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Keyword: peaceandsecurity

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  • Israeli PM orders rethink on settlement construction plans

    11/13/2013 7:36:18 AM PST · by haffast · 7 replies
    BBC ^ | 13 November 2013 Last updated at 07:15 ET | BBC
    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his housing minister to reconsider construction plans for more than 20,000 homes in the West Bank. He said the plans, announced by Housing Minister Uri Ariel earlier on Tuesday, would create unnecessary friction with the international community. The US had earlier said it was "deeply concerned" over the Israeli plans. The Palestinians had said they would appeal to the UN, warning that Israel's move would kill off peace talks. In a statement, Mr Netanyahu said he had asked Housing Minister Uri Ariel "to reconsider" plans for potential construction of new homes for Jewish settlers...
  • China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam in line for seats on UN Human Rights Council

    11/12/2013 9:07:31 AM PST · by haffast · 20 replies
    AP ^ | November 12, 2013 | AP
    UNITED NATIONS – China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam are among the nations running unopposed for seats on the Human Rights Council, the U.N.'s highest rights watchdog body, a prospect that has upset independent human rights groups. The General Assembly on Tuesday will elect 14 new members to the 47-seat, Geneva-based council, which can shine a spotlight of publicity and censure on rights abuses by adopting resolutions — when it chooses to do so. It also has dozens of special monitors watching problem countries and major issues ranging from executions to drone strikes. New York-based Human Rights Watch pointed out...
  • Israel accuses Palestinians of incitement over talks

    11/06/2013 5:39:10 AM PST · by haffast · 5 replies
    BBC ^ | 6 November 2013 Last updated at 06:50 ET | BBC
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed the Palestinians for the apparent stalemate in their peace talks, accusing them of creating "artificial crises" and incitement. He spoke after talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is attempting to revive the peace process. The direct negotiations launched in July have shown little sign of progress and are due to end next April. Mr Kerry will later meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The secretary of state has denied media speculation that he may propose a new interim peace deal. Kerry confident Mr Netanyahu said Israel stood by the terms...
  • Islamic finance in the global era

    11/04/2013 7:50:34 PM PST · by haffast · 4 replies
    Asia News ^ | 11/04/2013 16:52 | Daniele Atzori
    Rome (AsiaNews) - With the ninth World Islamic Economic Forum, held in London between 29 and 31 October, Islamic finance has come into its own and gone mainstream. Until a few years ago, Islamic finance was unknown to most people. Some even equated it to the financing of Islamic terrorism. In fact, in the years right after 9/11, anything about Islam was viewed with concern. Now things are different. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who spoke at the forum, said that London is no longer happy to be the main Islamic financial centre outside Muslim countries; it now wants to...
  • This Natural Gas Find Could Completely Change the World As We Know It (Israel-Cyprus)

    11/03/2013 2:23:59 PM PST · by haffast · 15 replies
    The Motley Fool ^ | November 3, 2013 | Tyler Crowe
    One thing that makes the energy sector so intriguing is the constant overlap between markets and politics. In many ways, energy security is synonymous with national security, and the supply and demand needs of the oil market can make the most unlikely bedfellows. One country that has been at the center of energy and politics for decades has been Israel. For years the country has been dependent upon foreign energy sources, but a major discovery by Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL ) and its partners has turned this situation on its head. Let's look how this massive natural gas find could...
  • Vatican is an ‘enormous soft power’, says MP after visit

    10/28/2013 8:08:23 AM PDT · by haffast · 28 replies
    The Catholic Herald UK ^ | Friday, 25 October 2013 | Laura Gotti Tedeschi
    British parliamentarians have concluded their three-day visit to the Holy See. Eleven members of the All Party Parliament Group, accompanied by the chaplain to Parliament Canon Pat Browne, met with the Pope on Wednesday, after the General Audience. MP Edward Leigh declared after the three day visit that “The Holy See is an enormous soft power, it represent a religion of 1.2 billion people and so the British government and the British parliament is very interested in what the Vatican says.” The Group, made up of representatives of both House of Parliament and all the major political parties, has encountered...
  • Israel to free next 26 Palestinian prisoners under deal

