AFP Washington, United States ● Wed, June 22, 2022 2022-06-22 13:35 0 19e180299dbaf1eff1f381413fcb3c46 2 Middle East and Africa Antony-Blinken,Israel,election,Yair-Lapid,Naftali-Bennett,diplomacy Free US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday promised strong support for Israel as the ally heads to its fifth election in less than four years. In a telephone call to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who will become caretaker prime minister in an unwieldy coalition arrangement, Blinken confirmed that President Joe Biden still plans to visit Israel next month. Blinken "underscored our respect for democratic processes and reiterated our unwavering commitment to the strong US-Israel strategic relationship," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. Blinken "emphasized our continuing close coordination on regional and global issues," he said. Price earlier told reporters: "The strength of our relationship does not depend on who sits in … [Read more...] about Blinken vows support as Israel heads to elections
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After barely 12 months in office, the leaders of Israel’s broad-based but severely weakened coalition government threw in the towel this week, saying they would dissolve parliament and hold new elections — the fifth in 3 1/2 years. Why does this keep happening? The simplest answer is that Israel is deeply — and almost evenly — divided over whether Benjamin Netanyahu should be prime minister. But it’s also because Israel’s political system consists of an ideologically diverse array of parties that have to form alliances — and sometimes break them — to get what they want. Here’s a look at how Israel reached this point and what comes next. MULTI-PARTY POLITICS Israelis vote by party, and in the country’s 74-year history no single faction has won a majority in the 120-member parliament, known as the Knesset. So after every election, any would-be prime minister must form alliances in order to cobble together a majority of at least 61 seats. That gives small parties outsized … [Read more...] about NEWS18 EXPLAINS: Why is Israel Always Holding Elections?
A Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank after they opened fire on a group of Palestinians throwing rocks at passing drivers, the Israeli army said on Saturday. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said the dead boy was 16, and described his killing as an “execution”. The army said a number of Palestinians had endangered civilians driving on a main road near the city of Ramallah by hurling rocks at them, and had refused to comply with instructions to stop. “Soldiers at the scene operated to stop the suspects in accordance with standard operating procedures, using live fire as a last resort,” it added. … [Read more...] about Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian teen who army says threw rocks at drivers
AFP Washington, United States ● Sun, June 26, 2022 2022-06-26 12:45 0 76b99ae81be4b2e052851b8c9617ddba 2 Middle East and Africa US,Israel,Saudi-Arabia,Joe-Biden,Muhammad-bin-Salman,diplomacy,Jared-Kushner Free The United States has hinted that more Arab nations could take steps to improve ties with Israel, ahead of President Joe Biden's trip to the Middle East. All eyes are on Saudi Arabia, which Biden will visit in mid-July after he once vowed to treat the kingdom as a "pariah" state over the 2018 murder and dismemberment of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. However, despite the recent signs of a US-Saudi rapprochement, analysts say it is improbable Riyadh will agree to diplomatic ties with Israel -- not during Biden's visit or while King Salman, 86, still reigns. The king's official policy is that there should be no peace with Israel until it withdraws from occupied territories and accepts Palestinian statehood. Biden's visit will likely focus … [Read more...] about Do signs point to an Israel-Saudi normalisation deal?
