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    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s parliament on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of formally ratifying the country’s historic agreement normalizing diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates. Israel and the UAE announced the U.S.-brokered agreement in August, and signed a deal in a White House ceremony last month. Thursday’s approval by the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament, which passed in a 80-13 vote, was largely a formality. The UAE has become just the third Arab country to establish official ties with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan, and the first to do so in a quarter century. Bahrain is also in the process of formalizing ties with Israel, and the White House has suggested that other Arab countries will follow suit. The deals reflect a shift in the Middle East as Arab countries’ shared concerns with Israel about Iran outweigh their traditional support for the Palestinians. “Many Arab and Muslim countries want to...
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel approved more than 1,300 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the Peace Now settlement-monitoring group said, in the first such go-ahead since it suspended annexation plans in the territory. The decision drew an angry response from Palestinians, who seek to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. "We urge the international community to intervene immediately to stop this settlement madness, which destroys any chance for a genuine peace process," said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The construction could help mute criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from settler leaders, who are traditional allies. They had bristled at the annexation suspension that helped pave the way for last month's deals to forge diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Peace Now said a planning committee in Israel's Civil Administration in...
    The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority is not a fan of President Trump’s foreign policy. Mohammad Shtayyeh blasted Trump on Monday during a virtual appearance with European lawmakers, according to the Times of Israel. He said that Trump’s policies in the Middle East have been damaging to Palestinians. “If we are going to live another four years with President Trump, God help us … and the whole world,” Shtayyeh said. Throughout his time in office, Trump has been a strident supporter of Israel and one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s most loyal allies. In one of Trump’s first major foreign policy moves as president, Jerusalem was recognized by the United States as Israel’s capital, and the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem was opened in 2018. The decision earned Trump plaudits in Israel but was angrily received by many Palestinians, some of whom died in violent protests...
    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian prime minister said Tuesday it will be disastrous for his people and the world at large if President Donald Trump wins re-election next month. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the last four years of the Trump administration have greatly harmed the Palestinians. “If we are going to live another four years with President Trump, God help us, God help you and God help the whole world,” Shtayyeh said Tuesday, repeating comments he made a day earlier in a remote meeting with European lawmakers. The comments were earlier posted on his Facebook page. The Palestinians have traditionally refrained from taking an explicit public position in American presidential elections. Shtayyeh’s comments reflected the sense of desperation on the Palestinian side after a series of U.S. moves that have left them weakened and isolated. The Palestinians severed ties with Trump after he recognized contested...
    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian prime minister has said it will be disastrous for his people and the world at large if President Donald Trump wins re-election next month. Speaking remotely to European lawmakers, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the last four years of the Trump administration have greatly harmed the Palestinians. “If we are going to live another four years with President Trump," he said, God help us and the whole world, Shtayyeh said Monday. The comments were posted on his Facebook page. The Palestinians have traditionally refrained from taking an explicit public position in American presidential elections. Shtayyeh’s comments reflected the sense of desperation on the Palestinian side after a series of U.S. moves that have left them weakened and isolated. The Palestinians severed ties with Trump after he recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and subsequently moved the American Embassy to the...
    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian prime minister has said it will be disastrous for his people and the world at large if President Donald Trump wins re-election next month. Speaking remotely to European lawmakers, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the last four years of the Trump administration have greatly harmed the Palestinians. “If we are going to live another four years with President Trump,” he said, God help us and the whole world, Shtayyeh said Monday. The comments were posted on his Facebook page. The Palestinians have traditionally refrained from taking an explicit public position in American presidential elections. Shtayyeh’s comments reflected the sense of desperation on the Palestinian side after a series of U.S. moves that have left them weakened and isolated. The Palestinians severed ties with Trump after he recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and subsequently moved the American Embassy to the...
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder in the West Bank on Saturday, a Palestinian minister told Reuters. The talk follows a call by Lauder to revive peace talks between the two groups. Lauder, a U.S. businessman and an heir to the Estee Lauder Companies, told Saudi newspaper Arab News on Sept. 16 that he hoped the White House-led deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain might revive talks between Israel and the Palestinians. RABBIS PRAISE WHITE HOUSE FOR WORKING WITH ITALY TO GET SUKKOT CITRONS AMID PANDEMIC The Middle East has seen a shift in attitude regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict, with some of the Gulf States indicating a weariness with championing the Palestinian cause. In a recent interview-history lecture recorded by former Saudi Arabian intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the prince called the Palestinian cause “just,” but said...
    RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder in the West Bank on Saturday, a Palestinian minister said in a Twitter posting. Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh gave no further details. Lauder, a U.S. businessman, attended the Sept. 15 White House signing ceremony of an agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to forge formal ties. He told Saudi newspaper Arab News on Sept. 16 that he hoped the accord would bring the Palestinians back to peace talks with Israel, which collapsed in 2014. The Palestinians have cut off diplomatic ties with the Trump administration, which they have long accused of pro-Israel bias, and spurned the Gulf states' diplomatic moves toward Israel. A Palestinian official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Lauder was not carrying a message from the White House. (Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Writing by...
    BERLIN (AP) — The foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Israel are meeting in Berlin on Tuesday for talks that Germany hopes will strengthen nascent ties between the two nations and bolster broader Middle East peace efforts. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said it was a “great honor that the Israeli and Emirati foreign ministers have chosen Berlin as the location for their historic first meeting” since the two countries agreed to normalize relations in a U.S.-brokered deal. The agreement, signed at a White House ceremony last month, reflects the changing politics of the Middle East, in which shared concerns about archenemy Iran have largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians, who reject the deal as a betrayal. “The most important currency in diplomacy is trust, and I am personally grateful to both of my colleagues for placing this trust in Germany,” Maas said in a statement....
    BERLIN (AP) — The foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Israel are meeting in Berlin on Tuesday for talks that Germany hopes will strengthen nascent ties between the two nations and bolster broader Middle East peace efforts. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said it was a “great honor that the Israeli and Emirati foreign ministers have chosen Berlin as the location for their historic first meeting" since the two countries agreed to normalize relations in a U.S.-brokered deal. The agreement, signed at a White House ceremony last month, reflects the changing politics of the Middle East, in which shared concerns about archenemy Iran have largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians, who reject the deal as a betrayal. “The most important currency in diplomacy is trust, and I am personally grateful to both of my colleagues for placing this trust in Germany,” Maas said in a statement....
