Jeffrey's Feed
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.

May 7, 2013

Netanyahu quietly curbing settlement expansion: reports

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has quietly curbed new building projects in Jewish settlements, an Israeli watchdog group and media reports said on Tuesday, in an apparent bid to help U.S. efforts to revive peace talks with the Palestinians.

“We see there are fewer approvals for new construction in the West Bank since President Barack Obama visited (in March),” Yariv Oppenheimer, head of Peace Now, which monitors settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, told Reuters. He said it was too early to give any numbers.

May 5, 2013

Israel pursues “war-within-war” in Syria air strikes

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Iran was squarely in Israel’s sights when it sent its planes to hit targets in Syria, waging a war-within-a-war that showed a readiness to strike out alone if its red lines were crossed.

Allegations of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons have grabbed headlines and driven new calls for U.S. President Barack Obama to intervene in Syria’s civil war.

Apr 30, 2013

Palestinian killed in Gaza by targeted Israeli air strike

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Tuesday launched its first targeted attack on a militant in Gaza since a war in November, killing a Palestinian jihadist in an air strike that put further strain on a five-month-old ceasefire.

There was also bloodshed in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where for the first time since 2011, a Palestinian killed a Jewish settler. Israeli soldiers shot and wounded the attacker after he stabbed the man at a busy intersection.

Apr 29, 2013
via FaithWorld

Jewish women eye further court fight for Western Wall prayer rights


(Members of “Women of the Wall” group pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City April 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Baz Ratner )

Women seeking equal prayer rights at the Western Wall are planning a further challenge to Jewish Orthodox tradition at the site after a court ruling bolstered their cause, an activist said on Sunday.

Apr 25, 2013

Israeli military says it shoots down drone from Lebanon

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli fighter plane shot down a drone from Lebanon over the Mediterranean sea on Thursday as it was approaching the Israeli coast, the military said.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, which sent a drone deep into Israel in October, said it was not behind the latest incident. Israel’s military held back from accusing the group, saying an investigation was under way.

    • 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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