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MFA hosts virtual conference on digital diplomacy during the corona crisis

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PM Netanyahu chairs Corona Cabinet meeting

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Israel marks Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism

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President Rivlin and FM Katz host reception for the diplomatic and consular corps in Israel

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Special Holy Fire ceremony held during the coronavirus outbreak

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PM Netanyahu addresses the ceremony marking Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day

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Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 20-21 April 2020

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Briefing for foreign ambassadors on Coronavirus management and cooperation with the Palestinians

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Dr. Karnit Flug appointed Bank of Israel Governor

​Prime Minister Netanyahu and Finance Minister Lapid have decided to appoint Dr. Karnit Flug as Governor of the Bank of Israel




Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid decided to appoint Dr. Karnit Flug as Governor of the Bank of Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Finance Minister Lapid said, "We have been impressed by Dr. Flug's performance as Acting Governor in recent months and we are certain that she will continue to assist us in moving the Israeli economy to additional achievements in the face of the global economic upheaval."
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Netanyahu Warns Obama on Iran

VOA, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran must dismantle its nuclear program and should face tougher sanctions as it negotiates with the West.

Netanyahu made the comments after meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in White House talks Monday. Obama said world powers will negotiate with Iran in a "clear-eyed" manner and will consult Israel closely.

Netanyahu's visit comes three days after Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani conducted the highest-level contact between the countries in more than three decades.

That telephone call fueled hopes for a resolution of Iran's decade-old nuclear standoff with the West.

Iran has long insisted its nuclear program is peaceful. The U.S. and many of its allies disagree and have helped impose several rounds of sanctions that have battered Iran's economy.

Netanyahu is deeply concerned about eased tensions between Iran and the international community, saying Tehran is using talks to try to lessen the crippling sanctions and to buy more time to build a nuclear weapon.

Many Israelis agree.



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US Looking to Bolster Israeli-Palestinian Talks at UN

Scott Stearns

VOA, At this week's meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be pushing efforts to back ongoing peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. The talks are based on a two-state solution to the conflict.

Nothing has taken more of John Kerry's time as Secretary of State than Middle East peace. So these talks have been front and center in the run-up to his first U.N. General Assembly. "I am talking to both leaders directly and everybody, I think, understands the goal that we are working for. It is two states living side by side in peace and in security," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it is time. "We both know that this road is not an easy one, but we have embarked this effort with you in order to succeed to bring about a historic reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians that ends the conflict once and for all," he said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Palestinians are ready. "We have a period of nine months during which we hope to be able to reach to a peace agreement between us and the Israelis," he said.

Obstacles include the status of Jerusalem as an Israeli and Palestinian capital and the borders of a two-state solution.

The same issues that have largely blocked progress on a negotiated settlement since the Oslo Accords 20 years ago. So what has changed? Broader Israeli concerns about the future, says former U.S. ambassador Adam Ereli. "Whether or not you have the territory, whether or not you have provided for your security, the fact of the matter is it does not serve Israel's long-term interest to be an occupying power," he said.

Israel has issued new work permits for Palestinians from the West Bank as part of economic measures aimed at supporting the peace talks. But that is offset by new Israeli settlements, says Oxfam's Alun McDonald. "There are a lot of reasons to feel positive, but itis very hard to be optimistic when over the past few weeks there have been more announcements of settlements, there have been more demolitions of homes, and the occupation still continues," he said.

Settlements are a particularly difficult issue for Israel's coalition government, says Cato Institute analyst Doug Bandow. "The internal political dynamic is a very complicated one. It is hard to give those up. There is very little trust on both sides, so there is a lot of skepticism out there," he said.

Bandow says putting a peace deal to Israeli voters is especially perilous for a coalition government confronting divisive social issues of welfare benefits and military service for Orthodox Jews. "This really has to look good, it really has to look salable before Netanyahu is going to take ownership. He's got a lot else on his plate," he said.

Former Israeli negotiator Uri Savir says the momentum of the Oslo Accords is not entirely lost. "Peace processes take time. It is a difficult transition. But the foundations are still alive. And a two-state solution will still be achieved, I have no doubt," he said.

Kerry says time is the enemy of a peace process because it allows a vacuum to be filled by people who do not want things to happen.

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President Peres welcomes FC Barcelona to Israel on 2013 Peace Tour


President Shimon Peres hosted a welcoming reception for FC Barcelona, who are visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority on a special peace tour.

President Shimon Peres, at his Jerusalem Residence, hosted a welcoming reception for FC Barcelona who are visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority on a special peace tour. The reception was also attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Education Minister Shai Piron and Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat.
President Peres said:
"It’s a great pleasure for me to host F.C. Barcelona at the President’s Residence in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Thank you Mr. Sandro Rosell for accepting our invitation to come and bring this wonderful group of players. On behalf of all of our people - Welcome to Israel! Your visit to the Holy Land is a dream come true for Israeli and Palestinian children.
It is a contribution to peace, as you have rightly called it, a 'Peace Tour.' You came just on time. Our Prime Minister and his government began a 'tour of peace' between us and the Palestinians, which is an important and timely decision.
I want to thank Barca for making the dreams of the children come true. Israeli and Palestinian children dream of two goals – scoring the winning goal at Camp Nou and the great goal of peace.
I would like to send our best wishes to your beloved coach Tito Vilanova. In Jerusalem we shall pray for his full and speedy recovery.
Barca is 'more than just a club.' Over the years you achieved the highest level of football. But more than that, Barca became a message of solidarity, of friendship, of caring for the weak. You became messengers of peace. You are loved by millions. And you offer your love to them, thank you.
Sport and football in particular breaks down barriers, fights racism and creates a horizon of hope for all children in the entire world. On the football field what matters is ability, teamwork and dedication. It is not the color of your feet but the speed and wisdom of their moves. In football there are no victims and always hope for the next match.
At our football academies Israeli and Palestinian children play together. Passing the ball from player to player overcomes any conflict. The children continue to train together even in times of tension.
I would like to add that we pray for the success of the current peace talks between us and the Palestinians, their success is crucial for our future. Your visit here is an added contribution to that prayer of peace through the language of football.
Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, you and the whole team can teach us and the Palestinians to play Tiki-Taka so we can score the goal we all hope for – the goal of peace.
Ole Barcelona!"

