JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is headed toward an unprecedented repeat election on Tuesday with no guarantee that the do-over vote will produce a more decisive result than the inconclusive one last...
Israeli PM’s bid to place cameras at polling stations fails
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed on Monday in his eleventh hour bid to legislate that cameras be installed in polling stations to prevent what his supporters claim...
Israeli PM’s former protege could now bring his downfall
JERUSALEM (AP) — Avigdor Lieberman entered Israeli politics as a loyal protégé of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Now, the maverick politician could be the one to topple his former...
JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's complicated relationship with an angry former protege has sent Israeli politics into uncharted waters.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is in unchartered political territory after the newly elected parliament dissolved itself early on Thursday and set another election date, within six months of the previous...
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel was in an unprecedented political impasse Tuesday as parliament pressed forward with legislation to dissolve itself in a high-stakes showdown that could lead to another...
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's parliament on Monday passed a preliminary motion to dissolve itself. The move further pushed the country toward an unprecedented political impasse, less than two months...
Divisive bill on hold as Israel grapples with new coalition
JERUSALEM (AP) — A parliamentary vote on a contentious Israeli bill meant to rein in cultural content deemed disloyal to the state is being postponed.
Monday's vote was apparently delayed because the coalition was unable to whip up enough votes to pass the bill. It could be shelved indefinitely.
Netanyahu takes on defense post amid call for early polls
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he would take on the defense minister portfolio, rejecting calls to dissolve his government even as early elections appeared increasingly likely.
Netanyahu said heading to elections now, amid repeated violent confrontations with Gaza militants, was "irresponsible" of his coalition partners, who have been pushing for early polls since the resignation last week of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman over a Gaza cease-fire.
The Latest: Israeli PM Netanyahu takes over defense ministry
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on the political developments in Israel (all times local):
Israel's prime minister says he will also take over as defense minister and is rejecting calls to hold early elections.
Netanyahu announced on national TV Sunday that he would take over the defense post following the resignation of Avigdor Lieberman.
Lieberman stepped down last week to protest a cease-fire with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. He had demanded tougher action against the militants.
Netanyahu’s main coalition partner pushes for early election
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel moved closer to early elections Friday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main coalition partner, the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, said it wants a vote "as soon as possible," and will press for consultations on a date on Sunday.
Israeli elections seem likely after Lieberman’s resignation
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister officially submitted his resignation on Thursday, leaving the government with the narrowest of parliamentary majorities and paving what looks like a clear path to early elections.
Avigdor Lieberman dispatched a once-sentence letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, informing him of his decision to step down. The move, which takes effect in 48 hours, leaves Netanyahu with the support of just 61 out of 120 lawmakers.
Defense chief’s resignation pushes Israel toward election
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister on Wednesday abruptly resigned to protest a new cease-fire with Hamas militants in Gaza, throwing the government into turmoil and pushing the country toward an early election.
Avigdor Lieberman's decision was ostensibly a show of anger over Tuesday's informal truce with Israel's Hamas enemies. But in many ways, it was the opening round of a new political campaign.
Lion elected Jerusalem mayor in victory for ultra-Orthodox
JERUSALEM (AP) — Longtime political activist Moshe Lion has been elected mayor of Jerusalem in a victory for ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents.
Lion, who was backed by much of Israel's top leadership, claimed victory over Ofer Berkovitch early Wednesday in a closely contested race. Lion enjoyed the support of key ultra-Orthodox factions and their representatives in government, as well as that of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and powerful figures in the ruling Likud party.
Israeli defense minister picks country’s new military chief
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister has selected Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi as the nominee for the country's next chief of staff.
His nomination requires approval from an appointments committee and by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet. If approved, Kochavi will start on Jan. 1.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's office said in a statement on Friday that Kochavi was "the most appropriate, distinguished and experienced" to serve as the next head of the Israeli military.
