Fox News has confirmed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office Thursday that there was no credence to news media reports of an assassination attempt against him while visiting Africa this week.
Saturday Turkey said 2 American citizens were among those killed in a suicide bombing attack on a pedestrian shopping street in Istanbul. “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Istanbul, Turkey. Two American citizens were among those killed in this heinous attack,” National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Teachers, staff and 33,000 students at Arab Christian schools in Israel have been on strike since Sept. 1, accusing the state of Israel of discrimination over funding cuts. Students, teachers and parents are setting up protest tents from Haifa to Jerusalem, the news site reported, as part of a nationwide strike over what many say is a “death blow” to the future of Christian schools in Israel.
“Iran will get hundreds of billions of dollars from sanctions relief and investments to fuel its aggression and terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa and beyond,” Netanyahu — who is bitterly opposed to the deal agreed by Iran and world powers in July — said during a visit to the Italian city of Florence.
Netanyahu is touring his first major overseas visit since being re-elected in June.
Speaking ahead of a meeting Saturday evening with his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi he compared the threat posed by the Islamic State jihadist group with the “far more serious threat…posed by another Islamic state, the Islamic state of Iran and specifically its pursuit of nuclear weapons”.
Israel was not opposed to Iran having a civilian nuclear program, he said, but the deal hammered out in the Swiss city of Lausanne would allow Tehran “to keep and extend a formidable infrastructure that is completely unnecessary for civilian nuclear purposes but is entirely necessary for the production of nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu declared.
Iran denies trying to develop nuclear weapons, insisting its atomic programme is peaceful.
As U.S. officials head to Israel to try to calm fears surrounding the Iran nuclear deal, some analysts say Israel is preparing for what may be greater involvement in the war in neighboring Syria. But it’s not just the Iran deal making Israel nervous, according to Said Okasha, a researcher at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo that specializes in Israel. Militant groups like Islamic State or al-Qaida affiliate, al-Nusra, are increasingly a threat, he says.
Six world powers and Iran are reported to have drawn up a 100-page document detailing curbs to Iran’s nuclear activity and sanctions relief. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is to make a televised address at 17:30 GMT.
Obama has moved to reassure Israel that the US remains its staunchest supporter, amid Israeli fears over last week’s outline agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme. He said Iran and the rest of the region should know that “if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there”.