    ROME (Reuters) - European countries have a fundamental role in supporting the Middle East peace process after the signing of the so-called Abraham Accord, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview on Friday. "I believe that European leaders have a strategic role...(also in) stemming and rejecting the Islamic Republic of Iran, which still is the greatest force of destabilisation in the entire Middle Eastern region," Pompeo told Italian daily La Repubblica. He added that he hoped Palestinians would join the United States, committing to serious negotiations with Israel. "(The Palestinians) must commit to dialogue," Pompeo said, when asked what was needed to do so, given that the Palestinian Authority considered the agreements void. (Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    ROME, Oct 2 (Reuters) – European countries have a fundamental role in supporting the Middle East peace process after the signing of the so-called Abraham Accord, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview on Friday. “I believe that European leaders have a strategic role…(also in) stemming and rejecting the Islamic Republic of Iran, which still is the greatest force of destabilisation in the entire Middle Eastern region,” Pompeo told Italian daily La Repubblica. He added that he hoped Palestinians would join the United States, committing to serious negotiations with Israel. “(The Palestinians) must commit to dialogue,” Pompeo said, when asked what was needed to do so, given that the Palestinian Authority considered the agreements void. (Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
    JERUSALEM (AP) — For the last four months, Ahmed al-Kurdi, his wife and three children have been stranded in Jordan, where they traveled from their home in the Gaza Strip for life-saving medical treatment for his 2-year-old daughter. At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has led to border closures and travel restrictions, they find themselves stuck, not because of quarantine measures, but because of a dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. They need an Israeli permit to return to Gaza through the occupied West Bank and Israel, which would normally be facilitated by the PA’s civil affairs division. But the Palestinians officially cut off all ties with Israel in May to protest its plans to annex parts of the West Bank, making it even more complicated to get permission to travel. The Palestinians had hoped to pressure Israel by forcing it to assume more of the burden of...
    The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday his nation’s decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel helped the Palestinian people. Al Nahyan asserted that UAE remained “firm” in its commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state and that friendly relations with Israel were part of that policy, not a deviation from it. The UAE announced this month it would recognize Israel as a sovereign state and fully normalize relations, meaning allowing air travel, recognizing Israeli citizenship, and opening up trade with the country. Bahrain, another Gulf neighbor, soon followed, and both signed their agreements with Israeli leaders at the White House this month. The Trump administration played a major role in getting the two sides to the negotiating table and thus hosted them to sign what is now known as the Abraham Accords....
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest from the U.N. General Assembly (all times local): ___ 12:22 p.m. Germany’s top diplomat says justice for victims of conflict is essential and is vowing that German courts will ensure that perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity are held accountable. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he also backed U.N. investigations into alleged crimes “with all our might,” and stressed that Germany wasn’t only seeking justice for crimes during the nine-year conflict in Syria. “Those who don’t clearly distinguish between perpetrators and victims, who blur the line between right and wrong, shake the very foundations of our rules-based order ... jeopardize our peaceful coexistence itself,” he said. Maas singled out “those who stand in the way of the work of institutions such as the International Criminal Court,” a swipe at the United States, which strongly opposes the international war crimes tribunal. He also referred...
    By Stephen Farrell, Dan Williams and Maayan Lubell NITSANEI OZ, Israel (Reuters) - A huge Palestinian flag suddenly looms up above the grey concrete slabs of Israel’s West Bank barrier, a rare glimpse of "the other" before it disappears in your rear-view mirror. Farther north around ancient Armageddon and the tourist lookout points of Mount Gilboa, a wrong turn leads to a warning sign, or a gap in the trees reveals a West Bank Palestinian village below in the distance. The relative rarity of these fleeting glimpses shows how, 20 years after the Second Palestinian Intifada (uprising), many Israelis ceased seeing the Palestinians as prospective peace partners, and prefer not to see them at all. Israel credits the barrier with having stemmed Palestinian suicide bombings and shooting attacks during the five-year intifada, in which more than 1,000 Israelis and 3,000 Palestinians were killed. Palestinians say it was a land grab...
    By Zainah El-Haroun, Stephen Farrell and Rami Ayyub JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Al-Aqsa Mosque is as quiet today as it was turbulent 20 years ago when it gave its name to the Palestinian uprising that began beneath its walls and carved a bloody new chapter in the Middle East. The Al-Aqsa Intifada – also known as The Second Intifada - began with rocks and tear gas before mushrooming into an armed conflict in which more than 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis were killed. When it petered out five years later, suicide bomb attacks on Israeli cities, and Israeli air strikes and tank raids on Palestinian towns, had polarised opinion on both sides. The last peace talks flopped in 2014, and stalemate has simmered since. Gazing over the walled Old City from the Mount of Olives, Palestinian Jerusalemite Ziad Abu Zayyad sees many parallels between the situation two decades ago and now....
    Star of the progressive left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has come under fire for withdrawing from an event commemorating late-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, including by Rabin’s own granddaughter who accused the Democratic senator of surrendering to populism. “After all, it was my late grandfather Itzhak Rabin, who said: You make peace with your enemies- not with your friends. Due to this brave historical act he was assassinated. But off course populism is easier,” Noa Rothman wrote on Twitter. After all, it was my late grandfather Itzhak Rabin, who said: You make peace with your enemies- not with your friends. Due to This brave historical act he was assassinated. But off course Populism is easier. @AOC https://t.co/LU9Mg0PTQC — נעה רוטמן (@noarothman) September 26, 2020 The memorial event marks the 25th anniversary of Rabin’s assassination by an Israeli extremist. It is being organized by the hawkish Americans for Peace Now. Rabin was a...
    GAZA (Reuters) - The bodies of two Palestinian fishermen who Palestinian officials say were shot dead by Egyptian naval forces were returned to Gaza on Saturday, the territory's ruling Islamist group Hamas said. The fishermen, who were brothers, were shot on Friday off the coast near the southern border town of Rafah. A third brother was wounded and was undergoing treatment in Egypt. "There is no justification for the repeated violent treatment against those who seek to eke out a living for their children," said a Hamas statement. Egyptian officials could not immediately be reached for comment and it was unclear whether the fishing boat had crossed into Egyptian waters. Citing security concerns, Israel maintains a naval blockade off the Gaza Strip and sets a varying fishing limit. Egypt also restricts movement of people and goods along its border with the coastal enclave. (Writing by Nidal Almughrabi, Editing by Timothy...
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday took to the U.N. to again reject the U.S. plan for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, while also slamming the recent U.S.-brokered deals between Israel and two Gulf nations. In a pre-recorded video message, Abbas complained that, “The Palestine Liberation Organization has not given a mandate to anyone to speak or negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people.” He claimed that the only path to peace was an independent Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT DISMISSES TRUMP'S MIDEAST PEACE PLAN AT UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING “We will not kneel or surrender, and we will not deviate from our fundamental positions, and we shall overcome,” Abbas said, speaking behind a plaque that read “State of Palestine.” In a move that could perhaps be seen as further isolating themselves from the Trump administration’s peace proposals, Abbas...
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called for an international conference early next year to launch a “genuine peace process” while criticizing the recent decision of two Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel. Abbas seemed to acknowledge the growing international weariness with the decades-old conflict as he delivered the latest in a long series of addresses to the U.N. General Assembly. “I wondered while preparing this statement what more could I tell you, after all that I have said in previous statements,” he said in the video address from his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The Palestinians have rejected President Donald Trump’s proposal to end the conflict, which overwhelmingly favors Israel, and have officially cut off contacts with both the U.S. and Israel. Arguing that Washington is no longer an honest broker, they have called for a multilateral peace process based on U.N....
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to convene an international conference early next year to launch "a genuine peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians. Abbas urged Guterres to work with the Middle East Quartet of mediators - the United States, Russia, the European Union and the U.N. - and the U.N. Security Council on a conference "with full authority and with the participation of all concerned parties, early next year, to engage in a genuine peace process." The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as its capital, all territory captured by Israel in 1967. Palestinian leaders rejected a peace proposal unveiled in January by U.S. President Donald Trump, in which Washington would recognize Jewish settlements in occupied territory as part of Israel. "There will be no peace, no security, no...
