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Tue. Oct 4, 2016 News from Israel

  • American businessman questioned about allegations relating to Netanyahu
  • Herzog denies rumors of progress in unity government talks
  • John Kerry says US would continue to seek peaceful resolution in Syria

American businessman Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, was questioned by the police last Friday, ahead of Shimon Peres' funeral, about allegations relating to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife. Over the next few days, a special team of the police's Lahav 433 unit is expected to go to New York to get a more detailed testimony from Lauder.

Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog has denied the rumors that he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have made significant progress over the holiday in their negotiations for forming a unity government. According to reports on Channel 10, the two leaders have agreed that Labor would join Netanyahu's government and that eight of its members would be appointed as ministers. In an interview to Channel 2 News, Herzog said the rumors were completely false, and claimed that certain political sources were feeding them to journalists in order to break up his party.


Following the suspension of talks with Russia over maintaining a ceasefire in Syria, US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused the Russians of prolonging the conflict, and said the United States would continue to pursue a peaceful resolution. However, in closed discussions with Syrian opposition leaders, Kerry has admitted that US President Barack Obama was not giving him the authority to take any serious measures against Assad's regime. On Wednesday, Kerry is expected to consult with European leaders on the matter. In the meantime, the Syrian army is continuing to strike the rebel-held eastern city of Aleppo, and the Russians are intensifying their military campaign as well.

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