RAMALLAH — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are to hold talks soon in what would be their first public meeting in more than two months, a senior official said Tuesday.
“There are preparations with the Israeli side to have a meeting … in the next few hours or days,” the senior Palestinian official told Agence France-Presse on condition of anonymity.
The last time the negotiators met publicly was on Jan. 25 in Amman, Jordan, in what was the last of five exploratory meetings aimed at finding a way back to direct negotiations. They ended without any progress.
Muslim Brotherhood defends nomination
CAIRO — The Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday defended its decision to run its deputy leader in a presidential election amid splits in the movement and accusations that the Islamists are trying to monopolize power.
The Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, dismissed reports that the movement had been almost evenly split on nominating Mr. Shater, a multimillionaire businessman who spent years in prison during President Hosni Mubarak’s rule.
Palestinians honor columnist Helen Thomas
JERUSALEM — The top Palestinian envoy to the U.S. has awarded longtime American journalist Helen Thomas for taking a stand against the Israeli occupation, a senior official said Tuesday.
President hosts New Jersey governor
Gov. Chris Christie, a rising star in Republican politics, is in Israel on his first official overseas trip. The high-profile visit has raised speculation he could be positioning himself for a run at national office, though he has rejected such suggestions and insisted the trip is aimed at strengthening ties with his state.
Woman held for alleged Facebook insult
RAMALLAH — A Palestinian woman accused of defaming the president on her Facebook page has been detained for two weeks while an investigation is carried out, activists said Monday, in what they say is a growing crackdown on writers who criticize the West Bank government.
Palestinian security forces arrested Ismat Abdul-Khaleq, a West Bank university lecturer, last Wednesday after they found writing on her Facebook page accusing President Mahmoud Abbas of being a traitor and demanding he resign, said lawyer Issam Abdeen of the Palestinian rights group al-Haq.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
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