    10/28/2013 6:39:13 AM PDT · by haffast · 2 replies
    BBC ^ | 27 October 2013 Last updated at 20:26 ET | BBC
    The Israeli government has approved the release of another 26 Palestinian prisoners as part of a US-brokered deal for the resumption of peace talks. They will be the second round of prisoners to be freed since August. A statement from the Israeli prime minister's office said the inmates had all been jailed for violence committed before the 1993 Oslo accords. Israeli and Palestinian representatives began direct talks in Jerusalem in August after a three-year hiatus. As part of the process, Israel has agreed to release 104 long-serving Palestinian prisoners. Behind bars The names of the latest group of detainees set...
  • Navy wants $600m for ships to protect gas rigs (Israel)

    10/21/2013 10:08:41 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 10 replies
    Globes Online, Israel ^ | 21 October 13 | Yuval Azulai
    The Navy wants four missile corvettes to defend Israel's exclusive economic zone. The Israel Navy is preparing a plan to procure four missile corvettes to protect the gas rigs in Israel's exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean. The ships cost an estimated $400 million and systems that will be installed on them cost an additional $200 million. A senior Navy officer says that the plan is due to be presented to the government for approval in a few weeks. The corvettes were priced after a long process in which the Navy obtained quotes from several foreign shipyards, including in Germany,...
  • Syria crisis: Guide to armed and political opposition

    10/19/2013 4:34:53 AM PDT · by haffast · 5 replies
    BBC ^ | 17 October 2013 Last updated at 02:40 ET | Lina Sinjab, David Gritten, James Longman, Faisal Irshaid
    There are believed to be as many as 1,000 armed opposition groups in Syria, commanding an estimated 100,000 fighters. Many of the groups are small and operate on a local level, but a number have emerged as powerful forces with affiliates across the country or formed alliances with other groups that share a similar agenda. The BBC News website looks at the most prominent. Big snip
  • Palestinian President to Pope: I hope to sign a peace agreement with Israel

    10/17/2013 1:47:23 PM PDT · by NYer · 23 replies
    Rome Reports ^ | October 17, 2013
    Pope Francis shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) during a private audience in the pontiff library at the Vatican, October 17, 2013. Abbas on Thursday invited Pope Francis to visit the Holy Land, matching an invitation from Israel. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano October 17, 2013. (Romereports.com) Surrounded by Swiss Guards, the president of the State of Palestine, walked inside the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. The cameras started flickering away when Mahmoud Abbas walked in. With the help of a translator, he introduced himself to Pope Francis.   MAHMOUD ABBASPresident, State of Palestine“I'm very happy to meet you for the very first time...
  • PM headed to Rome for meetings with pope, John Kerry (Netanyahu - Israel)

    10/16/2013 7:27:43 PM PDT · by haffast · 5 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | October 16, 2013, 9:45 pm | Raphael Ahren
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet Pope Francis and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Italy next week. Netanyahu will meet Francis in the Vatican Wednesday, ahead of the pontiff’s expected visit to Israel next year. In Rome, the prime minister will meet with Kerry to discuss the current nuclear negotiations between six world powers on Iran, and the peace process with the Palestinians, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. The first round of renewed nuclear negotiations between the so-called P5+1 powers and the Islamic Republic concluded Wednesday with cautious optimism from both sides....
  • Nobel Wants To Pipe Gas For Domestic Use (Cyprus,Israel)

    10/11/2013 6:16:30 AM PDT · by haffast · 3 replies
    Cyprus Gas News ^ | 11 October 2013 | Elias Hazou
    NOBLE Energy, operators of the Block 12 offshore licence, has reportedly renewed a proposal for piping gas from the Aphrodite well for the purpose of domestic electricity generation. Daily Politis writes that the Houston-based energy company has quoted a delivery price of $9 or $10 per million btus (mmbtu). That’s significantly lower than the price offered by Itera during the ‘interim gas’ tender procedure. Itera’s offer is understood to have been around $15.5 per mmbtu. Politis said the cost of electricity generation – and thus the price of electricity to end-consumers – could on paper drop by 15 to 20...
  • Muslim leader says pope is model of what religious leader should be

    10/08/2013 1:24:33 PM PDT · by haffast · 33 replies
    Catholic News Service ^ | Oct-8-2013 | Cindy Wooden
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis, like Islam's Sufi mystic theologians and poets, "is trying to do good for the sake of the Good One, motivated by love and compassion," said the president of the Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland. Mohamad Bashar Arafat, a Syrian who has lived in the United States for more than 20 years, was visiting the Vatican and speaking to groups in Rome in early October as a guest of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See as part of the U.S. State Department's international speakers program. In an interview with Catholic News Service, Arafat said...
  • Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka make history in the Vatican

