U.S. dedicates embassy in Jerusalem amid jubilation and violence

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump, adviser to and daughter of President Donald Trump, revealing a dedication plaque at the official opening ceremony of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump, adviser to and daughter of President Donald Trump, revealing a dedication plaque at the official opening ceremony of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump, adviser to and daughter of President Donald Trump, revealing a dedication plaque at the official opening ceremony of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The United States dedicated its embassy in Jerusalem.

Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin during the Monday afternoon ceremony recited the “Shehechyanu” prayer, said when one is thankful for a new or unusual experience. [Read more…]

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At least 37 Palestinians reported dead in border protests on day of U.S. embassy move

Palestinians carrying a wounded man during a protest against United States’ plans to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, near Al Bureij Refugee Camp at the Gaza-Israel border, May 14, 2018. (Hassan Jedi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Palestinians carrying a wounded man during a protest against United States’ plans to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, near Al Bureij Refugee Camp at the Gaza-Israel border, May 14, 2018. (Hassan Jedi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Palestinians carrying a wounded man during a protest against United States’ plans to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, near Al Bureij Refugee Camp at the Gaza-Israel border, May 14, 2018. (Hassan Jedi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(JTA) – At least 37 Gazan Palestinians have been killed at the border with Israel, where tens of thousands have gathered for protests in the hours before the dedication of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

About 50,000 Palestinians massed on the border by mid-afternoon on Monday. Several thousand more Palestinian protesters are located more than a quarter of a mile from the border fence in a tent area, the IDF said.  There are at least 10 flashpoint areas along the border. [Read more…]

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Hamas leaders in Gaza reportedly have offered to negotiate long-term cease-fire with Israel

Hamas militants are seen during a military show in Gaza City, July 20, 2017. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Hamas militants are seen during a military show in Gaza City, July 20, 2017. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Hamas militants are seen during a military show in Gaza City, July 20, 2017. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Hamas leaders in Gaza have sent messages to Israel through various channels in recent months offering to negotiate a long-term cease-fire.

According to a report Monday in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Hamas wants to tie the cease-fire to an easing of the blockade on Gaza, a green light for large-scale infrastructure projects and a prisoner exchange. [Read more…]

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Trump’s top Middle East negotiator urges Palestinians back to table

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump’s top Middle East peace negotiator, said efforts to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace were still underway and urged the Palestinians to return to the table.

Greenblatt delivered his appeals twice this week, once at a key policy conference in Israel and then at a special meeting of a funding committee for the Palestinians. [Read more…]

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U.S. adds Hamas political chief to terrorist list

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh giving a sermon at the Taiba Mosque in the Gaza Strip, May 1, 2015. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh giving a sermon at the Taiba Mosque in the Gaza Strip, May 1, 2015. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh giving a sermon at the Taiba Mosque in the Gaza Strip, May 1, 2015. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(JTA) – The U.S. State Department has added the leader of Hamas’ political wing to its list of designated terrorists.

Ismail Haniyeh, who lives in Qatar, is the head of Hamas’ political bureau and a former Palestinian Authority prime minister. He was placed on the list because the State Department determined that he has either committed or is a risk to commit terror attacks that harm U.S. citizens or the country’s national security or economy, according to a State Department news release Wednesday. [Read more…]

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Netherlands, Belgium pledge new funds to UN Palestinian relief agency following U.S. cutbacks

AMSTERDAM (JTA) – The Netherlands and Belgium pledged a total of $38 million US for the UN agency that provides aid to Palestinians following U.S. funding cuts of $110 million.

Belgium’s government pledged $23.3 million US in extra funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Dutch government said it would fast-track another $15 million US in funding. [Read more…]

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Military gear bound for Gaza seized by customs at Ashdod port

Thousands of articles of military clothing, including boots, winter coats and equipment vests, bound for Gaza were seized at the Ashdod Port on Jan. 15, 2018. (Courtesy of Israel Tax Authority)
Thousands of articles of military clothing, including boots, winter coats and equipment vests, bound for Gaza were seized at the Ashdod Port on Jan. 15, 2018. (Courtesy of Israel Tax Authority)

Thousands of articles of military clothing, including boots, winter coats and equipment vests, bound for Gaza were seized at the Ashdod Port on Jan. 15, 2018. (Courtesy of Israel Tax Authority)

(JTA) – Thousands of items of military gear bound for Gaza were discovered and seized by customs personnel at Ashdod port in southern Israel.

The cargo included thousands of items of military clothing, including vests for holding military equipment, and thousands of pairs of military boots and winter jackets in camouflage colors, according to the Israel Tax Authority spokesman. [Read more…]

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