Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas backed down again on his threat to quit peace talks over Israeli settlement expansion, this time pending consultation with the Arab League Oct. 4.
The encounter was being closely watched, four months after Israeli commandos raided a similar Gaza-bound boat for Turkey killing nine activists.
Israel rejected the UN Gaza flotilla probe's findings as 'biased.' In Turkey, most politicians welcomed the news and praised the panel's objectivity.
Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls Gaza, is being ignored in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Some think that's a big mistake.
Israeli officials said white phosphorus – an incendiary banned for offensive use under international law – was in two of nine mortar shells fired from Gaza into southern Israel. Israel itself has been accused of using the weapon in Gaza.
Jerusalem is considered by many to be the trickiest issue to resolve in a two-state solution to Middle East peace. Israelis see the city as their “undivided and eternal capital” but Palestinians also seek to put their future capital in East Jerusalem, which is predominantly Arab. SPECIAL REPORT: How the battle for Jerusalem plays out in one neighborhood Amid changing demographics and plans for new Jewish development in East Jerusalem, the city has become an intensifying battleground for sovereignty. Here are five reasons why (in no particular order):
The end goal of the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is two separate, sovereign states. Palestinians say that the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, deemed illegal by the United Nations, influence the outcome of such talks. With more than 300,000 Israelis now living in such settlements, Israel expects to keep at least some of them under a final peace deal – possibly as part of a land swap. An estimated three-quarters of Israeli settlers live on a relatively small percentage of the West Bank, most of them in communities adjacent to Israel proper. Some of them are ideologically driven and some are attracted by the low cost of living; many are motivated by a combination of the two. Here are the five most populous settlements in the West Bank.