The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they unfolded.
ABU DHABI — Foreign Minister Yair Lapid arrives in the United Arab Emirates on the first official visit by an Israeli minister after the two nations signed a normalization deal last year.
He is greeted on the tarmac by UAE Minister of State Ahmed Al Sayegh before they head into the terminal to escape the scorching heat.
Israeli ministers have made visits to the UAE in the past, but Lapid is the first to make the trip since the signing of the Abraham Accords, an honor that former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly coveted for himself.
Lapid earlier tweeted a picture of himself from the plane, captioned: “Taking off for a historic visit to the UAE.”
ממריא לביקור היסטורי באיחוד האמירויות. ???????? pic.twitter.com/fkw7Ed4dfP
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid???? (@yairlapid) June 29, 2021
The Health Ministry announces that 283 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed yesterday as infections rise amid an outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.
There are now 1,537 active cases, after the number was 230 just 11 days ago. However, only 45 people are hospitalized, with 21 of them in serious condition.
The Jerusalem District Court announces a further delay to the trial of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announcing it will restart on July 12 instead of next Monday as planned.
The decision to extend the current delay, which is meant to to allow defense attorneys time to review new evidence, comes after the court partially accepted their argument that it would take longer to sift through some 350,000 messages and emails on the phone of former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua after a recent order of a search through the device.
Judges previously rejected the defense’s request to halt proceedings until September, instead granting an initial three-week delay, which is now extended.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visits a vaccination center in Holon as part of an ongoing drive to get adolescents inoculated in the face of an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
“We are making a push over the next week and a half. Many people got vaccinated in recent days, but it is not enough — we need to reach 30,000 [inoculated] per day,” Bennett says. “There is no lack of vaccines — we have enough for everyone but there is an expiration date on them.”
“The new strain is harming unvaccinated children and adolescents on a scale that hasn’t been seen before,” Bennett says.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweets a number of pictures from his arrival in the United Arab Emirates, thanking his hosts in both Hebrew and Arabic for the welcome he received.
“Making history: Proud to represent the State of Israel on the first official visit to the United Arab Emirates. Thanks for the warm welcome,” Lapid tweets.
עושים היסטוריה: גאה לייצג את מדינת ישראל בביקור רשמי ראשון באיחוד האמירויות. תודה על קבלת הפנים החמה. ???????? ????????
نصنع التاريخ: فخور بتمثيل دولة إسرائيل في أول زيارة رسمية إلى الإمارات العربية المتحدة. شكرا على الترحيب الحار pic.twitter.com/sxVXPYcghQ
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid???? (@yairlapid) June 29, 2021
The Health Ministry and Population and Immigration Authority say eight people were removed from a flight to Russia after they attempted to fly using foreign passports, apparently to bypass the need to receive permission.
Due to high infection rates, Israelis are currently forbidden from visiting Russia without special permission given by a committee that examines applications.
The eight passengers were removed from the flight and transferred to police for an investigation.
Israelis are currently barred from traveling to Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, and Russia. Anyone returning from any of those nations, including those already vaccinated, must quarantine at home for 14 days, and will be fined NIS 5,000.
A compromise deal that would prevent the razing of an illegal West Bank outpost and preserve some parts of the settler site remains unsigned.
According to Channel 12 news, discussions are still taking place between the government and representatives of the Evyatar outpost, with focus on a number of specific clauses of the deal.
The Samaria Regional Council said yesterday that under the deal, Evyatar’s residents will leave but its structures won’t be demolished, with the Israel Defense Forces instead immediately transforming the outpost into a makeshift army base. In some six weeks, a new yeshiva will be established there.
Meanwhile, authorities will examine the legal status of the land. Should the land eventually be approved for use by the settlers, they would be able to move back to the community, according to the statement.
Right-wing opposition MK Bezalel Smotrich says that the government is backtracking on a reported deal to prevent the razing of the illegal West Bank outpost of Evyatar.
“Despite the reports, the government is refusing a continuous civilian presence in the settlement,” Smotrich tweets. “I support the residents and their tens of thousands of supporters, and call on them not to agree to any erosion in understandings.”
