Netanyahu poised to become Israeli PM for the 5th term

Netanyahu poised to become Israeli PM for the 5th term

Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be headed toward a historic fifth term as Israel’s prime minister on Wednesday, with close-to-complete unofficial election results giving his right-wing Likud and other nationalist and religious parties a solid majority in parliament.

The outcome affirmed Israel’s continued tilt to the right and further dimmed hopes of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Re-election will also give Netanyahu an important boost as he braces for the likelihood of criminal charges in a series of corruption scandals.

With 97.4% of the vote counted, Likud and its traditional political allies were in command of a 65-55 majority in parliament. A couple of small parties were still teetering along the electoral threshold and fighting for their survival, so the final makeup of the next parliament has yet to be decided. Final results were expected Thursday.

Continue reading Netanyahu poised to become Israeli PM for the 5th term

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Syria slams US President Donald Trump, vows to recover Israeli-occupied Golan

Syria slams US President Donald Trump, vows to recover Israeli-occupied Golan

BEIRUT (REUTERS) – United States President Donald Trump faced growing condemnation on Friday (March 22) over his statement that it was time to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Syria expressed outrage and said it was determined to recover the area “through all available means”.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Trump’s statement had brought the region to the edge of a new crisis. In a speech at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Erdogan said: “We cannot allow the legitimisation of the occupation of the Golan Heights”. Continue reading Syria slams US President Donald Trump, vows to recover Israeli-occupied Golan

Middle East: What will become of Trump’s ‘Palestine plan’ if Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted?

Middle East: What will become of Trump’s ‘Palestine plan’ if Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted?

The outline of Trump’s plan is drawn not by a team that is unbiased toward the parties involved, but by a small, strict group known to be pro-Israel. The Palestinian sides withdrew from the meetings due to Trump’s pro-Israel policies. Diplomatic ties between Palestine and the U.S. are broken. The Trump administration took pro-Israel decisions the previous U.S. governments could not dare to do. The U.S.’s Israel embassy was relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the financial contribution the U.S. made to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees was cancelled; and the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Washington office was closed. The U.S. also withdrew from the UN’s UNESCO and Human Rights Council as it took decisions that disturbed Israel. Continue reading Middle East: What will become of Trump’s ‘Palestine plan’ if Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted?

ISRAELI PRIME Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to eject international observers in Hebron

ISRAELI PRIME Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to eject international observers in Hebron

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to eject an international observer post aimed at safeguarding Palestinians in Hebron, a city in the occupied West Bank, accusing the mission of anti-Israel activity.

“We will not allow the continuation of an international force that acts against us,” Netanyahu said in a statement on Monday about the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).

Netanyahu did not elaborate on the alleged misconduct of TIPH, which draws staff from Norway, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, nor did he say when he plans to expel them.

The agreement to deploy TIPH observers in Hebron was reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1994 after an Israeli settler killed 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Ibrahimi Mosque, a site that is holy to both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Cave of the Patriarchs.

The group didn’t start its work in the city until 1998, however, after the Israeli army refused to leave Hebron following the establishment of an illegal Israeli settlement at the heart of the city.

TIPH’s latest mandate – it is deployed in renewable, six-month terms – is due to end on 31 January, Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported on Monday.

The group has not yet commented on Netanyahu’s decision. Continue reading ISRAELI PRIME Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to eject international observers in Hebron