European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 28.06.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 28.06.2016

Major Headlines
  • Netanyahu defends Turkey reconciliation deal

The reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey has been finalised and was expected to be signed on Tuesday, Yediot Aharonot reports.

Relations between Israel and what was once its principle Muslim ally crumbled after Israeli marines stormed an aid ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and killed 10 Turkish activists on board.

Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador and froze military cooperation after a 2011 UN report into the Israeli raid largely exonerated the Jewish state. Israel and NATO member Turkey, which both border Syria, reduced intelligence sharing and cancelled joint military exercises.

The mending in relations with Israel raises the prospect of eventual cooperation to exploit natural gas reserves worth hundreds of billions of dollars under the eastern Mediterranean, officials have said.

Amid criticism of the agreement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke in favour of the agreement at a press conference in Rome on Monday, saying he takes into account "the international arena as well as of our security and economic needs, at present and in the future."

The prime minister detailed the merits of the agreement, saying it protects IDF commanders and soldiers from criminal and civil claims—both existing ones and any that might be filed in the future.

"As of now there are very many such claims and their scope is increasing; they could reach many millions of dollars and prevent the free movement of our soldiers, their freedom of activity – all of this is cancelled," Netanyahu said. 

"The agreement will ensure that our soldiers and commanders will not be exposed to claims by Turkey. Moreover, the agreement also stipulates that the Turkish parliament will pass a law cancelling all of these processes in Turkey," he added.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Poll: Two-thirds of israeli Jews oppose Turkey deal

Fifty-six percent of the Israeli public opposes the accord between Israel and Turkey, according to results of a poll broadcast on Monday night. 33% support it, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Among Israeli Jews, 65% are against it and just 24% back it. When asked whether the deal should have been conditioned on the return of the bodies of two soldiers killed during Operation Protective Edge, 72% of Israeli Jews said yes and 14% said no.

The poll of 496 Israeli Jews representing a statistical sample of the Israeli population had an error margin of +-4.2%.

The strongest condemnation for the deal on the Right came from former interior minister Gideon Sa’ar, who said Israel should receive reparations from Turkey and not the other way around. He said the naval blockade of Gaza was legal and it was violated by a terrorist flotilla.

“Erdogan is in a tough situation because of all the fights he started, and we didn’t take advantage of it,” Sa’ar said. “I am not against making a deal with Turkey, but why should we pay for us being attacked? Even one shekel we should not pay.”

The opposition to Netanyahu in the Knesset was divided on the deal. Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog and MK Nachman Shai spoke out against it, while Zionist Union MKs Amir Peretz, Shelly Yachimovich and Tzipi Livni came out in favour.

“Turkey is not an ally of Israel anymore but an ally of Hamas,” Herzog said. “The precedent of paying attackers of the IDF is a dangerous precedent, and it will be written in the names of Bennett, Lieberman and Netanyahu. Like in the deal he reached to bring back Gilad Schalit deal, Netanyahu has proven he is weak against Hamas.”

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Clashes break out on Temple Mount for second day

Israeli policemen clashed with stone throwing young Muslims on Monday morning at the compound flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Al-Aqsa mosque, the i24 news website reports.

Dozens of Muslims barricaded themselves in the mosque and stockpiled rocks and other projectiles.

Israeli security forces were able to divert the rioters into the mosque, thus enabling both Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors to continue at the site for a short period.

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that police had brought in reinforcements to heighten security at the tense site after four Arab men were arrested for hurling rocks, chairs and shoes at Jewish visitors on Sunday. 

Israeli police have in previous years prevented Jews from visiting the Temple Mount during the final days of Ramadan due to security concerns, however this year they were permitted to enter the compound as usual, on Sunday and on Monday.

Click here to read the full article in i24

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016
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