Mossad Chief Heads to Washington as Renewed Talks on Iran Nuclear Deal Near Collapse; PM Bennett Backs Officers Who Shot Dead Palestinian Terrorist

   

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Mossad chief David Barnea is scheduled to visit Washington on Sunday for meetings with US officials about Iran following the suspension of renewed nuclear talks.

Barnea will reportedly try to convince the Biden administration against seeking an interim deal with the Islamic Republic that would allow Tehran to bypass full compliance with the original 2015 agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He will also encourage the US to back international sanctions against Iran, while stressing that if an agreement is reached, Israel will not be bound by its provisions and can therefore act if deemed necessary.

The first formal talks between Tehran and a number of western powers are on the brink of collapse after diplomats representing France, Germany and the United Kingdom accused Iran of proposing unacceptable changes to the initial deal. 

“Tehran is walking back almost all of the difficult compromises crafted after many months of hard work,” they said in a joint statement, adding: “Over five months ago, Iran interrupted negotiations. Since then, Iran has fast-forwarded its nuclear program. This week, it has backtracked on the diplomatic progress made.”

   

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The head of the European Union’s delegation in Israel, Dimiter Tzantchev, will present his credentials to President Isaac Herzog on Monday just 24 hours after US ambassador-designate Tom Nides did the same.

While Tzantchev arrived in Israel before Rosh Hashana in September, his role has been limited because he is still the ambassador-designate until the official ceremony.

The ambassador-designates of Rwanda and Italy, James Gatera and Sergio Barbanti, will also present their credentials on Monday.

   

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has given his full backing to the police officers who on Saturday shot dead a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem.

Video clips posted online shows the knifeman, identified as 25-year-old Mohammed Shawkat Salima, on the ground after he stabbed an ultra-Orthodox Israeli man near the Damascus Gate, just outside the Old City.

The victim sustained moderate injuries and was transferred to hospital.

Longer security camera footage shows Salima attempted to accost soldiers shortly after the stabbing before he was neutralized.

Bennett has praised the officers for their swift actions, saying they acted “quickly and with determination, as is expected of them.”

Border Police Commander Amir Cohen also said he “fully backed” the forces who “responded as needed to the incident” to prevent any further harm from occurring.

   

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New Jersey Democrat Imani Oakley, who is running for congress in Newark, has fallen victim to a Twitter prankster who invited her to hold a virtual fundraiser in Gaza.

‘Rabbi Linda Goldstein’ is a parody account on the social media site, which often takes aim at anti-Israel sentiment with satirical tweets and jokes.

Rabbi Goldstein reached out to Oakley’s campaign via email about a fundraiser in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave that would cover topics such as “The morality of intifada,” “Occupied Tel-Aviv” and “Zionism and other white supremacy movements.”

Not spotting the ruse, Oakley’s campaign manager, Maita Lockhart, responded in a November 23 email saying: “I would be grateful if you could provide dates/times for this week or next to connect and discuss further.”

Oakley has since tweeted to deny being taken in by the trickster, claiming her campaign was actually in the process of “vetting” Rabbi Goldstein.

“We didn’t get duped. We were vetting… I’m deeply offended that fighting for the lives of Palestinians is corrupted by silly games like this,” she tweeted, adding: “I’m being targeted for standing up for the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people. Dirty political tactics trying to slander me and my campaign have no place in this or any elections. This is a shameful attack on a woman of color fighting for justice.”

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