Emergency rules not renewed in Israel’s south following ceasefire

(JTA) – Following a brief calm in exchanges of fire between Israel and Gaza militants, towns near the border with the Palestinian enclave resumed normal services.

The municipalities of Netivot, Sderot and smaller towns near the Gaza Strip on Friday did not renew emergency regulations that had been in place for most the past week. The regulations prevented holding any gatherings outside sheltered areas, including summer camp activities, as well as public transportation. [Read more…]

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Pence arrives in Jerusalem after asking Egypt, Jordan to intercede with the Palestinians

JERUSALEM (JTA) – U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence reportedly asked Egypt and Jordan to reach out to the Palestinian Authority on behalf of the Trump Administration.

Pence met over the weekend with  both Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah, where he reassured both leaders that the United States remains committed to restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and is committed to a two-state solution if both sides agree. [Read more…]

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Hamas, Hezbollah join Israel and U.S. in condemning Egypt mosque attack

(JTA) – Both Hamas and Hezbollah joined the United States, Israel and other nations in condemning a massive terrorist attack at a mosque in Egypt that killed more than 230 people.

In the attack Friday afternoon, an explosion ripped through the Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, roughly 25 miles west of the town of El-Arish in the north of the Sinai Peninsula. After the explosion, gunmen opened fire on the worshipers gathered for weekly Friday prayers, officials said. [Read more…]

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Mike Pence to address Knesset during December Israel visit

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence speaks at the Christians United for Israel conference in Washington, D.C., July 17, 2017. (CUFI)

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence speaks at the Christians United for Israel conference in Washington, D.C., July 17, 2017. (CUFI)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence will address the Knesset when he visits Israel next month.

Senior officials in Jerusalem told Israel’s Channel 10 news that Pence had suggested speaking to the Knesset, and that his offer was accepted. [Read more…]

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Egypt ready to help Palestinians, assist in peace talks, White House official says

(JTA) – Creating a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians “will take time,” a senior White House official said.

The official reiterated requirements laid out last week by Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the peace process, on a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, namely adhering to the Quartet principles: unambiguously and explicitly committing to nonviolence; recognizing the State of Israel; accepting previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists; and committing to peaceful negotiations. [Read more…]

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Egypt reportedly spending $22 million to restore historic synagogue in Alexandria

The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2012. (Roland Unger/Wikimedia Commons)
The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2012. (Roland Unger/Wikimedia Commons)

The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2012. (Roland Unger/Wikimedia Commons)

(JTA) – The Egyptian government reportedly has approved a $22 million plan to restore a 160-year-old synagogue in Alexandria.

The Ministry of Antiquities’ Project Sector on Wednesdsay approved the funds for restoring and developing the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, according to the head of the Islamic and Coptic Monuments Department, al-Saeed Helmy Ezzat, The Egypt Independent reported from a translation of the Arabic-language daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. [Read more…]

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Palestinian Authority to stop paying Israel for electricity used in Hamas-run Gaza

(JTA) – The Palestinian Authority (PA) will stop paying Israel for the electricity it provides to the Gaza Strip, which is run by the Hamas terror organization.

In a move seen as a way for the Palestinian Authority to pressure Hamas to relinquish control of Gaza, the PA informed the co-ordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, on Thursday that it would stop the payments effective immediately. Hamas seized power in Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007. [Read more…]

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Trump’s State Dept. budget gives the Palestinians a slight increase amid major cuts elsewhere

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Assistance to the Palestinians is one of the few areas to be increased in the Trump administrations plans for massive cuts at the U.S. State Department.

Foreign Policy magazine on Monday posted 15 pages of proposed cuts it obtained as part of the Trump administration’s plan to roll the U.S. Agency for International Development into the State Department. The vast majority of aid programs are to be cut and some are to be eliminated. [Read more…]

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