Middle East

Militants launch two rockets into Israel from Sinai

Two rockets fired from Egypt's Sinai peninsula landed in Israel on Monday.

Germany cancels meeting with Israel after new settlement law passed

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has cancelled a meeting with the Israeli government, a government spokesman said in Berlin on Monday.

Hamas elects former prisoner as chief of movement in the Gaza Strip

The Islamic Hamas movement has chosen Yehya al-Sinwar as its new chief in the Gaza Strip, the group's Al-Risala news site reported on Monday.

Islamic State claims rocket attack on Israeli town

An Islamic State affiliate, active in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, claimed Thursday a rocket attack on the resort town of Eilat in Israel.

Medics: Israeli war jets strike on Gaza-Egypt border area, two killed

Two Palestinians were killed and five were wounded Thursday in a pre-dawn Israeli air strike on the border between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, medical sources and witnesses said. The casualties occurred when Israeli war jets struck an underground smuggling tunnel with air-to-ground missiles, the Health Ministry in Gaza said in an emailed press statement.

Lawyers file Supreme Court petition against Israeli settlement law

Lawyers representing Palestinian local councils in the West Bank filed a Supreme Court petition against Israel's new settlement legalization law on Wednesday, a legal rights group said.

Israeli settlement legalization law unlikely to stand, says expert

A recently passed law that legalizes settlements in the West Bank discriminates against Palestinians and will not stand before the Supreme Court, an Israeli legal expert said Tuesday.

Israeli parliament passes law retroactively legalizing settlements

Israel's parliament on Monday voted in favour of a law that would retroactively legalize Israeli settlements built on Palestinian-owned land.

Medics: Israeli war jets carry out 19 airstrikes on Gaza; 3 wounded

Israeli war jets carried out around 19 airstrikes on posts and positions belong to the Hamas movement and other minor militant groups in the Gaza Strip, medical and security sources said Monday.Ashraf al-Qedra, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman, told reporters that at least three civilians were lightly to moderately injured in the airstrikes, which began in the morning.

Israeli police wrap up evacuation of unauthorized West Bank outpost

At least 17 officers were hurt Thursday after Israeli police finished removing the last demonstrators from the unauthorized West Bank settlement of Amona, according to police.

Evacuation of unauthorized West Bank settlement turns violent

Clashes erupted between Israeli security forces and settlers in Amona on Wednesday after authorities began to evacuate the unauthorized West Bank settlement for a planned demolition of its houses, local media reported.

Israel approves construction of more than 3,000 West Bank homes

Israel has approved the construction of more than 3,000 housing units in West Bank settlements, as the country's army prepares to evacuate the unauthorized settlement of Amona, local media reported late Tuesday.

Reports: Residents of Israeli settlement given 48 hours to evacuate

The Israeli army has ordered residents of the illegal West Bank settlement of Amona to evacuate their homes within 48 hours, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.

White House aware of Iran ballistic missile test

The White House is aware that Iran conducted a ballistic missile test over the weekend, but had no response to the launch, spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday.

Bill legalizing settlements won't pass Supreme Court, minister admits

Israel's defence minister has said that "it doesn't take a genius" to know that the Supreme Court will reject a bill retroactively legalizing thousands of Israeli settlements.

Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers in West Bank refugee camp

A 19-year-old Palestinian man was killed and five others wounded early Sunday when Israeli forces stormed into Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, according to official sources.

Palestinian shot dead after alleged car ramming attack in West Bank

A Palestinian man was shot dead on Wednesday after he allegedly rammed his car into a bus stop east of Ramallah in the West Bank, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

Israel approves 2,500 new homes in the West Bank

Israel on Tuesday approved the construction of 2,500 housing units in the West Bank, in one of the biggest such announcements in several years.

Palestinians warn Trump of dangers of relocating US embassy in Israel

Palestinian officials warned the new US administration of President Donald Trump on Monday that talk about preparing to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is "very dangerous."

