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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/world/world-regions/israel"

UN staffers put on leave after video surfaces of sex act in official car

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089156775001_6089161477001-vs UN staffers put on leave after video surfaces of sex act in official car fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw 095c5c4f-a608-581f-97b0-4c0aec88d21a

Two U.N. staff members have been put on leave, pending an investigation, after a video emerged last week of an apparent sex act in an official U.N. car in Israel, the organization announced Thursday.

“According to information initially gathered by the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) as part of its investigation, two male international staff members who were in the U.N. vehicle in Tel Aviv have been identified as having engaged in misconduct, including conduct of a sexual nature,” the U.N. Truce Supervision Office (UNTSO) said in a statement.

UN CHIEF ‘SHOCKED’ BY VIDEO OF SEX ACT IN OFFICIAL CAR IN ISRAEL

The video, released by Inner City Press on Tuesday, shows a woman in a red dress straddling a man in the back seat of a vehicle with U.N. markings as the motorist drives off. Inner City Press first reported that the members belonged to the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).

The organization was set up in 1948 to monitor ceasefires in the region. According to its website, observers “remain in the Middle East to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other United Nations peacekeeping operations in the region.”

“Given the seriousness of the allegations of failing to observe the standards of conduct expected of international civil servants, the two staff members have been placed on Administrative Leave Without Pay, pending the results and conclusion of the ongoing OIOS investigation,” the statement said.

UN ACCUSED OF ILLEGAL BUILDING AT AGENCY HQ IN JERUSALEM 

It added that UNTSO has “re-engaged in a robust awareness-raising campaign to remind its personnel of their obligations to the U.N. Code of Conduct.”

The video quickly went viral when it was posted online, and a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the chief was “shocked and deeply disturbed by what is seen in the video” and that it “goes against everything that we stand for and have been working to achieve in terms of fighting misconduct by U.N. Staff.”

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“We expect the process to be concluded very quickly and intend to take prompt appropriate action,” said the spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089156775001_6089161477001-vs UN staffers put on leave after video surfaces of sex act in official car fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw 095c5c4f-a608-581f-97b0-4c0aec88d21a  Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089156775001_6089161477001-vs UN staffers put on leave after video surfaces of sex act in official car fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw 095c5c4f-a608-581f-97b0-4c0aec88d21a

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AOC letter on West Bank annexation boasts support from anti-Israel groups

Westlake Legal Group aoc-letter-on-west-bank-annexation-boasts-support-from-anti-israel-groups AOC letter on West Bank annexation boasts support from anti-Israel groups Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/person/rashida-tlaib fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4d757004-efad-5872-97d0-853fbd1516bc

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and several other top Democrat lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday warning of severe consequences for Israel if it continues its plan to annex part of the disputed West Bank — and the document touted support from organizations that have called for boycotting Israel entirely.

The Washington Free Beacon and other outlets obtained a copy of Ocasio-Cortez’s letter, which was also signed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. It warns that Israel’s planned move “would lay the groundwork for Israel becoming an apartheid state,” and threatens to cut off U.S. security assistance to Israel.

“Should the Israeli government continue down this path, we will work to ensure non-recognition of annexed territories as well as pursue legislation that conditions the $3.8 billion in U.S. military funding to Israel to ensure that U.S. taxpayers are not supporting annexation in any way,” the letter reads. “We will include human rights conditions and the withholding of funds for the offshore procurement of Israeli weapons equal to or exceeding the amount the Israeli government spends annually to fund settlements, as well as the policies and practices that sustain and enable them.”

The document states that it has the support of a series of anti-Israel groups, including leaders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. For example, one backer, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), is a nonprofit that explicitly calls for boycotting Israel until it complies with what the group calls its “human rights” obligations.

At the same time, AMP claims to be nondiscriminatory, saying it condemns “all forms of racism and bigotry, including Islamophobia, anti-black racism, anti-immigrants, anti-Semitism, and other forms of bigotry directed particularly toward people of color and indigenous peoples everywhere.”

The letter also has the support of the pro-BDS U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, which Tablet magazine reported is “help[ing] facilitate tax-exempt donations to a Palestinian coalition that includes Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and other groups the U.S. State Department designates as terrorist organizations.”

The New York Post noted that another signatory to the letter, the Defense for Children International — Palestine, once also faced accusations of “having ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a US- and European Union-designated terrorist organization.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) condemned the AOC-led letter on Twitter, saying it “explicitly threatens the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that would damage American interests, risk the security of Israel & make a two-state solution less likely.”

Meanwhile, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that the Israeli leader’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank would not start on Wednesday, the original target date, as the British prime minister made an extraordinary appeal to Israel to call off the plan.

