Israel repeals 2005 act on West Bank settlement pullout
Israeli lawmakers on Tuesday repealed a 2005 act that saw four Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank dismantled at the same time as Israeli forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip. The development could pave the way for an official return to the abandoned West Bank areas and further deepen the crisis. It was the latest move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government, which is dominated by settler leaders and allies, to promote settlement activity in the territory.news.yahoo.com
Top Israeli minister: 'No such thing' as Palestinian people
A firebrand Israeli minister claimed there’s “no such thing” as a Palestinian people as Israel's new coalition government, its most hard-line ever, plowed ahead on Monday with a part of its plan to overhaul the judiciary. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition said it was pushing a key part of the overhaul — which would give the coalition control over who becomes a justice or a judge — before the parliament takes a monthlong holiday break next week. The development came a day after an Israeli and Palestinian delegation at a meeting in Egypt, mediated by Egyptian, Jordanian and U.S. officials, pledged to take steps to lower tensions roiling the region ahead of a sensitive holiday season.news.yahoo.com
Biden calls Israel's Netanyahu with judicial plan 'concern'
President Joe Biden spoke Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express "concern” over his government’s planned overhaul of the country’s judicial system that have sparked widespread protests across Israel and to encourage compromise.
Netanyahu urges military chief to contain reservist protest
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the military's chief of staff on Sunday to contain a wave of protest from within the ranks over a contentious government plan to overhaul the judiciary. Netanyahu's remarks come as Israel is embroiled in a major crisis that has sent tens of thousands of people into the streets protesting every week for the last two months. The divide over Netanyahu's plans to change the legal system has not spared the country's military, its most trusted institution, where many reservists have pledged not to show up for duty under what they see as impending regime change.news.yahoo.com
Elite officers in Israel's military plan Sunday walkout
Hundreds of elite officers in Israel’s military reserves say they will not show up for duty starting on Sunday in protest over the government's plans to overhaul the judicial system. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's controversial legal overhaul has sparked weeks of mass protests across Israel amidst a deteriorating security situation in the occupied West Bank and rising tensions with Palestinians. In two separate letters published Thursday, about 750 elite officers from the Air Force, special forces, and Mossad threatened to stop volunteering for duty.news.yahoo.com
Former Israeli premier urges world leaders to shun Netanyahu
Israel’s former prime minister on Thursday urged world leaders to shun Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as he presses ahead with a plan to overhaul the country's justice system. The United States and Germany, two of Israel’s closest allies, called on Netanyahu to slow down. Ehud Olmert, who served as prime minister from 2006-2009, told The Associated Press that global leaders should refuse to meet with Netanyahu.news.yahoo.com
Israel to weigh action after Silicon Valley Bank collapse
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the government would assess the effect of Silicon Valley Bank's collapse on Israeli companies and determine whether or not to assist them. Israel is home to a vibrant high-tech industry, and local media said Sunday that hundreds of local firms could be exposed to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Israeli business paper Globes said the bank was considered “the major funding body for Israeli companies” and that its fall was “closing the oxygen pipe” for the sector.news.yahoo.com
Tens of thousands of Israelis rally against judicial overhaul
Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated across the country Saturday in the 10th consecutive week of protests against government judicial reform plans that critics view as a threat to democracy.The demonstrations come as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-right government prepares to press on with its legislative agenda next week, shunning calls for a pause to allow for negotiations on the divisive plan.The biggest demonstration, in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, drew some 100,000 protesters, according to estimates given by Israeli media.Many of them were waving blue and white Israeli flags."I'm demonstrating because the measures that the new government wants to take represent a real and immediate threat to Israeli democracy," one protester, tech entrepreneur Ran Shahor, told AFP.Demonstrations were held in other cities and towns in the country of more than nine million.Some 50,000 Israelis protested in the northern city of Haifa and 10,000 in Beersheba -- the biggest yet in both -- according to Israeli media.The rallies broke up without major incident, although police arrested three protesters who were blocking traffic on Tel Aviv's ring road.The chair of parliament's law committee, Simcha Rotman, has scheduled daily hearings on parts of the government's reforms from Sunday through Wednesday ahead of votes.Justice Minister Yariv Levin has said the coalition plans to pass key elements of the reforms before parliament goes into recess on April 2.The judicial overhaul is a cornerstone of Netanyahu's administration, an alliance with ultra-Orthodox Jewish and extreme-right parties which took office in late December.The legislation would give more weight to the government in the committee that selects judges and would deny the Supreme Court the right to strike down any amendments to so-called Basic Laws, Israel's quasi-constitution.These provisions have already been endorsed by lawmakers at first reading.Israeli President Issac Herzog -- who, in his largely ceremonial role, has tried to broker dialogue -- on Thursday called on the coalition the halt the legislation, dubbing it "a threat to the foundations of democracy".Another element of the reforms would give the 120-member parliament power to overrule Supreme Court decisions with a simple majority of 61 votes.dms/jj/desnews.yahoo.com
Saudi deal with Iran worries Israel, shakes up Middle East
News of the rapprochement between long-time regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran sent shock waves through the Middle East on Saturday and dealt a symbolic blow to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made the threat posed by Tehran a public diplomacy priority and personal crusade. The breakthrough — a culmination of more than a year of negotiations in Baghdad and more recent talks in China — also became ensnared in Israel’s internal politics, reflecting the country’s divisions at a moment of national turmoil. The agreement, which gives Iran and Saudi Arabia two months to reopen their respective embassies and re-establish ties after seven years of rupture, more broadly represents one of the most striking shifts in Middle Eastern diplomacy over recent years.news.yahoo.com
Netanyahu airlifted to airport after protesters block road
Israel's prime minister has been airlifted to the country's main international airport for an official overseas trip after throngs of protesters prevented him from driving there as they demonstrated against his contentious plan to overhaul the judiciary.
Why is Benjamin Netanyahu's wife at center of controversy?
Israeli protesters’ siege of a Tel Aviv beauty parlor where Sara Netanyahu was getting her hair done has cast a spotlight on the Israeli prime minister’s wife, a divisive figure long been intertwined with her husband’s political careerwashingtonpost.com
Mass protests in Israel as controversial overhauls advanced
Tens of thousands of Israelis are protesting their far-right government’s plans to overhaul the legal system, three days after parliament advanced a bill that would enable lawmakers to overturn a Supreme Court decision with a simple majority.
Israeli-Palestinian cauldron tests US as Blinken visits
An alarming spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence and sharp responses by both sides are testing the Biden administration as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken plunges into a cauldron of deepening mistrust and anger on visits to Israel and the West Bank this week.
Israel to 'strengthen' settlements after shooting attacks
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a series of punitive steps against the Palestinians, including plans to beef up Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, in response to a pair of shooting attacks that killed seven Israelis and wounded five others.