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JERUSALEM – Secretary of State John Kerry has, for now, postponed a scheduled trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority as prospects for reviving the peace process between high-ranking Israeli and Palestinian officials appear to be fading due to new demands by PA President Mahmoud Abbas that the Israeli government opposes.
According to Israeli media sources, Abbas is seeking to construct a wide range of projects, highlighted by five different cities that would be built within Area C. That region is under Israeli Civil Administration control and constitutes 61 percent of Judea and Samaria. According to Yediot Aharanot, Abbas also plans to erect a tourism city called Moonlight along the shores of the Dead Sea, as well as two airports – one in East Jerusalem and another in the Jordan Valley. All of the proposed projects’ locales are currently under total Israeli sovereignty. Yediot also reported that foreign countries, including Germany, would bankroll some of the planned projects.
The Jerusalem Post said last week that Saeb Erekat, the PA’s lead negotiator, has for the second time in the last few years told both American and Israeli interlocutors that the Palestinians would demand that Israel return the Latrun Valley as part of any final peace deal. The Latrun Valley, which runs parallel to Israel’s main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (Route 1), comprises an integral part of the country’s coastal plain. Israel annexed the Latrun Valley after defeating the Jordanian Legion during the 1967 Six-Day War. Israeli officials say that during previous discussions with the Palestinians, dating back to the Oslo Accords, both sides understood that the Latrun Valley would be part of Israel when final borders were demarcated.
In addition, Modiin News reported that PA officials had asked IDF Civil Administration head Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz, who is responsible for control over Area C in Judea and Samaria, for permission to build a large Palestinian military base approximately 328 yards from Israel’s secondary Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway artery (Route 443). The PA asked that the base be built on a plateau in the Palestinian village of Beit Ur, which is situated alongside the Israeli town of Beit Horon and overlooks Modiin, Kiryat Sefer, Ben Gurion Airport and a portion of the coastal plain. From that plateau, a single Kassam or advanced Grad rocket fired by a terrorist could imperil both the civilian population in the aforementioned cities and flights in and out of the airport. While the Civil Administration has yet to respond to the PA request, IDF officials believe that Palestinian negotiators will repeatedly raise the issue if Kerry succeeds in getting both parties back to the negotiating table.
Last Tuesday several Jerusalem municipal officials said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as a gesture to Kerry for his peace efforts, had temporarily frozen new construction projects slated for Jewish residents in East Jerusalem. Kerry has criticized Israel for authorizing projects that could undermine the flailing peace process.
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Don’t you feel just a tad jealous of Egypt right now?
Update: Calls for Renewed Ground Offensive as Rain of Rockets on Israel Continues
7:47pm Eshkol 7:44pm A Hamas spokesperson has warned airlines to not fly into Ben-Gurion starting 6am tomorrow (Wednesday), according to a YNet report. It’s actually things like that that makes Israel hit Hamas even harder. 7:35pm Kerem Shalom 7:32pm Ashkelon targeted a few times. We’re going to guess that Deif my have been eliminated today, and that’s […]
Israel’s Security Cabinet is meeting in a marathon session to decide the next step in Operation Protective Edge.
More than 1,550 individuals have immigrated to Israel from Ukraine in the first five months of 2014 alone, more than double the 693 who arrived in the corresponding period last year.
Signs that Islamic State (ISIS – Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorists have arrived in Egypt have appeared in the Sinai Peninsula.
Shlomy Zachary, an Israeli human rights lawyer, noted that Israeli cooperation with previous UN investigations has helped mitigate criticism of Israel – for example, in a 2010 UN investigation of the so-called flotilla incident.
Israelis may have to blame Qatar for the current round of lethal rocket fire, if a report published in Arab media is true.
So imagine, you’re working in the field harvesting cucumbers (or whatever is in season right now) and suddenly the siren goes off – Hamas is shooting rockets at you.
Another miracle for the Jews in Israel — this time in Ashkelon, where a missile exploded directly on a house but hurt no one.
An international media outlet has caught Britain’s Consul-General to Jerusalem, Alastair McPhail in a photo wearing the PA logo scarf.
Sapir College in southern Israel has canceled classes and exams for the day due to resumption of rocket fire from Gaza.
Israeli pilots attacked a terror cell in Zeitoun, Gaza on Wednesday morning. One terrorist was killed and five were injured.
Longshoremen pulled a fast on anti-Israel picketers and are unloading the Zim ship that was blocked from unloading last week.
As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.
The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.
“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.
Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”
If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.
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