The New From Israel

Motivations, Not Materiel

Orly Halpern rounds up the news from Israel.

"We could ease the economic siege, for example, which will also give Israel international legitimacy, while understanding that what will determine the quality of our lives next to that border and inside it is not the amount of weapons there, but the motivation to use them."--Yedioth commentator Ariella Ringel-Hoffman suggests other options besides the military one to solve the Gaza conundrum.

  • Ehud Barak approves plans for 500 new homes in Itamar - According to documents obtained by Haaretz, the defense minister approved the plan in September; Jewish council has been pressing for construction since murder of Fogel family. (Haaretz+)
  • Settlers 'attempt to set fire to home' in Bethlehem village - A group of settlers attempted to set fire to home in the village of Manshiya overnight Sunday and sprayed racist graffiti on the walls, a local committee said. (Maan)
  • Braided and punished - Female soldier reprimanded after braiding her friend's hair in public. Her female commander said it was inconsiderate to do because religious male soldiers could have seen it. IDF Spokesman: "It was a mistake by the commander." (Yedioth, p.14)
  • Israelis' Palestinian spouses to be given work permits - Israel also agrees to issue another 3,000 work permits for Palestinians seeking work in the construction industry; about one month ago 1,000 more permits were issued for Palestinians working in agriculture. (Haaretz+)
  • Longest administrative detainee released by Israel - Hamas leader Raafat Nasif, 45, had been held by Israel for 44 months without charge or trial since his arrest in March 2009. Nasif had previously served 10 years in Israeli custody. (Maan)
  • 'Islamization of Europe a good thing' - Rabbi Baruch Efrati believes Jews should 'rejoice at the fact that Europe is paying for what it did to us for hundreds of years by losing its identity.' He praises Islam for promoting modesty, respect for God. (Ynet)

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