President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerge from their re-election campaigns confronting the same disputes that divided them last year: peace talks with the Palestinians, settlements and, above all, Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was weakened in Israel’s election as his Likud-Beitenu ticket fell short of projections and voters flocked to an upstart party led by ex-TV host Yair Lapid, according to exit polls.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said all possible means must be tried before a military strike against Iran and that the U.S. is prepared to use force if needed to stop the Iranian development of an atomic bomb.
Israeli jets struck the Gaza Strip today, killing the leader of Hamas’s military wing as the army pledged the use of ground troops for the first time since 2009 if required to end attacks on its citizens.
The U.S. and Israel began their biggest joint air and missile defense exercise today amid rising tensions with Iran and as American presidential candidates prepare for a foreign-policy debate expected to focus on the region.