Israel News

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

02/14/2011 - 19:00
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.

Who Is A Jew Crisis Moves Into Immigration Sphere

Interior Ministry now seen ceding control to Chief Rabbinate of Orthodox converts seeking to make aliyah.
02/10/2011 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

 Jerusalem — Thomas Dohlan, who converted to Judaism in an Orthodox Canadian beit din, never anticipated that Israel’s Ministry of the Interior might question his Jewishness and block his bid to make aliyah.

But that’s exactly what’s happening, thanks to what appears to be a new policy that gives Israel’s Orthodox Chief Rabbinate, and not the Interior Ministry, the ultimate authority to decide which Orthodox converts are kosher enough for immigration purposes.

Unrest in Egypt Reverberates at Israel’s Top Security Confab

02/09/2011 - 19:00
JTA

HERZLIYA, Israel (JTA) -- In the sleek, blue auditorium filled with spotlights and large video screens at Israel's premier annual national security policy conference, all eyes were fixed on the revolution next door, in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

From the Israelis among the experts, diplomats and security officials assembled for the 11th annual Herzliya Conference near Tel Aviv, there were dark assessments and discussion of preparing for worst-case scenarios.

As Most Israelis Fret, Border Moshav Calm

Little fear of Muslim Brotherhood in Sinai town.
02/07/2011 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Nitzanei Sinai, Israel — At a time when most Israelis are worried that the uprising in Egypt might bring to power a government hostile to the Jewish state, this border agricultural moshav could not have seemed farther away from the turmoil this week.

Though its greenhouses look across the border to a country that seemed in the early stages of implosion, residents of Nitzanei Sinai were unexpectedly sanguine.

“This is a very quiet place. Nothing has changed,” said Sigalit Efrat, 36. “We are following and listening. But nothing beyond that.”

Menachem Zafrir, a moshav founder, next to his greenhouse.

Concern Rising Along Israel-Egypt Border

02/06/2011 - 19:00
JTA

BE’ER MILKA, Israel (JTA) -- Driving along the Israel-Egypt border near this southern Israeli town, rusted metal posts strung with barbed wire give way to sand dunes and an exposed, open border as wide open as the question of what will become of the countries' relations now that Egypt is in turmoil.

During a break between border patrols, which have been stepped up since the recent protests in Egypt began, a few Israeli soldiers climbing into a Hummer say they have been told to be on alert for possible trouble.

Knesset Approves Panels to Investigate Left-Wing NGOs

02/01/2011 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The Knesset House Committee has approved the establishment of parliamentary panels to probe the funding and activities of left-leaning human rights groups and NGOs.

The vote to establish two commissions of inquiries passed the committee Wednesday by a vote of 10 to 6.

One committee will investigate foreign governments' involvement in the funding of Israeli left-wing organizations and the other will investigate Israeli organizations attempting to delegitimize the Israel Defense Forces.

For Israelis, Eyes On Jordan, Egypt

02/01/2011 - 19:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Is Jordan next?

As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s government teetered amid a week of mass demonstrations, Israelis were nervously casting their eyes at neighboring Jordan, with speculation of a regional domino effect that could weaken the Jewish state’s strategic alliance with the Hashemite monarchy and boost an Islamist opposition.

But even as King Abdullah dismissed his government on Tuesday, Israeli analysts predicted that it was unlikely that the Egyptian uprising could be replicated on the eastern bank of the Jordan River.

Jordan’s King Abdullah sacked his government Tuesday. Getty Images

Grad Rockets From Gaza Strike Israel

01/31/2011 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel.

Long-range Grad missiles fired Monday night struck the cities of Ofakim and Netivot. In Netivot, four people were treated for shock, and a parked car and a road were damaged when the rocket landed near a residential neighborhood.

The rocket landed near a hall where a wedding was taking place, according to Ynet, sending guests running for cover, Ynet reported.

Also Monday, a Kassam rocket landed in an open area in the Eshkol regional council, reportedly causing no damage.

Upheaval On The Borders

Demonstrations in neighboring Egypt and Lebanon have Israel watching nervously.
01/24/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Israel is watching with concern the street demonstrations that erupted this week in neighboring Egypt and Lebanon. The fear is that an Iranian proxy-state could emerge in Lebanon and that in Egypt the autocratic rule of aging President Hosni Mubarak could be overthrown.

Lebanese soldiers guard the streets in Sidon.

Excavation on Ancient Jerusalem Tunnel Completed

01/24/2011 - 19:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The Israel Antiquities Authority completed the excavation of an ancient tunnel that runs from the City of David in eastern Jerusalem to near the Temple Mount.

Officials fear Palestinians may riot, believing that the project is an attempt to damage the Al Aksa Mosque.

The road in the tunnel was used by travelers making pilgrimages to Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. It was discovered during excavations on a water channel used for drainage during the Second Temple period.

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