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Standing ovation for Israel's Netanyahu in US Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was greeted with a loud, long and at times raucous standing ovation in the US Congress before he started speaking.

In his opening comments, he said Israel was grateful for the support of the US, and that he knew whatever side of the house the members of congress sat on, they stood with Israel.

This is the third time Netanyahu has been invited to address Congress - a rare honour only matched by Churchill.

It is the first time since last summer's war, when Israel was accused of war crimes by various rights groups over its military operation in Gaza.

Netanyahu to dissolve Israeli parliament and call election

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would dissolve parliament and seek early elections. In a statement from his office, Netanyahu, who is embroiled in a cabinet crisis, also said he has ordered the dismissal of his Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who both head centrist parties.

Netanyahu to dissolve Israeli parliament and call election. Credit: PA

His coalition, dominated by the right-wing, is split on a range of issues, including the 2015 budget, high living costs, policy towards the Palestinians and a Jewish nation-state bill that critics say discriminates against Israel's Arab minority. The divisions had prompted speculation that Netanyahu would bring forward an election that is not scheduled until 2017.


PM: Israel must prepare for protracted Gaza conflict

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country must prepare for a protracted conflict in the Gaza Strip, ending any hopes of a quick end to fighting that has cost over 1,000 lives.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: Sellem Marc Israel/ABACA

In a televised statement, he said that any solution to the crisis would require the demilitarisation of the Palestinian territory - which is controlled by Hamas.


Benjamin Netanyahu says 'Hamas will pay' over deaths

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said "Hamas will pay" in response to the deaths of three kidnapped teenagers.

Netanyahu has vowed to respond to the deaths. Credit: Reuters

He added the teenagers "were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts".

The bodies of the boys - who went missing on June 12 - were discovered under a pile of rocks - after a huge operation by Israeli forces.

Israel immediately accused Hamas of being behind the kidnapping.

Teens missing in West Bank 'kidnapped by terrorists'

Three teenagers missing in the West Bank have been kidnapped by a terrorist group, Israel's prime minister said.

Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, as well as 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach went missing two days ago.

Israeli troops patrol as the search for the three teenagers continued. Credit: Reuters

Israeli media named Naftali as a US citizen.

"Our children were kidnapped by a terror group, (there is) no doubt about that," Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Mr Netanyahu said an "intensive operation" was underway to prevent the three teenagers being taken to the Gaza Strip or elsewhere.

Arab league rejects recognizing Israel as 'Jewish state'

The Arab League endorsed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's rejection of Israel's demand for recognition as a Jewish state, as U.S.-backed peace talks approach a deadline next month.

The US want Mr Abbas to make the concession as part of efforts to reach a "framework agreement" and extend the talks aimed at settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been Israel's first prime minister to make recognition of his country as a Jewish state a requirement for peace.

Netanyahu hails Ariel Sharon as a 'great warrior'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid tribute to Ariel Sharon as "a great warrior and military leader" following his death at the age of 85.

Mr Netanyahu's official spokesperson tweeted:

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