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German author Grass says Israel endangers world peace

By Gareth Jones/Reuters Nobel Prize-winning German writer Guenter Grass has described Israel as a threat to world peace and said it must not be allowed to launch military strikes against Iran, in a poem that led one German newspaper to brand him “the eternal anti-Semite”. Grass, 84, a seasoned campaigner for left-wing causes and a critic …

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Egypt denies rocket was fired from Sinai

By Agencies CAIRO/JERUSALEM: Egypt denied in an official statement Thursday that the rocket that slammed into the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat was fired from the Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian officials said publicly that the attack was not staged from Sinai. Mahmud al-Hifnawy, south Sinai’s security chief told AFP there had been no attack from …

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Netanyahu wants deal to prevent ‘binational state’

By Dan Perry/ AP JERUSALEM: Israel’s prime minister has said that he still hopes to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, because the alternative would be absorbing them into Israel and destroying the Jewish character of the state. “I want to solve the conflict with the Palestinians because I don’t want a binational state,” Netanyahu …

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Israel seizes sarcophagus lids stolen from Egypt

By AP JERUSALEM: The Israel Antiquities Authority says inspectors have seized two stolen Egyptian sarcophagus covers at a bazaar in Jerusalem’s Old city. The two plaster-covered wooden lids had been sawed in two, causing irreparable damage. The covers were adorned with decorations and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. The authority says one dates between the 16th and …

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Tunisia Islamist leader rules out normal ties with Israel

By AFP TUNIS: The head of Tunisia’s governing Islamist party has said the country cannot normalize ties with Israel, the official TAP news agency reported Sunday. Rached Ghannouchi said that “Tunisians’ problem is with Zionism, not with Judaism”, but TAP said “the president of Ennahda stressed … there can be no normalization with Israel.” The …

DNE

Palestinian sent to Gaza with end of hunger strike

By AFP GAZA CITY: Israel expelled a Palestinian prisoner Sunday to the Gaza Strip as part of a compromise deal that persuaded her to end her 43-day hunger strike. Under the terms of her release, Hana Shalabi, a 30-year-old Islamic Jihad supporter from the West Bank, must remain in the seaside strip for the next …

DNE

A PALESTINIAN VIEW: Learning the lessons

By Ghassan Khatib Violence has always been a prominent characteristic of how Israel handles its relationships in the neighborhood. The state was created through violence wielded against the indigenous Palestinian population, resulting in the exile of 800,000 Palestinian refugees to surrounding countries. Afterwards, the use of force became a doctrine in Israel, used to intimidate its …

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AN ISRAELI VIEW: Not only violence has failed

By Yossi Alpher In reviewing more than six decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a cost/benefit analysis of the two sides’ reliance on violence produces a very mixed record. Whereas Israel has generally triumphed in its conventional wars against neighboring Arab states, success in fighting non-state actors — primarily the Palestinians but also Hezbollah — has been much …

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Israel weighs UN rights council boycott

By AFP JERUSALEM: Israel should boycott the United Nations Human Rights Council after it voted to authorize a probe of Israeli settlements, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told public radio on Sunday. “This hypocritical organization has nothing to do with human rights. Its bias and lack of objectivity are obvious and we have no reason to …

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Israel mourns as victims of French attack buried

By Yoav Lemmer / AFP JERUSALEM: Thousands of weeping mourners attended the funerals at a Jerusalem cemetery on Wednesday of three French-Israeli children and a teacher killed in a shooting spree at a Jewish school in France. Among the 2,000 or so people gathered at the sprawling Givat Shaul cemetery on the western outskirts of …

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Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood: Facing the bittersweet reality

By Alon Ben-Meir NEW YORK: Since the fall of the Mubarak regime, the conventional wisdom in Israel has suggested that the emergence of an Islamist government in Egypt would necessarily be hostile to the Jewish state. Egypt’s parliamentary elections, in which the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) won close to 50 percent of the vote, only reinforced this …

DNE

The jury is still out

By Mamdouh G. Salameh In 2006, American oil company Noble Energy of Houston and Israeli company Ratio Oil Exploration received a license to explore “Leviathan”, a deep-water gas field in the Mediterranean about 130 kilometers from Israel’s coastline. At the end of 2010, the two companies announced that Leviathan contains 450 billion cubic meters of natural …

DNE

Lone rocket hits Israel as Gaza truce firms up

By AFP JERUSALEM: Just one rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel during the first 12 hours of Friday, the military said, as a fledgling truce in and around the Palestinian territory firmed up. “Only one rocket has been fired at Israel since midnight (2200 GMT) on Thursday, an army spokeswoman told AFP early on …

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Israel and Islamic Jihad agree to Egypt-brokered truce in Gaza

By Adel Zaanoun / AFP GAZA CITY: Israel and Islamic Jihad in Gaza agreed on Tuesday to an Egyptian-brokered truce deal after four days of violence in which 25 Gazans died and 200 rockets were fired at Israel. Under the agreement, which came into force at 1:00 am (2300 GMT on Monday), both Israel and militants …

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AN ISRAELI VIEW: Growing signs of frustration

By Yossi Alpher In recent weeks and months, we have confronted a growing number of worrisome possible precursors of a new intifada or some similar round of violence on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. While the previous two intifadas were seemingly triggered by unintended actions or events (a traffic accident in 1987, a Temple …