The developments cast further uncertainty over whether Israel will ultimately follow through on the explosive annexation initiative, which has drawn fierce international condemnations from some of Israel’s closest allies.

Westlake Legal Group AP20183391781130 AOC letter on West Bank annexation boasts support from anti-Israel groups Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/person/rashida-tlaib fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4d757004-efad-5872-97d0-853fbd1516bc

Palestinians demonstrate against Israeli plans for the annexation of parts of the West Bank, in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Speaking on Israel’s Army Radio station, Cabinet minister Ofir Akunis confirmed that the annexation process would not begin on Wednesday, saying that officials were still working out the final details with their American counterparts. He said he expected the annexation to take place later in July.

“Coordination with the American administration is not something that can be dismissed,” he said.

ISRAEL SHUTS DOWN CHRISTIAN TV STATION IN RARE MOVE

Netanyahu had aimed to start the process by Wednesday, saying he wants to begin annexing West Bank territory in line with President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying Netanyahu held discussions Wednesday with American diplomats and Israeli defense officials on the issue of annexation, and that “additional discussions will be be held in the coming days.”

The plan, unveiled in January, envisions bringing some 30 percent of the territory under permanent Israeli control, while giving the Palestinians limited autonomy in carved-up pockets of the remaining land.

But the plan has come under stiff international criticism. The United Nations, the European Union and key Arab countries have all said Israel’s annexation would violate international law and undermine the already diminished prospects of establishing a viable independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. Even close allies, like Britain, have opposed it.

In a front-page article in the Yediot Ahronot daily, one of Israel’s largest newspapers, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote that as a “passionate defender of Israel,” he was particularly troubled by its intentions. He noted his long links to Israel, dating back to when volunteered on a kibbutz as an 18-year-old and his “many visits” since then.

Westlake Legal Group AP20183389060727 AOC letter on West Bank annexation boasts support from anti-Israel groups Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/person/rashida-tlaib fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4d757004-efad-5872-97d0-853fbd1516bc

A Palestinian woman flashes the victory sign as she demonstrates against Israeli plans for the annexation of parts of the West Bank, in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

“As a life-long friend, admirer and supporter of Israel, I am fearful that these proposals will fail in their objective of securing Israel’s borders and will be contrary to Israel’s own long-term interests,” Johnson wrote, adding that annexation “would put in jeopardy” the gains Israel has made in recent years in improving relations with the Arab world.

“I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead. If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties,” he said.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war. The international community considers the territory occupied land, and Israel’s more than 120 settlements there illegal. The Palestinians, who seek all of the West Bank as part of a future state, have rejected the Trump plan.

Several thousand Palestinians marched in Gaza City for a “day of rage” on Wednesday to protest the annexation plans, one of several demonstrations that were expected in Palestinian areas. The protesters waved Palestinian flags and held signs calling the plan a “declaration of war” on the Palestinian people. The rally ended peacefully by the early afternoon.

While building scores of settlements that are now home to nearly 500,000 Israelis, Israel has never tried to annex West Bank territory before, saying the area is “disputed” and that its final status should be settled through negotiations. The international community considers the area occupied and its settlements to be illegal.

Westlake Legal Group AP20183390610485 AOC letter on West Bank annexation boasts support from anti-Israel groups Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/person/rashida-tlaib fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4d757004-efad-5872-97d0-853fbd1516bc

Palestinian Muslim clerics attend a demonstration against Israeli plans for the annexation of parts of the West Bank, in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Netanyahu has defended his annexation plan on both security and religious grounds and says the friendly Trump administration has provided a rare opportunity to redraw Israel’s borders. He is eager to move forward before November’s U.S. presidential election, especially with Trump’s re-election prospects in question, and made sure that the coalition agreement for his new government included the July 1 date for him to introduce a plan to parliament.

But beyond the international opposition, Netanyahu has encountered some resistance from his Blue and White governing partners. Blue and White’s leader, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, this week said Wednesday’s target date was not “sacred” and suggested that annexation can wait while the government grapples with Israel’s coronavirus crisis.

U.S. officials have said they do not want to move forward with a plan unless the two leaders are in agreement. Israeli media also reported that Israel is seeking changes in a proposed U.S. map for annexation, and that American officials are demanding an Israeli gesture to the Palestinians as compensation for any annexation that takes place.

Dovish Israeli groups have been holding street protests against the annexation plan and it has also encountered surprising opposition from some of the West Bank settlers themselves, who fear having to recognize a de facto Palestinian state and find themselves engulfed in isolated enclaves.

