Posts Tagged ‘Nadav Argaman’

US team asked Abbas about Jordan-Palestinian confederation: NGO

September 2, 2018

US officials working on a Middle East peace plan have asked Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas about forming a confederation with Jordan, Abbas told activists Sunday, according to one of them.

Abbas recounted the conversation he had with White House aides Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt during a meeting with Israeli peace activists in Ramallah, said Hagit Ofran of the Peace Now NGO, who attended.

According to Ofran, Abbas said he told the US officials he would only be interested if Israel was also part of such a confederation.

© AFP/File | Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas speaks during a meeting with the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah on August 15, 2018

It was not clear when the conversation took place, though Abbas has declined to meet with the White House since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.

Abbas’s office confirmed Sunday’s meeting with the peace activists, but not the comments on the confederation.

Israeli media also reported Abbas’s comments on the confederation proposal. Ofran said Abbas did not go into further detail.

A Palestinian-Jordan confederation has been favoured by some on the Israeli right as a way to avoid granting full state status to the Palestinians for now.

In such an arrangement, Israel could also avoid taking responsibility for the some 3.5 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Abbas’s response was essentially a way of torpedoing the proposal since Israel would likely not agree to join such an arrangement, Ofran told AFP.

“He did say that Kushner and Greenblatt came to him and asked ‘would you agree to a confederation with Jordan’,” Ofran said, stressing she was paraphrasing his remarks.

“And he said, ‘I will agree to a confederation with Jordan and with Israel only.'”

Abbas meets occasionally with Israeli peace activists and left-wing politicians.

Sunday’s meeting included members of Peace Now and other organisations, as well as two Israeli parliament members.

Palestinian leaders see US President Donald Trump’s administration as blatantly biased in favour of Israel.

In addition to the Jerusalem recognition, Washington last week announced it was ending funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

The previous week, it announced it was cancelling more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians.

Trump has pledged to unveil a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, saying he wanted to reach the “ultimate deal”.

His son-in-law Kushner has been among those working on the plan.

Ofran said Abbas also spoke of the right of return for Palestinian refugees during Sunday’s meeting, long a major issue in peace efforts.

She said Abbas told the meeting that he would not push for a solution for refugees that would “destroy Israel,” but for a compromise that could be agreed upon.

More than 750,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.

They and their descendants are now classified as refugees and Palestinian leaders continue to call for at least some of them to be allowed to return to their former homes now inside Israel.

Israel says Palestinians must give up the so-called right of return.

AFP

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Abbas voices support for tripartite ‘confederation’ with Israel and Jordan

September 2, 2018

In meeting with Israeli peace activists, PA leader appears to dramatically depart from longstanding insistence on a two-state solution

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) meets with Jason Greenblatt, the US president's assistant and special representative for international negotiations, at Abbas's office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, March 14, 2017. (AFP/Abbas Momani)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) meets with Jason Greenblatt, the US president’s assistant and special representative for international negotiations, at Abbas’s office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, March 14, 2017. (AFP/Abbas Momani)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has voiced interest in a tripartite confederation with Jordan and Israel, in what would appear a dramatic departure from his longstanding insistence on a two-state solution, according to Israeli peace activists and a Palestinian official.

According to the dovish Peace Now group, a senior delegation of which met Abbas on Sunday in Ramallah, the Palestinian leader said senior US administration officials Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt asked him recently about his opinion of a “confederation with Jordan.”

“‘I said [to Kushner and Greenblatt]: Yes, I want a three-way confederation with Jordan and Israel.’ I asked them if the Israelis would agree to such a proposal,” a statement by Peace Now quoted Abbas as saying.

Abbas, 83, reportedly described US President Donald Trump and his Middle East peace envoys as “hostile” to the Palestinian people, citing Washington’s decision to dramatically cut aid.

But Abbas said Trump had assured him of his support for a two-state solution and that he himself was in favor of a demilitarized Palestinian state with NATO securing the agreement, according to Peace Now.

While some Israelis who are opposed to an independent Palestinian state have long suggested some kind of confederation, with or without Jordan, the PA has so far clung to its demand for sovereignty in the framework of a two-state solution.

The Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry declined to comment on Abbas’s statements.

The US administration has also not commented on the report.

Mahmoud al-Habash, Abbas’s religious affairs adviser who was present at the meeting, confirmed to The Times of Israel the content of the Peace Now statement.

Peace Now executive director Shaqued Morag with PA President Abbas in Ramallah (right), September 2, 2018 (courtesy Peace Now)

Sunday’s meeting with Abbas was attended by Peace Now executive director Shaqued Morag, Meretz MK Mossi Raz (a former Peace Now director) and Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova.

According to the PA’s official Wafa news agency, “peace activists” from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party attended the meeting as well.

“I have a problem with Netanyahu, not with Likud,” Peace Now quoted Abbas as saying.

Abbas further said that the Israeli government refuses to conduct negotiations with the Palestinians, despite the fact that Russia, Japan, Belgium, and the Netherlands have repeatedly offered to host peace talks, according to the Peace Now statement.

