Wednesday’s Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement, the result of secret negotiations in Cairo over a period of weeks, is yet another complication for an Obama administration facing a tidal wave of political change in the Middle East and new international pressure to resume active Israeli-Palestinian mediation.
According to press reports, the deal includes the creation of an interim government and elections to be called within a year.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A bipartisan delegation of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers is in Israel this week.
The delegation, including Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Ben Chandler (D-Ky.), and Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) had meetings planned with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.
They also planned to tour areas in Israel subject to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A spokesman for Justin Bieber told JTA that the pop star is not meeting with children from Israel's rocket-beset south because of logistics, not politics.
“Justin welcomes the chance to meet with kids facing difficult circumstances, regardless of their background, and in fact, he had already invited children from the Sderot area to join the 25,000-plus other fans at his concert in Tel Aviv on Thursday night,” the spokesman told JTA.
To stave off growing isolation, Netanyahu must offer more than stopgaps in upcoming D.C. visit.
Editor And Publisher
The drumbeat of pressure for Israel to resolve its conflict with the Palestinians is growing louder, and coming not only from the international community, but, it seems, from Washington, and a large and vocal swath of American Jewry.
Jewish groups that support a more active Middle East peace process are applauding a new plan conceived by a group that includes former Israeli military and intelligence chiefs and revealed by Ha'aretz on Tuesday.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The United Nations Human Rights Council said it will continue to use the Goldstone Report as written, despite its author's retraction of a key finding.
Council spokesman Cedric Sapey told the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot on Monday that the Op-Ed written by Richard Goldstone appearing in The Washington Post of April 2 was his personal opinion and not that of the rest of the committee.
I'm trying to figure out exactly what it means that Richard Goldstone, the international jurist who presided over a UN report on the Gaza war that Israel and its friends considered outrageously biased, has repudiated its central findings.
There's little doubt that's good news to the Jewish groups here that made Goldstone a new poster boy for UN hostility to the Jewish state. Clearly it hurts the credibility of pro-peace process groups - including J Street - that came to Goldstone's defense after the report was released.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A Palestinian engineer secretly captured in Ukraine and jailed in Israel denies having any knowledge of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Didar Abu Sisi, a Gaza electric power plant engineer, has been held in an Israeli prison for more than a month after being arrested in Ukraine by Israeli agents. Sisi, 42, reportedly was visiting Ukraine with his Ukraine-born wife and their six children in order to apply for Ukrainian citizenship.