Israel's draft exemption law expires

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2012

Charedim can be drafted into Israel’s army from now following an overhaul of the military exemption law.
Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak made the order as the Tal Law, a controversial piece of legislation that has been in place for a decade, expired on Wednesday.

The Israeli Supreme Court had ruled against an extension to the draft exemption.


IDF dismisses false Press TV report about goat theft

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2012

The IDF has firmly dismissed a report in the Iranian media that its soldiers stole 1,000 goats from Southern Lebanon.

According to Press TV, in a story that was also repeated in the Arab media, 20 Israeli soldiers crossed the border. After failing to kidnap two shepherds, the Iranian government mouthpiece reported that "the Israeli forces then stole 1,000 goats in the area".


Still no sign of mass Charedim in Israeli army

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 19, 2012

In less than two weeks, on August 1, the Tal Law, which regulated the exemption of Charedi yeshivah students from national service will cease to exist, as the High Court ruling that deemed it unconstitutional comes into effect.

That does not mean, however, that thousands of strictly Orthodox 18-year-olds will be marched to boot camp or arrested by military police - not yet.


Israeli military expert: Assad won't survive Syrian uprising

By Jamie Michaels, July 18, 2012

A senior Israeli military intelligence officer, Maj Gen Aviv Kochavi, told the Knesset this week that he did not believe that Syria's president, Bashar Al-Assad, would survive the uprising.


Mofaz and Kadima walk out of Israel's Likud-led coalition

By Jennifer Lipman, July 17, 2012

The centrist Kadima party has left Israel's coalition government, only two months after forging the partnership.

The Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz said on Tuesday afternoon that the party would be extracting itself from the Likud-led coalition in the wake of the failure to resolve the internal coalition split over the universal draft.


Netanyahu all at sea over universal IDF draft

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 12, 2012

In the space of a week, Benjamin Netanyahu changed his mind twice. Two weeks ago, after promising Kadima in the coalition agreement that he would accept the recommendations of the special committee on national service, he bowed to the pressure of the Charedi parties and disbanded the committee.


Israeli coalition crisis as Mofaz threatens to walk out over universal draft

By Ben Hartman, July 12, 2012

The future of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 94-seat coalition could be in danger as talks on the universal draft broke down on Wednesday, with Kadima head Shaul Mofaz saying he would leave the government if a solution is not reached by Sunday.


Former soldier decides to live in West Bank as he 'hates Zionism'

By Josh Jackman, June 15, 2012

A former Israeli soldier has renounced his citizenship in order to live in the West Bank as a Palestinian.

Andre Pshenichnikov, a 23 year-old Jewish immigrant from Tajikistan who recently left the IDF after four and a half years of service, was arrested on Thursday in the Deheishe refugee camp, near Bethlehem, on charges of living illegally in the Palestinian territories.


Mother of missing Israeli soldier Baumel in fresh FCO plea

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 14, 2012

The mother of Israel's longest missing-in-action soldier is to lobby the British government to release secret files to help trace her son after 30 years.

This Monday marked the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Sultan Yacoub during the 1982 Lebanon war, when Zachary Baumel, Tzvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz went missing. Miriam Baumel spoke of her son at a special ceremony in Jerusalem this week.


Israeli soldier killed on Gaza border

By Marcus Dysch, June 1, 2012

An Israeli soldier has been killed after a Palestinian gunman crossed the border from Gaza early this morning.

The Palestinian was also killed after Israeli forces responded to his infiltration, which may have been made in an attempt to kidnap an IDF soldier.