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  • Abbas, Mashaal hail Palestinian unity

    November 25, 2011 | 12:27 am

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said they turned a “new page” in Palestinian unity after meeting in Cairo.

    Thursday’s meeting was the first time the Palestinian leaders had met face to face since they signed a reconciliation deal in May....

  • Jordan’s king backs Palestinian leader

    November 21, 2011 | 8:18 am

    King Abdullah of Jordan made a rare trip to the West Bank on Monday to display support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is seeking to make peace with his Islamist rivals Hamas, and push for a resumption of peace talks with Israel.

    In his first visit to the area...

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to establish caretaker government without Palestinian PM Fayyad

    November 15, 2011 | 6:09 pm

    Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed to hold elections next May and are due to establish a caretaker government in the coming weeks which will exclude Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Palestinian sources said Tuesday.

    According to Palestinian sources, a breakthrough in...

  • French consul injured after Israeli raid on Gaza

    November 15, 2011 | 8:21 am

    France’s consul to the Gaza Strip, his wife and 13-year-old daughter were injured during an Israeli air strike on Sunday night, French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.

    Valero told reporters the three were hit by shrapnel at their residence in Gaza, which is located...

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  • Fayyad may quit for sake of Palestinian unity

    November 14, 2011 | 8:29 am

    Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signaled on Monday he is ready to step aside to help reconcile the two rival factions of the Palestinian national movement and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections.

    The departure of the U.S.-educated former World...

  • Shalit drew, kept journal in captivity

    November 7, 2011 | 10:32 am

    Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit drew and kept a journal while being held by Hamas in Gaza.

    Shalit was required to leave behind his sketches and record of his captivity when he was released, Yediot Achronot reported.

    He also was given a radio and an exercise bicycle, Reuters reported, citing unnamed Israeli officials. He reportedly picked up some Arabic while in custody.

    Shalit had surgery late last week to remove several pieces of shrapnel that lodged in his hand during his capture. The surgery was deemed successful.

  • Gaza rocket injures foreign worker in Israel

    November 6, 2011 | 7:18 pm

    Rockets fired from Gaza on southern Israel over the weekend injured a foreign worker.

    Two rockets fired at southern Israel on Saturday night landed near Ashkelon. A foreign worker from Thailand suffered shrapnel wounds in the attack.

    A rocket from Gaza had landed in the same area on Friday night. Following that strike, the Israeli Air Force a night later attacked an Islamic Jihad terrorist cell in southern Gaza preparing to launch a rocket into Israel, according to reports. The Israeli strike killed one of the cell members, Palestinian sources told reporters.

  • PA to provide housing for released prisoners

    November 6, 2011 | 6:52 pm

    The Palestinian Authority will provide housing for the Palestinian prisoners released in the Shalit swap.

    PA President Mahmoud Abbas made the announcement Saturday during a meeting with some of the ex-prisoners at his headquarters in Ramallah, according to reports.

    Some 477...

  • France won’t vote on Palestinian statehood

    November 4, 2011 | 1:33 pm

    France will abstain from voting on whether to admit Palestine as a full member of the United Nations.

    The French Foreign Ministry said Friday it sees no chance of Palestine’s statehood request passing the Security Council because the United States, which holds veto power, has...

  • Gilad Shalit undergoes surgery to repair abduction injuries

    November 4, 2011 | 9:43 am

    Gilad Shalit has undergone surgery to repair wounds from his 2006 abduction.

    The successful surgery Friday at Rambam Hospital in Haifa removed seven pieces of shrapnel in Shalit’s hand, according to news reports.

    Shalit was released from captivity two and a half weeks ago in exchange for over a thousand Palestinian prisoners. He will spend his second weekend of freedom at Rambam for observation.

    Earlier this week, a lawmaker from the haredi Orthodox Shas Party, Menshulam Nahiri, criticized Shalit for not spending his first weekend in synagogue.

  • PA minister: No further U.N. agency bids

    November 3, 2011 | 11:56 am

    The Palestinian Authority foreign minister denied plans to seek statehood status in 16 United Nations-affiliated groups.

    Riyad al-Malki denied on Thursday denied a claim earlier this week by a Palestinian diplomat in Geneva that the Palestinian Authority would attempt to replicate...

  • Shas lawmaker chides Shalit for his Shabbat at the beach

    November 3, 2011 | 11:21 am

    A lawmaker from the haredi Orthodox Shas Party said Gilad Shalit should have spent his first Shabbat of freedom not at the beach but praying in synagogue.

    Meshulam Nahari also said during a Shas convention this week that the 25-year-old soldier should have recited the benediction of...

  • Gunmen fire on Israeli troops at Gaza border

    November 3, 2011 | 9:02 am

    Palestinian gunmen fired on Israeli soldiers working on the border fence between Israel and Gaza.

    The soldiers were conducting what the Israeli military called routine work on the fence near Kibbutz Zikim and northern Gaza on Thursday. An Israel Defense Forces vehicle was damaged in...

  • Israel ready to stop boats heading for Gaza

    November 2, 2011 | 2:42 pm

    The Israeli navy will prevent two yachts carrying pro-Palestinian activists which left Turkey on Wednesday from breaching an Israeli blockade and reaching the Gaza Strip, an Israeli military official said.

    Lieutenant-Colonel Avital Leibovich, speaking to reporters by telephone,...

