Tag: Palestinians

Israeli army chief: Live fire allowed if Palestinians at mass protest breach Gaza border

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is preparing for a mass Palestinian protest on the border with Gaza for the annual Land Day observance.

The army’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, said in interviews Wednesday ahead of the planned protests of an estimated 100,000 Palestinians and another six weeks of protests that soldiers could use live fire if the protesters breach the security barrier between Gaza and Israel and if it is determined that Israeli lives are in danger.

Land Day has been observed by Palestinians around the world since 1976, when six Israeli Arabs were killed and another…

US Ambassador David Friedman says his remarks about Abbas were not a call for regime change

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said the United States was not looking to “replace” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and that reports implying he said otherwise misquoted him.

On Wednesday, the Religious-Zionist newspaper Shevii released excerpts of an interview with Friedman to be published on Friday in which the ambassador is quoted as saying, “If Abu Mazen is not interested in negotiating, I am sure that someone else will want to. If Abbas creates a vacuum, I am convinced that someone else will fill it, and then we will move forward” with the peace process.

Some…

Netanyahu says solution may not include ‘full sovereignty’ for Palestinians

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to say whether he now believes in a two-state solution, saying it was up to the Palestinians to prove that a sovereign state would not threaten Israel.

“I want a solution where they have all the power they need to govern themselves but none of the powers to threaten,” Netanyahu said Wednesday, addressing The Economic Club of Washington. “Does that comport with full sovereignty? I don’t know, but it’s what we need to live.”

Netanyahu’s conditions for a final status deal have not changed: He said as he…

In Israel, Netanyahu is embattled. At AIPAC, he was at home.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is mired in several corruption scandals back home, and his political future seems increasingly under threat.

But you wouldn’t know it from his speech Tuesday at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee: He looked energized and right at home.

His address to the crowd of 18,000 played more like a pep rally than a policy address. Netanyahu largely stuck to his standard talking points — celebrating Israeli innovation, confronting Iran, criticizing the Palestinian Authority.

But he was upbeat and relaxed while doing it. He grinned, laughed, joked,…

US ambassador to Israel reportedly says evicting settlers ‘could lead to civil war’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Evicting hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers from the West Bank “could lead to civil war in Israel,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told American Jewish leaders.

His remarks were first tweeted and reported on Israel’s Channel 10 by journalist Barak Ravid, who said he received the remarks from three participants at the meeting.

Friedman spoke Monday night during an off-the-record briefing in Jerusalem for about 100 American Jewish leaders at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations.

The U.S. Embassy and the Presidents Conference disputed the report.

“We have seen…