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IM Issue 26 - June 2009
Israel Picks Michael Oren as Ambassador to U.S.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has confirmed the appointment of Michael Oren, a New York-born and Princeton-educated historian and commentator on Middle East affairs, as the country’s new ambassador to the US.
The Israeli army has closed an investigation into alleged killings of civilians during its offensive in the Gaza Strip, saying soldiers’ testimonies were based on hearsay, “purposely exaggerated” and not supported by facts. Allegations of wrongful shootings emerged from some soldiers speaking in a closed-door meeting at a military prep school. Their accounts, along with their reports of vandalism in Palestinian homes, had been published by Israeli media.
After the failure of his last-ditch effort to muster Kadima leader Tzipi Livni's support for a unity government, President Shimon Peres formally entrusted Likud chairman Benjamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu with the task of building a national coalition government. The right-wing Netanyahu was given 42 days to put together a coalition that might draw on Labor and Kadima, though he also spoke favorably of including the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, which made substantial gains in the national election.