Sunday, January 17

Tag: Benjamin Netanyahu

Iran Says UAE, Bahrain Will Bear The Severe Consequences Of Israel Deals
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Iran Says UAE, Bahrain Will Bear The Severe Consequences Of Israel Deals

Iran President Hassan Rouhani's remarks come a day after Israel, UAE, Bahrain sign normalisation deals brokered by US Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain would be responsible for any "consequences" resulting from their normalisation of relations with Tehran's archrival, Israel. Rouhani's remarks came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of Bahrain and the UAE signed agreements establishing full diplomatic ties at a White House ceremony. Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani said Israel is "committing more crimes in Palestine every day". "Some of the region's countries, their people are pious Muslims but their rulers neither understand religion nor [their] debt ... to the nation ...
Israel Signs Peace Treaties With Arab States At White House Ceremony
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Israel Signs Peace Treaties With Arab States At White House Ceremony

On Tuesday, Israel signed historic agreements with two Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Prior to the ceremony, which U.S. President Donald Trump presided over, the American leader offered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “special token of affection,” which consisted of a “key to the White House and a key to our hearts.” Trump referred to Netanyahu as an “amazing leader.” “You have the key to the hearts of the people of Israel,” responded Netanyahu, “because of all of the things you have done for the Jewish state.” Prior to the signing, Trump referred to “at least five or six additional countries” that “want to see peace [with Israel], they’re tired of fighting.” Trump was likely referring to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sudan and Morocco. There’s going to...
Israel To Impose Second Covid-19 Lockdown
Health

Israel To Impose Second Covid-19 Lockdown

Israel is to impose a new national lockdown - becoming the first country in the world to take such a measure to contain the spread of coronavirus. It will begin on Friday and last three weeks, including Jewish new year. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the measures would "exact a heavy price on us all", but the country faced a surge with 4,000 new daily infections. A minister has resigned to protest against the restrictions that overlap with important Jewish festivals. Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman, who leads an ultra-Orthodox Jewish party, said the measures would prevent Jewish people from celebrating their religious festivals, including Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, on 27 September. He also threatened to pull his party out of the governing coa...
Israel Shuts Schools As Pupils & Teachers Contract COVID-19 After Reopening
Health

Israel Shuts Schools As Pupils & Teachers Contract COVID-19 After Reopening

Nine schools across the country were closed on Wednesday after pupils there contracted COVID-19. The Ministry of Education reported that 2,000 pupils and staff members were placed in quarantine or told to self-isolate, bringing the total number of people under quarantine in connection to schools to 6,831. According to the ministry, there are currently 244 pupils and staff with confirmed COVID-19. Three schools in Tel Aviv – Hatarden, Hagalil and Keshet – closed their doors and will move to a remote teaching mode by Friday, after one pupil in each of these schools was found to be sick with the coronavirus. Two high schools in Bat Yam – Milton and Shazar – were closed after three people were found to be sick with COVID-19. All pupils in these schools have been placed under quarantine. One...
Netanyahu And Rival Gantz Clinch Israel Power-Sharing Deal
Politics

Netanyahu And Rival Gantz Clinch Israel Power-Sharing Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his centrist election rival Benny Gantz signed a deal on Monday to form a national emergency government, ending a year of unprecedented political deadlock. The power sharing agreement clinched after weeks of negotiations gave a clear end-date for the premiership of Netanyahu, Israel’s longest serving leader, who has become for many the face of the nation. Netanyahu, who is under criminal indictment in three corruption cases, will remain prime minister for 18 months after which Gantz will replace him, according to the agreement signed by both men. Netanyahu’s trial on charges that include bribery, fraud and breach of trust is due to begin on May 24. He denies any wrongdoing. Over the past year the right-wing leader, in power for ...
Israel’s Health Minister And Wife Test Positive For Coronavirus
Health

Israel’s Health Minister And Wife Test Positive For Coronavirus

Israel’s health minister, Yaakov Litzman and his wife Chava have both tested positive for Coronavirus. The country’s Health Ministry which confirmed the development in a statement released on Thursday April 2, said Litzman and Chava have been in isolation after feeling unwell. The statement further revealed that those who have been in contact with the health minister and his wife in the past two weeks, would be notified and ordered into self-quarantine. It was further gathered that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been made aware of the diagnosis, and it is expected that Litzman “will continue to maintain a regular agenda from his home, in line with medical recommendations.” Before testing positive for the virus, the Minister held meetings alongside Netanyahu and other...
Israel’s health Minister and wife test positive for Coronavirus
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Israel’s health Minister and wife test positive for Coronavirus

