ISRAEL

Netanyahu: No land will be given up for Palestinians

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel will not cede any territory due to the current climate in the Middle East, appearing to rule out the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu's comments, which came as he sought to appeal to hard-liners ahead of national elections next week, rejected a key goal of the international community and bode poorly for reviving peace efforts if he is reelected.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any evacuated territory would fall into the hands of Islamic extremism and terror organizations supported by Iran. Therefore, there will be no concessions and no withdrawals. It is simply irrelevant," read a statement released by his Likud party.

Netanyahu's office said the statement reflected the prime minister's long-held position.

The international community has long pushed for the creation of a Palestinian state on lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. In 1993, Israel and the Palestinians signed an interim agreement that was to lead to the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. - AP
AUSTRALIA

Teens allegedly IS-bound

Two Australian brothers, 16 and 17, were stopped at Sydney Airport on suspicion that they were jihadis headed to join the Islamic State group, officials said Sunday. The brothers, from Sydney, raised the suspicions of customs officials as they attempted to depart Friday, Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said. He did not say where the pair were headed apart from a Middle Eastern "conflict zone." He also refused to say what was found in the boys' luggage that raised suspicion. - AP
BRITAIN

Parties grapple on budget

The Labor Party will warn Monday that spending cuts by the ruling Conservatives over the next four years will be the biggest since World War II, as Ed Miliband's opposition party seeks to win voters ahead of the May 7 election by highlighting Tory austerity. If Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives win, their proposed cuts will exceed those from the last five years as expenditure, as a proportion of economic output, is reduced to 1930s levels, Labor's finance spokesman, Ed Balls, will say in London, according to remarks e-mailed by the party. Conservatives say a Labor victory will damage the recovery. - Bloomberg