Israeli defense minister: Now’s the time to strike Hamas
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister says the time has come to deliver a "heavy blow" to Gaza's militant Hamas leaders, after weeks of border violence.
Avigdor Lieberman says he'll recommend doing so when Israel's security Cabinet meets the following day. The minister spoke on Tuesday during a visit to a military base near the border.
He says it's "the only way to lower the level of violence to zero or close to zero."
Israel places new restrictions on Gaza after protests
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel announced new restrictions on Gaza Saturday, weeks after the territory's Hamas rulers stepped up protests along the enclave's land and sea borders with Israel.
Israel: Border crossing with Syria to reopen for UN staff
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister says the country's border crossing with Syria is reopening for U.N. personnel and will resume operating as before the civil war erupted next door.
Avigdor Lieberman visited the Quneitra crossing on Thursday.
He says Israel remains committed to its non-intervention policy in Syria. He says the reopening merely means that security considerations now allow the crossing to operate.
Israeli defense chief shrugs off Trump’s remark on 2 states
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister has expressed indifference to President Donald Trump's backing of a two-state solution for the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
Avigdor Lieberman says a Palestinian state "simply doesn't interest me." He says the Israeli interest is "a safe Jewish state."
Israel to reopen Gaza crossing after week of calm on border
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister has announced he will reopen the country's main personnel crossing with the Gaza Strip following a week of relative calm along the border.
Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that after consultation with the country's security agencies, he ordered the opening of the Erez border crossing on Monday.
Israel closing Gaza crossing after violence along frontier
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister says he's closing the country's main personnel crossing with Gaza in response to recent violence along the frontier.
Avigdor Lieberman says Sunday that he's shutting down the Erez border crossing.
Israel eases Gaza restrictions amid cease-fire efforts
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Wednesday opened its only cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip weeks after closing it amid a surge in violence with the Islamic militant group Hamas.
The reopening of the Kerem Shalom crossing came as Egypt was stepping up efforts to broker a lasting cease-fire. It was not clear if the move was part of a broader deal in the works.
Israel to ease some Gaza restrictions amid lull in violence
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it plans to ease some restrictions on the Gaza Strip as Egypt attempts to broker an end to months of violence between Israel and Hamas.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister has published a video of a sea obstacle Israel is building to prevent attacks from Gaza, the territory ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas.
Avigdor Lieberman's Twitter post came Sunday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly convened his Security Cabinet to discuss an Egyptian brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it is partially reopening its only cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip after Hamas hostilities subsided.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman says Tuesday Israel will resume transferring gas and fuel through the Kerem Shalom crossing in addition to the food and essential medication it has been allowing.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel placed new restrictions on its only cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in response to continued Hamas hostilities, even after it agreed to a cease-fire ending 24 hours of intense fighting.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel will cease transferring gas and fuel through the Kerem Shalom crossing until Sunday but will allow food and essential medication to cross. Commercial cargo was suspended last week.
Cyprus, Israel, Greece pledge deeper military ties
LARNACA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus, Israel and Greece must forge deeper military ties to improve security and more effectively counter common threats in a turbulent region, the countries' defense ministers said Friday.
Cypriot Minister Savvas Angelides and his Israeli and Greek counterparts Avigdor Lieberman and Panos Kammenos said they also seek to expand cooperation on cybersecurity, joint military drills and search and rescue operations in the eastern Mediterranean.
BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the developments in the Syrian war (all times local):
The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has had a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the situation in Syria.
The Kremlin said the conversation focused on "some aspects of the Syrian settlement," which it didn't specify, following up on the two leaders' talks in Moscow earlier this month.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said Thursday he will seek approval next week to fast-track construction of 2,500 new West Bank settlement homes in 2018, an announcement likely to further ratchet up tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Avigdor Lieberman's office said in a statement that he aimed to fulfill a commitment to expand construction in the West Bank settlements, including some remote outposts and the Jewish settler enclave in the West Bank city of Hebron.
