Below is a summary of the major news stories developing today, Monday, October 7, 2013, concerning the United States, Israel and the Middle East.
Click the embedded links to read more from the sources reporting on today’s news.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Martin Indyk in Ramallah over the weekend to discuss efforts to continue with successful peace talks.
Indyk said he was convinced these talks would be more successful than previous rounds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Sunday that peace would not be possible without Palestinian recognition of the Jewish right to a homeland in Israel. Netanyahu also said that he would consider taking a call from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss Iran’s nuclear program.
Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Iran to develop new proposals on its nuclear program, suggesting that the ball remains in Tehran’s court to halt its uranium enrichment activities. “What we need are a set of proposals from Iran that will fully disclose how they will show the world that their program is peaceful,” Kerry said.
Kerry’s comments come after Iran’s top leader, Ali Khomenei, hinted that he disapproved of President Barack Obama’s phone call with President Rouhani, which took place during Rouhani’s trip to New York last month. Iran has yet to give any specifics on what it would offer in exchange for lifting Western sanctions on its uranium enrichment program.
Iranian authorities arrested four people suspected of planning to sabotage one of the country’s illicit nuclear sites.
In Egypt, at least 51 people were killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of the Egyptian government. More than 200 people were injured during a commemoration of Egypt’s attack against Israel in the Yom Kippur War, in hours of violence that underscored the country’s persistent political divisions. Meanwhile, gunmen in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia killed five Egyptian soldiers on Monday in the latest attack involving militants in the Sinai Peninsula—a region marred with insecurity in recent months.
A team of international monitors began the process of dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons on Sunday, kick-starting the effort to destroy one of the world’s largest arsenals of non-conventional weapons.
An accused al-Qaeda operative captured by U.S. commandos in Libya over the weekend is in custody on a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea. He is expected to eventually be sent to New York for criminal prosecution.