Israel will act against Iran on its own should the international community fail to thwart Tehran’s nuclear ambitions through diplomatic means, President Isaac Herzog has warned.
“If the international community does not take a vigorous stance on this issue, Israel will do so,” Herzog told US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides, adding: “Israel will protect itself.”
The two men, who met during a small ceremony in which Herzog accepted the American diplomat’s credentials, came after the seventh round of indirect talks between Washington and Tehran aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal appeared to end in failure.
Relatedly, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad chief David Barnea will reportedly push during their meetings this week in Washington with senior Biden Administration officials for the United States to carry out a military strike on Iranian nuclear targets. Israel’s three main TV news broadcasts reported on Sunday night that Gantz and Barnea will urge their American interlocutors to develop a “Plan B” vis-a-vis the Islamic Republic.
The reports came after the long-delayed resumption of nuclear talks were suspended after five days — with Iran digging in and its negotiating partners openly voicing frustration and pessimism.
Israel and the US are at odds over the Iran talks, with Israel opposing a return to the Joint Comrprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the Iran Deal, and the Biden Administration supporting it.
A car-ramming attack in the West Bank early Monday seriously injured an Israeli security guard. The alleged terrorist behind the wheel, a 16-year-old Palestinian, was shot and killed by other security personnel near the city of Tulkarm. The wounded officer was taken to Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, where a few hours later his condition improved.
Erez Sidon of the Crossing Points Authority in the Defense Ministry said that the vehicle “arrived at [a] checkpoint with insane speed, swerved off its lane, got on the sidewalk and tried to hit three [road] workers who were there. After hitting one of the security guards, his colleagues neutralized him [the driver].”
The attack comes amid a surge in so-called “lone-wolf” Palestinian attacks against Israelis and a general increase in tensions.
Following Monday’s incident, Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the military and police to go on high alert in the West Bank.
Following a backlash and a rebuke from the president of the University of Toronto, the student union at a satellite campus modified a proposed ban on kosher food companies in any way affiliated with Israel. However, a campus Jewish group said the change has made matters worse.
The board of directors of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Student Union convened an emergency meeting December 1 to address the outcry after a November 24 resolution affirming the union’s boycott, divestment and sanctions policy regarding Israel placed restrictions on kosher food distribution.
The emergency meeting led to the removal of a pro-BDS resolution that said: “Efforts should be made to source kosher food from organizations that do not normalize Israeli apartheid, however recognizing the limited availability of this necessity then exemptions can be made if no alternatives are available.”
But a campus group, UTSC Jewish Student Life, said the revision has in fact exacerbated the situation because the pro-BDS resolution retains a passage that says the union will “refrain from engaging with organizations, services, or participating in events that further normalize Israeli apartheid.”
According to Jewish Student Life, this requirement could conceivably apply to kosher food providers that have any connection to Israel.
Sheba Medical Center hosted a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony attended by the Bahraini ambassador to Israel to celebrate the Abraham Accords and the initiatives launched since ties between Jerusalem and Manama were established.
This was the first public event with the new Bahraini envoy H.E. Khaled Yusuf Al Jalahama.
“I am honored to celebrate Hanukkah with Sheba Medical Center who have become great partners to the Kingdom of Bahrain in a very short period of time, becoming instrumental for building people-to-people relations between our two countries,” the ambassador said, adding that the cooperation between Sheba and two of the Gulf country’s government-run hospitals will result in the creation of an exchange program, fellowships and training courses.
The Abraham Accords were signed in August 2020. Even before their signing, Sheba had been working in various low-key capacities with some countries in the Gulf region. Since then, they have signed multiple deals to work together with Bahraini and Emirati medical partners.
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