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Fri, Mar 8, 2013 News from Israel

Progress in coalition talks

Clashes on Temple Mount

President Peres meets French President Hollande

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Coalition talks continue. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and There is a Future leader Yair Lapid met at the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem. The two said they made progress in the negotiations. Lapid reportedly will forgo the position of foreign minister in exchange for other top positions for his party. Coalition agreements with There is a Future and the Jewish Home Parties could be signed as early as next week. Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett also expressed optimism regarding coalition talks.

Police officers and Palestinian protestors were injured during clashes on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem following Muslim prayers. Hundreds of Muslim worshippers threw stones at police stationed at the entrance to the Temple Mount. Reinforcements were called in to calm the rioting. Police used stun grenades to disperse the crowds. Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the police forces for the first time on the Temple Mount, causing light injuries to one officer. Overall, nine policemen and five protesters were injured in the clashes.

In Syria, eight United Nations peacekeeping forces from the Philippines abandoned their posts for fear of being kidnapped. They were transferred to Israeli territories. The soldiers were positioned outside a village where clashes are taking place between the Syrian army and rebel forces – the same site where 21 UN soldiers were kidnapped just a few days ago by rebel forces. The soldiers retreat was coordinated with the IDF after the exchange of fire between Syrian army troops and rebels grew near to their position.

President Shimon Peres met with French President Francois Hollande in Paris. Hollande told Peres that he believes the coming period will be the last chance for Iran to put a halt to its nuclear program. The two also discussed the situation in Syria and Hezbollah activities in the area. Peres told reporters that the sanctions on Iran were working, but that they were not enough.

Another swarm of locusts has reached Israel. Thousands reached Israel’s south as Israel’s Agriculture Ministry continues to monitor their progress.

And now for this week in Israel

 Saturday, March 2nd

Prime Minister Netanyahu asks President Peres for extension to form government

Mortar shells from Syria fall on Israeli Golan Heights

Sunday, March 3rd
Prime Minister blames Lapid-Bennett alliance for leaving Shas outside the Government

Monday, March 4th
Biden at AIPAC conference: Israel don’t attack Iran alone

Lapid says coalition negotiations far from over

Small locust swarm reaches Israel

Tuesday, March 5th
Ehud Barak, Chuck Hagel meet in Washington

Wednesday, March 6th
Syrian rebels seize UN peacekeepers near Golan Heights

Thursday, March 7th
Progress in coalition talks

Syria claims Israel hid spy equipment on Syrian coast

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