Tag: middleeast

Yair Lapid gets mandate to try to form next Israeli government

Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party came second in the March 23 election to Netanyahu’s Likud, received the mandate Wednesday evening from President Reuven Rivlin. After consulting with all the parties in parliament, Rivlin said: “It is clear Member of Knesset Lapid has a chance to form a government that will get support in the Knesset, […]

Senior Swiss diplomat in Iran found dead after fall from high-rise building

The Swiss foreign ministry (FDFA) said an employee at its embassy in Iran had died of an accident, without identifying the victim. “The FDFA and its head Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis are shocked by the tragic death and express their deepest condolences to the family,” it said. Iranian emergency services spokesman Mojtaba Khaledi said the […]

Netanyahu misses deadline to build a new government. Here’s what comes next

Seconds before the deadline passed, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Likud party announced he had returned the mandate to form a new government back to President Reuven Rivlin. The onus is now on the President to decide which of Israel’s other political leaders he might entrust with the task of trying to form a […]

Deadline looms for Netanyahu to build new government in Israel

One of the key figures Netanyahu needs to get onboard is former Defense Minister Naftali Bennett of the right-wing Yamina party. Bennett appeared to reject an offer by Netanyahu to rotate the Premiership on Monday, even though the offer included Bennett going first in the rotation. But even if he changes his mind over the […]

Recriminations begin over deadly crush at a religious festival in Israel

The somber mood was accompanied by a fierce public debate and accusations over the behavior of key public officials as well as Israel’s ultra-Orthodox communities, from which most of the dead and wounded come. Late Saturday evening, officials from the Institute of Forensic Medicine said all but three of the bodies had been identified, with […]

Mount Meron stampede is “one of the worst disasters” in Israeli history, prime minister says

Ultra-Orthodox Jews look at the scene on April 30 following the Lag B’Omer festival on Mount Meron in Israel. Sebastian Scheiner/AP Israel’s emergency service director General Eli Bin said on Friday that the Mount Meron crush is “one of the most difficult civil disasters the State of Israel has ever known.” “It is difficult to […]

Eyewitnesses criticize the police response to chaos at Mount Meron

Jewish worshipers lingered at the holy site of Mount Meron on Friday trying to understand how the disaster unfolded.  The scene of the disaster is a stadium-style seating area used by Orthodox worshipers to light bonfires. The ramp leading down to the steps remains rather slippery following reports of water being sprayed at fleeing worshipers. […]

Israel religious festival crush kills 45: Live updates

Israeli security officials and rescuers stand around the bodies of victims who died during Lag Ba’Omer celebrations at Mount Meron. Ishay Jerusalemite/Behadrei Haredim/AP Israeli investigators are examining what caused a crush that killed at least 44 worshipers at a mass religious gathering in Mount Meron overnight. Thousands of worshipers had crowded onto the mountain burial […]

Abbas postpones Palestinian elections, blaming Israel over East Jerusalem impasse

The announcement ends weeks of mounting speculation that Abbas would nix the vote and looks certain to trigger a blame game involving the international community, as well as widespread frustration among Palestinians, who were set to vote in popular elections for the first time in fifteen years. Voting for the Palestinian Legislative Council was set […]

Lebanon battles swarms of locusts after wind changes direction

The agriculture ministry, which is on full alert, said on Monday large numbers of the locusts had been destroyed. There have been no big farming losses so far but there are concerns that more swarms could be blown to the south of Lebanon, caretaker agriculture minister Abbas Mortada told Reuters. “We managed in little time […]

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