Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Israel Hits Syrian Targets In Response to Syrian Fire

June 25, 2017
BY JPOST.COM STAFF
JUNE 25, 2017 15:55

 

Israeli-Syrian border skirmishes continue as Israel warns Iran, Syria.

IDF Armored Corps soldiers train on the Golan Heights

IDF Armored Corps soldiers train on the Golan Heights. (photo credit:IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

Several projectiles fired from Syria landed in open territory in Israel’s Golan Heights on Sunday afternoon, the IDF confirmed. No injuries were reported in the incident.

The military added that the errant projectiles were the result of internal fighting in Syria.

The IDF struck targets belonging to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in response to the errant fire that hit northern Israel earlier in the day, the military confirmed on Sunday evening.

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Israel strikes Syrian targets in response to earlier cross-border fire June 24, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Among the targets struck were two canons and one truck loaded with ammunition.

The IDF has also instructed residents of the area as well as farmers working along the border not to remain in the area as long as the fire exchange continues.

The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force was notified by Israel about the hits it suffered from Syria.

Sunday was the second day in a row that the Israeli-Syrian border has been effected by a spillover from the ongoing conflict in Syria. On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will not tolerate any violation of its security on any front. His comments came shortly after the IDF retaliated against Syria for the firing of 10 projectiles onto the Golan Heights.

“We are not willing to accept any ‘drizzle’ [of fire] or ‘spillover’ on any front,” said the prime minister, “We will react with force to any firing on our territory.” On Sunday Netanyahu used the cabinet meeting to stress that Israel will not allow the Islamic Republic to establish a permanent presences on the Golan.

“Our policy is clear,” he said. “We will not accept any kind of ‘drizzle, not of mortars, rockets, or spillover fire [from the Syrian Civil War]. We respond with force to every attack on our territory and against our citizens.”

Maariv Online contributed to this report.

Includes video:

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Projectiles-fired-from-Syria-land-in-Golan-none-hurt-497866

Israel attacks Syrian posts after cross-border fire from Syria

June 25, 2017

Reuters

Israel said it had attacked Syrian military targets on Sunday after stray shells from fighting in Syria’s civil war landed inside the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

The Syrian shells hit an open area in the northern Golan Heights, causing no injuries, and in retaliation the Israeli military said it “targeted two artillery positions and an ammunitions truck belonging to the Syrian regime”.

It was the second day in a row that errant fire from Syria drew Israeli retaliation.

Israel has largely stayed on the sidelines of Syria’s civil war, keeping watch over the Golan Heights frontier and occasionally carrying out air strikes or returning fire if there is a specific threat. It captured the Golan in a 1967 Middle East war.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Israel Stops Plan for Mixed Prayer at Western Wall

June 25, 2017

JERUSALEM — An Israeli official says the government has frozen a long-overdue plan to open a mixed-gender prayer area at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

Sunday’s decision dealt a blow to efforts to promote religious pluralism in Israel and is likely to upset liberal streams of Judaism that represent most Jews in the United States.

Israel approved a plan in January 2016 to officially recognize a special mixed-gender prayer area at the Western Wall — the holiest site where Jews can pray.

But the program was never implemented due to opposition by powerful ultra-Orthodox political parties. Under ultra-Orthodox management, the wall is currently separated between men’s and women’s prayer sections.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement, says Netanyahu ordered top aides to formulate a new plan.

Israeli Party Chief Slams Berlin Mayor For Allowing Hezbollah Rally — Called for Israel’s destruction — They hate Jews and they hate Christians — Celebrating the murder of Israeli citizens

June 25, 2017

BY BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
JUNE 25, 2017 14:54

Al-Quds Day rally in Berlin called for Israel’s destruction.

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Muslim clerics and anti-Zionist orthodox Jews walk together during the annual al-Quds Day march in Berlin, Germany, July 11, 2015. (photo credit:REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)

Yair Lapid, the chairman of Yesh Atid, sent a hard-hitting letter on Saturday to Berlin’s mayor Michael Müller for permitting Hezbollah — a organization proscribed as a terrorist entity by many countries — to march in Berlin on Friday.

The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of the letter.

Lapid wrote: “This past week a lecture by a Knesset Member from Yesh Atid [Aliza Lavie] was violently disrupted by radical anti-Israel activists at a university in Berlin. A few days later demonstrators marched through your city proudly displaying photographs of the leader of an anti-Semitic terrorist organization.”

