MITZPE KRAMIM, West Bank (Reuters) – A day before his surprise election victory last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood against the backdrop of a construction site in Har Homa, a towering settlement in the occupied West Bank, and pledged to go on building.
The next week, however, his office ordered local authorities to put the brakes on plans to erect hundreds of new homes at Har Homa, a settlement Netanyahu authorised in 1997 during his first term in the face of fierce international opposition.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a fight for his political survival on Tuesday as Israelis voted in an election that opinion polls predict the center-left opposition could win.
After a bitterly contested campaign, the election has turned into a referendum on “Bibi” Netanyahu, 65, who has been in power for a total of nine years spread over three terms.
HAR HOMA, West Bank (Reuters) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a final bid to shore up right-wing support ahead of a knife-edge vote on Tuesday, said he would not permit a Palestinian state to be created under his watch if he is re-elected.
Trailing his centre-left opponent Isaac Herzog in opinion polls, the three-term leader has sought to shift the focus away from socioeconomic issues and on to security challenges, saying he alone can defend Israel.
HAR HOMA, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, trailing in opinion polls, used a strategic Jewish settlement he helped found as the backdrop on Monday for an election eve bid to win back right-wing votes.
His main challenger, Isaac Herzog, leader of the Zionist Union, said on Facebook that “Israel will be stuck with Bibi” unless voters turned out on Tuesday for the centre-left alliance, which polls predict will take 24 to 26 seats in the 120-member parliament, compared with 20 to 22 for Likud.
UMM EL-FAHM, Israel (Reuters) – A political sideshow for much of the past six decades, Israel’s Arab minority is hoping to gain much-needed muscle after next week’s parliamentary election, with four Arab parties uniting under one banner for the first time.
Surveys show the Joint Arab List could even finish third in the vote and become a factor in the coalition-building that dominates Israeli politics, where no party has ever won a parliament majority.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu took his campaign against a nuclear deal with Iran to Jerusalem’s sacred Western Wall on Saturday, on the eve of his departure to Washington to address Congress on the issue.
His rare pilgrimage to one of Judaism’s holiest sites was highly symbolic — and political — an apparent attempt by Netanyahu, two weeks before a national election, to portray a U.S. visit, that has brought relations with Washington to a new low, as crucial to Israel’s survival.
TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Young and ambitious, with a ready smile and a quick wit, Israeli far right leader Naftali Bennett is on a mission to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.
If, as widely expected, he takes on defense or another key portfolio after next month’s election, that mission will take a big step closer to fulfillment, something his critics say could stir conflict and deepen Israel’s international isolation.
JERUSALEM, Feb 18 (Reuters) – A Jordanian hip-hop group has
taken legal action against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
his Likud party after one of its songs was used in a campaign
video for Israel’s election next month.
Firas Shehadeh, founder of the group Turabyeh (“Of the
Soil”), filed an injunction with the Haifa District Court on
Monday stating that the song had been used without permission,
Iyad Jubran, the group’s attorney, told Reuters.
ASHKELON, Israel (Reuters) – In this seaside city once ruled by the Greeks and Phoenicians but now largely populated by Russians, the talk in the caviar-stocked delis and jewellery stores is of upcoming elections and Israel’s powerful Russian vote.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, more than one million Russian speakers moved to Israel, many of them settling on the Mediterranean coast in cities like Ashkelon and Netanya, where Russian remains in daily use and Cyrillic script is as common on menus as vodka and smoked meats.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli military began searching on Wednesday for tunnels that Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas may have dug, responding to concerns from residents of a small nearby village in northern Israel, a military source said.
Israel’s vulnerability to cross-border tunnels was exposed during a July-August war with Gaza’s Islamist Hamas, when Palestinian militants infiltrated through a network of secret passages to carry out attacks.