Category Archives: Israel News
State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki warned Wednesday afternoon that the Palestinian Authority’s move to lock arms with Hamas could demolish the peace talks as well as the United States administration’s relationship with the PA.
“A great deal of effort has gone into building Palestinian institutions by Palestinians as well as the international community, and it would certainly not be in the interests of the Palestinian people for all of that to be lost,” Psaki told reporters. Read more »
Israel cancelled a planned meeting Wednesday night with Palestinian officials over extending the negotiations in an apparent response to the earlier announcement of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, the PMO announced.
The decision to cancel Wednesday’s meeting came after a consultation meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office discussing Israel’s response and measure to be taken following the Hamas-Fatah move.
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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair called Wednesday for Western nations to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the fight against radical Islam. “Whatever our differences”, we must work together to fight Islamism – the biggest threat to world peace,” he said.
“The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world,” he said. “It is destabilizing communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful coexistence in an era of globalization. And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively.” Read more »
Amidst increasing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over stalled peace negotiations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met on Sunday with Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of the New York based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU).
In the meeting, Rabbi Schneier urged the PA President to be more vocal in his support for expanding global relations between the Muslim and Jewish communities.
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via Ma’an News
Fatah and Hamas representatives announced an historic unity deal on Wednesday to bring to an end to more than seven years of political division between the main Palestinian political parties, Ma’an News Agency reported.
Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced the end of years of Palestinian political division in a press conference in Gaza City, saying that the Hamas and PLO delegations had worked as “one team” throughout the reconciliation dialogue and had stressed the necessity of achieving results in this round of dialogue. Read more »
Photo: Courtesy of The Evening Standard
Two Jewish synagogue-goers, including a former IDF soldier, have been hailed as heroes after saving a baby and an elderly man from a car just moments before it was engulfed by flames outside a synagogue in north London, according to The Evening Standard.
The Israeli man, identified as “Shlomo” by locals, and fellow worshipper Moses Kuperman, jumped to the aid of the two after they became trapped in a burning car outside the synagogue on Craven Park Road, Tottenham. Read more »
Palestinian factions have reached agreement over the terms of a reconciliation deal and will announce the details later in the day, Palestinian officials told Ma’an News Agency Wednesday.
Presidential and parliamentary elections, the formation of a unity government, and the restructuring of the PLO are three of the key issues to be implemented simultaneously, officials told Ma’an. The parties also agreed that both Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank would release prisoners detained for their political affiliation. Read more »
The Rebbe of Vizhnitz, Reb Yisruel Hager shlit”a told his followers Monday night not to report to the IDF recruitment bureau.
“People are walking around in a state of embarrassment and confusion, there are harsh and terrible decrees here in Israel on military affairs,” the rabbi said at a Nelias HaChag tisch, according to Kikar Shabbat. Read more »
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas listed Tuesday his final and concrete demands for extending peace talks: A three months freeze in settlement construction during which time talks would focus on delineating the border of the future Palestinian state.
“If Israel believes in the two state solution… let us define the borders – where Israel will be and where Palestine will be,” he said in a special press conference to Israel journalists covering peace talks Tuesday. There must be a total freeze of settlements… The borders between Israel and the state of Palestine must also be defined within a month, two or three.” Read more »
Young Israelis are always welcome in the United States, US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, said on Sunday. Shapiro was responding to a report over the weekend, in the Roll Call website, in which US government officials were quoted as hesitant to add Israel to the visa waiver program due to the U.S. intelligence community’s concerns that it would make it easier for Israeli spies to enter the country.
“[People at] the State Department are aware of the fact that despite the two-thirds of young Israelis whose visa applications are approved, there are a few people with the mistaken view that Israeli youngsters are not welcome in the United States,” Mr. Shapiro wrote in Hebrew on his public Facebook page. Read more »
Influential U.S. Rabbi and grandson of the late Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik was forced to cut short a tour of the Temple Mount Sunday morning when violent rioting broke out at the holy site.
The riots forced Rabbi Meir Soloveichik and his family, who were accompanied by Temple Institute International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman, to leave the site within two minutes of ascending to the Mount, according to Arutz 7. Two police officers were injured in the confrontation, and 24 arrests have been made.
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The PLO has been considering the option of disbanding the Palestinian Authority in response to the apparent failure of the current round of peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian official said Saturday. PLO Executive Committee member Hanna Amira told Ma’an news Agency that there were “scenarios … that could lead to the disbandment of the PA.”
“The future of the PA has become unclear because when it was established, it was meant as a temporary stage leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state,” Amira said.
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Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this week, calling him “a traitor who is selling out Palestine,” Ynet reports.