“As the son of a Holocaust survivor I was deeply disturbed that in the same week that a group of Jews are targeted, antisemites are given the freedom of the city. We have stood in solidarity with Germany when you were hit by brutal terror attacks. We did that because we identified deeply with the pain caused by terrorism and we wanted to express our support for the people of you city.” Lapid’s father, Yosef “Tommy”, survived the Hitler movement in Hungary.

On Tuesday, activists from the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign verbally attacked MK Aliza Lavie and the 82-year-old Holocaust survivor Deborah Weinstein at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

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A spokesman did not immediately respond to a Post query if the activists, who have since been identified, have been banned from the university.

Lapid took aim at the mayor’s apparent reluctance to crackdown on Islamic terrorism in the capital.

“We cannot fight terrorism alone. Terrorism is global and so is the fight against it. We must share intelligence, share experience and develop the methods which work. Before all else, we must fight back against the attempt by terrorists to take advantage of democracy and freedom of speech to advance their criminal agenda.”

“The leader of Hezbollah, whose image was held aloft in your streets, delivered his Al-Quds day speech in Lebanon this week while crowds chanted ‘Death to Israel.'”

“When people march in the streets of Berlin holding up photographs of the leader of Hezbollah, they celebrate the murder of our families and of our children, they celebrate the attempt to destroy the fragile coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel. They celebrate terror. ”

Lapid, who serves on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense committee, added, “Freedom of expression doesn’t extend to the glorification of murder. Freedom of expression doesn’t extend to incitement. Hezbollah is no different to ISIS or Al Qaeda in their attitude towards us. They hate Jews and they hate Christians, they hate women and they hate the LGBT community, they hate us and they hate you.”

“Someone who is willing to carry the image of the leader of Hezbollah on the streets of Berlin is someone who is willing to murder on the streets of Berlin. The people who marched in your city on ‘Al-Quds Day’ aren’t just our enemies, they are yours. Mr. Mayor, your decision to remain silent in the face of this incitement and hatred is a grave mistake. Allowing the glorification of terrorism in your city won’t appease extremists, it will embolden them.”

He ended his letter, asking Müller, “We would never allow a parade celebrating the murder of your citizens, why do you allow a parade celebrating the murder of ours?”

According to Berlin’s intelligence agency — comparable to Israel’s Shin Bet — there are 250 active Hezbollah members and supporters in Berlin. A total of 950 Hezbollah operatives are in Germany. The Merkel administration agreed to outlaw Hezbollah’s military wing in 2013 but declined to outlaw all of Hezbollah in the Federal Republic.

When asked about the Hezbollah march, a spokesman for Müller told the Post on Friday that the mayor does not comment on foreign organizations.

The mayor did not immediately respond to a new Post query.

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Iranian protesters unveil countdown showing 8,411 days ‘to the destruction of Israel’

June 25, 2017

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Iranian protesters burn representations of US and Israeli flags in their annual pro-Palestinian rally marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran, Iran, Friday, June 23, 2017. AP photo

Speaker of Iranian Parliament calls Israel the ‘mother of terrorism’

By Narjas Zatat

The Independent  

Iranian protesters unveil clock showing 8,411 days until the end of Israel

Anti-Israel protesters in Iran unveiled a digital countdown showing 8,411 days to what they said would be the “destruction of Israel”, as part of an annual rally in support of the Palestinian Territories.

The time frame appears to stem from comments made in 2015 by Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said there would be “nothing” left of Israel by the year 2040.

Demonstrators chanted “death to Israel” as crowds assembled on Friday for Al-Quds day (Arabic for Jerusalem), while people touted placards condemning Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US. The Revolutionary Guard took the opportunity to display its ballistic missiles, including the type which was used in Syria where the government claimed it killed a “large number of terrorists,” although agencies could not verify the report.

The display was in Tehran’s Palestine Square, and state media claimed that more than one million people participated in the demonstrations.

Similar protests popped up across Iran, with protesters condemning Israeli’s occupation of Palestinian territories and burning the Israeli and American flags.

President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani were amongst the officials who attended the demonstration.

In a speech to marching people who were going to Friday prayers at the Tehran University grounds, Iranian Tasnim News Agency reports Mr Larijani said: “Israel is the most malignant terrorist in history.

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Iranian Protesters unveil a digital countdown showing 8411 days until Israel is destroyed (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

“[Israel is the] mother of terrorism,” he added.

Iran is fiercely critical of the country for its alleged human rights violations, and President Rouhani told the IRNA news agency that Israel supports “terrorists in the region.”

