Tag: Syria

Israel’s army chief gave an interview to a Saudi news outlet. That’s never happened before.

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli army’s chief of staff gave the first interview by someone in his post to a Saudi news outlet.

Gadi Eisenkot told the Elaph news website Thursday that Israel is ready to share intelligence with Saudi Arabia as part of a joint effort to curb Iranian influence in the region. The interview was his first with an Arabic media outlet.

Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic ties. Elaph is Saudi owned but based in London.

In the interview, Eisenkot called Iran “the biggest threat to the region” and said Saudi Arabia was in…

US-Russia cease-fire could reportedly leave Iran-backed forces within 3 miles of Israel’s border

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iranian-backed forces in Syria could reportedly remain as close as 3 miles from Israel’s border under a recent cease-fire agreement reached by the United States, Russia and Jordan.

An Israeli official said militias allied with Iran would be allowed to maintain positions as close at 3 to 4 miles to some parts of the border while being pushed up to around 19 miles away in others, Reuters reported Monday. The positions of the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime will affect the arrangements, the anonymous official said.

The agreement, announced in a U.S.-Russian statement Saturday,…

Brussels Jewish museum opens first exhibition since 2014 massacre

(JTA) – Three years after the slaying of four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in what prosecutors say was a jihadist terrorist attack, the institution opened its first new exhibition.

“Belgium, Welcoming Land,” which opened last month, explores the history of immigration to the country through photographs, testimonies and other artifacts. The Brussels museum had reopened briefly after the 2014 attack but had been closed for renovations for the past several months.

A French national who fought in Syria, Mehdi Nemmouche, is currently standing trial for carrying out the attack and killing two Israeli tourists, a worker of the…

Israeli army vows to defend Druze village in Syria

(JTA) — In a departure from Israel’s policy of minimal intervention in Syria’s civil war, the Israeli army said it would help defend a Druze village in Syria where Sunni militants killed nine people.

The Israel Defense Forces will prevent the village of Khadr, near its northern border, from being run over by the militants “out of a commitment to the Druze population,” the IDF said in a highly unusual statement of allegiance to a group that is seen as loyal to Syria’s contested president, Bashar Assad.

The statement follows an explosion inside the village Friday in which nine…

Dutch government ‘obsessed’ with Israel, Simon Wiesenthal Center says

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center said the Dutch government has an “obsession” with Israel following the publication of a foreign policy platform singling out the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“The Dutch are fixated” on the conflict Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center’s associate dean, wrote in an article published Tuesday by the Huffington Post website, co-authored with Manfred Gerstenfeld, an anti-Semitism  researcher with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The op-ed noted that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the only international conflict mentioned in the coalition agreement of the new government of the Netherlands, which was announced this week.

The coalition agreement…