    By JOSEPH KRAUSS, Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called for an international conference early next year to “launch a genuine peace process” while criticizing the recent decision of two Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel. Abbas seemed to acknowledge the growing international weariness with the decades-old conflict as he delivered the latest in a long series of addresses to the U.N. General Assembly. “I wonder what more I can say after all I’ve said on countless occasions," he said in the video address from his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The Palestinians have rejected President Donald Trump’s proposal to end the conflict, which overwhelmingly favors Israel, and have officially cut off contacts with both the U.S. and Israel. Arguing that Washington is no longer an honest broker, they have called for a multilateral peace process based on U.N. resolutions and...
    Palestinian officials fear the recent agreements between Israel and Arab nations will result in a lack of funding, according to a report on Thursday. The Palestinian government hasn’t received a morsel of financial aid from Arab Gulf states since March, as well as a 50 percent decrease in foreign aid, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing data from the Palestinian Finance Ministry Service and The New Arab. Overall, it said Ramallah’s total revenues fell by about 70 percent this year. Foreign aid to the Palestinian government plummeted to $255 million in the first seven months of the year from $500 million last year. At the same time, aid from Arab countries dropped to $38 million from $267 million in 2019. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki explained to reporters that “most of the Arab countries did not abide by the decisions of the Arab summits to provide a financial safety net of...
    By Michelle Nichols and Ghaida Ghantous NEW YORK/DUBAI, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz took aim at Iran during his debut on Wednesday at the annual United Nations meeting of world leaders, calling for a comprehensive solution to contain Riyadh’s regional rival and stop it from getting weapons of mass destruction. He said Iran has exploited a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers “to intensify its expansionist activities, create its terrorist networks, and use terrorism,” adding that this had produced nothing but “chaos, extremism, and sectarianism.” “A comprehensive solution and a firm international position are required,” he told the 193-member General Assembly in a video statement that was pre-recorded due to the coronavirus pandemic. The United States quit the Iran nuclear pact in 2018, with President Donald Trump dubbing it the “worst deal ever.” Washington has since imposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran and asserts that all...
    For Saudi Arabia, the road to peace with Israel has always been contingent on an agreement with the Palestinians, but other signs in the kingdom indicate change may already be underway – and that any breakthrough would have to come from heir to the thrown, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a report on Tuesday. The conflicting messages on Saudi developing ties with Israel come from a split between the 35-year-old crown prince and his 84-year-old father, King Salman, on how they view national interests, the Associated Press reported, citing analysts and insiders. “It’s no secret there’s a generational conflict,” New York-based Rabbi Marc Schneier, an adviser to Bahrain’s king who has held talks in Saudi and with other Gulf countries on establishing stronger ties with Israel, told the wire service. Schneier said the crown prince’s brother, Prince Khalid bin Salman and the Saudi ambassador to the US, said...
    RAMALLAH, West Bank/GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian security forces arrested over half a dozen supporters of an exiled Palestinian politician who some have accused of involvement in the United Arab Emirates deal to forge ties with Israel, a spokesman for his faction said. Mohammed Dahlan has lived in the UAE since being driven out of the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 2011 after a bitter row with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his political party Fatah, of which Dahlan is a member. The Gulf Arab country's deal to establish diplomatic relations with Israel has angered Palestinians and stirred widespread speculation that Dahlan played a role. Dahlan's faction has criticised Arab countries forming relations with Israel before its conflict with the Palestinians is resolved, though he has not outright denied involvement. On Monday, seven members of Dahlan's faction were arrested by security forces from Abbas's Palestinian Authority (PA), which has limited self-rule in...
    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian security forces have detained dozens of supporters of a rival to President Mahmoud Abbas who is based in the United Arab Emirates, his political group said Monday. Mohammed Dahlan, a former senior Palestinian official who was banished from the West Bank in 2010 after a falling-out with Abbas, has denied any role in the UAE’s agreement to normalize ties with Israel, which most Palestinians view as a betrayal of their cause. Dahlan’s political movement said in a statement that dozens of its members have been detained or summoned for questioning by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank in recent days, calling it a “stark violation of the law.” Palestinian security officials declined to comment. Dahlan, a former security chief in Gaza, has long been seen as a potential successor to the 84-year-old Abbas. In exile, Dahlan has cultivated close ties with Egypt and...
    DUBAI, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Bahrain’s move to establish ties with Israel was not directed against any entity or power but aimed to bring about a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said on Monday. The king, in a cabinet statement reported by state news agency BNA, reaffirmed Bahrain’s support for the Palestinians and for an Arab peace initiative drawn up in 2002 that offered Israel normalised ties in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates became the first Arab states in a quarter of a century to normalise ties with Israel but without a resolution of Israel’s dispute with the Palestinians, in a strategic realignment of Middle East countries against Iran. The accord called for “full diplomatic relations” but avoided the term normalization....
    Abu Dhabi (CNN)The moment the pens went to paper to sign the Abraham Accords, normalizing relations between two Sunni-led Gulf Arab nations and the Jewish State while the Palestinians seethed off stage, Joe Biden must have pumped his fist in triumph.If he wins in November, there would be a future Nobel Prize, oven-ready for President Biden. "Thanks Donald!" One can but dream. The alternative may prove to be a nightmare. If Donald Trump wins the November US presidential election then the future of the Palestinians will be, at best, frozen in the recent past. Israeli plans to annex around 30% of the West Bank, declare sovereignty over its existing Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories, will likely stay on hold. Read MoreThe status quo of today will prevail tomorrow. There is no international support for the Peace to Prosperity and so-called "deal of the century" scheme Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner...
    By Maayan Lubell and Gustavo Palencia JERUSALEM/TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras hopes to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv by the end of 2020, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, a move likely to anger the Palestinians. "To strengthen our strategic alliance, we spoke to arrange the opening of the embassies in Tegucigalpa and Jerusalem, respectively," Hernandez wrote on Twitter. "We hope to take this historic step before the end of the year, as long as the pandemic allows it." The Central American nation has signalled in the past that it may move its embassy to Jerusalem. Netanyahu said the intention was to open and inaugurate their embassies before the end of the year. Israel currently has no embassy in Honduras but opened a diplomatic office there last month. Only two countries - the United States and Guatemala -...
    Jerusalem, Aug 21 . .- Palestinian militiamen in Gaza fired a rocket again today towards Israeli territory, in a new day marked by hostilities and in a context of almost three weeks of growing tension in the area. Anti-aircraft alarms sounded tonight in the Israeli city of Sderot, close to the strip and focus of most of the thirteen rockets launched from the enclave in the last 24 hours. According to the Israeli army, the rocket launched today was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system. There are already 17 projectiles fired from Gaza into Israel this month, marked by an upsurge in hostilities, triggered by the launching of incendiary and explosive balloons from the enclave that set fires on Israeli territory. These have been answered by Israeli retaliatory bombings on military targets of the Islamist movement Hamas. The situation has today led the Army...