Tensions between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran have intensified as of late, in part due to theological disagreements, as well as Donald Trump’s increasing support of the former, and condemnation of the latter.

Last month Saudi’s King Salman called Iran the “spearhead of global terrorism.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-al-quds-day-protest-clock-president-hassan-rouhani-a7806056.html

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By NASSER KARIMI, ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEHRAN, Iran — Jun 23, 2017, 7:09 AM ET

Iran staged anti-Israel rallies across the country on Friday, with protesters condemning Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and chanting “Death to Israel” as the powerful Revolutionary Guard displayed its ballistic missiles, including the type used this week in Syria.

Marchers in Tehran headed from various points of the city toward the Friday prayer ceremony at Tehran University campus grounds. Protesters burned the Israeli and the American flag, as well as effigies of Israeli leaders.

 Iranians hold a cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of the Shahab-3 long range missile during a rally marking Quds Day. Photo: EPA

President Hassan Rouhani and other Iranian officials, including Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, attended the demonstration. State media reported that similar rallies were underway in other cities and towns in Iran.

The anti-Israel rallies are an annual event marking al-Quds Day, a historic Arabic name for Jerusalem. Iran sees it as an occasion to express support for the Palestinians and emphasize the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims.

Iran doesn’t recognize Israel and staunchly backs militant groups that are opposed to it, including the Palestinian Hamas that runs the Gaza Strip and the Lebanese Shiite militant Hezbollah group.

Rouhani told reporters that the rally was Iran’s response to the U.S. violations of the “rights of people” of Iran after the Senate last week approved new sanctions on Tehran over its missile program, something Congress is expected to decide on soon.

Rohani, in remarks carried by the official IRNA news agency, said Israel supports “terrorists in the region.”

Larijani, in a speech to Tehran demonstrators, called Israel the “mother of terrorism” and said that in the “20th century, there was no event more ominous than establishing the Zionist regime.”

The rally also inaugurated a huge digital countdown display at Tehran Palestine Square, showing that Israel will allegedly cease to exist in 8,411 days.

In 2015, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei predicted that after 25 years — by 2040 — there will no longer be a State of Israel.

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard used the demonstration on Friday to showcase three surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, including the Zolfaghar — the type that Iran used this week to target the Islamic State group in Syria. The Guard said it fired six such missiles on Sunday at IS targets in the city of Deir el-Zour, more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) away.

Another missile on display at the Tehran rally was the Ghadr, with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) that can reach both Israel and U.S. bases in the region.

Iran holds al-Quds day rallies held each year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to end this weekend. Iran has marked the day since the start of its 1979 Islamic Revolution, when the country cut relations with Israel.

The Guard said the Iranian airstrike in Syria was in retaliation for an IS attack earlier in June on Iran’s parliament and a shrine in Tehran that killed 18 people and wounded more than 50.

See also:

http://www.scmp.com/news/world/middle-east/article/2099812/irans-anti-israel-rallies-ramadan-tradition-year-include

Hezbollah Says Future Israel War Could Draw Fighters From Iran, Iraq, Elsewhere — “Hundreds of thousands of fighters from all over the Arab and Islamic world [would] participate.”

June 23, 2017

BEIRUT — Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that a future war waged by Israel against Syria or Lebanon could draw thousands of fighters from countries including Iran, Iraq and Yemen.

His comments indicated that the same array of Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias – but not countries – currently fighting in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad could take part in any future conflict with Israel.

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Tensions have risen between Hezbollah and its longtime foe Israel in recent months since Donald Trump became U.S. president with his tough talk against Iran. Israel’s air force chief said his country would use all its strength from the start in any new war with Hezbollah.

“The Israeli enemy must know that if an Israeli war is launched against Syria or Lebanon, it is not known that the fighting will remain Lebanese-Israeli, or Syrian-Israeli,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

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Iraqi Shiite militia. AFP photo

“This doesn’t mean there are states that might intervene directly. But this could open the way for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of fighters from all over the Arab and Islamic world to participate,” he said.

Nasrallah has repeatedly warned Israel against attacking Lebanon, where the Iran-backed Shi’ite group is based, and from where it sends fighters to support Assad against insurgents. He says Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal can hit any military target in Israel, which is Lebanon’s southern neighbour.

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He said any Israeli war with Lebanon or the Gaza Strip, which is run by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, would be “very costly” and that Israel would not be able to win.

