• Israel won't oppose U.S. sale of 'specific' weapons to UAE, Netanyahu and Gantz say
    TEL AVIV, October 23 (Reuters): Israel will not oppose U.S. sales of "specific weapons systems" to the United Arab Emirates, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Friday, in an apparent reference to F-35 warplanes sought by Abu Dhabi. Under a principle of preserving Israel's "qualitative military edge", the United States consults with it on proposed sales of advanced arms to other countries in the region. I
  • Sudan premier ready for Israel ties if parliament approves - sources
    KHARTOUM, October 22 (Reuters): Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is ready to proceed with normalizing relations with Israel once a yet-to-be-formed transitional parliament has approved the step, two Sudanese government sources told Reuters on Thursday. The comments are the clearest sign that Hamdok, under pressure from the United States, is willing to contemplate Sudan establishing ties with former adversary Israel. Such a move would not be imminent, because th
  • Battle over Israel's budget risks election, more economic gloom
    JERUSALEM, October 20 (Reuters): A festering government crisis over passage of a national budget could push Israel into its fourth election since mid-2019, further straining an economy hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Crunch time is approaching: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bickering coalition, patched together in May, has by law until Dec. 23 to pass the 2020 budget, a move held up by political stalemate and successive national ballots. Failure to do so by t
  • Sudanese strains surface as U.S. pressure triggers debate on Israel
    KHARTOUM, October 20 (Reuters): U.S. pressure on Sudan to normalise ties with former adversary Israel has stirred public debate on a topic that was long taboo, exposing splits that could complicate any swift settlement of a deal. An agreement between Sudan and Israel may have edged closer on Monday when U.S. President Donald Trump signalled that Washington would remove Khartoum from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Military figures leading Sudan's political trans
  • Israel says UAE visit 'making history' - Palestinians call it 'shameful'
    JERUSALEM, October 20 (Reuters): In an historic first visit by a Gulf Arab nation, a United Arab Emirates delegation arrived in Israel on Tuesday to cement the normalisation deal signed last month. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other American officials accompanied the delegation on Etihad Airways plane from Abu Dhabi to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. They were given a red carpet welcome by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashke
  • Israel sends treaty delegation to Bahrain with Trump aides
    MANAMA, October 18 (Reuters): An Israeli delegation accompanied by the U.S. treasury secretary arrived in Bahrain on Sunday to formalise nascent relations and broaden Gulf cooperation that Washington has promoted as an anti-Iran bulwark and potential economic bonanza. Bahrain followed the United Arab Emirates in agreeing last month to normalise ties with Israel, stunning Palestinians who had demanded statehood before any such regional rapprochement. The breakthrough, oversee
  • Israel will oppose any U.S. F-35 sale to Qatar, Israeli minister says
    JERUSALEM, October 11 (Reuters): Israel will oppose any U.S. sale of F-35 warplanes to Qatar, Israel's intelligence minister said on Sunday, citing a need to maintain Israeli military superiority in the region. Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen made the comments on Israeli Army Radio when asked about a Reuters report that Qatar had submitted a formal request to Washington to buy stealthy F-35 fighter jets. Asked whether Israel would oppose such a sale, Cohen said: "Th
  • Lebanon and Israel agree framework for talks to end border dispute
    BEIRUT, October 1 (Reuters): Lebanon and Israel have agreed to a framework for U.S.-mediated talks aimed at ending a long-running dispute over a border that has been the frontline of several conflicts. Lebanon and Israel, still in a formal state of war, have contested their land and maritime borders for decades, including an area on the edge of three Lebanese energy blocks. Washington been mediating in efforts to bring the two sides to the table. Lebanese Parliament Spe
  • Sudan rejects linking removal from U.S. terrorism list with Israel ties
    KHARTOUM, September 27 (Reuters): Sudan does not want to link its removal from a U.S. terrorism list that is hindering access to foreign funding for its economy with a normalisation of relations with Israel, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Saturday. Sources said this week that U.S. officials indicated in talks with a Sudanese delegation they wanted Khartoum to follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and open ties with Israel. Sudan's designation as a state spon
  • Angered by Arab-Israel ties, Palestine quits chairing Arab League sessions
    RAMALLAH, West Bank/GAZA, September 22 (Reuters): Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal relations with Israel. Palestinians see the accords that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territor
  • Israel returns to lockdown as COVID-19 cases mount
