Israel News

Shalit Negotiations Resumed, Netanyahu Says

10/16/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Negotiations to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas have resumed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu on Sunday said that Israel has "renewed contact with the German mediator" in order to free Shalit, who is being held in the Gaza Strip.

Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

Six Decades on, American Olim—Some American Again—Reunite on Kibbutz

10/14/2010 - 20:00

KIBBUTZ GALON, Israel (JTA) – In 1952, a 20-year-old with bright blue eyes who had never seen much of life outside of the Bronx, N.Y., mounted a kibbutz tractor armed with a rifle to plow wheat and sorghum fields bordering the Gaza Strip.

Saul Adelson would live in Israel for eight years before returning to the United States for good.

Israeli Officials Speak of ‘Phased’ Jordan Valley Presence

10/14/2010 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israel's presence in the Jordan Valley under a peace agreement would be "phased," Israel's U.S. ambassador told an audience of Muslim and Arab Americans.

Michael Oren at a dinner arranged by the Center for Middle East Peace said Wednesday night that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has "stated his commitment to continuing a phased Israeli army presence in the Jordan Valley."

"We understand that this may conflict with the search for dignity on the part of the Palestinians. That is why we stress the word phased," he said.

Israel’s Newest Identity Crisis

Loyalty oath tests country’s view of itself.
10/12/2010 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — What kind of country are we?

That simple yet multilayered question reverberated throughout Israel this week in the wake of the decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet to require non-Jewish candidates for citizenship to pledge allegiance to the country as a Jewish state. The debate sparked by the loyalty oath had Israelis wondering out loud over the nature of the country’s identity.

Avigdor Lieberman: At center of loyalty oath issue. getty images

Netanyahu Offers Settlement Freeze for Recognition as a Jewish State

10/11/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would reinstate a West Bank construction freeze if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Netanyahu made the offer Monday in a wide-ranging speech at the opening of the Knesset's winter session.

Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher in Israel For Work on Internet, Marriage

10/10/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Hollywood power couple Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are in Israel, reportedly to work on their marriage.

Kutcher, the third most popular member of Twitter with 5.9 million followers, was scheduled to speak Monday at the Bezeq Expo in Tel Aviv. Kutcher is also an investor in Internet properties, and is the owner of the multiplatform media company, Katalyst.

The couple, who arrived in Israel over the weekend, have already visited the Western Wall and traveled in the North of the country, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Caught Between A Freeze And A Thaw

As new poll shows support for continued settlement building, Israelis guessing about Netanyahu’s motives and what’s next.
10/04/2010 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

News this week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seriously considering President Barack Obama’s request for an additional 60-day building freeze in return for several guarantees from the U.S. administration came as a surprise to many Israelis who had considered the West Bank building thaw a done deal.

To some, Netanyahu’s move was all the more surprising given the public’s mood since the freeze ended.

Netanyahu, center, at Sunday’s cabinet meeting. Photos by Getty Images

A Freeze On Mideast Politics

10/04/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Haven’t we seen this before?

This past Sunday, one of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ top aides said, “The resumption of [peace] talks requires tangible steps, the first of them a freeze on settlements.”

It’s hard not to be overcome with a sense of déjà vu. Ten months ago, Israel ordered a 10-month freeze on settlement building, with the hopes of resuming peace talks. So what happened? Peace talks did resume, just last month. That was all well and good, until the Palestinians decided to play games.

Palestinians exploiting the settlement freeze issue, argues the author.

Palestinian Mosque Torched, Allegedly by Jews

10/03/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A Palestinian mosque in a Hebron-area village was vandalized and set on fire, allegedly by Jews.

In addition to graffiti spray-painted on the building, several volumes of the Koran and prayer rugs were burned in the fire set late Sunday night.

“The IDF and security officials are working in order to find those responsible, and we view this as a grave and serious incident,” head of the Israeli Civil Administration, Brig. Gen. Yoel Mordechai, said Monday.

Israeli Soldiers Convicted of Using Human Shield

10/02/2010 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA)-- An Israeli military court convicted two soldiers of using a Palestinian child as a human shield during the Gaza war.

The Israeli soldiers were convicted of inappropriate behavior and overstepping authority on Sunday, for forcing an 11-year-old Palestinian boy to open bags they believed to be armed with explosives during a search conducted in southern Gaza City in January 2009.

It is the first convictions on the use of human shields, which is prohibited by Israeli military protocol, according to Haaretz.

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