Israel's health minister, Yaakov Litzman and his wife Chava have both tested positive for Coronavirus.   The country's Health Ministry which confirmed the development in a statement released on Thursday April 2, said Litzman and Chava have been in isolation after feeling unwell. The statement further revealed that those who have been in contact with the health minister and his wife in the past two weeks, would be notified and ordered into self-quarantine.   It was further gathered that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been made aware of the diagnosis, and it is expected that Litzman "will continue to maintain a regular agenda from his home, in line with medical recommendations."   Before testing positive for the virus, the Minister held meetings alongs...
Israel Readies For Third Election In Less Than A Year
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Israel Readies For Third Election In Less Than A Year

Israel is bracing for an unprecedented third election in under a year, with voters eyeing an end to the deadlock but polls indicating another tight race despite criminal charges against the prime minister. Two previous votes in April and September last year failed to produce a clear winner between right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main challenger Benny Gantz, who heads the centrist Blue and White party. Ballot-weary Israelis have shown limited enthusiasm ahead of the March 2 election, with some grudgingly accepting the possibility of a fourth run before the year ends. But there have been significant developments since Israelis last went to the polls. Netanyahu, Israel’s longest serving premier, has become the first to be indicted while in office. Charg...
Israel Confirms First Coronavirus Case In Cruise Ship Returnee
Health

Israel Confirms First Coronavirus Case In Cruise Ship Returnee

Israel confirmed Friday its first case of new coronavirus in a citizen who flew home from Japan earlier this week after being quarantined on the stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess. “One of the passengers who returned home from the cruise ship in Japan tested positive in a checkup by the health ministry’s central laboratory,” a ministry statement said. A total of 15 Israelis were among the passengers quarantined on board the Diamond Princess, of whom 11 have flown home. The others all tested negative for the virus. The returning Israelis had all been placed in quarantine for 14 days at the Sheba Hospital in the central town of Tel Hashomer. “They are in full isolation,” said Dr Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the hospitals’ infectious diseases unit. “It’s in many way...
Israel Prepared For ‘Unavoidable’ Coronavirus, Says Netanyahu
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Israel Prepared For ‘Unavoidable’ Coronavirus, Says Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday Israel was preparing for “unavoidable” cases of coronavirus, as the disease spreads across the globe. “Our foremost goal is to postpone the arrival of the virus to Israel. I say ‘postpone’ because its arrival is unavoidable,” Netanyahu said in a statement “We will then identify, treat, isolate and deal with those infected,” said the prime minister who met ministers and senior health officials to discuss Israel’s preparedness. There have been no recorded cases in Israel yet. But authorities have barred all flights from China and are refusing entry to foreigners who travelled to China in the past two weeks. Israelis who have visited the country have been told to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms. Neta...
Trump Unveils His Middle East Plan Amid Palestinian Rejections
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Trump Unveils His Middle East Plan Amid Palestinian Rejections

United States President Donald Trump unveiled his long-delayed Middle East plan on Tuesday - a proposal Palestinian leaders called a "conspiracy" that "will not pass". "Today, Israel has taken a giant step towards peace," Trump said as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood by his side. "My vision presents a win-win solution for both sides," he said, adding that Israeli leaders have said they will endorse the proposal. Before the proposal was announced, Palestinians called it dead on arrival, saying it was an attempt to "finish off" the Palestinian cause. Following Trump's announcement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said "a thousand no's" to the plan. Netanyahu meanwhile said it was a "historic day" and thanked Trump for his proposal. He said if Palestinians...
Prime Minister Netanyahu Warns Of ‘Resounding Blow’ If Iran Attacks Israel
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Prime Minister Netanyahu Warns Of ‘Resounding Blow’ If Iran Attacks Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday that Israel would strike a “resounding blow” if attacked by arch foe Iran, as regional tensions soar after the US killing of a top Iranian general. “Anyone who attacks us will receive a resounding blow,” the premier told a Jerusalem conference after Iran launched a salvo retaliatory missile strikes on bases used by US troops in Iraq. Netanyahu has described the target of last week’s US drone strike — Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards foreign operations arm — as a “terrorist-in-chief”.
Israel Will Not Join America In War Against Iran – Benjamin Netanyahu
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Israel Will Not Join America In War Against Iran – Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu has told his security cabinet that Israel should 'stay out of' any fallout sparked by the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. The Israeli Prime Minister told top ministers on Monday that since the general's assassination was carried out solely by the US, there is no reason to get involved. Iran has promised a 'crushing revenge' following the strike which killed Soleimani and other top Revolutionary Guards commanders last week, expected to ramp up on Tuesday when a three-day period of mourning ends. Benjamin Netanyahu has banned top ministers from talking to the press about Soleimani's death and told them Israel should 'stay out of it' Benjamin Netanyahu has banned top ministers from talking to the press about Soleimani's death and told them Israe...
Qasem Soleimani: Buhari Keeps Mum Over Assassination Of General, 72 Hours After
Politics

