Tag Archives: Israel

Israel: Netanyahu aides arrested as police open new inquiry

Source: The Times [UK]

“Senior prime ministerial aides and a number of business executives were arrested early yesterday in Israel as part of a new police investigation into Binyamin Netanyahu’s alleged corrupt activities. Those held were being questioned over whether they were involved in illegal dealings between the Israeli prime minister and the owner of Israel’s largest telecommunications firm. … The investigation, named ‘Case 4000’ by the authorities, comes five days after the police recommended charging the prime minister with bribery and fraud.” (02/19/18)


Lebanon: Tillerson in Beirut, wades into Lebanon-Israel border dispute

Source: US News & World Report

“U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday said there are ‘constructive’ discussions underway on how to break a “stalemate” between Lebanon and Israel over gas drilling rights along the countries’ disputed maritime border and maintain calm along the volatile frontier. Tillerson was in Lebanon on a brief stopover amid a growing dispute between Lebanon and its southern neighbor, Israel, over oil and gas reserves, and Israel’s construction of a border wall that Lebanon says encroaches on its territory. The U.S. has been trying to mediate in the dispute, and Tillerson suggested Israel should stop building a border wall until the border between the two countries is agreed on. … He also said Hezbollah’s growing arsenal was a threat to Lebanon’s security and called on the Iranian-backed militia to cease its activities abroad to help reduce tensions in the region.” (02/15/18)


Israel: Netanyahu dismisses calls to resign over corruption charges

Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Wednesday to allegations of corruption leveled against him by the Israeli police, labeling them ‘biased and extreme.’ The veteran prime minister rejected calls for his resignation. … Police investigators released their recommendation for an indictment on Tuesday, alleging that Netanyahu had accepted nearly $300,000 in gifts from two billionaire friends and that, in exchange, the prime minister had helped them with visa matters, tax breaks and business connections.” (02/14/18)


Israel: Police recommend charging Netanyahu with bribery in two cases

Source: Haaretz [Israel]

“The Israeli police announced on Tuesday that there was sufficient evidence indicating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took bribes in two separate cases and acted ‘against public interests.’ The two cases are the so-called Case 1000 — in which Netanyahu is suspected of accepting lavish gifts from wealthy benefactors in return for advancing their interests — and Case 2000, which alleges that Netanyahu tried to strike a deal that would have provided him with positive coverage in Israel’s second largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for hurting its free rival, Israel Hayom. … Netanyahu addressed the public in a live broadcast at 8:45 P.M., saying that he has worked for Israel all his life and vowing to remain the country’s prime minister. The prime minister has maintained he did nothing wrong, claiming on numerous occasions that ‘there will be nothing, because there is nothing.'” (02/13/18)


Palestine: Judge orders secret hearing in abducted teen’s “trial” for slapping invaders

Source: The Guardian [UK]

“A teenage Palestinian protester filmed slapping and kicking two soldiers outside her home has appeared before an Israeli military court to face various charges including assaulting security forces, incitement and throwing stones. Ahed Tamimi, who turned 17 in jail last month, arrived on Tuesday morning for the first day of what could be a months-long trial, in what has become a symbolic case in the battle for international public opinion. The judge ordered a closed-door hearing and ejected a large group of journalists who had gathered at the Ofer military base, despite a request by Tamimi’s lawyer for the media to be able to observe proceedings.” (02/13/18)


Syria: Israeli forces carry out “large-scale attack” after losing jet

Source: The Age [Australia]

“Israel carried out extensive airstrikes inside Syria on Saturday, targeting what the Israeli military said were air defence batteries and army bases as well as Iranian positions, in a day of dramatic cross-border confrontations as the threat of a wider regional conflict looms. The Israeli military said it launched the ‘large scale attack’ after one of its F-16 fighter jets crashed under Syrian antiaircraft fire. Eight Israeli jets had been responding to an incursion by an Iranian drone launched from Syrian territory by bombing a Syrian air base, Israel said. Seeking to contain Iran and its proxies, Israel has regularly carried out airstrikes inside Syria, though not on this scale. If a direct hit on the Israeli aircraft is confirmed, it would be the first time an Israeli jet has been brought down by enemy fire since 1982.” (02/10/18)


Israel: Netanyahu attacks police chief as corruption investigations loom

Source: Independent [Nigeria]

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at Israel’s top police chief on Thursday after the police commissioner said that ‘powerful’ people sent private investigators in an apparent attempt to discredit police officers investigating the premier. ‘It is shocking to discover the police commissioner repeats the ludicrous and false insinuation that Prime Minister Netanyahu sent private investigators against police officers that are investigating him,’ a statement on the Prime Minister’s Facebook page said. In an interview on Israeli television on Wednesday, Police Commissioner, Roni Alshiekh, said that investigators were ‘sniffing’ around to dig up dirt on officers. Alshiekh did not offer any further details or proof to the allegation. The feud comes as local media are reporting that police plan to recommend indicting the Premier as early as next week.” (02/08/18)


West Bank: Israeli regime pretends it can “legalize” squat after murder of squatter

Source: US News & World Report

“Israel on Sunday said it plans to legalize an isolated West Bank outpost in response to the murder of one of its residents in a shooting attack last month. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his weekly Cabinet meeting that his government will legalize Havat Gilad to ‘allow the continuing of normal life there.’ … Last month, Rabbi Raziel Shevah, 35, was shot dead from a passing vehicle as he drove near his home in the [squat] near the Palestinian city of Nablus. The Israeli military is still searching the area for suspects.” (02/04/18)


The United States should listen to Jordan on the Jerusalem decision

Source: The Hill
by Brian Katulis & Alia Awadallah

“Some countries, like Turkey, have angrily protested Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy there. Others, like Saudi Arabia, had signaled interest in advancing a peace deal, but have since backed away from visible engagement since Trump’s announcement. Palestinian leaders have signaled they are doubling down on a path of international recognition rather than negotiations, essentially where they have been for more than three years since the last peace efforts collapsed under then Secretary of State John Kerry. For its part, Jordan has focused on a practical diplomatic pathway forward while working to voice concerns widely held across the region about Trump’s Jerusalem decision. With its close bilateral ties with the United States, there are a number of reasons for the United States to pay especially close attention to Jordan on Jerusalem.” (02/01/18)


Trump needs to squeeze both sides to get Middle East deal

Source: The American Spectator
by Debra J Saunders

“President Donald Trump wants to negotiate a ‘deal of the century’ between Israelis and Palestinians like a high-rolling real-estate don. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Trump defended his decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to withhold $65 million of $125 million to the U.N. Relief and Welfare Agency that provides care for Palestinians. … For Trump, this is all about getting a deal, and he showed himself ready to squeeze concessions from Israel as well. As Trump told Netanyahu in Davos, ‘You won one point’ — on the embassy — ‘and you’ll give up some points later on in the negotiation, if it ever takes place.'” (01/28/18)