Netanyahu reiterates vow on new settlement for Amona evacuees ahead of second Greenblatt meeting

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Hours before meeting with a Trump envoy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured residents of the evacuated Amona outpost that he would honour his commitment to build them a new community.

Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Thursday, for the second time this week, with Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump’s adviser on international relations, who has been touring Israel and the Palestinian areas since Monday to gauge attitudes to peacemaking. Netanyahu met with Greenblatt on Monday. [Read more…]

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Reform Jewish delegation calls meeting with Netanyahu ‘candid’

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A delegation from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) had a “wide-ranging and candid conversation” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, the group said.

The delegation, led by the URJ’s president, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, met with Netanyahu for an hour on Sunday, according to a statement issued by the congregational arm of the movement at the end of a weeklong leadership mission to Israel.  [Read more…]

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UN chief says Temple Mount was home to Jewish temple, Palestinians demand apology

The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem (Hadas Parush/Flash 90)

The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem (Hadas Parush/Flash 90)

(JTA) – Palestinian officials are demanding an apology from the new United Nations chief after he said it was “completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.”

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also told Israel Radio in an interview Friday with its New York correspondent that “no one can deny the fact that Jerusalem is holy to three religions today,” including Judaism.  [Read more…]

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Pope Francis, Abbas call for direct talks with Israel during meeting at Vatican

ROME (JTA) – Pope Francis and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for renewed direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority during a meeting at the Vatican.

Abbas warned against moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, telling reporters: “If this is the decision, to transfer the embassy to Jerusalem, it will not help peace and we hope it doesn’t happen.” [Read more…]

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Report: Abbas met with U.S. businessmen to establish back channel to Trump

(JTA) – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with an American businessmen earlier this month in an attempt to set up a back channel to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

On Jan. 2, Abbas met in Ramallah with hedge fund manager Daniel Arbess, who is Jewish, and with the Palestinian billionaire Adnan Mjalli, who owns businesses in the U.S. and elsewhere, The Times of Israel reported Friday. [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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