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US-Israel spat erupts over 'not your territory' Western Wall remark

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Israel demanded an explanation from the White House, casting a cloud over the highly anticipated visit by the new president, which is being greeted with a mixture of excitement and nervousness by Israeli officials.The spat reportedly erupted during preparations for Trump’s visit, during which he is planning a stop at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City.Israel captured the Old City in the 1967 Six-Day War. It considers the entire city of Jerusalem to be its eternal capital and next week, on Jerusalem Day, is set to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of its unification.On the campaign trail, Trump voiced solidly pro-Israel positions. His campaign platform made no mention of an independent Palestinian state. He showed little concern about Israeli settlement construction, expressed support for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and vowed to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He also surrounded himself with a core of advisers with strong ties to the settlement enterprise, including his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.Bennett said he welcomed Trump’s arrival next week, but said Israel also has to stick to its positions. He said Israel must oppose attempts to establish a Palestinian state and insist on Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem “forever”.


Trump announces first official foreign trip to include Israel.

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U.S. President Donald Trump has officially announced he will visit Israel as part of his first foreign trip since his inauguration in January.U.S. press secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement saying, “The leaders will discuss a range of regional issues, including the need to counter the threats posed by Iran and its proxies, and by ISIS and other terrorist groups. They will also discuss ways to advance a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians”. Officials said Trump would meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but declined to say where, and said dates and other details would be provided later. Trump’s visit will come ahead of Israel’s Jerusalem Day celebrations on May 24.A presidential waiver suspending the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is set to expire on June 1. Trump must decide by then whether to fulfill his campaign promise to relocate the embassy, thereby officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, or follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and renew the waiver. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, had a testy relationship with both Israel and Saudi Arabia, whose leaders viewed him as being concerned less with traditional alliances than with negotiating a diplomatic agreement with Iran, which both Israel and Saudi Arabia view as an enemy. Trump’s foreign visit appears to be aimed at reinvigorating traditional alliances in the region.

Pence: U.S. Embassy move under 'serious consideration'

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President Donald Trump is giving “serious consideration” to moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday, a day before a scheduled White House visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Trump is also “personally committed” to becoming the U.S. president who finally ends the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Pence said.Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a politically charged act that would anger Palestinians who want east Jerusalem as a future capital and part of their sovereign territory. Such a move would also distance the U.S. from most of the international community, including its closest allies in Western Europe and the Arab world. The White House said on Monday that Trump will continue to talk to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about settlement activity in Judea and Samaria. The announcement was made following reports that Israel plans to build 15,000 new homes in east Jerusalem. “I’m sure that we’ll continue to have conversations with the prime minister and that’ll be something that the president will continue to discuss”, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing after being asked if Netanyahu was snubbing the U.S. president.

Dayan said he hopes that under Trump more realistic goals will be set for the Israel-Palestinian conflict

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“If we believe that our alliance is not only with the American government but also with the American people, then we have to forge that alliance with all the relevant parts of the American people”, he told the Post. “You cannot neglect half of the population [who didn’t vote for President Donald Trump] and expect the alliance to remain intact”. For this, the consul believes Israel needs to work with both sides of the aisle in Washington and both sides of what he calls the “virtual aisle” in American public opinion. “It has no basis” stated Dayan, who admits he didn’t expect Trump to win. “Israel’s strategy is to be as friendly as we can with any administration, as long as that administration wants to be friendly with Israel”. In the previous administration, when the first step of the president was to go to Cairo and skip Jerusalem, that hindered the sense of friendship, but fortunately with this administration it’s different,” he said.Dayan said he hopes that under Trump more realistic goals will be set for the Israel-Palestinian conflict. “I hope that the targets that the administration will set are those that are doable, because we need to advance, but with things that are realistic”, he said. “Unfortunately, when I see the declarations by the Palestinian leadership, I don’t see a serious will to reach an agreement”.

Jerusalem light rail attacker says he wanted to die.

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The terrorist who perpetrated Friday’s stabbing attack in Jerusalem was attempting to commit suicide, Israel Hayom learned Sunday. The attacker killed Hannah Bladon, a British exchange student in her 20s, before being apprehended.During the interrogation of Jamil Tamimi, the 57-year-old attacker from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, it emerged that he arrived in Jerusalem on Friday from a mental health institution in the north, a place he had frequented in the past for psychiatric treatment. Tamimi checked himself in a day before the attack, the Walla news website reported on Sunday, but was kicked out for engaging in a violent altercation.Tamimi had also recently been admitted to Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center in Jerusalem, according to Walla. Just a few months ago, while in the hospital, Tamimi tried to commit suicide by swallowing a razor blade. The terrorist also tried to get in touch with his family and his children but refused to meet him. After being neutralized, Tamimi was arrested and taken in for questioning by Jerusalem’s central police unit. The Jerusalem Magistrate Court extended Tamimi’s remand by 10 days on Saturday night.


