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Palestinians Reject US Middle East Conference as Israel Prepares

February 10, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu with US President Trump. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Israeli GPO

The Palestinians are boycotting a conference on peace and security in the Middle East set to be co-hosted by United States and Poland this week, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu already has plans for his focus at the event. But the key official’s agenda for the conference is White House advisor Jared Kushner, who reportedly plans to talk about US President Donald Trump’s too-be-announced Middle East peace plan.

According to a report form The Jerusalem Post, a senior official at the White House confirmed that Kushner, a key figure in the peace plan efforts and also Trump’s son-in-law, would participate in a discussion on the Israel-Palestinian peace process with leaders from other nations. The Palestinians, who have repeatedly rejected Trump’s anticipated peace proposal despite not having seen the final version, called the Warsaw conference an “American conspiracy” intended to pressure others on the Palestinian situation. The comments released by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and included in a report by the Ma’an News Agency, claimed the Trump government had “declared war” on the Palestinian front and they would ignore any results from the Warsaw conference. … Continue Reading

US Forces Train with Israelis as Americans Formalize Plans to Buy Iron Dome Defense System

February 7, 2019 News

Israel and the US working together on missile defense. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United States and Israel conduct joint training exercises every year that involve missile defense. It’s only fitting that the day before US and Israeli troops began the latest round of exercises, the American Army announced formal plans to buy Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Discussions surrounding the purchase have been going on for months, according to The Times of Israel, but were made official on Wednesday in a statement from the US Army.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was very pleased with the news. A Twitter post by spokesman Ofir Gendelman quoted Netanyahu as saying, “This is a great achievement & another expression of our strong alliance w/ the US. Israel has ‘Iron Dome’ & an iron fist. Our systems can deal w/ any threat, in defense & offense. I advise our enemies not to test us.”

US Army Col. Patrick Seiber, according to a statement published by CNN, said that the Iron Dome would be “assessed” as an option to protect US armed forces, amongst other options. He said no decision had been made on a specific location for assigning the Iron Dome batteries. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Reminds Foreign Officials Israel Protecting the World from Terror

February 6, 2019 News

Israel is protecting Europe from terror. PM Netanyahu and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of: Avi Ohayon (GPO).

Israel is often at the forefront of the voices concerned about Islamic terrorism and the nuclear and non-nuclear threats from Iran. But Israel is also at the forefront of fighting back against those dangers, and it’s not just Israel that’s being protected by those efforts. Europe and the rest of the world benefit as well. On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the risk posed by radicals such as ISIS and Iran and what that means for friendly foreign powers.

“We are committed to blocking [radicals’] advance and in so doing, we are defending not only ourselves, but in many ways, defending Europe,” Netanyahu said in comments released by his office during a meeting with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.

“Israel is the great fortress, here at the edge of Asia, at the edge of the Mediterranean, that is preventing the forces of militant Islam from sweeping the region and sending millions and millions and millions of people into homeless wandering throughout the continents, especially the continent of Europe,” he continued. “The best way to deal with this is to deal with it here, to defeat these forces here. And Israel is doing more than its fair share in that regard.” … Continue Reading

Israel Announces Conclusion of Operation Northern Shield as Sixth Hezbollah Tunnel Uncovered

January 13, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu in the north.
Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / Israeli GPO.

Israel on Sunday announced the end of Operation Northern Shield, in connection with their uncovering of a sixth cross-border tunnel linking Israel and Lebanon. The terror tunnels, built by Hezbollah in violation of United Nations Resolution 1701, are believed to have been intended as a method to send terrorists into Israeli territory to launch attacks.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reported the “successful close” to the operation aimed at neutralizing the tunnels in comments released by his office, while also noting the danger that had been posed by the underground structures.

“I think that everyone understands that a very serious threat was averted here. Hezbollah’s operational plan was to use the tunnels weapon to infiltrate many fighters, between 1,000-2,000 terrorists, into the Galilee, to seize communities here,” said Netanyahu. “Everyone understands how the war would look if Hezbollah battalions were in the Galilee, and with the Iranian army opposite the Golan Heights. We have prevented this—and will continue to prevent it.” … Continue Reading

New Brazilian Leader Believes Country Will Gain Respect ‘When It Recognizes Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel’

January 6, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and Brazilian President-elect Bolsonaro. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left his recent visit to Brazil with a promise from new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that his country would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since then, that commitment has only grown stronger. Netanyahu, in comments to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, quoted Bolsonaro after the visit from the Israeli leader as saying, “’I want to be more than a friend of Prime Minister Netanyahu, I want to be his brother. I believe that other countries will respect Brazil more when it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Netanyahu, whose comments were published by his office, did not clarify where he heard or read the comments from Bolsonaro, although the sentiment is similar to comments made during Netanyahu’s visit. On Sunday, Netanyahu said, “We have a new ally here and whoever needs additional proof of Israel’s rising status in the world simply needs to look at what is happening in Brazil. They love us and admire Israel.” … Continue Reading

Brazil President Tells Netanyahu ‘Not Question of If, Just When’ on Jerusalem Embassy Move

December 30, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu and Brazilian President-elect Bolsonaro. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

The list of nations with embassies in Jerusalem is looking to grow yet again, as Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the latter’s visit to the country that Brazil is going to move their country’s embassy to Israel’s capital as well. “Mr. Bolsonaro also said this: ‘I will move the embassy to Jerusalem. It’s not a question of if, just a question of when,’” said Netanyahu. “[United States] President [Donald] Trump said the same thing. He moved the embassy. And President Bolsonaro will move the embassy as well.”

While Netanyahu didn’t give a date, President-elect Bolsonaro is set to take power on January 1.

In comments on Sunday released by his office, Netanyahu said Bolsonaro also accepted an invitation to visit Israel with plans to come by March 2019. Said Netanyahu, “I look forward to receiving him with the same spirit and the same brotherhood that he received me and that you are receiving us.” … Continue Reading

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