Trump invites Netanyahu to meeting as new settlement action weighed

US President Donald Trump has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet him at the White House next month, the White House said.

Netanyahu wants to discuss Iranian threat with Trump

Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu wants to coordinate future Iran policy with US President Donald Trump, he wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

EU foreign ministers discuss Syria, Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Foreign ministers of European Union member states began talks on Monday over the Syrian crisis and the stalled Middle East peace process.

Diplomats call for direct talks on two-state solution in Middle East

Diplomats from nearly 70 countries called for a two-state solution in the Middle East in a joint statement Sunday, encouraging the Israelis and Palestinians to achieve peace by pursuing direct negotiations

Netanyahu slams planned Paris Middle East conference as 'rigged'

A Middle East peace conference planned in Paris at the weekend is "rigged" slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, calling it the "last gasp of the past before the future sets in."

Israeli army warns soldiers over Hamas Facebook hack

The Israeli army warned its soldiers on Wednesday that its Islamist arch-enemy Hamas was using fake Facebook profiles to gain access to their mobile phone data.

Deadly truck ramming "a new type of attack," says Israel's Netanyahu

A deadly truck ramming in East Jerusalem at the weekend was "a new type of attack," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, adding that Israel was taking steps to prepare for similar actions in the future.

Netanyahu likens deadly Jerusalem truck-ramming to attacks in Europe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday connected a deadly truck ramming in East Jerusalem that left four soldiers dead with similar attacks last year in Europe.

Four killed as driver steers truck into pedestrians in Jerusalem

At least four people were killed and 15 injured on Sunday after a truck swerved into a group of soldiers getting off a bus in East Jerusalem, according to police.

Israel cuts UN payments to protest settlements condemnation

Israel will withhold about 6 million dollars in UN dues to protest the international body's recent condemnation of Israel for building settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, its UN ambassador tweeted late Friday.

Palestinian leader: Moving US embassy to Jerusalem crosses red line

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Friday that moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be crossing a red line and bring the Middle East peace process to an impasse

Two arrested for online incitement after Israeli soldier found guilty

Israeli police have arrested two people for allegedly writing inciting Facebook posts against the judges in a soldier's high-profile manslaughter trial, a police spokesman said on Thursday.

Netanyahu calls for pardon in high-profile manslaughter case

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night called for the pardoning of an Israeli soldier found guilty of manslaughter for the killing of a wounded Palestinian assailant.

Britain PM May slams Kerry's Middle East speech

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry's speech on peace in the Middle East as an attack on the Israeli government.

Israeli minister: Palestinian state will be off the table under Trump

The Palestinian state will no longer be a topic when US president-elect Donald Trump takes office next month, a top right-wing Israeli minister told the Ynet news portal on Thursday.

Two-state solution imperiled, Kerry says in parting shot at Israel

John Kerry used one his last speeches as US secretary of state to scold Israel for expanding its settlements, warning that it put the two-state solution in "serious jeopardy."

Abbas: Ready to restart talks, if settlement construction stops

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that if Israel stops settlement construction, then he will be ready to resume peace negotiations.

Israeli minister lashes out at Kerry ahead of peace speech

A high-ranking Israeli minister on Wednesday lashed out at US Secretary of State John Kerry's planned speech on the Middle East peace process, calling it "pathetic."

Palestinian President Abbas calls for timetable on ending occupation

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for a timetable for ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank following a UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement activity.

Ukraine summons Israeli ambassador over cancelled visit by Netanyahu

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has summoned Israel's ambassador to discuss a cancelled meeting between the nations' prime ministers, said an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday.

Closed doors breed violence, top Roman Catholic cleric says

Closed doors and defended borders are metaphors for fear that breed violence, the top Roman Catholic cleric in Jerusalem said in his midnight Christmas homily in Bethlehem.

Thousands gather in Bethlehem for Christmas festivities

Tens of thousands of Christians from around the world have gathered on Saturday in the Holy Land to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem.

