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Netanyahu to meet with President Barack Obama in New York this week

Posted by Tip Staff - September 19, 2016


In a reaffirmation of the strength of U.S.-Israel ties, President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.
"The meeting between the president and prime minister will afford them an opportunity to discuss the stalwart ties between the United States and Israel, as recently underscored by the finalization of our new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding with Israel, the single largest pledge of military assistance in U.S. history," according to a White House statement.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also stressed the meeting as an opportunity to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process—negotiations for which Netanyahu has recently reiterated his support. “This is something I have said hundreds of times and I say it again here,” Netanyahu said while visiting the Netherlands earlier this month. “I am not choosy about the location — if it is here in Holland or Moscow, that is no problem...If [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas wants to meet without preconditions for direct talks I [am] ready at any time. I have been calling on him to do that for seven years already and if he agrees there will be a meeting.”
Netanyahu had already repeated his commitment this year to meeting Abbas for peace talks when the French government proposed itself as a possible intermediary, prompting Netanyahu to say he would meet Abbas “in Paris or wherever.” But the Palestinian leadership has consistently rejected such offers to speak directly, instead preferring to litigate the issue in international bodies.


A Hamas militant issued a thinly-veiled threat against Americans after the State Department officially designated a Hamas leader as being an international terrorist, The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.
The State Department’s designated Fathi Hammad as an international terrorist on Friday, saying that he used his position as a former interior minister “to coordinate terrorist cells.” In response, a Hamas faction released a threatening video on social media. “We warn American citizens against entering Gaza because they are unwelcome after the decision [against Hammad] was made,” Abu Jamal of the al-Nasser Saladin Brigade said.
Other elements within Hamas attempted to soften the threat. Iyad al-Bazm, a spokesman for Hamas’s Interior Ministry, wrote on Facebook that “threats published by someone who belongs to one of the resistance factions are unacceptable and illegal,” and that Hamas was committed to protecting “all foreign citizens residing and visiting the Gaza Strip.”
In 2008, Hammad acknowledged that Hamas used human shields, saying with regards to Israel that Hamas “[desires] death like you desire life.”
Avi Issacharoff reported in The Times of Israel earlier this month that Hamas was spending $100 million on building up its military infrastructure. Forty percent of that is believed to be spent on paying 1,500 diggers and others to build its terror tunnel network. He also reported that Hamas was working with the Sinai-based affiliate of the Islamic State to smuggle the materials it needs for its terror infrastructure. (via TheTower.org)
Israeli wines and the innovative vintners responsible for raising the profile of the country’s products internationally are explored in the cover story and additional features in the October 15, 2016 issue of Wine Spectator, which hit newsstands on September 13. Kim Marcus, managing editor of the venerable American publication, traveled to Israel to see the wine scene for himself, talk to the older and newer generations of winemakers and – above all else – taste the contents of bottles that are consistently winning accolades and prizes. “Fine wine production is now part of a rich cultural tapestry as a generation of modern-minded winemakers explore[s] what is possible in their arid land,” he writes in the intro to his cover story, “Israel’s Transformation.” “Following a boom beginning in the early 2000s, driven by Israelis’ search for quality from their native land and by a dawning appreciation for its wines in both Europe and America, the wine industry in the Jewish state is transforming at a rapid rate.” (via Israel21c)


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