Israel approves additional 3,000 homes in West Bank

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to the media after viewing the weapons cache discovered at a factory in the West Bank city of Hebron, Jan. 10, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to the media after viewing the weapons cache discovered at a factory in the West Bank city of Hebron, Jan. 10, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to the media after viewing the weapons cache discovered at a factory in the West Bank city of Hebron, Jan. 10, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel has approved plans for another 3,000 new homes in the West Bank.

The approvals by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman were announced Tuesday, ahead of the evacuation of the Amona outpost, and are seen as an effort to placate the government’s harder right wing and settlers angry over the evacuation. [Read more…]

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Too early to discuss moving U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Trump says

(JTA) – In his second media interview as U.S. president, Donald Trump said it was too early to discuss moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and praised Israel’s separation barrier as effective at providing protection.

“The wall is necessary,” Trump said in replying Thursday to a question by Fox News’ Sean Hannity about Trump’s plan to erect a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. “That’s not just politics, and yet it is good for the heart of the nation because people want protection and a wall protects. All you’ve got to do is ask Israel.” [Read more…]

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Trump will raise settlements at meeting with Netanyahu

WASHINGTON (JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump wants to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about recent settlement expansion plans when they meet next month.

“He wants to have a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and we’ll discuss that,” Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said Tuesday at the daily briefing for reporters when asked about the announcements. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu OKs plans for 2,500 West Bank housing units

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman have given the go-ahead to plans for 2,500 homes in the West Bank.

Most of the housing units will be in existing settlement blocs, Liberman said Tuesday in a statement, including the city of Ariel and Givat Zeev located outside of Jerusalem. Some of the construction will be outside of the settlement bloc areas, however. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu orders new procedures after no government ministers attend funerals of killed soldiers

Family and friends mourning at the funeral of Lt. Yael Yekutiel, one of the four Israeli soldiers killed in a truck-ramming attack a day earlier in Jerusalem, at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul, outside of Tel Aviv, Jan. 9, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90
Family and friends mourning at the funeral of Lt. Yael Yekutiel, one of the four Israeli soldiers killed in a truck-ramming attack a day earlier in Jerusalem, at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul, outside of Tel Aviv, Jan. 9, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90

Family and friends mourning at the funeral of Lt. Yael Yekutiel, one of the four Israeli soldiers killed in a truck-ramming attack a day earlier in Jerusalem, at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul, outside of Tel Aviv, Jan. 9, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the writing of new procedures that would require Israeli government ministers and lawmakers to attend the funerals of fallen soldiers after government officials did not attend the funerals for any of the four soldiers killed in a truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem.

The order came on Monday evening after bereaved parents complained about the absence of officials at the funerals earlier in the day. The soldiers were killed Sunday in the Arnon Hanatziv neighbourhood of eastern Jerusalem. [Read more…]

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Soldier’s conviction in shooting of downed Palestinian attacker divides Israeli lawmakers

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The conviction of an Israeli soldier on manslaughter charges for shooting and killing a downed Palestinian terrorist divided Israel lawmakers, with some seeking a pardon for the soldier and others urging respect for the rule of law.

Among those calling for a pardon were opposition lawmaker Shelly Yachimovich, who previously served as head of the Labor Party. [Read more…]

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Israeli soldier who shot downed Palestinian terrorist convicted of manslaughter

Elor Azaria at a military court hearing in Jaffa, Aug. 30, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Elor Azaria at a military court hearing in Jaffa, Aug. 30, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Elor Azaria at a military court hearing in Jaffa, Aug. 30, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – An Israeli soldier who shot a downed Palestinian terrorist was convicted in an Israeli military court of manslaughter.

The verdict against Sgt. Elor Azaria, 20, was read out Wednesday by a panel of three judges at the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Tel Aviv. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu will take up ‘bad’ Iran deal with Trump

Secretary of State John Kerry addressing the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2016. (Ralph Aswang)
Secretary of State John Kerry addressing the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2016. (Ralph Aswang)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addressing the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2016. (Ralph Aswang)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he looked forward to speaking to Donald Trump about what to do about the “bad” Iran deal once Trump is U.S. president.

“As far as President-elect Trump, I look forward to speaking to him about what to do about this bad deal,” Netanyahu said Sunday, addressing the annual Saban Forum via a satellite feed. [Read more…]

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