    09/29/2013 8:03:20 PM PDT · by haffast · 25 replies
    Vatican Insider ^ | 09/29/2013 | Gerard O’Connell
    Never before in the history of Christian-Jewish relations have a Pope and a Rabbi celebrated their friendship by living in the Vatican together for several days, sharing all meals, including on two Jewish festivals and the Sabbath at which the Rabbi said prayers in Hebrew, and discussing what more they can do together to promote dialogue and peace in the world. That is what actually happened over the past four days at the Vatican guesthouse (Santa Marta) where Pope Francis lives and where his friend from Buenos Aires, Rabbi Abraham Skorka, has been his guest from September 25 to this...
  • Russia Restructures Cyprus Debt; Cyprus Prohibits US Strikes On Syria

    08/31/2013 1:50:22 PM PDT · by Vince Ferrer · 20 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 8/31/3013 | Tyler Durden
    Yesterday afternoon, Russia agreed to restructure Cyprus' EUR 2.5 billion loan terms to a much more affordable 2.5% semi-annual coupon through 2016 and a principal re-payment over the following four years. While probably still out of reach for the desparate economy, it was a positive step. Of course, this 'offer' by Russia has its quid pro quo. This morning, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has stated that Cyprus territory will not be used to launch military strikes against Syria, as "Cyprus wants to live up to its responsibility as a shelter if needed for nationals of friendly countries who evacuate from...
  • Will the Eastern Mediterranean become the next Persian Gulf? (July 25, 2013)

    08/28/2013 6:15:05 PM PDT · by haffast · 5 replies
    American Enterprise Institute ^ | July 25, 2013 | Niklas Anzinger
    For more than two decades, the United States has placed the issue of Eastern Mediterranean maritime ­security on the backburner. But the 2010 discovery of what may potentially be 3,450 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of oil in the Eastern Mediterranean’s Levant Basin brings that region’s security to the forefront. Turkey and Cyprus have competing interests in tapping the newfound oil and gas and in defending their access to those resources, while Israel and Lebanon continue to dispute their shared maritime boundary and territorial waters. Against this backdrop, political tensions are escalating in Egypt, Moscow...
  • Jerusalem, shared ‘security blanket,’ key to Israeli-Palestinian peace

    08/14/2013 8:58:42 PM PDT · by haffast · 22 replies
    Catholic News Service ^ | August 14, 2013 | Judith Sudilovsky
    JERUSALEM (CNS) — Coveted as a spiritual and political capital by both Israelis and Palestinians, the status of the city of Jerusalem has stood out as one of the pivotal topics in their ongoing peace negotiations. snip “Jerusalem is very critical to the negotiations,” said Bernard Sabella, associate professor of sociology at Bethlehem University and a member of the Palestinian parliament. “U.N. resolutions and even the United States recognize East Jerusalem as occupied territory. We are going to have to find a solution set-up which is acceptable to both parties. snip Rabbi Rosen said that although there are some fringe...
  • U.S. Air Force Chief Completes Secret Visit to Israel

    08/12/2013 7:26:53 AM PDT · by haffast · 7 replies
    The Jewish Press ^ | August 11th, 2013 | JTA
    Gen. Mark Welsh, the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, has completed a secret visit to Israel, where was the guest of the Commander of the Israel Air Force, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel. snip The officials discussed a number of topics including mutual security challenges in light of the regional security situation. Welsh and Eshel also discussed plans to further strengthen the cooperation between the U.S. Air Force and the Israel Air Force, according to the IDF. The meeting, which reportedly was kept secret at the request of the United States, comes in advance of a scheduled visit by...
  • US State Department creates office ‘to engage with’ world’s religious communities (Kerry)

    08/08/2013 7:46:49 PM PDT · by haffast · 19 replies
    CWN ^ | August 08, 2013 | CWN
    Secretary of State John Kerry has announced the creation of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, whose mission, he said, is “to engage more closely with faith communities around the world, with the belief that we need to partner with them to solve global challenges.” “There is common ground between the Abrahamic faiths, and, in fact, between the Abrahamic faiths and all religions and philosophies, whether you’re talking about Hindu or Confucianism or any other of the many of the world’s different approaches to our existence here on the planet and to our relationship with a supreme being,” said Kerry....
  • Kerry tells US Jewish leaders he fears for Israel’s future if no peace deal

