Jerusalem — On Sunday morning Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said it was on. Sometime overnight into Monday, Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski put it on hold. Tuesday, the Antiquities Authority said it was off. And then, the Housing Ministry insisted it was back on.
The construction of a bridge from the Western Wall Plaza to the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem and the start of a companion archeological dig left the government in a state of confusion as tensions smoldered in the contested Old City.
Economy on strong footing as recovery gains steam.
Tel Aviv — A year ago if you were a star lawyer looking for a position with an Israeli firm, chances are it would have been a waste of time. As the U.S. economy swayed in financial crisis, companies stopped hiring.
Ramot Naftali, Israel — With the Sea of Galilee shimmering just out the passenger door, we turned left onto Highway 90 into the home stretch: the Hula Valley. A weekend cabin at Moshav Ramot Naftali — a mountain community overlooking what Israelis call the “finger of the Galilee” — lay just 20 minutes away.
Coasting northward with wife and two kids napping, it first appeared to be a cloud. Slowly coming focus, the majestic snow-capped Hermon mountain range, the northern extreme of the Golan Heights, looked down at the valley.
Settlers defiant in face of Netanyahu’s 10-month construction freeze.
Elkana, West Bank — Jewish settlers are embarking on a campaign of civil disobedience, court cases and lobbying to counter a new government policy to curb settlement activity for 10 months as a peace process gesture.
Backed by the settler leadership, residents blocked building inspectors from the military Civil Administration at the entrance of some towns on Tuesday after showing no resistance on Monday.
Shvut Rachel, West Bank — When Yaakov Teitel first applied to join this West Bank settlement about a decade ago, the American Jewish immigrant passed the admissions committee with flying colors.
The bachelor computer technician impressed Shvut Rachel’s leaders as a “mensch” with a love of the Land of Israel who was looking to settle down and start a family, said committee member Rabbi Baruch Barron.
They finally played “Hatikvah” at the Olympics.
Israel, which spent 40 years in the athletic desert, winning no medals from the country’s first appearance in the Summer Games in 1952 until Yael Arad’s silver in judo in 1992, won gold for the first time this week.
Windsurfer Gal Friedman, 28, who won a bronze medal in his Mistral sailing event in Atlanta eight years ago, took the gold on Wednesday in Athens, beating a Greek sailor by 11 points.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s future could lie in the hands of a millionaire Long Island rabbi and businessman who is reportedly set to testify as early as this week that he gave bribes to Olmert while Olmert served as Jerusalem’s mayor from 1999 to 2002.
Israel mounted a major public relations and military offensive this week both to deny Palestinian charges that it was responsible for the Gaza beach explosion that killed eight civilians last Friday and to answer a barrage of Kassam rockets Hamas fired into southern Israel following the beach deaths.