UAE’s first ambassador to Israel sworn in by Emirati PM

Unclear when Muhammad Mahmoud Al Khajah will arrive in the Jewish state to take up his post

United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Sunday swore in his country’s first ambassador to the State of Israel, Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah.

It was not immediately clear when Mohamed Alkhaja will arrive in Israel to take up his post.

In late January, Israel officially opened its embassy to the UAE as Ambassador Eitan Na’eh arrived in Abu Dhabi. The same day the UAE approved the opening of its embassy in Tel Aviv.

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After years of talks, a plan to provide Israeli gas to Gaza nears approval

EU wants to allocate at least $5 million to the project, while Qatari envoy says Doha will fund construction of part of a gas pipeline inside Israel

Palestinian boats participate in a protest against the Israeli-Egyptian security blockade of Gaza, in Beit Lahya on the border with Israel in the northern Gaza strip on August 11, 2018. The Israeli Rutenberg power station can be seen in the background. (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

An agreement to provide Israeli natural gas to Gaza in an attempt to solve the coastal enclave’s electricity crisis is likely to be approved within the next six months, Qatari envoy Mohammad al-Emadi said in a statement on Sunday.

Gaza has suffered from a chronic electricity deficit for more than a decade. The coastal enclave has only one power plant — which runs on imported diesel fuel — and experiences daily blackouts of between eight and 12 hours.

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Biden Makes History: First President in 40 Years to Punt on Contacting Israel

White House doesn’t list Israel as American ally

President Joe Biden is the first American leader in 40 years not to contact Israel’s leaders as one of his first actions in the White House, setting up what could be four years of chilly relations between America and its top Middle East ally.

Biden has already phoned multiple world leaders, including Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping, but during his 23 days in office has yet to speak with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu—making Biden the first president in modern history to punt on bolstering U.S.-Israel relations during his initial days in office. Every president going back to at least Ronald Reagan in 1981 made contact with their Israeli counterpart within a week of assuming office, according to a review of news reports.

Congressional foreign policy leaders slammed Biden’s Netanyahu snub, prompting a flurry of questions for White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who has declined to disclose when or if Biden will call the Israeli leader. Psaki also said on Friday the White House would not list Israel as a U.S. ally when asked about the relationship during her daily press briefing.

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Several violent incidents as anti-Netanyahu protesters rally for 34th week

3 suspects detained by police after demonstrators report assaults, threats; In Kiryat Ono, woman allegedly threatens protesters with a plastic gun

Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Anti-Netanyahu protesters rallied across Israel on Saturday evening, the 34th week of mass demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his indictment on graft charges and handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The main demonstrations were held outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem and Netanyahu’s private home in the coastal city of Caesaria. Several hundred demonstrators gathered in each of the locations. Smaller protests took place at highway overpasses and junctions around the country.

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US court revives challenge to Arkansas law targeting the boycott Israel movement

Federal appeals court orders reconsideration of case that argues anti-BDS law violates right to free speech

Illustrative: Palestinian and left-wing Jewish groups stage a rally walking from Times Square to the United Nations Building in New York, September 15, 2011, calling to end all US aid to Israel and support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. (AP Photo/David Karp)

JTA — A US federal appeals court struck a blow to the legality of an Arkansas law that aims to penalize the boycott Israel movement.

In 2017, the state passed the law, which financially penalizes companies that do not renounce the boycott Israel movement. A federal Arkansas judge dismissed a challenge to it in 2019.

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Israel Threatens to Abandon America, Ally With China And Russia After Securing $40B In U.S. Aid

Knesset member Ayoob Kara, who is part of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, on Tuesday threatened that Israel is prepared to abandon America and ally with China and Russia if Biden “reneges on America’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and signs a nuclear deal with Iran.”

The public statement, which our media is refusing to report on, comes a little over one month after the US congress voted to pass a law mandating we send nearly $40 billion in aid to Israel over the next decade (even if, as Nancy Pelosi said, America “crumbles to the ground”).

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Guterres calls for UN, Quartet-led Israeli-Palestinian peace process

“The United Nations remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict and bring an end to the suffering,” Guterres said.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres poses for a photograph during an interview with Reuters at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, US, September 14, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR/FILE PHOTO)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has thrown his support behind calls for an international peace conference under the auspices of his organization and the Quartet, which would resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the pre-1967 lines.

“The long-agreed goal is clear: To end the occupation and realize a two-state solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, in line with international law, relevant United Nations resolutions, and bilateral agreements, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states,” Guterres said in New York on Thursday.

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Iran may reverse fatwa banning nukes if Israel, US act dangerously: ex-official

Former Iranian diplomat says the Islamic legal opinion issued in 2003 ‘might be changed’ and Biden could be forced back into nuclear deal ‘with no preconditions’

An Iranian flag flutters at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant on November 10, 2019. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

A former Iranian diplomat has said that if Israel or the US take “dangerous” steps, the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may reverse the religious opinion that forbids the acquisition, development or use of nuclear weapons.

Speaking during a January interview with the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV, ex-Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi said, “A fatwa is issued in accordance with developing circumstances. Therefore, I believe that if the Americans and Zionists act in a dangerous manner, the fatwa might be changed,” according to a translation published this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

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IDF uses innovative setting to prepare for future Hezbollah war

‘A soldier who comes here for a training day is treated like a pilot’

In preparation for war with Hezbollah, the army hired the services of a private company called Extreme Simulations, which specializes in training emergency response organizations such as MDA and United Hatzalah.
(photo credit: UDI SHAHAM)

As a confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon always appears to be on the horizon, and escalation in Gaza seems ever-imminent, IDF units – both of conscripts and reserves – continue to train intensively.

Both in Lebanon and in Gaza, infantry soldiers are likely to find themselves fighting in open and in built-up areas, and to prepare for this purpose, Ground Forces Command opened an advanced training center – the “training arena” – three months ago.
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Hamas: We will disrupt the election in Israel if it disrupts the elections in the PA

Hamas warned Thursday that it will disrupt Israel’s election if it will disrupt the elections in the PA, set to take place in May.
“I deliver this message to the leadership of Israel – we the leadership of Hamas, will not allow Israel to intervene in the [Palestinian] elections,” Hamas’ leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar during an election rally for the movement.
“If it tries to intervene in our election, we will intervene in Israel’s.”
Sinwar added that the election is a natural and basic right of the Palestinian people.

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