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Syria At Top of Agenda as Netanyahu Visits Moscow

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11 Jul 2018 (All day)
Syria At Top of Agenda as Netanyahu Visits Moscow
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to land in Moscow for a meeting with  Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday afternoon. The situation in southern Syria, where Iranian commandos are leading Shi’ite militias participating in an ongoing offensive against beleaguered rebel groups, is reported to be high on the agenda for the meeting, along with several other regional issues of mutual importance to the two countries. Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will also be meeting with Putin on Wednesday.

Reports out of southern Syria indicate that the last remaining rebel groups in Daraa province are seeking Russian guarantees to evacuate themselves and their families to rebel-held territory in northwestern Syria in exchange for surrendering their heavy weapons. The border crossings with Jordan are reported to already be under the control of Assad regime forces. Attention is now expected to shift to the last pocket of rebel-held territory adjacent to the Israeli border.

Netanyahu Denies Accusations of Bribery
Emerging from his 10th session of questioning by the Lahav 433 unit of the Israeli Police Tuesday afternoon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flatly declared that "Case 4000 never happened" while his office released a statement that no new evidence had been presented by police during their five hours of questioning the Prime Minister. The statement also pointed out that during the period leading up to the 2015 elections when Netanyahu’s aides are alleged to have attempted to garner positive news coverage on the Bezeq-owned Walla news site in exchange for political and judicial favors, the coverage of Netanyahu and his Likud Party by that news site was extremely hostile.

However, billionaire Shaul Elovitch, who owns Walla, told police on Tuesday that he had changed the editorial slant of the sites coverage of Netanyahu and the Likud during that period, but denied that he’d received any material benefit from the arrangement, insisting that he’d done it merely out of courtesy following requests from the PM and his wife, Sara.

Netanyahu’s long-serving aid, Nir Hefetz, has been offering police evidence in several investigations against the PM in exchange for criminal immunity.

Mufti of Jerusalem Issues Fatwa Against Land Sales to Israelis
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, issued a “fatwa” religious ruling on Tuesday that Moslems are forbidden from “facilitating the transfer of ownership of any part of Jerusalem or the land of Palestine to the enemies.” Violators of the fatwa, Hussein explained, “will be considered an infidel, apostate and a traitor to God, Islam and his homeland.”

In related news, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Tuesday that his government will offer 100 million yuan ($15 million) in development aid to the Palestinians and would like to form a strategic partnership with the Arab League to become "the keeper of peace and stability in the Middle East" according to reports from a meeting between Chinese and Arab leaders in Beijing.

Labor Breaks With Socialist International Over BDS
Israel’s Labor Party announced on Tuesday that it is breaking with the Socialist International organization over its endorsement of the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) the Jewish State. “Needless to say, the Declaration on the Palestinian Question is biased, blind to facts or reality, and partially anti-semitic,” Labor’s international secretary, MK Hilik Bar, wrote in an open letter to the leadership of the Socialist International explaining the decision.

“The Declaration further weakens the alleged legitimacy of the organization you lead. The language and arguments of the Declaration makes it clear that until its cancellation - there is no real dialogue to have with you, or with your organization on this issue. In the declaration, you reiterate your ‘solidarity with the progressive forces in Israel. As the international secretary of the Israeli Labor party, as a leader in the party, and on behalf of the Labor Party leadership, the largest progressive party in the Israeli parliament, let me assure you that until the full and formal cancellation of this poor one-sided and miserable declaration, your ‘solidarity’ is not desirable by us.”

Galilee Struggles to Contain Measles Outbreak
Israeli health officials are urging citizens to get vaccinated against measles amidst one of the largest outbreaks of the infectious disease in many years. Dozens of cases have been reported since the outbreak first became apparent on 1 June, with the majority of cases in the Galilee region.

Today's video shows a recent panal discussion on the interaction between various branches of Islam and the rest of the world

 

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