The death of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir over the weekend and the government’s decision to have his body lie in state inside the Knesset building presented a religious problem for the country’s kohanim.
Generally, deceased Israeli leaders lie in state in the Knesset’s courtyard, but the summer heat necessitated that Shamir’s body be placed indoors, officials said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the new government coalition including the Kadima Party as the "broadest unity government in Israeli history."
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon to announce Kadima's agreement to join the coalition government, Netanyahu said the new government would "benefit Israel" and is a way "to restore stability without elections."
Smoking was snuffed out at public events and outdoor sites, including the Western Wall, under an expanded anti-smoking measure passed by Israel's Knesset.
The legislation passed Wednesday, which will take effect next month, also includes a ban on smoking at bus stops and outdoor concert venues. Smokers also will not be able to light up within 10 yards of a medical clinic and a hospital entrance.
PM seeks to move election up a year; analysts speculate his next coalition would be more dovish.
Tel Aviv — With polls giving him a big lead over a fractured opposition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the odds-on favorite in Israel to win re-election if the Knesset decides to hold elections a year ahead of schedule at the end of the summer.
After months of denying speculation that he was mulling moving up a vote from October 2013, Netanyahu said early this week he would be discussing possible dates with party leaders.
Former opposition leader Tzipi Livni resigned from Israel's Knesset.
Livni delivered a prepared statement on Tuesday afternoon announcing her departure from the legislature prior to a meeting with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin at which she submitted her letter of resignation. She did not take any questions from reporters.
"I shall continue to work for a different Israel; our children deserve no less," she told Rivlin upon submitting her resignation.
The Knesset Ethics Committee suspended Israeli-Arab lawmaker Ahmed Tibi after he attacked a fellow lawmaker with an insulting poem.
On Tuesday, the committee suspended Tibi for a week for reciting an original poem using dirty and hurtful language in an attack on Anastasia Michaeli, a lawmaker from the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, after she flung a glass of water on Israeli-Arab lawmaker Raleb Majadele.
Michaeli was suspended from the Knesset for a month for her actions.
Tibi can still participate in Knesset voting during his suspension.
Noam Shalit said he would not involve his son, freed soldier Gilad Shalit, or the rest of his family in his run for the Knesset.
Shalit held a news conference Tuesday, a day after announcing that he would run for a spot on the Labor Party's list for the next election.
Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich appeared with Shalit at the news conference at the party's headquarters in Kfar Saba. Yacimovich told reporters that she had asked Shalit to run after they had discussed the possibility for the last month.
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, who will be completing his 16-year tenure as head of the Reform movement at the end of the year, has never been afraid to speak his mind. He has been an advocate for greater Torah study and observance of Jewish ritual within the Union of Reform Judaism, taken President Barack Obama to task for publicizing his disagreement with Israel over settlements, called on a major Muslim American group to engage in more dialogue with Jews, and chided J Street members, at their annual convention, about some of their criticisms of Israel.