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Nuclear Security Summit

President Barack Obama open the 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.  The president says he wants new commitments to secure weapons-grade plutonium and uranium to prevent nuclear terrorism.

With concerns about the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea a major backdrop to the conference, this is the biggest U.S.-sponsored gathering of world leaders in more than 60 years.

The New START treaty was signed on April 8, 2010 in Prague by U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev and Iran will hold the Tehran International Conference on Disarmament and Non- Proliferation, 2010, announced on April 4, 2010 and to be held April 17–18, 2010.

The Summit is the largest gathering of heads of state called by a United States president since the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization. Delegations from forty-six governments plus the United States are attending, thirty-eight of which are represented by heads of state or government. Read More…

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Israeli FM boycotts Brazil’s President Lula

Israel’s foreign minister has reportedly boycotted Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s tour of the Middle East.

Theodor Herzl בנימין זאב הרצל‎

Avigdor Lieberman did not attend Lula’s address at the Knesset or his meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

According to close sources, Lieberman refused to attend over President Lula’s refusal to visit and a lay a wreath on the grave of Zionist movement founder Theodor Herzl.

Israel created a policy to honour Herzl’s 150th birthday by having all visiting heads of state lay a wreath on his grave, however Lula’s staff said they were only informed a week before his visit when his schedule had already been planned. Read More…

Israel seals off West Bank

Fearing fresh protests from Palestinians, Israeli forces have moved to close the West Bank for 48 hours, preventing Palestinians from entering.

West Bank Barrier

The protests have been sparked by a recent decision to include the Al-Aqsa mosque as an Israeli heritage site, as well as a plan by Israel to add up to 1,600 settlement homes in the West Bank.

The Al-Aqsa mosque is a holy site for both Muslims and Jews, however Muslims fear that along with the rest of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa is to be annexed and claimed by Israel. It has been a flash point for conflict during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sparking the Second Intifada in 2000.

Only worshipers with an Israeli identity card and age 50 or over were allowed to pray today at the mosque. In response, Palestinian youths have reportedly thrown rocks at Israeli soldiers, and several Palestinians have been badly wounded. Read More…

On this day February 25, 1994

Israeli physician Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslim Arabs praying at the mosque in Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs, killing 29 people and wounding 125 others.

cave_of_the_patriarchsBaruch Goldstein, an Israeli-American settler, off-duty IDF army reservist and member of the extremist Kach movement, opened fire on the worshippers.

According to Israeli reports 29 Palestinians were killed and 125 wounded, while Palestinian sources stated that up to 52 people were shot to death. Read More…

On this day January 4, 2006

Ehud Olmert became Acting Prime Minister of Israel after Ariel Sharon suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke that rendered him incapable of carrying out his duties.

ariel_sharon_2004Ariel Sharon (Hebrew: אריאל שרון‎ born on 26 February 1928) is a former Israeli Prime Minister and military leader.

Sharon served as Prime Minister from March 2001 until April 2006, though he was unable to carry out his duties after suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006, when he fell into a coma and entered a persistent vegetative state.

On 30 July 2008, Olmert announced that he would not participate in his party’s September 2008 leadership elections and would resign from his position as Prime Minister immediately thereafter (due to public suspicion that he was involved in allegedly corrupt activities). Read More…

Israel “illegally annexing” east Jerusalem

A classified European Union report for 2009 says Israel is actively pursuing the annexation of east Jerusalem. The report accuses Israel of implementing an intricate policy including expanding Jewish settlements and demolishing Palestinian homes.

It says policies “are undermining prospects for a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem and incrementally render a sustainable two-state solution unfeasible”; this is described as, “an integral part of a broader Israeli strategy.”

Israeli Foreign ministry spokesperson, Yigal Palmor, told AFP that the report was “dishonest”, “reflects the Palestinian propaganda” and “is based exclusively on Palestinian versions and figures.” Read More…

On this day November 29, 1947

The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine (General Assembly Resolution 181) is approved by the General Assembly on this day to terminate the British Mandate of Palestine by August 1, 1948, and facilitate the creation of two states, one Jewish and one Arab.

The plan was approved by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions. On March 5, 1948, the United Nations Security Council reached an impasse when it refused to pass a resolution which would have accepted the partition plan as a basis for Security Council action.

The United States subsequently recommended a temporary UN trusteeship for Palestine “without prejudice to the character of the eventual political settlement”, and the Security Council voted to send the matter back to the General Assembly for further deliberation.