    ARTAS, West Bank (Reuters) - Two Palestinian travel bloggers are promoting local Palestinian tourism in the West Bank as an act of defiance against Israeli occupation. The West Bank is scattered with sites holy to Christians, Muslims and Jews, and its mountainous landscape offers breathtaking views from the hills of Hebron and Nablus down to the hypersaline Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. But after its capture by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, the West Bank has also been home to Israeli military bases and checkpoints that restrict Palestinian movement, as well nearly 430,000 Israeli settlers who live among 3 million Palestinians. Israel cites security concerns for the checkpoints in a volatile area it calls by its biblical name, Judea and Samaria. Hoping to allay the fears of Palestinians who avoid visiting remote sites, Malak Hasan and Bisan Alhajhasan founded "Ahlan Falasteen" - meaning "Hello Palestine" -...
    JERUSALEM – The Israeli Army attacked targets of the Hamas armed group in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, in response to rocket fire fired on Israel the night before, coinciding with the signing at the White House of agreements between Israel and two Arab countries. . The offensive against Israel began Tuesday night when the ceremony began in Washington to formalize the new agreements that normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Two Israelis suffered minor injuries. The rocket fire continued throughout the night, as warning sirens sounded in southern Israel. Five shells landed in open spaces and the rest were intercepted by the Israeli anti-missile shield. The army said it had responded with attacks on 10 targets of Hamas, which governs Gaza, including an arms and explosives factory, underground infrastructure and a military training complex. The new exchange of fire served...
    Former Secretary of State John Kerry was panned on Wednesday for remarks he previously made declaring there would be no Middle East peace without the Palestinians. On Tuesday, President Trump was joined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalif to sign the Abraham Accords, something the president hailed as the "dawn of a new Middle East." The next day, however, a 2016 clip of Kerry resurfaced that cast doubt that any peace between Israel and the Arab world was possible without Palestinians being onboard. "There will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world," Kerry began at a speaking engagement. "I want to make that very clear with all of you. I've heard several prominent politicians in Israel sometimes saying, 'Well, the Arab world is in a different place now. We just have to...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday to seize the opportunity for negotiations following the diplomatic agreements between Israel and two Gulf Arab states that resulted in the suspension of any Israeli annexation of territory that the Palestinians want for a future state. He said at a news conference that the United Nations has been pushing hard not only to promote direct contact but also to try to find a format in which the Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.N., U.S., European Union and Russia — or a group of countries linked to the Quartet could meet. “Until now, we were not able to gather the consensus necessary for that, but we will persist in our efforts,” he said. “It is very important not to give up on the peace process in the Middle East.” Guterres reiterated the U.N.’s welcome for...
    By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday to seize the opportunity for negotiations following the diplomatic agreements between Israel and two Gulf Arab states that resulted in the suspension of any Israeli annexation of territory that the Palestinians want for a future state. He said at a news conference that the United Nations has been pushing hard not only to promote direct contact but also to try to find a format in which the Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.N., U.S., European Union and Russia — or a group of countries linked to the Quartet could meet. “Until now, we were not able to gather the consensus necessary for that, but we will persist in our efforts,” he said. “It is very important not to give up on the peace process in the Middle East.”...
    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday that he is "very confident" the recent Middle East peace agreements brokered by President Trump between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Israel and Bahrain will make an ultimate resolution with Palestine "more likely." "The moves yesterday were the first peace breakthroughs in the Middle East in 26 years," Kushner told "Outnumbered Overtime." "I am very confident that that will make it more likely that there will be a resolution with the Palestinians in a fair way at a time people are ready to make peace.” Kushner outlined how historical negotiations in the Middle East have failed because "the incentives have been all wrong" but noted that President Trump has taken a different approach to achieve these recent breakthroughs. "President Trump’s strategy has been to not do stupid things, not keep old habits that don’t work, and, what he has done is he is actually the first president to...
    JERUSALEM – The Israeli Army attacked targets of the Hamas armed group in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, in response to rocket fire fired on Israel the night before, coinciding with the signing at the White House of agreements between Israel and two Arab countries. . The offensive against Israel began Tuesday night when the ceremony began in Washington to formalize the new agreements that normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Two Israelis suffered minor injuries. The rocket fire continued throughout the night, as warning sirens sounded in southern Israel. Five shells landed in open spaces and the rest were intercepted by the Israeli anti-missile shield. The army said it had responded with attacks on 10 targets of Hamas, which governs Gaza, including an arms and explosives factory, underground infrastructure and a military training complex. The new exchange of fire served...
    JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court sentenced a young man on Wednesday to 3 1/2 years in prison for his role in the 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents in the West Bank village of Duma. The unidentified youth, who was a minor at the time of the attack, was found guilty last year of membership in a terrorist organization and involvement in a racially motivated crime. It was the second sentencing this week by the Lod District Court in the deadly 2015 Duma arson attack. On Monday, the court handed Amiram Ben-Uliel, a Jewish settler, four life sentences for the killing of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh in a firebomb attack on the family’s home. The toddler’s mother, Riham, and father, Saad, later died of their wounds. Ali’s brother Ahmad, 4 years old at the time, survived the attack. The attack came amid a wave of...
    BEIRUT (AP) — The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees is experiencing a financial crisis that could force it to halt some services to an already impoverished population of more than 5 million people, the head of the agency said Wednesday. Philippe Lazzarini also warned in an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut that the spread of coronavirus, an economic meltdown in Lebanon and a huge deficit in UNRWA’s budget are deepening the hopelessness among Palestinian refugees, some of whom are trying to flee the Mediterranean nation on migrant boats. UNRWA was established to aid the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes during the war surrounding Israel’s establishment in 1948. It now provides education, health care, food and other services to 5.8 million refugees and their descendants in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. UNRWA’s financial crisis was sparked by the loss of all...
    By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press BEIRUT (AP) — The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees is experiencing a financial crisis that could force it to halt some services to an already impoverished population of more than 5 million people, the head of the agency said Wednesday. Philippe Lazzarini also warned in an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut that the spread of coronavirus, an economic meltdown in Lebanon and a huge deficit in UNRWA’s budget are deepening the hopelessness among Palestinian refugees, some of whom are trying to flee the Mediterranean nation on migrant boats. UNRWA was established to aid the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes during the war surrounding Israel’s establishment in 1948. It now provides education, health care, food and other services to 5.8 million refugees and their descendants in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. UNRWA's financial crisis was sparked...
    Seventy-two years after the creation of the modern state of Israel, growing numbers of Arab and Muslim nations are reaching what should be an obvious conclusion: the Jewish state is here to stay, and it makes sense to establish diplomatic and trade relations. This conclusion was a key driver of the decision by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to sign agreements with Israel at the White House Tuesday normalizing relations. It is also why President Trump said he expects five or six more Arab and Muslim nations to normalize relations with Israel in the near future. This is good news not just for Israel, but for the Middle East, the U.S. and much of the world. And it sends a clear message to the aging Palestinian leaders who refuse to even sit down to negotiate a fair and just peace with Israel: Arab-Israeli peace will not be held hostage...
