JERUSALEM, July 24 (Reuters) – The Syrian government is
still in full control of its chemical weapons stockpiles,
Israeli defence officials said on Tuesday, in an apparent bid to
calm fears that a non-conventional war could be looming.
Syria’s 16-month-old conflict has spread concern that the
chemical arsenal, acknowledged by Damascus for the first time on
Monday, could fall into the hands of Hezbollah, the Lebanese
Islamist group allied to Iran and Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad, or that Assad could use then in a desperate last
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israelis remain mostly opposed to any unilateral attack by their country on Iran even if international diplomatic pressure fails to curb its nuclear programme, an opinion poll suggested on Friday.
The survey commissioned by Maariv newspaper found only 19 percent of Israelis would support the go-it-alone strikes threatened by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative government, while 26 percent thought military action should be taken – but only with U.S. backing.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel signaled on Thursday it would not hasten into any open conflict with Iran or its Lebanese guerrilla ally Hezbollah despite blaming them for a deadly attack on its citizens in Bulgaria.
A suicide bomber killed eight people on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Burgas airport, drawing a pledge by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “react powerfully” to what he called “Iranian terror”.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel accused Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas and Iran on Sunday of plotting to attack its citizens in Cyprus after police on the Mediterranean island arrested a foreigner on suspicion of security offences.
The suspect, who was arrested in Limassol port on July 7, was described by Cypriot media as a Swedish passport-holder of Lebanese descent.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Thursday he had no plan to return to Israeli politics after a court cleared him of major corruption charges that prompted his resignation in 2008.
Israeli media had speculated that Olmert might ally himself with the opposition, now that his centrist Kadima party has a new leader and forms part of the conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – New suspicions that Yasser Arafat was murdered, perhaps poisoned by radioactive polonium, prompted the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday to agree to exhume the body of the iconic leader.
Israel, seen by many Arabs as the prime suspect behind the mysterious illness that killed the 75-year-old Arafat in 2004, sought to distance itself anew from the death of the man who led Palestinians’ bid for a state through years of war and peace.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Palestinian Authority agreed on Wednesday to the exhumation of Yasser Arafat’s body after new allegations that he was poisoned with the radioactive element polonium-210 in 2004.
A Swiss institute that examined clothing provided by Arafat’s widow Suha as part of an Al Jazeera expose said it found “surprisingly” high levels of polonium-210, though symptoms described in the president’s medical reports were not consistent with the radioactive agent.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Weighing risky military strikes on his country’s arch-foe, Israel’s hawkish leader sends Ehud Barak to warn the Americans in hope of getting them to step in with greater force instead.
The scenario, played out nowadays as the allies debate ways of dealing with Iran, also happened during the 1991 Gulf war when Barak, currently defense chief to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an almost monthly visitor to Washington, was deputy commander of Israel’s armed forces.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Yitzhak Shamir, the hawkish Israeli leader who balked at the vision promoted by the United States of trading occupied land for peace with the Palestinians, died on Saturday after a long illness. He was 96.
The second longest-serving prime minister after Israel’s founder David Ben-Gurion, Shamir clung to the status quo. Admirers saw strength and resolve in his position, while critics called him an intransigent naysayer who allowed Arabs to cast Israel as obstructing the road to peace.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Iranian allegations that Zionists were inciting drug trafficking and Jewish religious law called for annihilation of gentiles prompted a sharp response from Israel on Wednesday which said Iran was governed by fanatical anti-Semites.
The verbal clash highlighted festering tension in an international stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear program.