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Entries in Ehud Olmert (8)


Israel-Palestine Live Coverage (2 November): Is Iran Still an "Existential Threat"?

1730 GMT: Following Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas's remarks aired by Israelis Channel 2 on Thursday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called Abbas's words as "extremely dangerous". 

Abbas had stated that he would consider Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem as Palestine and the rest as Israel. When asked whether he would go to his birthplace - Safed, now a town in northern Israel - Abbas said he would go but wouldn't want to live there. This, automatically brings Abbas's standing on the issue of refugees into question. 


1540 GMT: After Bahrain signed an agreement with UN Relief and Works Agency to build three reconstruction projects worth of $5.4 million, a $25 million sports city project in Gaza City will be launched soon by Qatar, says Palestinian Minister of Sports, Youth, and Culture Mohammed Al-Madhoun.

1400 GMT: Defense official Amos Gilad criticized Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi: "Out of the desire for democracy, an appalling dictatorship has emerged inEgypt. There is no dialogue between Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and Israel's political echelon and there won't be. He won't talk to us." Gilad also warned that the peace treaty with Egypt must be preserved "at any cost".

1220 GMT: Israeli military censure lifted a ban on the publication of an interview made with Nahum Lev, the commander of the operation that ended up killing Abu Jihad, co-founder of Palestine Liberation Organisation, in Tunis in 1988.

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Israel-Palestine Live Blog (23 October): Gaza, Settlements, Iran, and Elections

Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert1830 GMT: In a ceremony attended by Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the former laid the foundation stone for Hamad Medical City project in the Gaza Strip. 

1825 GMT: A rocket fired from Gaza hits Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries reported. 

1740 GMT: The IDF says the army is better than the intercepted Finnish-flagged Gaza-bound civilian vessel when it comes to efficiency. 

1615 GMT: Greek activists who were arrested aboard the Finnish-flagged Estelle by Israeli commandos on Saturday denounced the Israeli army's action.

Vaguelis Diamantopoulos, a Greek MP, said: "The balaclava-clad commandos from the Israeli marine carrying heavy weapons came aboard the boat and acted like a militia." 

The boat's captain Vangelis Pissias said: "They sent out the army for 30 activists."

Activists claimed that Israeli soldiers had used tasers on board. However, Israeli officials denied such accusations. 

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The Latest from Israel-Palestine (16 October): Netanyahu's Threats That Will Dominate the Elections

Photo: Marc Israel Sellem

1945 GMT: The State Attirney's Office announced that it is appealing the acquittals of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the Jerusalem District Court corruption case to the Supreme Court. At a time when Olmert was mulling a political comeback, he could go to jail if the appeal is rejected. 

1900 GMT: Israel Defense Forces have confirmed that a Strela (SA-7) anti-aircraft missile was fired at an Israeli helicopter over the Gaza Strip for the first time last week.

1825 GMT: A rocket fired from Gaza hits Hof Ashkelon Regional Council in southern Israel. No injuries reported.

1730 GMT: The Palestinian Authority's public workers union has called for full strike Wednesday, Thursday and again next week in protest of the government's failure to pay salaries. 

1650 GMT: The leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, says the elected government of Gaza in 2006 was "the first model which led to the breakout of a sweeping Arab revolution in the Islamic region."

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The Latest from Israel-Palestine (12 October): What Will Israeli Elections Bring?

See also The Latest from Turkey (12 October): Ankara's Dangerous Game with Moscow
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Feuding About a Plane --- Meanwhile, 200+ Die

1645 GMT: After Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah' acknowledged that the group sent the downed drone into Israeli airspace, the Gaza-based Palestinian groups praised Hezbollah.

Al-Mujahideen Brigades described Hezbollah's operation as "unprecedented", whilst Salah al-din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, said Hezbollah's improved capabilities would strengthen the resolve of the Palestinian people and deter Israel from attacking them and their holy places.

1430 GMT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denies that he agreed on Israel giving up the Golan Heights in return of a peace deal in the US-mediated secret talks with the Assad regime.

1045 GMT: Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Ehud Barak had secret talks with the Assad Bashar government in the late 2010. It is claimed that Israeli leaders agreed to a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in exchange for a peace agreement.

In September 2010, it was Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who publicly asked the Netanyahu government to restart indirect talks between Israel and Syria, through the Turkish mediation. However, the Israeli government denied such reports.

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Iran Prescription: Oh My God, Tehran Almost Has The Bomb! (Repeat as Necessary)

Iran is about a year away from developing a nuclear bomb! That is not me getting  hysterical --- it's US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in an interview on American television:

"The consensus is that, if they decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon."

Panetta is not the only Cassandra. His statement echoes that made by Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak last November about the 'when' of Iran's supposed nuclear weapons program.

All very worrying. Just as it has been worrying on every occasion over the last 7 1/2 years when Iran was on the verge of The Bomb.

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US-Israel Feature: A Message to Iran? Washington Sells "Bunker-Buster" Bombs to the Israelis (Lake)

Obama had finally authorized military deals the Israelis had been waiting for for years. It is support that has drawn the two nations’ militaries increasingly close even as their leaders seem politely distant.

The aid, U.S. and Israeli officials confirmed to Newsweek, includes the long-delayed delivery of 55 powerful GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators, better known as bunker-buster bombs, deemed important to any future military strike against Iranian nuclear sites. It also includes a network of proposed radar sites—some located in Arab neighbors—designed to help Israel repel a missile attack, as well as joint military exercises and regular national-security consultations.

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Israel-Palestine Memories: Prime Minister Olmert's 2008 Offer and the Palestinian Response 

On Sunday, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that if the current Israel-Palestine talks are to succeed, the agreement would have to resemble the plan the Palestinians turned down two years ago in negotiations.

Israel offered the Palestinians close to 94 percent of the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and holy sites governed jointly by Israel, the Palestinians, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the US. In addition, less than 20,000 refugees would have returned Israel and 100,000 Palestinians would be given US citizenship.

Olmert blamed the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for no resolution: "There is no choice but to say that this agreement was not achieved when that was possible because the Palestinian side was not prepared to make the extra step that I believe we made."

The Palestinians have a different recollection. In March 2010, their top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told an audience at the University of Birmingham that a counter-proposal had been offered to Olmert and nothing had been received in return.

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Israel-Palestine Analysis: How Long Can Ramallah Demand a Freeze on Settlements?

At the end of the second round of direct Israel-Palestine talks, we have been bombarded with statements from various actors.

Beyond the rather anodyne declarations is this looming date: on 26 September, Israel's 10-month moratorium on construction in the West Bank expires.

It is unlikely, however, that Damocles' sword will be held over West Jerusalem. Instead, as we pass 26 September without resolution, the Palestinians are likely to face this choice: compromise on the settlements or be labelled as "rejectionists", if not by Obama's representatives then by the Israelis with whom they are supposed to find an agreement.

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