Middle East conflict

Middle East conflict

Israel withholds £62m of Palestinian funds in UN protest

Israel has carried out its threat to suspend transfer of tax payments totaling some £62 million to the Palestinian Authority to protest this week’s admission of Palestine to the United Nations’ cultural agency.

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Israel frees 1,000 for return of Shalit

Israelis have welcomed a landmark deal with Hamas that will bring home soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, but there are also qualms and criticism over the lopsided swap.

Afghan president gives frank assessment of failings on tenth anniversary of launch of US-led war

Afghan president Hamid Karzai has said the Taleban are entirely reliant on Pakistan, claiming the militants cannot lift a finger without the Pakistanis.

Abbas in plea to Europe over state bid

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has appealed to European countries to recognise a Palestinian state, saying “there is no more appropriate time” than now.

Hostages were killed by Israel’s own bombs

Israeli bombardment killed two Israeli soldiers whose capture by Hezbollah began a war in 2006 and whose bodies were returned to Israel two years later, a Lebanese minister has said.

Pentagon chief calls for ‘bold action’ on peace

US DEFENCE Secretary Leon Panetta has called for “bold action” from Israeli and Palestinian leaders to achieve peace after cautioning that Israel was becoming isolated in the Middle East.

13 killed as Israel responds to Palestinian border attack

Gunmen killed seven people in southern Israel yesterday in attacks along the Egyptian border and Israel responded with an air strike in the Gaza Strip that killed six Palestinians, including the leaders of a group it blamed for the violence.

Israeli building plan opposed

THE so-called Middle East Quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations yesterday said they were alarmed by Israel's latest announcements about new settlement plans.

Visit gives Beijing's detente with Israel fresh impetus

The chief of China's armed forces visited Israel yesterday in what analysts saw as part of a Middle East reassessment by Beijing following the political upheaval of the "Arab Spring".

Jerusalem settler homes plan given go-ahead

Israel's interior minister has given final approval for a plan to build 1,600 settler homes in East Jerusalem, a project whose announcement last year during a visit by US vice president Joe Biden caused a diplomatic rift with Washington.

Protests force Israeli PM to act as economy becomes top priority

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu scrambled to try to quell escalating demonstrations over living costs yesterday, after more than 250,000 people marched in the biggest economy-related protests in Israel's history.

Abbas calls for popular resistance to secure UN seat

President Mahmoud Abbas has urged Palestinians to step up peaceful protests against Israel, urging "popular resistance" inspired by the Arab spring to back a diplomatic offensive at the United Nations.

US and Israel blamed for deaths in Iran

ISRAEL and the United States are responsible for the death of Iranian scientist Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university lecturer, who was shot in Tehran on Saturday, parliament speaker Ali Larijani told state TV yesterday.

Israeli PM reaches out to Palestinians

ISRAEL'S prime minister turned to the Arabic media yesterday for the first time since taking office two years ago in an attempt to lure the Palestinians back to peace talks.

Israel seizes French yacht as it heads to Gaza Strip

The Israeli navy has seized a French yacht carrying pro-Palestinian activists heading for the blockaded Gaza Strip and forced it to go to Ashdod, an Israeli port.

Minister resigns over fatal blasts

THE foreign minister of Cyprus has resigned in the wake of the detonation of dozens of explosive-filled containers at a naval base that killed 13 people.

Zoabi suspended over Gaza protest

ISRAEL'S parliament suspended Arab lawmaker Hanin Zoabi yesterday for sailing with a flotilla that challenged the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip last year.

Protest ship on course to reach Gaza today say activists

A PROTEST ship trying to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip should reach the Palestinian territory by Monday, activists said.

Bid for full UN status for Palestinians

THE Arab League will ask the United Nations to upgrade the Palestinians to full member status, a draft statement from a league meeting in Qatar said.

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