Sun. Sep 25, 2016 Israel News

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  • PM Netanyahu meets with Trump then with Clinton in New York
  • Trump’s top advisor: Jewish population in West Bank does not harm Israel’s Jewish character
  • Netanyahu apologizes for allegedly comparing Hebron shooter's family to bereaved families

After sitting down with US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to meet separately in New York on Sunday with both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. The meetings are scheduled to take place just a day before the two candidates square off for their first presidential debate. Netanyahu made clear earlier in the week his interest in meeting both candidates. An Israeli official said that Trump himself contacted the Prime Minister’s Office several weeks ago in order to schedule a meeting with Netanyahu.  According to the source, Netanyahu only replied to Trump’s request after he received a message from the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign confirming a similar meeting with Hillary Clinton.  Netanyahu is expected to ask both candidates to come out publicly against any attempt by the UN or any other international organization to impose a settlement on Israel. This comes in light of concern that Barack Obama, in the twilight of his presidency, may either support or even initiate a new UN Security Council resolution on the conflict.

The Republican presidential candidate’s top advisor David Friedman met with Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan. During the meeting, Friedman spoke out against claims that Jewish presence in the West Bank would harm the majority population in Israel.

Sunday morning Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized for comparing the family of IDF soldier Elor Azaria to bereaved families of fallen or missing soldiers. “I’m sorry if my statements were misconceived,” said Netanyahu. “I absolutely did not mean to compare the suffering of bereaved families, the suffering that I know of first hand, to the situation of other parents who are in distress. There was no comparison and there cannot be any such comparison.” when Netanyahu was asked during an exclusive interview with Channel 2 News whether or not he called any other families of soldiers who allegedly violated IDF orders, the Israeli Prime Minister said: “I called many parents who were in distress after their sons had fallen or went missing.” Hours after Netanyahu apologized, president Reuven Rivlin urged troops to listen to army orders. “The trial can place us before a gaping abyss and not merely a slippery slope” he said.  

The IDF soldier who was stabbed six months ago during the terror attack that was immediately followed by the Hebron shooting took the witness stand Sunday in order to testify for the defense in the trial against Elor Azaria. The soldier said that the terror attack was a situation he was not used to and admitted that this was the first time he had come face to face with a terrorist. In addition, the soldier said that his commanders called him to ask how he was recovering but never asked him about the incident. According to the soldier, he was only asked about the incident when he returned to the army a month and a half later. The soldier also backed up the defense’s claim about Azaria fearing that the neutralized terrorist was still a threat because he was wearing an explosive belt.

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