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November 30, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater and Batsheva Sobelman
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Thousands of Arab citizens of Israel and Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank demonstrated Saturday against an Israeli government plan that in some cases would relocate Bedouins from traditional lands in the Negev desert to urban communities. Some of the gatherings turned violent, with 28 protesters arrested and at least 15 police officers injured, one of them stabbed. Police fired stun grenades, tear gas and skunk water to disperse demonstrators.
October 29, 2013 | By Yossi Klein Halevi
Forty years ago this month, on a cold desert night, 700 Israeli paratroopers crossed the Suez Canal in rubber dinghies in a secret operation that was about to bring Israel its greatest military victory. It was the height of the Yom Kippur War, and the Jewish state had been caught in a surprise attack by Egyptian and Syrian armies. In the first chaotic days following the invasion, Israel nearly lost. Only after the paratroopers - reservists in their late 20s and early 30s - established a beachhead on the western banks of the Suez Canal did the Israeli army manage to surround Egyptian forces and win the war. The men of Paratrooper Reservist Brigade 55 had already entered Israeli history.
August 22, 2013 | By Edmund Sanders
JERUSALEM -- With direct peace talks renewed, it's hardly surprising that Israelis and Palestinians are bickering again at the negotiating table. But in a disappointing sign, the arguments so far seem to be about procedural matters rather than the core issues, like Jerusalem and borders. Palestinians complain that after three rounds of talks American mediators have yet to join the process, despite promising to take an active role. Though newly appointed U.S. peace envoy Martin Indyk flew to Jerusalem for the latest rounds of negotiations earlier this week, he has not been present during actual talks, according to Yasser Abed-Rabbo, a senior official with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
August 15, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived here Thursday in a bid to boost Palestinian-Israeli negotiations launched in Jerusalem the day before after three years of deadlock. Speaking at a news conference in Ramallah with his host, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Ban expressed strong support for U.S. efforts to revive the peace talks, promising to do everything he could as U.N. chief to reach the goal of two states for two people: Palestinians and Israelis.
July 23, 2013 | By Alexei Koseff
WASHINGTON - American citizens born in Jerusalem cannot claim Israel as their place of birth on their passports, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled Tuesday. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously declared unconstitutional a 2002 law that required the State Department to record Israel as the birthplace of Jerusalem-born citizens despite a long-standing position in the executive branch of strict neutrality toward sovereignty of the disputed city.
July 1, 2013 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM - Puppeteers from the Israeli version of "Sesame Street" are protesting the cancellation of a puppet festival for Palestinian children at an East Jerusalem theater. Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich ordered the Hakawati Theater temporarily closed last week, preventing the annual festival from being held. Israeli authorities alleged the theater had received sponsorship illegally from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The theater's director, Mohammed Halayiqa, denied the accusation , telling Agence France-Presse that the festival was funded by donations from abroad and calling the closure "disgraceful.
May 15, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinians held rallies and protests Wednesday to commemorate 65 years of what has come to be known as the “nakba,” or catastrophe, a reference to their displacement in the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. Thousands of Palestinians rallied in several West Bank and Gaza cities, and others clashed with Israeli soldiers at contact points. Medics said dozens of Palestinians were treated for either tear gas inhalation, minor injuries from rubber-coated metal bullets fired by Israeli soldiers or beatings at various locations in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
May 8, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater
JERUSALEM -- Israeli police on Wednesday detained and questioned a top Palestinian cleric about clashes that took place a day earlier in Jerusalem's Old City. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Sheik Muhammad Hussein, also known as the mufti of Jerusalem, was released with no charges after six hours. It was a rare arrest of a senior Palestinian religious figure and drew immediate condemnation from Palestinian Authority leaders. President Mahmoud Abbas described the arrest as “a blatant violation of freedom of worship” and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called it “a grave escalation.” The Tuesday clashes occurred when Palestinians began protesting against a group of Jewish visitors to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as Temple Mount.
April 17, 2013 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John F. Kerry told Congress on Wednesday that any chance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by creating a separate Palestinian state may be lost in two years. The unusually specific prediction was intended to highlight Kerry's urgency in trying to encourage peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. "The window for the two-state solution is shutting," he said. "I think we have some period of time, a year and a half or two years, or it's over.
March 1, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
As Israel pursues an expanded settlement agenda in Palestinian territory, even its friends are beginning to sound like its adversaries. The European Union issued a damning report this week, calling the Israeli government's construct-and-control strategy "the biggest single threat to the two-state solution" aimed at bringing peace to one of the Middle East's most violence-prone regions. And for the first time in its annual evaluation of Israeli settlement policy, the 27-nation bloc that is Jerusalem's most important trading partner hinted at a possible boycott of goods produced on illegally occupied land.
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