Sweden recognizes Palestinian state
JERUSALEM — The Swedish government on Thursday officially recognized the state of Palestine, as the new prime minister, Stefan Lofven, ignored Israeli protests and followed through on a pledge he made at his inauguration this month.
Netanyahu expedites plan for new homes in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that Israel would fast-track planning for more 1,060 new apartments in populous Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, a move that appears calibrated to appeal to the maximum number of Israelis while causing the minimum damage to Israel internationally, according to Israeli analysts.
Israel, Jordan, and Palestinians sign water project deal
JERUSALEM — In a rare display of regional cooperation, representatives of Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement Monday to build a Red Sea-Dead Sea water project that is meant to benefit all three parties.
Israel-Turkey ties strained by reports of spy exposure
JERUSALEM — Persistently strained relations between Israel and Turkey have not been helped by a report that, last year, Turkey revealed to Iran the identities of up to 10 Iranians who had spied for Israel.
Israel and Turkey negotiate compensation in flotilla raid
JERUSALEM — Talks here Monday between Israeli and Turkish officials over compensation for a deadly Israeli commando raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla almost three years ago demonstrated that while relations between the two countries are improving, they will not be as warm as they once were.
Netanyahu backs vote on any agreement with Palestinians
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said on Thursday that any peace agreement with the Palestinians should be put to a referendum, a move that some Israelis view as a potential obstacle to a deal even as Secretary of State John Kerry works intently to renew long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Israeli officials stress readiness for lone strike on Iran
JERUSALEM — With Chuck Hagel scheduled to begin his first visit to Israel as secretary of defense on Sunday, Israeli defense and military officials issued explicit warnings this week that Israel was prepared and had the capability to carry out a lone military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Spreading Palestinian economic protests focus on leaders
HEBRON, West Bank — A week of Palestinian protests against rising prices and economic hardship erupted Monday into rioting against the Palestinian Authority in this city and others in the West Bank, posing a new challenge to the Western-backed government that has worked to promote stability. Anger has mostly been directed at Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, an internationally respected economist who has been widely credited abroad with shepherding the authority toward sound fiscal policies and the building of the institutions needed for a future state.
After attacks, Israeli schools confront hate
JERUSALEM — Tamer Jbarah, a 17-year-old Palestinian student who speaks accentless Hebrew after years in a bilingual school that is about half Jewish, said he was not at all surprised when a mob of Jewish teenagers beat an Arab teenager unconscious this month while hundreds watched and did nothing to help.
Israel braces for refugees after Syrian collapse
JERUSALEM — Israel’s military chief said on Tuesday that Jerusalem was preparing for a potential influx of refugees into the Golan Heights from Syria with the demise of the government of President Bashar Assad, which he said was inevitable.
Mosque in northern Israel set on fire after series of similar attacks
JERUSALEM — A mosque in an Arab village in northern Israel was set on fire early Monday in what police called an arson attack, and an outside wall was defaced with Hebrew graffiti.
Protesters for and against Palestinian state clash in Israel
JERUSALEM — A day after dozens of prominent Israeli artists and intellectuals declared their support for a Palestinian state, they took their cause to the streets of Tel Aviv on Thursday and quickly found themselves confronted by rightist opponents calling them “traitors” and, according to some reports, “Jewish Nazis.”
Mideast experts fear peace talks are too ambitious
JERUSALEM — As the Israeli and Palestinian leaders pledged at the peace summit meeting in Washington this week to try to resolve the core issues that have long divided their people and bloodied the land, a growing number of stakeholders here in Israel worried that the two sides were aiming too high.
Israel and Palestine prepare for peace negotiations
JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said he hoped the peace negotiations that are to begin next week would include meetings every two weeks between him and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, an Israeli official said Friday.
Palestinian Rivals Announce Steps to Healing Rift
Leaders of the rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah declared Thursday a “historic day” at the conclusion of a meeting here aimed at healing a 20-month schism.
Few Israelis Near Gaza Feel War Achieved Much
The wheat and potato fields of this kibbutz, or communal farm, in southern Israel stretch right up to the Gaza border fence. In almost surreal proximity on the other side rise the apartment buildings, water towers and minarets of the Palestinian village of Abasan.
Hamas Celebrates as Israeli Ground Forces Leave Gaza
As Israel withdrew its forces from the northern Gaza Strip on Monday after a two-day assault on Hamas militants, and as Palestinians emerged from their houses to inspect the damage, Hamas leaders seemed to be following the playbook of their Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, in its 2006 war with Israel.
Israeli Shells Kill 40 At Gaza U.N. School
Israeli mortar shells killed as many as 40 Palestinians, among them women and children, outside a U.N. school in Gaza on Tuesday where they were taking refuge from 11 days of fierce fighting. The Israeli military contended that Hamas fighters had fired mortars from the school compound, and U.N. officials called for an independent inquiry into the incident.
Violence Increases as Settlers Begin Challenging Israel
A pipe bomb that exploded late Wednesday night outside the Jerusalem home of Zeev Sternhell, a Hebrew University professor, left him lightly wounded and created only a minor stir in a nation that routinely experiences violence on a much larger scale.
Gunman Kills Eight in Attack on Famous Seminary in Jerusalem
A gunman entered a famous Jewish seminary in the heart of Jerusalem on Thursday night, killing at least eight students and wounding at least nine others, three of them seriously, the Israeli police said.
Palestinian Leader Urges Talk With Hamas
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, called unexpectedly on Wednesday for a resumption of dialogue with the Islamic militant group Hamas, a move that could herald a breakdown of his peace talks with Israel.
Talks, But No Truce, Accompany Lull in Gaza Violence
A senior Israeli official and leaders of Gaza militant groups have held talks with Egyptian officials in recent days, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel denied on Monday that Israel was engaged in talks to broker a truce, despite several days of relative quiet near the Gaza border.
Fatah Leader Calls for OusterOf Hamas From Power in Gaza
Three days after Hamas policemen shot and killed at least seven civilians at a rally in Gaza, leading a number of Gazans to express shock and anger at Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president and the leader of the rival faction Fatah, called for the ouster of Hamas from power in Gaza.
Hard-Liners in Middle East Resist Peace Efforts of U.S.
The leaders of Hamas on Monday espoused a hard line against Israel at a conference that they and the militant Islamic Jihad faction convened in Gaza on the eve of the American-sponsored Middle East peace gathering in Annapolis, Md.
Six Palestinians Killed in Pro- Western Fatah Rally Monday
At least six Palestinians were killed and more than 100 wounded here on Monday when a rally by the relatively pro-Western Fatah movement to mark the third anniversary of the death of its founder, Yasser Arafat, ended in armed clashes between Fatah and its rival, Hamas.
Palestinian Militants Killed in Gaza During Israeli Incursion
At least 11 Palestinian militants were killed in airstrikes and armed clashes during an Israeli army incursion into central Gaza on Thursday, Palestinian medical officials said. It was one of the bloodiest days for Hamas since it took control of the Gaza Strip three weeks ago.
Palestinian Interior Minister Resigns Monday, Unable to Control Factions
The Palestinian interior minister, Hani al-Qawasmeh, resigned Monday, and four more Palestinians were killed in fierce factional gun battles.
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert Survives 3 No-Confidence Votes in Parliament
Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, survived three no-confidence votes against his government on Monday, part of the political fallout from a harsh report on the country's leadership during last summer's war in Lebanon.