Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a revamped coalition government on Tuesday, forming a broad alliance with the chief opposition party that could free his hand to take bold action on peace with the Palestinians and decide whether to attack Iran.
JERUSALEM – A badly weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scrambled Wednesday to keep his job by extending his hand to a new centrist party that advocates a more earnest push on peacemaking with the Palestinians after Israel’s parliamentary election produced a stunning deadlock.
JERUSALEM — Israel’s Cabinet approved the release of 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners Sunday, clearing a hurdle toward a possible resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after five years of paralysis.
The prisoner release is part of a push by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to bring the two sides back to the table. Sunday’s 13-7 vote, with two abstentions, marks his first visible achievement after six months of shuttle diplomacy.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s senior coalition partner says that reaching a final peace agreement with the Palestinians is unrealistic at the current time and the sides should instead pursue an interim arrangement.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s assessment, delivered in a published interview Sunday just days before the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, throws a contentious idea into the mix as the U.S. searches for ways to restart peace talks.
JERUSALEM — Israeli President Shimon Peres on Saturday granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu another two weeks to form a governing coalition, after Netanyahu failed to build a broad coalition including ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties.
In a televised address, Netanyahu told Peres that he has yet to build a coalition because some parties wish to “boycott” an entire Israeli demographic. It was a reference to the nationalist Jewish Home and centrist Yesh Atid parties, which have refused to join his coalition if it includes the ultra-Orthodox.
President Barack Obama will bring an “urgent” agenda to Israel on his upcoming visit, focusing on regional developments including Iran and Syria as well as the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro said Wednesday.
JERUSALEM — Barack Obama sees Benjamin Netanyahu as a “political coward” whose policies pose a greater threat to Israel’s existence than Iran’s nuclear program because he does not know what is in the country’s best interests, it is claimed.
The damning assessment of the Israeli prime minister, relayed by senior White House officials to an American journalist, Jeffrey Goldberg, is the most graphic sign yet of the toxic relationship between the two men, who have clashed continually over the stalled Middle East peace process.
Benjamin Netanyahu was poised Thursday to unveil a new Israeli government that will include Right-wingers strategically installed in key positions to further expand Jewish settlements.
After 40 days of exhaustive negotiations, a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister’s Right-wing Likud party said agreement had been reached, two days before a deadline.
But talks hit a last-minute snag over whether or not leaders of smaller parties would be given the title of deputy prime minister.
JERUSALEM — Israelis voted Tuesday in an election likely to keep hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm of government for a third term despite a turbulent record: no peace process with Palestinians, growing diplomatic isolation and signs of economic trouble ahead.
The balloting capped a lackluster three-month campaign that was expected to leave Netanyahu at the helm of a coalition dominated by hard-liners opposed to concessions that could bring Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is dead if Binyamin Netanyahu wins next week's Israeli election, leading academics have warned – even if he forms a government with centrists rather than the ultra-nationalist party Jewish Home.