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Israel high court discusses prisoner exchange appeals

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israelis opposed to a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas sought Supreme Court intervention on Monday to block the release of hundreds of jailed Palestinians in return for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The first phase of the swap, to take place on Tuesday, should bring to a close a saga that has…

Israeli soldier Shalit to be returned home by Thursday

Captured soldier Gilad Shalit is to return to Israel on Tuesday at the same time as 450 Palestinian prisoners are freed if the terms of a swap deal are respected, a senior Israeli official said on Friday. “We hope that the timetable laid out in the agreement will be respected…

Israel ‘to legalize outposts on private Palestinian land’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking ways to legalise unauthorised settlement outposts built on privatePalestinian land, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Tuesday. According to the paper, Netanyahu told ministers from his rightwing Likud party on Sunday that he would order Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to set up a task force to…

Israeli cabinet approves economic reforms in response to mass protests

JERUSALEM — Israel’s cabinet on Sunday approved the outline of economic reforms intended to address rising frustrations about the cost of living and income disparity in the Jewish state. The proposals, which passed 21-8, were laid out by a committee appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year, as…

Israel police out in force after Muslim tombs defaced

JERUSALEM — Israeli police deployed reinforcements around Muslim and Christian sites in Jaffa on Sunday after graves in the mixed port town were found to be desecrated, a police spokeswoman said. “Police reinforcements have been deployed around the Muslim and Christian religious sites which are considered to be sensitive,” spokeswoman…

Hank Williams Jr. cut from ESPN’s team for good

ESPN announced Thursday that the network had permanently severed ties with Hank Williams Jr. after he publicly compared President Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler. Bocephus had told the hosts of Fox & Friends Monday that Obama playing golf with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was ‘like Hitler playing golf with…

Israel accuses deputy envoy to U.S. of security breach

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s deputy ambassador to the United States was dismissed after admitting a serious security breach that required “blood, sweat and tears” to repair, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Thursday. The removal on Tuesday of veteran diplomat Dan Arbell over a media leak prompted Israeli commentators to…

Palestine state quest wins first victory in UNESCO vote

Palestine won a first diplomatic victory in its quest for statehood on Wednesday when the UNESCO executive committee backed its bid to become a member of the cultural body with the rights of a state. Palestine’s Arab allies braved intense US and French diplomatic pressure to bring the motion before…

Israel says newly approved homes ‘not settlement’

Israel on Wednesday rejected an international outcry over its plans to build 1,100 new homes in Gilo in annexed east Jerusalem, insisting the neighbourhood was “not a settlement.” “Gilo is not a settlement, nor is it an outpost,” Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told AFP. “Gilo is a neighbourhood in the…

U.S. angry at Israeli settlement move

DENVER, Colorado — The United States expressed clear frustration Tuesday at new Israeli settlement plans in east Jerusalem, in a sign of renewed tension with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Israel approved a plan to build 1,100 new homes in a Jewish settlement, prompting an angry reaction from the Palestinians…

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