    08/09/2013 6:39:58 PM PDT · by haffast · 57 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | August 9, 2013, 6:34 am | Rebecca Shimoni Stoil
    Secretary of State John Kerry and an elite US diplomatic team met with a small group of American Jewish leaders at the White House Thursday night to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that resumed last month. edit Kerry told the leaders that one of the lynchpins of the current peace process is the separation of Israel’s security assurances from the general negotiations, assurances he said would be guaranteed in a separate agreement with the US. The security track is being worked out under the auspices of retired Marine Corps general John Allen, who is currently Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s special...
  • Obama Urges 'Honesty' in Renewed Israel-PA Talks

    07/29/2013 9:08:03 PM PDT · by haffast · 14 replies
    Arutz Sheva - Israel National News ^ | First Publish: 7/29/2013, 8:09 PM | Chana Ya'ar
    U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the imminent start of renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians on Monday, but urged both sides to approach them with honesty, AFP reported Monday evening. "The most difficult work of these negotiations is ahead, and I am hopeful that both the Israelis and Palestinians will approach these talks in good faith," he said. Obama thanked his own top diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, for organizing the talks, which were to begin later Monday in Washington with an initial exchange between top negotiators. "I am pleased that Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu and [Palestinian...
  • Tony Blair urges Israeli leader to 'take a chance' on peace as 100 prisoners freed (7-21-13)

    07/28/2013 7:26:09 PM PDT · by haffast · 18 replies
    Mirror News ^ | 21 Jul 2013 00:01 | Nigel Nelson
    Tony Blair was in Jerusalem ­yesterday to urge Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: “Give peace a chance.” The ex-Labour Prime Minister, now a go-between in new Middle East peace talks, told Israel’s leader to get a move on with ­concessions to the Palestinians. Mr Netanyahu agreed to free at least 100 Palestinians who have been held in Israeli jails for more than 20 years. In return it is expected that the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will relax his demand that a future Palestinian state must be based on the border from before the 1967 Six-Day War. Hopes of lasting peace in...
  • Bibi's Begging, and We Don't Know Why (Netanyahu)

    07/28/2013 6:58:27 PM PDT · by haffast · 20 replies
    The Jewish Press ^ | July 28th, 2013 | JoeSettler
    I think we are all in a bit of shock over Bibi’s plan to release 104 Arab terrorists. While Bibi is surprised at the push-back he’s getting. After all, this isn’t the first time that Israel has released terrorists, nor the first time that Israel has released terrorists in a lop-sided deal. So while Bibi expected lip-service attacks, he wasn’t expecting this all-out full-frontal revolt, including from his most closest associates. But this is the first time that Israel has released terrorists in exchange for nothing. Literally nothing. Not Gilad Shalit, not dead soldier’s bodies, not even a signature. Simply...
  • Israeli, Palestinian leaders to resume long-stalled peace talks Monday in Washington

    07/28/2013 5:56:43 PM PDT · by haffast · 4 replies
    Fox News ^ | July 28, 2013 | Fox News
    Israeli and Palestinian leaders will resume face-to-face peace talks on Monday in Washington, the State Department said Sunday. The restart of the long-stalled talks is being attributed to Secretary of State John Kerry's six months of frenetic shuttle diplomacy. Agency spokeswoman Jen Psaki said both sides had accepted invitations from Kerry to come to Washington "to formally resume direct final status negotiations" that are scheduled to begin Monday evening and continue Tuesday. Psaki said in a statement that Kerry on Sunday called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and that the leaders agreed the talks would...
  • Israel’s Deepest Well Targets 1.5 Billion Barrels of Oil

    07/26/2013 8:29:54 AM PDT · by haffast · 11 replies
    Cyprus Gas News ^ | 22 July 2013 | Cyprus Gas News
  • PA Former Negotiator Suing Abbas In The Hague