  • Schools in southern Israel reopen

    November 2, 2011 | 12:03 pm

    Schools reopened in southern Israeli communities after having been closed for three days due to rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

    Children returned to school Wednesday. More than 45 rockets and mortars had fallen on southern Israel in the previous three days.

    Many of the schools...

  • Are Palestinians ‘partying’ in Israeli prisons?

    November 1, 2011 | 9:15 pm

    In the wake of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s release after being held captive in Gaza by Hamas for five years, Israelis are grappling with the question of what to do if another Israeli soldier or civilian is kidnapped. Currently, one of the most popular ideas being bandied about...

  • Israel to speed up settlement building in West Bank

    November 1, 2011 | 1:44 pm

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for the accelerated construction of some 2,000 housing units in areas in the West Bank and around Jerusalem, an official statement said on Tuesday.

    The statement came after Netanyahu called a special cabinet session to discuss the...

  • Opinion: What happens now that the U.S. has cut UNESCO funds?

    November 1, 2011 | 1:38 pm

    The immediate consequence of UNESCO’s vote to grant the Palestinians membership is clear: A cutoff of American funding for the U.N.  agency governing the protection of cultures and sharing of scientific knowledge, which stands to lose roughly a fifth of its budget.

    What’s less...

  • Abbas says he will never recognize a Jewish state

    November 1, 2011 | 12:55 pm

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he will never recognize a Jewish state during an interview on an Egyptian television channel.

    Abbas also told Dream 2 TV in an Oct. 23 interview that capturing Gilad Shalit was a “good thing.”

    A transcript of the interview was...

  • Senior Hamas leader arrested in West Bank

    November 1, 2011 | 11:24 am

    Israel arrested a senior Hamas leader just two months after releasing him from prison.

    Hassan Yousef and his son were arrested Tuesday morning at their home in the West Bank.

    Yousef, a Hamas founder, recently completed a six-year prison sentence on terrorism-related charges.

    He...

  • Gilad Shalit and Israeli TV’s Searing ‘Prisoners of War’ [UPDATE/SLIDE SHOW]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 31, 2011 | 4:48 pm

    The hit Israeli TV drama “Hatufim” (“Prisoners of War,” now available at mako.co.il) proved prescient—and controversial—recently as Gilad Shalit returned to Israel in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners after five years in a Hamas dungeon.  “Hatufim,”  which inspired...

  • Rockets from Gaza shatter short-lived calm

    October 31, 2011 | 1:53 pm

    A rocket fired from Gaza landed in Ashkelon was the first since a barrage of rocket fire on southern Israel ended.

    Two mortars landed Monday afternoon in the western Negev shortly after the Kassam attack stopped at midnight.

    “There is no cease-fire, no negotiations and the IDF...

  • Rockets from Gaza shatter short-lived calm

    October 30, 2011 | 1:14 pm

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  • Shalit is facing obstacles on road to recovery

    October 25, 2011 | 4:17 pm

    Gilad Shalit’s release from more than five years of isolated captivity marked the end of a national trauma for Israel, but for the 25-year-old it’s only the beginning of his road to recovery.

    While Shalit is suffering from sun deprivation and minor untreated shrapnel wounds, the...

  • Shalits trying to adjust to new normal

    October 24, 2011 | 4:07 pm

    A week after Gilad Shalit returned to Israel after being held in captivity for more than five years in Gaza, things were getting back to normal at the Shalit family home—sort of.

    The Israel Police said they would remove a barrier placed in front of the family’s house in Mitzpe...

  • Opinion: Shalit deal only worsens the conflict

    October 24, 2011 | 2:16 pm

    No one should mistake the afterglow in Israel from the release of Gilad Shalit, or the rare sight of Israelis and Palestinians showing mutual flexibility and actually concluding an agreement, as hopeful signs for the prospects of peace. Just the opposite: Shalit’s release, in...

  • Peres visits Shalit at home

    October 24, 2011 | 9:13 am

    Israeli President Shimon Peres visited Gilad Shalit at his home in northern Israel, the first Israeli official to visit since the soldier’s return.

    Peres traveled to Mitzpe Hila on Monday.

    “I came on behalf of the whole nation to tell you how happy we are to have you home,” Peres...

  • Livni slams Shalit prisoner exchange

    October 23, 2011 | 7:28 pm

    Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni criticized the prisoner swap that freed Gilad Shalit, saying it weakened Israel and strengthened Hamas.

    In an interview Sunday on Israel Radio, Livni asserted that the next phase of the deal, in which 550 Palestinian prisoners are to be...

  • Palestinians plan “other options” if U.N. bid fails

    October 20, 2011 | 9:30 am

    Palestinians want the Security Council to decide on their bid for full U.N. membership soon so they can pursue “other options”, the Palestinian U.N. envoy said, repeating charges that Washington is procrastinating to avoid a vote.

    Riyad Mansour, in comments to a Palestinian...

  • Celebrating Gilad: The most joyous Sukkot of our lives

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    October 19, 2011 | 6:00 pm

    When my wife Peni and I decided to take our kids to Israel for Sukkot, we knew that we would have a great time. We knew that Sukkot, referred to in our prayers as “Zman Simchateinu” (“Our time to rejoice”) would especially be celebratory in Israel. But we never could have...

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