21 November 2007: daily news summary

23:57 The United States has sent invitations to 40 countries invited to the Annapolis conference to be held next week. Syria, Saudi Arabia, members of the Quartet, and the Secretary General of the UN, were among the guests. (Guysen.International.News)

23:45 The prison services have issued the list of Palestinian prisoners that the government agreed to release before the Annapolis conference. The names of 431 prisoners appear on the website of the prison services: http://www.ips.gov.il. The publication of this list on the internet is intended to enable citizens to appeal the government’s decision. (Guysen.International.News)

23:27 Turkey’s president, Abdullah Gul, has approved legislation authorizing the construction of the first nuclear reactor in Turkey. According to the new law, a tender will be issued for the construction of the latter, within a month. Turkey plans to acquire 3 reactors in the coming years. (Guysen.International.News)

23:27 The Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams met again on Tuesday evening to draft a joint statement for the conference Annapolis. To note, tomorrow morning the Israeli security cabinet will discuss the preparations and the possible consequences of this peace summit. (Guysen.International.News)

23:14 The United States has agreed to initiate a fourth session of talks on the security situation in Iraq with Iran. (Guysen.International.News)

21:46 Germany is going to pay more than 40 million Euros to the Palestinian Authority. The German plenipotentiary in the disputed territories has signed an agreement with the PA in Ramallah. Half of this amount will be transferred via a temporary aid mechanism established by the EU, and the rest will be injected into the private sector and will finance civil institutions and jobs creation … (Guysen.International.News)

21:18 During his joint press conference this afternoon with Ehud Olmert, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed the situation in the disputed territories. ”It is impossible to establish a Palestinian state only in Gaza or the West Bank. Hamas and Fatah have to be reconciled” he said. (Guysen.International.News)

20:36 The daily review from Magen David Adom: 1 person died and 128 others were injured in several road accidents that occurred during the last 24 hours. Two of the injured are in a serious condition and the others suffered minor injuries. Since the beginning of the year, 381 people have died on the roads in Israel. (Guysen.International.News)

20:18 The security cabinet will meet on Wednesday to discuss the implications of the Annapolis declaration and the Israeli decision to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. (Guysen.International.News)

19:59 Next week Iran will host a terrorism conference, similar to Annapolis. The leaders of ten Palestinian terrorist movements will gather in Tehran between the 25 and 27 November. Among the guests Khaled Mechaal, Ahmed Jibril, Ramadan Shallah, Nayef Hawatmeh are expected to attend. (Guysen.International.News)

19:10 Bank Hapoalim is on the verge of acquiring Kazakhstan Demir Bank (DKB). This will be the first bank in Central Asia, to be controlled by an Israeli bank. The cost of the transaction is estimated at $70 million dollars. The DKB is ranked 21st out of 33 banks operating in the country. (Guysen.International.News)

18:07 Several mortar shells fired from the north of the Gaza Strip landed near Nahal Oz. No injuries or damage were reported. (Guysen.International.News)

17:09 Defense Minister Ehud Barak believes that Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are seeking to expand their terrorist activities in the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria as much as possible before the Annapolis conference. He had given the order to the IDF to increase its vigilance. (Guysen.International.News)

16:46 Russia will provide Egypt with information for the establishment of a civilian nuclear program. The Egyptian Minister of Energy, Hassan Younes, also said that a new draft law will be submitted shortly for the construction of several nuclear reactors. (Guysen.International.News)

15:29 The Egyptian president, says it is highly probable that Syria will participate in the Annapolis conference. Hosni Mubarak made these remarks during a joint press conference with Ehud Olmert. The two leaders also agreed to strengthen their cooperation to combat arms smuggling into Gaza via the Philadelphia axis. (Guysen.International.News)

14:55 57% of Palestinians do not believe that the Annapolis conference will achieve any breakthrough in the peace process with Israel. The survey was conducted by an independent study center in East Jerusalem. 78% of respondents were in favor of a peace agreement with Israel, and for 51% of them, the debate on the status of Jerusalem is a fundamental issue of the talks. (Guysen.International.News)

14:42 The Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said at a session of the Knesset Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, that he opposes the release of Palestinian prisoners from Gaza, as Gilad Shalit is still held captive by Hamas. (Guysen.International.News)

14:07 Lebanon: the presidential elections which are to be held on Wednesday may be pushed back two days due to the lack of agreement between the different parties, on a list of candidates. The mandate of the current president, Emile Lahoud, ends in three days. (Guysen.International.News)

13:45 In Israel, International Children’s Day is marked along with the rest of the world. On this occasion, the Central Bureau of Statistics publishes data on the child population in the country. Israel has 2,365,900 children, i.e. a third of the global population. The names most frequently given to children born last year are Itai and Noa. Within the Arab sector, the most popular names are Mohamed for boys and Shahad for girls. (Guysen.International.News)

13:27 ”The objective of the Annapolis summit is to give a ”kick start to lasting and serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians” Ehud Olmert said during his joint press conference with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh. He said that he hoped to conclude a peace agreement with the Palestinians in the year 2008. (Guysen.International.News)

12:54 Ahmed Qorין is skeptical as to the development of a joint Israeli-Palestinian text before Annapolis. The head of the Palestinian negotiating team said that discussions with Israel had not yielded the expected results, and that he would meet again with the head of the Israeli team Tsipi Livni before the conference. (Guysen.International.News)

11:46 Economy: the Rafael security company is signing a $25 million contract with the United States Navy. In cooperation with the American Bae, Rafael will provide 62 Typhoon naval weapons systems in the United States Navy. (Guysen.International.News)

11:22 An American Jewish millionaire financed the campaign for the release of Yigal Amir. The Israeli Channel 2 revealed on Monday evening that the anonymous Jewish tycoon from California ”is not a supporter of the assassination”, but felt that it is necessary to release the murderer of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ”one of these days”. (Guysen.International.News)

09:07 A major archaeological discovery: remains of a street in Jerusalem from the Roman era have been discovered in recent months by archaeologists from the National Board of Antiquities in tunnels near the Kotel (the Western Wall). Pottery, glass utensils, and many rings dating from the time when Jerusalem was called Aelia Capitolina between the 2nd century and the 4th century of the common era, have been unearthed. (Guysen.International.News)

08:36 A second clash last night between IDF forces and terrorists in the south of the Gaza Strip. Soldiers spotted three armed men near Nirim, and opened fire. Two of them, the Hamas terrorists, were killed, the third was apparently injured. (Guysen.International.News)

07:54 In the United States, it is estimated that the Israelis and Palestinians will present a joint statement in Annapolis. The spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Sean McCormak, welcomed the goodwill gestures from Israel, including the release of hundreds of Palestinian detainees and the announcement of a freeze on the expansion of settlements, but did not give details on the exact date of the opening of the peace conference, its participants and the issues to be discussed. (Guysen.International.News)

02:58 According to Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria, the number of acts of vandalism against Israeli farms in the region has risen sharply. The damage to property includes fires and destruction of farm equipment and crops, costing tens of millions of shekels to the operators. Palestinians and left-wing Israeli militants are responsible for this damage. (Guysen.International.News)

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