Israel news summary

Israel News for 9-6-2019

Greenblatt Out
The White House has announced that Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, will leave the administration in the coming weeks. Greenblatt has been spearheading efforts at creating Trump’s Middle East peace plan, which the White House says will be released at least a month after the upcoming September 17th Israeli election.

President Trump tweeted, “After almost 3 years in my Administration, Jason Greenblatt will be leaving to pursue work in the private sector. Jason has been a loyal and great friend and fantastic lawyer….” He added that Greenblatt’s “dedication to Israel and to seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians won’t be forgotten.”

Jared Kushner praised Greenblatt and said “work has helped develop the relationships between Israel and its neighbors as he is trusted and respected by all of the leaders throughout the region.”

The Palestinian leadership welcomed Greenblatt’s departure.

Greenblat’s role is expected to be assumed by Kushner aide Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran.

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US Blocks
The US blocked a UN Security Council statement about the recent tensions between Israel and Hezbollah. The statement, drafted by France, stated that “members of the security council condemned all violations of the Blue Line, both by air and ground, and strongly calls upon all parties to respect the cessation of hostilities.” The US opposed the fact that the statement failed to specifically condemn Hezbollah and that it put Israel’s right of self-determination on an equal footing with the terrorist group.

Meanwhile, Lebanese President Anoun warned Israel that it would bear responsibility for any attack against Lebanon.

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PM in London
PM Netanyahu met with British PM Johnson is London yesterday. A Downing Street spokesperson later said the two leaders “agreed on the need to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon and stop wider destabilizing Iranian behavior”, while Johnson “stressed the need for dialogue and a diplomatic solution”. Netanyahu wants the UK to spurn a French plan to offer a $15bn credit line to help Iran sell oil.

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Haifa Fire
At least 18 firefighting crews from the Haifa region as well as other parts of the country successfully battled a massive fire at the Haifa Port oil warehouse yesterday. Large containers of sunflower and olive oil are stored in the warehouse ahead of distillation and bottling.

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Election Update
The latest polls show Likud and Blue and White each winning 32 seats in the upcoming election. Right wing Yamina and the Arab List are both projected to win 9 seats and Lieberman’s Yisroel Beytenu 10 seats. The Ultra Orthodox parties are at 15 seats and the left wing block at 13. Based on these projection, Avigdor Lieberman seems to hold the key to making or breaking any government.

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