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Sat. Sep 24, 2016 News from Israel

  • Netanyahu in first Israeli interview since elections
  • 24 dead and 200 injured in continuous Syrian attack on Aleppo
  • Tel Aviv train stations will open on Sunday ahead of schedule

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu granted interviews to Israeli networks for the first time since the last Israeli elections. Among the issues discussed were the relations with US President Barak Obama, the failure to lower housing prices, the phone call to the father of the soldier who shot a neutralized terrorist and allegations against his wife, Sarah Netanyahu regarding her treatment of the staff in the Prime Minister’s residence.

Regarding Obama, Netanyahu said:  "I always enjoyed meeting Obama.  I am happy that we closed a deal regarding military aid for Israel. The only time Obama vetoed a vote in the UN was during an anti-Israel vote in 2011.  I hope that he will continue to be consistent."  About Palestinian Authority President, Mahmud Abbas, "It is clear that the leadership of the Palestinians continue to delve into their anti-Israel propaganda.  Suddenly, I see a turn in attitudes about Israel from many of our neighbors. I can only hope that this will reach the Palestinian Authority." Regarding his wife, Netanyahu stated,"    “I admire her.  She is under an incredible attack.  No one would like to see their wife under such attack. She is so strong.  She worries about our soldiers; she visits families who lost their children.”  About the housing prices, Netanyahu said that he could not comment as an owner of multiple properties, it could be seen as a conflict of interest. He also stated that he does not regret that he called the father of Elor Azariah, the soldier on trial for shooting a neutralized Palestinian terrorist. He admitted that he had not called other parents in such circumstances, but added that he had called parents of those who lost their children while serving in the IDF.  He ended on a positive note with a message to the citizens of Israel that there has been a huge change in the status of Israel in the world.

24 are reported dead and 200 injured in an air strike by Russian and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces on Aleppo neighborhoods held by anti-government rebels on Saturday. This attack occurred after the collapse of a cease fire a week earlier. Assad’s forces have been pummeling these neighborhoods for the last three days without distinction regarding innocent civilians and rescue teams. A report from Al Jazeera documented the destruction of residential buildings in the city after a missile attack.  There was a resounding silence on the part of leaders of the world who did not react to this atrocity.

Once again, there is a storm surrounding Sport and Culture Minister Miri Regev.  Regev left in protest during the Israel Academy of Film and Television Ofir awards when a singer performed a song using text from a poem by the controversial Palestinian poet, Muhammed Darwish.  Regev stated, "I was surprised that it was performed.  They hid this from me."  Yosi Tzabari, who performed the songs, contended that she knew ahead of time.  Regev has stated that she will establish a committee to reevaluate funding for Israeli films.   

After closing the Tel Aviv train stations for work on infrastructure, the Israel railways has announced that they will reopen on Sunday ahead of schedule.  The original planned work for replacing train tracks was scheduled to end only two days later on Tuesday, but the work was finished ahead of schedule.

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