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"A President Biden would likely take less combative approach on Israel than Obama"


Israel werde in der Außenpolitik eines US-Präsidenten Joe Biden wohl eine untergeordnete Rolle spielen, berichtet Jacob Magid. "One senior adviser to the campaign told Foreign Policy magazine last month that the Middle East would be 'a distant fourth' in the list of foreign policy priorities, after Europe, the Indo-Pacific, and Latin America. Addressing Israel specifically in a conversation with The Times of Israel, another foreign policy adviser clarified, 'It’s not that a Biden administration won’t focus on Israel. It just might not be given center stage like it has been in recent years.' (…) Biden has not shied away from criticizing Israel on settlement expansion. He even did so publicly in Israel, hours into a state visit in 2010, after the Interior Ministry announced the advancement of a plan to build 1,600 housing units in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. Still, Biden was seen as less willing than Obama to become embroiled in public spats with the Israeli government."

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"Trump to drop Sudan from terror list in presumed prelude to Israel normalization"


Die von US-Präsident Trump angekündigte Streichung Sudans von der amerikanischen Liste von "Terrorstaaten" wird von Experten als erster Schritt einer Normalisierung der Beziehungen des Landes zu Israel betrachtet. "Trump made no mention of a decision by Sudan to normalize ties with Israel, but the US has pushed Khartoum to take that step for weeks, and it has been widely reported that Washington conditioned its decision to drop the northeast African nation from its terror blacklist on it forging official relations with the Jewish state. Israel and Sudan could normalize relations within days, according to two US officials quoted by the New York Times."

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"As UN arms embargo on Iran expires, US vows to punish those who sell it weapons"


US-Außenminister Pompeo hat Ländern, die dem Iran nach dem Auslaufen des UN-Waffenembargos Rüstungsgüter verkaufen wollen, offen mit Sanktionen gedroht. "'The United States is prepared to use its domestic authorities to sanction any individual or entity that materially contributes to the supply, sale, or transfer of conventional arms to or from Iran, as well as those who provide technical training, financial support and services, and other assistance related to these arms,' he said in a statement. 'For the past 10 years, countries have refrained from selling weapons to Iran under various UN measures,' Pompeo said. 'Any country that now challenges this prohibition will be very clearly choosing to fuel conflict and tension over promoting peace and security.'"

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"Azeris use Israeli-made drones as conflict escalates with Armenia — report"


Aserbaidschan könne bei seinen Operationen in Bergkarabach offenbar u.a. auf israelische Drohnen zurückgreifen, berichtet The Times of Israel. "The Azeri military has been using Israeli-made attack drones during the recent uptick in violence with neighboring Armenia, Hikmet Hajiyev, assistant to the president of Azerbaijan, said in an interview with the Israeli Walla news outlet Wednesday. (…) In the interview, Hajiyev said that his country has used Israeli drones, including loitering munitions, or 'kamikaze drones,' in the recent round of fighting and lauded their effectiveness. 'Hats off to the engineers who designed it,' Hajiyev said. He also said that the Azeris 'very much appreciate the cooperation with Israel, especially the defense cooperation.'"

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"Defying UN, Washington unilaterally asserts sanctions on Iran back in effect"


Trotz fehlender Zustimmung des UN-Sicherheitsrates hat die US-Regierung die UN-Sanktionen gegen den Iran unilateral wieder eingesetzt und dabei auch anderen Ländern gedroht. "The United States unilaterally proclaimed on Saturday that UN sanctions against Iran are back in force and promised to punish those who violate them, in a move that risks increasing Washington’s isolation but also international tensions. (…) The threat is formidable: those deemed to be in defiance by Washington will be denied access to the US financial system and markets. (…) Washington is almost alone on the issue: all the other great powers — China, Russia and also the US’ own European allies — have challenged the claim. 'Any decision or action taken with a view to re-installing [the sanctions] would be incapable of legal effect,' France, Britain and Germany said in a joint letter sent Friday to the Security Council and of which AFP has obtained a copy."

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"Trump says Saudi Arabia among 7-9 countries expected to make peace with Israel"


US-Präsident Trump hat während der Unterzeichnungszeremonie in Washington in Aussicht gestellt, dass bis zu neun weitere Länder im Nahen Osten eine Normalisierung ihrer Beziehungen zu Israel ins Auge fassen könnten. "Earlier, while hosting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House before the signing of the Abraham Accords, Trump said, 'We’re very far down the road with about five additional countries… Frankly, I think we could have had them here today.' 'We’ll have at least five or six countries coming along very quickly… They want to see peace. They’ve been fighting for a long time…. They’re warring countries but they’re tired of fighting. You’re going to see a lot of very great activity. It’s going to be peace in the Middle East.' He assessed that 'most of the countries… in the Middle East want to sign this deal.'"

