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TOP STORIES TODAY

Greece okays $1.68 billion defense deal with Israel (Times of Israel) 

Alexander Fulbright write: "Defense Ministry says 20-year agreement will see Elbit Systems establish flight school for Greek air force, sell and upgrade training aircraft." 

"The Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that the Greek government has approved a $1.68 billion agreement to purchase training aircraft from Israel and for an Israeli defense contractor to establish a flight school for Greece’s air force."

"The deal, which still must be signed by the two countries’ defense ministries, will see Elbit Systems set up and operate a training school for the Hellenic Air Force. It also includes the sale of 10 Aermacchi M-346 aircraft, known in Israel as the Lavi, and for Elbit to upgrade and maintain Greece’s T-6 training planes."
Israel seeks third F-35 squadron from US before Trump leaves office (Middle East Eye)

"Israel is hoping to secure a squadron of F-35 fighter jets from the US before President Donald Trump leaves office later this month, the country's defence minister has said."

"Benny Gantz told Israeli Ynet TV that he was in talks with Washington about the purchase of a third squadron of F-35s, a cutting-edge stealth jet fighter that has been sought after by many countries in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey."

"Israel has been in talks with the US on how to preserve its military edge in the region after the Trump administration approved the possible sale of F-35 jets to the UAE last year."
Heinous’: Israeli forces ‘killed 27 Palestinians in 2020’ (Al Jazeera)

"Israeli security forces committed “heinous killings” throughout 2020, shooting dead at least 27 Palestinians across occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem."

“Over the course of 2020, Israeli security forces killed 27 Palestinians, seven of them minors: one in the Gaza Strip, 23 in the West Bank [including East Jerusalem] and three inside Israel,” B’Tselem said on Monday."

"In at least 11 of the 16 killings investigated by B’Tselem in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinians “posed no threat to the lives of the forces” or any other person at the time they were shot."

"Some of the examples highlighted in the report included the killing of Iyad Hallaq, a 32-year-old autistic Palestinian man who attended and worked at a school for people with special needs in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City."

What is behind Mahmoud Abbas’s diplomatic offensive?(Al Jazeera)

Adnan Abu Amer writes "The Palestinian president hopes to restore the Palestinian Authority’s international standing. But will it work?"

"Over the past two months, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been actively trying to pull the Palestinian Authority (PA) out of its political isolation. After the results of the US elections became clear in November, hope seems to have come back to Ramallah that the punitive campaign the Trump administration waged against it is now over."

"With none of the PA’s harsh rhetoric or protest action resulting in any change in the positions of the Arab countries normalising relations with Israel, Abbas has been forced to change tactics." 

"Hoping to re-engage Washington, he has now set off to mend relations with Arab nations and try to gain some support for his overture to the Biden administration. He is also aiming to regain financial support for the cash-strapped PA. But will his gamble pay off?"

GO DEEPER

2021 offers Palestine the chance to fight back (Arab News) 

Ramzy Baroud writes: "The year 2020 will go down in history as the year that the American-sponsored “peace process” was terminated." 

"While the Palestinian leadership has previously succeeded in playing the waiting game, that strategy is now coming to an end."

"If 2021 is to bring any positive change in the trajectory of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, new strategies will have to replace the old ones. Thinking should shift into a whole new political landscape."

"The Palestinian leadership must understand that the balances of global power are fundamentally changing."

"Popular resistance must serve as the backbone of any authentic Palestinian vision for liberation."


 
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