Bureau Chief, Brussels
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Nov 5, 2015

In Gaza and Israel, danger of incitement to violence lurks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – In Gaza, a clothing store called “Hitler 2″ has mannequins posed outside holding knives and dressed in T-shirts with “Stab!” written across the chests.

In Israel, a news website closely followed by religious Jews hosted a video game in which children were urged to “neutralize” attackers dressed as Arabs.

Nov 4, 2015
via FaithWorld

Jewish-Arab friction runs raw in the heart of Hebron


(A Palestinian woman paints a mural, depicting a masked Palestinian holding a knife, in support of Palestinians committing stabbing attacks against Israelis, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip November 3, 2015. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israel shut down the main radio station in Hebron on Tuesday and turned part of the city in the occupied West Bank into a closed military zone, with troops clamping down on a district that has become the focal point of violent unrest.

Oct 26, 2015

With secret prayers, Jews challenge ‘status quo’ at Jerusalem holy site

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – As the group of Orthodox Jews came near the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem’s Old City, one began to mumble while staring down at his mobile phone. Another looked up in awe, eyes half shut in concentration. The woman’s lips moved silently.

Asked afterwards whether they had prayed, a violation of an 800-year-old ban on non-Muslim worship at the holy site, two of the group said they had done so in their hearts, while the woman declared proudly: “I prayed with my mouth moving.”

Oct 23, 2015

Plenty of diplomacy but slim hope for new Middle East peace push

JERUSALEM/VIENNA (Reuters) – Flare-ups in violence between Israel and the Palestinians have often accelerated peace efforts – the first intifada led into the Oslo accords of the mid-1990s and the second gave rise to the Arab and Geneva peace initiatives.

But the latest surge in violence, while barely a month old and less intense than past uprisings, comes at a time when the ability or willingness of all sides – Israeli, Palestinian and international partners such as the United States – to have another go at forging peace has rarely seemed more lacking.

Oct 21, 2015
via FaithWorld

Netanyahu stirs up trouble with Muslim Holocaust comments


(Haj Amin al-Husseini and Adolf Hitler in the latter’s chancellery in Berlin, 28 November 1941.  The original caption said “The Führer, in the presence of Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop, receives the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Sayid Amin al Husseini, for a cordial discussion important to the future of the Arab countries”. German Federal Archives/Heinrich Hoffmann)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provoked controversy on Wednesday, hours before a visit to Germany, by saying the former Muslim elder in Jerusalem convinced Adolf Hitler to exterminate the Jews.

Oct 21, 2015

Israel’s Netanyahu stirs trouble by linking late Muslim leader to Holocaust

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu provoked a Holocaust controversy on
Wednesday, hours before a visit to Germany, by saying that the
Muslim elder in Jerusalem during the 1940s convinced Adolf
Hitler to exterminate the Jews.

In a speech to the Zionist Congress late on Tuesday,
Netanyahu referred to a series of Muslim attacks on Jews in
Palestine during the 1920s that he said were instigated by the
then-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.

Oct 20, 2015

Wave of unrest leaves Palestinian president with no good choices

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – A three-week-old uprising by knife-wielding, Internet-generation teenagers against Israelis has left 80-year-old Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas looking like yesterday’s man, unable either to oppose the violence or openly endorse it.

Having promised the Palestinian people when he came to power a decade ago that he could bring about an independent state through peaceful means, he now finds himself sitting on top of a wave of unrest he did not call for but cannot easily stop without further eroding his crumbling popularity.

Oct 15, 2015

Viral video puts Israelis and Palestinians at sharp odds

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – To Palestinians, the video shows a 13-year-old boy being left to die in the street as Israelis shout abuse at him. To Israelis, it shows a teenage knife attacker bleeding as police keep angry locals back and wait for an ambulance.

The two minutes of amateur footage has become one of the most divisive videos to emerge from a wave of violence sweeping Jerusalem, where clips of attacks are being shared at high speed on social media in what has been dubbed a smartphone intifada.

Oct 14, 2015

On the line between East and West Jerusalem, tensions abound

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – In the narrow corners of Jerusalem, where Jewish neighborhoods abut Palestinian ones, apprehension ran deep on Wednesday as Israel authorized the police to block access from Arab areas after a two-week wave of violence.

The hilly backstreets that twist around the eastern, predominantly Arab half of the city were quieter than normal, as were the streets on the western, Jewish side, where several knife and car attacks have taken place since Oct. 1.

Oct 13, 2015

Behind surge in Palestinian-Israeli attacks, angry youth and women

JERUSALEM/RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – The teenage Palestinian girls helping to carry rocks to the frontlines of stone-throwing protests in Ramallah have their nails brightly painted, are dressed in tight jeans and carry the latest smartphones in their fashionable handbags.

“My family does not know I am here,” said one young girl, a high-school student in Ramallah, where daily, almost ritualistic clashes have taken place with Israeli paramilitary police over the past two weeks, as a growing wave of violence has swept throughout Israel, Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

    • 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."
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