Israel news

Political war looms as Charedi draft becomes law

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 13, 2014

Three controversial laws were passed by the Knesset this week in a legislative push that created rare unity among the opposition.

The laws raised Israel’s electoral threshold to 3.25 per cent, established criminal sanctions against Charedi yeshiva students who refuse to enlist in the IDF and that any decision to relinquish Israeli-held territory will have to be authorised by a referendum.

More..

Southern Israel under massive rocket barrage from Gaza

By Daniel Easterman, March 12, 2014

Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility after more than 100 rockets and mortar rounds were fired at Israel from Gaza earlier today, the largest such attack since 2012.

Most of the rockets fell in open areas away from population centres but one rocket hit a residential district. No casualties on the Israeli side have so far been reported.

More..

Knesset passes Charedi draft law

By Daniel Easterman, March 12, 2014

A contentious new law that will criminalise strictly Orthodox yeshivah students who evade Israeli army service was passed by Knesset this morning.

The so-called "Draft Law" was approved by 65 to 1, with a Jewish Home MK casting the only "no" vote. Most of those who opposed the law simply boycotted the vote.

More..

Striking Israeli diplomats complain to Matthew Gould over David Cameron visit

By Marcus Dysch, March 11, 2014

Israel's foreign diplomats have complained to Britain's ambassador in the country over David Cameron's plans to travel to Israel despite ongoing strike action.

Israel’s Foreign Service Workers’ Association has repeatedly stated that staff would not co-operate or assist with preparations for Mr Cameron's visit on Wednesday.

More..

Israeli jets kill Islamic Jihad members in response to mortar fire

By Daniel Easterman, March 11, 2014

The Israeli Air Force has hit targets in the Gaza Strip after mortar rounds were fired at IDF units near the border by terrorists reported to be members of Islamic Jihad.

IDF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, originally from the UK, said: "Terrorists must know that there is a price to pay when participating in aggression.

More..

Israeli teenagers refuse to join IDF over "war crimes"

By Daniel Easterman, March 10, 2014

Almost 50 Israeli teenagers are refusing to be drafted into the Israel Defence Forces in protest over "war crimes" committed in the occupied territories.

In a joint letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, they criticise what they say are human rights abuses taking place on a “daily basis”.

More..

Israeli airlines get laser defence shields

By Sandy Rashty, March 5, 2014

Israeli commercial planes will be fitted with military lasers in a high-tech bid to combat attempted terrorist attacks.

Israel’s Ministry of Defence approved the use of SkyShield, a defence system, for commercial purposes on Wednesday.

More..

'Blood libel' cleric Raed Salah jailed for incitement

By Marcus Dysch, March 5, 2014

Controversial Islamic cleric Raed Salah has been jailed for eight months in Israel for inciting violence.

Sheikh Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, incited Muslims to start a new intifada during a 2007 sermon.

More..

Man who diagnosed the Israeli condition

By Jenni Frazer, February 27, 2014

He is a man of contradictions, Ari Shavit. A veteran of the peace camp in Israel who sees huge deficiencies in the Oslo Accords and who wholeheartedly endorses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and peace negotiator Tzipi Livni in their insistence that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

More..

Anger over Knesset attack on Reform movement

By Simon Rocker, February 14, 2014

Britain’s Reform movement has urged members to protest to Israel Ambassador Daniel Taub after attacks on Reform within the Knesset.

Likud-Beiteinu’s David Rotem, who chairs the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, apologised on Sunday after referring to Reform as “another religion” last week.

More..