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…]

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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…]

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Likud signs coalition agreement with Yisrael Beiteinu

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 ruling Likud and nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu parties inked a coalition agreement, paving the way for the latter’s entrance into Israel’s government.

The two parties began negotiating on May 18, when reports emerged that Israel Beiteinu Chair Avigdor Liberman would replace Moshe Ya’alon as the country’s defense minister. Yisrael Beiteinu will add five seats to the coalition, growing to 66 of the Knesset’s 120 seats. [Read more…]

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In farewell, Moshe Ya’alon calls on Israeli military to ‘remain human’

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon called on the military to “remain human” during an official farewell ceremony Sunday at military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Ya’alon resigned from his ministerial position as well as the Knesset on Friday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was immersed in talks to replace him with hardline Yisrael Beiteinu party head Avigdor Liberman.  [Read more…]

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Set to enter Knesset, Temple Mount activist says he will stay away from the holy site

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Yehuda Glick, an Israeli activist who wants Jews to be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, said he would stay away from the holy site after he is sworn in as a member of Knesset.

Glick, who was 33rd on the Likud party’s candidates’ list in the last elections, will enter the Knesset following the resignation of Moshe Ya’alon, who was the defense minister. [Read more…]

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U.S. will work with new Israeli defense minister, State Department says

(JTA) – The appointment of hard-liner Avigdor Liberman as Israel’s new defense minister will not affect security co-ordination between Israel and the United States or the military aid package being negotiated, an unnamed U.S. government official said, according to an Israeli television report.

The report by Channel 10 on Sunday came hours after another Israeli TV station, Channel 2, reported that the U.S. warned Israel that the appointment of Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, would cause problems for the defense talks.  [Read more…]

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Citing ‘distrust’ for Netanyahu, Ya’alon quits politics

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon in Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office, Nov. 15, 2015. (Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office, Nov. 15, 2015. (Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90)

(JTA) – Following reports of his imminent replacement, Moshe Ya’alon resigned as Israel’s defense minister citing distrust in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The resignation by Ya’alon, who is rumoured to be replaced with former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman, came in a statement Friday, Ynet reported. [Read more…]

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