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Apr 25, 2013

Israeli military says it shoots down drone from Lebanon

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli fighter plane shot down a drone from Lebanon over the Mediterranean sea on Thursday as it was approaching the Israeli coast, the military said.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, which sent a drone deep into Israel in October, said it was not behind the latest incident. Israel’s military held back from accusing the group, saying an investigation was under way.

Apr 25, 2013

Israel shoots down drone from Lebanon: Israeli military

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli fighter plane shot down a drone from Lebanon over the Mediterranean sea on Thursday as it was approaching the Israeli coast, the military said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was flying in a military helicopter to an event in northern Israel when the unmanned aircraft was spotted along the Lebanese coast by Israeli air defenses. His helicopter landed briefly until the interception was completed.

Apr 3, 2013

Hostilities flare along Israeli-Gaza border

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel pressed Hamas on Wednesday to rein in rocket-firing militants in the Gaza Strip after the most serious outbreak of cross-border hostilities since a ceasefire ended an eight-day war in November.

The Israeli military said two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel on Wednesday, causing no casualties, hours after it launched its first air strikes in the Palestinian enclave in four months.

Mar 25, 2013

Israel restores tax transfers to Palestinian Authority

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Monday it would restart regular monthly tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority, restoring vital funding days after President Barack Obama called for confidence-building steps towards peace.

The decision followed the announcement by the United States on Friday that it would deliver $500 million in annual aid to the Palestinians, almost half of which had been withheld by the Congress in response to the Palestinians’ bid for statehood at the United Nations.

Mar 22, 2013

Israel PM apologises to Turkey over flotilla killings

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel apologised to Turkey on Friday for killing nine Turkish citizens in a 2010 naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla and both feuding U.S. allies agreed to normalise relations in a surprise breakthrough announced by U.S. President Barack Obama.

The rapprochement could help regional coordination to contain spillover from the Syrian civil war and ease Israel’s diplomatic isolation in the Middle East as it faces challenges posed by Iran’s nuclear programme.

Mar 22, 2013

Obama brokers Israel-Turkey rapprochement

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel apologized to Turkey on Friday for killing nine Turkish citizens in a 2010 naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla and both feuding U.S. allies agreed to normalize relations in a surprise breakthrough announced by U.S. President Barack Obama.

The rapprochement could help regional coordination to contain spillover from the Syrian civil war and ease Israel’s diplomatic isolation in the Middle East as it faces challenges posed by Iran’s nuclear program.

Mar 21, 2013

Obama makes direct peace appeal to the Israeli people

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – President Barack Obama appealed directly on Thursday to the Israeli people to put themselves in the shoes of stateless Palestinians and recognize that Jewish settlement activity in occupied territory hurts prospects for peace.

In a showcase speech in Jerusalem to Israeli university students, Obama coupled his plea with an acknowledgement of the Jewish state’s security concerns in a region destabilized by the West’s nuclear standoff with Iran and civil war in Syria.

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.

    • 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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