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Israel

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Index
  1. Israel Main Page
  2. State of Israel Gives Jews a Homeland
  3. Israel Expands Its Territory Through War
  4. Peace Treaty with Egypt Brings Temporary Calm to Mideast
  5. Jewish Settlements Increase Tension Between Israelis and Palestinians
  6. Netanyahu Steps Back from Oslo Accord
  7. Progress Toward Peace Inconsistent
  8. Violence Between Israelis and Palestinians Reaches New Heights
  9. Israel Withdraws Settlers from Gaza
  10. Sharon Forms New Party
  11. Hamas Dominates Parliamentary Elections
  12. Israel Criticised for Attacks on Lebanon
  13. New Hope for Peace as Leaders Return to Bargaining Table
  14. Violence Flares in Gaza
  15. Netanyahu Returns to Power; Peace Talks Fall Apart
  16. Attack on Aid Flotilla Causes International Uproar
  17. Peace Talks Resume—Briefly
  18. Unaffordable Housing Costs Cause Mass Protests
  19. Terrorist Attacks Threaten Peace with Egypt
  20. The Palestinians Request Membership to UN, Give up on Talks with Israel
  21. Gilad Shalit Released After More Than Five Years
  22. Exploratory Talks with Palestine Stall while Tension with Iran Increases
  23. Netanyahu Calls for Early Elections
  24. Report Confirms Suspicions over Iran's Nuclear Program
  25. Violence Erupts with Hamas in November 2012
  26. Palestine Given Status Upgrade at UN
  27. 2013 Election Shows a Slight Move to the Center for Israel
  28. Netanyahu Maintains Tough Stance against Iran
  29. Peace Talks Resume After Five Years
  30. Parliament Passes Landmark Military Service Legislation
Peace Talks Resume After Five Years

On Aug. 14, 2013, Israelis and Palestinians began peace talks in Jerusalem. Expectations were low going into the talks, the third attempt to negotiate since 2000, and nearly five years since the last attempt. The talks began just hours after Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners. The prisoner release was an attempt on Israel's part to bring Palestine back to the negotiating table. Israel said the prisoner release would be the first of four. Palestinian officials expressed concern about Israel's ongoing settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, land that would be part of an official Palestinian state.

Israel freed another 26 Palestinian prisoners as part of the current U.S.-brokered peace talks in October. However, soon after the prisoners were released, the Israeli government reported it planned to build 1,500 new homes in east Jerusalem, an area claimed by the Palestinians. The settlement announcement was seen as a concession to the right after the prisoner release. By Nov. 2013, peace talks appeared to be on the verge of collapse when a Palestinian negotiator said no deal would be better than one that allowed Israel to keep building settlements.

In late Feb. 2014, both U.S. and Israeli officials suggested that an extension on the peace talks deadline would be necessary. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat rejected any extension. "There is no meaning to prolonging the negotiation, even for one more additional hour, if Israel, represented by its current government, continues to disregard international law." In his statement, Erakat referred to the continued Israeli construction on land it seized during the 1967 Middle East war, construction considered a violation of international law by Palestine and the international community.

When Israel failed to release the promised last batch of prisoners in late March 2014, U.S. Secretary John Kerry headed there in an attempt to rescue the latest round of peace talks. Israel had promised to release Palestinian prisoners in four groups and released the first three groups. But Israel's failure to release the last group of 26 prisoners as well as their continued settlement expansion in the West Bank threatened to derail a peace agreement that was supposed to be reached by the end of April 2014. Palestine said that the peace talks would end on April 29 if Israel did not release the 26 prisoners.

Next: Parliament Passes Landmark Military Service Legislation
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