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Report: Trump may announce resumption of peace talks during Israel visit London's Al-Hayat newspaper claims preparations for a summit between the American president, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority leader Abbas are underway - Trump to set time frame of nine months to a year for peace talks, report says.

Shlomo Cesana, Eli Leon, Itsik Saban and Israel Hayom Staff

U.S. President Donald Trump | Photo credit: AP

U.S. President Donald Trump may use his upcoming visit to Israel to announce the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Hayat reported Wednesday.

Quoting senior Palestinian officials, the report said preparations for a summit including the American president, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were underway.

According to the report, officials say Trump is likely to set a timetable of between nine months and a year for the peace talks. It was unclear whether Israel and the Palestinians are expected to reach a full agreement or merely mark significant breakthroughs during this time frame.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said he is willing to meet Abbas at any time, without preconditions, for direct talks, but the Palestinian leader has never taken him up on his offer.

Abbas, who met with Trump in Washington last week, said Tuesday that he is willing to meet Netanyahu under the auspices of the American president.

"I stressed before President Trump that under his auspices I am open to cooperating and to meeting with the Israeli prime minister in order to make peace," Abbas said. "I pledged our full cooperation in the war on terror and extremism in our region and across the globe."

Trump is expected to arrive in Israel on May 22 for a two-day visit on his first foreign trip since taking office in January. He is also scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia and the Vatican.

Initial details about the president's itinerary in Israel were released on Tuesday.

The American delegation will be staying at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The 233-room hotel will be closed for security reasons, and will cater solely to the needs of the president and his entourage. The nearby Dan Panorama and Dan Boutique hotels have also been booked in full for the American delegation.

On May 22, Trump is scheduled to visit the Western Wall and meet with Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

It is unclear whether Trump's schedule will permit a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.

On May 23, he is schedule to visit Masada, the Roman-era fortress in the Negev Desert, and then travel to Ramallah for a meeting with Abbas.

Also on Tuesday, David Friedman, the new U.S. ambassador to Israel said he would arrive in the country on May 15 to begin his tenure. Friedman also said it was his hope to work from Jerusalem, amid the backdrop of Trump's declaration of intent to transfer the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to the capital.

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'Barghouti's sweets' handed out at Nakba Day ceremony Im Titzu holds demonstration against Nakba Day events in universities, hands out the sweets Marwan Barghouti cheated on hunger strike with. Contact Editor Arutz Sheva Staff, 10/05/17 21:56 Share

Im Tirtzu event at Tel Aviv UniversityIm Tirtzu event at Tel Aviv UniversityIm Tirtzu

Dozens of Im Tirtzu activists and other Zionist activists held the annual Nakba Day event which took place today at Entin Square at Tel Aviv University.

The event is meant to remind leftist and Arab students how good it is to live in Israel rather than elsewhere in the Middle East.

The Im Tirtzu activists waved Israeli flags and handed out booklets which were meant to debunk the lies of the anti-Israel narrative.

This year, a huge sign was raised which called the Arab Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) a lie. The activists also distributed dozens of 'torteet' chocolate sweets, the same sweet convicted murderer Marwan Barghouti, the leader of the hunger strike among security prisoners in Israeli prisons. was caught eating. The film of Barghouti eating the sweets showed that he was cheating on the hunger strike.

Matan Peleg, director general of the Im Tirtzu movement, said at the event: "It is absurd to see what higher education institutions, which are funded by the Israeli taxpayer, do with that public funding they receive. The university must be kept from becoming a harsh hotbed of anti-Zionism."

"The universities should not sponsor and finance events that accuse the State of Israel of ethnic cleansing and incite against IDF soldiers," he added.

"Those who want to promote the Palestinian lie in Israel should do it in a private institution. [When there is] a phenomenon in which 'the state finances the oppressors,' it is a failure of values and an illogical [situation]."




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Pizza Hut Fires Israeli PR Firm over Prison Hunger Strike Ad

By VOA News

Palestinian activists stand around a 5x4 meter (16.5x13 feet) mosaic portrait of Marwan Barghouti near an Israeli military installation in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 9, 2017.
Palestinian activists stand around a 5x4 meter (16.5x13 feet) mosaic portrait of Marwan Barghouti near an Israeli military installation in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 9, 2017.
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JERUSALEM —
Pizza Hut has apologized and fired an advertising firm responsible for an Israeli Facebook ad that mocked the leader of a mass Palestinian hunger strike.

