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 »

Russia May Have Brokered Mideast 'Breakthrough'

Israel, Palestine have agreed 'in principle' to relaunch peace talks in Moscow

(Newser) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed "in principle" to meet in Moscow to relaunch Mideast peace talks after a two-plus-year hiatus, Russia's Foreign Ministry announced Thursday, though the AP reports that it's not clear when. "The most important thing is to... 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 »

Palestinians May Pursue War Crimes Case Against Israel

Abbas agrees to join International Criminal Court

(Newser) - Stung by a resounding defeat in the UN Security Council, the Palestinians announced today that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel. The move by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas set the stage for a diplomatic showdown with the United States and was likely to... 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 »

Israeli, Palestinian Leaders Visit Pope for Prayers

Shimon Peres, Mahmoud Abbas join Pope Francis at Vatican

(Newser) - Pope Francis waded head-first into Mideast peace-making today, welcoming the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to the Vatican for an evening of peace prayers just weeks after the last round of US-sponsored negotiations collapsed . Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas embraced in the foyer of the Vatican hotel... 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 »

Abbas, Peres Accept Francis' Invite to Pray

Pope makes a breakthrough in visit to Bethlehem

(Newser) - The offices of the Israeli and Palestinian presidents are confirming that they have accepted an invitation from Pope Francis to visit the Vatican together next month. At the end of an open-air Mass in the biblical town of Bethlehem today, Francis invited the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the Vatican... 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 »

'Furious' Israel Yanks Peace Talks

Move follows Hamas, Fatah decision to reunite

(Newser) - The Israeli government says it has decided to halt peace talks with the Palestinians in response to yesterday's unity agreement between rival Palestinian factions, abruptly ending the nine-month peace initiative brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry. The negotiating period had been set to end next Tuesday, though both... 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 »

Israel OKs 1.2K New Settlement Homes

As peace talks are supposed to re-start in 3 days

(Newser) - Israel's housing minister has given final approval to construct nearly 1,200 apartments in Jewish settlements, just three days before Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are to resume in Jerusalem. Today's announcement said the new homes would be built in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, lands Israel... 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 Convinces Israel and Palestine to Resume Peace Talks

Netanyahu and Abbas agree to start talks again tomorrow in Washington

(Newser) - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume long-stalled direct peace talks tomorrow, according to the State Department. It says both sides have accepted invitations from John Kerry to come to Washington "to formally resume direct final status negotiations." A department spokesperson says Kerry called Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas... More »

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