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"'Alternative normalization' with Saudi Arabia seen in Bahrain-Israel deal"


Nach der Normalisierung der Beziehungen zwischen Bahrain und Israel richte sich der Blick nun auf Saudi-Arabien, schreibt Anuj Chopra. In diesem Fall sei eine "alternative Normalisierung" des Verhältnisses zu Israel allerdings wahrscheinlicher als ein formelle. "The development, billed by Trump as 'truly historic,' was unlikely to have happened without the silent endorsement of Riyadh, which holds enormous leverage over Bahrain. (…) Saudi officials have publicly remained tight-lipped over the development, but a source close to the establishment hinted it was a concession to Trump after he exerted enormous pressure on Riyadh to form diplomatic ties with Israel. (…) Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, is unlikely to make a similar deal with Israel immediately, as doing so without a resolution to the Palestinian issue would be seen as a betrayal of the cause and hurt its image as the leader of the Muslim world. And analysts say it does not feel a pressing need to after having cultivated covert ties with Israel, which it views as a bulwark against its regional nemesis Iran, even as it has voiced steadfast support for an independent Palestinian state."

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"Kushner: Our plan is bid to save 2-state solution; Israel was eating up the land"


Jared Kushner, führender Berater im Weißen Haus, hat den Nahost-Plan der US-Regierung als Versuch charakterisiert, die Ausdehnung israelischer Siedlungen im palästinensischen Westjordanland zu stoppen. "Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday that the Trump administration’s peace plan was an attempt to 'save the two state solution' because it stops Israel from further expanding its presence in the West Bank. 'The reality today is that a lot of this land is inhabited with Israelis,' Kushner told reporters during a phone briefing ahead of the White House signing next week of the Israel-UAE normalization deal. (…) 'What we did with our plan was we were trying to save the two-state solution because… if we kept going with the status quo… ultimately, Israel would have eaten up all the land in the West Bank,' Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser added."

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"Erdogan raises rhetoric in Greece standoff in Mediterranean"


Im aktuellen Streit mit Griechenland habe der türkische Präsident Erdogan erneut rhetorisch nachgelegt, berichtet Andrew Wilks. "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned Greece to enter talks over disputed eastern Mediterranean territorial claims or face the consequences. 'They’re either going to understand the language of politics and diplomacy, or in the field with painful experiences,' he said at a hospital’s opening ceremony in Istanbul. (…) He stressed that Turkey was 'ready for every eventuality and result.' Meanwhile, Turkish media reported that tanks were being moved towards the Greek border. The Cumhuriyet newspaper said 40 tanks were being transported from the Syrian border to Edirne in northwest Turkey and carried photographs of armored vehicles loaded on trucks. A military official speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations said the deployment was a regular movement of forces and unconnected to tension with Greece."

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"Kushner: 100% possible, and logical, for all 22 Arab states to recognize Israel"


Jared Kushner, Berater im Weißen Haus und Architekt des Nahost-Friedensplans der US-Regierung, erwartet, dass die anderen arabischen Staaten dem Vorbild der VAE allmählich folgen und in den kommenden Jahren eigene Friedensverträge mit Israel abschließen werden. "Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner predicted Tuesday that all other Arab countries will gradually follow the United Arab Emirates in normalizing ties with Israel, causing the 'vocal minority' that opposes the move to become increasingly isolated in the region. Asked in an interview with the UAE’s WAM news agency whether he believed all 22 Arab states could eventually recognize Israel, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law replied: '100 percent.'"

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"Palestinian leaders! Wake up and smell the statehood!"


Bishara A. Bahbah kann nicht verstehen, warum die palästinensische Führung trotz der veränderten Umstände des Nahost-Konflikts an einer seit Jahrzehnten scheiternden Strategie festhalte. "One wonders if the collective Palestinian leadership is in a coma. And, now the situation is dramatically different and more challenging than it was even a year ago. (…) Instead of bemoaning their fate and pursuing a failed strategy, what the internationally recognized Palestinian leadership in Ramallah should urgently do is think out of the box and take two steps that, until now, have been unthinkable. First, the Palestinians should pick up the phone, call President Donald Trump and ask for an urgent meeting at the White House to present the Palestinian demands for an acceptable peace plan. Second, the Palestinians should call for an Arab mini-summit in Riyadh hosted by King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah II of Jordan, the Emir of Kuwait, the Egyptian President and, yes, the Crown Prince of the UAE."

