Monday, May 11, 2009


* Pope vows to fight anti-Semitism Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Israel on Monday, starting a historic five-day pilgrimage by calling for peace, an end to anti-Semitism, and freedom of worship and understanding between religions.

* Netanyahu: Peace talks will begin soon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in Sharm e-Sheikh that Israel wants to renew negotiations with the Palestinians as soon as possible.

* PA jails Hamas activist for coup plot In the first verdict of its kind, a Palestinian Authority court in Nablus sentenced a Hamas activist to 18 months in prison on charges of plotting to stage a coup against the regime of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

* Netanyahu-Obama meeting crucial to Middle East US President Barack Obama's meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu next week has become the acid test for the White House's commitment to peace in the Middle East, King Abdullah II of Jordan said.

* Blair: We've reached a moment of truth The Quartet's envoy Tony Blair observed that "you'd be nuts if you were naively optimistic" regarding the chances of a peacemaking breakthrough "after all we've been through over the years."

* Pakistan steps up Swat offensive Pakistan's military is stepping up an offensive against the Taleban, after a weekend in which it said it killed 200 militants in and near the Swat valley.

* Russia to host UN talks to revive Mideast peace Security Council chair calls open debate in hopes of adopting draft statement calling for "lasting peace in the region."

* Israel is quietly expelling young settler couples from West Bank The head of the municipal council of West Bank settlements accused the government on Monday of indirectly causing the "expulsion" of young Israelis from the territories.

* Ankara's closer ties with Muslim countries EU compatible EU accession remains Turkey's main priority after a cabinet reshuffle, with the country's new policy of forging stronger ties with Muslim neighbours seen as EU compatible despite concerns from the secularist oppposition.

* Pope Calls for Palestinian Homeland Pope Benedict has called for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict - a position that could put him at odds with Israel's new government.

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