    07/24/2013 5:15:19 AM PDT · by haffast · 5 replies
    The Jewish Press ^ | July 24th, 2013 | : Jewish Press Staff
    Former senior PLO official Mohammed Dahlan is suing Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for malicious persecution. Dahlan, a personal nemesis of the chairman, was removed from all his positions in the organization two years ago. Now he claims that Abbas is after him for publicly exposing the corruption of the chairman and of his offspring. Dahlan is pushing an assortment of lawsuits in various European courts, according to Kol Israel, revolving around his charge that some $700 million are missing from the PA treasury. Dahlan, who used to be head of the PLO Gaza Preventive Security Force, and participated in...
  • PA Minister: Peace Deal Is Like Mecca Truce Broken by Muhammad

    07/24/2013 5:45:05 AM PDT · by haffast · 14 replies
    The Jewish News ^ | Published: July 24th, 2013 | JNS News Service
    Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash, in a sermon attended by PA President Mahmoud Abbas on the day that renewed peace negotiations with Israel were announced, compared PA peace agreements to a 10-year truce that was broken by the Prophet Muhammad after only two years. The PA minister, according to a July 19 Palestinian Authority TV broadcast cited by Palestinian Media Watch, compared the Palestinian leadership’s approach to peace agreements such as the 1993 Oslo Accords to the “Treaty of Hudaybiyyah” between Muhammad and the Quraish Tribe of Mecca. Just like the Palestinian leadership encountered “much criticism...
  • Kerry Announces Resumption of Peace Talks (Israel,PA)

    07/19/2013 11:59:53 AM PDT · by haffast · 7 replies
    Arutz Sheva7 - Israel National News ^ | First Publish: 7/19/2013, 9:37 PM | Elad Benari
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Friday the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. "I'm pleased to announce that we've reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis," Kerry told reporters in Amman, Jordan, according to AFP. The top U.S. diplomat added that PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli negotiator Justice Minister Tzipi Livni would meet him in Washington "to begin initial talks within the next week or so." In his brief comments to the press, Kerry praised the courage of PA Chairman...
  • Moscow reiterates interest for Cyprus natural gas reserves

    07/05/2013 4:12:24 AM PDT · by haffast · 3 replies
    Cyprus Gas News ^ | 04 July 2013 | Cyprus Gas News
    Moscow has reiterated its vivid interest for Cyprus’ natural gas by expressing once again its interest for the exploitation of the reserves in the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The interest was expressed during a meeting in Moscow between the Cyprus House President Yiannakis Omirou and Russian Deputy Minister of Energy Yury Sentyurin. The meeting lasted two hours and was also attended by the members of the parliamentary party delegation which accompany Omirou, as well as by representatives of Russian natural gas companies, NOVATEK and Gazprom Bank. Omirou arrived in Russia this morning, for a two-day official visit, heading a...
  • Livni Warns: No Peace Talks May Lead to EU Boycott

    07/01/2013 6:44:44 PM PDT · by haffast · 5 replies
    Arutz Sheva - Israel National News ^ | First Publish: 7/2/2013, 3:14 AM | Elad Benari
    Justice Minister Tzipi Livni warned on Monday that Israel runs the risk of a European economic boycott if it fails to advance peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. "You cannot deal only with economic issues and ignore the political issue and the importance of a two-state solution," she told delegates at an accountancy conference in Eilat, according to AFP. "Europe is boycotting products. And, true, it is starting with the settlements but their problem is with Israel, which is perceived as a colonial state, so it won't only stop with the settlements, but will (reach) Israel as a whole," warned...
  • Livni: European boycott of settlement goods could spread to all of Israel

    07/01/2013 8:31:21 AM PDT · by haffast · 6 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | 07/01/2013 13:14 | By JPOST.COM STAFF
    Justice Minister Tzipi Livni fears the potential disaster facing Israel if nothing is done to combat the European boycott of Israeli goods, she told an accountant's conference in Eilat on Monday. "If we do not take action regarding the European boycott of goods coming from the settlement areas, the boycott will eventually extend to all of Israel," Livni warned. Livni claimed that some European countries see Israel as a colonizing nation, and this has affected economic relations with those countries. Recently the fast food chain McDonald's made headlines for refusing to allow its restaurant to be built in an up-and-coming...
  • Gazprom Feeling the LNG Heat (Russia)