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"Poll: Nearly 80% of Israelis prefer UAE deal over West Bank annexation"


Einer Umfrage zufolge sind fast 80% der Israelis mit der Entscheidung zufrieden, für das Friedensabkommen mit den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten auf eine Annexion des Westjordanlandes zu verzichten. "Nearly 80 percent of Israelis prefer Israel’s normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates over West Bank annexation, according to a survey on Sunday. Meanwhile, some 14% said the accord would, or might, change their vote in a future election. Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced Thursday that they are establishing full diplomatic relations in the US-brokered accord, which also required Israel to suspend its contentious plan to annex West Bank land sought by the Palestinians for a future state. Israel had previously planned to unilaterally move ahead with the measures on the basis of the US peace plan."

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"Trump seeks 'snapback' to force return of UN Iran sanctions"


Die US-Regierung ist mit ihrem Versuch, ein UN-Waffenembargo gegen den Iran im UN-Sicherheitsrat zu verlängern, gescheitert. Nun will Washington Sanktionen gegen Teheran auf einem anderen Weg durchsetzen. "'We’ll be doing a snapback,' the US president said, referring to the contested argument that the US remains a 'participant' in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — despite Trump’s withdrawal from it — and therefore can force a return to sanctions if it sees Iran as being in violation of its terms. Trump added that the US will make its move next week. (…) The 15-member council on Friday resoundingly defeated a US resolution to indefinitely extend the embargo. Only the Dominican Republican joined the US in supporting the resolution. Russia and China opposed it, while the remaining 11 members abstained."

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"US threatening to veto UN peacekeeper mandate in southern Lebanon — report"


Die US-Regierung hat sich hinter Israels Forderung nach einer Reform der UNIFIL-Mission in Libanon gestellt und im Fall einer Weigerung des UN-Sicherheitsrats mit einem Ende der Mission gedroht. "The United States is warning it may veto a United Nations resolution extending the mandate of UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon and dissolve the force, unless changes are made before an August 31 vote, according to a Wednesday report. Israel has for years complained that the contingent of Blue Helmets deployed along the ceasefire line between Israel and Lebanon is ineffective at keeping the Hezbollah terror group from maintaining an armed presence on its doorstep, claims that Washington is now reportedly backing. However, the rest of the Security Council seemingly backs a simple renewal of the existing mandate without changes, especially with Lebanon currently wracked by instability following the Beirut port explosion and the fall of its government."

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"America’s confused, lackluster response to virus met with incredulity in Europe"


Das Ansehen der USA sei aufgrund der amerikanischen Reaktion auf die Corona-Pandemie besonders in Europa beschädigt worden, berichten Nicole Winfield und Lisa Marie Pane. "The United States’ failure to contain the spread of the coronavirus has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe, as the world’s most powerful country edges closer to a global record of 5 million confirmed infections. (…) Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience, and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself did not have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units. Yet, more than four months into a sustained outbreak, the US is about to hit an astonishing milestone of 5 million confirmed infections, easily the highest in the world. (…) 'There’s no national strategy, no national leadership, and there’s no urging for the public to act in unison and carry out the measures together,' [Dr. David Ho, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center,] said. 'That’s what it takes and we have completely abandoned that as a nation.'"

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"How Europe can become a player in the Middle East"


Martin Engelberg, Abgeordneter im österreichischen Nationalrat, glaubt, dass Europa eine aktivere Rolle im Nahost-Friedensprozess spielen könnte. "Regarding the Middle East, the EU has so far played the role of the two old men in the 'Muppet Show': observing the course of events from the box and bitching about it. The Europeans could do well as mediators though. (…) the EU has not made a constructive contribution to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years. The engagement usually ends with a condemnation of Israel. Financial support for the Palestinians to maintain the — actually undesirable — status quo continues. What remains is the ritualized lip service to a (not defined) two-state solution. (…) the Europeans could support the Palestinians and thus play a supporting role in the Middle East. This is certainly not possible with threats and sanctions against Israel, but rather by demanding the principle of reality, understanding the narratives of both sides, pushing for a willingness to compromise and last but not least: the promise to Israel and the emerging Palestinian state structure that they both can expect generous economic support from the EU and maximum integration into Europe."

