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Netanyahu Seeks to Ease Fears over Changes in His Govt.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought on Sunday to ease concerns over the expected entrance of a hardline nationalist party into his coalition, saying his government would still seek peace with the Palestinians.

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Avigdor Lieberman: Hardliner Due to Become Israel's New Defense Minister

Avigdor Lieberman, who is set to become Israel's minister of defense, is a political veteran known for his anti-Arab tirades and strident populism.

The leader of the nationalist party Yisrael Beitenu (Israel is our home) is expected to replace Moshe Yaalon, who resigned on Friday saying extremists had taken over the country.

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Israel Set to Form 'most right-wing Government in History'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked set on Thursday to form the most right-wing government in Israeli history, with Avigdor Lieberman, a hardliner loathed by Palestinians, expected to become defense minister.

Netanyahu aides were in talks with officials of Lieberman's hawkish Yisrael Beitenu party on terms for its entry to the ruling coalition, which would boost its currently wafer-thin majority in parliament.

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Israel Successfully Tests Missile Defense System at Sea

Israel has successfully tested a maritime missile interception system dubbed the Iron Dome of the Sea, the military announced on Wednesday.

The system, which the military said can shoot down short-range rockets similar to those fired from Gaza, successfully destroyed "several" missiles, Ariel Shir, head of operational systems in the navy, said.

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Report: Netanyahu Close to Agreeing Israel Unity Government

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is close to agreeing a unity government with the main opposition leader, Israeli media said Wednesday, in a move that could help revive peace talks with the Palestinians.

The head of the rightwing Likud has reportedly been engaged in intense negotiations with Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog in recent weeks in a bid to form a government of national unity.

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Netanyahu Calls Defense Minister to Order over Army Freedom of Speech

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called his Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon to order on Monday at a time of tensions over the right of military officers to speak their minds.

Yaalon on Sunday delivered a speech to senior officers in which he implored them to "continue speaking your minds".

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Bangladesh Opposition Official Arrested over Israel Meeting

Bangladesh police have arrested a senior official from the main opposition party and accused him of plotting against the state following his meeting with an Israeli political adviser, an official said Monday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government is stepping up a crackdown on political opponents in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, which is also reeling from a wave of killings blamed on Islamists.

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Netanyahu Says Iran 'Preparing another Holocaust'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced Sunday a Tehran anti-Israel cartoon contest themed around the Holocaust, accusing Iran of denying and belittling it as well as "preparing another Holocaust."

The exhibition, totaling 150 entries from 50 countries, with many entries deriding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government's Middle East policies, opened Saturday in Tehran.

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Netanyahu Questions French Impartiality after UNESCO Vote

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu poured cold water on Sunday on the Middle East peace initiative advanced by France by questioning its impartiality, a claim swiftly denied by Paris.

Speaking to ministers ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu relayed remarks he had made to French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who was visiting the region ahead of a May 30 international ministerial meeting.

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Israel Sees 'many Problems' with French Peace Initiative

A top Israeli official on Friday reiterated the country's opposition to a French attempt to resurrect the peace process with the Palestinians, ahead of a visit by France's foreign minister.

Paris will hold an international ministerial meeting on May 30 to try to revive peace talks that have been frozen since a U.S.-brokered initiative collapsed in April 2014.

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