Israel news

Israel releases conscientious objector

By Zoe Winograd, June 4, 2013

An Israeli conscientious objector has been released after five and a half months in jail.

Natan Blanc, 20, refused to serve in the Israel Defence Forces because of his opposition to the occupation and spent 178 days in prison.

Members of his family and Yesh Gvul – an organisation which supports conscientious objectors – greeted Mr Blanc when he was released earlier today.

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New Palestinian Prime Minister appointed

By Zoe Winograd, June 3, 2013

On Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that Rami Hamdallah would take the position of prime minister.

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Touching bottom? IDF girls pose in underwear

By Elliot Miller, June 3, 2013

Female Israeli soldiers based in southern Israel have been disciplined after pictures emerged of them posing in their underwear.

In one of the pictures, two newly recruited women expose their bottoms to the camera.

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Coalition near-crisis over conscription

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2013

Israel’s governing coalition this week avoided its first major crisis since it was formed barely two months ago, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his defence minister to remove his opposition to a new national service law.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid had threatened to withdraw his party, Yesh Atid, from government if the law was not approved.

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Kerry sets out peace plan — with $4bn kick

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2013

American State Secretary John Kerry is awaiting answers from Israel and the Palestinians on his compromise proposal for a return to negotiations between the two sides.

Meanwhile, he is promoting, along with Tony Blair, a multi-million-dollar economic plan to help the Palestinian Authority.

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Israeli clean tech car firm folds

By Anna Sheinman, May 30, 2013

Better Place, the electric car company that was once a poster child for the Israeli clean-tech industry, went into liquidation this week.

Founded in 2007 by Shai Agassi, a former executive at leading software firm SAP, the company raised over £500 million in investments, but did not see the sales it expected.

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Israeli cabinet approves punishments for Orthodox draft-dodgers

By Zoe Winograd, May 29, 2013

An Israeli ministerial committee has approved a new law which includes criminal sanctions against Orthodox men who dodge the draft.

The legislation was approved on Wednesday following two days of fiery exchanges between members of Knesset.

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Israel condemns Russian missile shipment to Syria

By Zoe Winograd, May 28, 2013

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister has confirmed that Moscow will provide Syria with defence missiles.

Sergei Ryabkov told the press today that Russia plans to ship long-range S-300 air defence missiles to Syria in order to prevent foreign intervention by “hotheads”.

Israeli Minister of Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz condemned the deal.

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Israeli coalition crisis over Orthodox draft

By Zoe Winograd, May 28, 2013

Serious tensions have surfaced within the Israeli government over legislation on military enlistment for the Orthodox.

At a Peri Committee meeting held on Sunday and Monday, Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri and Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon argued over a proposal to imprison Orthodox men who avoid conscription.

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Hamas, fatah flirt with unity deal

May 23, 2013

Fatah and Hamas agreed to form a unity government within three months at talks in Cairo last week.

Similar agreements have been reached on several occasions over the past few years, but none have been implemented.

A Fatah official said both sides had agreed on a timetable that begins with creating laws to govern elections.

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