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May 8, 2015

Europe and U.S. keep watchful eye on Israel’s legislative plans

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Benjamin Netanyahu’s formation of one of the most right-wing government in Israel’s history has fueled concerns in Europe and the United States about further settlement building and dimming prospects for peace.

But it also has diplomats on edge about wider policy proposals, particularly on social and judicial affairs, where the far-right Jewish Home party, an influential member of Netanyahu’s coalition, is determined to leave its mark.

May 6, 2015

Hamas-Fatah face-off leaves hard road ahead for Palestinians

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – In recent weeks, a flurry of envoys has beaten a path to Gaza’s door: representatives from Qatar, Turkey, the United Nations, the European Union and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter have all visited or tried to visit.

Yet the result has been the same: no success in reconciling Hamas, the Islamist movement that has controlled Gaza since 2007, and Fatah, the more secular, Western-backed party that runs the Palestinian administration from the West Bank.

May 5, 2015
via FaithWorld

Ethiopian Jews’ protests draw attention to racism in Israel


(Israeli protesters, Jews of Ethiopian origin, participate in a protest on what they say was police violence against their community in Jerusalem April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Images of Israeli police firing stun grenades are usually set in the West Bank and involve Palestinian protesters. But on Sunday the situation was quite different – riot police battling thousands of Ethiopian Jews in the center of Tel Aviv.

May 4, 2015

Ethiopian protests draw attention to racism in Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Images of Israeli police firing stun grenades are usually set in the West Bank and involve Palestinian protesters. But on Sunday the situation was quite different – riot police battling thousands of Ethiopian Jews in the center of Tel Aviv.

The spark was a week old video showing two Israeli policemen punching, beating and trying to arrest an Israeli soldier of Ethiopian descent in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack.

Mar 31, 2015

Palestinians may have to wait for their day in court with Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestine will raise the stakes in a legal battle with Israel on Wednesday when it joins the International Criminal Court, but any case over alleged crimes in the occupied territories is unlikely to come to trial for some years – if ever.

With the court swamped with investigations in Africa and prosecutors already struggling to secure convictions, legal experts say they need to be absolutely certain before proceeding with a highly politicized case against Israel.

Mar 23, 2015

Israelis fret about risk of isolation but concern may be overdone

JERUSALEM, March 23 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu’s re-election last week has prompted alarmed chatter
in the cafes of Tel Aviv and on talk shows about the risk of
Israel losing the support of its closest allies and being left
isolated in the world.

It is clear Netanyahu still has fences to mend with
President Barack Obama, despite rowing back from his rejection
of a two-state solution with the Palestinians, which prompted
new calls for sanctions from campaign group BDS.

Mar 20, 2015

U.S. House Speaker Boehner to visit Israel

JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John Boehner, Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives at the center of a political furor in Washington over relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will visit Israel in coming weeks, his office said on Friday.

The trip, Boehner’s first to Israel in seven years, follows Netanyahu’s surprise election victory on Tuesday and his March 3 speech to Congress criticizing President Barack Obama’s Iran policy at Boehner’s invitation, an event that angered the White House.

Mar 19, 2015

With ‘no-state’ pledge, Netanyahu reignites Palestine debate

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The day before Israel’s election, with polls showing he could lose, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the Palestinians would never have their own state on his watch.

It was a sweeping statement that flew in the face of his own past commitments and 25 years of international efforts to arrive at a two-state solution to the conflict: Israel and an independent Palestine living side-by-side.

Mar 18, 2015

In three-day push, Netanyahu draws right-wing votes and captures Israel election

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – As the dust settles on a dramatic election, the immediate questions are how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to stage such a fierce comeback, why the opposition fell short and what it means for Israel, the Palestinians and the world.

Four days before the vote, Netanyahu looked all but out for the count, with the last opinion polls giving the center-left Zionist Union a four-seat lead – enough not only to win but potentially to form a governing coalition.

Mar 18, 2015

Netanyahu wins Israel election after sharp shift to the right

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a come-from-behind victory in Israel’s election on Wednesday after tacking hard to the right in the final days of campaigning, including abandoning a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state.

In a four-day pre-election blitz, Netanyahu made a series of promises designed to shore up his Likud base and draw voters from other right-wing and nationalist parties. He pledged to go on building settlements on occupied land and said there would be no Palestinian state if he was re-elected.

    • 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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