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Israel Palestine

Israeli forces violently suppress Palestinian protest in Naqab (Zena Al Tahhan, Al Jazeera)

Dozens of Palestinian Bedouins have been wounded in a crackdown by Israeli forces on a protest against continuing Israeli forestation work on land residents say they privately own near the southern city of Beer al-Sabe (Beer Sheva).

Some 500 protesters took part in Thursday’s demonstration, which began at 3pm (13:00 GMT). They were met with hundreds of Israeli forces who fired rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, stun grenades, as well as skunk water.

Israeli forces violently suppress Palestinian protest in Naqab | News | Al Jazeera

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Israel

Israel: Netanyahu, Olmert butt heads in court defamation suit (Al Jazeera)

Two former Israeli prime ministers have faced off in an Israeli courtroom as Benjamin Netanyahu‘s defamation suit against Ehud Olmert got under way.

Netanyahu, his wife and son appeared in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s court on Monday for the opening of their case against Olmert, Netanyahu’s predecessor as Israel’s prime minister.

Israel: Netanyahu, Olmert butt heads in court defamation suit | Benjamin Netanyahu News | Al Jazeera

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Israel Palestine

How the Palestinian Authority became a prisoner of its own illusions (Hani al-Masri, Middle East Eye)

A recent meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz has sparked an intense public outcry, deepening Palestinian divisions and pushing the prospect of unity even further beyond our reach.

How the Palestinian Authority became a prisoner of its own illusions | Middle East Eye

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Israel Palestine

Gantz’s meeting with Abbas marks latest move in his role of serving Israel’s security elite (Shir Hever, Middle East Eye)

The meeting between Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which took place last week in Gantz’s private home, has been covered intensively in the press, because it was the first formal meeting between Abbas and an Israeli official in Israel in 11 years.

The meeting was heavily criticised by the Israeli right wing. Minister of Housing and Construction Ze’ev Elkin, a member of Gantz’s own coalition, said: “Inviting home a man who insists paying salaries to the murderers of Israelis is a mistake in my opinion.

Gantz’s meeting with Abbas marks latest move in his role of serving Israel’s security elite | Middle East Eye

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Iran Israel USA

US will get three conflicts for the price of one if it allows Israel to attack Iran (David Hearst, Middle East Eye)

The talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal, from which former US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018, have reached a critical phase.

They are already into their eighth round and the gaps between the negotiating parties are showing no signs of narrowing. Iran’s European interlocutors – the US delegation remains in a hotel across the road – want a quick deal based on a partial lifting of sanctions, a freeze on enrichment, and a full return of inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

US will get three conflicts for the price of one if it allows Israel to attack Iran | Middle East Eye

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Israel Palestine

Palestinians seek Israeli citizenship in Jerusalem (Taghreed Ali, Al Monitor)

A number of Palestinians in Jerusalem are seeking to obtain Israeli citizenship, in the hope of living in stability amid the prevalent difficult economic and living situation in Jerusalem. Obtaining Israeli citizenship has its advantages, such as health insurance, social security and freedom of movement.

Palestinians seek Israeli citizenship in Jerusalem – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Israel Jordan

Israel’s Gantz, Jordanian king hold rare meeting in Amman (Al Monitor)

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a rare public meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Amman on Wednesday. The pair discussed bilateral ties and regional security.

Israel’s Gantz, Jordanian king hold rare meeting in Amman – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Israel

Defense minister sets tone for Israeli diplomacy (Mazal Mualem, Al Monitor)

Almost a week has passed since the Dec. 28 surprising meeting between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Still, the face-to-face session between these two men has refused to fall off Israel’s political and diplomatic agenda. While it poses a challenge to the coalition at large, the main people affected are Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and especially Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Defense minister sets tone for Israeli diplomacy – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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Israel

Israeli ultra-Orthodox society breaks silence on sexual abuse (Israel Hershkovitz, Al Monitor)

Ultra-Orthodox author Chaim Walder was found dead Dec. 27 in a cemetery in the city of Petah Tikva, an apparent suicide. His death came after several Israeli publications accused him of sexual abuse of girls, of boys and of women who sought his help and counsel. More specifically, it came one day after the rabbinical court in Safed reportedly heard 22 testimonies describing alleged sexual assault by Walder over a period of more than 20 years. Following the media investigation last November, Walder resigned from his job as a senior correspondent at the opinion newspaper Yeted Ne’eman, and apparently committed suicide last week by shooting himself over the grave of his son.

Israeli ultra-Orthodox society breaks silence on sexual abuse – Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East

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