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Two killed in new Israeli strike on Gaza, say medics

By AFP GAZA CITY: A Palestinian man and his daughter were killed in a new Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip on Monday, medics said, bringing the toll from three straight days of violence to 23. Emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Selmiya told AFP the latest raid struck the Jabalia refugee camp in northern …

DNE

Egypt condemns Israeli strikes on Gaza

By Reuters CAIRO: Egypt’s foreign minister condemned Israel’s air strikes on Gaza on Saturday and called for an immediate end to the attacks to prevent further bloodshed, the state news agency MENA said. Three Palestinians were killed in new Israeli air raids in Gaza on Sunday, raising the death toll to 18, as militants fired …

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3 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes

By Ibrahim Barzak and Mohammed Daraghmeh / AP GAZA CITY: Israeli airstrikes killed three Palestinians including a schoolboy in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, officials said, while Gaza rocket squads fired salvos into southern Israel, deepening the worst round of violence between the sides in more than a year. The Israeli military said its aircraft targeted …

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Israel ex-spy chief urges caution on Iran strike

By Daniel Estrin / AP JERUSALEM: The recently retired head of the Mossad intelligence agency has said Israel must consider alternatives to a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but another expert said Friday an Israeli attack could come within months. Ex-Mossad director Meir Dagan pointed to a need for caution after Israel’s prime minister hinted …

DNE

Holy Land tours a new tool in peacebuilding

By Aziz Abu Sarah and Talia Salem JERUSALEM: Shira Nesher, an Israeli, stands alongside Fakhira Halloun, a Palestinian, as Nesher tells her story about life in a conflict zone to a group of American university students who are hanging onto her every word. “My family members are Holocaust survivors, and as an Israeli I grew up …

DNE

No Israeli decision on Iran attack, Netanyahu tells Obama

By Jeffrey Heller and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters WASHINGTON: Benjamin Netanyahu assured President Barack Obama on Monday that Israel has not made any decision on attacking Iran’s nuclear sites, sources close to the talks said, but the Israeli prime minister gave no sign of backing away from possible military action. With Obama appealing for more time …

DNE

Seeking a new horizon for Palestinian prisoners

By Shawqi Issa The thorny issue of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has numerous angles. First, it is a humanitarian cause. Many of the prisoners have spent decades, some more than 30 years in jail, with all the resulting social and economic ramifications for Palestinian society as a whole. Additionally, Palestinian leaders bear the moral …

DNE

Obama, Netanyahu set to confront divisions over Iran

By Matt Spetalnick and Jeffrey Heller / Reuters WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM: Just days before what could be the most consequential meeting of US and Israeli leaders in years, aides to President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are scrambling to bridge stark differences over what Washington fears could be an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. Further …

DNE

Israel legalizes unsanctioned settler enclave

By Karin Laub / AP SHVUT RACHEL: Israel has legalized one of the oldest and largest of the unsanctioned settler enclaves dotting the West Bank, a step denounced by the Palestinians and Israeli activists as a show of bad faith ahead of talks next week between the Israeli leader and President Barack Obama. The dispute over …

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With unrest in Egypt, Israel faces blackouts

By Ari Rabinovitch / Reuters TEL AVIV: Israel may be facing a summer of power outages as the country scrambles to replace gas supplies lost because of sabotage attacks on a pipeline in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. The pipeline that feeds gas to Israel, an easy target for anti-Israel Islamists, was one of the first victims of …

DNE

Do fence me in: Israel closing Sinai loopholes

By Douglas Hamilton / Reuters SINAI BORDER, Israel: It may be only a “dumb” fence, but it’s a big one. Israel hopes it will protect the remote Sinai border from infiltration by enemies exploiting the wandering ways of Bedouin tribes and a perceived surge in lawlessness following Egypt’s political upheavals. When it is finished in 2013, …

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Israel kills armed infiltrator from Sinai

By AFP JERUSALEM: Israeli forces engaged in a firefight overnight with gunmen who infiltrated from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, killing one, the Israeli military said on Tuesday. “Soldiers patrolling along the Israel-Egypt border identified a number of suspects who had infiltrated into Israel,” the military said in a statement. “The suspects fired at the soldiers, who …

DNE

Between two hells

By Issa Samandar One can’t help but be astonished by the behavior of the United States and European governments over the vast changes occurring in Arab countries, especially their reactions towards the killing spree in Syria. They have been swift — their politicians rarely vague — in their condemnations of the Syrian regime and calls for …

DNE

Abbas’, Netanyahu’s options: Rapidly dwindling avenues to peace

By Ghassan Khatib The regional and international environments appear increasingly less conducive to a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, especially in the short term. The United States is preparing for coming presidential and congressional elections, and the Arab world is increasingly involved in internal revolutions that are naturally emphasizing local agendas. These factors are limiting …

DNE

The life of a heart: Muslims and Jews saving lives together

By Mehnaz M. Afridi NEW YORK, New York: As I listen to sound bites of news, a swarm of words sting me: Iran, Israel, nuclear, Palestine-Israel at a standstill, Muslims kill Jews, and Jews kill Muslims. As a Muslim woman who teaches classes about the Holocaust at a Catholic college, I am constantly frustrated by the …

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