Daniel Estrin

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JERUSALEM — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday tapped centrist opposition figure Yair Lapid to try to form a new government, sparking potentially weeks of political negotiations that could break Israel's cycle of inconclusive elections and lead to the end of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's record-breaking uninterrupted 12-year tenure.

But there are "many difficulties" to forming a new government, Rivlin acknowledged, leaving open the possibility of an unprecedented fifth election in the span of two years.

Updated April 30, 2021 at 9:52 AM ET

JERUSALEM — At least 45 people were killed and some 150 more injured in a crush at a religious festival of ultra-Orthodox Jews in northern Israel, where tens of thousands of faithful had convened in one of the country's largest events since the pandemic began.

The chaos at Mount Meron began early Friday at the festival of Lag BaOmer, which features bonfires and dancing around the Galilee tomb of a 2nd century rabbi.

Updated April 29, 2021 at 6:39 PM ET

RAMALLAH, West Bank – It was meant to be a historic and long-overdue vote aimed at ending 15 years of paralyzed and divided leadership. Instead, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday called off next month's parliamentary elections after challengers from his own party threatened to weaken his hold on power.

JERUSALEM — In what it calls its most comprehensive report to date on Israel's treatment of Palestinians, Human Rights Watch on Tuesday accused Israel of committing "crimes against humanity" and said the U.S. and the international community have "turned a blind eye." It advocated an international commission of inquiry and sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, against "officials and entities credibly implicated."

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