JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the go-ahead on Sunday to reforms that would end the exemption of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men from compulsory military service, in an about-face hours after 20,000 Israelis marched for change.
Military service is a highly emotive issue for Israelis, most of whom start a two or three-year service at the age of 18. Many are also called up for reserve duty. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men are exempt to allow them to pursue religious studies.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – New suspicions that Yasser Arafat was murdered, perhaps poisoned by radioactive polonium, prompted the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday to agree to exhume the body of the iconic leader.
Israel, seen by many Arabs as the prime suspect behind the mysterious illness that killed the 75-year-old Arafat in 2004, sought to distance itself anew from the death of the man who led Palestinians’ bid for a state through years of war and peace.
Israeli police said on Tuesday they had arrested three ultra-Orthodox Jews on suspicion of having spray-painted anti-Zionist slogans at the national Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial two weeks ago.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has responded to the failure of the latest nuclear talks between world powers and Iran with a familiar refrain: sanctions must be ramped up while the clock ticks down toward possible military action.
With diplomacy at an impasse, there is satisfaction among Israeli leaders at what they see as a tough line taken by the West in the negotiations on curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Israeli political sources said on Thursday.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A state report on Wednesday criticized Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision-making in a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish ship in 2010, casting a shadow over the prime minister as he weighs action against Iran.
The findings by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss were unlikely to have immediate political impact on Netanyahu, who heads one the biggest governing coalitions in Israel’s history.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Wednesday said it would build 851 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank hours after parliament rejected a bill that proposed legalising all settler apartments on privately owned Palestinian land.
Palestinians fear that the settlements, built on land Israel captured in a 1967 war, will deny them a viable state, and have refused to return to peace talks frozen since 2010 until their expansion is halted.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a battle in parliament on Wednesday over an attempt by far-right legislators to legalise all Jewish settler homes built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.
The right-wing premier had pledged to abide by a Supreme Court ruling and remove five settler apartment houses erected on disputed tracts in the settlement of Beit El.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got legal approval on Wednesday for his plan to remove five settler buildings erected on private Palestinian land and was expected to win a showdown in parliament over the issue later in the day.
The right-wing leader made the proposal after being thrust into a political minefield by a Supreme Court ruling that determined the apartment houses in Beit El settlement in the occupied West Bank were built illegally and must be demolished by July 1.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed a unity government on Tuesday in a surprise move that could give him a freer hand to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and seek peace with the Palestinians.
The coalition deal, negotiated secretly over the past days and sealed at a private meeting overnight, means the centrist Kadima party will join Netanyahu’s rightist coalition, creating a majority with 94 of parliament’s 120 seats.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A quiet word from a visitor paying a condolence call to Benjamin Netanyahu may have been the seed that sprouted into a surprise Israeli unity government deal.
Last week, the prime minister was sitting “shiva” a seven-day Jewish period of mourning, for his 102-year-old father, when Shaul Mofaz, head of the centrist Kadima party, came to Netanyahu’s Jerusalem apartment to express his sympathies.