At the meeting, Abbas also said he supports Israel’s security, underlining that the Palestinian and the Israeli security forces work together “on a daily basis” and that he and his people “do anything possible so that no Israeli gets hurt,” according to Peace Now.

“Abu Mazen [Abbas] added that he meets with the head of the Shin Bet [Nadav Argaman] on this subject and emphasized that on security matters the two sides agree on 99 percent of the topics,” the statement said.

An official Palestinian source told The Times of Israel that Abbas has met with the head of the Shin Bet security service more than once in recent months.

Abbas, in the meeting, also criticized the US for its alleged determination “to completely destroy UNRWA,” the international agency caring for thousands of Palestinians considered refugees by much of the international community.

Over the weekend, the US State Department announced the administration will cease funding the agency, a move that was applauded in Israel but condemned by many other countries.

“Seventy percent of Gaza residents are refugees. Most of them live off UNRWA’s assistance,” Abbas told his Israeli guests. “Then President Trump says to cancel UNRWA and give humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza. How is it possible that one on the one hand you cancel UNRWA and on the other hand help Palestinian residents?”

Morag, the Peace Now head, told Abbas that there was a “large peace camp” in Israel and that her organization would ask the political parties and the Israeli public to commit themselves to advancing an agreement between the two sides.

Wafa’s report on the meeting did not mention any talk of a confederation.

“Irregardless of the challenges and difficulties in the way of achieving peace, we must make it for the sake of a better future for our children and youth,” Abbas told the Israeli delegation, according to the Palestinian news agency.

“The Palestinian side’s hand is always extended to achieve a just and comprehensive peace based on legitimate international resolutions and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he went on.

“Despite all the difficult circumstances surrounding us, we still believe in peace on the basis of resolutions of international legitimacy and the two-state solution.”

Trump officials have said they are finishing their peace plan and working on rolling it out, but have not offered any timeline. Details of the plan have remained firmly under wraps.

Palestinian officials have been boycotting the White House since Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Trump has said he does not necessarily endorse a two-state solution, breaking with decades of US policy and saying in 2017 that he would back whatever formula both sides decide on.

Jordan’s King Abdullah recently warned Trump about the possibility of a one-state solution, according to a Channel 10 report last month, citing French sources.

“Many young Palestinians don’t want the two-state solution anymore, but would rather live together with the Israelis in one state with equal rights for all… The result will be that Israel will lose its Jewish character,” Abdullah reportedly told Trump. Trump reportedly then replied, “What you say makes sense. … [In a one-state scenario,] the prime minister of Israel in a few years will be called Mohammed.”

Also last month, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that he saw “no reason to evacuate settlements” in a peace deal, a Likud lawmaker said.

Adam Rasgon and Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-voices-support-for-tripartite-confederation-with-israel-and-jordan/

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Abbas: Trump’s Team Offered Me to Establish a Jordanian-Palestinian Confederation

September 2, 2018

Palestinian President Abbas said he would agree to such an offer only if Israel is a part of the confederation

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U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a joint press conference in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Washington, May 3, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a joint press conference in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Washington, May 3, 2017.Bloomberg

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace team offered him a political plan based on forming a Palestinian-Jordanian confederation.

According to Abbas, he told the administration that he would only agree to such a plan if Israel is part of the suggested confederation.


Abbas spoke in Ramallah at a meeting with Israeli left-wing movement Peace Now and Israeli lawmakers. “I was asked if I believe in a federation with Jordan,” Abbas said about a talk he held with Trump’s aide and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt. “I answered: Yes, I want a confederation with Jordan and Israel. I have asked the Israelis if they would agree to such an offer.”

Abbas also said that the U.S. is “hostile towards the Palestinians and closing down the peace process. The U.S. wants to completely sabotage UNRWA.”

>> Opinion: Trump’s rule-breaking doctrine on the Mideast is an optical illusion

The Palestinian president did not detail the administrative implications of such a plan and what level of autonomy a Palestinian state would have under a Jordanian confederation. According to him, he completely rejected the offer as long as Israel is not mentioned as a party.

In his meeting with Israeli lawmakers, Abbas expressed willingness to agree to a land-swap agreement, but did not clarify what that would entail in terms of a potential evacuation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The Palestinian president also noted that he meets with Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman from time to time.

Last week, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told members of the American Jewish Congress that “there is no capacity to have peace with the Palestinians unless there’s peace with all the Palestinians, including the million and a half in Gaza.”

Friedman went on to clarify that this “means there should be ideally one government [for the Palestinians]… If you go around the PA and somehow try to restructure Gaza without them, you’re giving a tremendous prize to Hamas… with all the failings of the PA if the choice is Hamas we pick the PA.”

The U.S. ambassador reiterated, as he has publicly on several occasions in the past, that Trump’s administration won’t make Israel suffer negative consequences over the transfer of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Friedman also clarified that the only price President Trump is asking the two sides to pay is to demonstrate willingness to advance in peace talks.