“The government must stand behind the agreements, and if it withdraws it will bear full responsibility for the results,” the Religious Zionism lawmaker says.
The Health Ministry downgrades two more localities under its “traffic light” point system for measuring the severity of morbidity in a given community, as cases continue to rise.
Kfar Saba and the West Bank settlement of Zufim join Binyamina and Kochav Yair as “red” locations, indicating the highest infection rates.
The central city of Modiin remain “orange,” while Herzliya, Tel Aviv, Ramle, and Pardes Hanna were all designated as “yellow.”
Dignitaries and reporters begin to arrive at Israel’s new Abu Dhabi embassy ahead of its inauguration.
According to a reporter for the Kan public broadcaster, the car taking Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to his hotel had a flat tire, but the situation was quickly remedied when he switched vehicles.
Israel's embassy at the UAE
קם הדבר ונהיה pic.twitter.com/CkeSEOdidp
— Gili Cohen (@gilicohen10) June 29, 2021
ABU DHABI — Minutes ahead of the inauguration ceremony, Ambassador Zvi Heifetz, Israel’s special envoy to the Gulf states, poses in front of the sign at the entrance of Israel’s embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The embassy is set to be inaugurated by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during the first visit by an Israeli minister since the signing of a normalization deal last year.
Lapid will travel to Dubai tomorrow for the inauguration of the consulate there.
Israel’s ambassador to the UAE tells the Kan public broadcaster that the visit by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was exciting in a way that no other previous visit by an Israeli official to the Gulf country has been.
“There have been exciting visits [in the past] but in terms of personal feeling there has never been one like this. Seeing the flag flying next to the Emirati flag, the first telephone calls, the trip to the minister’s hotel, preparing the [new] embassy — it’s uplifting,” says Eitan Na’eh.
ABU DHABI — Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks at the inauguration of the new Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi, describing the occasion as a “historic moment” and thanking former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his “vision.”
“We are standing here because we chose peace over war,” Lapid says, emphasizing that the opening of the embassy was just the start of the process.
“Israel wants peace with all its neighbors,” he says. “Israel isn’t going anywhere, and the Middle East is our home.”
“Peace isn’t a compromise,” he says. “Peace is the victory of all that is good.”
Lapid thanks former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US ex-president Donald Trump for their vision and efforts to get the agreements signed. He also thanks Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Lapid arrived at the ceremony with Israel’s envoy to the UAE Eitan Na’eh, and UAE Culture and Knowledge Development Minister Noura Al Kaabi.
“We underscore our enthusiasm over what we hope will be the first of many high-level visits,” says Emirati Culture and Knowledge Development Minister Noura Al Kaabi at the inauguration of the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi.
She stresses collaborations on artificial intelligence, smart cities, COVID-19, trade and tourism.
“It is essential that we prepare ourselves and our children toward a new world,” she says, quoting the UAE’s founder.
She ends with “todah rabah” — thank you in Hebrew.
As coronavirus cases rise, a huge tent housing a facility for COVID-19 tests has been reopened in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, months after it was closed when the vaccination campaign brought down infections sharply.
The IDF Home Front Command has now brought back the center, which will serve members of all Israeli health providers.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) June 29, 2021
Senior religious Zionist Rabbi Haim Druckman is currently meeting with residents of the illegal West Bank outpost of Evyatar, the Kan public broadcaster reports.
They are discussing the matter of whether to agree to a demand reportedly added yesterday by Defense Minister Benny Gantz after a compromise deal emerged that would prevent the demolition of the outpost.
According to the deal, the families will leave, the IDF will immediately transform it into a makeshift army base, a yeshiva will be formed there in 6 weeks, and authorities will examine whether the community can be legalized.
But Kan has reported that Gantz has added a demand that the yeshiva only be formed after Evyatar’s land is legalized.
During the inauguration of the new Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid participated in the installation of a Jewish mezuzah at the entrance to the embassy.
The mezuzah is installed by local Chabad rabbi Levi Duchman.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) June 29, 2021
Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah met in Beirut today, pro-Hezbollah Lebanese TV station al-Mayadeen reports.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah receives the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh pic.twitter.com/hJmu9bYYLo
— LEB news ???????? (@HusseinS2004) June 29, 2021
The two are said to discuss the recent 11-day fighting between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups led by Hamas.
“Nasrallah and Haniyeh affirmed the depth of the relationship between Hezbollah and Hamas, and its primary position in the axis of resistance,” according to al-Mayadeen.
The visit was Haniyeh’s second to Lebanon in 27 years. He last met with Nasrallah during his previous visit last September.
Haniyeh has been on a blitz of meetings around the Arab world, traveling from Morocco to Mauritania before reaching Lebanon. On Sunday, Haniyeh met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who is seen as broadly aligned with Hezbollah.
Iran is “examining” whether to extend an agreement to allow the UN to monitor some of its nuclear activities, government spokesman Ali Rabii says.
Questions around IAEA cameras and other surveillance tools are part of broader talks underway in Vienna to try to salvage Iran’s tattered 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.
Iran restricted access to some of its nuclear facilities to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, in February under a law passed late last year. Since then, the Islamic Republic has refused to provide real-time footage from IAEA cameras and data from other surveillance devices that the UN agency has installed in these locations. The IAEA and Tehran have nevertheless negotiated a compromise that guarantees a certain degree of monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program.
“We are examining the need [to renew it] and any other possibility,” Rabii says, without elaborating, at a press conference in Tehran.
Bahraini monarch Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa officially appoints the country’s first ambassador to Israel.
Khaled Yousef al-Jalahmah will serve as the Gulf state’s envoy to the State of Israel, official Bahraini state media reports.
I congratulate both the Kingdom of Bahrain and State of Israel on appointment of His Excellency Khaled Yousef Al Jalahma as the first ambassador of Bahrain to Israel.May peace flourish!???????????????????????? @amjadt25 @kh_lorena @FleurHassanN @michaeldickson @AviKaner @AviHyman @RationalSettler pic.twitter.com/WNqyhOq6TE
— Shushruth Sudhir ശുഷ്രുത് ಶುಷ್ರುತ್ שושרות شوشروت (@SudhirShushruth) March 30, 2021
“His Majesty, may God preserve him, congratulated Ambassador Khaled Youssef Al Jalahma, and His Majesty expressed his lofty directives to the ambassador, wishing him success in promoting Bahrain’s noble message of peace and the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence,” official Bahraini media says.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry signed off on al-Jalahmah three months ago in March. Al-Jalahmah had previously served as deputy ambassador to the United States among other senior posts in the Bahraini diplomatic service.
Bahrain and Israel signed a normalization agreement last September as part of the Abraham Accords, an American-led initiative to normalize ties between Jerusalem and its Arab neighbors.
The UN official tasked with investigating human rights in Iran has backed an independent probe into the role of Tehran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi in mass state-ordered executions in 1988 when he was Tehran deputy prosecutor.
“I think it is time and it’s very important now that Mr. Raisi is the president (-elect) that we start investigating what happened in 1988 and the role of individuals,” Javaid Rehman says in an interview with the Reuters news agency.
“Otherwise we will have very serious concerns about this president and the role, the reported role, he has played historically in those executions.”
“We have made communications to the Islamic Republic of Iran because we have concerns that there is again a policy to actually destroy the graves or there may be some activity to destroy evidence of mass graves,” Rehman says. “I will campaign for justice to be done.”
Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov has canceled a campaign calling on Israelis to go on vacation in Israel, citing the sky-high prices for hotels and other vacation spots.
Prices have jumped as the summer season grows near and international travel still faces restrictions and uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t see any point in continuing the campaign in a situation where vacation prices are so high — there’s no reason to waste public money on that,” the ministry says. “Vacations are not only for the rich. I intend to take urgent action to take care of the matter.”
Channel 12 news reports that despite promises by some hotels to lower prices, that hasn’t happened.
Amid efforts to prevent coronavirus carriers from entering Israel, travelers arriving from countries defined as “red” will be transferred to a separate terminal at Ben Gurion Airport, Channel 13 news reports.
