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Nov 17, 2013

France assures Israel it will stand firm on Iran deal

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande assured Israel on Sunday that France would continue to oppose an easing of economic sanctions against Iran until it was convinced Tehran had ended a pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Hollande’s pledge could help underpin an intensive campaign by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convince Israel’s main ally, the United States, and other leading powers to toughen terms of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran ahead of negotiations reconvening this week in Geneva.

Nov 13, 2013

Netanyahu says ‘bad deal’ with Iran could lead to war

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday that a “bad deal” between global powers and Iran over its nuclear program could lead to war.

His government said an offer on the table for what Washington calls a “modest” easing of sanctions would in fact negate up to 40 percent of the sanctions’ impact, reducing pressure on Tehran to give up a nuclear program that the West and Israel believe is aimed at building a bomb.

Nov 12, 2013

Netanyahu halts plans to build 24,000 more settler homes

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered on Tuesday a reassessment of plans to build nearly 24,000 settler homes, saying he feared an international outcry that would divert attention from Israel’s lobbying against a nuclear deal with Iran.

The right-wing Israeli leader announced the reversal in the face of stiff U.S. opposition to settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Palestinian anger that threatens three-month-old peace talks brokered by Washington.

Nov 12, 2013

Israel has initial plans for 24,000 more settler homes

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel is making plans to build nearly 24,000 more settler homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, an anti-settlement group said on Tuesday, questioning the government’s commitment to peace talks with the Palestinians.

Peace Now, which monitors settlement activity on occupied land Palestinians seek for a state, said the Housing Ministry had issued tenders late last month for drawing up construction plans, but that no building work was imminent.

Nov 10, 2013

Netanyahu asks U.S. supporters to oppose Iran deal

JERUSALEM, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu took his case against a nuclear accord with
Iran directly to the U.S. public on Sunday, denouncing “a very
bad deal” that he feared the Obama administration was pursuing.

Negotiators from world powers will resume talks with Iran in
10 days after failing late on Saturday to reach agreement on an
initial proposal to ease international sanctions against Tehran
in return for some restraints on its nuclear programme.

Nov 10, 2013

Israel’s Netanyahu pleased no Iran deal reached

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday it was good that world powers had failed to clinch a nuclear deal with Iran and that he had lobbied against easing sanctions by telling leaders “What’s the rush?”

But he said he recognized there was still “a strong desire” to reach an accord with Iran and pledged an all-out Israeli effort to prevent “a bad agreement” – a position that could cause more friction with Israel’s main ally, the United States.

Oct 29, 2013

Palestinian prisoner release causes Israeli political stir

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A planned release of 26 Palestinian prisoners has provoked feuding within Israel’s governing coalition, already under strain from U.S.-brokered peace talks.

The inmates, all of whom were convicted of murder in the killing of Israelis before or just after the first interim Israeli-Palestinian peace accords were signed 20 years ago, were due to go free after midnight on Tuesday.

Oct 24, 2013

Israel, Saudis speaking same language on Iran – Livni

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and Israel are united in their opposition to Iran, but they cannot cooperate as long the Palestinian conflict continues, Israel’s chief peace negotiator said on Thursday.

“When you hear the Saudis talking about what needs to be done in order to prevent a (nuclear-armed) Iran, I mean it sounds familiar,” said Tzipi Livni, a former Israeli foreign minister who is leading talks with the Palestinians.

Oct 23, 2013

Jerusalem mayor re-elected in blow to ex-Foreign Minister Lieberman

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli mayor of Jerusalem won re-election on Wednesday in a hotly contested race that dealt a political blow to his challenger’s main backers, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.

Lieberman, a legislator whose far-right Yisrael Beitenu party is allied with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, is embroiled in a corruption case, with a court verdict next month likely to determine whether he returns to the cabinet.

Oct 21, 2013

Netanyahu’s mission: to head off Iran sanctions relief

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday will seek to dim the optimism after nuclear talks with Iran, cautioning that Tehran is strengthening its strategic regional position by calling the shots in Syria as President Bashar al-Assad’s puppet master.

In talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome on Wednesday, Netanyahu is expected to argue against easing Western sanctions on Iran, which hinted at recent Geneva talks it was willing to scale back its nuclear program.

    • 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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