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Only Four of 20 Israeli Ministers Openly Declare Support of Two-state Solution

Netanyahu is on the record in support of the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but only a minority in cabinet agrees to back such a policy, survey finds.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently on the record in support of the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, despite expressing reservations regarding such a two-state solution in the past. But a survey by an Israeli news outlet concluded, despite some evasive responses, that such a policy is only openly supported by a minority of Israel's cabinet ministers.
The informal poll conducted by Walla News showed that only four ministers were clearly on the record in support, nine are clearly against and the position of the seven others remains unknown.
If all of the seven ultimately come out in support, and if Netanyahu himself remains supportive of a two-state solution, there would be a cabinet majority for the policy, the website noted, but the seven currently seem to hold the balance of power.
The two-state solution is a cornerstone of international diplomacy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue and is expected to feature in a forthcoming report by the Middle East Quartet, the grouping consisting of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.
The prime minister's most prominent expression of support for a Palestinian state came in a speech at Bar-Ilan University in 2009.
Some ministers declined to respond to the poll, including three from Netanyahu's Likud party: Gilad Erdan, Yuval Steinitz and Yisrael Katz, along with two Shas party ministers, Arye Dery and David Azoulay.
Although the new defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, was similarly evasive, he is, at least on the record, in support of a Palestinian state. Ministers Moshe Kahlon, Yoav Galant and Tzachi Hanegbi, have also expressed support in one form or another.
But the largest group of ministers who have expressed themselves on the issue have voiced their opposition, including Likud ministers Ze'ev Elkin, Ofir Akunis, Gila Gamliel, Yariv Levin, Yisrael Katz and Miri Regev. Also known to oppose a two-state solution are Ministers Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Uri Ariel, all of the Habayit Hayehudi party.

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.727431
Schermata 2016 06 27 alle 22.04.44

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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