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Mar 20, 2013

Obama talks tough on Syria, counsels patience with Iran

JERUSALEM, March 20 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
pledged on Wednesday to hold Syria to account if it used
chemical weapons and assured Israel, in his first official visit
to the Jewish state, of U.S. resolve to curb Iran’s nuclear
programme.

Obama came to Israel seeking to allay the security fears of
Washington’s closest ally in the Middle East, burnish his image
with Israelis and repair frayed relations with Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu over Iran and the expansion of Jewish
settlements on occupied land Palestinians claim for a state.

Mar 20, 2013

In Israel, Obama warns Syria on chemical weapons

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama pledged on Wednesday to hold Syria to account if it used chemical weapons and reassured Israel of U.S. resolve against Iran as he tried to allay the security fears of the main U.S. ally in the Middle East.

Obama, visiting Israel for the first time as president and seeking to bolster his image among Israelis, said he had asked for an investigation to determine if chemical weapons had been unleashed in Syria as has been alleged.

Mar 14, 2013

Obama tries new tack with Israel, appealing to wary public

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – After nearly four years of often testy relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama is about to try a different tack – going over the head of Israel’s prime minister and appealing directly to the Israeli people.

Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel next week, while certainly including meetings with Netanyahu, will focus heavily on resetting his relationship with the country’s wary public as he seeks to reassure them he is committed to their security and has their interests at heart.

Mar 14, 2013

Israel’s Netanyahu clinches coalition deals

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clinched deals for a coalition government on Thursday reflecting a shift to the center in Israel and a domestic agenda that has shunted peacemaking with Palestinians to the sidelines.

In control of 68 of parliament’s 120 seats, the right-wing leader’s new administration is expected to take office next week, just days before a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama, his first to Israel since entering the White House.

Mar 14, 2013

Analysis: Obama tries new tack with Israel, reaching out to wary public

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – After nearly four years of often testy relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama is about to try a different tack – going over the head of Israel’s prime minister and appealing directly to the Israeli people.

Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel next week, while certainly including meetings with Netanyahu, will focus heavily on resetting his relationship with the country’s wary public as he seeks to reassure them he is committed to their security and has their interests at heart.

Mar 4, 2013
via FaithWorld

Israeli parties oppose ultra-Orthodox, frustrate Netanyahu’s coalition-building

Photo

(Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Gali Tibbon)

A surprise alliance between far-right and centrist Israeli political stars who reject privileges for ultra-orthodox Jews is frustrating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to form a new government.

Mar 3, 2013

Upstart parties frustrate Netanyahu’s coalition-building

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A surprise alliance between far-right and centrist Israeli political stars who reject privileges for ultra-orthodox Jews is frustrating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to form a new government.

More than a month after Israel’s election, Netanyahu is still without a new coalition, his hopes of enlisting traditionally loyal ultra-Orthodox cabinet partners challenged by a pact between newcomers Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett.

Feb 25, 2013

Israel concerned new Palestinian uprising could erupt

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s homeland security minister voiced concern on Monday that a surge of violent Palestinian protests in the occupied West Bank could erupt into a new Intifada (uprising) if confrontations turned deadly.

A Palestinian’s death in an Israeli jail on Saturday and a hunger strike by four other prisoners have raised tension in the West Bank, where stone-throwers have clashed repeatedly with Israeli soldiers in recent days.

Feb 24, 2013

Israel demands Palestinian Authority curb protests

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Sunday demanded the Palestinian Authority stem a surge of anti-Israeli protests ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the region next month.

A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave no indication the Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, would issue any call for calm, and blamed Israel for the spike in unrest.

Feb 20, 2013

Analysis: Israel’s Livni faces rough road in peace push with Palestinians

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Tzipi Livni’s coalition pact with right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu speaks volumes about the obstacles ahead for the moderate former Israeli foreign minister in her new task of pursuing peace with the Palestinians.

Expectations of a new peacemaking initiative have been raised by a planned visit to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan next month by U.S. President Barack Obama, who has clashed with Netanyahu over the prime minister’s policy of expanding settlements on occupied land Palestinians want for a state.

    • 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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