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Israel Still Weighing Cooperation with ICC Investigation

Israel has yet to decide whether it will cooperate with the International Criminal Court's investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, a senior Justice Ministry official said Thursday.

The decision by the court's outgoing prosecutor to probe Israeli military actions and settlement construction on lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war was announced Wednesday and condemned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "the essence of anti-Semitism and hypocrisy."

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U.S. Warns of Military Response to Rocket Attack on Iraq Base

The White House has warned that the U.S. may consider a military response to the rocket attack on Wednesday that hit an air base in western Iraq where American and coalition troops are housed, raising concerns this could trigger a new round of escalating violence.

A U.S. contractor died after at least 10 rockets slammed into the base. And while no group claimed responsibility, it was the first strike since the U.S. bombed Iran-aligned militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border last week.

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U.S., at U.N., Accuses Russia of Blocking 'Accountability' on Syria Chemical Arms

The new U.S. envoy to the United Nations on Thursday accused Russia of seeking to stymie efforts to hold the government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad accountable for its use of chemical weapons during its long civil war.

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Turkish Court Refuses to Add U.S. Report to Khashoggi Trial

A Turkish court trying 26 Saudi suspects in absentia for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Thursday refused to admit a US report blaming the kingdom's crown prince for the killing.

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Pope Says He Will Visit Iraq as 'Pilgrim of Peace'

On the eve of his trip to Iraq, Pope Francis paid tribute on Thursday to those who have suffered from years of violence, saying he came as a "pilgrim of peace".

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Yemen's Huthis Claim Missile Strike on Saudi Aramco Plant

Yemen's Huthi rebels claimed a missile strike Thursday on a plant of energy giant Saudi Aramco in the western Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah amid an escalation in cross-border attacks on the kingdom.

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Kuwait Swears in New Government amid Mounting Crises

Kuwait's new Cabinet was sworn in Wednesday, state-run media reported, weeks after the government quit amid a deepening deadlock with parliament that has blocked badly needed reforms in the tiny oil-rich Gulf Arab state.

Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah swapped out four ministers whose selections had angered various lawmakers for less contentious, veteran politicians, an apparent gesture to appease parliament.

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ICC Launches War Crimes Probe into Israeli Practices

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor on Wednesday launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, turning the tribunal's focus toward Israeli military actions and settlement construction on lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The decision dealt an embarrassing blow to the Israeli government, which had conducted an aggressive public relations and behind-the-scenes diplomatic campaign to block the investigation. It also raised the possibility of arrest warrants being issued against Israeli officials suspected of war crimes, making it potentially risky to travel abroad.

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Pope Says Will Make Iraq Trip despite Rocket Attack

Pope Francis said Wednesday he still expected to make his historic visit to Iraq in two days time, after a rocket attack on a military base hosting U.S.-led coalition troops.

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Israel Accuses Iran of 'Environmental Terrorism' after Oil Spill

Israel on Wednesday accused Iran of "environmental terrorism" after a devastating oil spill off its Mediterranean coast it said was perpetrated by a Libyan-flagged ship that set sail from Iran.

Storms last month washed tons of sticky tar ashore along Israel's entire Mediterranean coastline, staining 160 kilometers of beach from its borders with the Gaza Strip to Lebanon.

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