At the order of Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, arrivals from the United Arab Emirates, Seychelles, Chile and Georgia will be taken to Terminal 1 starting in the next few hours, according to the report.
A former Iranian minister who served as an adviser to outgoing president Hassan Rouhani says senior officials in Tehran should be fearing for their lives due to the “infiltration” of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, according to the London-based Persian-language Manoto news site.
According to the report, former minister of intelligence Ali Younesi has said: “Authorities of the Islamic Republic should be concerned about their lives; the Mossad has infiltrated various parts of the country.”
A Dutch court convicts a 32-year-old woman and sentences her to six years’ imprisonment for involvement in war crimes committed by the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq.
In the groundbreaking conviction, The Hague District Court rules that Islamic State is a criminal organization with the aim of committing war crimes and convicts the woman of involvement in the war crimes for spreading IS propaganda from her home near Amsterdam.
The woman’s sentence is double the three years originally demanded by prosecutors, with judges saying the sentence request was “far too low” even though the defendant suffers from what the court calls a “psychological impulse disorder.”
The woman, whose name has not been released in line with Dutch privacy rules, distributed large amounts of IS propaganda via the Telegram messaging app in 2019.
She shared two videos of prisoners of war being killed and provided her own “humiliating” commentary for one of the executions. By doing so, “she abused the personal dignity of the deceased people and that is a war crime,” the court says.
It adds that she incited others to commit terrorist crimes and war crimes, trained herself and others to make bomb vests and sent money to people involved in terrorist activities.
Spreading propaganda makes her “part of this terrorist organization that is guilty around the world of attacks and spreading fear,” the court says in a statement.
As well as the six-year sentence, she has been ordered to undergo compulsory psychological treatment.
Clashes broke out earlier today in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan after police demolished a store there as part of preparations for the construction of a controversial national park there.
Police used tear gas and stun grenades and arrested three Palestinian rioters.
The so-called “King’s Garden” is a Jerusalem Municipality project approved in 2010 that will include a promenade stretching from Mount Zion until the Old City’s Dung Gate. Almost 100 demolition orders have been issued to facilitate the project.
Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan reports a slight improvement in the condition of IDF veteran Itzik Saidyan, who self-immolated in April to protest the state’s inadequate care for those who suffered mental trauma during their military service.
The hospital says that while Saidian is still sedated in very serious condition and his life is still in danger, he is now breathing on his own.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomes today’s opening of the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
In a statement, Blinken says the embassy opening and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s visit to the UAE marking the occasion “are significant for Israel, the UAE, and the broader region.”
“The United States will continue to work with Israel and the UAE as we strengthen all aspects of our partnerships and work to create a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous future for all the peoples of the Middle East,” Blinken says.
As Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has ramped up a public campaign calling on teenagers aged 12-15 to get vaccinated against the coronavirus before hundreds of thousands of doses expire, the Prime Minister’s Office says his daughter has gotten the shot.
Michal Bennett, 14, got inoculated at a Clalit clinic in her hometown of Ra’anana, accompanied by her mother Gilat Bennett, according to the statement.
“Proud of you, Michali,” the premier tweets.
גם מיכל שלי התחסנה עכשיו.
גאה בך מיכלי❤️
קרדיט צילום: נמרוד גליקמן – דוברות כללית, מחוז שרון שומרון pic.twitter.com/io1SYXKLw5
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) June 29, 2021
US President Joe Biden says he hopes to visit the site of a deadly apartment block collapse in southern Florida this week, as rescuers scour the wreckage in the increasingly desperate search for survivors.
Asked by reporters at the White House if he is planning to make the trip to Surfside, near Miami, Biden replies: “Yes, I hope so.”
He adds: “As soon as we can. Maybe as early as Thursday.”
The death toll from last Thursday’s collapse of the oceanfront apartment building stands at 11, with 150 still unaccounted for, leaving desperate families fearing the worst.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid meets with his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi.
They are set to sign an economic and trade agreement.
US President Joe Biden will visit the site of a deadly apartment block collapse in southern Florida later this week, the White House announces, as rescuers scoured the wreckage in an increasingly desperate search for survivors.
