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Massive new settlement project in E. Jerusalem: Israeli radio

JERUSALEM (AFP) – A massive new construction project of at least 1,400 homes is about to be authorised in a settlement neighbourhood in occupied east Jerusalem, Israeli military radio reported Sunday. The homes will be built in the settlement of Gilo, near Bethlehem, and are expected to be given the…

Iran fuel ban targets NATO but hurts Afghans

KABUL (AFP) – Iran’s ban on fuel tankers crossing into Afghanistan over accusations that they are supplying NATO troops is snaring ordinary Afghans in a complex power game as living costs rise, experts say. Some 2,000 trucks are stranded on the Iranian-Afghan border, Afghanistan’s commerce ministry says, in a standoff…

Anti-Israel ads fuel controversy in Seattle

SEATTLE, Washington – Seattle peace activists are planning to post anti-Israel ads on the sides of local commuter buses protesting US support for the Jewish state, prompting outcry from Jewish groups. The banners show Palestinian children standing around a demolished building, with the caption “Israeli war crimes: your tax dollars…

House opposes declaration of Palestinian state

The US House of Representatives late Wednesday approved a measure condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state, and backing a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The House measure comes after Brazil, and later Argentina and Uruguay, in early December recognized a Palestinian state within the 1967…

Israeli prime minister: We won’t share Jerusalem

Israel’s leader on Sunday dismissed a call from a key government partner to share the holy city of Jerusalem with the Palestinians, a reminder of the obstacles facing already troubled peacemaking efforts. Conflicting claims to east Jerusalem lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The dispute over the area,…

Afghan “peace talks” impostor paid by MI6: report

A man posing as a Taliban leader who had talks with Afghanistan’s president was paid and promoted by British intelligence, a newspaper said on Friday. British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) agents paid Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour from May this year, believing they had achieved an “historic breakthrough” in forging contacts…

North, South Korea exchange fire; 2 marines killed

North Korea shells South Korean island, killing 2 marines; Seoul fires back, scrambles jets North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire Tuesday after the North shelled an island near their disputed sea border, killing at least two South Korean marines, setting dozens of buildings ablaze and sending civilians fleeing for…

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…

No matter who voters choose on Tues., US foreign policy to remain unchanged

Regardless who comes out ahead in US legislative elections, US peace efforts in the Middle East will remain unaffected, the US State Department said Tuesday, as President Barack Obama’s Democrats brace for a drubbing. “Democratic and Republican administrations supported by Congress under Democratic or Republican leadership have all supported our…

Abbas issues ultimatum to Israel: Choose between settlements or peace

The United States launched a last gasp effort Saturday to avert the collapse of Middle East talks, but Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said Israel had to choose between peace and its settlements. Amid frantic diplomatic efforts to persuade the Palestinians not to leave the new US-organized negotiations, Abbas condemned “the…

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