The majority of them, however, are pressuring Netanyahu to follow through, launching a campaign titled, “you made a promise — keep it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP20178608851918-1 AOC letter on West Bank annexation boasts support from anti-Israel groups Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/person/rashida-tlaib fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4d757004-efad-5872-97d0-853fbd1516bc  Westlake Legal Group AP20178608851918-1 AOC letter on West Bank annexation boasts support from anti-Israel groups Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/person/rashida-tlaib fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4d757004-efad-5872-97d0-853fbd1516bc

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Israeli congregation wins restraining order after 9 years of ‘harassment’ from anti-evangelism group

An Israeli congregation announced it won a court case against a prominent anti-evangelism group after years of alleged harassment, including property damage.

Pastor Israel Pochtar of Congregation Beit Hallel, a Messianic Jewish congregation — Jews who believe Jesus was the Messiah — in the southern coastal city of Ashdod, announced a restraining order preventing ultra-Orthodox, Jewish anti-missionary organization, Yad L’Achim, from coming within 100 meters of the congregation’s property and personal homes.

ISRAEL SHUTS DOWN CHRISTIAN TV CHANNEL IN RARE MOVE

“It has been nine years of systematic oppression, harassment and outright persecutions on many levels, fueled by a hate-campaign led by Yad L’Achim where they have called time and time again for actions against us, declaring their goal is to stop our work completely and drive us out of the city,” Pochtar said, filming a demonstration outside his congregation’s building.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2020-07-01-at-10.16.22-AM Israeli congregation wins restraining order after 9 years of ‘harassment’ from anti-evangelism group fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 9d0a8d6b-f748-52e3-8e14-eb0870c7f670

Pastor Israel Pochtar, leader of Beit Hallel Congregation, announces a victory in court against an anti-missionary group that has been allegedly harassing his congregation for nine years.

The pastor said it began in 2011 with a mass demonstration outside the building that now houses a 350-member congregation. It continued every Friday, with protesters filming and intimidating them, he said.

Voice of Judah Israel, of which the congregation is a part, reports Yad L’Achim put up posters with Pochtar’s home address. But following the ruling, the group must obtain a permit from the city to protest and is prohibited from filming members, including children.

Though evangelicals have a strong relationship with Israel, proselytizing is strongly discouraged in the Jewish State. It also has little tolerance for missionary work, which is illegal for minors.

“No synagogue or mosque would accept that people who oppose their faith would come and harass them like this,” the congregation’s lawyer, Ludmila Zakharchuk, told Kehila News. “It’s scandalous. Harassing or disturbing a religious practice is prohibited in the law, but the police haven’t cared enough to enforce it. We had no choice but to go to court.”

PASTORS VOW TO ‘DEFEND’ HOUSES OF WORSHIP, ‘NOT ALLOW CHRISTIAN HERITAGE TO BE ERASED’

Yad L’Achim celebrated a victory this week after waging a campaign against GOD TV’s Shelanu channel, which the Israeli government announced Sunday will be taken off the air. It claims the channel hid its missionary agenda when applying for a license.

Last week, an Israeli bus driver was fired after the group demanded the Kavim bus company terminate him for the violation of preaching to minors, Israeli media reported.

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Congregation Beit Hallel’s pastor celebrated the court victory, asking for continued prayers.

“This is such a significant victory and breakthrough for not only Beit Hallel Congregation, but for all local believers in Israel,” Pochtar wrote.

“It is so crucial to stand against injustice, especially when you know your rights and the law is on your side. We have to ‘prepare our horses for battle,’ so we can see God’s victory in the lives of all local Israeli believers who face religious oppression every day simply for their faith in Yeshua.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2020-07-01-at-10.16.22-AM Israeli congregation wins restraining order after 9 years of ‘harassment’ from anti-evangelism group fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 9d0a8d6b-f748-52e3-8e14-eb0870c7f670  Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2020-07-01-at-10.16.22-AM Israeli congregation wins restraining order after 9 years of ‘harassment’ from anti-evangelism group fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 9d0a8d6b-f748-52e3-8e14-eb0870c7f670

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Israel shuts down Christian TV channel in rare move

Westlake Legal Group israel-shuts-down-christian-tv-channel-in-rare-move Israel shuts down Christian TV channel in rare move fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/entertainment/tv fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 59b3b10a-4ad7-5901-b14a-91f3ede6f61d

Israel is pulling the plug on a new GOD TV channel for failing to disclose its evangelical missionary agenda, local regulators announced Sunday.

The Hebrew-speaking “Shelanu” channel, which began airing at the end of April on GOD TV as part of a seven-year deal, will stop broadcasting this week, according to an announcement by Asher Biton, chairman of Israel’s Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council.

PASTORS VOW TO ‘DEFEND’ HOUSES OF WORSHIP, ‘NOT ALLOW CHRISTIAN HERITAGE TO BE ERASED’

“The channel appeals to Jews with Christian content,” he wrote. “Its original request,” he added, was a “station targeting the Christian population.”

