World News

Netanyahu Asked to Form New Israeli Government

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, receives a folder from Israeli President Simon Peres in a brief ceremony in the president's Jerusalem residence Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, receives a folder from Israeli President Simon Peres in a brief ceremony in the president's Jerusalem residence Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.
x
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, receives a folder from Israeli President Simon Peres in a brief ceremony in the president's Jerusalem residence Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, receives a folder from Israeli President Simon Peres in a brief ceremony in the president's Jerusalem residence Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.
VOA News
Two weeks after national elections, Israel's incumbent is set for a third term in office.

Israeli President Shimon Peres formally appointed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to begin coalition talks and form the next government.

At a ceremony in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the Middle East is in turmoil, and that security must be his first concern.

He said his government’s top priority will be to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Israel sees it as an existential threat and has threatened to attack Tehran’s atomic facilities as a last resort.  

Netanyahu also expressed concern over the civil war in neighboring Syria. He vowed to deal with “the proliferation of deadly weapons in surrounding nations” - a clear reference to Syrian conventional and chemical arsenals that Israel has warned must not fall into the hands of Islamist terror groups.

Foreign news reports say Israeli warplanes last Wednesday attacked a convoy in Syria that was said to be transferring Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Israel has not confirmed the reports.

Despite the tough talk, the prime minister said that Israel seeks peace with its Arab neighbors.

He called on the Palestinian Authority to return to peace talks that have been deadlocked for four years over Jewish settlement expansion.

That appeal reflects the results of national elections two weeks ago: Netanyahu’s hawkish right-wing bloc was weakened while dovish centrist parties made gains.  The next coalition is likely to include moderates who hope to revive the peace process.

The prime minister has six weeks to establish a new government.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs