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Entries in Israel (345)


Israel-Palestine Live Blog (19 October): A Centre-Left Alternative to Netanyahu?

1540 GMT: Former Israeli Ambassador to UN, Gabriella Shalev, says in an interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz that she is “more Zionist, feminist and critical” after her return to Israel. 

To summarize, Shalev strongly criticizes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “unilateral” Iranian policy, his “support” to the US President Barack Obama’s Republican rival Mitt Romney; all of which Shalev says make Israel “become a burden instead of an asset” in the eyes of the “great, important and true friend”, the United States.
After framing the complicated relations at the UN, Shalev says that the reason of Israel’s delegitimization is the “failure to recognize the right of the Jewish people to exist in Zion” and adds that “without the United States Israel would be denounced and isolated”. On the other hand, Shalev recognizes the “importance of the Iranian threat”, calls Iran as a "terrible country" that "will not sit by quietly."

The "need" for Israel's dependence on Washington on the traditional values of Zionism can be clearly seen in Shalev’s sentence: “The State of Israel cannot exist as an independent state here, in this small and pathetic territory that we received.”

1400 GMT: In a statement, the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine says Free Syrian Army rebels shot dead its leader Adel Hasan in Deraa refugee camp.

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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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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Insurgents Attack in the North

Syrian demonstrators in Aleppo burn a picture of President Assad on Friday

See also Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Feuding About a Plane --- Meanwhile, 200+ Die

2027 GMT: Palestine. Doctors have said that at least one person has been killed and three others, including a child, have been wounded in two Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

The Israeli military said two men, one killed and one critically wounded, were "terror operatives of the Hashora Council of the Mujahideen, a Gaza-based Global Jihad affiliate".

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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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Israel-Palestine Opinion: No Pleasure in Bad News --- The Bad Math of the Zero-Sum Game

Human Rights Watch on the abuse in Gaza's prisons

Zero-sum logic ignores the fact that, like it or not, we are all in this together. Each act of political violence that occurs in Israel and Palestine these days is deeply intertwined with the failure to make peace and the cycle of violence that has arisen in its stead. Torture on either side of the Gaza border will never enhance security on the other.

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The Latest from Israel-Palestine (9 October): Watching Syria, Downing a Drone, and Skirmishing with Gaza

1935 GMT: With no reference to his earlier demand on a halt to settlement freeze as a condition of returning to peace talks, Palestinian Authority's leader Mahmoud Abbas said that he could resume talks following the UN vote on a Palestinian request for "nonmember state" status.

1900 GMT: PM Netanyahu announces early elections.

1730 GMT: Israel's daily YNET claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will announce his early elections decision tonight.

1720 GMT: A Kassam rocket fired from Gaza exploded in an open area in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council. No injuries reported.

1530 GMT: In a letter sent to the U.S. Congress by the leaders of the Lutheran, Methodist, UCC churches, and the National Council of Churches; the military aid to Israel was asked to be reevaluated.

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Video and Transcript: President Obama's Speech to the UN

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, and that is the vision we will support.

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Iran Interview and Analysis: Ahmadinejad's Show Begins with Washington Post --- An Easy Ride on Nukes, And Nothing on Human Rights

An extract from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's interview with Piers Morgan of CNN

Perhaps most striking is the Washington Post interview is the lack of concern with any developments inside Iran, and thus any consideration that these may be linked to the Islamic Republic's foreign policy. There is nothing here on the economic situation, nothing on the political manoeuvring within the system, nothing about the 2013 Presidential election, and --- perhaps inevitably --- nothing about the post-2009 repression and human rights.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Iran's Political Diversion

2011 GMT: Syria. While violence is still reported in Aleppo, Homs, and Deir Ez Zor, it appears there has been a last-minute escalation west of Damascus. Artillery fire, coming from the Mezzeh military base, has reportedly targeted Moudamya. Four people have been killed there, and many wounded, as a result of the shelling.

This video reportedly shows fires burning in Mezzeh, the result of shelling. Obviously, because of the darkness, there is no way to verify the location:

1809 GMT: Syria. The LCC has raised today's death toll to 203:

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Iran Interview: Ali Larijani on the Nuclear Issue, Syria, and Detained Opposition Leader Mousavi (Slavin)

While in Tehran to cover the Non-Aligned Movement's summit, Barbara Slavin of Al Monitor spoke with Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani.

Larijani's line on Iran's nuclear programme is the expected one. So is his assurance that sanctions are not hampering the Islamic Republic and his appeal to leave Syrian President Bashar al-Assad alone.

What may be more interesting is Larijani's effective declaration that opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi --- held under strict house arrest, without criminal charge, for 18 1/2 months --- will remain in limbo.

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