Latest electricity crisis in Gaza makes the Strip unlivable for its two million residents

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Gaza’s latest electricity crisis could be “the tipping point” that makes the Strip unlivable for its two million residents, a UN official told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “The UN has been warning for some years that the chronic problems of Gaza are accumulating to the extent that we may be approaching a tipping point at which Gaza becomes unlivable”, said Robert Piper, coordinator for humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. It is one more blow for the Hamas-controlled enclave, where unemployment is at 42% and fresh water is a scarce commodity. Gaza will now operate on only four hours of electricity a day, down from eight. The plant had hit a crisis point in December that was averted by tax-free donations from Qatar and Turkey that provided the necessary diesel fuel. To help fix Gaza’s electricity problem and to make it “dramatically cheaper”, the Gaza power plant could be run on natural gas, Piper said. The plant would need to be renovated to shift it from a diesel-based operation, Piper continued, adding that the project could be done in stages.When looking at the larger picture of the crisis, Piper was clear that the primary cause is the restrictions on the freedom of movement of goods and people through the three crossings into the Strip, which have made a viable economy impossible. Israel controls two of the crossings, and Egypt is in charge of the third.Israel has placed restrictions on the Gaza passages since Hamas ousted Fatah from the Strip in a bloody coup in 2007.

Muslim and Jewish extremists barred from old city during Passover

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After receiving intelligence of plans to create disruptions and potential violence in Jerusalem’s Old City during Passover, police have banned some 10 Muslim and Jewish extremists from entering the area until the holiday is over. “Police operations took place to gather information on individuals who are intending to cause disruptions during the Jewish festival”, Rosenfeld said on Thursday. The majority of the suspects are Israeli-Arab extremists who planned to cause disturbances on the Temple Mount. At the same time, we issued a number of retraining orders against Jews who intended on coming to the Western Wall area to create disturbances. For the Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall on the morning of April 13, Rosenfeld said more than 100,000 Jews are expected. For the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter on April 15, more than 50,000 Christians are expected, according to Rosenfeld. Police will ensure the security and ease of travel for the tens of thousands of visitors entering and exiting the Old City.

Russia recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel's capital

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Russia recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated in a surprise announcement on Thursday, obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post. The announcement comes as US President Donald Trump’s administration is agonizing over whether to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that would constitute recognizing west Jerusalem as the country’s capital. No other country in the world recognizes any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry reads, “We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”. According to the statement, “The stalling of the Middle East peace process has created conditions for unilateral moves that undermine the potential for an internationally accepted solution to the Palestinian problem, under which two states – Israel and Palestine – could live in peace and security with each other and with their neighbors”. The statement continued that “The concrete parameters of a solution for the entire range of issues regarding the status of Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, should be coordinated at the direct talks between the parties involved”. Using its opportunities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a co-sponsor of the peace process and an active member of the Middle East Quartet of international intermediaries, Russia will continue to provide assistance to the achievement of Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Jerusalem police on high alert ahead of Passover holiday

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The Jerusalem District Police on Sunday declared high alert across the capital, which will be in effect throughout the Passover holiday, beginning on April 10. The decision in taking after a terrorist attack in the Old City of Jerusalem when a Palestinian terrorist stabbed two youths and tried to stab a border policeman. The terrorist attempted to flee the scene and was killed after a short clash with Border Police. They are trying to strengthen the security forces under the Easter holiday and those who try to prevent people from visiting Jerusalem will have “think twice” because ISrael is much better prepared than in the past. Saturday’s incident took place at around 3:15 p.m., when a 17-year-old Palestinian from the Nablus region, who had no permit to be in Israel, began following two haredi youths aged 18 and 20 down Hagai Street in the Old City of Jerusalem. Due to this event during the holiday, increased police deployment will focus on holy sites and recreational destinations like parks, national parks, and nature reserves, as well as along major highways and other hightraffic roads. Extra police presence will be felt along the seam line between east and west Jerusalem and in the Greater Jerusalem area, as well as at entrances to Israel from Judea and Samaria.

Jerusalem: the protest of thousands” against “the decree of the draft”

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Thousands of haredim are gathered this evening, Tuesday, on Jerusalem’s MalcheiYisrael Street, the main street connecting the haredi neighborhoods in central Jerusalem, for a protest defined as “the protest of thousands” against “the decree of the draft”. Many took to the streets to protest, many were arrested. Traffic was closed on the road. The demonstration this evening is the first significant joint effort between members of the “EdahHaharedit”, an extremist haredi group cut off from the State and its institutions since the State’s founding, and the “Jerusalem Faction”, a haredi group which, after the death of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, broke off from the central stream of the Lithuanian haredi sector and functions under the leadership of Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach.

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