The Israeli regime has announced plans to forego its next military drills due to lack of funds, urging Washington to inject billions more of American tax-payer dollars into the aggressive regime following its failed talks with the Palestinian Authority, Al-Alam reported.
Despite billions of annual military grants it receives from the U.S., Israeli War Minister Moshe Bogge Ya’alon announced that the regime’s war-games code named ‘Turning Point 8,’ which was scheduled to take place next month, will be cancelled and all other forthcoming military drills are expected to experience a similar fate, since the Israeli regime just cannot afford them.
Ya’alon has long been pushing for increased budgets, but this week he revealed a rather shocking turn of events, The Israeli military has gone broke.
Meanwhile, Ya’alon and other Israeli officials are pressing the U.S. not only to announce an extension of their annual $3 billion in military aid to the country beyond 2017, when the current pledge expires, but to beef it up to something more like $3.5 billion annually for the next decade-long commitment.
U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice, visiting the occupied lands of Palestine, played up the $3 billion the U.S. is already giving them as an “investment” that proves their dedication to Tel Aviv.
During a time when the international community and increasing number of nations are disappointed with the Israeli regime’s defiance on demands to stop settlement building in the West Bank and East al-Quds, the U.S. insists on its policy of extending all-out support to the aggressive regime.
PA allows sale of pro-Hamas newspaper
Meanwhile, a pro-Islamist newspaper was sold in the West Bank on Saturday for the first time in seven years, another sign of a Palestinian unity pact that prompted Israel to suspend peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Palestinian Authority (PA) permitted printers to roll out the tabloid, "Falasteen", Arabic for Palestine, three days after Hamas Islamists in control of Gaza allowed a leading West Bank daily to be sold in their midst, Reuters reported.
Abbas's Fatah movement and Hamas announced a unity pact on April 23, with the stated aim of forming a joint government in five weeks, angering Israel and spurring it to shelve already faltering peace talks soon after.
Iyad Al-Qara, director general of Falesteen, said its reappearance in the West Bank was "a positive and important step towards pushing reconciliation forward."
The newspaper was last sold in the West Bank in 2007 when ties ruptured over Hamas's seizure of control in Gaza, while Fatah retained control in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Al-Quds, the biggest-selling Palestinian daily in the West Bank, resumed sales in Gaza on Wednesday. The newspaper is printed in East Jerusalem and includes articles critical of a wide spectrum of political parties.
Abbas met Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Qatar earlier this week in a further step to bolster the latest of a series of efforts to heal the Palestinian political rift.
Hamas rejects Israel's existence and both the Zionists and the United States regard the group as a terrorist organization. It seized Gaza from Fatah forces in a brief 2007 civil war.
The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, which Palestinians loyal to Abbas now seek, along with Gaza and East Jerusalem, for an independent state.
Israel captured all three areas in the 1967 Middle East war, but withdrew from Gaza in 2005.
Palestinian captives vow to continue hunger strike
Meanwhile, more than 100 Palestinian captives in Israeli prisons continued with their hunger strike for the 17th consecutive days to protest their potentially indefinite ‘administrative detention’ with any charges or trial.
The Palestinian captives insist that they are determined to persist with their open-ended strike until their demands are met, according to Al-Alam.
Israeli regime’s prison authorities have imposed additional restrictions on the Palestinian detainees, preventing most of them from meeting with their lawyers.
Most of the striking Palestinian captives are elderly and many of them suffer from serious health conditions.
Administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge, allowing the Israeli regime to imprison Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite number of times.
As of April 1, there were 186 Palestinians held in administrative detention in Israeli jails, according to Addameer, an advocacy group for the rights of Palestinian prisoners.
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