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Israel's Yaalon praises US, Kerry's 'efforts' on peace

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon praised Washington for its role in attempting to mediate a peace agreement with the Palestinians in a Sunday meeting with the US military's top officer. "This is a critical week for the Israeli-Palestinian issue and we appreciate the efforts made by US Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as the commitment and contribution of President (Barack) Obama towards this endeavour," Yaalon was quoted by his office as telling General Martin Dempsey.

Israeli defense chief wounds relations with U.S. ally

By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon is in hot water again with the United States for caustic criticism of his country's main ally that has put more strain on already testy relations with the Obama administration. And the hawkish former general, widely popular in Israel for being an apparent straight-shooter who does not shy from speaking bluntly on issues of war and peace, seems reluctant to beat a full retreat from his tough words toward Washington.

Israel's Yaalon says Abbas 'no partner' for peace deal

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Saturday Mahmud Abbas was "not a partner for a final peace deal" as the Palestinian leader prepared to meet US President Barack Obama. Abbas "is a partner for receiving, not giving," Yaalon told Israel's Channel 2 television in an interview. "He is not a partner for a final agreement that would include the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people and that would end the conflict and all claims."

Israel's Yaalon risks isolation after Kerry slur

Israel's defence minister may have apologised for his offensive comments about US Secretary of State John Kerry but his outburst could see him marginalised by Washington, commentators warned on Wednesday. A furious diplomatic row erupted between Israel and its closest ally on Tuesday when Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon was quoted as saying Kerry had an "obsession" about the peace process and was working out of a "sense of messianism."

Netanyahu's pick for defence minister cautious on Iran

By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Although Benjamin Netanyahu's next defence minister shares his deep distrust of the Palestinians, the two could yet clash about when - and whether - Israel should go to war with Iran. Ex-general Moshe Yaalon is a loyalist of Netanyahu's Likud party who, as a senior if sometimes sidelined member of the outgoing coalition government, routinely boosted the rightist prime minister and his strategic outlook.

Ex-general Yaalon named Israeli defence minister

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose Moshe Yaalon, a right-wing former armed forces chief, to be Israel's defence minister on Sunday, saying his experience was needed to tackle challenges in a turbulent Middle East. Yaalon, 62, belongs to Netanyahu's Likud party and spent the past four years in his inner circle of ministers, publicly backing his reluctance to give up the occupied West Bank and make way for a Palestinian state.
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