netanyahuPeres-Barca
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke immediately after President Peres, and said: "Here is my great hope: My hope is to see good football games, to have peace and security and to have one percent of your fan base, they have 300 billion, 1 percent visit this great site and this great country. That would help our economy and it would help peace as well."
The President of FC Barcelona said in his remarks that “We have come to this land to strengthen our bonds of friendship and help you, both Israelis and Palestinians, to find meeting points to help you along the road to peace. We are doing this with all the humility in the world, but in the knowledge that Barça is one of things that both communities have in common, for as they have told us, we are the most popular foreign team in both Israel and Palestine. This makes us feel very proud, but at the same time legitimizes our cause and encourages us to help you towards this goal.
This is a historic moment for us, and could not have come at a better time, coinciding as it does with the reopening of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in Washington. We know that the road to peace through dialogue is a long one and that it will be full of obstacles, but it is a worthwhile objective. Your future is also the world’s future, and that is why we all want this road to lead you to success."
Also as part of the reception President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Minister for Culture and Sport and the Minister of Education signed a pledge called "The other is me" about tolerance and acceptance of difference, which was presented by Minister of Education Piron.

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Israel Headlines - PM Netanyahu on remarks by Iranian President Rouhani

"These remarks by President Rouhani must rouse the world from the illusion that part of it has been caught up in since the Iranian elections."


The President has changed but the goal of the regime has not: To achieve nuclear weapons in order to threaten Israel, the Middle East and the peace and security of the entire world.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani remarks in which he was cited as saying that Israel "has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and should be removed."

"Rouhani's true face has been revealed earlier than expected. Even if they will now rush to deny his remarks, this is what the man thinks and this is the plan of the Iranian regime. These remarks by President Rouhani must rouse the world from the illusion that part of it has been caught up in since the Iranian elections. The President there has changed but the goal of the regime has not: To achieve nuclear weapons in order to threaten Israel, the Middle East and the peace and security of the entire world. A country that threatens the destruction of the State of Israel must not be allowed to possess weapons of mass destruction," the Prime Minister said.



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Netanyahu: Peace Talks with Palestinians Will Be Tough

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that some details were still being worked out but that if all goes well, Palestinian and Israeli officials would travel to Washington for initial talks

VOA News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assured his Cabinet that any results from resumed negotiations with the Palestinians will be put to a national referendum.

His comment Sunday follows a U.S. brokered agreement to restart long-stalled peace talks between the two sides. Netanyahu told his ministers the process will not be easy, but that Israel's approach will be sincere. He said he hopes the talks will be handled responsibly and practically.

The last direct talks collapsed in 2010. Borders, refugees, security, Jewish settlements and Jerusalem are among the difficult issues that have not been resolved.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that some details were still being worked out but that if all goes well, Palestinian and Israeli officials would travel to Washington for initial talks within the next week or two.

Kerry announced the agreement for resuming negotiations after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas several times during a four-day visit to Jordan.

White House officials said President Barack Obama spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to ask him to work with Kerry to "resume negotiations with the Palestinians as soon as possible."

Israeli officials said Saturday that they would release a "limited" number of Palestinian prisoners as a gesture for resuming talks, but have not given further details.

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Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta Lands in Israel and Will Meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu

 

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, landed in Israel and was welcomed at Ben-Gurion International Airport by Minister Yuval Steinitz. Tomorrow he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Italian Prime Minister Letta has been in office since 28 April 2013; this is his first visit to Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Italian counterpart will discuss strengthening bilateral relations including economic cooperation, the need to stop the Iranian nuclear program, the unstable situation in Syria and the need to advance the peace process with the Palestinians.

Italy is Israel's second most important research and development partner in Europe after Germany. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Italian Prime Minister Letta will also discuss ways to expand cooperation in research and development, initiatives, and innovation. A date is also expected to be fixed for the fourth meeting between the Israeli and Italian governments, which is due to take place in Italy at the end of the year.

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Kerry, Netanyahu Meet as Israel Stresses Security

 

Secretary Kerry is shuttling between Jerusalem and Jordan's capital, Amman, in hopes of jumpstarting Middle East peace talks


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a bid to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

The two men held talks over a working dinner late Thursday in Jerusalem. They made no public comments before the meeting.

Earlier Thursday, Netanyahu said Israel will not waiver on its security concerns.

"We want peace because we want to live in peace. It's true, we don't want a bi-national state, but don't let anyone be under the illusion that if we make an agreement with the Palestinians this agreement will end the violent slur against the state of the Jews," said Netanyahu.

Secretary Kerry is shuttling between Jerusalem and Jordan's capital, Amman, in hopes of jumpstarting Middle East peace talks, which have been at an impasse in recent years.

Earlier Thursday, Kerry met with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman.

In Amman, Kerry said Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas share "a serious commitment of purpose." But the top U.S. diplomat warned that both leaders will be tested by those who do not want peace talks to succeed.

Kerry is scheduled to meet with Abbas in Amman on Friday.

On Wednesday, Israel announced plans to build dozens of new housing units in an East Jerusalem settlement, triggering anger from some Palestinian officials. Israeli settlement construction has been a stumbling block in Middle East peace talks.

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