Jerusalem light rail - Emil Salman - August 2011
Passengers ride the new Jerusalem light rail on its opening day. Photo by Emil Salman
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Israeli officials claim that Palestinian leaders are inventing excuses to avoid resuming peace talks, casting doubt on the Palestinian Authority leaders' commitment to the U.S.-led peace efforts. This occurred after the chief Palestinian negotiator accused Israel of 'ethnic cleansing' and blasted settlement construction plans.

Syrian President Assad, who has already received an S-300 missile shipment from Russia, tells Hezbollah TV Al-Manar that his regime will retaliate against any Israeli attack and won't stop Arab factions that try to 'liberate' the Golan.

The Superland amusement park is to reconsider its Arab-Jewish segregation policy; the park says it holds separate activity days for Jewish and Arab students at the request of the schools themselves.

In the wake of government agreement to hold ultra-Orthodox army draft dodgers criminally accountable, Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid tries to warm up to the Haredi sector.

Syria promises 'immediate retaliation' if Israel strikes again, while the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem claims that Assad will remain in power until 2014. The UN chief warns that Syria is 'disintegrating before our eyes.'

A study finds that, of the various steps taken by the Israeli government to face the lengthy dry spell of 2000-2009, the introduction of special drought tax was the most effective tool for boosting water conservation.

The Jerusalem Municipality and Israel's Transportation Ministry hope to encourage politeness and patience while beating gridlock at stations by launching a campaign on the Jerusalem Light Rail called "First Out, Then In."

Russia's foreign ministry confirms the Geneva conference to be held on June 5, co-facilitated by U.S. and UN; Assad says he plans to attend, but voices pessimism at the chance of results.