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West Bank

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NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Josef Federman, Associated Press
JERUSALEM - Israel's decision to launch a pair of "Palestinian-only" bus lines in the West Bank on Monday - presented by the government as a goodwill gesture, assailed by critics as racism, and welcomed by Palestinian riders - is shining a light on the messy situation created by 45 years of military occupation and Jewish settlements in the area. While full and formal peace remains distant, the Jewish and Palestinian populations of the West Bank are so intertwined that daily routines are often shaped in mind-boggling ways.
NEWS
April 14, 2013 | By Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad resigned on Saturday, leaving the Palestinians without one of their most moderate and well-respected voices just as the United States is launching a new push for Mideast peace. A statement from the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said President Mahmoud Abbas met with Fayyad late in the day and accepted his resignation, thanking him for his service. According to the statement, Abbas asked Fayyad to stay in his post until Abbas forms a new government.
NEWS
December 4, 2012 | By Dalia Nammari and Aron Heller, Associated Press
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas returned triumphantly to the West Bank on Sunday, receiving a boisterous welcome from thousands of cheering supporters at a rally celebrating his people's acceptance to the United Nations. An Israeli decision to cut off a cash transfer to the financially troubled Palestinian Authority, following an earlier decision to build thousands of new homes in Jewish settlements, failed to put a damper on the celebrations. But Palestinian officials acknowledged they were undecided on what to do with their newfound status, and were waiting for Israeli elections and new ideas from President Obama before deciding how to proceed.
NEWS
May 31, 2013 | By Josef Federman, Associated Press
JERUSALEM - The Palestinian Authority president has told advisers that as the United States tries to restart Mideast peace talks, he is under intense international pressure to return to negotiations with Israel and drop demands for a Jewish settlement freeze in the West Bank, officials said Wednesday. In a closed meeting, Mahmoud Abbas lamented his difficult choice: Rebuff the Americans and alienate Washington, or cave in and face an uproar at home. Aides say Abbas expects a formal proposal to renew talks from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in coming weeks.
NEWS
January 14, 2013 | By Joel Greenberg, Washington Post
JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised Sunday to follow through with plans for settlement construction in a key West Bank area known as E-1 after police evicted scores of Palestinian protesters who had set up a tent camp there. "We will complete the planning, and there will be construction," Netanyahu told Army Radio hours after the eviction, but he cautioned that planning for the new development "will take time. " Netanyahu, who is in the home stretch of an election campaign, moved swiftly against the Palestinian encampment, a new form of grass-roots protest modeled after scores of wildcat outposts set up by Jewish settlers on West Bank hills without government approval.
NEWS
March 18, 1991 | By Larry Eichel, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was just before 11 on a mild and sunny morning, not much more than two weeks since the end of war in the Persian Gulf, and life in this Israeli- occupied Palestinian city had the look and feel of prewar normality. The sidewalks were full of people, smiling and chatty. The shops were full of customers, buying blue jeans and sneakers, bread and sweets. The streets were full of Israeli soldiers, patrolling Ramallah in jeeps and armored vehicles, all covered with heavy wire mesh to protect against stones thrown by roving young men in black vinyl jackets.
NEWS
March 12, 1998 | Daily News wire services
The funerals of three Palestinian workers shot and killed by Israeli soldiers brought cries for vengeance yesterday from fellow Palestinians - and grim promises from Israel that force will be met with force. "Blood leads to blood!" white-scarved Palestinian schoolgirls screamed as they marched through the winding streets of Dura, the hometown of three laborers slain Tuesday night at an Israeli roadblock on their way home from jobs in Israel. The deaths set off the West Bank's worst day of violence in months, leaving 32 Palestinians and an Israeli border policeman hurt in clashes yesterday.
NEWS
November 1, 1989 | By Marc Duvoisin, Inquirer Staff Writer
The tax man came calling on Jabra Salsaa yesterday. When he left, he took with him a television, a typewriter and the electric organ on which Salsaa has practiced his favorite arrangements of Bach and Haydn for the last 20 years. Like hundreds of other residents of this picturesque Palestinian town, Salsaa, 53, the organist in the local Roman Catholic Church, has refused to pay taxes to the Israeli military government for two years running. And like the other tax rebels, he has paid dearly for his defiance.
