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Israel approves 1,100 more settlement homes

(Reuters) – Israel approved on Tuesday the construction of 1,100 homes for Jews on annexed land in the West Bank, a move that will complicate international efforts to renew peace talks and defuse a crisis over a Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied at…

U.N. will take weeks on Palestinian bid: Abbas

AMMAN (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he expected the Security Council to finish debating his nation’s application for full United Nations membership in weeks, not months. Speaking to journalists on his plane back from the General Assembly in New York where he presented the request to…

Abbas stakes Palestine’s statehood claim at U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked theUnited Nations on Friday to recognize a state for his people, even though Israel still occupies its territory and the United States has vowed to veto the move. Abbas handed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a letter requesting full U.N. membership, which the Security Council must consider — although this may take some…

Rep. Lehtinen urges Obama to wield U.N. veto against Palestinians

MIAMI (Reuters) – President Barack Obama should say clearly and publicly the United States will use its veto on the U.N. Security Council to block any Palestinian bid to gain U.N. membership, a senior Republican lawmaker said on Wednesday. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a conservative who chairs the House Foreign Affairs…

U.S. tries to stall Palestinian statehood bid: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington has launched an effort to avoid a clash stemming from plans by Palestinians to seek recognition as a state at the United Nations, The New York Times reported on Saturday, citing senior U.S. officials and foreign diplomats. The Obama administration has introduced a plan to restart…

U.S. restarts work of aid groups in Gaza Strip

GAZA (Reuters) – The United States on Sunday resumed the operations of the aid organizations it funds in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip after the Islamist group retracted its demand to scrutinize confidential documents about their work, a U.S. official said. On Friday, USAID partner organizations stopped work after Hamas closed…

Israeli minister proposes Gaza artificial island

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel is considering building an artificial island with sea and air ports off blockaded Gaza, as a long-term solution to shipping goods into the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, the transport minister said. Yisrael Katz told Army Radio on Wednesday he wants an international force to control the island for…

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