Israeli officials held high-level meetings with their counterparts from Europe, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates Tuesday; mapping out a framework for possible peace negotiations regarding Gaza and the West Bank.
The summit -hosted by the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner- was held at the White House this week; making history during an “unprecedented moment” to clear a pathway for dialogue between Israeli and Arab politicians.
According to the Jerusalem Post, this is the first time Israeli officials held “publicly recognized” meetings with leaders from those states. Also in attendance were representatives from Canada, Europe, Egypt, and Jordan.
Many thanks to my friends from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates & Israel at the White House for the Gaza Conference. Thank you for putting all tensions aside to work w/ us. Everyone left politics at the door & focused on practical solutions.
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) March 13, 2018
Members of the Palestinian Authority were not present.
“We regret that the Palestinian Authority is not here with us today,” said a US representative at the conference. “This is not about politics. This is about the health, safety and happiness of the people of Gaza, and of all Palestinians, Israelis and Egyptians.”
“As you know, we are here today to consider ideas on how to address the humanitarian challenges in Gaza – a topic that has long been at the forefront of all of our minds,” he added. “It has certainly been on mine.”
BOILING POINT: Syria Threatens ISRAEL with ‘Surprise’ Attacks
Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime issued a direct threat to Israel on Tuesday, warning the region’s only democracy of “more surprises” should their air force continue to operate over Syrian territory, reports Reuters.
The threat comes just days after the Syrian military -armed with equipment from Iran- shot down an Israel F16 fighter jet; prompting a fierce response from the Israeli military which immediately destroyed the anti-air battery.
“Have full confidence the aggressor will be greatly surprised because it thought this war – this war of attrition Syria has been exposed to for years – had made it incapable of confronting attacks,” said Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sussan.
“God willing, they will see more surprises whenever they try to attack Syria,” he added.
Syria’s direct threat follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tough talk towards both the Iranian and Syrian regime; saying, “We will continue to harm anyone who tries to harm us. This was our policy and this will remain our policy.”
KNIVES OUT: US ‘Allies’ TURN AGAINST TRUMP, Israel at UN
The United Nations voted overwhelmingly to “rescind” President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Thursday, symbolically condemning America’s decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel by a lop-sided margin of 128-9.
Among those who voted against the Trump administration were key American allies, such as the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Germany, South Korea, and others. The vote included 35 abstentions, most notably Canada, Mexico, and Australia.
The few who sided with the United States were Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Togo, and Micronesia.
The resolution harshly criticized President Trump’s decision earlier this month to officially recognize Jerusalem as the true capital of the Israeli state; affirming that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the holy city of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”
US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned world leaders ahead of Thursday’s vote that the US would be “taking names” of those who voted for the resolution, saying “on Thurs there’ll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names.”