Shelanu, part of one of the largest Christian broadcasting networks in the world, with presence in at least 200 countries, said it was “disappointed” by the council’s “unprofessional decision” and plans to reapply for a license.

Westlake Legal Group god-tv-israel-YouTube-GOD-TV Israel shuts down Christian TV channel in rare move fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/entertainment/tv fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 59b3b10a-4ad7-5901-b14a-91f3ede6f61d

GOD TV’s new “Shalunu TV” channel in Israel has been shut down by government officials for engaging in proselytizing. (GOD TV/YouTube)

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported it is “very rare” for the council to remove a channel, noting that Christian channels Daystar and Middle East Television are already on air. This is the first time a Christian channel broadcast in Israel is being shut down.

Ron Cantor, Shelanu’s spokesman in Israel, said the existing license “stated unequivocally” that it would broadcast its content in Hebrew to the Israeli public. He said the station’s management hopes the council will approve the request “and thus avoid a severe diplomatic incident with hundreds of millions of pro-Israel evangelical Christians worldwide.”

Proselytizing is not against Israeli law, as long as it is not directed at minors and does not involve economic coercion.

CUOMO, DE BLASIO WRONG TO LIMIT WORSHIP SERVICES, CONDONE MASS PROTESTS: FEDERAL JUDGE

GOD TV announced in April it “made history” as the first “Messianic television channel … broadcasting the Gospel across Israel in the Hebrew language,” adding, “We want every person in Israel to know, not a foreign Messiah, but a Jewish one! His name is Yeshua and He has not forgotten His people.”

At the beginning of May, Israeli Communications Minister David Ansalem threatened to remove Shelanu “immediately,” calling it an “oversight” issue. Days later, Ward Simpson, president and CEO of GOD TV, announced they were working to resolve the issue.

“We, at GOD TV, choose to bless Israel,” Simpson said in a video statement.

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The controversy could become part of a larger diplomatic problem as evangelical Christians are some of the most vocal supporters of Israel against anti-Semitism, BDS, and other anti-Israel sentiments around the world.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group god-tv-israel-YouTube-GOD-TV Israel shuts down Christian TV channel in rare move fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/entertainment/tv fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 59b3b10a-4ad7-5901-b14a-91f3ede6f61d  Westlake Legal Group god-tv-israel-YouTube-GOD-TV Israel shuts down Christian TV channel in rare move fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/entertainment/tv fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 59b3b10a-4ad7-5901-b14a-91f3ede6f61d

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UN chief ‘shocked’ by video of sex act in official car in Israel

Westlake Legal Group un-chief-shocked-by-video-of-sex-act-in-official-car-in-israel UN chief ‘shocked’ by video of sex act in official car in Israel fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw 578f29af-5944-59f4-9981-81296003a157

The United Nations is reeling after a video of what appears to be a sex act in an official U.N. car in Israel has gone viral — a video that has left the head of the U.N. “shocked and deeply disturbed.”

The video, released by Inner City Press on Tuesday, shows a woman in a red dress straddling a man in the back seat of a vehicle with U.N. marking as it drives away.

UN ACCUSED OF ILLEGAL BUILDING AT AGENCY HQ IN JERUSALEM 

Inner City Press, an outlet that has reported and shined a light on corruption at the world body for years and was banned from reporting on U.N. grounds in New York in 2018, reports that the vehicle was part of a U.N. Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) mission in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The UNTSO was set up in 1948 to monitor ceasefires in the region. According to its website, observers “remain in the Middle East to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other United Nations peacekeeping operations in the region.”

A spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres told reporters on Friday that Guterres was “shocked and deeply disturbed by what is seen in the video” and “goes against everything that we stand for and have been working to achieve in terms of fighting misconduct by U.N. Staff.”

Westlake Legal Group CV-Streets-10 UN chief ‘shocked’ by video of sex act in official car in Israel fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw 578f29af-5944-59f4-9981-81296003a157

The U.N. is reeling after a video of what appears to be a sex act in an official U.N. car in Israel has gone viral (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Stephane Dujarric, his spokesman, said that an investigation has been activated and is moving “very quickly.” He said that they know the location of the incident, that it was a UNTSO vehicle and that it is likely that the people in the video are UNTSO staff members.

“We expect the process to be concluded very quickly and intend to take prompt appropriate action,” he said

Police in Tel Aviv says that so far a complaint has not been filed on the matter.

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UNTSO, in its own statement, made similar remarks and said that it stands by the U.N.’s  “zero-tolerance policy against any kind of misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse, and reminds its personnel of their obligations to the UN Code of Conduct.”

