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Israel sanctions Palestinians in new blow to peace talks

Israeli and Palestinian officials held fresh US-mediated talks Thursday, but the crisis-hit peace process was dealt a new blow as Israel unveiled sanctions against the Palestinians. "It has been decided to freeze the transfer to the Palestinian Authority of the taxes collected by Israel on its behalf," an Israeli official told AFP. The monthly 80 million euros ($111 million) in taxes collected by Israel represents about two-thirds of the income received by the Palestinian Authority.

Israel sanctions Palestinians in new blow to peace talks

Israeli and Palestinian officials held fresh US-mediated talks Thursday, but the crisis-hit peace process was dealt a new blow as Israel unveiled sanctions against the Palestinians. "It has been decided to freeze the transfer to the Palestinian Authority of the taxes collected by Israel on its behalf," an Israeli official told AFP. The monthly 80 million euros ($111 million) in taxes collected by Israel represents about two-thirds of the income received by the Palestinian Authority.

Israel, Palestinians meet on peace talks stalemate

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on Thursday held US-mediated talks to try to revive their crisis-hit peace process, a Palestinian official said, as a report emerged of a possible breakthrough. Peace talks sponsored by Washington hit a new impasse at the end of March when Israel refused to release a final batch of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinians retaliated by seeking membership of several international treaties.

Israeli-Palestinian prisoner deal to revive talks

Israel and the Palestinians were on the verge of a deal to extend US-backed peace talks, a report on Israeli television said on Thursday, as deadlocked negotiations faltered. The deal, which could be finalised within "a few days", would see a final batch of Palestinian prisoners released in return for the United States freeing American-born Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, Channel 2 television said. It cited "sources in Washington" as saying that "the parties are to sign an agreement to extend negotiations beyond (their deadline of) April 29".

Israeli-Palestinian prisoner deal to revive talks

Israel and the Palestinians were on the verge of a deal to extend US-backed peace talks, a report on Israeli television said on Thursday, as deadlocked negotiations faltered. The deal, which could be finalised within "a few days", would see a final batch of Palestinian prisoners released in return for the United States freeing American-born Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, Channel 2 television said. It cited "sources in Washington" as saying that "the parties are to sign an agreement to extend negotiations beyond (their deadline of) April 29."

Gaza athlete still runninng despite West Bank marathon ban

By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Kicking up dust on the back roads of northern Gaza within sight of the Israeli fence that seals off the enclave, Olympic athlete Nader Al-Masri is still training, despite being barred from competing in his people's largest sporting event. Masri, who has participated in 40 international contests including the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was denied a permit by Israeli authorities to travel to the occupied West Bank for the Palestine Marathon on Friday.

Jazz guitar legend John McLaughlin plays for Palestine

The Palestinian territories are rarely a destination for jazz musicians let alone stars of an art form that is more at home in big cities such as New York and Chicago. Which makes the performance of jazz guitar legend John McLaughlin before a packed auditorium in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday night all the more remarkable. McLaughlin toured areas of the West Bank before enthralling the mostly local audience who attended his "solidarity concert" for Palestinians with a fusion of Western and Eastern sounds.

Israel limits contact with Palestinians as talks falter

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered ministers to limit contact with their Palestinian counterparts as the Arab League blamed his government Wednesday for the "dangerous stalemate" in US-brokered peace talks. The moves came a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry, who kick-started the talks in July after a nearly three-year hiatus, blamed Israel for derailing the process by announcing new settlement construction.

Israel limits contact with Palestinians as talks falter

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered ministers to limit contact with their Palestinian counterparts as the Arab League blamed his government Wednesday for the "dangerous stalemate" in US-brokered peace talks. The moves came a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry, who kick-started the talks in July, blamed Israel for derailing the process by announcing new settlement construction.

Arab League blames Israel for talks stalemate

Arab foreign ministers gathered on Wednesday with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said Israel was "wholly responsible for the dangerous stalemate" in US-brokered peace talks scheduled to end on April 29. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry also blamed the approval of Israeli settlements in annexed Arab east Jerusalem for derailing peace talks with the Palestinians, but accused both sides of intransigence.
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