Settlements to Iran: A Look at Israel's Challenges

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In just five months, Israel's government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has seen its share of challenges.

Stopping Iran's nuclear weapons drive heads the list, but there are many more.

While Iran's leaders rush to enrich uranium and export missiles to Lebanon and Gaza, Israel's supposed allies in the West told the Jewish state to stop building apartments in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The White House's decision to link Israeli concessions to the Palestinians with international action against Iran makes it tougher for Israel to deal with its existential threat.

Israel must also keep its eye on Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, which according to Israeli President Shimon Peres, now has 80,000 rockets in south Lebanon.

An Arab newspaper reported this week that Iran now may send anti-aircraft weapons to the Lebanese Army as well.

Meanwhile, Russia denies a story in Russian newspapers that this year's mysterious voyage of the ship "Arctic Sea" involved smuggling of sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.

On the diplomatic front, Israeli and Palestinian government ministers met this week for the first time since Netanyahu became prime minister.  The meeting was bolstered by news that the Palestinian economy in the West Bank, aided by Israel, has grown by as much as 7 percent this year.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he won't meet Netanyahu until Israel completely freezes building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.  Yet there is talk that the two will see each other at the United Nations later this month.

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John Waage

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.