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WORLD
February 13, 2014 | By Kate Linthicum and Rushdi abu Alouf
GAZA CITY -- Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man near the Gaza Strip border Thursday, the latest in a series of deadly cross-border incidents, officials said. Ashraf al-Qedra, a spokesman for the Health Ministry in Gaza, said 26-year-old Ibrahim Mansour was shot in the head by Israeli forces. Mansour died from his injuries, al-Qedra said, and another Palestinian man was wounded in his right foot. A radio station run by Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, said the men were collecting gravel with a group of workers near the border fence when Israeli forces opened fire without warning.
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WORLD
February 9, 2014 | By Kate Linthicum
JERUSALEM -- Two Palestinians were wounded in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip early Sunday. Israeli military officials said the attack targeted Abdallah Kharti, a militant accused of launching rockets into southern Israel. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, said Kharti belongs to a Jihadist organization known as Popular Resistance Committees and had carried out numerous attacks against Israel. The Israeli strike occurred while Kharti was traveling on a motorcycle on a busy street in Deir Balah in the central Gaza Strip, according to Ashraf Kedra, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
WORLD
February 7, 2014 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The Israeli military on Friday evicted Palestinian activists from a camp they set up a week ago in the Jordan River valley in an attempt to challenge any Israeli plan to maintain a presence in the area under a future peace accord. The activists, from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, were encamped at Ein Hijleh, a village abandoned after Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. The land, in an area east of Jericho, is owned by a local monastery. Israeli officials have suggested, to the angry objection of Palestinians, that any peace agreement allow their nation to maintain a troop presence in the West Bank along the border with Jordan.
WORLD
February 6, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men protested across Israel on Thursday against the government's plans to draft them into the military. Carrying signs and chanting slogans pledging to resist enlistment, the demonstrators shut down major traffic arteries, set fire to garbage dumpsters and even a police vehicle, as police attempted to contain them with water cannons and mounted troops. More than a dozen demonstrators were arrested, according to media reports. The demonstrations followed a Supreme Court ruling this week banning government funding of several thousand students who have failed to comply with draft notices issued by the army.
WORLD
February 6, 2014 | By Kate Linthicum
SAFED, Israel - The 9-year-old Syrian boy with no legs wheeled himself down a bright hospital corridor, stopping to accept a pain pill from one nurse and a high-five from another. He has been here for a month, ever since a Syrian government warplane flew low over his village and dropped a bomb that killed two of his cousins and blew apart his lower limbs. Both legs had been amputated by an overworked doctor in an improvised clinic in a cellar. The next day, the boy's grandmother took him and several other injured family members to the Golan Heights border half an hour away and asked the Israeli soldiers on the other side for help.
WORLD
February 6, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman and Paul Richter
JERUSALEM - Emerging from a black limousine, the tall man in the bushy gray wig lectures a small crowd of Israelis on how their holy city of Jerusalem belongs to followers of all religions - "Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Klingons and Hobbits. " He asks a young passerby, "Do you think I deserve a Nobel Prize?" The two-minute spoof video, released on YouTube this week by ultranationalist Israelis, is the latest sign of how critics of a possible Mideast peace deal have focused their ire on the effort's chief champion, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry.
WORLD
January 30, 2014 | By Kate Linthicum
JERUSALEM - It's a rare thing when a Hollywood actress and a kitchen appliance spark a debate about policies in the Middle East. But that's what happened after Scarlett Johansson filmed a Super Bowl advertisement for a company that employs Palestinians to produce seltzer-making machines in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The company, SodaStream International Ltd., is a target of a growing boycott movement of products made on land seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War and claimed by Palestinians for a future independent state.
WORLD
January 28, 2014 | By Kate Linthicum
TEL AVIV -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out clashing visions of a two-state solution here Tuesday during an Israeli security conference. In a taped interview broadcast at the conference, Abbas insisted that Israeli troops pull out of Palestinian territories in the West Bank within three years after a peace agreement is reached. He suggested a third party, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, oversee an Israeli withdrawal and maintain a long-term security presence in the area.
WORLD
January 27, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- With the nine months initially allotted by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks more than halfway spent and a rumored American plan nearing, a scrambling for a foothold appears underway. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, over the weekend, Kerry cautioned both sides of the consequences of failure. The demographic dynamic will make it impossible for Israel to remain Jewish and democratic, Kerry said, adding that “the status quo, my friends ... will not last forever.” As for the Palestinians, they will be no closer to sovereignty or controlling their own fate and economy, Kerry said.
WORLD
January 26, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accustomed to criticism for his political policies, but the latest flap involves something decidedly more personal: his son's non-Jewish girlfriend. According to multiple media reports , Netanyahu's son Yair, a 23-year-old student, is dating a young Norwegian woman he met in Israel at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliyah, where both study. The prime minister himself reportedly discussed this with his Norwegian counterpart, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, during a meeting at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, over the weekend.
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