U.S. State Department reviewing Obama’s decision to send $221 million US to Palestinians

(JTA) – The U.S. State Department is reviewing the Obama administration’s decision to send $221 million US to the Palestinian Authority on the morning of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The State Department said it would look into the payment, which had previously been held up by congressional Republicans, and make adjustments in line with the Trump administration’s priorities, the Associated Press reported. [Read more…]

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Obama on nuclear deal anniversary: Defence of Israel against Iran has been ‘steadfast’

WASHINGTON (JTA) – U.S. President Barack Obama said his administration had remained “steadfast” in countering Iranian threats to Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.

Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, in their final week in office, marked the anniversary Monday of the implementation of the deal reached between Iran and six major powers led by the United States exchanging sanctions relief for a nuclear rollback. [Read more…]

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Kerry reassures Netanyahu that Paris peace meeting will not lead to more UN action

(JTA) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Paris peace conference will not lead to further action at the United Nations or other international bodies.

Kerry spoke by phone with Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon, according to reports. Kerry was one of more than 72 international leaders who attended Sunday’s peace conference in Paris. Late last month, Kerry delivered a lengthy speech in which he laid out six principles that the United States believes must govern the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while rebuking Israel’s “pernicious policy of settlement construction.” Kerry leaves office on Friday when U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office. [Read more…]

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72 countries, including U.S., to attend Paris peace conference

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Representative of 72 countries will attend the Paris peace conference, French officials announced.

Among those who said they will attend is U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who late last month in a lengthy speech laid out six principles that the United States believes must govern the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while rebuking Israel’s “pernicious policy of settlement construction.” Kerry will attend the conference less than a week before he leaves his post with the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. [Read more…]

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Report: Netanyahu, businessman discuss quid pro quo in recorded conversations

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The main corruption case against Benjamin Netanyahu involves a taped conversation of the Israeli prime minister said to be offering benefits to a businessman in exchange for his political support.

The businessman on Sunday was revealed by Israel Channel 2 news to be Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. Accusations of a quid-pro-quo discussion between the two men, who are said to have a terrible rivalry, are backed up by the tape, Haaretz reported Sunday. [Read more…]

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