Hezbollah using US-supplied weapons in Syria, says Israeli official

The radical Islamist Hezbollah group is fighting in war-torn Syria with armoured transport vehicles from the US intended for the Lebanese army, an Israeli army official said on Wednesday.

Israel's Netanyahu under fire for comparing his plight to settlers

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was under fire Wednesday after reportedly telling settlers facing eviction that he once had to stay at a hotel after being ousted from his residence.

Israeli minister attacked amid anger over West Bank eviction deadline

Dozens of protesters at a flashpoint West Bank settlement attacked Israel's construction minister who came to visit on Sunday as a court-mandated deadline for residents to leave the area looms.

Israeli forces fatally shoot 19-year-old Palestinian during clashes

A 19-year-old Palestinian man was killed early Sunday after Israeli forces opened fire during clashes in Beit Rima, north of Ramallah, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

Hamas leader mentions possibility of prisoner swap with Israel

The Palestinian Islamist militant movement Hamas will be able to make another prisoner swap deal with Israel, a senior Hamas leader said Friday.

Four dead in Gaza-Egypt border tunnel after flooding causes collapse

Four men who had gone missing after an illegal smuggling tunnel connecting the Gaza Strip with Egypt collapsed on them were confirmed dead on Sunday by a Palestinian official.

Israeli official slams Palestinian leader Abbas as "enemy number one"

A key Israeli minister on Thursday slammed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as "enemy number one," a day after Abbas warned he would withdraw his recognition of Israel if the Israeli government did not recognize Palestine.

Palestinian youth killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers, medics say

A Palestinian youth was killed on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers stationed at the border area between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics and eyewitnesses said.

Israeli court rejects delay to West Bank settlement demolition

Israel's Supreme Court on Monday denied a government request to delay the demolition of homes in a West Bank settlement for several months, according to a court statement.

Trump adviser says West Bank settlements do not impede peace

US president-elect Donald Trump does not view Israeli settlements in the West Bank as an obstacle to peace, one of his advisers told Israel Army Radio on Thursday.

Israeli ambassador wants UN to cut funding for human rights group

Israeli UN ambassador Danny Danon called on the UN Security Council Wednesday to suspend UN funding to the B'Tselem human rights group, which had testified at a special meeting of the council on Israeli settlements last week.

Israeli army tears down West Bank residence of Palestinian prisoner

The West Bank home of a Palestinian prisoner accused of helping plot the 2015 killing of an Israeli pair in front of their children was destroyed Tuesday by the Israeli army, a spokesman said.

Gaza, West Bank crossings to close for Jewish holiday

Crossings from Israel into Palestinian territories in the Gaza Strip and West Bank will be closed starting Monday night due to the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, according to an Israeli army statement.

Two killed after shooting attack on light-rail station in Jerusalem

Two people were killed and at least six injured in a drive-by shooting at a light rail station in Jerusalem on Sunday, according to police and emergency service officials.

Rockets fired from Gaza strike southern Israel for a second day

A rocket from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel on Thursday, with no injuries reported, the Israeli army said, the second such strike in two days.

Gaza Strip targeted by airstrikes after rocket hits southern Israel

Israeli planes carried out a series of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday afternoon, according to Hamas security officials, after a rocket from the area struck southern Israel.

Netanyahu, Abbas face criticism after funeral for Israel's Peres

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should not have shaken Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' hand at the funeral of Shimon Peres, Israel's justice minister said on local radio Sunday.

Israel to close Gaza, West Bank crossings during Jewish holiday

Crossings into the Gaza Strip and West Bank will be closed starting Sunday night, when Jewish New Year festivities begin, according to an Israeli army statement.

Palestinian official slams Trump's promise of "undivided" Jerusalem

A top Palestinian official on Monday condemned a statement by US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that he would recognize Jerusalem as "the undivided capital" of Israel.

Preacher to serve 8 months for incitement over Temple Mount sermon

An Islamic preacher was sentenced on Sunday to eight months in prison for incitement over a 2014 sermon he gave at the al-Aqsa Mosque at Temple Mount, according to a court statement.

