Israel

2:23pm

Mon May 7, 2012
Middle East

Israel Plans September Vote That Favors Netanyahu

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 6:26 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, May 6. Netanyahu said Monday that the next general elections would be held on Sept. 4, instead of the original schedule of October 2013.
Yin Dongxun Xinhua/Landov

Israel will hold parliamentary elections on Sept. 4, a timetable that looks favorable for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, who have been in power for the past three years.

Netanyahu called for the new poll, saying he wanted to renew his mandate and broaden his coalition even though a new election is not required until October 2013.

The current coalition has been the most stable one for years in Israel. But both international and domestic considerations prompted Netanyahu to call for a new vote now.

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2:28pm

Mon April 30, 2012
Middle East

In Israel, A Rift On How To Deal With Iran

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 7:05 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embraces Meir Dagan, the then-outgoing chief of the Mossad intelligence agency, in January 2011. Dagan is among former security chiefs who have recently criticized Netanyahu, saying he has exaggerated the urgency of the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.
Ronen Zvulun AP

As Israel wages an intense daily debate about Iran and its nuclear program, a rift between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel's former intelligence chiefs has become public.

The recently retired head of internal security, Yuval Diskin, has bashed Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Ehud Barak, calling them unfit to lead the country.

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6:18am

Sun April 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Canceling Out The 'Background Noise' On Egypt-Israel Relations

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 7:05 am

Bedouins watch flames rise in July 2011 after masked gunmen blew up a terminal of the Egyptian natural gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan. It was one of many attacks on the pipeline since the popular uprising that ousted longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak last year.
AP

By ending a historic gas contract with Israel, is Egypt laying the groundwork for a fundamental shift in relations? Not quite, says Rob Malley of the International Crisis Group.

Malley, program director for the Middle East and North Africa, talks to NPR's David Greene on Weekend Edition about last week's announcement, which raised questions of political rifts. Malley says:

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6:18am

Sun April 29, 2012
Middle East

For Israel And Egypt, A Relationship Under Strain

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 7:04 am

A mural in Cairo depicts the split faces of Egyptian military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, left, and ousted president Hosni Mubarak accompanied by Arabic that reads, "who assigned you did not die, No for gas export to Israel, the revolution continues."
Nasser Nasser AP

Ever since Egypt's revolution last year, many Israelis have wondered what it might mean for the peace treaty that the two countries signed in 1979 – the first such agreement between Israel and an Arab state.

Israel's embassy in Egypt was attacked last September and badly damaged. Islamist parties sharply critical of Israel have proved popular, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which won Egypt's parliamentary elections.

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3:04pm

Mon April 23, 2012
Middle East

Israels Weighs Action On A Controversial Settlement

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:05 am

Israelis who support Jewish settlements in the West Bank rally against a demolition order for the outpost of Ulpana on Sunday. Israeli courts have ordered the outpost torn down, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government is looking to keep it intact.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Israel's highest court has already ruled that the Jewish settler outpost of Ulpana in the West Bank was built on privately owned Palestinian land.

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government had pledged to meet a May 1 deadline to dismantle the outpost, which has about 30 homes.

But over the weekend, Netanyahu established a special committee to see how permits could be provided to keep the outpost from being torn down.

This has touched off yet another controversy over settlements, one of the most contentious issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

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