Dan's Feed
Feb 12, 2013

U.S. envoy reassures Israel on Iran ahead of Obama visit

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – A U.S. official sought to reassure Israel this week on President Barack Obama’s determination to curb Iran’s disputed nuclear program, as the clock ticks on a threatened Israeli pre-emptive strike.

The visit by Rose Gottemoeller, acting U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, was seen by her Israeli hosts as part of an effort to smooth the way for Obama’s spring trip to the region, in which the Iranian issue will loom large.

Feb 9, 2013

Israel’s Lieberman says Palestinian peace accord impossible

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has no chance of signing a permanent peace accord with the Palestinians and should instead seek a long-term interim deal, the most powerful political partner of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday.

The remarks by Avigdor Lieberman, an ultranationalist whose joint party list with Netanyahu narrowly won a January 22 election while centrist challengers made surprise gains, seemed designed to dampen expectations at home and abroad of fresh peacemaking.

Feb 1, 2013

Israeli silence on Syria is strategic

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Military secrets are not readily divulged anywhere. But in Israel the blanket silence that envelops officials after an event like Wednesday’s mysterious air strike on Syria reflects a deeper strategy involving both deterrence and outreach.

Beyond customary concern to safeguard spies and tactics for a government currently engaged in a graver confrontation with Iran, Israelis see such reticence as allowing their foes to save face and thus reduce the risk of reprisal and escalation.

Jan 30, 2013

Israel to give Palestinians $100 million in withheld funds

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel will give Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s administration around $100 million in tax revenues that had been withheld in retaliation for his statehood bid in the United Nations, Israeli officials said on Wednesday.

They described the handover as a one-time deal, signaling rightist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had not formally scrapped sanctions that have hurt the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank and worried world powers.

Jan 29, 2013

Israel worrying about fate of Syria’s conventional arsenal

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Syria’s advanced conventional weapons would represent as much of a threat to Israel as its chemical arms should they fall into the hands of Syrian rebel forces or Hezbollah guerrillas, Israeli sources said on Tuesday.

Such concerns suggest that Israel, which has signaled heightened readiness over the last week to react militarily if it thinks Damascus is losing control of its chemical arsenal, could also intervene over Syria’s Russian-supplied missiles.

Jan 27, 2013

Israel threatens Syria strike if rebels get chemical arms

JERUSALEM, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Any sign that Syria’s grip on
its chemical weapons is slipping as it battles armed rebels
could trigger Israeli military strikes, Israel’s vice premier
said on Sunday.

Silvan Shalom confirmed a media report that Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu had last week convened a meeting of security
chiefs to discuss the civil war in Syria and the state of its
suspected chemical arsenal.

Jan 27, 2013

Israel vows Syria strike at any sign of chemical arms transfer

JERUSALEM, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Any sign of Syria’s grip on
its suspected chemical weapons slipping as it battles an armed
uprising could trigger Israeli military strikes, Israel’s vice
premier said on Sunday.

Silvan Shalom confirmed a media report that Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu had last week convened security chiefs to
discuss the civil war in nearby Syria and the state of the
country’s chemical arsenal.

Jan 23, 2013

Narrow Netanyahu win has Israeli right asking what went wrong

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lacklustre election campaign only got into top gear one hour before polling stations closed.

With bleak grassroots reports flowing into his Likud party headquarters, it was clear that Netanyahu risked being outflanked by a centrist newcomer, setting up the possibility of the biggest electoral upset in Israeli history.

Jan 16, 2013

Obama’s alleged criticism of Netanyahu enlivens Israeli election

JERUSALEM, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Long-strained ties between
Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama sprang to the fore of
Israel’s election campaign on Wednesday after the U.S. president
was quoted as criticising the prime minister’s character.

Less than a week before a Jan. 22 ballot that opinion polls
predict the right-wing Netanyahu will win easily, Israeli media
highlighted a U.S. commentator’s column on Obama and questioned
whether the Democratic president was trying to sway the vote.

Jan 11, 2013

Syria may hold uranium stash, Western and Israeli experts say

VIENNA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Western and Israeli security experts suspect Syria may have tons of unenriched uranium in storage and that any such stockpile could potentially be of interest to its ally Iran for use in Tehran’s own disputed nuclear program.

They say natural uranium could have been acquired by the Arab state years ago to fuel a suspected nuclear reactor under construction that was bombed by Israel in 2007.