurp power.
Over social media and broadcast interviews, the three-term leader has accused unspecified foreign governments and tycoons of funnelling “tens of millions of dollars” to opposition activists working to undermine his Likud party and boost the Zionist Union joint list led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni.