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NEWS
July 16, 2013 | By Josef Federman, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
July 2, 2013 | By Josef Federman and Deb Riechmann, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
June 19, 2013 | By Tia Goldenberg, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
June 1, 2013 | By Zeina Karam and Bassem Mroue, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
May 21, 2013 | By Josef Federman, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
May 6, 2013 | By William Booth and Liz Sly, Washington Post
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.
NEWS
May 6, 2013 | By Daniel Estrin, Associated Press
JERUSALEM - Once a year, Israel's Jewish war veterans don suit jackets and uniforms dripping in Red Army medals, the shiny bronzes and silvers pinned to their chests in tight rows like armor. About 500,000 Jews served in the Soviet Red Army during World War II. Most of those still alive today - about 7,000 - are said to live in Israel. Every year on Victory Day, which falls on Thursday this year, they parade in uniform throughout Israel to celebrate Nazi Germany's surrender to the Soviet Union.
NEWS
April 30, 2013 | By Josef Federman, Associated Press
JERUSALEM - Israel's prime minister on Monday said that Iran is steadily edging closer to nuclear weapons capability but has not yet reached the "red line" he drew in a speech to the United Nations last fall. Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his assessment as Israel took delivery of the fifth of six advanced submarines it has ordered from Germany. The "Dolphin" class vessels are believed to be capable of carrying missiles with nuclear warheads and could play an important role in any future conflict between Israel and Iran.
NEWS
April 26, 2013 | By Diaa Hadid, Associated Press
JERUSALEM - Israel shot down a drone Thursday as the plane approached its northern coast from neighboring Lebanon, raising suspicions that the extremist group Hezbollah was behind the infiltration attempt. Hezbollah denied involvement, but the incident was likely to heighten Israeli concerns that the Shiite extremists were trying to take advantage of the unrest in neighboring Syria to strengthen their capabilities. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in a helicopter in northern Israel at the time of the incident, said he viewed it with "utmost gravity.
NEWS
April 26, 2013 | By Joel Greenberg, Washington Post
JERUSALEM - In a landmark ruling on the struggle over prayer at Judaism's holiest shrine, an Israeli court ruled Thursday that women could legally pray at the Western Wall wearing prayer shawls, contrary to Orthodox practice enforced at the site. The ruling came after a string of incidents in recent months in which police detained women who wore the shawls while worshiping at the shrine, saying they had broken a law requiring prayer according to "local custom. " The arrests created an uproar in American Jewish communities and exposed a divide between Israel, where the Orthodox rabbinate has authority in Jewish religious matters, and the Jewish diaspora, where the more liberal Reform and Conservative movements are dominant.
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