Israel-Palestine News Compiler

Obama wants Israel to hold parallel talks with Palestinians and Syria

Posted in Israel and the US, US and Palestine by beyondtheborder on April 17, 2009

The Obama administration is preparing a Middle East peace process that will include simultaneous bilateral talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and Syria. The plan is based on the Arab peace initiative that offers establishing normal relations between Israel and Arab League states in exchange for withdrawing from the occupied territories and establishing a Palestinian state.

The United States will put together a “security package,” including demilitarization of the territories from which Israel will withdraw and the option of stationing a multinational force in them for years.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078889.html

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IDF deal for F-35 sours over soaring costs of fighter jets

Posted in Internal Israeli Affairs, Israel and the US by beyondtheborder on April 17, 2009

Because of the F-35’s structure, which places missiles, bombs and electronic devices inside the plane, no system can be installed externally and considerable internal modifications would be required.

These modifications push up the aircraft’s price by at least 25 percent. In 2002, Lockheed Martin cited the cost of one F-35 at some $47 million, but now the official price is about $80 million, in part reflecting the dollar’s devaluation. The modifications Israel is demanding raise the price tag to over $100 million.

One Pentagon estimate quoted the cost of 75 F-35s in addition to spare parts, engines and a comprehensive support system at $15 billion. Senior defense establishment officials say such prices are prohibitive.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078888.html

Court: Dichter cannot be sued in U.S. over 2002 Gaza bombing

Posted in Israel and the US, US and Palestine by beyondtheborder on April 16, 2009

A New York federal appeals court said on Thursday that former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter cannot be sued in the United States for 15 deaths in a Gaza City bombing. The court said the former security official was immune under common law from being held responsible for the July 2002 bombing of an apartment complex.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078829.html

The target of the bombing was Hamas leader Saleh Shehada, but the strike also killed 14 civilians.

US District Judge William H. Pauley III said in a written decision that he ”cannot ignore the potential impact of this litigation on the Middle East’s delicate diplomacy.”

For full article, visit http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3395161,00.html

Israel: No objection to West’s talks with Tehran

Israel does not object to talks between the West and Iran intended to stop Iran’s nuclearization, as long as Iran does not take advantage of these talks, a top source in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government told Haaretz Thursday.

The source was commenting on the announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration that it will fully participate in talks with Iran on its nuclear program, putting the ball in Tehran’s court with a new engagement policy.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1077654.html

Obama to visit Israel, West Bank in June

The decision to visit Jerusalem several weeks after his first meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington is meant to emphasize Obama’s commitment to an active role in achieving a two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1077070.html

US Envoy Writes of Israeli Threats

“I was the target of an assassination attempt by terrorists using automatic rifles and antitank weapons that had been made in the United States and shipped to Israel,” he wrote. “Weapons financed and given by the United States to Israel were used in an attempt to kill an American diplomat!” After the event, conspiracy theories abounded in the Middle East about who could have planned the attack, and why. Lebanon was a dangerously factionalized country.

For full article, visit http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090413/crossette