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"In latest in series of blasts, explosion reported at Iranian oil pipeline"


In Iran ist es Berichten zufolge erneut zu einer mysteriösen Explosion gekommen, die von einigen Beobachtern als weiteres Kapitel einer verdeckten Sabotage-Kampagne betrachtet wird. "Several of the recent disasters have struck sensitive Iranian sites, leading to speculation that they could be part of a sabotage campaign engineered by Israel or another Tehran foe. The latest incident occurred in a pipeline in the Ahvaz region in the south of the country, according to reports in local and social media. (…) The last odd incident came on Wednesday, when seven traditional wooden vessels caught fire in a factory in the southern Iranian port city of Bushehr. Others have included gas blasts and explosions in Tehran, as well as in the vicinity of military facilities. A July 2 explosion damaged Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. A week before that, a large blast was felt in Tehran, apparently caused by an explosion at the Parchin military complex, which defense analysts believe holds an underground tunnel system and missile production facilities."

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"Iran admits fire at Natanz nuclear site set back its centrifuge program"


Ein Brand in der iranischen Atomanlage Natanz hat Berichten zufolge schweren Schaden angerichtet und das Atomprogramm Teherans zurückgeworfen. "Satellite images of the Natanz site published Sunday by the London-based Iranian news site Iran International appeared to show that the site had incurred more significant damage from a mysterious blast last week than what Tehran had initially disclosed. The photos showed most of the building flattened with debris scattered around the perimeter, indicating that it had been targeted in an explosion. (…) Experts assess that the damage from the apparent explosion has set back Iran’s nuclear program by a year, according to Israel’s Channel 13 news. The network said Sunday that the lab in Natanz where advanced centrifuges are assembled had been destroyed. (…) An Israeli TV report Friday night said that Israel was bracing for a possible Iranian retaliation if it determines Jerusalem is behind the Natanz explosion. Defense Minister Benny Gantz played down the speculation earlier Sunday, saying that not everything that happened there could be blamed on Israel."

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"West Bank annexation could alienate Gulf, but won’t incur EU sanctions – experts"


Israel muss sich im Fall einer Annexion des Westjordanlandes nach Ansicht von Experten trotz einer aktuellen diplomatischen Kampagne europäischer Politiker keine Sorgen um mögliche Sanktionen der EU machen. "The EU, Israel’s top economic partner, has in recent weeks mounted a diplomatic campaign against annexation, highlighted by a visit to Jerusalem by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to raise concern about the prospective plans. But the bloc cannot threaten Israel with formal sanctions, as those require unanimous support among members. Austria and Hungary have already refused to condemn Israel over prospective annexation, while the leaders of Greece and Cyprus were in the Jewish state earlier this month for talks on energy cooperation. (…) a European diplomat told AFP that any response against Israel will be weighed against the possible loss of access to Israeli technology, including related to security, which is highly valued by some EU members. 'We need the Israelis, but not the Palestinians,' said the diplomat on condition of anonymity."

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"Annexation’s irony: Bringing Israeli politics closer to Palestinian statehood"


Eine israelische Annexion des Westjordanlandes könnte der palästinensischen Staatsbildung einen möglicherweise entscheidenden Schub geben, meint Haviv Rettig Gur. In der israelischen Debatte über den US-Friedensplan sähen sich Vertreter aller Seiten plötzlich gezwungen, ihre langjährige Ambiguität in der Landfrage aufzugeben. "The plan was supposed to reshape Palestinian politics, to clarify the limits of Palestinian demands and force a shift in the Palestinian negotiating position. But the Palestinians haven’t budged. The effect, ironically, is being felt mostly on the Israeli side. In its very acceptance of Israel’s arguments about land and security, the Trump plan is forcing a moment of decision, a line in the sand. There is too much at stake, Netanyahu has argued, to cling to the old ambiguity. (…) A grudging consensus is coalescing out of the fog of generations-old ambiguity. Founding figures of the settlement movement are accepting not only that any annexation will be limited — but the principle of Palestinian statehood that those limits imply. On the center-left, the sense that some version of the long-dormant Allon Plan, Israel’s earliest unofficial articulation of its ideal solution to the territory, may be attainable is driving a new interest in taking the plunge – and in ensuring Palestinian independence in the unclaimed areas."

