Category Archives: Israel News

Pope Meets Interfaith Soccer Players Participating in March for Peace

Via/AP

Via/AP

Pope Francis met on Monday with some 50 soccer players from many different faiths including Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, prior to a game that will be played in an effort to promote peace.

“Tonight’s sporting event is a highly symbolic gesture to show that it is possible to build a culture of encounter and a world of peace, where believers of different religions — preserving their identities… can live together in harmony and reciprocal respect,” the pope said. Read more »

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Turkey’s New PM Ahmet Davutoglu: We Won’t Normalize Ties With Israel Until It Lifts Gaza Blockade

Ahmet-Davutoglu Turkey PMTurkey’s new Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who just took over the title from recently elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that he won’t normalize ties with Israel in the near future, unless Israel lifts its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The position was published on the website of the Prime Minister as part of the 62nd government program. The program also mentioned that Turkey will continue to play a ‘unifying role’ in the Middle East. Read more »

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Poll: Birthright Youth More Likely to Support Israel in Gaza

bibi taglitA new Brandeis University poll has revealed that previous participants in Taglit-Birthright trips to Israel were more likely to support Israel’s military actions in Gaza targeting Hamas. The survey recorded the views of 1800 youths who applied to participate in Birthright between 2011 and 2013.

In contrast to young Americans aged 18-29, twenty one percent of whom were shown by a recent Pew poll to blame Hamas for the conflict, sixty percent of Birthright participants placed equal blame on the Islamist group.  Read more »

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Report: Netanyahu Cancelled Housing Plans Under International Pressure

via/ @IsraeliPM

via/ @IsraeliPM

Senior Israeli officials have revealed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu submitted to international pressure, primarily from the United States, and cancelled a planned announcement to initiate the construction of 2,500 housing units in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

According to the officials, following the June 12 abduction and murder of three teenage yeshiva students, Netanyahu ordered that bids on 2,500 housing units should be published as a response to the murder, which was discovered to have been carried out by Hamas terrorists. Read more »

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Poll: Bennett Throws Bibi Off The Throne Among Right-Wing Voters

bibi bennettBibi may be king of Israel, but among the right-wing electorate, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett was officially crowned as their leader, following the Gaza operation, a new poll released Monday showed.

According to the poll conducted for the Knesset Channel, 39% of respondents called Bennett the leader of the “right-wing” in Israel. Netanyahu was for the first time pushed down to 2nd place with 28% support, while 20% picked Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as their right-wing leader of choice. Read more »

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Netanyahu Meets With Reps Rohrabacher, Meeks In Jerusalem [Video]

netanyahu meeksPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday met with yet another bipartisan congressional delegation, which included US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who represents a significant Jewish population in Queens and Nassau County.

“I think the UN would do itself a great favor if instead of the automatic Israel bashing, they actually turn their attention and their investigative committees Read more »

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Israeli Leaders Tout ‘Limmud HaTorah’ As Defensive Shield For Future of Israel

Photo by Sasson Tiram

Photo by Sasson Tiram

Israeli leaders – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin stressed on Monday that studying Torah and clinging to the Jewish heritage is key to Israel’s future as a peaceful and secured Jewish state.

As Israeli children returned to school, the Prime Minister and Education Minister Shay Piron welcomed the new school year with students in Israel’s south. Netanyahu and Piron began their visit at a new religious elementary school in Sderot, and later continued to a school at the Merhavim Regional Council. Read more »

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British Foreign Minister Hammond: UK ‘Deplores’ Israel’s Decision To Annex West Bank Land

British FM HammondThe British government said Monday that it strongly disapproved Israel’s decision on Sunday to appropriate 998 acres of land inside the West Bank, saying the move would seriously damage Israel’s international reputation.

“The UK deplores the Israeli government’s expropriation of 988 acres of land around the settlement of Etzion,” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement, echoing U.S. calls to reverse the decision. Read more »

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Israeli Children Return To School After A Hellish Summer In Bomb Shelters

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Thousands of Israeli children in areas near the Gaza Strip went back to school Monday after spending the summer in bomb shelters as rockets and mortars rained on their communities during the 50-day Israel-Hamas war, while schools in Gaza remained shuttered as the territory recovered from the fighting.

