European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 02.05.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 02.05.2016

Major Headlines
  • Israel rejects French peace initiative

Israel has responded negatively to the looming French peace initiative, which is to involve an international effort forcing peace talks on Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), Arutz 7 reports.

As part of the French initiative, an international summit has been announced for May 30, in which ministers from 20 countries will prepare a summit in the second half of 2016, which would include Israeli and PA leaders.

"Israel adheres to its position that the best way to a solution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is direct bilateral negotiations," read the Prime Minister's Office statement on the initiative on Thursday.

Restating Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's frequent public offers to negotiate with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the statement said, "Israel is prepared to start them (negotiations) immediately with no preconditions."

"Any other diplomatic initiative distances the Palestinians from the table of direct negotiations."

Click here to read the full article in Arutz 7


  • Terrorists neutralised after attempted stabbing attack

Two female terrorists were neutralised after attempting to stab soldiers, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The terrorists arrived the Bell checkpoint on Route 443 with a knife, a syringe filled with an unidentified substance, and suicide notes. The two asked the soldiers on duty for water. The soldiers understood that something suspicious was going on, and at that point, the terrorists took out a knife in an attempt to stab the soldiers.

One of the terrorists was being treated at Sha'arei Tzedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem, and was in a moderate to serious condition. The second assailant reportedly attempted to escape, but was later apprehended. None of the soldiers were injured. 

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • IDF officer claims attack by Jewish settlers

An IDF officer filed a complaint with the police on Sunday, claiming he was attacked by Jewish settler youth when he arrived at the outpost of Khavat Gal near Hebron with his team to survey illegally-built structures, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The officer, who serves as the Israeli Civil Administration's infrastructure officer, said the attackers pushed him and called him a "gentile" and a "dog." He was unharmed in the incident.

A police patrol car arrived at the scene, and the Judea and Samaria District Police opened an investigation into the incident. No suspects have been arrested at this time.

The Civil Administration is the Israeli governing body that operates in the West Bank. While formally separate, it is subordinate to the IDF and the Shin Bet.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Defying ban, Egypt’s Coptic Christians flock to Jerusalem

Despite a decades-old ban by the Egyptian Coptic Church, its members flocked to Jerusalem over the past few years, especially during the Easter season, the Times of Israel reports.

Some 5,500 Coptic Christians made their way to Israel for the pilgrimage this year. That figure is a significant drop from three years ago, when it was estimated that 15,000 Copts, who follow the Julian calendar, arrived for the Easter season.

Egyptian Copts were forbidden from visiting Israel by their late pope Shenouda III, who put the prohibition in place to protest Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem. Shenouda passed away in March 2012 at the age of 88, after leading the church for 40 years.

Later that year, the church selected Pope Tawadros II as the new pope. According to the Egyptian news site Ahram Online, Tawadros also opposes pilgrimages to Jerusalem, but has refrained from enforcing the ban and thus paved the way for the thousands of pilgrims.

Tawadros himself broke the ban in 2015 when he made a rare visit to Israel to attend the funeral of a senior church official in Jerusalem.

The Coptic Church, however, insisted at the time his visit was not an official one.

A 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty ended hostilities between the two neighbours. But anti-Israel sentiments still run high in Egypt and many there have accused Tawadros of betrayal.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • IDF investigators say accused soldier motivated by “twisted ideology”

An internal Israeli military document states that Sgt. Elor Azaria, the IDF soldier charged with manslaughter for shooting and killing a Palestinian attacker in Hebron last month after he had been neutralised, was motivated by a “twisted ideology,” the Times of Israel reports, citing Vice News.

The 17-page document issued by military prosecutors investigating the case, stated that Azaria, a 19-year-old sergeant in the Kfir infantry brigade, told other soldiers both before and after the shooting that the assailant “needs to die.”

It also stated that Azaria changed his version of events during his questioning, saying he had shot “because I felt there was a threat to my life.”

The shooting took place last month in Hebron, a West Bank city that has been a focal point of a seven-month wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Monday, May 02, 2016
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