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  • US President Donald Trump's Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt addresses the American Jewish Committee's Women’s Leadership Board Spring Luncheon in New York on April 24, 2018. (Courtesy / Ellen Dubin Photography)

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s Mideast envoy Jason Greeblatt lambasted the Palestinians before a Jewish audience on Tuesday, casting both Hamas’s “hostile actions” at the Israel-Gaza border and the Palestinian Authority’s support terrorism as detrimental to peacemaking efforts.

    “You can’t make peace in an environment where violence is practiced and celebrated,” he said to an American Jewish Committee luncheon reception in New York.

    Over the last month, tens of thousands of Gazans, with the encouragement of the Hamas terror group that rules Gaza, have been undertaking weekly protests at the border. Some rioters have tried to damage and break the security fence and infiltrate Israel, while others have thrown petrol bombs and rocks, and burned tires.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the conclusion of their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)

    WASHINGTON -- French President Emmanuel Macron has agreed to work with US President Donald Trump toward a "new deal" with Iran that addresses the "situation" in the Middle East and "contains Iran in the region," he said on Tuesday.

    Macron's proposal would keep the existing nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in its place. That agreement reached in 2015 between Iran and world powers was designed to address Tehran's short-term nuclear work, Macron stated.

    But "we have nuclear on the short-run, and we have nuclear on the long run" to deal with, he continued. "We have ballistic activity. We have regional activity by Iran."

    "The JCPOA is the first pillar we just described," he said. "We seek to find a fair deal where we can fix the overall situation."

  • President Donald Trump talks at the beginning of his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump warned Iran on Tuesday against reviving its nuclear program if the United States walks away from the 2015 nuclear deal next month.

    “If they restart their nuclear program, they will have bigger problems than they ever had before,” Trump said Tuesday morning, sitting alongside French President Emmanuel Macron in the Oval Office.

    Before the two leaders were set to have a bilateral meeting, Trump called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known, a “terrible deal” that was “insane” and “ridiculous.”

  • French President Emmanuel Macron holds a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump and at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / LUDOVIC MARIN)

    WASHINGTON — French President Emmanuel Macron and his American counterpart Donald Trump called jointly Tuesday for a new nuclear deal with Iran, after the US leader denounced the three-year-old accord as “insane.”

    “I can say that we have had very frank discussions on that, just the two of us,” Macron told a joint press conference with Trump at his side.

    “We therefore wish from now on to work on a new deal with Iran.”

  • FILE PHOTO: S-300 air defense missile is launched in Ashuluk shooting range in southern Russia. Photo AP

    Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that Israel may strike the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems in Syria if they are used against Israel.

    "One thing should be clear - if someone fires on our planes, we will destroy them," Lieberman said in an interview with the Israeli website Ynet. "What's important to us is that the weapons defense systems that the Russians transfer to Syria are not used against us. If they are used against us, we will act against them."

    Lieberman's comments come a day after senior Russian officials told the Kommersant newspaper that Russia is expected to provide the Bashar Assad regime with S-300 anti-aircraft defense systemssoon. If Israel attacks the new air defense systems, then it will suffer “catastrophic consequences,” the officials said.

  • Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

    ANKARA - The European signatories of Iran's nuclear deal with major powers should convince US President Donald Trump not to exit the accord as there is no "plan B" for the agreement, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Tweeted on Monday.

    "It is either all or nothing. European leaders should encourage Trump not just to stay in the nuclear deal, but more important to begin implementing his part of the bargain in good faith," Zarif wrote on his Twitter account.

    Under Iran’s settlement with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program to satisfy the powers that it could not be used to develop atomic bombs. In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were lifted in January 2016.

    Trump has given the European signatories a May 12 deadline to "fix the terrible flaws" of the 2015 nuclear deal, or he will refuse to extend US sanctions relief on Iran.

  • S-300 Test - Mehr News Agency

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, Russian diplomat says Jerusalem asked the Kremlin to refrain from supplying President Bashar al-Assad's army with S-300 missile systems; report comes as Foreign Minister Lavrov says Russia has still not decided on the matter, but would make no secret of it once it had.

    Israel has asked Moscow not to supply the Syrian military with advanced S-300 missile systems, according to a Russian diplomat. 

    An Israeli government spokesman declined comment on the claim that was made by the Russian diplomat on condition on anonymity.

     

    Israel has made repeated efforts to persuade Moscow not to sell the system to Syria, as it fears this would hinder its aerial capabilities against arms shipments to Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Israel has carried out scores of air strikes against suspected shipments.

  • Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed, D-R.I., talks with Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, center, and Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Africa Command, before a hearing on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2017. JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

    The head of the US military’s Central Command, often known as CENTCOM, which is responsible for American activities in the Middle East, is visiting Israel to meet with senior Israeli officials about Syria, Iran, and other developments in the region, according to Israel’s Kan news broadcaster.

    Despite this being the first trip to Israel by the current head of CENTCOM, Gen. Joseph Votel, the visit has been without fanfare or publicity.

    Though Israel is, obviously, located in the Middle East, it does not often work with CENTCOM and instead operates with the US military’s European Command, or EUCOM.

  • Israeli Air Force F15 planes fly during an aerial demonstration at a graduation ceremony for Israeli air force pilots at the Hatzerim air base in southern Israel, December 27, 2017.. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

    The Israel Air Force has decided to scale back its participation in the Red Flag exercise amid increasing tensions on Israel’s northern border.

    “In light of the situational assessment by the air force it was decided to adjust the planes’ participation in the exercise,” a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said, adding that “Israel’s first participation in the Red Flag exercise in Alaska will take place as planned.”

    According to a statement by air force public affairs officer Kitsana Dounglomchan, Israel’s air force decided not to send F-15 fighter jets to the two-week-long drill that will run between April 26 and May 11 out of the Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks and joint base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

    “Despite this change, we are looking forward to hosting the Israeli contingent that will be partaking in Red Flag-Alaska 18-1,” Dounglomchan was quoted by local media as saying.
     

  • Netanyahu and Zarif. (photo credit: REUTERS)

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “not impressed” with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s comments on an interview with CBS News on Sunday, saying there is a “huge gap” between Zarif’s supposedly moderate words and Iran’s real actions.

    “I heard today from the foreign minister of a country that sends armed drones against Israel and missiles against Saudi Arabia,” Netanyahu said during a toast in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday. “I also heard his moderate words, and there is a huge gap between the words and the actions of the Revolutionary Guards, who are advancing an army against Israel with the declared goal of destroying the State of Israel.”

    “Israel has continued its violations with international law, hoping to be able to do it with impunity because of the US support and trying to find smokescreens to hide behind,” Zarif said. “And I do not believe that the smokescreens work anymore.”

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“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds

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