Mahmoud Abbas

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Palestinian President May Once Have Been KGB Agent

Soviet document lists Mahmoud Abbas as agent code named 'Mole'

(Newser) - It appears Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, worked for the KGB during the Cold War, the New York Times reports. It's information that seems relevant now, as Vladimir Putin, a former KGB lieutenant colonel, and Russia are attempting to start new peace talks between Abbas and... More »

Palestinians Set Fire to Joseph's Tomb

IDF spokesman calls it 'blatant violation of the basic value of freedom of worship'

(Newser) - A holy site in the West Bank often visited by Jewish pilgrims under the cover of darkness with the Israeli military protecting them was set on fire by Palestinians Thursday night. Though firefighters put out the blaze, the incident has only added fuel to the fire already burning between the... More »

Palestinian Leader: Our Accords With Israel Null and Void

Abbas says Israel hasn't been honoring them

(Newser) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to drop a "bombshell" ahead of his speech to the UN General Assembly today, leading to speculation that he might sever all ties with Israel. He didn't go that far, reports AP , but his speech made clear how bleak Israeli-Palestinian relations are. Abbas... More »

Amid Flight Ban, Kerry Lands in Israel

White House rejects request to drop FAA ban

(Newser) - As Israel continued to pound Gaza, John Kerry arrived for cease-fire talks today, landing in Tel Aviv despite the FAA's 24-hour ban on US flights to Israel . The secretary of state, whose Air Force flight was not affected by the commercial ban brought in after a rocket hit a... More »

Ceasefire Over: Toll in Gaza Hits 87, 13 Israeli Troops

Deadliest day as ground offensive grinds on

(Newser) - This morning's two-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza was officially over at 8:30am Eastern, but in reality it didn't last an hour and the death toll continues to rise from the heavy shelling. The number getting attention is the 13 infantry soldiers that Israel is reporting were killed... More »

3 Teens Were Kidnapped by Terrorists: Netanyahu

Missing group includes one US citizen

(Newser) - Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed last night that three teenage boys, one of whom has dual Israeli-American citizenship , have been kidnapped by terrorists after disappearing Thursday night in the West Bank. "Our boys were kidnapped by a terrorist organization. Plain and simple, there’s no doubt about it,... More »

Pope Prays at West Bank Barrier

Israeli, Palestinian presidents accept invitation to Vatican

(Newser) - The pope's Holy Land visit has been full of surprises. In an unplanned move today, Pope Francis stopped to pray at the concrete wall dividing Bethlehem and Jerusalem—a wall which, to Palestinans, symbolizes oppression by Israel, Reuters notes. Graffiti where he prayed read, "Free Palestine." The... More »

Netanyahu, Abbas Go New Round on Hamas, Holocaust

Bibi wants Palestinians to dump Hamas yesterday

(Newser) - As Israel today marks its annual Holocaust commemoration, the AP notes that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a rare statement proclaiming that "what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era" and expressing his "sympathy... More »

Hamas, Fatah to Reunite

Israel says it will end peace process

(Newser) - Palestine's long-feuding Hamas and Fatah factions have agreed to reunite, they announced today, following a meeting in Gaza yesterday. The groups plan to form a unity government in the next five weeks, and then hold national elections in six months, the Jerusalem Post reports. This isn't the first... More »

How Abbas' Signature Could Derail Peace Talks

He moved to join 15 international organizations last night

(Newser) - The words appearing in a slew of leads about Israel and Palestine today: surprise and collapse. The former is a reference to a move by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who late yesterday signed a slew of applications to join 15 international treaties and conventions; as the New York Times puts... More »

Palestinian President: We'd Let NATO Stay

Abbas says troops could remain in Palestinian state 'indefinitely': Thomas Friedman

(Newser) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has a security proposal for Israel: Work with us to establish a Palestinian state, and NATO soldiers can remain in it "for a long time, and wherever they want." In an interview with the New York Times ' Thomas Friedman and Jodi Rudoren, picked... More »

John Kerry: Israel's Settlements Are 'Illegitimate'

Netanyahu says he's 'concerned'

(Newser) - John Kerry threw a rhetorical jab at Israel, rebuking it for its latest round of West Bank settlement construction, after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem today. "Let me emphasize that the position of the United States is that we consider now, and have always considered, the... More »

Abbas: Not a Single Israeli in a Palestinian State

Palestinian leader stands firm as peace talks kick off

(Newser) - As his top aides and their Israeli counterparts sat down in Washington for the first direct peace talks in years , Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made it clear that he had not softened his stance on the presence of Israeli settlers and border forces in a future Palestinian state. "In... More »

Kerry Wasting His Time on Mideast Peace Talks

Jeffrey Goldberg: Welcome to diplomatic 'Groundhog Day'

(Newser) - Congratulations, John Kerry. You've not only managed to get Israel and the Palestinian Authority to agree on new peace talks , you've even managed to score some prisoner releases in advance. What's next? Only for both sides to "sit down and yell at each other before retreating... More »

Kerry's Peace Plan: $4B West Bank Boost

Private cash will drastically cut unemployment, he says

(Newser) - John Kerry has unveiled a plan to get Israeli-Palestinian peace talks moving—and the West Bank economy bustling—with a $4 billion injection of private sector funds. (The money wouldn't come from US taxpayers, but the State Department shed little light on the companies or kinds of investments involved.... More »

Obama: Israel Settlements in West Bank Not Appropriate

Earlier, Gaza militants fired rockets into Israel during Obama visit

(Newser) - President Obama headed over to the West Bank today for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which he blasted Israel's settlement activity as neither constructive or appropriate. At a news conference with Abbas, Obama said he's told Israel's leaders as much, the AP reports,... More »

Obama Lands in Israel Amid Low Expectations

Iran, Syria, Palestine will be discussed

(Newser) - President Obama arrived in Israel today for his first visit to the country since taking office, the AP reports, calling the itinerary "laden more with symbolism than substance." Foremost on the agenda: Iran's nuclear program, the Syria conflict, and the Israel-Palestine peace process. Obama is meeting with... More »

Abbas: We Won't Allow Israeli Settlements

Netanyahu: 'I don't care what the United Nations says'

(Newser) - With tensions rising over new Israeli settlement plans , Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said today that he will not allow settlements in a highly sensitive area bordering Jerusalem, reports the Jerusalem Post . Building plans in the 5-square-mile E1 corridor are "a red line and we will not allow it to... More »

Abbas Returns, Hailed as Hero

Palestinians elated over UN's recognition; Israel seethes

(Newser) - Mahmoud Abbas returned home today to something of a rock star's welcome: Cheering crowds chanting his name and waving Palestinian flags greeted the president, who is fresh off his successful bid to have the United Nations recognize Palestine , reports al-Jazeera . "Yes, now we have a state," Abbas... More »

UN Poised to Make Palestine a Non-Member State

US, Israel battle the change

(Newser) - The United Nations will today vote on elevating Palestine's status from "entity" to "non-member state"—and the measure should sail through the General Assembly, Reuters reports. Developing countries are set to back the transition, as are more than a dozen European countries, including France and Spain.... More »

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