European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 03.06.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 03.06.2016

Major Headlines
  • Terrorist shot dead after attempted stabbing of soldiers in West Bank

A Palestinian woman was shot and killed on Thursday after she tried stabbing IDF soldiers in the northern West Bank, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The IDF said that the knife-wielding Palestinian woman arrived at a military post near the Palestinian town of Anabta, where she tried attacking nearby troops. The soldiers reportedly left their guard post and initially tried apprehending the woman before firing shots at her.

There were no injuries among the Israelis. 

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Israeli mayors meet Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed openness to dialogue with the new Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman in a meeting with Israeli mayors from the Galilee earlier this week, Yediot Aharonot reports.

“If Lieberman says he supports the two-state solution, nothing will prevent us from speaking with him,” Abbas said in the meeting held at the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah.

Lieberman described the Arab peace plan for two states as containing “positive elements” earlier this week in a press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after being sworn in as defence minister.

“If he really means it, we’ll forget everything he said about us – that we’re diplomatic terrorists,” Abbas said, referring to harsh comments Lieberman has made about the Palestinian leadership. “We won’t judge him by the past but rather by what he does now and in the future.”

The Israeli delegation of mayors arrived on the eve of an international peace conference in Paris on Friday – and as Israeli leaders turn to Egypt to spearhead new talks with the Palestinians – to discuss another peace conference to be held in, of all places, the small northern Israeli town of Ma’alot Tarshiha.

“I call on Prime Minister Netanyahu to hold a conference in Ma’alot Tarshiha – not in Paris and not in Egypt,” said Shlomo Bohbot, the town’s mayor of forty years, to Abbas.

Abbas, declined to answer if he would attend the conference planned for the end of summer, though he welcomed the visit by Bohbot and the 18 other Israeli leaders as “proof of the depth of commitment to advance peace.”

Bohbot, a former Knesset member, hailed his Ma'alot Tarshiha, which was formed in 1976 by the union of the Jewish community of Ma’alot with the Arab village of Tarshiha, as a model for peace and coexistence. He also tried to allay concerns about the current right-wing Israeli government.

“Mr. President, there’s nothing to be afraid of with Lieberman,” Bohbot told Abbas. “He says a lot of things to get attention but in fact he’s much more practical,” he claimed.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Israeli justice minister considers decriminalisation of marijuana

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is considering a different legal approach to people caught in possession of soft drugs for personal use, the Walla! News website reported Wednesday.

Under the new policy, according to the draft published by Walla! News, people in possession of marijuana and cannabis within an amount classified for personal use will not be charged with a criminal act, but fined instead. The fine’s amount has yet to be determined, but is expected to be a few hundred shekels.

It remains to be decided if only those caught in possession of soft drugs for the first time will be fined, or others as well. The policy regarding minors is also being considered. Today, according to the attorney general’s instructions, when a person is caught with up to 15 grams of soft drugs – the amount classified for personal use – he is not indicted. When people are caught for the second or third times, the police are required to use their discretion.

Many people who are not involved in criminal activity use soft drugs, the attorney general wrote in his instructions to the police in 1985. These guidelines were updated in 2003.

However, Haaretz has reported that in 2012, for example, police opened 22,895 investigations against people for possessing drugs for self-use. In contrast, that year only 2,226 indictments were filed for trading, importing and exporting drugs and 313 indictments for growing, producing and manufacturing drugs. The last two clauses comprised fewer than half the indictments served for self-use.

Police prosecutors demand a minimal penalty of community service or suspended sentence for soft drug offenders, and a maximum penalty of several months in prison. As for possession for self-use, the instructions say “a minimal threshold for non-conviction” will be set.

Shaked will work to reach an agreement on this issue with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, her office said.

“The minister is examining various possibilities to refrain from incriminating people for using soft drugs like cannabis. This includes converting criminal registration to administrative fines. Drugs are a negative thing, but the incrimination of people using soft drugs should be examined,” an aide of Shaked’s said.

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz

Friday, June 03, 2016
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