    07/01/2013 12:01:44 AM PDT · by TexGrill · 1 replies
    The Kremlin Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia ^ | 07/01/2013 | Alexander Panin
    As the possibility of free market competition in liquefied natural gas sales looms, Gazprom is preparing to do battle with potential domestic and international rivals. The gas giant plans to take as much as 15 percent of the world LNG market, up from its 5 percent share today, Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said at annual shareholder meeting held at company's headquarters on Friday. Europe's own gas production is decreasing, while many LNG producers prefer to supply premium markets in the Asia-Pacific region. As a consequence, Europe's share in world LNG imports decreased from 28 percent in 2009 to 21 percent...
  • Netanyahu Signals Readiness to Compromise With Palestinians

    06/28/2013 8:55:29 PM PDT · by haffast · 4 replies
    NewsMax ^ | Friday, 28 Jun 2013 02:56 AM | NewsMax
    JERUSALEM — Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, known for his rigid negotiating positions, has been sending signals that he is ready for significant compromises in a peace deal with the Palestinians — and that he accepts the narrative increasingly favored by his opponents that says ending the West Bank occupation is essential for Israel itself. While some of Netanyahu's political allies say he is serious, the Palestinians remain skeptical. This week's visit by Secretary of State John Kerry could show which way things can go. In recent speeches, Netanyahu has stressed the importance of reaching a peace deal, saying it...
  • Archbishop of Canterbury: Israel the center of the world

    06/27/2013 6:32:03 PM PDT · by haffast · 7 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | June 27, 2013, 3:21 pm | Raphael Ahren
    Israel is the center of the world “in so many ways,” the archbishop of Canterbury said Thursday in Jerusalem. He stressed Israel’s legitimacy and right to security, and also spoke, in the context of persecution of Christians by Islamists in the Middle East, about the Christian imperative to “love our enemies.” It was his maiden visit to the region since being appointed to one of the highest positions in the Protestant Church. The Most Reverend Justin Welby, who has a Jewish father, is the leader of the Church of England and of 80 million Anglicans worldwide. He was enthroned in...
  • US military chief recommends bolstering Lebanon forces

    06/26/2013 8:08:00 PM PDT · by haffast · 19 replies
    Reuters ^ | 06/27/2013 01:54 | Reuters
    WASHINGTON - The top US military officer said on Wednesday he has recommended bolstering Lebanese forces grappling with the fallout from Syria's civil war by sending in military trainers and accelerating arms sales. General Martin Dempsey also said he had recommended helping Iraq better deal with the re-emergence of al-Qaida. "We've made a recommendation that as we look at the challenges faced by the Lebanese armed forces, the Iraqi security forces with a re-emerging al-Qaida in Iraq, and the Jordanians, that we would work with them to help them build additional capability," Dempsey told reporters at the Pentagon. snip
  • ‘$4b. for Palestinians contingent on peace progress’

    06/26/2013 7:24:18 AM PDT · by haffast · 5 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | June 26, 2013, 4:37 pm | Elhanan Miller
    A $4 billion foreign investment package to boost peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will not be considered unless US Secretary of State John Kerry succeeds in bringing the negotiating parties back to the table, The Times of Israel has learned. “[This package] is not intended as a substitute for the political process,” a Western diplomatic source told The Times of Israel on Wednesday. “It will be launched either in parallel or after the political track is resumed, as judged by John Kerry.” Kerry is scheduled to return to Israel later this week in an effort to relaunch negotiations...
  • Cyprus signs LNG plant MoU with Noble, Delek and Avner

    06/26/2013 6:54:06 AM PDT · by haffast · 5 replies
    Cyrus Mail ^ | June 26, 2013 | Cyrus Mail
    Cyprus and a US-Israeli partnership on Wednesday signed a statement of intent for the development of a natural gas liquefaction plant on the island. The parties are the Cyprus state, Noble Energy International, and Israel’s Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership. It is hoped the preliminary accord will lead to a final agreement in the future setting up a joint venture between the parties – a special-purpose vehicle seeking investors for the estimated €7 to €8bn LNG plant. “The signing of the memorandum between the Republic of Cyprus and the three companies represents the next milestone on the...
  • Gas Pipeline Sabotage, Egyptian Cutoff Cost Israel $187 M