The start of school brought a sense of joy and excitement to rocket-scarred communities in southern Israel, but the signs of the fighting remained fresh. In the southern city of Ashdod, employees at the “Pashosh” kindergarten, which was struck by a rocket, removed shrapnel marks off the walls and slides ahead of the students’ arrival. Read more »

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Bennett: Building on Palestinian Land is The Zionist Answer To Murder of 3 Teens

Naftali Bennett - Jewish PressEconomy Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday praised Israel’s decision on Sunday to to appropriate 4,000 dunams (998 acres) from the West Bank in Gush Etzion state land, paving the way for a new building project in the disputed settlements.

“What we did yesterday was a display of Zionism,” Bennett said during a visit to the Makor Hayim yeshiva in Gush Etzion, where Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer HY”D learnt. “Building is our answer to murder.” Read more »

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Report: Kerry Cancelled Scheduled Visit To The Region Following Phone Call With Netanyahu

bibi netanyahu john kerryUS Secretary of State John Kerry cancelled his scheduled visit to the region next week after a strained phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian media reported on Monday.

According to the report in the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi, Kerry phoned Netanyahu over the weekend to discuss the possibility of restarting peace talks with the Palestinians and a fourth prisoner release. However, Netanyahu did not respond positively during the conversation, and therefore Kerry told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he is canceling his visit. Read more »

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Syrian Rebels, Assad Forces Clash On Golan Heights

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Syrian rebels clashed with government troops on Monday in the Golan Heights, where al-Qaida-linked insurgents abducted U.N. peacekeepers last week, activist said.

The fighting was focused around the town of Hamidiyeh in Quneitra province near the disputed frontier with Israel, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Observatory said there were casualties on both sides but did not have exact figures. Read more »

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British MP Galloway Violently Attacked in Response to Anti-Israel Comments: Spokesman

George Galloway follwoing the attack

Galloway following the attack

The widely known vocal critic of Israel, a member of the British Respect Party, George Galloway, was attacked on Friday night while posing with people for photographs in response to his recent anti-Israel comments, according to his spokesman.

Police arrested a 39-year-old man who carried out the attack. Neil Masterson, of Camden Hill, London, was charged on Saturday with “assault by beating, which is religiously aggravated, on a male in his 60s.” Read more »

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Knesset Delegation Visits Kharkov To Discuss Fate Of Ukrainian Jewish Refugees

Courtesy of FJC

Courtesy of FJC

Three Knesset Members arrived last Thursday in the city of Kharkov, Ukraine, as part of a former Soviet Union delegation to discuss welfare of the many Jewish refugees who have fled the cities of Lugansk and Donentsk to Kharkov and other cities in Ukraine due to unrest in the region.

Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK Zeev Elkin (Likud), as well as MKs Alex Miller and Fania Kirshenbaum from Yisrael Beteynu Party, met with leaders of the Jewish community and representatives of the Jewish Agency and local Jewish schools to discuss the current situation in Ukraine and how to help the hundreds of Jewish refugees. Read more »

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Carter At Islamic Conference: ‘The Principles of Allah’ Are The Key To Peace

carter-mashaal-HamasPeace between Israel and the Arab world in the Middle East region is still a dream that can be achieved, Former President Jimmy Carter told attendees at the Islamic Society of North America conference in Detriot on Satudary, adding that “the principles of Allah” are key to peace.

“You can’t bring peace to the Middle East without justice and human rights for the Palestinians,” Carter told a packed hall at Cobo Center, according to The Detroit News. “When my prayers are answered and we have peace in that Holy Land then the Israelis and all their neighbors will be blessed to live in peace and prosperity.” Read more »

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US Urges Israel To Reverse Decision On Annexation Of West Bank Land

The United States on Sunday called Israel’s announcement of a 400 hectares appropriation of land in the West Bank as “counterproductive” to peace efforts and urged the government to reverse the controversial decision, a State Department official said.

Earlier in the day, Israel announced plans to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area.