Qasem Soleimani: Buhari Keeps Mum Over Assassination Of General, 72 Hours After

President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to react to the killing of Iran's top military commander, Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad, 72 hours after the incident which is rising tension between both countries. Nigeria and the United States have long been close allies. According to report, the United States is Nigeria's main trading partner and is its most important diplomatic partner. However, following the killing of Iran's top military commander, there is no yet official statement from President Buhari. Several world leaders have been reacting over the assassination of Gen. Soleimani. French President Emmanual Macron on Sunday assured US counterpart Donald Trump of “his complete solidarity” and urged Iran to avoid “military escalation that could aggravate instability in the region.” ...
Israel Praises Trump For Soleimani Killing, Places Military On High Alert
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Israel Praises Trump For Soleimani Killing, Places Military On High Alert

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered its military on high alert as he expressed strong support for President Trump on Friday, less than a day after the U.S. killed top Iranian military general Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport. Netanyahu called the U.S.’s recent attacks on Iran a “just struggle,” adding that President Trump should be praised for his actions, which likely thwarted future attacks on American citizens. “Just as Israel has the right of self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right,” he told reporters after returning from a recent trip to Greece. “Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the death of American citizens and many other innocent people. He was planning more such attacks," he said.
“You Lied!” – Jonathan Replies David Cameron Over Chibok Girls
Politics

“You Lied!” – Jonathan Replies David Cameron Over Chibok Girls

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has replied Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron over his recent statement that Jonathan did not allow the UK to rescue Chibok Girls from Boko Haram. In a statement made available, Jonathan wrote; “I read the comments by former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in his new book, For the Record, in which he accused me and the Nigerian Government, which I headed, of corruption and rejecting the help of the British Government in rescuing the Chibok Girls, who were kidnapped on April 14, 2014.” “It is quite sad that Mr. Cameron would say this because nothing of such ever occurred. As President of Nigeria, I not only wrote letters to then Prime Minister David Cameron, I also wrote to the then US President, Barrack Obama, ...
US Reps Ilhan Omar And Rashida Tlaib Barred From Visiting Israel
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US Reps Ilhan Omar And Rashida Tlaib Barred From Visiting Israel

Israel announced Thursday it was barring the entry of two Democratic US congresswomen after Donald Trump encouraged the move, a remarkable step both by the US President and his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to punish political opponents. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told CNN on Thursday of Israel's decision to ban Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from entering the country. The announcement came shortly after Trump said Israel would be showing "great weakness" by allowing them to enter the country. "The plan of the two Congresswomen is only to damage Israel and to foment against Israel," Netanyahu said in a statement following the decision. The intervention by Trump into Israel's decision-making was extraordinary enough. B...
President Buhari congratulates Isreali Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu on his Election Victory
News, Politics

President Buhari congratulates Isreali Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu on his Election Victory

President Buhari has congratulated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the State of Israel on his victory in the parliamentary election. Read the press statement below.. President Buhari extends best wishes to the people of the State of Israel in the aftermath of the successful conclusion of the poll, and wishes them peace, progress and stability going forward. The Nigerian leader looks forward to continue to work with the Israeli Prime Minister to strengthen existing cordial and mutually-beneficial relations between the two countries. President Buhari wishes Prime Minister Netanyahu a successful new term in office and prays that his record fifth term will bring enduring peace and security to the Middle East.
Israel Elects New Prime Minister Today.
Politics

Israel Elects New Prime Minister Today.

