1672722467 Palestinians should be tried not Israel says newly appointed foreign

Palestinians should be tried, not Israel, says newly appointed foreign minister

Secretary of State Eli Cohen said Monday that the Palestinian leadership should be tried instead of Israel, accusing the Palestinian Authority of facilitating terrorist attacks on Jews.

“The international community needs to send a clear message to the Palestinian leadership,” Cohen said in his inaugural address to diplomats and State Department officials in Jerusalem. “Enough agitation in educational institutions and financing of the murderers of the Jews.”

Cohen made his comments shortly after meeting his predecessor, Yair Lapid, who ended his term as foreign and prime minister last week. According to the State Department, the two discussed Israel-US relations, the Iranian threat and the extension of the Abraham Accords.

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday night voted to adopt a resolution calling on the International Court of Justice to intervene and issue an opinion on the state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In his speech, Cohen called the move “proof of the hypocrisy of the Palestinians” and accused them of rejecting all peace offers over the past 75 years.

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The former intelligence and economy minister also hinted that there will be some changes in Israel’s approach to the war in Ukraine. “We will do one thing for sure – talk less,” he promised.

1672539982 554 Netanyahu pivots on despicable UN vote says Jews cant be

An overview of a session of the International Court of Justice in The Hague on October 1, 2018. (Bas ZERWINSKI/ANP/AFP)

While Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid’s government chose not to take sides in the ten-month war, Lapid and other ministers denounced Russia by name on several occasions, including on the first day of the invasion.

Cohen added that the cabinet was in the process of formulating a “responsible policy” on the conflict, noting that Israel’s humanitarian aid to Ukraine would continue.

He is scheduled to speak with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, but made no mention of upcoming talks with Ukrainian officials.

Palestinians should be tried not Israel says newly appointed foreign

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad arrive for a meeting in Moscow on August 23, 2022. (Natalia Kolesnikova/Pool/AFP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to finalize his policy on Kyiv and Moscow, an Israeli official told The Times of Israel. After his election, he forwarded this message to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Though Israel has supplied humanitarian aid and some non-lethal equipment such as helmets and anti-aircraft jackets, Ukrainian officials have repeatedly – to no avail – pushed for air defense weapons.

The reason for the decision appears to be Israel’s strategic need to maintain freedom of operations in Syria as part of its efforts to prevent an Iranian entrenchment on its doorstep. To this end, Israel is cooperating with the Russian military, which largely controls Syrian airspace.

While Russia has shown frustration towards Israel over its expressed sympathy for Kyiv in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin may be optimistic about Netanyahu’s return. Last month, an official delegation from the Moscow city government visited Israel, a visit that likely would have happened without the green light from Putin as Netanyahu prepared to officially take over the reins of Israel.

1672722451 497 Palestinians should be tried not Israel says newly appointed foreign

People stand near a damaged building at the scene of a Russian attack on Kyiv, Ukraine, December 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Cohen, 50, also touched on the Abraham Accords in his speech and announced that the next meeting of the Negev Forum would be held in Morocco in March. A year earlier, Israeli, American and Arab diplomats met in the Negev desert and agreed that the conference would become a regular forum, rotating between participating countries.

“The expansion of the Abraham Accords is not a question of if, but of when,” Cohen promised.

Netanyahu plans to make his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates within the next two weeks, sources close to the prime minister confirmed to the Times of Israel on Monday.

For Israel the Negev Summit was all about Iran Not

Concluding their talks at the Negev Summit (From left) Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan poses for a photo March 28, 2022, in Sde Boker, Israel. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

The visit would be Netanyahu’s first since his comeback as prime minister. The exact dates and itinerary are still being worked out, according to the source.

Relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates were established two years ago under the Abraham Accords.

One of Netanyahu’s key goals since signing historic deals with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in September 2020 has been peace with Saudi Arabia, as he has stated several times since.

While Morocco and Sudan later joined the accords, Riyadh, though widely believed to have robust clandestine ties with Israel, has hesitated.

Cohen also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat on Monday, saying Israel will focus on expanding its military capabilities while creating an international front against Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

1672722454 434 Palestinians should be tried not Israel says newly appointed foreign

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani waves as he bids farewell after talks at the Coburg Palais, the venue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) August 4, 2022 in Vienna. (Alex Halada/AFP)

Over the past two years, Israel Defense Forces have stepped up efforts to prepare a credible military threat against Tehran’s nuclear sites as it appears increasingly unlikely that Iran will return to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

“The countries of the world need to stop burying their heads in the sand,” Cohen said.

The landmark 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal was intended to prevent Iran from secretly developing a nuclear bomb, a goal the Islamic Republic has always denied. Since the unilateral US withdrawal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, however, it has been hanging by a thread.

Negotiations in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal have stalled.

Iran’s state media announced last month that they had started production of enriched uranium with a purity of 60 percent at the country’s underground Fordo nuclear power plant, in addition to enrichment to the same level at a facility in Natanz, from which they said it started in 2019.

Palestinians should be tried not Israel says newly appointed foreign

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with US President Joe Biden from a Likud office in Tel Aviv on November 7, 2022. (Courtesy of the Likud)

Cohen opened his speech by acknowledging that Israel’s relationship with the US is “at the top of our priorities.”

“There is no substitute for Israel-US relations,” he said. “This is a long-term strategic partnership based first and foremost on shared values ​​and common interests.”

He was scheduled to speak to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday afternoon.

Cohen also said Israel is an important partner for Europe and has an opportunity to deepen its ties with the EU.