Pompeo visits Abu Dhabi to build on momentum from Abraham Accords

Pompeo visits Abu Dhabi to build on momentum from Abraham Accords
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Abu Dhabi on Friday November 20, 2020. (@SecPompeo)
Pompeo visits Abu Dhabi to build on momentum from Abraham Accords
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Abu Dhabi on Friday November 20, 2020. (@SecPompeo)
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Updated 20 November 2020

Pompeo visits Abu Dhabi to build on momentum from Abraham Accords

Pompeo visits Abu Dhabi to build on momentum from Abraham Accords
  • Pompeo: We have made significant progress in advancing peace and security in the Middle East
  • The UAE agreed to normalize relations with Israel in a historic agreement in August

LONDON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Abu Dhabi on Friday as part of a tour of the Middle East.

The Secretary of State said he looked forward to building on the “positive momentum” made from the Abraham Accords.

“We have made significant progress in advancing peace and security in the Middle East,” Pompeo tweeted. 

The UAE agreed to normalize relations with Israel in a historic agreement in August. Bahrain and Sudan followed suit soon afterwards. 

Previous to the agreement, Egypt and Jordan were the only two Arab countries that had formal diplomatic relations with Israel

Pompeo on Thursday became the first top American diplomat to visit a West Bank Jewish settlement and the disputed Golan Heights. His visit was condemned by the Palestinians and the Syrian government. 


Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia
Updated 38 min 59 sec ago

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia
  • Malka Leifer had been fighting extradition from Israel since 2014
  • She faces 74 charges of child sex abuse that she allegedly committed while teaching in Melbourne

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities on Monday extradited a woman wanted on 74 charges of child sex abuse in Australia, following a six-year legal battle that had strained relations between the two governments.
Malka Leifer, a former teacher accused of sexually abusing several former students at a Jewish school in Melbourne, had been fighting extradition from Israel since 2014. Leifer maintains her innocence and the protracted court case and repeated delays over her extradition drew criticism from Australian officials as well as the country’s Jewish leaders.
Israeli media photographed Leifer boarding a plane at Ben Gurion Airport early Monday, her ankles and wrists shackled. Her lawyer, Nick Kaufman, confirmed the extradition.
The Hebrew-language news site Ynet reported that she boarded a flight to Frankfurt, where she would transfer to another flight bound for Australia.
Her departure was timed so that she left the country before Israel’s shutdown of the airport at midnight due to the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
In December, the Supreme Court rejected a final appeal against her extradition, and Israel’s justice minister signed the order to send her to Australia.
Leifer faces 74 charges of child sex abuse that she allegedly committed while teaching in Melbourne.
As accusations against her began surfacing in 2008, Israeli-born Leifer left the school and returned to Israel, where she has lived since.
Critics, including Leifer’s alleged victims, had accused Israeli authorities of dragging out the case for far too long, while Leifer claimed she was mentally unfit to stand trial.
Last year, an Israeli psychiatric panel determined Leifer was lying about her mental condition, setting in motion the extradition.
Avi Nissenkorn, Israel’s former justice minister who had signed the extradition order, wrote on Twitter: “I promised that I would not hinder the extradition order, and that’s what I have done. Malka Leifer’s victims will finally earn an act of justice.”
Manny Waks, head of Voice against Child Sex Abuse, an organization representing Leifer’s victims, said in a statement that “this is an incredible day for justice!”
“We can now truly look forward to Leifer facing justice in Australia on the 74 charges she is facing,” he said.