Israelis head to the polls today for a general election in which electorate will vote a new prime minister. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival. As expected, analysts are speaking on the chances of the front runners. Benjamin Netanyahu is running for his fifth term in office. If re-elected, he will overtake Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion in July as the country’s longest-serving prime minister. However, Mr Netanyahu is facing both serious corruption charges, pending a final hearing with the attorney general, and his toughest competitor in years – Benny Gantz. Mr. Gantz, a former chief of staff for the Israeli military who is a newcomer to politics, can rival Mr Netanyahu on security – one of the election’s key issues – and p...
Israel Set To Deport Thousands Of Illegal African Migrants From The Country
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Israel Set To Deport Thousands Of Illegal African Migrants From The Country

The plan to forcibly deport thousands of illegal African migrants has been shelved by Israel, but is encouraging voluntary deportation. In a written response to the country’s Supreme Court, the government said forced removal of the migrants “is no longer on the agenda”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giving a TV interview However, Israel’s immigration authorities are still seeking ways to deport migrants voluntarily, it said. The fate of Israel’s roughly 30,000 illegal African migrants has become a hugely contentious issue. The supreme court previously suspended a plan to expel the migrants – mostly from Eritrea and Sudan – unless they voluntarily accepted a cash lump sum and a plane ticket out of the country. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then cancelled a UN deal to resettl...
Israel Scraps African Migrant Deportation Plan After Reaching A Deal With The UN Refugee Agency
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Israel Scraps African Migrant Deportation Plan After Reaching A Deal With The UN Refugee Agency

Israel has cancelled plans to deport migrants en masse to Africa after reaching a deal with the United Nations refugee agency. More than 16,000 asylum seekers will instead be resettled in Western countries, including Canada, Italy and Germany, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. About 16,000 others will be given permanent residency in Israel, he said. Israel's Supreme Court had blocked deportations meant to begin on Sunday. The plan to send the migrants to African countries - reported to be Uganda and Rwanda - was condemned by Israeli activists and sparked protests. The new plan will be implemented over a five-year period. Mr Netanyahu's office described the agreement as "unprecedented". "These understandings will allow the removal of more migrants from Israel than in...
Indictment: Israeli Leadership, Likud Party Express Support For Benjamin Netanyahu
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Indictment: Israeli Leadership, Likud Party Express Support For Benjamin Netanyahu

Members of the Israeli government and ruling Likud party have expressed their support to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who might face corruption charges following inquiries into two criminal cases. On Tuesday, the Israeli police said it had collected enough evidence to support claims that Netanyahu committed fraud and took bribes. The police will hand over the investigative materials and its indictment recommendations to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. “I am sorry to disappoint the haters of the government’s head, who are desperate to remove him from office during the elections and put all their hopes on the currently ongoing mayhem in media. “I have no doubts that Likud and the coalition will stand firm in their rejection of such attempts and Benjamin Netanya...
Cash Or Custody: Israel Kicks Off Deportation Of African Migrants
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Cash Or Custody: Israel Kicks Off Deportation Of African Migrants

Israel has started handing out notices to 20,000 male African migrants giving them two months to leave the country or risk being thrown in jail, the country’s official websites said on Monday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is offering the migrants, 3,500 dollars and a plane ticket to what it says is a safe destination in another country in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the victims are from Sudan and Eritrea. The fate of some 37,000 Africans in Israel is posing a moral dilemma for a state founded as haven for Jews from persecution and a national home. The right-wing government is under pressure from its nationalist voter base to expel the migrants, while others are calling for them to be taken in. The government says the migrants are “infiltrators” looking for ...
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Son Under Fire After Strip Club Tape
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Benjamin Netanyahu’s Son Under Fire After Strip Club Tape

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, has been caught on tape seemingly drunk outside a strip club talking about a key natural gas deal, leading to political fallout, on Tuesday. The audio recording of Yair Netanyahu, who has been the subject of controversy in the past, was aired by Israel’s Channel 2 television late Monday. On the recording, said to be from 2015, Yair Netanyahu, now 26, can be heard speaking with the son of Kobi Maimon, a stakeholder in a company that owns a share in Israel’s offshore Tamar gas field. Their conversation includes talk of strippers and prostitutes. “My dad arranged $20 billion for your dad — you can give me 400 shekels ($116/97 euros),” he says. Yair Netanyahu issued a statement apologising and saying he was only joking about...
Israeli Deadline Fans Fears Among African Migrants
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Israeli Deadline Fans Fears Among African Migrants

