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Entries in Shimon Peres (10)


Middle East Today: Israel & Palestine --- US "Peace Plan"? More Rhetoric About "Private Investment"

US Secretary of State John KerryIraq: At Least 33 Killed in Bombings

At least 33 people have been killed in the latest series of explosions in the capital Baghdad.

The attacks targets targeting mainly Shia districts of the city.

Earlier this month, more than 200 people were killed in a week in bombings and other attacks, in the most serious of violence this year.

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UAE (and Beyond) Live: 10 Months in Prison for Tweeting About a Trial

See also Syria Live: A Car Bomb in Damascus
Monday's Syria Live: The Back-and-Forth Battle in Aleppo

1441 GMT: Egypt. Dutch journalist Rena Netjes was arrested in Cairo on Monday night on allegations of espionage.

Netjes was working on a story when she was apprehended by the owner of a coffee shop, using Egypt's new powers of "citizen's arrest", who had asked to see her press card and passport before taking it to the police.

After spending several hours waiting in the police station, Netjes said the report against her contained erroneous allegations. The report said she was a danger to Egypt and was attempting to spread Western culture.

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Israel (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Obama Pays A Visit

1908 GMT: Israel Press Conference. Obama was pressed (with at least 4 questions) from Chuck Todd to explain his slow progress with regards to the peace process with Palestine. Obama seemed to insinuate that he'd like to focus more on this issue in term two, but that politics in Israel and Palestine have gotten in the way, just as they have with his domestic agenda.

He stressed that Israel will be more secure, Palestine stronger, and the entire region enriched by a solution, but it's a six-decade-old problem that won't be easy to solve.

Netanyahu, seeming to forget all of Todd's questions, went back to Iran. He said that Iran was enriching uranium, but that they could develop a weapon within a year. The enrichment process is ongoing, however, so every day is one day closer to a nuclear Iran.

Neanyahu stressed that Obama had pledged historically-significant levels of support for Israel, including a ten-year commitment to extend military support for Israel.

1905 GMT: Israel Press Conference. Netanyahu stressed that Israel has a right to defend itself. Obama stressed that there was "not a lot of daylight between our two countries" as far as their intelligence concerns with Iran were concerned.

Each country has to make its own decision re military action.

On the Palestinian issue, Obama stressed that he was disappointed with the rate of progress. He did praise the role of the Palestinian Authority, and suggested that he hoped that Palestinians could feel that they were "masters of their own fate" and that they could take part in a thriving regional economy.

This hasn't happened, neither has Israel been freed from the fear of rockets falling on them.

Then an interesting line from Obama - he'll consider the trip of a success if he spends more time listening than talking.

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Israel-Palestine Live Coverage (6 November): Moves by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority Before a UN Vote

1920 GMT: Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor wrote a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon critical of three tanks crossed into the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel last week and of Syrian gunfire hit an Israeli military jeep on Monday.

1830 GMT: Fatah central committee member Azzam al-Ahmad said they are committed to go to the UN. He continued:

We know there is an Israeli ministerial committee to discuss the issue and to start setting punishments on use but we have decided and it's not over, we're going despite the results.

1800 GMT: After Israeli decision to construct new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem and in Ariel in the West Bank, PLO leader Hanan Ashrawi said:

Such organized efforts to construct more units in the illegal settlements of Pisgat Zeev, Ramot, and Ariel are a deliberate attempt to breach international law and to destroy all chances for peace.

With today’s announcement, it is obvious that such actions are in response to our decision to go to the United Nations, which serves to rescue the failed peace process and end the illegal occupation. 

As such, this sends a clear message to both the international community and to the Palestinians that Israel is more committed to annexing Palestinian land than committing to any peace resolution with the Palestinian people.

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Iran Opinion: Manipulating a Murder in Tehran (Farhi)

Some Iranians inside and outside the country have tried to highlight the immorality and ineffectiveness of the Iranian intelligence service, which displays outmost strength in interrogating and imprisoning Iranian citizens for their political views and peaceful activities but has proved powerless in securing the country against acts of terrorism.  In the current international climate, however, it is not hard to understand why these voices have gone unheard.

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Israel-Palestine Special: So What's the Deal Between Hamas and Fatah?

The rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas have reportedly reached an agreement, brokered by Egypt,  to end their rift and that between the West Bank and Gaza. 

The two sides have been in a series of talks in the last few years, climaxing when Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in 2009. Hamas had reservations, however, over the arrangement for security forces in the Gaza Strip and the lack of a guarantee that its victory in elections would be recognised. Hamas demanded further gestures before considering unity, such as a release of hundreds of it prisoners locked up in the West Bank, the re-opening of Hamas charities, and the removal of a ban on its activities in the West Bank.

So why an agreement now? 

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Israel-Palestine Analysis: Another Dennis Ross Mission to West Jerusalem

On Thursday, Dennis Ross, a senior member of the US National Security Council, and David Hale, deputy to President Obama's envoy George Mitchell, arrived in West Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Israel's security needs and the maintenance of the Israel Defense Forces' qualitative advantage during negotiations with the Palestinians would be discussed with the American diplomats. 

Back in the US, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that Washington's position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank has not changed; however, the US is not going to support the Palestinian proposal for international condemnation of Israel's "illegal" activities in the "occupied" lands.

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Israel-Iran Analysis: Assessing Israeli Government's Latest Moves Towards Tehran

There are "moderates" who are against a military strike on Iran and "aggressors" who, at least, want the option on the table. Despite President Shimon Peres's efforts, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whom the premier wants to keep as close as possible, insist Iran should be presented as an "existential threat". However, Mossad, including its new head Tamir Pardo), Shin Bet, and military intelligence are maintaining distance from a war scenario, since it will be their heads off first if objectives cannot be achieved quickly. The Obama Administration is also on the side of the moderates.

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Israel-Palestine Summary: Reactions to Netanyahu's Extension of Settlements

With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approving plans to build 238 new homes in East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank, French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s initiative for direct Israel-Palestine talks has fallen through. The planned peace summit, due to be held Friday, is indefinitely postponed. "We are looking for a new date that works for everybody, although there is nothing firm scheduled yet," an Israeli government official told Reuters.

Washington and Paris said that they were “disappointed” by the decision. In response, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said: “We have already said in the past that there is no longer a settlement freeze in Jerusalem. Regarding the relationship with the United States, they received notification of the plan [for the new homes] before we announced it.”

Moroccan King Mohammed VI wrote Israeli President Shimon Peres, was supposed to represent Israel in World Economic Forum, that their meeting was impossible at the moment. So Peres has canceled his trip.

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Israel-Palestine Video: Hillary Clinton's Meeting With Israeli President Peres (15 September)

CLINTON: There will always be obstacles and setbacks, it is a given. It is always easier to defer or criticise top decisions than to make them. it is always easier to sit on the sidelines than to roll up your sleeves. It is always easier to doubt than to trust. President Peres has never been one to sit on sidelines and thankfully we know Prime minister Netanyahu, a leader who understands how important it is to move forward, as he has said we also have a Palestinian President who shares that determination.

I have sat with these two men individually and together. I have listened to them, talked candidly and forcefully. They are getting down to business. They have begun to grapple with the core issues that can only be resolved through face to face negotiations. I believe they are serious about reaching an agreement that results in two states living side by side in peace and security. That outcome is not only in the interest of both Israelis and Palestinians, it is in the interest of United States and people everywhere. This is the time and these are the leaders....

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