Israel wants Turkey close Hamas office as condition for improving ties

19 Jan 2021; MEMO: Israel does not intend to resume normal relations with Turkey and send its ambassador back to Ankara unless the Turkish government closes a Hamas office in Istanbul. The office is alleged to be run by the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement.

"[President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan would be happy to return our ambassador to Ankara, but what we are interested in is Hamas activity in Turkey," an Israeli official is quoted as saying by Ynet.

Israel: Netanyahu courts Arab voters in election-year turnabout

JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has spent much of his long career casting Israel’s Arab minority as a potential fifth column led by terrorist sympathizers, is now openly courting their support as he seeks reelection in the country’s fourth vote in less than two years.

Israel to ban human rights groups from school visits

18 Jan 2021; MEMO: Israel's education minister is banning groups that call the country an "apartheid state" from making schools visits to present information to students, CBS News has reported. Yoav Galant tweeted yesterday that he had instructed the ministry's director general to "prevent the entry of organisations calling Israel 'an apartheid state' or demeaning Israeli soldiers from lecturing at schools."

Israel: 'Arabs cannot be partners in coalition government': Lieberman

18 Jan 2021; MEMO: Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman declared on Sunday that the Arab Joint List could not be partners in a government coalition, Al-Watan Voice reported.

According to Al-Watan Voice, Lieberman was speaking to Israeli radio station 103 FM as he stressed on the necessity not to support the Arab Joint List in the elections.

Chairman of Israel opposition ready to form government coalition with Arabs

18 Jan 2021; MEMO: Chairman of the Israeli Opposition and Yesh Atid party MK Yair Lapid announced on Saturday that he is ready to form a government supported by the Arab Joint List, RT reported.

Speaking to Israeli TV Channel 12, Lapid revealed that he was planning to add Arabs to his party's electoral ticket.

2 US bombers fly over Israel towards Persian Gulf

18 Jan 2021; MEMO: Two American Boeing B-52 Stratofortress military bombers were spotted on Sunday flying over Israeli airspace heading to the Persian Gulf, according to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Anadolu Agency reported.

"This is the fifth time in recent months American aircraft of this particular model were seen passing in the area", the newspaper said, without giving further details.

Israel OKs hundreds of settlement homes in last-minute push

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli authorities on Sunday advanced plans to build nearly 800 homes in West Bank settlements, in a last-minute surge of approvals before the friendly Trump administration leaves office later this week.

COGAT, the Israeli defense body that authorizes settlement construction, confirmed the approvals, which drew swift condemnations from the Palestinians.

Israel trades Pfizer doses for medical data in vaccine blitz

JERUSALEM (AP) — After sprinting ahead in the race to inoculate its population against the coronavirus, Israel has struck a deal with Pfizer, promising to share vast troves of medical data with the international drug giant in exchange for the continued flow of its hard-to-get vaccine.

Israel MK threatens to destroy Iran nuclear program if US returns to deal

14 Jan 2021; MEMO: An Israeli minister in the ruling Likud party has warned that if the United States is to return to the Iran nuclear deal under the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden, then Israel will be forced to take action itself against Iran's nuclear programme.

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