Tag Archives: Palestinians

Israeli police officer punches woman in face as new wave of deadly violence over US Jerusalem move

An Israeli police officer was filmed punching a Palestinian woman in the face during deadly protests against Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital that left four dead.

Four Palestinians were killed and hundreds wounded Friday in clashes with Israeli forces as tens of thousands demonstrated against the move.

President Donald Trump’s December 6 announcement that he would break with decades of US policy and move the embassy to Jerusalem has stirred global condemnation, as well as demonstrations across Arab and Muslim countries.

Continue reading Israeli police officer punches woman in face as new wave of deadly violence over US Jerusalem move

Advertisements

Trump ticks the box on another campaign promise at the expense of inflaming the Muslim world

  • President Donald Trump’s announcement of plans to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has inflamed regional leaders and drawn threats of violence against the US and Israel, but in practical terms it changes little.
  • Both US political parties have long promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and Palestinian-aligned regional forces have long threatened violence against the US and Israel.
  • Trump’s announcement allows him to tick the box on another campaign promise with no input from Congress and only at the cost of antagonizing the Muslim world, which he seems OK with.

Continue reading Trump ticks the box on another campaign promise at the expense of inflaming the Muslim world

Abbas and Abdullah warn Trump against moving embassy to Jerusalem

Regional peace and relations in jeopardy if mission is transferred from Tel Aviv, US told Read next Israeli soldier killed hours after strikes on Gaza Ultra Orthodox Jews in the Mount of Olives area of Jerusalem.

Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah have warned Donald Trump of the “dangerous” consequences of transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem after the US president informed the Palestinian and Jordanian leaders that he planned to move the mission. Nabil Abu Rdainah, a Palestinian spokesman, said in a statement that Mr Trump had notified Mr Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, that he intended to move the embassy from Tel Aviv in a phone call on Tuesday.

Continue reading Abbas and Abdullah warn Trump against moving embassy to Jerusalem

‘The president is not a super-patient man’: Trump’s national security advisor praises his ‘disruptive’ foreign policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump’s national security adviser described his boss’s foreign policy approach as “disruptive” on the eve of the US president’s first White House meeting with the Palestinian leader, saying his unconventional ways could create an opportunity to ultimately help stabilize the Middle East.

Trump faces deep skepticism at home and abroad over his chances for a breakthrough with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, not least because the new US administration has yet to articulate a cohesive strategy for restarting long-stalled peace talks.

Continue reading ‘The president is not a super-patient man’: Trump’s national security advisor praises his ‘disruptive’ foreign policy

End of Gaza war doesn’t translate into peace

Palestinians sit outside their house that witnesses said was heavily shelled by Israel during the offensive, in the Shejaia neighbourhood, east of Gaza City August 31, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Palestinians sit outside their house that witnesses said was heavily shelled by Israel during the offensive, in the Shejaia neighbourhood, east of Gaza City August 31, 2014.

(Reuters) – A week after the guns fell silent in the Gaza war, Israel and the Palestinians seem to have little appetite or incentive for a return to U.S.-sponsored peace and statehood talks that collapsed five months ago.

With conflicts raging in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria – and the future of the Gaza Strip largely uncharted by a broadbrush Egyptian-mediated ceasefire deal – world powers also are not rushing headlong into the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate.

The parties themselves, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bickering governing coalition and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, are on a collision course over threatened Palestinian unilateral moves toward statehood and exploration of war crimes prosecution against Israel in the absence of direct talks.

Israel drew Palestinian and international criticism on Sunday by announcing a major appropriation of occupied land in the West Bank, the most significant such move in 30 years.

As head of a governing coalition divided over trading territory for peace, Netanyahu is now speaking, in amorphous terms, of an alternative route towards ending decades of conflict – a “new horizon” – or possible regional alliance with moderate Arab countries alarmed, like Israel, by radical Islam.

Closer to home and with the Gaza situation still in flux, there is nothing on the immediate horizon as far as peacemaking with Abbas is concerned, Israeli government sources said.

Under the Egyptian-brokered truce agreement, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to address complex issues such as Hamas’s demands for a Gaza seaport and the release of Palestinian prisoners via indirect talks starting within a month.

With the start of those negotiations still up in the air, Netanyahu wants to see whether Abbas takes over responsibility from Hamas for administering Gaza’s borders and that measures are taken to prevent the group from smuggling in weaponry.

Netanyahu, who appears to be weathering an approval rating plunge after the Gaza war ended without a clear victor, took a swipe at Abbas last week, summing up a conflict which the Palestinian leader persistently tried to bring to an end.

“Abu Mazen has to choose which side he is on,” Netanyahu told a news conference, using Abbas’s nickname.

The comment harked back to Israel’s decision in April to cut off peace talks with Abbas after he clinched a unity deal with Hamas, a bitter rival that had seized the Gaza Strip from his Fatah forces in 2007.

