Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed a recent White House rebuke of Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, saying in comments broadcast on Sunday that the criticism goes “against American values.”
The tough words by Netanyahu threatened to deepen a rift with the White House over Israeli construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war and claimed by the Palestinians as part of a future independent state.
In an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Netanyahu said he does not accept restrictions on where Jews could live, and said that Jerusalem’s Arabs and Jews should be able to buy homes wherever they want.
He said he was “baffled” by the American condemnation. “It’s against the American values. And it doesn’t bode well for peace,” he said. “The idea that we’d have this ethnic purification as a condition for peace, I think it’s anti-peace.” The interview was recorded Thursday.
Israel came under fire last week after a Jerusalem city official signed the final go-ahead for construction of a new housing development in East Jerusalem. A day earlier, an ultra-nationalist Jewish group said dozens of settlers would move into six apartment buildings purchased in the heart of the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem.
In a striking public rebuke last week, the Obama administration warned Israel that the new project would distance Israel from “even its closest allies” and raise questions about its commitment to seeking peace with the Palestinians.
The White House declined comment.
Hamas has resumed rocket manufacturing in Gaza, the head of the Israeli Air Force’s Air Defense Command said.
“The production lines are running again, but the supervision of what’s going into Gaza is more hermetic, so it’s harder for them,” Brigadier-General Shachar Shochat told The Times of Israel. He said the terror groups’ domestic capacity to build rockets would also be determined by the degree to which they diverted construction materials to their war machine.
Discussing the 50-day Israel-Hamas war and its aftermath, Shochat estimated that the Iron Dome rocket defense system had saved “dozens, if not hundreds” of Israeli lives, and said that without it, “thousands would have been injured, and the damage to infrastructure would have been colossal.”
He also robustly defended Israel against criticism for the deaths of civilians in Gaza — some 2,100 Gazans were killed, according to UN and Palestinian figures, which asserted variously that two-thirds to three-quarters of the dead were civilians. Israel said about 1,000 of the dead were Hamas and other gunmen.
They have the capacity to manufacture. They’ve restarted and they can produce rockets, the more so if that’s how they use incoming [dual-use] materials. The production lines are running again, but the supervision of what’s going into Gaza is more hermetic, so it’s harder for them.
How serious is the threat from Syria and Lebanon?
There are more rockets with a higher quality and bigger warheads. [Hezbollah is] supplied and trained by Iran and they have their own production capacities. They have tens of thousands of rockets — anywhere from 100,000 to 170,000. The precise number is less relevant. It’s a different order of danger. So we’re preparing offensive and defensive responses. It’s more of a challenge.
Why is it said the Iron Dome would not be able to cope with a major attack by Hezbollah?
Iron Dome has its capabilities, but we’d need more forces, greater capabilities and a more offensive scale.
The new left-wing government in Sweden has promised to recognise Palestine, amid EU criticism of Israel’s latest settlement expansion.
The Swedish PM, Stefan Lofven, made the pledge at his inauguration speech in parliament on Friday (3 October).
“The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved by a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law. It must guarantee both the Palestinians and Israelis' legitimate demands for national sovereignty and security”, he said.
“A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognise the state of Palestine”.
Lofven’s announcement caught both Swedish and EU diplomats by surprise.
A Swedish source told this website it “marks a really big shift in the Social-Democratic party”. An EU contact said Palestine has stepped up its “lobbying campaign” in Europe: “They had hoped that France would take the step after [Palestinian] president Abbas visited Paris last month, but this didn’t happen”.
The Swedish move came the same day the EU published a statement criticising Israel’s plan to build thousands of new settler homes in East Jerusalem.
The EU communique used forceful language - “condemned” - and said “development of relations between the EU and Israel will depend on the latter's engagement towards a lasting peace”.
Some analysts saw it as a sign of impending action.
But the EU contact said it is not. “The wording is not new and was taken from recent [EU] Council conclusions”, he said.
Newly released images created from NASA satellite data illustrate the staggering effect the California drought has had on groundwater supply in the state. As Mashable's Patrick Kulp explains, the images show the amount of water lost over the past 12 years, with different colors indicating severity over time. “Nobody has any idea how disastrous it’s going to be,” Mike Wade of California Farm Water Coalition told the Associated Press, as RT reports a growing number of communities in central and northern California could end up without water in 60 days due to the Golden state’s prolonged drought. While California is bearing the brunt, experts note "We're seeing it happening all over the world, in most of the major aquifers in the arid and semi-arid parts of the world."
California is currently experiencing the third year of one of the most severe short-term droughts ever recorded. Data from U.S. Drought Monitor shows that as of Sept. 30, 82% of the state is facing extreme or exceptional drought conditions.
But the state is not the only area being plagued by critical drops in groundwater reserves. Data collected by GRACE indicates that the supply of groundwater is in decline worldwide, especially in regions that rely on it most.
"We're seeing it happening all over the world. It's happening in most of the major aquifers in the arid and semi-arid parts of the world where we rely on those aquifers. But we're able to see now the impact we're having on this over exploitation," Famiglietti told Science Magazine.
A growing number of communities in central and northern California could end up without water in 60 days due to the Golden state’s prolonged drought.
There are now a dozen of small communities in Central and Northern California relying on a single source of water – which has the water resources board concerned they will not have any at all in two months’ time.
At a mobile home park north of Oroville, more than 30 families are severely cutting back. The water supply is so tight it is shut off entirely between 10 pm and 5 am, according to CBS Sacramento. The families are relying on one well – all the others have dried up – and have to drive five miles to buy drinking water for themselves and their animals.
“Nobody has any idea how disastrous it’s going to be,” Mike Wade of California Farm Water Coalition told the Associated Press.
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Super Typhoon Phanfone has already wreaked havoc in its doom-strewn approach of Japan, but as RIA reports, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has revealed that the approaching typhoon could hit the damaged, decommissioned 40-year old nuclear power facility at Fukushima. Rather stunningly, The Japan Times reports tidal waves from the storm are likely to reach a maximum height of 26.3 meters or more (compared to the 2011 tsunami which reached a height of 15.5 meters when it hit the plant). Due to the expected 'mingling' of contaminated and Typhoon-driven ocean water, TEPCO admits 100 trillion becquerels of cesium to escape; Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) plans to verify the accuracy of TEPCO's estimate and the "appropriateness" of countermeasures being taken.
Tepco, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, has revealed that the approaching typhoon could hit the damaged, decommissioned 40-year old nuclear power facility Fukushima No.1, which was severely affected during the earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
The deluge would likely cause seawater to mingle with the radiation-tainted water accumulating in the basements of the reactor buildings at the six-unit plant, allowing 100 trillion becquerels of cesium to escape, according to an estimate that Tepco revealed Friday at a meeting of the Nuclear Regulation Authority," the Japan Times reports.
According to the media outlet, tidal waves from the storm are likely to reach a maximum height of 26.3 meters or more.The storm is likely to strike the Fukushima No.2 nuclear plant as well, but "its idled reactors and fuel pools" are not expected to be destroyed, Tepco officials assert.
It should be noted that the 2011 tsunami reached a height of 15.5 meters when it hit the plant, which was followed by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
In order to minimize the impact of the hurricane, Tepco "will reduce the vast quantity of radioactive water" on the site,the Asahi Shimbun notes. Citing Tepco's officials, the media source claims that the amount of contaminated wate, which is expected to spill into the ocean, could be decreased to 30 percent "by filling in trenches near reactors."
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