الخميس , يونيو 11 2020

US and Israel leaders set for meeting

Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.Image copyright
AP

Image caption

Benjamin Netanyahu’s choice of a new spokesman is likely to come under scrutiny

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet the US president later on Monday, with Israeli-Palestinian clashes high on the agenda.

The meeting, their first in 13 months, takes place after a month of regular attacks by Palestinians on Israelis.

Six Israelis were injured in three incidents on Sunday. One Palestinian attacker was killed and another hurt.

It is the first time the leaders have met since the US signed an accord with Iran in July.

The deal, which limited Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, was called “a bad mistake” by Mr Netanyahu, who said it was “a sure path to nuclear weapons”.

Mr Obama’s administration also responded coolly when Mr Netanyahu gave a speech to Congress in March warning of the possible consequences of a deal.

But Monday’s talks are expected to help smooth the way towards a new military aid deal from the US for Israel – one that Reuters says could rise from $3.1bn (£2bn) a year to $5bn.

Netanyahu comes to Washington – again

In the last week, the US has expressed its surprise at Mr Netanyahu’s choice of a new spokesman, Ran Baratz – a decision he says will be review once he has returned from Washington.

On Facebook, Mr Baratz accused Mr Obama of anti-Semitism and described US Secretary of State John Kerry as having a “mental age” of no more than 12.

A US state department spokesman said the posts were “troubling and offensive”. Mr Baratz will not be part of Israel’s delegation.

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

The past month has seen violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces

At a cabinet meeting on Sunday, the Israeli prime minister said the focus of the talks would be on “possible progress with the Palestinians, or at least stabilising the situation with them, and, of course, strengthening the security of the state of Israel”.

In Nablus on Sunday, four Israelis were struck by a car driven by a Palestinian man, who was then killed by security forces.

A Palestinian woman stabbed a security guard close to a West Bank settlement south of Jerusalem before being shot by the victim. She remains in a serious condition in hospital.

And near the West Bank village of Nabi Elias, an Israeli man was stabbed by two people who then fled.

The upsurge in violence began in September, when tensions at a flashpoint holy site in East Jerusalem revered by Jews and Muslims boiled over amid rumours Israel planned to relax long-standing rules to strengthen Jewish rights at the complex.

Israel has repeatedly denied such claims.

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