Israel plans to deport thousands of African asylum seekers within the next three months. They have the choice of leaving for a third country or indefinite imprisonment in Israeli jails. "It is a very scary moment and many people are simply in panic," says Ghebrihiwet Tekle, a young Eritrean asylum seeker sitting in the office of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, an Israeli non-governmental organization in Tel Aviv. The 37-year old works here as a translator for the Tigrinya language. The mood is somber: A few days earlier, the Israeli Population, Immigration and Border Authority launched a controversial campaign to call on Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to either leave to a third country or face indefinite time in jail in Israel. They must make their decision by the end of Ma...
Israel Cracks Palestinian Militant Recruitment Cell
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Israel Cracks Palestinian Militant Recruitment Cell

Israel on Wednesday said it had cracked a Palestinian militant cell suspected of having been recruited and handled by Iranian intelligence officers who worked out of South Africa. Israel has been locked in a shadow war with arch-foe Iran, which supports Islamist guerrillas in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon whose nuclear program is widely believed to have been targeted repeatedly by Israeli saboteurs. Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said three Palestinians from the occupied West Bank had been indicted on espionage and terrorism charges after they confessed to accepting Iranian-assigned missions. This includes preparation of a suicide bombing and providing their handlers with Israeli cellphone SIM cards. In its statement, the Shin Bet said the suspects’ point of contact was a Pales...
Israel Offers To Pay African Migrants To Leave Or Get Jailed
News

Israel Offers To Pay African Migrants To Leave Or Get Jailed

The Israeli government has issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment. Israel said on Wednesday that it would pay thousands of Africa migrants living illegally in the country to leave, threatening them with jail if they are caught after the end of March. Each migrant will be given up to $3,500 (about N1.2 million) to leave within the next 90 days. They will also be given the option of going to their home countries or third countries. If they do not leave, the Israeli authorities have threatened that they will start jailing them from April. A spokesperson for Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority told the BBC that there were currently 38,000 “infiltrators” in Israel, of whom just 1,420 were being held in detention faciliti...
Turkey Accuses Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump Of Supporting Iran Protests
News

Turkey Accuses Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump Of Supporting Iran Protests

Turkey on Wednesday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump of supporting the anti-government protests in Iran. Foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, was quoted as saying by broadcaster CNN Turk that Turkey was against foreign interventions in Iran. Cavusoglu said Turkey had not made any assurances to the U.S. in the resolution of a months-long row which had led to the two countries suspending visa services. Cavusoglu would meet his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel on Saturday. Similarly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call that he hoped the protests in Iran would end in a few days, sources in Erdogan’s office said. Sources said in the phone call, Erdogan said Rouhani had taken an app...
Israel To Withdraw From UNESCO Before 2018
News

Israel To Withdraw From UNESCO Before 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that his country will withdraw from the UN cultural agency, UNESCO. Mr. Netanyahu had already announced in October that Israel would pull out of UNESCO following a decision by b to withdraw the U.S. from the agency for its alleged “anti-Israel bias.” A Foreign Ministry spokesman had said Saturday that a letter of withdrawal will be sent before the start of the new year. “Over the weekend I instructed the Foreign Ministry to withdraw from UNESCO,” Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting. “I think that this is necessary in light of the biased, unilateral and absurd attitude of the organization towards us and also in the background of the U.S. strong stance in the UN, which we welcome,” he continued. Israel has co...
Israel, Turkey Leaders Trade Insults Over US Jerusalem Decision
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Israel, Turkey Leaders Trade Insults Over US Jerusalem Decision

Relations between Israel and Turkey took a bitter turn Sunday as their leaders traded accusations of involvement in terrorism, days after the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would fight against the controversial declaration, describing Israel as a “terrorist state” that kills children, in a speech in Istanbul. Hours later Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back, calling his counterpart a leader who bombs Kurdish villagers and supports terrorists, during an official visit to Paris. The two countries had normalised relations in recent years, but Sunday’s flare-up came after Turkey was angered by US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump’s move has sparked protests...
UK Minister Faces Sacking Calls Over Israel Meetings
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UK Minister Faces Sacking Calls Over Israel Meetings