Israel has targeted senior Hezbollah commanders in air raids on Syrian soil. But there has been no major confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel in Lebanon since a month-long war between the two sides in 2006.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam and John Davison; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Gaza restarts power station as Egypt fuel eases crisis

June 22, 2017
© AFP | Security forces stand guard as Egyptian trucks carrying fuel enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing on June 21, 2017
GAZA CITY (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES) (AFP) – The Gaza Strip’s sole power station has been fired up again, the energy authority in the Palestinian enclave said Thursday, after fuel supplies from Egypt helped to ease an energy crisis.

The announcement came after Egypt delivered a million litres of fuel to the station on Wednesday, three days after Israel began cutting electricity supplies to Gaza.

The energy authority said two of the four generators at the power station had resumed operations and residents would now receive around six hours of mains power a day — up from as little as two earlier in the week.

The power plant, damaged by successive wars, was shut down in April after running out of fuel following a row between Gaza rulers Hamas and the internationally recognised Palestinian Authority over taxes.

Islamists Hamas seized control of Gaza from president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah movement in a near civil war in 2007 and multiple attempts at reconciliation have failed.

However, the Palestinian Authority had continued to pay Israel for some electricity delivered to Gaza until this month, with Abbas indicating they would no longer do so — — prompting the Israeli reductions.

Israel had been supplying 120 megawatts of electricity to Gaza a month, making up about a quarter of the territory’s needs, but announced it would cease to do so this week.

Hamas official Basem Naim said the electricity supplied by the power plant was just enough to balance out the reduction.

He told AFP the Egyptian delivery was an “important step,” obtained after a meeting between Egyptian leaders, Hamas and Abbas’ great rival Mohammed Dahlan — in exile in the United Arab Emirates after a dispute with Abbas.

“We must now find a definitive solution to the electricity crisis because its impact is catastrophic,” said Naim.

Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday accused Abbas of seeking to spark a fresh conflict by increasing human suffering in Gaza.

He said Abbas’ “intention is actually to continue cuts and in a few months to stop paying for fuel, medicines, salaries and many other things.”

“In my opinion the strategy is to hurt Hamas and also to drag Hamas into a conflict with Israel.”

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner meets with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to help broker Middle East peace

June 22, 2017

Mr Kushner holds separate talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

By Alexandra Wilts Washington DC
The Independent

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White House senior adviser Jared Kushner AP

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top White House adviser, has met Israeli and Palestinian leaders with the aim of helping revive a US effort for a peace deal.

A former real estate developer with little experience in international diplomacy, Mr Kushner met the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before travelling to Ramallah, located in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, for a late-night meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Jared Kushner with Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Getty Images)

Mr Netanyahu warmly greeted Mr Kushner with a smile and hug. “This is an opportunity to pursue our common goals of security, prosperity and peace,” Mr Netanyahu said. “The President sends his best regards and it’s an honour to be here with you,” Mr Kushner replied.

Mr Kushner’s trip follows the President’s visit to the region last month, when Mr Trump also had discussions with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Appearing at a press conference with Mr Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Mr Trump declared that the Palestinians are “ready to reach for peace”.

Mr Kushner played a key part in planning Mr Trump’s stops in Israel, Saudi Arabia and Rome during the President’s tour abroad. The 36-year-old also appears to be taking on a more public role in his father-in-law’s administration, giving his first public remarks as a White House adviser this week.

The President has tasked Mr Kushner with the ambitious goal of laying the groundwork for what he calls the “ultimate deal,” but significant obstacles remain

This month marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Mideast war — a seminal event in which Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians claim these territories for their future independent state. Mr Netanyahu opposes a return to the 1967 lines and also rejects any division of Jerusalem. The eastern part of the city, which the Palestinians claim as their capital, is home to sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites.

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The White House appeared to play down expectations for a breakthrough ahead of the visit, saying that “forging a historic peace agreement will take time” and that Mr Kushner and envoy envoy Jason Greenblatt will likely make “many visits” to the region.

For now, the United States is expected to pressure each side to make goodwill gestures in hopes of improving the overall climate.

Mr Greenblatt landed in Israel on Monday for preliminary talks in both Jerusalem and Ramallah, and will also remain for follow-up discussions after Mr Kushner has left.

“Part of it is to figure out how to make incremental change that results in a lasting peace,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said on Monday. “Part of this is really to utilise the trust that has been built up, and not have these negotiations out in public. But I think that they had a very successful visit when the President was over there, and they’re going to continue to build on that.”

For more than 20 years, the US has pushed for a “two-state solution”, meaning an independent Palestinian state living side-by-side and at peace with Israel.

