Connect to share and comment

U.N. peace envoy criticizes Israeli Easter security in Jerusalem

By Allyn Fisher-Ilan JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police refused to let the U.N.'s peace envoy to the Middle East, other diplomats and a crowd of Palestinians pass through a barricade to attend a pre-Easter ritual in the Jerusalem church that Christians revere as the burial site of Jesus, the U.N. official said on Saturday.

French hostage says 'very happy to be free'

One of the four French hostages freed after 10 months in captivity in Syria said Saturday he was "very happy to be free", Turkey's Dogan News Agency reported. Didier Francois, smiling broadly and wearing a long beard, spoke briefly to a journalist at a police station in the small Turkish town of Akcakle near the Syrian border, according to images broadcast by the Turkish agency. Francois, along with his colleagues Edouard Elias, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres, were found by Turkish soldiers on the border, with their hands bound and blindfolded, Dogan reported.

Insight: Israeli gas holds promise of better ties with neighbors

By Oleg Vukmanovic and Ron Bousso MILAN/LONDON (Reuters) - Israel's drive to export its new-found natural gas could help to rebuild strained ties with old regional allies Egypt and Turkey, but could deprive Europe of a precious alternative to Russian gas. Israel has in recent months already signed energy deals with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, though relations with the Palestinians are at a low ebb, and now needs to expand its export horizons to cash in on its huge energy discoveries.

Israel allows settlers back into contested W.Bank home

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon on Sunday approved the return of Jewish settlers to a contested house in the West Bank city of Hebron, a statement from his office said. Israel's Supreme Court ruled last month that settlers were the lawful owners of the building in the heart of the occupied city, ending a legal dispute lasting nearly seven years.

Egypt troops kill top Sinai militant

Egyptian troops on Friday killed a prominent militant in the restive Sinai Peninsula where Islamist fighters have increasingly targeted security forces since last year's ouster of president Mohamed Morsi. Nour al-Hamdeen was "one of the most prominent and dangerous extremists", military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali said in a statement. Hamdeen was ambushed by troops on a road to Al-Tuma village in the northern Sinai, and was killed in the ensuing firefight.

Policeman hurt in Bahrain bomb blast:ministry

MANAMA (Reuters) - A policeman was wounded when a homemade bomb exploded in a village in Bahrain on Friday, the Interior Ministry said, in the latest of a series of attacks by suspected Shi'ite Muslim militants on security forces. No one claimed responsibility for the blast in the village of al-Daih, west of the capital Manama. "A terrorist act targeted the lives of policemen who were on duty in the village of al-Daih, using a homemade bomb that injured one security man," the ministry said in a brief statement.

Israel 'demolishes' EU-funded W.Bank housing shelters

Israel has demolished several European Union-funded humanitarian housing shelters in a highly sensitive strip of West Bank land near Jerusalem, an EU official said Friday. "On April 9, three of some 18 residential structures were demolished... in Jabal al-Baba," an area outside the sprawling settlement of Maale Adumim, a spokesman for the EU's delegation to the Palestinian territories told AFP. The tin huts, used to house Palestinians made homeless by severe winter weather at the beginning of the year, were "partially funded by EU member states," the official said.

Israel takes economic steps against Palestinians: official

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel clamped economic sanctions on the Palestinians on Thursday in retaliation for their leadership signing international conventions, the second punitive measure in two days. An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the country would deduct debt payments from tax transfers the Palestinian Authority routinely receives, and limit the self-rule government's bank deposits in Israel.

Orthodox Jews arrested in Israel anti-conscription protest

Israeli police arrested five ultra-Orthodox Jews who threw stones at them during a Jerusalem protest Thursday against a new law making men in their community subject to compulsory national service. "Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in (the ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood of) Mea Sharim, stopped traffic and threw stones and bottles at police," Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, adding that five of them were arrested. The demonstration came a month after parliament adopted a law that will compel ultra-Orthodox Jews to either serve in the military or perform civilian service.

Netanyahu orders cutback in contacts with Palestinian Authority

By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel announced on Wednesday a partial freeze in high-level contacts with the Palestinians and also threatened economic steps after they signed international conventions, deepening a crisis menacing U.S.-brokered peace talks. Israeli government officials said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered cabinet members, directors-general of government ministries and other senior officials not to meet their counterparts in the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Syndicate content