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"Over 1,000 MPs from across Europe call for 'decisive action' against annexation"


Über tausend Abgeordnete europäischer Parlamente haben eine gemeinsame Stellungnahme gegen die geplante israelische Annexion des palästinensischen Westjordanlandes veröffentlicht. "'We, parliamentarians from across Europe committed to a rules-based global order, share serious concerns about [US] President [Donald] Trump’s plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the imminent prospect of Israeli annexation of West Bank territory. We are deeply worried about the precedent this would set for international relations at large,' the statement read. The US peace plan, which forms the basis for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the entire Jordan Valley and all settlements across the West Bank — amounting to some 30 percent of the territory — starting July 1, 'departs from internationally agreed parameters and principles,' the statement added. Annexation would be 'fatal to the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and will challenge the most basic norms guiding international relations,' it went on. The statement was signed by lawmakers belonging to parties across the political spectrum from 25 countries, including some considered to be very friendly toward Israel such as Germany and Hungary."

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"Annexation will not end Israel’s peace with Jordan"


Trotz der Drohungen des jordanischen Königs Abdullah bezweifelt Julio Messer, dass Jordanien im Falle einer israelischen Annexion des Westjordanlands tatsächlich das Friedensabkommen mit Israel aufkündigen wird. Die Folge dieser drastischen Maßnahme wären vermehrte Armut und politische Instabilität in Jordanien, so Messer. "King Abdullah has consistently rejected the popular and parliamentarian pressure to cancel the treaty, and for good reason. To do so would put at risk a series of important benefits that emanate directly and indirectly from it: the vital water transfers from the Yarmouk and the Jordan rivers, the supply of Israeli gas at a discount (which may generate annual savings of over $500 million), the more than $1 billion that Israel committed to help finance the Red Sea-Dead Sea canal project (which would include a desalination plant for Jordan, the production of green energy through use of water turbines and the delivery of leftover brine to replenish the fast-shrinking lake), Jordan’s trade with Turkey via the Haifa port (which used to be conducted via Syria prior to its civil war), the more than $100 million the Kingdom receives every month from the United States, the Jordan Free Trade Agreement and potentially even Jordan’s “special role” in the Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem (Israel and Saudi Arabia have even been reportedly engaged in secret talks regarding the Islamic Waqf). (…) while terminating the treaty might answer his short-term need of pleasing the street, it would only aggravate the medium and long-term menace of poverty."

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"UN rights experts say West Bank annexation will create ’21st-century apartheid’"


UN-Experten warnen, dass eine israelische Annexion des Westjordanlandes ein neues "Apartheid"-System schaffen würde. "The experts argued that annexation would be a 'serious violation' of the United Nations charter and the Geneva Conventions, and would only intensify human rights violations in the West Bank. Israeli officials rejected the warning, with a diplomatic source telling The Times of Israel it was simply more proof of 'the one-sided point of view and the anti-Israeli tendency that has been a part of the United Nations Human Rights Council since its creation.' The more than 40 independent special rapporteurs along with a range of UN working groups on various rights issues who signed the statement do not speak for the UN but report their findings to it. (…) 'What would be left of the West Bank would be a Palestinian Bantustan, islands of disconnected land completely surrounded by Israel and with no territorial connection to the outside world,' they said, referring to the territories set out for blacks by South Africa’s apartheid regime."

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"Jordan king said to snub Netanyahu, refuse his calls over annexation push"


Die Beziehungen zwischen Israel und Jordanien bleiben angesichts der israelischen Annexionspläne für das palästinensische Westjordanland angespannt. "Jordan’s King Abdullah II has reportedly refused to take phone calls from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, amid seething anger in the Hashemite kingdom over Israeli plans to annex portions of the West Bank. The report by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency would seem to mark a new low in Israel-Jordan ties, which have been tested repeatedly in recent years and which Amman has threatened to cut off if Israel goes ahead. (…) According to the report, which cited a Jordanian official, Amman is also refusing to set a date for a meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to discuss the annexation plans and the Trump administration’s peace plan. Gantz has sought to coordinate the move with a wider range of allies than the US, but Jordan has vociferously rejected annexation, with the king warning it could lead to a 'massive conflict.'"

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"Germany won’t sanction Israel over annexation – Jerusalem official"


Ein deutscher Diplomat in Jerusalem hat gegenüber der Times of Israel angedeutet, dass die Bundesregierung auf eine israelische Annexion des Westjordanlandes nicht mit Sanktionen reagieren würde. "While annexation would likely cause a certain degree of damage to bilateral ties, Berlin has made plain that it does not plan to enact sanctions against the Jewish state or recognize a Palestinian state, the official said. 'Germany will not go off the deep end,' he added, speaking to Israeli reporters on conditions of anonymity. 'The Germans are not in favor of sanctions, and will not recognize a Palestinian state. They are pragmatic. Their main goal is to guarantee [regional] stability. They don’t want to cause a major upset. Rather, they are going to look for ways to encourage us and the Palestinians to return to talks.'"