    Before Tuesday’s remarkable events began at the White House, Palestinians in the West Bank dutifully protested the decisions by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Later, during the ceremony, Palestinians in Gaza fired two rockets into southern Israel, inflicting minor injuries on two civilians. The rage of the Arab Street ain’t what it used to be. Even the limited expressions of anger were mostly for television cameras. The Palestinians could have had their own state several times over the last two decades, but could never take yes for an answer, so now the train of history has left them standing at the station. They accuse their fellow ­Arabs of betrayal and stabbing them in the back. But in fact, it is two generations of Palestinian leadership that have betrayed their own people and forfeited their veto over peace. They lost that veto because Donald...
    National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien urged Palestinian leadership to consider a peace agreement with Israel after militants in the Gaza Strip fired off rockets Tuesday to protest the signing of normalization agreements between Israel and two Arab countries at the White House. "With respect to the Palestinians, the president has come forward with the most comprehensive plan for peace between Israel and Palestine ever," O'Brien told "Special Report." TRUMP PRESIDES OVER SIGNING OF HISTORIC MIDDLE EAST DEALS "That vision for Middle East peace that senior adviser Kushner and Secretary Pompeo and myself and others have been working on throughout the region, gives the Palestinians an opportunity to double their GDP.  It calls for a two-state solution to the Palestinian impasse, it provides territorial integrity for the Palestinians," he continued. "It's a terrific first offer for the Palestinians to come to the table, so we really hope they take advantage of this." VideoThe Palestinians are opposed to the agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which agreed to...
    The Palestinian Authority is reconsidering its ties to the Arab League as leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel joined President Trump Tuesday for a historic signing of accords -- normalizing relationships between the Arab nations and the Jewish state. "These agreements mark a dark day in the history of the Arab nation and a defeat for the Arab League," said Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in a statement Monday, according to an Israeli news outlet. Shtayyeh has been urged by the Palestinian Authority to review its ties with the 22-member Arab League, after they failed to condemn the establishment of diplomatic ties between Israel and the Gulf Nations. TRUMP DECLARES 'DAWN OF A NEW MIDDLE EAST' AS HE PRESIDES OVER SIGNING OF HISTORIC DEALS Palestine has relied on the Arab League's decades-long refusal to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate state, so long as Israel continued to occupy land that Palestine views as...
    A rocket attack launched by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip wounded two people in Israel Tuesday as the Middle East's lone Jewish state signed an agreement to normalize relations with two of its Arab neighbors at the White House. The attack was apparently coordinated to coincide with the signing of the agreement. According to an Associated Press report, the Israeli military said two rockets were fired from Gaza and one was intercepted by air defenses. Israeli emergency services treated two people for minor injuries from broken glass. Earlier, Israeli Defense Forces issued an alert for rocket sirens sounding in Ashdod and Ashkelon, cities in the southern region of Israel near the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians, ruled by the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, are opposed to the Israeli agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize relations without forcing Israel to cede its sovereignty...
    President Donald Trump said Tuesday that "five or six" more Arab countries were poised to agree to normalize relations with Israel, in line with the landmark accords struck between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. "Were very far down the road with about five countries, five additional countries," Trump said as he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office, ahead of a signing ceremony with both Arab states for the US-brokered peace deal. "Well have at least five or six countries coming along very quickly, were already talking to them," Trump said. Trump did not name the additional countries, but hinted during separate bilateral talks with UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan that Saudi Arabia may be on board without saying so specifically. "Weve had great talks with Saudi Arabia. I think their mind is very open," said Trump who also met...
    By Stephen Farrell JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The ramparts of Jerusalem, built for battle, were commandeered for a messaging war between Israelis and Palestinians in the build-up to Israel's normalisation deals with two Gulf Arab states. During the White House signing ceremony Israel projected flags of Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. onto the Old City walls as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood alongside President Donald Trump in Washington hailing what he called "historic" peace agreements. But the same walls, built in the 16th century by Turkish sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, were also used by Palestinians to proclaim their opposition to deals that they see as a betrayal by their fellow Arabs. A week after the Israel-Emirates deal was announced, Palestinians draped a black banner of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over the wall near Damascus Gate with the accompanying headline "The rightful owner". It continued: "We call...
    Loading the player... WASHINGTON (AP) —Declaring “the dawn of a new Middle East,” President Donald Trump on Tuesday presided over the signing of historic diplomatic pacts between Israel and two Gulf Arab nations that he hopes will lead to a new order in the Mideast and cast him as a peacemaker at the height of his reelection campaign. Hundreds of people amassed on the sun-washed South Lawn to witness the signing of agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The bilateral agreements formalize the normalization of the Jewish state’s already thawing relations with the two Arab nations in line with their common opposition to Iran and its aggression in the region. Read More: Judge rules Chad Wolf unlawfully serving as DHS secretary, blocks Trump asylum restrictions “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history,” Trump said from a balcony overlooking the South Lawn. “After...
    President Trump on Tuesday heralded “the dawn of a new Middle East” as he hosted regional leaders for the signing of the “Abraham Accords” normalizing relations between Israel and two Arab countries. The foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the White House South Lawn to affirm their recent recognition of Israel’s statehood. Bahrain and the UAE are the third and fourth Arab countries to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. The breakthrough also established direct commercial flights between Israel and the UAE. “After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said in a speech to an audience on the lawn. “In Israel’s entire history there have previously been only two such agreements. Now we have achieved two in a single month. And there are more to follow,” Trump said. “These agreements will serve...
    By Deb Riechmann, Matthew Lee and Jonathan Lemire | Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring “the dawn of a new Middle East,” President Donald Trump on Tuesday presided over the signing of historic diplomatic pacts between Israel and two Gulf Arab nations that he hopes will lead to a new order in the Mideast and cast him as a peacemaker at the height of his reelection campaign. Hundreds of people amassed on the sun-washed South Lawn to witness the signing of agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The bilateral agreements formalize the normalization of the Jewish state’s already thawing relations with the two Arab nations in line with their common opposition to Iran and its aggression in the region. “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history,” Trump said from a balcony overlooking the South Lawn. “After decades of division and conflict, we mark...
    By Stephen Farrell JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The diplomatic accords the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are due to sign with Israel on Tuesday in a ceremony hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump have been subject to intense spin and partisan scrutiny. They are the first public rapprochements with Israel by Gulf Arab states and come decades after it signed peace deals with Egypt and Jordan, countries that, unlike the UAE and Bahrain, had faced Israel on the battlefield. The countries involved have hailed the new "Abraham Accords" as groundbreaking. But Palestinians say there can be no resolution of the core Israeli-Palestinian conflict unless they are involved. Here are some of the points of controversy and uncertainty. "ROUGHLY COMPLETE" On Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signalled that the agreements may be works in progress, while a senior Trump administration official briefed that they were "roughly complete or complete" for the...
    President Trump on Tuesday predicted that the historic peace deals his administration brokered with Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain will eventually force the Palestinians to come to the table, as more similar deals follow. He said after Israel and the UAE reached an agreement, Bahrain worked out a deal, as well. “We have many others going to be coming in over a short period of time, and the Palestinians will ultimately come in, too,” Trump said during an interview on “Fox & Friends.” “And you’re going to have peace in the Middle East, without being stupid and shooting everybody and killing everybody and having blood all over the sand. So you’ll have peace,” he said. The White House is hosting a signing ceremony later Tuesday for the Abraham Agreement between Israel and the UAE. Following that, Bahrain and Israel will sign an accord they recently reached. Trump...