    06/26/2013 5:45:57 AM PDT · by haffast · 5 replies
    Arutz Sheva - Iraeli National News ^ | 6/25/2013, 8:40 AM | Chana Ya'ar
    Sabotage of the natural gas pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt’s willingness to buckle to terrorism cost the State of Israel $187 million (NIS 677 million) in 2012, a new report shows. The Finance Ministry’s accountant general, Michal Abadi-Boiangiu, pointed out that the cutoff of Egyptian natural gas sales to Israel following repeated sabotage of the pipeline forced Israel to use more costly diesel fuel. As a result, the Israel Electric Company’s debts reached $ 19 billion (NIS 70 billion) by the end of the year 2012. The expense was recorded as a loss in investments. snip
  • Fight Against Secularism Unites Jews, Catholics, Pope Says

    06/25/2013 6:40:09 PM PDT · by haffast · 4 replies
    National Catholic Register ^ | 06/25/2013 | CNA/EWTN NEWS
    VATICAN CITY — Christians and Jews can work together to challenge the contemporary problems of secularism and disrespect for the human person, Pope Francis told representatives of Judaism in a Vatican audience. “Humanity needs our joint witness in favor of respect for the dignity of man and woman created in the image and likeness of God and in favor of peace, which is, above all, God’s gift,” the Bishop of Rome told members of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations June 24. “Friendly relations are, in a way, the basis for the development of a more official dialogue,” he...
  • Cyprus Okays Gas Plant Deal With Noble, Delek (Israel)

    06/19/2013 7:40:45 PM PDT · by haffast · 3 replies
    Associated Press via ABC ^ | June 19, 2013 | AP - Nicosia Cyprus
    Cyprus' deputy government spokesman says the Cabinet has ratified a preliminary agreement with U.S. firm Noble Energy and its Israeli partners Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration on their participation in the development of a planned natural gas processing facility. Victoras Papadopoulos didn't disclose Wednesday details of the deal. Cyprus is looking to have the estimated 10 billion euro ($13.41 billion) facility up by 2020 to process offshore gas reserves for domestic use and export. The bailed-out country hopes the project will boost its struggling economy. Noble, Delek and its subsidiary Avner are partners in a gas field off Cyprus'...
  • Govt. gas export decision unlikely to satisfy everyone — or anyone (Israel)

    06/19/2013 6:43:08 PM PDT · by haffast · 1 replies
    With the decision by Israel’s top officials Wednesday on how much natural gas the country will be exporting in the coming years, the government is likely to get flack from all sides — at least according to the initial reactions and comments. For those completely opposed to the export of natural gas — or too much of it — the 540 billion cubic meters of gas that will go to export (currently 40% of Israel’s projected reserves) is too much. Meanwhile, for those advocating gas exports, the amount, 13% less than the 53% of gas reserves the Tzemach Commission had...
  • Happy birthday, Mr. President (Peres/Israel - Left love-fest/Barf Alert)

    06/18/2013 5:45:07 PM PDT · by haffast · 2 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | June 19, 2013, 2:21 am | Jessica Steinberg
    It was a love fest at Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday party Tuesday night, as world leaders, beloved performers and regular folk spoke, sang, and sent their messages of love and affection for the president, former prime minister, and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Peres sat flanked by former US president Bill Clinton and Jewish stage diva Barbra Streisand on his right, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, on his left. Behind them was an auditorium full of who’s who in Israel and abroad, from actors Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone, Prince Albert of Monaco and Chicago mayor...
  • Francis could organise peace meeting between world’s three major religions, in Rome (5-29-2013)

    06/17/2013 6:13:53 PM PDT · by haffast · 23 replies
    Vatican Insider - LaStampa ^ | 05/29/2013 | ANDREA TORNIELLI
    Israeli government sources claim Francis is apparently thinking of calling a meeting between leaders and faithful of the world’s three biggest monotheistic religions, in Rome, to launch a message of peace, countering violence and the use of God’s name to justify hatred and terrorist acts. The sources say the Pope announced his intention to call a meeting, during an Audience last 30 April. But there was no mention of this in the communiqué the Holy See’s issued after the Audience. President Peres “told the Pope that there are people who use God’s name to justify terrorism” and religious leaders should...
  • Bill Clinton: No alternative to two-state solution (Israel)

