European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 15.06.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 15.06.2016

Major Headlines
  • Senior Hamas member reportedly defects to Israel

Websites affiliated with Fatah have reported over the past two days that a senior member of the Hamas military wing, Bassam Mahmoud Baraka, from Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, has fled to Israel, and is in possession of a great deal of information about Gaza tunnel operations.

Baraka, who is the son of a Muslim religious judge affiliated with Hamas, told his family that he was going on errands, and hasn't been seen by them since, Ha’aretz reports.

Baraka reportedly went to the border fence and gave himself up to soldiers who were waiting for him. According to the reports, he was carrying a laptop.

It was also reported that the Red Cross had informed his family in Gaza that he was in Israeli custody.

The Shin Bet announced the week before that a different Hamas member arrested in April had provided much information about tunnel digging in Gaza. That member was arrested after crossing the fence from Gaza while in possession of two knives. According to his charge sheet, the Hamas operative had participated in tunnel digging, laying explosives and patrolling the fence.

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz


  • Knesset panel upholds ban on MKs visiting Temple Mount

The Knesset Ethics Committee decided on Tuesday that MKs will not be permitted to visit the Temple Mount, despite a framework drawn up by the police allowing them to do so, the Jerusalem Post reports.

At the request of Ethics Committee member MK Youssef Jabareen (Joint List), the committee reviewed the ban which it had implemented on November 2, following a police warning that visits to the holy site by politicians could provoke violence.

Police Jerusalem District head Yoram Halevy gave the Ethics Committee an overview of security on the Temple Mount, and said that in light of the relative calm in Jerusalem, the police are considering a plan whereby Arab MKs will be allowed to ascend the Temple Mount the last week of Ramadan, and after the Muslim holy month, all lawmakers would be allowed to visit the site.

However, Halevy said that at the moment, the police recommendation has not changed.

Three of the four Ethics Committee members then voted not to change the earlier decision – that ascending the Temple Mount would be considered an ethical violation.

The committee will reconsider the decision when the police decide it is safe to allow MKs to visit the holy site.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Finance ministry reaches deal to open up Israeli banking

Ending a months-long stalemate over proposals aimed at increasing competition in Israel’s impervious banking sector, the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Israel have reached an agreement on the recommendations of a government committee on the issue, paving the way for vast reform and the creation of the first new bank in nearly 50 years, the Times of Israel reports.

After securing the support of Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon presented the final plans to the cabinet on Monday, vowing that the new reforms would benefit Israeli consumers and businesses alike.

“Today we can announce that after 49 years in which no new bank has been opened in Israel, the way has been paved for the founding of new banks,” Kahlon told the cabinet at the start of its weekly meeting.

“The understandings we have reached in the past few days with the Bank of Israel allow unprecedented opportunities. All the committees on the matter so far have not dealt with the middle class, those of modest means, and small and medium-sized businesses. The committee’s conclusions deal precisely with these groups, with citizens who have been compelled to cope with the concentration in the banking system,” he added.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
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