    The Palestinians need to want to help themselves and understand that the normalization deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel will aid their cause if they allowed it to, a senior Emirati diplomat told The Times of Israel ahead of the inking of the deal at a White House ceremony on Tuesday. “They need to want to help themselves as well, and perhaps instead of using the traditional criticisms and curses, they actually look at what we are trying to do,” said Assistant Minister for Cultural and Public Diplomacy Omar Saif Ghobash in an interview. The agreement “is going to help rather than hinder” the Palestinian cause, he argued. Ghobash called on the Palestinian Authority to take the opportunity to return to the negotiating table with Israel, noting the Emirati demand that Israel suspend West Bank annexation in return for the deal. “Using what we managed to achieve, we encourage...
    By Rami Ayyub JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's rapprochement with Gulf Arab states has left the Palestinians feeling abandoned by traditional allies and clutching an old playbook in a rapidly changing Middle East, analysts and critics say. As the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain prepare to sign normalization accords with Israel at a White House ceremony on Tuesday, Palestinian leaders face calls to overhaul their strategy to avoid becoming marginalized in a region where Israel and most Sunni Arab regimes share a fear of Iran. The Palestinian approach to securing freedom from Israeli occupation has for years relied on a longstanding pan-Arab position that called for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and Gaza and Israel's acceptance of Palestinian statehood, in return for normal relations with Arab countries. But the Palestinians last week failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn nations breaking ranks. Tuesday's ceremony, hosted by U.S. President...
    Jerusalem (CNN)On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will join the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at the White House to mark historic normalization agreements between Israel and the two Arab countries.The last time such a ceremony took place in Washington was in 1994, when President Bill Clinton looked on as Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordanian King Hussein signed a declaration that paved the way for a peace deal months later.For Trump, the timing is crucial. Less than two months before an election in which he trails in the polls, normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain are major foreign policy achievements, even if the region was gradually moving towards these relationships regardless of who occupied the White House.How did we get here?For years, Israel has had covert relations with many of the Sunni Gulf states, driven in...
    By Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Tuesday will become the latest Arab states to break a longstanding taboo when they sign agreements toward normalizing relations with Israel in a strategic realignment of Middle Eastern countries against Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump will host the White House ceremony at noon EDT (1600 GMT), capping a dramatic month when first the UAE and then Bahrain agreed to reverse decades of ill will without a resolution of Israel's decades-old dispute with the Palestinians. At the U.S.-brokered ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sign agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani. The deals make them the third and fourth Arab states to take such steps to normalize ties since Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. The back-to-back...
    By Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Tuesday will become the latest Arab states to break a longstanding taboo when they sign agreements toward normalizing relations with Israel in a strategic realignment of Middle Eastern countries against Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump will host the White House ceremony at noon EDT (1600 GMT), capping a dramatic month when first the UAE and then Bahrain agreed to reverse decades of ill will without a resolution of Israel’s decades-old dispute with the Palestinians. At the U.S.-brokered ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sign agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani. The deals make them the third and fourth Arab states to take such steps to normalize ties since Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994....
    JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court on Monday handed down three life sentences to a Jewish extremist convicted in a 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents. The Lod District Court found Amiram Ben-Uliel, a Jewish settler, guilty of murder in May for the killing of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh by firebombing his home in the West Bank village of Duma. The toddler’s mother, Riham, and father, Saad, later died of their wounds. Ali’s 4-year-old brother Ahmad survived the attack. The court said Ben-Uliel’s “actions were meticulously planned, and stemmed from the radical ideology he held, and racism.” It said the punishment was “close to the maximum penalty prescribed by the law.” The 2015 arson attack came amid a wave of vigilante attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank by suspected Jewish extremists. The deadly firebombing in Duma touched a particularly sensitive nerve, drawing condemnation from...
    JERUSALEM (AP) — For the first time in more than a quarter-century, a U.S. president will host a signing ceremony between Israelis and Arabs at the White House, billing it as an “historic breakthrough” in a region long known for its stubborn conflicts. But while the optics of Tuesday’s event will evoke the groundbreaking agreements that ended decades of war between Israel and neighboring Egypt and Jordan, and that launched the peace process with the Palestinians, the reality is quite different. The United Arab Emirates will establish diplomatic relations with Israel, a fellow U.S. ally it has never gone to war with, formalizing ties that go back several years. The agreement cements an informal alliance against Iran and could pave the way for the UAE to acquire advanced U.S. weapons, while leaving the far more contentious Israeli-Palestinian conflict as intractable as ever. That hasn’t stopped President Donald Trump from referring...
    Countries send billions to the Palestinian Authority . . . which then donates millions to Harvard University. The school then hires a failed, dishonest Palestinian diplomat to teach . . . diplomacy. It’s true: Harvard just hired Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s chief negotiator, as a “senior leader in diplomacy” — after it got nearly $2 million in donations from the Palestinian Authority, which rakes in billions in foreign aid, including from America, for itself. It’d be nuts to hire Erekat for his statecraft: He’s been involved in Palestinian-Israeli peace talks for nearly 40 years, and a deal remains nowhere in sight. That might be because he, along with other Palestinian leaders, has vowed never to “recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” as he said in 2014. In 2000, Erekat and Yasser Arafat turned down a ludicrously generous Israeli offer and launched the Second Intifada, in which Palestinian terrorists murdered and maimed thousands....
    The Palestinian Authority as well as the Hamas terror group have both lambasted the Israel-Bahrain normalization accord as another “stab in the back” and act of “aggression” by an Arab country. Turkey and Iran have also condemned the deal. “This step is a token of support for legitimizing the ugly crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people,” a statement by the PA said. The agreement was “a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people,” similar to the UAE-Israel deal announced last month, Ahmad Majdalani, social affairs minister in the West Bank-based PA, said according to AFP. “This is another stab in the back of the Palestinian cause, the Palestinian people and their rights,” Wasel Abu Yousef, a senior member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization added. “It is a betrayal of Jerusalem and the Palestinians… We see absolutely no justification for this free normalization...
    By Nidal al-Mughrabi SHEIKH ZAYED CITY, Gaza Strip (Reuters) - For two decades Palestinians have revered the founder of the United Arab Emirates for his generosity, especially those living on the Gaza housing estate that bears his name. The $62 million development was gifted to the Palestinians a decade and a half ago by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who died in 2004, to provide homes for hundreds of families. The estate changed the face of northern Gaza with its paved roads, 70 multi-floor residential buildings, gardens and a mosque, all adjoining Gaza's largest refugee camp, Jabalia. But gratitude to the UAE's founding father has turned to anger at his son - Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, widely known as MbZ - after the Emirates' Aug. 13 announcement that it would become the first Gulf Arab state to sign a "normalisation" deal with...
    DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that Bahrain would face "harsh revenge" from its own people and the Palestinians over the Gulf Arab state's move to normalise ties with Israel. "The executioner ruler of Bahrain should await the harsh revenge of the Mujahideen (Islamic fighters) aiming to liberate Quds (Jerusalem) and the proud Muslim nation of this country," the Guards said in a statement posted on their website. (Reporting by Dubai newsroom, Editing by William Maclean) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinians in Gaza burnt pictures of Israeli, U.S., Bahraini and United Arab Emirates leaders on Saturday in protest over the two Gulf countries' moves to normalize ties with Israel. Bahrain on Friday joined the UAE in agreeing to normalize relations with Israel, a move forged partly through shared fears of Iran but one that could leave the Palestinians further isolated. The Gaza protest, attended by a few dozen, was organized by the ruling Islamist group Hamas. "We have to fight the virus of normalization and block all its paths before it succeeds, to prevent it from spreading," said Hamas official Maher al-Holy. Demonstrators set fire to pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the UAE's Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nayhan. While the United States, Israel, the UAE and...
    (CNN)Protesters in Lebanon and Iraq in the last year have turned their ire not only against conditions in their own countries, but against Iran's corrosive influence in them. Past Palestinian protests in Gaza against the Iran-supported terrorist group Hamas, and protests in Iran itself, against the use of scarce Iranian resources for its leaders' foreign malign expeditions, have voiced similar frustrations. Syria has been virtually destroyed by a now over nine-year civil war in which much of the population has fought the Iran-backed Syrian leadership. Jason Greenblatt These flashpoints are revealing the fury of Arabs -- and Iranians -- with the leaders of the Iranian regime. They also reflect a changing Middle East: Notably, this anger is not being directed against Israel, even if the West has wrongfully long seen an Arab-Israeli divide as the region's fulcrum of conflict, but against Tehran. Now, yet another country has announced it...
    Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner on Wednesday warned the Palestinians if they continue to reject President Donald Trump’s peace proposal for solving the conflict with Israel, their plight will worsen because Israel will continue building on West Bank territory earmarked for a Palestinian state. “What we did with our plan was we were trying to save the two-state solution, because… if we kept going with the status quo… ultimately, Israel would have eaten up all the land in the West Bank,” Kushner said. “The reality today is that a lot of this land is inhabited with Israelis,” he said. Trump’s peace proposal sees Israel annexing 30 percent of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, which the Jewish state liberated from Jordanian occupation during the 1967 defensive Six Day War. It also delineates a demilitarized Palestinian state established on most of the West Bank with parts of eastern Jerusalem that are outside the Israeli security fence as its capital. The Palestinian...
    President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump-backed candidate wins NH GOP Senate primary to take on Shaheen Trump, supporters gather without masks in NC despite request from local GOP official Trump-backed candidate wins NH GOP primary to take on Pappas MORE will host representatives from Israel and the United Arab Emirates next week at the White House for a historic ceremony establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries, administration officials said on Wednesday.  The ceremony will take place on September 15, one month after the president announced the significant breakthrough in diplomatic relations between Israel and the Gulf nation, called the Abraham Accords.  It also follows a number of important moves toward normalizing relations between countries in the region, including the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia granting permission for the aircraft to fly through its air space, a significant gesture signaling a public warming of relations between Riyadh...
    CAIRO (AP) — The Palestinian foreign minister Wednesday called on Arab states to dismiss a deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations, describing the agreement scheduled to be finalized next week as “an earthquake.” The UAE and Israel announced the deal to establish full diplomatic relations on Aug. 13. It reflected a changing Middle East in which shared concerns about archenemy Iran have largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians. Most of the Arab world has long rejected diplomatic ties with Israel in the absence of a peace deal establishing a Palestinian state on lands captured by Israel in 1967. That steadfast support for the Palestinians, however, has begun to weaken in recent years, in large part because of shared enmity with Israel toward Iran and Iranian proxies in the region. The Palestinians have repeatedly voiced their rejection of the U.S.-brokered Israel-UAE deal as trading...
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Israel’s biggest bank expects to strike deals soon with major lenders in the United Arab Emirates for the first time, its CEO said after meeting top Emirati business leaders on Wednesday. It was the latest fruit of a historic U.S.-brokered deal to normalize relations between the two countries. Dov Kotler, the head of Bank Hapoalim who led an Israeli business delegation to the UAE this week, told The Associated Press that financial agreements would follow the signing of the pact at a White House ceremony on Sep. 15. Kotler’s visit comes a week after Israeli officials, accompanied by a high-level U.S. delegation and ferried on the first commercial passenger flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, reached understandings with their Emirati counterparts on trade, technology and investment among other issues. “The spectrum is huge,” Kotler said, involving investment in both countries’ stock exchanges and...
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Ahmad Manasra was traveling home from a wedding when he spotted a family in distress on the side of a West Bank road. Moments later, the 22-year-old Palestinian was fatally shot while another Palestinian driver was seriously wounded — both by an Israeli soldier in a nearby watchtower. The shootings are now the focus of a plea bargain offering the soldier three months of community service — a deal that has come under fierce criticism from the victims and their families. It also revived accusations by Palestinians and human rights workers that Israel’s military justice system is hopelessly biased and creates an atmosphere of impunity for soldiers suspected of violent crimes against Palestinians. While the soldier has claimed he mistook the victims for attackers, and any indictment of a soldier is extremely rare, the proposed deal is now being reviewed by the Israeli Supreme Court. “When it...
    WASHINGTON - Israel and the United Arab Emirates will sign their historic deal normalizing relations at a White House ceremony on Sept. 15, U.S. officials said Tuesday.  The officials said senior delegations from both countries will likely be led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the brother of the UAE crown prince. The officials, who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the ceremony would either be on the South Lawn, the Rose Garden or inside depending on weather.   The ceremony will come just a month after the agreement to establish full diplomatic relations was announced on Aug. 13. The historic deal delivered a key foreign policy victory to President Donald Trump as he seeks reelection and reflected a changing Middle East in which shared concerns about archenemy Iran have...
    RAMALLAH, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The Palestinian leadership has watered down its criticism of the normalisation deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates before an Arab League meeting in Cairo on Wednesday at which the accord will be debated. A draft resolution presented by the Palestinian envoy, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, does not include a call to condemn, or act against, the Emirates over the U.S.-brokered deal. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also issued instructions on Tuesday banning any offensive statements or actions towards Arab leaders, including UAE rulers. Announced on Aug. 13, the accord was the first such accommodation between an Arab country and Israel in more than 20 years, and was forged largely through shared fears of Iran. The draft Palestinian resolution to be debated by Arab foreign ministers said the Israel-U.S.-Emirates announcement “doesn’t diminish Arab consensus over the Palestinian cause, the Palestinian cause...
    Earlier this week, an Israeli plane imprinted with the word “peace” on the outside of its cockpit flew from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, symbolically sealing a landmark diplomatic deal between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates. The El Al flight - carrying U.S. and Israeli leaders, including President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner – was the first direct commercial passenger flight ever between the two countries. The Aug. 13 deal is said to already be propelling other countries to follow the Emirates in formally shaking hands with the nation many still don't even recognize on a map, breaking the decades-long mandate in which many Muslim-majority and Arab countries refused to form ties until there is an enduring peace agreement with the Palestinians. But what country is most likely to come next? NETANYAHU: 'MANY MORE' SECRET TALKS WITH ARAB NATIONS AFTER US-BROKERED UAE AGREEMENT Bahrain's cabinet exalted the deal, and U.S....