British Prime Minister Theresa May summoned her aid minister back from a trip to Africa on Wednesday following a row over unauthorised meetings in Israel, prompting speculation she will be the second minister in a week to be sacked. International Development Secretary Priti Patel left London on Tuesday on a trip to Uganda, but a government source told AFP she was returning to London Wednesday at May’s request. Patel was forced to apologise on Monday for taking time out of a family holiday to Israel in August to hold 12 separate meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other politicians without May’s knowledge. Patel was accompanied on all the meetings in Israel except one by Lord Stuart Polak, the honorary president of lobbying group Conservative Friends of Israel. S...
Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s Personal Diplomatic Envoy Steps Down
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Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s Personal Diplomatic Envoy Steps Down

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal diplomatic envoy and confidant announced Wednesday he was relinquishing his voluntary position on the backdrop of growing public criticism of his undefined function. “I respectfully request that you discharge me from my position as emissary and special diplomatic adviser to the premier,” Yitzhak Molcho wrote to Netanyahu in a letter distributed by the premier’s office. A lawyer by training, Molcho served in that capacity during Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister in the years 1996-1999 and then again since 2009, when Netanyahu returned to power. Molcho led Israeli negotiating teams with the Palestinians, and was Netanyahu’s pointman for resolving sensitive issues with neighbouring Arab states Egypt and Jordan. Since he a...
UNGA: France’s Macron Defends Iran, Climate Deals
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UNGA: France’s Macron Defends Iran, Climate Deals

French President Emmanuel Macron stood firm Tuesday that landmark agreements on Iran and climate change would not change as he gently nudged Donald Trump to return to the fold. Macron, like Trump appearing for the first time at the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders, met his US counterpart on Monday for their latest meeting — which appeared to be friendly but did not bridge differences. Trump devoted much of his own address at the General Assembly to denouncing Iran, calling the seven-nation agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program championed by his predecessor Barack Obama an “embarrassment to the United States.” But Macron said that the 2015 deal — reached between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — was a “solid, robust agre...
Netanyahu Slams Iran As He Arrives For Landmark Latin America Visit
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Netanyahu Slams Iran As He Arrives For Landmark Latin America Visit

Benjamin Netanyahu urged all countries to fight terrorism and singled out Iran as a serial offender as he paid tribute to the victims of two bombings in Argentina on the first trip by an Israeli premier to Latin America. Surrounded by heavy security, Netanyahu held a closed-door meeting with members of Argentina’s Jewish community, estimated to be Latin America’s most numerous with 300,000 members. He also participated in a ceremony to remember victims of bomb attacks at the Israeli embassy in 1992, and at a Jewish community center in 1994. The embassy attack killed 29 and injured 220, while the community center blast left 85 dead and 300 injured. Israel blamed the embassy attack on the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. Argentine investigators accused five former Iranian officia...
Netanyahu Asks ICRC To Help Return Soldiers Remains From Gaza
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Netanyahu Asks ICRC To Help Return Soldiers Remains From Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Wednesday for the International Committee of the Red Cross to help return civilians and the bodies of soldiers held in Gaza as he met the organisation’s head. “We are concerned about this unbelievable cruelty,” Netanyahu said after talks with ICRC president Peter Maurer, who is on a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories. Two Israeli soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, are believed to have been killed in the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip and their remains held by the Islamic movement Hamas which runs the Palestinian territory. Three Israeli civilians, all said to be mentally unstable, are also believed to have entered Gaza and to be held by Hamas. The ICRC can help in “retrieving the bodies of our fallen soldie...
Israel Arrests Islamic Cleric For Alleged Incitement
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Israel Arrests Islamic Cleric For Alleged Incitement

Israeli police arrested a firebrand Islamic cleric on Tuesday who has been repeatedly accused of inciting violence over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site where tensions again flared last month. Raed Salah, released from prison in January after serving a nine-month sentence, is accused of inciting violence and terrorism as well as support for and participation in an illegal organisation, police said. His group, the radical northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was outlawed in 2015 after it was accused of inciting violence linked to Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount. Police said in Tuesday’s statement that Salah, an Arab Israeli, is accused of having publicly supported violent acts against the country on several occasions follo...
Netanyahu Suspected Of Bribery And Fraud By Police
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Netanyahu Suspected Of Bribery And Fraud By Police