According to the BBC, there were 175 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation in 2019, 16 of which were substantiated, 15 unsubstantiated and the rest being investigated.

Fox News’ Yonat Friling contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089156775001_6089161477001-vs UN chief ‘shocked’ by video of sex act in official car in Israel fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw 578f29af-5944-59f4-9981-81296003a157  Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089156775001_6089161477001-vs UN chief ‘shocked’ by video of sex act in official car in Israel fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article Adam Shaw 578f29af-5944-59f4-9981-81296003a157

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Israel’s planned West Bank annexation is a ‘declaration of war,’ says Hamas

Westlake Legal Group israels-planned-west-bank-annexation-is-a-declaration-of-war-says-hamas Israel's planned West Bank annexation is a 'declaration of war,' says Hamas Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox news fnc/world fnc article ae9bfbe0-e34e-5c28-b224-47e1742199e9

Israel’s planned annexation of West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley is considered a declaration of war, according to Hamas, the group in control of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas military spokesperson Abu Obeida made the statements Thursday over a video feed saying Israel would bitterly regret the decision to apply their laws over the disputed territory.

The anticipated Palestinian resistance was reiterated by Senior Hamas Official Dr. Basem Naim, who told Fox News that annexation would destroy any possibility of finding a political solution to the ongoing conflict.

“Palestinians would not accept these plans at all. They are going to resist these plans by all means available. Gaza is not excluded from this,” he said.

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL DEMANDS ISRAEL RENOUNCE WEST BANK ANNEXATION PLANS

Westlake Legal Group AP20176642361317 Israel's planned West Bank annexation is a 'declaration of war,' says Hamas Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox news fnc/world fnc article ae9bfbe0-e34e-5c28-b224-47e1742199e9

Palestinian demonstrators clash with the Israeli troops during a protest against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank and Trump’s Middle East initiative, at the village of Fasayil, in Jordan Valley, Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Naim added that Palestinian leadership is calling on the European Union to support their position and pressure Israel to reverse course before the July 1st date, put forth by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The prime minister is hoping to push forward Israeli annexation with the support of the Trump administration. President Trump already moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Both moves that led Palestinians to describe President Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century peace plan as “dead on arrival.”

WHAT IS THE GAZA STRIP?

Over the past year, clashes have erupted multiple times between Israel and Gaza. One such example occurred after Israel conducted a targeted killing of Senior Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu el-Atta at his home in Gaza City.

The act led to days of rocket fire from Gaza exchanged with airstrikes from Israel. There is a serious concern from military officials in Jerusalem that annexation could lead to similar conflict.

“The upcoming events can develop into fighting in Gaza,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said.

Kohavi told his soldiers at a training exercise this week that clashes could also erupt in the West Bank in the coming weeks.

On Monday, thousands of Palestinians gathered in the town of Jericho to rally against Israel. The event was attended by UN envoy Nikolay Mladenov, as well as numerous other European representatives.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh spoke with Fox News at the event, stressing there would be a unified response to Israel from the West Bank and Gaza.

“The Palestinians are hoping for a Palestinian state that is sovereign, viable, contiguous and independent. Our hearts and minds are open for any serious peace negotiations,” Shtayyeh said.

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Currently, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza are not willing to discuss a peace process through the lens of an American deal they describe as unfair.

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz made remarks this week saying that if Palestinians refuse to participate in talks, Israel will move forward without them. He added the Israeli military is prepared for a variety of possibilities in the wake of annexation.

“We will work to reduce as much as possible the danger of turning the State of Israel into a binational state while making sure that Israel remains in control of its security,” Gantz said.

Westlake Legal Group AP20176642361317 Israel's planned West Bank annexation is a 'declaration of war,' says Hamas Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox news fnc/world fnc article ae9bfbe0-e34e-5c28-b224-47e1742199e9  Westlake Legal Group AP20176642361317 Israel's planned West Bank annexation is a 'declaration of war,' says Hamas Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox news fnc/world fnc article ae9bfbe0-e34e-5c28-b224-47e1742199e9

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial starts as Israeli PM hits back at justice system

Westlake Legal Group benjamin-netanyahus-corruption-trial-starts-as-israeli-pm-hits-back-at-justice-system Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial starts as Israeli PM hits back at justice system fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations/corruption fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz bdd34fa6-dbc2-5f5a-b739-320ef476fce6 article

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in a Jerusalem courtroom Sunday to face corruption charges in a long-awaited trial that he has denounced as a sham.

After entering the courthouse, Netanyahu railed against the nation’s justice system and accused the police, prosecutors, judges, and the media of conspiring to oust him against the will of the people.

