Zio-Watch News Round-up

Israel asking U.S. for 50% increase in next defense assistance package: Zio-Watch, 5/27/2015


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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Israel asking U.S. for 50% increase in next defense assistance package

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel reportedly  wants the U.S. to increase its annual defense assistance package by half, to an average $4.5 billion.

Defense News reported this weekend that Israel and U.S. officials have in recent months begun negotiations on the next 10-year aid package.

The previous package, negotiated by the George W. Bush and Ehud Olmert governments in 2007, averaged $3 billion of assistance each year, for a total of $30 billion, from 2007-2017.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants that to increase to $42-45 billion over the 2018-2028 period, Defense News reported, adding that President Barack Obama during his March 2013 visit to Israel “endorsed in principle” that range.
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From PressTV

An Israeli warplane (file photo)

The Israeli air force has started carrying out attacks on the Gaza Strip, as the Palestinian resistance movements of Hamas and Islamic Jihad deny launching projectiles into Israel.

Israeli warplanes carried out raids on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, on Rafah in the south, and on Khan Younis early on Wednesday.

At least three raids were also carried out on the Palestinian city of Beit Lahia.

On Tuesday, Hamas and Islamic Jihad denied launching rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, following reports in Israeli media claiming that five rockets had landed in southern Israel hours earlier.

According to the Israeli army, at least one of the rockets hit the town of Gan Yavne with no reports of damages or casualties.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Iranian negotiator: Nuclear talks may be extended beyond deadline

(JTA) — Talks to reach a nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers may be extended beyond the stated June 30 deadline, Iran’s chief negotiator said.

Iranian senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi told Iran’s state TV that he is not in a hurry to complete the negotiations, Reuters reported Wednesday.

“The talks are serious, complicated and detailed. The pace of talks is slow as we have entered final stages,” Araqchi said from Vienna, where talks began on Wednesday. “We are not bound to a specific time,” he added. “We want a good deal that covers our demands.”

France’s ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, told Reuters on Tuesday that the deal probably would not be completed by June 30 due to technical details that would take a few more weeks to iron out.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Ethiopian-Israeli soldier beaten by officers sues Israel Police

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Ethiopian-Israeli soldier whose beating by police officers sparked violent protests has filed a lawsuit against the Israel Police.

Damas Pakada filed the approximately $100,000 lawsuit on Tuesday with the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, according to reports. The lawsuit accused the police of “institutionalized racism and violence.”

The beating captured on video took place in late April in an empty lot while Pakada was in uniform.

A May 2 demonstration against racism and police brutality which drew thousands of protesters degenerated into violence, which police used anti-riot measures including stun grenades, water cannons and tear gas to halt.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Judge orders opening of 1950 testimony that implicated Ethel Rosenberg

(JTA) — A federal judge has ordered the opening of grand jury testimony in the 1950 case of convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein of New York last week ordered the unsealing of the testimony of Ethel Rosenberg’s brother, David Greenglass, who implicated his sister as a spy.

Greenglass recanted his testimony seven years after he gave it, saying that he gave false testimony after prosecutors threatened him by saying they would go after his wife, who may have assisted Julius Rosenberg.

The judge said the testimony now could be unsealed because Greenglass died last year at the age of 92, though he fought to the end of his life to keep it permanently sealed, according to the Associated Press.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Bernie Sanders to make 2016 presidential bid official

(JTA)— Jewish senator Bernie Sanders is set to announce officially his presidential campaign.

Sanders, 73, who was born in Brooklyn to Polish immigrant parents, will officially launch his 2016 campaign at an event starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont. The self-described democratic socialist is an Independent but will run for president as a Democrat.

Sanders, who was the mayor of Burlington from 1981 to 1989, is currently the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and previously was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

He will be a long shot to capture the party’s nomination, as Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and U.S. senator, still leads the other potential Democratic candidates by over 50 percentage points.

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