Wednesday, June 18, 2008


* As truce nears, IDF told to be ready Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday he hopes the Gaza truce will hold.

* Sarkozy aide: Olmert and Assad could meet in Paris next month Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could meet on the sidelines of a summit in Paris next month.

* Israel agrees to Gaza ceasefire Israel has approved a ceasefire to end months of bitter clashes with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed.

* Israel says it's ready to begin peace talks with Lebanon Government spokesman Mark Regev said on Wednesday that Israel is interested in direct, bilateral talks with Lebanon.

* Peres, King Abdullah meet in Petra President Shimon Peres arrived in Petra on Wednesday morning, where he met with King Abdullah II.

* Knesset Committee Passes Golan Bill in First Reading By an 8-4 vote, the Knesset House Committee passed an early version of a law requiring a popular referendum before the Golan could be given away.

* ANALYSIS / Cease-fire deal means Hamas is calling the shots The main points of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas grant the Islamic organization a political and diplomatic achievement.

* Syria: Peace with Israel will be 'bliss' A senior Syrian official has expressed confidence regarding the possibility that indirect peace talks with Israel will come to fruition.

* MEPs in passionate war of words over Irish No Supporters and opponents of the Lisbon Treaty in the European Parliament have crossed rhetorical swords in a debate over the consequences of Ireland's No to the document.

* Abbas to visit Gaza for dialogue with Hamas Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to visit the Gaza Strip for the first time since Hamas's violent takeover of the area in June 2007.

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