Jeffrey's Feed
Jul 7, 2013

Israeli cabinet approves ultra-Orthodox conscription law

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s cabinet approved a draft law on Sunday to abolish wholesale exemptions from military duty granted to Jewish seminary students, stoking ultra-Orthodox anger over the break with tradition.

Many Israelis have long bridled over state privileges handed to the conservative believers or “Haredim” – a Hebrew term meaning “those who tremble before God”.

Jul 4, 2013

Israel takes cautious approach to Mursi’s ouster

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s government avoided any show of satisfaction on Thursday over the ouster of Egypt’s Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist president who alarmed many in the Jewish state but quickly made clear he would not renege on a peace treaty.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment on Mursi’s removal by the Egyptian army. But a Netanyahu confidant, Tzachi Hanegbi, expressed hope the appointment of Adli Mansour would lead to the restoration of largely frozen contacts with the Cairo government.

Jun 16, 2013

Netanyahu urges no let-up in world pressure on Iran after vote

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Sunday for no relaxation of international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear efforts after the election of a new president widely hailed as a moderate.

Netanyahu said it was Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and not the newly elected president, Hassan Rohani, who set a nuclear policy that has been challenged by tough economic sanctions and the prospect of military action.

Jun 5, 2013

Netanyahu signals readiness to consider 2002 Arab peace plan

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled readiness on Wednesday to consider a 2002 Arab peace plan whose terms were recently softened to include possible land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We are listening to every initiative – the Arab initiative has been mentioned – and we are prepared to discuss initiatives that are proposals and not edicts,” he said in a speech in parliament.

Jun 3, 2013

Israel says it has struck deal to resettle Eritrean migrants

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An unidentified country has agreed to take in Eritrean illegal immigrants living in Israel, according to Israeli court documents.

Humanitarian agencies say many of the 60,000 African migrants who have walked into Israel from Egypt should be considered for asylum. Israel regards most of them as illegal job-seekers, and a national debate on deporting them has stirred strong emotions in a Jewish state founded by war refugees and immigrants.

May 27, 2013

Israel coalition wobbles over proposed military service law

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main coalition partner threatened to quit on Monday unless bickering ministers agreed to a proposal to end wholesale military draft exemptions for Jewish seminary students.

A government-appointed committee failed on Sunday to finalize a draft law that limits the number of those exempted from compulsory army service each year to 1,800 ultra-Orthodox scholars, instead of the tens of thousands of students who are let off annually now.

May 21, 2013

Peace debate exposes deep rifts in Israeli government

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s coalition government presented a divided front on Palestinian statehood on Tuesday as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepared a new mission to revive long-defunct peace talks.

Appearing before a parliamentary committee, Israeli chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni outlined a vision she said she shared with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of an end to the decades-old conflict with the Palestinians.

May 19, 2013

Netanyahu takes aim at weapons “leakage” in Syria

JERUSALEM, May 19 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu held out the prospect on Sunday of further Israeli
strikes inside Syria, pledging to act to prevent advanced
weapons from reaching Hezbollah and other militant groups.

Although Israel has not publicly taken sides in the civil
war between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels trying
to topple him, Western and Israeli sources say it has launched
air strikes in Syria to destroy weapons it believed were
destined for Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

May 9, 2013

Israel seeks to end back-of-the-bus gender segregation

JERUSALEM, May 9 (Reuters) – Back-of-the-bus seating for
women on public transport in Israel will be outlawed soon, its
justice minister said on Thursday, pledging sweeping legislation
to stop Jewish religious zealots trying to enforce gender
segregation in many spheres of life.

The issue is at the heart of a long and emotional struggle
between Israel’s secular majority and an ultra-Orthodox Jewish
minority over lifestyle in the Jewish state.

May 8, 2013

Israel police hold Jerusalem Muslim cleric for six hours

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli police arrested the top Palestinian Muslim religious leader in Jerusalem on Wednesday and questioned him for six hours about a fracas between Palestinians and Israelis at al-Aqsa mosque before releasing him without charge.

Palestinian leaders and neighboring Jordan condemned the arrest of Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem after Palestinian worshippers scuffled with Israelis near Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque on Tuesday.

    • About Jeffrey

      "Heller joined Reuters from United Press International in Tel Aviv in 1984 and transferred to London in 1987. He returned to the Middle East in 1992 as a senior sub-editor on the Middle East and Africa desk before taking up a post as correspondent, Jerusalem a year later. He is currently editor-in-charge in the Jerusalem bureau."
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