Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said expanded West Bank settlements near Jerusalem will eventually become part of Israel as he clashed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the prospective housing plan.
As Khamis Nammour ladles steaming fava-bean stew onto plates of hummus at his Gaza City restaurant, he keeps an eye on the television screen for news about the Palestinian bid for United Nations recognition.
Leaders of 11 Palestinian groups signed an Egypt-mediated accord between Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ’s Fatah party, paving the way for a formal declaration of the agreement.
Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit may be released as early as next week after Israel and Hamas reached agreement to end his five-year captivity in the Gaza Strip in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
The Islamic Hamas movement and the secular Fatah party agreed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will head an interim unity government that aims to facilitate elections and rebuild the Gaza Strip.
President Barack Obama faced an immediate challenge to the Middle East talks he opens today as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the Palestinians insisted that Israel hold to its freeze on West Bank settlement building.