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Sat. Oct 15, 2016 News from Israel

  • B’Tselem Executive Director urges Security Council to act now on Jewish settlements in the West Bank
  • Egyptian Air Force strikes ISIS targets in Sinai in retaliation to ISIS attack
  • No breakthrough expected as Kerry, Lavrov meet to discuss Syria conflict

The UN Security Council convened Friday for a special discussion to which representatives from B’Tselem and Americans for Peace Now were invited. The discussion was titled: “The settlements as the obstacle to peace and a two-state solution.” The special discussion was requested by the Palestinian delegation to the UN. The head of Israeli human rights group B’Tselem Hagai Elad called for the United Nations to take action against the Jewish state’s settlements. The session also included a speech from Lara Friedman, director of policy and government relations for Americans for Peace Now. Politicians from both right and left slammed B’Tselem for taking part in the forum.

The Egyptian Air Force on Saturday attacked ISIS targets in the Sinai Peninsula. According to reports, at least 15 members of the terrorist group were killed and dozens more injured. This air strike comes one day after ISIS killed 12 Egyptian soldiers in a shooting attack. Meanwhile despite warnings from the government over the chance of kidnappings and terror attacks, Israeli vacationers continued to vacation in the Sinai Peninsula during the high holidays and their number has increased  compared to last year.

In an attempt to resolve the ongoing conflict in Syria, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov have met in Lausanne, Switzerland. However, officials from both countries said they are not expecting any major breakthrough in the talks. Meanwhile, senior members of the Syrian opposition are also expressing doubt about the effectiveness of the talks, calling them "a further waste of time" in the efforts to end the conflict.

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