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Showing Results 181-200 of 209 for Peres
June 15, 2005

Lackluster Race Poses No Real Threat To Prime Minister

Israel's 'opposition-coalition' Labor party is headed into the home stretch for its primaries for party leadership. Labor recently joined Sharon's coalition cabinet with one goal only, to support the Prime Minister's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements against the wish of most of his own Likud party members. Labor rejects nearly every other position taken by Sharon and the Likud. How long will this bizarre state of affairs carry on after this fall's pullout? Sharon may be relying on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. President George W. Bush.

May 04, 2005


The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has voted 8-2 in favor of a vote by Israel's Parliament on the issue of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's proposal to allow Egyptian troops to re-enter Sinai in order to block the smuggling of Palestinian weapons into the Gaza Strip. Members from both the right and left supported the proposal. The committee first heard three leading jurists who all said a deal to allow Egyptian troops into Sinai would reopen the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty which calls for the demilitarization of Sinai.

April 01, 2005


Prime Minister Sharon's ruling Likud party was battered from within this week; 27 of Likud's 40 MKs in the 120 member House voted for the national referendum against the position of their own leader, Ariel Sharon. The Likud's big guns lined up against Sharon: Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Education Minister Limor Livnat.The referendum gambit was widely viewed as a device for delaying and perhaps totally tordepoeing the evacuation, which is officially rejected the Likud although it's their leader's idea. So how long can this abnormal, perhaps absurd situation go in inside the country's ruling party?

March 30, 2005


There has been strong condemnation of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's decision to appoint 3 more cabinet ministers and 7 deputy ministers, all of whom support his Gaza withdrawal plan.

March 28, 2005


Israel’s Parliament the Knesset has voted down a bill to hold a national referendum on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements. The vote was 72-39 against the referendum in the 120 members Knesset. The referendum is widely viewed as a ruse to block the withdrawal. Prime Minister Sharon’s ruling Likud party split over the referendum with more voting for it than against. In any case, opponents to the withdrawal are not giving up.

March 27, 2005


It has been an amazing political weekend, even by Israeli standards. First the reported comments of U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer appeared to sabotage Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s drive to implement the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements this summer. But just over 24 hours later, Shinui leader climbed down from a high tree to accept some $160 for Shinui’s political interests; this has saved the new budget, prevented the fall of the government and the end to Sharon’s withdrawal plans, for the time being anyway. U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer also got into the act by reportedly denying Sharon’s claim of a deal with President Bush on Israeli settlements blocs on the West Bank.

March 15, 2005


Palestinian terror attacks have dropped, but the Jewish terror threats have soared over the controversial disengagement issue. That was the message from the country's top security officials Shabak security chief Avi Dichter, IDF Chief of Staff designate Dan Halutz, and police commissioner Moshe Karadie in a briefing to cabinet ministers. In the bigger picture, analyst David Essing is of the view that the disengagement question may now have been internationalized as part of US president George W. Bush's new multilateral approach to coping with Middle East flashpoints.

February 20, 2005


The Israeli Cabinet has voted in favor of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements. The evacuation is slated to begin on July 20th. Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Sharon’s chief rival in the ruling Likud Party, lead 4 other ministers in voting against the disengagement because it did not include a national referendum on the controversial issue. Previously, the cabinet voted for the withdrawal in principle; today the cabinet decided to implement. Last week, the Knesset also voted for the withdrawal plan and the 1$ billion compensation package. Reacting to the cabinet vote, settler leaders declared they would step up their campaign to block the withdrawal.

February 14, 2005


A major confrontation between Prime Minister Sharon and his withdrawal opponents erupted in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Sharon said it was clear who was behind the recent wave of incitement by opponents to his withdrawal plan. MK Effi Eitam of the National Religious Party retorted that Sharon was manipulating the incitement for his own political purposes.

February 08, 2005


At their Sharm el Sheikh summit, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have announced a cease-fire. Abbas said all attacks against Israelis everywhere would be halted. The newly elected Palestinian leader declared that the quiet starting today was a new start on the road to peace and the first step toward the Roadmap which calls for Israel and Palestine to live in peace. The cessation of hostilities would grant both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples the opportunity to move swiftly ahead in the peace negotiations.

At the same time, Abbas called for a halt to Israeli settlement activity, and the release of all Palestinian prisoners. He criticized Israel’s building of the security fence to keep out suicide bombers, saying the fence was not conducive to co-existence. As for the permanent settlement, the Palestinians seek a state on the 1967 lines with Jerusalem its capital and the Palestinian leader also said the refugee issue must be resolved in the final status negotiations.

Abbas, as did Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, also called for Syria and Lebanon to be included in the peace process. For his part, the Palestinian leader pledged to keep all his commitments adding that the Palestinian people had opted for peace by voting him into office in last month’s election. He declared that the Palestinians must have ‘one authority and one gun!’ However, Abbas added this must be achieved not by force but through dialogue.

