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Netanyahu: Israel Aims to Ensure that Ties with Egypt ‘Continue to Exist’

Israel is carefully watching developments in Egypt and its efforts are focused on maintaining the "stability and security" of the region, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

"We are attentively following what is going on in Egypt and in our region," Netanyahu told reporters at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting after holding late-night talks with top intelligence brass and key ministers.

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Arab-Israeli Gets 9 Years for Allegedly Spying for Hizbullah

A prominent Arab-Israeli human rights activist was sentenced to nine years in jail on Sunday after pleading guilty to spying for Hizbullah, an Israeli court official said.

Ameer Makhoul was convicted last October of espionage and aggravated espionage on the basis of a plea bargain in which the prosecution dropped a charge of assisting the enemy in time of war.

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Israel Evacuates Diplomats' Families from Egypt

Israel repatriated families of its diplomats in Egypt on Saturday in response to the unprecedented street protests in the Arab state with which it has a 1979 peace deal, the foreign ministry said.

"A special aircraft brought back to Israel on Saturday the families of diplomats and other official envoys, as well as about 40 Israelis on private visits to Cairo who wished to leave," said ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

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In Memoirs, Olmert Says Abbas Made ‘Historic Mistake’ in 2008

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made a "historic mistake" by rebuffing a peace offer made during negotiations in 2008.

Excerpts from an upcoming memoir by Olmert were published Friday in the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.

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Ashkenazi: Israel Won’t Interfere in Lebanon

Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has reportedly said that the Jewish state will not interfere in Lebanon’s developments although the situation is worrying.

Ashkenazi made the comment as he addressed a group of NATO military chiefs in Brussels on Wednesday.

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Shalom: International Community should Prevent Hizbullah’s Control on Lebanon

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom reportedly said Wednesday that the international community should take steps to prevent Hizbullah from controlling Lebanon.

Israel radio quoted Shalom as saying that the situation in Lebanon is dangerous because Iran controls Hizbullah’s movements.

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Netanyahu to Hold Security Talks on Situation in Lebanon

Israeli radio reported on Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was planning to hold talks with his government on the situation in Lebanon. The radio gave no further details.

A spokesman for Netanyahu, questioned by AFP, would not confirm or deny that the meeting would include discussions on Lebanon.

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Ahmadinejad to the U.S., Israel: Lebanese Will Cut your Nasty Hand

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday warned Iran's arch foes Israel, the United States and some European nations to stop their "sedition" in Lebanon or the Lebanese people would "chop" their hands.

"You are on a rough downhill path that will take you into a deep valley and your actions show that your decline is on a fast track," Ahmadinejad, referring to the U.S., Israel and unspecified European nations, told a cheering crowd in the city of Yazd in a speech broadcast live on state television.

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Gaza Home-built Rocket Hits Israel despite Truce

A rocket fired by militants in Gaza landed in southern Israel early on Monday, in the first incidence of firing since armed Palestinian groups there agreed to observe a truce last week.

The projectile, a home-built Qassam rocket, caused no injuries or damage when it landed in the Shaar HaNegev regional council which flanks Gaza's northeastern border.

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Barak Quits Labor Party, Forms New Parliamentary Faction

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak abruptly announced Monday that he was leaving his Labor Party and forming a new parliamentary faction inside the governing coalition, completing a split in the iconic party over the handling of peace talks with the Palestinians.

The dramatic and unexpected move did not immediately threaten the stability of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's parliamentary majority. Instead, it appeared to strengthen Netanyahu's hardline coalition by leaving it with a smaller, yet largely like-minded majority.

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