Read more »

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Lieberman On CNN: Gov’t Must Be More Deliberate In Toppling Hamas Regime in Gaza [Video]

Avigdor Lieberman StaringThe goal of toppling the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip in order to pave the way for a more moderate government should be deliberate, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday.

Speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, the hawkish top diplomat reiterated his criticism of the cease-fire that his government implemented last week, calling the truce “a really bad choice for the State of Israel.”

Read more »

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Lapid Calls On Regional Powers To Rebuild, Disarm Gaza

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Israel’s finance minister says his country and other regional powers should work together to rebuild the Gaza Strip and disarm Hamas militants that rule the territory.

Yair Lapid made the remarks Sunday, about a week after Israel and Hamas militants reached a truce after almost two months of fighting that devastated parts of Gaza. Read more »

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Sgt. Shachar Shalev Succumbs To Wounds, Becomes 72nd Gaza Op Victim

shachar shalev(AP). The Israeli military says a soldier wounded in fighting in the Gaza Strip died Sunday, bringing the Israeli military toll in the recently concluded conflict to 66.

The military says 20-year-old Sergeant Shachar Shalev was wounded on July 23, six days after Israeli ground forces entered the densely populated coastal strip. Read more »

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Disclosure Report: Cuomo Charged Reelection Campaign $27,000 For Solidarity Trip To Israel

20140813-200137.jpgNY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reelection campaign spent nearly $2.5 million over the past three weeks, including more than $27,000 toward his solidarity trip to to Israel, his recent campaign finance disclosure shows.

The Governor’s Cuomo’s campaign spent $23,599 on airfare through El Al Airlines for 7 tickets, $1,224.91 for his stay at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, and another $2,254 to Laufer Aviation Ltd., which lists a P.O. Box in Israel. Read more »

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Swedish Gov’t Ministers Join Thousands In ‘Kippah Walk’ Against Antisemitism In Stockholm

Courtesy of WJC

Courtesy of WJC

Stockholm – Some thousand people took part on Sunday in a rally named the ‘Kippah Walk’ to protest the growing anti-Semitism against Jews in Europe.

The rally was organized by the Swedish Jewish community in the capital Stockholm, which came in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic incidents in recent weeks. Several Swedish government ministers and leaders of the opposition parties, as well as the CEO of the World Jewish Congress Robert Singer, joined the walk. Read more »

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Romney: Israel Has A ‘Duty’ To Defend Itself From Hamas Rockets

mitt romney in israelFormer Presidential candidate Mitt Romney added his voice of support for Israel on Sunday, saying Israel had the right and in fact the duty to defend itself from Hamas rocket fire.

Appearing on the ‘CATS Roundtable’ with host John Catsimatidis, Romney stressed that the fact that Hamas has been firing rockets into Israel, “it is clearly within [Israel's] rights, it is clearly the right course” to take military action against Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Read more »

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Netanyahu Continues PR War of Survival: Hamas Was Dealt An Unprecedented Blow

bibi ashkelon cabinetAddressing the new security situation in Israel following the 50-day long operation in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday painted a picture of victory, stressing Israel has delivered an unprecedented hard blow to Hamas.

 ”The IDF and Shin Bet are responsible to the killing of over 1,000 terrorists, we thwarted Hamas’ rocket fire, we destroyed the tunnels and terror towers (high-rise buildings). These are unprecedented blows for Hamas,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, held in the neighborhood of Hof Ashkelon. Read more »

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Netanyahu Defends Conduct Of Gaza Operation And End Game Goals

MIDEAST ISRAEL POLITICSPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night sought to regain his public standing by doing what he knows best: TV interviews to the three major television networks, in which he defended the Gaza operation and the cease-fire deal he enforced without approval of the security cabinet.

Netanyahu addressed public criticism that he was reluctant to send ground forces into Gaza after Hamas violated the 5-day extended cease-fire and the withdrawal of troops when the IDF concluded the dismantling of the tunnels discovered during the ground operation.

Read more »

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Reps Royce, Engel To Embark on Bipartisan Mission To Israel

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, announced on Saturday they will travel to Israel next week.

Royce and Engel are scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, as well as Palestinian Authority officials.

Read more »

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