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Palestine says it is going to declare statehood if Israel annexes...

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Shtayyeh calls on world powers to threaten Netanyahu with sanctions over expansion plans

Palestine will declare statehood over all of the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital, and push for global recognition if Israel goes ahead with plans to annex land it occupies, the Palestinian prime minister has said.

Mohammad Shtayyeh described the possible step pledged by the Israeli leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, as an “existential threat” to a decades-long international effort for Israelis and Palestinians to reach an agreement that establishes two states side by side.

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Iran to execute ‘CIA agent’ over Gen Suleimani intelligence

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Tehran says Iranian citizen who passed on information was in jail at the time of the general’s assassination

An Iranian responsible for leaking information about the powerful general Qassem Suleimani but without direct involvement in his assassination by the US in January has been sentenced to death and will be hanged shortly, the Iranian judiciary has said.

Speaking on Tuesday, at a regular judicial press conference, the alleged culprit was named as Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, an Iranian citizen.

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George Floyd killing triggers wave of activism world wide

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Protests have spread to UK, France, Israel, Australia, south-east Asia and parts of Africa

His face is on murals in Belfast, on a shard of the Berlin Wall and on a blown-out building in Idlib. “I can’t breathe,” some of the last words George Floyd uttered as he was killed, are painted across a wall in Montreal. A slaver’s statue in Bristol has been uprooted. Statues of a colonial king have been burned and defaced across Belgium. In the Netherlands, the prime minister says a blackface Christmas ritual must end.

Floyd’s death in Minneapolis more than a fortnight ago has been the trigger for a wave of activism that has spread to more than 50 countries. The nine-minute video of his killing by police has become a mirror for racism and inequality in societies around the world.

Related: What the George Floyd protests have achieved in just two weeks

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What would Israel annexing the West Financial institution imply?

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Uncertainty remains over when, how or if Netanyahu will push for annexation

Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the time is ripe for his country to permanently seize Palestinian territory by annexing swathes of the West Bank.

With a US “vision for peace” blueprint largely backing up his expansionist ambitions, the Israeli prime minister intends to make the explosive move with the support of Donald Trump – a man Netanyahu describes as the “greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House”.

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2,500 uncommon texts from Islamic world to go surfing totally free

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National Library of Israel is digitising collection of manuscripts and books dating back to ninth century

More than 2,500 rare manuscripts and books from the Islamic world covering a period of more than a thousand years are to be made freely available online.

The National Library of Israel (NLI) in Jerusalem is digitising its world-class collection of items in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, dating from the ninth to the 20th centuries, including spectacularly beautiful Qur’ans and literary works decorated with gold leaf and lapis lazuli.

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Israel’s West Financial institution plans condemned by main British Jewish figures

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Simon Schama and Sir Malcolm Rifkind among those warning that annexation ‘would have grave consequences’ for Palestinians

Some of the most prominent and respected names in British Jewry have raised alarm over the Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank, saying such a move would be an existential threat to Israel.

Among more than 40 signatories of an unprecedented letter to the Israeli ambassador to the UK are Sir Ben Helfgott, one of the best-known Holocaust survivors in Britain; the historians Sir Simon Schama and Simon Sebag Montefiore; the former Conservative foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind; the lawyer Anthony Julius; the philanthropist Dame Vivien Duffield; the scientist Lord Robert Winston; the former MP Luciana Berger; the Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein; and the author Howard Jacobson. 

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Israeli settlers communicate out towards US-backed annexation plan

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Settler leader says Trump plan ‘endangers the existence of the state of Israel’

Benjamin Netanyahu is facing outspoken resistance to his proposal to annex parts of the occupied Palestinian territories from some of the people the move was advertised as benefiting – Israeli settlers.

The prime minister has pledged to formally extend Israel’s territory over 30% of the occupied West Bank, including all Jewish settlements, as soon as next month, implementing part of Donald Trump’s Middle East “vision for peace”.

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Abraham Klein, the ‘grasp of the whistle’: half one – podcast

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The best stories from the beautiful game that you may never have heard before, written by some of the world’s leading sports journalists, and spanning more than 100 years of sporting history from across the footballing planet.

In this episode: the first of a two-part feature-length story about how the little Israeli Abraham Klein survived politics, prejudice and even the Holocaust to become the best referee in the world

Read the text version here.

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Historic DNA is providing clues to puzzle of Useless Sea scrolls,...

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Study may shed light on material and debated origins of some of the 25,000 fragments

With myriad fragments and an extraordinary past, the Dead Sea scrolls are quite a puzzle. Now experts say ancient DNA has helped them piece together which fragments come from the same scrolls, as well as which texts may have travelled a distance, and how widespread the writings were.

The scrolls are one of the most remarkable discoveries of the 20th century. Found in the caves of Qumran as well as other sites around the Judean desert, the ancient texts cover parts of the Hebrew bible canon as well as writings about religious practices, legal documents, and hymns.

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Hashish residue present in historical Jewish temple hyperlinks hallucinogens with faith

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Archaeologists say find at Israeli excavation offers first proof of mind-altering substances being used in Judaism

Israeli archaeologists say they’ve found cannabis residue on artefacts from an ancient temple in southern Israel providing the first evidence of the use of hallucinogenics in the ancient Jewish religion.

In a research paper, the authors say the discovery from an eighth-century BC shrine at Tel Arad offers the first proof for the use of mind-altering substances as part of cultic rituals in Judah, including the first Jewish Temple that stood in Jerusalem at the same time.

Related: 3,000-year-old sculpture leaves researchers scratching their heads

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