“I stand before you with a straight back and head raised high,” he said, surrounded by leading Cabinet ministers of his Likud party. “The objective is to depose a strong, right-wing prime minister, and thus remove the nationalist camp from the leadership of the country for many years.”

Westlake Legal Group AP20145472757816 Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial starts as Israeli PM hits back at justice system fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations/corruption fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz bdd34fa6-dbc2-5f5a-b739-320ef476fce6 article

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wearing a face mask in line with public health restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, standing inside the courtroom as his corruption trial started at the Jerusalem District Court. (Ronen Zvulun/ Pool Photo via AP)

The standoff looked to worsen the nation’s deep divisions just after Netanyahu swore in what he called a “unity” government with a former rival and after three inconclusive elections in the past year.

Dozens of Netanyahu supporters outside the court in east Jerusalem wore masks and T-shirts depicting the prime minister as a martyr and denounced what they called a corrupt prosecution seeking to topple him.

Netanyahu faced charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in a series of corruption cases stemming from ties to wealthy friends. He allegedly accepted lavish gifts and offered to grant favors to powerful media moguls in exchange for favorable coverage of him and his family. He denied the charges, which came after years of controversies swirling around the family.

Netanyahu largely did not speak during the one-hour session itself, rising just once to confirm he understood the charges. The next hearing was scheduled for July 19.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU CORRUPTION TRIAL – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Before the session, Netanyahu called for the court proceedings to be broadcast live on TV to ensure “full transparency.” Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit vowed the case would be handled like any other — “in a professional, business-like manner and within the courtroom halls.”

After vowing never to sit with an indicted prime minister, Netanyahu’s challenger, Benny Gantz, agreed this past March to form a power-sharing coalition with his rival, in part to prevent another deadlocked election.

The new government was sworn in just last week for Netanyahu’s fourth consecutive term. Netanyahu held his first Cabinet meeting with the new government just hours before he left for court. Neither he nor any of his ministers addressed the looming trial.

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Under the coalition deal, Netanyahu will remain prime minister for the next 18 months, and “alternative prime minister” for the 18 months after. He would not be legally required to step down during what’s expected to be a lengthy trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP20145472757816 Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial starts as Israeli PM hits back at justice system fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations/corruption fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz bdd34fa6-dbc2-5f5a-b739-320ef476fce6 article  Westlake Legal Group AP20145472757816 Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial starts as Israeli PM hits back at justice system fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations/corruption fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz bdd34fa6-dbc2-5f5a-b739-320ef476fce6 article

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Benjamin Netanyahu corruption trial – everything you need to know

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial for three corruption cases will begin on Sunday,  more than two months after Israel’s unprecedented third election in less than a year, which ended inconclusively and led to the formation of a unity government. Netanyahu is the first sitting Israeli prime minister to go on trial.

What are the charges?

Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three different controversies.

The allegations against him included suspicions that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in champagne and cigars from billionaire friends, offered to trade favors with a newspaper publisher and used his influence to help a wealthy telecom magnate in exchange for favorable coverage on a popular news site.

When was Netanyahu formally charged?

After a three-year investigation, Netanyahu, who has served as prime minister for 11 years, was indicted in November.

“A day in which the attorney general decides to serve an indictment against a seated prime minister for serious crimes of corrupt governance is a heavy and sad day, for the Israeli public and for me personally,” Israel’s attorney general Avichai Mandelblit told reporters after Netanyahu was formally charged.

Netanyahu, in response, said the indictment stemmed from “false accusations” and a systematically “tainted investigation.” He claimed to be the victim of a witch hunt involving political rivals, the media, police and prosecutors, all pressuring a “weak” attorney general, The Times of Israel reported.

ISRAELI PM BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ACCUSED OPPONENTS OF ‘ATTEMPTED COUP’ AFTER CORRUPTION CHARGES 

Mandelblit rejected suggestions that the indictment was politically motivated, saying it was a “heavy-hearted decision” based solely on professional considerations.

Did the COVID-19 outbreak impact the trial? 

Netanyahu’s trial was supposed to begin in March, but was delayed when his justice minister closed most of the court system because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Israel’s new government was sworn in on May 17 following three national elections in under a year, which all ended inconclusively with neither Netanyahu, nor his rival Benny Gantz, in control of a required parliamentary majority.

Given the coronavirus outbreak and the desire to avoid yet another election, Gantz dropped his opposition to sitting in a government with the indicted Netanyahu. Under their power-sharing deal, the two will rotate the prime minister’s job during the next three years — with Netanyahu in the role for the first 18 months.

According to the agreement, Gantz and Netanyahu control an equal number of government ministries and parliamentary committees and essentially hold veto power over most key decisions.

Does Netanyahu have to step down as prime minister given he has been indicted?  

