Israel

The big picture

Why Israel’s annexation plans matter for the region

Decades of tensions could explode across the region

Jun 30, 2020 - World
Behind the scenes of Trump's shift on Israeli settlements

Rex Tillerson was opposed, but Pompeo gave the "green light"

Nov 19, 2019 - World
Report finds uptick in "anti-Israel" activity on college campuses

American students ran at least 28 campaigns during the 2018–19 academic year to protest the Israeli government.

Nov 3, 2019 - World
Top 2020 Dems wouldn't reverse Trump's Jerusalem embassy decision

Despite having chastised Trump for moving it to Jerusalem in 2017.

Jul 14, 2019 - Politics & Policy
Netanyahu claims Hezbollah storing missiles at Beirut site

Hezbollah quickly denied the claim.

15 hours ago - World

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Sep 24, 2020 - World

Israeli PM announces strict lockdown plan after record coronavirus cases spike

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an August news conference in Jerusalem. Photo: Debbie Hill/AFP via Getty Images

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans for a "full lockdown" after Israel reported a new daily coronavirus cases record of 6,923 infections Wednesday.

Why it matters: Israel last Friday became the first developed country to re-enter lockdown. While schools, retailers and other businesses closed for the three-week measure, there are exemptions including for people to pray, go to work, exercise and protest. The new two-week restrictions that still needs Cabinet's full approval aims to address this, AP notes. "The goal is to reduce the rate of infection, and the goal is literally to save many lives in Israel," Netanyahu said.

Sep 23, 2020 - World

Israeli delegation travels to Bahrain to draft U.S.-brokered peace treaty

Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

A senior Israeli delegation traveled Wednesday to Bahrain for talks on the drafting of the U.S.-brokered peace treaty between the countries, Israeli officials told me.

The state of play: Both countries need to draft a detailed and comprehensive peace treaty that will have a firm legal status and include side agreements on several fields of bilateral cooperation, according to the officials.

Updated Sep 20, 2020 - World

Scoop: Decisive meeting could lead to Israeli-Sudanese normalization

Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan's head of the Sovereign Council, meets with Bahraini aid officials in Khartoum, Sept. 15. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty Images

U.S., Emirati and Sudanese officials will hold a decisive meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday on a possible normalization agreement between Sudan and Israel, Sudanese sources told me.

Why it matters: If the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates accommodate Sudan’s requests for economic aid, an announcement on a normalization agreement with Israel similar to the ones struck with the UAE and Bahrain could be made within days, sources briefed on the process tell me.

Sep 18, 2020 - World

Trump administration renews push for Israel-Lebanon talks on Mediterranean gas fields

The platform of the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the Israeli coast. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration has renewed its push for opening direct talks between Israel and Lebanon on the demarcation of their maritime borders in order to find a solution for the dispute between both countries over natural gas explorations in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Israeli and U.S. officials told me.

Why it matters: Israeli officials say the Trump administration hopes to launch Israeli-Lebanese diplomatic talks before November's election. There have been no such talks between the countries in 30 years, and renewing Israeli-Lebanese negotiations would be a big achievement for the White House.

Sep 15, 2020 - World

Kushner expects more countries to normalize with Israel before Palestinian deal

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told CNN on Tuesday that he expects more Arab countries to follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in normalizing relations with Israel before Palestinian leadership agrees to a peace deal.

Why it matters: After hosting a White House signing ceremony on Tuesday that formalized diplomatic ties between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, President Trump told reporters that he expects seven to nine more countries — including possibly Saudi Arabia — to agree to a similar move.

Updated Sep 15, 2020 - World

Israel signs normalization deals with UAE and Bahrain at White House ceremony

President Trump presided over U.S.-brokered normalization agreements between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates at the White House on Tuesday, cementing formal diplomatic ties between the countries through deals with few public details.

Why it matters: "The last Arab state to make peace with Israel was Jordan, in 1994. Egypt was the first, in 1979. The agreement is also significant for relegating the Palestinians to the sidelines," WashPost reports.

Sep 15, 2020 - World

UAE minister: Israel agreement will include two-state solution reference

The agreement between the UAE and Israel that will be signed on Tuesday mentions the Palestinian issue and the two-state solution as part of a reference to previous agreements which were signed, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash told me in a Zoom briefing.

Why it matters: Gargash’s comments gave the first substantive details from the agreement which up to now remained completely secret. The UAE pushed back on criticism against the agreement, with Israel stressing the deal will also help the Palestinians.

Sep 14, 2020 - World

Netanyahu offsets historic UAE, Bahrain accords with Israel's return to COVID lockdown

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a briefing on coronavirus developments in Israel at his office in Jerusalem, on Sept. 13. Photo by Yoav Dudkevitch / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was balancing his greatest achievement against his greatest failure as he arrived in Washington on Monday.

Why it matters: Netanyahu on Tuesday will be among those at the White House to sign historic and strategic agreements normalizing relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, while back home, Israelis grapple with the economic and health crisis brought by a second lockdown to contain the coronavirus. The virus has made many Israelis indifferent to the big event at the White House.

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