Sweden’s new government recognizes Palestine as a state

Sweden recognizes the State of Palestine, however states that relations with Israel will be ongoing

Sweden’s new government recognizes “Palestine”

Sweden’s new government recognizes “Palestine”

 

The Swedish government has officially recognized “Palestine” as a state Thursday.

Following the inauguration of Sweden’s new government last month, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven stated that the new government’s foreign policy would recognize the “State of Palestine”.

On Monday Lofven stated that recognition of “Palestine” would occur in the near future, stating in October “Today’s recognition is a contribution to a better future for a region that has for too long been characterized by frozen negotiations, destruction and frustration… Some will state this decision comes too soon. I am afraid, rather, that it is too late.”

Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström however stated earlier this week that the recognition of Palestine would not occur until diplomatic conversations were to occur with Israel prior. She then stated in Stockholm on Thursday that “There is a territory, a people and government” in defense of the government’s recognition. She stated that Sweden’s “excellent cooperation with Israel would continue” and a decision would be met in Jerusalem “in a constructive way.”

Following Britain’s announcement it would recognize a Palestinian state, France followed shortly after. Malta and Cyprus have officially recognized “Palestine” as a state.

According to reports, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg also has stated that Norway would recognize Palestine as a state, but not before a peace agreement is made with Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli diplomats have expressed concern to the EU and United Nations on the importance of a two-state solution to occur through unilateral talks between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Major obstacles deter peace negotiations due to the Palestinian Authority’s unity government between Fatah and Hamas. Hamas openly calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and refuses to enter direct negotiations with Israel.

Israel showcases advanced naval drone KATANA

USV shown in Paris over the week; KATANA breakthrough in naval drone capabilities

KATANA

KATANA

Israel Aerospace Industries LTD. Exhibited the newly designed KATANA unmanned combat marine system. The development will provide many homeland security applications.

The exhibition took place during this week’s Euronaval International Naval Defense and Maritime Exhibition in Paris, France.

KATANA has capabilities of patrol of shallow coastal and territorial waters, surface and electronic warfare, harbor security and offshore platform security. The unmanned surface vessel (USV) was developed mainly for protection of economic zones such as pipelines and oilrigs.

Some of the features of KATANA are collision avoidance, autonomous navigation, advanced system operations and communication systems. The KATANA also includes radar and weapon systems.

KATANA is compatible with IAI systems and a breakthrough in USV development and maritime operations.

Popular rabbi and activist shot in drive-by in Jerusalem

Police are searching for culprit- shooting believed to have been nationalistic; suspect killed by counter-terrorism unit

Rabbi Yehuda Glick

Rabbi Yehuda Glick

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a popular activist in Israel, was shot in a drive by at the Menachem Begin Heritage center in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Initial reports claim a man drove by, asked for Glick’s identity then shot him.

An investigation is under way. Roadblocks were placed as well as search units dispatched through out the city.

The Jerusalem Police reported that the shooter was on a motorcycle and that a search was under way to find the culprit.

Rabbi Glick was reportedly shot in his upper body following a speech he made entitled “Israeli returns to the Temple Mount”.

He was evacuated by Magen David Adom paramedics and is currently being treated in Shaare Medical Center, reportedly in critical condition.

UPDATE: Security forces shot and killed the suspect involved in the shooting of activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick.

Mu’tza Hijazi was killed by an elite Border Guard of a counter-terrorism unit Hijazi is a Palestinian who was previously incarcerated.

The event where the shooting took place last night, Israel Returns to the Temple Mount, was in attendance by several MK’s and Netanyahu’s brother-in-law.

Tensions have been high in Jerusalem, ongoing clashes at Jerusalem’s holy sites between Israeli police and IDF forces and Palestinian and Arab populations.

Report: US, Iran “have moved into an effective state of détente”

WSJ released report citing senior Iranian and US officials increased cooperation due to dual-interests in Middle East and as a result of direct negotiations; Report cites several instances of US involvement in aiding Iranian allies

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna (Press Pool)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna (Press Pool)

The Wall Street Journal released a report quoting senior US and Iranian officials as claiming that the Obama administration and Iran have improved diplomatic relations and “moved into an effective state of détente” as a result of direct negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program as well as “converging of interests” in the Middle East.