In an audio tape posted on al-Qaeda-linked websites, Zawahiri said, “Fatah pretends to be a national liberation movement, but it has turned into a movement that sells out its homeland and its citizens. These people abandoned the majority of the homeland and many of its citizens, and now their president is giving up on the right of return to please the United States.” Read more »
U.S. intelligence officials are opposed to the State Department’s admission of Israel – it’s closest ally in the Middle East – to the Visa Waver program for fear that it would make it easier for Israeli spies to enter the U.S, according to Roll Call.
The Visa Waver program pushed by NY Democratic representatives, which already includes 38 countries, would allow Israelis to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
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Thailand authorities thwarted a planned Hezbollah attack against Israeli tourists visiting Bangkok during the Passover holiday, the Bangkok Post reported Thursday.
Investigations into two suspected foreign terrorists are progressing swiftly as one of the men admitted to a planned attack on Israeli tourists in Khao San Road during Songkran, according to an investigator. They were arrested on suspicion of links to Hezbollah.
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A utility building suspected to be a temporary Syrian long-range weapons storage facility for Hezbollah was the probable target of an Israeli airstrike on Lebanese territory near Janta in the Bekaa Valley two months ago, The Daily Star reported Friday.
Newly updated satellite imagery to the Google Earth portal dated March 6, 2014 – 10 days after the Israeli air raid – shows fire-scorched ground and possible debris where the building once stood beside a dirt track south of Janta. An earlier image of the same location dated Sep. 2, 2012, shows a 21 meter by 11 meter building with an angled roof and what appears to be two drive-through entrances.
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US Secretary of State John Kerry will be investigating the sudden rise in the number of US visas rejected for young Israelis, after an initial report saw that the visa rejection rate has doubled since 2009.
Kerry announced the move in a letter Thursday, published by Al-Monitor, to House Representative Nita Lowey (D – NY). The letter acknowledges that the US has rejected more and more visa requests from young Israelis aged 21-26, and vows to “do more to encourage and assist young qualified Israelis to visit the United States.”
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photo credit: Kikar Hashabat
Rabbi Shalom Cohen, Ros Yeshivat Porat Yosef, was inaugurated Thursday evening as president of the Shas party’s council of Torah sages, about half a year since the passing of the party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yoseph.
The 83-year-old rabbi Cohen is the eldest member of Shas’ Council of Torah Sages, of which he has been a member for over 30 years. Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri ran the campaign to install Cohen as Shas’ new spiritual chief. Read more »
A bus carrying Israeli backpackers overturned Thursday morning in the area of the Seven Lakes Route in Argentina. One of the Israelis suffered a severe head injury, and the nine others were in light condition, Ynet reports.
The Foreign Ministry has been notified and representatives of the Israeli consulate in Buenos Aires visited the hospitalized Israelis. Read more »
Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who represents the largest Jewish district in the nation, called Thursday the reports about anti-Semitic flyers in Eastern Ukraine “deeply disturbing.”
While the details of who exactly authored and distributed these flyers are still emerging, the world must not ignore these anti-Semitic attacks,” Congressman Nadler (NY-10) said in a statement released. “Throughout history, forced government registration of Jews and the counting of Jewish assets have led to some of the most atrocious acts in human history. If this attack is being used for political purposes, that is a particularly manipulative and callous act in a country where the Jewish community has already been subject to a rise in anti-Semitism.” Read more »
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took his wife, Sarah, and sons, Yair and Avner, on a Chol HaMoed Pesach holiday trip to the Galilee. The Netanyahus visited the Manara Cliffs near the Lebanese border and overlooked the Hula Valley. Read more »
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke over the phone Tuesday, and discussed issues like Iran and Ukraine, according to the Kremlin.
Reportedly on Netanyahu’s request, the two leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine. Read more »
Secretary of State John Kerry will celebrate the holiday of Passover this year, not at the negotiation table in the Middle East but at the residence of the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer. Mr. Kerry will also speak with Israeli Prime Minister on the phone to personally extend his best wishes to him and his family and the people of Israel.
The following is Secretary Kerry’s Passover greetings:
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences Monday to the families of the victims in the shootings outside a Jewish community center and a retirement village in Overland Park.
“We understand that the murders were — according to indications — were perpetrated out of hatred of Jews, the prime minister said in a statement. “The State of Israel is at the forefront, along with all civilized peoples which are committed to the struggle against this scourge.”
US special envoy to the Middle East, Martin Indyk is expected to cut short his holiday to return to the region after the first day of Passover.
A meeting between Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiators on Sunday ended in no results, but the sides plan to meet again Tuesday or Wednesday evening, with US envoy Martin Indyk due to attend.
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