Israeli defense minister asks president to pardon soldier who shot downed Palestinian terrorist

Elor Azaria at a military court hearing in Jaffa, Aug. 30, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Elor Azaria at a military court hearing in Jaffa, Aug. 30, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman asked the country’s president to pardon an Israeli soldier convicted of shooting and killing an injured Palestinian terrorist as he lay on the ground.

In a letter sent Sunday to President Reuven Rivlin on behalf of jailed soldier Elor Azaria, Liberman said: “We must put an end to the affair that shook Israeli society, and at this time show leniency and mercy to the soldier,” Ynet reported. [Read more…]

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FIFA, in final ruling on Palestinian request, says it won’t sanction Israel

Members of Israel’s national football team posing before a match against Croatia and Israel at Stadium Gradski Vrt in Osijek, Croatia, March 23, 2016. (Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Members of Israel’s national football team posing before a match against Croatia and Israel at Stadium Gradski Vrt in Osijek, Croatia, March 23, 2016. (Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Members of Israel’s national football team posing before a match against Croatia and Israel at Stadium Gradski Vrt in Osijek, Croatia, March 23, 2016. (Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

(JTA) – The FIFA soccer federation said it would not impose sanctions on Israel and its teams from the West Bank, rejecting repeated requests to do so by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Israel’s six West Bank teams, which play in lower level leagues, are located in the settlements of Maale Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Givat Zeev, Oranit and the Jordan Valley. The Palestinians have asked for their exclusion from international matches and the Israeli soccer association, which is a FIFA member. [Read more…]

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European countries to Israel: Compensate us for demolished West Bank structures

(JTA) – Eight European countries for the first time have called on Israel to compensate them for demolishing West Bank mobile structures and infrastructures that they provided.

Belgium reportedly is leading the effort, Haaretz reported, citing a senior European diplomat. The other countries are France, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland and Denmark. [Read more…]

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What the U.S. is requiring from Hamas to join a Palestinian unity government

(JTA) – Any Palestinian government “must unambiguously and explicitly” commit to nonviolence, recognize Israel, and accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the peace process said.

The statement issued Thursday by Jason Greenblatt is the first response by the United States to the Palestinian reconciliation agreement signed this week between the Fatah Party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the terrorist Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The Trump administration has been working to jump-start the peace talks, a stated major goal of the administration. [Read more…]

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Palestinian man running at soldiers with knife shot at West Bank junction

(JTA) — Israeli soldiers shot and wounded a Palestinian man who ran at them with a knife at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank.

The Palestinian, believed to be in his 20s, was running against traffic and carrying a knife, and did not stop when called on to do so by a soldier stationed in the area in the incident on Wednesday afternoon.

The soldier felt he and his colleagues were in immediate danger and shot the would-be assailant, according to the IDF. The Palestinian man was shot in the stomach. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in serious condition for treatment.

There have been several knife attacks and car rammings at the junction in the last two years.

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Israel sets conditions on negotiating with Palestinian unity government

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israeli government said it will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas unless it meets several conditions, including a halt to the group’s terrorist activities.

The conditions, which were announced Tuesday following a meeting of the Security Cabinet, include recognition of Israel and a halt to all terrorist activities in accordance with the rules set down by the Middle East Quartet; disarming of Hamas’ military infrastructure; and the return of the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers and several civilians being held by Hamas in Gaza. [Read more…]

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