Iran Building Weapons Factories in Lebanon and Syria, Israel Says

Israel lawmakers tour Jerusalem’s Aqsa after 2-year ban
Iran Building Weapons Factories in Lebanon and Syria, Israel Says

30 August, 2017

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently met with the families of Israeli soldiers and citizens now held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

"The failure to oblige Israel to implement [UN] resolutions... weakens the position of the Palestinian people and the UN's credibility and fuels conflict in the region", he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Iran is building sites to produce precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon, with the aim of using them against Israel.

Glick had protested the prohibition by spending one day last month outside the compound's gates and defying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's order by briefly entering the site.

Most countries consider the continued settlement building illegal and an obstacle to peace, an attitude that hasn't deterred Israel which cites biblical, historical and political connections to the land, in addition to security interests. "The UN must act to ensure their return to Israel", Ambassador Danon told Guterres during a meeting with the captives' families.

As for attempts to bring back Israel and Palestine to the negotiations table, Guterres asked Netanyahu to work towards improving the Palestinian economy so that the Palestinians could realize the benefits of peace. He said in an interview with The National published on Monday, adding that "this is the new reality that we have to accept, and there isn't much we can do about it".

"We have returned here for good", Netanyahu said.

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On Tuesday, Ahmad Majdalani, a top aide to Abbas, said the Palestinians asked Kushner for the United States position on two key issues - Israeli settlements and support for Palestinian independence - during his last visit to the region in June.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (L) speaks during a joint conference with Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah (R) in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 29, 2017. To avoid genuine "bias" in their pursuit of peace, future US policymakers will have to accept this fact - and resolve to make indefinite occupation less comfortable for Israel than it now is.

Guterres is scheduled to spend the third day of his trip in the Gaza Strip, where he will visit United Nations facilities but won't meet with its militant Hamas rulers.

He has also said Arab states in the Persian Gulf that were once enemies are now cultivating wider ties with Israel.

Yet, senior Palestinian officials are expressing concerns "that Guterres may not be the vociferous proponent of changing Israel's policy", Al Jazeera's Fawcett said.

On Tuesday, the secretary-general is scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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