Entries in Jersualem (4)


Explosion Near Bus Stop in Jerusalem Leaves Dozens Injured, Kills One

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- An explosion in Jerusalem Wednesday torched a city bus and left dozens of people injured and killed one, according to witnesses.

The blast took place opposite the central bus station near the entrance to the city.  The explosion is believed to have derived from a bomb inside the bus, and it appears a kilo of explosives with shrapnel was detonated by remote control.

Ambulances and emergency personnel are on scene clearing out the wounded, and officials have cordoned off the area.

Wednesday's blast is the first attack of its kind since 2004, when a bus last blew up in Jerusalem and attacks involving Israeli buses were a hallmark of the last intifada.

The explosion also comes at a time of rising tension between the Israelis and Hamas.  Earlier in the day, mortars and rockets were fired at Be'er Sheva and the Israeli Air Force struck back with an attack on Gaza.  In recent days, Israel has threatened to launch a new military offensive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Clinton Urges Palestinians Not to Try for UN Recognition, Announces $150 Million More for Palestinians

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seen shaking hands with Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Bilateral Meeting. Photo Courtesy - U.S. State Department(WASHINGTON) -- With Israel announcing plans to build new housing units in East Jerusalem in the past week, Palestinians have reiterated their threat to seek U.N. recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state on their own in the absence of process in the Mideast peace talks.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged them not to do it. “We do not support unilateral steps by either party that could prejudge the outcome of such negotiations,” she told reporters following a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit.

On Thursday, Clinton will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, just days after he and President Obama traded barbs over Israel’s decision to build in East Jerusalem. Obama said Israel should halt settlements and Netanyahu shot back that Jerusalem was not a settlement.

Earlier Wednesday, Clinton urged the two sides to restart the talks, saying they are the only way forward. “I believe strongly that negotiations are the only means by which the parties will be able to conclude an agreement that will lead to a Palestinian state and Israel living in security with its neighbors,” she said.

Her comments came as the United States announced Wednesday morning that it would increase its contributions to the Palestinian Authority by $150 million, to $225 million this year. That’s part of an overall support and investment of nearly $600 million this year.

Speaking by videoconference after Clinton, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said his government was on track to improve services and governance in the territory.

“Readiness for statehood is in fact the key objective of the program that we launched,” he said. “We are well on our way...we, as I said, remain hopeful that we are actually going to be state-ready come summer of 2011. It's a goal that we are doing our level best, in fact, to meet.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Israel's Plan to Build Housing Units Stirs Reactions in US, Palestine

Palestinian Authority's Nabil Shaath. Photo Courtesy - Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- The U.S. says it's deeply disappointed by Israel's newly-announced plans to build over 1,300 new housing units in east Jerusalem, a move that's officially being called "counter-productive" to U.S. efforts to renew the peace process.  It's already causing tension between U.S. officials and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is set to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in just a couple of days.

Back in Israel, it's stirring reactions, too.  Palestinian leaders claim east Jerusalem as their future capital and they are fuming over Israel's plans to build 1,300 new housing units in the eastern part of the city.

Palestinian Authoriy spokesman Nabil Shaath says, "This is just one more sign the Israelis do not want a peace process.  This Israeli government is dedicated to destroying the peace process.  Israel interior ministry is playing down the significance of the building plans, saying the project has been in the works since 2008 and that it may take years before it's finalized and building begins.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Human Rights Groups Accuse Israel of Torture

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Two Israeli human rights groups, B'tzelem and Hamoked, issued a report Tuesday that accuses Israeli security agents of abusing Palestinian detainees with cruel and inhumane treatment and in some cases torture. The Israeli Ministry of Justice rejects the report. 

Based on the testimonies of over 100 palestinian detainees, the report found that most complained of being held in small, windowless one-person cells with constant light that made sleep difficult. Nearly one out of ten detainees accused Israeli agents of physical abuse during interrogations and 30 percent said there was physical abuse during arrest. In its written response, the Israeli Justice Ministry said the report was too general and without foundation and said the interrogations did not break Israeli law.  

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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