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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Nobel Prize in chemistry has stirred up national pride in Israel but also concern on Thursday over a brain drain of some of its best and brightest to universities in the United States.
Two of the three scientists who won the prize on Wednesday hold Israeli citizenship, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to phone in his congratulations – long distance.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – More than half a million mourners turned out on Monday for the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who transformed an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle East heritage into a powerful political force.
Jerusalem’s police chief said the funeral for Yosef, who died earlier on Monday aged 93, was the biggest ever held in the holy city. Streets became a sea of black coats and hats as weeping ultra-Orthodox faithful in traditional garb honoured a cleric they deemed their supreme spiritual leader.