November 30, 2012 |
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state, a long-sought victory for the Palestinians and an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States. The resolution upgrading the Palestinians' status to a nonmember observer state at the U.N. was approved by a vote of 138-9, with 41 abstentions, in the 193-member world body. A Palestinian flag was quickly unfurled on the floor of the General Assembly, behind the Palestinian delegation.
November 29, 2012 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The expected U.N. vote Thursday to recognize a state of Palestine will be far more than symbolic - it could give the Palestinians leverage in future border talks with Israel and open the way for possible war-crimes charges against the Jewish state. The Palestinians want the 193-member General Assembly to accept "Palestine," on the lands Israel occupied in 1967, as a nonmember observer state. They anticipate broad support. For Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the U.N. bid is a last-ditch attempt to stay relevant as a leader after years of failed peace talks with Israel, at a time when his Islamic militant Hamas rivals are gaining ground.
November 28, 2012 |
Looking back, with a cease-fire in place in Gaza, it's easy to understand why Israel retaliated against Hamas rocket attacks. It's harder to fathom why the Israeli government is boosting the stature of the Hamas militants who rule the Gaza Strip. Presumably this was not Jerusalem's intention. The Israeli government wanted to send Hamas a message that the increasing number of attacks will no longer be tolerated. But, paradoxically, Israel's tactics enhanced the stature of the very militants it wants to curb.
November 25, 2012 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The remains of former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat will be exhumed Tuesday as part of a renewed investigation into his death, a Palestinian investigator said Saturday. Arafat died in November 2004 in a French military hospital, a month after suddenly falling ill. Palestinian officials claim he was poisoned by Israel, but have not presented evidence. Israel has denied such allegations. Earlier this year, the detection of a lethal radioactive substance in biological traces on Arafat's clothing sparked a new investigation.
November 22, 2012 |
For three decades, juniors at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr have been going to Israel for a taste of life in the Jewish state. For the 50 students there since August and due to return to Pennsylvania next week, the recent exchange of missiles between Israel and Gaza has heightened the intensity of their trimester abroad. "This has been quite a turning point for them," said Debbie Albert of Dresher, whose son David Feinberg, 16, is a student. "They are really seeing Israel like an Israeli.
November 6, 2012 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - A team of Swiss investigators visited the West Bank grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Monday to determine how best to dig up remains and extract samples ahead of their exhumation this month, a Palestinian official said. The Swiss team, one of two groups set to conduct parallel probes into Arafat's 2004 death, spent an hour inspecting the tomb, located in a mausoleum outside Palestinian government headquarters in Ramallah. A Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the exhumation would most likely take place Nov. 26. Tawfik Tirawi, the head of the Palestinian committee investigating the death, said Monday's visit was meant "to check the place" ahead of the exhumation.
November 5, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - The Palestinian Authority president has set off a strident debate by shattering a once-inviolable taboo, publicly suggesting his people would have to relinquish claims to ancestral homes in Israel. Mahmoud Abbas' comments on the refugee issue, made in an interview on Israeli TV over the weekend, triggered hot responses from Palestinians and Israelis alike. In Israel, it suddenly put the long-sidelined issue of peace talks back in the Israeli public's consciousness ahead of parliamentary elections.
October 29, 2012 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is moving forward with his plan to seek upgraded observer status at the United Nations next month, despite American and Israeli threats of financial or diplomatic retaliation, officials said Sunday. The decision sets the stage for a new showdown between Israel and the Palestinians at the world body, following last year's attempt by the Palestinians to seek status as a full member state. Although that initiative failed to pass the U.N. Security Council, it caused months of diplomatic tensions with Israel.
October 21, 2012 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinians voted for new local councils in dozens of West Bank towns in long delayed elections Saturday, part of an attempt by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement to recapture dwindling political legitimacy. However, the toxic rivalry between Fatah and the Islamic militant Hamas loomed large over the first Palestinian ballot in six years, and made it unlikely that Saturday's voting will be followed anytime soon by overdue elections for parliament and president.
October 2, 2012 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Investigators from France and Switzerland will conduct parallel probes into the death of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, Palestinian officials said Monday. His remains will be exhumed, at a date kept secret, to give each team a chance to draw samples to test for poisoning. The two teams are acting separately on behalf of Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat, and the Palestinian Authority, who each had misgivings about the other's investigation. The push to reexamine Arafat's 2004 death come after a Swiss lab's recent discovery of polonium-210, a deadly radioactive isotope, on clothes said to belong to the Palestinian leader.