JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Palestinian rival factions Fatah and Hamas in a formal ceremony signed a unity agreement, repairing a four-year rift.
The ceremony Wednesday in Cairo was delayed for two hours after a question about whether the head of the Islamist Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, should sit on stage and if he would speak at the event.
The signing of the unity deal turns "the black page of division," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Fatah party, said following the signing at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters.
Foreign policy victory in bin Laden killing may not lead to new peace initiatives.
James D. Besser
The death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of elite U.S. forces was a boost for a president with few foreign policy achievements to his credit. But it will do little to ease the foreign policy and political conundrums his administration faces in a changing Middle East, and in some cases may add new complications.
While the Palestinian Authority supported the U.S. action, Hamas quickly condemned the killing of a “holy warrior.”
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- "Israel is the historical commemoration to the victims of the Holocaust," President Shimon Peres said at a Yad Vashem ceremony marking Yom Hashoah.
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah, began Sunday night in Israel with the national ceremony, where survivors lit six torches representing the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.
Among the other rites to commemorate the day will be one remembering Jews who rescued other Jews from the Nazis.
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.