The News From Israel

All Politics Is Local

Orly Halpern rounds up the news from Israel.

"Sometimes it seems as though the seats up for election are not for the next Knesset, but rather the local municipality."--In a beautifully written piece, Gideon Levy describes the gripes of indifferent Arab voters and an Arab MK campaigning for them to vote, even if it's not for him. (Haaretz+)

  • Israel to change route of separation fence near Jerusalem to cut off Palestinians from E-1 area - Defense Minister Ehud Barak has decided to close the breach in the barrier between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim, which will leave residents of Al-Zaim cut off by a fence to the east and by a wall to the west. (Haaretz+)
  • Two Israeli citizens charged with planning Be'er Sheva terror attacks - Bedouin brothers confess to targeting central bus station, train station; Jewish IDF soldier arrested on suspicion of selling them ammunition for drugs. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Nine Palestinians arrested for pummeling ultra-Orthodox with snowballs - The suspects allegedly hurled insults and snowballs relentlessly at the two ultra-Orthodox men; investigation opened despite victims' refusal to lodge complaint. (Haaretz+)
  • Fate of Israeli university's controversial politics department on hold until after elections - In a bid to shirk right-wing pressure, Haaretz has learned, the Israeli educational council is dithering on a decision to save the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University. (Haaretz+)
  • Poll: Ultra-Orthodox must join workforce rather than army - Majority of Israelis prefer to see ultra-Orthodox integrate into labor market rather than be drafted by IDF, believe government must allot special budgets for this purpose. (Ynet)
  • U.S. fundraiser testifies he transferred $30,000 to Ehud Olmert's brother - Morris Talansky says former PM asked him to help his cash-strapped brother, Yossi. (Haaretz+)
  • Ramallah: 18 Palestinians injured in riot - Three protesters, 15 Palestinian cops injured in clashes after protest gets out of control. (Ynet)
  • Egypt busts mass explosives haul heading for Gaza, largest single shipment yet- Lorry carried 1 tons of explosives, largest single haul discovered by Egypt; police have seized a total of 5 tons of explosives as well as disassembled rockets and automatic weapons in the past three months, according to local media reports. (Agencies, Haaretz)

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