Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
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U.S. willing to take military action to stop Iran's nuclear program, envoy says

U.S. willing to take military action to stop Iran's nuclear program, envoy says

Hook today in Jerusalem. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via GettyThe Trump administration will use military force if that's what it takes to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, President Trump’s envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, told me in an interview today in Jerusalem. Why it matters: Hook is on a regional tour to discuss Iran with U.S. allies, with stops in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Israel. The main issue on his agenda is the U.S. efforts to extend an international arms embargo on Iran beyond October, when it is due to expire.What he's saying: “What I am hearing very clearly...

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
Jun 30
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Netanyahu lobbies evangelicals to back West Bank annexation in attempt to press Trump

Netanyahu lobbies evangelicals to back West Bank annexation in attempt to press Trump

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem in May. Photo: Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP via Getty ImagesIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked evangelical supporters to lobby in favor of Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank, via Sunday night to the American group the Christians United for Israel (CUFI).Why it matters: Israeli officials say Netanyahu thinks President Trump is politically vulnerable four months before the U.S. election and that he could lose to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. He thinks Trump needs...

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
Jun 29
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Trump administration coordinated International Criminal Court sanctions with Israel

Trump administration coordinated International Criminal Court sanctions with Israel

Netanyahu and Pompeo. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty ImagesThe Trump administration and Israel coordinated the U.S. against the International Criminal Court announced Thursday during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s short visit to Jerusalem last month, Israeli officials tell me. Why it matters: The prosecutor of the ICC had against Israel for alleged war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza pending a review by the court's judges. The judges will make a decision soon, and Israel is seeking to use U.S. sanctions to pressure them into shutting down the investigation.Behind the scenes: Israeli...

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
Jun 11
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German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty ImagesGerman Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.Starting from July 1st — coincidentally, the deadline set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to begin the annexation process — Germany will assume the EU's rotating presidency....

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
Jun 5
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Netanyahu says July 1 deadline for West Bank annexation won't change

Netanyahu says July 1 deadline for West Bank annexation won't change

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a Likud Party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that his July 1 deadline for starting the process of annexation in the West Bank will not change, according to people in attendance.Why it matters: The White House and the State Department have stressed over the last few weeks that the deadline set by Netanyahu is "not sacred" to the Trump administration — and that any discussion of annexation needs to be in .The big picture: The coalition deal that allowed Netanyahu to form...

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
May 25
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U.S., Russia, EU and UN to discuss possible summit on Israel-Palestine

U.S., Russia, EU and UN to discuss possible summit on Israel-Palestine

Mahmoud Abbas (L) with Vladimir Putin in 2018. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty ImagesOfficials from the U.S., Russia, EU and UN will hold a video-conference today to discuss the possibility of an international meeting to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Western diplomats tell me. Why it matters: The meeting comes amid escalating tensions, with Israel threatening to move forward with annexations in the West Bank and Palestinian leaders announcing the , including on security coordination.The backstory: Russia of the UN and the EU, to facilitate an international meeting that...

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
May 22
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Russia offers to facilitate summit to restart dialogue between U.S. and Palestinians

Russia offers to facilitate summit to restart dialogue between U.S. and Palestinians

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with Russian President Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty ImagesRussia has offered to facilitate a meeting in the next few weeks between the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority, Western diplomats briefed on the Russian initiative tell me.Why it matters: Dialogue was severed between the U.S. and the Palestinians two and a half years ago, and the Palestinians aren't taking part in negotiations on President Trump's peace plan. New talks could also offer a way to prevent escalation on the ground as Israel considers annexing parts of the West Bank.According to...

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
May 20
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Scoop: Israeli security cabinet held secret meeting on unusual Iranian cyberattack

Scoop: Israeli security cabinet held secret meeting on unusual Iranian cyberattack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C-R) attends the weekly cabinet meeting. Photo: Sebastian Scheiner/Getty ImagesThe Israeli security cabinet held a top secret meeting on Thursday to discuss a highly unusual Iranian cyberattack against Israeli civilian water infrastructure that took place two weeks ago, Israeli officials tell me.Why it matters: The Iranian cyberattack didn't cause much damage, but Israeli officials say the government sees the attack as a major escalation by the Iranians, and the crossing of a red line due to the fact that the target was civilian water facilities....

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
May 9
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U.S. asked Israel to clarify Chinese-controlled company's role in $1.5B desalination plant bid

U.S. asked Israel to clarify Chinese-controlled company's role in $1.5B desalination plant bid

Canning Fok (L), group co-managing director of CK Hutchison, the parent company of Hutchinson Israel. The Trump administration is asking Israel for clarification on a Hutchinson Israel bid to build a $1.5 billion desalination plant. Photo: Zhang Wei/China News Service/Visual China Group via Getty ImagesThe Trump administration asked Israel to clarify the role of a Chinese-controlled company that bid on a $1.5 billion desalination plant, Israeli officials said.Why it matters: The Trump administration sees China as its main adversary around the world. Israeli officials are concerned the bid...

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
May 2
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Netanyahu claims Trump will allow Israel to annex parts of West Bank within months

Netanyahu claims Trump will allow Israel to annex parts of West Bank within months

Netanyahu and Trump. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty ImagesIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a prerecorded speech for an event organized by an evangelical organization that he is “confident” that President Trump will honor his pledge to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley "a couple of months from now."Why it matters: According to the between Netanyahu and the leader of the Blue and White party Benny Gantz, Netanyahu can bring "the understandings with the Trump administration" on  to a discussion in the Cabinet and to...

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
Apr 26
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Israel rejected U.K. plea for ventilators

Israel rejected U.K. plea for ventilators

Netanyahu (R) visits Johnson in Downing Street last September. Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via GettyIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a request from U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to allow ventilators to be exported from Israel to the U.K., Israeli officials tell me.Why it matters: The U.K. is one of Israel's closest allies, and it's facing one of the . Raab made the request last week while deputizing for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized with severe coronavirus symptoms but .The backstory: Several British companies have attempted to purchase...

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Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news
Apr 15
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