The report released on Wednesday stating that, “the Obama administration and Iran, engaged in direct nuclear negotiations and facing a common threat from Islamic State militants, have moved into an effective state of détente over the past year” and that in “recent months have ushered in a change as the two countries have grown into alignment on a spectrum of causes”.

Changes listed were those of “peaceful political transitions” in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The article addresses the negatives of any alliance between Iran and the United States, siting that the “shift could drastically alter the balance of power in the region, risks alienating key U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates who are central to the coalition fighting Islamic State”.

US officials reportedly have claimed that US intelligence have assisted Lebanese defense agencies of “imminent terror attacks”, may of the agencies in close ties with Hezbollah.

The article also addresses how the Obama administration’s “softened its confrontational stance” on allies of Iran, mainly Hamas. It claims direct negotiations between US Secretary of State John Kerry with Hamas through Turkish and Qatari intermediates during Operation Protective Edge. During negotiations for a ceasefire with Israel, Israel bluntly refused Qatar as a player in ceasefire negotiations as the state funds Hamas openly. Israel was also clear of Turkey not being a suited intermediate state for negotiations with Hamas as during the Operation, then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of “systematic genocide” of the Palestinian people.

The US officials cited in the article claim that “intensive negotiations the U.S. has pursued with Iran since last year on the nuclear issue could help stabilize the Mideast and have improved understanding” and even quoted Wendy Sherman, head negotiator for the US in talks with Iran on its nuclear program, “The world is clearly better off now than it would have been if the leaders on both sides had ignored this opening.”

Israel purchases second squadron of F-35 fight jets from US

Ya’alon finalizes purchase with Hagel following tour in US last week; 19 jets to arrive in Israel by 2018

 F-35 fighter jets

F-35 fighter jets

Israel and the United States have finalized the purchase of a squadron of F-35 fighter jet. The deal was finalized following Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s visit to the United States where he met with US Defense Minister Chuck Hagel last week.

Israel made a previous $2.75 billion purchase for 19 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin in 2012, Israel now making its second purchase for the advanced fighter jets.

Israel is currently beginning plans to set up its F-35 squadron in the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel. The base is center for the Israeli Air Force’s F-16 squadrons and C-140 Hercules transport aircraft.

The first shipment is scheduled to arrive in Israel in 2016, a total of 19 jets to arrive in Israel by 2018. At the end of the current deal and final shipment a ministerial committee may approve a second squadron.

Egypt President Sisi to combat terror in Sinai, transfer thousands of Bedouin

Following attacks which claimed over 33 lives and continued terror tunnels and weapons smuggling, Egyptian president enforces curfew and to impose plans of moving thousands of Bedouin from northern Sinai

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Security forces in Cairo have reported that Egypt is considering expanding the buffer zone between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula in drive out thousands of Bedouins from the region.

Following two attacks on Friday, causing the deaths of at least 33 Egyptian soldiers, in one of the deadliest days since last year when President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from government.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi plans to expand the jurisdiction of military courts in the area to allow for increased trials of civilians accused of offenses against roadblocks or damage to public property.

Sisi stated that the Egypian army would take “many measures” to secure the region against arms and destroy smuggling tunnels used to pass along weapons. Sissy stated in a televised speech that Egypt has been dealing with an “existential struggle” against Islamic extremists, a situation that has worsened greatly since ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Sissy and the Supreme Military Council declared a state of emergency in northern Sinai over the weekend to continue for three months. As part of the emergency, the Rafah crossing was closed and a daily declared a curfew from 7:00 pm until 7:00 am the next day. Sisi stated that, “The army will avenge the bloodshed,” additionally declaring three days of mourning for the loss off the 33 Egyptians.

Egyptian authorities have made it clear that the attack will be met with a firm hand. “The army and police forces shall take all necessary measures to deal with the dangers of terrorism and its financing, to maintain security in the region and protect the lives of civilians,” stated a military council spokesman.