Category Archives: Israel News

Official: PLO, Abbas Threaten To Disband The Palestinian Authority

abbas ramallahThe 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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Fatah Spox Complains Al-Qaeda Abandoned Israeli/Palestinian Conflict By Choice

zawahiriAl-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 Wants To Punish Israeli Students Seeking Entry In Fear Of Mass Flooding Of Spies

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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Report: Hezbollah Attack On Israelis Visiting Bangkok on Passover Thwarted By Local Authorities

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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Google Earth Imagery Confirms Israeli Airstrike On Syria/Hezbollah Arms Facility

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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Kerry Vows To Ease Visa Restrictions For Young Israeli Tourists

John Kerry israelUS 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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Israel – Rabbi Shalom Cohen Appointed As Sephardic Jewry’s New Spiritual Leader

photo credit: Kikar Hashabat

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 »

Argentina – 10 Israeli Tourists Injured In Bus Accident

argentina busA 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 »

Rep. Nadler: Unfortunately, Anti-Semitism ‘Is Alive and Well’

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 »

Netanyahu Takes Family On Chol HaMoed Outing, Touring North of Israel [Video + Photos]

netanyahu chol hamoed trip #2Prime 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 »

Netanyahu Called Putin To Discuss Ukraine and ‘Mutual Interests’

bb putinPrime 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 »

Sec. Of State Kerry To Attend Seder At Home Of Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer

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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Netanyahu: Israel Committed To Fight The Scourge Of Antisemitism

via screengrab

via screengrab

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.”

Martin Indyk To Return To The Region After First Seder

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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Peres: Israel Will Be Able to Celebrate Seder Thanks to IDF

Peres IDF Passover 2014In keeping with his tradition of visiting IDF units on the eve of Jewish Holidays, Israel’s President Shimon Peres, toured the northern border on Sunday together with senior army officers.

In the course of the tour, Peres observed soldiers in the Egoz Reconnaissance Unit engage in military exercises on the Syrian border and also inspected an exhibit of special defense equipment incorporating the most advanced technology at the disposal of the IDF, JPost reported. Read more »

Sources: 3-Hour Israeli/Palestinian Meeting Ends With No Progress

A three-hour meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held without the presence of US envoy Martin Indyk on Sunday ended without clear signs of progress, Ma’an News Agency reported Sunday night.

Palestinian sources said chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni demanded that the Palestinians withdraw their applications for international treaties because the Israelis considered it a unilateral step.

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World Jewish Congress President: Fighting Anti-Israel BDS Is ‘An Honor’

Ronald LauderIn a keynote speech in London last week, World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder called on Jewish community and organizational leaders to step up the battle against the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) movement, saying that this was perhaps the most important thing they would ever do. Read more »

Coalition Crisis? Bennett: Pollard Swap Deal = Elections; ‘The Ball’s In Bibi’s Court’

bibi bennettNetanyahu’s coalition partner is threatening to bolt the government and drag Israel into elections if 14 Israeli-Palestinian terrorists are released in a swap deal brokered by the US administration.

Last week, Economy Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett announced that his party will leave the coalition if Israel agrees to release Israeli-Arab terrorists as part of a framework agreement to extend peace talks with the Palestinians. The crisis intensified Sunday evening as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a scheduled meeting with Bennett. Read more »

Israel – Haredi Sponsored Poll Of Secular Jews Shows No Antipathy Toward Haredi Community

Photo/Dov Lenchevsky, Courtesy of Ah Blick.

Photo/Dov Lenchevsky, Courtesy of Ah Blick.

It might be shocking to some, but a poll sponsored by a Haredi newspapers shows that the talk about hatred against Haredim and personal angst against the community by Secular Jews in Israel are at most exaggerated and overblown. Mishpacha, a Haredi weekly magazine and newspaper, sponsored a poll to determine the attitudes of secular Israelis towards Haredim.

The results are somewhat astonishing. Read more »

Israeli and Palestinian Negotiators To Meet Today Without US Presence

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are to convene on Sunday without the US presence in the latest attempt to save teetering peace talks, a Palestinian official told AFP.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat will meet his Israeli counterpart, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy Yitzhak Molcho, during the afternoon, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj will also attend the meeting.

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Palestinians, Israeli Police Clash On Temple Mount

Palestinians and Israeli police clashed at the flashpoint al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday, AFP reported.

Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said that violence erupted when police opened one of the walled compound’s gates to non-Muslim visitors, according to the regular visiting hours. “Stones and a number of Molotov cocktails were thrown at police,” he told AFP.

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Israel – Bus Driver Calls Holocaust Survivors, Speaking Dutch, ‘Nazis’

metropoline2A Holocaust survivor has accused a Metropoline bus driver of calling him and his wife Nazis when they spoke Dutch on the bus, Ynet website reports.

The incident occurred last Friday on a bus from Raanana to Tel Aviv, according to Martin Leeda, who survived three Nazi concentration camps and today divides his time between Israel and Holland, where he works as a guide in the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. Read more »

Jonathan Pollard Won’t Be Home For The Seder

PollardIsraeli agent Jonathan Pollard will not arrive in Jerusalem for Monday night’s Passover Seder. Yet the talks around his release might have broken the taboo, an Israeli Knesset member said over the weekend.

Pollard’s release was brought up as a gesture on behalf of President Barack Obama if Israel and the Palestinians were to move forward and extend the peace talks for another year. Read more »

Poll: Netanyahu Improves Public Standing Amid Peace Talks Crisis

bibi selfie with IDFPrime Minister Netanyahu may want to pursue the peace process, but amid the Palestinians balking the table over some list of terrorists expected to be released from jail, the Prime Minister and his right-wing partners are actually gaining public support.

The Dialogue Institute survey, published in Friday morning’s Haaretz newspaper, shows that Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi Party would tie with Labor as the second-biggest party in the next Israeli government, if elections were held today. Likud-Beitenu would receive 37 projected seats – compared to 32 in a poll released six weeks ago, Bayit Yehudi and Labor would each receive 15 seats and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party 14 projected seats, according to the poll. Read more »

UK Opposition Leader Miliband In Israel: ‘Diplomacy’ Key To Deal With ME Conflict, Iran

ed miliband“Dialogue and negotiations” are the key to overcoming both the Israeli-Palestinian crisis and the Iranian nuclear threat, British opposition leader Ed Miliband told students at the Hebrew University, during a weekend visit to Israel, on Thursday.

“I don’t see any good outcome which doesn’t involve that kind of negotiation. We never rule out any options, but I’ve got to say to you that all of our efforts must be focused on that outcome,” the British Opposition leader said. Read more »

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