JERUSALEM/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Israel is lobbying member-states of the International Criminal Court to cut funding for the tribunal in response to its launch of an inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories, the country’s foreign minister said on Sunday.
The ICC did not immediately respond to the news, but experts thought it unlikely that the lobbying effort was likely to persuade the countries that contribute most to the court to reduce their funding.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday a wave of anti-Semitism and what he called “Islamisation” in Western Europe are factors in a Jewish state push to expand trade with Asia.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Sunday it had cracked the first Islamic State cell on its soil, made up of seven Arab citizens who would be prosecuted on charges of planning attacks in the Jewish state and communicating with the insurgent group in Syria.
The defendants, including a lawyer who was representing himself in court, denied the charges of belonging to an illegal group, aiding terrorism and contacting foreign agents, a Justice Ministry spokesman said after a gag order on the case was eased.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel shut down three local Islamist groups on Monday, accusing them of stoking tensions at a contested shrine in occupied East Jerusalem that has seen increased visits by Jews.
Al Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem is Islam’s third-holiest site and the vestige of Judaism’s ancient temples. Captured by Israel from Jordan in a 1967 war, it is a focus of Palestinian statehood hopes that Jewish ultra-nationalists oppose.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Naftali Bennett, leader of an ultra-nationalist Israeli party and a potential future defense minister, is in the spotlight over his indirect role in an army shelling attack that killed more than 100 Lebanese civilians nearly two decades ago.
Bennett, whose Jewish Home party is in Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition and is expected to perform well in elections in March, was a junior commando officer during Israel’s 1996 Lebanon offensive against Hezbollah guerrillas.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Jewish settlers threw stones at the cars of a U.S. diplomatic delegation which came to inspect vandalism to nearby Palestinian-owned trees in the occupied West Bank on Friday, Israeli police said.
The U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and consulate in Jerusalem had no immediate comment on the incident outside Adei Ad settlement, which caused no casualties. Such incidents are rare though Washington disapproves of Israel’s settlement policy.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A far-right Israeli group that agitates against Arabs in the name of religion and national security is forcing the Jewish state into a legal and political balancing act as it tries to contain sectarian violence.
Among their activities, Lehava activists yelling “Death to the Arabs” picketed the wedding in August of a Muslim to a Jewish woman who converted to Islam. Now three members have been charged with an arson attack on a cross-faith school in Jerusalem last month.
TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel will not press Washington to tighten sanctions on Iran while nuclear negotiations continue for the next six months, but will push for tough action if the talks’ June deadline is not met, a senior Israeli official said on Thursday.
Intelligence Ministry Director-General Yuval Wollman’s remarks suggested cautious confidence Washington will stick to demands that Iran curb its atomic work, although any deal is unlikely to meet Israel’s original call that Tehran’s nuclear program be dismantled.
TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel’s military said on Wednesday it was exploring the possibility of cooperating with the Lebanese army to counter Sunni Islamist militants, even though the two countries remain technically at war.
Any public coordination was almost certain to be rejected in Beirut, where dealing with neighboring Israel is considered a crime.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An airport planned for Israel’s southern desert is being billed as a wartime alternative to Tel Aviv, which was briefly shunned by most foreign carriers in July because of Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza.
The targeting of Israel’s main Ben Gurion airport was a heavy blow to its tourism industry and to the hi-tech hub’s aim of proving itself capable of carrying on business-as-usual even amid conflict.