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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.

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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".

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Netanyahu tribute to 'truly great leader'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid tribute to Margaret Thatcher as a 'truly great leader' in a series of tweets:

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PM Netanyahu: I send my most sincere condolences to Mrs #Thatcher's family and to the government and people of Great Britain.

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PM Netanyahu: Margaret #Thatcher was a staunch friend of Israel and of the Jewish people.

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PM Netanyahu: Mrs #Thatcher was truly a great leader; A woman of principle, determination, strength & greatness http://t.co/U0Wpo14k7u

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