February 07, 2005


Condolleezza Rice has come and gone - putting the U.S. finishing touches on what will likely be a successful Sharon-Abbas summit. However the Secretary of State will not be attending the Sharm El Sheik summit with Egypt’s President Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah; there is no need at this stage. But later on, the presence and prestige of the U.S. Secretary of State will surely be required to overcome the crises which can be expected to crop up, if and when the Roadmap gets underway in earnest.

January 28, 2005

THIS WEEK 28-1-05

A Review Of Some Of the Main News Stories In Israel Over The Past Seven Days

January 26, 2005


Senior Israeli and Palestinian officials met in a Jerusalem hotel today to start planning for a summit between Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It was the first political meeting since Sharon suspended all contact with the Palestinians after the Palestinian terror attack, which murdered six Israeli civilians working at the Karni Cargo Terminal on January 15th. Israeli officials have confirmed that the IDF has suspended targeted killings of terrorists except in ticking bomb situations. In another development, Palestinian security forces are also being deployed in the Southern Gaza Strip to prevent terror attacks on Israel.

January 16, 2005


There has been no let up in the Palestinian terror attacks from the Gaza Strip. On Thursday night, Palestinian suicide bombers blew up Israel’s Karni terminal murdering six Israeli civilians. The terminal is used to transport medicine and food to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Since then, Palestinians have launched more Qassam rockets and mortars at Israeli towns and villages. One seventeen-year-old girl was critically wounded in Sderot while shielding her ten-year-old brother who was seriously hurt. After suspending all contacts with the new Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Sharon told the Israeli cabinet: ‘The Palestinian leader is not lifting a finger to halt the terrorism’.

January 10, 2005


Israel and the Palestinians are both on the move. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has forged a new Israeli cabinet bound on withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements. The Knesset vote was 58 in favor, 56 including 13 Likud rebels against, while 6 MKs abstained. Sharon squeaked through with the help of left wing Yachad, Arab MKs and former Shinui MK Yossi Paritsky. In another surprise vote, UTJ MK Meir Porush abstained. Meanwhile in the Palestinian Autonomy, President-elect Mahmoud Abbas took 62 % of the vote in yesterday’s historic election. Outside the Knesset, 15,000 rightwing demonstrators protested against the withdrawal.

January 02, 2005


Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Presidential front-runner has added to his list of hard-line statement in the run-up to the January 9th election. Abbas says if elected, he will not disarm the terrorists as stipulated in the Roadmap peace proposal and as demanded by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Mahmoud Abbas continues to talk tough in the Palestinian election campaign. Is he paying lip-service to the terrorists in order to get elected, or is he following in the footsteps of Yasser Arafat?

December 29, 2004


The government crisis has deepened over Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s moves to pass the new state budget. After two far right parties bolted the coalition in protest over Sharon’s ‘Gaza+4’ withdrawal plan in Knesset, Sharon has made a budget payoff to the ultra-orthodox United Torah Judaism Party and possibly the NRP for their support in passing the budget this Wednesday. However, in response, the coalition party Shinui warns it will now vote against the budget; if it does Sharon will fire Shinui from the coalition. The government crisis worsens day by day.

December 19, 2004

THIS WEEK (Dec. 19 2004)

After a week or so of wrangling, the ruling Likud party and Labor from the opposition have apparently wrapped up a new national unity government to carry out a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements. However, at the same time that Sharon was building a cabinet to approve the evacuation, the Palestinian terrorists were escalating their attacks. The IDF hit back, launching an operation into the Khan Yunis area. Despite the Palestinian escalation, Prime Minister Sharon called on the Palestinians to take advantage of the ‘great opportunity’ for peace after the death of Yasser Arafat. U.S. President George Bush repeated that Israeli-Palestinian peace was at the top of his agenda; however, Syria’s President Bashar Assad would have to get in the waiting line.

December 16, 2004


Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented an optimistic forecast for the year 2005. Addressing the Herzliya Conference, Sharon pledged to work for peace with the Palestinians spoke of peace with the Palestinians. In his first major address since the death of Yasser Arafat, the Prime Minister said it was possible for an Israeli and a Palestinian state to live in peace. However, a new and responsible Palestinian leadership must eliminate terrorism and incitement.

December 10, 2004


After his decisive victory at the Likud convention, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon lost no time in inviting Labor, Shas and United Torah Judaism to join a new government coalition. The dramatic vote reversed an earlier decision three months ago, giving Sharon a 62-38% win. Although Likud cabinet minister Ehud Olmert says the inclusion of Labor will mean the Gaza withdrawal is now ‘in the bag’, MK Zvi Hendel of the National Union warns that Sharon’s brutal withdrawal tactics may trigger a civil war. David Essing has this analysis of what is being as an historic milestone in the country’s history:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has won back his Likud party and apparently a new coalition. The door is now wide open, for Sharon to carry out a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements.