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Mar 25, 2015

Netanyahu set for go-ahead to form Israel’s next government

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, grappling with fierce White House disapproval, was poised to win the nod from Israel’s president on Wednesday to try to form a new coalition government.

The surprise victor of a March 17 election, Netanyahu looks well set to assemble a heavily right-leaning cabinet that will control 67 of parliament’s 120 seats — a large majority in a country where no one party has ever been able to rule by itself.

Mar 22, 2015

Netanyahu allies blame White House criticism on misunderstanding

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Benjamin Netanyahu’s allies acknowledged on Sunday that his election-eve disavowal of a Palestinian state had caused a rift with the White House, but blamed U.S. President Barack Obama’s unprecedented criticism on a misunderstanding.

The Israeli prime minister pledged on the eve of his re-election victory last week that there would never be a Palestinian state while he is prime minister.

Mar 19, 2015

Netanyahu poised for governing coalition after final vote tally

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to lead a heavily right-leaning coalition government with control of 67 of parliament’s 120 seats, according to final election results released on Thursday.

Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party won 30 seats, compared with 24 for his main rival, the center-left Zionist Union. It was a huge gain from the last election in 2013, when Likud won 18. Zionist Union’s leader, Isaac Herzog, conceded defeat.

Mar 17, 2015

Netanyahu claims victory in Israel election after hard right shift

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory in Israel’s election on Tuesday after exit polls showed he had erased his center-left rivals’ lead with a hard rightward shift that saw him disavow 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 had already spoken to party leaders about forming a government.

Mar 17, 2015

Israel’s game of thrones: first the vote, then the kingmaking

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israelis will vote in a parliamentary election on March 17, choosing among party lists of candidates to serve in the 120-seat Knesset.

No party has won a majority of seats since Israel’s first election in 1949. Following are questions and answers about the vote and what sort of coalition negotiations could emerge:

Mar 12, 2015

Netanyahu’s main challenger widens lead in Israeli opinion polls

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a last-minute media blitz on Thursday to counter what appears to be a rising tide of support for his main opponent in next week’s election, the centrist Zionist Union.

The latest opinion polls show momentum shifting to Zionist Union after weeks of running neck-and-neck with Netanyahu’s Likud, and Netanyahu again warned voters who have abandoned his party for like-minded challengers that without their votes, he could lose.

Mar 9, 2015

Israel’s game of thrones: first the vote, then the kingmaking

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israelis will vote in a parliamentary election on March 17, choosing among party lists of candidates to serve in the 120-seat Knesset.

No party has won a majority of seats since Israel’s first election in 1949. Following are questions and answers about the vote and what sort of coalition negotiations could emerge:

Mar 3, 2015

Netanyahu’s speech to U.S. Congress gets mixed reception in Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have made an argument that many Israelis support in warning Congress on Tuesday about a potential nuclear deal with Iran, but critics asked whether it was worth the widening rift with the White House.

The address was broadcast live on Israeli television and radio, and came at a politically sensitive time — just two weeks before a closely contested election in which Netanyahu is seeking a fourth term.

Jan 28, 2015

Two Israeli soldiers, U.N. peacekeeper killed in Israel-Hezbollah violence

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Two Israeli soldiers and a Spanish peacekeeper were killed on Wednesday in an exchange of fire between Hezbollah and Israel, one of the most violent clashes between the two sides since a 2006 war.

The soldiers were killed when Hezbollah fired five missiles at a convoy of Israeli military vehicles on the frontier with Lebanon.

Jan 28, 2015

Hezbollah missile wounds four Israeli soldiers on Lebanon frontier

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Hezbollah missile strike wounded four Israeli soldiers on Wednesday, the biggest attack on Israeli forces by the Lebanese guerrilla group since a 34-day war in 2006.

In an apparent revenge attack for an Israeli air strike in Syria that killed senior Hezbollah members, the group said its “Quneitra Martyrs Brigade” had carried out Wednesday’s hit on an Israeli convoy in the Shebaa Farms frontier area, prompting concerns of further escalation.

    • About Jeffrey

      "Heller joined Reuters from United Press International in Tel Aviv in 1984 and transferred to London in 1987. He returned to the Middle East in 1992 as a senior sub-editor on the Middle East and Africa desk before taking up a post as correspondent, Jerusalem a year later. He is currently editor-in-charge in the Jerusalem bureau."
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