    TEL AVIV, September 18 (Reuters): Israel entered a second nationwide lockdown on Friday at the onset of the Jewish high-holiday season, forcing residents to stay mostly at home amid a resurgence in new coronavirus cases. A lockdown was imposed in late March and eased in May as new cases tapered off, reaching single-digit lows, but in the past week, new cases have reached daily highs of more than 5,000. Israeli leaders have acknowledge they lifted measures too soon, but the m
  • Gaza rockets, Israeli air strikes accompany Israel-Gulf pacts
    JERUSALEM/GAZA, September 16 (Reuters): Militants in Gaza launched rockets into Israel and Israeli aircraft hit targets in the Palestinian enclave in an explosive backdrop to the signing of pacts for formal ties between Israel and two Gulf Arab countries. The Israeli military said it launched about 10 air strikes in Hamas Islamist-run Gaza early on Wednesday and that 15 rockets had been fired from the territory at Israeli communities near the border, where sirens sounded before
  • Breaking longtime taboo, UAE and Bahrain to sign deals with Israel at White House
    WASHINGTON, September 15 (Reuters): The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Tuesday will become the latest Arab states to break a longstanding taboo when they sign agreements toward normalizing relations with Israel in a strategic realignment of Middle Eastern countries against Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump will host the White House ceremony at noon EDT (1600 GMT), capping a dramatic month when first the UAE and then Bahrain agreed to reverse decades of ill will without a r
  • As Arab Gulf starts opening to Israel, Palestinians face a reckoning
    JERUSALEM, September 15 (Reuters): Israel's rapprochement with Gulf Arab states has left the Palestinians feeling abandoned by traditional allies and clutching an old playbook in a rapidly changing Middle East, analysts and critics say. As the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain prepare to sign normalisation accords with Israel at a White House ceremony on Tuesday, Palestinian leaders face calls to overhaul their strategy to avoid becoming marginalised in a region where I
  • Stop or suspend West Bank annexation? Devil in the detail for Israel-UAE deal
    GAZA/ABU DHABI, September 2 (Reuters): A difference between English and Arabic versions of a trilateral statement after an historic flight from Israel to the UAE has been seized upon by Palestinians to suggest the Gulf state has overstated Israeli readiness to drop West Bank annexation plans. The English version of a joint communiqué by the United Arab Emirates, Israel and the United States in Abu Dhabi on Monday said the accord had "led to the suspension of Is
  • Hezbollah will avenge slain fighter, leader warns Israel
    BEIRUT, August 30 (Reuters): Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday it was only a matter of time before the group killed an Israeli soldier to avenge the death of one its fighters in Syria and that it would not be drawn into clashes on the Lebanon-Israel frontier. Israel and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah last fought a war in 2006, and tensions on the Israel-Lebanon border have been running high after the Shi'ite movement said one of its members was killed in
  • Israel strikes Hamas in Gaza over rockets, fire balloons
    TEL AVIV/GAZA, August 28 (Reuters): Israeli aircraft and tanks struck Hamas facilities in Gaza on Friday and militants fired half a dozen rockets towards southern Israel, its military said, as mediators struggled to work for calm along the volatile frontier. There were no reports of casualties on either side. The United Nations' Middle East envoy urged Israel and Gaza militants to halt the violence. Israel's military said it struck underground infrastructure and a mi
  • Israel strikes Hezbollah posts in Lebanon after firing at troops, military says
    TEL AVIV, August 26 (Reuters): The Israeli military struck what it said were posts belonging to Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah movement early on Wednesday after shots were fired from the other side of the border towards its troops. After a meeting, Lebanon's Supreme Defence Council denounced the incident which it called "an Israeli assault" and said a complaint would be filed to the United Nations. The Lebanese army said on its Twitter account that Israeli he
  • Trove of 1,000-year-old gold coins unearthed in Israel
    Israeli archaeologist Shahar Krispin shows gold coins, said by the Israel Antiquities Authority to date to the Abbasid dynasty, after its discovery at an archaeological site in Central Israel August 18, 2020. Picture taken August 18, 2020. Heidi Levine/Pool via REUTERS     CENTRAL ISRAEL, August 24 (Reuters): Israeli youths have unearthed hundreds of gold coins stashed away in a clay vessel for more than a thousand years. The treasure was discovered on Aug
  • West Bank settlers say Netanyahu duped them with annexation backtrack
    MASSUA SETTLEMENT, West Bank, August 19 (Reuters): Israel’s settler leaders say Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defrauded them of their long-held dream of annexing the occupied West Bank as part of the country's normalisation deal with the United Arab Emirates. Their anger could be a problem for right-wing Netanyahu, whom they accuse of repeatedly floating the idea of annexation only to cave in to international pressure when the terms of the UAE deal req