News Roundup for September 13, 2016

September 13, 2016

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Top News and Analysis

Lieberman: No Way to Prevent Evacuation of Illegal Settlement Amona, Haaretz

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday said a High Court ruling regarding the evacuation of the illegal West Bank of Amona was unequivocal, and therefore it cannot remain where it currently is. “There is no way that Amona can be left as it is built today, because most of the houses are built on private Palestinian land,” Lieberman, who spoke during a public meeting at Ariel University, said. The defense minister stressed that there is only one law for both Israelis and Palestinians and that it also applies to “Sussia and E1” – disputed Palestinian areas east of Jerusalem. “We are a nation based on law and we will honor court decisions in all circumstances,” he said.

Israel’s Acting National Security Adviser Arrives in D.C. to Sign U.S. Military Aid Deal, Haaretz

Jacob Nagel, acting head of the National Security Council, landed in Washington D.C. on Tuesday ahead of a meeting with U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice at which he is expected to sign an agreement on a new military aid package. In accordance with the deal, which the two countries have been negotiating since November 2015, the United States will provide Israel with $38 billion in military aid over the next decade, $5 billion of them will be dedicated to the development of missile defense systems.


Bill Caps Israeli NGOs’ Spending During Election Campaigns at $26,500, Haaretz

MK Yoav Kish (Likud) has formulated a revised version of a law aimed at limiting the ability of nongovernmental organizations to conduct political campaigns during an election campaign.

Israel, PA said to reach deal on massive Palestinian electricity bill, Times of Israel

Israel and the Palestinian Authority have reportedly reached a deal to cover the Palestinians’ outstanding debt of almost NIS 2 billion ($530 million) to the Israel Electric Corporation.

Liberman: Population swaps should be part of Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, Jerusalem Post

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday night called for a peace deal with the Palestinians that is based on population and land swaps. He promoted what has long been both his diplomatic plan and that of the Yisrael Beytenu party. It calls for the borders of the two-state solution to be drawn in such a way as to exclude the maximum amount of Palestinians and to include as many Israelis as possible.

Haredi Leaders Reject Possibility of Serving in a Future Lapid-led Goverment, Haaretz

“Although a Channel 2 poll shows Yesh Atid getting 24 Knesset seats if an election were held now, the heads of the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Knesset factions remain critical of the party’s leader, Yair Lapid, and hinted that they would never sit in his government. Lapid has made an effort over the past year to get closer to the Haredim, who regarded him as a bitter enemy during the term of the last government, when he was finance minister and the ultra-Orthodox were in the opposition. But United Torah Judaism head Yaakov Litzman and Shas Chairman Arye Dery both said they do not regard him as a partner.”

Humanitarian group nixes Gaza work after Israel says director sent funds to Hamas, JTA

The evangelical Christian aid group World Vision suspended its operations in Gaza following Israel’s accusations last month that the local director had funneled funds to the Hamas terrorist group.

Israeli forces injure 4 Palestinians, 1 critically, in clashes south of Nablus, Ma’an

Four Palestinians were injured Monday evening during clashes with Israeli forces in the village of Qusra south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, local sources said.

Mortar Fire From Syria Hits Israeli Golan Heights in Apparent Civil War Spillover, Haaretz

A mortar shell from Syria hit the Israeli side of the northern Golan Heights on Monday in an apparent spillover from the fighting in Syria, the Israeli army said. The shell caused no damages or injuries.

Trump’s claim that only he can stop Iran destroying Israel was ‘hyperbole,’ says aide, Times of Israel

Donald Trump’s claim last week that the Iran nuclear deal will cause the destruction of Israel unless he is elected president was “a bit of hyperbole,” a senior adviser to the Republican nominee conceded Monday on Israeli television. But, said David Friedman, who advises the Republican nominee on Israel-American issues, Trump did make “a point that was legitimate,” given that there are “stark, dramatic and potentially existential” differences between Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu cries ‘ethnic cleansing’ after offering to negotiate, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem writes, “On many occasions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shown an impressive ability to navigate conflicting messages and play both sides. He set new records last week when he announced that he wanted to renew negotiations with the Palestinians, and then just a few days later on Sept. 9 posted a video to Facebook equating evacuating Jews from the West Bank with “ethnic cleansing” by the Palestinians.”

Is Bibi a secret Trump supporter?, Al-Monitor

Ben Caspit observes, “According to high-echelon Israeli sources, Netanyahu directed his arrows precisely: Trump said several times recently that he supports Israel’s right to build in West Bank settlements. ‘Trump differentiated himself from Clinton on the settlement issue in an effort to paint himself as a clear supporter of Israel,’ a diplomatic source in Jerusalem told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. ‘Therefore, Netanyahu’s statements turning US policy on the settlements to supporting ‘ethnic cleansing’ is music to Trump’s ears.’”

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