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In West Bank, Palestinians Marking Nakba Day Encouraged by Arab Spring in Their Fight Against Israel

05/16/2011
JTA

RAMALLAH, West Bank (JTA) -- Clouds of tear gas hovered over hundreds of rioting Palestinian youths on the road to Jerusalem, where demonstrations marking the anniversary of Israel’s founding 63 years ago turned violent.

“I want a third intifada," said Ala Barghouti, a 21-year-old accounting student, his nostrils stuffed with tissues to keep out the sting of the tear gas. "I hope things do escalate today. A third intifada will help move the Palestinian Authority to improve our political situation.

Obama to Address AIPAC

05/16/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama will address this year's AIPAC conference.

Obama's decision to keynote the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference, rumored for days, was confirmed Monday by Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, to reporters traveling with the president aboard Air Force One. AIPAC confirmed the news.

The Associated Press quoted Carney as saying that Obama will not outline policy in his speech but instead will focus on the "deep bond" with Israel.

White House: Israel Has Right To Defend Borders

05/16/2011

White House Spokesman Jay Carney on Monday defended Israel's use of force against hundreds of Palestinians who tried to cross the borders from Lebanaon, Syria and Gaza, while calling on neighboring countries to prevent future incidents.

Indictments Handed Down in AMIA Bombing Cover-Up

05/16/2011

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) -- A former Jewish leader was among those indicted in Argentina for bribery during the original investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

Ruben Ezra Beraja, who once headed the DAIA Jewish umbrella organization, was among those charged May 12 by Federal Judge Ariel Lijo as he closed the first part of his investigation into reported irregularities that took place during the probe.

The attack killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.

Israel Files Complaint With U.N. Over Border Infiltrations

05/16/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel filed a complaint with the United Nations Security Council against Syria and Lebanon over the breach of its border by protesters.

The delegation said Monday it filed the complaint in the Security Council and with the U.N. Secretary-General's office for violation of international law.

The complaint follows demonstrations on Sunday for Nakba Day, or Catastrophe Day, marking Israel's achieving statehood. Israeli troops fired on protesters from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza who tried, and in some cases succeeded, in breaching Israel's border.

Hoyer, Cantor Circulate Resolution Urging P.A. Sanctions

05/15/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of both parties in the U.S. House of Representatives are circulating a resolution calling for sanctions against the Palestinian Authority if it pursues statehood recognition and remains reconciled with Hamas.

Palestinian Demonstrators Breach Israeli-Syrian Border, 4 Killed

05/15/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli troops fired on Palestinian demonstrators who attempted to enter Israel through its border with Syria.

At least four infiltrators were reported killed and dozens wounded Sunday as hundreds of Palestinians entered the northern town of Majdal Shams which is located on Israel's border with Syria.

At least 400 Palestinian infiltrators are said to have entered Israel, while some have put the number as high as 1,000, according to Israeli media reports.

ZOA Lobbies for Embassy Move, P.A. Cut-Off

05/13/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A Zionist Organization of America mission to Congress lobbied for bills that would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and cut off assistance to the Palestinian Authority if it declares statehood.

Some 400 delegates met with an array of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday.

They lobbied for bills that would remove the presidential waiver from existing legislation mandating the embassy's move from Tel Aviv and that would cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority in case it declares statehood unilaterally.

Pope Benedict Renews Commitment to Jewish Dialogue

05/13/2011

ROME (JTA) -- Pope Benedict XVI praised the development of Catholic-Jewish relations over the past four decades and renewed commitment to dialogue.

"What has happened in these forty years must be seen as a great gift from the Lord and a reason for heartfelt gratitude towards the One who guides our steps with his infinite and eternal wisdom," he told a senior delegation from B'nai B'rith international at an audience Wednesday at the Vatican.

Italy Will Not Recognize Unilateral Palestinian State, Berlusconi Says

05/13/2011

ROME (JTA) -- Italy will never recognize a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said.

Berlusconi at a celebration of Israel's 63rd birthday praised the Jewish state as the only democracy in the Middle East. He was the guest of honor Wednesday at an Israeli Independence Day reception hosted by Israeli Ambassador Gideon Meir.

"No, absolutely not," he was quoted as telling reporters when asked whether Italy would recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.

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