Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a national memorial ceremony for Israel's fallen soldiers that no one will succeed in destroying Israel.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon remains in a coma five years after suffering a massive stroke. There were no official events Tuesday to mark the five-year anniversary of the stroke, which ended Sharon's political career. But he was briefly remembered Monday at a Likud Party briefing and in a column written by former colleague Tzachi Hanegbi in The Jerusalem Post.
Ariel Sharon was moved to his ranch for the first time since he fell into a coma in January 2006.
The graffiti on the Galilean bomb shelter that greeted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wasted no words: "Wake up Sharon, Olmert's in a coma."
From Knesset member to Jerusalem mayor to prime minister, Ehud Olmert's political life
Last week, The Rev. Pat Robertson apparently decided that he'd better have the government of Israel on his side, too, especially if he wants to build a sprawling evangelical center on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Olmert was one of the chief architects of Sharon's main foreign policy achievement -- last summer's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. When Sharon broke away last November from his ruling Likud Party to form a new centrist party, Kadima, Olmert was one of the first to follow him.
Though a regional economic and military superpower, Israel had been powerless in the world of negotiations to address the clearly identified threat to its survival. The Palestinians had the ability to hold Israel hostage by refusing to agree to any settlement that would end Israel's occupation.
An Israeli commission of inquiry held Sharon, who was Israel's defense minister at the time, indirectly responsible for not anticipating the carnage. Sharon was forced to resign, which, at the time, seemed to end his political career.
As the prime minister lay in a post-operative coma Sunday, his temporary replacement, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting.
"We hope that the prime minister will recover, gain strength and with God's help will return to run the government of Israel and lead the State of Israel," Olmert said.
The captivating simplicity of Onset, Mass., sneaks up on you. In this quaint harbor town, the main activity is perhaps taking walks to the harbor to watch the boats sail and the sun glisten on the water. Therein lies its charm, as well as a hidden jewel of a shul near the bridge at the entrance to town.
The column of armored SUVs waited, engines humming, as a phalanx of bodyguards ushered Prime Minister Ariel Sharon into the third truck from the end. As the convoy cleared the main gate of the Israeli government head's residence, a set of decoy vehicles turned north, toward Jerusalem, while the remaining units proceeded south toward the Negev, where Sharon planned to tour absorption sites being built for hundreds of Israeli families soon to be evacuated from their Gaza Strip homes.
For Sharon, the site inspections this spring were a welcome excursion beyond his Jerusalem office compound or his Negev ranch. But for officers charged with protective security, the outing rivaled an elite combat operation.
At the Mercedes-Benz Cup doubles final last Sunday at UCLA, the clumps of Israelis in the grandstands waved their blue-and-white flags between points and yelled out encouragement in Hebrew. They were cheering on the team of Yoni Erlich and Andy Ram, who had reached the finals by defeating the top-seeded team in the world, Americans Bob and Mike Bryan.
At one point a woman began chanting, "Yisrael! Yisrael!" and a few others joined in, but mostly people just clapped and smiled, thrilled that their country could put such a team on center court.
The withdrawal from Gaza, scheduled to begin in mid-August, is one of the most important events in the history of the State of Israel. It will determine whether Israel can continue to be a Jewish and democratic state.
With Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip scheduled to begin on Aug. 15, escalating right-wing and settler protests threaten to plunge the country into anarchy and could provoke a strong anti-settler backlash.
Protesters last week blocked major highways, poured oil and scattered spikes across a busy road; occupied buildings in Gaza, and threw stones at Palestinians and Israel Defense Forces soldiers. The army and police responded by temporarily declaring the Gaza Strip a closed military zone, ejecting the extremists from occupied buildings and making dozens of arrests.
In an unprecedented spate of interviews and public statements, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon condemned what he called the "hooliganism" of the far right, and vowed that he would not be deterred by it.
However, will authorities be able to maintain law and order in the face of even more extreme protest plans?
Israeli officials are expecting such massive resistance to the disengagement that they have developed a detailed plan of operation to carry it out.
In a keynote speech last week at the Herzliya Conference on Israel's National Security, Sharon declared that "2005 will be the year of great opportunity," with "a chance for an historic breakthrough in our relations with the Palestinians, a breakthrough we have been waiting for years."
Sharon hopes to create sufficient motivation among settlers to evacuate their homes willingly in exchange for generous compensation packages, avoiding violent confrontations like those in Yamit.
Quick action by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon managed to avert a looming crisis over Israeli building in the West Bank, but the tension could resume as Israel comes under pressure to meet its commitments to dismantle illegal settlement outposts and not to expand existing settlements.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian Authority counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, each will seek to persuade the American leader to lean on the other side to move faster -- and Bush will be ready to lean on both, Israeli analysts believe.
With Abbas in office less than a month, members of Sharon's inner circle already are expressing doubts about whether the Palestinian can deliver.
The Bush administration starts a new round of Mideast diplomacy with a strong hand, thanks to its successful military action in Iraq and weak opposition at home.
Bush wants to use the road map to break the current impasse between Israel and the Palestinians, but Sharon fears that the plan may offer the Palestinians rewards without ensuring real change in their approach to Israel.
In fact, much of this week's aid talk may be political playacting intended to give a boost to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in his reelection bid, not to produce real shekels in the Israeli treasury.
"It highlights the fact that the myth -- that all terror against Israel is because it occupies Palestinian territories -- is wrong," said Matthew Levitt, a terrorism expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
As the Israeli Government plays its coalition shuffle, the Israeli Left searches for a direction.
At a time when Israelis are afraid to step on a bus or go to a movie and Jews in Europe face burned synagogues and violent assaults, it is tempting to put aside our differences and criticisms in the name of the time-honored principal of kol Yisra'el 'arevim zeh ba-zeh (all Jews are responsible for one another).
For months now, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been convinced that the main problem in Israel's relations with the Palestinians is the president of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat.
This week's surge of Mideast violence and hints of a new level of sophistication by Palestinian terrorists have once again forced Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to reconsider his government's strategy in what looks more and more like a war of attrition.
The flimsiest of cease-fires continued in name only last week, as Israelis absorbed two brutal terror attacks and struck back at the Palestinians Authority.
After Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah Party took credit for murdering two Israelis this week in drive-by shootings, Sharon found himself under intense pressure from his right wing to stop complying with Israel's end of the cease-fire and to unleash a punishing -- perhaps even mortal -- blow to Arafat's Palestinian Authority.
The attacks plumbed new depths In Hebron on Monday, when a Palestinian sniper shot dead a 10-month-old baby, Shalhevet Pass, as she was being wheeled by her parents through the West Bank city's Jewish neighborhood.
Israel seemed to be holding its breath this week in the wake of three Palestinian attacks.