Israeli defence officials reportedly oppose changing Iran deal

(JTA) – Israel’s intelligence community opposes the drastic changes sought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, according to a report.

Several sources, who were not named, told the Haaretz daily that the defence establishment in Israel does not agree with the demand articulated by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman that U.S. President Donald Trump scrap or revise the deal, the daily reported Friday. [Read more…]

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Israeli defense minister says army not pushing ‘feminist agenda’ with mixed-gender units

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaking to the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, March 6, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaking to the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, March 6, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman rejected accusations that the Israel Defense Forces is pushing a “feminist agenda” with its mixed-gender units.

Liberman made the comments Wednesday at the inauguration of a new army training base in the Negev for mixed-gender border defence units. [Read more…]

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Israeli soldier asks army chief for leniency after losing appeal in shooting of downed Palestinian

Sgt. Elor Azaria sitting with his parents in a courtroom at a Tel Aviv military base, July 30, 3017, awaiting the verdict of his appeal in the 2016 shooting death of a downed Palestinian attacker in Hebron. (Flash 90/Avshalom Sasoni/Pool)

Sgt. Elor Azaria sitting with his parents in a courtroom at a Tel Aviv military base, July 30, 2017, awaiting the verdict of his appeal in the 2016 shooting death of a downed Palestinian attacker in Hebron. (Flash 90/Avshalom Sasoni/Pool)

(JTA) – The Israeli soldier convicted of shooting a downed Palestinian terrorist has asked the head of the Israel Defense Forces for leniency.

Elor Azaria made the request of Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot days after a military appeals court upheld both the conviction and the 18-month prison sentence, which the prosecution had called too lenient. Azaria reportedly will not appeal the decisions to Israel’s Supreme Court. [Read more…]

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Settlement residents erect new outpost in memory of slain neighbours

(JTA) – Residents of the Halamish settlement set up a new outpost in memory of the three members of the Salomon family killed in a terror attack in their home, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to demolish the Palestinian attacker’s home.

Hundreds of Halamish residents and their supporters early Sunday morning set up a caravan, as well as tents, tables and chairs and erected the new outpost on a road outside of the settlement, also blocking it off to Palestinian traffic, Ynet reported. [Read more…]

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Trump envoy brokers Israeli-Palestinian water deal

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel and the Palestinian Authority announced an agreement that will see an increase of up to 30 million cubic meters of fresh water going to the Palestinians.

Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, brokered the deal Thursday as part of a larger trilateral agreement including Jordan for the construction of a 137-mile pipeline to bring water from the Red Sea to help the Dead Sea. The pipeline also will power a water desalinization plant that will provide the additional fresh water. Israel will sell the water to the Palestinian Authority. [Read more…]

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Decaying relations with Diaspora yield bold words in Israel, but little action

Worshipers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Jan. 17, 2017. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Worshipers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Jan. 17, 2017. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli politicians rushed to condemn their government’s decision Sunday to freeze a plan promoting pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall.

Voices from across the political spectrum, including members of the governing coalition, criticized the vote by the cabinet as a reckless affront to North American Jewry. They warned it could weaken the community’s support for Israel. [Read more…]

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Israel denies Palestinian Authority has stopped paying terrorists’ families, contradicting Tillerson

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Palestinian Authority (PA) has not stopped paying salaries to the families of terrorists jailed in Israel, according to Israeli officials, contradicting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The officials, including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, said Wednesday that they have not seen a change in the PA policy. A day earlier, Tillerson told senators at a meeting of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the policy had changed. [Read more…]

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