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Israel to free 26 Palestinians on Monday

The 26 Palestinian prisoners Israel has agreed to free as part of ongoing peace talks will be released on Monday, a source in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said. Netanyahu had agreed to the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners in line with commitments to the US-backed peace talks, which resumed in July, and groups have been freed on August 13 and October 30.

Netanyahu hits out at 'unacceptable' US wiretapping

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday hit out at the United States for what he described as "unacceptable" wiretapping of his predecessor Ehud Olmert, as reported in the media. "Given the close relations between the United States and Israel, there are things we cannot do, and that is unacceptable for us," Netanyahu said at a meeting of his Likud party. Netanyahu said he had asked for the reports to be verified.

Bloodshed, settlements hike pressure on Mideast talks

The struggling Middle East peace talks have come under further pressure after Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to push more settlement construction. Despite relentless US efforts to coax Israel and the Palestinians into reaching an elusive peace agreement, tensions between the two sides have shown little sign of abating as the negotiations, which are scheduled to last nine months, have limped past the halfway point.

Netanyahu urges world powers to take tough line on final Iran deal

By Matt Spetalnick and Allyn Fisher-Ilan WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday pressed world powers to take a hard line with Iran in negotiations for a final nuclear deal, urging them to demand that Tehran abandon all uranium enrichment, halt its ballistic missile program and end a "genocidal" anti-Israel policy.

Netanyahu says military option 'necessary' on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that a "military option" was "necessary" for the success of negotiations aimed at reining in Iran's disputed nuclear program. Netanyahu said the Jewish state shared US President Barack Obama's "preference" to pursue diplomacy "but for diplomacy to succeed, it must be coupled with powerful sanctions and a credible military threat."

No compromise on Jordan Valley security: Israel official

Israel's deputy defence minister ruled out Thursday any compromise on security in the Jordan Valley as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held security talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry. "The Americans are proposing joint control over the crossing points (into Jordan)," Danny Danon told Israel's army radio. "From the Israeli point of view, there will not be any Palestinian presence at the crossing points," said the deputy minister, who is a radical member of Netanyahu's rightwing Likud party.

Netanyahu ally urges more cautious tone with U.S.

By Crispian Balmer JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should take the heat out of his dispute with U.S. President Barack Obama, his top coalition partner said on Tuesday, warning that the spat over Iran was not helping Israel. Relations between Israel and Washington, traditionally the closest of allies, have soured over the past month with Netanyahu openly criticizing Obama for backing the big powers' interim deal with Iran meant to curb its nuclear activities.

Netanyahu meets pope, talks tough on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Pope Francis on Monday as part of a visit to Rome during which he restated his firm opposition to a nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu was received for the first time for a short audience by the pontiff, who is expected to travel to the Middle East next year. Francis and Netanyahu met for 25 minutes for closed-door talks in the presence of an interpreter. The Israeli PM gave the pope a Spanish translation of his father Benzion Netanyahu's book "The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain".

Netanyahu insists on 'real solution' to Iran nuclear crisis

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday insisted on the need for a "real" solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis, after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Putin said that the two men discussed the Iranian nuclear standoff "in detail" at Kremlin talks which overran by several hours. But the Israeli premier was insistent that only the strongest of diplomatic solutions was acceptable for his country.

Netanyahu insists on 'real solution' to Iran nuclear crisis

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday insisted on the need for a "real" solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis, after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Putin said that the two men discussed the Iranian nuclear standoff "in detail" at Kremlin talks which overran by several hours. But the Israeli premier was insistent that only the strongest of diplomatic solutions was acceptable for his country.
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