Yusuf Islam will not play at celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary

October 30, 2008
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 British Muslim activist Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, will not play at celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary of the Peres Centre for Peace. Conflicting reports suggested that his invitation was rescinded, that he had scheduling issues, or that Israeli security services objected to his entering the country. Mr Islam was previously refused entrance to Israel eight years ago.

 IDF troops shot dead a 68-year-old Palestinian farmer near the West Bank town of Jenin. Mohammed Abari was carrying a shotgun as he herded his cattle and Israeli forces said he opened fire at them. The farmer's family denied this, alleging that the injured man bled to death after IDF troops prevented an ambulance reaching him for two hours.

 Jerusalem mayoral hopeful Meir Porush served as a character witness in the case of Israel Valas, a Charedi man convicted in July of killing his three-month-old son, and is appealing against the sentence. "The defendant is a good man, I can't say a bad word about him," the MK said.

 Two brothers from the city of Umm al-Fahm have been charged with murdering their sister. Prosecutors claimed that Hilala Mahmid, 32, was stabbed after her brothers disagreed with her choice of husband. They deny murder.

 The deputy mayor of Sfat was indicted for stealing 23 artworks worth tens of millions of dollars from the city. Reuven Sadeh, 50, allegedly took paintings, including works by Edouard Manet and Paul Cezanne, over a period of 22 years.

 The water level of the Kinneret finally stabilised after six months in which it shrank every day. Following heavy rains, it is now 214.25 metres below sea level, but to fill up completely it still needs to rise another 5.45 metres.

 The High Court of Justice approved a petition which will allow right-wing activists Itamar Ben Gvir and Baruch Marzel to organise a march next month through Umm al-Fahm, one of Israel's largest Arab cities.

 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has vowed to intervene in an ongoing dispute which has delayed the academic year, with university heads saying they lack the resources to open their institutions. Students and tutors have been staging mass protests against the lack of extra funds from the Finance Ministry.

 Undercover police officers arrested five doctors on suspicion that they had sold medical exemptions to IDF soldiers under false pretences. The army suspects that hundreds of soldiers bought the sick notes for a small fee.

 Palestinian security forces said they had arrested around 50 wanted men during an overnight raid in Hebron. Some 550 policemen were deployed in the West Bank town last week as part of growing efforts to improve security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Arts

 The Tel Aviv Opera House is to launch Jazz Plus, a series of five major concerts, next month with Argentinian pianist Adrian Iaies and his musical outfit, followed by fellow Argentinian Astor Piazzolla.

 Feature film Seven Minutes in Heaven by Omri Givon won top prize in the 24th Haifa International Film Festival. Unmistaken Child, by Nathan Baratz won the Best Israeli Documentary prize. 

 An exhibition titled From and About Place: Art from Los Angeles by seven artists from the US city is showing in Tel Aviv at the Centre for Contemporary Art. Organisers Sergio Edelsztein, from Israel, and Alma Ruiz, from LA, were brought together through a curatorial exchange programme.

 A reggae special at Tel Aviv's Hangar 11 club on November 20 will see performances by former UB40 lead singer Ali Campbell, and reggae superstars Sly & Robbie. A ticket for the event, which will be part of the Pepsi Max Music Show, will also include Israeli singer Mosh Ben Ari.

Business

 Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer revoked approval for a Bank Hapoalim subsidiary Tarshish to buy Ukrainian bank OSJC. Tarshish had been due to buy 76 per cent of the bank for $116 million (£75m), for a total valuation of $150m (£97m), but Mr Fischer said he had decided against it because of the current economic situation.

 The Bank of Israel reduced its benchmark lending rate by a quarter point rate to 3.5 per cent, the second cut in three weeks. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange TA-25 Index closed down 3.3 per cent on Monday, marking a fall of 18.9 per cent since the start of October, marking the biggest monthly decline since the index was launched in 1992.

 Israel's trade deficit grew to its largest in three years and exports have fallen to their lowest level since February.

    Last updated: 3:34pm, September 23 2009