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"US 'highly unlikely' to back July 1 annexation, ToI told; mapping far from done"


Die US-Regierung würde eine israelische Annexion des Westjordanlandes im Juli wohl nicht unterstützen. Ein Grund sei die Corona-Pandemie, die die Planung der Annexion zurückgeworfen habe, berichtet Raphael Ahren. "The US administration is highly unlikely to approve an Israeli move to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank by the July 1 date envisioned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a well-placed source told The Times of Israel on Wednesday. In fact, it could take long weeks and possibly even several months before the joint US-Israel mapping committee concludes its work, which the White House has declared a precondition that must be met before it would give a green light for annexation, the source said. The mapping committee is tasked with delineating the exact borders of the area Israel would apply sovereignty to — a difficult mission that requires meticulous on-the-ground-work, according to the source, who spoke to The Times of Israel on condition of anonymity. However, one key member of the US side of the joint committee, the National Security Council’s Israel and Palestinian affairs director Scott Leith, has not been able to travel to the region since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic."

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"French envoy: We’re not making threats, but annexation will have consequences"


Der französische Botschafter in Israel, Eric Danon, erklärt im Gespräch mit der Times of Israel, warum Paris sich gegen ein Verbot der Hisbollah ausspricht und welche Folgen eine israelische Annexion des Westjordanlands haben könnte. "France does not mean to threaten Israel, but a move to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank would be considered a 'serious' violation of international law and would inevitably have negative consequences for bilateral relations, Paris’s ambassador in Tel Aviv said in an interview. 'There are violations of international law of different degrees of severity, and an annexation of the Jordan Valley and the settlements would be considered a serious one,' Eric Danon told The Times of Israel. 'This qualification implies that there would be consequences, as it would not be considered ‘serious’ otherwise.' In an hour-and-a-half long interview conducted via Zoom, Danon also explained why Paris is not currently considering blacklisting Hezbollah, and how he surprisingly became his country’s first Jewish ambassador to Israel, defying longstanding French diplomatic dogma that said that Jews should never represent Paris in the Jewish state due to dual loyalty concerns."

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"World Bank: Palestinian economy could shrink by 11% due to virus"


Die Coronakrise könnte in den palästinensischen Gebieten zu einer tiefen Wirtschaftskrise führen, so eine aktuelle Warnung der Weltbank. "The Palestinian economy could shrink by as much as 11 percent in the coming year as the coronavirus pandemic inflicts yet another blow to the Palestinian Authority’s already shaky finances, the World Bank said Monday. The economic deterioration comes as tensions with Israel grow ahead of potential Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank, a move critics say would make it virtually impossible to create a viable Palestinian state. In a separate report to the World Bank predictions, the UN’s Mideast envoy warned that unilateral actions by either side — such as Israeli annexation and Palestinian withdrawal from past agreements — would 'most likely trigger conflict and instability' in the region."

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"Netanyahu said to tell Likud MKs: West Bank annexation on for July"


Israels Premierminister Netanjahu will die Annexion von Teilen des Westjordanlandes offenbar im Juli durchführen. "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said he has set a July date for when Israel will extend its sovereignty to areas of the West Bank, and informed his Likud lawmakers he has no intention of changing it, Hebrew media reported. At the opening of his Likud faction’s weekly meeting at the Knesset, Netanyahu said there has never been a better time in the country’s history to apply sovereignty, which is tantamount to annexation, to these areas."

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"Dozens die in attack on Syrian troops at edge of rebel stronghold"


In der syrischen Hama-Provinz ist es Berichten zufolge zu Kämpfen zwischen Regierungstruppen und der Al-Qaida-nahen Gruppe Horas al-Din gekommen. "Al-Qaeda-linked fighters attacked Syrian government positions Sunday on the edge of the country’s last rebel stronghold, triggering intense clashes that killed nearly three dozen combatants across both sides, opposition activists said. The fighting was among the worst since early March, when an agreement between Turkey and Russia halted the Syrian government’s three-month air and ground campaign into rebel-held northwestern Idlib province. Sunday’s clashes took place in neighboring Hama province, parts of which are still under rebel control."

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