Bureau Chief, Brussels
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Aug 10, 2015

Insight – Shadow of Israel’s pullout from Gaza hangs heavy 10 years on

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – It would, said then prime minister Ariel Sharon, a former major-general not given to self-doubt, “grant Israeli citizens the maximum level of security”. Other optimists said it would turn Gaza into the Hong Kong of the Middle East.

A decade on from Israel’s unilateral withdrawal of around 8,500 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, the legacy of that August 2005 “disengagement” still provokes angry debate in Israeli society.

Aug 10, 2015

Shadow of Israel’s pullout from Gaza hangs heavy 10 years on

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – It would, said then prime minister Ariel Sharon, a former major-general not given to self-doubt, “grant Israeli citizens the maximum level of security”. Other optimists said it would turn Gaza into the Hong Kong of the Middle East.

A decade on from Israel’s unilateral withdrawal of around 8,500 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, the legacy of that August 2005 “disengagement” still provokes angry debate in Israeli society.

Jul 27, 2015

Power shifts fuel talk of change in Palestinian politics

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Rumblings in Ramallah in recent weeks have raised expectations that Palestinian politics is in play, with 80-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas, in power for more than a decade, facing a mounting challenge to his leadership.

There is frequent speculation that Abbas, who was elected to a four-year term in 2005 and has not had to face a vote since then, is about to step down. He has confounded those predictions in the past and may well do so again.

Jul 22, 2015

After labelling, EU think-tank proposes banking steps on Israel

JERUSALEM, July 22 (Reuters) – The EU agreed this week to
push ahead with introduction of labels that specifically
identify Israeli goods made in settlements in the occupied West
Bank, a policy that has angered Israel; but now an influential
European think-tank is proposing going much further, including
the targeting of Israeli banks.

The European Council on Foreign Relations, which frequently
informs EU policy, argued in a paper on Wednesday that the EU is
in breach of its own laws. It had to go further to distinguish
its dealings with Israel from Israel’s activities in the West
Bank and East Jerusalem, which it has occupied since 1967.

Jul 22, 2015

Exclusive: After EU labeling, paper proposes banking steps on Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The European Union agreed this week to push ahead with labeling Israeli goods made in settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move that has alarmed the Israeli government; but now there are proposals to go much further, including targeting Israeli banks.

In a paper to be published on Wednesday, the European Council on Foreign Relations, whose proposals frequently inform EU policymaking, argues that the EU is in breach of its own laws and must move much more firmly to distinguish its dealings with Israel from Israel’s activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which it has occupied since 1967.

Jul 22, 2015

After EU labelling, paper proposes banking steps on Israel

JERUSALEM, July 22 (Reuters) – The European Union agreed
this week to push ahead with labelling Israeli goods made in
settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move that has alarmed
the Israeli government; but now there are proposals to go much
further, including targeting Israeli banks.

In a paper to be published on Wednesday, the European
Council on Foreign Relations, whose proposals frequently inform
EU policymaking, argues that the EU is in breach of its own laws
and must move much more firmly to distinguish its dealings with
Israel from Israel’s activities in the West Bank and East
Jerusalem, which it has occupied since 1967.

Jul 20, 2015

In West Bank, Palestinians count down to their village’s demolition

SUSIYA, West Bank (Reuters) – Sitting under a fig tree to escape the searing sun, Jihad Nuwaja looks out on the only land he knows – the dry expanse of the Hebron hills in the southern West Bank. Within days, his home is set to be demolished and he, his wife and 10 children expelled.

“It feels like the end,” says the 47-year-old, pulling a fig from the laden tree and testing its ripeness. “They will come and demolish our homes and we will have nowhere to go. In the coming days, I will see one hundred children made homeless.”

Jul 15, 2015

Iran deal ‘naked as emperor with no clothes’, says Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s nuclear affairs minister said his country was like the boy in the fairy tale who pointed out the emperor had no clothes, heaping scorn on the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday and emphasizing Israel’s right to unilateral self-defense.

Tuesday’s agreement between six world powers and Iran has left Israeli officials scrambling for leverage and crying foul, convinced the historic deal will do little to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and will leave Israel under greater threat.

Jul 14, 2015

After Iran nuclear deal, Israel eyes Congress and counter-measures

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Having failed to prevent an international nuclear deal with Iran, Israel plans to ramp up its lobbying of the U.S. Congress, and look for any sign that Iran is violating the agreement, in the hope of getting sanctions reimposed, officials said.

Responding within minutes to news that six world powers had agreed to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, Israel’s prime minister and other senior officials condemned the pact.

Jul 2, 2015

A year after Gaza war: ruins, small joys and much to fear

GAZA (Reuters) – As the sun sets over Gaza, there isn’t a table to be found on the terrace of the Roots hotel, with views overlooking the port and the gently crashing waves of the Mediterranean.

Crowds have gathered for Iftar – the nightly breaking of the Ramadan fast – and the atmosphere is excited: young men and women taking photos on their iPhones, puffing apple-scented nargile pipes and watching a dance troupe as they dine on hummus, pita, chicken and sweet pistachio cakes.

    • About Luke

      "Luke is bureau chief for Reuters in Brussels. The 25-strong, multimedia bureau covers all European Union issues, from trade, energy and agriculture to foreign policy, competition, regulation and economic affairs. The bureau is also responsible for coverage of NATO and Belgian politics, economics and company news. In his beat, Luke covers foreign affairs, with a focus on the Middle East and Iran, and writes about EU economic policy. He was previously based in London, where he was defence correspondent, and before that had postings in Jerusalem, Baghdad, Rome and Johannesburg."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
      Languages:
      English, Italian, French, Spanish
    • More from Luke

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      Under Fire: Untold Stories from the Front Line of the Iraq War
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