Live updates

Sanctions rollbacks a 'Christmas present' for Iran

Israel has repeated its conviction that the offer of sanctions rollbacks for Iran would only achieve more time for Iran to master nuclear technology and amass potential bomb fuel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again voiced concerns over the offer of sanctions to Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again voiced concerns over the offer of sanctions to Iran. Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Channel Rossia in Moscow: "I think right now the international community ... has all the leverage to roll back its [Iran's] nuclear making capacities.

"It's a pity, just when they have this maximum leverage, that they're backing off and essentially giving Iran an unbelievable Christmas present - the capacity to maintain this breakout capability for practically no concessions at all."

Proposed Iran nuclear deal 'bad for rest of the world'

As world leaders gather in Geneva to discuss Iran, Israel has called for the sanctions to remain in place until Iran has dismantled its entire uranium enrichment programme.

"I understand that the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva - as well they should be, because they got everything and paid nothing," Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said.

"Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal," he added.

Advertisement

Israeli PM's Twitter account follows Iranian sex site

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official Twitter account briefly followed an Iranian sex site, The Times of Israel reports.

Benjamin Netanyahu's Twitter account followed an Iranian sex site. Credit: Twitter/@netanyahu

At 1am on Sunday morning the official account followed some 90 users on the social media website, many of them Israeli embassies or government figures, but one was a site which described itself as "the first library of hot sex books [in the] Persian language."

Seven hours after following the site, which only had 15 followers at that time, Netanyahu's official account unsubscribed to the Iranian sex site.

The Prime Minister's Office spokesman Mark Regev told the newspaper that his office had nothing to do with the incident.

The Likud Central Committee, who runs Netanyahu's account, said following the site was a "malfunction" that was being investigated.

Netanyahu: Rouhani is a 'wolf in sheep's clothing'

Israel's Prime Minister has branded the Iranian leader Rouhani "a wolf in sheep's clothing." Comparing Hassan Rouhani to his predecessor Mahmood Ahmadinejad, Benjamin Netanyahu said Ahmadinejad was "a wolf in wolf's clothing". While Rouhani "is a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to the United Nations.
Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to the United Nations.

Addressing the UN, Netanyahu claimed that Rouhani's recent "charm offensive" is a ruse to get rid of biting sanctions and that Rouhani masterminded strategy to advance Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Read more: Iran wants quick nuclear deal

Israel, he said, will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and is ready to stand alone in defending against Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Israel: Rouhani's speech was 'cynical'

Benjamin Netanyahu branded the Iranian President's UN speech "cynical" and said that Iran was buying time to develop nuclear weapons capability.

"It was a cynical speech full of hypocrisy," Netanyahu said in a statement.

"It had no practical suggestion to stop Iran's military nuclear programme and no commitment to fulfil U.N. Security Council decisions. That exactly is the Iranian plan, to talk and buy time in order to advance Iran's capability to obtain nuclear weapons."

Iran denies it is trying to build nuclear weapons and says its programme is for peaceful purposes.

Israeli Minister Steinitz accused Hassan Rouhani of playing a "game of deception" during his UN General Assembly speech.

Israel to free first group of Palestinian prisoners

An Israeli cabinet panel today decided to free 26 Palestinian prisoners over the next few days as part of a deal that will see peace talks resume, an official statement said.

The prisoners would be the first of four groups totalling 104 that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet last month agreed to release in a step aimed at renewing negotiations.

The decision comes three days before a scheduled second round of Israeli-Palestinian talks being held in Israel and the West Bank.

Advertisement

Netanyahu successfully undergoes hernia surgery

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has successfully undergone hernia surgery, his office has said.

Mr Netanyahu's office said he is recuperating at a Jerusalem hospital following overnight surgery for an umbilical hernia after he felt pain yesterday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be discharged from hospital later today. Credit: Ben Gershom/GPO/AA/ABACAPRESS. COM

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon was appointed acting prime minister during the few hours Mr Netanyahu was unconscious.

Is Israeli prime minister will be discharged from hospital later today to recuperate at home, his office added.

Israeli PM criticised for buying £82,000 bed for plane

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pictured at the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher in St Paul's Cathedral, London. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will use alternative sleeping arrangements during future flights, after spending tens of thousands of pounds of public funds on installing a customised bed for his recent trip to London.

Mr Netanyahu splashed out £82,000 on a customised sleeping cabin for a five-hour flight to attend the funeral of Margaret Thatcher last month, according to the Israeli TV's Channel 10.

The prime minister's office initially defended the decision, citing his busy schedule and his need to be fresh and alert for important meetings.

Officials said he had been unaware of the cost and has since ordered the bed to be cancelled on all future flights.

The controversy comes as the Israeli government seeks to implement austerity measures and tax increases.

Earlier in the year, Mr Netanyahu stopped buying ice cream from a Jerusalem parlour which was costing his office £1,760 a year, following revelations by an Israeli newspaper.

PM advises Netanyahu on Middle East peace action

The Israeli Prime Minister joined mourners at Margaret Thatcher's funeral service. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/WPA Rota

David Cameron has held talks with Benjamin Netanyahu in which he urged the Israeli Prime Minister to take action to get the Middle East peace process back on track.

The Prime Minister told Mr Netanyahu, who was in London for Baroness Thatcher's funeral, it was "essential" to improve the economic and security situation in the occupied territories.

Foreign Secretary William Hague had warned earlier this year that hopes for a two-state solution forged by Israelis and Palestinians were "slipping away".

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories