JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce on Sunday an early general election on September 4, a spokesman for his Likud party said, a ballot likely to strengthen his hand as Israel confronts Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The next national vote was not due until October 2013, but new legislation that might force ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the military and an upcoming budget debate have threatened to unravel a governing coalition of religious and nationalist parties once seen as one of the most stable in Israel’s history.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dropped heavy hints on Sunday of an early election, shifting the national focus from a former spymaster’s accusations that he could start a rash war with Iran.
The next general election in Israel is not due until October 2013, but a new conscription law that might force ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the army and an upcoming budget debate could crack open his coalition of religious and nationalist parties.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s military chief said he does not believe Iran will decide to build an atomic bomb and called its leaders “very rational” – comments that clashed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assessment.
Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz’s remarks, in an interview published on Wednesday in the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, drew little attention in Israel on its annual remembrance day for fallen soldiers, when political discourse is suspended.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced support on Tuesday for the first time for Palestinians to establish a contiguous state, saying their future country should not look like “Swiss cheese”.
But only hours earlier, a ministerial committee in his right-wing government granted Israeli legal status to three previously unauthorized Jewish settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, drawing Palestinian and international criticism.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Tuesday it had granted legal status to three settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, a move that could shore up the governing coalition but which drew sharp Palestinian and European criticism.
Israeli officials played down the decision taken by a ministerial committee late on Monday, rejecting accusations that the government had effectively created the first new Jewish settlements for more than 20 years.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Tuesday it had granted legal status to three settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, a move that could shore up the governing coalition but which drew sharp Palestinian condemnation.
Israeli officials played down the decision taken by a ministerial committee late on Monday and rejected accusations that the government had effectively created the first new Jewish settlements for more than 20 years.
JERUSALEM, April 15 (Reuters) – More than 40 pro-Palestinian
activists reached Tel Aviv’s international airport on Sunday as
part of an attempted “fly-in” only to be detained as Israel
denied them entry and scrambled to stop other campaigners
boarding flights in Europe.
Israel’s decision to distribute “no-fly” lists to European
carriers and deploy of hundreds of police at Ben Gurion airport
underlined its deep concern over international campaigns against
its treatment of the Palestinians.
JERUSALEM, April 15 (Reuters) – A pro-Palestinian “fly-in”
to Tel Aviv got off to a slow start on Sunday after Israel
scrambled to block activists from boarding flights in Europe.
“Four activists have been detained after arriving on an El
Al flight from Paris and are being questioned at (Tel Aviv)
airport,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers will meet later this month, officials said on Wednesday, but the rare talks may only sharpen differences that have brought peace negotiations to a standstill.
The Palestinians said they will present Benjamin Netanyahu with a letter spelling out Israel’s failure to implement a 2003 “road map” that includes a halt to settlement activity as a step towards achieving a final peace agreement.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s main opposition Kadima party, expected to suffer a crushing defeat in the next election, has voted out its leader Tzipi Livni and chosen ex-defense chief Shaul Mofaz to replace her.
The final count on Wednesday of a leadership ballot gave Mofaz 61.7 percent of the vote to Livni’s 37.2 percent.