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Daniel Estrin

Updated January 16, 2022 at 8:59 PM ET

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is negotiating a plea deal in his corruption trial that could lead to him stepping away from politics for seven years.

The former prime minister is facing three separate corruption cases that involve media moguls and wealthy supporters. The charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust stem from allegations including trading favors to media groups in exchange for positive press coverage.

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RAFAH, Gaza Strip — The Palestinian farmers of Gaza are attuned to the rhythms of the Jewish calendar and have anxiously awaited this moment.

Every seven years, the Bible commands farmers in the Holy Land to give their fields a rest (Leviticus 25). The yearlong agricultural sabbath, called the shmita in Hebrew, began this fall.

Updated December 23, 2021 at 1:46 PM ET

The little town of Bethlehem usually teems with pilgrims this time of year, but the Holy Land is closed to international visitors for a second Christmas in a row due to the pandemic.

What are people missing? Husam Jubran, a veteran Palestinian tour guide from the town of Beit Sahour neighboring Bethlehem, took NPR to some of the sites associated with the birthplace of Jesus.

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Updated December 11, 2021 at 7:35 AM ET

NPR has sued the U.S. Defense Department to make it release documents regarding possible civilian casualties during the October 2019 military raid in Syria that resulted in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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JERUSALEM — Matthias Schmale was the highest-ranking international representative based in the Gaza Strip before his tenure ended with a jolt.

During the 11-day conflict this May between Gaza militants and Israel, Israeli warplanes bombed the roads surrounding his United Nations relief agency headquarters, targeting alleged underground militant tunnels, and sending part of a car flying into the courtyard of the U.N. compound.

GAZA CITY — When the Israeli missile landed at the foot of her building during the Hamas-Israel conflict this May, spraying bits of glass from the surrounding apartments into the room where she huddled with her family, 15-year-old Sama Ahel did what any other teenager might do. She took out her phone and started filming.

JERUSALEM — An ongoing dispute over six Palestinian activist groups that Israel accuses of terrorism took a turn this week into the cloak-and-dagger world of Israeli spyware.

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Users of an LGBTQ dating site in Israel are on edge after a cyberattack there. Hackers have leaked some user data already and are threatening to expose more unless they're paid a million dollars. NPR's Daniel Estrin reports from Jerusalem.

Near a soccer pitch and a suburban neighborhood in central Israel, archaeologists say they discovered the world's largest known Byzantine-era winery.

The winery, dating back 1,500 years, is believed to have produced one of the finest white wines of the Mediterranean at the time. It was widely praised in Byzantine-era literature and known as vinum Gazetum or Gaza wine because it was exported from the ancient port city near modern-day Gaza.

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Updated August 25, 2021 at 8:03 PM ET

JERUSALEM — Israel takes enormous pride in its high-tech industry. But one of its star cybersecurity companies, NSO Group, is at the center of an international spying scandal that has concerned U.S. officials, and the Israeli government plays a role.

Israel's new prime minister has arrived in Washington with a monumental task on his shoulders: to clear the air after years of stormy relations between his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Democratic leadership.

Israel was the first country on Earth to fully vaccinate a majority of its citizens against COVID-19. Now it has one of the world's highest daily infection rates — an average of nearly 7,500 confirmed cases a day, double what it was two weeks ago. Nearly one in every 150 people in Israel today has the virus.

What happened, and what can be learned about the vaccine's impact on a highly vaccinated country? Here are six lessons learned — and one looming question for the future of the pandemic.

JERUSALEM — Israeli spyware company NSO Group has temporarily blocked several government clients around the world from using its technology as the company investigates their possible misuse, a company employee told NPR on Thursday.

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Ben & Jerry's said it will stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, calling it "inconsistent with our values." The company did not say when it would halt sales, but its sole local Israeli manufacturer vowed to continue selling as usual until its license expires at the end of 2022.

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Updated June 3, 2021 at 4:21 PM ET

He's the son of American immigrants who became a self-made tech millionaire before entering the rough-and-tumble world of Israeli politics.

After 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas, a cease-fire went into effect at 2 a.m. local time Friday. Gaza health officials say at least 240 people were killed there by waves of airstrikes from Israel. Twelve people died in Israel from more than 4,000 rockets fired by militants in Gaza, according to Israeli officials.

Friday was the first day that foreign journalists were allowed to enter the Gaza Strip since the fighting began.

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After 11 days of bombing and rocket fire in Israel and Gaza, the violence has stopped. Both sides are claiming victory. This is the sound of celebrations along the Gaza Strip last night after the cease-fire was called.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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