PM Netanyahu meets with Senior US Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner and US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien

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FM Ashkenazi on official visit to Germany

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Israel joins the Council of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization

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Israel joins the Council of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization

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

During the briefing, the foreign ambassadors and other participants expressed their appreciation of Israel’s efforts and of the collaboration, in recognition of the importance of jointly managing the Coronavirus challenge.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated a briefing for a group of foreign ambassadors serving in Israel, which provided details on the assistance that is being provided to the Palestinians in managing the Coronavirus.

The following individuals delivered presentations during the briefing: Deputy Director of the Economy Division at the Foreign Ministry, Yael Ravia-Zadok; Deputy Director of International Organizations, Alon Bar; Representative of COGAT, Colonel Sharon Bitton; United Nations Emissary, Nikolai Mladanov; United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick; and Norwegian Ambassador to Israel, Jon Hansen Bauer, as a representative of the contributing countries.

Ravia-Zadok began the briefing, stating that Coronavirus does not distinguish between people, nor does it stop at borders. Israel and the Palestinian Authority have established close collaboration on this matter, aiming to minimize the spread of the virus. She noted the phone call between President Rivlin and president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas wherein the need for cooperation was agreed upon by both parties.

Israel is assisting the Palestinian Authority in the provision of equipment needed for managing the virus, as well as by providing training workshops and closely cooperating with the Palestinian Authority’s medical teams.

Israel is allowing equipment needed to manage Coronavirus to enter the Gaza Strip on a daily basis.

Ravia-Zadok called upon the world’s countries to support the United Nations’ 90-day program, and for international aid to be directed through the program’s established fund, in order that the Palestinian Authority and Gaza Strip be best assisted in equipping themselves to manage the virus in their territories.

She added that it is within the Palestinian Authority’s purview to manage the Coronavirus in both Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, and that the Palestinians’ needs in this matter are greater than what the State of Israel is able to provide.

Mladanov and McGoldrick presented the United Nations’ humanitarian aid efforts and requested that the international community join the 90-day program.

We note that in recent days, the Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in managing Coronavirus was recognized in UN reports and by the Secretary General.

During the briefing, the foreign ambassadors and other participants expressed their appreciation of Israel’s efforts and of the collaboration, in recognition of the importance of jointly managing the Coronavirus challenge.

PM Netanyahu: Israel cares more about Palestinians than their own leaders do

PM Netanyahu remarks on Hamas' misuse of humanitarian aid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement:

"I'm going to say something now that some of you will not believe.

But I'm going to say it anyway because it's true.

I, the Prime Minister of Israel, care more about Palestinians than their own leaders do.

Israel cares more about Palestinians than their own leaders do.

That sounds incredible, right?

But consider the following:

A few days ago, the world learned that Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza, stole millions of dollars from humanitarian organizations like World Vision and the United Nations.

Innocent and impoverished Palestinians were denied vital aid supplied from nations around the world.

Hamas used this stolen money to build a war machine to murder Jews.

I want you to think about that. Let that sink in.

Hamas stole critical support for Palestinian children so that they could kill our children.

So I ask you – who cares more about Palestinians?

Israel, that facilitates the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, every single day?

Or Hamas, that robs Palestinian children of that very same aid?

Israel, that treats wounded Palestinians from Gaza in its hospitals?

Or Hamas that prevents injured Palestinians from getting help?

Imagine, just imagine, where we might all be if Palestinian leaders cared as much about helping their own people as they did about hurting our people.

The Palestinian people deserve better.

And today, I express my deepest sympathy with innocent Palestinians and those well-meaning nations who generously donated money to help them.

The cynicism and cruelty of Hamas is hurting all of us.

It's hurting peace."

Terror attack in Iarael– Palestinians started an attack on a family in a car

Friday afternoon, just before Shabbat, Palestinians started an attack on a family in a car. The father was killed and the mother and two children were wounded.
According to police and IDF reports, the family was driving in their car when terrorists began shooting at them.
At least 20 shots were fired at the family, the attacked family's car flipped as the driver, the father, was killed.


