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Israel Faces Threats on all Sides


Israel is facing a host of challenges in this new year. From the Iranian nuclear threat to negotiations with the Palestinians -- the pressure is ramping up.

Iranian media reported the Geneva agreement may be implemented in late January.

But the U.S. State Department says a few standing issues still need to be resolved.

Six world powers and Iran signed that agreement in November. It allows Iran to enrich Uranium but under tighter guidelines.

It also eases economic sanctions on Iran.

But some, like former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Dore Gold, believe the Geneva deal is flawed.

"What the Iranians want to do is undermine the sanctions as much as possible," Gold warned.

"So when they go into future negotiations with the U.S. and the P5 + 1 in general there will be no leverage on the American side to extract concessions from Iran," he added.

A bI-partisan bill in the U.S. Senate would impose new sanctions if the final agreement allows Iran to enrich Uranium.

The White House said it would veto the legislation.

In addition to Iran, Israel faces major decisions about the ongoing peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Jerusalem for yet another round of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Kerry set an ambitious deadline of late April 2014 to establish a framework for final negotiations.

But Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said if Israel continues building in the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria, known as the West Bank, the negotiations will be over.

Erekat's statement follows the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, most of them convicted murderers.

The release -- part of Kerry's plan -- was celebrated by the Palestinian authority and upset Israel.

"Last night we saw them celebrating, glorifying terrorists - people responsible for killing innocent civilians, for killing children. This is not the way to start a new year," Mark Regev, Israeli Prime Minister's spokesman, said.

"The Palestinian Authority must stop glorifying murder, it must stop celebrating terrorism," he continued.

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