The ad on Pizza Hut Israel's Facebook page was deleted, and the parent company said in a statement that the post was "completely inappropriate."

The ad attempted to make light of Marwan Barghouti, the imprisoned leader of the 24-day-old hunger strike.

Barghouti, 58, is serving five life terms after an Israeli court convicted him of directing attacks during a 2000 Palestinian uprising that killed five people. Barghouti, in prison since 2002, never mounted a defense, saying the court had no jurisdiction over him.

Barghouti said he demands better conditions for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Israeli alleges Barghouti, widely seen as a potential successor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is using the strike to raise his profile.

Marwan Barghouti is seen in his prison cell in Israel in this still image taken from video on May 9, 2017.
Marwan Barghouti is seen in his prison cell in Israel in this still image taken from video on May 9, 2017.
On Sunday, Israel's Prison Service released a video claiming to show Barghouti secretly snacking; Palestinians allege the video was fabricated. Pizza Hut then published a Facebook post with a pizza box superimposed on Barghouti's prison cell, asking if he would rather have broken his hunger strike with a pizza. In a statement released by Pizza Hut International's Middle East Twitter account on Tuesday, the company said it apologized for any offense and said the ad "does not reflect the values of our brand." A spokesman for Pizza Hut's parent company in the U.S., Yum! Brands Inc., did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Erez Rubenstein, a partner at the Israeli advertising company behind the ad, confirmed his firm had been dismissed and said the Facebook post was regrettable in hindsight. "We didn't mean to offend anybody," he said. The fate of prisoners is an emotional issue for Palestinians. During decades of conflict, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have spent time in Israeli prisons for offenses ranging from stone throwing to participating in deadly attacks. Palestinians say Israel's military court system is rigged against them. Pizza Hut International's statement came in response to a Twitter campaign to boycott the company, which operates in Israel, the West Bank and around the Arab world. The Palestinian Prisoners' Media Committee called off its boycott of Pizza Hut after accepting the apology. Meeting canceled Meanwhile, Barghouti's lawyer, Khader Shkirat, said the Israel Prison Service abruptly canceled a planned prison meeting with his client that had been scheduled for Thursday. Shkirat was later informed he would be able to see Barghouti on Sunday. The attorney said he was given no explanation. He said he is increasingly concerned about Barghouti, who has been held in isolation since the start of the hunger strike on April 17.
FILE - Senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti appears at Jerusalem's court, Jan. 25, 2012.
FILE - Senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti appears at Jerusalem's court, Jan. 25, 2012.
"We want to know exactly what his health situation is," Shkirat said. "The fact that the Israelis are not allowing anybody to visit him makes us more worried."

Assaf Librati, a spokesman for the prison service, confirmed the visit had been canceled, but said he did not know the reason.

Barghouti's family and supporters allege Israel is trying to demoralize the strikers by keeping him isolated and by recently releasing the video purportedly showing him eating in his cell.

Sari Bashi, a regional director for Human Rights Watch, said the release of the video "raises questions about the violation of the right to privacy."

She said it's also problematic to "make an allegation against somebody who is in your custody and then hold him incommunicado so he cannot respond to that allegation."

The video was released Sunday and led the evening news on Israeli TV channels.

Librati said "we thought it's important for the public to see the behavior of the hunger strike leader," but he did not address the privacy issue. "We did not expect the video to break the hunger strike or stop it," he said.

The level of prisoner participation in the strike has held largely steady since the release of the video. Librati said 870 prisoners were still participating in the strike Wednesday, compared to 890 late last week.

Appeal to pope

Israel holds about 6,500 Palestinians for offenses carried out in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from stone-throwing to membership in groups outlawed by Israel and attacks that wounded or killed Israelis. Several hundred are being held without trial in so-called administrative detention.

Israel has refused to negotiate with the prisoners, who seek better conditions, including the key demand of more family visits.

Also Wednesday, Barghouti's wife, Fadwa, sent an open letter to Pope Francis, urging him to speak out in support of the prisoners.