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, an Israeli police document says. Police have been questioning Netanyahu for months over the cases but have released few details. On Thursday, it released a gag order on reporting the details of talks that are underway to enlist a state witness. The document says the cases involving Netanyahu deal with "a suspicion of committing crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust". The Israeli daily Haaretz said Netanyahu's former chief of staff Ari Harow has reached an agreement with the prosecution to turn state witness in two corruption cases against Netanyahu that are being heard in court. The cases relate to gifts allegedly given to Netanyahu and his family by business figures and discuss...
Israeli Settlers Occupy Palestinian Home In Hebron
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Israeli Settlers Occupy Palestinian Home In Hebron

Around 100 Israeli settlers forcibly took over a Palestinian home in the Old City of Hebron, raising tensions in the city amid widespread anger over Israeli-imposed restrictions on entry to al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The settlers raided the Abu Rajabs' family home, located in the southern occupied West Bank, on Wednesday. Activists caught the moment on video and circulated the footage on social media. Issa Amro, director of the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements activist group, said the settlers began moving their furniture in on Thursday, "right in front of the [Israeli] police and the army". The Human Rights Defenders NGO posted a video on Facebook showing soldiers shoving and roughing up members of the Abu Rajab family as hundreds of settlers applauded. "[The Abu Ra...
Muslim Leaders Tell Faithful To Return to Jerusalem Shrine
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Muslim Leaders Tell Faithful To Return to Jerusalem Shrine

JERUSALEM (AP) — Muslim leaders told the faithful to return to pray inside a major Jerusalem holy site on Thursday after Israel removed security devices it installed outside entrances to the shrine following a deadly Palestinian attack at the compound. Thousands of Palestinians had been praying in the streets outside the shrine to protest the security measures since the crisis began. "After extensive discussion and after achieving this victory in this round we call on our people in Jerusalem and inside (Israel) and anyone who can access the Al-Aqsa Mosque to enter ... en masse," the Islamic leaders declared in a statement. The head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, Ikrema Sabri, said the first prayers would be held there Thursday afternoon. Israel installed the new security mea...
Trump Envoy Heads To Israel For Holy Site Crisis Talks
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Trump Envoy Heads To Israel For Holy Site Crisis Talks

A top aide to US President Donald Trump was due in Israel Monday in a bid to ease tensions over new security measures at a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site after a weekend of deadly violence. Jason Greenblatt’s visit comes after more than a week of tensions over the Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel installed metal detectors at entrances to the site, which includes Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, following an attack on July 14 that killed two policemen. Palestinians view the move as Israel asserting further control over the site. They have refused to enter the compound in protest and have prayed in the streets outside. Israeli authorities say the metal detectors are needed beca...
Israel Reopens Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound
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Israel Reopens Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

Israeli authorities gradually reopened the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday following a two-day closure, as religious officials condemned new security measures put in place following a deadly gun battle. The ultra-sensitive compound was closed on Friday after three Palestinian citizens of Israel shot two Israeli officers dead in the Old City before fleeing to the al-Aqsa compound where they were killed by Israeli police. Palestinian worshippers on Sunday refused to enter the holy site for midday prayers after metal detectors and cameras were added to the compound's gates. Dozens of worshippers gathered to pray at an entrance to the compound next to the Lions' Gate entry to the Old City. "We reject the changes imposed by the Israeli government," Sheikh O...
Modi To Be First Indian Premier To Visit Israel
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Modi To Be First Indian Premier To Visit Israel

Narendra Modi will become the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, when he arrives on Tuesday. Modi, who recently said India and the Jewish state share a “deep and centuries-old” connection, is expected to agree military and cyber security deals. Observers note he will not travel to Ramallah or meet Palestinian leaders, as visiting dignitaries often do. The visit is seen by some as a turning point in India’s position on Israel. India and Israel have had diplomatic relations for 25 years, but it has always been a balancing act given India’s sizeable Muslim population. The two countries have been working closely together for years on counter-terrorism, defence, agriculture and the water and energy sectors. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has hailed the meeting as a “a...
Donald Trump Delays Moving US Embassy To Jerusalem
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Donald Trump Delays Moving US Embassy To Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump has signed a waiver to delay relocating the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, the White House says. The decision avoids a controversial step that would have complicated his efforts to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks. "[Trump] has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy," the White House said in a statement on Thursday. "The question is not if that move happens, but only when." The White House said Trump "made this decision to maximise the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians". Trump, who pledged during the 2016 presidential campaign to move the embassy, chose instead to continue his predecessors' policy of signing a six-month waiver overriding a 1995 law requiring th...
Trump Tells Jewish Magazine’s Reporter To ‘Sit Down,’ Blames Anti-Semitism On ‘The Other Side’
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Trump Tells Jewish Magazine’s Reporter To ‘Sit Down,’ Blames Anti-Semitism On ‘The Other Side’

