JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s Finance Ministry said on Wednesday it was cutting funds to seminary students exempt from compulsory military service, in the latest battle between the Jewish state’s secular majority and an ultra-Orthodox minority.
Seminary students, many of whom rely on state stipends, have for decades been excused from army service under blanket exemptions that have long stoked resentment in a country whose other Jewish citizens are called to duty at the age of 18.
ISRAEL-EGYPT BORDER (Reuters) – Israel’s newly fortified Egyptian border has delivered a severe blow to drug smugglers, forcing its hashish and marijuana smokers to deal with a new kind of high – soaring prices.
The ravines that snake past rocky red mountains once provided a popular, low-risk route for traffickers to run drugs, women and African migrants into Israel over the southern frontier along Egypt’s Sinai desert.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has summoned envoys from four European states to protest their “one-sided” stand in favor of the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Friday, escalating a quarrel over Israeli settlements.
On Thursday, Britain, France, Italy and Spain called in Israeli ambassadors to hear protests against Israel’s latest announcement of settlement-building on land the Palestinians want for a future state.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s defense minister called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace messianic, a newspaper said on Tuesday, reporting what it described as remarks made behind closed doors.
Moshe Yaalon’s spokesman declined comment on the account in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli woman appealed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday against a rabbinical ruling that ordered her to circumcise her one-year-old son, the Justice Ministry said, in the first case of its kind.
There is no law in Israel making circumcision obligatory for Jews, but a rabbinical court that was presiding over the woman’s divorce case ruled last month that she must fulfill her husband’s wish in the matter.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived back in the Middle East on Thursday, a week after his previous visit ended in Palestinian unhappiness over U.S. security ideas for an elusive land-for-peace deal with Israel.
Kerry, who has quipped that he is becoming a commuter to the region, headed off for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as soon as his plane landed and was due to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry headed back to the Middle East on Thursday, a week after his previous visit ended with Palestinian dissatisfaction over U.S. security ideas for an elusive land-for-peace deal with Israel.
Kerry, who has quipped that his frequent trips to the region have become a commute, planned separate meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s parliament has moved to ensure African migrants who enter the country illegally can be held without charge, despite a Supreme Court ruling that had struck down a previous detention law.
Legislation approved late on Monday set a maximum detention period of one year for new illegal migrants, a change from a term of up to three years stipulated in a previous law annulled by the court in September.
TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main coalition partner publicly prodded him on Sunday to show “historic courage” and reach a peace deal with the Palestinians even at the risk of his government’s collapse.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, in a speech, reassured Netanyahu of his centrist Yesh Atid party’s support and spoke of possible changes in the coalition – a nod to any future exit of far-right factions and their replacement by left-wing partners – should a land-for-peace agreement be achieved.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – For most Israelis in the Jewish state, there is one legal way to get married – God’s way.
Israeli law empowers only Orthodox rabbis to officiate at Jewish weddings, but popular opposition is growing to this restriction and to what some Israelis see as an Orthodox stranglehold on the most precious moments of their lives.