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Sarah Palin visits Israel, will see Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Leading Republican Sarah Palin toured Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Sunday as she began a two-day, private visit to Israel. She also planned on meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during her first trip to the Jewish state to discuss key issues facing the U.S. ally. Palin, a…

Israel on high alert as Iran warships enter Med

JERUSALEM – Israel put its navy on high alert and said it would respond immediately to any “provocation” as two Iranian warships sailed through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean on Tuesday. The Iranian vessels entered the southeastern Mediterranean after going up the canal for the first time since the…

Iranian warships transit Suez for Mediterranean

CAIRO (AFP) – Two Iranian naval ships transited the Suez Canal on Tuesday for the first time since the Islamic revolution, bound for the Mediterranean on a purported training mission that Israel calls a provocation. “The two ships entered the canal on Tuesday at around 5:45 am (0335 GMT),” a…

Gantz appointed new Israel military chief

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel appointed Major General Benny Gantz as new military chief on Sunday, ending months of bitter infighting among top generals as it grapples with political changes sweeping the region. Gantz, 51, replaces Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, whose term as chief of staff of the armed forces ends…

Top US military commander to visit Israel, Jordan

WASHINGTON – The top US military commander will visit Israel and Jordan Sunday and Monday to reaffirm US support following the collapse of the presidency of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen will begin his trip in Amman where he will meet…

Clinton criticizes Israeli expanded building plan

Clinton calls Israeli building plan counterproductive to US efforts to revive peace talks Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is criticizing Israel’s new construction plans for disputed east Jerusalem as an obstacle to reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. In remarks at the State Department, Clinton said the U.S. was “deeply disappointed”…

Obama: Israeli settlements ‘never helpful’ to peace talks

President Barack Obama led world powers on Tuesday in criticising Israel’s decision to build 1,300 settler homes in east Jerusalem, warning it risks wrecking an already fragile peace process with the Palestinians. “This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations,” Obama told reporters during a…

US rejects Israel call for military threat against Iran

Secretary Robert Gates on Monday rejected comments by Israel’s prime minister calling for a “credible” military threat against Iran to ensure it does not obtain nuclear weapons. “We know that they are concerned about the impact of the sanctions. The sanctions are biting more deeply than they anticipated and we…

Israel angers Palestinians with new settlement plan

Israeli plans to build 238 new settler homes in east Jerusalem, as reported in Friday’s press, provoked a furious response from the Palestinians who said Israel was bent on “killing” peace talks. The plans for new housing units in the settlement neighbourhoods of Pisgat Zeev and Ramot were approved on…

GOP ‘front group’ accused of politicizing Israel, White House feud

A newly-formed advocacy group, whose leaders say they intend to target the Obama administration over its alleged lack of support for the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, appears to be far more closely tied to the Republican Party than similar groups in the past. “The Emergency Committee for…

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