JERUSALEM (Reuters): Palestinian Rabeha Rajabi did not think she would be holding her wedding celebrations in the rubble of her own home in occupied East Jerusalem, until Israeli authorities destroyed it. "Before any blow hit the house, it hit our hearts," said Rajabi, speaking among the debris and donning a traditional Palestinian thobe and henna-inked hands. "This was our home, our dream, our memories." The 22-year-old bride said she moved to the Ein al-Lawza neighbourhood from another part of Jerusalem as a young child and that over the years her family were served several demolition orders on the house they had built, putting them on edge. Palestinian bride Rabeha Al-Rajabi looks in the mirror at her house, that was partly demolished by Israeli authority, as part of her pre-wedding ceremony in East Jerusalem June 10, 2022. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad In Arab tradition, on wedding day the groom's family arrives to greet the bride in the home she grew up in, an emotional … [Read more...] about A Palestinian bride celebrates in the rubble of her demolished Jerusalem home
There’s no plaque on the gate of the U.S. ambassador’s new residence in Jerusalem, no Stars and Stripes visible, no official listing as a notable overseas property. The official residence of the American envoy is a rental and temporary, officials said, secured after two years of house-hunting in the wake of then-President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Ambassador Tom Nides moved into the sleekly renovated villa in west Jerusalem’s leafy German Colony sometime last spring. Local real estate agents estimate its value at around $23 million, and its owner and the embassy confirmed it is being leased as the U.S. envoy's official residence. Emek Refaim Street is the latest stop for the American ambassador's home on a more than three-year migration from the seaside cliffs north of Tel Aviv to tension-filled Jerusalem. The journey reflects the Trump administration’s divisive legacy and the reluctance of President … [Read more...] about US envoy to Israel lives in a luxe rental, a Trump legacy
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused President Barack Obama of colluding against Israel when he instructed his UN ambassador to abstain from voting on a resolution that condemned Israeli settlements. “The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes,” said Netanyahu’s bureau . “Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.” The resolution calls for an immediate halt on Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but carries no force of law. Instead, the resolution will likely impact Israel’s global standing and could open the country to further attacks from the international community. Israeli officials consider Obama’s abstention an “abandonment” of long-standing U.S. policy toward Israel at the U.N. Historically, the U.S. … [Read more...] about Netanyahu Says Obama ‘Colluded’ Against Israel At UN
President Barack Obama shocked Israel and the American Jewish community Friday by instructing his UN ambassador to abstain on a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. The unexpected American move to abstain — called Obama’s “December surprise” by angry Israeli officials — did not block the resolution from entering international law. The Security Council ultimately voted 14 to zero supporting the resolution. The resolution stated Israeli settlements have “no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation under international law.” The U.S. vote upends long-standing American policy to force Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate face-to-face about the future of the region and not by edict issued by third parties such as the UN. It also ended more than a half century of the United States protecting Israel at the UN from anti-Israel resolutions introduced by Arab countries. A similar resolution before the Security … [Read more...] about UN Vote: Obama Abandons Israel in Waning Days Of His Administration
Findings show that Israeli security forces fired the bullets that killed Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in May, and not indiscriminate firing from Palestinians, a spokesperson for the United Nations human rights office said on Friday. “It is deeply disturbing that Israeli authorities have not conducted a criminal investigation,” Ravina Shamdasani told a briefing in Geneva. Israeli and Palestinians officials have exchanged recriminations over the incident, which has heightened tensions. Israel has denied that any Israeli soldier “targeted a journalist.” Colleagues mourn Al Jazeera journalist fatally shot during Israeli raid in West Bank May 11, 2022 00:32 A group of 24 U.S. senators on Thursday urged President Joe Biden to ensure direct U.S. involvement in the investigation into the killing of the Al Jazeera journalist, who was covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank last month. The lawmakers, all of … [Read more...] about Israeli forces fired shots that killed Palestinian American journalist, U.N. panel finds
A veteran Palestinian American journalist was fatally shot Wednesday morning while covering raids in the occupied West Bank for Al Jazeera, with the broadcaster and another reporter who was wounded in the incident blaming Israeli forces. The death of Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known reporter for the broadcast network’s Arabic language channel, sparked immediate outrage in the region and beyond. Israel initially suggested she may have been killed by Palestinian gunmen in clashes during the raid, though it later appeared to step back from that claim. Al Jazeera, Palestinian officials and the reporter who was wounded in the incident all said she was shot by Israeli security forces. Al Jazeera said that Abu Akleh, 51, was wearing a vest identifying her as a member of the press when she was killed. The broadcaster accused Israeli forces of the shooting, saying the journalist was "assassinated in cold blood." “We pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how … [Read more...] about Palestinian American journalist fatally shot during Israeli raid in West Bank