IDF

With Egypt in Turmoil, Israel Rethinks Readiness for Multi-front War

02/15/2011
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Although it’s still far from clear how the uprising in Egypt is going to play out, the volatility there is already raising questions in Israel about the Jewish state’s readiness for a war on several fronts.

The optimistic view in Israel is that a wave of democracy will sweep the Middle East from Cairo to Tehran, making war in any form less likely.

The pessimists -- there are many here -- see an ascendant Islamic radicalism taking hold in Egypt and elsewhere, thus compounding the military threats facing Israel.

Is Hezbollah Now in Charge of Lebanon, and What Does it Mean for Israel?

01/27/2011
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- With Lebanon in turmoil and a Hezbollah-backed prime minister poised to take power in Beirut, Israel is concerned at the prospect of a tectonic shift in the regional balance.

For the moment, however, Israeli officials do not expect Lebanon’s political turmoil to trigger a new round of fighting on the Israel-Lebanon border.

The IDF Speaks: Violence and the West Bank

Wars are never pretty.  They're even uglier in the Middle East, where the lines between conflict and quiet are always in flux.  The images that greet us daily from the Muslim world are the most glaring; the endless rampage of hate-fueled violence makes you sick.  Forget about the millions who are cowed into silence; even more abhorrent is the constant stream of popular support violence receives.  Just look at The New York Times' front page story today on the many respe

No Evidence Palestinian Woman Died From Tear Gas, Military Says

01/04/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- There is no evidence that a Palestinian woman reportedly killed at a West Bank security fence protest died from tear gas poisoning, Israel's military said.

Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, died on the morning of Jan. 1, hours after she was said to have inhaled tear gas at a demonstration near the West Bank village of Bilin. She reportedly died of complications from inhaling the tear gas.

Gaza-Israel Border Heats Up as Hamas Acquires New Weapons

12/29/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- After two years of relative quiet since the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, Israel's southern border with Gaza is again becoming volatile.

Last week, Gazans fired a rocket into Israel that landed close to a kindergarten in a kibbutz near Ashkelon just as parents were dropping off their children. Although no one was hurt, nothing like that had happened since the war.

Rocket from Gaza Injures Israeli Girl

12/21/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A girl on her way to school was injured when a Kassam rocket fired from Gaza exploded near a kindergarten in a western Negev kibbutz.

In addition to the girl, 14, an adult living on Kibbutz Zikim near Ashkelon was also injured by shrapnel from the blast, and four others were treated for shock, according to a statement from the Israeli military.

There were 10 children in the kindergarten when the rocket struck about 20 feet away.

Gaza Rocket Attacks Pound Israel

12/20/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Southern Israel was pounded by rockets fired from Gaza.

Seven mortar shells fired from exploded Monday morning in open areas of the western Negev, between Beersheba and Ashkelon.

On Sunday evening, four rockets struck south of Ashkelon.

Could Latest Conversion Flap Bring Down Israel’s Government?

The Knesset’s passage today of a preliminary reading of a bill that affirms the legitimacy of conversions performed by rabbis of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) seems benign on the surface.

After all, the IDF rabbis are chosen by the Chief Rabbinate, and the vote was an overwhelming 74-18.

Israeli Army Uses Facebook to Catch Female Draft Dodgers

An article in All Facebook, the unofficial Facebook blog, reports that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been using the social networking site to nab female Israelis who claim to be religious enough to be exempted from army service. Apparently, their activity on Facebook tells a different story -- one the army is interested to learn.

Are these women religious enough on Facebook to forgo their army service?

Media Watch: Rachel’s Tomb Is Now A Mosque — Who Cares?

The Kotel is next, say the Palestinians.

11/23/2010
Associate Editor

Mother Rachel and Yitzchak Rabin are forever linked by adjacent yahrtzeits, hers on Heshvan 11, his on the 12th. They’re linked as well by one of Rabin’s final and finest moments in the Knesset. On Oct. 5, 1995, one day shy of a month before his assassination, Rabin asked the Knesset to ratify Oslo’s cornerstone “Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement,” and what that meant for Rachel’s Tomb.

Rachel’s Tomb, here in a pre-1996 photo, before Israel built security walls that masked the once-idyllic setting.
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