Benjamin Netanyahu

Direct Middle East peace talks due September

By Jennifer Lipman, August 20, 2010

Hillary Clinton has announced the first direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians in nearly two years.

The US Secretary of State invited Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas to Washington to resume negotiations in order to creat a "just and lasting peace."

Egyptian and Jordanian leaders have also been asked to attend.

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Netanyahu's wife wades into deportation row

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 19, 2010

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel's prime minister, has joined in the debate on the future of 400 children of foreign workers who will have to leave Israel with their families over the next couple of weeks.

The cabinet decided three weeks ago to allow around 800 children to remain in Israel.

According to the new guidelines, children who have started school, who are about to this year or who have lived in Israel for at least five years and speak Hebrew, will be allowed to stay if both their parents entered legally.

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Netanyahu in Athens to build Greek-Israel ties

By Jennifer Lipman, August 16, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived in Athens for a historic visit to Greece to discuss military cooperation, trade and tourism.

According to a top Israeli official, the prime minister’s two-day trip is a sign of “new warmth in Israeli-Greek relations".

Greece has only had diplomatic ties with Israel for 20 years and this is the first time an Israeli prime minister has officially visited the country.

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Netanyahu, Barak defend actions at Gaza flotilla inquiry

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 12, 2010

Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi appeared this week before the Turkel Commission investigating the action against the flotilla to Gaza, in which nine Turkish activists were killed on the Mavi Marmara ferry.

The Israeli leaders justified the operation while acknowledging mistakes in advance planning and intelligence-gathering.

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Peres, Netanyahu call for direct peace talks

By Jennifer Lipman, August 11, 2010

Israel’s president and prime minister have both expressed hopes that peace talks will soon restart with the Palestinians.

Benjamin Netanyahu told the United States Middle East envoy George Mitchell that it was time “to get on with it”.

Mr Netanyahu said: "Shall we get on with it? That's my whole message...what I've been saying for a year and a half.”

Mr Mitchell was in Israel to press for face-to-face peace negotiations, which have been on hold since before the Gaza incursion of January 2007.

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Israel threatens to pull out of UN flotilla probe

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2010

The Israeli government has warned that it could pull out of a United Nations probe into the clash on a Gaza-bound flotilla if IDF soldiers are called to testify. The panel is set to start investigations today.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had agreed that Israeli soldiers would not be questioned by the panel. Mr Moon has denied promising this.

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Netanyahu: Israel warned Turkey about flotilla

By Jennifer Lipman, August 9, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu has told a public investigation into the clash on a Gaza-bound ship that the Turkish government ignored warnings “intended to prevent a confrontation with the Marmara flotilla”.

The Israeli Prime Minister said that from May 14 his office communicated with the Turkish government "at the highest level" on the issue, but repeated warnings that the ships would not be allowed to sail to Gaza were not heeded.

Nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists died during the fighting with the Israeli navy on May 31.

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Netanyahu meets King Abdullah in Jordan

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has held “constructive discussions” on the Middle East peace process with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said that the previously unannounced talks in Amman “focused on the need to advance peace, security and prosperity in the region."

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Israel's conversion bill vote delayed

July 22, 2010

There will be no Knesset vote on the controversial new conversion bill before the winter session, which begins in October.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hopes that in the interval, the bill can be redrafted in order to make it more palatable to the Reform and Conservative movements.

Mr Netanyahu made his rejection of the bill clear at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, where he said that "this law could create a schism within the Jewish people".

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Analysis: Lieberman wants Netanyahu's job

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 22, 2010

Binyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman have a lot in common.

Both are shrewd and cynical political operators who, despite all they have done, are still treated by the old Israeli elite as outsiders. Both are regarded by the international media as dangerous hardliners. Neither let any of that stand in their way in their struggle to reach the top. And both made millions in the short breaks they took from their meteoric political careers.

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