Palestinians push for UN Security Council resolution on settlements

The Palestinians were in "extensive consultations" to pass a resolution at the UN Security Council on Israel's continued settlement activity, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

Top EU court should strike Hamas off terrorist list, adviser says

The Islamic militant group Hamas should be removed from the EU list of terrorist organizations, an adviser to the bloc's top court recommended Thursday, agreeing with an earlier finding that procedural errors had been made.

Group threatens US citizens after Hamas leader added to terror list

A pro-Hamas military group on Sunday threatened to begin targeting US citizens, a response to the US State Department's recent decision to include a top Hamas leader in its list of world terrorists.

Hamas slams US for listing leader among world terrorists

The Islamic Hamas movement condemned on Saturday the decision of the US State Department to include one of its top leaders in the Gaza Strip, Fathi Hammad, in its list of world terrorists.

Syria truce largely holds as death toll tops 300,000

A ceasefire in Syria was largely holding on Tuesday as the death toll from the country's five-year conflict exceeded 300,000.

No breakthrough in US, Russian diplomatic talks on Syria

The top diplomats of the United States and Russia were meeting in Geneva on Friday for talks about the war in Syria.

Pentagon: US patrol ship harassed by Iranian fast boats in Gulf

The US Navy said Tuesday one of its ships had again been harassed by Iranian vessels in international waters in the Persian Gulf.

Israel approves 463 housing settlements in the West Bank

Israel authorized the construction of hundreds of more housing units in the West Bank, despite calls by world powers to halt settlement activity.

UN: No halt to Israeli settlements despite Quartet recommendations

Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank has continued over the last two months despite recommendations by world powers to the contrary in an effort to revive negotiations over a two-state solution in the Middle East, a top UN official said Monday.

Palestinian man shot by Israeli soldiers in West Bank

A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli soldiers Friday as he ran towards them on the West Bank, according to an army spokeswoman.

Israeli police detain Jews who entered West Bank city without permit

Israeli authorities arrested dozens of ultraorthodox Jews overnight after they entered a West Bank city without a permit, police said Tuesday.

Palestinian accused of killing police beaten to death in jail

A Palestinian accused of being the mastermind behind a shooting last week that killed two security officers in the northern West Bank city of Nablus was beaten to death while in detention, officials said on Tuesday.

Israel carries out wave of airstrikes in Gaza following rocket fire

Israel carried out airstrikes overnight against dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip, an official said Monday, with the military saying the raids were in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave targeting a southern Israeli city.

Israeli army strikes in Gaza Strip after rocket attacks

Israeli army artillery and war jets struck targets belonging to Hamas militants in the northern Gaza Strip, injuring at least one person on Sunday.

Berlin stresses anti-terror partnership with Ankara fearing fresh row

Berlin attempted on Wednesday to head off the renewed tensions with Turkey after Ankara lashed out at a confidential German government document accusing the nation of promoting radical Islamic groups.

Raid on refugee camp in West Bank leaves 35 Palestinians injured

An overnight raid by the Israeli army on a refugee camp south of Hebron left 35 Palestinians injured after residents reacted violently, Maan news agency reported Tuesday.

Iran arrests suspected British spy

Iran has arrested a dual-national it suspects of working for the British secret services, Public Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said Tuesday.

Yemeni officials say southern town recaptured from al-Qaeda

Forces loyal to Yemen's internationally recognized government have recaptured a southern provincial capital from al-Qaeda militants, military officials said Sunday.

Kuwait arrests 10 Iranians for alleged infiltration bid

Kuwait said on Sunday it had arrested 10 Iranians while they were trying to illegally enter the country, an incident that could further strain the Gulf nation's ties with Tehran.

Syrian Kurdish forces declare Minbij "liberated" from Islamic State

Syrian Kurdish-led forces, backed by US airstrikes, announced Friday the "liberation" of the key northern Syrian city of Minbij, saying only mine-clearing operations are ongoing, according to a statement carried by the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency.

