Ex-Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon says he will run for prime minister

Israel's outgoing defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, speaking at a press conference in which he announced his resignation from the Knesset, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Moshe Ya’alon, speaking at a press conference in which he announced his resignation from the Knesset, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

(JTA) – Moshe Ya’alon made it clear that he intends to run for prime minister in Israel’s upcoming elections less than a month after resigning as defense minister and from the Knesset.

“I intend to run for the leadership in Israel in the next elections,” Ya’alon said Thursday during a speech at the annual Herzliya Conference. [Read more…]

Comment

Video shows knife was kicked toward Palestinian assailant after Israeli soldier shot him

Elor Azaria arriving in Jaffa Military Court, June 1, 2016. (Flash90)
Elor Azaria arriving in Jaffa Military Court, June 1, 2016. (Flash90)

Elor Azaria arriving in Jaffa Military Court, June 1, 2016. (Flash90)

(JTA) – A video introduced at the manslaughter trial of the Israeli soldier for the shooting death of a wounded Palestinian assailant in the West Bank shows a knife being kicked toward the assailant’s body after the fact.

As testimony began Wednesday, prosecutors told the Jaffa Military Court that the account of the March shooting by the soldier, Sgt. Elor Azaria, has been inconsistent and that the knife used by the assailant, Abdel Fatal al-Sharif, to stab an Israeli soldier was not within reach when Azaria fatally shot him minutes later, according to The Jerusalem Post. [Read more…]

Comment

Avigdor Liberman: National unity more important than land

(JTA) – Israel’s new defense minister told senior military leaders that a unified country is more important than holding onto territory and that he is committed to preventing unnecessary conflicts.

Avigdor Liberman, who is known for his hawkish positions as foreign minister, met for the first time Tuesday with the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff and other top brass, the Times of Israel reported. [Read more…]

Comment

Moshe Ya’alon pledges to return to challenge Netanyahu

Israel's outgoing defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, speaking at a press conference in which he announced his resignation from the Knesset, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Israel's outgoing defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, speaking at a press conference in which he announced his resignation from the Knesset, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israel’s outgoing defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, speaking at a press conference in which he announced his resignation from the Knesset, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

(JTA) – Israel’s recently resigned defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, sent an email to former campaign donors suggesting that he would soon mount an electoral challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I regard this period as a ‘time-out’ after which I intend to return and run for Israel’s national leadership,” he wrote in English in the email, reported the Jerusalem Post. [Read more…]

Comment

Israeli Cabinet OKs appointment of Avigdor Liberman as defense minister

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)

(JTA) – The Israeli Cabinet unanimously approved the appointment of Avigdor Liberman as defense minister on Monday, formalizing a coalition deal between his Yisrael Beiteinu party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud.

The vote came after weeks of talks initiated by Netanyahu to add the five Yisrael Beiteinu seats to his ruling government, bringing the total to 66 lawmakers out of the 120 in the Knesset, Israel Radio reported. [Read more…]

Comment

Another Israeli cabinet minister quits in protest of Netanyahu policies

Israeli Environmental Minister Avi Gabai holding a press conference announcing his resignation from politics, May 27, 2016. (Flash90)
Israeli Environmental Minister Avi Gabai holding a press conference announcing his resignation from politics, May 27, 2016. (Flash90)

Israeli Environmental Minister Avi Gabai holding a press conference announcing his resignation from politics, May 27, 2016. (Flash90)

(JTA) – Israel’s environmental protection minister resigned, citing the recent dismissal of former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and disagreements on policy with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Avi Gabai, a member of the centre-right Kulanu party, announced his resignation on Friday, a week after Yaalon resigned following Netanyahu’s decision to replace him as defense minister with Avigdor Liberman of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party. [Read more…]

Comment

U.S. State Department: Coalition deal ‘raises legitimate questions’ on Israel’s path

(JTA) – In a first official statement to the coalition pact signed between Likud and the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, a U.S. State Department spokesman said this “raises legitimate questions” about the direction in which Israel is headed.

Mark Toner said this Wednesday, hours after the signing of a coalition deal that will install hardline settler Avigdor Liberman as defense minister instead of Moshe Ya’alon, a former general and Likud member who, after being asked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to switch jobs, resigned and cited the government’s handling of perceived growing extremism. [Read more…]

Comment