In response to a question Thursday about threats to Jewish centers nationwide, President Donald Trump called a Jewish reporter a liar, told him to sit down and later said anti-Semitism was coming from "the other side." The exchange kicked off as Trump looked through the room at a White House news conference and asked for a question from a "friendly reporter." 'Telephone terrorism' has rattled 48 Jewish centers. Is anyone paying attention? He settled on a reporter who identified himself as Jake Turx, a reporter with Ami Magazine, which bills itself as "a new standard in Jewish media." Turx prefaced his question by saying he did not see evidence the President or his staff were anti-Semitic. He even mentioned Trump's Jewish grandchildren. He then launched into the thrust of his question...
Israel Regrets Mexico Misunderstanding
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Israel Regrets Mexico Misunderstanding

Israel's president has told his Mexican counterpart that he "regretted the misunderstanding" over a tweet in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to praise US President Donald Trump's plans to build a wall on the Mexican border. In a tweet on Saturday that drew a rebuke from Mexico, the right-wing Netanyahu wrote: "President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea." Netanyahu had earlier sidestepped Mexico's demand for an Israeli apology and echoed previous Israeli explanations - rejected as insufficient by Mexico's foreign minister on Monday. "I regret any offence that was caused from this misunderstanding but it is important to note that this was only a misunderstanding and I a...
Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinian Teen
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Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinian Teen

A 19-year-old Palestinian man was killed and five others wounded early on Sunday when Israeli forces stormed into Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, according to official sources. An army spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said that troops had entered the camp for unspecified "activities" and that some residents had turned violent and thrown pipe bombs at them, causing soldiers to react. "Responding to the threat, forces fired towards main instigators," she said. Two weeks ago, a 17-year-old Palestinian was killed after confrontations with Israeli soldiers in a West Bank village near Bethlehem.
Palestinians Warn Trump On Embassy
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Palestinians Warn Trump On Embassy

The Islamist Hamas movement has warned US President Donald Trump of the dangers of following through on his promise to move the US embassy to "occupied" Jerusalem. "The American administration is exceeding all red lines by moving its embassy," the group in charge of Gaza since 2007 said in a statement. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has also repeatedly warned that such a move would be viewed as an "aggression," has asked Jordan for help in opening a direct line of communication with the Trump White House, Israel Radio reported on Monday. White House speaker Sean Spicer said on Sunday that the US administration was "at the very beginning stages of even discussing" relocating the embassy, according to the Haaretz newspaper. Spicer's comment came shortly before a "...
Major Powers Warn Trump Over Embassy Move
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Major Powers Warn Trump Over Embassy Move

France has warned President-elect Donald Trump that his plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem could derail peace efforts in the Middle East. Representatives from more than 70 countries and organisations have gathered in Paris for talks, with major powers also indicating to Trump that a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians is the only soultion. Amongst those assembled in the French capital are key European and Arab states as well as the permanent members of the UN Security Council, in a meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected as "futile". Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians will be represented. But, just five days before Trump is sworn in, the conference provides a platform for countries to send a strong signal to the incoming Am...
Countries Seek Two-State Solution In Paris
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Countries Seek Two-State Solution In Paris

Representatives from more than 70 countries and organisations gathered in Paris are expected to throw their weight behind a two-state solution in the Middle East and echo UN condemnation of Israeli settlements. A draft declaration seen by DPA and expected to be released at the conclusion of the conference on Sunday calls for a "negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security". The timing of the talks is highly symbolic, coming just five days before Donald Trump is to be inaugurated as US president. Some members of the US Republican party have slammed the UN over a Security Council resolution adopted in late December condemning the settlements. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who blasted the talks and refused ...