In Brief: Abbas says ready to talk peace as PA holds press conference with Hamas

Mahmoud Abbas said this week that the Palestinian Authority is ready to enter peace talks with Israel. The president’s comments came during a call with Vladimir Putin and follow a rare joint press conference between the PA and Hamas last week. Abbas told the Russian president that the Palestinians believe any negotiations should be based on “international[…]

In Brief: US Congress gives big boost to Israeli-Palestinian Peace fund

A key committee in the US Congress has voted to include in its budget legislation to introduce an international fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. The campaign for the $250m fund, which would support people-to-people work between Israelis and Palestinians, has been led by the Alliance for Middle East Peace. In the UK, it has been spearheaded[…]

Analysis: Netanyahu’s annexation drive stalls

Benjamin Netanyahu’s drive to begin annexing parts of the West Bank appears to have stalled amid opposition from his Blue and White coalition partners, the Palestinians and the Arab world, and confusion in the White House. The “unity government” agreement signed in April – which allows Netanyahu to remain in power until next autumn – also[…]

In Brief: Hezbollah releases video threatening missile strike on Israeli cities

  Hezbollah released a video on Saturday in which it threatened to strike Israeli cities with precision-guided missiles. The Iranian-backed terror group said it has the capability to hit “very precise targets” anywhere in Israel. “Today, we can not only hit the city of Tel Aviv but also, if God wants and with his help, can[…]

In Brief: Israel under pressure as 1,000 European MPs sign letter opposing annexation

More than 1,000 parliamentarians from across Europe have signed a letter urging Israel not to go ahead with plans to annex parts of the West Bank after 1 July. The letter, which was sent to European foreign ministries, said unilateral annexation would be “fatal to the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and will challenge the most[…]

In Brief: Israel has record number of gay MKs as Tel Aviv pushes marriage rights

Israel this week set a record for the highest number of openly gay members of the Knesset. Yorai Lahav-Hertzano (pictured) was sworn in on Monday as a member of the centrist Yesh-Atid-Telem alliance. He joins the Knesset following the passage of a law which allows ministers to leave their parliamentary seats and be replaced by another member[…]

Analysis: Gantz and Netanyahu spar over annexation

Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to begin annexing parts of the West Bank next month appear to be facing new obstacles as the prime minister battles to secure approval from his Blue and White coalition partners. The position of Benny Gantz’s centrist party appears to have become pivotal: the United States has conditioned giving the green light[…]

In Brief: Hezbollah vows it will keep its weapons as Lebanon protests moun

Hassan Nasrallah has vowed that Hezbollah will keep its weapons as protests against Lebanon’s economic and financial crisis have continued. In a fiery address, the terror group leader (pictured) pledged on Tuesday evening: “Our weapons will remain in our hands and we will not starve; we will kill you.” Protesters took to the streets of[…]

In Brief: Iran continues to violate nuclear deal, says international watchdog

Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has grown by 50 percent in the last three months, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported this week. A former head of Israeli military intelligence warned that Iran has now substantially reduced the “break-out time” – the time in which it would be possible for the Islamic republic to make enough material for a[…]