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  • Religion-state frustrations spark mass Jerusalem demonstrations

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 15 (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court has become the focal point of an increasingly heated debate about the roles of religion and state in Israel. Since its founding 50 years ago, a religious status quo defined the boundaries of religious and secular life in Israel. But tensions have increased as the haredi, or…

  • Israel plans to expand Efrat as U.S. still calls for `timeout

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 8 (JTA) — Israeli approval of plans to expand the West Bank settlement of Efrat has roiled the U.S. administration just as it is striving to get Israel and the Palestinians back on a negotiating track. Plans to construct several hundred more homes in the large settlement undermines confidence and does not “create…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Plan to expand Jerusalem spurs international criticism

    JERUSALEM, June 21 (JTA) — Israel”s decision to expand its capital city has prompted a new international dispute over the status of Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority, as well as the United States and Israel”s closest allies in the Arab world, criticized the move as a provocative act that could deal another blow to the long-stalled…

  • Israeli shooting sparks rioting as tension prevails

    JERUSALEM, March 12 (JTA) — The stalled peace process has created a tense atmosphere in which any incident has the potential to set off a regional explosion. A car accident in the Gaza Strip was the spark that ignited the intifada, the 1987-1993 Palestinian uprising. And this week, when Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinians in…

  • Israeli media go to town with New Yorker profile

    JERUSALEM, May 19 (JTA) — The Israeli media is having a ball. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, were again thrust into the tabloid limelight this week in the wake of an unflattering profile that appeared in The New Yorker magazine. At the heart of the uproar were remarks attributed to Netanyahu’s senior…

  • Britain, U.S. work to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

    JERUSALEM, April 20 (JTA) — Israel has downplayed a British offer to host peace talks — a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the offer. British Prime Minister Tony Blair issued the invitation during a visit to Israel, where he met with Netanyahu as part of his first trip to the Middle East…

  • U.S. criticizes reported plan to expand Israeli settlements

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 11 (JTA) — Israel has drawn international criticism for its reported plans to build 30,000 apartments in the West Bank during the next 20 years. The settlement expansion plans, which were reported to be in various stages of approval by the Israeli government, appeared last Friday in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz as U.S….

  • Palestinians, Israelis deride possible referendum proposal

    JERUSALEM, June 22 (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants the Israeli public to decide on the next redeployment of troops from the West Bank. But the plan to hold a national referendum has already prompted sharp criticism from the Palestinian Authority and from the Israeli opposition — and even ridicule from Netanyahu’s own…

  • Netanyahu appeals for calm amid violent clashes in Hebron

    JERUSALEM, March 15 (JTA) — Tensions are once again escalating in the West Bank town of Hebron. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week called on Hebron’s settler community to “abide by the law” after settlers there claimed responsibility for smashing the windows of Arab-owned cars in the volatile West Bank town. Sunday’s incident came after…

  • Gingrich stirs controversy during visit to Jewish state

    JERUSALEM, May 25 (JTA) — U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is stirring controversy in Israel. Last week, before he departed for Israel, the Georgia Republican said he would visit the site of the future U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, provoking criticism from Palestinian officials who said the visit would undermine their efforts to secure part of…