Netanyahu is not legally required to resign while under indictment.

The unity government created a new position of “alternate prime minister,” which like the premier is not required to resign under indictment. This position would allow Netanyahu to stay in office throughout a trial and potential appeals process that could last several years.

What happens next?

On Wednesday, an Israeli court ordered Netanyahu to appear for the opening of his criminal trial in Jerusalem on Sunday.

His attorneys had asked the court for an exemption from appearing at the arraignment, arguing that Netanyahu’s presence was “not essential” given he had “read this indictment several times already.” They also argued that his bodyguards’ presence would violate Health Ministry social distancing requirements during the coronavirus pandemic.

The court rejected the request, saying that Netanyahu “must, like all other accused, appear and give his statement before the court.”

The trial will take place in Jerusalem District Court where evidence will be presented before a three-judge panel.

Judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman will be heading the panel, which will also include Judges Moshe Bar-Am and Oded Shaham, Haaretz reported, adding that the majority of the judges are known to be tough on corruption.

The newspaper noted that Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth Israeli newspaper; Shaul Elovitch, the former owner of the Bezeq telecommunications company, and his wife Iris have also been charged in the cases.

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The Jerusalem District Court noted that social distancing orders by the Health Ministry must be followed and, therefore, people in the courtroom will be required to wear face masks and sit more than 6 feet apart, The Times of Israel reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group benjamin-netanyahu-1-AP Benjamin Netanyahu corruption trial - everything you need to know Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox news fnc/world fnc cdf60fa6-881f-504a-a62a-d3c3d0a201a3 article  Westlake Legal Group benjamin-netanyahu-1-AP Benjamin Netanyahu corruption trial - everything you need to know Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox news fnc/world fnc cdf60fa6-881f-504a-a62a-d3c3d0a201a3 article

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Pompeo accuses Iran of echoing ‘Hilter’s call for genocide’ over ‘final solution’ rhetoric

Westlake Legal Group pompeo-accuses-iran-of-echoing-hilters-call-for-genocide-over-final-solution-rhetoric Pompeo accuses Iran of echoing 'Hilter's call for genocide' over ‘final solution’ rhetoric Tyler Olson fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4dc69143-e1f4-5a4d-a22b-363e52af7cdb
Westlake Legal Group image Pompeo accuses Iran of echoing 'Hilter's call for genocide' over ‘final solution’ rhetoric Tyler Olson fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4dc69143-e1f4-5a4d-a22b-363e52af7cdb

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif of “echoing Hitler’s call for genocide” in a Friday morning tweet regarding an Iranian push for what organizers call a “final solution” referendum aimed at creating an official Palestinian state.

That terminology was used by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

“Incredible that @JZarif and Iran’s Supreme Leader are echoing Hitler’s call for genocide,” Pompeo wrote. “This depravity should dispel any notion the regime belongs in the community of nations. We stand with Germany and Israel against this oldest & most vile form of hatred, and say #NeverAgain.”

Pompeo’s post came on Quds Day, a holiday held in Iran toward the end of the month of Ramadan meant to express support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel’s existence. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei went on a Quds Day Twitter rant earlier Friday morning, comparing Israel to a “cancerous tumor” and the coronavirus.

IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER CALLS FOR ISRAEL’S DESTRUCTION IN TWITTER SCREED ON ANTI-ISRAEL HOLIDAY

The tweet from Zarif that Pompeo was referring to in his post included a veiled reference to Nazi Germany’s genocide against the Jewish people.

“Disgusting that those whose civilization found a ‘Final Solution’ in gas chambers attack those who seek a real solution at the ballot box, through a REFERENDUM,” Zarif said. “Why are US and West so afraid of democracy? Palestinians should not have to pay for your crimes, or for your guilt.”

This tweet was posted above a promotional image for the proposed referendum, which said: “The final solution: Resistance until referendum”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also responded earlier this week to the “final solution” language Iran has used in its push for a ballot referendum for a Palestinian state.

UN ISSUES SCATHING INDICTMENT OF IRAN’S HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

“Khamenei’s threats to realize the ‘final solution’ against Israel are reminiscent of the Nazi ‘final solution’ plan for the destruction of the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said in a tweet, which was translated from Hebrew. “He must know that any regime that threatens Israel with extermination will find itself in similar danger.”

The U.S. earlier this week imposed sanctions on a handful of Iranian people and entities, aiming to “pressure … Iran to treat its own people with dignity and respect.”

“In addition to human rights abuses inside its own borders, Iran has a long track record of assassinations and terrorism in other countries,” Pompeo said in a statement on the sanctions.