“On Thursday, July 1, the president and the first lady will travel to Surfside, Florida,” the administration says in a statement, adding that additional details of the trip will be provided later.
Jordan is planning to “modernize” its political system, an official says, months after an unprecedented crisis in the royal palace and against a backdrop of social discontent.
The initiative aims to offer Jordanians “a political life that suits them,” says Samir al-Rifai, a former prime minister appointed this month by King Abdullah II to oversee the changes.
Jordan was rocked by an alleged plot to “destabilize” the kingdom in April that implicated Prince Hamzah, King Abdullah’s half-brother and a former crown prince. The kingdom has witnessed bouts of unrest in recent months, including scattered protests against an implemented curfew and economic hardship triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the initiative, Rifai will head a committee reflecting the particular sensitivities of the country. It is made up of 91 members representing Islamists, secularists, nationalists, communists and independents from politics, academia and civil society.
The body will present “recommendations to the government before October,” which will then submit them to both the lower and upper houses of parliament, Rifai tells a news conference in Amman.
“Our goal is to have more Jordanians represented (in parliament), to motivate them to take part in elections, and to make them feel their voice has an impact,” he says.
In order to achieve this, he says, the committee will propose “a new draft electoral law” and another proposal on “political parties for a transition to a modern Jordan.”
“We are moving towards real party political life,” he says, insisting the initiative is not subject to “any influence or interference” from the government.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid signs an economic and trade agreement with his Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Lapid, who is making the first official visit by an Israeli minister to the UAE since the signing of the Abraham Accords, jokes during the signing ceremony that he doesn’t know how to sign in Arabic.
He tweets — in Hebrew and Arabic — that he wrote in the guestbook that “peace is a choice and we chose it together. Israel and the United Arab Emirates are going on the path of peace for the benefit of our nations and the entire region.”
He adds a biblical phrase from the Book of Isaiah: “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
כותב בספר האורחים:
וְכִתְּתוּ חַרְבוֹתָם לְאִתִּים וַחֲנִיתוֹתֵיהֶם לְמַזְמֵרוֹת לֹא יִשָּׂא גוֹי אֶל גּוֹי חֶרֶב וְלֹא יִלְמְדוּ עוֹד מִלְחָמָה. (ישעיהו פרק ב')
שלום הוא בחירה ובחרנו בו ביחד. ישראל ואיחוד האמירויות הערביות הולכות בדרך השלום למען העמים שלנו ולמען והאזור כולו. pic.twitter.com/HNeDrpWFeU
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid???? (@yairlapid) June 29, 2021
NEW YORK — President Reuven Rivlin will arrive at the UN shortly to meet with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Rivlin is expected to raise the Israeli demand to condition UN-coordinated Gaza reconstruction efforts on the return of the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who have been held captive by Hamas, along with civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.
Rivlin will later meet with nearly two dozen ambassadors representing the US, Russia, China, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Austria, Albania, Hungary, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, Bahrain, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Bhutan, Australia and Bulgaria.
He is expected to reiterate Israel’s interest in expanding the Abraham Accords, which normalized the Jewish state’s relations with several Arab countries.
In a briefing with Israeli reporters from Abu Dhabi, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid says the issue of Jerusalem did not arise in his talks with his Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Lapid also mentions that the United Arab Emirates can play a positive role in West Bank and Gaza, if the Palestinians desire to improve relations with Israel, but that, right now, that is not the case.
Lapid praises the statements the UAE made during last month’s 11-day round of fighting in Gaza, saying they were sharp and show how deeply they understand the situation.
On other matters, Lapid says he is not sitting around waiting for his turn as prime minister: “Israel has one prime minister.” Lapid is set to replace Naftali Bennett at the helm in August 2023.
Lapid adds that he has been hearing the vitriolic tone of debates in the Knesset, but that he chooses to use a more civilized tone.
“I’d rather be on the side that blesses” instead of curses, he says.
Population Authority border inspectors take 32 Israeli passengers off flights to Russia — a country with a high-infection rate of COVID-19 — after boarding planes without the necessary approval.
Israel has been stepping up its efforts to prevent coronavirus carriers from entering Israel through Ben Gurion Airport.
