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: 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[…]

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: US cooling on annexation as Israel backs away from 1 July deadline

The Trump administration is believed to be seeking to slow the process of Israel annexing parts of the West Bank, according to Israeli media reports. On Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu held a conference call to discuss the implementation of the administration’s peace plan – including its provisions to allow Israeli to annex up to 30 percent[…]

In Brief: PA refuses to accept aid from UAE after it arrives on historic flight to Israel

The Palestinian Authority is refusing to accept tonnes of coronavirus aid from the United Arab Emirates because it arrived on the first ever direct flight (pictured) from the Gulf state to Israel. The aid was being held at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport while United Nations officials seek ways to distribute it. The UAE, like[…]

In Brief: Annexation plans hit bump as settler leaders protest Trump plan map

Hardline leaders of Israel’s settlement movement are threatening to derail Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to annex parts of the West Bank. The prime minister told his Likud party on Monday that he intended to press ahead with applying Israeli sovereignty to West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley (pictured) after 1 July. “This is an opportunity[…]

In Brief: Doubts raised over Abbas’ claim PA is ditching Oslo over annexation

President Mahmoud Abbas announced yesterday that the Palestinian Authority has effectively pulled out of the 1993 Oslo Agreements and said Israel would now have to assume responsibility for the civilian Palestinian population of the West Bank. The president, who has threatened such a move on a number of occasions previously, told a meeting in Ramallah:[…]