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He continued: “In an effort to hide evidence of the regime’s abuses against its own people, Iran imposed a near-total shutdown of access to the global Internet last November, placing nearly all of its 80 million people in digital darkness for a week while security forces killed as many as 1,500 people and arbitrarily detained thousands more. The Iranian regime has long restricted access to the Internet while censoring and inhibiting rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly – two universal human rights.”

Westlake Legal Group image Pompeo accuses Iran of echoing 'Hilter's call for genocide' over ‘final solution’ rhetoric Tyler Olson fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4dc69143-e1f4-5a4d-a22b-363e52af7cdb  Westlake Legal Group image Pompeo accuses Iran of echoing 'Hilter's call for genocide' over ‘final solution’ rhetoric Tyler Olson fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4dc69143-e1f4-5a4d-a22b-363e52af7cdb

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Iran’s supreme leader calls for Israel’s destruction in Twitter screed on anti-Israel holiday

Westlake Legal Group irans-supreme-leader-calls-for-israels-destruction-in-twitter-screed-on-anti-israel-holiday Iran's supreme leader calls for Israel's destruction in Twitter screed on anti-Israel holiday Tyler Olson fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 275a3576-b9f8-5bdf-b3da-8e207d9834ac
Westlake Legal Group image Iran's supreme leader calls for Israel's destruction in Twitter screed on anti-Israel holiday Tyler Olson fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 275a3576-b9f8-5bdf-b3da-8e207d9834ac

Iran‘s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched into a lengthy anti-Israel diatribe on Twitter Friday as he marked Quds Day, a holiday held in Iran toward the end of the month of Ramadan meant to express support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel’s existence.

The leader, in 25-unthreaded tweets, compared Israel to a “cancerous tumor” and the coronavirus, as he called for the nation to be “uprooted and destroyed.” The ayatollah, who wields complete control over the regime, made similar comments Friday in an in-person speech, according to the Times of Israel

“Some argue that the Zionist regime is a reality that the region must come to terms with,” the Khamenei said in one tweet. “Today the #Covid_19 is a reality; should it be accepted or fought?! The long-lasting virus of Zionism will be uprooted thanks to the determination and faith of the youth. #Covid1948.”

IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER CALLS TRUMP A CLOWN, PRAISES MISSILE ATTACK IN RARE APPEARANCE

WHO IS AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI? WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER

The “#Covid1948” hashtag is a reference to the year the Jewish state was established in the wake of the Holocaust and World War II.

The remarks, which were made on the ayatollah’s English-language Twitter account – Twitter has a policy that it does not block world leaders or remove their “controversial tweets” – came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Khameini of making threats “reminiscent of the Nazi ‘final solution’ plan for the destruction of the Jewish people” on Wednesday.

“He must know that any regime that threatens Israel with extermination will find itself in similar danger,” Netanyahu continued.

UN ISSUES SCATHING INDICTMENT OF IRAN’S HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Khamenei also warned in his Friday tweets against trusting Western governments or international organizations, which have at least to some extent served to stem the Iranian regime’s nuclear ambitions and stated mission to destroy Israel.

“It’s absolutely essential to avoid trusting western govts & international communities dependent on them,” Khamenei said. “They are opposed to any effective entity of an Islamic nature. They have no regard for human rights. They are the cause of the worst harm and crimes against Islamic nation.”

Iran, of course, is a habitual human rights violator. The United Nations, an organization with a reputation for going soft on Iran and singling out Israel, issued a report earlier this year chronicling Iran’s crackdowns against pro-democracy protesters.

“Individuals who have called for the alleviation of economic hardships, and those who peacefully exercise their civil and political rights in defense of human rights have faced a harsh response,” Javaid Rehman, the U.N. rapporteur behind the report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, said in the report.

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He continued: “In particular, I remain deeply concerned at the arrest and imprisonment of human rights defenders and lawyers. I received reports that imprisoned human rights defender, Arash Sadeghi, has been denied treatment for bone cancer and a serious arm infection.”

In a tweet toward the end of his screed, the supreme leader of the nation that is the largest state-sponsor of terrorism worldwide praised three U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations — Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.

“#Hamas & #IslamicJihad in Palestine, #Hezbollah in Lebanon have been a proof for everyone,” he said. “The world will not forget the day Zionist army, pounded by Hezbollah, retreated from Lebanon & begged for a truce after heavy casualties. This is what full hands & a position of power means.”

Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran and Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group image Iran's supreme leader calls for Israel's destruction in Twitter screed on anti-Israel holiday Tyler Olson fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 275a3576-b9f8-5bdf-b3da-8e207d9834ac  Westlake Legal Group image Iran's supreme leader calls for Israel's destruction in Twitter screed on anti-Israel holiday Tyler Olson fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 275a3576-b9f8-5bdf-b3da-8e207d9834ac

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