    The normalization deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel exemplifies the “Netanyahu Doctrine” — the Israeli leader’s policy of peace through strength, strategic advisor to the prime minister and former Breitbart Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein claimed in an oped published Wednesday in Newsweek. “The Netanyahu Doctrine can be summarized as peace in exchange for peace and peace from a position of strength,” Klein avers, noting the failure of the “land-for-peace” formula touted by former U.S. administrations, which mandated territorial concessions to the Palestinians in exchange for peace. Under Netanyahu’s leadership, Israel has turned into a global economic and military powerhouse as well as a beacon of stability and moral clarity, Klein went on, and it was this, as well as the Israeli premier’s relentless campaign to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, that generated the sea change in Gulf states’ attitude towards the Jewish state. “The Gulf States...
    Saudi Arabia announced today that flights to and from the United Arab Emirates 'from all countries' will now be able to use its airspace - a statement apparently allowing flyovers by Israel following a deal to normalize UAE-Israel relations. The vaguely worded statement avoided naming Israel directly.  However, the announcement came just days after the kingdom allowed the first direct Israeli commercial passenger flight to use its airspace to reach the UAE.  Any direct flight between the two nations would need to use Saudi airspace to be commercially viable. The statement makes no mention of the kingdom's rival, Iran, nor Qatar, which Saudi Arabia is currently boycotting. Flights between those countries to the UAE would, in theory, not need to use the kingdom's airspace. The Israeli flag carrier El Al's airliner carrying Israeli and U.S. delegates is seen after landing at Abu Dhabi International Airport, in Abu Dhabi, United...
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police said an officer shot and wounded a Palestinian driver who attempted to run over and stab Israeli security personnel in the West Bank on Wednesday. The Israeli military said the man attempted to ram his car into a soldier and a police officer at an intersection near the West Bank city of Nablus. The police said in a statement that the officer shot the Palestinian after he came out of the vehicle and ran at the officers with a knife. The soldier and the policeman were lightly wounded while the attacker was moderately wounded, the army said. Security camera footage from the incident published by Israeli media showed a silver vehicle appearing to accelerate and collide with a parked police car. Palestinians have carried out dozens of stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks on Israeli security personnel and civilians in recent years. Most were by lone...
    Jared Kushner, the senior adviser and son-in-law to President Trump, hopes other nations will soon follow in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates after a historic flight this week between Israel and the country as part of a normalized relationship agreed upon last month. In the wake of that flight, which Kushner flew on, the official suggested to the UAE state news agency WAM that he hopes other nations will follow suit in a short time, according to a report by Reuters. “Let’s hope it’s months,” Kushner told the news outlet. The August agreement made UAE the third Middle Eastern country to recognize and establish diplomatic ties with Israel – a move that angered Palestinians and Iran. Egypt and Jordan established ties with Israel that date back decades, but until recently, other Arab nations have stood firm on rejecting diplomatic ties until Israel vacates Palestinian lands that the United Nations has deemed illegally occupied territory. PALESTINIANS...
    Speaking from Abu Dhabi after disembarking the first ever direct Israeli flight to the United Arab Emirates on Monday afternoon, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner hailed the new relationship his country brokered between the UAE and Israel, and criticized the Palestinians for not doing more in the name of peace. “We can’t want peace more than they want peace,” he said. “When they are ready, the whole region is very excited to help lift them up and help move them forward. But they can’t be stuck in the past.” The White House adviser slammed the Palestinians for rejecting the Trump plan for peace even before it was revealed in January. “Certain people like division and the status quo for whatever reason,” he said. Asked about Israel’s for-now shelved annexation plans,  Kushner said Israel is “going to be focused right now on the relationship with the UAE. I think that’ll make...
    (CNN)Here is a look at the abduction of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured and imprisoned by the military wing of Hamas from 2006 to 2011.PersonalBirth date: August 28, 1986 Birth place: Naharia, IsraelFather: Noam ShalitRead MoreMother: Aviva ShalitMilitary service: Israel Defense Forces (IDF), 2005-2012, Sergeant majorOther FactsShalit was 19 at the time of his capture.Dual citizen of France and Israel.While in captivity, Shalit was promoted three times, from corporal to ultimately sergeant major.TimelineJuly 2005 - Begins his military service with IDF's tank corps. June 25, 2006 - Shalit is captured by Palestinian militants. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a detailed statement about the abduction. June 28, 2006 - Israel launches a military incursion into southern Gaza to rescue Shalit.June 30, 2006 - A doctor tells an Israeli state-run television station that he has seen Shalit and treated him for injuries.June 2007 - An audiotape is released, in...
    Reuters August 31, 2020 0 Comments Senior U.S. and Israeli officials landed in the United Arab Emirates on Monday on a historic trip to finalise a pact marking open relations between Israel and the Gulf state, and they told Palestinians it was now time for them to negotiate peace. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner also said on arrival that Washington could help maintain Israel’s military edge while advancing its ties to the UAE, the Arab world’s second largest economy and a regional power. Announced on Aug. 13, the normalisation deal is the first such accommodation between an Arab country and Israel in more than 20 years and was forged largely through shared fears of Iran. Palestinians were dismayed by the UAE’s move, seeing it as a betrayal that would weaken a long-standing pan-Arab position which calls for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in...
    Arab nations are done with waiting for the Palestinians to make peace with Israel before they do, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press briefing Sunday alongside White House Special Adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. “For far too long, the Palestinians have had a veto on peace, not only between the Palestinians and Israel, but Israel and the Arab states,” Netanyahu said. Netanyahu noted Israel would be “indefensible” if it were to surrender to Palestinian demands including the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes as well as a withdrawal to pre-1967 lines. “If we had to wait for the Palestinians, we would have to wait forever. But no longer,” he said. “Two things have changed: The first thing is the Trump plan and the second thing is the willingness of Arab states supported enormously by the United States of American to...
    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — A Star of David-adorned El Al plane flew from Israel to the United Arab Emirates on Monday, carrying a high-ranking American and Israeli delegation to Abu Dhabi in the first-ever direct commercial passenger flight between the two countries. The Israeli flag carrier's flight marked the implementation of the historic U.S.-brokered deal to normalize relations between the two nations and solidifies the long-clandestine ties between them that have evolved over years of shared enmity toward Iran. With the U.S. as matchmaker, Israel and the UAE agreed earlier this month to work toward normalization, which would make the UAE the third Arab nation to have full relations with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan. But unlike those two nations, Israel has never fought a war against the UAE and hopes to have much-warmer relations. The American delegation includes President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law...
    A Star of David-adorned El Al plane took off Monday from Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport, carrying a high-ranking American and Israeli delegation to Abu Dhabi in the first-ever direct commercial passenger flight to the United Arab Emirates. The Israeli flag carrier’s flight marks the implementation of the historic U.S.-brokered deal to normalize relations between the two nations and solidifies the long-clandestine ties between them that have evolved over years of shared enmity toward Iran. With the U.S. as matchmaker, Israel and the UAE agreed earlier this month to work toward normalization, which would make the UAE the third Arab nation to have full relations with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan. But unlike those two nations, Israel has never fought a war against the UAE and hopes to have much-warmer relations. NETANYAHU: 'MANY MORE' SECRET TALKS WITH ARAB NATIONS AFTER US-BROKERED UAE AGREEMENT Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat, left, U.S. President Donald...