Palestinians continue to push for Israeli exclusion from world soccer federation FIFA

WJC, Leaders of the world soccer federation FIFA have stepped up efforts to head off a vote called by the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) aimed at Israel's suspension from the international governing body over allegedly unfair treatment of Palestinian players by the authorities.

“Negotiations are still going on but they are very complicated,” a top FIFA official told the news agency AFP. FIFA President Sepp Blatter last week held talks with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas in a bid to prevent the politically charged vote at the FIFA Congress in Zurich this Friday.

A FIFA spokeswoman told AFP that “only Palestine can withdraw the demand to suspend Israel from the agenda.” PFA President Jibril Rajoub has so far refused to withdraw the motion that will require the backing of three quarters of the 209 member federations to pass.

Blatter, who is running for a fifth term as FIFA president on Friday, told the body's Executive Committee on Monday about his trip to the Middle East but did not report a deal.

Blatter’s main talks have been with Rajoub and Israel Football Association President Ofer Eini who argues that restrictions on Palestinian players are a security question.

“The FIFA president will report to the Congress on this dossier later this week with the aim of providing a framework for strengthening the development of football in the region,” said a FIFA statement.

Blatter strongly opposes the vote saying it is bringing politics into football and that Israel has not breached FIFA’s statutes. “The Executive underlined that a FIFA member association should not be suspended if it has not violated the FIFA statutes,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, an Israeli NGO accused PFA President Rajoub of gross violations of FIFA's code of conduct, including advocating the killing of Israeli civilians living in the West Bank and the use of nuclear weapons against the State of Israel.

In a letter to FIFA President Blatter, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the head of Shurat HaDin, said Rajoub's remarks constituted grave breaches of his obligation to comply with FIFA's statutes and rules prohibiting discrimination, intimidation and violence against individuals and groups.
Rajoub had "promoted, supervised and glorified" a number of attacks by Fatah and by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades against Israel, Darshan-Leitner said.

Among other comments, Rajoub had declared that Israel is "our enemy and our battle is against them" and said that in the armed conflict between Israel and Palestinian terrorist organizations should be fought by all means, and using all weapons, and that “if we had nuclear weapons, we’d be using them."

"The Palestinians insist to say the last word, we will consider our response"

Israel, The morning after the rocket attack in the south, senior defense officials will hold evaluation of the situation and discuss possible sanctions on the fire. A security official: considering to extend the closing Kerem Shalom and respond to rocket attack.

A security official referred to this morning rocket lounch at the western Negev, saying that the Palestinians "have a tendency to always insist violent rounds seeks the last word, by shooting a rocket or mortar fire."

Although the rocket exploded in an open area, and the "Iron Dome" that was estimating the rocket route was not activated, the day will be led by evaluation of the situation by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon at his office. Participate in it, Lt. - Gen. Benny Gantz, the head of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi and other officials. They will discuss among other things the possibility of a response to rocket fire, but mainly on future measures of punishment. On the agenda - considerations of to continue the closure of Kerem Shalom.

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.


Kerry: Israeli Settlements Should Not Derail Peace Talks

VOA News, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says new Israeli settlement activity should not derail peace talks with the Palestinians.

Kerry said during a visit to Bogota, Colombia, on Monday that "the United States of America views all of the settlements as illegitimate." But he added that the issue of settlements is best resolved by solving the problems of security and borders during talks.

Israel Sunday approved building almost 1,200 new homes in occupied areas claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. They include parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Palestinian officials say the move is an attempt to undermine the peace process. An Israeli government spokesman says the new homes will be in areas Israel will likely keep in any peace deal.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are set to resume peace talks Wednesday in Jerusalem. U.S. negotiator Martin Indyk will also attend.

On Monday, Israel published the names of 26 long-held Palestinian prisoners it plans to release ahead the talks.

Most of the Palestinians to be freed were jailed in the late 1980s and early 1990s for murder and attempted murder of Israelis and suspected Palestinian collaborators.

Israel agreed to free 104 inmates in stages. But their release depends on the progress of the U.S.-backed peace talks. Opponents of the prisoner release call it a reward for terrorism.


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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