Daniel Estrin

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In the little town of Bethlehem, Santa hops out of a red minivan, adjusts his round, gold-rimmed glasses and is briefed by his chauffeur, Mohammed Battah.

"Martin and Christina," the driver says, handing him two wrapped boxes.

"Martin!" Santa calls out, rapping his cane and ringing a golden bell as he ascends a stone staircase.

Four-year-old Martin cries at first, scared of the stranger with the white beard. Then, when he understands the man is Santa bringing his Christmas gift, he runs into his arms.

The Trump administration has slashed more than half a billion dollars in aid to the Palestinians this year. Now, the United States says it may cut more money for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In recent years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cultivated friendships with rising nationalist and far-right leaders in Europe. His supporters say it's a smart diplomatic move to chip away at the European Union's longtime critique of Israeli policies — the nationalist leaders tend to be pro-Israel. But some Israelis argue Netanyahu is too accommodating of these leaders' controversial views on Holocaust history.

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He is one of President Trump's closest allies, and on the way to becoming the longest-serving prime minister in his country's history. But after almost a decade in power, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is battling a series of corruption allegations.

On Sunday, Israeli police recommended that Netanyahu be indicted for receiving bribes and other criminal charges — the third and most severe corruption case he has faced this year. He denies wrongdoing and accuses the police of a witch hunt.

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Israeli police are recommending that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be charged with bribery. It is the latest corruption allegation Netanyahu faces as he seeks re-election next year. NPR's Daniel Estrin has more from Jerusalem.

A heap of plastic leg sockets rests on a shelf. Palestinian technicians in white lab coats scurry past.

They slip into side rooms to sand down leg molds, mix chemicals, cut and polish plastics with big machines, and screw together rods. Tables and floors are speckled with white plaster. Saws and hammers hang from the walls.

"This is the workshop," says Mohammed Dwema, director of the Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City.

"Donald Trump!" said Melissa Brunner from Georgia, as she posed for a photo in front of the recently inaugurated U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Beckah Shae, a Nashville-based singer-songwriter popular on Christian radio, snapped selfies alongside the creamy limestone wall inscription reading: "EMBASSY/UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/JERUSALEM, ISRAEL/DONALD J. TRUMP/PRESIDENT."

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Israeli authorities are defending a recent series of interrogations of left-wing activists at Israel's airport and borders, saying the practice is necessary to prevent violence and terrorism.

But a prominent civil rights advocate in the country called the government's justification "shameful and dangerous."

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The Trump administration has confirmed it will no longer fund peace-building programs for Palestinians and Israelis — including an interfaith youth program and a project for children with disabilities.

It's the latest in a series of announcements of the U.S. cutting hundreds of millions of dollars for Palestinians, with the aim of pressuring Palestinian leaders to cooperate with U.S. efforts to broker a peace deal with Israel.

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