    06/17/2013 5:21:01 PM PDT · by haffast · 15 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | June 17, 2013, 10:28 pm | Times of Israel staff
    Former US president Bill Clinton on Monday night urged Israel to work toward a two-state solution with the Palestinians, saying that he had never heard a credible alternative that would enable Israel to remain a Jewish and a democratic state. “No matter how many settlers you put out there [in the West Bank], the Palestinians are having more babies than the Israelis as a whole,” Clinton said, and thus demographics were working against Israel. Clinton was answering questions after a speech at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot in honor of President Shimon Peres’s 90th birthday celebrations, which continue Tuesday...
  • Tanks in Beirut as Syria protest leaves one dead

    06/09/2013 7:02:00 PM PDT · by haffast · 10 replies
    Reuters ^ | Sun Jun 9, 2013 7:54pm EDT | Laila Bassam
    BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese troops blocked streets in Beirut with tanks and barbed wire for several hours on Sunday after the killing of a protester outside the Iranian embassy raised factional tensions already inflamed by the war in Syria. The man died during a clash between rival groups of Shi'ite Muslims after militiamen from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement opened fire when protesters drew up at the embassy, the latest sign of Syria's violence spilling over to its neighbors. In Syria itself, fighting intensified in the north, where rebels said President Bashar al-Assad's forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies were preparing...
  • Amid uproar, deputy defense minister stands by rejection of two states (Danon - Israel)

    06/09/2013 6:13:35 PM PDT · by haffast · 5 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | June 9, 2013, 12:20 pm | Ilan Ben Zion
    Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) on Sunday stuck to his guns and defended statements he’d made to The Times of Israel last week in which he claimed that most of those in the coalition are opposed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Oy vey! Is it such a criminal offense to oppose a two-state solution?” he said in an interview with Army Radio. snip Coalition members voiced outrage Sunday at Danon’s statements, while opposition MKs called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remove the deputy defense minister from his post. Labor Party MK Nahman Shai told Israel...
  • ‘US close to OK on arming Syrian rebels’

    06/09/2013 5:45:40 PM PDT · by haffast · 36 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | June 10, 2013, 2:34 am | Bradley Klapper
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Moved by the Assad regime’s rapid advance, the Obama administration could decide this week to approve lethal aid for the beleaguered Syrian rebels and will weigh the merits of a less likely move to send in U.S. airpower to enforce a no-fly zone over the civil war-wracked nation, officials said Sunday. White House meetings are planned over the coming days, as Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government forces are apparently poised for an attack on the key city of Homs, which could cut off Syria’s armed opposition from the south of the country. As many as 5,000 Hezbollah...
  • Livni: Delaying ‘Two-State Solution’ is an Historical Mistake

    06/03/2013 7:23:30 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    INN ^ | 6/4/2013, 5:16 AM | Elad Benari
    Delaying the so-called “two-state solution” is an historical mistake, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni claimed on Monday. Livni, who is in charge of the peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, spoke at the American Jewish Committee 2013 Global Forum in Washington, D.C. She warned in her speech of “devastating consequences” for Israel in case U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest attempt to renew peace talks fails. “Time is working against those who believe that two states is the only Zionist way to maintain our identity,” Livni said. “There are those who want to postpone this decision, but it would be...
  • Netanyahu Denies Danon's Hint He's Bluffing on 2 States

    06/08/2013 2:55:57 PM PDT · by Eleutheria5 · 8 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | 8/6/13
    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denied Saturday that he is only pretending to seek a two-state solution, as Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon hinted broadly in a weekend interview. Danon’s comments “do not represent the position of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the government of Israel,” sources in the Prime Minister's Office told the Times of Israel in response to Danon’s interview, which the same news outlet published Thursday. The sources said that the prime minister “is interested in a resumption of negotiations without preconditions,” and that his positions regarding support for a two-state solution remain in force. .....
  • Deputy defense minister: This government will block any two-state deal (Israel)

    06/06/2013 2:01:55 PM PDT · by haffast · 10 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | June 6, 2013, 2:42 pm | Raphael Ahren
    Israel’s ruling party and the governing coalition are staunchly opposed to a two-state solution and would block the creation of a Palestinian state if such a proposal ever came to a vote, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said, contradicting statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior cabinet members who say Jerusalem is committed to the principle of two states for two peoples. Danon’s statements, made Wednesday to The Times of Israel in his first major interview with an Israeli news outlet since he became deputy minister, underline the low likelihood of the current government being able to sign a...