WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama vowed on Wednesday that a deadly Hamas attack in the West Bank “is not going to stop us” in the quest for Middle East peace as he opened a Washington summit to relaunch face-to-face Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Wading into a new round of Middle East diplomacy in the face of deep skepticism over his chances for success, Obama condemned as “senseless slaughter” the ambush that killed four Israeli settlers on Tuesday in the occupied West Bank.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama waded into a new round of Middle East diplomacy on Wednesday, seeking momentum for revived peace talks clouded by a flare-up of West Bank violence and a deadlock over Jewish settlements.
Obama met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he launched a series of one-on-one meetings with Middle East leaders attending a U.S.-led peace summit that will culminate on Thursday with the first direct Israeli-Palestinian talks in 20 months.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a U.S. push for Mideast peace on Tuesday, holding talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders before they begin direct negotiations on Thursday.
Clinton met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his hotel near Washington on Tuesday. She was also set to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who arrived following news of a shooting attack that killed four Israelis in the occupied West Bank.
TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Washington on Tuesday for peace talks with the Palestinians, leaving up in the air the question of future Jewish settlement construction once a partial freeze ends.
The Palestinians have threatened to pull out of the face-to-face peace negotiations, due to begin on Thursday, unless Israel extends the moratorium on new housing starts past its expiration date of September 26.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and the Palestinians have virtually no chance of reaching a peace deal within the one-year target set by the United States, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday.
“I think there’s room to lower expectations and get real,” Lieberman, a far-right member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, told Israel Radio.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians would be “difficult but possible,” acknowledging there was skepticism talks will succeed when they resume next month.
In his first remarks to reporters since Israel and the Palestinians accepted on Friday an invitation by the United States and other powers to restart direct talks, Netanyahu said:
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A soul-searching debate in Israel over government plans to deport 400 children of migrant workers took a new emotional turn on Sunday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife pleaded they be allowed to stay.
Sara Netanyahu’s appeal was snubbed by Israel’s interior minister, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who advocates whittling down the number of foreign workers, many of whom reside illegally in the Jewish state.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The captain of a Gaza-bound Libyan aid ship on Tuesday rejected an Israeli demand that it dock instead in Egypt, the mission organisers said, setting course for a new confrontation over Israel’s naval blockade.
Six weeks after it drew a world outcry by killing nine Turks in the botched boarding of another ship that tried to reach the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory, Israel said it would turn away or seize the cargo vessel Amalthea — renamed “Hope” by activists.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel razed an inhabited Palestinian home in East Jerusalem on Tuesday for the first time in eight months, effectively ending an unofficial demolition freeze imposed under U.S. pressure to revive peace talks.
A Reuters photographer witnessed a Palestinian family removing its belongings from the house in East Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighbourhood before an Israeli excavator tore into the dwelling.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Tuesday, seeking to show they have turned the page on a rocky period in relations.
Visiting for fence-mending talks, Netanyahu received a warmer welcome than in March. Then, Obama kept him at arm’s length in what was widely viewed as a snub over Jewish settlement policy which Washington views as an obstacle to U.S.-led peace efforts.