July 24, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that he is fast-tracking legislation that would allow him to put any peace deal with the Palestinians to a national referendum - an apparent attempt to silence hard-liners in his party and coalition government. Netanyahu spoke three days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said progress has been made toward a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, stalled for five years. Kerry has invited Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to Washington for preliminary talks, though wide gaps remain on the framework of the actual negotiations.
July 23, 2013
JERUSALEM - Israeli and Palestinian officials voiced skepticism yesterday that they can move toward a peace deal, as the sides inched toward what may be the first round of significant negotiations in five years. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced late last week that an agreement has been reached that establishes the basis for resuming peace talks. He cautioned that such an agreement still needs to be formalized, suggesting that gaps remain. In his first on-camera comment yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to lower expectations by saying the talks will be tough and any agreement would have to be ratified by Israelis in a national referendum.
July 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When Secretary of State John Kerry bounded up the steps to his converted Air Force 757 in Amman, Jordan, on Friday night, staffers greeted him with applause. He grabbed a beer and strolled down the aisle to celebrate his most significant achievement yet in his short tenure as America's top diplomat: winning agreement from the Israelis and Palestinians on a framework for resuming stalled peace talks. It was a necessary breakthrough, for sure, yet a modest one, with the lowest bar for success in a process that merely sets the stage for what comes next: difficult and protracted negotiations aimed at a goal that has eluded successive U.S. administrations.
July 19, 2013 |
AMMAN, Jordan - Secretary of State John Kerry won Arab League backing Wednesday for his effort to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, raising hopes that the stalled negotiations could resume. Kerry cited significant progress in narrowing gaps between the two sides, but he declined to elaborate. On his sixth trip to the Middle East in as many months as America's top diplomat, Kerry met in Jordan with representatives of the Arab League and nine of its members that support an Arab-Israeli peace plan proposed by Saudi Arabia.
July 16, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Israel's prime minister insisted Sunday that he would not allow "dangerous weapons" to reach Lebanon's Hezbollah militants, following reports that Israel recently carried out an airstrike in northern Syria against a shipment of advanced missiles. The airstrike in Latakia reportedly targeted Russian Yakhont antiship missiles, one of the types of advanced weapons that Israeli officials have previously said they would not allow to reach Syria. It would be the fourth known airstrike against Syria this year.
July 2, 2013 |
TEL AVIV, Israel - Secretary of State John Kerry completed a new round of shuttle diplomacy Sunday without a hoped-for breakthrough in relaunching Mideast peace talks, but said he had narrowed the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians and vowed to return to the region soon to complete his mission. Kerry said he was working on a package meant to bring the sides together, and said he would leave a team of aides in the region to continue the efforts. "With a little more work, the start of final-status negotiations could be within reach," he told reporters, shortly before leaving Israel for an Asian security conference in Brunei.
June 19, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Israeli and global leaders, local celebrities, and Hollywood superstars celebrated under one roof Tuesday to mark Israeli President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday, reflecting world respect for one of the country's peace pioneers. Peres is hosting his annual Presidential Conference, which brings together artists, thinkers, and leaders to discuss issues relevant to Israel and the world. Instrumental in building Israel's military in the first days of the state six decades ago, he served twice as prime minister and promoted peace between Israel and the Palestinians, sometimes ahead of his own people.
June 1, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview broadcast Thursday that he is "confident in victory" in his country's civil war, and he warned that Damascus would retaliate for any future Israeli air strike on his territory. Assad also told the Lebanese TV station Al-Manar that Russia has fulfilled some of its weapons contracts recently, but he was vague on whether this included advanced S-300 air-defense systems. The comments were in line with a forceful and confident message the regime has been sending in recent days, even as the international community attempts to launch a peace conference in Geneva, possibly next month.
May 21, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's senior coalition partner says that reaching a final peace agreement with the Palestinians is unrealistic at the current time and that the sides should instead pursue an interim arrangement. Finance Minister Yair Lapid's assessment, delivered in a published interview Sunday just days before the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, throws a contentious idea into the mix as the United States searches for ways to restart peace talks.
May 6, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Israeli forces have carried out an air strike against a shipment of sophisticated missiles bound for the Lebanese political and military organization Hezbollah, officials in Washington, Lebanon, and Israel told reporters Saturday. The strike took place about 4 a.m. Friday at an air defense facility on the periphery of Damascus International Airport, according to a Lebanese security official who was in the Syrian capital at the time. The airport is known to be the destination for weapons flown in from Iran both for the Syrian government and for its ally Hezbollah.