In this week's UpFront, we ask the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, about the military escalation in Gaza and whether Israel plans to annex the occupied West Bank.

And in the Arena, we debate the conclusions of Robert Mueller's investigation into whether US President Donald Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential elections.

Israel's UN envoy on Gaza: 'You have to retaliate'

Israeli bombs pounded Gaza once again this week after a long-range missile launched from the besieged coastal enclave struck a home in central Israel. This retaliatory measure was viewed by some as a show of force by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an attempt to garner votes ahead of the April 9 elections.

On Wednesday Netanyahu met Trump, whose decision to recognise Israel's illegal annexation of the Golan Heights has led to an international outcry. Will Israel's next move be to annex the occupied West Bank?

"I'm not familiar with a plan to do it and now we are waiting to hear from President Trump to read his peace initiative, to discuss it," says Israeli diplomat Danon. "Unlike the Palestinians who don't even want to look at it, we respect the work that is being done in Washington about that, and we respect any initiative."

Repeatedly asked whether he supports a two-state solution, Danon refused to answer. However, he stressed that he supported "direct negotiations" with the Palestinians.

Trump, Russia and the Mueller report: Has the case really closed?

A two-year investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between President Trump's campaign and Russia before the 2016 US presidential election has come to an end. The conclusion, according to a summary submitted to US Congress by Attorney General William Barr, is "no collusion".

But does this completely exonerate Trump?

"I've assessed all the evidence to date for a Trump-Russia conspiracy. I've been arguing for two years that it's not there. Mueller apparently felt the same," says journalist Aaron Mate. "All the available evidence I've seen undermines the case for it. And now we have the conclusion from Mueller that it did not happen. Again, I can't wait for the final report," added Mate, a contributing writer with The Nation.

But David Cay Johnston, the author of It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America, wants Trump to release the full report.

"Donald Trump has the authority to make every word of this report public ... Why isn't he using his power to do so? That's all we need to know. Unless we see every word of that report, why aren't we seeing it when Donald Trump has the power to release a report that he claims exonerates him," asked Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Aaron Mate and David Cay Johnston debate the response to the Mueller report in this week's Arena.

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Source: Al Jazeera