But during a February meeting with Mr Netanyahu in Washington DC, Mr Trump declared that he was not fixed on two states saying, “I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like”.

Discussions over a peace deal will mean putting pressure on Israel to restrain its construction of settlements on occupied lands sought by the Palestinians. It also could mean working with Israel to take new steps to help improve the struggling Palestinian economy, such as easing restrictions to allow more development of West Bank lands.

However, hours before Mr Kushner’s arrival in Israel for his 20-hour vist, Mr Netanyahu announced the beginning of construction on a new Jewish settlement in the West Bank, despite the White House’s position that “further unrestrained settlement activity does not help advance peace”. In the past, the Palestinians have called for a stop to settlement building before any peace negotiations can occur.

“This is the way Mr Netanyahu is meeting Trump’s envoys,” said Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian official told Reuters. “The real question here is will the administration of Trump tell Israel that it is enough and they have to stop immediately all settlement activities, or they will accept this Israeli provocation?”

Mr Netanyahu had vowed to compensate the residents of Amona with a new settlement, after their previous illegally built outpost was dismantled in February under orders from the Supreme Court.

As for the Palestinians, they are under pressure to halt what Israel sees as incitement to violence in their official media, speeches and social media.

Israel has also demanded that the Palestinians stop making welfare payments to families of militants who are either imprisoned or were killed while committing attacks on Israelis. Israel says the so-called “Martyrs’ Fund” provides an incentive for Palestinian violence.

After arriving early on Wednesday Mr Kushner paid a condolence visit to the grieving family of a young female Israeli police officer who was killed by Palestinian attackers last weekend in Jerusalem. Mr Kushner said Mr Trump asked him to personally convey the condolences of the American people.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/jared-kushner-israel-middle-east-peace-deal-visit-jerusalem-donald-trump-a7801431.html

Reuters contributed to this report 

Jared Kushner Calls on Netanyahu in Israel Amid New Middle East Peace Effort

June 21, 2017

KUSHNER MEETS NETANYAHU TO CONTINUE PEACE PUSH

BYJPOST.COM STAFF
JUNE 21, 2017 18:12

Kushner is currently in Israel on a short visit to help assist in Mideast peace negotiations.

Jared Kushner and Prime Minister Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Trump administration senior adviser Jared Kushner in his Jerusalem office on Wednesday.

Kushner, who is also US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, was accompanied by White House lead international negotiator Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

Kushner is currently in  Israel on a short visit to help assist in Mideast peace negotiations.

Netanyahu warmly welcomed his American guests and commented during their meeting that the present moment offers an “opportunity to pursue our common goals of security, prosperity and peace.”

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“I know of your efforts and the president’s efforts and I look forward to working with you to reach these common goals,”  he continued, adding that he sends his warmest regards to President Trump.

Kushner thanked the prime minister for the reception, saying that it was “an honor to be here.”

Before their meeting in the capital, Kushner visited the mourning family of slain Border Police officer St.-Sgt-Maj. Hadas Malka, shortly after arriving to Israel in a bid to restart peace talks.

Malka, 23, was killed Friday evening while guarding the Old City’s Damascus Gate in a terrorist attack carried out by three Palestinian assailants armed with knives and an improvised automatic weapon after illegally entering Jerusalem from the West Bank.

According to a Malka family spokesperson, Kushner, who was accompanied by Friedman, spent roughly 30 minutes with her parents during the shiva (week-long family mourning period in Judaism) call.

“He offered the condolences to the bereaved family from the US president, who spoke to his son-in-law on the way and asked that he be kept updated about the visit,” the friend told Ynet.

“Kushner said that the president himself asked him to express condolences on behalf of the United States.”

The Trump administration has placed a high premium on restarting Mideast peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, repeatedly referring to a final-status agreement as “the ultimate deal.”

Daniel Eisenbud contributed to this report.

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http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Kushner-meets-Netanyahu-to-continue-peace-push-497526

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Jared Kushner Arrives in Israel — Visit aimed at restarting long-dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

June 21, 2017
BY DANIEL K. EISENBUD
The Jerusalem Post
JUNE 21, 2017 14:30

 

Trump’s son-in-law starts one-day visit in which he’s due to try to bring Israel, Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner . (photo credit:REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior Middle East advisor, Jared Kushner, visited the mourning family of slain Border Police officer St.-Sgt-Maj. Hadas Malka, shortly after arriving to Israel on Wednesday in a bid to restart peace talks.