"We are an entire nation held captive and the Palestinian prisoners are the most dramatic reflection of this long and horrific captivity," she wrote. "How can the world remain silent in the face of such an injustice?"










Newsletter Wednesday May 10, 2017

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'Even under Ottoman Empire, Jews were majority in Jerusalem'
President Reuven Rivlin condemns Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan's statement calling on Muslims to "protect Jerusalem from Israel's Judaization attempts" - Foreign Ministry chief calls Turkish ambassador to Israel to respond to Erdogan's remarks.

Shlomo Cesana and Yori Yalon

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan | Photo credit: AP

Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem called Turkish Ambassador to Israel Kemal Okem on Tuesday to discuss anti-Israel statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the previous day. Rotem was directed to make the call by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On Monday, Erdogan urged Muslims to visit Al-Aqsa mosque en masse and "join forces to protect Jerusalem from Israel's Judaization attempts."

The Foreign Ministry said Rotem had reiterated Israel's official response to the inflammatory remarks, telling the Turkish ambassador: "Those who systematically violate human rights in their own country should not preach to the only true democracy in the region" and "Israel consistently protects total freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians, and will continue to do so despite the baseless slander launched against it."

Erdogan's speech was also condemned by President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.

"We recently heard statements attacking Israel for establishing Jewish life in Jerusalem," Rivlin said. "I will remind those who say this that, for the past 150 years, there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Even under the Ottoman Empire, there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Under Jewish rule, we continued to build and establish Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. We will continue to guarantee religious freedom to all religions and believers."

Minister Without Portfolio Ayoob Kara also came out against Erdogan's comments, saying, "The interests and friendship need to be preserved between the countries. All of this extremism has no place and only leads to terrorism. I hope he thinks it over."

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan also criticized Erdogan's statement, saying, "Erdogan's remarks are groundless and have no basis in reality. Unfortunately, his comments on Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are inflammatory statements that harm the security of the residents of Jerusalem and visitors."

Meanwhile, Turkish media outlets reported that Turkey is set to transfer financial aid to the Palestinian Authority for the first time. According to the reports, the Turkish aid will amount to $10 million.

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Be'er Sheva man suspected of trying to murder his ex-wife and murdering his friend It was cleared for publication on Wednesday night that David Bukobza, a 48-year-old resident of Be'er Sheva, is suspected of attempting to murder his ex-wife and in the murder of his friend Avraham Alter about a month ago.

After the incident, Bukobza tried to end his life by setting himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem, but was rescued and evacuated to hospital, where he is in moderate condition. In 2015, Bukobza was sentenced to a year and a half in prison after kidnapping his two children from his wife and flying with them to Thailand. The police suspect that he planned his latest acts while he was serving his sentence.








MainAll NewsEuropeHistoric plum tree from Warsaw ghetto has second chance to grow

Historic plum tree from Warsaw ghetto has second chance to grow Plum tree which grew in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War 2 has a chance to grow again after being cut down in December. Contact Editor JTA, 10/05/17 18:17
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Ghetto Heroes Monument in Warsaw, PolandGhetto Heroes Monument in Warsaw, PolandFlash90

A mirabelle plum tree which grew in the Warsaw Ghetto area during World War II was cut down in December, but now has a chance to grow again.

Seedlings have been grown from the tree thanks to a pair of Poles, who 12 years ago brought three seeds from the historic tree to the United States.

The mirabelle plum tree grew at Walowa Street in Warsaw. The Polish-Jewish reporter Hanna Krall wrote about it in her book of memoirs from the war. She wrote that next to the tree after the war lay beads, which had been collected by local children. These beads came from Jewish shops, which were closed down during World War II. The tree survived the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.

The tree was cut down to clear the area for the construction of an apartment building.

The cutting down of the tree was publicized in social media. It came to light that 12 years ago a Polish couple, Alicja and Wojciech Fizyta, carried three seeds from the tree to the United States and planted them in the ground near their Washington DC home. Trees have grown from the seeds and now the couple will send a seedling to be planted back in Warsaw.

The seedling will be carried by Polish artist, Patrycja Dolowy. "I hope the customs officers will not stop me, because the export of seedlings is forbidden. But it is symbolic action, Dolowy told the Polish-language Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. "We have committed three generations to save the memory of this tree, which is a guard of the Muranow [district of Warsaw] Jewish past," she said.


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