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has struck Hamas infrastructure in Gaza after a group of militants entered Israel and torched a military post.
The military says it hit an underground security site and Hamas naval targets Tuesday. The military says the strikes were also in response to ongoing Hamas attempts to dispatch drones and burning kites that have burned Israeli agricultural fields.
BEIRUT (AP) — In the escalating confrontation between Israel and Iran, Israel's defense minister called on Syria's President Bashar Assad on Friday to rid his country of Iranian forces based there — warning their presence will only cause more trouble to the already war-ravaged country.
Avigdor Lieberman's comments were followed by threats from an Iranian cleric that Tel Aviv or Haifa would be in danger if Israel did "anything foolish."
BEIRUT (AP) — Israeli forces unleashed a heavy bombardment against Iranian military installations in Syria on Thursday in what Israel called retaliation for an Iranian rocket barrage on its positions in the occupied Golan Heights, the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date.
The two rivals have long fought each other through proxies, and with the new exchange each seemed to be sending a warning that a direct clash between them could swiftly escalate.
Hamas buries Hamas engineer slain in Malaysia
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Thousands of Palestinians joined a mass funeral on Thursday for a Hamas scientist who was gunned down in Malaysia last week, as Hamas' leader accused Israel of killing him and vowed revenge.
Fadi al-Batsh was laid to rest shortly after his body was returned to Gaza through the Egyptian border.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh led the funeral prayers at a mosque in Jabaliya, the town in northern Gaza where al-Batsh grew up.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Latest on developments surrounding the killing of a Palestinian in Malaysia (all times local):
Thousands of people, led by Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, are taking part in the funeral of Hamas engineer Fadi al-Batsh in northern Gaza.
Haniyeh led the funeral prayers at a mosque in Jabaliya, the town where al-Batsh grew up. He accused Israel of killing al-Batsh, who was gunned down in Malaysia last week, and vowed revenge.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said in an interview published Thursday that his country will strike Tehran if attacked by archenemy Iran, escalating an already tense war of words between the two adversaries.
Avigdor Lieberman's comments, published in the Arabic newsite "Elaph," came as he was in Washington for talks with his U.S. counterpart, Jim Mattis, and other defense officials.
"We hear many (Iranian) threats ... but if they attack Tel Aviv, we will strike Tehran," Lieberman said.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Palestinian ambassador in Malaysia says the body of a Hamas militant killed last week in Kuala Lumpur will be repatriated to the Gaza Strip for burial.
Ambassador Anwar al-Agha said on Thursday that Egypt agreed to allow the body to be returned through its border with Gaza.
Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had appealed to Egypt to refuse the Palestinian request. The body is expected to arrive in Gaza on Thursday.
Israel slams Palestinian leader over anti-Trump speech
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli leaders slammed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Monday for a fiery, invective-filled speech against President Donald Trump, in which he proclaimed the U.S. role as arbiter of the Mideast conflict over, attacked the administration's envoys and described Israel as a colonial conspiracy.
The Pentagon is launching an inquiry into the chain of events that led to the deaths of four Army Special Forces soldiers during a military adviser mission in Niger earlier this month.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said the incident, in which Staff Sgts. Bryan Black, Jeremiah Johnson, Dustin Wright and Sgt. La David Johnson were killed, is currently under investigation.
Israel’s defense minister says Hezbollah runs Lebanese army
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister says the Hezbollah militant group controls Lebanon's army.
Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that "the Lebanese army has become an integral part of Hezbollah under Hezbollah command," without providing any evidence to support the claim.
Hezbollah is a member of Lebanon's coalition government, and its armed wing has long been seen as more powerful than the country's security forces. There was no immediate comment from Lebanon.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli prosecutors have charged a former deputy minister and nine others in a corruption sting centered on Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's party.
The Justice Ministry announced Tuesday that 10 suspects in the high-profile case, including former lawmaker Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum, were indicted on charges ranging from bribery to tax evasion.