Wed. Dec 28, 2016 Israel News

  • Video Editor: Shai Rosen

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  • In sharp speech, Kerry slams settlements policy, says Israel cannot remain both Jewish and Democratic
  • Trump promises shift in American approach to Israel after he takes office
  • Turkey, Russia reportedly agree on Syria ceasefire

US Secretary of State John Kerry laid out his vision for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a sharp speech in Washington, Kerry said Israel’s current coalition was led by right-wing extremists who are leading it towards a one-state reality. Kerry went on to reject Israeli claims that the US was the driving force behind the United Nations Security Council resolution which condemned the Israeli settlements. He also disputed accusations that the US has abandoned its commitment to Israel by not vetoing the resolution. While admitting that the incoming Trump administration may take a different approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Kerry stressed that the Obama administration wanted to make its own approach clear before leaving office.

Earlier on Wednesday, US President-elect Donald Trump urged Israel to “stay strong” until January 20. In a tweet following the Obama administration’s decision not to veto a United Nations resolution against the Israeli settlements, Trump said Washington cannot continue to treat Israel “with such total disdain and disrespect.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted in response, “Thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel.” Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon slammed the government’s handling of the UN resolution, saying, “We have to be able to talk with our allies around the world even when we disagree, instead of punishing and boycotting them. I have no doubt that a more responsible leadership could have prevented this move.”

The Israel State Archives has released about 400,000 previously-classified documents related to the disappearance of Yemenite children in Israel during the 1950s and 1960s. These inquiry protocols were originally supposed to be disclosed in the year 2070, but now, following a public outcry, they’ve been made available online on a special website launch by the government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference, “It is hard to imagine that for almost 60 years, families were unaware of their children’s fate. That is why we set principles of transparency and justice.”

Turkey and Russia have agreed on a proposal for a general ceasefire in Syria, according to Turkish media reports. The Russian Kremlin said it could not comment on these reports, but stated that if a ceasefire is indeed achieved, it is expected to go into effect at midnight.

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