Additionally, 40 Israelis returning from Russia have been detained and fined NIS 5,000 ($1,536) each, because they had traveled there without first obtaining the necessary approval.
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked says the extension of a contentious measure barring Palestinians with Israeli spouses from acquiring Israeli residency will go up for a vote in the Knesset on Monday of next week.
The vote had been planned for tomorrow, but the government is scrambling to find a way to pass the measure, with left-wing coalition parties opposing it outright and right-wing opposition factions pledging to reject it in order to challenge the coalition.
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked reportedly issues a threat to the Islamist Ra’am party to promote an opposition-backed quasi-constitutional Basic Law on immigration, if Ra’am opposes the extension of a temporary order barring Palestinians with Israeli spouses from acquiring Israeli residency.
Channel 12 news and the Kan public broadcaster both report on the move, with Channel 12 saying the threat has also been leveled at the left-wing Meretz party, which is similarly weighing opposing the measure’s extension.
A 65-year-old man has drowned in the Dead Sea, the Magen David Adom ambulance service says in a statement.
The man was taken out of the water, unconscious, MDA says, adding that paramedics tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him and pronounced him dead.
The Health Ministry says 224 new COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed so far today, slightly down from 287 cases identified yesterday.
The ministry says 0.4% of the 68,174 tests conducted today came back positive.
Active cases are up to 1,660, including 22 serious cases.
Vaccinations are up as the government has stepped up a public campaign calling on teenagers aged 12-15 to get the shot — 11,202 received their first dose so far today, and 2,408 got their second.
President Reuven Rivlin speaks out against resolutions and commissions of inquiry against Israel at the UN, during his meeting with Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the tail end of his farewell visit to the US.
“Our region in the Middle East needs to build trust between peoples. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians will never be achieved through anti-Israel decisions or commissions of inquiry,” Rivlin says according to a statement from his office. “The bias against Israel at UN institutions must stop.”
“We are interested in continuing to work with the UN in order to meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza, with whom we have no conflict,” Rivlin says.
“However, any arrangement must include the return of our captive soldiers and civilians who are held by the Hamas terrorist organization,” the president adds, referring to fallen troops Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul and civilians Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.
Rivlin was joined in the meeting at the UN by Hadar Goldin’s mother Leah, who urged Guterres to use his position to ensure the return of her son’s body.
The president will later meet with nearly two dozen ambassadors representing the countries of the US, Russia, China, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Austria, Albania, Hungary, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, Bahrain, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Bhutan, Australia and Bulgaria. He’s expected to reiterate Israel’s interest in expanding the Abraham Accords.
Speaking with various UN envoys at the United Nations in New York, President Reuven Rivlin issues a plea to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“We are not doomed to live to together, we are destined to live together,” he says. “It’s our role to end conflict. Let’s forget about the past. Let’s build confidence. There are opportunities to achieve a bright future for our peoples.”
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield tells UN envoys at a luncheon that she is “proud” to be combating alleged anti-Israel bias at the world body.
“I have been proud to stand up for Israel, as many of us here today, in the face of one-sided actions [against Israel],” she says.
She notes the presence of envoys from Morocco, Bahrain and Bhutan, whose countries recently normalized relations with Israel, and expresses hope that those moves and others will “bring progress toward a negotiated agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“I have no doubt that the legacy you leave will reverberate in Israel for generations to come,” Thomas-Greenfield says to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
Emirati Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar Sultan Al Olama says at the inauguration of Israel’s Dubai consulate that the ties between the countries “will foster a more stable and secure region.”
“The UAE and Israel are creating a new paradigm of cooperation in the entire region,” he adds, highlighting joint efforts on COVID-19 and technological innovation.
Olama says that the ties between the partners “are slated to grow.”
“Our two countries will usher in a next phase that will be a model for countries everywhere. ”
The ceremony is also attended by Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Emirati Ambassador to Israel Mohammad al Khaja, Israel’s envoy to the UAE Eitan Na’eh and local Chabad Rabbi Levi Duchman.
Lapid is in the United Arab Emirates for the first official visit by an Israeli minister to the Gulf state.
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