U.S. not delaying peace plan over Israeli government turmoil, ambassador to Israel says

U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks on stage on during the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, May 14, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks on stage on during the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, May 14, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

(JTA) – The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, denied reports that the Trump administration is delaying the rollout of its peace plan due to the recent upheaval in Israel’s government.

Friedman also called reports about a high-level meeting last week that included U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss the timing of the peace plan “wildly inaccurate” in a statement released Monday that was posted to the U.S. Embassy in Israel’s website. [Read more…]

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Liberman switches Knesset seats to avoid Arab-Israeli lawmaker

MKs Avigdor Liberman (left) and Ayman Odeh in the Knesset, Nov. 19, 2018. (Ayman Odeh/Twitter)
MKs Avigdor Liberman (left) and Ayman Odeh in the Knesset, Nov. 19, 2018. (Ayman Odeh/Twitter)

MKs Avigdor Liberman (left) and Ayman Odeh in the Knesset, Nov. 19, 2018. (Ayman Odeh/Twitter)

(JTA) – Avigdor Liberman received permission to change his Knesset seat with another member of his party so he would not have to sit next to an Arab-Israeli lawmaker.

Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, stepped down last week as defence minister and moved his party into the opposition, requiring them to move their block of seats in the Knesset plenum. [Read more…]

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In light of security situation, going to new elections ‘irresponsible,’ Netanyahu tells nation

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Kirya defense headquarters in Tel Aviv, on Nov. 18, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Kirya defense headquarters in Tel Aviv, on Nov. 18, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Kirya defence headquarters in Tel Aviv, on Nov. 18, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named himself defence minister and said that going to snap elections would be “irresponsible.”

“We are in a particularly complex security situation, and in moments like these, we do not go to elections,” Netanyahu said Sunday evening in Tel Aviv in a nationally televised address.

“In times like these, you do not overthrow a government. It’s irresponsible. We have another full year until elections. We are in an intensifying battle, and in the middle of a battle we don’t abandon our posts. In the middle of a battle we do not play politics. The security of the nation is beyond politics, and the security of the nation is also beyond personal concerns,” Netanyahu said. [Read more…]

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Early elections in Israel? Netanyahu says he’s ‘confident’ his coalition partners won’t topple the government

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, shown at an education conference in Ramat Gan, Israel, Nov. 15, 2018, has threatened to remove his party from the country’s governing coalition. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, shown at an education conference in Ramat Gan, Israel, Nov. 15, 2018, has threatened to remove his party from the country’s governing coalition. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, shown at an education conference in Ramat Gan, Israel, Nov. 15, 2018, has threatened to remove his party from the country’s governing coalition. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that he is confident his coalition partners would not topple his government.

Netanyahu’s office issued a statement amid early election talk within the Jewish Home party, which can force Israel to go to the ballots a year earlier than planned by leaving the country’s governing coalition. [Read more…]

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Israel’s government appears to be on the brink of dissolving

Avigdor Liberman announces his resignation from the defence minister position in the Isreali government following the ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, during a press conference at the Knesset, on November 14, 2018. photo by Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90
Avigdor Liberman announces his resignation from the defence minister position in the Isreali government following the ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, during a press conference at the Knesset, on November 14, 2018. photo by Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90

Avigdor Liberman announces his resignation as defence minister position in the Israeli government following the ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, during a press conference at the Knesset, on November 14, 2018. photo by Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90

(JTA) – Two senior Israeli cabinet ministers are calling for early elections following the resignation of Avigdor Liberman as defence minister.

Israel’s finance and interior ministers both want to dissolve the government. If they resign, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lose his majority in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu defends Gaza cease-fire, laments need to hide ‘sensitive information’ from the public

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the International Conference on Digital Diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, Dec. 7, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the International Conference on Digital Diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, Dec. 7, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the decision to reach a cease-fire with Gaza terror groups during his address at a state memorial ceremony for David Ben-Gurion, the country’s first prime minister.

“In normal times, a leader must be attentive to the hearts of the people, and our people are wise. But in times of crisis, when making critical decisions in the field of security, the public cannot always be a partner in the crucial considerations that must be concealed from the enemy,” Netanyahu said of his government’s decision to agree to the cease-fire, which was not unanimous. [Read more…]

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Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman resigns over Gaza ceasefire

Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, speaking at a news conference at the Knesset, May 18, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, speaking at a news conference at the Knesset, May 18, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman resigned his post, saying the decision to agree to a ceasefire with terrorist groups in Gaza was “a capitulation to terror.”

Liberman announced his resignation at a news conference early Wednesday afternoon, after first informing his Yisrael Beiteinu Party, which he heads. [Read more…]

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Palestinian terror groups say they will observe cease-fire

A home in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon hit by a rocket fired from Gaza on Nov. 13, 2018. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A home in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon hit by a rocket fired from Gaza on Nov. 13, 2018. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)Israe

(JTA) – Palestinian terror groups in Gaza reportedly have agreed to commit to a cease-fire of hostilities that have seen more than 400 rockets bombard southern Israel and Israeli retaliation in a 25-hour period.

Four mediators – Egypt, the United Nations, Norway and Switzerland – helped achieve the cease-fire, according to reports. [Read more…]

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