Malka, 23, was killed Friday evening while guarding the Old City’s Damascus Gate in a terrorist attack carried out by three Palestinian assailants armed with knives and an improvised automatic weapon after illegally entering Jerusalem from the West Bank.

According to a Malka family spokesperson, Kushner, who was accompanied by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, spent roughly 30 minutes with her parents during the shiva (week-long family mourning period in Judaism) call.

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“He offered the condolences to the bereaved family from the US president, who spoke to his son-in-law on the way and asked that he be kept updated about the visit,” the friend told Ynet.“Kushner said that the president himself asked him to express condolences on behalf of the United States.”

During the visit, Malka’s parents spoke of their daughter’s bravery and patriotism, noting that she joined the elite Border Police following her IDF service in the Navy.

“Her father told [Kushner] and the ambassador that she always said to [her parents] that it is important to guard the capital of Israel, because if we don’t protect the capital, there won’t be a state,” spokesperson said.

“The ambassador was also apprised of developments regarding the investigation, which began with the arrest of the [east Jerusalem man] who drove the terrorists to the site of the attack, as well as the arrest of one of the terrorist’s mother [for helping them].

“The father told him that on one hand, there is a mother who is crying and in pain over the death of her daughter. On the other hand, there is a mother who is praising and glorifying her son who should have killed more people, from her point of view.”

The family spokesperson added: “The father addressed this stark contrast.”

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http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Jared-Kushner-arrives-in-Israel-visits-family-of-slain-officer-497512

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  • By JOSEF FEDERMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

JERUSALEM — Jun 21, 2017, 10:00 AM ET

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, arrived in the region on Wednesday for a daylong visit aimed at restarting long-dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Trump has tasked Kushner with the ambitious goal of laying the groundwork for what he calls the “ultimate deal” — but deep divisions remain, clouding chances of a significant breakthrough in one of the longest Mideast crises.

Kushner first met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Israeli envoy in Washington Ron Dermer and American Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt, at Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem.

A video released by Netanyahu’s office shows him embracing Kushner and saying: “This is an opportunity to pursue our common goals of security, prosperity and peace.”

Later, Kushner will meet with and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

This month marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Mideast war — a seminal event in which Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians claim these territories for their future independent state.

After two decades of failed U.S.-led peace efforts, Palestinian statehood seems distant. Envoy Jason Greenblatt has already made several visits.

Even before his meetings, Kushner faced a new crisis.

On the eve of his arrival, Israel broke ground on a new West Bank settlement for residents of an illegally built outpost that was dismantled in February under orders from the Supreme Court.

Netanyahu had vowed to compensate the residents of Amona with a new settlement, built on a nearby site in the northern West Bank.

“The people of Amona really appreciate his efforts and the efforts from his office in fulfilling this commitment that started to come alive to create this new community,” said Avichai Boaron, a spokesman for the settlers.

The move has infuriated the Palestinians, who say all settlements are illegal obstacles to peace. Trump has asked Israel to show “restraint” in its settlement construction.

“This is the way Netanyahu is meeting Trump’s envoys,” said Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian official. “The real question here is will the administration of Trump tell Israel that it is enough and they have to stop immediately all settlement activities, or they will accept this Israeli provocation?”

Kushner did not speak to reporters ahead of his talks Wednesday, and Israeli security agents blocked AP cameramen from filming the arrival of his convoy. In one case, a cameraman was ordered to leave a sidewalk outside the government compound that houses Netanyahu’s office, and in other case, a cameraman was ordered to delete his memory card of all images of the prime minister’s office.

Once on the ground, Kushner immediately paid a condolence visit to the family of a young female Israeli police officer who was killed by Palestinian attackers over the weekend near Jerusalem’s Old City. Kushner said Trump asked him to personally convey the condolences of the American people.

Three Palestinian attackers armed with an automatic weapon and knives assaulted officers on duty near the Old City in two locations on Friday evening.

Police said Staff Sgt. Maj. Hadas Malka, 23, was rushing to respond to the initial attack nearby when a Palestinian assaulted her with a knife. Malka wrestled with the man for several seconds as he stabbed her multiple times before other officers saw what was happening and opened fire, killing him, police said. She later died of her wounds in hospital.

Thousands attended her funeral Saturday night. Netanyahu visited her grieving family on Sunday and called Malka “everybody’s daughter and everybody’s hero.” He also criticized Abbas for not condemning the attack.

It was the latest incident in a wave of Palestinian attacks that began in September 2015. Since then, Palestinian assailants have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British student, mainly in stabbing attacks. Some 250 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire during the same period, most of them identified as attackers by Israel.