NEWS
April 20, 1986
The attack against Libya excites praise and condemnation. But the United States would better serve the cause of peace by paying full attention to the matter of the West Bank of the Jordan River, home of Palestinians and at present very much a part of modern Israel. Unrest over the West Bank and Gaza is the basic underlying cause of antagonism between Islamic countries, Israel and the West, which erupts as terrorism. The Arab world may recognize Israel's right to exist if the West Bank can be restored to neutrality or independence with Palestinian residents returned to their homes.
NEWS
March 2, 1986 | From Inquirer Wire Services
The Palestinian mayor of the West Bank city of Nablus was shot early today by an unidentified gunman, Israel Army Radio reported. The radio said the mayor, Zafer Masri, was killed in the attack. Military sources who spoke on condition they not be identified said Masri was seriously wounded in the shooting, which they said occurred as he drove in his car through Nablus. A police spokesman said he could not immediately confirm the report because "it was a security matter.
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NEWS
March 21, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
The prospects for reaching an Israeli-Palestinian deal by John Kerry's April 29 deadline are about as unlikely as Vladimir Putin's giving up Crimea. The secretary of state probably wishes he never launched his quixotic campaign for Mideast peace a year ago. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Monday meeting with President Obama at the White House only illustrated the unbridgeable gulf between Israeli and Palestinian positions. But Kerry was right to warn in April that "if we do not succeed now, we may not get another chance.
NEWS
February 14, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Secretary of State John Kerry has done Israelis and Palestinians a huge favor by pushing them to make one last try at negotiating a two-state solution. After months of effort, Kerry will soon present a draft framework meant to serve as a basis for a final agreement. Critics such as Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon have called Kerry's project "obsessive and messianic. " Although those remarks were quickly refuted by Prime Minisiter Benjamin Netanyahu, Ya'alon was correct: You really do have to be mad to try to close the current gap between Israelis and Palestinians.
NEWS
January 31, 2014 | By Howard Gensler
J ustin Bieber has a new Belieber. Crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has risen to the defense of his fellow Canadian after the Biebs was charged with assault Wednesday for allegedly hitting a Toronto limo driver several times in the back of the head in an incident last month. Maybe Bieber was playing the Knockout Game. News of the Canadian charges broke a few hours after the fading teenage pop star's attorney entered a separate not guilty plea in Florida to drunken-driving and other charges.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 9, 2013 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
To hear the champions of Philadelphia's university district tell it, the west bank of the Schuylkill is poised to give Center City's skyline a run for its money. Last week, Brandywine Realty Trust announced plans for its third riverfront skyscraper, a sharply faceted, 47-story office-and-apartment tower at 30th and Walnut Streets. West Philadelphia office space now commands higher rents than the aging behemoths in the city's legacy downtown. Such is the clamor to live close to the big campuses that at least five residential high-rises are in the works.
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Why now? You have to ask, with the entire Arab world falling apart, and President Obama caught up in urgent domestic matters, why has Secretary of State John Kerry staked his reputation on another effort to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? And, given the number of failed peace efforts over the past four decades, why on earth would Kerry set a goal of reaching an overall peace deal in nine months - which is, to put it mildly, impossible? Especially in the wake of the Arab Spring.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
July 22, 2013 | By Matthew Lee, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
July 18, 2013 | By Josef Federman, Associated Press
JERUSALEM - Israeli leaders on Tuesday condemned a European Union ban on funding to Israeli institutions that operate in occupied territories, but also acknowledged the country's growing isolation over its construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The EU decision marked a new international show of displeasure with Israeli settlements built on lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war, bolstering the Palestinian claim to these territories and animating an increasingly discordant Israeli debate over the wisdom of the settlement enterprise.
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 28, 2013 | By Tia Goldenberg, Associated Press
JERUSALEM - The McDonald's restaurant chain has declined to open a branch in a West Bank Jewish settlement, the company said Thursday, adding a prominent name to an international movement to boycott Israel's settlements. Irina Shalmor, spokeswoman for McDonald's Israel, said the owners of a planned mall in the Ariel settlement asked McDonald's to open a branch there about six months ago. She said the chain declined because the owner of McDonald's Israel has a policy of staying out of the occupied territories.
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