More than 270 civilians killed in four months in Yemen conflict: UN

The United Nations' human rights office says 272 civilians have been killed in Yemen's conflict in four months alone this year.

Israel accuses second charity group worker of using funds for Hamas

A Palestinian humanitarian aid worker has been accused of using his role with the UN Development Programme to help Hamas, the Israel Security Agency said in a press release Tuesday, the second such case in less than a week.

Al-Aqsa Mosque chief criticizes Israeli police bans at Jerusalem site

Several employees from Waqf, the Muslim trust that administers Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque, have been banned by Israeli police from entering the mosque's walled compound, a Waqf official said Monday.

Allegations of Hamas funding cost World Vision charity major sponsors

Humanitarian aid group World Vision lost two major donors on Friday, one day after an Israeli court charged the charity's head in Gaza with funnelling money to Hamas fighters and buying weapons.

Palestinian official: Israel prevents Olympic team chief leaving

Israeli authorities have prevented the head of Palestinian Olympic team from leaving the Gaza Strip to be with his team in Brazil, a senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday.

Palestinians to sue Britain over Balfour Declaration

Palestinian leaders will sue Britain over its Balfour Declaration 100 years ago which led to the creation of Israel, a top official said Wednesday.

EU questions Israel's "long-term intentions" as settlement progresses

The European Union on Tuesday called into question Israel's intentions for the future, after progress was made on a controversial project to build 770 housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo.

Nine Yemeni troops killed in two suicide attacks in south-east

Nine Yemeni troops were killed Monday in two suicide attacks near the south-eastern city of Mukalla, a security official said.

Israeli parliament passes transparency law targeting rights groups

Israel's parliament has approved a new law that forces NGOs to disclose foreign government funding in all their official publications, a parliamentary statement said Tuesday. 

Egypt minister's rare visit to Israel fans hopes of peace in region

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry urged Israel and the Palestinians to return to long-broken-down peace negotiations Sunday, in the first visit to Israel by a top diplomat from Cairo in nearly a decade.

Egyptian foreign minister in Israel for first such visit in a decade

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry urged Israel and the Palestinians to return to long-broken-down peace negotiations Sunday, in the first visit to Israel by a top diplomat from Cairo in nearly a decade.

Woman with knife shot in West Bank, stabber home to be demolished

A Palestinian woman was shot and injured as she tried to stab a settler near the northern West Bank settlement of Ariel, the military said Tuesday.

Israel authorizes more construction in West Bank, East Jerusalem

Israel authorized the construction of around 800 new homes in West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, Israel Radio reported Monday.

Former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni summoned by Scotland Yard

Israel's former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, was summoned by Scotland Yard over alleged war crimes committed by her government during the 2008-09 first Gaza war, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced Sunday.

Israel's Netanyahu announces new "aggressive" measures in West Bank

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday announced "aggressive" measures against Palestinians in the West Bank, in response to new deadly attacks against Israelis.

Middle East Quartet calls on Israel to end settlement activities

Israel should end its settlement activities in the West Bank if it is serious about a two-state solution in the Middle East, world powers said in a highly anticipated report published Friday, issuing recommendations for both sides in the conflict.

Palestinian stabs Israeli girl to death in West Bank settlement

A Palestinian killed an Israeli-US girl with a knife after infiltrating a Jewish settlement on the southern West Bank, the Israeli military and witnesses said.

Knife attacker kills Israeli girl and is shot dead in settlement

A young Palestinian with a knife infiltrated a Jewish settlement on the southern West Bank, entered a house and stabbed an Israeli girl in her bed, before being shot dead by a security patrol team Thursday, the military and witnesses said.

Israel and Turkey restore diplomatic relations after six-year split

Israel and Turkey announced a deal Monday to fully restores diplomatic ties, including the exchange of ambassadors, six years after an acrimonious rupture between the historic allies.