Friedman also confirmed a recent statement by U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton that the administration did not have an exact deadline for the unveiling of its peace plan, and that it will not be presented at the upcoming UN General Assembly session.

Shin Bet Warns Israel’s Ministers: Death Penalty for Terrorists Will Lead to Kidnappings of Jews Worldwide

January 3, 2018

Despite the warning, Netanyahu backed the bill in a preliminary Knesset vote: ‘A person who slaughters and laughs should be put to death’

Chaim Levinson Jan 03, 2018 5:12 PM
Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the Knesset, October 24, 2017.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the Knesset, October 24, 2017. Olivier Fitouss

UPDATE: Knesset gives preliminary backing to death penalty for terrorists bill

The Shin Bet security service has voiced its objections to the death penalty bill, which it suspects will trigger a wave of kidnappings of Jews around the world to use them in negotiations.

Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman has shared his negative opinion of the bill with the inner security cabinet. The security service will be presenting its opinion to the cabinet when it convenes to discuss the bill, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would.

The bill received preliminary backing from the Knesset on Wednesday and still needs to pass three rounds of voting in order to become a law. Despite the warning, Netanyahu backed the bill and, in unusual remarks ahead of the vote, said that, “a person who slaughters and laughs should not spend his life behind bars but be put to death.”
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The Shin Bet is predicting abductions of Jews not only in Muslim countries, but in the West as well. It also has other objections to the bill. In 2011, when some – including Central Command General Avi Mizrahi – were advocating the death penalty for Amjad Awad for murders of five members of the Fogel family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, the Shin Bet objected and the idea fell through.

Ahead of the bill’s preliminary reading, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said in a private conversation that he is not bound by the cabinet’s position – and that is just one of many considerations. Mendelblit had also opposed the death penalty as chief military prosecutor, and his position has not changed.

Present military law allows the death penalty to be handed down for murder committed as part of a terror act, but it is conditional on the unanimous support of the sentence by the judges. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who sponsored the bill, proposes that an ordinary majority of judges should suffice to sentence a terrorist to death. The bill also bans leniency after a final death sentence has been handed down.

Chaim Levinson
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.832858

Israel Stopped 400 Major Terror Attacks in 2017, Shin Bet Chief Says — “The calm we are experiencing is misleading — Hamas is trying with all its might to carry out attacks and undermine the stability of the Palestinian Authority.”

December 24, 2017

Palestinian front unstable ‘particularly after Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem,’ Nadav Argaman tells lawmakers

By Jonathan Lis Dec 24, 2017 11:17 AM

Haaretz

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Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman during his overview to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.

Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman – heed his warnings. Emil Salman
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Israel foiled 400 potential major terror attacks in 2017, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman disclosed on Sunday.

Speaking at a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting, Argaman noted that 13 of which were planned suicide attacks and eight of the attacks were planned kidnappings. Further, 1,100 potential lone wolf attacks were thwarted.

The Shin Bet chief noted that there were 54 attacks carried out in 2017, a decrease from 108 carried out in 2016. Argaman qualified the decrease, however, stating that “the calm we are experiencing is misleading, and Hamas is trying with all its might to carry out attacks and undermine the stability of the Palestinian Authority.”

Argaman added that the Palestinian front, in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, is quite unstable, “particularly after Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem.” He added that this reality is more challenging than ever in Gaza.

In March, Argaman told the committee that the Middle East is undergoing geopolitical change that will reveberate for years to come, including the implications of the Iran nuclear agreement on terrorism in the Middle East.

Jonathan Lis
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.830862?utm_source=Push_Notification&utm_medium=web_push&utm_campaign=General

Israel Security Chief: Agency Strikes Back at Online Hackers — Offensive cyber counterattacks

June 27, 2017

JERUSALEM — Israel’s security chief says his agency, the Shin Bet, has gone on the offensive against hackers trying to carry out cyberattacks against Israel on the internet.

The remarks by Nadav Argaman are a rare admission of Israel’s use of offensive cyber capabilities.

Argaman spoke at a cyber defense conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

He says that “passive defense” is not enough, and that the Shin Bet studied hackers’ strategies and developed “a variety of ways and methods” on how to strike back.

Israeli cyber officials are ordinarily reluctant to discuss the use of offensive capabilities against hackers.

Israel Appoints New Head of Shin Bet Security Agency

February 11, 2016

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JERUSALEM — Israel has appointed a new head of its shadowy Shin Bet internal security agency.

In a statement from his office Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Nadav Argaman would soon head the organization. Argaman, 55, is the current deputy chief. He’s been with the Shin Bet since 1983 and spent four years as its representative in the United States.

Netanyahu said he was confident the Shin Bet would “continue to safeguard Israel’s security” under Argaman’s leadership.

In his new position, Argaman will face pressure to quell a relentless five month-long wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis. The Shin Bet is Israel’s domestic spy agency. The is Mossad  its international equivalent.

Argaman will replace current Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen. The statement didn’t say when Argaman would begin his term.

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This story has been corrected to show that the current head of the Shin Bet is Yoram Cohen, not Yossi Cohen.