Those negotiations, on creating a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, were already going nowhere, with Palestinians pointing to expanding Israeli settlement on land they claim as their own and balking at Israel’s demand to recognize it as the Jewish homeland.

REGIONAL PEACE

In an editorial laden with scepticism, Israel’s liberal Haaretz newspaper questioned whether “as in the past” Netanyahu’s remarks on casting a regional peace net, “are only empty slogans”.

Some of his cabinet ministers are also pressing Netanyahu to get moving on a wider track.

“We cannot and will not allow a situation whereby this ceasefire is the beginning of the countdown to the next round of fire. If we don’t take the diplomatic initiative, this is exactly what will happen,” Finance Minister Yair Lapid said.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief negotiator in now-dormant talks with the Palestinians, said: “(Netanyahu) has to be put to the test on this.”

Livni, speaking on Israel Radio, said Israel should “create a front with Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – those countries threatened by all of those beheaders running around the region”.

But, she said, “they can cooperate with us only if there is a basic minimum of a peace process – dialogue with the moderate elements in the Palestinian Authority”.

In the past, Netanyahu has expressed little interest in embracing a regional peace plan, such as the 2002 Arab initiative that offered normalized ties with Israel if it withdrew fully from territory captured in a 1967 war.

But last year, he signaled in a speech to parliament a readiness to consider the proposal, raised at an Arab League summit 12 years ago, as long as it did not contain “edicts”.

Any land-for-peace moves would elicit even more dissent from right-wingers in his government who have been vocal over Netanyahu’s reluctance to heed their calls during the Gaza war for a full-scale invasion to crush Hamas.

For now, he appears to be in little danger of seeing his political partnerships unravel.

About a month into the war, 77 percent of Israelis surveyed in a Haaretz-Dialog poll described Netanyahu’s performance during the conflict as either good or excellent. That figure dropped to around 50 percent after the ceasefire was announced.

But the snap poll taken a day after the truce went into effect showed that despite his flagging popularity, he continued to top, by a wide margin, the list of politicians whom Israelis believed were most suited to lead them as prime minister.

The second-place pick was “Don’t know”.

Israel to open dialogue with International Criminal Court

Foreign Ministry official confirms that Israel has decided to pursue talks with ICC over its preliminary probe into last summer’s Gaza conflict • Decision a reversal of policy, as Israel has so far refused to cooperate with the ICC.

Israel has decided to pursue an open dialogue with the International Criminal Court in The Hague over its preliminary investigation into Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip last summer.

Thursday’s decision represents a reversal for Israel, as it has so far refused to cooperate with the ICC, a report in Haaretz newspaper said.

The report quoted an unnamed official as saying Israel will not cooperate with the ICC, but will relay its position that the court has no authority over the matter.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the report, but declined to elaborate on the steps Israel plans to take in the matter.

In May, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda urged Israel’s cooperation on the probe, saying she may be forced to decide whether to launch a full-scale investigation based on Palestinian allegations of war crimes.

The Palestinian Authority submitted evidence of alleged Israeli war crimes to the ICC in late June, in an attempt to fast-track the international panel’s inquiry into last year’s Gaza conflict.

The ICC is currently conducting a preliminary investigation to determine whether to open a full-fledged war crimes probe. U.N. data suggest over 2,000 Palestinians, including more than 1,400 civilians, were killed in the conflict.

Sweden and Israel tensions deepen

Sweden and Israel tensions deepen

Ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser was called in by the ministry’s deputy director general for Europe, Aviv Shir-On.

According to the AFP news agency, he “protested and expressed Israel’s disappointment” at Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s announcement about his country’s shift in approach, which he made during his first speech in parliament on Friday.

Shir-On warned that such a move would “not contribute to the relations between Israel and the Palestinians, but in fact worsen them.”

His comments follow similar strong remarks from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman over the weekend. They denounced Löfven’s hopes that recognition would be a step towards resolving the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lieberman said he regreted that Sweden’s new Prime Minister was “in a hurry to make statements on Sweden’s position regarding recognition of a Palestinian state, apparently before he had time even to study the issue in depth.”

Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, with a capital in East Jerusalem.

Gaza’s boundaries are already clearly defined. But there have been intense debates over what areas should be included in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israel has long insisted that the Palestinians can only receive their promised state through direct negotiations and not through other diplomatic channels.
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are currently suspended.
Speaking from the Israeli foreign ministry on Monday, Aviv Shir-On said the newly-elected Swedish premier’s decision to focus on the Palestinian issue was “strange” given the turmoil, wars and “daily acts of horror” taking place in the region.

The Swedish embassy in Israel did not comment on the meeting.

Sweden voted in favour of the Palestinians obtaining the rank of observer state at the United Nations in 2012, which was granted despite opposition from the United States, Israel and other countries.